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Today in Crypto: Wirex Signes Long-term Global Partnership with Visa, Bank of Brazil Says Citizens Can Pay Taxes with Crypto, MetaMask Warns Users About Phishing Attempts

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

Payments news

  • Crypto payments platform Wirex signed a long-term strategic global partnership with payments company network Visa, which includes becoming a member of Visa in APAC and the UK that will allow Wirex to directly issue crypto-enabled debit and prepaid cards themselves to over 40 countries. According to the press release, the agreement will support further collaboration in major markets, including APAC, UK, Europe, and the USA. “Membership of Visa enables Wirex to offer new innovative products to utilise crypto in the everyday, improve user-experience and pilot new blockchain initiatives,” it added.
  • Digital asset platform Bakkt announced that it would be ending its consumer-facing app and would focus on scalable business-to-business-to-consumer solutions. “Bakkt will continue its core focus of providing businesses with crypto and loyalty experiences for their customers through SaaS and API solutions on a secure and compliant platform,” said the press release.

Tax news

  • Bank of Brazil (Banco do Brasil) announced that citizens could pay their taxes with crypto. According to the press release by the major bank, this is enabled through a partnership with a blockchain solutions company Bitfy. “With the arrangement, [Bitfy] will start to act as the Bank’s collection partner. The service allows partners (financial institutions, fintechs, among others) to offer the payment solution for tax bills, fees and obligations to their customers, using the agreements signed by [Bank of Brazil] with entities and concessionaires of public services,” the banks said.

Security news

  • Major crypto wallet provider MetaMask warned about phishing attempts by scammers who are trying to contact users through web hosting company Namecheap’s third-party upstream system for emails. MetaMask said that it “does not collect KYC info and will never email you about your account! Do not enter your Secret Recovery Phrase on a website EVER. If you got an email today from MetaMask or Namecheap or anyone else like this, ignore it & do not click its links!” Namechap detected the issue and informed its users.  

CBDC news

  • The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) plans to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for cross-border and domestic use as part of its newly-launched financial infrastructure transformation (FIT) program. According to the announcement, the program will implement nine key initiatives: the first stage includes a series of digital payment infrastructures and services such as the launch of a Card Domestic Scheme, an Instant Payments Platform, and the issuance of the CBDC. “These digital payment initiatives will drive financial inclusion, promote payment innovation, security and efficiency, and achieve a cashless society,” it said.

Regulation news

  • The Group of 20 (G20) big economies is exploring whether the group could collectively regulate cryptocurrencies, Reuters reported, citing Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. “We are talking to all nations, that if it requires regulation, then one country alone cannot do anything. […] We [are discussing] if we can make some standard operating procedure which is followed by everyone to make a regulatory framework, and if it can be effective.” Sitharaman said.

Charity news

  • Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin made a donation of ETH 99 to help those affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.  According to transaction data from Etherscan, Buterin sent the funds from his wallet address “vitalik.eth” to a recipient wallet labeled “Ahbap Yardm/Earthquake Support.”
  • Payment gateway Alchemy Pay has made a donation of 1 bitcoin (BTC) to help the Turkey earthquake relief efforts. Per the press release, it is prepared to extend support to its Turkish customers and partner companies “in any way possible,” it said and added: “Should you require additional assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.”

Web3 news

  • NARS Cosmetics announced its newest Orgasm Collection with the launch of ODENTITY – a creative collaboration between the brand and Boss Beauties, a female-founded Web3 community. Per a press release, the initiative will engage women worldwide through the release of two complimentary digital collectibles, one exclusively for Boss Beauties holders and a second available to all, both of which take their inspiration from NARS’ famous shade, Orgasm. The unique partnership aims to onboard women to Web3 via an accessible mint, an engaging and educational virtual event series, and more, it added.