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US Labor Department on Bitcoin Pensions, Coinbase Intelligence & NFTs + More News

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Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

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Regulation news

  • Ali Khawar, acting assistant secretary of the Employee Benefits Security Administration at the US Labor Department, said that they have “grave concerns with what Fidelity has done” with regards to Fidelity’s move to allow bitcoin to be added to clients’ 401(k), or retirement savings, accounts, as it “risks the retirement security of Americans,” per The Wall Street Journal. Khawar said he believes cryptocurrency has intriguing use cases, but that it needs “maturing” before people can put their retirement savings into it, the report said, adding that he and his colleagues have scheduled a conversation with Fidelity to discuss some of the concerns.
  • Starting May 1, any legal person established in Belgium that wants to provide exchange services between virtual currencies and legal currencies, or custody wallet services, within Belgium will have to register with the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) in advance, said the financial regulatory agency. Providers already operating must notify the FSMA of the exercise of their activity before July 1 and apply for registration before September 1.
  • A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the US reintroduced a bill that would give oversight over the crypto spot market to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CFTC is a US financial regulator that normally oversees derivatives markets.
  • German Member of Parliament for the liberal Free Democratic Party, Frank Schäffler, organized a crypto tax roundtable in the German Parliament. During discussions, it was agreed that staking and lending of crypto should not extend a required holding period in order to benefit from tax-free selling of crypto to 10 years, Schäffler wrote on Twitter.
  • Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital is planning to move its headquarters from Singapore to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, Bloomberg reported, citing co-founder Su Zhu. The move by Three Arrows comes as Dubai opens to crypto firms while Singapore has been more conservative with its regulatory approach, per the report.

Exchanges news

  • Coinbase introduced Coinbase Intelligence, a suite of tools that Coinbase says is “dedicated to crypto compliance” and “designed to help secure the crypto economy from bad actors.” Among the tools is Coinbase KYT (know your transaction), which is meant to help companies determine risks associated with crypto transactions.
  • Bybit said it launched a dedicated team in Brazil to give Brazilian users access to its crypto trading offering.

NFTs news

  • Crypto exchange Coinbase’s recently launched non-fungible tokens (NFT) marketplace has so far seen just 742 total users on the platform, including 302 unique sellers and 503 unique buyers, according to Dune Analytics data. The total transactions currently stand at 985, and the total volume at USD 315,874, and total. Out of this, Coinbase NFT saw just over USD 101,000 on April 28 alone.

Adoption news

  • The popular messaging app Telegram enabled a Wallet bot, allowing payments with bitcoin (BTC) and toncoin (TON) directly to other app users without the need to enter a wallet address. TON (originally Telegram Open Network) was abandoned by Telegram, but later re-launched as an independent project.
  • The gift cards-for-crypto company Bitrefill has launched a crypto bill payments service for US customers. The new service will require users to be verified with an ID and a US residency, an announcement from the company said.
  • Blockchain-powered, real estate transaction and offer platform Propy and digital asset wealth management platform Abra announced a partnership that aims to enable Propy customers to buy real estate by securing a loan using their digital assets as collateral. Propy customers can borrow against their crypto holdings to take out a home loan using Abra Borrow, while Abra Borrow users can seek Propy certified real estate agents to help them buy or sell property, including making down payments on mortgages.
  • Banque Delubac & Cie has obtained its registration as a DASP (Digital Assets Service Provider) with the Financial Markets Authority (AMF) and the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR). It is about to officially launch its offer for the purchase, sale, and custody of cryptoassets for institutions, businesses, and individuals, said the press release.

CBDCs news

  • The European Central Bank (ECB) is inviting front-end payment solutions providers and banks to design prototypes for payment solutions for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) project known as the digital euro.

Investments news

  • Asset manager WisdomTree reported that it managed an average of USD 324m worth of cryptoassets in the first quarter of 2022, compared to USD 264m recorded in the same period last year. The company recorded a net loss of USD 10.3m.
  • Digital asset investment platform Yieldstreet launched the Enhanced Crypto Fund in partnership with US investment firm Osprey Funds. They said that the fund will allow investors “an easier and balanced approach to invest in the crypto economy.”

Economics news

  • Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 7.5% in April 2022, up from 7.4% in March according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
  • In the first quarter of 2022, seasonally adjusted GDP (gross domestic product) increased by 0.2% in the euro area and by 0.4% in the EU, compared with the previous quarter, according to a preliminary flash estimate published by Eurostat. In the fourth quarter of 2021, GDP had grown by 0.3% in the euro area and 0.5% in the EU. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP increased by 5% in the euro area and by 5.2% in the EU in the first quarter of 2022, after 4.7% in the euro area and 4.9% in the EU in the previous quarter.

Career news

  • The cross-exchange digital asset trading network Apifiny hired Diana Pires as Chief Revenue Officer. Pires previously worked for financial market giants S&P Global and ICE, before moving to crypto with positions at OKX and Crypto.com.




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