Daily Archives: November 13, 2021

Visa Executive Says Crypto Is ‘Becoming Cool’ — Sees Whole New Class of Mainstream Consumers Entering the Space

Visa Executive Says Crypto Is 'Becoming Cool' — New Class of Mainstream Consumers Entering the Space

Visa’s head of crypto sees a “whole new class” of mainstream consumers entering the crypto space due to non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The executive further says: “Crypto is becoming cultural. It’s becoming cool.”

Visa’s Executive: ‘Crypto Is Becoming Cultural, It’s Becoming Cool’

Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto, talked about cryptocurrency during a panel discussion early this week at the Singapore Fintech Festival.

He explained that a “whole new class” of mainstream consumers are entering the crypto space because of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The Visa executive added that people who are interested in art, music, or culture are “setting up crypto wallets in waves,” noting that they are excited to create their own NFTs and support other creators.

Before the NFT boom, Sheffield said crypto assets mainly attracted people who are interested in gold and finance. “It used to be that if you were investing in crypto, you were kind of weird,” he opined, elaborating:

Crypto is becoming cultural. It’s becoming cool.

The Visa executive further explained that people are now using crypto wallets for more reasons than they used to. Previously, crypto wallets were mainly used to store cryptocurrencies. Now people are using them to discover new music, he described, adding that they are increasingly becoming more of a “super app” that influences consumers’ life.

In August, Sheffield was asked whether he thought NFTs will go mainstream. “Only time will tell,” he replied. “What’s certain is that curiosity, an open mind, and active experimentation are the best approach when new technologies and use cases come on the scene.” He added:

We think NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce.

Visa has been a supporter of NFTs. The company launched an NFT program to support digital artists in October. In August, Visa purchased an NFT from the Cryptopunk collection for $165K in ether. “To recognize the role that Cryptopunks have played as an historic NFT project, bridging culture and commerce, Visa has decided to purchase Cryptopunk 7610, Sheffield said at the time.

What do you think about the Visa executive’s comments? Let us know in the comments section below.

SHIB Listed on ChangeHero for Accountless and Limitless Exchange

PRESS RELEASE. ChangeHero instant cryptocurrency exchange listed SHIB on its platform. Customers can exchange SHIB against over 80 cryptocurrencies without an account. Now crypto enthusiasts can easily exchange or buy SHIB not only with Ethereum based tokens but also with cryptocurrencies of different blockchains.

To celebrate the listing, ChangeHero announced a zero fees exchange offer for SHIB. Users can exchange SHIB to any other cryptocurrency or the other way around without any fees. The offer is valid until November 15, 2021, and available only on the web version of the platform.

One can make a simple exchange with SHIB using the Best Rate type of transaction on ChangeHero. Please note that the zero fees exchange offer is not valid for the Fixed Rate type of transaction.

There are no additional requirements such as a registration for the users to enjoy the offer. Furthermore, there is no maximum limit on the amount of SHIB that can be exchanged in a transaction.

About Shiba Inu (SHIB)

Shiba Inu (SHIB) is a memecoin that aspires to be the “Doge Killer”. The community-run token is building an ecosystem of DeFi products on Ethereum, with the DEX ShibaSwap being its flagship product. The ecosystem also includes an NFT incubator and two other tokens: LEASH and BONE.

About ChangeHero

ChangeHero is redefining crypto swaps with its instant cryptocurrency exchange. The platform offers crypto-to-crypto exchange of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and over 80 other cryptocurrencies.

The exchange is completely account free, and anyone can swap crypto in a matter of minutes. ChangeHero is specifically aimed at beginners and also crypto experts who prefer a clean UI. There is also 24/7 customer support to assist the users during the process of exchanging crypto.

Please get in touch with ChangeHero regarding any queries:

Website: https://changehero.io/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Changehero_io

Media: [email protected]

Business Development: [email protected]

Customer Service: [email protected]

 


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.

Report: Traditional Banks in Africa Hold Trust Advantage Over Fintechs

A recent report by CR2 on Africa’s fintech transformation suggests traditional financial institutions can still be a part of the fintech financial revolution if they leverage one of their most significant assets: client trust.

Partnerships Between Banks and Fintechs

The report urges financial institutions that wish to accelerate their advance to success in the fintech space to forge partnerships with fintech startups and technology companies. Having such partnerships, as well as their longstanding client networks and more defined regulatory environment, means financial institutions can still grow their share of Africa’s digital market.

To illustrate the importance of the collaboration between banks and fintech, the CR2 report makes reference to the story of how one Nigerian bank, GTB, lost clients after its mobile banking platform went offline. The report then contrasts GTB’s misfortunes with the rise of the VC-backed fintech startup Kudabank, which saw its customer base rise from 300,000 to 1.4 million in less than three years.

However, the report argues that traditional financial institutions can still compete with VC-backed fintech startups if they decide to leverage their most significant asset: client trust. This perceived client trust advantage is backed up by a fintech study conducted in Nigeria by the consulting firm McKinsey Consulting.

Trust Remains Key

According to the findings of the study, about 67% of banked customers in Nigeria had more trust in their bank than in fintechs. Although this study concluded that Nigerian banks had occasionally made some missteps, it still found that there is still some hesitation by consumers to shift to fintech products. Therefore, while access and convenience are important considerations for customers, trust is still critical and this gives financial institutions the edge.

In conclusion, the CR2 report urges banks to seize the opportunity to grow their share of Africa’s digital finance market. The report says:

“Longstanding financial institutions must respond with innovation services built through collaboration with enabling digital banking platform partners. Those banks that pair their customer trust advantage to novel innovation on the product and platform side stand to excel in Africa’s 21st-century fintech landscape.”

Who do you trust more, traditional banks or fintech startups? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

South African Crypto Token Holders Concerned About Status of Funds, Unable to Withdraw as Promised

A group of South African cryptocurrency investors have voiced concerns about the fate of their investment in the Fight to Fame (F2F token) after they reportedly were unable to withdraw their funds as promised.

Token Sale Attracts Over 2,000 Applicants

According to an IOL report, the investors had invested in a token that was promoted by Marius Fransman, a former regional leader of South Africa’s governing party, the ANC. Some media reports suggest Fransman’s company may have received over 2,000 applications from investors that include actors, writers, musicians, and directors that wanted to be a part of the project.

Fransman had planned to use the funds that were raised to promote an international TV reality boxing show called “Fight to Fame.” The report adds that Fransman’s company, F2F SA, would host large entertainment events at venues such as big casinos, where the tokens would be the means to access the venue and also to be exchanged for gambling chips.

Yet as one anonymous holder of the token explained, problems began when investors were unable to access their funds as promised. Instead of honoring the pledge to enable withdrawals after nine months, Fransman’s company allegedly told investors they were only entitled to a loan that amounted to just a portion of their initial investment.

It is seemingly this unilateral change to the terms of the investment agreement that has sparked fears among F2F token holders that they may not recover their funds.

Impact of Pandemic on Fransman’s Plans

Meanwhile, the report quotes Fransman — who appears to acknowledge that this company is failing to honor its pledge — explaining how Covid-19 and lockdowns have affected his company’s plans. He said:

The unpredictability of Covid-19 and its variants has meant that the ICO could not take place then or now, at least until the pandemic starts to dissipate or die down completely. Arising from this hiatus, F2F SA has now received requests from various individuals wishing to opt-out, as they have their own challenges.

Fransman insists his plan was to only allow individuals to trade in their tokens after the launch of the ICO. However, Fransman suggested that his company is willing to consider, on a case-by-case basis, the buyback of the F2F tokens.

What are your thoughts about this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

3 out of 4 of the Top Smart Contract Tokens Outpaced Ethereum’s 12 Month Gains

3 out of 4 of the Top Smart Contract Tokens Outpaced Ethereum's 12 Month Gains

While the price of bitcoin has been volatile during the last seven days, a number of smart contract platforms have been performing far better this week. Statistics indicate that the total value locked (TVL) in decentralized finance (defi) is $267 billion and the TVL held on Ethereum commands the lion’s share of this value. Ethereum is the largest smart contract platform today, in terms of market valuation, but a number of competitors have increased significantly in value over the last 12 months.

3 Smart Contract Tokens Surpassed Ethereum’s 12 Month Gains by a Long Shot

The largest smart contract platform Ethereum (ETH) has a market valuation of around $555 billion and it commands 18.7% of the entire crypto economy’s net value. Metrics also show that there’s $267 billion TVL in defi today, and the Ethereum protocol captures $179 billion or 49.16% of the overall TVL in defi. In terms of trade volume, ether has $15.5 billion in global swaps today, which is much larger than its competitors. ETH has outpaced BTC in 12 month gains with 914% during the last year, compared to BTC’s 299% increase in value.

However, a number of other smart contract platforms have outperformed ETH’s 12-month stats. For instance, while solana (SOL) holds the fifth largest market capitalization, in terms of smart contract platforms it is the second-largest chain with an overall valuation of $71.2 billion. ETH’s 914% 12 month gain is decent but SOL jumped 12,337% during the last year. Solana’s market capitalization dominance is 2.39% on Saturday. The TVL held in defi on the Solana network is $14.22 billion, which is the third-largest TVL by chain below the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).

Cardano (ADA) is the third-largest smart contract platform with a market capitalization of around $66.5 billion today. ADA has also outperformed ethereum’s (ETH) 12-month gains as ADA has risen 1,881% this past year. In terms of TVL in defi, metrics from defillama.com do not include any statistics for the Cardano blockchain. Cardano’s market capitalization on Saturday is around 2.23% of the whole market economy. The fourth-largest smart contract platform in terms of overall market valuation is the crypto asset avalanche (AVAX).

5th Largest Smart Contract Token Chainlink Sees Smaller Gains Than Ethereum This Year — LUNA and MATIC Climb in Value

Avalanche (AVAX) has a market capitalization of around $20 billion on Saturday and there’s $625 million in global AVAX swaps during the last 24 hours. Avalanche is represented on defillama.com’s chains market metrics, and is the fifth-largest defi chain in terms of TVL ($10.11B) under Terra. Avalanche is also under the market valuation of terra (LUNA) as AVAX holds the 13th largest market position. 12-month metrics indicate that AVAX too has outpaced ethereum’s gains as AVAX climbed 2,598% year to date.

Chainlink (LINK) is the fifth-largest smart contract platform by market capitalization with an overall valuation of $15.9 billion today. The $15.9 billion puts LINK in the 15th market position out of the 10,000+ crypto-assets in existence. Unfortunately for ‘LINK Marines,’ chainlink has not outpaced ethereum in terms of gains. Year-to-date, LINK has gained 175% in value after hitting the crypto asset’s all-time high six months ago on May 10, 2021. Still, in terms of smart contract platforms, the sixth-largest chain Algorand (ALGO) needs to jump 17.61% higher in order to surpass LINK’s market valuation.

Other top-performing smart contract platform tokens include terra (LUNA) up 15,925% year-to-date, polygon (MATIC) jumped 10,859% in the last 12 months, and fantom (FTM) up 14,924% during the course of the last year. Top defi TVLs without mentioning ETH, SOL, AVAX, include blockchains like Binance Smart Chain ($21.07B), Terra ($10.91B), Tron ($6.45B), Fantom ($5.48B), and Polygon ($5B).

What do you think about the top five smart contract platforms by market capitalization and their market performances during the last 12 months? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

US President Biden Nears Decision to Choose Fed Chair — Reports Indicate Toss-up Between Powell and Brainard

Following the passing of the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill, the U.S. president appears to be nearing his decision on whether or not he will reappoint Jerome Powell, the current Federal Reserve Board chairperson. According to a few reports Powell may be chosen, but other reports say the Fed’s Board of Governors member, Lael Brainard, could also be a frontrunner for the position.

President Biden to Choose Fed Chair ‘Fairly Quickly’

Amid the rising inflation and supply chain woes, U.S. president Joe Biden is thinking about who will run the Federal Reserve when Jerome Powell’s term ends next February. Media pundits say the timing “is crucial,” as the U.S. central bank has been discussing tapering back quantitative easing (QE) and adjusting rates upwards. Of course, these have all been just conversations so far and the members of the Fed have yet to decide on tapering back large asset purchases and hiking the benchmark rate.

Meanwhile, rising inflation has reared its ugly head in the lives of Americans, and purchasing power has been eroding over the last 12 months. This week’s data from the consumer price index (CPI) jumped 6.2% from a year ago and stock markets shuddered after the news broke. The latest CPI data even pushed Biden to make a statement about the rising inflation as the U.S. president said the White House would be focused on getting people back to work, “getting prices down,” and “making sure our stores are fully stocked.”

Now various reports say that Biden is in the midst of choosing a new Federal Reserve Board chairperson or planning to let Jerome Powell keep his post. CNN contributors John Harwood and Phil Mattingly explain that “[Jerome] Powell [is] seen as the frontrunner to be Biden’s pick for Federal Reserve chair as he nears a decision.” The CNN report notes that Biden’s decision could happen as early as next week. It is also assumed that Biden will sign the new infrastructure bill on Monday.

Brainard ‘More Aligned With Left-Leaning’ Politicians, Financial Services Committee Members Urge Biden to Choose New Lead, Powell Still ‘Favored’ by ‘Both Sides’

11 days ago, Biden spoke about his decision about the Fed chair position at a news conference and hinted at choosing “fairly quickly.” “I’ve given a lot of thought to it, and I’ve been meeting with my economic advisors on what the best choices are, and we’ve got a lot of good choices,” Biden told reporters. “But I’m not going to speculate now,” the president added. Despite CNN’s report, other editorials claim that Biden may choose the Fed’s Board of Governors member Lael Brainard. Rob Garver, a contributor to voanews.com, says the recent inflation spike may sway Biden’s Fed chair decision.

Garver highlights that Powell is a Republican and was chosen by former U.S. president Donald Trump. As far as Brainard is concerned, she is a Democrat and is “more aligned with left-leaning members of her party, such as U.S. senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts,” Garver details. However, Garver further explains that the current Fed chair is “favored” at the moment. Christopher Russo, a research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, told VOA’s Garver: “Powell has built up a great amount of credibility with both sides, both Republicans and Democrats.” Russo further added:

In the pandemic, the Fed adopted a flexible average inflation target, meaning that they are going to run inflation above target after periods where it ran below target, and Powell has done a lot of work to explain the importance of that policy to skeptics in Congress.

The reports concerning Biden choosing a new Fed chairperson soon follow the mid-September “sources with ties to Washington,” saying that Biden will renominate Jerome Powell. However, three politicians from the House Financial Services Committee have been urging Biden to choose a new Fed chair who will address social justice and climate change. U.S. Democratic representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley stressed on August 30:

Under his leadership, the Federal Reserve has taken very little action to mitigate the risk climate change poses to our financial system.

The recently passed 1,600-page ‘Build Back Better’ infrastructure bill allocates around $550 billion toward fighting the alleged climate crisis in the United States. Despite the massive amounts of quantitative easing (QE) tactics and a benchmark rate suppressed at zero, Jerome Powell’s efforts since being appointed by former president Trump may not be good enough for members of the Democratic party.

What do you think about Joe Biden possibly choosing a new Federal Reserve Board chairperson next week after signing the new infrastructure bill? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

US ‘Kidnapped’ Russian Crypto Businessman Denis Dubnikov, Lawyer Says

US ‘Kidnapped’ Russian Crypto Businessman Denis Dubnikov, Lawyer Says

U.S. law enforcement agents have “kidnapped” crypto entrepreneur Denis Dubnikov in Mexico, before transferring him to the Netherlands where he was arrested, his lawyer told Russian media. Dubnikov is suspected of money laundering and faces up to 20 years in prison if extradited to the United States.

FBI Accused of Kidnapping Russian Citizen With Cryptocurrency Business

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has “practically kidnapped” Russian national Denis Dubnikov in Mexico, later arrested in Amsterdam on Nov. 1, his lawyer Arkady Bukh alleged, speaking to Sputnik. The co-founder of crypto trading platforms Coyote Crypto and Eggchange was first held at the airport in Mexico City while on vacation and then boarded a flight to the Netherlands where he was detained by Dutch authorities. The defense attorney explained:

Mexico has not let him enter the country. The US intelligence services have put him on a plane to the Netherlands and sent him there having paid for his ticket. In other words, he was kidnapped in fact.

According to Bukh’s description of the events, Dubnikov was expelled from Mexico because the country’s extradition policy is not as “ideal” as that of Holland. “They have bought a ticket, in other words, they have in fact kidnapped him and sent him to the Netherlands because extradition from the Netherlands is in fact guaranteed,” the lawyer elaborated further.

The legal representative also revealed that the Russian citizen is currently held in a Dutch jail and noted that the defense expects his extradition to the United States. Denis Dubnikov has been accused of conspiracy to commit money laundering through wallets operated by his crypto businesses and may face up to 20 years in prison in the U.S., Arkady Bukh detailed, adding:

So far, we do not agree to extradition, but we will probably give our consent later because the Netherlands is a country where the fight against extradition is statistically meaningless. We are studying: maybe it is worth agreeing to a quick extradition and sorting it out here.

Dubnikov’s Arrest Linked to Ryuk Ransomware Group

According to the Sputnik report, Dubnikov’s detention is among the first arrests in the case against the Ryuk group which is linked to ransomware attacks on hospitals in the U.S. Authorities there believe Dubnikov has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bitcoin, a portion of which was allegedly obtained through Ryuk ransomware strikes.

Denis Dubnikov is not the first Russian national with a cryptocurrency business detained on request by the U.S. In 2017, IT specialist Alexander Vinnik was arrested in Greece during a trip with his family. American prosecutors claim Vinnik, an alleged operator of the infamous BTC-e, has laundered up to $9 billion through the now-defunct exchange. He was later extradited to France and sentenced to five years in prison for money laundering. In May, a French court rejected an extradition request from Moscow.

The news of Dubnikov’s arrest came after a Bloomberg report unveiled that his Eggchange is being investigated for money laundering in Europe and the United States. The U.S. has been targeting other Russian crypto platforms lately, based on similar accusations.

In September, the Treasury Department blacklisted Suex, a Czech-registered crypto broker operating out of offices in Russia and suspected of processing hundreds of millions of dollars in crypto transactions related to scams, darknet markets, and ransomware actors such as Ryuk. This week, the department sanctioned Chatex, a crypto exchange bot linked to Suex, as well as two other ransomware operators.

Do you expect Dutch authorities to extradite Denis Dubnikov to the United States? Tell us in the comments section below.

Alchemy Pay’s Unique Crypto-Fiat Payment Solution Disrupts the Industry

On November 6, 2021, Alchemy Pay’s Chief of Staff, Karmen Tang, delivered her keynote address at the Epicenter Crypto Conference in Lisbon.

Tang took the audience through a brief history of Alchemy Pay and the broad ecosystem they have now built within blockchain infrastructure. The founders of Alchemy Pay come from giants of traditional payments such as Mastercard, QFPay, PayPal, and Tencent. “Experience, expertise and networking have all been key to what Alchemy Pay does. That gives us that edge over others in the crypto payment space,” said Tang.

Significant Network Growth

In the past year, Alchemy Pay has achieved significant growth and secured new partnerships including access to PayPal payment channels in Q4 of 2020, and to Visa and MasterCard payment channels earlier this year.

Today, Alchemy Pay is in over 60 countries, and provides over 200 payment channels for fiat and crypto acceptance. The industry still faces a lack of real-world use cases and in order to solve this Alchemy Pay functions as a bridge to enable transactions between crypto and fiat.

Tang went on to explain that Alchemy Pay’s payment ecosystem is divided into four main categories: Customers and consumers; merchants and institutions; transaction service providers; and software technology developers. These are some of the different areas of blockchain infrastructure that Alchemy Pay has been able to bring together.

Over the past year, Alchemy Pay has established partnerships with Shopify and Binance and this summer their ACH token was launched on Coinbase, which led to a 150-fold increase in value. ACH is now also supported by Gemini, Crypto.com, Poloniex, CoinOne, and Changelly. Their social media community has also increased substantially, growing to over 200,000 followers across Twitter, Telegram and Reddit.

Tang also revealed that Alchemy Pay has recently set up a new joint venture with one of the largest conglomerates in the Middle East. Due to a non-disclosure agreement, however, the name of this conglomerate could not be revealed.

A hybrid solution for modern day finance

Alchemy Pay’s hybrid payment solution allows everyday crypto payment, large or small, and the ability to bypass the costly Interchange means that Alchemy Pay’s merchants can expect to save 50-70% in fees in comparison to traditional digital payments. Merchants receive their money within two to three days.

White Label Products

Alchemy Pay offers white label products such as crypto-linked cards and enables businesses to issue loyalty tokens of their own. Merchants can issue virtual cards linked to Mastercard and Visa and give their users their own branded token rewards when they spend with them. Tang stated, “we recognise there is huge potential in this area and what blockchain offers in terms of tokenization is something we are very excited about.”

The Blockchain Infrastructure Alliance

The crypto payment space today is still fragmented and lacks comprehensive interoperability. With this in mind, Alchemy Pay, along with other founding members – Polygon, NEAR, NEO, and Conflux, alongside other investment veterans and incubators, have come together to form the Blockchain Infrastructure Alliance (BIA) and collectively lift the blockchain industry.

By bringing together thought-leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs, the BIA will create countless synergies between members across all areas and establish pooled resources for promotion, research, and development. The BIA will be creating ecosystem funds with selected public blockchain members to incubate projects with the overall goal of advancing cryptocurrency functionality. This initiative enables the co-branded ecosystem funds to attract high quality projects while the partnered public blockchains enjoy additional products and services built on their networks. The BIA will work with over thirty academics from top universities around the world who will help identify the best opportunities for solutions and development.

Societal Benefits of Cryptocurrency Payments

Crypto is gradually disrupting traditional finance and, in doing so, is unlocking a multi trillion dollar opportunity that will benefit society as a whole. Karmen Tang concluded her keynote speech with conviction, “when we look to the future, we envision a world of greater financial empowerment, inclusion, and transparency for people regardless of geography or status. We understand that this won’t happen overnight but Alchemy Pay’s crypto-fiat solution has a big role to play in that by making crypto payments work seamlessly.”

 

About Alchemy Pay

Alchemy Pay is an integrated fiat and cryptocurrency gateway solutions provider, powering seamless crypto and fiat acceptance for merchant networks, developers and financial institutions. The company drives adoption of blockchain technology by making crypto investment, commercial transactions, and DeFi services readily accessible to consumers and institutions in the fiat economy. Today, Alchemy Pay supports over 60 countries with 200 payment channels and has touchpoints with more than 2 million merchants through partnerships with industry giants such as Binance, Shopify, Arcadier, QFPay and more.

 

Website: alchemytech.io

Twitter:twitter.com/alchemypay

Telegram:t.me/alchemy_official


This is a sponsored post. Learn how to reach our audience here. Read disclaimer below.

Russian Nationalists Prepare Bill to Regulate Cryptocurrency Mining

Russian Nationalists Prepare Bill to Regulate Cryptocurrency Mining

Lawmakers from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia are gearing up to introduce a draft law designed to regulate crypto mining. The nationalists say the legislation will benefit both Russian citizens and the state, as well as those who want to get involved in the business legally.

Nationalists Propose Regulations for Russian Crypto Miners

The popularity of cryptocurrencies, rising with their market value, has drawn the attention of the nationalist faction in the State Duma, the lower house of Russian parliament. “Unsecured” bitcoin is now trading at $68,000 per coin, one of its members, Andrey Lugovoy, noted in comments to local media this week, adding:

If three years ago someone invested 1 million rubles, they would now have 5 billion.

The deputy revealed that his Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) is going to file a draft law on the regulation of cryptocurrency mining. Digital coin minting has also expanded in the vast and energy-rich country where it still develops in the absence of comprehensive government rules for the sector.

The profitability of mining has enticed many companies and ordinary Russians to join the industry. Lugovoy believes it’s time to regulate crypto mining through the adoption of new legislation. Quoted by the Regnum news agency, the lawmaker stated:

We cannot rush left and right. We should either strictly prohibit it, adjusting the law enforcement system [accordingly], although I don’t really understand how this could be done, given that this is a virtual reality, as they say. Or, let’s permit it.

The nationalist insists that the latter solution will provide protection for Russian citizens, simplify taxation, ensure transparency, and allow the state to exert control over the sector while increasing budget receipts. At the same time, entrepreneurs will get an opportunity to conduct business legally, the parliamentarian elaborated.

Andrey Lugovoy also remarked that the implementation of regulatory norms is especially relevant for regions with abundant energy resources such as Irkutsk Oblast, which maintains low electricity rates. The cheap energy available there and in other parts of the country attracts many cryptocurrency miners, the lawmaker pointed out.

Cryptocurrencies have been only partially regulated in the Russian Federation with the law “On Digital Financial Assets” which went into force in January. While it introduces rules for related activities such as “digital currency issuance,” it does not explicitly mention cryptocurrency mining.

The idea of recognizing mining as an entrepreneurial activity has been gaining support in government circles and officials in Moscow say the move would allow authorities to properly tax miners’ profits. In September, this approach was backed by the chairman of the important Financial Market Committee at the Duma, Anatoly Aksakov, who revealed that mining is likely to be affected by a number of upcoming legal amendments during the fall session.

Do you think the State Duma will adopt the crypto mining legislation proposed by Russian nationalists? Tell us in the comments section below.

Hong Kong Company Onedegree to Offer Insurance for Cryptocurrencies

Hong Kong Company Onedegree to Offer Insurance for Cryptocurrencies

Onedegree, a virtual insurer based in Hong Kong, will provide insurance services for digital assets as part of a partnership with a local cryptocurrency exchange. By working together, the two firms hope to alleviate concerns discouraging potential investors from entering the crypto market.

Onedegree to Underwrite Insurance Policies for Crypto Assets

Hong Kong has several licensed providers of virtual insurance services and one of them, Onedegree, will now offer up to $100 million in coverage to Hkbitex, a crypto trading platform operating in the global financial hub. The two companies have teamed up to protect clients’ cryptocurrencies entrusted to the exchange against risks such as theft and hacking.

According to a report by the South China Morning Post on Thursday, Onedegree becomes the first insurer to underwrite insurance policies for crypto assets in Asia while few companies around the world offer this kind of service. The available coverage, the publication revealed quoting industry sources, has been estimated at under $1 billion per transaction.

At the same time, “less than 1 per cent of the companies that are interested in buying cryptocurrency insurance policies would be eligible for such coverage,” Becky Tam, Onedegree’s chief risk officer, pointed out. Her company now wants to share its risk management framework and underwriting standards with others in the sector as well as with regulators, so that crypto insurance offerings increase and attract reinsurers.

The announcement by Onedegree and Hkbitex comes after bitcoin (BTC), the cryptocurrency with the largest market cap, reached an all-time high (ATH) of over $68,500 per coin this week, bringing the total value of the crypto economy to more than $3 trillion. A new ATH has since been attained at $69K. The partners will target institutional investors wary of entering the space due to the risks associated with digital assets.

Hkbitex’s co-founder Ken Lo remarked that the crypto industry in China’s special administrative region should now try to attract more institutions into crypto assets. “With over 1,800 licensed asset managers, Hong Kong is home to over $3 trillion in assets under management. We want to help asset managers enter this market in ways that enable them to also fulfil their fiduciary duties to their end investors,” the entrepreneur elaborated.

Dealing with cyber threats has been a major concern for crypto businesses which have suffered a number of hacking attacks resulting in the theft of funds. “Clients of custodians and exchanges want to reduce their risk profile and insurance is a good hedge against those risks,” commented Murray Wood, Asia head of financial specialties at global insurance broker Aon. He also noted that regulators are increasingly looking at insurance protection as a best practice.

The partnership between Onedegree and Hkbitex is not the first example of such cooperation. A few years ago, Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange obtained an insurance policy to cover its digital assets from Callaghan Insurance, and in 2019 crypto wallet service provider Bitgo secured a $100 million policy through Lloyd’s to cover crypto assets in its custody. In April this year, New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) unveiled a plan to create bitcoin-powered products and services for the global insurance industry.

Do you expect more insurers to start offering services designed for the growing crypto industry? Tell us in the comments section below.