Crypto News Headlines (22-March-2022)

Dave, the digital banking software that went public on the Nasdaq two months ago, is stepping up its cryptocurrency ambitions following a new $100 million investment from crypto exchange FTX.

Dave Inc. established a strategic agreement with West Realm Shires Services, Inc., the owner and operator of FTX US, on Tuesday to further develop the digital asset economy.

FTX US is the exchange’s affiliate in the United States, offering cryptocurrency trading, an NFT marketplace, and payment services via FTX Pay.

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FTX was founded in 2018 by MIT graduate Sam Bankman-Fried and announced the establishment of the $2 billion FTX Ventures fund in January.

Simultaneously, FTX announced the close of a $400 million Series C investment round, valuing the exchange at $32 billion.

FTX US President Brett Harrison said in a news release:

“We are constantly on the lookout for companies that share our vision, have innovative and disruptive business models, and can assist in accelerating the adoption of digital assets.”

The U.S.-based cryptocurrency custody and exchange Gemini has been granted an electronic money (e-money) license from the Central Bank of Ireland.

According to The Irish Times on Monday (March 21, 2022), Gemini, founded by the Winklevii twins Tyler and Cameron, became the first fintech company to receive the Irish license since October 2020.

The crypto exchange first applied for the license earlier in 2020 partially due to the impact of Brexit, as stated by The Irish Times. Later in 2021, Gemini established an office in Dublin and appointed Gillian Lynch, former chief strategy officer, to lead operations in the Irish capital.

With the license, Gemini can issue electronic money in Ireland. According to the report, the crypto exchange holds a similar license from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In addition to Gemini, other companies such as financial services Stripe, social media giant Meta, and tech behemoth Google also have the e-money license.

Meanwhile, leading U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is also present in Ireland, while Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, earlier said that it was considering the country as one of its locations for a global headquarters.

However, in February 2022, the Central Bank of Ireland said that it was highly unlikely that the apex bank would approve cryptocurrency exposure for retail investors.

The network that powers the second most popular cryptocurrency is intentionally destroying a portion of its own supply.

Since August, Ethereum has cut down on 65% of the new issuance of its currency, Ether. That’s more than the equivalent of $5.8 billion burned, destroyed, and removed from circulation, according to Watch the Burn, an Ether data dashboard.

But why destroy all that crypto? Ethereum isn’t just setting a pile of cash on fire and walking away. Cutting down on the amount of available currency is part of a multipronged approach to upgrade the blockchain and cut down on the amount of money that crypto miners can earn off each transaction.

Last year, the network began implementing the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559. That created a new system under which transaction fees that were formerly all paid to miners were split into a base fee and a tip to the miner. Now the miner gets the tip, but the base fee is burned, or destroyed.

The new system prevents miners from being able to “game the system” with spam transactions, according to Tim Beiko, an Ethereum developer. Those spam transactions can raise the minimum fee for everyone else.

“The main reason why the burn is needed is to prevent miners from gaming the system under EIP 1559,” Beiko told Fortune. “If we did not burn part of the transaction fees, they could fill blocks with spam transactions, raising the minimum fee for everyone but themselves because they would get back all the fees.”

This can also keep transaction fees on the network more consistent, Beiko explains. Such fees can sometimes add hundreds of dollars to the cost of processing Ether transactions, depending on how congested the network is. This is supposed to improve the user experience of Ethereum.

Tennis star Naomi Osaka has taken an equity stake in FTX and will be receiving compensation in crypto, the Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange, one of the most valuable startups in the world, said on Monday.

The four-time Grand Slam winner signed a long-term partnership agreement with FTX, as part of which Osaka will be focused on bringing women onto its crypto platform and will play an active role in directing and producing content.

FTX, the owner and operator of crypto platform, has been rapidly raising capital over the past year. SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 invested $400 million in the company in January, major funding that catapulted FTX’s valuation to $32 billion.

Prior to her investment in FTX, Osaka backed salad chain Sweetgreen Inc was listed in New York last year. She is also an adviser to a special purpose acquisition company, Disruptive Acquisition Corporation I, along with other well-known athletes such as Patrick Mahomes and Robert Lewandowski.

Cross-border payments using digital currencies might be coming closer to reality as central banks in Australia, South Africa, Singapore and Malaysia today in a report said their prototype platform for settling state-backed virtual assets was “technically viable.”

“Project Dunbar” is seeking to cut out financial middlemen and reduce time and cost when paying overseas – making settlement as easy as domestic transactions.

The prototype, kicked off last September, is still stuck on questions of regulation and governance, as well as who should be given direct access to the platform.

The plans would mean commercial banks can pay each other directly in another country’s virtual currency.

It’s the latest in a series of projects convened by the Bank for International Settlements, which has also explored using tokenized assets for securities trading in Switzerland, and environmentally friendly green bonds in Hong Kong.

Head of the BIS Singapore Innovation Hub Andrew McCormack said in a media statement that the project was “laying the foundation for the development of future global and regional platforms.”

KENNERDELL, Pa. (Reuters) – The vast amounts of electricity needed to mine bitcoin has ignited a debate about whether the energy behind the operation is worth the potential environmental costs.

But one company in western Pennsylvania believes that they have found a way to put crypto mining to work to clean up their community.

Stronghold Digital Mining uses waste left behind by decades-old coal power plants to generate electricity that powers hundreds of supercomputers working to mine bitcoin.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest peer-to-peer digital currency, is issued through a process called mining, which requires computers to solve complex puzzles in exchange for the virtual currency. Powering those computers involves large amounts of electricity – in fact, more electricity is used annually to create bitcoin than is used in the entire country of Finland.

“The bitcoin mining network itself is the largest decentralized computer network in the world, and it’s power hungry, so co-locating bitcoin mining and a power plant makes a lot of sense,” said Greg Beard, chief executive officer of Stronghold.

Coal ash, the byproduct left over from burning coal to produce electricity, can leach into groundwater and pollute waterways, and contains heavy metals considered to be carcinogens.

Stronghold collects coal ash from a nearby mine and processes it at a waste coal processing facility. After the coal ash is sorted and crushed, it goes to a boiler building where it is burned to generate the electricity to power the company’s bitcoin mining operation.

“I think this is a perfect niche for crypto,” said Bill Spence, co-chairman of Stronghold Digital Mining.

Bitcoin mining is an energy-intensive process, and many critics claim it damages the environment and harms national electricity systems. In fact, some reports suggest that it employs more energy per year than the entire country of Finland.

According to a recent report by Reuters, Stronghold Digital Mining – an American crypto mining organization – found an alternative way to generate electricity for its operations. The company uses coal ash left behind by decades-old power plants.

Stronghold Digital Mining collects it from a nearby mine in the Pennsylvania area. After being processed, the byproduct goes to a boiler building, where it is burned to generate the electricity needed for mining bitcoin.

If not isolated, coal ash could leach into groundwater and pollute waterways. It contains heavy metals, which are considered carcinogenic. With that said, Stronghold’s initiative prevents certain amounts of coal ash from reaching the population of Pennsylvania.

Speaking on the matter was Greg Beard – Chief Executive Officer of the company:

“The bitcoin mining network itself is the largest decentralized computer network in the world, and it’s power-hungry, so co-locating bitcoin mining and a power plant makes a lot of sense.”

Separately, Bill Spence – Co-Chairman of the organization– opined that mining is the “perfect niche for crypto.”

Crypto exchange has acquired Altonomy’s over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk. told CoinDesk it’s already integrated Altonomy’s “core systems” with the firm’s existing OTC trading capabilities, according to VP of Markets Dan Bookstaber. Twenty-six Altonomy employees have also moved over, he said.

He declined to disclose the terms of the deal but said only Altonomy’s OTC desk was transferred. A since-deleted March 10 notice from Global Legal Chronicle described a cash-and-stock sale advised by the law firm Allen & Overy.

Altonomy is a digital assets investments, market making and OTC firm founded in 2018, according to Pitchbook. Specializing in altcoins like the recently debuted ApeCoin (APE), its OTC desk pairs buyers and sellers of hard-to-move assets. Bookstaber said Altonomy works with over 1,000 clients.

The deal significantly expands’s presence in crypto OTC trading. Altonomy handled over $16 billion in spot market OTC trades last year; by comparison, saw $10 billion in total activity across all its institutional crypto business lines, OTC included. A representative declined to provide the breakdown.

Altonomy’s client network, its Asia footprint and the altcoin focus was what clinched the deal, Bookstaber said. already had “one of the larger desks” for OTC options – which are more complex than spot trades – and Altonomy’s business bolsters its altcoin trading capacity.

“Their technology is very good at finding liquidity and managing execution on coins that are much lower liquidity,” Bookstaber said. “They have quite a bit of network within the ecosystem of people who are building these clients, far before they ever get listed.”

The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has issued an enforcement notice to over 50 companies that have advertised cryptocurrency services, advising them to review their ads to make sure they comply with new guidance.

The advertising regulator told CoinDesk the list of 50 includes all firms that have previously been subject to ASA rulings. Among these companies are Coinbase (COIN), eToro, Luno and

“This is a ‘red alert’ priority issue for us and we’ve recently banned several crypto ads for misleading consumers and for being socially irresponsible,” the ASA said.

The new guidance requires advertisers to clearly state that crypto is unregulated in the U.K. and that the “value of investments are variable and can go down.” Additionally, ads must not “state or imply that investment decisions are trivial, simple, easy or suitable for anyone” or “imply a sense of urgency to buy or create a fear of missing out, or that investments are ‘low risk’.”

Companies advertising crypto services have until May 2 to ensure their ads meet this guidance, after which non-compliant advertisers will be reported to the financial watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In January, the FCA announced its plans to tighten oversight of crypto advertising after it was granted additional powers by the government to regulate the industry.

CoinDesk has contacted Coinbase, eToro, Luno and for comment on the new guidance, but had not received a response by press time. Luno, like CoinDesk, is owned by Digital Currency Group.

For quite a long time, India has been lagging in legalising or regulating digital assets in India. But Indian policymakers are quite well-aware of the profits that cryptocurrency and blockchain have brought about for individual investors and global industries as well. But finally, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the Government’s final verdict to introduce cryptocurrencies in the Indian economy in its Union Budget session for 2022. The verdict talked about the introduction of taxes on virtual currencies. Well, it seems like the Government is going to implement these regulations quite soon. Reports have revealed that from April 2022, cryptocurrency gains will be taxed at 30%, which is also one of the highest cryptocurrency taxes, and at the same rate as charged for a lottery prize. This regulation will extend to all virtual assets, starting from Bitcoin, NFTs, and related earnings. There will also be an implementation of a 1% tax deducted at source (TDS) starting from July 1, 2022.

The Indian Government has been working on the classification of cryptocurrency as goods or services under the GST law, so that tax can be levied on the entire value of transactions. Currently, according to sources, 18% of GST is levied on services provided by crypto exchanges, which are categorised as financial services. GST officers possess the opinion that cryptocurrencies are quite similar to lotteries, casinos, betting, and such other activities which have a 28% GST on the entire value. Besides, GST at 3% is levied on the entire transaction value in the case of gold.

Even though crypto regulations have cleared several doubts that Indian investors have been building up in their minds regarding the stature of these digital currencies, they are not quite happy about it. Several cryptocurrency groups have urged the Modi government to rethink its planned 1% TDS and asked Sitharaman to reconsider her proposal.