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Guys: It’s party time.

The SALT event, one of the premier hedge fund industry conferences, kicks off Sunday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, rather than the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas where organizers hosted the event 10 times before.

Well, maybe “party time” is too strong a term.

The annual conference in Las Vegas was famous for pool parties, private rock concerts, and exclusive dinners as managers tried to get commitments for big checks from pension funds or other institutional investors…. "There will be a mood of reserved optimism, but the conference won't have the same flash that it did in Vegas," said one person who plans to attend but asked not to be identified for fear of alienating organizers and business associates…. The agenda is studded with panels on cryptocurrency trading, post pandemic best ideas and geopolitics.

Did you say “cryptocurrency trading”? Why, fancy that!

Using a fund that will be known as UNLOX, with Scaramucci as its chairman, the group will focus on a variety of decentralized finance efforts associated with digital currencies like bitcoin…. UNLOX will target institutions to use blockchain to securitize assets such as property, corporate securities and venture capital. The group will also target the nascent push into nonfungible tokens and other alt assets.

The blockchain operation of Algorand will be the crypto base for the partnership, while NAX will provide commercial support and SkyBridge will be the institutional base for the fund…. A formal announcement on the initiative will happen Monday morning at SkyBridge’s SALT conference….

In fairness to the Mooch, he’s not alone. Why, even real hedge fund managers are getting involved.

Brevan Howard… said on Monday that it had set up a new unit dubbed BH Digital, which will manage cryptocurrencies and digital assets. It has appointed Colleen Sullivan, chief executive and co-founder of specialist cryptocurrency and blockchain technology firm CMT Digital, to lead its “private and venture investment activities in crypto.”

Oh, yea, and also everyone else. Almost literally.

One group of crypto lenders has $25 billion in loans outstanding to individual and institutional clients, up from $1.4 billion a year ago…. Many borrowers use the loans to amplify their bets on crypto. Kris Kostadinov, who goes by Kris Kay, took out a loan worth $14,000 in the tether stablecoin from the decentralized-finance platform Aave earlier this year and used the proceeds to buy ether. He used the ether to trade in and out of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, which are blockchain-based authenticity certificates attached to digital assets such as artwork and sports highlights.

Stock exchange SIX said its new SIX Digital Exchange, or SDX, will let investors, via regulated institutions, trade, settle and store digital tokens through one venue, underpinned by “the highest Swiss standards of oversight and regulation.”

Prosecutors said that Christopher Naples, 42, of Mattituck, L.I., had hidden 46 specialized devices used to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in six rooms in the Suffolk County Center in Riverhead, including underneath floorboards and inside an unused electrical panel…. Prosecutors said that at least 10 of Mr. Naples’s machines had been running since February, costing Suffolk County more than $6,000. Mr. Sini said that given that 36 more machines had been discovered, it was likely that Mr. Naples had cost the county thousands more.

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has fueled a surge in the use of cryptocurrency as Afghans grasp for ways to cope with a deepening financial crisis, market analysts and local traders say, a trend that may offer hope for an ailing economy, but that poses concerns for Western security officials…. If the Taliban were to adopt cryptocurrency as part of a national economic policy, it could aid efforts to circumvent some Western sanctions and other leverage against the country’s new rulers….

Cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX is trying to level up in the U.S. with more established competitors through a new ad campaign featuring the married couple of football great Tom Brady and model and businesswoman Gisele Bündchen.

The U.S. affiliate of international crypto derivatives exchange FTX plans to invest $20 million in the campaign, which begins Thursday during the National Football League season kickoff game between Tampa Bay and Dallas.

Best keep in on this side of the Atlantic, though, guys.

Charles Randell, head of the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, said [Kim] Kardashian’s post might “have been the financial promotion with the single biggest audience reach in history….”

“I can’t say whether this particular token is a scam,” Mr. Randell said in a speech Monday to the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, according to a copy posted online. “But social media influencers are routinely paid by scammers to help them pump and dump new tokens on the back of pure speculation. Some influencers promote coins that turn out simply not to exist at all.”

Scaramucci's SALT hedge fund confab returns in person in New York City [Reuters]
Scaramucci’s SkyBridge accelerates its move into crypto with a blockchain partnership [CNBC]
Brevan Howard to ‘significantly expand’ crypto asset push [FT]
Bitcoin to Bucks: Crypto Fans Borrow to Buy Homes, Cars—and More Crypto [WSJ]
Switzerland Gives Green Light to Crypto Trading Exchange [WSJ]
County I.T. Supervisor Mined Bitcoin at the Office, Prosecutors Say [NYT]
Growing Use of Cryptocurrency in Afghanistan Poses Security Concerns [WSJ]
Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen to Star in $20 Million Campaign for Crypto Exchange [WSJ]
Kim Kardashian’s Instagram Post on Cryptocurrency Prompts U.K. Financial Watchdog to React [WSJ]

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