ANZ Bank Pushes Customers Towards Digital, Faces Criticism

ANZ Bank, one of the “Big Four” banks in Australia, recently announced that it will no longer facilitate withdrawals and deposits at some of its branches as part of its strategy to encourage its customers to use digital transactions. The decision has generated some backlash, with critics concerned about the potential impact on older customers who may be less capable of going digital. Patricia Sparrow, CEO of the Council on the Ageing, voiced her concerns in an interview with The Australian, warning that the move could disproportionately affect older Australians. Other critics have suggested that this decision may also make fiat users more vulnerable to technical issues.

This move by ANZ Bank has also renewed fears of a push towards a cashless society, with some speculating that cash could soon be replaced by central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). As reported by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) in a bulletin on March 16, the percentage of retail payments made with cash has decreased from 59% in 2007 to just 27% in 2019. This trend highlights the gradual shift towards a cashless society in Australia, which has been driven by several factors such as the increasing popularity of digital transactions, the convenience of contactless payments, and the declining use of cash.

However, the push towards digital transactions has also raised concerns about financial inclusion, particularly for older Australians who may be less familiar with technology or have limited access to digital services. This is a valid concern, given that the digital divide in Australia is still significant, with many older Australians lacking access to digital devices or the skills to use them effectively. In light of this, ANZ Bank’s decision to discontinue cash transactions at some of its branches could exacerbate this issue and limit the banking options available to some of its customers.

To address these concerns, it is important for banks and policymakers to ensure that the shift towards a cashless society is inclusive and does not leave vulnerable groups behind. This could involve providing support and resources for older Australians to help them adapt to digital transactions, as well as ensuring that there are adequate safeguards in place to protect consumers from technical issues or fraudulent activities. It is also crucial for policymakers to consider the potential impact on financial privacy and security as digital transactions become increasingly dominant in society.

In conclusion, ANZ Bank’s decision to discontinue cash transactions at some of its branches highlights the ongoing shift towards a cashless society in Australia. While this trend offers numerous benefits such as increased convenience and efficiency, it also raises concerns about financial inclusion and security. Therefore, it is crucial for banks and policymakers to ensure that the transition towards a cashless society is inclusive and takes into account the needs of all members of society, particularly the most vulnerable.


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BRICS Alliance Considers Creating New Currency

The world’s economic powerhouses appear to be distancing themselves from US dollar hegemony as they look to create a new world order. The BRICS alliance, which is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, is reportedly working on creating its own currency, according to State Duma Deputy Chairman Alexander Babakov. The move is seen as a way for the BRICS nations to promote their shared objectives and distance themselves from US dollar hegemony.

Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum event in New Delhi, India, Babakov stressed the importance of both nations working towards a new medium for payments. He added that digital payments could be the most promising and viable option. The new currency is expected to benefit China and other BRICS members, rather than the West.

Babakov went on to postulate that the new currency would be secured by gold and other commodities such as rare-earth elements. This move would further cement the new currency’s value and provide a more stable platform for transactions. The BRICS alliance is seen as a viable alternative to the US dollar hegemony, and the creation of a new currency could provide a way to challenge the current financial system.

This week, former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill called on the BRICS bloc to expand and challenge the dominance of the dollar. In a paper published in the Global Policy journal, he wrote that “the U.S. dollar plays a far too dominant role in global finance.” The BRICS nations appear to be taking this advice to heart and are exploring ways to distance themselves from the current system.

In a related development this week, China and Brazil reached a deal to trade in their own currencies. The move will remove the US dollar as the intermediary, further empowering both nations to distance themselves from the world’s reserve currency. The agreement will enable China and Brazil to conduct trade and financial transactions directly, without having to go through the greenback.

China is already leading the way in the development of its central bank digital currency project, and crypto adoption in Brazil is growing following the legalization of it as a payment method in the country late last year. This move further underscores the growing interest in creating alternative currencies to challenge the US dollar’s hegemony.

While the US continues its war on crypto, financial regulators are tightening the screws on the embryonic industry. This move is seen as a way to maintain the US dollar’s dominance and prevent the emergence of alternative currencies. However, the BRICS alliance and other emerging economies appear to be forging ahead with their plans to create a new financial order, one that is more equitable and better suited to their needs.


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FTX EU Launches Website for Customer Withdrawal Requests

FTX EU, the European arm of the global trading platform, has launched a website to allow European customers to submit withdrawal requests. This move comes nearly five months after the platform’s collapse and bankruptcy in early November 2022.

According to a report in Finance Magnates, the new website domain name – – was approved by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission. The new domain will not offer any products or services other than paying back impacted customers, referencing an email received by FTX Europe.

The email reportedly stated, “Please be informed that our new domain,, has been approved by our regulator CySEC as you have well identified. The website will only be used for all FTX EU LTD clients to be able to claim their FIAT balances. There will be no services or products offered via this website.”

It is not clear how many users were impacted as FTX EU was made available to users in the Europe Economic Area and Middle East. FTX EU only became available in March 2022, and the global enterprise collapsed in November, so numbers are not expected to be large.

FTX Japan, another subsidiary, has already made amends to impacted customers. In late February, it allowed a total withdrawal of funds, which amounted to about $50 million.

The Cyprus regulator requested FTX EU to suspend its operations on November 9, shortly before FTX Group and its 130 affiliated companies (including FTX EU) officially filed for bankruptcy on November 11. FTX Europe was headquartered in Switzerland for the relatively short duration that it operated.

FTX EU’s launch of the website marks a significant step in the company’s efforts to repay its customers. The website will make it easier for customers to submit their withdrawal requests and receive their funds.

The collapse of FTX Group and its subsidiaries has raised concerns about the regulation of global trading platforms. It remains to be seen what steps regulators will take to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

In conclusion, FTX EU has launched a website for European customers to submit withdrawal requests. The website’s approval by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission will enable FTX EU to pay back impacted customers. The collapse of FTX Group and its subsidiaries has raised concerns about the regulation of global trading platforms.


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Avalanche Launches Avaissance to Boost NFT Ecosystem

The Avalanche Foundation has launched Avaissance, an initiative aimed at supporting digital artists and boosting the growth of the Avalanche NFT ecosystem. Avaissance includes two main components: the Artist in Resident program (AIR) for over 50 artists and the Mona Lisa Initiative (MLI) to curate digital art and expand the collections of art-focused DAOs. The AIR program will provide funding, mentorship, and virtual workshops for six months to artists of any skill level. Meanwhile, the MLI will collaborate with DAOs’ curatorial teams to promote emerging Avalanche NFT artists and establish an “Avalanche Permanent Collection.”

In other NFT news, Ticketmaster has announced a new feature called token-gated ticket sales, which allows artists to reward NFT holders with exclusive benefits such as special presales, prime seats, custom travel packages, and access to unique concert experiences. This functionality was developed after American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold (A7X) approached Ticketmaster and its Web3 team, Bitflips, for help implementing a service that would allow holders of its NFTs – Deathbats Club, a collection of 10,000 unique Deathbat NFTs – to unlock perks and access to events. The feature works with tokens minted on Ethereum and stored in decentralized application (DApp) wallets like MetaMask or Coinbase.

Patrick Amadon, a popular NFT artist, recently withdrew his work from a major auction house, Sotheby’s upcoming “Natively Digital: Glitch-ism” art sale, to protest a lack of female representation. He shared his decision with his 142,400 Twitter followers, and Sotheby’s responded the next day by announcing that it would pause the sale to “redress the imbalance in representation within the sale” and relaunch later with a “more equitable and diverse group of artists.”

Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, recently shared a video with his Twitter followers, revealing his new 50,000-square-foot studio in South Carolina. According to Beeple’s website, he will use the space to create his artwork and host events to “showcase the very best art and communities.” The website stated that they are looking to partner with the most cutting-edge artists and communities to put on events that are not possible at any other venue.

On March 25, an NFT from the popular CryptoPunks collection valued at approximately $135,000 was accidentally burned by an investor attempting the process of NFT wrapping to potentially borrow liquidity from it. While the loss was unfortunate, it highlights the importance of proper education and caution when dealing with NFTs.


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Binance.US Halts BUSD Services Amid Investigation

In the midst of ongoing global banking turmoil, Binance.US has announced the temporary suspension of some services related to its BUSD stablecoin pairs via the One Common Billing System (OCBS). The suspension affects BUSD crypto deposits and withdrawals, as well as buying, selling, and converting crypto options, according to a status notice on the Binance.US dashboard. The company has stated that it is currently investigating the issue and that the services are “suspended temporarily.”

This announcement follows the platform’s temporary suspension of Apple Pay and Google Pay deposits on March 30, as the company is transitioning to new banking and payment service providers over the next few weeks. Additionally, Binance.US has also halted debit card deposits for up to 5% of its customers starting from March 30, 2023. However, the platform has assured its customers that it is working to restore all services as soon as possible.

The temporary suspension of BUSD services via OCBS comes at a time when Binance.US’ global affiliate, Binance, is facing legal action from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CFTC has filed a suit against Binance and its CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, for alleged trading violations, citing the exchange’s failure to meet compliance obligations by not registering with the regulator.

Binance.US was launched in September 2019 as a separate entity from Binance, which is not available to U.S. users due to local regulations. Catherine Coley, the first CEO of Binance.US, has reportedly enlisted the services of a former federal prosecutor and top cop at the CFTC to represent her in the U.S. government’s investigations into Binance.US. Since leaving Binance.US in June 2021, Coley has remained silent about her whereabouts in the media and has not posted anything on her Twitter.

Binance.US’ temporary suspension of BUSD services via OCBS is likely a precautionary measure in light of the legal action taken against its global affiliate. As the company investigates the issue and transitions to new banking and payment service providers, customers may experience some disruption in their BUSD-related transactions. However, Binance.US has reassured its customers that it is working to restore all services as soon as possible.

In recent years, Binance has become one of the largest and most well-known cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, but its growth has not been without controversy. The exchange has faced scrutiny from regulators in various jurisdictions, and its relationship with certain governments has been strained due to concerns over money laundering and other illegal activities. Nonetheless, Binance and its affiliates continue to operate and expand their services, with new offerings and features being introduced regularly.

Overall, Binance.US’ decision to halt certain BUSD services temporarily is likely a prudent response to the ongoing uncertainty and legal issues surrounding the global cryptocurrency industry. As the company navigates these challenges and works to restore full functionality to its platform, customers can continue to trade and invest in cryptocurrencies with confidence, knowing that their assets are secure and protected.


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Italy Blocks OpenAI ChatGPT Over Data Breach Concerns

Italy’s data protection agency has temporarily blocked OpenAI’s ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot, over suspected breaches of data privacy rules. The move comes in response to a recent data breach that the AI platform suffered on March 20. The Italian data watchdog has ordered the immediate limitation of data processing for Italian users by OpenAI, the United States company behind ChatGPT.

In addition to the data breach concerns, the Italian data watchdog has also cited the lack of information for users regarding data collected by OpenAI. The agency noted that there is a lack of legal basis that justifies the mass collection and storage of personal data by the AI as it trained its algorithms. Furthermore, the agency also determined that information given by the AI chatbot doesn’t always reflect real data and there may be inaccuracies in terms of processing personal data.

The Italian data watchdog also highlighted a potential breach of ChatGPT’s own data protection rules. According to the agency, even though ChatGPT limits its use to only people above 13 years old, there is no filter that verifies the user’s age within the application. This means that minors could be exposed to unsuitable content for their developing minds.

Apart from Italy, ChatGPT is also facing criticism and legal action from other parts of the world. The Center for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy (CAIDP) filed a complaint against ChatGPT on March 31, attempting to stop the release of powerful AI systems to the masses. The CAIDP described the chatbot as a “biased” and “deceptive” platform which is a risk to public safety and privacy.

ChatGPT, created by OpenAI, is an AI chatbot that uses natural language processing to generate human-like responses. It has gained widespread popularity due to its ability to simulate human-like conversations and generate responses that seem to be personalized to the user. However, this popularity has come with increasing concerns over data privacy and potential misuse of personal data.

OpenAI has stated that it is aware of the concerns raised by the Italian data protection agency and is working to address them. The company has stated that it is committed to protecting user privacy and ensuring that its AI systems are used ethically and responsibly. It has also noted that it is constantly working to improve its systems and address any potential issues or concerns.

In conclusion, the temporary block of ChatGPT in Italy and the legal action against it by the CAIDP highlight the growing concerns over the use of powerful AI systems and their potential impact on privacy and public safety. While AI chatbots like ChatGPT have the potential to revolutionize communication and customer service, it is important that they are used in a responsible and ethical manner, with proper safeguards in place to protect user privacy and prevent misuse of personal data.


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Huobi and Gala Games Form Partnership for Web3 Development

Huobi Global, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, has announced a strategic partnership with Gala Games, a blockchain-based play-to-earn gaming platform. The partnership was announced on March 31 in an official blog post by Huobi, which stated that the two companies would work together to develop the Web3 ecosystem.

The collaboration between Huobi and Gala Games will involve investment in and listing of projects within the Gala ecosystem. Gala Games enables developers to create play-to-earn crypto and non-fungible token (NFT) games that allow players to buy and sell in-game items. These in-game items are owned by the players and cannot be modified or deleted by developers without their consent.

The partnership between Huobi and Gala Games is expected to enhance Huobi’s Web3 objectives by allowing it to integrate with Gala’s layer-1 blockchain. This integration will help to improve the underlying on-chain technology, as stated by Jason Brink, the President of Blockchain at Gala Games. He emphasized that integrating its layer-1 blockchain with major exchanges like Huobi is crucial for achieving the desired level of mass adoption.

Huobi has also announced its plans to expand its services in other regions by launching a Visa-backed crypto-to-fiat debit card. This card will be available to Huobi customers residing in the European Economic Area, and is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2023.

The collaboration between Huobi and Gala Games has been well-received by the cryptocurrency community, with many expressing their support for the advantages of the layer-1 blockchain. This partnership is expected to create new opportunities for both companies, as they work together to develop the Web3 ecosystem.

In addition to the partnership with Gala Games, Huobi Global is also pursuing a license in Hong Kong to cater to retail clients. This move comes in light of new regulatory measures being considered by the Chinese special administrative region. With its ongoing efforts to expand its services globally, Huobi is well-positioned to become a major player in the cryptocurrency industry.


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OKX Launches AI Integration for Crypto Market Volatility

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly prevalent in the crypto industry, with OKX leading the way in integrating the technology to enhance user experience. On March 31, the cryptocurrency exchange and Web3 technology company announced a new integration from that utilizes AI algorithms to capture crypto market volatility.

The algorithms used in the integration incorporate machine learning and other advanced techniques to conduct real-time analyses of data and trading opportunities. According to Dmitry Gooshchin, chief operating officer of, understanding market volatility is essential for successful trading in the crypto space.

OKX’s adoption of AI in the crypto industry is not new. The company recently posted an AI-generated poem from ChatGPT-4 about its wallet on March 30. The poem was an example of how the AI technology can be used to enhance user experience and engagement.

The integration with is just one example of how AI is finding various use cases in the crypto industry. It is not only used to identify real-time market volatility but also for tracking blockchain transactions, deploying autonomous economic agents for trading, and more.

In everyday life, AI is now used for personal assistant-like tasks, social media, and customer service needs, among other use cases. However, not everyone is convinced of the benefits of AI technology. Recently, a letter signed by 2,600 researchers and leaders in fintech called for a pause in AI development. The letter highlighted the concern that “human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity,” among other issues.

While opinions on the impact of AI in the crypto industry may be mixed, OKX continues to push forward with its AI integration strategy. This new platform update comes only a few days after the company announced its intention to expand its services to Australia while shutting down its former operations in Canada.

As AI technology continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how it shapes the future of the crypto industry and society as a whole. While there may be concerns about its impact, the potential benefits of AI cannot be ignored.


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Tech leaders sign open letter calling for AI development halt

Over 2,600 tech industry leaders and researchers, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, have signed an open letter calling for a temporary halt on any further artificial intelligence (AI) development. The letter expresses concerns about the potential hazards to society and mankind posed by AI with human-competitive intelligence, citing the risks of AI systems that may be able to learn and evolve beyond human control.

The signatories of the letter urge all AI firms to immediately cease developing AI systems that are more potent than Generative Pre-trained Transformer 4 (GPT-4) for at least six months. GPT-4 is a multimodal large language model created by OpenAI and the fourth in its GPT series. The aim of the proposed moratorium is to allow time for comprehensive risk assessments to be carried out and for the development of new safety protocols.

However, the petition has divided the tech community, with some opposing the call to halt AI development. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, among other notable names, voiced his opposition to the petition, stating that “committees and bureaucracy won’t solve anything.” Armstrong added that there are no designated “experts” to decide on this issue and that not everyone in the tech industry agrees with the petition.

Armstrong argued that the risks of new technologies, including AI, are an inherent part of progress, and that centralization in decision-making will bring no good. He reminded that any new technology poses a certain amount of danger, but the goal should be to keep moving forward.

A columnist at LA Times, Brian Merchant, called the petition an “apocalyptic AI hype carnival” and stated that many of the stated concerns are “robot jobs apocalypse” stuff. Meanwhile, Satvik Sethi, a former Web3 executive at Mastercard, described the petition as a “non-proliferation treaty but for AI.” He added that many of the popular signers on the list have a deeply personal vested interest in the AI field and are likely just “trying to slow down their counterparts so they can get ahead.”

The debate around the open letter highlights the complex and multifaceted challenges of AI development. While some experts view the potential benefits of AI as significant, there are also concerns about the potential risks to society and mankind. The debate highlights the need for continued discussion and collaboration among all stakeholders to ensure that the development of AI is safe, ethical, and aligned with the long-term interests of humanity.


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US Government to Sell Seized Silk Road Bitcoin

The United States government has announced plans to sell more than 41,000 Bitcoin that were seized as part of the case against Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht. The news comes from a filing submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on March 31, which detailed the ongoing proceedings against James Zhong.

The U.S. government authorities have already begun liquidating roughly 51,352 Bitcoin (BTC) seized in the Ulbricht case. The filing reported that officials sold around 9,861 BTC for over $215 million on March 14, which leaves approximately 41,491 BTC remaining.

According to the court filing, “The Government understands [the Bitcoin] is expected to be liquidated in four more batches over the course of this calendar year.” It remains to be seen how the Bitcoin market will react to such a large influx of cryptocurrency hitting the market, but it is likely that this news will generate significant interest among investors.

Silk Road was an online black market that allowed users to purchase illegal goods and services using Bitcoin. The website was shut down by the FBI in 2013, and its creator, Ross Ulbricht, was arrested and sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2015.

The U.S. government’s seizure of the Bitcoin associated with Silk Road was one of the largest cryptocurrency seizures in history. At the time, the Bitcoin was worth roughly $1 billion, although its value has since increased significantly.

This announcement from the U.S. government is just the latest in a series of moves to regulate the cryptocurrency industry. Regulators around the world are increasingly concerned about the potential for cryptocurrencies to be used in illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing. As a result, we can expect to see further scrutiny of the industry in the years ahead.

In conclusion, the U.S. government’s decision to liquidate the seized Silk Road Bitcoin is likely to have a significant impact on the cryptocurrency market. Investors will be closely watching the market to see how it reacts to such a large influx of Bitcoin, and regulators will be keen to ensure that the cryptocurrency industry is not used for illegal activities. We will continue to monitor this developing story and provide updates as they become available.


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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 27,090.26 0.33%
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Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 234.54 0.55%