Bentley Motors gears up to drop its Genesis NFT collection on Polygon Jinia Shawdagor · 2 hours ago · 1 min read
Bentley believes NFTs can help transform the luxury automotive space just like they disrupted the art industry.
Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate
British luxury car manufacturer Bentley Motors Limited is dipping its toes into the Web3 ecosystem with the launch of a non-fungible token (NFT) collection on Ethereum scaling platform Polygon, the company announced today.
Today we announce our first venture into the NFT marketplace with a one-time NFT drop on the carbon-neutral @0xPolygon network, scheduled for September 2022 and limited to just 208 pieces. Discover more: https://t.co/hWnrz69L4g pic.twitter.com/ppSqq5MRAS
— Bentley Motors (@BentleyMotors) June 22, 2022
According to the announcement, the one-time NFT collection is set to drop in September 2022 and will feature 208 pieces only. The number of NFTs is symbolic in that it represents the highest speed of Bentley’s fastest Grand Tourer – the Continental GT Speed. 208 also represents the total number of the 1952 R-Type Continental.
Building a greener future
Bentley Design will be in charge of creating the NFT collection. Collectors that purchase the NFTs will get unique access and rewards from Bentley. The car manufacturer did not disclose the NFTs’ price tag.
However, Bentley promised to direct the sale’s proceeds towards supporting students interested in engineering, design, and manufacturing. Additionally, the company plans to use the funds to support organizations that push for sustainability, especially in the transportation industry.
The car manufacturer chose to drop its NFT collection on Polygon because the network is carbon neutral. Per the announcement, the Bentley NFTs will be eco-friendly, helping the company build on its commitment to achieving end-to-end carbon neutrality by 2030.
NFTs continue catching on among vehicle manufacturers
Through today’s announcement, Bentley has become the second automobile company to enter the NFT market. Hyundai came first after collaborating with NFT project Meta Kongz in April. This partnership is part of Hyundai’s Metamobility, the company’s concept of the metaverse.
Hyundai and Meta Kongz marked the partnership by launching 30 limited edition Hyundai x Meta Kongz NFTs.
Russian Parliament Adopts Tax Rules For Digital Assets
Russian lawmakers have approved amendments regulating the taxation of transactions with digital assets. The legislation concerns business operations with cryptocurrencies and tokens. In some cases, the burden for Russian companies will be reduced as compared to foreign entities.
Russian Duma Passes Law to Tax Crypto Transactions
A bill amending the Tax Code of the Russian Federation to allow the authorities in Moscow to tax operations with digital financial assets (DFAs) has been approved on second, third, and final reading in the State Duma, the lower house of Russian parliament.
The legislation clarifies various aspects of the taxation of cryptocurrencies, as DFA is currently the main term in Russian law that applies to them. A new law “On Digital Currency” should expand the legal framework and definitions for crypto assets this fall.
According to the document, quoted by the crypto news outlet Forklog, services provided by platforms that issue, control, and keep records of the movement of DFAs will be excluded from the scope of the value-added tax (VAT), just like with securities.
When exercising digital rights, the legal term that encompasses security and utility tokens, the tax base will be determined as the difference between the sale and the acquisition price of the respective digital right, the report detailed.
Russian legal entities owning digital tokens will pay 13% on the amount of income received from them while foreign-based companies will be charged at a higher, 15% rate, the new tax provisions dictate, giving a slight advantage to local businesses.
The crypto tax law was initially submitted to the State Duma in mid-April and passed on first reading the following month. It was also approved by the parliamentary financial market and new legislation committees. At the time, legal experts were quoted as noting that the tax rules do not apply to private crypto holdings.
Russian officials have been working this year to comprehensively regulate the country’s crypto space. The adoption of the digital currency law, which was proposed by the Ministry of Finance in February, has been delayed by ongoing discussions on the future legal status of decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
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Do you expect Russia to adopt more crypto-related regulations by the end of 2022? Tell us in the comments section below.
Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.
Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons
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Traditional hedge funds consider regulatory uncertainty biggest barrier to entry in crypto
Traditional hedge funds consider regulatory uncertainty biggest barrier to entry in crypto Andjela Radmilac · 9 hours ago · 5 min read
PwC’s research showed that clearer regulation and tax laws would push dozens of large, traditional hedge funds to invest in cryptocurrencies.
Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate
There have never been more traditional hedge funds investing in crypto, but around two-thirds are still hesitant to enter the market, according to PwC’s 2022 Global Crypto Hedge Fund Report. Those on the fence said they were waiting for the market to mature and more regulations to be set in place.
The report offers insight into the growing interest traditional hedge funds have shown for the crypto market. Written in collaboration with the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), it analyzes the approach these funds take when assessing whether to invest in digital assets and explores the main barriers they face.
The who and why of investing in crypto
AIMA’s survey was conducted in Q1 2022 and included 89 hedge funds managing around $436 billion in assets. More than half of the funds that participated in the survey had over $1 billion in assets under management (AUM).
Approximately one in three traditional hedge funds said that they were investing in digital assets. This is a significant increase compared to last year when only one in five said they had exposure to the crypto market. This significant increase in interest is supported by findings from last year’s survey, which indicated that around 25% of funds were planning to invest in cryptocurrencies in the coming year.
The increase in the number of funds investing in cryptocurrencies isn’t proportional to the increase in the overall exposure to crypto. Out of those funds investing in crypto, more than half only have a toe-hold position with less than 1% of their AUM allocated to digital assets. Only one in five respondents said they had 5% or more of their AUM in cryptocurrencies.
Two-thirds of the funds investing in cryptocurrencies said they plan to deploy more capital into the asset class by the end of the year. However, this is a significant decrease from 2021, when 86% of funds said that they would increase their crypto investments. The majority of funds that plan on deploying more capital into cryptocurrencies have less than 1% of their AUM in the asset class.
When it comes to motivation for investing in cryptocurrencies, more than half of the respondents said that they did it to diversify their portfolios. Around a third said it was for “market neutral alpha opportunities,” while only 18% cited “long-term outperformance.”
Investing in crypto
Data from the survey showed that the majority of funds were diversifying their portfolios into Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). A third said they invested in tokens listed on centralized exchanges, while a quarter said were trading tokens listed on decentralized exchanges.
Unlike specialist crypto funds, traditional hedge funds usually don’t have direct exposure to cryptocurrencies. However, the situation seems to be changing in 2022 with the report showing a noticeable increase in the number of funds with direct market exposure.
More than half of respondents in PwC’s survey said they invested in cryptocurrencies through derivatives like futures and options. This is a slight decrease from last year when around two-thirds of respondents said they only invested through derivatives. Traditional hedge funds that invested in cryptocurrencies using direct and spot trading increased from 33% in 2021 to 43% in 2022. Funds that adopted a passive approach to investing in crypto through passive funds, trusts, and EPs decreased from 29% in 2021 to just 10% in 2022.
Out of all the hedge funds investing in crypto, 43% said that used leverage when trading. Around 78% of those using leverage managed less than $1 billion in assets, showing that smaller hedge institutions were more likely to use riskier investing strategies.
However, this lack of aversion to risk didn’t translate into other crypto categories. Despite the huge growth GameFi, the metaverse, and Web3 platforms saw this year, hedge funds don’t seem to be interested in investing in these areas. Over half of hedge funds said that they saw the biggest growth opportunity in DeFi.
Rising interest stifled by lack of clarity
The rising interest hedge funds have shown for the crypto market has only further exacerbated some of the main issues the industry faces. Over 90% of hedge funds investing in crypto said that a lack of regulatory and tax regimes were the most significant problems they faced. Around 78% also cited a lack of deep, liquid synthetic and indirect products, issues with custody, no prime broker services, and complicated fiat withdrawals on exchanges.
Hedge funds aren’t satisfied with the current market infrastructure, either.
On average, less than one in ten hedge funds said they found the crypto market infrastructure “adequate.” On the other hand, 95% of the said that audits and accounting were a segment in serious need of improvement. Another staggering 94% of funds said risk management and compliance were in need of essential improvement, as was the ability to use digital assets as collateral.
Those that don’t invest in the crypto market had a lot of thoughts about it, too.
The survey reported a slight decrease in the number of hedge funds that didn’t invest in cryptocurrencies — from 79% in 2021 to 63% in 2022. Out of that 63%, around a third said that they were either in “late-stage planning” to invest or actively looking to invest. While this is an increase from last year, 41% of funds still said that they were unlikely to enter the crypto market in the next three years. Another 31% said they were curious about the market but are waiting for it to mature.
Regardless of whether they invested in cryptocurrencies or not, most hedge funds seem to agree on what the market’s biggest barriers to entry are. According to PwC, the majority of funds said that regulatory and tax uncertainty was the biggest issue they had to overcome before they entered the market. An interesting find from the survey was the fact that 79% of respondents said that reactions from clients and dangers to their reputation were keeping them out of the market.
With the majority of funds not investing in crypto managing over $1 billion in assets, it’s no wonder why the risks of getting exposure to cryptocurrencies outweigh its benefits. Managing over $1 billion in assets requires a significant amount of trust that’s built across years, if not decades, and based on conservative, successful strategies.
While around a third of respondents said that they would actively accelerate their involvement in the crypto market if these barriers were removed, a huge portion of funds will take more than that to be convinced.
“45% of respondents stated that the removal of barriers would still probably not impact their current approach as either investing in digital assets remains outside their mandate or they would continue to remain sceptical,” the report said.
What PwC’s report shows is a clear trend among traditional hedge funds — the more assets they manage, the less likely they are to invest in the crypto market. Relatively small institutions seem more willing to take on the risks and volatility that have become synonymous with cryptocurrencies and deal with the barriers that come with such a young and relatively unregulated market.
Goldman Sachs looks to buy Celsius’ assets for $2B as it is advised to file for bankruptcy
Goldman Sachs looks to buy Celsius’ assets for $2B as it is advised to file for bankruptcy Liam ‘Akiba’ Wright · 9 hours ago · 2 min read
Goldman Sachs is seeking investors to raise $2B to buy Celsius assets if it files for bankruptcy following recent liquidity issues
Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate
Goldman Sachs is allegedly shopping around for investors to form a web3 fund to purchase Celsius assets.
The multinational investment bank is raising $2 billion from a wide range of funds to take advantage of a potential discount on Celsius crypto assets.
Should Celsius be forced to file for bankruptcy, it may be required to sell off its assets quickly to pay back any creditors. The exchange has allegedly already been advised to file for bankruptcy by Citigroup and Akin Group.
The news was initially reported by Coin Desk, which cites people familiar with the matter as the source of information.
The struggling exchange reportedly had over $11 billion in assets as of May 2022, meaning if Goldman Sachs could purchase all of Celsius’ assets, it would be paying just 20 cents on the dollar. Whether the group is looking to take Celsius on as a going concern or strip and sell its assets is unknown at this time.
Celsius also received an unsolicited offer from rival exchange Nexo on June 12, which was not accepted. However, Coin Desk reported that Citigroup had been brought in to assess the deal. Nexo has over 4 million users compared to Celisus’ 1.7 million who claimed
“Nexo is in а solid liquidity and equity position to readily acquire any remaining qualifying assets of Celsius, mainly their collateralized loan portfolio.”
The proposal to purchase Celsius’ “collateralized loan portfolio” is likely to have a similar focus to any potential Goldman Sachs offer. Investors currently without access to their funds held in custody with Celsius may not be enthused by Goldman Sach’s approach.
Upon filing for bankruptcy, a schedule would be created determining the order in which creditors are repaid. Investors will be hoping they will be paid out first, but there are no guarantees.
Celsius hired “restructuring attorneys from law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP to advise on possible solutions for its mounting financial problems.” The move may signal the end of Celsius, which has been silent on the issue since June 20.
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