Apple's Plan for Future Financial Products, Binance Enters GRAMMY + More News

Source: iStock/Nikada

 

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
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Payments news

  • Tech giant Apple is developing its own payment processing technology and infrastructure for future financial products, led by the idea of breaking away from the existing financial system, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The plan would bring a wide range of financial tasks in-house, it added. (Learn more: Apple Has a 'Multi-Billion Dollar Opportunity' in Bitcoin & Crypto)

Exchanges news

  • Binance is the Official Cryptocurrency Exchange Partner of the GRAMMYs Awards this year, the Recording Academy said, adding that it is the first crypto partner of these awards. "Binance will bring Web3 technology solutions to the Academy," they added without specifying.
  • BMX Operations, a firm run by the execs of crypto exchange BitMEX, was unsuccessful in bidding for German lender Bankhaus von der Heydt as the deal was called off by a mutual agreement, Finanz Szene reported, citing Alexander Höptner, CEO of BitMEX. BitMEX was aiming to obtain a German license through the acquisition.
  • Crypto exchange BitOasis announced it received provisional approval from Dubai’s new crypto regulator, the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). In the meantime, it will undertake a more in-depth process of applying for a license in accordance with the VARA requirements, it added.
  • Thea, the interoperability layer for decentralized exchange (DEX) Polkadex, has launched on the Polkadex testnet, as a way to connect the exchange with the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. The layer will be released to the Polkadex mainnet later this year, they added.
  • Defi and DEX aggregator 1inch released the Android version of its 1inch Wallet. It can be downloaded from 1inch’s website, but will soon be available through the Google Play Store as well, they added.

Regulation news

  • 80% of all British crypto companies that have applied for operations approval with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have been asked to withdraw, according to Ian Taylor, Executive Director at UK crypto industry association CryptoUK. These companies might have to choose to start operating off-shore, which leaves UK citizens without the protection of the UK regulator, he said in an emailed comment.

Investments news

  • Interoperability protocol LayerZero Labs announced it raised USD 135m in a round co-led by Sequoia Capital, FTX Ventures, and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). The round brings the company’s valuation to USD 1bn, and will be used for the development of the generic messaging layer for blockchain interoperability, they added.
  • Helium Inc, the corporate entity behind the Helium (HNT) blockchain, announced it has been renamed to Nova Labs and received a USD 200m Series D equity round co-led by Tiger Global and a16z. Additionally, they said that their Decentralized Wireless Alliance will operate under a new name, the Helium Foundation, which has also received all of the brand assets and intellectual property from Nova Labs.
  • NFT purchasing gateway Wert said it has raised EUR 4m (USD 4.43m)  in an all-equity seed round led by crypto fund Tagus Capital. The new funds will be used to expand geographic coverage and to continue building their solution, they added.

Politics news

  • The former executive director of the non-profit Bitcoin Foundation, Bruce Fenton, confirmed that he is running for the Republican nomination for New Hampshire’s seat in the US Senate.

NFTs news

  • NFT project Azuki sold Azuki #9605 for ETH 420.69 (USD 1.42m at the time of the sale) via the OpenSea marketplace. The seller was RedBeanDAO, a collector decentralized autonomous organization (DA) focused on Azuki, which had previously purchased this NFT in January for ETH 120.

Adoption news

  • Global financial technology firm Circle announced that global asset servicer BNY Mellon was selected as a primary custodian for USD Coin (USDC) reserves.
  • Content creator platform XCAD Network announced that more than 50 influencers have joined the platform over the past few months, with a combined subscriber audience of over 200m. Additionally, the platform’s browser plugin that allows monetization of users’ content is set to go live in the second quarter of this year, while NFTs will “feature heavily” on XCAD, which will have its own NFT Marketplace.

Mining news

  • Bitcoin mining company CleanSpark said it has signed an agreement with Houston-based Lancium to secure an initial 200 megawatts (MW) at Lancium’s renewably-powered datacenters in West Texas, with an option to add 300 MW more in the future.