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JPMorgan on El Salvador’s Bitcoin Move, Miners Win In New York + More News

Linas Kmieliauskas
Last updated: | 5 min read

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

Source: Adobe/luzitanija

Adoption news

  • The question remains whether the designation of bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender by El Salvador has mechanical implications for its treatment in larger economies under tax law, banking and financial regulations, and other areas, analysts at JPMorgan said in a note. According to them, any such change in treatment would arguably be an unintended consequence of laws and regulations that significantly predate, and understandably did not anticipate cryptocurrency, but those moves may be complicated if this is the beginning of a broader trend among similarly situated, smaller nations. (Learn more: El Salvador Brings New Global Puzzle – What Is Bitcoin & How To Tax It?)
  • El Salvador’s decision to make bitcoin legal tender is an “interesting experiment” with a speculative asset that does not pass the test for being a reliable means of payment, according to Benoit Coeure, head of the Innovation Hub at the Bank for International Settlements, as reported by Reuters.
  • Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, has hinted that it is “only a matter of time” until the social network sees a Lightning Network integration. This was in response to an appreciative tweet for the layer 2 technology within messaging app Sphinx Chat.
  • Brave Software, the company behind the eponymous browser, announced that they are launching a new browser-integrated content stream called Brave Today. The service will aggregate news content in 15 different categories from major media outlets, delivered anonymously to the user’s browser via Brave’s new private content delivery network (CDN).

Mining news

  • New York failed to pass a measure that would put a hold on new large-scale Bitcoin mining operations, wshu reported, adding that The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union pushed back against the measure, saying it was unfair to their members.
  • The recently announced Bitcoin Mining Council, has been officially launched. The council said it will serve to standardize energy reporting within the mining business, but also for education. Its founders include the MicroStrategy head Michael Saylor, Tesla‘s chief Elon Musk, and certain Bitcoin miners in North America.
  • KEPCO, the South Korean state energy company, will start auditing companies it suspects of illegally using cut-price electricity to mine crypto, reported Seoul Kyungjae. KEPCO provides cut-priced, subsidized power to industries and agricultural producers, but appears to be suspicious that a number of those using cut-priced power have been secretly mining crypto. The power provider cracked down on crypto mining-related abuses of subsidized power in 2018 – handing out a total of around USD 0.5 million in fines to 38 companies.

Banking news

  • Texas state-chartered banks may provide customers with virtual currency custody services, as long as they are able to manage the risks while complying with the law, an official notice by the Texas Department of Banking stated. This is due to the fact that these custody services should not be very different from traditional ones, so the authority to provide these services already exists within the current laws of the state.

Exchanges news

  • Binance-owned Indian crypto exchange WazirX has received a show cause notice from the Enforcement Directorate for breaching the Foreign Exchange Management Act through crypto transactions worth more than Rs 2,790.74 crore, the authority revealed. However, the exchange claims they have not received any such notice, but that they will comply and aid the investigation should that happen.
  • CEO of crypto exchange Kraken, Jesse Powell, is having second thoughts about their direct listing after seeing how rival exchange Coinbase performed after their listing this past April, he told Fortune. The company is now mulling an initial public offering (IPO), which gives bankers greater control over the pricing process instead of it happening organically on the market, but the public debut should happen in the second half of 2022.

Investment news

  • Copper, the London-based digital asset infrastructure provider, said it has closed a USD 50m Series B funding round, co-led by B2B software investor Dawn Capital and Target Global. Copper said it will use the funds to broaden its international footprint. They also plan to announce key high-profile hires and make a “significant investment” to further develop Copper’s product suite.
  • Provider of supply chain traceability Circulor has raised USD 14m in a Series A funding round led by venture fund The Westly Group. These funds are meant to accelerate the company’s rapid growth, especially the expansion across North America and Asia, as the company has already sold its solution to the electric vehicle industry.
  • GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, has taken a USD 70m stake in fintech and digital asset company BC Group. This is slightly more than 8% of the issued share capital of BC Group, which is the parent company of Hong Kong’s first licensed crypto exchange OSL, the company said.
  • Ethereum (ETH) framework Polygon (MATIC) is partnering with the project behind decentralized exchange (DEX) on the same network, 0x (ZRX), committing USD 10.5m to support Developers and Projects and build a decentralized finance (DeFi) infrastructure on Polygon.
  • Boson Protocol, the project using smart contracts to power real-world commerce, said it has signed an unspecified “six-figure” deal to purchase a plot of land in Decentraland (MANA), the decentralized virtual social platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain. The deal gives Boson Protocol the right to develop a premium block of land, which is referred to within Decentraland as LAND, in the Vegas City gaming district, they added.

CBDCs news

  • The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said they might be launching their own digital currency (CBDC) pilot project by the end of 2021, per Today. Once the coin fully launches, it will be complementary to cash notes, and would serve to simplify cross-border remittances.

Politics news

  • The regime of the Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has accused the opposition leader of providing gangland leaders with secret crypto funding. Per El Nacional, Jorge Rodríguez, the leader of the National Assembly, has accused the opposition Voluntat Popular (People’s Will) party of handing of “employing thugs” to hand out dollars and crypto to “criminal gangs” in La Vega. The MP Tania Valentina Díaz shared a video of the leader asking where “the cryptocurrencies that [the Voluntat Popular Presidential candidate] Juan Guaidó” is “providing terrorist groups has come from.” The terrorists, he alleged, are “exchanging [tokens] to buy weapons.”