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The Daily: Coinbase Launches Investment Fund, Cointext Enters New Markets
**In this edition of The Daily, we look at Coinbase’s decision to create a new investment vehicle for institutions in partnership with asset manager Wilshire Phoenix. We also cover the expansion of bitcoin cash SMS wallet service Cointext into four new markets. Also, New Zealand’s financial regulator has issued a warning against a platform offering cryptocurrency trading services. **
Coinbase Custody and Wilshire Phoenix Launch Cryptocurrency Fund
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has entered into a partnership agreement with asset management company Wilshire Phoenix. The deal aims to establish a new $500 million fund that will offer institutional investors exposure to digital assets. The partners revealed the underlying approach will be to mitigate the risks associated with market volatility and the current drop in cryptocurrency prices. At the same time, the fund will not use derivatives or other leverage tools to achieve its main objective, which is to limit counterparty exposure and the additional fees associated with such investments.
The new investment vehicle is the latest addition to an array of institutional products offered by Coinbase. News about the joint venture between Coinbase Custody and the New York-based Wilshire Phoenix comes after the San Francisco-headquartered cryptocurrency trading platform raised $300 million in equity funding which brought its market valuation up to $8 billion. According to Bill Herrmann, founder and CEO of Wilshire Phoenix, the partnership with the leading U.S. crypto exchange provides his company with the “best in class platform on which to securely store digital assets.”
Bitcoin Cash SMS Wallet Now Available in 33 Countries
SMS-based cryptocurrency wallet provider Cointext has entered four new markets. The platform, which allows people who don’t have smartphones or access to the internet to send cryptocurrency using text messages, launched its bitcoin cash (BCH) wallet in Hungary, Slovenia, Taiwan, and Puerto Rico. The company is currently operating in 33 countries after recently adding Brazil, Poland, Croatia, and Romania.
Users can take advantage of the service without installing any apps or setting up accounts. The platform allows individuals to send digital cash to domestic and international mobile phone numbers or BCH addresses. When someone receives cryptocurrency to their phone, Cointext automatically sets up a bitcoin cash wallet for them. Commenting on the expansion, Cointext founder and CTO Vin Armani said:
Cointext is the easiest way to introduce new people to bitcoin … We’re excited to launch in Slovenia because bitcoin cash is already popular there.
The ability to access a wallet via SMS (short message service) means users don’t need internet connection to transfer cryptocurrency. Cointext also settles all transactions without holding customer funds. The company charges $0.02 per byte on all transactions. The flat fee is levied independently of the value of coins being transferred.
New Zealand’s Financial Regulator Blacklists Cryptogain
The Financial Markets Authority of New Zealand, FMA, has issued a warning against three online platforms. According to the watchdog, the trio have the characteristics of scams. Two of them, Russ Horn and Zend Trade, have been luring investors into forex trading schemes offering unrealistic returns. The websites have advertised forex advisory and professional brokerage services, trading software and educational materials. Regulators have found that the two platforms are actually connected.
The third entity, Cryptogain, has been presenting itself as a provider of cryptocurrency trading services. Its website used the name of another, legitimate company registered in New Zealand, Cryptogain Ltd., without consent. In a number of complaints filed with the FMA, the platform is accused of withholding client funds.
The news about the blacklisted company comes after a positive development for the cryptocurrency industry in the island nation. The government of New Zealand recently invested $315,000 into the Auckland-based startup Vimba which maintains a cryptocurrency savings platform and offers a range of trading services. The company will use the funds provided through the government innovation arm Callaghan Innovation to develop new features, build multi-signature wallets and increase the number of supported cryptocurrencies.
What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Nexo, Bitfinex.
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