31 March

“PayPal, which last year added the ability to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency, is pushing it as a payment method across the 29 million or so online merchants connected to the fintech giant.

Enabling cryptocurrencies to make purchases at businesses around the world is the next chapter in driving the ubiquity and mass acceptance of digital currencies.

PayPal’s Checkout will allow bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH) and litecoin (LTC) to be seamlessly converted into U.S. dollars or other fiat currencies when making purchases, the same as credit card or a debit card would work inside a PayPal wallet.

The terms and conditions for “Checkout with Crypto” include a number of important caveats. Chief among them is the tax liability: ‘Sales of Crypto Assets via Checkout with Crypto are taxable just like all other sales of Crypto Assets.'”

“Bakkt is launching its digital wallet app with companies such as Starbucks among its roster of merchant partners. Other partners include Best Buy, Choice Hotels, Fiserv and GolfNow. Bakkt is aiming to aggregate cryptocurrency holdings with other digital assets such as airline miles, gift cards and loyalty points.

Customers can now use Bakkt to reload their Starbucks Card through the Starbucks app for iOS.”

“Produced by Cayman Islands-based accounting firm Moore Cayman, the document examines Tether’s holdings as of Feb. 28, 2021, at 23:59 UTC, finding the company had at least $35.28 billion in total assets against total liabilities of $35.15 million.

Tuesday’s attestation is the first third-party verification Tether has produced indicating its reserves match the amount of USDT in circulation since 2018, the first from an actual accounting firm since September 2017, and by far the least equivocal of the bunch.

The attestation puts Tether on par with stablecoin issuers such as USDC’s Centre, GUSD’s Gemini or PAX’s Paxos, at least when it comes to financial clarity. Tether plans to issue another attestation for March after it ends, followed by quarterly attestations thereafter.”

Bitcoin is charting gains amid rising bond yields, contrary to the last week of February when firmer yields knocked the wind out of the cryptocurrency’s bull market. Bitcoin’s resilience is noteworthy and implies a bullish mood in the market.

BTC remains extremely strong, particularly in the face of an appreciating USD and rising treasury yields. Despite historical correlations, bitcoin is bucking the trend even as gold sinks to below $1,700.

The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield is seen at 1.77%, the highest since Jan. 23, 2020. The benchmark yield has gained six basis points today and nearly 20 basis points since March 25.

Bitcoin may face some selling pressure if yields rise at a faster pace, destabilizing stock markets, as discussed earlier this month. However, Goldman Sachs expects equity markets to digest a 10-year yield of roughly 2% without much difficulty.”

See Also: Bitcoin nears all-time highs — Here’s why $73K is the next key level to watch

“Canada-based digital asset merchant bank Galaxy Digital (TSX: GLXY) said it is actively preparing for a U.S. listing after reporting positive Q4 earnings Tuesday. The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) listed-firm founded by Mike Novogratz said it will list in the U.S. in the second half of the year.

We believe our industry is at an inflection point as we participate in a once in a lifetime secular shift into cryptocurrencies as an institutionalized asset class.

The firm’s Digital Asset Management business expects to report preliminary assets under management of $1.24 billion as of March 22. In March the firm launched the CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF which is trading on the TSX under the ticker “BTCX.””

CME will launch smaller-sized bitcoin futures contracts in May, potentially expanding the number of people who bet on the future price of the leading cryptocurrency. The new contracts sized at one-tenth of one bitcoin will be available for trading on May 3 and will be cash-settled.

The introduction of Micro Bitcoin futures responds directly to demand for smaller-sized contracts from a broad array of clients and will offer even more choice and precision in how participants can trade regulated bitcoin futures.”

One of Japan’s largest banks, has completed its first asset-backed security token issuance pilot.

The method of raising funds through the issuance of security tokens is called a security token offering (STO). Investors are issued a digital token that represents a physical investment to be stored on a blockchain.

Another influential Japanese financial institution, SBI Holdings, announced three days ago it had also completed registration requirements to handle STOs. Additionally, Nomura Holdings, Mizuho Financial, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and others have been researching and developing digital securities backed by assets such as bonds, stocks and real estate.”

See Also: Blockstream Issues Security Token Tied to Bitcoin Hashrate, Payable in BTC

“The nonprofit said FinCEN’s proposed rule “represents a radical extension of … financial surveillance of innocent Americans.”

FinCEN’s proposed rule unlawfully attempts to transform the agency’s limited authority to regulate banks into permission to engage in the mass financial surveillance of innocent individuals who merely use digital assets.

March 29 marks the last day the regulator is taking public comments on its proposed rule.”

See Also: US Government Sues Decentralized Content Platform LBRY Over $11M in Token Sales

“The notice is primarily aimed at trading platforms that deal in crypto-based securities and derivatives as well as contractual rights or claims to digital assets such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. The new rules will come into effect on June 1.

MSBs must verify the identity of persons or entities that made “large virtual currency (VC) transactions” worth 10,000 Canadian dollars (roughly $7,940) or more within a single day. Additionally, MSBs must verify the identity of every person who wants to buy, sell or exchange 1,000 CAD ($794) or more in cryptocurrencies and take “reasonable measures” to identify any “suspicious transactions,” regardless of the amount.

Foreign CTPs that serve Canadian customers are not exempt from complying with local rules.

We remind all CTPs that are dealing with Canadians, including foreign-based CTPs, that they are expected to comply with Canadian securities legislation.”

See Also: UK to Focus Regulation on Stablecoins Rather Than Crypto in General: Report
See Also: UK Tax Authority Updates Treatment of Crypto Assets to Incorporate Staking

“In a press release today, Ethereum software developer ConsenSys announced Palm, an environmentally friendly NFT scaling solution. Palm will be a sidechain designed to be “fully connected” to Ethereum, sporting faster settlement times, lower fees and an especially light carbon footprint.

ConsenSys announced a lineup of ecosystem-building partner powerhouses for Palm, such as NFT social media platform Nifty’s and experimental NFT mining project Meme.

Likewise, Palm will come out of the gate with significant infrastructure in place from partners Infura, NFT metadata storage via Protocol Labs, and a partnership with decentralized exchange Uniswap, which may soon be announced as the home of the forthcoming PALM token initial exchange offering.”

See Also: UFC Champion Francis Ngannou’s NFTs Sold For More Than His Title Fight Purse
See Also: R3 Corda Now Has a Bridge to Public Blockchains With Arrival of Ethereum-Based XDC

The Satoshi, a cruise ship that was once intended to become a floating home for the Bitcoin community, may soon get new life with a new cruise line. The vessel has reportedly been sold to new owners who have not publicly announced themselves.

Formerly known as Pacific Dawn, the 804-foot vessel, built in 1991, was sold to a company called Ocean Builders in October 2020, which planned to turn it into a cryptocurrency-themed tech hub anchored in the Gulf of Panama. In December 2020, claiming they had failed to obtain insurance for the concept of a community living aboard a former cruise ship, the project’s organizers sold the “Crypto Cruise Ship” for scrap.”