Nexo Tapped Bakkt as its Cryptocurrency Custodian Partner

The cryptocurrency lending platform – Nexo – joined forces with the Nasdaq-listed digital asset company – Bakkt Holdings. As a result, the latter will custody a portion of Nexo’s Bitcoin and Ethereum holdings in the Bakkt Warehouse.

Bakkt’s Newest Partnership

The Bakkt Warehouse comprises both online (“warm”) and offline (“cold”) digital asset storage. The company balances between the two tiers to minimize risks associated with cryptocurrency custody services.

In a recent announcement, Nexo raised hopes that this model could bring an enhanced investment shield for its users. The “warm” and “cold” wallets are built on secure wallet architecture, along with multi-zone physical security, the entity informed. However, Nexo did not disclose what proportion of the customers’ Bitcoin and Ethereum funds will store in the Bakkt Warehouse.

George Manolov – Business Development Executive at Nexo – stated that a global digital asset institution, such as his firm – needs a trusted partner to guarantee an extra level of customer protection.

“We recognized that Bakkt’s infrastructure and regulation-first approach to crypto was a natural fit,” he added.

In turn, Dan O’Prey – Chief Product Officer at Bakkt – opined that such custody initiatives result from the rapid expansion of the cryptocurrency industry.


“We are pleased that Nexo has chosen the Bakkt Warehouse as a trusted solution. As we build upon our partnerships with businesses and expand our network of operations and revenue, secure custody continues to be a pillar of Bakkt’s strategy, leveraging state-of-the-art physical and cyber security, institutional-grade technology and governance, and backed by insurance,” the exec concluded.

Bakkt to Provide Crypto Services to Manasquan Bank Clients

Nearly a month ago, the company inked a deal with the New Jersey-based Manasquan Bank to enable crypto services for the latter’s customers. Specifically, they would be able to buy, sell, and hold digital assets. The project is anticipated to see the light of day in Q2 2022.

James Vaccaro – President and CEO of the American bank – said his entity focuses on introducing new features to clients, via which they can join the digital financial world. He stated that the collaboration with Bakkt comes at a time when users have been seeking opportunities to hop on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.

Prior to that, the company expanded its digital asset payment options by teaming up with Google. The collaboration allowed individuals to add their Bakkt Visa Debit Cards and make crypto transactions wherever Google Pay is accepted.


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Fed Delivers Highly-Anticipated CBDC Report

Key Takeaways

  • The U.S. Federal Reserve published a highly-anticipated report on CBDCs today after several delays.
  • The paper discusses the pros and cons of a central bank digital currency, as well as possible uses of crypto and blockchain.
  • The publication does not mean that the U.S. government and its bodies will necessarily create a CBDC token.

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The U.S. Federal Reserve has published a highly-anticipated review paper on central bank digital currencies, also known as CBDCs.

Federal Reserve Weighs Pros and Cons

The Fed has delivered its report on CBDCs to the public after months of anticipation and several delays.

Overall, the Federal Reserve found that a CBDC could offer a “safe, digital payment option” for individuals and businesses, as well as “faster payment options between countries.” A CBDC is a digital asset tied to the value of a fiat currency—in this case, the U.S. dollar—that is issued by a country’s central bank.

However, it also said that central bank digital currencies could have downsides, such as risks to financial stability. The creation of a CBDC would also change the financial sector’s market structure, change reserve management practices and monetary policies, and have implications for privacy and security.

The Federal Reserve’s newly published paper is largely intended to explore the pros and cons of a digital currency, not to take a position on whether such a currency should be launched.

Crypto, Blockchain Mentioned Several Times

Though a central bank digital currency would not necessarily be powered by blockchain or be considered a cryptocurrency, the paper published today mentioned each technology repeatedly.

The Federal Reserve mentioned that it is involved with experiments that use blockchain-based CBDCs, noting that the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is working with MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative on this effort. It added that The Board’s Technology Lab is researching wholesale payments and interbank settlements powered by distributed ledger technology.

It also mentioned cryptocurrency and stablecoins as historical developments in digital payments, but noted that a full discussion of those technologies is “outside the scope of this paper.” It went on to refer readers to another report on stablecoins published by the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, the FDIC, and the OCC in November 2021.

Paper Has Been In the Works for Months

The Federal Reserve’s paper has been eagerly anticipated since May 2021, when chairman Jerome Powell said that the paper would be published in the summer of that year.

The paper’s publication was repeatedly delayed. In July, the paper’s publication was postponed to September. In October, many expected that the paper would be published imminently based on reports from the Wall Street Journal, but its publication was delayed yet again.

This month, chairman Jerome Powell said that the paper would arrive “within weeks” before the Federal Reserve fulfilled its goal today.

The paper does not necessarily mean that the Federal Reserve will develop a stablecoin. Next, the regulator will seek comments, and it says that it will only pursue a CBDC if there is “broad public and cross-governmental support” for the technology.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.

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Tech Giant Google Forms Blockchain Unit in Push Towards Crypto Adoption

Tech industry giant Google is creating a unit dedicated to researching blockchains and other technologies centered around crypto assets.

According to Bloomberg News, the tech giant will create a group that will focus on blockchains and other next-generation distributed computing and data storage technologies under the direction of a newly appointed vice president of engineering Shivakumar Venkataraman.

Venkataraman has previously worked with Google’s advertising team and will become the founding leader of Labs, a division of the company that works on hardware and software for virtual reality that launched last Fall.

Another new crypto-inspired hire by Google is that of Arnold Goldberg, a former executive at payments firm PayPal. Goldberg will run Google Pay, the company’s payments division.

According to Bill Ready, Google’s president of commerce who recruited Goldberg, the move is part of a bigger plan that aims to broaden what financial services the tech giant offers to consumers, including cryptocurrencies.

Ready says,

“Crypto is something we pay a lot of attention to.

As user demand and merchant demand evolves, we’ll evolve with it.”

Previously, Google partnered up with US-based crypto exchange titan Coinbase and Bitcoin (BTC) payments provider BitPay to load crypto assets onto digital cards while having users pay for them in fiat currency.

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed at The Daily Hodl are not investment advice. Investors should do their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency or digital assets. Please be advised that your transfers and trades are at your own risk, and any loses you may incur are your responsibility. The Daily Hodl does not recommend the buying or selling of any cryptocurrencies or digital assets, nor is The Daily Hodl an investment advisor. Please note that The Daily Hodl participates in affiliate marketing.

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Top Crypto Analyst Says This DeFi Altcoin Is Primed for a 10x Rally

Pseudonymous analyst Credible Crypto believes one decentralized finance (DeFi) altcoin could surge up to 10x.

The analyst tells his 296,500 Twitter followers that he’s not worried about the short-term price action for Curve Dao Token (CRV), the governance token of stablecoin-focused decentralized exchange Curve Finance.

Explains Credible Crypto,

“I’ve been talking about it since it was under $3. Even at $4.67, it’s still a great price. In fact, I bought more at $5.

I don’t care what happens on the day-to-day – HTF chart is bullish and I’m loading up at $5 and under and will sell for no less than 5-10x.”

In early January, the crypto analyst called CRV the “most asymmetric risk-reward coin in the space.”

“A combination of the charts, fundamentals and the ability to earn 50% APR while you wait for price appreciation is something that is incredibly hard to find in this space.”

CRV is trading at $4.22 at time of writing, down more than 12.6% over the past week.

Credible Crypto also thinks Bitcoin (BTC) is near its bottom, with the leading crypto asset trading at $42,114.66 at time of writing, down nearly 3.5% from where it was priced one week ago.

The trader says $45,500-47,500 should act as Bitcoin’s next key area of resistance if its price starts to move back upwards.

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed at The Daily Hodl are not investment advice. Investors should do their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency or digital assets. Please be advised that your transfers and trades are at your own risk, and any loses you may incur are your responsibility. The Daily Hodl does not recommend the buying or selling of any cryptocurrencies or digital assets, nor is The Daily Hodl an investment advisor. Please note that The Daily Hodl participates in affiliate marketing.

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CNBC’s Jim Cramer Says Dogecoin Is a Security. Is He Right?

In brief

  • Jim Cramer is a prominent TV host and former hedge fund manager.
  • He said DOGE would be regulated as a security.
  • He implied that regulation is necessary to find out how many DOGE are being created.

When Web3 denizens complain that traditional media doesn’t understand cryptocurrency, they might be pointing, as Exhibit A, to Jim Cramer.

Cramer, the one-time hedge fund manager and long-time host of CNBC’s “Mad Money,” today warned about the dangers of Dogecoin, over nine months after its price and popularity peaked. He tweeted: “Please be careful with Dogecoin…It is a security. It will be regulated. We will find out how many there are and how many are being created each day to make money for the exchanges.”

You can imagine what came next. In summary: People within the industry disagreed with all of his points.

In the tweet, the TV personality is perhaps alluding to the Dogecoin network’s penchant for printing a lot of new DOGE each day—14.4 million new tokens, to be precise. This makes it hard for demand to keep up with supply. By contrast, the Bitcoin network prints about 900 new BTC per day.

One problem with the tweet, however, is: We already knew that. The above figure, in fact, comes courtesy of website The Street, which Cramer co-founded. And how did The Street know? We’ll let Dogecoin co-creator Billy Markus explain: “Bro, please learn how blockchain works…It is in the public code on the public blockchain, easily viewable by anyone.”

But Cramer is also wrong about his claim that Dogecoin is a security, says Preston Byrne, a partner at Anderson Kill who specializes in decentralized protocols.

“When we ask whether a token is regulated as a security, properly an ‘investment contract,’ under U.S. federal law, the question centers on whether the thing is a contract, transaction, or scheme involving the investment of money in a common enterprise with the expectation of profits arising from the efforts of a promoter or third party,” Byrne told Decrypt via email, referring to the the so-called Howey Test established by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1940s.

He continued: “Dogecoin’s anarchic, jokey start and the total lack of a central coordinating entity means that several of the Howey limbs are not satisfied, in my professional opinion.”

In other words: DOGE is not a security and wouldn’t fall under the Security and Exchange Commission’s purview. (If anything, it’s a commodity, and Byrne points out that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the SEC’s sister agency, has treated it as such.)

Indeed, Dogecoin began mostly as a joke, not as a money-making venture. Both of the people who launched the project—Markus and Jackson Palmer—have quite publicly abandoned it. It was only after Elon Musk took to Twitter to promote the project that it gained mainstream attention. The price went from a fraction of a penny to begin 2021 all the way to $0.73 on May 8 (when the Tesla CEO mentioned it on “Saturday Night Live”), before losing nearly 80% of its value over the following months.

But maybe we’ve been hoodwinked by Markus, Palmer, or one of the part-time Dogecoin core devs now running the project. Perhaps they’ve been pulling the strings all along. In which case, you’d almost have to laugh.


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I Only Hold 1 Bitcoin, Real Vision CEO Raoul Pal Reveals

Millionaire investor Raoul Pal has revealed how much he owns of bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that he has been known to actively promote in the past. In what was a shocking revelation, the CEO and founder of Real Vision posted his bitcoin holdings on Twitter, which turned out to be lower than everyone’s expectations. Pal disclosed that he only owned a measly 1 bitcoin.

Why Does Raoul Pal Only Own 1 Bitcoin?

The CEO got into a heated Twitter argument with Greg Foss after Foss insulted Pal. In a response to another user who defended the CEO saying they liked him, Foss explained that he was “just calling out the BS.” This is where Pal came into the conversation demanding to know what exactly it was that Foss was accusing him of as he’d like to know.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Millionaires Are Flocking To This North American Tax Haven. But What Do The Locals Think?

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Foss continued on to explain that he did not agree with Pal promoting his trading mechanism to other traders who were less inclined to understand how it worked, pointing towards bond math. Pal however disagreed with Foss’s assessment, stating that he did not hold his views on bonds as a philosophy, rather just a mechanism which he uses to trade.

The argument continued on, eventually culminating in Pal stating how much bitcoin he owned, which it turns out is a single bitcoin. The founder and CEO of Real Vision explained that it was because of the bitcoin community’s approach to inclusion that led to this decision. Pal lamented the exclusion of others from the space who happen to share a different viewpoint from the accepted majority.

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“This is why I hold only one bitcoin, the community has lost sight of inclusion and you sir, are helping reduce the network effects by excluding people who don’t share your view from the network,” said the CEO.

It eventually ended with Greg Foss conceding and acknowledging he was wrong to have attacked Pal in the first place. In a separate tweet, Foss tendered an apology to the CEO, stating that he regretted his actions.

Not Completely Out From Crypto

Despite his views on the bitcoin community, Raoul Pal has not entirely ruled crypto. Even bitcoin has not been completely ruled out as evidenced by his tweet stating that he does own one BTC. However, Pal has moved on to other things in the crypto space. Given his comments not too long ago, the CEO is now more bullish on ethereum compared to bitcoin.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Implied Volatility Plummets To Pre-Bull Market Levels: What This Means

Pal noted back in November that he expected ethereum to continue to outperform bitcoin given its performance in previous months. The millionaire investor still holds a well-rounded bullish view on bitcoin but expects ethereum to be the better investment of the two going forward.

A month before this, Pal had received that he made the biggest personal position of his life in ethereum. He explained that he is long the digital asset which he placed at the $20,000 mark by the second quarter of 2022, less than six months away from now.

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Robinhood Launches Crypto Wallet Beta for Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin Transfers

For months, executives with trading app Robinhood have been promising that cryptocurrency wallets were coming.

Today they’re finally here—well, for the first 1,000 people on the waitlist, that is.

Robinhood announced today that its beta program has gone live, with plans to scale up to 10,000 users by March. According to a blog post, the wallets “will enable Robinhood customers to send and receive their crypto from Robinhood to external crypto wallets.”

Until now, those who trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin via the app have been limited to buying and selling. Robinhood essentially held the cryptocurrency on their behalf, giving users exposure to price movements but not really exposure to a decentralized blockchain ecosytem where people control their own finances.

With the new functionality, wallet holders will be able to buy, say, Ethereum on Robinhood and transfer it to another wallet so they can swap assets on Uniswap or engage in any number of DeFi applications.

For this reason, Robinhood said the new feature will “fully connect Robinhood crypto holders to the greater blockchain ecosystem for the very first time.”

That said, there are limits, as Robinhood has taken to espousing a “safety first” approach toward investment in crypto assets. For instance, during the beta run, testers will be limited to 10 withdrawals totaling no more than $2,999.

Hey, it’s a start.


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Bank of Russia Wants a Bitcoin Ban. Here’s How That’s Gone in Other Countries

In brief

  • The Bank of Russia has proposed a full ban on cryptocurrencies.
  • A handful of other countries have taken such a step.
  • Dozens more have implicit bans in place.

The Bank of Russia on Thursday issued a report calling for a total ban on cryptocurrencies. 

While Russia banned cryptocurrency payments in 2020 and the central bank last month floated a ban on cryptocurrency investments within the country, today’s proposal would go further.

Citing environmental concerns, it would immediately halt Bitcoin mining in the country, which provides over 10% of the computing power to the Bitcoin network. It would also prohibit financial institutions from handling any transfers of the digital assets. Not only would Russians not be able to buy goods and services in Bitcoin, they wouldn’t be able to buy Bitcoin. 

It’s hard to imagine a cryptocurrency ban being enacted without the support of President Vladamir Putin, who has been in office for 18 of the last 22 years (he spent four years as prime minister due to term limits, which have since been amended)—and who has vacillated on his stance toward crypto as he works out the geopolitical ramifications. Moreover, many crypto proponents see Bitcoin and decentralized networks as almost immune to bans; it’s difficult to police access and use of assets that are essentially open-source computer programs.

But other countries have already banned cryptocurrency, either explicitly or implicitly.

According to a November 2021 Law Library of Congress report, nine countries have explicitly banned cryptocurrency: Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Nepal, Qatar, Tunisia and, of course, China. 

With the exception of China and Nepal, all of these countries have large Muslim majorities. There’s an open debate whether Bitcoin is permitted under Islamic law, which forbids the charging of interest or other financial practices deemed exploitative. While a number of prominent clerics have declared Bitcoin to be “halal,” or acceptable, others—such as the Ulama Council in Indonesia—have ruled it “haram,” or forbidden, because the currency does not take physical form.

But even with bans in place, not every country can completely enforce them. As of July 2021, according to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, the nine countries above control 0.19% of the Bitcoin mining hash rate, meaning they contribute roughly one-fifth of a percent of the network’s total computing power. None of that, at least according to Cambridge’s stats, comes from mainland China.

China, the world’s most populous country, has its own reasons for prohibiting cryptocurrencies. In critics’ eyes, the regime prioritizes financial surveillance as a means of maintaining control over its citizens, whereas decentralized technologies skew toward privacy and financial freedom. China is currently piloting a central bank digital currency, a virtual version of its yuan, in part to undercut ubiquitous financial services offered by private companies Ant Group and Tencent.

Beyond those states with explicit bans, an additional 42 (among them Indonesia) have implicitly banned cryptocurrencies, per the Law Library of Congress, although laws and regulations related to the nascent technology are constantly shifting. This can mean that their governments do not allow financial institutions to take on crypto companies or holders as clients or that they even prohibit cryptocurrency exchanges from operating, among other restrictions.

The list of countries includes Benin and Burkina Faso. Both fall under the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), which does not admit crypto within the economic zone. The same goes for Cameroon and Chad, which are members of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC); CEMAC says that because digital assets aren’t regulated within it, they are illegal. None of this stopped Chad and Burkina Faso from registering the fifth- and sixth-highest peer-to-peer trading volumes for BTC in Africa as of September 2021, according to Useful Tulips, though their numbers pale in comparison to daily volumes on, say, Binance.

There are also pockets of resistance to crypto throughout South America, despite its embrace in states such as Argentina, Colombia, and Venezuela—Bolivia and Ecuador both take skeptical views of digital currency.

Closer to Russia, a handful of former Soviet republics, namely, Georgia, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan have all implicitly banned crypto. Also on that list: Kazakhstan. 

A June 2020 law said only cryptocurrencies backed by other assets (e.g., stablecoins) could operate in Kazakhstan, though it formally recognized Bitcoin as a commodity the following month and began leveraging its cheap energy prices to attract miners. But its electricity grid has struggled to accommodate an inflow of exiled Chinese Bitcoin miners, which made it the second-biggest mining country in the world last year. Rising power and fuel prices led to riots at the beginning of the month and an internet shutdown, which took down mining operations with it.

The Central Asian country provides an interesting use case for Putin, who is keen to retain his grip on power. But if he’s looking for how crypto bans have played out elsewhere, he’s got plenty of other world leaders he can ask.


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Crypto Stories: Vitalik Buterin talks creating Ethereum in previously unreleased 2014 interview

The latest episode of Cointelegraph’s Crypto Stories featured never-before-heard audio from an exclusive interview with Vitalik Buterin, recorded at a conference in Hong Kong in 2014. In this animated short, viewers can learn about the origin story of Ethereum (ETH), the world’d second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, straight from the founder himself.

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Back in 2011, while Buterin was a student at the University of Waterloo, he first heard about Bitcoin from his tech entrepreneur father. However, he didn’t take the decentralized currency seriously until began participating in Bitcoin forums created by Satoshi Nakamoto. 

In Buterin’s own search to learn about Bitcoin, he became a writer for the now defunct Bitcoin Weekly website where he got paid 5 BTC per article, or $4 at the time, said Buterin.

Related: Finance Redefined: Vitalik bearish on cross-chain, dYdX decentralizing, Jan. 7–14

Next he took his newfound journalism skills to join Mihai Alisie in co-founding Bitcoin Magazine. Their first issue was published in May 2012, according to the publication’s website, and the magazine is now owned by BTC Media. 

Buterin decided to withdraw from his university studies in 2013 at 19 years old to pursue working on blockchain-related projects full-time while traveling around the world. Throughout this time, he realized that cryptocurrency could be used for “more than just money” and should allow for more “freedom.”

Buterin’s dream was to develop a blockchain with a built-in programming language and thus Ethereum was born, with the help of Mihai Alisie and others. The project was officially announced in January 2014.

Related: How a young rebel started Thailand’s leading crypto exchange | Crypto Stories Ep. 1

To read more about Ethereum, check out Cointelegraph’s Ethereum 101 guides and an in-depth profile on Buterin.