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Gemini to Launch Reward-Based Crypto Debit Card Service via Its Acquisition of Blockrize

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With more companies entering the card services niche, Gemini will be developing new value-added services that will distinguish its cards from the pack.

Unites States-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has unveiled it will be rolling out a cryptocurrency debit card for which users can earn Bitcoin (BTC) based on their purchases. According to a report from The Block, the crypto debit card service which appears to be the growing attraction amongst cryptocurrency firms today will be spawned through Blockrize, a blockchain-based startup acquired by Gemini back in October 2020.

Many details are yet to be revealed about the proposed debit cards but the cards will churn out rewards as high as 3% of total purchases customers make which will be paid out in Bitcoin (BTC), and others yet to be named altcoins. As Gemini exchange’s Chief Operating Officer, Noah Perlman told The Block in an interview, the small team of four from Blockrize joined Gemini when the startup was acquired, and the two teams are working assiduously to rollout the product later this year.

The crypto debit card from Gemini will be “a great way for customers to invest in crypto, get exposure to the asset class, and then be able to sort of get the gains almost like a passive investment,” Perlman said, “And then to the extent that there’s an increase in the value of those assets, that will accrue to them.”

The Gemini executive also reiterated that the fact that digital assets increase in value over time amid inflationary tendencies spiked by the devaluing nature of traditional assets will naturally endear the product to new users.

“Financial rewards are changing,” said Perlman. “Consumers are likely less eager to earn hotel points or airline miles, not just because of COVID, but obviously because they’re consistently devalued and even cash back in some cases. One of the compelling aspects of crypto is the fact that it’s an inflationary hedge.”

Gemini Crypto Card vs Other Firms’ Offerings

Gemini exchange will not be the pioneering crypto firm to unveil plans for crypto debit card products. BlockFi made similar announcements in December 2020 but its own offering will lag behind Gemini’s as the reward rate is set at 1.5% per transaction completed. Neither Gemini nor BlockFi’s cards have hit the market yet so determining the level of acceptance at this time may be overstretched.

Coinbase also has a card product to reward 1% in BTC, and 4% in Stellar Lumens but users will have to make purchases using their crypto holdings to earn the rewards.

With more companies entering the card services niche, Gemini will be developing new value-added services that will distinguish its cards from the pack according to Perlman. The company has opened a Waitlist for the card and those who have gotten on the Waitlist with Blockrize are automatically enlisted according to TechCrunch. Users will need to own a Gemini exchange account as the earnings will be deposited right into it.

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Benjamin Godfrey

Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.

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Blockchain

CBOE files to list Van Eck’s proposed Bitcoin ETF

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Globally leading exchange holding company, Chicago Board Options Exchange, or CBOE, has filed to list the Bitcoin exchange-traded fund proposed by asset manager, Van Eck.

CBOE filed a Form 19b-4 requesting permission to list the ETF from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 3. In the form, CBOE emphasizes the benefits an ETF would offer to retail investors over the spot Bitcoin markets, including custody:

“Exposure to bitcoin through an ETP also presents certain advantages for retail investors compared to buying spot bitcoin directly. The most notable advantage is the use of the Custodian to custody the Trust’s bitcoin assets.”

While CBOE did not reveal who its custodian is, the document notes its custodian is “a trust company chartered and regulated by [the New York Department of Financial Services].”

Once the SEC has formally acknowledged it is reviewing the application, the regulator has 45 days to deliver its verdict or extend the assessment deadline. The SEC can extend its deliberation period for up to 240 days before finalizing its decision.

If approved, the ETF would be the first crypto product offered by CBOE since February 2019, with CBOE having then ceased offering Bitcoin futures contracts. In December 2017, CBOE became the first regulated financial institution in the United States to offer Bitcoin futures contracts, beating out the Chicago Mercantile Exchange by just a couple of weeks.

In January, Van Eck filed for SEC approval of a Bitcoin ETF. While Van Eck had previously filed for a BItcoin ETF in 2017, the firm also teamed up with SolidX — a blockchain firm that had been attempting to bring a Bitcoin ETF to market since 2015 — to file for a jointly issued ETF in 2018. The joint application was withdrawn in September 2019, with the two firms parting ways shortly after.

However, Van Eck’s latest filing has become the subject of a lawsuit from SolidX, who alleges Van Eck plagiarized their product.

Van Eck also filed for an ETF tracking the performance of prominent crypto firms on Jan. 21. The product would seek the price and performance of the Global Digital Asset Equity Index — which is run by its subsidiary MV Index Solutions.

As of this writing, the SEC is yet to approve any crypto ETF product.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/cboe-files-to-list-van-eck-s-proposed-bitcoin-etf

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Coinbase custodies 11% of entire crypto capitalization

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Crypto data aggregator Messari has reported that the quantity of crypto assets stored in custody on U.S. exchange giant Coinbase surged in the last quarter of 2020.

Messari Crypto has revealed that as much as 11% of the entire crypto market capitalization was held with Coinbase custody at the end of last year. The Coinbase offers custody services for over 90 crypto assets, roughly half of which are tradable on Coinbase’s exchange.

The value of assets custodied with Coinbase spiked to roughly $90 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 as the combined crypto capitalization more than doubled to tag $780 billion by 2021.

Despite the wide variety of assets supported by Coinbase Custody, Messari found that Bitcoin and Ethereum account for 83% of the cryptocurrency held with Coinbase.

While Bitcoin consistently represented 70% of the assets custodied with Coinbase during 2019 and 2020, Ethereum increased from 9% to 13% over the same period.

The findings were published in a report examining Coinbase’s anticipated public listing that was compiled by Messari researcher Mira Christanto.

Christanto reported that 95% of Coinbase trading revenues are from retail clients, who pay 30 times more than institutional customers. She also noted a pre-IPO valuation at 7% of the total crypto market cap which would equate to around $107 billion according to the sector’s current market cap of $1.54 trillion.

According to the S-1 report Coinbase submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 25, the exchange posted a direct revenue of $1.1 billion in 2020 mostly from trading fees.

In a Feb. 25 blog post to its clients, Coinbase revealed that Bitcoin and other crypto assets have comprised a major share of its corporate treasury since the company’s founding back in 2012.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/coinbase-custodies-11-of-entire-crypto-capitalization

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Leverage traders ‘flushed out’ by late-February crypto crash: Glassnode

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According to on-chain analytics provider, Glassnode, the late-February crypto market correction may have purged excessive leverage from the markets.

On March 1, Glassnode published a report analyzing the recent crypto crash — which was only the second significant crypto correction since the markets pushed into new record highs in late 2020.

Glassnodenoted the crash peaked with a 25% fall from the local top of $58,300 to $43,343. As such, the move was weaker than January’s dip which saw a roughly 30% retracement from $42,000 to less than $30,000.

The analytics provider suggested that these pullbacks are positive for the crypto markets overall, attributing the latest correction to liquidated leveraged positions held by risky speculators:

“Significant market corrections are positive events in that they flush out speculation, leverage, weak hands, and test holder conviction.”

The report added that several key market indicators were reset as BTC prices found fresh support, including futures open interest, futures funding rates, and the price premium for Grayscale’s investment products.

Futures open interest, which is the total number of outstanding contracts that have not been settled, dropped almost $4 billion or 22% from its peak of $18.4 billion. Glassnode also commented noted perpetual futures funding rates have also reset close to zero, which could indicate that traders are not willing to enter short positions, stating:

“Previous combinations of decreasing open interest and a reset of funding rates have indicated a flush in speculative trading has occurred.”

However, the report did note that open interest is still hovering roughly $2.5 billion above the previous peak of $3.9 billion on Feb. 21 — meaning there is still significant leverage within the market.

Glassnode also noted that shares in Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust are trading at a discount compared to spot market prices for the first time ever, with investors paying a nearly 4% discount to access exposure to BTC through Grayscale’s trust.

It added that competing products such as Canada’s Purpose ETF could diminish Grayscale’s premium as more institutional products enter the market and close arbitrage opportunities.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin prices were up 5.3% over the past 24 hours, with BTC currently changing hands for $49,200.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/leverage-traders-flushed-out-by-late-february-crypto-crash-glassnode

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