Major Investment Banks Continue to Increase Their Crypto-Related Holdings.
We’d like to jump right in with this week’s edition of Overbit News with a figure anyone in cryptocurrency is quite familiar with: John McAfee. According to a recent report by the New York Post, the notorious McAfee was arrested in Spain on Monday, 5 October by US law enforcement officials.
According to an unsealed, 10-count indictment, the Western District of Tennessee is charging McAfee evading millions of dollars of income from 2014 to 2018. The indictments go into detail, stating that McAfee allegedly gained millions of dollars through a variety of income-generating acts, such as consulting, speaking arrangements, and promoting cryptocurrency. It appears the charges of tax evasion are quite clear in this case, as he allegedly registered a number of large-ticket buys like a yacht, cars, and property under someone else’s name. Cryptocurrency appears to have played a role as well, as he dealt almost exclusively in digital assets, which were then laundered by a front man through a multitude of different accounts. Although this news is fresh off the press, the US authorities have had their eyes set on the prominent McAfee for quite some time. Right after the US Department of Justice unsealed these indictments, the SEC followed suit as well, revealing it had brought civil charges against McAfee. The US Security and Exchange Commission is alleging McAfee made over $23.1 million in undisclosed compensation from recommending seven cryptocurrencies.
No matter your perspective on cryptocurrency, at this point it’s undeniable that the US authorities are cracking down on the blockchain space. Just last week, we saw Bitmex’s core executive indicted as well for failing to follow financial regulations (at the minimum). It’s easy to imagine this cracking down will result in some unintended consequences; some might welcome this culling of the space as it results in a safer and more sophisticated market.
Switching gears here, we’ll continue to expand upon our coverage of institutional investments in the cryptocurrency ecosystem by starting with a focus on American Investment Banks - Charles Schwab, Fidelity, and Vanguard, who have recently made purchases of Riot Blockchain. These are continuations for all three banks, as Schwab has made previous purchases in the Alchemy platform, while Vanguard has been working with Symbiont’s blockchain for foreign exchange transactions, and Fidelity has spun off an entire Digital Assets arm. Fidelity’s digital asset arm appears to be the most advanced, as they are soon to launch a trading service and bitcoin index fund, and their International Fund, Fidelity International, earlier this year acquired shares of Hut 8, a Canadian bitcoin mining company, and BC Group, a Hong Kong-based digital asset platform.
It is easy to see that institutional money in the space continues to grow and expand, and that “soon” cryptocurrencies will ultimately become “legitimate” in the eyes of the general public. At Overbit.com, we will continue to cover the space as it develops with our research arm, while our product team continues to provide the best multi-asset trading experience in the industry.