WazirX in Hot Waters, Revolut Doubles Down on Crypto, Elizabeth Warren Picks Another Crypto Battle + More news
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- India’s Directorate of Enforcement (ED) said it has searched the properties of Sameer Mhatre, Director of local crypto exchange WazirX, in a money laundering investigation against a number of Indian non-banking financial companies (NBFCs). “By encouraging obscurity and having lax [anti-money laundering] norms, [WazirX] has actively assisted around 16 accused fintech companies in laundering the proceeds of crime using the crypto route,” the ED said. It also froze WazirX’s assets to the tune of INR 64.67 Crore (USD 8m).
- Binance and Mastercard announced the launch of Binance Card in Argentina as the first country in Latin America to have the product. The Binance Card issued by Credencial Payments will allow all new and existing Binance users with a valid national ID to make purchases and pay bills with crypto, including bitcoin (BTC) and BNB, at over 90m Mastercard merchants worldwide, both in-store and online. The product is in beta phase and should be widely available in the coming weeks.
- London-based fintech firm Revolut plans to increase its crypto headcount by 20% across Europe, the UK, and the US over the next six months, Bloomberg reported. It is currently advertising for 13 crypto-focused roles, and has already hired 43 crypto staff this year, tripling the team’s total headcount since July 2021. “We see crypto as a long-term play and remain bullish on the crypto industry,” Emil Urmanshin, Revolut’s crypto general manager, is quoted as saying, adding that the business currently accounts for about 5% to 10% of Revolut’s revenue globally.
- US, Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren is circulating a letter among her Senate colleagues that would ask the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to pull a series of Trump-era interpretations that paved the way for banks to offer services like crypto custody for clients, Bloomberg reported. The letter, a draft copy of which was reviewed by Bloomberg News, calls on the OCC to work with the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to replace them with an approach “that adequately protects consumers and the safety and soundness of the banking system.”
- Payments app Cash App generated USD 1.79bn of bitcoin revenue and USD 41m of bitcoin gross profit during the second quarter of 2022, down 34% and 24% year over year, respectively, the parent of the firm, fintech giant Block, said. Meanwhile, Block itself reached net revenue of USD 4.40bn in Q2, down 6% year over year, driven by a decrease in bitcoin revenue.
- Major derivatives marketplace Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group (CME) plans to expand its crypto derivatives offering with the introduction of Bitcoin Euro and Ether Euro futures on August 29, pending regulatory review. Designed to match their US dollar-denominated counterparts, the two futures contracts will be sized at BTC 5 and ETH 50 per contract, it said.
- Community members Devin Walsh and Kenneth Ng put forth a proposal to create the Uniswap Foundation. The Foundation’s mission will be to support the decentralized growth and sustainability of the Uniswap Protocol (UNI) and its supporting ecosystem and community, Walsh said. The initial team would be Walsh as Executive Director and Ng as Head of Operations.
- After two attempts, the Lido community has voted to sell LDO 10m (USD 26.1m) from the Lido DAO treasury to crypto investment firm Dragonfly Capital. Just above 99% of votes went for the proposal, and less than 1% against.
- Bitcoin miner Core Scientific announced production and operational updates for July 2022, including: producing 1,221 self-mined bitcoins, deploying 14,000 new ASIC servers, operating approximately 195,000 owned and colocated ASIC servers, and deploying first Bitmain Antminer S19 XPs in the US. The company sold BTC 1,975 at an average price of approximately USD 22,000 per BTC for total proceeds of approximately USD 44m. As of July 31, it held BTC 1,205 and approximately USD 83m in cash on its balance sheet.