MicroStrategy to Buy More Bitcoin, Crypto Adoption Signs, Zero-Fee Trading + More News 101Source: Adobe/velishchuk

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Bitcoin news

US-based business intelligence company MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor said the company will keep buying bitcoin (BTC), telling investors the team will "explore various approaches" for additional buys as part of their overall corporate strategy. Per the quarterly filing, the company to "continue to plan to hold our bitcoin and invest additional excess cash flows" into it. MicroStrategy now holds approximately BTC 70,784 (currently USD 2.63bn).

Adoption news

Approximately 97% of crypto users around the world have "near-unanimous confidence" in digital assets, according to the "2021 Global Crypto User Index" published by Binance Research. In a survey of over 61,000 digital assets holders, more than half, or 52%, consider crypto investing as a means of income not as a hobby, while 15% of users consider crypto their primary source of income, said the report. 55% of respondents are buying cryptocurrencies as part of their long-term investment strategy, while 65% of users who hold any crypto also have BTC. Meanwhile, Gemini’s 2020 research found that 13.5% of their respondents in the UK are current or previous investors in digital assets, representing a 152% increase from the previous study by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. Currently, 3.7% are active cryptocurrency investors, with another 9.8% holding crypto in the last few years, according to the report.

Exchanges news

Crypto price tracking app Blockfolio has launched a zero-fee crypto trading functionality, which will be powered by trading systems of FTX crypto derivatives exchange, which acquired the app six months ago. According to the announcement, every time a user makes a trade over USD 10, they’ll get a free coin. The post also provided a list of the coins available for trade in the US, and those outside of the country. SBI Holdings and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group will launch a digitalized stock exchange in Osaka in the spring of 2022 to compete against the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nikkei reported. The joint venture also aims to be the first Japanese exchange to handle digital securities using blockchain technology, it added.Unstoppable Domains, a company building blockchain domain names, has announced that crypto exchange OKCoin has added support for blockchain domain names. Per the press release, through the integration of the .crypto blockchain domain, OKCoin became "the first cryptocurrency exchange to introduce blockchain domain names to users to simplify deposits and withdrawals within the exchange." It will allow the exchange's users to tie their deposit addresses to their domain to make it easier to send money into the exchange, as well as across exchanges.AllianceBlock, a decentralized capital market, said it signed an agreement to join London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) Partner Platform. It enables AllianceBlock to reach institutional clients over LSEG’s Global Innovation Network, a purpose-built network infrastructure to support financial services transactions, the company said in an emailed press release. It also allows LSEG’s clients to access AllianceBlock directly over their existing connections to LSEG, they added. Stuart Hoegner, General Counsel at crypto exchange Bitfinex, said in a statement that "a UK-based cyber insurer has walked away from high-profile litigation against Bitfinex." A year ago, the UK High Court ordered the exchange to freeze bitcoin (BTC) worth USD 860,000 after blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis traced the funds to a ransomware payment, as it was linked to the hacking of an unnamed Canadian insurance company. The company's insurer was seeking to recover a bitcoin ransom it had paid out under a cyber-policy, said the statement, and it argued that Bitfinex should be liable to pay damages. "The discontinuance confirmed today by the High Court means the insurer will not receive any compensation from Bitfinex but instead will reimburse Bitfinex for its attorney costs, which once fully assessed will be considerably more than GBP 100,000" (USD 137,130), said Hoegner.

Crime news

Crypto fraudsters and hackers had a rough year in 2020, with proceeds from crypto theft, security breaches and stings dropping to the USD 1.9bn mark, per a report from CipherTrace, a crypto intelligence firm. The report’s authors added that major players have shored up their security systems, leaving criminals with fewer ways to compromise systems and raid tokens from vulnerable platforms. However, the report’s authors also added that DeFi-related crime is on the rise, and claimed that fraud still accounted for a whopping 73% of all crypto crime.

CBDCs news

The Russian “tech think tank” firm Mindsmith has launched what it said is the first online open library of all 73 published papers on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The repository, said its curators, will be updated regularly, and is organized into three categories, comprising papers from regulatory bodies, central banks, and university or private-sector groups.

Blockchain news

Hunan, a province in South Central China, has unveiled six regional security standards for blockchain technology applications, reported CN-Stock. The standards pertain to encryption, network, data, and app security, as well as contracts and consensus algorithms, and will be enforced by regulators in Hunan. The province last year unveiled ambitious plans to spur on its fledgling blockchain industry, with a plan to build five new blockchain-specializing industrial parks in the next three years, and nurture some 30,000 blockchain firms. The provincial authorities have stated they hope to see firms bring in combined total revenue of over USD 420m by 2022.