13 May

MoneyGram International said Wednesday it will allow customers to buy and sell bitcoin for cash at 12,000 U.S. retail locations through a partnership with Coinme. The cash transfer company plans to introduce bitcoin trades in 20,000 stores across 32 states by Q3.

The rollout vastly expands U.S. investors’ access to brick-and-mortar crypto touchpoints. MoneyGram and Coinme will take 4% of customers’ transactions plus $2.75 in fees.

The ability for anyone to walk into a MoneyGram location and load that wallet or unload that wallet is a pretty exciting service opportunity.

The company has something under development to support other cryptocurrencies which we’ll be adding, so we’ll have a future press release for MoneyGram to run with in the future.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hinted that the bitcoin market’s volatility may mean it’s not yet ready to support an exchange-traded fund (ETF), though the regulator is monitoring the digital asset sector and is seeking input.

Bitcoin is a “highly speculative” asset, according to the staff statement. The note warned investors in mutual funds that trade bitcoin futures may be taking on more risk than they realize. The warning comes as high-profile funds from Morgan Stanley and BlackRock begin to diversify into bitcoin through adjacent products like cash-settled bitcoin futures and Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust.

The staff, among other things, expect to … consider whether, in light of the experience of mutual funds investing in the bitcoin futures market, the bitcoin futures market could accommodate ETFs, which, unlike mutual funds, cannot prevent additional investor assets from coming into the ETF if the ETF becomes too large or dominant in the market, or if the liquidity in the market starts to wane.

There are currently 10 crypto ETF proposals sitting before the SEC, and the agency is reviewing four currently.”

“Ether’s total value climbed as high as $505 billion before pulling back slightly. The milestone came as the cryptocurrency’s price hit an all-time high of $4,371.

Bitcoin (BTC) passed the $500 billion milestone in late December 2020 before hitting $1 trillion in February 2021. So ether’s market cap is now approaching the 50% mark of bitcoin’s.”

Vitalik Buterin has told dog-themed memecoin creators to bark up another tree. In a move that captivated the attention of Crypto Twitter on Wednesday, the Ethereum founder re-gifted tokens sent to his public wallet by the creators of Shiba Inu coin (SHIB), dogelon (ELON), Akita Inu (AKITA), mwDOGE (mwDOGE) and OURSHIB (OSHIB).

Notably, Buterin donated 50 trillion SHIB tokens (worth a nominal $1.2 billion at press time) to the India Covid Relief Fund kicked off by Polygon founder Sandeep Nailwal late last month. He also sent about $431 million of AKITA to Gitcoin, a public Ethereum-based fundraising platform.

Memecoin creators have been sending large amounts of their tokens to the Ethereum figurehead in recent days. SHIB is down roughly 38% since Buterin started unloading.”

“Crypto asset manager Bitwise has come to market with a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) that offers investors exposure to companies in the cryptocurrency sector. Those companies must have either 75% of income derived from cryptocurrency or 75% of their net assets in crypto. Firms with $100 million or more of liquid crypto assets on their balance sheet are also included.

The Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF is now live on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker BITQ.”

See Also: Lubin, ConsenSys Vets Raising $75M Venture Fund, Documents Show

“U.S. consumer prices rose to 4.2% in the 12 months through April, the fastest pace since 2008. The latest reading on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation report exceeded economists’ average estimate for a 3.6% increase.

On a month-to-month basis, headline April CPI increased 0.8%, beating expectations for a 0.2% rise after a 0.6% gain in March. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9% in April, its largest monthly increase since April 1982.

The Fed is not going to panic after one startling CPI report, so you can expect to hear even more about transitory bottleneck inflation pressures over the next few weeks. But this report does mean that the first part of the higher inflation story – the reopening spike – is real.”

Diem Networks US, a subsidiary of the association, will run the Diem Payments Network and register as a money services business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), while Silvergate will be the formal issuer of the Diem USD stablecoin. Silvergate will also manage the reserve backing the token.

The DPN will be a permissioned network, allowing only approved participants to transact, according to the Wednesday announcement. The move represents a sharp departure from Diem’s origins as the Libra Association.

Diem, formerly known as Libra, will also move its operations out of Switzerland and withdraw its application for a Swiss Financial Markets Authority license.”

Uniswap generated $7.1 million in fees over the past 24 hours compared to Bitcoin’s $4.6 million.

Uniswap v2 LP fees finally passed Bitcoin network fees on the 7-day average. Would be even higher if [cryptofees] tracked v3.

Although a million critics immediately pointed to high gas fees on Uniswap being responsible, Adams pointed out revenue in question was actually swapping fees paid to liquidity providers rather than gas fees.”

See Also: Vitalik Buterin says Uniswap should become an oracle token
See Also: DeFi lending platform Aave reveals ‘permissioned pool’ for institutions
See Also: Yearn.finance surges 45% as it joins dog pack with WOOFY

DeFi Season

“Nine rare non-fungible token (NFT) digital collectibles known as CryptoPunks have sold for almost $17 million at physical auction house Christie’s. All nine CryptoPunks are among the first 1,000 minted in the early days of creator Larva Labs.

The CryptoPunks sale highlights the continuing demand for digital art validated by blockchain technology.”

See Also: Decentraland Founder Unveils Project of Bringing NFTs to ‘Big-Time’ Video Games

“Carpenter, who became a Bitcoiner over the last year, reportedly forfeited all traditional sponsors in favor of driving the Bitcoin (BTC) car, #21 in the event.

In a world of potato chip and energy drinks sponsors, Ed chose to race for human freedom, financial literacy, financial inclusivity, savings technology, and Bitcoin open-source development.

Mallers and the racecar driver are continuing to raise donations from crypto enthusiasts and plan to use 70% of all proceeds to fund open-source Bitcoin development, with the remaining used to fund the Bitcoin car and for Indianapolis charities.”

A new cryptocurrency project in China named LoserSwap apparently seeks to own failure, and the concept is gaining a surprising following. Loser coin, as the associated digital token is known, comes with the trading symbol LOWB – a derogatory term when expressed in the equivalent Chinese spelling.

The self-deprecation culture has deep roots in China, where small, individual investors in the domestic stock market often think they’re exploited by big institutions that own the majority of shares. The project’s website reads like a Chinese proverb on the inevitability of life’s letdowns:

A poor young man from a fourth-tier city in China invited another poor programmer to jointly launch the loser coin project, the token LOWB. This project was established with a zero mentality. On the day of the project’s launch, the two people took out all their savings to add a liquidity pool. The project promised not to protect the market (mainly lacking strength) and not to run away.”