Crypto Three Things (9/22)

Thursday, Sep 22nd 2022


FTX in fundraise mode

 “Let us not emphasize all on which we differ but all we have in common. Let us consider not what we fear separately but what we share together.” - John F. Kennedy

1) FTX seeks up to $1B in new raise: Crypto exchange heavyweight FTX is in discussions with potential investors to raise as much as $1B in a new round that would keep the firm’s valuation unchanged at roughly $32B. The new funding will add to FTX’s $400M Series C round in January and will be used to bolster new acquisitions. Sam Bankman-Fried’s privately-held conglomerate previously had been backed by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, Tiger Global, and Singapore’s investment fund Temasek.

Titan’s Takeaway: With many companies barely surviving the crypto winter, thoughts of acquisition and consolidation must come naturally. Especially for FTX, which has already bailed out a few distressed crypto firms in efforts to stem contagion.

2) Nomura’s crypto unit powers up: Japan’s largest investment bank, Nomura, announced it has picked a name and formed a structure for its developing digital-asset business. “Laser Digital,” the new entity, will be run by Steven Ashley, who is stepping down from a lengthy tenure as Nomura’s head of trading and investment. The crypto spin-off is based in Switzerland and will aim to “stay at the forefront of digital innovation” through exposure to digital assets.

Titan’s Takeaway: The Tokyo-based lender appears to be making good on its promise to launch a crypto-trading arm after announcing the plans in May. With more details coming in the following months, Nomura’s new venture could be a fresh boost to the industry.

3) Jamie Dimon slams crypto tokens: The JPMorgan CEO laced into digital assets during a congressional hearing, saying Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are “decentralized Ponzi schemes.” The self-described “major crypto skeptic” called people’s faith in the benefits of the asset class as “unbelievable.” Dimon, who once deemed Bitcoin “a fraud,” but later regretted his comments, and spoke in favor of stablecoins, provided they were properly regulated.

Titan’s Takeaway: A baffling divergence has emerged between JPMorgan and its long-reigning chief executive. The investment bank seems to oppose some of Dimon’s views with the JPM Coin, a Metaverse office, and multiple bullish projections for Bitcoin.

As of this writing, BTC was a portfolio holding of Titan. This security may cease to be a portfolio holding at some point in the future.
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