In an interview with the Financial Times published today, Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga cited concerns about compliance as one of the main reasons his company left Facebook’s Libra Project last October. At the same time, Banga criticized the development of national payment systems, expressing support for a common global system instead.
A recent HSB survey of small and medium-sized enterprises across the United States found that 36 percent of those businesses now accept cryptocurrency payments for their goods and services. In a press release, HSB also confirmed that 59 percent of respondent companies said that they’ve even purchased cryptocurrency.
WisdomTree is planning to introduce a regulated stablecoin in the United States, according to reports from Financial News. The company will reportedly seek approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as it moves to compete with other financial giants in the emerging digital asset sector.
Cryptocurrency exchange giant Coinbase has reportedly agreed to settle a class action lawsuit brought by former users of the now-defunct Cryptsy exchange, Coindesk reported today. Court documents suggest that the exchange will settle the suit with a $962,500 transfer to an escrow agent charged with handling claims.
The National Payment Corporation of India has announced its blockchain-based Vajra platform for automated payment clearing and settlement. The permissioned platform will reportedly be available only to parties who are approved by the Network Administrator, and is expected to provide improved automation, data sharing, transaction speed, and transparency.
While Venezuela’s government remains focused on its Petro digital currency project, one fast-food restaurant in the Sambil area of Caracas is reportedly now accepting other types of cryptocurrency payments. According to a recent twitter announcement, payment platform Cryptobuyer has partnered with Burger King Venezuela to enable customers to pay using bitcoin, dash, litecoin, ethereum, BNB, and tether.
The Jordan Customs Department has reportedly partnered with Maersk GTD to pilot the blockchain-based TradeLens logistics platform. According to The Jordan Times, JCD and Maersk signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will result in the establishment of a pilot zone in Jordan’s Aqaba Customs Center which will utilize the TradeLens platform for international trade.
Starling Bank co-founder and former CTO Mark Hipperson reportedly plans to launch his new digital bank this year, enabling customers to “transfer funds between fiat money and cryptocurrencies,” Fintech Futures reports. The new bank is called Ziglu and will initially limit its services to customers in the UK.
Turkey’s Istanbul Clearing, Settlement, and Custody Bank (Takasbank) has announced the launch of BIGA Digital Gold, a blockchain-based system that enables peer-to-peer transfers of digitizable gold, Turkish news outlet AA reports.
The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission COSO) has confirmed plans to issue guidance for use of blockchain technology early next year, the Wall Street Journal reports. The guidance will reportedly target leaders in the financial services industry and other sectors and companies where blockchain technology is being utilized.
Libra Association board member Patrick Ellis told Reuters on Thursday that the organization still plans to launch its Libra digital currency payment system next year, despite having no firm plan for the currency’s rollout. However, he suggested that the organization’s discussions with regulators will determine the scope of that rollout.
Fidelity Investments has announced that it will be introducing Fidelity Digital Assets, Ltd to provide digital asset services for European institutional investors. In a press release today, the company confirmed that it will provide European hedge funds, market intermediaries, family offices, and other investors access to “enterprise-quality custody and trade execution services for digital assets.”
Japan’s Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) has extended its agreement with Australia’s Power Ledger blockchain firm, in an expansion of an existing trial program for peer-to-peer surplus energy trading. The trial program relies on a Power Ledger-designed blockchain platform for trading renewable energy, creating and tracking renewable energy certificates, or RECs.
China’s Hainan Province announced a new series of economic measures that include investing 1 billion yuan to promote blockchain industry development, according to a report from state-run media outlet Xinhua. The announcement was made in a press conference in the Hainan capital, Haikou on Wednesday.
Coinbase announced this week that Coinbase Card now supports the DAI stablecoin, providing card users with “a cryptocurrency with stable purchasing power.” In a blog post announcing the move, Coinbase asserted that the addition of DAI support provides consumers with even more opportunity and choice.
Juniper Research has released new research data revealing that the food industry could save as much as $31 billion in food fraud costs by 2024, thanks to blockchain technology and the Internet of Things (IoT). In a press release announcing the findings, Juniper noted that emerging technologies will offer these savings through more efficient tracking of supply chains and simplification of regulatory compliance.
While China has recently expressed increasing support for blockchain technology, the government continues to be resistant to cryptocurrency. However, if new reports from the Beijing Blockchain Technology Application Association (BBAA) are correct, The bulk of China’s blockchain companies have been focused on issuing digital currencies rather than developing blockchain applications.
Singapore technology firm BCB Blockchain is reportedly partnering with the government of the Philippines in an effort to support new startups and smart city development in the country. In a press release dated November 23, the company confirmed that it signed a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEETRD) at the 3rd National Technology Business Incubator Summit.
Galaxy Digital Holding Ltd reportedly plans to launch two new Bitcoin funds that will target older investors, Bloomberg reports. In a phone interview, the cryptocurrency firm’s CEO, Michael Novogratz, told Bloomberg that the plan is to attract accredited and institutional investors aged 50 to 80 to cryptocurrency investing.
LocalBitcoins has announced that it has been registered as an approved virtual currency provider by Finland’s Financial Services Authority (FIN-FSA). That registration is now required for all digital currency providers if they intend to provide services in Finland.