weekly roundup – Ernst & Young | Komainu | 2020 a Good Year for BTC?
Over the past week we learnt that Trump told John Bolton to clamp down on bitcoin and that crypto card issuer Wirecard is missing $2.1B in what’s being dubbed the ‘German Enron’ scandal, meanwhile, New York Fed economists declared bitcoin “just another example of fiat money.”
Here’s our weekly roundup of the industry news and big reads.
Ernst and Young Release Crypto Tax App
Multinational professional services firm Ernst & Young have announced the release of a crypto tax app called EY CryptoPrep. It’s a fully automated, web-based Software as a Service (SaaS) product to assist clients with U.S. tax filings.
EY CryptoPrep takes data from numerous exchanges and major cryptocurrencies, automatically applies relevant tax rules and completes Form 8949. Clients can choose to use the program themselves or have it as part of a managed service.
Ernst & Young’s America’s Vice Chair of Tax Services Marna Ricker explained that the application was a direct response to growing interest in cryptocurrencies:
“Our clients increasingly hold and trade crypto assets, creating the need for an innovative solution to address the evolving complexity around filing crypto taxes.”
A Good Year for Bitcoin?
Last week, Bloomberg commentator Joe Weisenthal shared his list of six reasons why bitcoin has not had a great year, citing a lack of new highs, its new correlation with the S&P 500, disappointing resilient fiat currencies and inflation levels, and a new competitor for the volatility trade in the form of stocks.
Among the many reactions to this, Nathaniel Whittemore’s was interesting. He stressed the progress made in institutional uptake, growth in emerging market demand and bitcoin’s endurance. Another was from Messari’s Ryan Selkis, who objected to Joe’s interpretation of bitcoin narratives and timeframes.
Meanwhile, JPMorgan’s analysts stated that bitcoin has had a good year so far, even through the market turmoil in March, the cryptocurrency has only briefly dipped below its cost of production, which indicates a long and happy life for bitcoin.
Nomura-Backed Crypto Custody Venture Launches after 2 Years in the Works
After two years of development, Komainu – a joint venture between Nomura Holdings, CoinShares and Ledger – has launched to offer crypto asset custody to institutional investors. The entity is based in the Channel Islands, and will provide custody, compliance and insurance services. The pedigree of the partners is notable with Nomura one of Japan’s largest investment banks, Ledger one of the sector’s original custodians and CoinShares one of the sector’s longest-running asset managers, as well as manager of a handful of listed crypto funds, and now also provides trading services, index management and tokenized assets.
Who is Buying BTC – Kraken CEO Jesse Powell
According to Kraken crypto exchange CEO Jesse Powell, there has been a massive influx of new accounts from all types of investors. Speaking to Bloomberg, Powell said:
“We have seen a massive influx of new accounts from hedge funds, wealth managers, retail investors and day traders. We have seen people taking their stimulus checks and rolling them into bitcoin.”
Blockchain Developers’ Report Q2 2020
An in-depth analysis of developer data by blockchain investment firm, Outlier Ventures, reveals a year of meteoric rises and falls and that a new entrant secured a top 5 spot in 2020 in the share of smart contracts, dapps, and daily active users. Three top-20 protocols suffered greater than 50% declines in developer activity, and one protocol saw a meteoric 931% rise in core protocol development. Outlier Ventures have indexed millions of commits across thousands of repositories to compile this overview.
Binance to Launch UK Trading Platform in Summer 2020
In their first ever online meetup Binance announced the launch of a cryptocurrency trading platform in the UK this summer. The UK platform will provide deposits and withdrawals for buying and selling digital currencies through direct bank transfers via the UK Faster Payments Service and the Single Euro Payments Area network.
“Interest and participation in the UK digital asset markets is growing; not just in-depth with its current participants, but also in breadth,” according to Binance UK Director Teana Baker-Taylor.
Christopher Giancarlo: Why the US Needs to Have a Digital Dollar
Christopher Giancarlo, former CFTC Chairman and co-founder of the Digital Dollar Foundation, discusses his proposal for a US central bank digital currency and how that fits into the broader geopolitical environment. He covers:
Why he has focused on pushing for a US digital dollar after leaving the CFTC
How a US CBDC would be different from other stablecoins
What pilot progams would look like.