Category Archives: Cryptocurrencies

Treasury Takes Robust Actions to Counter Ransomware

As part of the whole-of-government effort to counter ransomware, the U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced a set of actions focused on disrupting criminal networks and virtual currency exchanges responsible for laundering ransoms, encouraging improved cyber security across the private sector, and increasing incident and ransomware payment reporting to U.S. government agencies, including both Treasury and law enforcement. Treasury’s actions today advance the United States government’s broader counter-ransomware strategy, which emphasizes the need for a collaborative approach to counter ransomware attacks, including partnership between the public and private sector and close relationships with international partners.

“Ransomware and cyber-attacks are victimizing businesses large and small across America and are a direct threat to our economy. We will continue to crack down on malicious actors,” said Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen. “As cyber criminals use increasingly sophisticated methods and technology, we are committed to using the full range of measures, to include sanctions and regulatory tools, to disrupt, deter, and prevent ransomware attacks.”

Ransomware attacks are increasing in scale, sophistication, and frequency, victimizing governments, individuals, and private companies around the world. In 2020, ransomware payments reached over $400 million, more than four times their level in 2019. The U.S. government estimates that these payments represent just a fraction of the economic harm caused by cyber-attacks, but they underscore the objectives of those who seek to weaponize technology for personal gain: to disrupt our economy and damage the companies, families, and individuals who depend on it for their livelihoods, savings, and futures. In addition to the millions of dollars paid in ransoms and recovery, the disruption to critical sectors, including financial services, healthcare, and energy, as well as the exposure of confidential information, can cause severe damage.

Some virtual currency exchanges are a critical element of this ecosystem, as virtual currency is the principal means of facilitating ransomware payments and associated money laundering activities. The United States has been a leader in applying its anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework in the virtual currency area, including with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) publishing guidance regarding the application of Bank Secrecy Act rules in this area in 2013 and 2019. FinCEN has also taken important enforcement action against non-compliant virtual currency money transmitters facilitating ransomware payments, such as BTC-e in 2017 and the virtual currency mixing service Helix in 2020. In addition, the United States is taking steps to improve transparency regarding ransomware attacks and associated payments.

DESIGNATION OF FIRST VIRTUAL CURRENCY EXCHANGE FOR COMPLICIT FINANCIAL SERVICES

Today’s actions include the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) designation of SUEX OTC, S.R.O. (SUEX), a virtual currency exchange, for its part in facilitating financial transactions for ransomware actors. SUEX has facilitated transactions involving illicit proceeds from at least eight ransomware variants. Analysis of known SUEX transactions shows that over 40% of SUEX’s known transaction history is associated with illicit actors. SUEX is being designated pursuant to Executive Order 13694, as amended, for providing material support to the threat posed by criminal ransomware actors.

Virtual currency exchanges such as SUEX are critical to the profitability of ransomware attacks, which help fund additional cybercriminal activity. Treasury will continue to disrupt and hold accountable these entities to reduce the incentive for cybercriminals to continue to conduct these attacks. This action is the first sanctions designation against a virtual currency exchange and was executed with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

While most virtual currency activity is licit, virtual currencies can be used for illicit activity through peer-to-peer exchangers, mixers, and exchanges. This includes the facilitation of sanctions evasion, ransomware schemes, and other cybercrimes. Some virtual currency exchanges are exploited by malicious actors, but others, as is the case with SUEX, facilitate illicit activities for their own illicit gains. Treasury will continue to use its authorities against malicious cyber actors in concert with other U.S. departments and agencies, as well as our foreign partners, to disrupt financial nodes tied to ransomware payments and cyber-attacks. Those in the virtual currency industry play a critical role in implementing appropriate AML/CFT and sanctions controls to prevent sanctioned persons and other illicit actors from exploiting virtual currencies to undermine U.S foreign policy and national security interests.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s designation, all property and interests in property of the designated target that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. Additionally, any entities 50% or more owned by one or more designated persons are also blocked. In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned entities and individuals may expose themselves to sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action. Today’s action against SUEX does not implicate a sanctions nexus to any particular Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) or variant.

OFAC UPDATES ADVISORY ON POTENTIAL SANCTIONS RISKS FOR FACILITATING RANSOMWARE PAYMENTS

OFAC today also released an Updated Advisory on Potential Sanctions Risks for Facilitating Ransomware Payments. The Advisory emphasizes that the U.S. government continues to strongly discourage the payment of cyber ransom or extortion demands and recognizes the importance of cyber hygiene in preventing or mitigating such attacks. OFAC has also updated the Advisory to emphasize the importance of improving cybersecurity practices and reporting to, and cooperating with, appropriate U.S. government agencies in the event of a ransomware attack. Such reporting, as the Advisory notes, is essential for U.S. government agencies, including law enforcement, to understand and counter ransomware attacks and malicious cyber actors.

OFAC strongly encourages victims and related companies to report these incidents to and fully cooperate with law enforcement as soon as possible to avail themselves of OFAC’s significant mitigation related to OFAC enforcement matters and receive voluntary self-disclosure credit in the event a sanctions nexus is later determined.

ADDITIONAL AUTHORITIES

FinCEN, in addition to the guidance and enforcement activities above, has also engaged with industry, law enforcement, and others on the ransomware threat through the FinCEN Exchange public-private partnership. FinCEN held a first Exchange on ransomware in November 2020 and a second Exchange in August 2021. FinCEN is taking additional action under its authorities to collect information relating to ransomware payments.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND IMPORTANCE OF AML/CFT MEASURES FOR VIRTUAL CURRENCIES AND SERVICE PROVIDERS

Countering ransomware benefits from close collaboration with international partners. At the Group of Seven (G7) meeting in June, participants committed to working together to urgently address the escalating shared threat from criminal ransomware networks. The G7 is considering the risks surrounding ransomware, including potential impacts to the finance sector. For example, the G7 Cyber Expert Group (CEG), co-chaired by Treasury and Bank of England, met on September 1 and September 14, 2021 to discuss ransomware, which remains a grave concern given the number and breadth of ransomware attacks across industry sectors. The participants considered the effects of ransomware attacks on the financial services sector, as well as the broader economy, and explored ways to help improve overall security and resilience against malicious cyber activity.

Given the illicit finance risk that virtual assets pose, including ransomware-related money laundering, in June 2019 the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) amended its standards to require all countries to regulate and supervise virtual asset service providers (VASPs), including exchanges, and to mitigate against such risks when engaging in virtual asset transactions. Among other things, countries are expected to impose customer due diligence (CDD) requirements, and suspicious transaction reporting obligations across VASPs, which can help inhibit cybercriminals’ exploitation of virtual assets while supporting investigations into these illicit finance activities. Because profit-motivated cybercriminals must launder their misappropriated funds, AML/CFT regimens are a critical chokepoint in countering and deterring this criminal activity. This magnifies the need for all countries to effectively and expeditiously implement and enforce the FATF’s standards on virtual assets and VASPs. The United States is committed to continued work at the FATF and with other countries to implement the FATF standards, and we welcome the FATF’s ongoing work on this issue.

AMC Theaters Will Accept Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash

In a tweet yesterday night, Adam Aron the CEO of AMC Theaters announced that the company will accept Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash as payment methods by year-end.

AMC Theaters announced in August that it will accept bitcoin as payment. The company also added google pay and Apple pay in its payment methods.

The Cryptocurrencies market has seen a lot of good news during 2021. Tesla announced that it will accept bitcoin as payment and paypal also run into the crypto world.

In premarket trading, AMC is 1.39% lower at 46.19, the stock closed at $46,84 yesterday. The stock is up 38.50% the last month and 2,109% higher year-to-date.  

As of writing Ethereum (ETHUSD) trades 1.62% higher at 3610, Litecoin (LTCUSD) is adding 1.99% at 193.10, on the other hand Bitcoin Cash is 1.75% lower at 641.66.

EY announces integration with Polygon protocol and framework on Ethereum scaling solutions

The EY organization today announced it is using the Polygon protocol and framework to deploy EY blockchain solutions on the public Ethereum blockchain ecosystem.

As more enterprises adopt blockchain technology, transaction volumes and costs on the main public Ethereum blockchain have risen. Adopting Polygon’s commit chain solutions allows the EY organization to offer enterprise users increased transaction volumes with predictable costs and settlement times and the option to move transactions onto the public Ethereum mainnet.

EY has connected the Polygon public, permissionless commit chain into EY flagship blockchain services including EY OpsChain and EY Blockchain Analyzer. EY clients can connect their business operations into Polygon networks with just a simple configuration change on blockchain.ey.com. The main Polygon systems network and the main Polygon test and development network are now both directly accessible from blockchain.ey.com.

In addition to integrating the main Polygon commit chain into blockchain.ey.com, the EY organization is working with Polygon to create permissioned, private industry chains leveraging new models for handling transaction verification to increase efficiency and reduce transaction costs known as an optimistic rollup1. These industry chains would offer enterprises the comfort and security of a closed system but retain the close alignment with the public Ethereum mainnet that would make a future transition to public networks faster and lower risk.

Paul Brody, EY Global Blockchain Leader, says:

“Working with Polygon provides EY teams with a powerful set of tools to scale transactions for clients and offers a faster roadmap to integration on the public Ethereum mainnet. We discovered our shared priorities around open system and networks and the Ethereum ecosystem would make collaboration in this area much easier.”

Sandeep Nailwal, Co-founder, Polygon, says:

“The EY commitment to the public Ethereum ecosystem and to open standards was a big driver in evolving shared approaches. No other organization has made the same scale of commitment to the ecosystem and to open systems, or brings the depth of technology that the EY organization has in this space.”

Both the EY organization and Polygon are working on common roadmaps that will help prioritize enterprise-friendly features into the ecosystem with a particular focus on privacy technologies that enable sophisticated use cases and support regulatory compliance.

Osprey Funds Continues Streak of Leading-Edge Product Launches with Opening of Solana Fund

The Osprey Solana Fund is the first investment product in the US to invest exclusively in SOL.

Osprey Funds, LLC, a premier digital asset management firm, today announced the launch of the Osprey Solana Trust for private placement. The Trust is the first investment vehicle to offer exposure to SOL, the native token used on the Solana blockchain, the fastest blockchain in the world.

Following a breakthrough in mobile communications, Solana Founder and CEO Anatoly Yakovenko introduced Proof of History to blockchain, an algorithmic solution for timestamping transactions. This enables the Solana network to operate at incredible speed, processing 65,000 transactions per second with sub-second block finality, which will only get faster as network bandwidth increases.

“The pedigree of the science and potential of the technology behind Solana is unique among current blockchains,” said Greg King, CEO of Osprey Funds. “Solana has the potential to become the rails of an integrated, decentralized financial network that establishes one global price for assets. With the debut of the Osprey Solana Trust, we are continuing to build onramps for investors to access what we believe are the most promising blockchain technologies.”

The Osprey Solana Trust is currently available to accredited investors for subscription with a $10,000 minimum investment. The sponsor intends to pursue listing the fund on the OTCQX market as soon as possible and has also agreed to waive the management fee for all investors until January 2023.

Osprey Funds continues to deepen its disruptive digital asset investment platform with the Osprey Solana Trust being the fourth product launched this year. The firm also offers the Osprey Bitcoin Trust (OBTC), the Osprey Polkadot Trust and the Osprey Algorand Trust.

About Osprey Funds

Osprey Funds is the premier boutique digital asset investment firm. Based in New York, Osprey offers secure, transparent and cost-effective access to select digital assets via traditional investment vehicles. Learn more by visiting https://ospreyfunds.io/.

Stephen Curry Becomes Global Ambassador and Shareholder of Leading Cryptocurrency Exchange FTX

West Realm Shires Services Inc. and FTX Trading Limited, the companies behind FTX.US and FTX.COM respectively, today announced a long-term partnership with three-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Stephen Curry. In connection with being an FTX global ambassador, Curry will receive an equity stake in FTX Trading Limited and Curry’s foundation, Eat.Learn.Play., will partner with FTX on charitable initiatives.

“I’m excited to partner with a company that demystifies the crypto space and eliminates the intimidation factor for first-time users,” said Curry.  “FTX is likeminded when it comes to giving back to the community in meaningful ways and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.”

Curry, who has spent his entire 12-season professional career with the Golden State Warriors, is the latest high-profile athlete to partner with FTX in 2021, joining NFL stars Tom Brady and Trevor Lawrence. Curry’s equity stake in FTX Trading Limited further advances the company’s position as the fastest growing and most trusted place to buy, sell and trade Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, NFTs and other digital assets. He will be taking on the role of global ambassador to expand the reach of the FTX brand and tout the viability of cryptocurrency to new audiences around the world through several upcoming initiatives.

The partnership with FTX marks the 33-year-old’s first investment in the cryptocurrency space as the burgeoning entrepreneur continues to diversify his growing portfolio.

Additionally, FTX has committed to providing an annual charitable contribution to Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s foundation, Eat.Learn.Play. The foundation seeks to unlock the full potential of every child, anchored around the three core values vital to a successful childhood: nutrition, education and active living. Likeminded with FTX, Eat.Learn.Play. and its founders are committed to ensuring an equal road to a brighter future for all kids, with a specific focus on fighting to end childhood hunger, ensuring students have access to a quality education and providing safe places for all children to play and be active. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eat.Learn.Play. and its community partners have served over 17 million nutritious meals to Oakland kids and families affected.   

Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, said, “After meeting and speaking with Stephen, it was clear that he is a seamless fit for FTX. His tireless commitment to charity alongside a ferocious work ethic to become the greatest in any arena he steps foot in, whether it is basketball, investing or business, perfectly align with FTX’s core values. I look forward to working together with Stephen to create a positive impact for those who need it most in the world.”

About FTX.US

FTX.US is a US-regulated cryptocurrency exchange, built from the ground up. Its mission is for FTX.US to grow the digital currency ecosystem, offer US and international traders a platform that inspires their loyalty, and to become the market leading US regulated cryptocurrency exchange by volume within the next two years.

To learn more about FTX.US, please visit: https://ftx.us/

About FTX.COM

FTX.COM is a cryptocurrency exchange built by traders, for traders. It offers innovative products, including industry-leading derivatives, options and volatility products, tokenized stocks, prediction markets, leveraged tokens and an OTC desk. FTX.COM strives to be an intuitive yet powerful platform for all kinds of users, and to be the most innovative exchange in the industry.  FTX.COM has grown quickly since its founding, becoming one of the most respected cryptocurrency exchanges in the world in less than 2 years.

FSCA warns the public against BINANCE GROUP

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warns the public to be cautious and
vigilant when dealing with BINANCE GROUP as they are not authorised to give any
financial advice or render any intermediary services in terms of the Financial Advisory
and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act) in South Africa.

The FSCA received information that BINANCE GROUP, an international company
situated in the Seychelles which has a telegram group that members of the South African
public can join to gain access to their cryptocurrency exchange platform. The FSCA
would like caution that in addition to this entity not being authorised to provide any
financial services or business, crypto-related investments are currently not regulated by
the FSCA or any other body in South Africa. As a result, if something goes wrong, you’re
unlikely to get your money back and will have no recourse against anyone.

Members of the public should always check that an entity or individual is registered with
the FSCA to provide Financial Advisory & Intermediary Services and what category of
advice it is that the entity is registered to provide. There are instances where persons are
registered to provide basic advisory services for a low-risk product and then offer services
of a far more complex and risky nature. The FSCA again reminds consumers who wish to
conduct financial services with an institution or person to check beforehand with the
FSCA on either the toll free number (0800 110 443) or on the website www.fsca.co.za as
to whether or not such institution or person is authorised to render financial services, and
in particular which financial products they are licensed for.

Europe’s First Bitcoin Futures, Based on ETC Group’s BTCetc Physical Bitcoin, to List on Eurex in September

  • First futures contract on a Crypto ETP in Europe launching 13 September 2021
  • BTCE is the world’s most heavily traded Crypto ETP
  • Eurex is the largest derivatives exchange in Europe

ETC Group ( www.etc-group.com ), Europe’s leading specialist provider of innovative, digital asset-backed securities, announces that Eurex, Europe’s largest derivatives exchange, will list Bitcoin ETN Futures on 13 September 2021 based on its flagship product BTCetc. This will be the first time futures contracts are available for investors on a Crypto ETP in Europe.

Bitcoin ETN Futures is based on ETC Group’s BTCetc™ – ETC Group Physical Bitcoin (ticker: BTCE), which launched on Deutsche Börse XETRA in June 2020. Since then it has been listed on multiple European exchanges, and is currently the world’s most heavily traded crypto ETP, with the narrowest spreads1. The new futures contract will be traded in Euros and physically delivered in BTCE, which is 100% backed by bitcoin and can be readily redeemed by any investor for the underlying bitcoin.

Bradley Duke, CEO of ETC Group said: “The announcement that Eurex will list a futures contract based on BTCE is a game changer, it firmly establishes BTCE as the benchmark Bitcoin ETP and go-to product for Bitcoin price discovery. We see the selection of BTCE by Europe’s largest derivatives exchange as recognition of the quality of the product and its world beating liquidity. Also, because BTCE is fully-fungible with the underlying bitcoin, it means physical settlement of the futures contract is enabled through BTCE’s standard creation/redemption mechanism.”

Randolf Roth, Member of the Eurex Executive Board said “Given the growing institutional demand for secure exposure to Bitcoin, we are delighted to begin listing these Bitcoin ETN futures on our regulated trading and clearing infrastructure at Eurex. This move will allow a greater number of market participants to trade and hedge Bitcoin, with this new future being treated in the same way as any other derivatives contract in terms of central clearing, netting, and risk management.”

This set-up allows investors to track the price development of Bitcoin in a fully regulated on-exchange environment and based on a transparent price discovery of the underlying BTCE. Structured in a similar way as physical Gold ETCs, with an equivalent physical redemption mechanism in place, BTCE’s primary listing trades on Deutsche Börse’s ETN trading segment since 18th June 2020. Bitcoin ETN futures are centrally cleared like any other derivatives traded on Eurex. Eurex’s standard clearing, netting, and risk management processes thereby come into effect, mitigating counterparty risk, and reducing operational costs for market participants.

Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile, and your capital is at risk.
Disclaimer: https://bit.ly/etcdisc

ETC Group ( www.etc-group.com ) is specialized in developing innovative digital asset-backed securities such as BTCetc (BTCE) and ETHetc (ZETH) which are currently listed on Deutsche Börse, Euronext, SIX, AQUIS UK and Wiener Börse. ETC Group is backed by a number of major London-based financial institutions. Shareholders include firms such as XTX Ventures, the venture capital arm of electronic market-making firm XTX Markets. ETC Group’s securities are marketed by HANetf.

Mastercard Launches New Start Path Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Program for Startup

From creating a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to building an air-gapped cold vault to enabling new sustainable digital assets, seven global crypto and digital assets startups join Mastercard’s award-winning Start Path program to access partnership opportunities, insights and tools to grow.

Mastercard announced today a new Start Path global startup engagement program dedicated to supporting fast-growing digital assets, blockchain and cryptocurrency companies. As a continuation of Mastercard’s digital assets work, seven startups have joined the program, including GK8, Domain Money, Mintable, SupraOraclesSTACS, Taurus, and Uphold, and together with Mastercard seek to expand and accelerate innovation around digital asset technology and make it safer and easier for people and institutions to buy, spend and hold cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

Among the new program participants is Mintable (Singapore), a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace where users can create, buy and sell digital and physical assets backed by the blockchain such as digital collectibles, avant-garde artwork and even music. The Mintable platform is packed with novel features such as gasless minting and credit card purchasing that are designed to empower the everyday person to get involved with NFTs without any prior knowledge in crypto or coding. GK8 (Israel) is a self-managed end-to-end institutional crypto custody platform that offers a true air-gapped cold vault. This means that the platform is capable of creating, signing and sending secure blockchain transactions without receiving input from the internet, eliminating any potential cyberattack vectors. Taurus (Switzerland) delivers enterprise-grade infrastructure to manage any digital asset with one single platform, including crypto assets, digital currencies and tokenized assets covering issuance, custody, asset servicing and trading.

Other participating startups and fast-growing digital asset and blockchain companies have been selected to join the inaugural track of the Start Path program:

  • Domain Money (USA) looks to build a next generation investment platform, bridging the gap between digital assets and traditional finance for retail investors.
  • SupraOracles (Switzerland) is a powerful blockchain oracle that helps businesses bridge real-world data to both public and private chains, enabling interoperable smart contracts to automate, simplify and secure the future of financial markets.
  • STACS (Singapore) provides a blockchain infrastructure for the financial industry to unlock massive value and enable effective sustainable financing. Its clients and partners include global banks, national stock exchanges, and asset managers.
  • Uphold (USA) is a crypto-native, multi-asset digital money platform offering investment and payment services to consumers and businesses worldwide. Uphold’s unique ‘Anything-to-Anything’ trading experience enables customers to trade directly between asset classes with embedded payments facilitating a future where everyone has access to financial services.

Founders of the digital asset and blockchain companies participating in the new Start Path program aim to address a host of pain points including asset tokenization, data accuracy, digital security and seamless access between the traditional and digital economy. Each startup is focused on solving a unique industry challenge and, throughout the program, will leverage Mastercard’s expertise to support the continued growth and development of their solutions.

Jess Turner, executive vice president of New Digital Infrastructure and Fintech, commented: “Mastercard has been engaging with the digital currency ecosystem since 2015. As a leading technology player, we believe we can play a key role in digital assets, helping to shape the industry, and provide consumer protections and security. Part of our role is to forge the future of cryptocurrency, and we’re doing that by bridging mainstream financial principles with digital assets innovations.”

Digital Assets and Fintech Innovation

Supporting the startup ecosystem is a core part of Mastercard’s ethos, and more than 250 startups have participated in the Start Path program since 2014. With the expansion of Start Path to include fast-growing crypto, blockchain and digital assets startups, Mastercard is providing access to its latest tools and solutions to help these companies scale their innovations and cutting-edge technologies. These startups use the program to connect with our ecosystem of banks, merchants, partners and digital players across the globe to deliver new solutions.

About Mastercard (NYSE:MA):

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

UFC® and Crypto.com Announce Historic Partnership

Crypto.com Becomes First-Ever Global Official Fight Kit Partner of UFC, also Named First-Ever Official Cryptocurrency Platform Partner of UFC

UFC®, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, and Crypto.com, the world’s fastest growing crypto platform, today announced a historic long-term partnership that represents an evolutionary step in the branding of both companies and Crypto.com’s latest strategic move to connect with mainstream consumers.

Crypto.com will become UFC’s first-ever global Official Fight Kit Partnerentitling Crypto.com to place their branding on UFC fight kits as worn by UFC athletes in competition, as well as fight kit apparel worn by the athletes’ corner men/women. From the locker room to the world-famous Octagon®, Crypto.com will have meaningful visibility in front of UFC’s global fan base of more than 625 million people and over 150 million social media followers, including the 900 million TV households in 175 countries with access to UFC’s broadcasts.

Crypto.com will also receive the designation of UFC’s first-ever Official Cryptocurrency Platform Partnercreating a new sponsorship category for UFC.

Crypto.com has built a leading reputation within the cryptocurrency industry with over 10 million users worldwide and is a top-ten finance app in both the App Store and Google Play. In addition to building the world’s fastest growing crypto platform, the Crypto.com Visa Card is the world’s most popular crypto card available in 30+ countries. Crypto.com has led the industry in sports sponsorships, last week announcing that the company became the first Official Cryptocurrency Sponsor and NFT Partner of F1®. Earlier this year, Crypto.com became the first crypto platform to partner with an F1 team (Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One), the first to partner with an NHL team (Montreal Canadiens), and the first to partner with a professional sports league (Lega Serie A).

“This is a partnership between two companies that are the best at what they do,” said UFC President Dana White. “No company has done more to grow the popularity of combat sports than UFC, and now we’re one of the biggest sports brands on the planet. We can help Crypto.com reach more people around the world through the strength of our brand.”

“It’s a historic moment as the fastest growing cryptocurrency platform joins forces with the fastest growing sport to help accelerate the world’s transition to cryptocurrency,” said Kris Marszalek, co-Founder and CEO of Crypto.com. ”This is just the beginning of a long relationship with UFC, and we’re looking forward to what we will build together.”

BRANDED INTEGRATIONS AND ENTITLEMENTS

In addition to the massive exposure of the Crypto.com logo placement on UFC fight kits, the partnership offers Crypto.com a wide-range of integrations into UFC assets. Crypto.com will have a branded presence inside the Octagon during all Pay-Per-View events and during Dana White’s Contender Series. Crypto.com will also be integrated into UFC content on both linear and digital platforms, including live broadcasts, Pay-Per-Views, and UFC-owned social media channels. Crypto.com-branded assets will debut this Saturday, July 10, in Las Vegas during UFC® 264: POIRIER VS. MCGREGOR 3.

About UFC®

UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization (MMA), with more than 625 million fans and 155 million social media followers. The organization produces more than 40 live events annually in some of the most prestigious arenas around the world, while broadcasting to approximately 900M TV households across more than 175 countries. UFC’s athlete roster features the world’s best MMA athletes representing more than 70 countries. The organization’s digital offerings include UFC FIGHT PASS®, one of the world’s leading streaming services for combat sports. UFC is owned by global entertainment, sports and content company Endeavor, and is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, visit UFC.com and follow UFC at Facebook.com/UFC, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok: @UFC.

About Crypto.com

Founded in 2016, Crypto.com today serves over 10 million customers with the world’s fastest growing crypto app, along with the Crypto.com Visa Card — the world’s largest crypto card program — the Crypto.com Exchange and Crypto.com DeFi Wallet. Recently launched, Crypto.com NFT is the premier platform for collecting and trading NFTs, carefully curated from the worlds of art, design, entertainment and sports.

Crypto.com is built on a solid foundation of security, privacy and compliance and is the first cryptocurrency company in the world to have ISO/IEC 27701:2019, CCSS Level 3, ISO27001:2013 and PCI:DSS 3.2.1, Level 1 compliance, and independently assessed at Tier 4, the highest level for both NIST Cybersecurity and Privacy Frameworks.

With over 1,500 people in offices across the Americas, Europe and Asia, Crypto.com is accelerating the world’s transition to cryptocurrency. Find out more: https://crypto.com

TP ICAP to Launch Crypto Trading Platform with Fidelity and Standard Chartered

TP ICAP, a leading provider of market infrastructure, is to launch an innovative wholesale trading platform for cryptoassets, working in collaboration with Fidelity Digital AssetsSM, Zodia Custody and Flow Traders.

The new platform, which is subject to registration with the UK Financial Conduct Authority, will feature a wholesale electronic marketplace for spot cryptoasset trading, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as providing connectivity and post-trade infrastructure into a network of digital assets custodians. 

TP ICAP is working with Fidelity Digital Assets and Zodia Custody, both leading crypto assets custodians, to ensure clients have a segregated and interoperable model for execution and settlement, a key requirement for clients entering this new asset class. The firms have collaborated to develop a new trading model where clients will be able to access liquidity at TP ICAP whilst their assets remain under custody at their digital asset custodian of choice, providing a level of security that institutional investors expect.  Fidelity Digital Assets and Zodia Custody will provide custodian services to the new platform.

TP ICAP launched its Digital Assets business in 2019, enabling clients to trade cryptoasset derivatives products; this new trading platform for the spot market significantly expands the firm’s footprint in this fast-growing area.

Simon Forster, Co-Head of Digital Assets at TP ICAP, said: “Client demand to trade spot cryptoassets is significant and growing, with interest coming from our traditional customer base across the different asset classes we operate in.  But to date many of our clients have been prevented from accessing cryptoasset markets due to current limitations in market infrastructure, with most execution venues requiring pre-funding and also acting as custodian. This poses challenges from a conflict of interest perspective and results in fragmented liquidity. Our partnership, and resultant new platform, is a natural evolution in market structure that will make digital assets, such as Bitcoin, more accessible for the wholesale market.”

TP ICAP has also partnered with Flow Traders, a leading global financial technology-enabled liquidity provider in financial products, historically specialised in Exchange Traded Products (ETPs), now expanding into other asset classes. Flow Traders has been providing liquidity to cryptoasset markets since 2016 and will be one of the initial liquidity providers on this new platform.

Michael Lie, Head of Digital Asset Trading at Flow Traders said “We are delighted to be partnering with TP ICAP as a liquidity provider on this new platform. As the #1 market maker in cryptocurrency ETPs, as well as being a leading spot OTC liquidity provider, we have seen first-hand the increase in institutional interest in cryptoassets. We have long been in favour of initiatives such as this that will make the crypto space more accessible for investors.”

The platform has already started to onboard clients and will launch to the market in the second half of the year, by which time TP ICAP expects to announce additional liquidity providers. TP ICAP is also working closely with a number of additional strategic custody partners and expects to expand its network of digital asset custodians as it establishes a new industry model for clearing and settlement.

The TP ICAP Digital Assets business is led by Duncan Trenholme and Simon Forster and operates from the firm’s offices in London, New York, and will soon expand into Asia. The trading platform, which will be launched in London, will be made available globally to customers across the TP ICAP Group as well as to new clients of the firm seeking market access to this new asset class.

Andrew Polydor, Global Head of Markets at TP ICAP, said: “This platform will provide our global client base with the trading infrastructure, connectivity, surveillance, and market standards they require as a minimum across traditional markets whilst also recognising the nuances of this new asset class. It leverages mature trading technology developed by our partners GMEX Technologies, to provide spot liquidity in digital assets as well as access to multiple custodians via a bespoke post-trade solution. These are key requirements for our institutional clients who want to be able to trade, invest and safely access this growing area of the market.”

Chris Tyrer, head of Fidelity Digital Assets in Europe, said: “Collaborating with industry leaders like TP ICAP to bring to market innovative solutions that strengthen the digital assets ecosystem is critical to enabling even more institutional participation. With this new infrastructure, we’re addressing one of the frictions in the investor experience that’s unique to this nascent asset class. Now, investors can more confidently execute trades knowing their assets remain still and secure in our custody.”

Maxime de Guillebon, Chief Executive Office of Zodia Custody said: “Zodia and TP ICAP share the same vision of the future of crypto asset investing. By combining liquidity with institutional-grade custody we will create an ecosystem that complements the expectations of institutional investors in terms of segregation of duties and asset safety. This infrastructure will enable operational efficiency and speed of transaction without compromising on security or reliability.”

Zodia Custody is a venture incubated by SC Ventures, the innovation arm of Standard Chartered.  Zodia combines the Banks’ expertise as trusted custodians with the agility of a fintech company to drive industry leadership and transformation.  Zodia is a cryptocurrency custodian serving institutional clients across the globe. Zodia is in the process of registering with the FCA under UK Money Laundering Regulations and expects to launch commercially in the second half of 2021.