Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- Janet Yellen will use her first major address as US Treasury secretary to argue for a global minimum corporate tax rate, as she makes the case for President Joe Biden’s plan to raise corporate taxes to fund his more than USD 2trn infrastructure plan, Axios reported, citing prepared remarks by Yellen. Convincing other countries to impose a global minimum tax would reduce the likelihood of companies relocating offshore, but Axios argued that by trying to convince them to impose it, Yellen is acknowledging the risks to the American economy if it acts alone in raising corporate rates.
- The Russian Central Bank has issued a set of draft regulations that could have an impact on the nation’s crypto and stablecoin sectors. The new consultation paper saw the bank urge companies not to develop what it called “private currencies” – adding that “monetary surrogates” could undermine the existing financial system and warning that these “currencies” could create the “excessive binding of consumers to the ecosystem, which will “worsen conditions” for competitors. The paper’s authors argued that such “private currencies” would allow issuers to make arbitrary changes to “the economic value” of their tokens, “leading to violations of consumer rights.”
- Indian crypto exchange WazirX has launched a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace for Indian artists, reported the Economic Times. Indian creators can now place their digital assets for auction and earn royalty thereafter. WazirX will not charge its customers for creating and listing NFTs on the platform, but a gas fee needs to be paid to the miners – a cost the exchange is reportedly working to nullify to make NFT minting cost-effective for artists and creators.
- Tron (TRX) founder and CEO Justin Sun has purchased one of TIME Magazine’s NFTS for ETH 117 (USD 209,736). The cover is 1965’s ‘The Computer In Society’, created by Artist Boris Artzybasheff, and this was the first time the computer was mentioned on the cover of TIME, Sun said. It will be placed in the recently announced JUST NFT Fund.
- Pop culture consumer products company Funko has acquired a majority ownership stake in TokenWave, the developer of TokenHead, a mobile app and website for showcasing and tracking NFT holdings. TokenHead, available on iOS and Android, currently displays over 10m NFTs and has more than 100,000 visits per day, said the press release. The financial terms of the investment were not disclosed. Funko expects to launch its initial NFT offerings in June, featuring a unique property each week at a starting price point of USD 9.99. Products will be sold on the WAX platform.
Coinbase is set to go public with two directors (Fred Ehrsam and Fred Wilson) who are members of the audit committee and are major shareholders, while one was a founder, the Wall Street Journal reported.
- The CEO of online retailing platform Shopify, Tobi Lutke, has turned to decentralized finance (DeFi) Twitter for ideas on the platform’s potential role in the DeFi space. Lutke asked what commerce-related opportunities for the DeFi space the community is most excited about, as well as what role would they want Shopify to play in that space. Many suggestions came in, such as adding support for bitcoin (BTC) Lightning payments, stablecoin integration, NFT-based merchant reputation scores and customer rewards program, partnerships with major DeFi projects, etc.
- Blockchain-based e-commerce business and a fintech service provider Future FinTech Group (FTFT) signed an acquisition framework agreement with the shareholders of Nanjing Ribensi Electronic Technology, which currently operates a bitcoin mining farm with all the necessary governmental approvals and with a capacity to operate 30,000 bitcoin mining machines, located in Sichuan Province, China. FTFT will pay a total of RMB 60m (USD 9m) for the acquisition of Nanjing Ribensi, they said. The sellers guarantee that the net profit of Nanjing Ribensi shall not be less than RMB 15m (USD 2.3m) for 2021, RMB 20m (USD 3m) for 2022, and RMB 25m (USD 3.8m) for 2023.
- The ruling parliamentary party, United Russia, is set to use blockchain technology in upcoming voting ahead of elections in the Chechen Republic, reported Chechen Info. The Russian constituent republic is set to go to the polls for the first time since 2016 in September 2021. And the Chechen United Russia primaries are slated to take place in late May, with registration closing for the party’s elections later this month. The process will take place online, with votes cast on a blockchain-powered platform constructed by a state-owned Russian public services provider.
- A Chinese woman has reportedly been catfished by crypto scammers on dating apps, as cases of crypto fraud on dating platforms in East Asia begin to climb. Our recently reported on a rise in male dating app users being targeted by scammers in Japan. But in an apparent reversal, Hangzhou.com reported on the case of a woman from the coastal city of Zhejiang who was allegedly duped by two “online boyfriends” at once – one of whom convinced her to join an online gambling syndicate. The other, who claimed to be a successful “blockchain” investor, convinced her to make a series of investments – the largest of which was worth over USD 2,500 – in what she believed was an above-board crypto program. After first making some small apparent gains on the platform, she upped the ante before making bigger losses.
- The British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned that fraudsters are using the details of firms they authorize to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorized firm. The regulator calls this ‘a clone firm’. Fraudsters are using or giving out specific details as part of their tactics to scam people in the UK, including the name Blockchain Recovery Department – clone of FCA authorized firm by the name of Gain Capital UK Limited.