Daily Archives: July 20, 2021

Mastercard Enhancing Program for Cryptocurrency Wallets and Exchanges

Mastercard Enhancing Program for Cryptocurrency Wallets and Exchanges

Payments giant Mastercard has announced that its crypto card program is being enhanced for cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges. The company said, “Making the process simpler will allow more banks and crypto partners the opportunity to offer their consumers the choice of paying with cryptocurrency.”

Mastercard Making It Simpler to Convert Cryptocurrency to Traditional Fiat Currency

Mastercard announced Tuesday that “it will enhance its card program for cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges,” making it “simpler for partners to convert cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency.” The company elaborated:

Mastercard and its partners will test this new capability to enable more banks and crypto companies to offer a card option to people wanting to spend their digital assets anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

The enhancement to Mastercard’s existing crypto card program involves a suite of key partners. Evolve Bank & Trust and Metropolitan Commercial Bank will issue cards, while Uphold and Bitpay will provide real-time crypto wallet technology. Furthermore, I2c Inc., Apto Payments, and Galileo Financial Technologies will support processing and program management.

Paxos and Circle will then use their platforms to facilitate the conversion of crypto to fiat through stablecoins. Circle explained that “The engagement will test using USDC as a means for card issuers to more easily settle payments to Mastercard.”

Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice president of digital asset and blockchain products & partnerships at Mastercard, commented:

Today not all crypto companies have the foundational infrastructure to convert cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency, and we’re making it easier.

Mastercard’s announcement further notes that “Making the process simpler will allow more banks and crypto partners the opportunity to offer their consumers the choice of paying with cryptocurrency.”

What do you think about Mastercard enhancing its crypto card program for exchanges and wallets? Let us know in the comments section below.

Circle Publishes USDC Attestation, Reserve Report Reveals Segregated Accounts in USD-Denominated Assets

On July 20, the CEO of Circle Internet Financial LLC., Jeremy Allaire, published a blog post that explains the firm’s dollar-pegged stablecoin is backed by “prioritized trust, transparency, and accountability.” Allaire’s blog post follows a letter from the Centre Consortium’s accountant, Grant Thornton explaining that the stablecoin’s reserve account information matches the accompanying reserve account report, which is “correctly stated.”

Circle Publishes Stablecoin Reserve Transparency Blog Post, Letter from Grant Thornton, and the Latest Reserve Attestation

At the end of May, the cryptocurrency community started discussing the stablecoin usd coin (USDC) as the project’s reserve backing attestations were running late. At the time, USDC’s token issuance was swelling rapidly and at the end of the month, the Centre Consortium partner Coinbase revealed interest-bearing USDC accounts with 4% APY.

A few days later, Circle disclosed that the project expanded to the Tron network, and plans to reside on ten different blockchains. At the time of writing, USDC is the second-largest stablecoin under tether (USDT), as the market valuation commands $26.72 billion in value on Tuesday. At press time, 30-day statistics show USDC in circulation on July 20, 2021, is 10% higher than the latest attestation, as the reserve report only covers USDC accounting until the end of May.

In the blog post published on Tuesday, Allaire says that Circle and the Centre Consortium have ensured the “pillars of trust” so the public understands that USDC remains backed on a 1:1 basis with dollar-denominated assets. Allaire’s blog post stresses that the “pillars of trust” include:

  • Ensuring the highest levels of regulatory and prudential standards governing the USDC ecosystem.
  • Providing assurances demonstrated by reserve attestations issued by Grant Thornton, one of the world’s leading accounting firms, that dollar-denominated assets can meet circulation for USDC outstanding. Today marks the 33rd such reserve attestation since the first USDC entered circulation, showing our unwavering commitment to fundamental trust in the USDC ecosystem.
  • Core economic activities underpinning USDC are built inside the perimeter of the U.S. financial system, and not outside of it. Building an open medium of exchange on the internet that imports the fundamental trust of the U.S. dollar and the fundamental oversight and first principles of the U.S. financial system. For this, our commitment to openness, competition, and responsible financial services innovation remain a cornerstone for both the Centre Consortium and Circle.
Circle Publishes USDC Attestation, Reserve Report Reveals Segregated Accounts in USD-Denominated Assets
USDC reserve segregated accounts in USD-denominated assets as of May 28, 2021.

Circle’s attestation and the letter from Grant Thornton gives the public a perspective on how the USDC backing is actually calculated. While a majority of USDC backing is made up of cash, USDC backing also includes fractions of corporate bonds, U.S. Treasuries, and Yankee Certificates.

Globally, Grant Thornton is the seventh-largest by revenue operating as an independent accounting firm. The London company’s letter concerning USDC reserves notes that as of May 28, 2021, there was approximately 22,176,182,251 USDC in circulation. Grant Thornton’s letter states:

The total fair value of U.S. dollar denominated assets held in segregated accounts are at least equal to the USDC in circulation at the report date.

Jeremy Allaire Says Circle Embraces ‘Greater Transparency, Accountability and Disclosure’

Allaire also details in his blog post that the latest attestation keeps records of a breakdown of dollar-denominated assets. “With this latest reserve attestation, we are now including a breakdown of dollar-denominated reserve assets, which are all held in the care, custody and control of U.S. regulated financial institutions and in line with laws and guidelines from our U.S. state money transmission regulators,” the Circle CEO noted.

“As we continue our journey to becoming a public company,” Allaire’s blog post concludes. “We will have increasing opportunities for greater transparency, accountability and disclosure around our broader business and operations. Altogether, this expanding public accountability can help to strengthen trust in Circle, USDC and companies building on the standards and market infrastructure that we have been delivering over the past several years.”

What do you think about Circle’s blog post, the letter from Grant Thornton, and the stablecoin’s latest reserve attestation? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Robinhood Aims for $35 Billion Market Valuation in Upcoming IPO

Robinhood

An amended prospectus filed yesterday by Robinhood indicates the company is aiming to get a valuation of up to $35 billion in its upcoming IPO. The fee-free options, cryptocurrency, and stock trading service is expecting to sell up to 55 million shares and raise more than $2 billion when the IPO launches next week.

Robinhood Aims for $35 Billion Valuation

Robinhood, the fee-free, trade-it-all exchange, is aiming to achieve a valuation as high as $35 billion in its upcoming IPO, according to an amended prospectus filed with the SEC on Monday. The exchange, which is reportedly going public as soon as the next week, expects to sell about 55 million shares in its IPO to raise more than $2.3 billion in the process, with a share price in the range of $38 to $42.

The exchange, whose self-imposed mission is to democratize access to investment products, reached a valuation of $11.7 billion last September. At the time, Robinhood raised $460 million in an extension of its Series G funding round, with the participation of Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, DST Global, Ribbit Capital, 9Yards Capital, and D1 Capital Partners.

Robinhood had a very strong first quarter, fueled by an increase in trading interest due to Covid-19 and other factors. During that quarter, it produced $522 million in revenue, also aided by cryptocurrency-related trades, with the rise of dogecoin being a significant factor.

Crypto Business Booming

Robinhood was one of the companies that took advantage of the cryptocurrency trading madness earlier this year. The company revealed in its IPO filing that more than 9.5 million customers used its platform to trade $88 billion in cryptocurrency. The doge-mania that affected the market also benefited Robinhood. In the same filing, the company revealed that more than a third of its Q1 crypto revenue was attributable to dogecoin.

This boom in its cryptocurrency-based business has also raised worries from regulators. Earlier this month, the SEC delayed Robinhood’s IPO due to concerns related to the crypto section of Robinhood’s business model. While the specifics of this delay are unclear, it shows cryptocurrency is in the sights of regulators, perhaps even more so with a company like Robinhood going public.

Robinhood has also faced criticism for its actions amidst the GameStop stock mania when it limited stock purchases for traders due to increased volatility. At the time, Vlad Tenev, Robinhood’s CEO, stated the situation was ‘unacceptable,’ and stressed they were doing everything in their power for that situation to not happen again.

What do you think about Robinhood’s valuation goal? Tell us in the comments section below.

Grooming Products Firm Axe Releases Limited Edition ‘Crypto Scented’ Doge Body Spray

Grooming Products Firm Axe Releases Limited Edition 'Crypto Scented' Doge Body Spray

On Tuesday, the company that owns the brand of male grooming products, Axe, announced the launch of a dogecoin-themed and “crypto scented” body spray. The release was limited and currently, the body spray featuring the image of the cartoon Shiba Inu is no longer available to U.S. residents.

‘Much Disappointment’ — Doge-Themed Body Spray Is No Longer Available

Around 1,000 lucky Americans entered a giveaway of a limited edition dogecoin-themed body spray called “The Dogecan.” The body spray was released by the brand of male grooming products, Axe, a subsidiary of the firm Unilever. Axe scents are created for young male consumers and the Dogecan product allegedly contains a “crypto scent,” which lasts up to 48 hours.

The Dogecan product was released to U.S. residents only, as Axe is branded “Lynx” in China, New Zealand, Ireland, Malta, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The official Axe Twitter account teased the dogecoin-themed body spray last week and on Monday dropped the official product. “Just gonna drop this drop here,” the official Axe Twitter account said. Following the tweet, the website’s campaign page now shows the dogecoin body spray products are all gone.

The page also saw a significant amount of traffic as one individual noted on Twitter, saying that the “Doge army is so strong that their website is down.” Axe’s website tells visitors that the product is all gone in a humorous manner. “Much disappointment,” the Axe Dogecan promotional campaign says. “Sorry, people. All the Dogecans are gone. But we’re still going to the moon.”

Meat Stick Vendor Slim Jim and Mars Brand Candies Are Also Doge Fans

Axe is not the only brand that has jumped on the dogecoin (DOGE) hype train. The smoked meat stick vendor Slim Jim was all about dogecoin in mid-April when the company tweeted about the meme-based crypto asset.

Conagra Brands (parent company of Slim Jim) detailed in a company earnings call that Slim Jim saw an “uptick in audience interaction” since the tweets. To this day, the official Slim Jim Twitter account still tweets about DOGE.

“One word: #Doge Four words: #DoOnlyGoodEveryday,” Slim Jim’s Twitter account tweeted on Tuesday.

The same month the account tied to the chocolate bar brand made by the American company Mars, Snickers, also tweeted about dogecoin. In fact, the online marketplace Newegg teamed up with Snickers and Milky Way (both owned by Mars) to celebrate “Doge Day” last April.

While Newegg revealed it was accepting dogecoin (DOGE) for online purchases, the candy bar brands Snickers and Milky Way tweeted about “Doge Day” on April 19 in anticipation of the meme currency’s special day.

What do you think about Axe’s campaign of dogecoin-themed body spray? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Blockfi Ordered to Stop Offering Interest-Bearing Crypto Accounts in New Jersey

Blockfi Ordered to Stop Offering Interest-Bearing Crypto Accounts in New Jersey

On July 19, the CEO of the crypto financial services firm Blockfi, Zac Prince, told the public that the New Jersey Bureau of Securities has told the company to “stop accepting new BIA clients residing in New Jersey beginning July 22, 2021.” New Jersey’s acting attorney general Andrew Bruck also tweeted about the issue and said “we’ve been closely monitoring activity involving cryptocurrencies for compliance.”

New Jersey’s Bureau of Securities Cracks Down on Crypto

  • On Monday, an unpublished draft of a cease and desist order was discovered by the Forbes staff writer Michael del Castillo. The order was sent to the crypto-financial services firm Blockfi, a company that provides users with interest-bearing crypto accounts and crypto debit cards. The same day, Blockfi’s CEO Zac Prince confirmed the cease and desist order from the New Jersey Bureau of Securities (NJBoS) was real.
  • “Late Monday evening Blockfi received an order from the New Jersey Bureau of Securities regarding Blockfi Interest Account (BIA) operations in the State of New Jersey,” Prince tweeted on Monday. “We remain fully operational for our existing clients in New Jersey. All aspects of the Blockfi platform continue to be accessible to our clients in New Jersey. The order calls for Blockfi to stop accepting new BIA clients residing in New Jersey beginning July 22, 2021,” Prince added.
  • The following day, New Jersey’s acting attorney general Andrew Bruck also tweeted about the situation and shared a press release stemming from the Garden State’s financial authorities. “We’ve been closely monitoring activity involving cryptocurrencies for compliance with NJ’s investor protection laws. Our Bureau of Securities ordered a NJ-based company – Blockfi – to stop offering interest-bearing accounts,” Bruck said on Tuesday.

  • A number of cryptocurrency supporters were displeased by the state of New Jersey’s actions and responded to Bruck’s tweet. “None of the cryptos offered on Blockfi represent ownership in a company or anything else,” one individual remarked. “They are just commodities. This makes absolutely 0 sense to the point that it’s laughable. Did the NJBoS do its homework before doing this or does it just not like cryptocurrency?”
  • The press release published by the New Jersey attorney general’s office explains that the entity is stepping up to “protect investors” as new financial service business models come under scrutiny. “Our rules are simple: if you sell securities in New Jersey, you need to comply with New Jersey’s securities laws,” said the acting attorney general Bruck. “No one gets a free pass simply because they’re operating in the fast-evolving cryptocurrency market. Our Bureau of Securities will be monitoring this issue closely as we work to protect investors.”
  • “Cryptocurrency investment products offered and sold on decentralized finance platforms carry significant risks, even beyond those associated with the volatility of cryptocurrency,” Kaitlin Caruso, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs stressed. “Platforms like Blockfi may mirror the traditional financial structures that we know and trust, but in reality, they can leave investors extremely vulnerable.”

What do you think about the state of New Jersey’s actions against Blockfi? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Majority of Institutions to Hold Digital Assets in Near Future, Survey Suggests

Majority of Institutions to Hold Digital Assets in Near Future, Survey Suggests

Most institutional investors look forward to adding digital assets to their portfolios, in spite of concerns over crypto market volatility. More than half of the respondents in a new survey conducted by Fidelity’s crypto subsidiary have revealed they already have digital asset investments.

Poll Confirms Strong Institutional Interest in Digital Assets

Despite the uncertain regulatory environment in the crypto space, 70% of institutional investors are likely to acquire digital assets in the near future, a study carried out for Fidelity Digital Assets has indicated. Price volatility remains a major obstacle to capital inflow, yet 90% of these respondents expect their firms and clients to buy cryptocurrency or make other crypto-related investments within the next five years.

The survey has been conducted by Coalition Greenwich among 1,100 institutional investors between December last year and April 2021. High net worth investors, family offices, digital and traditional hedge funds, financial advisors, and endowments were polled, Reuters detailed in a report. Over half of them said they had already invested in digital assets, either via direct purchase of cryptocurrency and related investment products or through acquisition of stocks of crypto companies.

This and other recent studies have confirmed a stable mainstream interest in crypto asset investments. A global poll released in June indicated that hedge funds are also planning to significantly increase their exposure to digital assets during the same five-year period.

In a vote of confidence, 100 CFOs said their funds would hold an average of 7.2% of their assets in cryptocurrency by 2026, or over an estimated $300 billion. That’s despite the decline in crypto prices and trading activity in past months, with the leading cryptocurrency, bitcoin (BTC), losing 50% of its market cap since April.

The participants in the poll ordered by Fidelity pointed to price volatility as the main barrier to potential investors that want to enter the crypto market. Another obstacle cited in the report is the lack of fundamentals necessary to assess the value of these assets, followed by concerns over possible market manipulation.

A JPMorgan survey of around 3,000 investors showed last month that an overwhelming majority of them (95%) believe fraud is prevalent in the crypto world, with only 10% of these professionals trading cryptocurrencies at the moment. As private investors, however, 40% of the respondents admitted to being active in the crypto market.

What’s your opinion about the survey results released by Fidelity Digital Assets? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Bitcoin Slides Under $30K, Stablecoins Eclipse Trade Volumes, Crypto Interest Depletes

The price of bitcoin has slid under the $30K zone on Tuesday, dipping to $29,300 per unit during the early morning trading sessions (EDT). The global cryptocurrency market capitalization of all the crypto coins in existence is $1.19 trillion as it decreased by more than 6% in the last day.

Bitcoin’s Market Cap Sees $19 Billion Shaved in 24 Hours

Digital currency markets have lost considerable value during the last week and seven-day stats show a number of coins have shed double-digit percentages. Bitcoin (BTC) is currently trading for $29,656 per unit at the time of writing, down 5% during the last 24 hours. Weekly statistics show BTC is down more than 10% and holds a $556 billion market valuation. BTC’s market cap has shaved off $19 billion since yesterday.

Bitcoin Slides Under $30K, Stablecoins Eclipse Trade Volumes, Crypto Interest Depletes
BTC/USD on Bitstamp on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

Today, BTC commands 46.7% of the $1.19 trillion, while ethereum (ETH) captures 17.1%. Ethereum is swapping for $1,757 per unit, down 5.7% on Tuesday and seven-day statistics show ETH is down 11.9%. The biggest loser in the top ten crypto market cap positions is polkadot (DOT), which has bled 26% this past week. Cardano (ADA) has lost 19.3% and dogecoin (DOGE) over 18% this week.

Bitcoin Slides Under $30K, Stablecoins Eclipse Trade Volumes, Crypto Interest Depletes
ETH/USD on Deribit on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

Besides the coin unus sed leo (LEO), the top market performers today are all stablecoins. These include DAI, TUSD, BUSD, USDC, USDT, HUSD, UST, and PAX, respectively. 52.18% of BTC’s market share is traded in USDT, and 51.09% of ETH trades are also in tether (USDT). 24-hour volume between all crypto assets in existence has jumped over 15% today and is around $67.7 billion. Tether (USDT) commands $47.7 billion of that volume, which is 70.45% of all the global trades recorded on Tuesday morning, according to cryptocompare.com data.

Google Trends Indicates Interest in Crypto Is Lackluster

In addition to markets seeing a slump, interest in digital assets has been lagging a great deal according to data from Google Trends. Coin Metrics’ authors Nate Maddrey and Kyle Waters explain in the latest “State of the Network” issue 112, that crypto Google search trends have been lackluster.

Bitcoin Slides Under $30K, Stablecoins Eclipse Trade Volumes, Crypto Interest Depletes
Google Trends data vs. the price of bitcoin – Coin Metrics’ State of the Network report, issue 112.

“Worldwide Google search volume for bitcoin shows that interest levels closely followed BTC’s rapid price movements this year and tend to track major changes in price historically. While Google Trends data is not absolute search volume for bitcoin, it does show the relative level of popularity for bitcoin searches over time,” the author’s report explains. Coin Metrics adds:

Relative search interest this year for bitcoin has not yet surpassed levels achieved in late 2017. This might be a sign that many retail investors and the general public were already aware of bitcoin prior to the recent price movements this year. Institutional adoption is a big reason for bitcoin’s recent successes in 2020/2021 which will not be captured easily from Google search interest.

Similarly, ethereum (ETH) searches on Google Trends are also lower than the number of queries three months ago. No one knows exactly where the crypto market is going and the latest downfall has been attributed to the issues with bitcoin mining in China and the regulatory crackdown worldwide. This week in the U.S., the New Jersey Bureau of Securities told the crypto firm Blockfi that it needs to stop accepting new interest account users in New Jersey.

“All aspects of the Blockfi platform continue to be accessible to our clients in New Jersey,” Blockfi’s CEO and founder Zac Prince said. “The order calls for Blockfi to stop accepting new BIA clients residing in New Jersey beginning July 22, 2021.” Furthermore, on Monday afternoon, senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., explained that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau needs to supervise cryptocurrency risks.

What do you think about the recent crypto market action and bitcoin price downturn? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

EtherLite (ETL) Token Is Now Listed on Bitcoin.com Exchange

PRESS RELEASE. Bitcoin.com Exchange is thrilled to announce the listing of ETL, being available to trade on the 19th July 2021 at 16:00 UTC. ETL was created by the EtherLite team, as the utility token for their borderless, decentralized network with validators and community members from all around the world. ETL will start trading with USDT and ETH pairs.

What is EtherLite?

EtherLite uses a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus model as it seeks to pick off where its much larger peer, Ethereum, leaves off. In fact, EtherLite is a hard fork of Ethereum, representing a major change in the code of the larger blockchain that took place in May.

EtherLite has been moving through its roadmap, which in addition to the hard fork has included an air drop and an initial exchange offering. Now it’s time for the token to hit exchanges. The EtherLite team says that ETL has been audited by “top core experts” and is poised to begin trading on exchanges in July. They are quite ambitious and are calling it the “year of EtherLite.”

EtherLite vs. Ethereum

EtherLite is a hard fork of Ethereum, which is the go-to blockchain for smart contracts, DeFi, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and more. The up-and-coming chain is designed to address some of the shortcomings still plaguing the Ethereum network. While there is only one Ethereum, EtherLite has the advantage of hindsight. It boasts features such as:

  • Speed: The EtherLite network has block times of five seconds and more than 10,000 transactions per second.
  • Low fees: High fees have been a stumbling block on Ethereum, causing some creators and developers to move to other blockchains.
  • Staking: Users can stake their ETL on staking.etherlite.org to help maintain network security in exchange for rewards. Ethereum is transitioning from a proof-of-work (PoW) to a PoS consensus model.

One of EtherLite’s key features is that it is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), according to the project’s website. This means that developers can also use their decentralized apps (dApps) and smart contracts built on Ethereum on EtherLite. EtherLite makes it easy for devs to “port their existing Ethereum-based dApps in a matter of minutes,” according to the project’s website.

What is ETL?

Everything that happens on EtherLite is fueled by ETL. It is the EtherLite network’s native coin. It is used to sustain the network, and to pay the network fees. By holding ETL, participants are able to access EtherLite’s core functionalities:

  • Securing the network

EtherLite runs on a Proof-of-Stake mechanism which requires ETL to sustain the network. Validator nodes are required to stake a minimum of 100,000 ETL and in return, validators will receive rewards and fees for their service. If a validator does a malicious activity, then his staked ETL tokens are basically confiscated.

  • Payments

The ETL token is ideal for sending and receiving payments thanks to the EtherLite network’s high-throughput, fast finality, and low fees. On EtherLite, money transfers take place within seconds and it costs much less.

  • Network fees

ETL is used to pay for general network fees, such as transaction fees to access and support network operations.

  • Reward Distribution

Along with network fees, rewards in the EtherLite ecosystem are distributed using ETLs.

Strong Endorsement

Danish Chaudhry, CEO of Bitcoin.com Exchange, shared his views on EtherLite: “I believe the team behind EtherLite has built an outstanding blockchain platform built for efficiency, it provides a fast, secure and cheaper environment for building decentralized applications, which is very much needed right now in the market.”

Chaudhry continues on by saying; “We’re very excited to see how EtherLite, via their ETL token will continue to empower their vision of next-gen blockchain for the current DeFi landscape, and gain further outreach with our outstanding community at the exchange.”

The Etherlite Foundation stated that: “The journey of blockchain development has been exponential, all with the onset of powerful collaborations. EtherLite and Bitcoin.com Exchange are coming together to create even significant applications for blockchain. Bitcoin.com Exchange with their massive audience reach will make a great difference to our vision and put EtherLite on the map within the crypto community. We look forward to this continued partnership.”

 

About Bitcoin.com Exchange

The mission of Bitcoin.com Exchange is to empower people from all over the world to trade cryptocurrencies with ease and confidence, from first-time traders to advanced trading professionals. With high liquidity, 24/7 multilingual support and dozens of trading pairs, complemented with a high level of security, it offers an attractive platform for trading any cryptocurrency. Within one year since launch, on average, the exchange has been visited by more than 500K active traders per month, and this number continues to grow as you read this sentence.

 

About EtherLite

EtherLite is a pure POS based blockchain network, surfacing to create a space where all the major DApps can be bought over under one roof and dealt with in a cost-effective manner, expanding the base of blockchain development and usage in the community. Learn more at https://etherlite.org.

 


This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, Cathie Wood Will Discuss Bitcoin Live at ‘B Word’ Event

Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, Cathie Wood Will Discuss Bitcoin Live at B Word Event

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood will be featured speakers at the Bitcoin event “The B Word,” which will feature a live discussion between the three focused on how Bitcoin is perceived by the mainstream.

  • The ₿ Word event organizer announced Monday that Tesla and Spacex CEO Elon Musk will be a featured speaker, along with Square and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Ark Investment Management (Ark Invest) CEO Cathie Wood.
  • The event is scheduled to start at 12 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 21. It will feature a live discussion with Musk, Dorsey, and Wood.
  • Musk and Dorsey initially agreed to have a discussion about Bitcoin at The ₿ Word event in June. Dorsey tweeted to Musk at the time: “Let’s you and I have a conversation at the event. You can share all your curiosities.”
  • According to the event website, “The ₿ Word is a Bitcoin-focused initiative that aims to demystify and destigmatize mainstream narratives about Bitcoin, explain how institutions can embrace it, and raise awareness around areas of the network that need support.”
  • The event is hosted by the Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI), a global alliance of crypto industry leaders.

  • The topics of discussion include demystifying Bitcoin, Bitcoin as a tool for economic empowerment (live discussion), supporting the developer ecosystem, securing the Bitcoin network, regulating bitcoin, and preserving the Bitcoin ethos.
  • The event will feature presentations from Adam Jonas (Chaincode Labs), Conor Okus (Square Crypto), Hester Peirce (SEC), Hong Fang (Okcoin), John Pfeffer (Pfeffer Capital), Lyn Alden (Lyn Alden Investment Strategy), Nic Carter (Castle Island Ventures), Dr. Neha Narula (MIT Digital Currency Initiative), Peter McCormack (What Bitcoin Did Podcast), Phillip Gradwell (Chainalysis Inc.), Sam Korus (ARK Invest), Steve Lee (Square Crypto), and more.

What do you think about this discussion between Musk, Dorsey, and Wood? Let us know in the comments section below.

Zimbabwe Proposes Inclusion of VASPs in Its Securities Law — Move Applauded as ‘Step in Right Direction’

The Zimbabwean government recently revealed its intention to widen the definition of securities to include virtual asset service providers (VASPs). According to a document released by the cabinet, the proposed inclusion of VASPs into the category of defined securities will be made possible via the amendment of the Securities and Exchange Act.

The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Factor

According to one local report, it is this amended law that will “enable Zimbabwe’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SECZ) to come up with regulations to supervise the VASPs on a risk-based approach.” Similarly, the document states that Zimbabwe’s anti-money laundering law will be amended to enable authorities to deal with the possible abuse of crypto assets by bad actors. The cabinet document explains:

The Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act will be amended to in order to provide for identification and assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risks that may arise in relation to Virtual assets, acts and activities.

In addition, Zimbabwe — which itself is under U.S. financial sanctions — says the same law will be amended to “ensure sanctions are also applicable to VASPs, their directors and senior management.”

Proposal Applauded

Meanwhile, in his reaction to the Zimbabwean government amendment proposal, Prosper Mwedzi, a prominent proponent for crypto regulation, applauds the move which he says is a step in the right direction. However, Mwedzi tells Bitcoin.com News that his only concern with the proposed amendments is the lack of clear timeframes. He said:

The amendment looks like a step in the right direction for the country as it is the first time that digital assets are expressly mentioned under Zimbabwean law. When effective, it will designate SECZ as the official regulatory body to have oversight of crypto for AML purposes and will pave [the] way for policy development in this space. The main question is how long will this process take.

Other Zimbabwean commentators have suggested that the proposals could be part of the government’s wider objective of aligning its laws with FATF guidelines. In his July 15 Twitter thread, Mwedzi insists the proposals show that Zimbabwe is moving away from its previous anti-crypto stance.

What are your thoughts on Zimbabwe’s proposal to include VASPs in its Securities Act? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.