WisdomTree amends Bitcoin ETF application, naming US Bank as custodian

U.S. Bank launched crypto custody services for institutional investors in October as part of a partnership with New York Digital Investment Group.

New York-based asset manager WisdomTree has amended its filing for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund with the Securities and Exchange Commission to name U.S. Bank as its custodian. 

In a Wednesday filing, WisdomTree listed U.S. Bank National Association as the custodian for shares of its Bitcoin (BTC) trust. The filing is an amendment to its March 11 registration for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, or ETF, submitted to the SEC prior to U.S. Bank offering crypto custody services for institutional investors.

On Dec. 2, the SEC rejected a proposed rule change from the Cboe BZX Exchange to list and trade shares of WisdomTree’s Bitcoin Trust. It’s unclear if the recent amendment is aimed at resetting the clock on a new spot Bitcoin ETF application, given WisdomTree waited 265 days between its initial filing and the SEC rejection. A separate ETF application for WisdomTree’s Ethereum Trust submitted to the SEC in May is still under review.

Related: US is ‘unquestionably’ behind the curve on crypto ETFs, says Brian Brooks

With more than $76 billion in assets under management, WisdomTree has also launched four cryptocurrency indices in the United States and Europe to provide diversified portfolio exposure to investors. In addition, the company already has an exchange-traded product with exposure to a basket of cryptocurrencies on Euronext exchanges in Paris and Amsterdam.

Regulators in the United States have yet to approve a cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund. However, the SEC gave the green light to products linked to crypto futures, including BTC futures ETFs from investment managers ProShares and Valkyrie. Other U.S. firms including Fidelity have successfully applied with Canadian regulators for ETFs with direct exposure to crypto.

MicroStrategy purchases $82M in Bitcoin, now holds 122,478 coins

MicroStrategy’s holdings are valued at more than $5.9 billion, representing more than $2.2 billion in gains since its initial purchase in August 2020.

Business intelligence firm MicroStrategy has added 1,434 Bitcoin to its coffers after purchasing the crypto asset at an average price of $57,477.

According to a Thursday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, MicroStrategy purchased 1,434 Bitcoin (BTC) between Nov. 29 and Dec. 8 for roughly $82.4 million, making its total holdings 122,478 BTC. With the recent buy, MicroStrategy’s holdings are valued at more than $5.9 billion, representing more than $2.2 billion in gains.

Since making its initial $250-million Bitcoin investment in August 2020, MicroStrategy has gone on to purchase billions of dollars in Bitcoin in separate buys using the company’s cash on hand in addition to sales of convertible senior notes in private offerings to institutional buyers. Though there are cases in which the business intelligence firm bought the dip, some buys followed the price surges in early 2021 when the BTC price was more than $50,000.

Related: MicroStrategy pledges to buy more BTC despite paper loss on its holdings of $424.8M in Q2

According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, the price of Bitcoin is $48,684 at the time of publication, having fallen more than 25% in the last 30 days. The crypto asset has been hovering near $50,000 since dipping to the $42,000s on Friday.

Kickstarter plans to migrate to platform built on Celo blockchain

“We are entering a significant moment for alternative governance models, and we think there’s an important opportunity to advance these efforts using the blockchain,” said Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hasan and co-founder Perry Chen.

Crowdfunding platform Kickstarter will be launching a new company that will eventually see its website move to a blockchain-based system on Celo. 

In a Wednesday blog post, CEO Aziz Hasan and co-founder Perry Chen said Kickstarter would be developing an open-source protocol that will live on the Celo blockchain. The two execs cited the blockchain’s efforts in minimizing its environmental impact — being carbon negative — in addition to the fact it was open source.

“We are entering a significant moment for alternative governance models, and we think there’s an important opportunity to advance these efforts using the blockchain,” said Chen and Hasan.

Bloomberg reported that Kickstarter planned to transition its website to the blockchain platform in 2022, with the project announcing it would release a white paper “in the coming weeks.” Kickstarter reportedly said the migration will not affect any of the millions of users currently using the platform to crowdfund for projects including medical and fitness products, artwork, books, and movies.

In addition, Kickstarter said it planned to establish a governance lab “overseeing the development of the protocol governance.” Purpose Foundation executive director and co-founder Camille Canon will be leading the effort.

Related: A Community-Governed DeFi Platform Makes Crowdfunding Decentralized

With the emerging crypto space, certain projects that might have received money through Kickstarter have shifted to distributed autonomous organizations. In November, a group called ConstitutionDAO attempted to purchase a first edition print copy of the U.S. Constitution, in which 17,437 backers were issued governance tokens called PEOPLE. Though the DAO failed to make the winning bid, its token price surged after the team behind the project allowed users to continue holding the tokens.

First launched in 2009, Kickstarter reported 21 million people have pledged more than $6 billion to back 213,034 projects using the crowdfunding platform, including the Peloton bike and the 2014 movie Veronica Mars.

Dan Tapiero’s 10T will launch $500M fund for late-stage crypto firms

With the addition of the new fund, 10T Holdings’ assets under management would likely exceed $1 billion.

Macro investor Dan Tapiero is launching another multimillion dollar fund intended to invest in mid- to late-stage companies in the digital asset ecosystem.

According to a Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, Tapiero and his 10T Holdings partners Michael Dubilier and Stan Miroshnik have given the regulatory body notice of a $500 million growth equity fund for crypto and blockchain firms. The filing shows the fund has not yet sold any of the original investment.

The 10T DAE Fund 3.0 is the third to come from the growth equity firm, following a $200 million fund launched in February and a $750 million fund in September. The company lists 14 crypto and blockchain firms in its portfolio, including Kraken, eToro, Huobi, Mercado Bitcoin, Gemini, Bitfury and Ledger. With the addition of the $500 million fund, 10T Holdings’ assets under management (AUM) would likely exceed $1 billion — its website lists $770 million AUM at the time of publication.

Tapiero is no stranger to investments, but prior to the crypto boom, some of his business was in gold. The 10T Holdings founder also helped co-found Gold Bullion International in 2009 and has been actively speaking about the potential of the crypto ecosystem, including Bitcoin (BTC), as the adoption of digital assets accelerates.

Related: Why Dan Tapiero expects a massive Bitcoin shortage

According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, the BTC price is $51,140 at the time of publication, having risen more than 20% since dipping to a monthly low to the $42,000s on Dec. 3. However, Cointelegraph reported there are indications that institutional investors are still looking to buy crypto.

Projects are collecting Toys for Tots crypto donations this holiday season

“The cryptocurrency bull market has been good to all of us in this industry and this holiday season is the perfect time to pay it forward,” said Unbanked co-CEO Ian Kane.

This holiday season, fintech provider Unbanked will be enabling crypto donations for Toys for Tots, a program run by the United States Marine Corps that collects toys to distribute to disadvantaged children.

In a Dec. 2 announcement, Unbanked said it would be allowing users to donate cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) as part of a fundraising effort for Toys for Tots. Until Dec. 20, good Samaritans can send any amount of money towards the program which has given 604 million toys to 272 million children across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“The cryptocurrency bull market has been good to all of us in this industry and this holiday season is the perfect time to pay it forward,” said Unbanked co-CEO Ian Kane. “We naturally wanted to use the benefits of crypto to give back during this holiday season.”

Unbanked does not exclusively represent all crypto users’ philanthropic endeavors, however. A project operating under the name Elf Token reported it has received $41,200 to be used toward purchases for Toys for Tots as of Dec. 4, with a goal of raising $100,000 over the holiday season. In addition, the Giving Block, a platform which allows non-profit organizations and charities to accept donations in crypto, currently enables donations using many tokens for the toy collection program.

Related: Charity platform expects significantly larger crypto than fiat donations for Giving Tuesdayx

Charities, universities, faith-based organizations and others have stepped up the number and amount of donations in crypto as part of Giving Tuesday this year. Cointelegraph reported on Dec. 2 that the Giving Block raised $2.4 million in crypto this year, representing a 583% increase from the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in 2020. The platform is aiming to raise more than $100 million in crypto donations by the end of the year.