Ripple Launches Engineering Hub in Toronto, Boosting Crypto Growth and Innovation

Ripple, a leader in enterprise crypto and blockchain solutions, has opened a key engineering hub in Toronto, Canada, to enhance crypto innovation. 

In a statement, Ripple revealed that 50 engineers would initially be hired in the new Toronto office. Still, plans are underway to bring on board hundreds of blockchain software engineers, such as data scientists, applied machine learning scientists, and product managers. 

Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s CEO, noted:

“Crypto and blockchain present an incredible opportunity for engineers to tackle difficult problems, with the potential for these solutions to impact the movement of value around the world.”

Despite various crypto players announcing hiring freezes and layoffs amid the crypto winter in the market, Ripple said that they are looking for a bigger picture of presenting world-class talent, which would spur innovation in coming years.

Garlinghouse pointed out:

“We are continuing to scale and invest in our business by expanding our presence globally with our first office in Toronto.” 

With the North American region being a prominent tech hub, Ripple sees the strategic expansion plan as a stepping stone toward tapping local talent to foster crypto growth.

Devraj Varadhan, SVP of Engineering, acknowledged:

“We are excited to tap into Toronto’s technical talent pool and add builders to address the unmet customer needs on behalf of global customers – our teams here will play a key role in driving Ripple’s innovations, ranging from blockchain protocol development and decentralized applications to machine learning and payment solutions.”

Toronto’s mayor John Tory welcomed Ripple’s decision to set base in the area and said:

“I’m thrilled that Ripple is putting down roots in Toronto where we know the company will be able to benefit from the highly skilled technical talent, booming ecosystem, and competitive economic advantages the Region offers.”

A previous Ripple report indicated that 99% of respondents would consider using digital assets for cross-border payments, Blockchain.News reported. 

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Banxa’s Partners with AAX to Allow Purchase of Crypto with Fiat and Vice Versa

On-and-off ramp Web3 solution Banxa’s new partnership with cryptocurrency exchange AAX now allows customers to purchase crypto with fiat and vice versa. - 2022-06-23T161306.769.jpg

“Partnering with Banxa to offer more options around the on and off-ramps into crypto and strengthen crypto-to-fiat liquidity is a crucial part of AAX’s expansion work, especially as we engage the mainstream and enter new market frontiers,” said Ben Caselin, Head of Research and Strategy with AAX.

AAX was one of the first crypto exchanges to switch to the Satoshi Standard (SATS) to drive bitcoin adoption. 

The SATS was created after heavy demand from the crypto community for an alternative unit. Satoshis or SATS are the smallest units of cryptocurrency bitcoin (BTC), and 1 BTC is equal to 100,000,000 SATS.

Through Banxa, customers can utilize local payment and banking options with less friction, fewer fees, and better fraud protection.

The partnership will also help Banxa customers to benefit from the highest conversion and lowest fees on AAX for the broadest range of currencies and payment methods using credit cards and direct bank transfers in Tokyo, Korea and Brazil. 

Furthermore, customers can use Banxa on AAX with BTC, ETH, SOL, DOT, BNB & 49 other cryptocurrencies and local payment options.

However, currencies available for cashing out of crypto at this time include GBP, AUD, USD, and EUR.

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Voyager Digital Secures $200m Credit Facility to Meet Liquidity Demands

The need to be more adequately equipped for the current crypto winter has pushed Voyager Digital Holdings, a prominent crypto trading and investment platform, to secure more than $200 million in credit facility from Alameda Ventures.


As announced by the firm, the loan includes $200 million in cash, a USDC revolver, and a 15,000 BTC.

The loan, per the conditions given by Alameda Ventures, can be accessed in tranches of $75 million every 30 days. Voyager Digital will only request these funds if its position at any point demands that the funds should be drawn. While Voyager claims it has minimal liquidity at hand, it said the move to secure the credit facility was intended to safeguard its customer’s assets.

The negative outlook of the digital currency ecosystem has weighed on many crypto platforms, including Celsius Network and Babel Finance. 

While both have halted withdrawals and are searching for a proactive solution to surmount current liquidity pressures, Babel Finance, per an earlier Blockchain.News reported said it has asked its creditors to grant it some time to repay. 

While it has paid Compound Finance $10 million in the form of DAI stablecoin, Celsius Network has generally asked for more time to sort its operational modalities, a move it is making while consulting with restructuring experts.

The impacts of the current crypto winter are becoming real by the day, and other prominent lenders like BlockFi have also taken the initiative to seek a credit facility. BlockFi, which laid off about 20% of its global workforce, recently said it has secured a $250 million credit facility from FTX Derivatives Exchange.

Amongst the major firms that are being impacted by the current meltdown is Three Arrows Capital, and Voyager Digital said it is amongst its debtors and will be exploring legal options to recover its funds from the embattled venture capital firm in the case of a default that is slated to be triggered by June 27.

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Prime Trust Pulls $100m in Series B to Float New Products

Cryptocurrency infrastructure service provider, Prime Trust LLC has raised $107 million in Series B funding as it seeks to deepen ties with its clients with its proposed new products. (31).jpg

While being backed by its old investors, new backers also joined the round with big names, including FIS, Fin Capital, Mercato Partners, Kraken Ventures, Commerce Ventures, William Blair & Company, Decasonic, University Growth Fund, Gaingels, GateCap Ventures, and Seven Peaks Ventures participating.

Prime Trust offers a wide variety of infrastructural facilities, including wallet technology, custody, and compliance solutions. The startup has raised $170 million to date to power its operations and from what it offers, it counts platforms like Swan, Binance.US, and Dapper Labs as clients. With the new funding, Prime Trust hopes to establish new products to broaden its base.

“This strategic investment will provide critical operational expertise to further scale Prime Trust into new offerings including wealth products, as well as Web 3 and DeFi products,” said Tom Pageler, CEO of Prime Trust. “We’ve seen an unprecedented shift toward greater acceptance of digital assets among wealth managers and RIAs and, to that end, we launched the Prime Trust Crypto IRA, the first IRA solution with a seamless, single API integration. Our strategic investor relationships will enable us to continue to expand into new markets and deepen our commitment to helping our fintech and crypto clients to build and scale quickly, securely, and compliantly.”

Amongst the products being earmarked for launch includes staking services as well as developing the framework to support more tokenized products. Prime Trust trusts in its business model to weather any kind of storm being faced in the digital currency ecosystem, a feature that must have endeared investors to it.

Despite the crypto winter, innovative platforms like Astaria, Immutable, and Magic Eden among other continues to pull funds to scale and support their ecosystem growth.

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Nexo Hires Citigroup to Advise on Potential Acquisitions

Nexo, a crypto lending platform based in Switzerland, announced on Wednesday that it has tapped Citigroup to advise it on the potential acquisition of other crypto firms hit by the recent market downturn.

Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and Managing Partner of Nexo, said: “We have been approached by multiple Wall Street banks and decided to officially explore the opportunities for acquisition to help stabilize our nascent industry.”

Nexo said it hired the banking giant to explore strategic options, including a potential M&A deal within the crypto lending space.

The collaboration came as a result of a bid that saw the banker selected to serve as a financial advisor.

The partnership will enable the two firms to explore the best ways to protect retail investors in the current crypto market turbulence that exposed the cracks in the space, with several businesses staggering towards insolvency.

The lack of liquidity is on a clear display. Nexo feels having a “lender of last resort” – similar to that played by the Federal Reserve – would help crypto lenders and others in the blockchain industry.

Such “lender of last resort” would give room for solvent players to work towards mass consolidation via mergers and acquisitions (М&А), Nexo stated.

Investors Worried About Crypto Winter

The current crypto market conditions have caused lots of anxiety investors to rush for the exits while many firms feel the heat. On 13th June, prominent crypto lending firm Celsius Network froze all account withdrawals, transfers, and swap products citing “extreme market conditions.

A liquidity crisis at Celsius made investors worried about a wider contagion that could bring down other major participants in the market. Celsius was already feeling the pain after the collapse of the $60 billion stablecoin venture Terra. Celsius was an investor in Terra.

Two days later, Nexo announced plans to buyout Celsius, including assets “mostly or fully of collateralized loan receivables secured by corresponding collateral assets.”

Last week, the future of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital appeared hanging in the balance as the firm faced potential insolvency after being liquidated by its lenders. The current difficult crypto market fueled the hedge fund’s plunge. The demise of Terraform Labs’ Luna token the previous month also resulted in huge losses for Three Arrows Capital, which is a huge backer of the Seoul-based crypto company.

Many other crypto firms such as Coinbase, BlockFi and, recently froze hiring and announced job cuts as they reckon with a dramatic downturn in the market and heightened concerns about a weakening economy.

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Tether to Launch GBPT in July, Pegged to British Pound Sterling

Stablecoin issuer Tether Operations Limited (“Tether”) has announced plans to launch Tether tokens (“GBP₮”) pegged to the British Pound Sterling in early July. - 2022-06-23T111833.958.jpg

“GBP₮ will join four other fiat-currency pegged tokens Tether has in the market: the US dollar-pegged USD₮, the Euro-pegged EUR₮, the offshore Chinese Yuan-pegged CNH₮, as well as the recently launched MXN₮, the Mexican Peso-pegged stablecoin,” Tether said in a blog.

The pound-pegged coin is called GBP₮ (GBPT), and will initially live on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, Tether’s announcement said. 

Tether operates the blockchain-enabled platform that powers the largest stablecoin by market capitalization of over US$68 billion.

This move comes following The UK Treasury’s plan in April to make the country a global crypto hub. The UK government has also announced moves to make stablecoins recognized as a valid form of payment.

“The creation of GBP₮ will put British Pounds on the blockchain and provide a faster, less costly option for asset transfers.” Tether said.

According to Tether’s blog, GBP₮ will be a stable digital asset operating under and pegged 1:1 to the British Pound Sterling. The company further said that the team of developers assigned to build GBP₮ also built Tether USD₮.

“We believe that the United Kingdom is the next frontier for blockchain innovation and the wider implementation of cryptocurrency for financial markets. We hope to help lead this innovation by providing cryptocurrency users worldwide with access to a GBP-denominated stablecoin issued by the largest stablecoin issuer,” said Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether.

In May of this year, Tether entered Latin America with the launch of the Mexican Pesos-backed MXN₮ stablecoin, Blockchain.News reported.

According to the company, the new stablecoin will be pegged to the Mexican Pesos on a 1:1 ratio and supported on three networks, including the Ethereum, Tron, and Polygon protocols.

The report added that Tether hopes that with the launch of the new token, the bulk of the cross-border transactions or remittances to Mexico can be taken on-chain, thus cutting transfer speed and fees.

“Introducing a Peso-pegged stablecoin will provide a store of value for those in the emerging markets and, in particular, Mexico. MXN₮ can minimize volatility for those looking to convert their assets and investments from fiat to digital currencies. Tether customers in this entirely new market will be able to benefit from the same transparent customer experience,” Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether, said.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, Tether is the world’s largest stablecoin with a market capitalization of $73.2 billion, ranking it as the third-largest digital asset.

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eBay Announces Acquisition NFT Marketplace KnownOrigin

eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) continues to deepen its footprint in digital collectables. The e-commerce giant announced on Wednesday that it has acquired the U.K-based non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace KnownOrigin. The terms of the acquisition were undisclosed.

The latest acquisition is important for eBay’s tech-led reimagination as part of the company’s effort to develop a top destination platform for digital artwork collectables as well as sales.

Jamie Iannone, CEO of eBay, talked about the development: “we will remain a leading site as our community is increasingly adding digital collectables. KnownOrigin has built up an impressive, passionate and loyal group of artists and collectors making them a perfect addition to our community of sellers and buyers.”

Since established in 2018 in Manchester, UK, KnownOrigin has remained a marketplace that allows collectors and artists to create, purchase, and resell NFTs via blockchain-support transactions. Since its establishment, KnownOrigin has witnessed huge growth and trade volumes as it has revolutionized the way users create, buy, and sell NFTs.

eBay’s tech-led reimagination has resulted in massive upgrades to the firm’s technology, performance and customer experience, including tools making it easier to discover, buy and sell anything.

As a part of such reinvention, last month, eBay started allowing the buying and selling of NFTs with the launch of its first collection of NFTs in partnership with web3 platform OneOf. The firm said the surge in the collectables market led to its first-ever collaboration in the NFT landscape.

Rising Demands of NFT

Crypto has shown its potential to the world about its real efficiency and shaping the economy of the digital era. Likewise, NFTs, a niche of cryptocurrency, has created another way of reaching the top, building what crypto took years to develop in decades.

NFTs have created a way for the artists and many other professionals to showcase and mint their works as NFTs. It is a great diversion in the crypto era where users began working on mining their NFTs.

The NFT market has introduced businesses, investors, users, and ordinary people to exploit great opportunities. More celebrities, including musicians, sportspersons, movie stars, and others have turned their interests in this digital token to create their own NFT collections and sell them.

The NFT craze has remained as strong in 2022 as it was last year. Lots of big mainstream businesses are setting up NFT shops in hopes of discovering a new revenue model.

Everyone from GameStop, Visa, The NFL (National Football League), Softbank, Coinbase, Rackuten, WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), Tech Mahindra, Spotify, Associated Press, USFL, Animoca Brands, and other have their own NFT marketplaces in some stage of planning, while some have launched recently.

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BNB Chain Partners with the University of Zurich to Boost Blockchain Education

Binance-backed smart contract platform BNB Chain has announced a new partnership with the Blockchain Center of the University of Zurich to participate in the forthcoming three weeks of the University’s International Summer Schools for blockchain education.


With a central theme to explore a “Deep Dive into Blockchain,” students will be educated on the essentials of crucial blockchain concepts,, including the Consensus Model, assets in the ledger, data storage in blocks, identity, governance, and smart contracts. Per the announcement, BNB Chain will be represented in the program by Alvin Kan, its Ecosystem Coordinator for Games and NFT and Director of Data & Research.

“BNB Chain wants to accelerate the development of blockchain technology and empower students to build innovative projects. This collaboration is an opportunity for the students to dive deeper into blockchain technology and contribute to the future of Web3, as well as for us to amplify the mass adoption of blockchain,” said Alvin in a statement.

Specifically, Alvin will help in designing a section of the course on fundamental blockchain concepts and host an NFT workshop for students. He will also help develop a use case that will see a group of 5 students collaborate on projects utilising BNB Chain’s strength. 

Participation in the program will be accompanied by an issued certificate and a Proof-of-Achievement certificate in the form of NFT. The broader Binance ecosystem is well in tune with the inherent innovations of blockchain as a disruptive technology in several areas of the economy. 

The exchange raised $500 million earlier this month to drive blockchain innovation and Web3 adoption, with education a crucial element of this vision. The trading platform also recently signed a pact with the government of Kazakhstan in which it will look to foster blockchain education as the country seeks to align more with digital transformation.

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Tagged : / / / / Receives In-Principle Approval Tokens Permit from the MAS

Digital currency trading platform has been granted the In-Principle Approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for its Major Payment Institution License. 


Should the license be eventually granted, will be able to expand its product and service offerings in Singapore as it will be able to offer a range of payment services within the Payment Services Act, including Digital  Payment Token (DPT) services to customers in the country. has largely maintained a good pace with keeping tabs with regulators around the world, particularly the Monetary Authority of Singapore, known for its strict scrutiny of crypto service firms. 

“The Monetary Authority of Singapore sets a high regulatory bar that cultivates innovation while protecting consumers, and their in-principle approval of our application reflects the trusted and secure platform we have worked diligently to build,” said Kris Marszalek, Co-Founder and CEO of “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the MAS and deepening our roots in Singapore – a flourishing market for fintech innovation, renowned for its well-regulated  business environment.” 

With the potential Payment Institution License, will have more authority to operate like a fintech in Singapore rather than just a cryptocurrency exchange. The trading platform seems to have a way with the regulators compared to other trading platforms like Binance Exchange and Coinbase Global, both of whom have withdrawn from a review process designed to grant them a license to operate within the region.

In its global expansion drive, has also secured the provisional approval of its Virtual Asset MVP License from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). With this license, the exchange plans to float a new cryptocurrency trading platform in Dubai to connect more with users in the Middle East and North Africa.

According to local media coverage the Strait Times, digital currency broker Genesis and digital assets solutions firm Sparrow also get the permission from the MAS.

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Consulting Giant KPMG Gets into Metaverse Business

KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms, announced on Wednesday that it is entering into the metaverse landscape by establishing its first collaboration hub between its U.S. and Canadian units.

The hub, which KPMG U.S. and Canada intend to launch, is designed to enable the company’s employees, customers, and communities to connect, engage, and explore opportunities for growth across sectors and industries.

Cliff Justice, KPMG US’ leader of enterprise innovation, talked about the development: “The way we look at it, it’s not just augmented reality and virtual reality. It’s really the next iteration of the internet. It really encompasses everything that the internet would encompass, but it’s more interactive.” The executive stated that the metaverse is a market opportunity that re-engages talent and connects people across the world through a new collaborative experience.

The “hub” will be majorly centred around education, collaboration, training, events, and workshops. Justice said the firm plans to recruit staff to build and scale the hub more as time goes on. The company has long-term plans as it is looking at healthcare, consumer and retail, media and financial services as other potential use cases of metaverse, Justice pointed out.

The announcement also indicated that KPMG U.S. and Canada subsidiaries have started using Chain Fusion, a proprietary tool that assists in offering audit services for financial services, fintech and crypto-native firms.

The metaverse launch is not the first time KPMG has stepped into the world of internet iteration. In February, KPMG Canada directly invested in Bitcoin and Ethereum as part of its balance and bought digital art from the highly acclaimed World of Women (WoW) non-fungible token (NFT) collection.

During that time, the Canadian arm of the accounting giant stated the investment reflected the company’s belief that institutional adoption of crypto assets and blockchain technology would continue growing and become a regular part of the asset mix.

Metaverse For Business

Metaverse is emerging as the hottest buzz in the global tech market. Firms developing Metaverse are aiming to build new innovations and features that enable users to interact with each other effectively and efficiently in the digital world.

The Metaverse era represents an interplay among many factors including the use of internet services, augmented reality (VR), and virtual reality (AR). The metaverse uses augmented reality and virtual reality in a mixture with blockchain and artificial intelligence to create correct and scalable virtual worlds.

Companies across industries and sectors have already been seeking to incorporate metaverse components (such as extended reality headsets, blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), IoT and cloud technologies) into their business model as a means of connection and new sources of revenue.

Firms (such as Meta Inc., Nvidia, Epic Games, Microsoft, Apple, Decentraland, Roblox Corporation, Snapchat, Amazon, and others) embracing metaverse are at the forefront of transforming the digital world with immersive experiences in the future.

These firms are moving to use metaverse to develop immersive entertainment experiences for their customers, improve business operations, enhance customer experience, training and education experiences and work meetings, tap advertising, branding and marketing opportunities, and explore digital locations (such as digital representations of real estates).

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