???? Buffett Trades Visa for Crypto
Buffett dumps Visa for a Bitcoin-Friendly bank, the FBI launches a crypto crime fighting unit and a rare Cryptopunk NFT was sold for how much? These stories and more this week in crypto.
Bitcoin critic Warren Buffett has sold shares in Visa and Mastercard to purchase the stock of a Bitcoin-friendly bank based in Brazil. A securities filing revealed Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway purchased $1 billion worth of Nubank shares. Nubank is focused on innovative financial services and has been allowing its customers to invest in bitcoin.
The FBI is forming a new specialized team dedicated to tackling growing cryptocurrency crimes. The division called the Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit (VAXU) will include crypto security experts who conduct blockchain analysis to track and seize digital funds associated with illicit activity. It will also innovate its own crypto tools to guard against future cyber threats.
Ukraine has passed a law on virtual assets that recognizes crypto as a legal asset and establishes an official regulator to oversee activity. Foreign and Ukrainian crypto companies will be able to operate legally, while Ukrainians will have convenient and secure access to the global market for virtual assets.
Twitter is now enabling users to tip one another in Ethereum using selected third-party payment providers after enabling bitcoin tipping last September. Twitter’s “Tips” service lets users send payments, including cryptocurrency, to accounts that they enjoy over Twitter’s mobile app. Twitter also now supports new international fintech providers and expanding tipping to additional countries.
The Federal Reserve has approved rules that would ban senior officials from purchasing and holding cryptocurrencies and other investments. Trading of assets will only be permitted with prior approval and agreement to hold the investment for at least one year. The change in rules was intended to support public confidence in impartiality and integrity after a series of scandals.
Sequoia Capital, one of the world’s oldest and most successful venture capital firms, is launching its first-ever sector-specific crypto fund. The Sequoia Crypto Fund, which will be worth between 500 and 600 million dollars, will primarily invest in what it calls “liquid tokens” — tokens that are already listed on crypto exchanges and some that are yet to be listed.
Payment processing giant Mastercard plans to expand its consulting services with new practices focused on open banking, open data, crypto, and digital currencies. Mastercard is set to onboard over 500 professionals in 2022 as part of its expansion plans to help financial institutions navigate the adoption of cryptocurrencies with its consulting efforts.
The New York Stock Exchange has filed a trademark application to register the term “NYSE” for a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). However, a spokesperson for the NYSE said it has no immediate plans to launch cryptocurrency or NFT trading, the firm just regularly considers new products and their impact on their trademarks.
A CryptoPunk NFT sold for nearly $24M, doubling the previous record for the collection. The legendary status of CryptoPunks is in part due to their age as they predate the modern NFT craze, having been minted on the Ethereum blockchain in 2017. The Cryptopunk that sold last weekend is the rarest type – an alien. There are only nine aliens in the collection of 10,000.
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That’s what’s happened this week in crypto, see you next week.