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Italian soccer champion AC Milan reveals NFT partnership with MonkeyLeague

Italian soccer club AC Milan has announced a non-fungible token (NFT) partnership with web3 game MonkeyLeague.

MonkeyLeague has become AC Milan’s newest NFT gaming partner

As revealed in a post on the club’s website, AC Milan and MonekyLeague plan to create a variety of non-fungible tokens together as part of the deal.

AC Milan is an Italian football club with one of the richest histories in all of Europe. The team is currently the defending champion of Serie A, the highest league division in the country.

“We are excited to start this partnership with MonkeyLeague, a collaboration that allows us to strengthen our position in the field of digital innovation,” said the Italian club’s chief revenue officer, Casper Stylsvig.

“We are particularly proud to be the first football club to partner with MonkeyLeague, bringing this game to our fans around the world and offering them an innovative new way to interact with their favorite team.”

MonkeyLeague is a web3 soccer game in which users create and manage teams of NFT-based characters and compete against other players to climb the league ranks.

The game is based on the Solana blockchain and uses its own native token called MonkeyBucks for the in-game economy.

As part of the NFT gaming partnership, MonkeyLeague will work closely with the football club to create exclusive AC Milan gaming assets, wearables, special gaming tournaments, co-marketing events and a host of other exciting initiatives. as game tests of the club’s players. .”

The first batch of these collectibles is scheduled to launch on October 6 on the MagicEden marketplace, where the tokens will be sold at auction and awarded to the highest bidder.

Oren Langberg, MonkeyLeague’s director of marketing and partnerships, commented: “Associating with champions like AC Milan, an absolutely iconic club throughout football history, is yet another testament to what we are building and where we are headed. We run as a game studio. games. It also represents a key step in our plans to bridge the Web2 and Web3 worlds.”

Cryptocurrency and NFT-related partnerships like these are nothing new to the world of sports and certainly not new to the Italian club. Last year, Milan signed a sponsorship deal with cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX.

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Digital bank FV Bank integrates USDC stablecoin for direct deposits

In addition to USDC support, FV Bank also plans to launch an escrow service in Q4 2022, targeting major currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Global digital bank FV Bank is the latest financial platform to allow deposits into the Circle-backed USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin.

FV Bank on Wednesday announced the launch of a new service that allows account holders to make direct USDC deposits to bank accounts in US dollars. The new feature allows customers to receive USDC into their accounts in a similar way to traditional deposits such as wire transfers or the automated clearing network.

Per the announcement, received USDC funds are instantly and automatically converted to United States Dollars (USD) at the time of deposit. This new solution allows FV Bank users to issue invoices to their international customers in USDC, enabling faster and cheaper transactions and conversions, the company said.

“We believe this feature will greatly improve the user experience and open up smoother trading,” FV Bank CEO Miles Paschini told Cointelegraph.

Paschini noted that USDC will be the first stablecoin accepted for USD deposit at the moment, but FV Bank may consider more stablecoins in the future.

“We chose USDC because of its license, reserve certifications, and real-time 1:1 liquidity,” noted the CEO.

In addition to integrating USDC, FV Bank also plans to launch its own escrow service in Q4 2022, which will allow customers to hold digital assets in a escrow account alongside their escrow account. According to Paschini, FV Bank custody will support major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and other currencies “based on our supported asset criteria.”

FV Bank is a cryptographic digital bank regulated by the Office of the Financial Institutions Commissioner of Puerto Rico. The company originally planned to launch cryptocurrency custody services in 2021, following the lead of major US banks such as Standard Chartered.

According to the CEO, the company’s cryptocurrency roadmap has not suffered any issues despite the ongoing crypto winter.

“Overall, the bear market has not affected our business as we continue to grow and expand our services responsibly,” said Paschini.

FV Bank is not the only financial institution to join the USDC recently. On Tuesday, cryptocurrency-compatible stock trading app Robinhood announced the USDC listing. The stablecoin will be available for transfer on the Polygon and Ethereum networks today.

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Financial Giant State Street Sees Cryptocurrency Demand From Institutional Investors

Investment management firm State Street says that institutional clients are not deterred from investing in cryptocurrencies despite falling prices. “There is a belief that the asset class is here to stay,” said a State Street executive.

State Street in institutional demand for cryptocurrencies

State Street, a leading investment management firm, sees persistent institutional demand for cryptocurrencies despite market selloffs, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday.

Irfan Ahmad, State Street Digital’s product leader for the Asia-Pacific region, said institutional clients of the banking giant are still interested in cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology. He was quoted as saying:

During the June and July period, when things got very hot in terms of activity, we saw institutional clients not necessarily double down, but they weren't really deterred from making strategic bets on the asset class itself.

“The advantage of this is that, I think, there is a belief that the asset class is here to stay,” the executive emphasized.

State Street (NYSE: STT) operates in more than 100 geographic markets globally and employs approximately 40,000 people worldwide. The financial services giant had $38.2 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration and $3.5 trillion in assets under management as of June 30.

The company’s digital arm, State Street Digital, offers solutions for a variety of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, digital money, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), according to its website.

Ahmad noted that several large investment firms such as Goldman Sachs have started offering crypto products and are likely to make more forays into the crypto space. In April, Goldman Sachs offered its first bitcoin-backed loan.

The world’s largest asset manager, Blackrock, launched a private bitcoin fund in August. “Despite the sharp decline in the digital asset market, we are still seeing substantial interest from some institutional clients,” the company said.

The State Street executive further shared that institutional clients inquired about the crypto product launch, explaining:

Certainly our customers have been talking to us more pragmatically about how they can launch products or what our capabilities might be in the future to help them support the launch of those products.

In July of last year, State Street announced the expansion of its cryptocurrency service, citing growing demand for traditional funds.

Cryptocurrency exchanges are also experiencing increasing demand from institutional investors. Bitstamp’s chief executive said in August that his trading platform is seeing “huge interest in crypto” from institutional clients. In June, Binance launched a new platform for VIP and institutional crypto investors to increase support for institutional clients.

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Payments company Bolt cancels deal to acquire cryptocurrency company Wyre

California-based online payments company Bolt pulls out of a deal to buy cryptocurrency provider Wyre. News of the scrapped deal, which was agreed earlier this year, comes amid plummeting valuations in the cryptocurrency and fintech sectors.

Bolt Abandons Wyre’s $1.5 Billion Acquisition Plan

Bolt Financial, a San Francisco-based U.S. technology company, said on Friday that it had canceled a deal to buy cryptocurrency infrastructure provider Wyre Payments, Reuters reported Saturday. The e-commerce platform announced in early April a definitive agreement to acquire Wyre for $1.5 billion.

The deal was considered one of the biggest acquisitions of cryptocurrency companies this year. After a funding round in January, Bolt was last valued at $11 billion. The report notes, however, that high-tech valuations are under more pressure as investor confidence has been hit by recession fears and negative stock market developments.

Payment processor Stripe and fintech firm Klarna Bank also made significant valuation cuts, Reuters noted. Industry valuations have also dropped significantly in the cryptocurrency sector during the market slump in recent months.

In a statement released, Bolt emphasized that he will continue his partnership with Wyre. The online payments company explained that remaining independent would allow it to focus on its core areas of business. The company’s CEO, Maju Kuruvilla, was quoted as saying:

We will continue our existing business partnership with Wyre to pave the way for the integration of cryptocurrencies into our ecosystem, bringing Wyre's innovative cryptocurrency infrastructure to the world.

Wyre offers blockchain-connected payment APIs and fiat ramps for cryptocurrency, forex and cryptocurrency liquidity to users of various cryptocurrency projects. It was created in 2013 and, like Bolt, which was founded a year later, is based in San Francisco.

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Coinbase Partners with BlackRock to Offer Cryptocurrencies to Institutions

Coinbase, one of the world’s largest and most popular digital currency exchanges, is partnering with investment giant BlackRock to offer its clients the opportunity to trade digital assets.

Coinbase and BlackRock team up

Joseph Chalom, Global Head of Strategic Ecosystem Partnerships at BlackRock, explained in a recent interview:

Our institutional clients are increasingly interested in gaining exposure to digital asset markets and are focused on how to efficiently manage the operational lifecycle of these assets. This connectivity will allow clients to manage their bitcoin exposures directly within their existing portfolio management and trading workflows for a portfolio-wide view of risk across all asset classes.

It’s interesting to see BlackRock make this change. Larry Fink, the company’s president, said about five years ago that bitcoin was the “money laundering index.” He didn’t trust cryptocurrencies, nor did he have any desire, it seems, to get involved with them.

However, it looks like things have changed not exactly for Fink, but also for the company’s clientele. They are starting to realize the true prowess of digital assets and want to get involved. They are eager to take advantage of digital currency offerings and expand their portfolios beyond the standard investment tools they have been exposed to.

For this reason, it appears that BlackRock feels they have no choice but to continue offering digital currencies to customers, regardless of how Fink feels. Executives know there is business to be lost if they don’t change with the times, and offering cryptocurrencies is likely to please everyone sitting at the BlackRock table.

Owen Lau, analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., gave his thoughts on the new partnership, commenting:

After this validation, Coinbase will be able to partner with more traditional financial industries. This shows that even with BlackRock’s size, they will be partnering with a native cryptocurrency company rather than developing their own features.

The move comes at a pretty interesting time, given how poorly the crypto space has been doing lately. Bitcoin, for example, is down over 60% from its all-time high of over $68,000 per unit last November. At the moment, the asset is struggling to maintain a position in the $20K range, with the entire crypto space losing around $2 trillion in overall valuation.

A lot of controversy surrounding the exchange

The fact that the space is in such a weak state and yet so many institutions still want to take advantage of it is proof that digital currencies are becoming much more mainstream and legitimate in people’s eyes, even as prices fall.

Coinbase has been at the center of a lot of controversy lately. The company is under SEC investigation and a former employee has been accused of insider trading.