January News Recap: Crypto and Blockchain ETFs, Five Star Bank Offers Bitcoin Services and More
The month of January saw significant dips across a majority of tokens (read: BTC and ETH have hit all-time lows) in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. While the market is currently seeing bearish sentiments, new partnerships and businesses in the crypto and blockchain space tell us one thing: all hope is not lost.
Ahead, our monthly rundown on the key topics and headlines (spoiler alert: a new crypto ETF, banks supporting crypto transactions) to know.
1. BlackRock is Reportedly Looking to Launch an ETF Focusing on Blockchain Technology
Asset manager giant, BlackRock, has reportedly filed to launch a blockchain ETF. Blackrock's ETF is said to focus on companies developing crypto technologies and will track the NYSE FactSet Global Blockchain Technologies Index. According to the filing, such companies include cryptocurrency mining, cryptocurrency trading, and exchanges, or crypto-mining systems.
2. Charles Schwab Considers Launching a Crypto Spot ETF
The American multinational financial services firm is currently evaluating how and when it could offer its clients additional opportunities for exposure to cryptocurrencies. Such opportunities include spot cryptocurrency or blockchain technologies in the form of ETFs. Currently, the firm already offers 4 mutual funds and 4 ETFs with crypto ties from third parties.
3. American Express Explores Ways to Offer Reward Points in Crypto
American Express credit card holders may eventually be able to redeem points for cryptocurrencies, as reported from an interview with CEO Stephen Squeri on Yahoo Finance. While the firm did mention that it has no immediate plans to issue a crypto-linked credit card, it is said to be exploring other ways to potentially allow users to redeem membership reward points.
4. Intel to Unveil a Bitcoin Mining Chip Known as ASIC in February
One of the world's largest chipmakers, Intel Corporation, is set to unveil a specialized crypto-mining chip at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in February. These chips are said to have an ultra-low voltage as part of their cumulative efforts to be more energy-efficient and specialize in Bitcoin mining.
5. New York’s Five Star Bank is Said to Allow Customers to Buy, Sell, and Hold BTC
Five Star has partnered with New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) to offer Bitcoin trading and services that will reportedly be available to its customers by the second quarter of 2022. Clients and customers will soon be able to transact Bitcoin securely through its mobile application and online banking platform. This initiative was launched with an aim to offer users a platform that is regulated, compliant, and meets industry standards. This will allow the customers to monitor their fiat currencies and crypto investments.
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Stay tuned for our crypto news and updates as we discuss the monthly highlights in the crypto and blockchain space!