Banking and Finance

Mastercard to Join Fiat and Cryptocurrency with New Patent

Mastercard to Join Fiat and Cryptocurrency with New Patent

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted Mastercard this week a patent the company filed last May which describes a method that links blockchain-based assets to fiat currency accounts. Mastercard says that the plan will significantly help customers by speeding up the transaction time of cryptocurrencies while providing security for the payee. It added that the solution would may help alleviate the wariness of merchants, retailers, and other service providers to accept blockchain-based payments, and at the same time making consumers more willing to trade in cryptocurrency if the decentralised nature of the technology was somewhat removed. Source: […]

NY Regulator Grants Virtual Currency License to BitPay

NY Regulator Grants Virtual Currency License to BitPay

Bitcoin payments processor BitPay was granted this week a virtual currency license by the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS). As the first virtual currency wholesale payments processor to be given such a license, BitPay is now authorized to offer clearing and settlement services to merchants accepting or issuing payments in Bitcoin. The company says that businesses around the world have already signed up with them to accept bitcoin payments. This includes companies such as Microsoft, Newegg, Namecheap, Gyft, Takeaway, and Virgin Galactic.   Source: Reuters

Hong Kong Banks, Regulator Introduce Blockchain Trade Finance Platform

Hong Kong Banks, Regulator Introduce Blockchain Trade Finance Platform

Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority, along with seven banks, announced a blockchain-powered trade finance platform which the group plans to jointly launch in September. MAS deputy chief executive Howard Lee says the project aims to digitize documents and automate processes to reduce risk and increase the financing capability of the banking industry. The project, which include banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered, and Hang Seng Bank also seeks to link up with similar platforms in other jurisdictions to further facilitate cross-border trades.   Source: Reuters  

Regulators Allow Coinbase to List Virtual Coins Considered as Securities  

Regulators Allow Coinbase to List Virtual Coins Considered as Securities  

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase was allowed this week by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to list digital currency considered to be securities. The wallet provider is now authorized to acquire security dealers Keystone Capital Corp., Venovate Marketplace Inc. and Digital Wealth LLC, which will allow it to operate as a broker dealer, a registered investment adviser, and extend its offerings with security tokens. While a spokesperson said that the technology will be integrated into the new subsidiaries, it was not confirmed when as the company will still need to verify that employees […]

Global Regulators to “Vigilantly” Watch Crypto Assets

Global Regulators to “Vigilantly” Watch Crypto Assets

The Financial Stability Board recently unveiled a framework that seeks to vigilantly monitor risks of crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The Board, which coordinates financial regulation for the G20, says the framework focuses on how risks brought by the crypto asset markets could affect other parts of the financial system, and how to identify financial stability risks early enough to act on them. It was pointed out that it is often unclear which financial rules are applicable to the crypto sector or if there is even any legal authority to regulate it. Source: Reuters

India to Relax Local Data Storage Laws for Foreign Payment Companies

India to Relax Local Data Storage Laws for Foreign Payment Companies

India’s finance ministry revealed this week that the directive from the country’s central bank that requires global payment firms to store customer data only locally may be relaxed. The move was said to be in reaction to intense lobbying by U.S. companies and trade bodies. It is expected that the proposal would relieve firms like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express of costs that could potentially run up to millions of dollars. The finance ministry said in June that a possible solution could be to allow companies to store data offshore, as long as a copy was kept in India. Source: […]

Three Crypto Exchanges Receive License to Operate from CEZA

Three Crypto Exchanges Receive License to Operate from CEZA

  The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) of the Philippines recently issued provisional licenses to three cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the economic zone.   The Manila Times said that CEZA expects to attract $3 million in investment following the issuance.   The government had previously announced that 10 blockchain and cryptocurrency companies will be allowed to operate in the economic zone to generate jobs and stimulate the economy. The companies are required to contribute $1 million upward over two years and pay up to $100,000 in licence fees.   It was also mentioned that 70 companies have already applied to […]

Facebook Shares Hit All Time High Despite Privacy Woes

Facebook Shares Hit All Time High Despite Privacy Woes

Facebook’s recent privacy woes seemed not to have shaken investor confidence as the social network’s stock closed at a record high last Friday, marking a 5% gain since its scandal with Cambridge Analytica was revealed in the news. This marks a full recovery from the stock’s all time low in March where it hit its 52-week intraday low of $149.02 per share. The rally to an intraday high of $203.64 per share puts Facebook’s market value at $590 billion, and Mark Zuckerberg as the third wealthiest on Bloomberg’s Billionaires index at $77.1 billion. Source: CNBC

24-Year Old Sentenced to Prison in Japan for Cryptojacking

24-Year Old Sentenced to Prison in Japan for Cryptojacking

A 24- year old Japanese man named Yoshida Shinkaru was recently given a one-year prison sentence for illegally mining cryptocurrency using the Monero mining tool on user PCs. Shinkaru reportedly used the Coinhive on an online gaming cheat tool and made it available for download. Users who installed unknowingly had their PCs mine Monero for Shinkaru, but his profits only totalled to around $45. Judge Ryo Kato, who handled the case, commented that a successful criminal exploit of the defendant’s programming technology created the root of harm that compromises trust in personal computer programs. Source: ZDNet

YouTube Added to BitConnect Class Action Lawsuit

YouTube Added to BitConnect Class Action Lawsuit

YouTube was reportedly added as a defendant in a class action lawsuit against crypto investment platform Bitconnect, according to court documents filed this week. The lawsuit, which was filed by 6 complainants represented by the Silver Miller law firm, alleges that BitConnect issued crypto coins that were unregistered securities, as well as getting funds through a Ponzi scheme. The plaintiff says that YouTube failed to delist and demonetize the videos BitConnect published, which exposed countless viewers to the risks brought by the illegally-promoted investments. Source: Coin Telegraph

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