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Mastercard Purchases Crypto Intelligence Company CipherTrace to Boost Security

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The payment processing giant intends to ensure a “trusted and safe” digital asset ecosystem.

In another step towards cryptocurrency adoption, Mastercard now plans to acquire CipherTrace– a crypto and blockchain intelligence company aimed at providing anti-money laundering and fraud protection solutions to the digital asset space.

How CipherTrace Helps Mastercard

The acquisition will help Mastercard provide transparency to their clients regarding payment and investment across the cryptocurrency industry. This not only helps customers to understand their risks when investing in different assets but will also help ensure Mastercard’s regulatory obligations.

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Ajay Bhalla, president of Cyber Intelligence at Mastercard, says that Ciphertrace will build on Mastercard’s existing capabilities to ensure the security of the ecosystem and to protect the blooming industry from being exploited by nefarious actors.

“Digital assets have the potential to reimagine commerce, from everyday acts like paying and getting paid to transforming economies, making them more inclusive and efficient. “With the rapid growth of the digital asset ecosystem comes the need to ensure it is trusted and safe. Our aim is to build upon the complementary capabilities of Mastercard and CipherTrace to do just this.”

Using CipherTrace, Mastercard would be able to monitor fraudulent activity across over 7000+ cryptocurrencies due to the intelligence company’s blockchain data analysis. Dave Jevans, CEO of CipherTrace, says his business “helps keep the crypto economy safe” and that he is “thrilled to join Mastercard,” which will doubtlessly help scale his company’s reach.

Mastercard’s Increasing Crypto Adoption

The recent acquisition is one piece of Mastercard’s ongoing efforts to increase crypto adoption, providing their customers with a pool of digital payment options that are as diverse as possible.

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Just last month, Mastercard partnered with Australian cryptocurrency exchange CoinJar to launch the country’s first crypto-card, allowing users to easily pay for products using cryptocurrency without first converting them into fiat.

Furthermore, Mastercard launched a crypto adoption initiative in July to bolster the growth of startups within the space, aimed at solving pertinent problems plaguing the industry’s growth, including data security and asset tokenization.

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Bitmart Says It Lost USD 150M In a Hack, Suspends Withdrawals

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One of the top 30 crypto exchanges, Bitmart, confirmed it has lost around USD 150m in a hack today, December 5, and has temporarily suspended withdrawals until further notice.

The company said they have identified “a large-scale security breach” related to one of their Ethereum (ETH) hot wallets and one of their Binance Smart Chain hot wallets.

“At this moment we are still concluding the possible methods used,” Bitmart said, adding that the affected wallets “carry a small percentage of assets on BitMart and all of our other wallets are secure and unharmed.”

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The exchange was established in 2017 and claims it has more than 9 million users. It listed Alexander Capital Ventures and Fenbushi Capital among its investors.

The 24-hour trading volume on Bitmart surpassed USD 1.4bn, per Coingecko data, which ranks the platform as the 25th largest exchange by daily trading volume.

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Crypto Exchange

Fidelity to Launch Spot Bitcoin ETF This Week

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Fidelity is aiming to launch its first spot Bitcoin ETF

Fidelity, an American multinational financial services corporation, is set to launch its first spot Bitcoin ETF in Canada this week, according to Bloomberg senior ETF analysts.

ETF launch

Fidelity is a multinational financial services corporation that was established in 1946, and it remains one of the largest asset management companies in the world with $4.9 trillion AUM with a total AVN of $8.3 trillion.

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According to Bloomberg analysts, the fund with FBTC CN is currently pending listing on the Canadian exchange and will be trading under the name Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin. Balchunas also notes that the new fund might possibly become the biggest asset management company that includes Bitcoin products.

Spot ETF as main advantage

While futures-backed Bitcoin ETFs are not something new for the market, the physically-backed exchange-traded fund would actually be a more convenient solution for Canadian investors who are willing to receive exposure to the cryptocurrency market and Bitcoin specifically.

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Compared to futures-backed funds, physical settlement Bitcoin products allow investors to receive direct exposure to the cryptocurrency market without facing high roll costs. Since Bitcoin-tracking funds utilize short-term one-month futures, they have to renew their contracts every month, which puts investors in an unfavorable position.

Due to funds operating with large volumes, the futures market faces significant buying power that puts futures contracts prices higher than the actual underlying asset. Such a market condition is called contango bleed when investors have to overpay for opening new positions on the market, which puts them at around a 20% annual loss.

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Former PayPal CEO’s Cryptocurrency Exchange Goes Live for Institutional Clients

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“Bullish” exchange backed by PayPal co-founder is set to launch for institutional investors.

The cryptocurrency exchange backed by Peter Thiel and Richard Li began operating for a batch of institutional investors on Tuesday. The start for institutional investors is only the first step before the full launch for private investors and traders.

The Bullish Exchange will offer Bitcoin, Ether and EOS tokens for trading against USD coins. With further development and expansion in the future, the exchange will broaden its digital assets offering for both institutional and retail investors.

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Exchange founders

Among the exchange’s first clients are firms like Virtu Financial (non-U.S. affiliate) and Hong Kong-based crypto finance firm Amber Group. The first company is an electronic market-making firm that is based in New York.

The new exchange, which is also backed by hedge fund managers Alan Howard and Louis Bacon, was established earlier in 2021. The exchange has numerous distinctive features that come from the world of decentralized finance, including automated market making, lending tools and portfolio management mechanisms that will help traders to properly handle their funds.

The chairman of Bullish exchange presented his product like a tool designed for investors who are looking for secure and efficient exposure to the digital assets market on a platform that will ensure funds safety from both the technical and legal sides.

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The exchange will initially use its own assets to add more liquidity to pools that would be used by automated lending and market-making mechanisms. The backend of Bullish exchange is powered by EOSIO—open-source blockchain software developed by Block.one.

Plans for the future

Bullish exchange is planning to further broaden its offering by going public on the New York Stock Exchange by merging with SPAC company Far Peak Acquisition Crop. The transaction between the two companies will set the exchange’s value at approximately $9 billion.

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