Crypto News Headlines (05-Apr-2023)

The oversubscribed capital raise will be used to expand Finst’s range of products drive its international expansion plans.

Crypto derivatives platform Deribit’s parent company Sentillia has led a 4 million euro ($4.4 million) seed funding round into Netherlands-based cryptocurrency exchange Finst.

The oversubscribed funding round will be used to expand Finst’s range of products drive its international expansion plans.

Among Finst’s planned products is one aimed at “radically simplifying” access to the crypto market for retail investors, the exchange said in an emailed announcement on Tuesday.

A recent blog post from cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase indicates the vast majority of United States remittance fees for international transfers wouldn’t apply to similar transactions conducted using cryptocurrency.

According to the exchange’s research, “The US average fee rate of 6.18%, means Americans’ average yearly spend is likely close to $12 billion on remittance fees.” The post goes on to state that the average transaction time for such remittances ranges from one to 10 days, while similar cryptocurrency transactions usually take around 10 minutes.

Remittance payments represent a sort of “double whammy” for international transactions as, typically, they require both a sending fee and a conversion fee to exchange between currencies..

The price of Ethereum jumped 4.7% overnight, per CoinGecko data, as the second-largest cryptocurrency approaches its much-anticipated Shapella upgrade on April 12.

Shapella is the joined term for two key improvements coming to the Ethereum network: Shanghai and Capella. These refer to unlocking withdrawals for staked Ethereum on the network at the execution layer and on the consensus layer, respectively.

Notably, Ethereum’s price action has also outpaced Bitcoin’s increase of 1.3% during the same period.

Next week’s upgrade will enable ETH withdrawals from the staking contract, lowering the risk of holding staked Ethereum (stETH), also known as liquid staking derivatives (LSDs) via platforms like Lido Finance.

The standards for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) in Hong Kong are set “incredibly high” as the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is wanting the crypto industry to match the same compliance standards as traditional financial firms.

Speaking to Cointelegraph at the Hong Kong WOW Summit, Lucy Gazmararian, the founder of crypto venture firm Token Bay Capital and an SFC Fintech Advisory Group member explained that while “the bar is set high” they’re in place for a “good reason.”

“The standards are incredibly high because [the SFCs] approach is to ask VASPs to apply the same standards that existing financial institutions like huge banks and huge asset managers have to comply with.”

On April 4, 2023, Paxful released a blog post stating that the peer-to-peer Bitcoin (P2P) exchange is suspending its operations. “Today, Paxful will be suspending its marketplace,” said the trading platform’s CEO, Ray Youssef. “We are not sure if it will come back,” he added. Youssef continued by saying that the suspension may come as a shock to many and that he cannot share all the details at this time.

“I can say that we unfortunately have had some key staff departures,” Youssef wrote. “Also, regulatory challenges for the industry continue to grow, especially in the peer-to-peer market and most heavily in the U.S.”

Digital asset-based trusts and funds have boosted their bitcoin holdings as investor demand has rebounded in the weeks following a number of bank failures.

Data from crypto analytics firm CryptoQuant showed the amount of bitcoin (BTC) held by digital asset managers such as trusts and exchange-traded products (ETP) started to fall sharply in early March, dropping below 688,000 bitcoins on March 14 in the immediate aftermath of the failures of Silvergate Bank, Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank.

In the weeks since, however, these fund managers have added back about 4,000 bitcoins, with holdings above 692,000 as of April 2, or nearly $20 billion worth at the current price just above $28,000.

PostFinance, a retail bank fully owned by the Swiss government, is preparing to offer its customers cryptocurrency trading and storage services.

PostFinance has partnered with the local cryptocurrency bank Sygnum to offer its customers a range of regulated digital asset banking services, the firms announced on April 5.

The partnership will specifically allow PostFinance customers to buy, store and sell major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin BTC tickers down $28,549 and Ether ETH tickers down $1,916.

The crypto services are enabled through Sygnum’s institutional business-to-business offering that provides banks with market entry to regulated and compliant digital products. The B2B network includes more than 15 partner banks and supports a “range of cryptocurrencies,” featuring revenue-generating services like staking.

Latin America’s biggest investment bank, Brazil-based BTG Pactual, today announced the launch of its own stablecoin.

Rio de Janeiro-based BTG Pactual said in a Tuesday statement that its BTG Dol token, available for clients now, is priced in U.S. dollars.

BTG Pactual confirmed to Decrypt that the asset will run on the Polygon—the blockchain behind the 10th largest cryptocurrency by market cap MATIC. Polygon is a sidechain network that is compatible with Ethereum and is popular among big brands, such as Starbucks and Disney.

American fashion brand Ralph Lauren will begin accepting cryptocurrency payments at its newly-opened store in Miami’s Design District, becoming the retailer’s first location to do so.

According to a press release, the store is partnering with service provider BitPay to allow customers to purchase merchandise using bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and Polygon’s token, MATIC.

In addition, the brand is partnering with Web3 community Poolsuite to release a co-branded non-fungible token (NFT) that will be gifted to existing holders of the Poolsuite NFT membership collection. Members will gain exclusive access to a “special event” and will have be able to update their “Leisurist” avatars with digital Ralph Lauren wearables.

The brand is planning an immersive three-day experience at a private estate in North Miami at the end of April in conjunction with the store opening.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Monday that it has seized cryptocurrency worth more than $112 million “linked to cryptocurrency investment scams.” Noting that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Phoenix Division is investigating this case, the announcement details:

Seizure warrants for six virtual currency accounts were authorized by judges in the District of Arizona, the Central District of California, and the District of Idaho.

“According to court documents, the virtual currency accounts were allegedly used to launder proceeds of various cryptocurrency confidence scams,” the DOJ said.