Here are the top stories from the cryptocurrency sector this week
Ethereum outperforms Bitcoin in options volume
Ethereum has gained significant upside momentum in the recent past, raising its price to a new high just short of $3,600. Elsewhere, options volume has continued surging and recently eclipsed Bitcoin’s. On Wednesday, Ether options trading volume on four of the largest derivative exchanges touched $1.32 billion. Bitcoin, on the other hand, recorded $879 million.
Ethereum now has a strong case as the best performing crypto this year, especially as Bitcoin appears to be cooling down. Crypto analysts also believe that it is decoupling away from Bitcoin, which could be huge for its future price movements. The ETH token is currently trading at $3,452.07, down 0.72% in the last 24 hours.
eBay considering a crypto payment option
eBay is exploring the possibility of introducing a cryptocurrency payment option on its platform. The company is also reportedly looking to enter the non-fungible token (NFT) space. Recently, TIME magazine and baseball team Oakland Athletics announced they would be accepting crypto payments for their respective services.
According to the company’s chief executive, the popular e-commerce platform may become the next big name to join other firms and businesses that are already accepting crypto. Speaking in an interview on CNBC earlier this week, the CEO Jamie Lannone revealed that the company was evaluating the option. If successful, customers will be able to settle payments on the platform using digital assets.
eBay’s attention seems to be on NFTs at the moment. Lannone told CNBC that the company was determining the best approach to enter the NFT market. The idea is to incorporate NFTs into the commerce platform easily.
Maker Foundation returns 84,000 tokens
The governance body of MakerDAO has returned 84,000 MKR tokens from its Development Fund chest as it focuses on its self-destruction. The Foundation announced it had sent back the tokens that will now be in the hands of the Maker community. At the time of the return, the tokens were valued at $480 million.
MakerDAO has been chasing complete decentralisation for a while now. The move to return the tokens will certainly help it achieve this goal. The Foundation said its work was almost done, and the DAO protocol was on the verge of attaining self-governance.
MakerDAO, based on the Ethereum blockchain, is a credit platform where users can borrow or lend tokens. Handing in the tokens back to MakerDAO means that the Foundation is effectively giving up control of the protocol. The Maker Foundation will now focus its effort on dissolution, a final move that will help make the protocol fully decentralised.
Invest firm Galaxy Digital buys crypto platform BitGo
New York-based investment firm, Galaxy Digital, has bought BitGo in a deal estimated to be around $1.2 billion. On Wednesday, the company said that it had finalised the initial terms and the payments would be made in stock and cash. The terms of the deal stipulate that BitGo shareholders will be awarded 33.8 million newly issued shares of Galaxy Digital. They will also be paid a sum of $265 million in cash.
The funds for the cash payment will be obtained from its balance sheet. The terms further specified that the shareholders of the digital assets infrastructure provider would be allocated 10% of the new company. Galaxy Digital is set to keep the employees and management team.
Although the basic terms of the deal have been agreed upon, the acquisition will officially be sealed in the fourth quarter. BitGo was founded in 2013, and within this period, it has developed several financial products. Its assets under management (AUM) figure is reported to be north of $40 billion.
Meanwhile, Galaxy Digital is planning to go public through a listing on the US stock exchange. It’s already a publicly-listed company in Canada, but it’s yet to achieve the same status stateside. The company’s board of directors recently gave the green light on the proposed restructuring plan to help it become public.
NYDIG confirms bank customers will be able to access crypto
Customers of several banks in the US will be able to purchase, sell and even hold Bitcoin using their bank accounts. There has been a huge wave of bank customers withdrawing funds from their accounts and sending them to crypto exchanges. This is the underlying reason for the move, according to the president of NYDIG Yan Zhao.
The Stone Ridge subsidiary confirmed its partnership with the Fidelity National Information Services that will enable the service. It is the first time bank customers will be able to trade digital assets using their existing accounts directly. In addition to this, NYDIG is also looking to introduce new services such as debit card rewards paid in BTC and new FDIC-insured bank accounts that pay interest in BTC.
Bank customers in the US can expect the trading cryptocurrency service in the coming months as per the announcement. Patrick Sells, who heads the bank solutions department at the firm, revealed that hundreds of banks were already on board. There are also plans in progress to get some of the major banking institutions in the US to sign up as well.
Coin Metrics closes Series B round led by Goldman Sachs
Crypto financial intelligence firm Coin Metric has sealed a series B financing round, raising $15 million. The funding round featured big names like Avon Ventures, Castle Island Ventures, Collab+Currency, Fidelity Investments, Highland Capital Partners and Communitas Capital.
The off-chain and on-chain crypto market data provider was founded in 2017 and has been active in the space offering crucial data and solutions for crypto users. Coin Metric will use the funds to boost product innovation and finance its expansion plans.
INX looks to raise $125 million in funding round
This week, virtual assets provider INX said it expected around $125 million raised in token and equity offering.
The INX Company revealed it had gained $85 million from its initial public offering of security tokens. It also has another C$39.6 million (US$32.18 million) on the way from another equity offering in Canada pending approval. Its recently concluded private sale of tokens yielded $7.5 million, taking the total figure to almost $125 million.