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Today in Crypto: Luno Leaving Singapore, Wirex Launching Private ‘Luxury Service’, Court Extends Creditor Protection for Babel Finance

Source: AdobeStock / Mazur Travel

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

Exchange news

  • Crypto platform Luno, whose parent company is the crypto venture capitalist Digital Currency Group (DCG), will exit the Singapore market on June 20 and withdraw its license application. “This decision was made as part of a regular evaluation of our global strategy and presence,” said the team. “As a result of this decision, we have also informed the Monetary Authority of Singapore of our intention to withdraw our license application.”
  • Wirex, a payments platform with over 5.5m customers, has launched Wirex Private, aimed at its “growing segment of affluent customers,” said the press release. This product will offer “a luxury service including exceptional levels of support and exclusive perks at no additional cost,” including no fees for membership, a dedicated account manager to provide priority support, bespoke limits and lending terms, and up to 8% Cryptoback rewards for all card purchases, it said.

Legal news

  • A court in Singapore has extended creditor protection for the troubled cryptocurrency lending firm Babel Finance by another three months, Bloomberg reported, citing co-founder Flex Yang. The moratorium will now last until July 21. Following last year’s crypto meltdown, the company owes $800 million to creditors. Per its proposed restructuring plan, Babel would repay debt with revenue generated by a new decentralized finance (DeFi) project minting the ‘Babel Recovery Coins’.

Regulation news

  • The federal securities regulator in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), will start accepting applications from companies looking to provide crypto services in the country, according to an announcement. Companies looking to operate in the Emirate of Dubai must obtain a license from its Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) in addition to the SCA approval, it said.

Investment news

  • Crypto derivatives exchange Bitget partnered with Core DAO, an organization committed to the development of the Satoshi Plus ecosystem, to launch a $200 million ecosystem fund aimed at supporting decentralized applications (dapps) built on Core Network Layer-1 blockchain. Per the press release, The Ecosystem Fund, which is backed by strategic partners, including Bitget and crypto trading platform MEXC, will provide support to early-stage projects for research and development, recruiting, marketing, community-building programs, and other priority growth initiatives.
  • The Hashgraph Association, a non-profit organization supporting the broad adoption of the Hedera network, today announced the launch of the Hashgraph Enterprise Program (HEP). Supported with up to USD 22.5m worth of HBAR from Hedera, the program aims to drive the onboarding of more than forty enterprise projects per year to the network. Projects will be eligible for up to $500,000 equivalent in HBAR funding per participating enterprise, said the press release. The Hashgraph Association also welcomed Rob Allen, previously SVP of Ecosystem Growth at The HBAR Foundation, to its leadership team and expanded its personnel with ten additional new hires in 2023 to support the launch and operations of the HEP.

Blockchain news

  • The DFINITY Foundation, the Swiss non-profit and major contributor to the Internet Computer blockchain (ICP), today launched the Proof of Green (PoG) initiative, which “aims to bring transparency and cut greenwashing in the blockchain industry by standardizing how blockchains report carbon consumption,” said the press release. The DFINITY Foundation is working with Carbon Crowd, a climate tech startup developing solutions to decarbonize cloud infrastructure.

Web3 news

  • Web3 network peaq announced its integration with Fetch.ai, a platform that powers peer-to-peer (P2P) applications with automation and AI capabilities. According to the press release, the integration brings AI microagents to peaq’s machine-centric network. Through peaq and its canary network krest, the integration between the two projects unlocks Fetch.ai’s framework for the wider Polkadot and Kusama ecosystem, it said.