Bitcoin Daily: WisdomTree US Money Manager Ventures Into Bitcoin Exchanges; Nordea Bank Cleared To Prohibit Employee Bitcoin Trading


U.S. asset manager WisdomTree has launched its first investment product, offering large investors exposure to bitcoin without having to directly hold the asset.

As Jason Guthrie, WisdomTree Europe’s head of capital markets, pointed out, the offering is the first its kind by a mainstream, established asset manager. The product’s underlying bitcoin will be held in “cold,” or offline, storage by Swissquote bank.

In other news, Nordea Bank has been given permission to prohibit its employees from investing in bitcoin and other digital currencies in their own time. A Danish court ruled that the risks that come with cryptos justifies the ban after Denmark’s union for financial industry employees filed suit against the firm.

“We filed suit because of the principle that everyone obviously has a private life and the right to act as a private individual,” Kent Petersen, the union’s chairman, said in a statement. “It was important for us and our members to establish what rights managers have. In this case, it was more far-reaching than what we find to be appropriate.”

The British Virgin Islands has plans to release its own national cryptocurrency pegged one-to-one to the greenback so that its 35,000 residents can use it within its territory. The government has partnered with startup LIFElabs on the launch.

And Canadian nonprofit Open Privacy has plans to launch Cwtch, a zcash-fueled messaging app.

“Cwtch is focused on building a decentralized infrastructure,” said Open Privacy founder Sarah Jamie Lewis. “It can’t be reliant on Visa or Venmo unless we can find a way to remove that metadata.”

The project, which is still in an early stage, received a $40,000 donation from the Zcash Foundation, allowing it to hire a designer and continue research on the payment services of the system.

“Think of it like a prepaid card,” Lewis said. “You would top off at some point using zcash or any other payment methods.”


Featured PYMNTS Study: 

With eyes on lowering costs to improving cash flow, 85 percent of U.S. firms plan to make real-time payments integral to their operations within three years. However, some firms still feel technical barriers stand in the way. In the January 2020 Making Real-Time Payments A Reality Study, PYMNTS surveyed more than 500 financial executives to examine what it will take to channel RTP interest into real-world adoption. Here’s what we learned.