200 Bitcoin ATMs installed at Walmart… with plans for 8000 in total
Walmart has installed 200 Bitcoin ATMs in a trial and plans to eventually install 8,000 across the U.S. in just another sign of mainstream adoption.

Although the pilot includes only 200 kiosks, the broader launch plans to eventually see the installation of 8,000 bitcoin ATMs across the country, according to Bloomberg. There has been no further details on timelines as of yet.

According to Coin ATM Radar, there are currently over 25,000 bitcoin ATMs at select grocery stores and service stations in the U.S. Coinstar operates 4,400 kiosks enabled for Bitcoin purchases, across 33 states.

Chief strategy officer and head of research at BitOoda Sam Doctor told Bloomberg that while Bitcoin ATMs aren’t a new development, and can already be found at many supermarkets:

“Walmart expands Bitcoin access to more people, though, and gives it further legitimacy among skeptics, should they roll it out beyond an initial pilot.”

Customers can use the Bitcoin ATM by inserting a banknote and receiving a paper voucher with a redemption code. To redeem the code, customers need to then set up a Coinme account and complete a background check. Users cannot withdraw Bitcoin from their account, with no indication of plans to offer this functionality in the near future.


FTX crypto exchange raises $420M from 69 investors
The operator of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX has raised $420 million in fresh funding, bringing the company’s valuation to $25 billion.

FTX, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has raised $420 million in fresh funding, bringing its total valuation to $25 billion.

The firm officially announced Thursday that FTX’s operator, FTX Trading, has completed a new Series B-1 fundraise involving 69 investors, including Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and Singapore’s state investment firm Temasek.

Other investors included major venture capital firms such as Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global, Sea Capital, Ribbit Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock.

According to FTX head of product Ramnik Arora, the new funding will help the company further expand its market opportunities across equities, prediction markets, nonfungible tokens (NFT) and videogame partnerships. “We expect to make strategic investments designed to grow the business and expand our regulatory coverage,” he said.

FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said that he founded his company with the idea of “creating a better financial marketplace.” “For this round, we capitalized on those strides and were able to partner with investors that prioritize positioning FTX as the world’s most transparent and compliant cryptocurrency exchange,” he added.


Pension fund for Texas firefighters reportedly allocates $25M to Bitcoin and Ether
The Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund used the New York Digital Investment Group to execute the purchase of $25 million in Bitcoin and Ether.

The pension fund for firefighters in Houston has allocated part of its $4 billion portfolio towards crypto.

According to a Thursday Bloomberg report, the Houston Firefighters' Relief and Retirement Fund used the New York Digital Investment Group, or NYDIG, to execute the purchase of $25 million in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). Public records through the Texas comptroller’s office show the pension fund held more than $4.1 billion in total net assets as of June 2020, meaning the group has allocated roughly 0.6% of its portfolio towards digital assets.

“We have been studying this as an asset class to add to our investment portfolio for quite some time,” said the fund’s chief investment officer Ajit Singh. “It became an asset class we could not ignore anymore.”

He added:

“As more and more institutional adoptions happen, there will be more and more dynamics that develop for supply and demand. And having physical assets — actual tokens — gives us in the future the possibility of income generation potential.”

The fund is responsible for the benefits of more than 6,600 active and retired firefighters as well as surviving family members. According to the group, more than half of the fund is invested in common and private equity but also includes domestic stocks, international stocks, bonds, cash and real estate.

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