Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and Fintech News Headlines Update on April 30, 2021

FATF Publishes New Zealand Mutual Evaluation Report. Of the 40 recommendations, New Zealand is ‘Compliant’ on 21, ‘Largely Compliant’ on 7, and ‘Partially Compliant’ on 12.

SBI has alleged that Chris Larsen is eyeing a Coinbase-style stock market listing – and is already looking beyond its current legal struggles with the American Securities and Exchange Commission.

Singapore, Thailand Launch Real-time Payment Link. The participating banks include DBS, OCBC, UOB, Bangkok Bank, Kasikornbank, Krung Thai Bank and Siam Commercial Bank.

The South Korean regulatory Financial Supervisory Service will allegedly approve an application for a “digital asset” fund after a seemingly successful application from Hanwha Asset Management, one of the three biggest asset managers in the country.

SFC Set to Deploy Data Analytics in Broker Inspections. High volume brokers were asked in 2019 to adopt new data standards to enable more timely data submissions to regulators when requested.

Globe Derivative Exchange (GlobeDX) has raised USD 18m through a funding round led by blockchain investors – Y Combinator, Pantera Capital, Draper Dragon, Republic Crypto, OKEx, CMT Digital, and Wave Financial all participated in the round, said the press release.

MAS to Explore Options for Connecting m-CBDC Platforms. MAS is partnering with the BIS Innovation Hub and central banks to design, develop and test new m-CBDC models for cross-border settlement.

WisdomTree has announced the expansion of its digital assets range with the launch of a physically-backed ethereum (ETH) ETP.

Australia Scraps Plan to Introduce Beneficial Ownership Register. Senator Jane Hume reportedly refused to back the register, a move experts say will entrench Australia as a money laundering haven.

Coinbase said it now allows its customers in the US to buy cryptoassets on this platform by using debit cards and bank accounts linked to PayPal.

ICBC Extends Loan to Huarong to Pay Offshore Bond. The CBIRC had asked banks not to withhold loans from Huarong for at least six months, to help the company refinance its debt.

The operators of tether (USDT)  published another report from an independent accountant.

SEC Thailand Seeks Investigative, Prosecutorial Powers. The SEC seeks powers to investigate and prosecute its own cases and speed up enforcement against capital market violations.

In a conclusion to the reported exploit of Uranium Finance, it was announced that the project will end and that no attempts to restart it will be made.

HK Green Banks Alliance Hosts First Roundtable. HKMA Chief Eddie Yue urged banks to transform into ‘green banks’. HSBC and BOCHK announced plans to expand their green finance business.

Polygon (MATIC) has launched a USD 100m fund aimed at making DeFi more accessible to end-users.

LuxSE Displays First Sustainability Bond from Thailand on LGX. Thailand opted to list the sustainability bond on the Luxembourg Green Exchange to strengthen access to the international investor community.

Beijing is conducting a check on data centres involved in cryptocurrency mining to better understand their impact on energy consumption.

SG Police Issue Forgery Charges in Nickel Trading Fraud Case. With the latest charges, Ng Yu Zhi now faces a total of 11 counts of cheating, fraudulent trading and forgery. He will return to court on 17 May.

Canaan announced a long-term strategic partnership with Genesis Digital Assets, an industrial-scale Bitcoin (BTC) mining firm.

Social Finance Inc. is edging deeper into cryptoassets, allowing its customers to redeem rewards earned through the company’s app for bitcoin or ethereum.

Opera has added native support for blockchain-based Internet domain name provider Unstoppable Domains.

Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) has warned investors that the crypto exchange Binance may have violated European securities rules with the launch of its stock tokens.

As expected, on April 27, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has launched its first-ever digital bond issuance on the Ethereum blockchain, deploying this distributed ledger technology for the registration and settlement of digital bonds.

Deutsche Börse and Commerzbank said they are entering a strategic partnership with fintech 360X to develop new blockchain-based digital marketplaces and ecosystems for existing real asset classes such as art and real estate.

Bank Losses from Archegos Collapse to Exceed $10bn. New disclosures from UBS and Nomura have raised estimates of the total losses to banks to over $10.5bn.

Wealthfront will open up a range of crypto investment options to its customers later in 2021, Reuters reported, adding that it was “the latest sign of growing acceptance of digital assets by mainstream finance.”

China Government Probes Ant Group IPO Approval Process. Ant Group founder Jack Ma and his relationships with state firms and local officials are also being examined as part of the government’s investigation.

Some 6 months after surpassing 1m cumulative monthly active users across their browser extension and mobile app, major Ethereum (ETH) wallet and Web 3.0 browser MetaMask said it has grown an additional 5x, and is used by more than 5m users every month.

DBS, JP Morgan, Temasek Team Up on Cross-border Payments. An open platform will be developed to enable real-time cross-border multi-currency payments, trade finance, foreign exchange and DVP securities settlements.

Tesla said that the fair market value of bitcoin (BTC) it held as of March 31 was USD 2.48bn.

RBNZ Releases Final Guidance on Developing Cyber Resilience. This guidance provides the baseline-level of cyber resilience recommendations as well as recommendations for enhanced-level practices.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday delayed its decision on approving the VanEck Bitcoin ETF until June as the regulator’s new chief begins to review high-profile asset applications.

Japan FSA to Issue Climate Risk Guidelines for Banks. Financial institutions will be expected to incentivise borrowers to decarbonise through loan terms and preferential interest rates.

Alchemy has raised USD 80m from investors led by Coatue Management and Addition LP, giving the startup a USD 500m valuation.

CBIRC Warns of Crackdown on Illegal Fundraising Activities. New regulations on the prevention and handling of illegal fundraising activities come into effect from 1 May.

Coinbase Pro has announced the delay of the launch of trading on tether (USDT), “in order to have full confidence in a successful launch of tether,” they said. The new target date is Monday, May 3. Transfers remain available, they added.

Malaysia SC Publishes Updated Corporate Governance Code. The update focuses on selection and nomination processes for directors, including to address issues with board diversity and sustainability.

SBI has announced that its crypto mining and crypto exchange operations had a bumper financial year in the FY2020 period, which ended last month. The company unveiled gross crypto business profits of USD 174m, almost double its FY2019 gross figure of USD 92m.

China: Fintech Giants Pledge to Support Digital Yuan Push. Ant Group, Tencent, Huawei and JD.com have revealed that they were involved in the development and testing of the digital yuan.

Turkey is planning to regulate its crypto market by establishing a central custodian bank to eliminate counterparty risk following the collapse of the Thodex and Vebitcoin exchanges last week.

RBI Issues New Rules for Senior Bank Executives, Board Members. Banks will have until 1 October 2021 to comply with new rules capping the tenure of top executives at 15 years.

Balancer Labs (BAL), an automated market maker (AMM), and Gnosis (GNO) announced the launch of Balancer-Gnosis-Protocol (BGP). This decentralized exchange (DEX) will combine the new and improved Vault system of Balancer V2 with Gnosis Protocol’s price-finding mechanism.

Non-Residents Can Trade THOR Overnight Index Swaps: BOT. Participation from non-resident investors will be a key driver to help advance the development of the THOR derivatives market.

The Solana Foundation has announced it will be launching a global hackathon focused on Web3, DeFi, and non-fungible token (NFT) solutions.

US officials have been granted an arrest warrant for the alleged operator of a BTC mixing service Bitcoin Fog, Roman Sterlingov, on allegations of laundering nearly USD 336m in BTC over 10 years.

UK Establishes New Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regime. The UK has made its first 22 designations under the new regime, including individuals in Russia, South Africa, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and South Sudan.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has filed a 19B-4 Form on behalf of Valkyrie Digital Assets for its BTC exchange-traded fund (ETF).

China Lawmakers Commence Review of New Futures Law. The law will stipulate rules for futures trading, settlement and delivery systems, establish investor protection mechanisms, and include netting provisions.

Aave is set to launch liquidity mining program.

QUICK Benchmarks Starts Publishing TORF Production Rates. TORF production rates can be used in actual transactions, and are published each business day on the same day at 5pm.

More local tax authorities have seized crypto and frozen exchange wallets as South Korea’s spate of crypto tax busts looks set to continue into another week.

Shanghai Court Granted Jurisdiction to Hear Cross-border Cases. The Shanghai Financial Court is the second Chinese court allowed to handle disputes involving overseas securities and financial institutions.

Marathon Digital Holdings said it has appointed Fred Thiel as its new chief executive officer, effective today. Prior to serving as Marathon’s chief executive officer, Thiel co-founded and served as chairman of Sprocket, a blockchain and cryptocurrency technology and financial services company.

Hong Kong Launches 100% Personal Loan Guarantee Scheme. The scheme provides a supplementary financing option for individuals suffering income loss resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

JD.com is running an exhibition at a digital yuan pavilion running at the Digital China Summit, which wrapped up today in Fuzhou, Fujian Province.

MAS Forms Industry Group to Develop Asset Management Sector. The Singapore Funds Industry Group will bring together key players to formulate strategies to develop the asset management ecosystem.

Yao Ming has ventured into the world of non-fungible tokens via his wine business, Yao Family Wines. The winery said it was “releasing its most exclusive wine,” named The Chop, which would be “paired with a limited edition NFT.”

HK, China to Launch Southbound Bond Connect in July – Report. The relevant regulations will reportedly be issued in May, with a view to launching the southbound bond trading link on 2 July.

TQ Tezos and DMA United have announced a new curated non-fungible tokens (NFT) platform.

Australia: Tax Reforms Proposed to Support Financial Hub Ambitions. Under Senator Andrew Bragg’s proposal, technology and finance business that relocate to Australia would pay concessional tax rate for seven years.

Tether (USDT) has surpassed USD 50bn in market capitalization.

FSC Korea to Promote Lending to Low Credit Score Borrowers. Banks will be advised to boost mid-range interest rate lending to borrowers with low to moderate credit scores, among other measures.

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Sean Culkin said he will earn 100% of his 2021 salary in bitcoin. The Chiefs will pay his salary in USD, which will automatically be converted on a weekly basis to BTC via Strike by Zap, a payments application that leverages Lightning Network.

IMAS Launches ESG E-Learning Module for Asset Managers. The module covers the EnRM Guidelines issued by MAS in December, supplemented with case studies to facilitate application by the industry.

3iQ Corp in partnership with CoinShares announced the launch of an Ethereum (ETH) ETF on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on April 23.

HKMA Offers Guidance on Combatting Covid-19 Related Fraud, AML. The guidance emphasises the use of data from internal and external sources, proactive data analysis and information sharing to tackle emerging AML risks.

MAS Calls on Governments to Advance Digital Infrastructure. MAS will seek to build a consortium of countries to explore the potential of digital infrastructure for cross-border use.

PBOC Ratings Results Highlight Drop in High Risk Institutions. The PBOC found rural institutions and village banks to be the riskiest, accounting for a majority of the 442 institutions that are in the ‘red zone’.

Environmental Disclosure a Focal Point for Singapore FIs: Study. Financial institutions in Singapore place significant importance on ESG performance, with a heavy focus on climate considerations.

Australia: Super Fund Body Launches New Climate Change Policy. The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors is seeking the integration of climate change risk in super fund investment strategies.

Taiwan FSC Directs LINE Bank to Conduct Stress Tests. LINE Bank services crashed on Thursday due to “system overload” just as it launched new digital banking services.

Hong Kong: Six Arrested for Laundering HK$2.5bn. The six arrested persons opened 60 personal accounts at various banks and made over 2,600 suspicious transactions.

DBS Goes Live on Trade Finance Network Contour. Digital LC capabilities will be offered in Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore via Contour from this month.

ZenGo announced a USD 20m Series A round.

RBI Restricts Amex, Diners Club for Data Storage Violations. American Express and Diners Club were found to be non-compliant with the RBI’s 2018 directions requiring payment system data to be stored onshore.

JPMorgan is preparing to offer an actively managed bitcoin (BTC) fund to certain clients as soon as this summer.

BSP Asks D-SIBs to Submit Recovery Plans Separate from ICAAP. Separate submission will allow the BSP to better assess recovery plans on an institutional level and across D-SIBs, particularly during times of crisis.

IBM Japan will start work on a blockchain-based recycling project with Mitsui Chemicals.

Regulatory Future Proofing with In-Memory Computing. In-memory analytics tools allow even the most complex of regulatory calculations to be performed in minutes or seconds rather than hours.

Line is set to rebrand its Japanese crypto exchange and wallet services.

ECB Identifies Internal Model Deficiencies at Big Banks. The changes to correct the deficiencies will result in an overall absolute increase in risk-weighted assets of about EUR 275 billion.

U.S. Bancorp said it will offer a new cryptocurrency custody product in partnership with an unnamed sub-custodian.

ICMA Explores Role of Repo Market in Sustainable Finance. A new ICMA paper open for feedback now looks at the intersections between the repo and collateral market and sustainable finance.

Securrency has raised USD 30m in a Series B funding round.

RBI Lifts Bank Dividend Ban, Subject to New Limit. Banks will be limited to paying only 50% of the amount prescribed in a 2005 circular, which already caps dividends at a 40% payout ratio.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint has expanded its use of Intel Threat Detection Technology beyond accelerated memory scanning capabilities to activate central processing unit (CPU)-based cryptomining machine learning (ML) detection.

ASIC Seeks Feedback on New Breach Reporting Guidance. The draft regulatory guide provides clarification on what constitutes a reportable situation under the upcoming breach reporting reforms.

Binance said it aims to launch its own non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace in June. The marketplace will debut with two main venues: a “Premium Event” category for the most sought-after collaborations, and a “Trading Market” that allows everyday users to create NFTs at minimal cost.

Chinese Exchanges Receive First Infrastructure REITs Applications. The applications are from infrastructure REITs managed by Zheshang Securities, Sinolink Securities, AVIC Securities and Bosera Asset Management.

JD.com has paid some employees with the digital yuan as the country’s central bank looks to expand the scope of its use.

FINMA Opens Probe Into Credit Suisse Archegos Losses. The Swiss regulator said it will appoint a third-party agent to investigate “possible shortcomings in risk management” at Credit Suisse.

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) said that banks and licensed moneychangers can use cryptocurrency mined by authorized miners in Iran to pay for imports.

SG Police Lay More Charges in Nickel Trading Fraud Case. Ng Yu Zhi allegedly cheated five individuals into paying around S$8.8mn for nonexistent contracts purported to be for the sale of nickel to a metals trader.

Major crypto exchanges in South Korea have warned of a sharp rise in crypto-related fraud, with fraudsters posing as exchange officials in an attempt to dupe unsuspecting investors out of their fiat and crypto funds.

Korea FSS Imposes Light Punishments on Shinhan Execs. Shinhan Bank’s CEO and Shinhan Financial Group’s Chairman received lighter punishments than expected over the Lime mis-selling scandal.

The European Investment Bank plans to price EUR 100m (USD 121m) of two-year notes in an inaugural sale of so-called digital bonds that will be registered on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain.

Taiwan FSC Fines Fund Managers for Stock Manipulation. The three fund managers bought shares in Far Eastern Department Store at the request of a former official who has since been charged with corruption.
The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced preliminary conditional approval of the application to charter Paxos National Trust, New York.

Charles Schwab Corp is looking “closely” and “cautiously” at the crypto market and is waiting for regulators to give more guidance around the digital currencies before considering offering crypto capabilities on its platform.

Major crypto lender Celsius (CEL) said that “due to market conditions” they recommend “adding crypto to your Celsius account to secure your loan in case of a margin call.” “We will be in touch with you directly if a margin call is issued for your loan,” they said.

Norges Bank said it will test various technical solutions for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) over the next two years.

London’s High Court allowed Craig Wright to serve a copyright infringement lawsuit against the operator and publisher of the bitcoin.org website, which calls itself Cobra, over Twitter or a generic email address, Reuters reported.

Bitfarms said they’ve partnered with Foundry to expand their Bitcoin (BTC) mining fleet and join Foundry USA Pool, boosting operating hashrate by 15%. Both companies also announced the purchase of 2,465 Whatsminer M30S Bitcoin mining machines through Foundry’s services.

A survey commissioned by Otkritie Bank, has found that 14% of the respondents think “digital currencies” will replace fiat in 10 years’ time.

Double.jump has partnered with Dapper Labs on a Flow protocol-based project.

Some 1,100 Spaniards are thought to have been caught up in a crypto-themed pyramid scam, authorities in the nation claim.

Robinhood announced that Christine Brown will lead Robinhood Crypto as Chief Operating Officer, where she’ll oversee all of their crypto operations and compliance. She’ll also keep her current role of Robinhood Markets’ VP of Product Operations.

Close-out Netting Can Be Guaranteed in Resolution: CBIRC. Recent bankruptcies by FIs have “fully proved” that close-out netting can be guaranteed in the resolution stage, a CBIRC official said at ASIFMA’s China Capital Markets Week.

APRA Issues Draft Guidance on Climate-related Financial Risk. The consultation says institutions and boards may face liability risks if they do not adequately consider or respond to the impacts of climate change.

BaFin Files Criminal Complaint Against Deutsche Bank Exec. Alexander Schütz is suspected of using inside information to trade Wirecard shares. A separate probe into EY’s audits of Wirecard is continuing.

DTCC Study Highlights Need to Enhance Post-trade Processes. The sell-side is seeking enhancements to reconciliations and confirmations capabilities. The buy-side is focusing on fails and collateral management.

HKMA Directs Banks to Prepare for OpRisk Rule Updates. The HKMA plans to revise its SPM module on Operational Risk Management to incorporate elements of the revised PSMOR issued by the BCBS.

New Zealand to Introduce Deposit Guarantee Scheme by 2023. The NZBA’s Roger Beaumont says banks should pay lower levies compared to non-bank deposit takers because they are less likely to call on the scheme.

SFC Imposes Lifetime Ban on Co-CEOs of IDS Forex Ltd. The co-CEOs knew of their chairman’s arrest and conviction in Korea for fraud but did not report the events to the SFC.

Taiwan FSC Probes Next Bank Over Possible Regulatory Breaches. Next Bank is one of the three internet-only banks that was issued a licence by the FSC in 2019. The bank has yet to launch operations.

FMA Warns Fund Managers Not to Mislead Investors. The FMA has directed fund managers not to advertise performance which only includes the recovery after March 2020.

FSC Australia Proposes Removal of Financial Advice Red Tape. There are significant opportunities to reduce the cost and complexity of providing financial advice, the FSC says in new paper.

Deutsche Boerse said that Coinbase shares (COIN) can continue to be traded on its trading system Xetra and Frankfurt stock exchange after the crypto exchange provided missing data.

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are examining whether Binance has complied with securities rules over its launch of trading in stock tokens.

Coinbase will dedicate 10% of its resources to funding crypto moonshots pitched by its employees. Called ‘Project 10 Percent’, this new internal program is designed to manage their disruptive innovation bets, said the announcement.

BISON has exceeded trading volume of EUR 2bn (USD 2.41bn) since the beginning of 2021.

One of Morgan Stanley’s new bitcoin (BTC)-only private funds raised USD 29.4m from 322 investors in its first 14 days, while the average investment was USD 91,000.

Tiger Global Management invested USD 25m in crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber, making its foray into the fast-growing digital currency market in India.

Huobi Asset Management has launched four crypto-related funds, including those that will virtually track BTC and ethereum (ETH) prices, as well as a multi-strategy virtual asset fund.

NYDIG said it has acquired Arctos Capital.

Hotel Bécquer and Hotel Kivir are to begin accepting crypto payments.

NatWest will refuse to serve business customers who accept payment in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

Ledger announced a partnership with Boson Protocol to safeguard its store of digital assets raised during its private and public investment rounds.

The year-on-year prices of crypto mining equipment have risen by x1.5 in Russia, reported Checkindex, using aggregated data from online banks in its calculations.

Rebasing crypto protocol Ampleforth (AMPL) is launching a governance token that all past and present users of its AMPL token are able to claim.

Deutsche Boerse said it would de-list the shares of Coinbase (COIN) from its Xetra trading system and the Frankfurt stock exchange by end of Friday’s trading session. “The reason for the de-listing is a missing reference data for these shares,” Deutsche Boerse said, adding the de-listing would apply until further notice.

Pancakeswap on the rise. PancakeSwap that calls the Binance Smart Chain home, has surpassed the entire Ethereum network in terms of transaction volume over a 24-hour period.

Uniswap v3 hits testnets. Uniswap has taken a step closer to launch V3 iteration by announcing the successful deployment of V3’s smart contracts to four Ethereum testnets.

CRV indicates a bumper crop for ‘DeFi Summer 2.0’ as the DeFi tokens surge. The farmer’s almanac of decentralized finance is indicating that DeFi Summer 2.0 could feature some healthy yields across the ecosystem. Multiple common metrics used to gauge the health of the DeFi space are pointing toward a looming bull market, but perhaps most promising of all might be the surge in Curve’s CRV governance token price.

PBOC Announces Additional Measures on Climate. The PBOC will allocate more green bonds to China’s foreign exchange reserves. A new catalogue of projects that are eligible for green bond issuance has been issued.

Stephen Bearpark has joined theBitstamp exchange as their new Chief Financial Officer. “Stephen joins us from Amazon, where he held the role of Finance Director for the past three years,” the company said.

ABN Amro to Settle Dutch AML Probe for €480m. ABN Amro conducted inadequate client due diligence, assigned risk classifications in an incorrect manner, and fell short in alert processing, among other failures.

Karura has integrated Chainlink (LINK) price feeds that provide Karura smart contract developers with financial market data directly on-chain.

ARRC Outlines Principles for Forward-Looking SOFR Term Rate. The ARRC said it is seeking to provide greater clarity on the likelihood and potential timing of a recommended SOFR term rate for certain uses.

Cream Finance (CREAM) announced a new security campaign in collaboration with Immunefi, Armor, and DeFiSafety to bring stronger security to its protocol and the wider DeFi ecosystem.

BOJ Warns of Post Covid Risks to Financial Stability. Even after the pandemic subsides, low interest rates will continue to exert downward pressure on FIs’ profits, the BOJ says.

Canaan will be supplying 11,760 units of next-generation A1246 ASIC AvalonMiners to Mawson Infrastructure Group Inc.

BitGo said it has surpassed USD 700m of total Crime/Excess Specie insurance capacity.

IIF Calls for Stricter Disclosure, Accounting Rules in A-Share Market. Despite the attractiveness of Chinese equities, foreign ownership remains lower than in other major markets at 4.3 percent.

Ark Investment Management on Tuesday bought another 236,348 shares of Coinbase, worth some USD 75.8m.

Galaxy Digital is in advanced discussions to buy BitGo.

Mirae Asset Files Suit Shinhan Over Lime Fund Losses. Shinhan Bank has separately been ordered to repay up to 75 percent of investments it sold in Lime’s credit insured funds.

The US White House is preparing another massive spending proposal, expected to address the so-called human infrastructure like child care and family care programs, with a price tag that could hit USD 1trn.

Digital Asset Holdings said it has raised over USD 120m in Series D funding from 7RIDGE and Eldridge.

StanChart Commits to Cutting Emissions in Shipping Portfolio. Standard Chartered has joined 25 other signatories to the Poseidon Principles, a global framework that targets carbon emission cuts in the shipping industry.

IOTA Foundation said it is today completing an important upgrade, Chrysalis.

LVMH, Prada, and Cartier revealed the Aura Blockchain Consortium, described by the press release as “the world’s first global luxury blockchain.”

Taiwan to Require Crypto Sector to Comply with AML Rules. Crypto exchanges and trading platforms will have to comply with AML requirements for conventional banks starting 1 July.

Thodex abruptly halted trading on Wednesday citing an unspecified partnership transaction, spurring complaints from users who can’t access their digital assets. Services will remain shut for about five working days while the share transfer is completed, but users needn’t worry about their investments, per the exchange.

Gemini said that the total cryptocurrency held in their custody surpassed USD 25bn and has more than doubled this year.

SGX Launches New FFA, Futures For Managing Freight Risk. The new contracts offer participants more precise hedging tools as a recovery drives demand for iron ore and minor bulks, SGX said.

Strategy Launched to Help New Zealanders Understand Money. The strategy includes a three-year plan to enable the financial sector to work together to help the public learn how to make good decisions around money.

Diem Association (formerly Libra) is aiming to launch a pilot with a single stablecoin pegged to the USD in 2021.

FMSB Offers Guidance on Transitioning LIBOR Back Book. The Spotlight Review examines back book transition complexities through practical case studies and sets out key considerations for managing the associated risks.

CSRC Announces Launch of Guangzhou Futures Exchange. The GFEX will develop carbon futures, and also explore electricity futures, climate-related products, commodities index futures and other “green-linked” commodities.

Deutsche Telekom has indirectly made “a significant purchase” of CELO, the native coin of the eponymous open-source blockchain ecosystem.

Inflows into digital asset investment products nearly tripled to USD 233m last week, the largest inflows since early March, according to CoinShares.

HKMA Issues Guidance on Govt Guaranteed Personal Loans. Lenders should not take any actions which tighten credit to borrowers on knowledge of their application for PLGS loans.

Taiwan Launches ‘MyData’ Platform With 15 Banks. The platform allows consumers to use personal data stored by government agencies to facilitate their access to financial services.

Aleo has raised USD 28m to build the next-generation platform for decentralized, private applications.

Australia Issues Draft Bill on Financial Advice Reforms. The bill will expand the role of ASIC’s Financial Services and Credit Panel so that it operates as the single disciplinary body for financial advisers.

Japan Registers First Foreign Firm Through Dedicated ‘Entry Office’. The subsidiary of UK firm Affirmative Investment Management Partners registered to conduct investment advisory and agency business.

Brian P. Brooks is joining Binance.US as Chief Executive Officer, effective May 1, 2021. Often referred to in the media as “the first fintech Comptroller” and “Crypto Comptroller,” Brooks led the government’s efforts to provide regulatory clarity for stablecoins, digital asset custody, and the development of blockchain payment networks, and granted the first federal bank charter to a cryptocurrency company.

Christopher Giancarlo joined the board of BlockFi.

FSS Korea Mulls New Crypto Rules to Counter ‘Kimchi Premium’. The plan is a response to growing suspicions that investors are purchasing bitcoin from overseas exchanges with the intent of selling them in Korea at a premium.

HM Treasury, BOE Form CBDC Taskforce to Explore ‘Britcoin’. The taskforce will coordinate work to explore a potential ‘Britcoin’, though a decision has not been made on whether a CBDC would be introduced.

WeWork said it will start accepting BTC, ETH, USD coin (USDC), paxos standard token (PAX), and several other cryptocurrencies as payment for its offerings, through BitPay. The company claims it will also hold the currency on its balance sheet.

Gilded announced the availability of Mass Pay, a full-service solution that promises to allow businesses to pay up to 500 employees at once in Ethereum-based tokens such as stablecoins.

Deutsche to Move Pricing Engine for EM Currencies to Singapore. The move is in part aimed at increasing algorithm capacity for trading Chinese yuan, the most heavily traded emerging market currency.

API3 has announced a 10-year partnership with the Open Bank Project.

Bitfarms has announced a deal with a utility-grade private power producer in Argentina for 210 megawatt bitcoin mining data center at USD 0.022/kWh for the first four years.

US Treasury Unveils Coordinated Climate Policy Strategy. The Treasury Department has created a new Climate Hub and appointed a Climate Counsellor to coordinate and lead efforts to address climate change.

BSCstarter announced the launch of WSB token through an Initial Dex Offering (IDO) on BSCstarter’s launchpad that went live today, and via a partnership with WallStreetBets DApp.

Evolve Funds Group is waiving the 0.75% management fee on its upcoming Ether ETF, ticker ETHR, until May 31.

Blockcap announced that it mined a total of BTC 544 during the first quarter of this year.

PBOC Finalises New AML Regulations for Financial Institutions. The new regulations take effect from 1 August and are applicable to non-bank financial institutions, overseas bank branches and holding subsidiaries.

Crypto fraud reports are up by over 41% in South Korea year-on-year, per figures released by the regulatory Financial Supervisory Service.

BCBS to Discuss Archegos Collapse, Total Return Swaps. The BCBS will intensify scrutiny of structured financial products and total return swaps, according to Secretary General Carolyn Rogers.

Arcane has entered into an agreement to increase its ownership in ITOAM (IT), the owner of the Bitcoin Lightning Network-based trading platform LN Markets, from current 7% to 16%, by a cash investment of EUR 1.5m (USD 1.8m).

ISDA to Consolidate Interest Rate Derivatives Definitional Book. The new 2021 ISDA Interest Rate Derivatives Definitions will be published on 17 May, with target implementation scheduled for October.

Japan Sets End Date for New JPY LIBOR Interest Rate Swaps. New interest rate swaps referencing JPY LIBOR and maturing after the end of 2021 should cease by end-September 2021.

Dapper Labs is raising money at a USD 7.5bn valuation in a round led by Coatue Management.

Mark Cuban through his VC entity Radical Investments made an unspecified strategic investment into CryptoSlam.

Korea Set to Expand Securities Lending to Retail Investors. Seventeen securities firms will begin to provide stock lending services worth an estimated KRW 2.4 trillion to retail investors from 3 May.

Coinbase insiders and investors sold about USD 5bn in shares in total during the exchange’s first day of trading on the Nasdaq.

Tether (USDT) went on Hermez Network (HEZ).

Industry Bodies Urge EU, UK to Link Emissions Trading Systems. Linking the systems ahead of COP 26 would reaffirm the UK and EU as climate leaders and demonstrate strong advocacy for international carbon markets.

CBIRC Calms Market Fears Over Huarong Restructuring. The CBIRC says Huarong is actively cooperating with its auditor and will complete its annual report as soon as possible.

OKEx launched Bitcoin Lightning Network on the OKEx website, with mobile to follow.

Taurus SA received a securities firm license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to operate the first independent regulated marketplace for digital assets in the world.

ECB Calls for Common Standards for DLT Use in Post-Trade. Common protocols and standards are needed to improve the use of DLT in post-trade processes and avoid market fragmentation.

Chinese Court Accepts First Class Action Against Listed Company. The CSRC said the lawsuit will help listed companies and intermediaries to improve their internal governance and standardise market operations.

Grayscale Investments launched its new ad campaign today.

Japan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), has granted the Coinbook a crypto exchange operating permit.

Philippine Banks May Face ‘Systemic Solvency Distress’: IMF. Bank capital adequacy could fall to 11.7% by 2022 in a baseline scenario, 9.3% in an adverse scenario, and 4.9% in a severe adverse scenario.

Zip Co. is looking at expanding into crypto and stock trading.

BCBS Outlines Work Priorities for 2021-2022. Priorities include ongoing Covid-19, digitalisation, climate risk, AI/machine learning, data and technology governance, and operational resilience.

Novatti has begun using RippleNet’s On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service, provided by Ripple.

Gary Gensler Sworn Into Office as New SEC Chair. Gary Gensler was sworn in as the new SEC chairman three days after the US Senate voted to approve his nomination.

A British billionaire has put his massive property, which overlooks Hyde Park in the exclusive Knightsbridge district of central London, up for sale and said he will accept payment for it in bitcoin (BTC) or ethereum (ETH).

HK Bourse Proposes New Governance, ESG Reporting Standards. The proposals enhance corporate governance standards in the areas of corporate culture, director independence, diversity, and ESG disclosures and standards.

Rothschild Investment Corporation recently bought 265,302 shares of the Grayscale Ethereum Trust, its first investment in the vehicle.

Some Cuban government officials have suggested using crypto-assets as part of an effort to alleviate the country’s economic crisis as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and Washington-led sanctions continue to bite.

Time will begin accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment for digital subscriptions through a new partnership with Crypto.com.

National Security, Financial Stability are Mutually Dependent: HKMA. Chief executive Eddie Yue said the HKMA is pursuing initiatives to enhance its use of technology to analyse financial data as part of its efforts in market supervision.

Cathie Woods’ ARK funds bought more shares of Coinbase worth USD 110m a day after the crypto exchange’s Nasdaq debut, Reuters reported, citing the firm’s daily trade summary on Thursday.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Kazushige Kamiyama, “downplayed the threat of China’s digital currency to the established order as it’s unlikely to be the dominant player in global financial settlements even if China leads the way.”

Galaxy Digital appointed Michael Daffey as a Senior Advisor and Chair of the Board of Directors, effective September 1.

China-Japan ETF Connect Sees Launch of New Funds. Daiwa Asset Management has listed two ETFs on the TSE while ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management has listed one ETF on the SZSE.

The Celo Foundation said it has appointed the former head of Citigroup and CEO of Time Warner Richard Parsons as a board member.

Rising Asset Prices May Risk Financial Stability: RBA. A correction in asset prices, if borrowers’ income were to fall and so they defaulted on debt repayments, could expose lenders to large losses.

Less than 24 hours after the Wallstreetbets subreddit moderators had announced that they would allow crypto discussion (and only about BTC, ETH, and dogecoin (DOGE)), they reinstated the ban “indefinitely”. They cited the Bloomberg article titled ‘WallStreetBets Bows to Crypto, Allows Bitcoin Discussion’ as the reason behind it. “I’ve read a lot of dumb articles written about wsb. This one takes the cake,” said the announcement.

PBOC to Extend Stress Tests to All Domestic Banks This Year. Previously, only major banks were stress-tested. The expanded stress tests are meant to improve risk monitoring and early warning systems.

Police and financial regulators in South Korea have promised to “crackdown” on crypto crime. The authorities say that they intend to launch a “full-scale” assault on instances of crypto fraud and group meetings – so-called “investors’ briefing sessions” – held by ostensible crypto projects.

Citigroup to Exit 13 Markets, Including 10 in Asia. The move is part of an ongoing strategic review to allow Citi to direct investments and resources to the businesses where it has the greatest scale and growth potential.

dHedge launches an index tracking its top traders.

BTIG analyst Mark Palmer gave Coinbase a buy rating after its Nasdaq debut, setting a price target of USD 500.

Canadian Horizons ETF releasing a fund (BITI) – the first inverse Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF), that will allow investors to be short bitcoin futures, and it will debut Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

InstaDapp launches governance token.

Kyber Network introduces dynamic fees as part of V3 rollout.

US Sanctions Russia Over Election Interference, Cyber Attack. US banks will be barred from purchasing rouble-denominated sovereign bonds in the primary market starting from 14 June.

The moderators of subreddit Wallstreetbets have announced they will allow crypto discussion in the subreddit from today – but only about BTC, ethereum (ETH), and dogecoin (DOGE).

Fei Protocol tried a new mechanism for stablecoins, but a bug fouled its plans.

Cream Finance launches flash loans on Iron Bank.

China May Transfer Huarong to Sovereign Wealth Fund – Report. Huarong’s failure to publish its earnings by its 31 March deadline has prompted concerns of a default by China’s largest distressed debt manager.

Chainlink (LINK) released its new whitepaper today. It “outlines how Chainlink Decentralized Oracle Networks can go on to create a decentralized metalayer that enhance smart contracts with highly scalable, confidential, and secure forms of off-chain computation, in addition to the external data that Chainlink already provides today.”

Equilibrium raises $2.5M in preparation of the parachain auction.

Reef Finance launches the Baskets product for index investing.

LSTA Offers Guidance on ‘Credit Sensitive’ Rates to Replace LIBOR. The advisory provides sample language to facilitate the use of credit sensitive rates in hardwired fallback language in loan documentation.

Societe Generale said it issued the first structured product as a security token directly registered on the Tezos (XTZ) public blockchain.

Privacy Cited as Top Concern for a European CBDC. ECB survey respondents cited privacy as the top priority feature for a potential digital euro, followed by security and usability across the euro area.

1inch exchange rebrands to 1inch Network.

BadgerDAO cooperates with Fireblocks to interface with institutions.

Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves said Sweden could have a digital central-bank currency within five years.

Bitcoin mining difficulty, or the measure of how hard it is to compete for mining rewards, is estimated to hit its new all-time high today, increasing by around 0.9% and reaching 23.34 T. It jumped by almost 6% on April 2.

‘Brown’ Investments Risk Larger Losses from Transition Shocks. ESMA has found that green funds are less exposed to systemic network risks, while brown funds are more exposed to transition shocks.

Celsius (CEL) said that “an unauthorized party managed to gain access to a back-up third-party email distribution system which had connections to a partial customer email list.”

Oasis Network integrates with Tidal Network.

Keep unveils specs for tBTC V2.

Australian Senator Proposes Merger of Superannuation Lobby Groups. Senator Andrew Bragg is suggesting to use the ‘Your Future Your Super’ legislation to force consolidation between the AIST, ISA, FSC and ASFA.

Brevan Howard Asset Management is preparing to start investing in digital assets by investing up to 1.5% of its USD 5.6bn main hedge fund in bitcoin and other digital assets.

HKMA, SFC Consult on Annual Update to FSP List. A unit of Toronto-Dominion Bank is proposed to be included on the FSP list. An entity that has merged with Deutsche Bank will be removed.

CoinShares announced the launch of a new exchange-traded product (ETP), CoinShares Physical XRP (XRPL), which is its eighth investment product and its fourth new product launch in 2021.

Climate change and inflation risk are bigger concerns for BlackRock’s institutional clients than cryptocurrencies, CEO Larry Fink told CNBC. “We’re studying it. We make money on it, but I’m not here to tell you that we’re seeing broad-based interest by institutions worldwide,” he said.

SFC Fines Optimas Capital Over Short Position Reporting Errors. The errors occurred as a result of a programming mistake in a script created to automate the process of identifying reportable short positions.

Goldman Sachs plans to build a digital bank but, at the moment, it is not focused on providing a crypto wallet.

WisdomTree has announced that its physically-backed Bitcoin ETP has listed on Germany’s Börse Xetra.

Exodus said it has raised more than USD 59m between April 8 and April 12 from over 4,000 investors in its regulated public crypto offering.

The Stacks Foundation launched their Stacks Accelerator, a mentorship-driven program backed by Hiro Systems, Daemon Technologies, and Freehold, which will invest in early-stage startups building on Bitcoin (BTC) via the Stacks (STX) blockchain.

Enso Finance said it has raised USD 5m in its private fundraising round.

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it received 8,221 replies to their public consultation on a digital euro, mostly from citizens and the rest from businesses and professionals in the payments sector. According to the commentators, privacy is considered the most important feature of a digital euro, while licensed intermediaries should play a role in the provision of digital euro services, and all currently available hardware and software solutions could be adapted to use a digital euro and make payments similar to cash transactions.

The South Korean gaming regulator will have to justify its refusal last year to issue age certification to a blockchain-powered game from the developer SkyPeople in court.

BitBank has posted a new record for the collective amount of customer assets it has under its custody. The trading platform had some USD 2.66bn worth of tokens in customer wallets as of April

Southampton FC said it has renewed their partnership with the Coingaming Group as Main Club Partner for another three years, with their brand, Bitcoin sports betting firm Sportsbet.io, continuing as the club’s front-of-shirt sponsor.

Basel Committee Calls for Adaption to Climate Risks. Two new reports from the BCBS outline banking system exposure to climate-related risks and recommend methodologies be adapted accordingly.

MAS Penalises Bank J. Safra Sarasin for SoW/SoF Failures. The bank failed to establish the source of wealth and source of funds of customers and beneficial owners of higher-risk customers, MAS said.

Digital ID Perceived As Beneficial in Combatting Financial Crime. Digital IDs are perceived as beneficial for the fight against financial crime, an ACAMS-RUSI survey finds. However they may also present risks.

China: CFCA Starts to Embed LEIs in Digital Certificates. The China Financial Certification Authority has also become the first certification authority to become a validation agent in the Global LEI System.

US SEC Identifies Accounting Issues with SPAC Listings. Some warrants issued to early SPAC investors may have been recorded as equity instruments when they should have instead been recorded as liabilities.

FSC Korea to Create Policy on Use of AI in Financial Services. The policy seeks to improve fairness and transparency, and protect consumers from newly emerging financial crimes.

BaFin Faces Criminal Probe Over Wirecard Response. BaFin has been under fire since mid-last year for failing to properly respond to multiple red flags signalling an accounting fraud at Wirecard.

US SEC Warns of Misleading Statement Regarding ESG Investing. Many financial firms may be offering ESG products only because it is lucrative to do so, says SEC commissioner Hester Peirce.

HSBC Agrees to Share Documents in Meng Extradition Case. A Hong Kong judge has approved an agreement between Huawei and HSBC that includes document sharing by the bank, with some redactions.

New Zealand Introduces Law on Mandatory Climate Disclosures. Disclosures will be required for financial years commencing in 2022, meaning the first disclosures for around 200 organisations will be made in 2023.

FSB Issues Guidance on Implementing SFT Data Standards. The FSB has published FAQs to help national authorities implement the SFT Data Standards to facilitate global collection and aggregation of SFT data.

HSBC Agrees to Share Documents in Meng Extradition Case. A Hong Kong judge has approved an agreement between Huawei and HSBC that includes document sharing by the bank, with some redactions.

Nomura Establishes Internal Team to Probe Archegos Loss. Nomura has set up the team to look into the bank’s risk management practices. It plans to disclose details of Archegos loss in late April.

Korea Enhances Regulatory Sandbox Through Legislative Revisions. The revisions will allow sandbox participants to file requests to the FSC and other relevant authorities for changes to regulations.

RBNZ Establishes Standalone Enforcement Department. The new department will work to incentivise and manage prudent behaviour as well as hold institutions to account for non-compliance.

Thailand to Require UBO Transparency in Bond Markets. Non-residents who invest in debt securities in Thailand are required to open Segregated Securities Accounts with custodians at the UBO level.

ASIC Sets Expectations on New Complaints Handling Obligations. ASIC plans to check in with industry at various stages of implementation and assess whether its expectations about preparation are being met.

Singapore Court Jails Money Mule for Over 3.5 Years. The woman received more than S$730,000 in criminal proceeds in various bank accounts she set up for her “online lover”.

SEBI Fines Yes Bank, Three Others for Mis-selling AT1 Bonds. SEBI says Yes Bank misled individual investors into buying risky AT1 bonds and did not inform them of the risks involved or conduct risk profiling.

US consumer prices rose by the most in more than 8-1/2 years in March as increased vaccinations and massive fiscal stimulus unleashed pent-up demand, kicking off what most economists expect will be a brief period of higher inflation.

Sovryn announced that a consortium led by investor Anthony Pompliano’s Pomp Investments has agreed to a BTC 150 (USD 9.4m) investment in the protocol, after its proposal was formally accepted by the Sovryn community.

ConsenSys announced the final close of its USD 65m formation round to accelerate the convergence of DeFi and Web3 applications on Ethereum with enterprise blockchain infrastructure.

Thai Kasikornbank (KBank) is exploring DeFi as it tries to grow its business regionally via the digital platform.

METACO said it has launched METACO Harmonize, an end-to-end digital asset orchestration system for institutions.

THORChain (RUNE) announced that the multichain chaosnet is now live to the public.

Boerse Stuttgart Digital Exchange (BSDEX) said it has reached a trading volume of EUR 0.5bn (USD 596.9m) since the beginning of 2021.

Gryphon Digital Mining said it has raised a USD 14m in a Series A round to launch a Bitcoin mining operation with zero carbon footprint.

Banco Central do Brazil, is making progress on plans to digitalize its currency, the real, and should have news on the matter soon, the bank’s president Roberto Campos Neto said.

The European Investment Bank plans to utilize the power of blockchain to sell bonds, potentially boosting use of the digital-ledger technology as a tool for the region’s debt market.

Voyager Digital’s monthly Investor Sentiment Survey revealed that 77% of their investors also invest in equities, but the vast majority, or 75%, prefer crypto, the emailed press release said.

Kent Swig has secured a minimum of USD 6bn in gold reserves to back his new token.

Tether Operations Limited said that USDT tokens have more than doubled this year to a market capitalization of USD 45bn. They added that “institutional and corporate usage form the lion share of demand for USDT, with [USD] 24 billion added since January 1, 2021, a gain that is greater than the combined market capitalization of all rival stablecoins combined.”

Korbit has announced that it will auction non-fungible tokens (NFTs) representing the nation’s first-ever bitcoin and ethereum trades, conducted in 2013 and 2016 respectively – and will donate the proceeds to charity.

Cyworld said that it is “in talks with major gaming companies” about a number of possible deals that would see software-makers use its dotori cryptoasset as an in-game currency.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will be obliged to decide whether to permit another bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF), after it posted a document stating that it had received an application from WisdomTree.

The Board of Directors of MicroStrategy will be paid in bitcoin, CEO Michael Saylor announced.

BitRiver announced the pre-sale of the BitRiver token (BTR), an ERC-20 utility token that represents one watt-hour of power in BitRiver’s colocation facility in Bratsk, Siberia, Russia.

Canaan reported a net loss for 2020 of about USD 33m. Its 2020 net revenue amounted to about USD 68.6m, compared to USD 217.3m in 2019. Gross profit in this period is reported as USD 5.8m compared to USD 78.8m a year ago.

Electric Coin Co. announced Halo Arc for Zcash, a product suite to launch “the next generation of Zcash.”

ConsenSys-backed Virtue Poker, the multi-chain, Ethereum (ETH)-based decentralized poker platform licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority, said it has completed a strategic investment round of USD 5m, and plans to use the funds to bootstrap Virtue Poker’s mainnet launch, which is scheduled for May 2021.

Boson Protocol announced that it has raised USD 25.8m in its public token sale, bringing the total funds raised by the company to USD 36m.

A number of the chat app Telegram’s investors in the failed TON blockchain project have reportedly begun receiving refunds.

The Sandbox announced they have gained multiple partners from the non-fungible token (NFT), investment and music industries – including Nifty Gateway, 21x, Gemini, Gemini Frontier Fund, Galaxy Interactive, Bill Lee, Ken Howery, Chris Ye, and band Avenged Sevenfold.

LIBOR Phase-out, RFR Adoption: A Path Forward for Sri Lanka. The CBSL should play a more active role in facilitating the transition in Sri Lanka, says Lalinda Sugathadasa, Head of Research at ICRA Lanka.

G20 to Use All Available Policy Tools for As Long As Required. G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors committed to avoiding any premature withdrawal of Covid-19 support measures, in line with the FSB’s recommendations.

China Issues Largest Ever Antitrust Fine Against Alibaba. The 18bn yuan penalty is the highest antitrust fine ever to be imposed in China, equivalent to 4% of Alibaba’s 2019 revenues.

PBOC Researchers Call for Establishment of Yuan Futures Market. Offshore RMB rates are becoming increasingly influential, suggesting that they will play an even bigger role in pricing in future.

Bloomberg Confirms BSBY Adheres to IOSCO Principles. BSBY includes a term structure and systemic credit-sensitive spread, and can be used to supplement Term SOFR in the lending market.

BOT to Prohibit THBFIX-based Transactions from 1 July. New transactions based on THBFIX including loans, bonds, and structures notes must stop from 1 July 2021.

Korea to Root Out Speculation in Real Estate Market. The FSC is setting up a special financial response team and new monitoring system to root out speculation in the property market.

Shenzhen Stock Exchange Merges Main, SME Boards. The merger will enable companies to better leverage the capital market for growth and improve overall efficiency, the SZSE said.

PBOC Starts Testing Digital Yuan in Hong Kong. Hong Kong residents participating in pilot tests can use the digital yuan for purchases in Shenzhen.

RBI Formalises Quantitative Easing Programme. While the RBI has often purchased government securities, this is the first time it has committed to an amount upfront.

Trezor announced four things set to come out this year: Trezor Suite Mobile app for Android, Bitcoin Full Node, CoinControl, and Child Pays For Parent (CPFP), as well as CoinJoin.

Hacienda has issued an unprecedented 14,800 warning letters to Spaniards it suspects may fail to or have already failed to declare their crypto earnings in mandatory tax filings.

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a warning to the country’s investors stating that Binance is not a licensed digital asset operator in this country.

Bitfinex Derivatives announced the launch of a perpetual contract for tether gold (XAUT)/bitcoin (BTC).

A group of the world’s seven major central banks (including the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank) has scope to set common rules and platforms for their own digital currencies that could lay the groundwork for more efficient cross-border payments, said Kazushige Kamiyama, head of the Bank of Japan (BOJ)’s department overseeing the development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The Russian Central Bank will unveil its digital ruble “prototype” in December.

Coinbase joined the DeFi Alliance, an open association that provides mentorship and funding for early stage tech teams working in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector.

Kava said it enabled institutions to earn +45% annual percentage rate (APR) on bitcoin holdings without counterparty risk.

Kanye West, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates are estimated to be the next big names in BTC, reported City A.M. citing online bookmakers Unikrn.

eToro has appointed Dr. Hedva Ber as Deputy CEO and Global Chief Operating Officer (COO).

NYDIG raised USD 100m of additional growth capital from strategic partners including property and casualty (P&C)-focused insurers Starr Insurance, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and other P&C insurers, joining NYDIG’s existing life insurance and annuity-focused strategic partners New York Life and MassMutual.

Meitu said it acquired additional BTC 175.68 for around USD 10m, briging their total crypto portfolio to USD 100m.

Marlton issued an open letter to the Board of Directors of Grayscale Investments, advocating immediate action to address GBTC’s significant discount to net asset value.

Collectively Ukrainian public officials own more than BTC 46,000 per their latest declarations and data compiled by the OpenDataBot incentive.

The Crypto Climate Accord is debuting today in order to make the crypto industry 100% renewable in energy consumption by 2030.

Rick Caruso’s eponymous real estate firm will begin allowing tenants to pay rent in BTC at its residential and retail properties.

Line is working on a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace platform.

Gods Unchained, Immutable, said that their Immutable X platform alpha launched on mainnet today.

Liga MX and the official licensee for their digital fan engagement platforms Serouno Group are working to create digital products and a new official fan engagement app.

Spot trading volumes on crypto exchanges increased by 9% in March and reached USD 3trn, per CryptoCompare.

Kraken saw four times as many new users sign up to its platform in the first quarter of this year than it did in the second half of 2020.

Last month over 3.2 million people used Upbit trading platform, up nearly three times on figures posted in January this year (1.19 million).

Millennium Management invested in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).

Jamie Dimon placed the legal and regulatory status of cryptocurrencies on a list of “serious emerging issues that need to be dealt with – and rather quickly.”

A collective of Russian crypto and blockchain players has launched a bid to convince politicians not to pass restrictive a new set of crypto laws.

airBaltic said that it will become the world’s first airline to issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Tom Brady is launching an NFT platform called Autograph this spring.

Ebang International Holdings Inc. announced the official launch of crypto exchange for qualified investors to register and trade on.

bitFlyer exchange has gotten their third president in two years. The new president is Goldman Sachs alum Kuniyoshi Hayashi, who replaced the outgoing President Kimihiro Mine on March 30, they said.

ShapeShift announced support for simultaneously connecting multiple wallets.

iCE3 said they “will not return to operation” and that they “have been advised to initiate liquidation proceedings.”

Coinme announced its entrance into Florida with the launch of over 300 bitcoin-enabled Coinstar kiosks located at select Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Mas, Harveys, and other grocery outlets across the state.

500.com has acquired Bee Computing in a USD 100m deal.

A new deal with Criptan will allow Spanish travelers to make claims for airline-related delays and other incidents – and receive crypto rather than fiat as compensation.

Daegu has introduced a blockchain-powered ID authentication system for users of its online and offline public services.

Michael Hlady pled guilty before a US Chief District Court Judge to conspiring to extort a startup company for millions of dollars in ethereum.

The Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI) announced their launch, stating that their mission is “to unlock the transformational promise of crypto.” The alliance will support governments and institutions worldwide by informing and encouraging responsible crypto-related public policy, they said, and will also educate the public about crypto’s potential to create positive change.

The chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Tharman Shanmugaratnam said: “Cryptocurrencies can be highly volatile, as their value is typically not related to any economic fundamentals. They are hence highly risky as investment products, and certainly not suitable for retail investors. MAS has issued numerous consumer advisories to warn the public of the risks of trading these products.”

Facebook is testing a new QR code feature and payment links for use with Facebook Pay to make it easier for people in the US to send or request money from one another.

Digital currency asset manager and manager of Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund, Grayscale Investments, said that chainlink (LINK) has been added to the Fund’s portfolio. As of April 2, the Fund Components were a basket of 79.8% bitcoin (BTC), 17.5% ethereum (ETH), 0.8% bitcoin cash (BCH), 1% litecoin (LTC), and 0.9% chainlink.

Gnosis has launched today Gnosis Auction, which the emailed press release described as a platform that uses batch auctions to enable fair price discovery for token auctions.

CoinShares announced the launch of a new exchange-traded product (ETP), CoinShares Physical Litecoin (LITE), as the third product launched this year on the institutional-grade ETP platform CoinShares Physical.

Roger Ver has lashed out at the GoDaddy platform after his Bitcoin.com domain was listed as being for sale. He labeled the listing “fake news.”

Luxury fashion brands such as Gucci are poised to jump into the world of blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), reported Vogue Business.

Sotheby’s unveiled ‘The Fungible’ collection by the anonymous, digital artist Pak, set for auction April 12 through April 14.

NBA’s Sacramento Kings basketball franchise announced that it would begin offering its playing roster, coaching staff, and backroom employees the option of receiving their salaries in BTC.

Nexo is facing a class-action lawsuit, as it has been accused of causing USD 5m worth of client liquidations after suspending the use of XRP as collateral without warning in December.

Russia is attempting to put its money where its mouth is with its latest dollar purge incentive, and will attempt to bypass Washington- and EU-imposed sanctions by developing its own SWIFT alternative.

The Russian Central Bank has issued a set of draft regulations that could have an impact on the nation’s crypto and stablecoin sectors. The paper’s authors argued that such “private currencies” would allow issuers to make arbitrary changes to “the economic value” of their tokens, “leading to violations of consumer rights.”

WazirX has launched a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace for Indian artists

Justin Sun has purchased one of TIME Magazine’s NFTS for ETH 117 (USD 209,736). The cover is 1965’s ‘The Computer In Society’, created by Artist Boris Artzybasheff, and this was the first time the computer was mentioned on the cover of TIME, Sun said. It will be placed in the recently announced JUST NFT Fund.

Funko has acquired a majority ownership stake in TokenWave, the developer of TokenHead, a mobile app and website for showcasing and tracking NFT holdings.

Coinbase is set to go public with two directors (Fred Ehrsam and Fred Wilson) who are members of the audit committee and are major shareholders, while one was a founder.

Tobi Lutke has turned to decentralized finance (DeFi) Twitter for ideas on the platform’s potential role in the DeFi space.

United Russia is set to use blockchain technology in upcoming voting ahead of elections in the Chechen Republic.

A Chinese woman has reportedly been catfished by crypto scammers on dating apps, as cases of crypto fraud on dating platforms in East Asia begin to climb.

The British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned that fraudsters are using the details of firms they authorize to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorized firm.

Jay Clayton told CNBC that bitcoin (BTC) was not a security before he joined the SEC, but that it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be regulated, and that regulation of the asset will come.

A Spanish financial regulator has clamped down on public-space bitcoin and crypto ads after a series of campaigns found their way onto billboards in major cities, including the capital Madrid. Going forward, crypto advertisers will have to obtain CNMV approval for their advertising activities or face fines of up to USD 353,000. One domestic crypto exchange has recently run a billboard campaign with the slogan: “The revolution has just begun. Welcome to bitcoin.”

3iQ Corp and CoinShares announced that they will launch a new exchange-traded fund (ETF).

South Korean prosecutors have sold off a bitcoin haul they had been in possession of since a bust in 2017. The sale raised over USD 10.8m, but the funds – some BTC 191 – had been worth a mere few thousand dollars when they were seized.

The Tezos Foundation has invested in Draper Goren Holm.

Mark Palmer initiated coverage of Microstrategy on Thursday with a “buy” rating and a USD 850 price target.

North Korean hackers held the Bithumb to ransom over hacked data and customer funds, a United States security report has found.

Bitcoin mining difficulty, or the measure of how hard it is to compete for mining rewards, has reached a new all-time high today of 23.14 T, rising 5.82% from the previous level recorded two weeks ago.

Interest in China’s digital yuan could in part be driven by the surging price of bitcoin, said Wang Xin, the central People’s Bank of China (PBoC) research bureau director.

Decentraland (MANA) has added usability with Ethereum (ETH) Layer 2 project Polygon (previously Matic Network) to address the high gas fees issue plaguing Ethereum.

12 institutional funds, managed by Morgan Stanley, may have exposure to bitcoin (BTC) indirectly through cash-settled futures or indirectly through investments in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, the bank said in a filing on March 31.

BlackRock has already invested in BTC futures on CME, per a regulatory filing. Aggregate notional amount or contract value on trade date stood at USD 6.1m, while unrealized appreciation reached USD 360,457, it added.

Prescription Songs will be offering its roster of songwriters and producers the option of payment in BTC.

Blockchain.com said that it will be rolling out support for native SegWit in the Blockchain.com Wallet across all platforms (iOS, Android, and Web) later this month.

OpenSea said it will be supporting trading via Immutable X, a gas-free layer-2 protocol for Ethereum NFTs.

Julian Edelman announced the launch of his NFTs in collaboration with Superdigital.

Coinbase Ventures invested an unspecified sum in Acala, “the all-in-one DeFi hub” of Polkadot (DOT).

Coinbase Ventures invested an unspecified sum in Acala
Coinbase Ventures invested an unspecified sum in Acala

Blockcap said that Saifedean Ammous will serve as a strategic advisor to the company. Ammous is best known for authoring The Bitcoin Standard.

Ammous is best known for authoring The Bitcoin Standard.
Ammous is best known for authoring The Bitcoin Standard.

Aave Ventures (and others) invest into derivatives CEX Delta Exchange, closed a $5 million round in the form of a sale of its DETO token which will launch today.

Aave Ventures (and others) invest into derivatives CEX Delta Exchange
Aave Ventures (and others) invest into derivatives CEX Delta Exchange

Kava got ready to release major V5 upgrade but failed to reach quorum on governance.

Moonbeam raises $6 million to develop its Ethereum “sidechain” on Polkadot

The President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, has stated that European Union finance chiefs could approve the launch of a digital version of the euro in summer this year.

Enjin (ENJ) have sold out their USD 18.9m private sale for Efinity, an NFT blockchain made for games, apps, enterprises, and creators, built on Polkadot (DOT).

imToken announced the completion of a USD 30m Series B financing led by Qiming Venture Partners.

CoinShares announced interim financial results of Q4 of 2020: trading gains generated by CoinShares Capital Markets of GBP 5.2m (USD 7.17m), an increase of 116% on Q4 2019.

Deribit has launched a bitcoin (BTC) implied volatility index called DVOL to help traders assess the market’s mood.

DVOL – Deribit Implied Volatility Index
DVOL – Deribit Implied Volatility Index

Liquity Protocol raises $6M from Pantera and other big players.

Blockstream announced the launch of Blockstream Mining Note (BMN), a security token that expands exposure to bitcoin mining to more investors, by providing non-US qualified investors access to hashrate generated at Blockstream’s mining facilities.

Blockstream announced the launch of Blockstream Mining Note (BMN)
Blockstream announced the launch of Blockstream Mining Note (BMN)

Cryptobuyer has been rocked by the news of the death of its founder and CEO Jorge Luis Farías from coronavirus complications.

The HUMAN Protocol Foundation announced in an emailed press release that it will be leveraging ChainLink (LINK)’s infrastructure to launch new, decentralized oracles that will enable the autonomous distribution of tasks and payments for HUMAN-powered work pools across Ethereum (ETH), Polkadot (DOT), and Solana (SOL) blockchains.

Baidu has been showing off the speed of its XuperChain open-source blockchain protocol development kernel, named Open Atom (literal translation), works in a manner not unlike a Linux kernel, and can launch a blockchain protocol application in “under 10 minutes.” The company has donated the code to an open-source repository.