State Street’s ‘Mega’ Crypto Plan, Hayes Pleads Guilty, Flexpool’s Message to Russia, Pulled NFT Sale + More news
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- The centuries-old US banking giant State Street Corp. is working with US regulators to ensure it’s in position to roll out custodial services for cryptocurrencies once approved, as they have “mega plans” to offer digital wallet safekeeping services to clients, Bloomberg reported, citing Nadine Chakar, leader of a digital division a the bank.
- Public chain project KuCoin Community Chain (KCC) announced the launch of a USD 50m Ecosystem Accelerator Program, which aims to empower projects at different development phases and provide different levels of support. It is looking to accelerate the development of the KCC ecosystem through a Developers Bounty, Project Contests/Hackathon, Project Incubation Funds, Liquidity Support, and Listing recommendations.
- Web3 infrastructure provider Aligned said it has raised USD 34m in a funding round. This funding will enable the firm to grow its core offerings, they added.
- Crypto and NFT ecosystem analytics firm BitsCrunch said it has secured USD 3.6m in a funding round. They added that the funding will be used to expand their team and to focus on securing many “prominent blockchains” and NFT marketplaces.
- The EU should move quickly to approve MiCA (Markets in Crypto Assets) crypto regulation that prevents Russia from evading sanctions after invading Ukraine, according to European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, per Bloomberg. However, if approved lawmakers still need to agree on a common position with members states in coming months.
- Founders of crypto exchange BitMEX, Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo, pled guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act by willfully failing to establish, implement, and maintain an anti-money laundering program at the exchange. They each agreed to separately pay a USD 10m criminal fine representing pecuniary gain derived from the offense.
- Cryptoasset fundraising is now a criminal offense in China, Supreme People’s Court, the country’s top court, said in a new interpretation of national law, per the South China Morning Post. Penalties for such fundraising depend in part on the value of the amount raised, potentially going up to 10 years in prison, it added.
- Ethereum (ETH) mining pool Flexpool.io said it will halt all service to Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine. They added that they will pay out outstanding balances and if the conflict is resolved peacefully, they “will happily welcome back all Russian miners and use [their] personal funds to make it up to [the miners].”
- Bitfury announced it will launch a new 28MW digital asset mining site in Ontario, Canada. The facility will launch with an operational capacity of 16MW, while an additional 12MW should be added by the end of May.
- News agency Associated Press pulled the sale of an NFT depicting a video of migrants in an overcrowded boat crossing the Mediterranean Sea, following widespread criticism. Some of the replies to the now-deleted initial announcement of the sale accused the agency of “monetizing imagery of human suffering.”
- Crypto company Alameda Research is funding a portion of its USD 5bn in daily trading activity with money provided by decentralized-finance lenders, per Bloomberg. The company said it will borrow as much as USD 750m from the decentralized finance (DeFi) lending platform TrueFi within a year. Alameda conducts a “double-digit percentage” of its trading through DeFi apps.
- DeFi solutions provider AllianceBlock announced a partnership with the Web3 network powering the Economy of Things (EoT) peaq to utilize AllianceBlock’s infrastructure in order to enhance the capabilities of the network’s economic mechanisms. They added that the partnership will include liquidity and interoperability, funding and exchange, community development, and decentralized identity solution development.
- Football clubs Sporting Lisbon from Portugal and Spezia from Italy have terminated their commercial relationships with Turkish-based crypto group Bitci.com, Bloomberg reported. They cited “strategic disalignment” as the reason for the termination, although Bloomberg’s sources state that it is because the crypto group failed to make payments.
(Updated at 18:23 UTC with the Regulation news section.)