May 14, 2021 - by Elliot Ganz. The LSTA hosted a webinar, Digital Asset Financing  – Market Update, presented by Alexander Grisham and Matthew Frankle of Haynes and Boone LLP  and Rene van Kesteren of BlockFi, Inc.  With the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, there is no such thing as a clearinghouse, custody, or central bank.  Bitcoin functions like a physical piece of cash; no one needs to keep track of it when it’s in your hand.  The owner of Bitcoin is whoever has the private key with the right to transfer it, but Bitcoin may not be completely fungible.  There is “virgin Bitcoin” that gets created by miners. This type of Bitcoin is fresh and new, and by contrast, there is Bitcoin that has gone all around the world.  Interestingly, there is a small mark-up in the newly minted “virgin Bitcoin”, and furthermore, there is a desire for Bitcoin that has been minted in the US and has not gone outside the US.  All Bitcoin can be used as collateral to secure a loan  Several years ago,  loans secured by Bitcoin were small, but today larger institutional loans of, for example, $20 million are being secured by the cryptocurrency.  When used as collateral, the mark to market pricing concept of Bitcoin is different from that done with margin loans where the closing price of the prior day is used to determine if margin notices will be given the following morning.  By contrast, the Bitcoin market looks at the price of Bitcoin all day, every day, 365 days per year.  Click here for the replay and here for the slides.

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