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Old Mutual Wealth appointed to manage cash reserves of rand-backed stablecoin ZARP

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Old Mutual Wealth appointed to manage cash reserves of rand-backed stablecoin ZARP

Old Mutual Wealth appointed to manage cash reserves of rand-backed stablecoin ZARP Cynthia Chung · 11 hours ago · 1 min read

ZARP, the only bank-approved stablecoin in South Africa, is enlisting Old Mutual’s help to enhance its project’s trust and attest to its token’s credibility.

1 min read

Updated: September 15, 2022 at 2:33 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

ZARP appointed South African financial services group Old Mutual Wealth to manage the cash reserves of its stablecoin, which is pegged to the price of the South African rand(ZAR), in hopes of enhancing trust.

ZARP is the only audited and bank-approved stablecoin in South Africa.

Connecting RAND and ZARP

Rand reserves fully back ZARP tokens. Each ZARP token holds one rand in the project’s treasury reserves.

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According to an attestation report published on May 16, more than $3.9 million worth of ZARP tokens is in circulation. It is important for stablecoins to be fully collateralized by a conventional fiat currency to ensure they cover each stablecoin issued

ZARPs’ focus on decentralized finance

ZARP tokens offer cryptocurrency users access to rand value on the blockchain and the ability to spend the rand currency on DeFi protocols.

DeFi protocols are smart contracts that support online marketplaces where users can exchange products and services globally and peer-to-peer without needing an intermediary. They also serve as a place for users to earn interest, borrow funds and invest with stablecoins.

The new ZARP and Old Mutual partnership

The founders of ZARP, Simon Dingle and Kenny Inngs, explained that they designed the token to set the standard for stablecoin auditing in South Africa and possess attestation of their audited cash reserves.

Therefore, the partnership with Old Mutual will allow ZARP to tap the reputation of one of the country’s oldest and most trusted institutions. Zarp also said the partnership will add a “new dimension of trust” to the stablecoin project through continuous auditing and support from the financial giant.

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Research: Grayscale’s GBTC drops to all-time low of $12.5K; conversion to spot ETF could trigger rebound

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Research: Grayscale’s GBTC drops to all-time low of $12.5K; conversion to spot ETF could trigger rebound

Research: Grayscale’s GBTC drops to all-time low of $12.5K; conversion to spot ETF could trigger rebound Christian Nwobodo · 2 hours ago · 2 min read

Prior to Feb. 2021, GBTC was trading at a premium of up to 20%. As of Sept. 30, the share price has slipped into the discount area with its current price of $12,508 (priced with a -36.2% discount).

2 min read

Updated: October 4, 2022 at 5:37 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Grayscale’s bitcoin trust (GBTC) which started trading at a discount in Feb. 2021 has reached an all-time low of -36% when compared to the spot BTC price of $19,000.

Grayscale launched the first bitcoin trust in 2013, to provide institutional investors exposure to BTC through traditional instruments.

As of date, assets under management in the bitcoin trust are approximately $12.3 billion. Grayscale holds 635,240 BTC representing 3.3% of BTC’s circulating supply, with each BTC per share worth 0.00091748‡.

Prior to Feb. 2021, GBTC was trading at a premium of up to 20%. However, the share price has slipped into the discount area with its current price of $12,508 (priced with a -36.2% discount), as of Sept. 30. 2022.

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GBTC Price (via TradingView)

At the current 36.25% discount, institutional investors’ interest in GBTC remains at an all-time low. Delphi Digital Analyst Andrew Krohn noted that the increasing GBTC discount may suggest a declining interest of institutional investors in bitcoin.

Some suggest that the increasing discount illustrates subsiding institutional interest in Bitcoin, while others point to a wider offering of ETFs or alternative vehicles for BTC investment.

The interest of institutional investors may remain low until $GBTC starts getting closer to the net asset value of $BTC.

Will a spot ETF approval trigger the next bull run?

GBTC shares accrue a 2% fee annually and are subject to a six-month lock-up. If prices fall within the lock-up period, investors can not exit their position to cut the losses.

In recent times, cheaper bitcoin ETF options have been launched across Canada, Europe, and the US.  Management fees for ETFs are relatively cheaper and investors can enter and exit their position at will.

Grayscale moved to have its trust fund converted to ETF, but the SEC rejected the application. The firm has refilled its application for further consideration.

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According to Krohn, the GBTC discount trend may reverse as soon as the fund is converted into an ETF.

“If the SEC approves Grayscale’s request to turn the fund into an ETF, the discount could be erased rather quickly.”

With bitcoin increasingly reclaiming its reputation as digital gold, a spot ETF approval could imitate a similar trend as the first gold ETF.

The launch of the first Gold ETF “Gold Bullion Securities” in 2003, saw the price of Gold soar significantly over the years and now trades above $1709, up by 368%, since the first Gold ETF launch.

Expectedly, a spot bitcoin ETF approval will attract more institutional and retail investors, leading to increased demand and price for BTC, which could usher the crypto market into the next bull run.

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ARK Invest’s crypto strategies to offer top 20 crypto assets to wealth managers

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ARK Invest’s crypto strategies to offer top 20 crypto assets to wealth managers

ARK Invest’s crypto strategies to offer top 20 crypto assets to wealth managers Christian Nwobodo · 2 hours ago · 2 min read

ARK Invest has partnered with Eaglebrook to provide wealthy investors exposure to top 20 crypto assets through separately managed accounts.

2 min read

Updated: October 3, 2022 at 9:30 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Cathie Wood-led ARK Invest has inked a partnership with Eaglebrook Advisors to offer the ARK Cryptocurrency and ARK Cryptoasset strategies available as a separately managed account (SMA) for financial advisors and wealth managers.

Since 2015, ARK Invest has been involved in crypto equity and security investments. Through the ARK Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), the investment adviser has provided investors exposure to crypto assets investments.

Eaglebrook offers separately management accounts (SMAs) for wealth managers and advisors to gain direct exposure to digital assets on behalf of their clients.

ARK CEO Cathie Wood said that the partnership with Eaglebrook will introduce a new asset class to the wealth management industry.

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She added that::

“The strategies will be separately managed accounts (SMAs) designed to meet the needs of financial advisors, wealth managers, and their clients by offering direct ownership, low minimums, and portfolio reporting integration amongst other benefits.”

ARK Crypto Strategies coming to Wealth Managers

ARK Crypto Strategies are designed to leverage blockchain’s promise to bring revolution across money, finance, and the internet.

The ARK Cryptocurrency Strategy is a high conviction portfolio that invests primarily in bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The strategy seeks to capitalize on the monetary revolution as the two flagship assets are expected to be uncorrelated to other asset classes or traditional systems in the long term.

On the other hand, the ARK Cryptoasset Strategy will invest only in the top 10-20 coins, which ARK has identified as having the potential to drive the financial and internet revolutions. The assets will be selected across smart contract networks, decentralized finance, web3, and infrastructure and scaling solutions.

Despite the global crypto market shedding over $2 trillion since its peak in Nov. 2021, ARK Invest Cryptoasset Analyst Yassine Elmandjra believes the time is right for investors to enter the market leveraging ARK’s Crypto Strategies.

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“We’re thrilled to be offering actively managed crypto strategies to advisors during a time when, we believe, much of the speculative behaviors have died down. We believe this presents an attractive entry point for investors.”

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MicroStrategy seeks to hire Bitcoin Lightning Software Engineer

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MicroStrategy seeks to hire Bitcoin Lightning Software Engineer

MicroStrategy seeks to hire Bitcoin Lightning Software Engineer Christian Nwobodo · 6 mins ago · 1 min read

The software engineer will work with the team to build out its Lightning Network-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform.

1 min read

Updated: September 30, 2022 at 5:50 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Michael Saylor-led MicroStrategy is looking to expand its Bitcoin Lightning Dev team by hiring a new software engineer.

MicroStrategy’s R&D team has been working to develop a suite of Lightning solutions, including Lightning wallet, enterprise servers, and enterprise authentication.

According to the job posting, the software engineer will work with the team to build out its Lightning Network-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform.

The Lightning solution will help enterprises manage data for thousands of employees, combat cyber-security challenges, and enable new eCommerce use cases.

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Expectedly, the ideal Engineer should have experience building on the Bitcoin blockchain as well as contributing to Bitcoin Core and other open-source projects.

MicroStrategy’s Chairman Michael Saylor earlier mentioned that once the Lightning infrastructure rolls out, it will bring Bitcoin adoption to over 10 million customers.

Saylor bullish on Lightning network

As a vocal Bitcoin Maximalist, Saylor has argued that the Bitcoin Lightning Network is the most important technology being developed in the world of technology.

According to Saylor, Lightning Network helps developers get the best from highly scalable dApps while leveraging the trusted security of the underlying Bitcoin layer.

‘The ethos of bitcoin is to go very carefully and not move fast on the base layer without the universal consensus, but in Lightning, you can move much more aggressively developing functionality and take more risks with the applications than you can with the underlying Bitcoin layer.

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