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Mastercard partners with USDC to pilot crypto payments

Mastercard has announced a pilot program in partnership with Circle’s USDC stablecoin and others to enable cardholders to pay merchants using cryptocurrency anywhere Mastercard is accepted, according to a company press release. Fast facts USDC will act as an intermediary between fiat and other cryptocurrencies in the new system, allowing all merchants to offer card […]

Kakao’s Ground X wins South Korea’s CBDC bidding war

South Korea’s central bank has named Ground X, Kakao’s blockchain subsidiary, as its partner in the country’s central bank digital currency simulation project. Fast facts Ground X was designated as the preferred bidder, beating out Naver and SK C&C. Ground X has more experience in blockchain than the other bidders, operating public blockchain platform Klaytn […]

FTX crypto derivatives exchange closes record $900M Series B with $18B valuation

Fast-growing FTX just pulled off the largest-ever fundraise for a crypto exchange to date. Will heightened regulatory scrutiny lie in its near future?

Are SEC commissioners bolstering Ripple’s defense in XRP lawsuit?

San Francisco-based Ripple Labs has asked a court to take into consideration recent comments by Securities and Exchange Commission members Hester Peirce and Elad Roisman on a lack of regulatory clarity over crypto in an effort to block the agency’s attempt to throw out Ripple’s fair notice defense, according to a new legal filing. Fast […]

Clean-energy crypto mining ETF launches to put an ‘E’ in Bitcoin

As Bitcoin’s carbon footprint continues to make ESG investors uneasy, a new clean-energy crypto mining ETF aims to allay their environmental concerns.

Neon virtual machine allows Ethereum dApps, tools to scale on Solana blockchain

Neon Labs, a firm focused on secure blockchain technology, announced today that it will be deploying a cross-chain Ethereum virtual machine on the Solana testnet. Neon’s EVM will allow any decentralized application from the Ethereum ecosystem to leverage the high throughput and fast block times of Solana, and to access the lower gas prices of […]

Blockchain platform Enjin joins UN Global Compact to further sustainable NFT goals

Singapore-based Enjin, a non-fungible token and gaming blockchain platform, today announced it is joining the United Nations Global Compact corporate sustainability initiative as part of its efforts to develop a sustainable NFT ecosystem. Fast facts The Global Compact is a voluntary sustainability initiative for companies working towards implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Through its […]

Senators urge E-CNY ban; Russia woos crypto-miners

US Senators urge E-CNY ban while Russia woos crypto-miners

Chinese e-commerce giant Taobao sells NFTs at annual shopping festival

Demand for non-fungible tokens appears insatiable as industry distances itself from crypto sector to avoid crackdown.

Russia looks to tap demand for power as crypto miners flood out of China

Plentiful electricity, cold climate are among drawcards as Chinese mine operators flee crackdown at home.

U.S. senators ask athletes to boycott digital yuan at Beijing Winter Olympics

Privacy concerns prompt call for Americans to avoid e-CNY as lawmakers point to use of WeChat app to ‘surveil, threaten and arrest Chinese citizens.’

Cryptocurrency payments appear to stall in Singapore

Retailers reluctant to accept currency they are said not to trust even as large finance sector players offer crypto products and beef up their holdings.

Chinese fireworks artist Cai Guoqiang auctions first NFT for $2.5M

Chinese fireworks artist Cai Guoqiang has entered the world of non-fungible tokens, recently auctioning off his first NFT work for US$2.5 million. Fast facts Cai’s work “Transient Eternity — 101 Ignitions of Gunpowder Paintings,” commissioned by the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, was auctioned on TR Lab for US$2.5 million after a 48-hour bidding period […]

BlockFi ordered to stop offering interest accounts to New Jersey customers

U.S. crypto lending platform BlockFi has been ordered by the New Jersey Bureau of Securities to stop accepting new customers who are based in New Jersey for its interest-bearing accounts due to alleged violations of securities laws. The order takes effect from from July 22. Fast facts In a series of tweets, BlockFi’s CEO and […]

France calls for EU securities watchdog to regulate cryptos across bloc

The European Securities and Markets Authority should regulate digital currencies in the European Union, according to a proposal by the Autorité des marchés financiers, France’s securities regulator. Fast facts The AMF said it made sense for a single body to take charge of regulation across the bloc to ensure a Europe-wide framework could be applied, […]

Axie Infinity’s AXS token falls nearly 50% from peak

AXS, the governance token of blockchain-based game Axie Infinity, is down almost 50% from its all-time high of US$28.61 last Thursday, according to data from CoinMarketCap. It was trading at US$15.28 at press time. Fast facts Despite the slide, the gains AXS had made over the previous few weeks mean it is still trading more […]

Street performers embrace digital payments as cashless society emerges

Buskers and street performers who accept electronic or digital currency often receive larger sums than they do accepting only cash, according to a recent survey by RMIT, a university in the Australian city of Melbourne. The trend has accelerated following global lockdowns amid Covid-19 as familiarity with QR codes and other technologies grows. Fast facts […]

Crypto ‘Michelin Guide’ releases South Korea’s first token ratings report

The Korea Institute of Virtual Asset Valuation has released its first report evaluating the investment outlook for seven South Korean cryptocurrencies. KiVAV founder Park Jae-kyung said some domestic token issuers may be looking for quick money instead of developing their tokens long term. Fast facts KiVAV’s report, released yesterday, gave only the Mass Vehicle Ledger […]

U.S. needs ‘to act quickly’ to regulate stablecoins, treasury secretary says

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says that the United States needs “to act quickly to ensure there is an appropriate U.S. regulatory framework in place” for stablecoins. Fast facts Yellen made her comments at a Meeting of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, held on July 19. According to a readout of the meeting, […]

Turkey to debate crypto regulation bill in October

Turkey’s deputy finance minister says a draft bill to create a cryptocurrency regulatory framework will be submitted to parliament in October, according to a report by CNN Türk. Fast facts The bill will define different types of virtual currencies and principles for their issuance and distribution. The country’s Capital Markets Commission will supervise companies handling […]

Grayscale launches new DeFi fund to woo investors seeking token-free exposure

Cryptocurrency investment manager Grayscale has started a fund focused on decentralized finance tokens and based on CoinDesk’s new DeFi-specific index, the company has said in an announcement.  Fast facts The fund offers investors a selection of leading DeFi protocols through a market capitalization-weighted portfolio designed to track the index. It allows investors to allocate funds […]

Bitcoin sees outflows amid inflows for Ethereum, Cardano, XRP in crypto market ‘summer doldrums’

The cryptocurrency market remains quiet, with net inflows of just US$2.9 million last week, according to digital asset investment firm CoinShares’ weekly digital asset fund flows report. Fast facts “The summer doldrums are here, but in line with seasonal expectations,” wrote James Butterfill, a CoinShares’ investment strategist. Bitcoin investment products saw net outflows of US$10.4 […]

Bitcoin’s promise of financial freedom still beckons, academic says

In a special Q&A, Yale-NUS College professor Andrew Bailey says the world’s oldest cryptocurrency has untapped potential to promote liberty, equality and justice around the world.

E-CNY white paper released; Malaysia steamrolls mining rigs

E-CNY white paper explains how it will work with physical RMB while Malaysia steamrolls mining rigs.

China’s digital yuan moves a step closer with smart-contract technology

Central bank in apparent push for adoption ahead of Olympics as it doubles up on warning over non-state cryptocurrencies.
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Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post to make NFTs to preserve history

Hong Kong newspaper the South China Morning Post is making a foray into the world of non-fungible tokens in the latest move by a Hong Kong publisher to preserve content through blockchain technology. Fast facts The SCMP today released its “ARTIFACT” lite paper, a project designed to advocate “a standardized metadata structure for recording accounts […]

Binance CEO says ‘never easy’ running a crypto exchange as ‘new chapter awaits’

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the CEO of Binance — the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume — today said it was “never easy” running a crypto exchange in a series of tweets about key products Binance has launched over the past four years. Fast facts “Never easy,” Zhao tweeted, referring to an extract from the […]

Dogecoin rallies as Musk dons sunglasses

The price of Dogecoin rose more than 15% at the weekend after Tesla CEO Elon Musk changed his Twitter profile picture to a photo featuring the dog breed whose likeness features on the memecoin. Fast facts Musk’s new picture featured the billionaire wearing mirrored, aviator-style glasses with a Shiba Inu dog reflected in them. Dogecoin’s […]

How to solve the Bitcoin energy consumption problem

As the world grapples with crypto mining’s carbon footprint, Nischal Shetty of WazirX examines the technical and regulatory solutions.

Bitcoin mining difficulty drops further as China ban begins to bite

The difficulty of mining Bitcoin has dropped a further 4.81% in its latest fortnightly adjustment, according to data from BTC.com, bringing it to the lowest point since January last year. Fast facts The decline marks the fourth consecutive drop in the difficulty rate for the world’s leading cryptocurrency — the longest slide in its history. […]

Malaysian police are crushing it in illegal Bitcoin mining crackdown

In viral video, Borneo police use a giant steamroller to destroy 1,069 crypto mining rigs that had been caught running on stolen electricity.

Ethereum documentary featuring Vitalik Buterin beats crowdfunding target

A round of crowdfunding for Ethereum documentary “Ethereum: The Infinite Garden,” which is set to feature Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and Ethereum Foundation Executive Director Aya Miyaguchi, has exceeded its target of 750 ETH, raising 1,035.96 ETH (around US$2 million). Fast facts In the spirit of decentralization, the fundraising exercise, which ended on July 16, […]

SEC and Ripple reschedule Hinman deposition on Ethereum and XRP to July 27

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Ripple Labs have agreed to reschedule the deposition of William Hinman, the former head of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, to July 27. Fast facts Last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn ruled to authorize Hinman’s deposition to proceed, with a delay to allow the SEC […]

Late digitization is Asia’s edge in crypto, says Fireblocks CEO

While the West has first mover advantage in traditional banking, Asia — not wedded to ol infrastructure — now has an edge in the crypto era, says Michael Shaulov of Fireblocks.

Bitcoin interest declines; Rolling Stone gets into NFTs

Bitcoin interest declines while Rolling Stone gets into NFTs.

Binance draws warning over stock tokens from Hong Kong regulator

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission today issued a warning that Binance — the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume — was not allowed to conduct “regulated activity” in the city, specifically trading in stock tokens. Fast facts In its statement, the SFC said it was aware that Binance was offering stock tokens in […]

How blockchain can transform social media | Part 2

Why is social media’s current centralization problematic, and what would a decentralized Twitter or Facebook look like?
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South Korean exchange Bithumb cuts ties with platforms abroad

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb announced today that Bithumb Global and Bithumb Singapore will no longer be licensed to use its name after their contracts expire on July 30. Industry experts say the South Korean business’s severing of links with eponymous operations outside the country is designed to prevent any association with possible future money […]

Bitcoin price Google searches at lowest point for 2021. Is BTC still an inflation hedge?

The price of gold is rising with inflation. Then why is ‘digital gold’ Bitcoin’s price stagnant — and public interest in BTC falling to a new low?
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Chinese crypto news service forced to shutter site

Bishijie’s suspension deprives users of industry news and community forum as Beijing continues campaign targeting cryptocurrency sector.

Hong Kong finance sector body prepares response to planned virtual asset rules

Hong Kong’s Financial Services Development Council — a cross-sector advisory body established by the government to engage the city’s financial services industry — is putting together industry feedback on the government’s legislative proposals related to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. Fast facts In May, Hong Kong’s Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau released […]

Binance unauthorized in Italy, regulator warns

Italy has become the latest jurisdiction to clamp down on Binance amid regulatory pressure around the world centered on the biggest crypto exchange by trading volume. Fast facts Binance Group companies are “are not authorized to provide investment services and activities” in Italy, not even through the exchange’s website, “whose sections called ‘derivatives’ and ‘Stock […]

Axie Infinity fans play their way to payday as game token prices soar

Play-to-earn game Axie Infinity has caught the blockchain community’s attention in the past few months as the price of its governance token has kept rising. Now it’s hit an all-time high, players are earning some serious money.

Court grants Ripple bid to force ex-SEC director to testify in XRP case

Ripple scores major discovery win as judge rules ex-SEC official William Hinman must answer ‘central question’ on Ethereum in the globally-watched case about XRP.

UK finance watchdog to spend £11M to warn young people off crypto investment

Britain’s financial crimes enforcement agency is set to launch a campaign costing £11 million (US$15.2 million) to warn young people about the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies.  Fast facts Financial Conduct Authority CEO Nikhil Rathi said social media users aged 18 to 30 would be the target audience. “As with the GameStop episode, more people see investment as […]

Rolling Stone launches first NFT of cover featuring pop star Tones and I

Music magazine Rolling Stone Australia is releasing a cover as a non-fungible token to coincide with the release of the debut album by pop star Tones and I, according to a company blog post. The album is out today. Fast facts The cover on offer, which features the singer-songwriter, is Rolling Stone Australia’s debut cover […]

Square to build new Bitcoin DeFi platform, says CEO Jack Dorsey

CEO Jack Dorsey announced that his mobile payments company Square has created a new division dedicated to decentralized finance (DeFi) on Bitcoin. For now, Dorsey is referring to the new Square Bitcoin DeFi platform as TBD, having not yet decided on an official name.  Fast facts The DeFi space, which has grown exponentially over last […]

Has the NFT bubble burst? The data says otherwise

Axie Infinity, Meebits and Bored Ape Yacht Club are some of those keeping the market for non-fungible tokens alive.

India seeks crypto advice; K-drama joins NFT bandwagon

India seeks crypto advice meanwhile K-drama joins NFT bandwagon

Cardano blockchain successfully upgrades to Alonzo White

Input Output Hong Kong, one of the companies behind the Cardano blockchain, today announced the successful upgrade of its Alonzo testnet to the Alonzo White network. Fast facts The Cardano blockchain is in the midst of a multi-phase Alonzo upgrade that will bring smart-contract functionality to the blockchain. Each phase — named blue, white and purple […]

Hong Kong raid uncovers suspected US$155M crypto laundering scheme

Tether stablecoins linked to funds funneled to banks in Singapore and elsewhere amid worldwide cryptocurrency crime increase.

Crypto derivatives exchange Bybit launches spot trading for Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, EOS

Singapore-based crypto derivatives exchange Bybit today announced the launch of a new cryptocurrency spot trading platform. Fast facts The spot trading platform offered BTC/USDT, ETH/USDT, XRP/USDT and EOS/USDT trading pairs at its launch, and more will be introduced. Traders will be able to buy and sell crypto coins at current market prices once orders are […]

Reserve Bank of Australia is exploring a CBDC — despite skepticism

The Reserve Bank of Australia is researching the implementation of a central bank digital currency — despite not seeing a need for it.

Indian court seeks standardized disclaimers on crypto ads

The Delhi High Court has sent a notice to government agencies and crypto exchanges to seek guidelines on crypto-related advertising on national television. Fast facts The division bench of Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh sought responses from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Securities and Exchange Board of India and crypto exchanges […]

Euro CBDC looks to leave energy-intensive Bitcoin in its digital dust

The European Central Bank has launched a two-year project to prepare for the potential issuance of a digital euro. The central bank digital currency would be supported by an underlying architecture with a negligible environmental impact compared to Bitcoin’s hugely energy-intensive blockchain. Fast facts The ECB has begun the investigation phase of a digital euro […]

Visa to launch first Bitcoin-linked card in Australia

Australians will soon be able to use Visa cards to spend their Bitcoin holdings for the first time as the global payment giant is partnering with local fintech app CryptoSpend, the Australian Financial Review reports. Fast facts CryptoSpend allows payments to be made in several cryptocurrencies to any account in the Australian banking system, crediting […]

Polkadot chain Phala Network’s Khala wins 4th Kusama parachain slot

Privacy-focused cloud computing project Phala Network’s “canary network” Khala this week won the fourth Kusama parachain slot auction with 132,280 Kusama (KSM) contributed by 2,759 addresses. A canary network is an experimental environment for blockchain developers to build and test out their code as well as products and services. Fast facts Phala Network is designed […]

U.S. basketball player’s game-worn shoes go on sale as NFT

Ever wanted to own a piece of game-worn NBA merchandise, but without that well-worn fragrance? Now you can. Brooklyn Nets star Spencer Dinwiddie is selling a pair of shoes he has worn in-game as a non-fungible token, Forkast.News has learned. Fast facts The shoes on auction are from Dinwiddie’s K8IROS clothing range, and all proceeds […]

Grayscale’s Bitcoin bounty. Circle’s SPAC listing controversy. NFTs for thieves.

Top blockchain and crypto news: Crypto markets await Bitcoin fund release. USDC issuer opts for the back door. In China, NFT copyrights and wrongs.

ICICI blocks crypto transfers; Korea banks to report crypto crime

ICICI blocks crypto transfers as South Korean banks are to report crypto crime.

New crypto mining firms in China now in scramble to leave

The9 and BIT Mining — non-crypto firms that pivoted to crypto mining during Bitcoin’s boom — now seek to ‘expand’ overseas.
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Chinese viral news photo debacle shakes confidence in NFTs

Proliferation of copycat non-fungible tokens based on media image sparks fresh concerns over authenticity, creators’ rights.

Turkey tells crypto firms to hand controllers’ info to tax office

Turkey’s tax authorities have told companies with cryptocurrency-related business to report information on their ultimate controllers as a part of their tax filings. Fast facts An official document states that the requirement is part of meeting Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development guidelines on tax transparency. Crypto companies must submit their first filings by Aug. 31 […]

C.R.E.A.M. Finance’s Iron Bank and PleasrDAO execute $3.5M loan with NFTs as collateral

C.R.E.A.M. Finance’s Iron Bank today announced that it has facilitated a US$3.5 million loan with cypto art collective PleasrDAO using high-value non-fungible tokens as collateral, according to an announcement shared with Forkast.News. Fast facts Taipei-based C.R.E.A.M. Finance, part of the Yearn finance ecosystem, is a decentralized lending protocol for individuals, institutions and protocols to access […]

India’s ICICI bank blocks foreign crypto remittances

ICICI bank, one of India’s largest lenders, has warned its customers against using its international remittance services for transferring any form of cryptocurrency, the Bharat Express reports. Fast facts The Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India recently made an amendment to an international remittance form compelling customers to declare: “The above remittance is NOT […]

Singapore’s Temasek posts record returns, continues investing in blockchain and AI

Singapore state-owned investment firm Temasek has announced record returns of S$381 billion (US$283 billion) for the financial year ending March 2021, up 24.5% from the year before. Fast facts According to its latest annual review, Temasek is “increasingly shaping” its portfolio in line with four trends: digitization, sustainable living, future of consumption, and longer lifespans. […]

S&P Dow Jones launches 5 new crypto indices

Financial index provider S&P Dow Jones has launched five new cryptocurrency indices, according to a company statement, bringing its total number of crypto indices to eight. Fast facts The most significant of these new indices is the Cryptocurrency Broad Digital Market (BDM) Index, which includes more than 240 coins and can be used for a […]

Crypto derivatives exchange Bybit and Ontario Securities Commission agree on enforcement proceeding schedule

The Ontario Securities Commission in Canada and Bybit, a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange headquartered in Singapore, have come to an agreement on the schedule for Bybit’s upcoming enforcement proceeding, according to the OSC. Fast facts The first hearing between Bybit and the OSC — the agency that oversees securities legislation in Canada’s largest province by population […]

UK police seize record US$408 million in cryptocurrency in money-laundering investigation

London police announced on Tuesday they have seized a record £294 million (US $408 million) in cryptocurrency in less than a month, as part of an ongoing investigation into money laundering. Fast facts According to London police, their recent £180-million (US$248.8 million) seizure in cryptocurrency comes less than three weeks after a £114-million (US$157.5 million) […]

Stablecoins promise much, but can they deliver?

As issuer Circle prepares to list and China sounds the alarm over speculation, the mood among regulators is mixed, despite stablecoins’ clear appeal to investors.

7 key developments in blockchain capital markets in 2021

In the second installment of a 2-part report, Lucas Schweiger of Blockdata examines the most notable current trends in blockchain and capital markets.

Band Protocol launches Phase 2 to bring off-chain data to DeFi

Oracle platform Band Protocol is aiming to enable data providers like Google Cloud and Bloomberg to work better with decentralized applications.