– UK Metropolitan Police seized more than £1.4 billion worth of Bitcoin from a Chinese investment fraud
– Industry leaders have launched the Digital Assets Association to foster responsible development and adoption of institutional digital assets
– Digital asset product volumes surged over 200% in January, following the approval of Bitcoin spot ETFs
I. UK Police Seized £1.4BN of Bitcoin from Chinese Investment Fraud
– The UK Metropolitan Police seized over £1.4 billion worth of bitcoin as part of one of the largest crypto seizures by law enforcement worldwide. The funds came from a massive investment fraud in China and were linked to an alleged fugitive from Chinese authorities.
– In 2018, the police seized over 61,000 BTC from a safety deposit box and a property linked to the fraud. By July 2021, the value of the seized BTC had reached £1.4 billion.
– Jian Wen, accused of laundering Bitcoin on behalf of her employer, is on trial in London, while the alleged fugitive, Yadi Zhang, has fled the UK. Zhang is believed to have committed investment fraud in China between 2014 and 2017.
– Wen is accused of helping Zhang convert BTC into fiat, property, and luxury items in the UK. She claims to have been Zhang’s “carer” and denies any involvement in the fraud, though the prosecution argues otherwise.
II. Industry Leaders Band Together to Launch the Digital Assets Association
– The Digital Assets Association (DAA) has been officially launched with a focus on fostering responsible development and adoption of institutional digital assets. The association includes a committee of industry leaders who believe in the future of digital assets.
– The DAA aims to bridge the gap between traditional finance and the potential of tokenized real-world assets by bringing together financial institutions, fintechs, technology providers, and legal and regulatory experts.
– The association plans to provide a platform for stakeholders to share knowledge, develop industry standards, engage with policymakers and regulators, and empower future leaders in the sector.
III. Digital Asset Product Volumes Surge Over 200% in January
– Following the approval of initial Bitcoin spot ETFs, the digital asset sector saw a surge in trading volumes, with average daily aggregate trading volumes increasing by 224% to $2.19 billion.
– The Digital Asset Management Review by on-chain analytics firm CCData noted that the ETF launch and a broader uptick in market sentiment contributed to the increase in trading volumes.
– The report also highlighted that the fee structure of ETFs influences inflows and trading volumes, with lower fees increasing an ETF’s appeal. While Grayscale’s outflows have slowed down, other ETF providers have lowered their fees to attract investors.
– Grayscale maintained the industry’s highest AUM in January at $29.1 billion, while companies like BlackRock and Fidelity recorded over $2 billion in AUM in their first month of trading.
– January saw significant developments in the crypto and digital asset space, including the UK police’s record bitcoin seizure, the launch of the Digital Assets Association, and the surge in digital asset product volumes.
– The growing confidence in the digital asset space, fueled by ETFs and institutional acceptance, indicates a positive trajectory for the industry.
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