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 Cleared by CFTC, Will Launch Bitcoin Futures in September: That’s right folks, Bakkt is finally ready to (fully) launch its Bitcoin futures contract to the world. Announced via a surprising blog post on Friday, the cryptocurrency exchange, which has been backed by players like the New York Stock Exchange, Microsoft Ventures, and Starbucks, has received NYDFS and CFTC — the two financial regulators involved in such cryptocurrency vehicles — clearance to offer its physically-deliverable Bitcoin futures to clients. The prominent startup is eyeing a September 23rd launch date. This announcement may do much for the growth of the space. Fundstrat Global Advisors claims that there is “institutional anticipation” for the product. Sam Doctor of the research firm added in a note that there “appears to be a critical mass of adopters ready to come on board on Day 1 of the Bakkt launch”, noting that the firm’s sales team is starting to ramp up discussions with everyone from brokers and market makers.
- IRS Continues Crypto Crackdown… And It’s Not Done Yet: The Internal Revenue Service of the U.S. has continued its crackdown on American crypto investors, recently issuing yet another round of letters. The letters, according to CoinDesk, were sent to those that the IRS believes are skirting taxes on cryptocurrency trades. This comes shortly after the tax agency sent a preliminary warning to thousands of Coinbase users. A slide deck leaked on Twitter suggested that the IRS is likely to only expand its cryptocurrency-related collection efforts.
- Coinbase Picks up Xapo’s Institutional Custody Division: According to Fortune, Coinbase has acquired Xapo’s institutional custody business. for $55 million, outbidding Wall Street’s Fidelity Investments It isn’t clear if any of Xapo’s employees or executives will be jumping ship. But, it has been confirmed by a source that a “majority of Xapo’s largest clients” will be transferring their assets to Coinbase’s custody unit, which now owns over 514,000 BTC — wow. It is important to note that with this deal, Xapo isn’t leaving the crypto custodian business. Far from, in fact. Speaking with Fortune, Casares has stated that it will still have control over its famous Swiss vault, which he claims will be used to store Bitcoin on behalf of Xapo’s retail clients.
- Binance US
- Ripple Injects Millions Worth of Crypto XRP Into xPring Ecosystem: The Ripple-backed accelerator Xpring has granted Coil, a web monetization platform, a one billion XRP grant. Coil will purportedly use these funds to help the platform spawn an ecosystem of people to use the platform.
- UK Advertising Authority Lambasts Bitcoin Exchange BitMEX: The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently began a campaign against popular Bitcoin exchange BitMEX. The point of contention is an ad that BitMEX pushed to The Times in January of this year, which included a chart of the Bitcoin price over time. The watchdog believes that the company didn’t properly use a logarithmic graph. Bizarre, right?
- Huge — Dallas Mavericks to Accept Bitcoin Through BitPay: Despite the fact that it may be just a PR stunt, the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, owned by Mark Cuban, will now be accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment for game tickets and merchandise. Announced via a press release on August 13th, the Dallas Mavericks has become the second team in the NBA to directly accept Bitcoin. Per the release and tweets posted by those involved in this sudden move, BitPay will be the payment processor in this move. The Mavericks is the second Bitcoin-friendly NBA team. The first NBA adopter of the cryptocurrency is the Sacramento Kings, who famously began to accept Bitcoin for certain products, including tickets, back in 2014.
- South Korean Social Media Giant Kakao to Launch Crypto Wallet: Pro-blockchain social media giant Kakao, which is the firm behind South Korea’s most used messaging application, will be launching a crypto wallet later this year. This project has been hinted at for months. It is currently unclear what the wallet, dubbed “Klip”, will do and what crypto assets it will support.
- New Zealand Legalizes Bitcoin Salaries: New Zealand cryptocurrency industry members are now legally allowed to be paid in digital assets, with certain restrictions. You (especially if you’re someone involved in the industry) might be asking, “why does this need to be legalized/clarified?” Well, according to the new New Zealand Inland Revenue Department bulletin, it will allow companies to deduct income taxes using the current pay as you earn framework.