After spending years ridiculing Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, Wall Street’s billionaire class is finally warming up to the idea of virtual assets powering the digital economy. This week, Citadel founder and billionaire Ken Griffin formally backtracked on his anti-crypto stance as he announced that his firm would begin offering digital assets to its clients. Of course, Griffin isn’t the only wealthy investor to have a change of heart, so we’re not going to bust his chops too much.
So, while crypto analysts continue to debate about whether we are in a bull or bear market, institutions, venture capitalists and ordinary people continue to adopt digital assets. As we see in Eastern Europe, trustless money like Bitcoin offers a unique value proposition in times of geopolitical uncertainty and conflict.
Billionaire admits he was wrong about Bitcoin as Citadel looks to crypto markets
Citadel Securities, the multi-billion dollar hedge fund manager, will soon be offering cryptocurrency investments after company founder Ken Griffin admitted he was wrong about the asset class. “It’s fair to assume that over the months to come, you will see us engage in making markets in cryptocurrencies,” he told Bloomberg Wealth in an interview. It was not even five years ago that Griffin was warning people about Bitcoin being a massive bubble akin to Tulip mania in the 1600s. I doubt anyone is seriously comparing Bitcoin with the Dutch tulip bubble anymore, but if you still have doubts, read this article.
DCG announces $250M share repurchase for Grayscale products
Digital Currency Group, better known as DCG, has announced it will repurchase up to $250-million worth of shares for several Grayscale investment products — chiefly the Litecoin, Zcash and Horizen Trusts. Although the venture capital firm didn’t specify why it was repurchasing shares, CEO Barry Silbert tweeted separately on Monday that his firm is increasingly bullish on the market. “Bitcoin is looking good,” he said, adding that, “We’re buying.” (It’s not quite clear what this means, but Bitcoin’s spike above $45,000 amid geopolitical unrest probably has something to do with the favorable assessment.)
Payment services provider Shift4 acquires The Giving Block for $54 million
Payment solutions provider Shift4 this week announced the purchase of crypto donations platform The Giving Block for $54 million. The deal, which was paid for in cash and stock, has a potential earnout of up to $246 million. Crypto-based philanthropy was back in the spotlight this week after the Ukrainian government and charities linked to it received more than $37 million in digital donations, mainly through Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Tether (USDT). The Giving Block also launched a Ukraine emergency fund allowing crypto holders to donate to the relief efforts amid the ongoing conflict with Russia.
South Korean crypto market grows to $45.9B in 2021 despite strict regulations
If you’ve been in crypto long enough, you know that South Korea is one of the most vibrant markets for trading digital assets. We finally have some numbers to back it up: Earlier this week, South Korea’s Financial Service Commission reported that the country’s cryptocurrency market grew to $45.9 billion, or 55 trillion won, by the end of 2021. South Korea’s 21 regulated exchanges collectively processed an average of $9.4-billion worth of trades per day. Even with stringent crypto regulations, South Korea continues to be a hotbed of industry activity. Surprise, surprise, regulators are now turning their attention to nonfungible tokens, putting South Korea on track to become one of the first countries to issue NFT tax regulations.
Before you go!
There has been a lot of buzz recently about decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs. As we reported last month, the Republic of the Marshall Islands has become the first jurisdiction to formally recognize DAOs as legal entities. In this week’s The Market Report, Cointelegraph analysts engaged in a friendly debate about the most promising DAOs for 2022. If you missed the live show, you can still catch the replay below. Be sure to catch The Market Report every Tuesday at 12:00 pm ET for updates, analysis and a live debate about all things crypto!