· 4 min read

Today in Crypto: Coinbase Halts Support for Signature Bank’s Signet, MetaMask & MoonPay Expand Partnership in Nigeria, India to Hit 156M Crypto Users This Year, Xapo Bank Integrates USDC Payment Rails

Source: AdobeStock / Iryna Budanova

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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Exchange news

  • Coinbase reportedly stopped support for the crypto-friendly Signature Bank’s Signet payment platform until further notice. Per The Wall Street Journal, the company said it is looking for a new technology provider and waiting for clarification on the outcome for Signet. “In addition to traditional payment methods, crypto deposits, withdrawals, and conversions from USDC to USD are available 24/7 on Coinbase Exchange. While not ideal, this shows a need for an updated financial system,” a Coinbase spokeswoman said.

Payments news

  • The MetaMask wallet expanded its partnership with payment company MoonPay in Nigeria to enable users to buy crypto directly from their wallets, Web3 company ConsenSys announced today. Nigerian users can now purchase crypto via instant bank transfers within the MetaMask mobile and Portfolio Dapp. This will make it easier for users to “obtain tokens more efficiently without setting up a crypto exchange account,” said the announcement.
  • Australian stablecoin wallet Stables announced a collaboration with card issuing platform Marqeta and with Mastercard in “a first-of-its-kind digital wallet integration” in Asia Pacific (APAC), which will enable customers to convert stablecoins into fiat currency and spend it anywhere Mastercard is accepted, said the press release. Stables will partner with a third party to allow customers to save and spend USDC, which will be converted to fiat and settled on Mastercard’s network, it added. The card will be accessible through the Stables digital app via mobile wallets.

Adoption news

  • India is expected to hit over 156 million crypto users in 2023, five times more than the US, according to BitcoinCasinos.com. The country has three times more crypto users than the US, Japan, the UK, and Russia combined. This year, crypto is expected to account for almost $43bn worth of transactions worldwide, up 24% from $34.3bn a year ago. Over half of that value will come from the US, the report said.

Banking news

  • Bitcoin custodian and licensed private bank Xapo Bank said it collaborated with USDC issuer Circle to become the first licensed bank to integrate the USDC stablecoin payment rails as an alternative to SWIFT. Per the announcement, by adding outrails to its existing USDC onramps, the bank is “enabling members to bypass costly and time consuming SWIFT payments and instead deposit and withdraw via the stablecoin with no fees charged by Xapo Bank.” It offers a 1:1 conversion rate from USDC to USD and a 4.1% annual interest rate return on deposits.

Regulation news

  • The Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan (FSC) will become the primary regulator of cryptocurrencies in the country, the United Daily News reported, citing chairman Huang Tien-mu.

DeFi news

  • NEAR Community launched the NEAR Digital Collective Special Purpose Trust (the NDC Trust) with support from the NEAR Foundation, a Swiss nonprofit supporting the development of the NEAR Protocol, said a press release. “Utilising Guernsey’s Special Purpose Trust framework, the NDC Trust will enable the ecosystem participants to benefit from a decentralised community treasury that operates in a flexible but risk-mitigated manner and helps to democratise governance among stakeholders,” it said. The Guernsey Special Purpose Trust framework also helps to bring clarity to participants in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), including in terms of liability, off-chain transactions, and tax, it added.

Gaming news

  • Payment processor ZEBEDEE and blockchain-based gaming tournament platform Dubbz today announced a partnership to introduce BTC rewards to the Dubbz platform. “The move, coupled with ZEBEDEE’s existing service, makes it easy for anyone to earn real-money prizes by participating in tournaments, as well as use their prizes to save or shop,” they said. The partnership will kick off with a Fortnite tournament on March 31, while additional ZEBEDEE-powered Dubbz tournaments will be announced in the near future.

Investment news

  • Auros, a crypto-native algorithmic trading and market-making firm, raised $17 million in a funding round led by trading firm Vivienne Court, with participation from Nasdaq-listed digital asset mining company Bit Digital, Trovio, Primal Capital, and a consortium of senior alums from Optiver, said the announcement. “Auros will also use the funds to continue scaling its Derivatives Solutions business, where projects, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), miners, and accredited institutions can gain access to yield, protection and participation structures from a trusted, market-leading provider,” it stated.

Mining news

  • Bitcoin miner TeraWulf said it deployed Bitmain miners to fill its 50 MW of capacity at the nuclear-powered Nautilus bitcoin mining facility. According to the press release, the company recently commenced mining operations at Nautilus and expects its full share in phase one of the facility to be online by May. TeraWulf is also expanding mining operations at its wholly-owned Lake Mariner facility in New York, USA, with the addition of Building 2, which is expected to increase the facility’s operational capacity, it added.