Bitcoin Daily: SBI Backs Swiss Crypto Wallet; Saudi Arabia, UAE Central Banks Test New Crypto

Bitcoin Daily

SBI Holdings subsidiary SBI Crypto Investment has backed BRD, a Swiss digital currency wallet firm, with a $15 million Series B investment, Deal Street Asia reported. The firm plans to put the funds towards growth in Asia as well as platform development. BRD co-founder and CEO Adam Traidman said, according to the report, “SBI Group’s investment in BRD allows us to firmly cement ourselves in the Asian market.” The news comes after SBI Group invested $15 million in Tangem, a Swiss digital currency wallet maker.

In other news, the central banks of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are working to pilot a digital currency called Aber, TheNextWeb reported. Through the proof-of-concept, the countries plan to see if they can lower remittance costs.  In addition, the project aims to explore the use of the technology for a domestic payments reserve. A limited number of banks in Saudi Arabia, as well as the UAE, are said to participate in the Aber project, and both countries are said to consider deploying the technology if the tests are successful.

On another note, Chainalysis found that roughly 64 percent of funds “flowing from known illicit activities” flowed through exchanges, TheNextWeb reported.  In addition, the report found that almost 12 percent of funds “flowing from known illicit activities” flowed through peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges. Chainalysis said, according to the report, “a majority of illicit funds actually flow through either exchanges, or peer-to-peer exchanges, with the rest flowing through other conversion services such as mixing services, [bitcoin] ATM’s and gambling sites.”

And Massachusetts-based biotech company Agenus Inc. hopes to raise $50 million to $100 million through offering digital tokens, Bloomberg reported. The company, which is at work on a cancer drug candidate as well as immuno-oncology treatments, plans to offer biotech electronic security tokens (BESTs) to some investors beginning in mid-February. Garo Armen, the company’s chief executive, told Bloomberg, “with these types of novel instruments, you have a much more concentrated exposure to a specific product.”