Western Google Union, Palantir's Bitcoin, Dollar in Danger + More News
Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- Money transfer company Western Union said it has teamed up with Google to provide users in the US with access to Western Union's "digital money movement experience" via the Google Pay app. Google Pay users in the US can now send cross-border payments through Western Union's global financial network of bank accounts, wallets, and retail locations throughout India and Singapore. Users may fund their transactions using Google Pay bank account or card, they added.
- Palantir's Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer David Glazer said that not only has this American software company been considering adding bitcoin (BTC) to its balance sheet, it also accepts the cryptocurrency as a form of payment from customers, per Markets Insider. "We're thinking about [adding BTC to the balance sheet] and we're even discussing this early, taking a look at our balance sheet in cash at quarter-end, including USD 151m in adjusted free cash flow in Q1," Glazer was quoted as saying.
- Fintech startup Revolut is partnering with blockchain analytics and risk management company Elliptic to broaden its cryptocurrency offering, the latter announced today. Per Revolut, while their clients have been able to hold cryptoassets since 2018, the new partnership means that Revolut Metal customers from the UK will now be able to spend their cryptoassets, as well as send them to personal wallets and exchanges.
Legendary investor Stanley Druckenmiller claims that US Federal Reserve policies aimed at keeping markets and the economy afloat during the pandemic could end up threatening the long-term health of the US dollar.
- E-commerce giant eBay on Tuesday allowed the sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for digital collectibles like trading cards, images or video clips on its platform, Reuters reported. In the short term, an NFT inventory will be provided to sellers who meet eBay's standards, the company told Reuters, adding that users can expect to see programs, policies and tools in future that will let them buy and sell NFTs across a broader range of categories.
- Cboe Global Markets has filed for a Fidelity Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the US, Bloomberg reported. Cboe has already petitioned for the approval of vehicles such as a VanEck Bitcoin fund, one of a number of Bitcoin ETFs seeking the green light from officials. However, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has not approved any crypto-related ETFs yet.
- Decentralized artist DAO and liquid NFT marketplace Wilder World has raised USD 3m that will be used to create an art NFT metaverse. The world will be created using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine to build what 3D artist Frank Wilder called a “multifaceted system” in an interview with VentureBeat.
- Digital assets investment products saw inflows totaling USD 373m last week, "highlighting a resurgence in demand," CoinShares, said, adding that some providers continue to see outflows "in what we believe is continued profit-taking behavior." Bitcoin received USD 290m worth of inflows, ethereum (ETH) - USD 60m. However, ETH saw total assets under management reaching a new record of USD 16.5bn, CoinShares said, adding that BTC achieved this level of assets under management only in December 2020 and now it reached almost USD 46bn.
- A new crypto stealer dubbed the Panda Stealer is prowling through phishing emails and Discord links, cybersecurity company Trend Micro said. Once it is downloaded, it starts looking for keys and addresses associated with crypto wallets, but also the login data for NordVPN, Telegram, Discord, and Steam accounts.
- Gaming giant Ubisoft has added a new set of eleven startups to its Entrepreneurs Lab accelerator program, five of which are blockchain-based, the company revealed in a blog post. These include Aleph.im, Anybrain, Atlantide, BrainLeap, Crucible, Game Academy, Guild of Guardians, Horizon, Lexiko, NonFungible, and Virtuleap. In this sixth season of the Entrepreneurs Lab, they are splitting into two groups: blockchain and positive entertainment.
Regulation and tax news
- Indonesia is looking into ways to tax crypto trading, Reuters reported, citing a spokesman of the country’s tax office. Per the report, the spokesman added that “It is important to know that [...] if there is a profit or capital gain generated from a transaction, the profit is an object of income tax.”
- Bosnia and Herzegovina is readying a draft bill that would for the first time try to regulate cryptoassets in this country in south-eastern Europe. The Union for a Better Future party is planning to form a sector for technological and economic progress and market modernization, which would also propose crypto-related laws, reported local media, noting a “large number” of citizens trading and mining cryptos.
- DeFi liquidity provider Balancer Labs (BAL) has launched Balancer V2, a new generalized protocol for automated market makers (AMMs) that aims to improve the existing features of the tool. These include lower gas costs, a new interface, and an updated website, in addition to more technical improvements, they said in an announcement.
- Israel’s central bank is considering issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC), Reuters reported. While the idea itself is not new, having first been proposed in 2017, the bank is “accelerating its research and preparation” thanks to the recent crypto market boom, it added.
(Updated at 17:09 UTC with the NFT news section.)