In digital asset news, several of the top altcoins by market cap spark important partnerships in an attempt to expand their user base and enhance their platform. Bitcoin forks (ABC and BSV) disappoint as traders “pump n’ dump” into their halvings. In global markets, emerging markets continue to adopt bitcoin as hyperinflation decimates their local currency, meanwhile, China begins testing its own digital currency in four cities. In the digital asset fund management space, several funds look to expand their capital base, while a well-known traditional hedge fund manager looks to make a play in bitcoin futures.
In the altcoin space, Tron partners with video game streaming rewards platform Refereum. Video game streaming users on Refereum will now be able to be paid in Tron’s native token (TRX) or Bittorent token (BTT). Dylan Jones, CEO of Refereum, hopes this partnership will make “quarantining” more interesting for millions of people by offering rewards for watching gaming streams (Cointelegraph). Tezos has partnered with Chainlink and will use Chainlink’s oracles in order to service their smart contracts. Chainlink, which has been one of the best performing digital assets in the last two years, brings off-chain data to smart contracts via its oracles. Chainlink’s oracles will allow Tezos to develop a myriad of decentralized applications, which includes a stablecoin currently under development; USDtz (Decrypt). Brave, a widely adopted blockchain-based browser with over 13.5 million daily active users, has partnered with Binance and now offers a Binance widget, which allows users on Binance to trade without ever leaving their browser (Brave). Lastly, both bitcoin ABC and bitcoin SV’s experienced block halvings this month, which although both tokens experienced a slight bump in price gaining 11% and 19% respectively, the gains immediately evaporated. However, the tokens’ prices were not the only thing that was negatively affected by the halving. In fact, immediately after bitcoin ABC’s block reward was cut in half, there was an exodus of bitcoin ABC miners causing the network’s transaction per second to be 100x slower than usual. Meanwhile, bitcoin SV continues to be neglected by most of the crypto community as many including the CEO of Binance have deemed it a scam (Magazine by Cointelegraph).
In global markets, demand for bitcoin continues to skyrocket as Argentina faces its ninth straight debt default. As a result, the demand for bitcoin in Argentina has risen by over 1,000% since the start of 2018. Meanwhile, Chile and Venezuela encountered record-high bitcoin trading volumes on the global bitcoin exchange “local bitcoins” trading 330 million Chilean Pesos and 538.7 billion Venezuelan Bolivars respectively. Mexico, Peru, and Colombia all encountered an uptick in bitcoin volume as well (Cryptopolitian). While emerging markets continue to flee to digital currencies, China begins testing its own digital currency. The Digital Yuan pilot program is being conducted in four cities: Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an, and Chengdu where 19 local businesses will be accepting the currency including the following US chains: Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Subway (PYMNTS).
In the digital asset fund management space, Hong Kong’s first approved crypto fund, Arrano Capital, the blockchain arm of Venture Smart Asia, is seeking to raise $100 million by the end of 2020. The tracker fund will initially buy and sell bitcoin (Bloomberg) and will hopefully expand to actively trade other digital asset products. Meanwhile, established venture capital fund, Andreessen Horowitz, is seeking to raise $450 million for another crypto asset fund. Andreessen Horowitz first launched a crypto fund back in 2018 garnering $300 million. The firm is also currently involved in the heavily scrutinized Libra project (Cointelegraph). In the traditional hedge fund space, Renaissance Technologies Medallion Fund was recently approved by the SEC to start trading CME BTC cash-settled futures (Crowdfund Insider). The closed-end Medallion Fund is known to be highly secretive, using complex computer models to achieve consistent above-average returns for its investors. Lastly, Grayscale revealed that its Ethereum Trust fund, which manages over $284 million, owns nearly 50% of all ether mined this year. This begs the question; is Ethereum’s 2020 gain largely driven by Grayscale buying? Nevertheless, it trades at a 400% premium to Ethereum spot markets, but institutions don’t mind paying the hefty premium as they don’t have to worry about custody and burgeoning regulatory nuisances regarding the ownership of spot Ethereum (Cryptoslate).