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BT Daily News: US Midterm Elections to Set the Tone for Bitcoin Miners' Future

BT-Miners

1. US Midterm Elections to Set the Tone for Bitcoin Miners' Future

Bitcoin miners across the U.S. are looking to Tuesday's midterm elections for a signal on the future of environmental policy, which may impact their expansions and operations.

Since President Joe Biden took office almost two years ago, bitcoin mining has garnered attention in the U.S. political landscape, as miners moved their operations en masse from China and new investments were made domestically.

The midterms are crucial for policy because they could “set the tone for how the industry is perceived at both the state and federal level as they weigh approaches to the industry,” said Kyle Schneps, director of public policy at digital asset mining and staking infrastructure firm Foundry, which is owned by CoinDesk’s parent company, Digital Currency Group.

As more miners expanded in the U.S., Democratic lawmakers led by Senator Elizabeth Warren have questioned the industry’s large energy usage and impact on electricity grids throughout the country. Bitcoin mining consumes great amounts of electricity to secure the blockchain’s network as specialized computers try to guess the answer to an equation, which environmentalists think is working against U.S. and global climate goals.

2. Marathon is now the 2nd-largest listed holder of Bitcoin — CEO

Bitcoin mining company Marathon Digital Holdings is now understood to be the second-largest holder of Bitcoin in the world among publicly-listed companies.

During the company’s third-quarter earnings call on Nov. 8, Marathon Digital CEO Fred Thiel revealed the company now holds 11,300 BTC, worth around $205 million at the time of writing, “making Marathon the second largest holder of Bitcoin among publicly traded companies worldwide, ” referring to unnamed third-party data.

According to CoinGecko, the Nasdaq-listed crypto miner is ranked second only to MicroStrategy Inc., which holds nearly 130,000 BTC. It’s followed by crypto exchange Coinbase and Jack Dorsey-founded payments company Block Inc.

The company reported its third-quarter earnings on Nov. 8, noting that it added 616 BTC to its holdings in the quarter, while another 615 BTC was added in the month of October alone — the most productive month in the company’s history.

3. Bored Apes founders propose new model for NFT creator royalties

The founder of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) has weighed in on the ongoing nonfungible token (NFT) creator royalties debate and shared a potential path forward that they believe best deals with the issue.

A Nov. 8 blog post from BAYC co-founder Wylie Aronow — co-signed by co-founders Greg Solano and Kerem Atalay — shared that they regard creator royalties as “the single most important factor that brought them [creators and artists] into the ecosystem.”

The post was in response to OpenSea’s Nov. 6 announcement that it would follow other NFT marketplaces on royalty enforcement, which Aronow said shows its intent “to move with the rest of the herd and remove creator royalties for legacy collections from their platform,” and opined this move was “not great,” adding:

For as much as NFTs have been about users truly owning their digital assets, they’ve also been about empowering creators.”

4. Dubai Presses for Crypto Companies to Set Up Shop

Dubai is heavily recruiting crypto companies to establish themselves there, but the Middle Eastern nation isn’t quite ready for them. Regulations aren’t clear yet, and getting something as basic as a bank account isn’t a smooth process – at least for now.

Dubai's Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), a dedicated regulator for the industry, hasn't yet released a comprehensive regulatory framework that companies can use to create or launch products, but officials have assured local companies that it will come by the end of the year, two people told CoinDesk. The regulator, established just seven months ago, has previously issued some guidelines on marketing and advertising for virtual assets.

Wealth funds in the wider region, the greater United Arab Emirates, are investing in crypto, and a large number of funds already reside in Dubai. Companies are hopeful that VARA will be friendlier to them than other jurisdictions where licensing can be slow. After all, the city is already a center for business tourism. It’s often praised for its low tax rate, its location near talent hubs like India and Pakistan, and the ease of obtaining visas for staff.

5. Crypto Trading Set to Roll Out for Japanese Nomura Bank Institutional Clients in Early 2023

Japanese bank Nomura is reportedly set to launch crypto trading for institutional clients in early 2023. The crypto unit of Nomura, which is one of Japan’s largest banks, is working on the crypto trading facility and hopes to grow the team in the upcoming months. Blockworks first reported the news.

Nomura first announced the crypto trading plan in May 2022, revealing that it would create a new digital assets company called Laser Digital. Focused on a “comprehensive suite of trading, investor products and investment services,” the company will offer services linked to crypto, DeFi, stablecoins, and NFTs.

Nomura also has a strong focus on web3, with plans already laid in place. The bank is building a team to help other companies enter the metaverse. Specifically, it is thinking of ways to use its investment banking knowledge to help companies raise money and navigate regulations.

Nomura is one of many banks in Japan to make a foray into the crypto market. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust launched a new company for institutional clients earlier this year in a joint venture with Bitbank.
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