This Week in Crypto (10 May-16 May)



May 18, 2021


- Two Influential Banking Executives Join Dacxi’s UK Board

- Banking Giant UBS to Enter Crypto Space

- Kazakhstan to Encourage the Development of a Crypto Industry

- eBay to Introduce NFT Sales

- MicroStrategy Makes a $15 Million BTC Purchase


The week has seen significant developments in exchanges between the world of traditional banking and crypto finance. While the global banking giant UBS AG has decided to offer its clients the opportunity to invest in digital assets on a limited scale, two top UK banking sector executives have joined the newly created UK board of Dacxi, a crypto wealth platform. 

Leading to further mainstreaming of digital assets, eBay has decided to sell NFTs, and the Government of Kazakhstan is planning to bring in digital versions of its national currency Tenga. Overall, the crypto industry is expanding in multiple dimensions and is probably why MicroStrategy has expanded its BTC portfolio by $15 million more.

Banking Giant UBS to Enter Crypto Space

According to a new report published by BNN Bloomberg, UBS Group AG is looking for avenues to offer its clients the opportunity to invest in digital assets. UBS Group AG, founded in 1862 and headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, is the largest bank in Switzerland and one of the largest financial service providers globally. As of June 30, 2020, UBS Group AG has more than 3.5 trillion US dollars in assets under management. It is significant for the crypto world to have such a large-scale financial institution enter the digital assets space. However, the Bloomberg report suggests that, for now, investment opportunities in crypto will remain limited to a small portion of the client’s wealth.

UBS has decided to keep the investment scope limited, keeping the price volatility of crypto assets in mind. In an official statement, UBS declared that it has been monitoring the developments in the domain of digital assets closely and are most interested in the underlying technology of distributed ledger.

Apart from UBS, several other large financial institutions are also entering the crypto space. For instance, Goldman Sachs has entered the US$1 trillion Bitcoin market with trading solutions in non-deliverable forwards. Morgan Stanley is planning to offer its wealthy clients access to funds that will let them own crypto. New York Mellon Corp is developing a digital assets platform, while Citigroup is also considering its crypto service capabilities.

Kazakhstan to Encourage the Development of a Crypto Industry

The Kazakhstan state officials have already reviewed proposals addressing the crypto industry’s developmental needs in the country. The state authorities have also reviewed the reconsideration possibilities of the state’s approach in regulating crypto operations. 

The proposals include a plan to run crypto exchanges through the Astana International Financial Center, a national financial hub. The officials have also suggested establishing a standard interaction mechanism between the crypto exchanges and the local banks and clients. 

These proposals and reviews indicate the Republic of Kazakhstan’s becoming sincere about the crypto industry and digital assets. These initiatives are to bring more transparency and streamline the industry. The country is also contemplating the possibilities of a central bank digital currency. The digital tenge (Kazakhstan’s national currency) will not replace cash or cashless payments but would work as an alternative payment option.

eBay to Introduce NFT Sales on its eCommerce Platform

In a significant development in the tokenized assets market, eBay has decided to introduce NFT sales for digital collectibles. These may include trading cards, images, or video clips. With this decision, eBay is to become the first-ever eCommerce company to leverage the potential of NFTs. These virtual assets on a blockchain ledger, have experienced explosive growth in their market over the past years. 

According to reports, the NFT market cap has grown by 1,785% in less than three months in 2021. Many traditional sellers and auctioneers have engaged themselves proactively in the sales of NFTs. For instance, Christie’s, the globally revered art auction house, has sold digital artist Beeple’s artwork NFT for more than 69 million US dollars. Experts expect the growth of NFTs to amplify exponentially with their listing on eBay, an eCommerce site with more than 180 million active buyers.

MicroStrategy Makes a $15 Million BTC Purchase

On May 13th, 2021, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor disclosed the company’s $15 million BTC purchase. The Virginia-based MicroStrategy (Nasdaq: MSTR) is a global leader in enterprise analytics and mobility software. It also serves in the business intelligence and analytics space by delivering innovative software and unique intelligence applications. 

It is not the first time Microstrategy has made a significant investment in Bitcoin. As of 13th May 2021, the company had a total of 91,580 bitcoins on its balance sheet, purchased for a total of $2.241 billion. The average price of each BTC, owned by Microstrategy, now stands at $24,403. The recent purchase of $15 million comprised 271 Bitcoins, purchased at an average price of $55,387. With this purchase, Microstrategy now owns 0.437% of the asset’s circulating supply. Microstrategy is followed by Tesla (.206%) and Square Inc. (.038%). 

Two Influential Banking Executives Join Dacxi’s UK Board 

Ian Tyler and Jeremy Larson have joined the newly created UK board of Dacxi, a globally known crypto wealth platform. While Ian Tyler has joined as the firm’s new chairman, Jeremy Larson will serve as the firm’s non-executive director. 

Ian and Jeremy, both are banking industry big industry heavyweights in their own right. Tyler has more than 35 years of experience in banking and has led a team of 50 treasury professionals as the Head of Non-Trading Market Risk in RBS. He has also led the treasury workstream for three banks (RBS, Santander, and Fortis) on the ABN AMRO acquisition.

Jeremy brings 25 years of experience in disruptive retail financial services across FCA-regulated industries. Apart from holding several non-executive director positions with FinTech, WealthTech, and eCommerce Platform businesses, Jeremy is Managing Director of GrowthSmart Consulting Limited and a Lecturer and Fellow at the London Institute of Banking and Finance.