Saturday Newsletter

Explore the latest trends, gain valuable insights, and stay informed in the dynamic cryptocurrency ecosystem.

15 June 2024

The escalating corporate battle between Riot Platforms and Bitfarms, Tether’s $1 billion investment budget for startups, Ripple Labs’ new custodian acquisition, and more.

Riot Platforms Increases Stake in Bitfarms Amid Corporate Dispute

The corporate feud between crypto mining giants Riot Platforms and Bitfarms has escalated significantly. On June 11, Riot Platforms announced a major increase in its stake in Bitfarms, acquiring around six million shares valued at over $111 million, thereby boosting its total holding from 9.25% to 13.1%.

This strategic move followed Bitfarms’ adoption of a “poison pill” defense mechanism designed to prevent any single entity, including Riot, from increasing its stake to 15% or more. The poison pill strategy aims to dilute the value of shares and obstruct Riot’s takeover attempts.

Back in April, Riot made an offer to acquire Bitfarms at a premium above the current market price, which Bitfarms’ board promptly rejected. The dispute has been further complicated by internal strife within Bitfarms, which fired its CEO Geoffrey Morphy in May. Morphy has since sued the company for breach of contract, wrongful dismissal, and damages, demanding $27 million. The conflict between Riot and Bitfarms shows no signs of resolution.

Tether to Invest $1 Billion in Emerging Technologies

Stablecoin leader Tether has announced plans to invest up to $1 billion over the next year in emerging markets, artificial intelligence (AI), and biotechnology. According to CEO Paolo Ardoino, Tether’s venture capital arm will spearhead these investments, with a team of 15 professionals evaluating hundreds of pitches monthly. Over the past two years, Tether has already invested around $2 billion in technologies like AI and alternative financial infrastructure.

Ripple Labs Completes Standard Custody Acquisition

Ripple Labs has finalized its acquisition of the digital asset custodian Standard Custody. This strategic move could support Ripple’s plans to launch a USD stablecoin and advance its broader goals of tokenizing real-world assets. As part of the acquisition, Standard Custody CEO Jack McDonald will take on the role of Ripple’s Senior Vice President of Stablecoins while retaining his CEO position at Standard Custody. Ripple highlighted Standard Custody’s regulatory approval from the New York Department of Financial Services as a key asset.

Circle Introduces Programmable Wallets and Gas Stations on Solana

Circle has announced the rollout of support for the Solana blockchain across its Web3 services, including programmable wallets and gas stations. This integration will occur in two phases: the first focusing on programmable wallets and sponsored transaction fees, and the second on supporting non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and program interactions through the Smart Contract Platform. This move aligns Solana with other blockchains already supported by Circle, such as Ethereum, Polygon, and Avalanche.

Fireblocks Partners with Coinbase for Expanded Trading Services

Fireblocks has partnered with Coinbase to enhance its trading services by introducing perpetual futures and spot trading via Coinbase International Exchange. This collaboration targets institutional investors, offering new trading options under stringent security and governance protocols. These capabilities are available to users in select jurisdictions outside the United States, though specific countries served are not detailed on Coinbase International’s website.

Indiana’s Ambitious Plan to Attract Crypto Mining

The state of Indiana is positioning itself as a hub for data centers and crypto mining by promising uninterrupted, low-cost energy.

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