News Headlines (19th MAR 2024)

Grab is letting users make payments via cryptocurrencies, the super app’s crypto payments partner, Triple-A, said in a statement.

The super app offers ride-hailing, food delivery and digital payments in South Asia. It is present in eight nations in the region, but the current development appears to only apply to Singapore.

“Grab has partnered with licensed payments provider Triple-A to enable users to top up their GrabPay Wallet via Digital Payment Tokens. Currently available in Singapore, Grab will continue to monitor user adoption and respond to demand for such services,” Grab said in a statement.

British multinational Standard Chartered isn’t just bullish on Bitcoin—Ethereum is also going to the moon, its analysts say.

A Monday report from the bank claimed that the second-biggest digital asset could hit $8,000 by the end of this year, and $14,000 is possible by the time 2025 is up.

If, that is, spot Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) get approved, Geoffrey Kendrick, head of forex and crypto research at the firm, said in the note.

Arkansas Representative French Hill, who chairs the United States House Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion, plans to take over leadership of the full committee following Patrick McHenry’s departure.

According to a March 17 Punchbowl News report, Hill is one of the contenders to chair the full financial services committee starting in January 2025, when McHenry’s term will end. McHenry announced in December 2023 that he did not plan to seek reelection after 20 years in office.

Hill has chaired the digital assets subcommittee since its creation in January 2023 and serves as vice chair of the full House committee. Under his and McHenry’s leadership, the committee has conducted hearings into crypto-related issues, including the financing of terrorism and money laundering.

According to PANews, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued a warning to the public about a suspicious website operating under the name ‘KKR Global,’ which is impersonating a licensed institution and engaging in virtual asset-related fraudulent activities. The website is posing as the SFC-licensed institution KKR Capital Markets Asia Limited and is allegedly involved in virtual asset fraud, claiming to have its headquarters in Hong Kong. Victims have reported being solicited to invest in cryptocurrency products on the website through instant messaging applications. They later encountered difficulties when attempting to withdraw funds from the site and were asked to pay high ‘fees’ to ‘verify their wallets.’

Binance CEO Richard Teng shared his bitcoin outlook and price forecast at an event in Bangkok on Sunday. Teng took over as the chief executive of Binance after Changpeng Zhao (CZ) stepped down in November last year following the crypto exchange’s $4.3 billion settlement with U.S. authorities.

Teng explained that U.S. spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have seen significant inflows since their approval in January, adding that he expects more endowments and family offices to increase allocations to these funds in the near future.

A market dynamic that characterized bitcoin’s (BTC) recent rally to record highs has changed, signaling a weaker stateside demand for the leading cryptocurrency.

The seven-day moving average of the so-called Coinbase Premium indicator, which tracks the spread between bitcoin’s prices on the Nasdaq-listed Coinbase (COIN) exchange and the offshore giant Binance, has flipped negative, according to data tracked by CryptoQuant.

In other words, bitcoin is now trading at a discount on Coinbase, which serves as custodian for eight of the 11 spot ETFs that debuted in the U.S. two months ago.

The global crypto market cap has contracted by 8% since yesterday, having dropped below $2.5 trillion after last week getting within 5% of matching its all-time high market capitalization crypto markets last saw in early November 2021.

At the time of writing, the Bitcoin price is $63,142.39 after having briefly dropped below the $63,000 mark, according to CoinGecko data. It’s been a rapid change of scenery for Bitcoin traders. BTC set a new all-time high by inching above $73,000 last week.

Crypto investment firm Galaxy Asset Management has exceeded $10 billion in assets under management (AUM) for the first time, citing a surge of institutional interest in digital assets.

On March 19, Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz shared the milestone on X, saying i was part of “continuous progress in enabling investor access to the growing digital economy.”

In a company blog post updated on March 18, Galaxy Asset Management (GAM) reported preliminary AUM of $10.1 billion as of Feb. 29, 2024.

The firm’s assets increased by 24.8% in February, “primarily driven by market appreciation,” but were partially offset by net outflows from an “ongoing opportunistic mandate.”

According to Foresight News, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) has announced plans to gather information on diversifying investments, including cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, gold, forests, and farmland with lower liquidity. Currently, GPIF has diversified its investments in traditional stocks, bonds, and some alternative assets like infrastructure and real estate. As of December 2023, the fund’s assets under management reached approximately JPY 225 trillion, making it one of the largest pension funds in the world.

Argentine lawmakers introduced new requirements for virtual asset services providers (VASPs) operating in the country. In a session on March 14, the Argentine Senate unanimously voted to pass a law that amends the current regulatory framework for cryptocurrency exchanges and other crypto-related companies to comply with anti-money laundering controls.

The amendment determined the creation of a VASP registry managed by the securities enforcer in Argentina, the CNV. Also, the law determines different obligations for these companies, including delivering personal customer data and other info to “increase transparency, traceability, and monitoring of operations and users.”