Last Week’s Cryptocurrency News. Friday, October 21

Friday, 21st of October. As the week comes to an end, we can focus on the highlights of the crypto industry over the past few days

Mastercard to provide tools for banks to access crypto

The payment giant Mastercard teamed up with Paxos to become an intermediary for traditional financial institutions to launch cryptocurrency trading. This was announced in an interview with CNBC by the chief digital officer, Jorn Lambert.

“There’s a lot of consumers out there that are really interested in this […] they would feel a lot more confident if those services were offered by their financial institutions,” Lambert told CNBC.

According to the survey, 60% of respondents belonged to this category.

Banks took their time to meet demand because of the necessary regulatory and technical competencies.

Mastercard will act as a “bridge” between financial institutions and the Paxos digital asset platform as part of the initiative. It will ensure the required level of safety and compliance with regulatory requirements (AML/KYC).

Product testing is scheduled for the first quarter of 2023. No names of specific participating banks are mentioned.

As you may remember, in October Mastercard introduced the Crypto Secure tool. It will allow banks to identify and halt transactions from crypto exchanges prone to fraudulent practices.

Back in September, its competitor Visa entered a $51.5 million funding round for financing Sardine, a financial crime platform.

Tesla estimates $218 million worth of bitcoins on its balance sheet

Tesla, EV maker, reported continuing to hold the first-ever cryptocurrency on its balance sheet worth $218 million during Q3.

During the period between July and September, the company’s stance on digital assets remained unchanged. No issues related to this topic were raised at the conference with analysts.

Three months ago, Tesla revealed the sale of 75% of the company’s bitcoin holdings for $936 million. Executives explained the move as “a need to increase liquidity at a time of anti-covid restrictions in China.” 

Elon Musk’s efforts to get back into the $44 billion Twitter takeover deal have not led to the liquidation of cryptocurrency positions.

According to Bitcoin Treasuries, Tesla’s average price of the Bitcoin purchased could have been $34,722 before it was partially sold.

At the time of writing, the publication valued the electric car maker’s 9720 BTC at $185.93 million, which is below the $337.5 million cost of its acquisition.

You may recall that the company bought digital gold in February 2021. Elon Musk himself called these investments “quite risky.”

As of April 2021, Tesla sold some of its first crypto assets for $272 million.

Blockchain Association backs Grayscale in case against SEC

The Blockchain Association, a nonprofit organization, filed a lawsuit brief regarding Grayscale Investments’ proceedings against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“We’re proud to take this momentous step supporting the crypto industry to provide American consumers greater access to these innovative products,” the company tweeted.

Acting as amici curiae, the Blockchain Association called the Commission’s refusal to convert the GBTC trust into a bitcoin-ETF a violation. So far, the regulator has not approved any of the similar applications, but allowed to launch exchange-traded funds based on Bitcoin futures from VanEck, Valkyrie Investments and ProShares.

By rejecting Grayscale Investments’ filing, the Commission ” forfeited their own ability to safely regulate and provide the necessary protections for all investors,” the filers added.

To their mind, the SEC uses double standards to evaluate exchange-traded products.

Other organizations that supported the statement were the Coin Center, a crypto industry advocacy organization, the Chamber of Digital Commerce and a trade group representing technology companies.

On Oct. 19, 2021, Grayscale submitted an application to convert the GBTC bitcoin trust into an exchange-traded fund based on the cryptocurrency’s spot price.

On December 17, the SEC postponed a decision on the application, and in February 2022, it took the step again. On June 30, the company sued the regulator after the final rejection of its filings.

To recap, in October Grayscale Investments filed an opening statement in the case, calling the Commission’s approach inconsistent and unfair.

Prior to that, the Wall Street Journal editorial accused the head of the agency, Gary Gensler, of a “confusing” approach regarding the adoption of a spot bitcoin ETF.

Billionaire Mark Cuban, U.S. House of Representatives member Tom Emmer and Messari founder Ryan Selkis also denounced the regulator. According to the latter, the rejection of Grayscale’s application is considered fraud.

Binance announces Index Series for passive crypto investors

Binance launches the Top 10 Equal-Weighted Index This November, the product that is being promoted as part of the Auto-Invest feature will be available to automatically track and manage diversified portfolios of digital assets.

The CMC Top 10 Equal-Weighted Index is based on ten equally weighted cryptocurrencies and rebalances them on a monthly basis.

Auto-Invest is included in the Binance Earn category. The service allows “one-click” automation of purchases of crypto according to the strategy of dollar value averaging.

Going forward, the exchange plans to launch other indexes under the Binance CoinMarketCap series. This popular data aggregator will provide price streams for tools. Indexes assist users in tracking the movement of digital assets.

Any new tools in the series might be based on assets with the highest market cap, using certain blockchains. It is also expected to select assets by sector, including NFT, DeFi, metaverse, and GameFi.

Binance intends to offer more products based on the created indexes.

We would remind you that in July the CEO of the exchange Changpeng Zhao reported from 3.7 million to 4.9 million active users of Binance Earn in the first half of 2022.

Earlier, Betterment, the largest robo-advisory service in the U.S., expanded its series of investment strategies concerning digital assets. According to the firm itself, there are 730,000 customers with AUM of $30.7 billion.

As of September, Franklin Templeton, an asset manager with more than $1.3 trillion in assets, unveiled two digital-asset-focused strategies.

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