Everything at a glance: The most important Bitcoin news of the week
BlackRock flirts with bitcoin investments; Phase 1 on Ethereum 2.0; Ex-Ripple advisory board could become OCC chief; TenX deactivates accounts and Visa cards and Deutsche Bank survey sees bubble potential in bitcoin and US tech stocks.
Another exciting week in the crypto space is drawing to a close. A compact overview of the most important events around Bitcoin and Co.
The world’s largest asset manager may be entering the BitQT crypto business twice. That’s according to two filings the financial giant has made with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Specifically, it concerns the two funds „BlackRock Global Allocation Fund“ and „BlackRock Funds V“. For both, BlackRock has filed a supplement to the respective securities prospectus with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The filings indicate that the fund reserves the right to invest in Bitcoin futures in the future. BlackRock also points out possible risks in the submitted forms. Among other things, this refers to the volatility of the cryptocurrency, possible regulatory measures and the difficulties of determining the price of digital gold. Moreover, BlackRock plans to trade Bitcoin futures exclusively on exchanges that are subject to the supervision of the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). BlackRock already flirted with the cryptocurrency in December.
Ethereum 2.0 moves towards phase 1
The transition of the consensus process to a proof-of-stake model in the wake of Ethereum 2.0, is moving full speed ahead. However, Ether enthusiasts will have to be patient until the finalisation of Ethereum 2.0. According to Ethereum developer Danny Ryan, the transition to phase 1 is scheduled for the second half of 2021. Currently, the process is still in Phase 0, using a test chain, the Beacon Chain, to test the changes that the proof-of-stake model will bring. The transition to phase 1 then expands the network to include the sharding function. Here, the beacon chain is expanded by an initial 64 shard chains. By splitting the processing of transactions onto several parallel chains. This significantly increases the transaction throughput and is thus an essential key to solving the scaling problems that the crypto network currently still has. The subsequent final phase would complete the transformation to Ethereum 2.0.
Ex-Ripple advisory board could become new OCC chief
The Wall Street Journal reports that President Biden is toying with the idea of making Michael Barr the new head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). This is what the financial magazine claims to have learned from internal circles. Barr already worked in the US Treasury Department under the Obama administration. The appointment could also be interesting for Ripple’s legal dispute with the SEC. Michael Barr had been on the advisory board of the Californian FinTech since 2015. Should he actually get the chief post of the currency regulator, he could act as a mediator between Ripple and the SEC. Another aspirant for the job is Mehrsa Baradaran. She is a professor of banking law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. The OCC did not want to comment on the rumours about Michael Barr to BTC-ECHO.