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The Australian government is investing big in modern technology, Nasdaq saw its first crypto exchange operator listing and revenues are surging for Ethereum miners amid increased network activity.
Australia modernizes Australia will commit A$800 million (US$575 million) to invest in digital technologies as part of its coronavirus recovery plan, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Tuesday. The federal plan will see US$256.6 million for a digital identity solution, $419.9 million to fully implement the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program, $22.2 million for small businesses training to utilize digital technologies and two blockchain pilot programs totalling $6.9 million. “The Plan supports Australia’s economic recovery by removing out-dated regulatory barriers, boosting the capability of small businesses and backs the uptake of technology across the economy,” Morrison said in the announcement.
Nasdaq launch Blockchain services firm Diginex has become the first crypto exchange operator to list on Nasdaq. The stock went live Thursday morning under the EQOS ticker symbol, a nod to the firm’s EQUOS.io trading platform. CoinDesk’s Nathan DiCamillo reports Diginex’s back-door listing came through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Diginex CEO Richard Byworth said he expects a mix of global retail and institutional investors to buy shares. Over time, he expects the majority of Diginex shareholders to be U.S. investors because of the Nasdaq listing.
Dorsey responds Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted his disapproval of Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s mission statement to keep his company free and clear of politics. Dorsey argued that by the very act of being a crypto exchange, Coinbase was always already engaged in politics. “Bitcoin (aka ‘crypto’) is direct activism against an unverifiable and exclusionary financial system which negatively affects so much of our society. Important to at least acknowledge and connect the related societal issues your customers face daily. This leaves people behind,” Dorsey tweeted. Armstrong made waves this week – in and out of crypto – when saying Coinbase, and its employees, should keep work and activism separate.
Election predictions Putting stake to their claims, many crypto-political gamblers have cast their vote predicting who might win the contentious U.S. presidential election. CoinDesk markets editor Lawrence Lewitinn looked at the data following this week’s first presidential debate and found many are betting incumbent President Donald Trump will lose in November. While bettors on decentralized betting platforms like Augur and futures markets on FTX aren’t as bullish on the challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, he does have the odds. “Thus what’s true at the time of publication can change on a dime. It is now fewer than five weeks until Election Day. Buckle up!” Lewitinn warns.
Mining profits HIVE Blockchain has reported its best-ever quarter, as the mining firm raked in record fees from the frenzied activity in decentralized finance (DeFi) over the summer. The Toronto-listed mining company released its unaudited results Thursday, saying it mined a total of 32,000 ether (ETH) and 121,000 ethereum classic (ETC) in the second fiscal quarter ending Sept. 30. Per CoinDesk’s price data, that comes to nearly $11.8 million for mining ether, and a further $664,000 for ethereum classic – approximately $12.4 million at time of writing. The figures represent a near 30% increase from the 25,000 ETH that HIVE mined in the first quarter and a 50% increase in the same quarter in 2019.
Stealth launch In the latest effort to smooth a path for buttoned-up investors, Talos, an institutional-grade conduit to the crypto ecosystem, is emerging from stealth mode to serve brokers, custodians, exchanges and over-the-counter (OTC) trading desks. The platform started out in 2018 and is backed by an impressive list of investors including Autonomous Partners, Castle Island Ventures, Coinbase Ventures and Initialized Capital. Over the past year or so, Talos has been quietly onboarding a core group of capital market participants, so that the platform can make its debut in a revenue-generating state.
Pinch punch, first of the month. Bitcoin fell 7% over September — the biggest monthly percentage decline since March. The losses came as the U.S. dollar strengthened against major currencies for the first time in six months, and the S&P 500 gave away some of its gains. Analysts say Bitcoin appears to be sensitive to a stronger dollar right now.
Ethereum’s total transaction fees hit an all-time high of $166 million in September — six times more than Bitcoin’s $26 million. That’s astounding given how ETH has traditionally trailed BTC on this front. Of course, this can be linked back to the surge in demand for DeFi. By contrast, ETH fees only came to $1.5 million in January.
A judge has ruled that Kik’s $100 million ICO did violate federal securities laws. Ruling in favor of the SEC, Judge Alvin Kellerstein said participants would have had a reasonable expectation of profit. "Kik extolled Kin’s profit-making potential," he added. It’s a significant decision given how the judge had no "direct precedent" to guide his decision.
Election futures on the crypto derivatives FTX boomed following the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. But the president’s brash performance seemed to get a big thumbs down from traders — and drove a 10% in the price of futures contracts backing his re-election. On the Polymarket platform, 55% believe Trump won’t win next month.