Bitcoin Price: US$ 30,077.41 (-2.00%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,828.02 (-3.26%)
Mastercard is launching a testbed called the Multi-Token Network (MTN) to explore tokenised bank deposits, with plans to expand to central bank digital currencies and regulated stablecoins. The initiative aims to bring programmability to bank account money by representing it as digital assets on the blockchain. Mastercard’s focus aligns with their previously announced blockchain analytics application, Mastercard Crypto Credentials, which ensures compliance with regulations like anti-money laundering. In other news, creditors of BlockFi, a defunct crypto lender, have filed for the company’s liquidation, alleging fraud and extortion by its management in delaying bankruptcy proceedings. Meanwhile, the European Commission has published its legislative plans for a digital euro, emphasising benefits such as free digital payments, privacy controls, financial stability, and increased competition. The proposal aims to enhance the integrity and safety of the European payment system and stimulate innovation while addressing concerns and skeptics. Ultimately, the decision to issue the digital euro rests with the European Central Bank.
The Australian Treasury has acknowledged the severity of the issue of de-banking in the cryptocurrency sector and has expressed concerns about the potential underground activities that may arise from inaction. The Treasury has also endorsed the majority of the Council of Financial Regulators’ recommendations on de-banking, which could bring about changes for crypto-related entities. Recent incidents, such as the Commonwealth Bank implementing partial restrictions and Binance Australia halting Australian dollar transactions, have highlighted the need for action. The Australian government has agreed to collect data on de-banking, supported measures to enhance transparency and fairness, and called for major banks to provide guidance applicable to digital currency exchanges. This announcement follows Blockchain Australia’s commitment to combat scams and collaborate with payment providers and banks. In other news, Robert Leshner, CEO of Compound, has submitted filings for a new company called “Superstate,” aiming to create a government bond fund using the Ethereum blockchain for record-keeping. The fund will invest in short-term government securities and utilise a traditional transfer agent alongside blockchain-based records. The filing states that blockchain integration can enhance operational efficiency and improve the shareholder experience. Additionally, the Bitcoin-friendly app Damus has successfully avoided deplatforming by Apple after a two-week battle. Although zaps on posts will no longer be allowed, users can still send zaps to each other at the profile level. The incident has sparked criticism from the Bitcoin community regarding Apple’s stringent guidelines for cryptocurrency-related applications on the App Store.
ARK Invest, led by Cathie Wood, has amended its filing for a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) to include a surveillance-sharing agreement similar to BlackRock’s application. This agreement would involve sharing information about market trading activity, clearing activity, and customer identification to prevent market manipulation. ARK’s application, filed earlier than BlackRock’s, may have an advantage in being approved first, according to Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas. In other news, Binance’s current EUR banking partner, Paysafe Payment Solutions Limited, will cease supporting the crypto exchange after September 25. Binance users will need to update their banking details for EUR deposits and withdrawals via bank transfer. Additionally, an enhanced version of the Ethereum smart-contract framework ERC-1404, called ERC-1404 Prime, has been introduced by advisory firm Republic Crypto and token builder Upside. This upgraded version aims to provide a foundation for issuing regulatorily compliant assets on the Ethereum blockchain, particularly for security tokens representing stock shares and real estate. The enhanced design incorporates lessons learned over the past four years and offers features such as automated lock-ups and dividend distributions.
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is contemplating the possibility of listing tokenised real-world assets, such as gold, on its exchange. While directly listing cryptocurrencies has proven challenging due to compliance with listing rules, ASX’s CIO and group executive of technology and data, Dan Chesterman, acknowledged the potential for listing tokenised assets in the future. Meanwhile, Maple Finance, a Web3 lending platform, has announced the launch of a direct lending program aimed at filling the void left by bankrupt lenders like BlockFi and Celsius. The program will connect creditworthy borrowers with capital from institutional allocators, catering to the needs of various entities in the crypto space. In other news, the volume of Ether staked continues to rise, with over 23 million Ether locked as of June, representing a significant portion of the total ETH supply. This growth in staked Ether demonstrates its increasing popularity as an investment and further underscores the prominence of Ethereum in the blockchain ecosystem.
Software analytics firm MicroStrategy has announced the purchase of 12,333 Bitcoin, worth $347 million, increasing its total BTC holdings to 152,333 with an average purchase price of $29,668 per coin. The company partially financed the purchase through the issuance of new stock. Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has finalised the controversial European Data Act, which includes provisions for smart contracts, such as kill switches for safe termination. The act aims to promote fair use of industrial data and remove barriers to data sharing. Additionally, Sony Network Communications, a subsidiary of Sony, has invested $3.5 million in Japanese Web3 infrastructure tech company Startale Labs to support the widespread adoption of Web3 and develop all-in-one solutions for Web3 development, bridging real-world assets with the Web3 ecosystem.
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