January 14 – 20, 2019 | Quarterly Review, Stablecoins & More Crypto News

North iQ Weekly Newsletter is curated to provide insights on digital asset industry developments, market announcements, and performance analysis.

Quarterly Report to Unitholders: 3iQ Global Cryptoasset Fund (Q4 2018)

January 20 – To say the least, 2018 was a challenging year for dedicated digital asset investors. The year was dominated by headlines about the significant price collapse following the latest speculative bubble. Although this has been a disaster for those late to the party in 2017, last year saw a significant number of initiatives and developments that are certainly required for the cryptoasset space to progress to mainstream.

3iQ Corp. (the “Manager”) has worked hard to achieve its goal of providing retail investors access to this exciting space. We have collaborated with the regulators to be in a position to create such a product. Last year we created what we believe to be is the safest, most efficient, and cost-effective solution for accredited investors and to this end we launched the 3iQ Global Cryptoasset Fund. We launched in April when we felt that a significant portion of the speculative bubble had been removed and we were witnessing some stability in the prices of our assets. We clearly missed the mark as the markets specifically for Ether and Litecoin took significant hits and bitcoin fell an additional 50%. We appreciate and understand the short-term distress of our unit holders. We steadfastly believe that all investors looking for growth should have some exposure to this asset class, given the long-term potential and disruptive characteristics of digital assets. We firmly believe systematic entry into this asset class over time will continue to be the best strategy and the next few years should offer extraordinary investment return potential.

Although the enthusiasm and speculation regarding bitcoin and other cryptoassets subsided significantly in 2018, there were certainly encouraging developments from both the user and the industry participant levels…

Read the full Quarterly Report here.

Circle’s (USDC) Stablecoin Fully-Backed by US Dollar, Says Auditor Grant Thornton

January 17 – According to the auditing firm Grant Thornton, the institutionally-backed crypto firm Circle’s USDC stablecoin was accurately backed with US dollar fiat reserves for each of its tokens at the end of 2018. Grant Thornton published the attestation report last Wednesday, noting that Circle had reserves of $251,211,209 USD held in their custody accounts. At that time, they had 251,211,148 USDC tokens in circulation. Another attestation report noted that Circle had just under $127.5 million USD as of October 31, 2018, which was enough to redeem its USDC tokens circulating at the time.

When analyzing USDC pairings with other stablecoins backed with the US dollar, such as Tether or Paxos Standard, it is interesting to note that there is often a premium or discount associated with either stablecoin, despite both having 1:1 backing with USD reserves. Arbitrage opportunities could be found on stablecoin/stablecoin pairings offered on some crypto exchanges such as Binance. Back in October 2018, Tether dropped to almost .80 USD following concerning reports over its legitimacy and an uncertain relationship with their banking provider. Stablecoin issuers Paxos and Gemini have also published attestations from their auditing firms, which came from BPM and Withum respectively. Gemini had approximately $91 million USD in reserves to back their stablecoin Gemini dollar (GUSD) circulation at December 31, 2018, and Paxos had about $142 million USD to back its PAX supply.

Read the full article here.

Security Token Successfully Trades on a Regulated Platform

January 10 – In an industry first, the private equity marketplace company SharesPost has successfully completed a secondary trade of security tokens on a regulated alternative trading system (ATS). SharesPost, a registered broker-dealer, ATS and registered investment advisor, unveiled on January 9 that it had successfully conducted a secondary trade of its (BCAP) tokens, which were issued by Blockchain Capital. These tokens give ownership of securities, which are units in the Blockchain Capital III Digital Liquid Venture Fund running on the Ethereum blockchain.

SharesPost is not the first registered firm to conduct a secondary transaction of a securities token, but it is the first to also provide custody of the crypto asset itself. SharesPost CEO John Wu explained that it was essentially a proof-of-concept transaction. “This was a small trade, it’s like a pilot program, we’re running the water through the pipes to make sure,” said Wu. “To our knowledge, this was the first trade of digital securities by an Alternative Trading System and broker dealer in which the ATS custodied the digital securities. This clears the path for companies to do compliant STO’s in the U.S. and provide their investors with secondary liquidity.”

Read the full article here.

European Banking Regulators Call for Uniformity in Cryptoasset Regulations

January 15 – Two of the largest banking regulators within the European Union (EU) have each released reports which call for uniformity in the regulations surrounding cryptoassets and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) across Europe. On January 9, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published an assessment of crypto laws. The assessment report, which examined the applicability of EU laws to cryptocurrencies, also outlined the use of digital assets within the EU as well as several EU laws that govern them. In the report, the EBA also noted the lack of uniformity in current crypto laws. It stated that there was a lack of equilibrium and fairness in the crypto market, with some jurisdictions offering more lenient laws than others. This lack of equilibrium means that companies can move their operations to “crypto havens” which offer less-stringent regulations, such as Malta and Gibraltar. The EBA has stated that they are looking to achieve more uniformity across Europe to ensure a fair and competitive market.

On the same day, the Europe Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), also published advice to European banking institutions on cryptoassets and ICOs. The regulator noted that the crypto industry, while still in its infancy, presently offers little threat to financial stability of the EU. The ESMA recommended that trading and investing in digital assets should be subject to anti-money laundering legislations. “Wider regulation of crypto-assets and related activities may have trade-offs, such as risking legitimizing cryptoassets and encouraging wider adoption,” said the ESMA.

Read the full article here.

Bitmex is Reportedly Shutting Down Trading Accounts in Quebec

January 15 – BitMex, which is currently the most active bitcoin trading platform in the world with a total turnover of $928 billion USD to date, is reportedly shutting down the use of their platform for users based in the United States and in the province of Quebec due to regulatory restrictions and other uncertainties. BitMex is most popularly known for their bitcoin derivatives contracts, where traders can use upwards of 100-times leverage. BitMex also has a cryptocurrency exchange where traders can deposit bitcoin to buy and sell other cryptocurrencies. The exchange is based out of Hong Kong, and is currently unregulated by any jurisdiction. Despite being unregulated and offering little KYC procedures, since users can create an account using only an email address, the platform has managed to operate legally in many countries around the world.

The Canadian regulatory body Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) has come forth to say that BitMex is operating illegally in Canada. “BitMEX is not registered with the AMF and is therefore not authorized to have activities in the province of Quebec. We informed this company that its activities were illegal,” said the AMF. BitMex has not confirmed that traders based out of Quebec or the US will have their accounts pulled. Some traders in the US have reportedly bypassed the inability to trade using a virtual private network (VPN) to mask their location.

Read the full article here.

3iQ Global Cryptoasset Fund: Price as at January 18, 2019

3iQ is the first regulator approved multi-cryptoasset portfolio manager in Canada, providing accredited investors with exposure to bitcoin, ether, and litecoin through its 3iQ Global Cryptoasset Fund.

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This Weekly Cryptoasset Newsletter is for informational purposes only and does not constitute, either explicitly or implicitly, any provision of services or products by 3iQ Corp (“3iQ”). Investors should determine for themselves whether a particular service or product is suitable for their investment needs or should seek such professional advice for their particular situation.3iQ Corp. makes no representation or warranty to any investor regarding the legality of any investment, the income or tax consequences, or the suitability of an investment for such investor. All content is original and has been researched and produced by 3iQ unless otherwise stated therein. No part of the content may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without the express written permission of 3iQ. All statements made regarding companies, securities or other financial information contained in the content or articles relating to 3iQ are strictly beliefs and points of view held by 3iQ and are not endorsements of any company or security or recommendations to buy or sell any security. No securities regulatory authority has expressed an opinion about these securities and it is an offence to claim otherwise. By visiting and/or otherwise using the 3iQ website in any way, you indicate that you understand and accept the terms of use as set forth on the website and agree to be bound by them. If you do not agree to the terms of use of the website, please do no access the website or any pages thereof. Any descriptions of, references to, or links to other products, publications or services does not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship by or affiliation with 3iQ with respect to any linked site or its sponsor, unless expressly stated by 3iQ. Any such information, products or sites have not necessarily been reviewed by 3iQ and are provided or maintained by third parties over whom 3iQ exercises no control. 3iQ expressly disclaims any responsibility for the content, the accuracy of the information, and/or quality of products or services provided by or advertised on these third-party sites. The information contained herein, while obtained from sources believed to be reliable, is not guaranteed as to its accuracy or completeness and confers no right on purchasers. Past performance of cryptoassets is not indicative of future performance and should not be used to forecast any return that an investor may realize.

Fred Pye

Frederick T. Pye


Frederick T. Pye is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Director of 3iQ Corp. He is also the Chairman and Director of 3iQ Digital Holdings Inc. Mr. Pye is recognized for creating and promoting creative and unique investment products for the investment industry.

Mr. Pye has managed private client portfolios with Landry Investment Management and various other investment dealers. Prior to this Mr. Pye was Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of Argentum Management and Research Corporation, a company dedicated to managing and distributing quantitative investment portfolios including the first long-short mutual fund in Canada.

He was also Senior Vice-President and National Sales Manager of Fidelity Investments Canada and an integral part of the team that saw assets rise from $80 million to over $7.5 billion in assets under management during his tenure. He also held various positions with Guardian Trust Company, which listed the first Gold, Silver and Platinum Certificates on the Montreal Exchange.

Mr. Pye obtained a Masters in Business Administration from Concordia University.