US Financial Services Firms Announce Crypto Initiatives; Crypto Firms Pursue LATAM Market; Products Launch in DAOs, NFTs; Exchange Hacked for $200M – JD Supra


Multiple US Financial Services Firms Announce Cryptocurrency Initiatives

By Robert A. Musiala Jr.

This week a major U.S. financial services firm announced the launch of a “Crypto Advisory Practice” that will leverage the firm’s work “with more than 60 crypto platforms … to help financial institutions evaluate … crypto opportunity, develop concrete strategies, and pilot new user experiences and innovations like crypto rewards programs and CBDC-integrated consumer wallets.” In a related development, the same financial services firm, along with other major U.S. financial services firms, participated in a $60 million Series B funding round for TRM Labs, a blockchain analytics and intelligence firm focused on detecting cryptocurrency-related fraud.

Also this week, another major U.S. financial services firm announced that five new cryptocurrency and digital assets firms have joined its “Start Path Crypto” startup engagement program. The five new startups joining the program are Ava Labs, Envel, Kash, LVL and NiftyKey.

Late last week, the world’s largest financial derivatives exchange announced that “it will expand its crypto derivatives offerings with the introduction of Micro Ether futures … pending regulatory review.” According to a press release, “Micro Ether futures will provide an efficient, cost-effective way for a range of market participants … to hedge their spot ether price risk or more nimbly execute ether trading strategies.”

In another development, the institutional cryptocurrency custody and service arm of a major U.S. financial services provider announced plans to collaborate with a cryptocurrency exchange “to launch a wide range of institutional-focused products.” And in a final notable item, this week a major U.S. technology firm opened a pilot program to a limited number of people in the United States, to allow users of its messaging app to send and receive cryptocurrency through its recently debuted cryptocurrency wallet.

For more information, please refer to the following links:

Crypto Firms Pursue LATAM Market, Launch Cold Storage and DAO Products

By Jordan R. Silversmith

In recent weeks, there have been various announcements related to cryptocurrency initiatives in the Latin American market. First, a Brazilian e-commerce corporation, Latin America’s largest by market value, announced that it is integrating a new blockchain infrastructure to allow users in Brazil to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies. Beginning later this month, users of the company’s digital wallet will be able to buy and sell bitcoin, ether and the stablecoin Pax dollar (USDP). In a second announcement, a major U.S. cryptocurrency exchange announced its new partnership with a Colombian bank. The partnership will provide bank customers with opportunities to seamlessly trade bitcoin, ether, litecoin and Bitcoin Cash through the U.S. crypto exchange. In a final development, a U.S. fintech firm announced a partnership with a Latin American crypto exchange and the Stellar Development Foundation to create a cross-border payment service for businesses. The service will leverage the Stellar blockchain and is geared toward small- and midsize enterprises, with the goal of enabling companies in Mexico to pay for goods and services in their native peso and have their counterparts in the United States receive the payments in dollars.

In other recent developments, a popular cryptocurrency “cold storage” hardware wallet provider announced a new crypto debit card in partnership with a major U.S. financial services firm. The hardware wallet provider also announced integrations with two major U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges. Separately, a U.S. cryptocurrency consulting company recently announced its new governance aggregator and voting platform for distributed autonomous organizations (DAOs). Noting the historical difficulty of participation processes in DAOs, the company hopes its new platform will make it easier to participate in and track DAO governance.

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New NFT Initiatives by Beer Co., Crypto Exchange; NFT Market Report Published

By Joanna F. Wasick

Last week, a major U.S. beer company announced it was celebrating its first beer can, which was first sold in 1936, by launching a series of 1,936 NFTs built on the Ethereum blockchain. Thirty-six of the NFTs are designated as “Gold NFTs” and cost $999; the other “Core NFTs” are priced at $499. The company says it looks forward to welcoming buyers to “the best beer community in the metaverse.”, a cryptocurrency financial services company, recently announced the launch of its NFT marketplace, where users will be able to browse, buy, sell and store NFTs on wallets. The announcement states that while the existing NFT market is undeniably new and exciting, it can be “far too complex and unintuitive.” states that its own marketplace solves the problem and makes handling NFTs as easy and accessible as dealing with cryptocurrencies.

This week, Chainalysis, a blockchain data platform, released its 2021 NFT Market Report. According to the report, in 2021, at least $26.9 billion worth of cryptocurrency was sent to Ethereum smart contracts associated with NFT marketplaces and collections. The report proceeds to examine the rising value of NFT investments, track the most popular NFT collections through various transactions and marketplaces, and analyze web traffic data to look at where most NFT users are located. The report also addresses factors that help NFT value retention and resale, such as creating and rewarding a cohesive community for NFT collections.

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Crypto Exchange Hacked for $200M, Lawsuit Targets Crypto Malware Botnet

By Lauren Bass

A Cayman Islands-based cryptocurrency trading platform reportedly suffered a large-scale security breach this weekend, as hackers stole close to $200 million in Ethereum- and Binance Smart Chain-based assets from the exchange. According to reports, the funds were stolen from hot wallets accessed via a purloined private key; hackers then used a decentralized exchange aggregator and cryptocurrency mixer to launder the money. The trading exchange has reportedly announced plans to resume trading activity and compensate affected users.

In related news, a multinational technology conglomerate has reportedly filed a lawsuit against the operators of a blockchain-enabled botnet. The malicious botnet was allegedly using the Bitcoin blockchain to target available computer servers and then hijacking systems to mine cryptocurrency. According to reports, the litigation pending in S.D.N.Y. was designed to “create legal liability for the botnet operators” and to help deter future attacks.

For more information, please refer to the following links:

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