Apple CEO Owns Bitcoin Or Ethereum, Austrian Crypto Tax + More News

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Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

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Investments news

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook said he personally owns crypto and he had been interested in crypto “for a while.” “I do. I think it’s reasonable to own it as part of a diversified portfolio. I’m not giving anyone investment advice by the way,” Cook said at the DealBook conference, asked whether he owns bitcoin (BTC) or ethereum (ETH). He didn’t specify which cryptoasset he owns. The CEO rejected that Apple might invest in crypto. Also, while they don’t have immediate plans to start accepting crypto payments “there are other things that we are definitely looking at,” per the New York Times.
  • BlockFi has joined the club of companies awaiting the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approval of a physically-backed bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund, according to Bloomberg. Called the BlockFi NB Bitcoin ETF, it would hold BTC in order to track its returns.
  • US-based crypto company Circle, the issuer of major stablecoin USD Coin (USDC)said it has launched Circle Ventures – a venture fund to support early-stage blockchain projects and companies.
  • The US-based fintech company Ripple previewed Ripple Liquidity Hub, which they described as a new solution for enterprise customers, and which will be launched in 2022. Ripple Liquidity Hub will allow customers to access crypto assets from a variety of global venues, including market makers, exchanges, over-the-counter desks, and in the future decentralized venues. Ripple’s first partner of the freshly debuted alpha product is Coinme, a major US licensed crypto cash network.
  • Digital asset institution Nexo (NEXO) has acquired a stake in Texture Capital Holdings Corp., parent company of broker-dealer Texture Capital, as part of the latter’s seed funding round. The deal is part of a global strategy to expand Nexo’s institutional service offering through an extensive range of partners specialized in advanced investment banking operations for digital assets, they said.
  • Crypto exchange WOO Network has closed a USD 30m Series A round. The investors include Singapore-based Three Arrows Capital.
  • Crypto exchange Bitmart is in talks to raise about USD 20m at a pre-money valuation of USD 300m, TechCrunch reported. Alexander Capital Ventures, known for backing Airbnb and Spotify, is engaging with Bitmart to lead its Series B round, their sources reportedly claim.
  • The Telos blockchain platform, which is based on the Ethereum (ETH) network, has raised USD 8m in its first funding round leaning on marquee investors, according to Business Insider. Although the raise is not in anticipation of a bear market, the funds will help them survive a “crypto winter” just in case it arrives, per the report.
  • Alephium, a blockchain project aiming to bring scalability and energy efficiency to Bitcoin, has announced the launch of its mainnet. The company had raised USD 3.6m in a pre-sale that closed two months ago, and uses a new consensus protocol called Proof of Less Work.
  • Cross-chain decentralized finance (DeFi) dashboard Ape Board has announced it has secured USD 1.25m in a strategic funding round led by Spartan Capital. The new funding will allow Ape Board to continue scaling its development and operational resources.

Tax news

  • Austria says it wants to boost confidence in crypto by taxing them like mainstream stock and bond investments (27.5%) from March 2022 as part of a wide-ranging tax overhaul, Bloomberg reported. Traders who sell one digital token to buy another won’t be on the hook for tax liability and investors can receive compensation calculated against potential losses when they sell, it added.

Adoption news

  • Mastercard has announced their partnership with crypto service providers Amber, Bitkub, and CoinJar to launch crypto-funded Mastercard payment cards. Consumers and businesses in the Asia Pacific region will be able to apply for crypto-linked Mastercard credit, debit or prepaid cards that will enable them to convert their cryptocurrencies into traditional fiat currency, which can be spent everywhere Mastercard is accepted around the world.
  • A community-led crypto project called CityCoin has decided to create a cryptocurrency for New York City, owing to their recently elected mayor, Eric Adams, showing a decidedly pro-crypto stance, per Bloomberg. CityCoins also launched a Miami token in August, which has earned the city over USD 21m to date.
  • Charity GiveDirectly has announced a fundraiser summit featuring some of crypto’s best-known names called “What Good is Crypto” for December 2, while the donations provided leading up to and during the 75-minute event will be given to people living in poverty. Whichever cryptoasset is donated most, as measured by USD value will be declared 2021’s official ‘Most Generous Crypto Community.’

CBDCs news

  • China will continue to advance the development of its central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and improve its design and usage, the People’s Bank of China governor Yi Gang said, as reported by Reuters. The PBOC is willing to strengthen cooperation with world central banks in developing CBDC, including setting standards and rules, Yi stated.
  • Singapore’s central bank is starting a project on the technological aspects of building a digital form of its currency to prepare for the days if the city-state decides to have one, per Bloomberg. However, physical cash will remain for “quite some time” and possible currency substitution by foreign digital money is “a remote tail risk,” said the Managing Director Ravi Menon of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Security news 

  • Robinhood has acknowledged a security data breach from November 3rd, which exposed the email addresses of 5m customers, and the full names of a different group of around 2m customers. They stated that no Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, or debit card numbers were exposed, and that there was no financial loss to any customers as a result of the incident.

Exchanges news

  • The US Treasury Department sanctioned crypto exchange Chatex for its alleged involvement in ransomware operations. Chatex “has facilitated transactions for multiple ransomware variants” and has provided “material support” to crypto over-the-counter exchange Suex, which is also associated with ransomware, the watchdog’s press release said.
  • Coinbase has announced that it is bringing full standalone functionality to its browser extension wallet, which will allow everyone to use it without linking to a Coinbase exchange account.
  • UAE-based crypto exchange BitOasis has announced that it has set up a local bank funding option for users. This will enable all UAE-based users of BitOasis to locally transfer funds from their UAE bank account to their account free of any charges, and they will also be able to make zero-fee withdrawals from their exchange account to their UAE bank account.

Economics news

  • The US producer price index (PPI) for final demand rose 0.6% last month after climbing 0.5% in September, Reuters reported, citing the Labor Department. In the 12 months through October, the PPI increased 8.6% after a similar gain in September, it added. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the PPI advancing 0.6% on a monthly basis and rising 8.7% year-on-year.

Payments news

  • PayPal’s adjusted earnings per share of USD 1.11 for the third quarter came in ahead of the analyst consensus estimate of USD 1.07, but their revenue was USD 6.18bn during this same period, which was short of estimates of USD 6.23bn. The company also posted a total payment volume of USD 310bn in the third quarter, up 24% from the year-ago period.


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