30 March

Visa has processed a cryptocurrency payment directly on the Ethereum blockchain as part of a new service the payment giant plans to introduce to its partners later this year. The move, the latest sign of increased adoption of digital currencies by the old-guard financial industry, bumped the price of bitcoin 4% and ether 8%.

Usually, Crypto.com has to sell cryptocurrencies to cover its obligations to Visa in cash, but this new program will allow the company to pay in USDC. The pilot could be a bellwether for mainstream acceptance of crypto-native payment methods because it marks the first time Visa has accepted a cryptocurrency payment in lieu of cash for its services.

The announcement today marks a major milestone in our ability to address the needs of fintechs managing their business in a stablecoin or cryptocurrency, and it’s really an extension of what we do every day, securely facilitating payments in all different currencies all across the world.

Going forward, Visa plans to flesh out its crypto-native services by “support[ing] reconciliation and currency conversion for stablecoins such as USDC” and creating “settlement reports” with blockchain wallet addresses to verify transactions. Visa also said in the press release that Anchorage will be its “digital asset settlement agent” and that it will “integrate [its] treasury systems with Anchorage.””

See Also: Market Wrap: Bitcoin, Ether Gain After Visa Deal as Stocks Struggle With Archegos Margin Call

“Amrita Ahuja, CFO at payments company Square, argued that Bitcoin should be a part of every major company’s financial war chest.

Square’s investment and support of Bitcoin is part of a growing trend, according to a PwC market overview released today, which predicts that the industry will become more institutionalized. Corporate players, bigger investors, and crypto platforms, bolstered by recent gains, will increasingly drive activity, Henri Arslanian, PwC global crypto leader, told Bloomberg.”

See Also: Crypto M&A Doubled to $1.1B in 2020: PwC

Silvergate Bank will be the second lender to extend bitcoin-backed loans to investors who custody their crypto with Fidelity. Fidelity began accepting bitcoin as collateral for cash loans in December after partnering with crypto lender BlockFi. The product targets investors who are interested in using their bitcoin without selling it.

Like Silvergate, we recognize the opportunity to create a more seamless investor experience by helping institutions maximize capital efficiency, as well as the opportunity to strengthen the digital assets ecosystem.”

See Also: Nasdaq-Listed Canadian Firm Mogo Launches Bitcoin Cashback Mortgage Program

President Biden is about to introduce two separate components of what is expected to be a $3 trillion infrastructure plan. Biden advisers recommended splitting the $3 trillion plan into two components, which may make it easier to gain much-needed GOP support.

The first part of the “Build Back Better” plan – which Biden will float on Wednesday – is expected to focus on rebuilding ‘roads and railways,’ while the second part which will be released “in just a couple of weeks” will focus on “social infrastructure” funding, including childcare and healthcare.”

“The long-awaited vision of the Cosmos blockchain has now been realized, as holders of the ATOM token have voted through inter-blockchain communication (IBC), enabling assets to transfer easily between blockchains. In the simplest terms, IBC enables messages to travel between blockchains that have implemented the standard. The most obvious use case in crypto is sending messages to transfer tokens off one chain and onto another.

This development has the potential to open up opportunities in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector, where a product on an application-specific blockchain could use an asset from a completely different chain. One place ATOM may go: the Terra blockchain, which runs a DeFi savings account called Anchor. Terra could plug in to IBC and make ATOM one of the tokens its underlying money market will loan.

Some of the most interesting connections will be between chains that we have never heard of, accomplishing things not currently feasible.”

See Also: Tendermint Launches $20M Venture Fund to Boost Development Across Cosmos

“The Polkadot ecosystem continues to progress, with DeFi platform Acala Network becoming the first to win a parachain slot on the Rococo testnet.

Parachains are acquired in an auction process whereby projects try to outbid each other for the slot. Polkadot launched Rococo as a parachain testnet in August 2020 to test it’s inter-shard communication protocols before projects progress to deploying on Polkadot’s sister-network Kusama, and eventually the Polkadot mainnet.

A new Polkadot DAO Alliance has also been announced on March 26 to promote the development of decentralized governance in the Polkadot ecosystem.”

“The project sold more than 5,000 ETH worth of Founder Series cards in the first 24 hours of sale, beginning March 18, or more than $9 million worth at the time of sale.

The Ether Cards platform has a built-in, smart contract-powered “traits” system that activates once the cards are minted, bestowing each one with unique differentiators and even special perks for buyers. The traits system is powered by Chainlink’s Verifiable Randomness Function (VRF) technology.

Imagine Ether Cards as very attractive access cards. They are keys to unlock a whole world of interaction with smart contracts all over the Ethereum blockchain.”

“The leading Ethereum-powered decentralized exchange Uniswap has generated more than $4.8 million worth of fees over the past 24 hours. This has propelled the automated market maker into second place above Bitcoin — which has generated just $3.1 million.

The top network by daily fees is Ethereum with $16.5 million — which beats out the other 30 other networks tracked by CryptoFees combined. ETH Gas Station reports that Uniswap is the largest gas guzzler in the industry.”

“Following cybersecurity assessments, commercial institutions are being cleared to issue the world’s first CBDC: the Bahamas’ Sand Dollar.

The Central Bank expects to imminently complete the technical integration of the digital infrastructure with the commercial banking system. This will establish links between wallets and bank deposit accounts, through the Bahamas Automated Clearing House (the ACH), and allow transfer of funds in both directions.

In October 2020, the Sand Dollar became the first CBDC in the world to go beyond the pilot stage and achieve an official launch. The centrally issued digital currency became available for use by all Bahamian citizens upon release, while integration with the commercial banking system has been subject to a gradual rollout.”