Google's parent company, Alphabet, published a report according to which from September 2021 to June of the current year, it allocated $1.5 billion to invest in blockchain companies, which was a record amount among all existing public corporations. The investment appears to be part of Google's strategic expansion plan, as it was split among four companies: digital asset storage platform fire blocks, Web3 game developer Elegant Labs, Bitcoin infrastructure tool Tension, and venture capital firm Digital Currency Group. Alphabet's blockchain investment growth is fully in line with the trends in investment behavior of other giant corporations. Another 40 public companies, with an estimated value of $6 billion, invested about $1.9 billion in the blockchain ecosystem between January 2021 and September 2021, while for the whole of 2020, the total investment in the niche was $506 million. Based on publicly available data, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have become the industry record holders for return on investment, which are still the most popular investment vehicle. The remaining funds were distributed among bidders, companies operating in the blockchain as a service (BaaS) infrastructure segment, smart contract platforms, scaling solutions, and digital asset storage platforms.
The first-ever cryptocurrency exchange, Mt.Gox, which closed in 2014 after an unconfirmed hacker attack and theft of 850,000 BTC, has again appeared in the information field due to the fact that its representatives wished to return some of their lost deposits to creditors. The trustee of the crypto platform, in an effort to quickly pay off debts, even offered creditors an “early lump sum repayment.” Now the victims of the first major attack on the crypto exchange can either accept or reject this offer. Experts warn that some creditors may indeed not agree to such conditions, hoping that in the future the debtor will reimburse them in full. However, the incident has already raised serious questions about Bitcoin's price stability as a result of a possible payback. Some market experts have decided that such a one-time payout could be an impressive synthetic dump for the price of BTC, after which the price dynamics of the flagship will probably be even more difficult to predict. However, Mt.Gox only announced a return of 140,000 Bitcoins. According to current statistics, this number is equivalent to barely 8% of the total daily trading volume, which is still negligible compared to the size of the market. Thus, the likelihood that the return of funds of creditors will somehow seriously affect the value of BTC is extremely small.
Kazakhstan’s Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA), the country’s key regulator that oversees the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), has issued a temporary digital asset license to crypto giant Binance. The document is characterized as an in-principle approval to work with cryptocurrencies and requires Binance to complete the application process for a full license that will allow it to operate a digital asset trading tool and provide services for their storage on the AIFC platform. This decision was made after the Kazakh financial service launched a pilot project to create and develop cryptocurrency exchanges in the country this spring. Then, in June, Nur-Sultan authorities allowed AIFC-registered platforms to open accounts with local commercial banks. As a reminder, Kazakhstan attracted a significant number of cryptocurrency miners after China cracked down on the industry in May 2021. However, many economists agree that this business is of little benefit to the country's economy, as it does not create enough jobs, exacerbates the growing electricity shortage, pays little tax, and transfers profits abroad.