The cryptocurrency business is thriving, but there are a lot of things happening, including Google partnering with Coinbase to bring Crypto payments to Cloud services, BNY Mellon launching Bitcoin, Ethereum custody services for Investment firms, Bored Ape creators, and other NFT projects being investigated by SEC and much more!
In this issue:
- Google partners with Coinbase to bring Crypto payments to Cloud services
- BNY Mellon launches Bitcoin, and Ethereum custody services for Investment firms.
- Bored Ape creators and other NFT projects investigated by SEC probe.
- Portugal introduces a 28% Crypto tax in its 2023 budget.
- France Energy Giant EDF Now Runs Over 150 Ethereum Nodes.
- JP Morgan collaborates with Visa to initiate blockchain-oriented cross-border transactions.
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Google partners with Coinbase to bring Crypto payments to Cloud services.
Google and Coinbase revealed plans for a strategic partnership to allow select customers to pay for cloud services using crypto from early 2023. Coinbase will use Google Cloud’s compute platform to process blockchain data at scale to improve the global reach of its crypto services by leveraging Google’s fiber-optic network.
Coinbase will also build its global data platform on Google Cloud’s infrastructure and leverage its leading data and analytics technologies to provide Coinbase customers with machine learning-driven crypto insights. Initially, crypto payments will be available to companies working in the Web3 space.
Blockchain developers will also be able to use Google’s BigQuery crypto public datasets. These will be powered by Coinbase’s cloud nodes which aim to streamline the building process for decentralized applications (dApps). Google, meanwhile, will use Coinbase Prime for its institutional crypto services, such as custody and reporting.
“We are excited Google Cloud has selected Coinbase to help bring Web3 to a new set of users and provide powerful solutions to developers,” said Brian Armstrong, Co-founder, and CEO of Coinbase. “We could not ask for a better partner to help execute our vision of building a trusted bridge into the Web3 ecosystem.”
BNY Mellon launches Bitcoin, Ethereum custody services for Investment firms.
BNY Mellon, which oversees about $47 trillion in assets, has set up a new unit dedicated to providing its clients with ‘an integrated service’ for digital assets, which would cover classic cryptocurrencies and could be extended to stablecoins.
Upon launch, BNY customers will be able to store Bitcoin and Ether in its crypto wallets powered by Fireblocks technology. Citing growing client demand, maturity of blockchain and better regulatory clarity, America’s oldest bank said “the idea is that we build a digital asset platform the cornerstone of which is custody that will enable the interoperability of traditional assets and digital.”
Further, the custodian bank, which is sitting on $2 trillion in assets under management, states that even conservative clients are seeking exposure to digital assets. The new offering also targets native crypto firms, like Coinbase and other US exchanges, who are looking for BNY Mellon’s core investment services.
“Touching more than 20% of the world’s investable assets, BNY Mellon has the scale to reimagine financial markets through blockchain technology and digital assets. We are excited to help drive the financial industry forward as we begin the next chapter in our innovation journey,” said Robin Vince, Chief Executive Officer and President at BNY Mellon.
Bored Ape creators and other NFT projects investigated by SEC probe.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a probe into Yuga Labs, the entity behind the popular NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club, over the sale of its NFTs and digital tokens.
The regulatory agency is investigating whether some Yuga Labs NFTs are akin to stocks and should follow the same disclosure rules, Bloomberg reported, citing someone familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the probe is private. Furthermore, the SEC is examining Yuga Lab’s distribution of ApeCoin, the Bored Ape Yacht Club-affiliated cryptocurrency that is poised to become the native currency of Otherside, a metaverse game from Yuga Labs.
The Bloomberg report clarified that the SEC has not accused Yuga Labs of any wrongdoing and that opening a probe doesn’t mean the agency will sue the company.
Launched in 2021, Yuga Labs has evolved to become one of the biggest players in the crypto and Web3 industry. Aside from BAYC, Yuga’s other NFT collections have also gained some traction, which includes BAYC’s spin-off Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Otherside NFTs.
Portugal introduces a 28% Crypto tax in its 2023 budget.
Portugal may no longer be a tax haven for crypto investors. As per the report published by the Portuguese Government, a new crypto asset taxation regime will be introduced in its 2023 national budget.
The report provides that the Govt. will tax the income from crypto-assets as business or professional income or capital gains without prejudice to the classification in the other categories.
Capital gains from crypto assets held for less than 1 year will be subject to tax at the rate of 28%, and capital gains from crypto assets held for more than 365 days will be exempt from tax.
The Portuguese Government also intends to impose a 4% tax on free crypto transfers and will apply stamp duties where applicable.
Proposals for the new taxes came from two small left-wing parties as Portugal’s Socialist majority party was yet to make any sort of proposals, with the Minister of Finance warning that a crypto tax was imminent. Falling in line with the recent crypto tax proposals, last April, Portuguese bank Bison Bank received the country’s first crypto license from Banco de Portugal and in doing so, became its first operating crypto bank.
France Energy Giant EDF Now Runs Over 150 Ethereum Nodes.
- Électricité de France (EDF), a France-based electricity company, has delved deeper into crypto by becoming a heavyweight validator on Ethereum (ETH). According to a recent report, EDF manages more than 150 Ethereum nodes under its subsidiary Exaion. As per the report, the subsidiary, created in 2020, is currently managing 10 ETH nodes and more than 140 Ethereum nodes on behalf of EDF clients.
- Exaion is EDF’s Web 3 subsidiary that was secretly launched in 2020 to focus exclusively on cryptocurrencies. Due to skepticism surrounding cryptocurrencies, the French state-owned energy supplier did not publicly disclose Exaion. However, Exaion has been working on several blockchain projects, including Polkadot. Aside from the 150 Ethereum nodes managed by Exaion, the company also runs another 150 nodes across multiple blockchains such as Tezos, Avalanche, Cosmos, and Polkadot. Running these nodes enables Exaion to validate transactions on the networks. While Exaion was launched to focus on different crypto initiatives, the company has ignored running Bitcoin nodes because its PoW consensus algorithm consumes high energy.
EDF is ranked as the fifth-biggest utility company in Europe, with a market capitalization of €46 billion ($45 billion).
JP Morgan collaborates with Visa to initiate blockchain-oriented cross-border transactions.
Traditional and finance payments company JP Morgan and Visa are expected to enter into a partnership to streamline the use of their private blockchain solutions Liink and B2B Connect for the facilitation of cross-border transactions, as reported by Cointelegraph.
Insights from an October report by Forbes showed that JP Morgan’s Liink is a network that has been created for cross-border transactions and is offered on account of the bank’s blockchain and payments initiative Onyx. The platform is responsible for institutions to share financial information and validating transactions. Reportedly, Visa’s B2B Connect is the same as Liink for institutional grade usage and has been integrated with Onyx’s Confirm.
Confirm is an account-information validation product, and ensures that transacting parties provide genuine identities and correct information. Onyx touts that Confirm is capable of verifying more than 2 billion bank accounts from 3,500 financial institutions.
Confirm’s global head, Alex Littleton, explained in a public statement that “Confirm’s growth is heavily influenced by network effects,” adding that, “Naming Deutsche Bank as a founding member, while also establishing interconnectivity to Visa B2B’s blockchain, will accelerate our adoption on a global scale.”
With Visa teaming with JPMorgan and its suite of blockchain products, it seems that the duo has an eye on providing an alternative to the commonly used Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) messaging system to manage & facilitate cross-border payments.
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