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Banks Launch Stablecoin Consortium, Crypto Regulatory Discussion in Hong Kong + More News

Linas Kmieliauskas
Last updated: | 4 min read
Traditional Chinese junkboat sailing across Victoria harbour, Hong Kong. Source: iStock/Onfokus 


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


Stablecoin news

  • The USDF Consortium, an association of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured financial institutions, launched today with a mission to build a network of banks to further the adoption and interoperability of a bank-minted stablecoin, USDF. The founding members include New York Community Bank (NYCB), NBH Bank, FirstBank, Sterling National Bank, Synovus Bank, Figure Technologies, Inc., and JAM FINTOP, they said.

Regulation news

  • The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) issued a discussion paper on cryptoassets and stablecoins, which has taken into account, among other things, the international recommendations, the market, and regulatory landscape locally and in other major jurisdictions, and the characteristics of payment-related stablecoins. Members of the public and the industry are welcome to submit their responses by email by March 31, 2022.

Exchanges news

  • Brazil’s 2TM Group, the owner of crypto exchange, announced the acquisition of a controlling stake in CriptoLoja, the first licensed Lisbon-based crypto exchange. The Brazilian holding company will start its expansion into Europe with an over-the-counter (OTC) operation, and as a second phase, it intends to take the entire platform to retail and institutional investors.
  • On Wednesday, Coinbase announced that they have resolved an issue where customers with non-USD accounts were unable to view their asset balance value. The announcement came around six hours after they had tweeted that they were aware of the issue and working on a fix.
  • Coinbase also said they will be giving their employees one week off each quarter in 2022 to recharge after “long days and long weeks” of intense work. They added that “nearly the entire company will shut down” for four separate weeks this year as part of an experiment in allowing workers to recuperate after completing intense workloads.
  • Brokerage firm eToro introduced MetaverseLife, a new smart portfolio covering stocks and cryptoassets from within the growing metaverse industry. Currently included in the portfolio are Meta Platforms, Roblox, and other blockchain-based metaverse projects like Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Enjin (ENJ).
  • The Nova Scotia Securities Commission is warned that CoinRise, a crypto trading platform, is not registered “to engage in the business of trading in securities or derivatives in Nova Scotia.” CoinRise claims on its website to be Canada’s fastest-growing crypto trading platform.
  • Blockchain project Chia Network announced the launch of Offers, its first native, peer-to-peer exchange capabilities for anyone with a Chia wallet. To further support Offers, Chia partnered with Stably to launch USDS, the first dollar-denominated stablecoin on Chia Network.

Investments news

  • Banking platform SEBA Bank said it has raised CHF 110m (USD 119.98m) in a Series C funding round, co-led by Altive, Ordway Selections, Summer Capital, and DeFi Technologies, with participation from Alameda Research. SEBA previously raised a total of USD 126.5m, per Crunchbase data.
  • Web3 infrastructure solution Web3Auth announced a USD 13m Series A round led by Sequoia Capital India. The company plans to accelerate expansion into decentralized gaming, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and social applications, as well as to advance its vision of making blockchains universally accessible.

Adoption news

  • The Republic of Palau and blockchain development firm Cryptic Labs announced the launch of the Root Name System (RNS), a digital residency program. To inaugurate the partnership between Palau, Cryptic Labs and the sovereign-backed digital residency program, Palau’s President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. signed an agreement to grant “all global users” digital residency through the RNS under the country’s Digital Residency Act.
  • Bitcoin (BTC) wallet Strike announced its launch in Argentina. Strike is already available in most US states and El Salvador.

Career news 

  • Malcolm Wright, former chief compliance officer at crypto exchange BitMEX, joined Shyft Network, a startup focused on helping crypto firms comply with global anti-money laundering (AML) rules.
  • According to former employees of Microsoft quoted by The Wall Street Journal, around 100 people have ditched the tech giant’s augmented reality team over the past year to join Meta Platforms. They claim that Meta (formerly Facebook) has been particularly focused on snapping up people who have worked on Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality (AR) headsets.

NFTs news

  • Major clothing retailer Gap said it will launch its first collection of NFTs, powered by Tezos (XTZ), on January 13. “For this launch, the brand is introducing a gamified digital experience celebrating creatives and giving customers the unique opportunity to own a limited edition, collectible Gap hoodie,” the company added.

Legal news

  • South African police are investigating a number of criminal cases brought by out-of-pocket investors who want two brothers, Raees and Ameer Cajee, arrested over an allegedly fraudulent crypto platform called Africrypt, which had cost investors USD 3.6bn in bitcoin, according to Bloomberg.