From a price perspective, the cryptocurrency market is ending 2021 with a whimper as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and other digital assets continue to trade well below their prior peaks. But the business of blockchain and crypto is heating up, as evidenced by the arrival of institutional capital and the flood of venture funding into the space. According to Nischal Shetty, CEO of India’s WazirX crypto exchange, the digital asset revolution is already underway and will continue with or without your participation.
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Crypto won’t wait for nations to come on board: WazirX CEO
With crypto being thrust into mainstream consciousness in 2021, lawmakers around the world are scrambling to regulate the digital asset class. WazirX’s Nischal Shetty believes nation-states will soon be in an arms race to develop and launch local versions of central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs. “We’re optimistic that we’ll get regulatory clarity and see institutional participation fuel retail adoption,” he said. “There is a $2.5-trillion market out there, and it is not going to wait for any nation to come on board.”
FTX wants to intice banks to start accepting stablecoins
Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange FTX is prepared to offer banks $1 million in prize money to begin accepting stablecoins. The offer, which was floated in a Tuesday Twitter post, is intended to strengthen FTX’s ties with traditional finance to help its customers better facilitate “near-instant and near-free deposits and withdrawals through stablecoins.” Although the offer is no doubt intriguing, banks are unlikely to commit to supporting stablecoins until federal regulators chime in on the matter.
DeBank valued at $200M following private equity round
This week’s biggest funding news came courtesy of DeBank, a cryptocurrency wallet focused on decentralized finance solutions. On Tuesday, the firm announced it had completed a $25 million private equity round that was led by Sequoia China with additional participation from Dragonfly, Hash Global and Youbi, among several others. DeBank is now valued at $200 million, highlighting once again that DeFi-focused startups were attracting significant interest from venture capitalists.
Related: Kevin O’Leary says his crypto holdings could reach 20% of portfolio
Binance pursues regulatory approvals in Bahrain and Canada
Binance is wrapping up a highly tumultuous year on a positive note after the cryptocurrency exchange announced it had received a pair of licensing approvals from Bahrain and Canada. The green light from Bahrain gives the exchange license to operate as a crypto service provider in the tiny Gulf state. In Canada, however, the picture is a bit murkier. While Binance claims that it is licensed to operate in the country after incorporating a subsidiary called Binance Canada Capital Market, Ontario’s securities regulator issued a statement Thursday that the exchange is “not registered under securities law” in the province. (It should be noted that Binance’s subsidiary registered as a federal corporation whereas the Ontario Securities Commission has jurisdiction over the province of Ontario.) As Cointelegraph reported, Binance was effectively kicked out of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, in June after local regulators began clamping down on unregistered trading platforms.