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Aquaculture Firm Completes Australia’s First IPO Raise Using Cryptocurrency

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Australia-based West Coast Aquaculture (WCA) has completed an A$5 million (US$3.65 million) initial public offering, becoming the first firm in the nation to use cryptocurrency for its capital raise.

In an announcement provided to CoinDesk on Monday, fintech firm STAX said it had assisted WCA in raising just over 89%, or just over A$4.4 million (US$3.2 million), of the total raise via the stablecoin tether (USDT), a cryptocurrency with its price linked to the U.S. dollar on a 1:1 basis. The remaining funds were raised in Australian dollars.

“We are proud to be part of this historic moment in Australian investment history, said Neo Ching Hoe, CEO and founder of WCA. “We hope this bold initiative helps open the door to more global investment for local companies.”

WCA, an international fisheries company with an Asia Pacific presence, will put the funding towards expanding its operations and building out its supply chain, per the announcement.

STAX describes itself as Australia’s first capital-raising platform to accept both cryptocurrency and Australian dollars.

“The successful WCA capital raise and IPO, paves the way for the future of capital markets in Australia”, said STAX CEO Kenny Lee. “We are allowing access to a market which has been hard for overseas investors to get into, and it will only benefit Australian businesses longer term.”

WCA has now listed for trading on the Sydney Stock Exchange under the SSX code 833.



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Bitcoin Worries ‘Fading’ as Crypto Goes Mainstream, S&P Says

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Bitcoin has “a lot of similarities” with gold, and consumer fears of the cryptocurrency being stolen are fading, according to a new report from a unit of the bond-rating and investment-index firm Standard & Poor’s.

“Concerns of bitcoin theft were rampant a few years ago,” Jim Wiederhold, associate director for commodities and real assets for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in excerpts of the report emailed by a press representative for the New York-based company. “As Bitcoin becomes more mainstream, these worries are fading, though lingering technology and exchange counterparts risks remain.”

S&P joins a growing list of Wall Street firms to weigh in on bitcoin after prices for the cryptocurrency quadrupled in 2020, generating fresh interest among big institutional investors including BlackRock, the world’s biggest money manager.

Some highlights from the S&P report:

Bitcoin prices have a one-year volatility of 82%, multiples of the 15% seen in gold prices, and the 26% volatility shown by the S&P 500 Index of large U.S. stocks, according to the report.

The report comes as S&P itself is angling to get into the crypto market. The firm announced last month a partnership with data provider Lukka to launch crypto indexes in 2021.



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Bitcoin White Paper Now Hosted by Everyone From Square to Facebook. Here’s Why

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Some of the Bitcoin community’s most prominent voices (and also Facebook subsidiary Novi) are now hosting the Bitcoin white paper.

The move follows legal threats from nChain Chief Scientist Craig Wright levied against the nonprofit that has long hosted crypto’s foundational document.

“Yesterday both Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org received allegations of copyright infringement of the Bitcoin whitepaper by lawyers representing Craig Steven Wright,” the nonprofit wrote Thursday morning.

(Bitcoin was created by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, who has yet to be conclusively identified; Wright has repeatedly made claims that he is Satoshi.)

Seemingly in response to the takedown notice, a wave of crypto firms have published the white paper on their websites. As of press time they include:

Others are likely to join in.

This is a developing story and will be updated.



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Signature Bank Adds $2.5B in Non-Interest Bearing Deposits in Q4

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Cryptocurrency firms are often a rich source of low-cost deposits for the few banks that openly serve the sector. As such, analysts have paid close attention to non-interest bearing deposit growth at Signature. These deposits represent nearly 30% of total deposits at the bank.

Total deposits increased at the bank quarter over quarter by $8.98 billion, with money market deposits representing the lion’s share.

Signature’s average cost of deposits and average cost of funds for the fourth quarter of 2020 decreased by 66 and 69 basis points to 0.42% and 0.57%, respectively.



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