Academy Industry Analysis Article

PayPal Rumors Spread as Grayscale Ethereum Trust Tanks — Crypto News of the Week

2020.06.26 OKEx

OKEx Insights presents the top five crypto news stories of the past week

News of the Week image

PayPal and Venmo rumored to offer direct crypto sales soon 

The blockchain and cryptocurrency space received a jolt of energy this week when rumors began circulating that PayPal and Venmo may support crypto purchases in the not-so-distant future. 

The initial report came from crypto news outlet CoinDesk, which spoke to “three people familiar with the matter” who claim that PayPal has plans to offer the direct sale of cryptocurrency. However, the specific digital assets that would be made available are currently unknown.

PayPal has still not confirmed its plans to offer crypto purchases, as of press time.

Key takeaways

  • PayPal has more than 300 million accounts. Should the company offer direct cryptocurrency sales, the proverbial floodgates would be opened for retail investors.
  • Support for Bitcoin purchases from PayPal would provide more competition to Square Inc.’s Cash App — which has found BTC purchases to be a popular offering — and give retail investors more options.

Grayscale Ethereum Trust tanks as shares ready to flood market

Grayscale’s Ethereum Trust has seen a dramatic price decrease this month — dropping from a high of $260 on June 5 to Thursday’s low of $78. This week, in particular, the institutional investor-friendly investment vehicle’s price saw its decrease rapidly accelerate. At the time of writing, ETHE is currently trading at $98.29. 

Grayscale Ethereum Trust (OTC_DLY:ETHE) 2h chart. Source: TradingWiew

As noted by The Block, the premium paid for the underlying ether has dropped from 948% near the beginning of the month to 356% on Thursday.

This harsh decrease comes ahead of the planned release of more than 500,000 ETHE shares at the end of the month, as per the terms of the fund’s one-year lockup period.

As a side note, ETHE’s decrease comes alongside further reports that Grayscale Investments has purchased nearly $500,000,000 in BTC since the leading cryptocurrency’s block-reward halving last month.

Key takeaways

  • Both the ETHE price and premium may struggle to regain such high levels with a massive inundation of shares becoming available for trade on the secondary market.
  • The dramatic decrease in ETHE prices may actually bolster the spot price of ether, as sell pressure from the former may create prolonged bid support for the latter.

FC Barcelona fan tokens sell out in two hours

More than $1.3 million in Barca Fan Tokens were purchased in a two-hour-long token sale associated with football behemoth FC Barcelona on Monday. Specifically, 600,000 BAR tokens were sold at 2 euros each. As of press time, the price per token is $5.76 — nearly a 3x increase from the sale price.

The tokens are designed to facilitate fan engagement, according to the developers. They were made available to supporters through the club’s proprietary voting platform and through sports-centric blockchain platform Chiliz.

Key takeaways

  • The success of FC Barcelona’s fan token sale is a further example of cryptocurrencies becoming more accepted in the mainstream. The football club is one of the wealthiest in the world and maintains one of the largest global bases of supporters.
  • Blockchain and cryptocurrency projects are continuing to see successful penetration into the world of sports.

New York regulator issues new three-strikes BitLicense rule

New York’s Department of Financial Services is implementing a new three-strikes rule when it comes to applications for BitLicenses, the name of the state’s business licenses for digital currency activities. 

In essence, the new rule would allow the NYSDFS to deny applications that didn’t make the necessary changes requested by the regulator.

Key takeaways

  • The new three-strikes rule should further simplify and streamline the process of obtaining a BitLicense by allowing applicants to more easily check that their applications are sufficient.
  • The update also shows a certain willingness by the financial regulator to make the application process friendlier for companies wishing to deal with digital currencies in New York.

Crypto cards stop working following Wirecard debacle

In the latest chapter of the Wirecard debacle, the Financial Conduct Authority has officially suspended Wirecard Card Solutions. As a result, Crypto.com’s MCO Visa debit cards have been frozen — preventing cardholders in the U.K. and Europe from transacting and depositing.

Cardholders’ funds are not lost, however, and are expected to be returned in the coming days.

Crypto.com, meanwhile, will reportedly choose a new vendor for its crypto card program.

Key takeaways

  • The collapse of Wirecard has sent shockwaves through the fintech world, as we are seeing with the shutdown of crypto cards issued by WCS.
  • As noted by The Block, TenX and Cryptopay debit cards have also been issued by the Wirecard subsidiary — meaning they too will have to find new vendors.

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