Unchained Forms Strategic Alliance with Bakkt to Enhance Bitcoin Custody Network

Unchained, a player in the bitcoin financial services sector, has announced a strategic partnership with Bakkt on November 15, 2023, marking a significant expansion of its Collaborative Custody Network. This alliance not only strengthens Unchained’s position in the cryptocurrency custody landscape but also enhances its capability to secure over $3 billion in bitcoin assets for its clients. The announcement reflects Unchained’s substantial growth, with a nearly 40% increase in secured bitcoin assets since October 2022.

Established in 2016, Unchained has been instrumental in helping individuals and businesses gain true ownership of their wealth through bitcoin key holding. The company’s collaborative custody model, which combines the advantages of financial services with the benefits of self-custody, stands as a testament to consumer protection in the uncertain economic climate. With its headquarters in Austin, Texas, Unchained’s network now includes Bakkt, alongside Coincover and Kingdom Trust, offering an unmatched breadth in the industry for secure bitcoin storage.

The inclusion of Bakkt, founded in 2018 by Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE) and renowned for its institutional-grade custody, trading, and onboarding capabilities, complements Unchained’s commitment to providing secure and compliant crypto infrastructure. Bakkt Custody, operated by Bakkt Trust Company LLC and an NYDFS Qualified Custodian, adds significant credibility to Unchained’s custody solutions, reinforcing client confidence in asset safety.

Unchained’s innovative approach to bitcoin treasury security involves a model requiring multiple private keys for access, thereby reducing risks associated with exchange hacks and self-custody challenges. Clients have the flexibility to hold a private key or distribute it among trusted custodians, including Bakkt. This method resonates with Unchained’s belief that a decentralized custody solution is more robust than relying on a single custodian.

Gavin Michael, CEO and President of Bakkt, highlights the critical need for qualified custody in the volatile cryptocurrency market. Bakkt’s entry into Unchained’s enterprise custody network is a strategic move to cater to clients seeking regulated and secure bitcoin custodians. Emphasizing security and compliance as Bakkt’s core values, Michael anticipates a fruitful collaboration with Unchained.

Joe Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Unchained, expresses his enthusiasm for the partnership with Bakkt, emphasizing the alignment of both companies in prioritizing client asset security. Kelly underscores the importance of providing bitcoin storage options that safeguard against single points of failure and enable clients to independently verify the safety of their assets.

This collaboration follows the recent addition of Coincover to Unchained’s network in October. As Unchained continues to expand its custody partnerships, it maintains a focus on empowering clients with unilateral control over private keys, a cornerstone of secure and autonomous asset management.

Unchained and Bakkt are scheduled to host a joint webinar on November 16, 2023, to discuss the intricacies and advantages of collaborative custody as a risk management solution.

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Upbit Announces Dunamu & Partners’ Digital Asset Holdings for October 2023

On October 31, 2023, Upbit, recognized as a global standard digital asset exchange, continued its endeavor to promote a healthy development in the digital asset/blockchain industry by providing a safe and transparent digital asset trading environment.

In a previous announcement, it was conveyed that if a digital asset invested by Dunamu & Partners is supported for trading on Upbit, there would be no selling of the said digital asset for three months from the initial trading support date. Following this period, any changes in the holding amount of the digital asset would be disclosed through Upbit’s official announcements at the end of each month.

In adherence to this principle, the digital asset holdings of Dunamu & Partners for October 2023 were disclosed. It was stated that starting from the disclosure in May 2022, the holding details of BTC (Bitcoin) acquired through exchange trades by Dunamu & Partners would be included, along with the wallet addresses of the held digital assets. This information was provided and published upon request by Dunamu & Partners on October 31, 2023.

The disclosure on October 31, 2023, detailed the following:

Holder: Dunamu & Partners

Digital Asset Type: BTC

Investment Date: February 19, 2021

Upbit Trading Support Date: October 24, 2017

Quantity of Digital Asset Held: 2,081.84950412

Cumulative Sales Volume: No transaction history

Wallet Addresses:


b) 14mHARtJMifbK1wRKjtVpmt95ixucSiW5c

Holding Purpose: Holding digital assets acquired through exchange trades with LUNC (formerly LUNA).

Upbit reiterates its commitment to continue striving to provide a transparent and healthy trading environment.

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DTCC to Acquire Securrency, Advancing in Digital Asset Infrastructure

The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has solidified its position in the digital asset sphere by confirming its intention to acquire Securrency, a firm renowned for its expertise in digital asset infrastructure development. This acquisition aligns with DTCC’s strategic vision of seamlessly integrating digital assets with its pre-existing products and services. The specifics of the deal remain confidential, but indications suggest a closure “in the coming weeks.”

Post-acquisition, Securrency will undergo a rebranding transition to become DTCC Digital Assets. This name change won’t affect the existing workforce. The senior leadership and an additional contingent of around 100 employees will remain part of the newly branded entity.

Securrency’s growth trajectory has been bolstered by investments from significant players like State Street, U.S. Bank, WisdomTree, and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners. In addition to these financial endorsements, the firm has collaborated with GK8, a company recognized for its proficiency in cybersecurity and digital asset custodianship.

The official statement from DTCC highlights its plan to make Securrency’s groundbreaking technology available for licensing. This move is anticipated to catalyze the interoperability of diverse distributed ledger systems. Notably, the technology has already been incorporated into the WisdomTree Prime platform, a digital asset management tool.

Originating in the U.S., DTCC has established itself as a premier clearing and settlement service, with regional branches worldwide. In 2022, DTCC and its affiliates processed a staggering $2.5 quadrillion in securities settlements. Furthermore, the company’s depository division managed the custody and servicing of securities approximating $72 trillion, sourced from over 150 countries and territories.

Although blockchain technology has been in existence for a while, its integration into mainstream sectors only commenced around 2020. DTCC marked its foray into this space in December, participating in a pilot project focused on tokenized securities settlement using a simulated digital dollar. This trial, executed in partnership with the Digital Dollar Project, tested transactions with tokenized securities using T2, T1, and T0 settlements.

On October 19, 2023, DTCC announced its definitive agreement to acquire Securrency Inc., emphasizing its commitment to bridging industry-standard practices with advanced digital technology. This move is set to position DTCC as a global leader in the digital asset sector. Securrency’s assimilation into DTCC will culminate in its rebranding to DTCC Digital Assets, with key personnel like Nadine Chakar, CEO of Securrency, taking on pivotal roles in the new organizational structure.

By amalgamating DTCC’s digital prowess with Securrency’s technology, DTCC aims to spearhead the development of its digital asset platform, emphasizing institutional DeFi. Furthermore, DTCC will take the reins in leading the global development of a robust digital infrastructure, licensing Securrency’s technology, and offering specialized services.

DTCC, with its rich 50-year legacy, stands as the world’s premier post-trade market infrastructure. Its global presence spans 20 locations, offering automated, centralized, and standardized financial transaction processing. In 2022, the firm’s transaction value reached an astounding U.S. $2.5 quadrillion, with its depository subsidiary managing securities valued at U.S. $72 trillion.

Securrency stands out as an institutional-grade digital asset infrastructure provider. It offers transformative solutions facilitating the trading, settlement, and servicing of digital assets. Its innovative product suite is poised to accelerate the institutional adoption of blockchain technology.

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Coinbase Calls for Judicial Intervention on SEC’s Inaction

Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer, Paul Grewal, has taken a step towards resolving the ongoing regulatory ambiguity surrounding digital assets. On October 13, 2023, Grewal filed a formal response with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, urging the court to issue a mandamus order. This legal move seeks to compel the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to act on Coinbase’s rulemaking petition within a span of 30 days. The move underscores the growing impatience and concern within Coinbase and the broader digital asset community towards the SEC’s perceived bureaucratic dalliance in clarifying the application of securities laws to digital assets.

Since July 2022, when Coinbase initiated its petition for rulemaking, there has been a conspicuous absence of action from the SEC in providing clear directives on how securities laws apply to digital assets. Despite facing an enforcement action under these same laws, the SEC has not shown a willingness to expedite the clarification process. The regulatory body’s recent update on October 11, 2023, merely shared a staff-level recommendation to the Commission regarding Coinbase’s petition without a formal commitment to action.

Paul Grewal and Coinbase have criticized the SEC’s lack of transparency and evasiveness, terming it a “bureaucratic pantomime.” The digital asset industry remains entrapped in a regulatory Catch-22 owing to the SEC’s demand for registration from digital asset firms without availing clear guidelines on the registration process. Furthermore, the contradictory statements emanating from the SEC alongside its aggressive enforcement actions further convolute the regulatory landscape.

Recent developments have only served to underline the SEC’s apparent resistance towards initiating new rulemaking. The SEC Chair reemphasized the sufficiency of existing laws and rules for digital assets, while a noticeable surge in enforcement actions against digital asset firms, including novel actions against non-fungible token (NFT) issuers, has been observed. These actions presuppose the adequacy of existing rules, a notion that stands at odds with the premise of Coinbase’s petition for new rulemaking.

With the regulatory ambiguity continuing to cast a long shadow over the digital asset industry, Grewal argues that a mandamus order is warranted to hold the SEC accountable and to propel it into action. He emphasizes that clear guidelines are quintessential to ensuring legal compliance, nurturing industry growth, and eradicating the ongoing Catch-22 scenario that the industry finds itself ensnared in. The call for a mandamus order is seen as a necessary judicial intervention to end the SEC’s prolonged inaction, and to foster a conducive regulatory environment for digital asset firms.

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GSR Secures Major Payment Institution Licence from Singapore’s MAS

GSR Markets Pte. Ltd., the Singaporean subsidiary of global cryptocurrency trading firm GSR, has received In-Principle Approval for a Major Payment Institution licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Announced on October 2, 2023, this regulatory milestone is a significant advancement in GSR’s journey to become a fully licensed entity. The approval allows GSR to better serve the cryptocurrency community in both Singapore and the broader Asia-Pacific region, reinforcing its commitment to compliance and governance in the rapidly evolving digital asset space.

The In-Principle Approval for GSR comes just a day after Coinbase Singapore revealed that it had secured a full Major Payment Institution licence from MAS. This follows earlier announcements from Circle, Blockchain.com, and Crypto.com, who also obtained MPI licenses earlier this year. The series of approvals from MAS highlights the competitive yet regulated landscape of the cryptocurrency market in Singapore, a jurisdiction that is increasingly becoming a hotspot for blockchain and crypto enterprises.

Jakob Palmstierna, CEO of the GSR Group, expressed his gratitude towards MAS for their constructive oversight. He stated, “We are immensely grateful to MAS for their constructive oversight, which helps shape a growing digital asset ecosystem that we feel proud to be a substantial part of.” Xin Song, the Group’s COO, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that the In-Principle Approval enables GSR to “deepen our local client partnerships, and continue in our critical role as a liquidity provider within the ecosystem.”

Singapore has been making strides in establishing itself as a significant player in the crypto and Web3 space. According to recent surveys, 25% of Singaporeans view cryptocurrency as the future of finance, and 32% are either current or past crypto owners. Furthermore, the city-state is home to over 700 Web3 companies, making it a pivotal market for the growth of the crypto and Web3 economy. GSR aims to capitalize on this burgeoning ecosystem by leveraging Singapore as a strategic hub for its Asia-Pacific operations.

The In-Principle Approval is more than just a regulatory milestone for GSR; it’s a testament to the firm’s commitment to adhering to high standards of compliance and governance. As GSR works diligently towards obtaining a full licence, it plans to expand its suite of services and deepen its relationships with institutional clients in the region. The firm remains committed to playing a critical role as a liquidity provider and aims to contribute meaningfully to Singapore’s growing digital asset ecosystem.

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Digital Asset Liquidity Provider OrBit Markets Wins Google Cloud Customer Award

OrBit Markets, a Singapore-based institutional liquidity provider in the realm of digital asset options and structured derivatives, has garnered the 2023 Google Cloud Customer of the Year Award for the Financial Services Industry. The accolade is not merely ornamental; it signals the company’s proficiency in utilizing Google Cloud technologies to navigate the labyrinthine requirements of high-volume trading data, stringent security protocols, and compliance with financial regulations.

Digital asset derivatives trading is a sector that demands a blend of cutting-edge technology and robust security measures. For OrBit Markets, this entails the processing of massive amounts of trading data through machine learning algorithms, coupled with the computational rigor of running billions of risk-assessment simulations daily. Achieving this at scale is non-trivial and lends weight to the Google Cloud award.

Google Cloud’s suite, replete with high-capacity storage solutions, serverless architecture, and advanced access management systems, facilitated OrBit in meeting these challenges. According to Brian Hall, VP of Product and Industry Marketing at Google Cloud, the Customer Awards aim to “recognize innovative, technically advanced, and transformative cloud deployments across various global industries.” The award criteria include factors such as business impact, originality, and architectural complexity. OrBit Markets has met these metrics, illustrating the potent applications of Google Cloud’s capabilities within the financial services sector.

The company’s CTO, Tianjiao Sun, disclosed that OrBit’s trading volumes have surged by “several orders of magnitude” within the past year, attributing this scalability to Google Cloud’s infrastructure. While growth metrics are commonplace in corporate narratives, the quantitative scaling in a volatile market environment like digital asset trading is noteworthy.

Compliance with regulatory standards is another facet where OrBit Markets has scored. Navigating the compliance landscape while leveraging disruptive technologies is no mean feat, and the Google Cloud award acknowledges this balancing act.

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Crypto Trends: Weekly Inflows and Outflows in Altcoins, North American Markets, and Investment Products

As of the half-year mark, cryptos have witnessed inflows just under US$0.5 billion, according to a recent report by CoinShares.

93% of the outflows were from long-Bitcoin investment products, while short-Bitcoin saw its 14th consecutive week of outflows, totaling US$3.1 million. This trend suggests that investors have been taking profits in recent weeks, though the sentiment for the asset overall remains supportive.

Altcoins, excluding Ethereum, experienced inflows amounting to US$3 million in the past week and US$19 million over the last eight weeks. Cardano, Solana, and XRP led the way with inflows of US$0.64 million, US$0.6 million, and US$0.5 million, respectively.

The North American region, encompassing the US and Canada, saw a significant outflow of 11 billion dollars. In contrast, Switzerland and Sweden recorded outflows of US$3.2 million and US$2.6 million, while Germany welcomed inflows of US$5 million.

Digital asset investment products witnessed minor withdrawals totaling US$21 million last week. Trading volumes stood at a modest US$915 million, a marked decrease from the US$1.5 billion weekly average of the previous year. The broader Bitcoin market experienced US$16 billion in trades on trusted exchanges last week, a decline from the US$52 billion weekly average observed this year.

Ethereum and Avalanche saw minor outflows totaling US$1.9 million and US$0.4 million, respectively.

The data reflects a mixed sentiment in the digital asset market, with a noticeable shift towards altcoins and a reduction in trading volumes. The continuous outflows from long-Bitcoin products and the regional variations in investment flows provide insights into the current market dynamics.

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Bitcoin Dominates Digital Asset Fund Flows with $140M Inflows in a Week

In the past four weeks, digital asset investment products have seen a significant surge in inflows, totaling $742 million, according to the latest weekly report from CoinShares. This marks the largest run of inflows since the final quarter of 2021.

In the week ending July 17, 2023, these products attracted $137 million in inflows. Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, accounted for the lion’s share, with inflows totaling $140 million, making up 99% of all inflows. This comes despite short Bitcoin investment products experiencing a 12th consecutive week of outflows, amounting to $3.2 million.

Trading volumes on investment products remained robust, totaling $2.3 billion for the week, well above the year’s average of $1.4 billion. This indicates that investment products are making up a larger proportion of total crypto volumes, accounting for 11% last week compared to the 2% average.

North America was the primary focus of inflows, with the US and Canada seeing inflows of $109 million and $28 million respectively. In the meanwhile, Europe experienced minor outflows, with the exception of minor inflows in Switzerland.

Despite Ethereum’s recent price appreciation, it did not attract inflows. Instead, it experienced outflows of $2 million last week, maintaining its position as the asset with the most outflows year-to-date.

Altcoins such as Solana, Polygon, and Litecoin saw minor inflows, ranging between $0.3 million and $0.5 million.

This data underscores the continued investor interest in Bitcoin, even as other digital assets show mixed fund flow trends. 


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US Senate Finance Committee Seeks Input on Taxation of Digital Assets

The US Senate Finance Committee has issued an open letter to the digital asset community and other interested parties, seeking their input on the taxation of digital assets. The letter, dated July 11, 2023, was signed by Chair Ron Wyden and Ranking Member Mike Crapo.

The rapid emergence of digital assets has raised novel regulatory issues, including the appropriate treatment under federal tax law. The Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (IRC), draws distinctions between types of property, with no straightforward classification for digital assets. This uncertainty creates complex reporting issues for taxpayers and warrants examining how the IRC can provide clearer guidance for taxpayers on the treatment of digital asset transactions.

The Committee on Finance initiated a bipartisan effort to identify key questions that lie at the intersection of digital assets and tax law. To provide background on current law, Chair Wyden and Ranking Member Crapo asked the Joint Committee on Taxation to compile a report on the taxation of digital assets.

The letter seeks to better understand how Congress can address the tax challenges and opportunities presented by digital assets. It asks a series of detailed questions on topics such as marking-to-market for traders and dealers, trading safe harbor, treatment of loans of digital assets, wash sales, constructive sales, timing and source of income earned from staking and mining, nonfunctional currency, FATCA and FBAR reporting, and valuation and substantiation.

The Committee will collect answers to these questions on a rolling basis until September 8, 2023. Interested parties are requested to submit electronic copies of their answers to Committee staff at responses@finance.senate.gov.

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Haru Invest Provides Update on Current Situation Amidst Investigation into B & S Holdings

Haru Invest, a prominent investment firm, has released an update regarding the ongoing investigation into B&S Holdings and its efforts to recover assets. The company has been fully cooperating with investigative authorities, although no specific details about the progress of the investigation have been disclosed yet.

The firm is also focusing on the recovery of assets under management, separate from B&S holdings. Haru Invest aims to minimize losses and expects to recover these assets within a few weeks. In addition, the company is preparing a list of potential salable assets, with the goal of minimizing value loss during the sale process. This process is expected to take some time, and the company is considering selling its assets in phases.

Haru Invest is also working on organizing a database to clearly identify the credits and debts of its users. Once the amount of losses is confirmed and the asset distribution plan is finalized, the company plans to distribute the assets in phases. However, due to limited information on the exact amount of losses, the firm has not provided a specific timeline for this distribution.

The company has committed to providing weekly updates to its members, even if there are no major updates on the current situation. Haru Invest has also reassured its users that their legal rights will be equally protected, regardless of whether they belong to a class-action lawsuit group or not.

Haru Invest’s CEO, Hugo Lee, expressed his deepest regret for the inconvenience caused to investors and affirmed the company’s commitment to improving the situation.


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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 37,864.14 0.08%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 2,037.91 0.75%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 69.94 0.47%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 224.15 0.74%