Canada's first bitcoin-backed lender | SEC ramping up focus on crypto scams

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The Big Block

Ledn is looking to shakeup a market that is often forgotten in crypto: Canada. Started by early bitcoin adopter Mauricio Di Bartolomeo, Ledn is a providing credit to Canadian bitcoin businesses and consumers. Canadian Bitcoiners, which make up an estimated 5% of the country, struggle to access many of the services provided by traditional financial institutions, and Ledn is filling in the gap, according to Di Bartolomeo. “Canada seems to be have left to the side unfairly,” he said, noting the country has been punching above its weight in its contribution to the bitcoin community.

Francis Pouliot, founder and CEO of Satoshi Portal, a company building bitcoin payments and exchange solutions, agreed. The firm owns Bylls, Canada’s largest bitcoin payment processor: “Satoshi Portal tried to get loans elsewhere, and as a company, we were not even able to get a credit card. The banks will not allow us to get credit.” As a result, Bylls recently became one of Ledn’s clients.

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Around The Block

Compound, the crypto borrowing and lending marketplace, wants users to pick a stablecoin

With a major election looming in the U.S., a vote currently running at Compound might not seem to be the most important issue of the day. Still, the firm is giving users a voice in which stablecoin to list on its marketplace. The vote is open through Election Day in the U.S., next Tuesday November 6.

Compound launched its crypto money market in September, allowing investors to earn money on their cryptocurrencies by lending them out. The other side of that coin (!) is that Compound facilitates borrowing crypto as well. This makes it easier to short a specific currency, betting its price will fall. Compound currently supports ether, augur, basic attention token and 0x. — More

AlphaPoint, the Mike Novogratz backed crypto tech firm, just made a big hire from Wall Street

AlphaPoint, the blockchain company, has hired a heavyweight from the financial services world to head up the firm’s trading business.

The New York-based firm, which counts Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital as an investor, announced Friday it hired Kapil Rathi, formerly head of equity options at Cboe Global Markets. Cboe is the exchange behind the first bitcoin futures market in the U.S. The Block spoke with Kapil Rathi on his first day at the new job to ask him about his role and his impression of AlphaPoint’s place in the digital-asset ecosystem. Rathi is charged with covering the company’s exchange relationships as global head of trading markets, a new role at AlphaPoint, which white-labels exchange technology that other firms use to power their own markets. AlphaPoint is not an exchange itself. — More

SEC’s annual report shows that the agency is increasing its focus on cryptocurrency scams — More

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