Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (02/17/2021)*

Bitcoin continuing to hit all-time highs after it was reported that MicroStrategy upsized a convertible-note offering to $900 million from an originally announced $600 million, with plans to use the proceeds to purchase more bitcoin. 

Mastercard and Island Pay Launch World’s First CBDC-Linked Card

Under a new program from Mastercard and Island Pay, the Bahamas Sand Dollar prepaid card gives people the option to instantly convert the digital currency to traditional Bahamian dollars and pay for goods and services anywhere Mastercard is accepted on the Islands and around the world.

NYDIG joins the list of Bitcoin ETF applicants

New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) joined the crowd and registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The firm, a Bitcoin-centric subsidiary of Stone Ridge Asset Management, joins Valkyrie Digital Assets and Vaneck that have already submitted their bitcoin-based ETF filings. Morgan Stanley would act in the capacity of an initially authorised participant and the Delaware Trust Company would be the trustee. However, the SEC is yet to approve a Bitcoin ETF on concerns around Bitcoin’s volatility, and its high potential for price manipulation.  

Ontario securities regulator grants approval to second bitcoin ETF in less than a week

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has approved the Evolve Bitcoin ETF Bitcoin ETF just days after the regulator greenlit the Purpose Bitcoin ETF. The approval paves the way for a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). As is the case with Purpose, Cidel Trust Company, a subsidiary of Cidel Bank Canada, is the Evolve’s custodian, and Gemini is serving as sub-custodian.   

Bitwise Launches World’s First Decentralized Finance (“DeFi”) Crypto Index Fund

Bitwise launched a DeFi Crypto Index Fund that will track companies and securities involved in decentralized finance (DeFi). The Fund’s custodian is Anchorage Digital Bank, and initial constituents and weights of the index at inception were:

 * The views expressed herein are those of the author and should not be attributed to the International Monetary Fund, its Executive Board or its management.