ECB Officials Urges to Accept Digital Euro in Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Fabio Panetta, a member of the Executive Council of the European Central Bank (ECB), suggested an acceptance of the digital euro in brick-and-mortar stores and online entities to help promote the use of the fiat digital euro.

A digital euro needs to allow easy payments between people if it follows a trend of adoption like the fiat euro 20 years ago. A nominal survey showed in a statement released on Wednesday. And the masses are more receptive to the digital euro, which is widely accepted in various brick-and-mortar and online stores.

Panetta said:

“The introduction of euro banknotes made it possible for us to pay with physical euros anywhere in the euro area. So it is no surprise that people expect to be able to use the digital complement to banknotes wherever they can pay digitally or online.”

In April last year, The European Central Bank (ECB) has published its public consultation results, an initiative launched last year to evaluate Europeans’ stance regarding a central bank digital currency (CBDC) backed by the European Union.

The majority of the respondents, including private citizens and professionals, want a digital Euro, but only if it can be built with elements of privacy.

Fabio Panetta said the ECB would hold another round of focus groups on the digital euro by the end of 2022, adding that:

“We are getting a clearer picture of what citizens and merchants want, so we can finetune all the design features of a digital euro before any potential issuance. And co-legislators have a key role to play, for instance to enable greater privacy.”

The ECB is amongst the major monetary watchdogs with a vested interest in the Digital Euro pursuit. The ECB President Christine Lagarde has often reiterated the bank’s plans to launch the CBDC to serve as a complementary digital payment alternative to relieve the existing fiat Euro alternative.

Other economies, including Japan, China, and Sweden, are also exploring the Digital Currency initiative across the board.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

Fintech Firm Cross River Raises $620M Funding, Led by Eldridge & a16z

CRB Group, Inc., the parent company of fintech company Cross River Bank, announced a $620 million investment led by Eldridge and Andreessen Horowitz.

The funds raised will be used to build the company’s leading embedded payment, card, lending and crypto solutions Furthermore, to invest in people and communities, continue its international expansion plans and strengthen strategic global partnerships.

Gilles Gade, Founder, President and CEO of Cross River said that:

“Cross River is powering the future digital economy and changing lives by reinventing the way financial services are accessed. The quality of the investor group and size of our latest funding make this a landmark transaction in the financial technology arena, and will enable us to accelerate the growth of Cross River as the foundation of modern finance.”

Other investors include Rowe Price, Whale Rock and Hanaco Ventures.

Cross River currently provides loan and payment services to more than 80 payment companies, including Affirm, Best Egg,, Divvy, Freedom Financial,

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

Gumi Cryptos Capital Launches $110m gCC Fund II, Investing in Crypto Startups

Crypto venture capital firm Gumi Cryptos Capital (gCC) has launched a $110 million second fund, gCC Fund II, to invest in about 50 cryptocurrency companies through equity and tokens. - 2022-03-23T181412.819.jpg

Funding comes from about 60 limited partners, about half of which come from listed companies in Japan. Partners include Hironao Kunimitsu, Rui Zhang and Miko Matsumura.

gCC Fund II will be co-led by the three partners of gCC Fund I, Kunimitsu, Zhang, and Miko Matsumura.

The gCC ​​Fund II will provide early-stage investments in startups such as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), Guilds, Web 3 Applications, Games, and protocols, investing $500,000 to $5 million in each outstanding project.

gCC Fund II has invested in Web 3 education platform ProofofLearn, NFT liquidity aggregator XY Finance, financial NFT platform Solv Finance, Web 3 accelerator, and developer community AllianceDAO.

Hironao Kunimitsu says that:

“We have unique access to both Silicon Valley startup culture and capital markets as well as access to the Japan market. Japan is also home to unique intellectual property assets especially in the fast-growing gaming sector. With our unique geographic advantage, we can help ambitious projects grow faster,”

Bain Capital Ventures, the venture arm of the 37-year-old private equity firm Bain Capital, announced on March 9 that it had launched a $560 million fund focused exclusively on cryptocurrency-related efforts.

Tekin Salimi, a former general partner of crypto venture giant Polychain Capital, announced that he had launched a $125 million fund called dao5 to help provide blockchain startups with early-stage funding in March.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / /

Samsung Inks Deal with Nifty Gateway, Allowing Trading NFTs with Smart TVs

For more innovations, South Korean electronics giant Samsung has teamed up with Nifty Gateway to develop a new line of smart TVs to enable non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to be bought, sold, and held. - 2022-03-31T174126.599.jpg

Nifty Gateway, a leading marketplace for NFTs owned by Gemini crypto exchange, will join Samsung’s NFT platform on its 2022 Neo QLED premium and QLED TVs. 

Per the report:

“This partnership enables users to browse, display and interact with NFTs on their Samsung TVs. It provides them with access to more than 6,000 pieces of digital art and collectibles from artists like Daniel Arsham, Pak and more.”

Duncan Cock Foster, the co-founder of Nifty Gateway, welcomed the cooperation and noted:

“The objective of Nifty Gateway is to bring NFTs to a billion people by empowering creators and streamlining the process by which customers buy, sell, produce, and hold NFTs. We are devoted to making NFTs more accessible and purchasing them more convenient than before.”

The ground-breaking partnership will entail using Nifty Gateway’s Omnibus wallet when buying NFTs using cryptocurrency and credit or debit cards.

Samsung has been gearing up towards the crypto space, given that it disclosed plans to develop top-notch metaverse devices to foster accessibility earlier this month. This decision was reached because the company saw the metaverse and robots as new growth engines.

As the crypto space continues to gain steam, more digital giants are jumping on this bandwagon to create seamless devices. For instance, South Korean tech giant LG Electronics recently revealed plans to add blockchain, cryptocurrency, and medical devices as new sectors in its corporate charter, Blockchain.News reported. 

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / /

10% of Norwegian Adults Own Crypto, Double the Rate in 2018

Crypto ownership in Norwegian soil has been trending, because 10% of the adult population, representing 420,000 Norwegians, own cryptocurrencies, according to a study by Arcane Research and Ernst & Young (EY).

The latest figure is double the numbers recorded in 2018 because approximately 210,000 Norwegians owned crypto at that time. 

Source: Arcane Research, EY

The growth rate is even higher in the last three years because more than 255,000 Norwegians have joined the crypto space since 2019.

Therefore, the crypto ownership rate in the country has doubled from 5% to 10% since 2018. 

Source: Arcane Research, EY

In partnership with Norstat, a leading data collector for market research in Northern Europe, the online study surveyed 1,000 Norwegians aged 15 and above. Per the report:

“Younger adults are far more inclined to own crypto than older adults, with 19% of all participants aged 15 to 39 stating that they own crypto compared to 4% of those aged 40 or more.”

Female crypto ownership doubles 

After three years of stagnation, Norwegian female crypto investors have found the right footing because their ownership rate has doubled from 3% to 6% this year. 

Source: Arcane Research, EY

The survey noted that 63% of all female respondents disclosed that they purchased crypto for the first time either in 2021 or 2022.

Women are not being left out of the crypto space. More Turkish women were investing and trading cryptocurrencies as their crypto curiosity topped that of men, according to a recent survey by crypto exchange KuCoin. 

On the other hand, the analysis was undertaken by Arcane Research and EY indicated that 14% of all Norwegian adult men own crypto, up by 3% from 2021.

Moreover, Bitcoin is the most popular crypto in Norway. The study noted:

“Two-thirds of all Norwegian crypto investors own bitcoin. Ethereum is the second-most popular cryptocurrency, while XRP and ADA follow in third and fourth.”

Meanwhile, almost 67% of residents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have shown interest in crypto investments, Blockchain.News reported. 

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / /

FCA Extends Temporary Registration Deadline for Selected Crypto Firms

The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, the regulator of the financial services industry in the United Kingdom, announced Wednesday it has pushed the deadline for registration for some crypto firms in order to give them more time to get complete registration.

The regulator has allowed a few firms, including crypto wallet platform, fintech company Revolut, and crypto start-up Copper, to continue trading after a temporary registration period comes to an end.

The FCA explained why some companies have given more time to register with the agency beyond an original deadline set on March 31. “The Temporary Registration Regime (TRR) will close on April 1 for all but for a small number of firms where it is strictly necessary to continue to have temporary registration. This is necessary where a firm may pursue an appeal or have particular winding-down circumstances,” the FCA stated.

Crypto Firms Could Move Abroad

Crypto companies doing business in the U.K. are required to be registered with the agency under money laundering regulations. However, the majority of the firms have not managed to get full registration. The FCA created a temporary register to allow companies to continue offering crypto trading services while they seek full registration.

The list of companies on the temporary register has significantly reduced in recent weeks because many firms such as trading app Wirex, market maker B2C2, and many others have withdrawn their applications.

To date, only 33 firms have achieved full authorization. So far, just 12 companies remain on the temporary regime, including firms such as Revolut, Copper, and

The FCA said many crypto companies do not meet the required anti-money laundering standards. Only 33 firms have made it onto the full register.

More than 100 cryptocurrency companies applied for registration with the FCA after the agency became the counter-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering authority in the U.K at the end of 2020.

The regulator introduced the temporary register in December 2020 to allow companies to do the necessary to get full authorization. With the temporary registration regime closing on Thursday, April 1, the British crypto sector faces a crisis at this moment. The uncertainty is driving some firms to set up operations overseas, which is a blow to the burgeoning industry in the United Kingdom.  

Wirex has disclosed plans to provide crypto services to Brits from a Croatian subsidiary business. In contrast, B2C2, one of the crypto market-makers and OTC liquidity providers, intends to move its spot trading operations to a U.S. entity.


Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / /

DeFi Technologies Inc’s Subsidiary Valour Owns over $274m in AUM

DeFi Technologies Inc announced Wednesday that its subsidiary Valour owns over $274 million in assets under management(AUM).

Stack of cryptocurrencies like Litecoin on Ipad with computer background

Valour had $274,229,000 in assets under management as of March 29. Valour issues digital asset exchange-traded products (“ETPs”) in Europe.

Valour’s net sales increased 205% sequentially, from $106.3 million in May 2021 to more than $324.5 million so far in March 2022. And launched two new products: Valor Avalanche (AVAX) ETP and Valor Terra (LUNA) ETP.

DeFi Technologies said Valour’s AUM would grow further in the future thanks to the joint ETP joint venture with SEBA Bank AG,

CEO Russell Starr said:

“Since listing our first product, Bitcoin Zero, on the Nordic Growth Market just over a year ago, we have seen an incredible reception to our ETP offerings. We are still in a very early growth stage. And our team has done a tremendous job of planting seeds for future growth by launching eight ETPs across several exchanges in Europe that enable individuals and institutions to invest in digital assets simply and securely.”

With more product launches, new exchange listings, a digital asset-backed program, and our joint ETP venture with SEBA Bank AG., the company said excitedly for the company’s growth trajectory in 2022 and the years to come.

The total value of ETPs currently under management by the company is as follows:

  • BTC Zero: $95,232,000 
  • ETH Zero: $67,371,000
  • ADA Valour: $43,408,000
  • DOT Valour: $24,409,000
  • SOL Valour: $38,498,000
  • UNI Valour: $1,450,000
  • LUNA Valour: $2,605,000
  • AVAX Valour: $1,256,000

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

Sky Mavis Promises to Compensate Lost Users for Ronin Hack

After hacking and stealing $625 million from the Ronin blockchain, the Singapore-based game studio Sky Mavis pledges to repay users, according to Bloomberg. - 2022-03-31T163332.372.jpg

The hackers reportedly stole around 173,600 ether and $25.5 million in Coin tokens on March 23. At current prices, the stolen funds are worth approximately $615 million. According to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, this is the second-largest cryptocurrency hacker theft on record.

Ronin said that they are now actively recovering the stolen cryptocurrency, adding that:

“We are working directly with various government agencies to ensure the criminals get brought to justice,”

The Ronin Network has suffered what is being tagged as the largest hack in the history of Decentralized Finance (DeFi), which funds over $625 million carted away by the hackers.

Ronin Network is an Ethereum sidechain created with Axie Infinity’s community. It is the product of the search by the Axie Infinity team for a fast, cheap, and reliable network resident on the Ethereum blockchain.

A spokesperson from Sky Mavis said:

“We are committed to ensuring that all of the drained funds are recovered or reimbursed, and we are continuing conversations with our stakeholders to determine the best course of action”

Hackers used hacked private keys to create withdrawals through overlooked nodes and currently lose 173,600 ETH and $25.5 million in USDC.

Sky Mavis COO Aleksander Leonard Larsen said the stolen funds included Axie Infinity’s treasury revenue in addition to user deposits.

The total value of $3.6 billion Bitcoins disappeared while the founders of South African cryptocurrency exchange AfriCrypt are missing, Bloomberg reported last June.

Online cryptocurrency exchange Liquid Exchange was attacked by hackers and transferred approximately $80 million worth of cryptocurrency on August 19, 2021.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

Interoperability Protocol LayerZero Labs Secures $135m Investment

Decentralized full-chain interoperability protocol LayerZero Labs has secured a $135 million investment co-led by Sequoia Capital, FTX Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).

LayerZero Labs, an omnichain interoperability protocol, that unites decentralized applications (dapps) across disparate blockchains. The funds raised will be used for the development of cross-chain decentralized applications (dApps).

Bryan Pellegrino, CEO and co-founder, LayerZero Labs said that:

“This round is a massive step forward for LayerZero Labs and the unfolding interoperability landscape. We’ve brought some of the best and most well respected entities in the world together to accomplish the same goal: create the generic messaging layer that underpins all interoperability between blockchains,”

Other investors include Coinbase Ventures, PayPal Ventures, Tiger Global, Uniswap, and more. With this investment, LayerZero Labs will be valued at $1 billion.

LayerZero solves the problem of users, data and liquidity fragmentation by providing a full-chain interoperability protocol that unites dApps across different blockchains.

“LayerZero unlocks a future of blockchains without borders. Users will interact with omnichain dApps that exist on multiple blockchains. These dApps will seamlessly communicate over LayerZero without the user even realizing it,” said Ryan Zarick, CTO and co-founder, LayerZero Labs.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

Grab’s Tech Head Wui Ngiap Foo Quits to Lead Crypto Gaming Startup Ethlas

Wui Ngiap Foo, the Head of Technology at Grab Holdings Ltd, is set to leave the ride-hailing and food-delivery firm after seven years to lead a new crypto gaming venture. People familiar with the knowledge have revealed, according to Bloomberg. - 2022-03-31T160736.532.jpg

Grab Holdings Inc., commonly known as Grab, is a Southeast Asian technology company headquartered in Singapore. The tech firm offers transportation, food delivery and digital payments services via a mobile app.

Wui Ngiap Foo, the executive who has been in charge of developing Grab’s mobility-services fleet for seven years, is leaving today, on March 31.

Foo has been a senior member of Singapore-based Grab’s leadership team for many years. During his tenure, he helped Grab combine its business with Uber’s Southeast Asia division in 2018 and later lead its collaboration with Microsoft Corp.

Foo also served as Grab’s head of integrity and oversaw the company’s identity, trust, and safety functions. He is set to join crypto gaming startup Ethlas as Chief Executive Officer and co-founder next week.

Earning Money by Playing Metaverse-Based Games

Founded in 2021 by Wui Ngiap Foo, Gennady Medvinsky, and Elston Sam, Ethlas is a new rapidly growing gaming platform built on blockchain technology that allows players to earn crypto tokens.

Since 2021, blockchain gaming has witnessed an increase in popularity across Singapore.

The play-to-earn (P2E) model has turned video games into a lucrative secondary income source. The popularity of blockchain gaming soared last year following the rise of the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity, where players can accumulate tokens by winning battles, selling monsters, and staking or lending their digital assets.

Through games like Axie Infinity, players have been able to earn as much as US$1,200 per month. This has been made possible by the emergence of crypto and NFTs-based utility tokens.

Last month, Singapore-based blockchain startup Ethlas raised $2.7 million in a Seed funding round participated by Sequoia Capital India, Yield Guild Games Southeast Asia, Global Blockchain Innovative Capital, Venture Capital, Play It Forward DAO, and more.

Ethlas said that it plans to hire tech talent in the Web3 space to expand its offerings with the funding.

Launched in November 2021 and headquartered in Singapore, Ethlas has global offices in the US and the Philippines. Just within its first two months of launch, Ethlas accumulated more than three million gameplays and had over 100,000 unique wallet IDs on its game page.

The Ethlas metaverse is a free-to-play, play-to-earn platform accessible from PC and mobile phone browsers by linking a MetaMask crypto wallet. Users can win and accumulate crypto coins through participation in simple, easily-understood casual games.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / /
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 43,802.74 0.49%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 2,355.24 0.19%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 77.55 0.58%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 250.45 2.07%