Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- The European Central Bank said it will continue to conduct net asset purchases under the pandemic emergency purchase program with a total envelope of USD 1.85trn until at least the end of March 2022 and, in any case, until it judges that the coronavirus crisis phase is over. Also, net purchases under the asset purchase program will continue at a monthly pace of USD 20bn. Moreover, the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.50% respectively.
- The US House of Representatives passed a USD 1.9trn relief bill on Wednesday. Per The Wall Street Journal, the bill is President Joe Biden’s first major legislative achievement of his presidency, and it offers a USD 1,400 check to many Americans, an extension of a USD 300 weekly jobless-aid supplement, and a one-year expansion of the child tax credit that will provide periodic payments for many households.
- The CEO of collapsed exchange Mt. Gox Mark Karpeles has opposed a motion for class certification in a lawsuit brought by one of the former users on the basis that the draft rehabilitation plan more beneficial to them. As first reported by Coindesk, per a supplement filed by Karpeles’ attorneys, under the draft rehabilitation plan, Mt. Gox creditors will be paid in a combination of bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) and JPY according to their present value. They concluded that “a class action is not the superior method to address these claims where class members can vote and recover through the Japanese civil rehabilitation proceedings.”
- Israeli pension company Altshuler Shaham has put USD 100m into the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), local media reported. It made the investment in the second half of last year, the report said.
- Boson Protocol, the developer of a “capture resistant dCommerce” ecosystem using NFTs encoded with game theory, said it has closed the last round before its public sale, raising a total of USD 10m between all rounds. The startup develops its public infrastructure and a set of composable dCommerce SDKs that should allow developers to “build the future of commerce, allowing people, companies, and machines to transact in a decentralized manner, with minimized arbitration, cost, and friction.”
- Major crypto exchange Binance has named Max Baucus as a policy and government-relations adviser, Bloomberg reported. Baucus, a 79-year-old Democrat who served as Senator from Montana for more than three decades including a seven-year stint as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and later as US ambassador to China from 2014-2017, will provide guidance and policy advice covering some of the world’s most important financial jurisdictions and agencies, it added.
- Cryptocurrency payments infrastructure provider MoonPay announced that they’ve welcomed industry veteran Zeeshan Feroz as Chief Growth Officer. Per the announcement, Feroz worked more than a decade in executive-level positions at major fintech companies, having most recently held the position of managing director at Coinbase UK.
- The New York State Department of Financial Services said it has approved the application of Bakkt Marketplace, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bakkt Holdings, for virtual currency and money transmitter licenses. This license, known as BitLicence, will allow Bakkt Marketplace to offer its New York customers the ability to buy and sell cryptoassets, it added.
- US Representative Warren Davidson reintroduced his Token Taxonomy Act on Monday. Per the press release, this bill establishes clarity for businesses, consumers, and regulators operating in the US blockchain ecosystem. “The window is closing,” said Davidson. “If we don’t act quickly, the United States will be left behind. Other countries have found ways to regulate blockchain projects and, in doing so, have made themselves more attractive to entrepreneurs.” The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Ted Budd, Darren Soto, Scott Perry, and Josh Gottheimer.
- Spain’s Ministry of Economy has announced that it will beef up the power of its Financial Customer Ombudsman in a bid to extend the scope of crypto regulation in the nation. According to La Información, the minister, Nadia Calviño, who is also the Spanish Deputy Prime Minister, said that the ministry will seek the legislative authority to allow it to “protect the users of cryptoasset services,” using EU standards as a reference. The media outlet claims that the standards in question are likely the still-in-development Regulation Of The European Parliament And Of The Council On Markets In Cryptoassets and the Markets in Crypto-assets Regulation (MiCA) proposals. The latter has recently been subject to criticism by experts who say that it fails to take decentralized finance (DeFi)-related concerns into account.
- The top South Korean financial regulator has unveiled a system of fines for crypto exchanges who fail to report suspicious transactions after a set of anti-money laundering (AML) compliance measures becomes obligatory later this month. Per iNews24 and Dong-a Ilbo, the Financial Services Commission has requested a legal amendment that would see crypto exchanges hit with fines of up to USD 88,000 in each instance of failing to flag transactions appropriately. Failure to verify customer identification, provide the regulator with information about large cash or crypto transactions and store data appropriately will also be punishable with fines. The measures will likely be enshrined into law and promulgate next month.
- The Russian Central Bank said it will unveil a pilot platform for its forthcoming central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital ruble, before the year is out, with “real-world” transaction pilots to follow in 2022. Per Prime, the bank’s Deputy Chairman Alexey Zabotkin confirmed that a “technological platform” was due to make its debut this year, but added that it would “not be possible to make real transactions” on this platform until it had been reviewed. The bank is also expected to make an announcement about the type of CBDC it is hoping to develop by April 1.
Crypto adoption news
- The Kessler Collection said it has become the first US luxury hotel group to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment, as well as the first in the world to partner with provider of crypto payment services BitPay.
- Today, major Europen digital asset investment firm, CoinShares, started publicly trading on Nasdaq First North Growth Market, following an oversubscribed initial public offering.