Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
“Much of the cryptocurrency issued today will not survive, but we believe cryptocurrency in one form or another might be here to stay. To be clear, we have never bought any cryptocurrency, but we are studying it,” billionaire investor Carl Icahn told Bloomberg.
- BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink said they are studying cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC) to determine whether the asset class could offer countercyclical benefits, Reuters reported. For now, it is too early to determine whether cryptocurrencies are “just a speculative trading tool,” the report added, citing Fink.
- Ledn, a digital asset platform offering saving and lending products for BTC and other digital assets, said it has completed USD 30m Series A financing round led by Kingsway Capital, with participation from new investors including Alan Howard, Hashed, Susquehanna Private Equity Investments, ParaFi Capital, Alexis Ohanian, and John Pfeffer. Proceeds of the round will be used to grow Ledn’s team and global presence, as well as continue to enhance Ledn’s technology and product offerings, they added.
- The heads of some major US banks, such as Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo will discuss cryptoassets during a hearing at the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban affairs today. Cryptoassets are also on the agenda of a hearing at the Committee on Financial Services on Thursday.
- The Stellar Development Foundation, run by financial services platform Stellar (XLM), said it has invested USD 15m into Mexico-based blockchain and bank-connected digital wallet and peer-to-peer exchange platform AirTM. This investment will help AirTM integrate with Stellar within the next year, in order to bring financial services to businesses and consumers in Latin America and the developing world, they added.
- Billionaire investor Mark Cuban has added Ethereum (ETH) scaling and infrastructure development platform Polygon to his list of backed companies on his website. The owner of the Dallas Mavericks has not disclosed the amount invested into the company.
- Apple is looking for a business development manager with at least 5 years “experience working in or with alternative payment providers, such as digital wallets, BNPL, Fast Payments, cryptocurrency and etc.” The manager will lead the partnership program with key players in the Alternative Payments ecosystem, work with senior-level partners to advance business case, provide industry insights and market opportunities for the growth of Apple Pay and Wallet Services, they added.
- The Ontario Securities Commission charged crypto exchange Poloniex with breaching its securities regulations, as the exchange did not respond to the commission’s request to start discussions about how to comply with the rules. The statement of allegations further adds that Poloniex’s activity is “contrary to the public interest” and asks for a fine of up to CAD 1m (USD 826,580) for each failure to comply with the law, as well as that they would be banned from offering services within Canada again.
The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said has deemed an ad by crypto platform Luno Money “misleading” and “irresponsible,” warning that it “must not appear again in the form complained about.” The ASA argued that the ad, which states, “If you’re seeing Bitcoin on the [London] Underground, it’s time to buy,” did not clarify that the BTC market was unregulated in the country, and also implied that buying BTC was “straightforward and accessible.”
- The deputy head of one of South Korea’s most powerful financial regulators, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) is set to quit his job to take up a role at the market-leading crypto exchange Upbit. Per Yonhap, the unnamed individual, a Deputy Director at the FSS, has already tended their resignation, but their move to Upbit may be complicated by the fact that the regulator’s ethics committee must approve the move and confirm that there is no danger of a conflict of interests.
- Investors in South Korea are set to sue the crypto exchange Bitsonic over withdrawals-related issues, reported Asia Kyungjae. At least USD 5.5m worth of tokens is unaccounted for, claimed a law firm representing a group of 39 customers who say they have been left with no access to their funds. The police force of the Songpa District of Seoul launched their own investigation into the exchange in February this year, with at least one executive charged with fraud.
- Ripple said it has partnered with Oman-based bank BankDhofar to connect it to Indian private sector bank IndusInd Bank in order to drive real-time payments into India. Customers of the Omani bank will be able to transfer up to OMR 1,000 (some USD 2,600), to deposit accounts in India.
- The religious leaders of the Russian republic of Ingushetia have called on Muslims to “stop using cryptoassets,” reported Gazeta Ingushetia. The newspaper quoted Magomed Khashtyrov, a theologian and member of the republic’s top Muslim clerical body as stating that Muslims in the republic had better focus on doing “work,” rather than on promises of crypto-powered “easy money.” Khashtyrov added that “cryptocurrency is not yet a form of money, nor is it a commodity.” The council member concluded that it was not appropriate for Muslims to deal with tokens, concluding that “when [crypto] becomes legally accepted means of payment with a state guarantee,” clerics could talk about its use as, but “not today.”
- Indonesia’s central bank, Bank Indonesia (BI), is looking to launch its own central bank digital currency (CBDC), Reuters reported, citing Governor Perry Warjiyo. At this point, the bank is looking for the platform it will use for its digital rupiah. The governor said that BI will regulate the digital rupiah the same way it regulates banknotes and card-based transactions.
- News agency Associated Press is auctioning off a collection of 10 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) relating to its almost two-century-old photojournalism in a partnership with blockchain knowledge company Everipedia, NFT marketplace OpenSea, and various digital artists, the company announced. The first piece of the collection will be the photo of US soldiers raising the American flag on Iwo Jima in 1945. The NFTs will also feature a musical score from violinist and composer Nick Kennerly.
- NFT ecosystem provider Enjin (ENJ) has airdropped 50,000 NFTs as part of its “MyFirstNFT” marketing campaign to a randomized set of users who interacted with their ads on social media. Per an emailed press release, all the available NFTs were claimed within 48 hours and Enjin marked 38,000 new app users within the same timeframe, meaning that a good number of NFT recipients were newcomers to the Enjin ecosystem.
(Updated on May 27 with a video.)