Tether Operations is to launch a stablecoin pegged to the British pound sterling in July.

The company is behind stablecoin USDT, the third most valuable cryptocurrency after Bitcoin and Ethereum, which is currently worth $67 billion by market capitalisation.

GBPT will join four other fiat-currency pegged tokens Tether has in the market: the US dollar-pegged USDT, the Euro-pegged EURT, the offshore Chinese Yuan-pegged CNHT and recently launched MXNT, pegged to the Mexican Peso.

GBPT will operate on the blockchain platform, while there will be initial support for Ethereum.

In April of this year, The UK Treasury announced plans to make the country a global crypto hub. According to its website, the government will also make moves to see stablecoins recognised as a valid form of payment.

“We believe that the United Kingdom is the next frontier for blockchain innovation and the wider implementation of cryptocurrency for financial markets,” said Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether. 

“We hope to help lead this innovation by providing cryptocurrency users worldwide with access to a GBP-denominated stablecoin issued by the largest stablecoin issuer.

“Tether is ready and willing to work with UK regulators to make this goal a reality and looks forward to the continued adoption of Tether stablecoins.” 

Tether said GBPT will reinforce the British Pound Sterling as one of the most dominant currencies across the globe and introduce an FX opportunity for USDT and EURT. It will also act as an on-ramp to the decentralised finance ecosystem.

‘We’re missing a trick’: Tory politicians call for UK to embrace crypto

FalconX valued at $8bn by $150m funding round

Digital asset platform for institutions FalconX has raised $150 million in a financing round which values the company at $8 billion.

Led by GIC and B Capital, the Series D round also saw participation from Thoma Bravo, Wellington Management, Adams Street Partners and Tiger Global Management.

The company, which enjoyed its strongest quarter of customer onboarding in Q1 2022, is creating an underlying infrastructure for accessing crypto and allowing traditional assets such as equities to be tokenised.

“FalconX is one of the very few crypto prime brokerages who do not take on market risk, so we’re not in conflict with our clients and their trading strategies. In light of recent market conditions, this is extremely valuable to our clients who demand a reliable market infrastructure provider,” said Raghu Yarlagadda, CEO and founder.

$100m raise for Prime Trust

Another FinTech and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, Prime Trust, has raised $100 million Series B funding at an undisclosed valuation.

The round featured participation from FIS, Fin Capital, Mercato Partners, Kraken Ventures, Commerce Ventures, William Blair & Company, Decasonic, University Growth Fund, Gaingels, GateCap Ventures and Seven Peaks Ventures.

Based in Las Vegas, it offers a portfolio of APIs and plug-and-play widgets. It counts some of the world’s largest crypto brands such as Swan, Abra, Dapper Labs and Binance US as clients. 

Crypto must decentralise to survive

Cryptocurrency shorts

Binance has signed a multi-year NFT partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo. The Manchester United and Portugal star will be involved in the creation of a series of collections for sale exclusively on the Binance NFT platform.

Crypto futures and lending exchange platform Coinflex is the latest to pause withdrawals, citing ‘extreme market conditions’. CEO Mark Lamb said he was “confident” the situation would be resolved and withdrawals allowed again by 30th June.

Solana Labs is to launch an Android smartphone, Saga, as well as the Solana Mobile Stack software ecosystem for Android. This open-source software development kit will help developers build native Android apps compatible with the Solana blockchain network.

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple Labs, says US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission has inconsistently imposed regulations on crypto firms. The organisations are embroiled in a long-term legal battle over whether Ripple executives conducted an “unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities offering” with sales of its XRP token. “The SEC now seems to take the position when they sued us that ‘XRP is a security and always has been’, but they approved Coinbase going public even though Coinbase is not a registered broker-dealer,” said Garlinghouse.

Cardano co-founder Charles Hoskinson has told Congress it should follow the financial markets model in making regulations for crypto but leaving compliance up to the tech industry. “It’s not the SEC or the CFTC going out there doing KYC-AML (Know Your Customer-Anti-Money Laundering), it’s banks. It’s a public-private partnership. What needs to be done is to establish those boundaries, then what we can do as innovators is write software to help make that happen.”

Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao is the latest high-profile figure to argue that “bad” crypto projects should be allowed to fail and not receive bailouts. “Sadly, some of these ‘bad’ projects have a large number of users, often acquired through inflated incentives, creative marketing, or pure Ponzi schemes.” is the most commonly phished crypto project with 662 phishing websites in the last 90 days, according to data collected by CheckPhish and analysed by Atlas VPN.. It is followed by cryptocurrency wallet Luno (277) and proof-of-stake blockchain platform Cardano (191) then Poloniex, Magic Eden, Bittrex, Binance, Apex Crypto, MyEtherWallet, Electrum and BTC Markets.

Payments bank Banking Circle has released its latest whitepaper on how banks can prepare for the adoption of cryptocurrencies. “It is time for banks to prepare to engage with Web3 and crypto, or risk having to catch up later,” said Mishal Ruparel, regional general manager, APAC at the company. “It may still seem like early days for virtual assets, but our research shows it is growing rapidly in popularity, and the next two to three years will be critical in the evolution. The industry has been working hard to reduce risk by improving fraud and money laundering defences. And we believe that acceptance, transaction and settlement of crypto will grow fastest when banks are fully engaged.”

Ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded Coinbase’s corporate debt and placed its debt ratings for the crypto exchange under review for further downgrade.

Meanwhile Coinbase is allowing customers to send and receive cryptocurrency on multiple networks, starting with Polygon and Solana. It said the integration will make it fast and simple for customers to convert fiat to crypto and fund their Polygon and Solana wallets.

Fashion house Gucci has invested $25k into non-fungible token marketplace SuperRare. While acquiring the RARE tokens, it is also launching the ‘Vault Art Space’, an exhibition that will include a selection of NFT artworks by 29 artists.

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the almost 20,000 coins is at $937.2 billion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 3.7% increase in the last 24 hours.

Market leader Bitcoin – the original cryptocurrency created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – gained 4% to $21,125. BTC is 2% up in a week.

Ethereum, the second most valuable crypto coin – created as a decentralised network for smart contracts on the blockchain – added 5% to around $1,150. ETH is 4% up over the course of a week.

Binance Coin is a cryptocurrency created by popular crypto exchange Binance to assist its aim in becoming the infrastructure services provider for the entire blockchain ecosystem. Its BNB token gained 4% to $230, leaving it 6% up over seven days.

Cardano is an open source network facilitating dApps which considers itself to be an updated version of Ethereum. Its ADA token, designed to allow owners to participate in the operation of the network, gained 3% to almost 49 cents yet is 1% down over the course of a week.

The XRP token of Ripple, a payment settlement asset exchange and remittance system, acts as a bridge for transfers between other currencies. XRP jumped 12% to 36c while its price is 11% up on seven days ago. It has moved back above Cardano in the valuation table by market cap.

Solana is a blockchain built to make decentralised finance accessible on a larger scale – and capable of processing 50,000 transactions per second. Its SOL token grew 6% to $38.22 and is 24% up compared with its price a week ago.

Meme coin DOGE was created as a satire on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies but is now a major player in the space. DOGE added 2% to just below 6.5c, leaving it 14% up in a week. 

Polkadot was founded by the Swiss-based Web3 Foundation as an open-source project to develop a decentralised web. Its DOT token, which aims to securely connect blockchains, gained 3% to $7.85 and is 8% up on its price a week ago.

Avalanche is a lightning-quick verifiable platform for institutions, enterprises and governments. Its AVAX token leapt 16% to $19.77 and is 21% up in a week.

To see how the valuations of the main coins have changed in recent times – and for round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments – click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.