The world’s adoption of digital assets is accelerating thanks to banks offering Bitcoin and Ethereum products and services. Every week there’s news of institutions finding ways to get exposure to digital assets through accepting them as payments, adding them to their balance sheet, or just outright buying it.
Here are just a few of the top news stories.
Palantir Accepts Bitcoin and May Add it to Their Balance Sheet.
In a conference call this week, Palantir CFO David Glazer revealed that the company accepts bitcoin as a form of payment and is considering adding BTC to its balance sheet. Palantir, a software company, specializing in big data analytics, joins a growing list of institutions now accepting cryptocurrencies as payment.
Digital European Bond Settled on Ethereum Blockchain
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has issued a €100 million bond using the Ethereum blockchain in a transaction settled with a supply of digital euros issued by France’s central bank.
EIB Vice President Mourinho Félix commented on the move: “Innovation at the EIB goes beyond the projects we are supporting. As a global leader in the green and sustainability bond markets, the EIB is clearly well‑placed to lead the way now in the issuance of digital bonds on the blockchain. These digital bonds will play a role in giving the Bank quicker and more streamlined access to alternative sources of finance to boost finance for projects across the globe.”
Aave Creates Private Lending Pool for Institutions
In a Tweet this week, Stani Kulechov revealed that Aave, a leading lending protocol on the Ethereum blockchain, has begun testing compliance features of a private pool built specifically for institutions interested in entering the world of DeFi, signaling that Aave, like many DeFi protocols, is anticipating a rise in institutional adoption in the near future.
Goldman Sachs Launches Crypto Trading Desk
According to an internal memo obtained by CNBC, Goldman Sachs has launched a new cryptocurrency trading desk as part of the bank’s overall digital assets effort. The desk has successfully traded bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards.
In the memo, Goldman partner Rajesh Venkataramani reports, “Looking ahead, as we continue to broaden our market presence, albeit, in a measured way, we are selectively onboarding new liquidity providers to help us in expanding our offering.”
Block.one is Bullish, Launches New Exchange with Thiel Capital, and Galaxy Digital.
Block.one has launched Bullish, a new crypto exchange, to challenge Coinbase and other industry stalwarts. Set to go live in the second half of 2021, the exchange is launching with $10b in funding, backed by Peter Thiel’s Thiel Capital and Founders Fund, Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, among other big names.
Bullish plans to combine the performance and compliance of standard exchanges with all of the benefits of DeFi market structure. Its size and scale, combined with the experience of the team, could make it a contender in the institutional/exchange industry.
Bitcoin ETF just Around The Corner According to Bloomberg ETF Analyst
According to Bloomberg’s ETF analyst Eric Balchunas, a bitcoin ETF could be on its way. Balchunas, who attributes his optimism to the increasing institutional adoption, explained, “The institutional adoption of crypto is much greater, you have the intense growth of ‘default’ crypto products like (Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust) which are not ideal for retail investors and the SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) knows this.”
CitiBank Joins Growing List of Banks Adopting Bitcoin
CitiBank might be next to join the growing list of banks adopting bitcoin. This week, Italy Tuchman told the Financial Times that the bank was considering offering crypto services, including trading, custody, and financing.
If it follows through with its crypto adoption, Citi will join JPMorgan, BNY Mellon, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and BlackRock.UBS Group AG is in the early stages of a plan to offer digital currency investments to wealthy customers. UBS released a statement on the topic, saying, “We are monitoring the developments in the field of digital assets closely. Importantly, we are most interested in the technology which underpins digital assets, namely the distributed ledger technology.”