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Tesla sells BTC as EIB issues €100 million bond on Ethereum

2021.05.01 Adam James

The traditional financial system continues to involve itself further into the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.

It's been an eventful week for blockchain and cryptocurrencies on the institutional front after financial services firm Fidelity announced a new crypto analytics product, the European Investment Bank issued a €100 million bond on Ethereum and JPMorgan Chase formed a new blockchain firm.

Here's everything you need to know about these stories, and more, in this week's edition of OKEx Insights' News of the Week.

Fidelity announces institutional-focused crypto analytics product

Fidelity Investments unveiled a digital asset data and analytics tool on Thursday. The product, called SherlockSM, is firmly directed toward institutional clients and provides on-chain data, ecosystem development updates and data from social media.

Key takeaways

  • Fidelity has long been a player in the institutional side of the blockchain and cryptocurrency market, having started offering BTC custody services in 2019.
  • The new offering from the financial services firm indicates that institutional demand for cryptocurrencies and related data is growing.

EIB issues €100 million bond on Ethereum

The European Investment Bank issued its first bond on the Ethereum blockchain, according to an announcement made on Wednesday. The bond is worth an even €100 million and will mature on April 28, 2023.

Key takeaways

  • The EIB has noted that issuing bonds on the Ethereum blockchain reduces costs, is less opaque and offers faster settlement.
  • The noteworthy issuance from the European Union's lending arm opens the door for similar issuances on Ethereum or competing blockchains.

German regulators investigating Binance's tokenized stock trading

The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority of Germany stated on Wednesday that it suspects cryptocurrency exchange Binance of violating the country's securities laws by offering trading services for tokenized stocks. 

BaFin specifically noted that Binance Germany GmbH & Co. KG offers what it considers to be "securities in the form of 'shares token' with the terms TSLA / BUSD, COIN / BUSD and MSTR / BUSD without the required prospectuses on the website."

Key takeaways

  • Tokenized stocks are becoming popular in the cryptocurrency exchange space, but Germany's apparent issue with Binance highlights the risks centralized exchanges have when supporting the DEX-focused segment.
  • Binance could potentially face a 5 million euro fine, 3% of its total turnover from the last financial year, and/or up to double the economic benefit derived from the violation.

JPMorgan Chase forms new blockchain firm

JPMorgan Chase has formed a new blockchain company with fellow banking giant DBS and Singapore's Temasek. The goal of the new company, Partior, is to improve cross-border payments through the development of a "blockchain-based wholesale payments infrastructure where information and value can change hands around the world in a 24/7, frictionless way."

Key takeaways

  • Partior's initial focus will be firmly set on payments between Singapore banks in Singapore dollars and United States dollars.
  • Partior is still subject to regulatory approval, but the utilization of blockchain technology for cross-border payments has long been an obvious use case.

Tesla sold $272 million in BTC

Tesla sold $272 million worth of its BTC holdings shortly after officially putting the foremost cryptocurrency on its balance sheet, according to the electric vehicle maker's Q1 2021 earnings report.

Key takeaways

  • Many of Bitcoin's strongest proponents — dubbed Bitcoin maximalists — did not take the news of Tesla's BTC sale very well. Many criticized the company's decision to not hold its entire $1.5 billion February purchase for a longer period of time.
  • The company claims it still believes in the long-term value of Bitcoin and will continue to accumulate BTC through accepting payments in the cryptocurrency.

OKEx Insights presents market analyses, in-depth features and curated news from crypto professionals.

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