This Week In Crypto is a weekly segment from the Live Coin Watch News team, providing readers with a fun, succinct, and pertinent summary of the most important Bitcoin-related events in the past seven days.

This Week in Crypto

  • Bakkt To Start Custodying Bitcoin Next Week: According to a recent Twitter announcement, Bakkt, the New York Stock Exchange-backed crypto startup, will soon start taking custody of Bitcoin (BTC) through Bakkt Trust Company. The long-awaited exchange will activate this product on September 6th — a Friday. Custody is being launched two weeks out from the activation of Bakkt’s Bitcoin Daily and Monthly Futures contracts. This news comes shortly after the firm revealed that it had received the “greenlight from the CFTC through the self-certification process and user acceptance testing has begun.” Analysts bill the launch of Bakkt as “arguably the most bullish event for institutional investors in the history of Bitcoin”. You see, analysts believe Bakkt will open the door for institutions to invest in the industry. Sam Doctor of Fundstrat Global Advisors said that the platform “tackles many of the barriers to adoption for traditional investors seeking to expand their mandate to include crypto.” He added that there is a “critical mass” of these investors ready to adopt the Bitcoin products from the firm.
  • Telegram May Soon Launch Blockchain And Crypto, Which Will Be Ethereum-Compatible: According to an anonymous investor in Telegram’s Open Network blockchain (TON), the social media giant will begin publicly testing its chain on September 1st. A Russian outlet claims that the launch of beta testing will coincide with a release of TON’s node software and certain technical documentation. TON raised a purported $1.8 billion over the past year or two, with there being much hype around how the blockchain and cryptocurrency can be deployed to Telegram’s 200 million users. This news comes shortly after CoinDesk reported that the platform will be compatible with Ethereum.
  • Brad Garlinghouse Quashes XRP FUD: Brad Garlinghouse, the chief executive of Ripple, recently came out to debunk “questionable sources spreading FUD” about XRP in an impassioned Twitter thread. In the scathing message, the industry executive wrote that XRP should not be classified as a digital security. Garlinghouse cited comments from the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority and “others” on the cryptocurrency to back his point. Garlinghouse also addressed a response to an article from Bloomberg about the sale of XRP tokens by Ripple. In that article, the outlet cited countless cryptocurrency industry executives and investors, most of which expressed skepticism towards Ripple’s decision to dump hundreds of millions of dollars worth of XRP on the open market. In his response tweet, the CEO wrote that these sales help expand the utility of XRP, not just the size of Ripple’s coffers.
  • UN Official Bashes Crypto in Scathing Interview: In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, a leading official of the United Nations, Neil Walsh, pushed anti-crypto rhetoric, alleging that these digital assets can be used in criminal activity. Walsh, the leading authority on anti-money laundering and cybercrime at the UN, asserted that cryptocurrencies are “another layer” to the “nightmare” that is criminal activity. He specifically called out child exploitation networks, which he opines benefit from digital asset technology. He brought up one case where digital content in which a child was abused could be accessed with a fee paid in cryptocurrency. Walsh also claimed that the fight against cybercriminals, nuclear weapon proliferation, terrorist financing, and money laundering is being hampered by the propagation of cryptocurrencies.
  • Hong Kong Retail Outlet Accepts Cryptocurrency Amid Protests: A local Hong Kong appliance chain, Pricerite, has started to accept cryptocurrencies. According to a recent tweet from Michael “BoxMining” Gu, a cryptocurrency Youtuber based in the city, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin are accepted by the chain. Gu claims that this integration involves Lightning Network support, potentially making it one of the first brick and mortar stores to utilize the second-layer scaling solution.
  • $1 Billion Crypto Hedge Fund Venture On Its Way: According to a recent report from the Financial Times, Elwood Asset Management, an institution that manages British billionaire investor Alan Howard, is looking to launch a crypto venture worth $1 billion. Speaking in an interview with FT, Bin Ren, the chief executive of Elwood Asset Management, said that his firm is working on a platform that would assign institutional investors diverse, vetted crypto portfolios. As it stands, there are countless “crypto hedge funds” that aren’t suitable for institutional investment. By sifting through the good and the bad, Elwood hopes to create relatively safe crypto portfolios for institutional investors.
  • Ethereum Foundation Grants Millions to Developers: The Ethereum Foundation has revealed that it has awarded over $2.46 million in grants to developers of Ethereum 2.0 (Serenity). The funding will be given to nine groups, ost of which are working on testnets for this new iteration of the blockchain’s software, slated to allow for better transaction times and data throughput.

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