Another Regulatory Challenge for DeFi, Exxon Mobil Mines Bitcoin + More News
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- The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) established a new task force "to take timely and coordinated policy action to appropriately address the risks arising from" DeFi. IOSCO said it doubts that DeFi is a peer-to-peer marketplace with no centralized insiders in control. "By looking in detail at how DeFi works, it identifies central actors who <...> often retain control – for example, through the distribution of "governance tokens,"" they said, adding that "it also highlights the important role played by centralized trading platforms who often face substantial conflicts of interest."
- The Bank of England (BoE) stated that as crypto markets and activities grow, they will need better regulatory and law enforcement frameworks in the UK and elsewhere. They added that the UK Financial Policy Committee (FPC) is monitoring a number of channels through which cryptoasset markets and activities could pose risks to UK financial stability.
- Malaysia has no intention of recognizing cryptoassets as legal tender, Bloomberg reported, citing Deputy Finance Minister Mohd Shahar Abdullah. The minister added that “various limitations” made cryptoassets unsuitable for this task.
- The Central Bank of Honduras issued a statement clarifying that BTC is not regulated as a currency there. The announcement reminds the public that Honduras' central bank is the only entity that can legally issue bills and coins within the country's borders and that the Lempira is the national currency.
- The largest US oil producer, Exxon Mobil, is running a pilot program using excess natural gas to power Bitcoin (BTC) mining in North Dakota and is considering doing the same in Alaska, Nigeria, Argentina, Guyana, and Germany, Bloomberg reported, citing undisclosed people familiar with the matter. The pilot project was launched in January 2021, it added. (Learn more: Two Texans Use Flare Gas to Net USD 4M on Bitcoin Mining, Plan USD 20M in 2022)
- El Salvador is seeking support from crypto exchange Binance for its implementation of bitcoin as legal tender and the issuance of bitcoin bonds, Reuters reported, citing the country's ambassador to the United States, Milena Mayorga. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is visiting the country and plans to meet President Nayib Bukele today, she added.
- Financial services firm Cowen announced the launch of its digital asset division Cowen Digital. The new division offers access to crypto-related trade execution and custody solutions for institutional assets.
- Compute-sharing network Salad announced it has raised USD 17m in a Series A funding round co-led by Left Lane Capital and Origin Ventures. The funds will be used to scale its cloud infrastructure and develop a new enterprise vertical, they added.
- Phi Labs, a contributor to the Archway Protocol that serves as a Cosmos (ATOM)-based protocol to reward decentralized application (dapp) builders on the network, announced a USD 21m seed funding round co-led by CoinFund and Hashed.
- Australian bank ANZ announced it has launched an Australian-dollar-backed stablecoin called A$DC, which it says it believes to be the first such asset issued by an Australian bank. A$DC will be programmable for the needs of their institutional customers, instead of a retail focus, they added.
- A survey by crypto platform KuCoin found that 44% of surveyed Germans are “motivated to invest in cryptocurrencies to be a part of the future of finance”. 16% of the respondents have already invested, while 41% of these investors intend to increase their share of the investments over the next six months. The company surveyed 1,002 German adults from October 21 to November 1, 2021.
- Embedded fintech company Alviere announced a partnership with Coinbase Prime, a service of major crypto platform Coinbase, to provide crypto services into Alviere’s embedded finance platform, The HIVE. The new Alviere Crypto Services aims to launch in the US under their state-by-state money transmission licenses, with international expansion to other markets to follow.
- Game developer KRAFTON announced a business agreement with Solana Labs, the team behind the Solana (SOL) blockchain, to support the design and marketing of blockchain-based games and services. They added that the focus will be on “various blockchain technologies” but did not unveil any specific new projects.
- Japanese messaging giant LINE aims to launch its NFT marketplace dubbed LINE NFT on April 13th. Additionally, the company said it will launch a global NFT platform called DOSI in the first half of this year, which will be supported in 180 countries (excluding Japan) and powered by 26 partnerships with companies from various industries.
- English football club Liverpool FC announced its debut NFT collection called the LFC Heroes Club in partnership with auction house Sotheby’s. Owners of the NFTs will gain access to “current and future immersive experiences”, the team said, without specifying.
- Wealth management crypto platform Abra announced the appointment of Justin McMahan, formerly of trading firm Tower Research Capital, as Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately. The company added that its number of active users grew over 300% in 2021 from the year prior, while transaction volume increased more than 660% during that same timeframe.
- Payment giant Visa’s crypto product lead Daniel Mottice left the company for the payments firm he co-founded and where he serves as CEO, called Ansible Labs.
- Crypto payments infrastructure provider MoonPay announced the appointment of James Freis, former Director of the US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), as Special Advisor for Global Financial and Regulatory Affairs.
(Updated at 19:10 UTC with the Mining news section.)