Apple Taps to Pay, IMF on CBDCs, Political Coinbase, Compute North Raises USD 385M + More News
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- Tech giant Apple introduced a contactless payment feature for iPhones called Tap to Pay. It allows users to pay by using contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets "through a simple tap to their iPhone — no additional hardware or payment terminal needed." Online payment processing platform Stripe will be the first payment platform to offer Tap to Pay on iPhone to their business customers, including the e-commerce site Shopify Point of Sale app this spring.
- Japanese messaging giant LINE Corporation said that starting on March 16 users will have the option of paying with native LINK token (LN) at any of LINE Pay’s online merchants. The trial period, which will run until December 26, is aimed at testing real-life use cases for the token, in addition to increasing the convenience and number of payment options for users.
- Payment processing giant PayPal assembled a six-person team of industry experts to act as advisors on crypto, blockchain, and digital currencies. All of the members of the Blockchain, Crypto and Digital Currencies advisory council will help to support its current and future products, as well as its goal of creating a more inclusive digital financial ecosystem, they added.
- Evidence emerging from the first central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) around the world suggests there is no one-size-fits-all model, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said, per Reuters. Nearly 100 countries are now looking at CBDCs, the IMF estimates, and it published a study looking at six countries including China, Sweden, and the Bahamas where digital money is already up and running or at an advanced testing stage.
- Coinbase registered Coinbase Innovation PAC with the US Federal Election Commission, for a political action committee (PAC) that aims to influence federal officials during the 2022 midterm election cycle, Politico reported. Coinbase had formed another PAC in 2018, but it shut down less than a year later without reporting any funds raised or spent.
- Computing infrastructure provider Compute North announced that it has closed its next growth capital round of USD 385m, comprised of USD 85m in the initial Series C equity closing, co-led by Mercuria and Generate Capital, and USD 300m in debt financing from Generate to fund new projects.
- Brazilian asset manager QR Capital's decentralized finance (DeFi) exchange-traded fund (ETF) started trading on the Brazil stock exchange, B3. Under the ticker QDFI11, the DeFi ETF follows the Bloomberg Galaxy DeFi index, a modified market-cap-weighted benchmark tracking some of the largest DeFi protocols and apps.
- Digital wealth management platform Betterment agreed to purchase automated crypto portfolio provider Makara for an undisclosed price. They added that crypto portfolios will “soon” become a new investing option, but they did not disclose an exact timeline.
- Crypto trading firm Hayvn is in talks with institutional investors to anchor a series B funding round that would value it at USD 400m as it eyes an eventual initial public offering (IPO), Reuters reported. The new round is expected to close in the next three months.
- Global investment company KKR is in talks to join venture capital company Animoca Brands’ latest financing effort, taking its funding from the round to about USD 500m, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. KKR is one of a number of investors in talks with Animoca, it added.
- Crypto trading platform Newton announced it has completed a CAD 25m (USD 20m) Series B funding round, led by the partners from DV Chain, bringing their valuation to CAD 253m (USD 200m). The company said it will use the funding to keep developing its product, grow its team, and for marketing purposes.
- Web 3 wallet, infrastructure, and gaming company Horizon Blockchain Games is launching the open beta for its Web 3 trading card game, Skyweaver, to over 345,000 users on the waitlist. Skyweaver has garnered USD 13.3m in funding from a host of Web 3’s most prominent VCs, they added.
- Brooklyn lawmaker Nydia Velazquez complained that Puerto Rico has become a haven for rich crypto speculators from the mainland, and asked a US Treasury Department official during a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee if Congress could help “go after crypto investors trying to use Puerto Rico as a tax shelter.”
- Italian luxury carmaker Alfa Romeo has revealed it will be using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to track and store maintenance records on the blockchain for its new Tonale SUV, per CNBC. The company said the car’s NFT will be able to generate a certificate from records of its maintenance data, but only for service done by certified dealers.
- Football club Legia Warsaw announced an official partnership with the NFT sports and entertainment agency Capital Block. They claim that this is the first-ever time that a European football club has announced an official partnership with a dedicated NFT agency.
- FriesDAO, the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that says it's aiming to democratize access to the fast-food industry, announced that Kory Spiroff, a former president of Domino’s Pizza, has joined its advisory board. Spiroff will be helping the organization achieve its goal of bridging real-world operations with blockchain-based governance, said the announcement.
- Token sale platform CoinList is introducing a lending service that will require low collateral upfront to borrow filecoin (FIL), specifically for new miners to begin mining. To start mining FIL, new miners usually need to pledge some FIL tokens into the distributed data storage network; to do so, they need to either buy or borrow the coins on top of the capital they have already invested for the storage.