Tesla Announces CFO Transition: Vaibhav Taneja to Succeed Zachary Kirkhorn

On August 4, 2023, Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) unveiled a pivotal shift in its top-tier management, as reported in a recent United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. Zachary Kirkhorn, having held the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) title for four years, has chosen to step aside. The baton now passes to Vaibhav Taneja, Tesla’s present Chief Accounting Officer.

Transitioning Smoothly

After dedicating thirteen years to Tesla, during which he wore the hats of both Master of Coin and CFO, Kirkhorn is set to make his exit. His tenure witnessed remarkable growth and expansion for the electric car giant. Kirkhorn’s statement highlighted his pride in Tesla’s achievements and extended gratitude to the workforce and Elon Musk for their relentless drive.

To ensure a fluid transition, Kirkhorn will remain associated with Tesla till the year’s end, aiding the handover process.

Spotlight on Vaibhav Taneja

45-year-old Vaibhav Taneja joined the Tesla brigade in February 2017. Over the years, he has donned various roles, ascending from Assistant Corporate Controller to Chief Accounting Officer by March 2019. Before his Tesla journey, Taneja honed his skills in finance and accounting at SolarCity Corporation from March 2016. He also boasts a tenure at PricewaterhouseCoopers, serving both the Indian and U.S. branches between July 1999 and March 2016.

Tesla Turns a New Leaf

Taneja’s elevation to the CFO role signifies a fresh phase for Tesla, underscoring its dedication to robust financial stewardship. This move is set against the backdrop of Tesla’s continued dominance in the electric vehicle arena, complemented by its ventures in energy solutions and tech advancements.

This executive reshuffle was officially communicated through a Form 8-K submission to the SEC. The transition is slated to be effective from August 4, 2023. For stock enthusiasts, Tesla’s shares can be found on The Nasdaq Global Select Market, trading under the “TSLA” ticker.

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Tetra Partners with Kiln to Enhance Staking Service Including Ethereum and Solana

Tetra Trust Company (Tetra), Founded in 2019, Canada’s only licensed custody solution for digital assets, has announced the rollout of increased staking functionality through its strategic partnership with Kiln, a leading enterprise-grade staking platform.

The Tetra-Kiln Partnership

Starting today, Tetra clients can stake their assets with Kiln on the main Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchains such as Ethereum (ETH), Solana (SOL), Polygon (MATIC), Cardano (ADA), and Tezos (XTZ). This collaboration aims to provide secure and efficient methods for institutional clients to actively participate in blockchain networks and earn rewards on their digital asset holdings.

Kiln is the leading enterprise-grade staking platform, enabling institutional customers to stake assets, and to whitelabel staking functionality into their offering. Kiln runs validators on all major PoS blockchains, with over $2.2 billion of stake under management and over 3% of the Ethereum network.

Kiln, known for its high standards of operational excellence, manages over $2 billion worth of staked assets and is SOC 2 Type II certified. “We are excited to offer our clients staking opportunities thanks to our collaboration with Kiln,” says Didier Lavallée, CEO at Tetra. “The solution Kiln brings to the table is quite impressive, not only does Kiln meet our security and technical requirements, their all-encompassing capabilities make it a robust solution to offer our clients.”

Laszlo Szabo, CEO at Kiln, stated, “We strive to enable institutions to access staking. Being our first enterprise-grade custodian partner in Canada, we’re thrilled to collaborate with Tetra, with whom we share common values.”

Understanding the Staking Opportunity

In PoS blockchains, staking consists of locking native tokens to earn the right to help secure the chain via a validator. Staking plays a crucial role in network security, governance, and contributes to the growth of the Web3 ecosystem. By staking, token holders can earn rewards and grow their digital asset holdings.

This collaboration marks a significant milestone in both companies’ commitment to delivering the highest standards of security and service for institutional and corporate clients.

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Circle Launches Programmable Wallets for Developers

Circle, a prominent financial technology company, has announced the launch of Programmable Wallets, a new product designed to bridge the gap between the traditional internet and blockchain networks. The announcement was made on Circle’s official blog.

Key Details

Purpose: Programmable Wallets aim to simplify the development of crypto-enabled applications by abstracting complexities such as private key security, blockchain node operations, transaction management, and interoperability across blockchains.

Target Audience: The product is designed for developers, enabling them to embed secure crypto wallets in any application and leverage the speed and global reach of Web3 technology.

Features: The core features of Programmable Wallets include user-controlled wallets, developer-controlled wallets, REST APIs, iOS and Android SDKs, webhooks, a wallet operations dashboard, multiparty computation (MPC) cryptographic security, and blockchain agnosticism. More features, such as Gas Abstraction and Smart Contract Wallets, are expected in the coming months.

Pricing: The pricing model is described as “Pay-as-you-grow,” with a rebate on USDC usage, starting at $0.05 per Monthly Active Wallet.

Context and Background

The launch of Programmable Wallets comes as part of Circle’s ongoing efforts to improve user experience with blockchains. Since the launch of USDC, the Open Source digital dollar APIs in 2018, Circle has been working to deliver infrastructure that enhances the blockchain experience. USDC is now in use on multiple networks, and Circle has also unveiled the Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP) to enable USDC to flow natively across blockchains. 

Circle’s most well-known stablecoin, USDC, is the fifth largest digital asset and  well-used in the crypto world. USDC plays a vital role in the crypto ecosystem, providing a stable asset for traders who need to quickly enter and exit trades.

Programmable Wallets offer flexibility to developers, allowing them to choose the right security controls and customize the wallet experience according to their use case. Over 4,000 businesses are already building with USDC, and Programmable Wallets are expected to further increase customer satisfaction while maintaining security and usability.


Circle’s launch of Programmable Wallets represents a significant step in simplifying the development of blockchain-powered apps. By offering a wide range of features and flexibility, Programmable Wallets are poised to expedite the adoption of crypto-enabled applications. The product’s beta version is available for businesses, developers, and builders, and interested parties can sign up through Circle’s Web3 Services Developer Console.

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Blockchain.com Obtains Digital Payment Token License in Singapore

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has granted a Major Payment Institution License (MPI) to the popular cryptocurrency exchange Blockchain.com. With this license, the platform will be able to provide digital payment token services to institutional and accredited investors. On August 7, 2023, it was disclosed that the application had been approved, and on August 1, 2023, the license was issued.

The license comes after Blockchain.com received in-principle approval from MAS in September of the previous year. As of now, there are 3,427 companies that have been granted licenses, with distribution across five key sectors: Banking (205), Capital Markets (1,782), Financial Advisory (579), Insurance (392), and Payments (469). Among the licensees, notable names in the fintech and blockchain industries can be found, including BitRock Capital, Circle, PayPal, BlackRock, Paxos, Revolut, Blockchain Founders Fund, and Alipay. These companies reflect the diverse and growing landscape of financial technology and digital asset services in Singapore.

In a statement on Medium, Blockchain.com CEO and Co-Founder Peter Smith commended the MAS for its “transparent regulatory process that prioritizes crypto industry oversight while allowing innovation to thrive.” The company also expressed its view of Singapore as an attractive city-state for investment and growth, particularly for its institutional customers.

The granting of the license to Blockchain.com is part of Singapore’s broader efforts to establish itself as a hub for the cryptocurrency industry. Earlier on August 7, MAS announced a commitment of approximately $112 million (around 150 million Singapore dollars) to support the financial technology sector, including those in Web3. Additionally, the regulator introduced new rules in July, requiring crypto service providers to hold customer funds in a statutory trust by the end of the year.

Singapore’s regulatory approach has been marked by a balance between oversight and encouragement of innovation. The country has been positioning itself as a favorable destination for crypto firms, with a July report by Galaxy Digital indicating that Singapore-based crypto firms were third in line for crypto startup funding in Q2 2022, trailing only the United States and the United Kingdom.

The approval of Blockchain.com’s license is a significant step in Singapore’s ongoing efforts to foster a regulated and thriving cryptocurrency ecosystem. It reflects the city-state’s commitment to thoughtful regulation that both ensures consumer protection and facilitates technological advancement in the financial sector.

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OpenAI Introduces GPTBot: A New Web Crawler for Data Access with Opt-Out Options

OpenAI has introduced a new web crawler named GPTBot, designed to access data from various websites to potentially enhance its large language models, such as ChatGPT 4, and possibly gather data for future models like GPT-5. The information was detailed on OpenAI’s official documentation page and reported by Indian Express on an unspecified date.

The GPTBot user agent can be identified by the following string: `Mozilla/5.0 AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko; compatible; GPTBot/1.0; +https://openai.com/gptbot)`. The web pages crawled by GPTBot are filtered to exclude sources that require paywall access, are known to gather personally identifiable information (PII), or contain text that violates OpenAI’s policies.

The intention behind GPTBot is to use sources that are freely available, comply with OpenAI’s guidelines, and do not collect any personal information from users. By allowing GPTBot to access their sites, publishers contribute data to OpenAI’s existing and future models, potentially improving the accuracy and capabilities of AI chatbots.

However, concerns regarding privacy and security may arise. OpenAI has addressed this by providing an option for publishers to opt out of the process. They can disallow GPTBot from accessing their site by adding the following line to their site’s robots.txt file: `User-agent: GPTBot Disallow: /`. Additionally, publishers can specify which parts of their website will be accessible and which ones will not.

The introduction of GPTBot represents a step towards enhancing AI models by utilizing publicly available web data. While it offers potential benefits in terms of AI advancement, it also raises questions about privacy and the control publishers have over their data. OpenAI’s decision to provide an opt-out option reflects an acknowledgment of these concerns and an effort to balance technological progress with ethical considerations.

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Crypto Exchange Bitstamp to Suspend Trading AXS, CHZ, MANA, MATIC, NEAR, SAND, and SOL

Bitstamp, one of the world’s oldest cryptocurrency exchanges, has announced a suspension of trading for seven cryptocurrencies in the United States, effective from August 29, 2023. The affected cryptocurrencies include AXS, CHZ, MANA, MATIC, NEAR, SAND, and SOL.

In an official statement released on Bitstamp’s blog, the company explained that the decision was made “considering recent developments” and in alignment with their “comprehensive framework” to evaluate cryptocurrencies in light of the dynamic regulatory environment. The statement further clarified that as of the mentioned date, new orders involving these assets would be disabled, and all existing orders across the affected trading pairs would be canceled.

Customers in the U.S. will still be able to hold these assets within their Bitstamp accounts and withdraw them at any time. The company has urged users to execute any desired buy or sell orders involving the affected assets before the deadline.

The New York State agency of Financial Services has issued Bitstamp USA, Inc. a license allowing it to participate in Virtual Currency Business Activity. This same agency has also issued Bitstamp USA, Inc. a license allowing it to act as a Money Transmitter.

This move comes at a time when Bitstamp is actively seeking to raise funds for expansion. The delisting coincides with the company’s efforts to comply with the dynamic regulatory environment, as stated in their official announcement, though no direct connection to investor pressure has been publicly disclosed

According to a Bloomberg report, Bitstamp initiated the fundraising process in late June 2023, with Galaxy Digital Holdings acting as an adviser. The funds are planned to be used for launching derivatives trading in Europe next year, expanding into Asian markets, and enhancing operations in the U.K.

Bitstamp’s global chief executive officer, Jean-Baptiste Graftieaux, emphasized that the company is not for sale and that the priority is to “accelerate Bitstamp’s growth by providing new products and services to retail and institutional crypto customers.”

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Luxembourg, Bitstamp was once a primary venue for Bitcoin trading. It is now the world’s seventh-largest exchange, with about $126 million in trading volume in a recent 24-hour period. In 2018, Bitstamp was acquired by NXMH, a European investment firm owned by South Korean conglomerate NXC.

The suspension of trading for the seven cryptocurrencies is a significant indicator in Bitstamp’s operations, reflecting the ongoing challenges and complexities of regulations.

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Bitcoin Miner Bitfarms Mined 1,223 BTC but with $25 Million Net Loss in Q2 2023

Bitfarms Ltd. (NASDAQ: BITF // TSX: BITF), a vertically integrated global bitcoin company, has released its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2023.

Bitfarms successfully mined 1,223 BTC in the second quarter of 2023, bringing its total holdings to 549 BTC, an increase of 114 BTC. The corporation set a future aim of 7.0 EH/s for Q1 2024 when its hashrate as of June 30, 2023, hit 5.3 EH/s, an increase of 10% from March 31, 2023. According to reports, Q2 2023 revenue increased from the prior quarter’s $30 million to $35 million. Despite the rise in sales, the company’s net loss increased significantly from $2 million in Q1 2023 to $25 million, a huge loss. Compared to the prior quarter’s adjusted EBITDA of $7 million, the current quarter’s adjusted EBITDA was $8 million. From $12,500 in Q1 2023, the average direct cost to generate one BTC climbed to $15,700. As of June 30, 2023, Bitfarms has $549 BTC, worth an estimated $17 million, and $31 million in cash on hand. In addition, the business revealed plans to build a new 50 MW farm in Paraguay and obtained contracts for 150 MW of cheap, ecologically friendly hydropower there in July….

Bitfarms’ revenue growth reflects higher hashrate and average BTC prices, partially offset by a decrease in total BTC produced. The net loss of $25 million includes $10 million in impairment charges. The company’s gross mining profit and gross mining margin were $14 million and 42%, respectively, consistent with Q1 2023. General and administrative expenses were $9 million, up 10% from Q1 2023, and total cash costs of production per BTC were $21,800 in Q2 2023, up from $17,600 in Q1 2023.

Bitfarms continued to invest in infrastructure and fleet upgrades, increasing its hashrate by 10% during Q2 2023. The company also acquired contracts for hydropower in Paraguay, a market with low build-out costs and quick project timelines. The company’s expansion strategy includes becoming a self-importer of miners in Argentina and purchasing new high-efficiency miners for deployment in Argentina and Canada.

Bitfarms is projecting 20% sequential growth in its hashrate in Q3 2023 and expects further growth with the commissioning of the Paso Pe farm in Q1 2024. The company’s focus on sustainable, locally based energy infrastructure and ongoing investments in geographic expansion positions it for continued development across multiple jurisdictions.

Bitfarms’ Q2 2023 results reflect a strategic focus on growth and efficiency, with investments in infrastructure and expansion into new markets. While the company reported a net loss for the quarter, its revenue growth and consistent gross mining margin indicate a positive trajectory. Bitfarms demonstrates a progressive stance through its dedication to sustainable energy and the setting of assertive goals for hashrate expansion. This approach resonates with current industry movements and potential market prospects.

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Coinbase Announces Cash Tender Offer for $150 Million of 3.625% Senior Notes Due 2031

Coinbase Global, Inc. has announced the commencement of a cash tender offer for up to $150.0 million of its outstanding 3.625% Senior Notes due 2031. The announcement was made on August 7, 2023, and the details were provided in a press release distributed by Blockchain.News.

Coinbase, a leading platform in the cryptoeconomy, is building a more fair, accessible, efficient, and transparent financial system enabled by crypto. The company started in 2012 with the radical idea that anyone, anywhere, should be able to easily and securely send and receive Bitcoin. Coinbase offers a trusted and easy-to-use platform for accessing the broader cryptoeconomy.

The Tender Offer will expire at 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on September 1, 2023, and may be extended at the company’s discretion. Holders of the Notes who validly tender and do not withdraw their Notes by 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on August 18, 2023, will be eligible to receive $645.00 per $1,000 principal amount of Notes.

This amount includes the Tender Consideration of $615.00 plus an Early Tender Premium of $30.00 per $1,000 principal amount of Notes. Holders who tender their Notes after the Early Tender Time but before the Expiration Time will be eligible to receive the Tender Consideration of $615.00 per $1,000 principal amount of Notes. Tendered Notes may be withdrawn at any time on or prior to the Early Tender Time.

The amount of Notes that may be purchased is subject to a maximum purchase price of $150.0 million, and tendered Notes may be subject to proration if the aggregate purchase price exceeds this amount. The company reserves the right to increase or decrease the Maximum Tender Amount.

Early settlement for Notes tendered at or prior to the Early Tender Time is expected to occur on the second business day following the Early Tender Time, unless terminated. Final settlement for Notes tendered after the Early Tender Time but before the Expiration Time is expected to occur on the second business day following the Expiration Time.

The consummation of the Tender Offer is subject to customary conditions, and the company reserves the right to waive any conditions, delay acceptance, or terminate the Tender Offer at its discretion. Full details of the terms and conditions are included in the company’s offer to purchase, dated August 7, 2023.

Documents related to the Tender Offer can be obtained from Global Bondholder Services Corp., the Tender and Information Agent, at GBSC’s website, or by telephone. Citigroup Global Markets Inc. has been engaged to serve as Dealer Manager for the Tender Offer.

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Cathie Wood: SEC to Approve Multiple Bitcoin ETFs Simultaneously

Cathie Wood, Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager at ARK Investment Management LLC, has hypothesised that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would approve many spot Bitcoin ETFs all at the same time.

During an interview with Bloomberg on August 7, 2023, Wood, who has over 40 years of experience and started ARK in 2014, provided this significant prediction. The conversation took place in 2023.

An application for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund was submitted by ARK Investment Management in June of 2023. ARK Investment Management is well-known for its focus on disruptive innovation, and the firm submitted the proposal.

The growing interest from major financial firms like BlackRock, Fidelity, WisdomTree, VanEck, and Invesco, all of which have submitted applications for spot Bitcoin ETFs similar to ARK’s, reflects a broader trend in the market.

Grayscale, a prominent digital currency investment authority founded in 2013 by Digital Currency Group, is currently engaged in legal proceedings with the SEC. Holding assets including BTC, ETH, ETC, MANA, SQL, and BCH, the company sent a letter to the regulator in July, urging simultaneous approval of all proposed spot Bitcoin ETFs. This request was made to promote fairness among applicants and prevent any single ETF from gaining an advantage. 

The SEC has until August 13, 2023 to make a judgement on ARK’s petition; so far, the agency in the United States has never granted its approval to a spot cryptocurrency ETF. ARK is proposing to list its shares in an exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The regulatory body in charge of the sector has a maximum of 240 days, which brings the deadline for their decision forward to January 2024.

Because regulators in other countries, most notably Canada, have in the past allowed analogous spot ETF filings from bitcoin firms, the drive for spot Bitcoin ETFs is gathering momentum. The demand for spot Bitcoin ETFs receives a further boost as a result of this.

The prediction of simultaneous approval made by Wood and the campaign for fairness made by Grayscale both bring to light the possibility of a shift in the regulatory atmosphere for bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States. 

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Hong Kong’s SFC Warns of Improper Practices by Unlicensed Virtual Asset Trading Platforms

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued a warning against some unlicensed virtual asset trading platforms (VATPs) in Hong Kong, citing engagement in improper practices. The warning, released on the SFC’s official website, highlights several areas of concern and potential legal consequences.

False Claims of Licensing Applications

The SFC has observed that some unlicensed VATPs are falsely claiming to have submitted license applications to the regulatory body. Such misleading claims are considered an offense, as they may induce others to trade in virtual assets under a false sense of assurance. The SFC has stated that it will consider any misrepresentation when assessing the VATP’s fitness to be licensed.

Non-Compliance with SFC Requirements

The SFC has also noted that some VATPs are not complying with the legal and regulatory requirements under the new regime to regulate virtual asset service providers. This includes launching new services and products that may not comply with the applicable legal and regulatory requirements. Such non-compliant activities may raise concerns about the VATPs’ intention to comply with the SFC’s legal and regulatory requirements.

Transitional Arrangements

The transitional arrangements, effective before June 1, 2023, were designed to provide sufficient time for VATPs to prepare for compliance. However, the SFC has noticed that some unlicensed VATPs have set up new entities to provide virtual asset services in Hong Kong without complying with the new regime’s requirements.

Warning to Investors

The SFC has taken the opportunity to warn investors about the risks of trading virtual assets on unregulated VATPs. Investors are cautioned that they may face the risk of losing their entire investment if the VATP ceases operation, collapses, is hacked, or suffers from any misappropriation of assets.

The SFC publishes a list of licensed virtual asset trading platforms on its website to inform the public of the regulatory status of VATPs operating in Hong Kong. This list includes the names of virtual asset trading platform operators formally licensed by the SFC. Currently, only two VATPs, OSL Exchange and HashKey Exchange, are licensed by the SFC.

The SFC’s warning serves as a timely reminder to both VATPs and investors to adhere to the legal and regulatory requirements governing virtual asset trading in Hong Kong. The regulatory body continues to monitor the situation closely and has provided a list of licensed VATPs to guide investors. 

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