Crypto Supports Formula 1 Racing in Modern Technology , Says Mercedes Lead

With 80% of racing teams in the 2022 Formula 1 (F1) grid featuring at least one crypto sponsor, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes that cryptocurrencies are part of modern technology that cannot be ignored.

Wolff pointed out:

“I think when we are looking back in 10 years’ time having made payments that take two days and can’t be done outside of week hours, it is something that is going to be a relic of the past and this is where cryptocurrency has come in.”

The partnership between Formula 1 and crypto companies was inevitable based on the growth experienced in the cryptocurrency market, according to Wolff.

He added:

“You can’t shut yourself down to modern technology. It is definitely an area that will grow. They have become a major player in the financial world and obviously seek exposure through Formula 1. We all benefit from it but also learn from it.”

F1 is the highest international racing class for open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars, and the Mercedes team faced fierce competition from Red Bull last year. It was a battle of titans between Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and Max Verstappen of Red Bull.

Wolff also noted that caution should be taken regarding the energy sustainability issue linked to cryptocurrencies. He stated:

“The sustainability argument is extremely important, but it is not only about mining and the energy it consumes but also where the energy comes from.”

The presence of crypto companies in the sporting arena continues to be felt based on the whopping amounts being invested.

For instance, to get more limelight during the annual playoff championship game of the National Football League (NFL) called the Super Bowl, crypto exchange spent $6.5 million on a 30-second ad that featured LeBron James, NBA’s four-time most valuable player (MVP).

Coinbase, a US-based crypto exchange, spent more than double this amount at $14 million for its Super Bowl advertisement. 

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Crypto is Becoming the Lifeline for Ordinary Russians, Coinbase CEO Says

Meanwhile, as the war between Russia and Ukraine ravages, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong believes that cryptocurrencies are emerging as the lifeline for Russians as the nation faces heavy sanctions. 

Armstrong said:

“Some ordinary Russians are using crypto as a lifeline now that their currency has collapsed. Many of them likely oppose what their country is doing, and a ban would hurt them, too. That said, if the US government decides to impose a ban, we will of course follow those laws.”

Armstrong pointed out that banning Russians from using the crypto exchange was out of the picture because the law did not warrant it. He added:

“We are not preemptively banning all Russians from using Coinbase. We believe everyone deserves access to basic financial services unless the law says otherwise.”

Both Ukrainians and Russians are running to crypto to shield their money, with the Russian Ruble has lost a third of its value this year. As a result, Ruble-denominated Bitcoin volumes are skyrocketing, given that they recently reached a 9-month high.

As Russia continues to be starved of foreign currency based on the sanctions imposed, the nation might turn to BTC mining.

The director of policy and regulatory at blockchain analytic firm Elliptic, David Carlisle, noted:

“It wouldn’t be a stretch for the Russian government or certain sanctioned entities to look to mining as a way to get access to Bitcoin. They could be translated to goods and services or just hard cash.”

Therefore, the geopolitical turmoil being witnessed has made crypto emerge as a powerful fundraising tool and store of value. For instance, crypto donations to Ukraine in Bitcoin, Polkadot, Ether, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) recently topped $52 million. 

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CVS Pharmacy Files for NFT and Metaverse Trademarks Registration

Healthcare giant CVS Pharmacy has filed for a new trademark to offer Non-Fungible Token (NFT) related products or what it described as “Downloadable Virtual Goods” in the metaverse.


Per the filing, prescription drugs, beauty, and personal care products in its application, along with “crypto-collectables” such as NFTs in its application, signalling the company’s desire to create new experiences for its customers.

For the past few years, innovations centred around NFTs and the metaverse have become a major futuristic innovation that many companies believe will redefine their product operations in the new future. In the past year, the proposed move into the metaverse has been at the forefront of many multinational companies, with the likes of Alfa Romeo, Meta Platforms Inc, Nike, Dolce & Gabbana amongst the most prominent that have embraced this technology.

In the healthcare industry, CVS Pharmacy is pushing to be the first company to make a move into the metaverse world. By virtue of its trademark filings, the company will be able to pioneer virtual innovations to improve healthcare that is resident on the blockchain.

“As the leading health solutions company, we’re consistently enhancing our omnichannel health services to meet the needs of consumers when and where they want them, including at home, virtually, and in the community,” a rep from CVS said in a statement. “We’re also regularly looking at new and innovative ways to engage consumers through a digital-first, technology-forward approach, which is why we recently made trademark filings related to virtual health care services, as well as other virtual goods and services.”

The company has filed for a trademark does not necessarily mean it will dive directly into the NFT and metaverse world. However, should the trademark applications be granted, CVS Pharmacy will rank amongst the first few companies that recognize the power and innovative potential of the metaverse, helping to shape its inherent mainstream adoption.

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Four Payment Operators join in Suspending their Services in Russia amid Ukraine Crisis

More payment operators follow the orders of sanctions issued by the U.S., American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal announced on Saturday that they are all suspending their operations in Russia in protest of the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Four operators stated that cards issued by them would no longer function at shops or ATMs in Russia. This also means that customers will no longer be able to use their Russian cards abroad or for international payments.

Both Mastercard and Visa had already announced that they would comply with sanctions introduced by Western countries since the beginning of the conflict.

In a press release, Al Kelly, the Chairman and CEO of Visa Inc, said: The firm “was compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed. We regret the impact this will have on our valued colleagues, and on the clients, partners, merchants and cardholders we serve in Russia. This war and the ongoing threat to peace and stability demand we respond in line with our values.”

In a statement, Mastercard termed the ongoing invasion of Ukraine as “shocking and devastating”.

American Express also described Russia’s attack on Ukraine as “unjustified” and stated that it is terminating all business operations in Belarus and Russia.

PayPal, on the other hand, mentioned on Saturday that it had shut down services in Russia but that it would support withdrawals “for a period of time”. In a statement, PayPal said that the shutdown would still “ensure that account balances are dispersed in line with applicable laws.”

Mastercard and Visa alone control about 90% of credit and debit payments worldwide, outside of China.

Susannah Streeter, senior markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, talked about the Ukraine crisis and said that China’s UnionPay could be the alternative “system of choice” for Russian banks as it is already accepted around the globe, though not as widely as Visa and Mastercard.

Many Russian banks suggested that they would begin issuing cards that use the Chinese UnionPay system, together with Russia’s Mir payment network, to avoid any impact for their customers.

“But it will take significant time to re-issue millions of cards, and will add to the financial turmoil in the country,” Streeter further elaborated.


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Virginia Senate Votes to Support New Bill by Permitting Banks to Offer Crypto Custody Services

With just a signature away, banks operating in the United States of Virginia will soon be able to offer cryptocurrency custody services.


Based on the unanimous vote from the Virginia Senate, the proposed bill amendment introduced on January 22 this year by Delegate Christopher T. Head sought to allow eligible banks to offer cryptocurrency custody services.

The House Bill No. 263 reads:

“A bank may provide its customers with virtual currency custody services so long as the bank has 26 adequate protocols in place to effectively manage risks and comply with applicable laws.”

In tandem with a growing trend amongst key states in America to integrate digital assets into their economic operations, the Virginia lawmakers passed the proposed amendment 39:0. Following the passage of the Bill, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin is expected to sign to bill to make it a law in the United States.

Should the bill be signed into law, banks willing to offer crypto custody services will have to fulfil three basic requirements: the implementation of effective risk management systems, the possession of adequate insurance coverage, and the launch of an oversight program to address associated risks with cryptocurrencies.

Additionally, bank customers will be required to have full control of the private and public keys linked to their digital assets under custody.

“Acting in a fiduciary capacity, the bank shall require customers to transfer their virtual currencies to the control of the bank by creating new private keys to be held by the bank.”

Different states in the U.S. are integrating cryptocurrencies in different ways. Colorado is ramping up plans to start accepting Bitcoin and other altcoins as payment for tax and fees in the state as early as this summer. With more states beginning to realize the inherent value in digital currencies, it will not be surprising to see more states or cities announce their own unique ways of embracing these nascent asset classes.

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Coinbase Will Not Bar Russian Users Unless New Laws Requires: CEO Brian Armstrong

Coinbase’s Chief Executive Officer, Brian Armstrong, has expressed his thoughts on the calls from the public that cryptocurrency exchanges should ban Russian users from utilizing their services.


As detailed in a Twitter thread which has become one of the primary ways Armstrong communicates, the CEO says the exchange will not ban Russian users, citing the fact that many citizens are not supportive of the decision of their president to go to war against Ukraine.

While this position remains the path the NASDAQ-listed trading company chooses to trail, Armstrong said the exchange’s position might change if American lawmakers or the Executive decides to issue a new set of rules that will help it sever ties from Russian users.

“In addition, we are not preemptively banning all Russians from using Coinbase. We believe everyone deserves access to basic financial services unless the law says otherwise,” Armstrong said in the tweet, adding that “Some ordinary Russians are using crypto as a lifeline now that their currency has collapsed. Many of them likely oppose what their country is doing, and a ban would hurt them, too. That said, if the US government decides to impose a ban, we will, of course, follow those laws.”

Since Russia began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, several governments worldwide have been issuing several sanctions to isolate Russia economically. As the sanctions keep rolling in, companies like payment services giants Visa and Mastercard also announced to suspend their services for Russia to meet compliance with the sanctions.

Many crypto-linked startups such as FlexPool have also stopped their services to Russian users. However, mainstream trading platforms like Coinbase and a slew of others, including fintech firm Revolut are yet to follow suit. 

While Armstrong debunked the possibilities of Russian Oligarchs siphoning illegal funds through cryptocurrencies, the crisis with Ukraine is still shaping up, and exchanges might be forced to choose a side if Russia’s aggression continues in the long run.

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Top 3 Tokens to Watch this Week: BTC, LTC & DOT

The digital currency ecosystem had wild price swings this past week, with the global cryptocurrency market capitalization recording a low valuation of $1.71 trillion in the trailing seven-day period.


The volatility has helped the digital assets ecosystem print new highs with the market cap topping the iconic $2 trillion at some point before thebearish weekend correction crept in.

The majority of digital currencies have shed off their gains over the week. With a significant bear depression, most are ready to retest some ambitious price highs this coming week. As the new week unravels with its own fundamentals, here are the top three coins to watch.

Bitcoin (BTC)

BTC traded at a low price of $37,268.98 after hitting a weekly high of $45,077.58, according to CoinMarketCap. While the bulk of these gains has been shed off with the cryptocurrency’s price trading at $39,024.00 at the time of writing, on-chain data shows Bitcoin whales are not selling, with more on track to accumulate much more.

Bitcoin is the industry’s flagship digital asset and it is the reference point for all other cryptocurrencies’ performance. This coming week might be the time for these ambitious buy-ups, and should this happen, BTC will undoubtedly surpass its previous weekly high above $45,000.

Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin is one of the most resilient digital currencies around and is arguably one of the legacy cryptocurrencies. The resilience of Litecoin is visible in its inherent capabilities as a coin for fast payment, one with a strong community and investor base. Despite a very bearish outlook with the coin trading at 74% below its All-Time High (ATH) of $412.96, retail investors still consider LTC as the go-to assets should they wish to wade off extreme volatility. This recognition can help uplift the coin’s price from the current $103.57 price in the coming week.

Polkadot (DOT)

Polkadot is a very innovative blockchain protocol with many ecosystem activities brewing at this time. Polkadot has seen a very wild price depression and its current price of $17.10 will be considered as a discount for investors looking for an established digital currency to pitch tents with this week. Polkadot and its host of parachains hosted protocols lend the fundamentals that can increase the demand on the DOT tokens and further help uplift the price of the digital assets this week and the other weeks to come.

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Mawson Infrastructure Group Signs New Hosting Services Deal with Foundry Digital

Mawson Infrastructure Group, an Australian Bitcoin miner, announced on Friday that it signed a 12 megawatt (MW) hosting co-location deal with the U.S. crypto mining services provider Foundry Digital. - 2022-03-07T111321.961.jpg

The deal will bring Mawson’s crypto mining hosting co-location business to a total of 114 MW, an increase of 5,600% from 2 MW on December 31, 2021. Mawson expects the first mining hardware under the deal to be deployed by the end of Q1, 2022. The miner plans to deploy the mining hardware within its own proprietary Modular Data Centre (MDC) technology at its facilities in the US.

The new signing comes only two days after Mawson signed a 100 MW crypto-mining hosting agreement with Celsius Mining, a subsidiary of crypto lending firm Celsius Networks. Last Tuesday, Mawson signed its largest co-location customer for 100 MW with Celsius Mining.

James Manning, CEO and founder of Mawson, talked about the latest development and said: “in FY2021, we generated (unaudited) $850,000 in revenue from our 2 MW of hosting customers – the agreements we have signed this week take us to 114 MW in our hosting business in total. Our hosting business is expanding rapidly and total contracts signed to date makes us one of the largest Nasdaq listed Bitcoin mining ASIC hosting companies.”

Providing Customers with Access to New Digital Asset Products

Founded in 2019, Mawson Infrastructure Group continues to deliver new and innovative digital asset products to the global market.

Mawson is an Australia-based digital infrastructure provider specializing in cryptocurrency mining and digital asset management, with multiple operations throughout the USA and Australia.

The firm is emerging as a global leader in ESG-focused Bitcoin mining and digital infrastructure. In October last year, Mawson partnered with investment manager Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners in order to open a renewables-powered site in New South Wales, an Australian State. Mawson has identified renewable energy projects it plans to develop as part of its efforts to decarbonize the global society, with a key focus on sustainable Bitcoin mining.

Furthermore, last November, Mawson partnered with Cosmos Asset Management Pty Ltd to provide Australians with new investment opportunities in the growing digital asset ETF (exchange-traded fund) products.

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Circle Delays Launching DeFi API Product, Cites Needs for more Regulatory Guidances

Circle, a major crypto payments infrastructure provider and stablecoin issuer, on Friday announced that it postponed the launch of its anticipated decentralized finance (DeFi) application programming interface (API) product, citing the need for more regulatory guidance before its release. - 2022-03-07T103656.470.jpg

The DeFi API product would help businesses access Compound Finance on the Ethereum network. Circle has now delayed the product and instead dedicated resources, which were initially allocated to support the release, to launching the Circle Yield product and making the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin available on new blockchains.

“The timing of the DeFi API product rollout will be guided by developments in, and the availability of, further regulatory guidance, enhanced compliance tools, and blockchain identity protocols,” Circle mentioned in its statement.

“We proceed to concentrate on empowering establishments to ship, spend and safe USDC and unlock new methods of doing enterprise with the suite of companies out there by way of Circle Account,” the firm further elaborated about its move.

In June last year, Jeremy Allaire, Circle CEO, announced that the firm would be launching the DeFi API product. He promised “seamless, safe, secure and regulated infrastructure for accessing and building on DeFi lending markets”.

Enabling Businesses to Access DeFi

Established in 2013, Circle originally wanted to develop a mainstream Bitcoin payment platform. But later the firm pivoted to develop a social payments app. In June last year, Circle announced plans to become a public company through a merger with Concord Acquisition Corp, a SPAC.

Circle is best known as the issuer of USDC, a popular stablecoin. With USDC, transferring funds from one wallet to another becomes quite easy. The firm added various infrastructure products around USDC, like Circle Accounts. Circle has also developed ramps to bridge the gap between crypto-assets and fiat currencies.

Circle plans to launch a new API for firms using Circle accounts to manage crypto assets, especially USDC stablecoins. The new API will enable companies to access DeFi protocols.

The launch aims to enable the easiest way for businesses to access DeFi, enabling firms to easily and confidently access new lending markets powered by DeFi. With the upcoming Circle’s DeFi API, businesses will be able to access leading DeFi protocols, starting with Compound lending pools on the Ethereum blockchain.

The DeFi API is set to enable businesses to automate USDC flows into DeFi lending markets, easily and quickly access to DeFi protocols where they can earn interest, governance tokens, and provide the same access services to their customer platforms.

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Switzerland to Freeze Crypto Assets Linked to Russians

On Friday, the federal government of Switzerland announced plans to freeze all crypto assets held within its borders that are owned by Russian citizens and businesses sanctioned by the European Union. - 2022-03-07T101216.728.jpg

On Friday, the federal council stated it plans to match the latest series of sanctions already imposed by the EU in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In the past week, Guy Parmelin, Swiss Finance Minister said that Switzerland has frozen bank accounts and physical assets owned by 223 Russians, including close associates of President Vladimir Putin. “As of today, all four of the EU’s sanctions packages have been adopted and implemented. Since Monday, bank accounts and assets of 223 Russians, including oligarchs and close Putin confidants, have been identified and frozen within the country,” Parmelin disclosed.

A senior official at the finance ministry further mentioned that freezing crypto assets was essential because Switzerland wants to protect the integrity of its cryptocurrency industry. “If someone holds their crypto key themselves, then, wherever they are, it’s going to be virtually impossible to identify them. But if they are using crypto services — funds, exchanges and so on — these service points we can target,” the official stated.

Embracing Crypto Culture

Switzerland, which has long been a global economic hub, is now embracing the potential of cryptocurrencies and digital tokens. The country is friendly to cryptocurrency and blockchain and is home to numerous industry companies and sensitive regulations to the sector.

Last year, Switzerland, commonly known as “Crypto Nation”, updated a range of company and financial laws to give blockchain commerce a solid legal basis. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) licensed two of Switzerland’s crypto banks, a crypto assets fund, and a crypto stock exchange in the last two years.

Blockchain finance firms such as the Netherlands-based AllianceBlock and US-based Fireblocks are now springboarding into Switzerland. Deutsche Börse, which runs the Frankfurt stock exchange, acquired a controlling stake in Swiss regulated brokerage Crypto Finance.

Part of the reason is that friendly crypto regulation has given a solid foundation for building businesses in Switzerland.


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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 26,306.05 0.19%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,588.86 0.50%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 64.33 1.23%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 210.32 2.78%