🔴 Banks Bet Big on Bitcoin

Banks bet big on bitcoin, Binance purchases a stake in Forbes and a tropical island crypto utopia? These stories and more this week in crypto.

Banking giant Wells Fargo published a report saying it’s not too late to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The bank drew a comparison between Bitcoin and the adoption of the internet in the 1990s, arguing that cryptocurrencies have been following a similar adoption pattern, and adding that it often takes many years for real adoption to occur. Meanwhile another investment bank, JP Morgan has increased its long-term price prediction for BTC to $150,000 – although they did not provide a definition for long term.

The world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, is making a strategic $200 million investment in Forbes, the 104-year-old media outlet. Binance will replace half of the institutional investment that had previously been committed and the exchange will become one of the top two largest owners of Forbes.

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager is focused on offering a cryptocurrency trading service to its clients, according to insiders. The New York-based company, which manages over $10 trillion in assets, plans to enter the cryptocurrency space with client support trading and then with their own credit facility, meaning clients could borrow from BlackRock by pledging crypto assets as collateral.

Russia will regulate rather than ban cryptocurrencies. The government and central bank in Russia have finally reached an agreement and authorities are now working on a draft law that will define crypto as an analogue of currencies rather than digital financial assets. The news comes after months of speculation that Russia would call for an industry-wide ban.

The US Justice Department has seized 94,000 bitcoins from a New York couple charged with the 2016 hack of the Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange. Worth $71m at the time it was stolen, the recovered bitcoin is now valued at more than $3.6bn. Netflix has already announced that it will tell the story of what it calls “the biggest criminal financial crime case in history”.

The Canadian branch of the global accounting firm, KPMG, has allocated part of its corporate treasury to bitcoin and ethereum. KPMG declined to disclose the amount but revealed that it acquired the assets through Gemini’s custody services. The investment reflects their belief that institutional adoption of crypto assets and blockchain technology will continue to grow.

McDonald’s has filed for a series of trademarks for a virtual restaurant that will deliver food online in the metaverse. One of the trademarks was for virtual food and beverage products, including NFTs, while another included operating a virtual restaurant online featuring home delivery. The fast-food chain joins a long list of companies that plan to cash in on the metaverse.

A retired British property investor is aiming to make a small island in Vanuatu into a sustainable smart city for cryptocurrency investors from around the world. The island is planned to be a regulation-free crypto utopia and has already been named Satoshi, after bitcoin’s anonymous inventor.

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That’s what’s happened this week in crypto, see you next week.