Crypto News Summary: Asian Banking Giant Joins Singapore’s CBDC Effort, Hong Kong to Launch Crypto ETF, Argo Blockchain May Be Forced to Shut Down
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- Financial services group DBS today announced a partnership with Open Government Products (OGP), a tech team within the Singapore Government, to launch a live pilot where purpose-bound money-based vouchers (PBM vouchers) are issued using tokenized SGD to facilitate “real-world” live transactions with selected merchants, said the press release. This forms part of Project Orchid, an industry effort led by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), to develop the technology infrastructure and technical competencies to enable a programmable digital Singapore dollar (DSGD).
- Hong Kong has announced plans to launch a crypto exchange-traded fund (ETF) focused on major cryptoassets like bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), Ming Pao reported. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) CEO Leung Fung Yee said that the agency has been working on establishing a mechanism to authorize the ETF, including the appropriate laws to govern it.
- US-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management (APO) has chosen Anchorage Digital to become its custodian for cryptoassets, according to a press release. Anchorage said that it expects to custody a “significant portion” of Apollo’s digital asset portfolio. The former became the first federally chartered crypto bank in the US last year.
- Crypto lender Hodlnaut reportedly lost around $189.7 million due to its exposure to the Terra /LUNA crash. According to Bloomberg, a judicial report alleged that Hodlnaut’s directors “downplayed the extent of the group’s exposure to Terra/Luna both during the period leading up to and following the Terra/Luna collapse in May 2022”.
- Bitcoin miner Argo Blockchain warned that it could be forced to shut down after a $27 million share sale appeared to have collapsed, sending the stock plummeting the most since its 2018 initial public offering, Bloomberg reported, citing a company statement. Argo said that it raised about $5.6 million by selling almost 4,000 new Bitmain mining machines and is exploring other funding avenues. “Should Argo be unsuccessful in completing any further financing, Argo would become cash flow negative in the near term and would need to curtail or cease operations,” the miner was quoted as saying.
- Decentralized finance (DeFi) platform 1inch announced the partnership with fintech firm Revolut and the launch of the crypto ‘Learn & Earn’ course as part of Revolut’s education program run with various partners. According to a blog post, the course teaches key fundamentals of the DeFi space, while 1INCH tokens are given as rewards for completing a lesson.
- The US White House is hosting an international meeting in Washington, welcoming officials from 37 countries and 13 global companies with the goal of addressing the growing threat of ransomware and other cybercrime, including the illicit use of cryptocurrencies, Reuters reported, citing a senior US official. The White House hopes the meeting will allow participating countries to “institute a set of cyber norms that are recognized across the globe to counter criminal ransomware threats and hold malicious actors accountable,” the official said. Participants plan to issue a joint statement at the end of the meeting on Tuesday.
- Bitget announced the launch of its new feature ‘Bitget Insights’, which serves to integrate social media with social trading via the exchange. The launch signifies the next stage in Bitget’s crypto social trading initiative, said the press release, adding that via this feature, traders will have the opportunity to glean insights from experienced traders.
- Michele Foletti, Mayor of Lugano, and Milena Mayorga, El Salvador’s Ambassador to the United States, announced that the Swiss City of Lugano and the Republic of El Salvador have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on economic cooperation. The announcement was made during the inaugural Plan B Forum. The deal also provides for the physical presence of a representation of the Government of El Salvador on the territory of Lugano, which will foster cooperation with educational and research institutions, encouraging the development of initiatives related to Bitcoin and blockchain technology, it said.
- Synonym, a Bitcoin software company, has launched Bitkit, a new Bitcoin wallet app that features portable web profiles and passwordless web accounts. According to the announcement, Bitkit allows users to have portable social profiles, dynamic payable contacts, interoperable data feeds, etc. It’s powered by the Slashtags protocol, which allows for the derivation of additional key pairs from a standard BIP-39 Bitcoin seed.