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Grayscale exec claims firm raised $85 million from investors in Q2

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Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is one of the most recognized institutions for digital currency investments, providing secured access and seamless exposure to the virtual asset class.

In a recent interview, Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary, Grayscale’s Director of Sales and Business Development, claimed that the investment in the firm’s products had doubled in Q2 and investors were consistently coming back to the platform. $85 million had already been raised in Q2, with a significant percentage of it coming from institutional investors.

“Institutional investors are investing with us all the time,” Sharif-Askary claimed, shrugging off speculations that such investors were not active in the virtual asset market. Grayscale catered to various investors that demanded the ownership of crypto-assets in the form of securities. She said,

“I get asked this a lot; there is this rhetoric in media of when institutional investors are going to get involved, when they are gonna start investing. It’s ironic because we

see institutional investors investing with us all the time and that’s been the case for a long time now.”

The Director of Sales also expressed her joy at the recent launch of Bakkt’s derivatives platform, saying that she was “thrilled to see more on-ramps” that can amass in more institutional investors. Sharif-Askary also commented that investments flowing into altcoins’ trust also recorded significant improvement as users were now also comfortable with a new asset class, besides Bitcoin.

Recently, Grayscale Investments had announced that the organization would be resuming private placement of its shares. The private placement established by the trust is offered on a periodic basis to its users but now, it would be available to recognized investors on a daily basis.

According to the Director of Sales, Grayscale’s investment objective is to improve the value of its shares and resonate with the real-time valuation of Bitcoin, for reduced fees and expenses on the platform.

Source:ambcrypto

Bitcoin

BITCOIN THIEVES ARRESTED IN JAPAN FOR PILFERING $700K IN BTC

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The Rundown

  • Internal Information Helped Order Bitcoin Withdrawals for Personal Enrichment
  • Former Employee Possibly Precipitated the Bankruptcy and Closing of CoinExchange

The Japanese police arrested two suspects for the theft of Bitcoin (BTC) from the coffers of the relatively small market operator CoinExchange.

INTERNAL INFORMATION HELPED ORDER BITCOIN WITHDRAWALS FOR PERSONAL ENRICHMENT

Yuto Onitsuka, 25, and Takuma Sasaki, 28, reportedly stole 78 million yen in Bitcoins, equivalent to about $710,000, reported Japan Times. The theft was possible for former employee Onitsuka, who knew the access credentials to the wallets of CoinExchange. The small market operator closed in late 2019, after accruing losses due to the bear market.

The theft happened in October 2018, about a year before the exchange closed when Bitcoin had stabilized around $6,400. The BTC stolen was tracked to foreign and domestic exchanges, thus identifying the culprits.

Onitsuka and Sasaki reportedly never met each other, and only communicated through crypto-related bulletin boards. Sasaki used the login credentials to order BTC withdrawals from one of the exchange’s hot wallets.

FORMER EMPLOYEE POSSIBLY PRECIPITATED THE BANKRUPTCY AND CLOSING OF COINEXCHANGE

Statements by Onitsuka also suggest the actions may have precipitated the bankruptcy of CoinExchange. The Bitcoin withdrawals harmed the already failing exchange operator, and Onitsuka wanted to additionally protest against the company’s management. Sources have suggested Onitsuka wanted to bankrupt the company for internal struggle and disagreements.10 BTC

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The theft of roughly 100 BTC at 2018 prices was relatively small in comparison to other exchange heists. But the involvement of an employee suggests that heists are sometimes more easily explained with the human factor, and having access to hot or cold wallets.

The exchange, which was one of the smaller altcoin markets, did not have a process of internal controls to stop abuses. Hence, only one set of credentials was enough to order a withdrawal, and there were no internal controls on where the Bitcins went. The theft also left plenty of traces, as the funds were liquidated and sent to Sasaki’s bank account. The funds stolen were used for travel and personal expenses, with no attempts to conceal the transfers.

Japan has been the scene of relatively large coin heists, which affected the CoinCheck exchange. Other markets affected include Bitpoint, Remixpoint, and Zaif. The trend accelerated in 2019 when more exchange thefts were noted worldwide.

Japanese exchanges have slowed down their activity, winding down from the peak of the bull market where Japanese investors made up to 60% of Bitcoin trading volumes. Altcoins also slowed down their turnover, even ones highly active on the Japanese market. Japanese Bitcoin exchanges are highly regulated, requiring KYC and local bank accounts, but have been heavily affected by heists, which are still under investigation.

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Greyscale Could Get The First Foot In The Door With A Bitcoin ETF

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  • Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) can be a long drawn out process and has seen the hopes of many of crypto commentators crushed over the past two years.
  • Multiple of these traded funds have already been shut down and rejected but even though they have attempted to be re-applied.

Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) can be a long drawn out process and has seen the hopes of many of crypto commentators crushed over the past two years.

Multiple of these traded funds have already been shut down and rejected but even though they have attempted to be re-applied, the securities and exchange commission in the United States keeps on turning them down. The Bitwise Asset Management’s revised submission is the latest ETF to reach such a denial.

Despite this, Ryan Selkis of Messari believes that a recent announcement with the securities commission and Greyscale could play a big role in seeing a Bitcoin ETF getting approved later this year.

Greyscale investments had a submitted registration statement on Form 10 with the securities commission a few months ago in November last year. Earlier this week though, the submission statement was actually given the green light and greyscales bitcoin trust became the first digital asset investment spearhead to become a reporting company for the US’s security commission.

The bitcoin trust is a crypto index fund

with the securities and exchange commission giving the organisation the chance to reach a wider audience and especially those of established investors.

Selkis has indicated that the SEC is in compliance with the Form 10 approval which will, in the future, be able to see a bitcoin ETF given the thumbs up. He went on to say:

“I’m at the point where I do believe we’ll finally see the much awaited bitcoin ETF within the next 12-18 months.“

For those that don’t know, Greyscales bitcoin trust is one of the biggest crypto asset managers in the world with two and a half billion dollars assets under management and the trust has got the longest existence in the market. 

This current approval as a reporting company is essentially the securities commission noticing the legitimacy in Greyscales trust. 

Selkis adds:

“All that’s left really is for the SEC to finally recognize that this quasi-public vehicle is already available, liquid, and widely coveted by retail investors, while at the same time, the Commission’s own foot-dragging on an “official” ETF approval is quantifiably hurting those same investors by perpetuating the premium that exists on the publicly floated shares.”

It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out. For more news on this and other crypto updates, keep it with CryptoDaily!

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Bitcoin’s soft fork: Final proposal for integrating Schnorr, Taproot published

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Pieter Wuille, a Bitcoin Core contributor, announced on January 24, 2020, that the Schnorr/Taproot proposal was published as BIPs 340, 341, and 342. The proposal is said to have significant implicati

ons on scaling, fungibility, privacy and script innovation

Wuille, further commented on the proposal and added that barring significant issues found in the review, the authors did not intend to make any more semantical changes.

He stated,

“That means that these documents are our final proposal for integrating Schnorr and Taproot into Bitcoin. Whether it gets accepted by the ecosystem, and how, is up to you.”

Commenting on the same, Jake Chervinsky, general counsel at Compound and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, tweeted that Schnorr/Taproot was not only a significant upgrade for Bitcoin but was also an important data point for the ongoing study of Bitcoin’s governance model.

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