The cryptocurrency business is thriving, but many things are happening, including, Indian Government receiving calls to restore UPI use for crypto exchanges, Ripple unveiling a blockchain-powered CBDC platform, Bitcoin Wallet Strike expanding support to 3 billion people, and much more!
In this issue:
- Google Cloud unveils A3 GPU Supercomputer with RNDR integration, revolutionizing AI and content production.
- Indian Government receives calls to restore UPI use for crypto exchanges.
- Ripple unveils blockchain-powered CBDC platform as XRP price maintains gains.
- Bitcoin Wallet Strike expands support to 3 billion people, targets Global South.
- Hotbit suspends operations, citing unfavorable market conditions.
- G-7 must take charge in ending ‘Lawless’ crypto space, FATF Chief says.
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Google Cloud unveils A3 GPU Supercomputer with RNDR integration, revolutionizing AI and content production.
Google Cloud has unveiled the highly anticipated A3 GPU supercomputer, a cutting-edge technology that will reshape the landscape of machine learning and digital content production. This next-generation supercomputer, powered by cutting-edge NVIDIA H100 GPUs and seamlessly integrated with RNDR (Render Token), promises unparalleled advancements in AI and rendering workflows.
The A3 GPU supercomputer, with its unrivaled computational power and optimization for the most demanding AI models, is poised to cause a seismic shift in the industry. Experts predict a significant supply shock for GPU and NPU technologies, ushering the industry into uncharted territory.
RNDR sets the stage for unparalleled creativity and innovation, from ultra-high-resolution production to machine learning augmented rendering workflows and next-generation immersive media formats.
Creators and developers will be able to unlock new frontiers in digital content production by leveraging the transformative power of the A2 instances integrated with RNDR. Whether you’ve seen RNDR’s value skyrocket from $2 to more than $1000, its potential is limitless, making this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
In conclusion, Google Cloud’s A3 GPU supercomputer integrated with RNDR heralds a new era of limitless possibilities, revolutionizing AI and digital content production.
Indian Government receives calls to restore UPI use for crypto exchanges.
A new proposal is about to the submitted to the Indian State government to restore the use of the country’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for crypto exchanges operating in India, on top of two previous proposals.
The latest development comes after the supervising body for the real-time interbank payments network claimed in 2022 that it was not aware that crypto exchanges were utilizing the UPI service.
India’s Bharat Web3 Association (BWA), a cryptocurrency advocacy group formed in November 2022, could be the latest body to submit a proposal to the Indian government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regarding access to the country’s UPI for crypto exchanges. Two entities already made similar proposals, with BWA’s expected to come in a few weeks.
BWA was formed after the dissolution of the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC), an organization under the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) which also called for the restoration of UPI for crypto firms in the country. According to the IAMAI at the time, the disbandment of the advocacy group happened as a result of India’s uncertain regulatory environment.
In April 2022, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), a division of the RBI, said it was not aware that crypto exchanges were using the UPI feature. The statement came hours after crypto exchange giant Coinbase announced support for UPI for cryptocurrency purchases. NPCI’s statement also led CoinSwitch Kuber and WazirX to disable deposits in Indian rupees.
UPI, which is widely used in India, is a real-time interbank payment system that facilitates peer-to-peer (P2P) and peer-to-merchant (P2M) transactions. It was developed by the NCPI in 2016.
With two proposals on the ground and a third on the way, it remains to be seen if the government will change its stance or maintain the restrictions in place.
Ripple unveils blockchain-powered CBDC platform as XRP price maintains gains.
Ramping up its CBDC game, Ripple announced the launch of a new platform for central banks, governments, and financial institutions to issue their central bank digital currency.
Dubbed ‘Ripple CBDC Platform,’ the offering will leverage the same blockchain technology used on the XRP Ledger (XRPL). The platform is developed to address multiple use cases, such as wholesale and retail CBDCs on a private ledger or issuing a stablecoin.
According to the San Francisco-based blockchain company, the aim is to “holistically manage and customize the entire life cycle of fiat-based central bank digital currency, transaction, and distribution.”
Following the development, James Wallis, Ripple’s VP of Central Bank Engagements & CBDCs, said, “As a trusted partner to several central banks, we believe this platform will help solve problems for many central banks and governments who are devising plans and developing a technology strategy for CBDC Implementations.” The exec added that innovative capabilities of the platform are expected to help facilitate instant settlement of both domestic and cross-border payments, mitigate risk vectors, and enhance the user experience of sending and receiving digital currency on either side of a transaction.
As part of its global push for its CBDC platform, Ripple has onboarded the Republic of Palau to develop the country’s national digital currency on it. Surangel Whipps Jr, President of the Republic of Palau, commented, “Partnering with Ripple to help create our national digital currency is part of our commitment to lead in financial innovation and technologies, which will provide the citizens of Palau with greater financial access.”
Bitcoin Wallet Strike expands support to 3 billion people, targets Global South.
Strike a Bitcoin payments company and remittance app – announced Friday that it is now available for download to over 3 billion people worldwide, including dozens of new countries.
The international expansion will allow wallet users in India, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and other countries to remit payments to one another in both USD and BTC. Speaking at Bitcoin 2023 in Miami, Strike CEO Jack Mallers explained that the company’s expansion efforts were primarily targeted toward those that needed better payment tools and technology the most.
An inexhaustive list of 47 supported countries presented during Mallers’ presentation included Bhutan, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, New Zealand, Paraguay, and Uganda, alongside formerly announced expansions like Argentina, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana
Within those countries, Strike leverages the Bitcoin lightning network to enable fast and immediate Bitcoin and dollar-based remittances worldwide. Lightning is a layer 2 network that bypasses the fees of Bitcoin’s base chain, which can rise to levels that make small transactions infeasible when placed under stress.
Global outreach for Strike was a two-and-a-half-year effort, which partly involved working with regulators in El Salvador’s Bitcoin Office to create a licensing structure for Bitcoin companies to legally operate. The nation was the first in the United States to support Strike and is now home to the headquarters of Mallers’ company E4.
Maller stressed the importance of giving the global south access to a “money app,” rather than an existing “exchange” like Binance, FTX, or Coinbase, which encourages “speculative gambling.”
Strike also now supports Lightning Address, which lets users set up an email-like identifier for sending them Bitcoin over Lightning, rather than using a QR code.
Hotbit suspends operations, citing unfavorable market conditions.
Сrypto exchange Hotbit is shutting down due to negative market trends and deteriorating operating conditions, making it impossible to remain in business. Hotbit users are advised to withdraw their assets from the platform before June 21.
Hotbit, a Hong Kong-based bitcoin (BTC) trading venue that suspended customer deposits and withdrawals for several weeks in August 2022 due to law enforcement investigations on one of its execs is finally closing its platform.
According to an announcement by the 5-year-old crypto exchange, which claims to have five million customers across the globe, its decision to completely shutter operations stems from several factors, including increased scrutiny from law enforcement authorities.
Hotbit also claims that the disgraced Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX scandal, which saw countless crypto traders and investors lost their hard-earned money last year, has caused an increased flow of funds from centralized exchanges (CEXs), including itself, with a good number of investors now adopting self custody.
Additionally, the exchange has cited increased risk management burdens. It stated that the increasing cyber-attack incidents have made it quite unstainable to keep supporting a diverse range of crypto assets, which has been part of its business model over the years.
Hotbit users are advised to withdraw all their funds from the exchange before UTC 04:00 on Jun. 21, 2023.
G-7 must take charge in ending ‘Lawless’ crypto space, FATF Chief says.
The Group of Seven (G-7) advanced economies must take the lead in implementing recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to combat illicit financial flows through crypto, the president of the global financial crimes watchdog said in a letter on Thursday.
The strongly-worded message titled “An end to the lawless crypto space” was published ahead of a meeting of G-7 leaders in Hiroshima, Japan starting Friday.
The group’s finance ministers and central bank governors have already discussed crypto regulation in a meeting last weekend and are set to reiterate their support for tougher crypto rules globally at the summit.
The FATF has urged countries to implement its controversial “travel rule” that requires crypto service providers to collect and share information on transactions above a certain threshold, designed to curb money laundering and the financing of terrorism through digital assets.
“Around the globe, countries have made progress in implementing most of the standards; however, progress on implementing FATF’s updated requirements on crypto assets has been relatively poor,” Kumar said, adding that 73% of countries are still “non-compliant or only partially compliant” with the watchdog’s standards.
“Countries need to take urgent action to shut down lawless spaces, which allow criminals, terrorists, and rogue states to use crypto assets,” Kumar said. Although analysts estimate around 0.1% to 15.4% of crypto transactions to be unlawful, the FATF has said there may be too low. G-7 countries taking the lead in “fully and effectively implementing FATF’s global standards is crucial to our collective success,” Kumar said.
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