Nasdaq Announces Crypto Business, Tether Ordered to Produce Documents on USDT Backing—Top 5 Crypto Stories for Sep 21

Here’s a quick breakdown of the biggest news stories and developments in the cryptocurrency sector for September 20, 2022.

1. Nasdaq announces Nasdaq Digital Assets, plans to offer crypto custody

Stock exchange operator Nasdaq is expanding its involvement with crypto assets. The company has announced that it is launching a cryptocurrency custody service tailored for institutional investors. The service will be offered by Nasdaq’s newly established crypto arm, Nasdaq Digital Assets, and will also provide liquidity and execution services. Nasdaq Digital Assets is headed by Ira Friedman, who formerly led the Gemini crypto exchange’s Prime business.

According to a Financial Times report, Nasdaq is also considering offering cryptocurrency trading services after it launches its crypto custody offering.

Here’s what Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman had to say about the company’s new crypto business:

“The technology that underpins the digital asset ecosystem has the potential to transform markets over the long-term. To deliver on that opportunity, our focus will be to provide institutional-grade solutions that bring greater liquidity, integrity, and transparency to support the evolution.”

2. Tether ordered to produce documents showing USDT backing

Tether, the issuer of the world’s biggest stablecoin USDT, has been ordered by a U.S. judge to produce records showing how the USDT tokens in circulation are backed. The order is a result of a lawsuit filed in 2019 that alleges Tether and the Bitfinex exchange used USDT issuances to manipulate markets and increase the price of Bitcoin.

More specifically, the request entails all “general ledgers, balance sheets, income statements, cash-flow statements, and profit and loss statements”.

Tether has publicly responded to the request in a blog post, saying that the request is “a routine discovery order and does not in any way substantiate plaintiffs’ meritless claims”. The firm also expressed confidence that it will win the “baseless” lawsuit.

3. Binance makes BUSD available on Polygon and Avalanche

The BUSD stablecoin, which was launched through a partnership between Binance and stablecoin issuer Paxos, is now available on the Polygon and Avalanche blockchains. Previously, the stablecoin was only available on Ethereum and the BNB Chain ecosystem. 

Polygon and Avalanche are both EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compatible blockchains that provide a cheaper and faster alternative to users that are priced out by Ethereum’s high transaction fee. In the case of Polygon, it even uses the Ethereum as a base layer to provide additional security.

Binance appears to be making moves to expand the market share of BUSD and pose a more serious threat to USDT and USDC, which are currently leading the stablecoin sector. Earlier in September, Binance announced that it will be auto-converting user balances of USDC, USDP and TUSD into BUSD, and the Binance-affiliated WazirX crypto exchange recently announced a similar move.

4. Sardine raises $51.5 million

Sardine, a platform that provides fraud prevention and compliance services to Web3 companies, has raised $51.5 million Series B round led by prolific venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Sardine has attracted high-profile customers from the cryptocurrency industry, including FTX and Blockchain.com. 

In addition to fraud prevention and compliance, Sardine also provides a service for on-ramping users to cryptocurrency by allowing them to purchase crypto and NFTs by connecting their bank accounts and cards.

5. OpenSea plans to support Arbitrum

OpenSea, the premier marketplace for trading non-fungible tokens (NFTs), is introducing support for NFTs on the Arbitrum platform. Support for Arbitrum NFTs will be rolled out today (September 21). This will introduce Arbitrum-based collections such as Smolverse, GMX Blueberry Club and Diamond Pepes to OpenSea users.

Arbitrum is a layer 2 built on top of Ethereum that uses optimistic rollups technology to give users access to significantly cheaper transactions compared to the base layer.

Arbitrum will be the fifth platform to be supported by OpenSea, as its users can also trade NFTs on the Ethereum, Polygon, Solana and Klaytn blockchains.


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