Chinese e-Commerce Giant JD.com to Accept Digital Yuan in the 2nd Round of Public Trial

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com said on Saturday that its fintech arm, JD Digits will accept digital yuan as payment for some products.

JD.com is China’s first virtual platform to accept the central bank digital currency, as part of an experimental giveaway of digital yuan to the citizens of Suzhou, according to the company’s post on its official WeChat account.

Under the trial, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the municipal government will issue a total of 20 million yuan ($3 million). 100,000 consumers selected through a lottery will be receiving 200 digital yuan “red envelopes”.

This will be the second such program after the PBOC issued 10 million yuan worth of digital currency to 50,000 selected customers in Shenzhen in October, South China’s Guangdong Province. It was the first time the trail of digital yuan went public after a series of internal tests.

Last month, PBOC Governor Yi Gang said over 2 billion yuan had been spent using the DCEP so far in 4 million transactions.

The new round of public trials of the central bank-backed sovereign digital currency involves a wider range of consumer and application scenarios compared to the first test.

Booming Digital Industry

As we reported, the central bank of China is also discussing the technical pilot testing of digital yuan for cross-border payments with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). The exact date of the launch is unknown but it will offer an additional payment option, said Eddie Yue, chief executive of HKMA. Yue said  on Friday,

“As the yuan is already in use in Hong Kong and the status of digital yuan is the same as cash in circulation, it will bring even greater convenience to Hong Kong residents and tourists from the Chinese mainland.”

The central bank governor also said on Monday that China will push forward the R&D of the digital yuan in a steady manner, launch pilot tests in an orderly manner, and improve its legal framework.

According to Pan Helin, executive director of the Digital Economy Research Institute at the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, 2021 will usher in an important period for the digital industry as the technologies have become more mature after several years of development. Pan told the Global Times,

“In recent years, China’s digital industry has been booming, and new technologies such as big data, cloud computing, 5G, artificial intelligence and blockchain have been rapidly developed and widely applied in various fields of social economy, laying a good foundation for the development and application of digital currency.”

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Author: AnTy

Oasis Network Launches Mainnet, Enabling More DeFi Privacy & Data Tokenization

Top cryptocurrency exchange Binance has announced it will list privacy-focused Oasis Network on its platform. The listing will enable Oasis Network to make it easy for under-collateralized loans in DeFi.

Binance announced this on its blog, with plans to offer Oasis Network on its platform with three pairs, which include ROSE/USDT, ROSE/BUSD, and ROSE BTC.

Yesterday evening, Oasis Network mainnet was live with over 75 independent validators already registered.

According to the Network, it is set up to provide decentralized applications, and it can provide about 1000 transactions per second.

In 2018, Oasis Network raised $45 million from top crypto ventures such as Binance Labs, A16z, Pantera, and Polychain.

The funds helped the company to grow bigger, offering more efficient services to its users. The company ensures the encryption of data and ensures the enforcement of privacy policies via smart contracts.

According to Oasis Labs, the ‘confidential compute’ functionality helps encrypt data to ensure several processes’ privacy, from genetic research to credit history check.

By default, the Oasis Network respects the user’s data preference and supports new sets of privacy-preserving applications. Users can earn rewards when they stake their data with apps that control how the services they use consume their most sensitive information.

Oasis Labs collaborated with Binance in August this year to launch CryptoSafe, a decentralized platform designed to fight crypto fraud.

Oasis platform will offer a wider capacity

The Oasis platform’s integration offers a much wider network capacity to ensure credit checks and privacy of sensitive personal or sensitive data. It also helps loan applicants to establish their creditworthiness to creditors.

Most existing DeFi loan products provide over-collateralized lending, but plans are in place to also introduce under-collateralized loans.

Based on the post, Binance decided to collaborate with Oasis Labs to offer a platform where exchanges can reduce the industry’s number of frauds. While ensuring safety, the platform will also protect each participant’s sensitive data confidentiality in a decentralized environment.

Oasis Labs has hundreds of DeFi projects

The announcement also noted that the DeFi industry leaders such as Balancer and Chainlink recently joined the Oasis Network.

Oasis Labs has also assured participants that its security architecture can improve private decentralized exchange platforms’ operations, such as automated market maker Uniswap.

Oasis Labs says several partnership projects are already ongoing on the network, including Binance-led CryptoSafe Alliance and the privacy-first genome sequencing partnership with Nebula Genomics.

Just last month, Oasis Lab revealed that Nebula Genomics would use “Parcel,” its data governance API product, to enhance the platform’s capabilities. And there are hundreds of projects the company is presently working on, according to the report.

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Author: Ali Raza

FATF Needs to Narrow Down on DeFi Oversight; Not A One Size Fits All

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will need a new approach in crypto policing, according to XReg consulting senior partner, Siân Jones, who was speaking during the second V20 Virtual Asset Providers Conference. She particularly noted the emerging trends in Decentralized Finance (DeFi), a niche that Jones recommended FATF pay closer attention to to understand the nitty-gritty that would form part of future policy oversight.

So far, the FATF Travel Rule is the most advanced piece of oversight that governs Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs). The initiative, which came into action last year, requires service providers in the crypto sector to share personally identifiable information (PII) for transactions above $1,000 from one platform to another. To comply with the Travel Rule, stakeholders have some solutions, with the most popular being the InterVASP Messaging Standard (IVMS 101).

FATF Should Narrow Down on DeFi

While the Travel Rule has done it for most regulators, Jones brought FATF to pace with the developments in DeFi. She explained that DeFi removes intermediaries who would eventually make it hard for the AML watchdog to implement oversight on crypto activity within this space. Jones believed that FATF must consider new approaches to curb AML and terror-financing within this nascent industry. She said that,

“The tried and tested methods work, after a fashion, in the traditional world of money. Arguably, they can be made sort of fit the intermediated crypto world. They do not necessarily fit a DeFi world where they are not fit for purpose.”

Crypto Community More Effective in One Voice

Jones, who told DeFi stakeholders they need to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ in matters regulation, also had some suggestions for the crypto community to enhance the cooperation in forming policies. She noted that FATF ought to double down its efforts in engaging the crypto community, including the DeFi developers. Likewise, the crypto community needs to work closer with FATF and present its opinion in a unified voice.

“Equally, the industry needs to work more closely together to present a unified voice and its engagement with the FATF and regulators.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Belarus’ Largest Bank, Belarusbank, Is Launching Crypto Exchange Service

Belarusbank, the largest bank of Belarus, is the latest one to announce that it will provide its customers the opportunity to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using Visa payment cards.

According to a recent report, the crypto trading service will be allowed against the fiat currencies, including the Belarusian ruble, the euro, and the US dollar.

This latest crypto trading service is in line with the bank’s digital transformation program announced a few years ago. The state actually has a 99.5% share in the bank, which was founded in 1991.

For now, the service will be available to the residents of Belarus and Russia with plans to extend the list of countries supported, along with the list of cryptocurrencies available and additional services, the report notes.

This has been made possible with Belarusank’s partnership with local crypto patent operator Whitebird. Whitebird is the first and only legal cryptocurrency exchange operator in the CIS countries and is a high-tech park resident.

In 2018, both the companies partnered to join the cryptocurrency industry, and they plan to set up a crypto exchange that was initially announced in early 2019.

The country’s crypto-friendly regulation encourages the development of crypto businesses in Belarus, with President Alexander Lukashenko signing a draft decree in 2017 to legalize the use of digital currencies.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin-Friendly Ex-CFTC Chief Gary Gensler to Advise Biden on Wall Street

Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler will be joining Joe Biden’s presidential transition to examine financial regulators.

Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs partner, is known for implementing a new regulatory regime for swaps and has gained a reputation for standing up to Wall Street.

He is also known for his bitcoin-friendly views, which he called a “catalyst for change.” Gensler actually taught a course at MIT called “Blockchain and Money” on how Bitcoin and the technology underpinning it could be used in finance.

It has been under Donald Trump’s presidential term that the IRS added the infamousdo you own crypto” question, and the President told the Treasury to “go after Bitcoin.” Not to mention he himself isn’t a fan of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies either.

Meanwhile, Gensler has said although many currencies face regulatory scrutiny, Bitcoin “should remain exempt” from that.

Crypto market participants feel positive about Joe Biden and that he could be good for the industry. Even cryptocurrency derivatives exchange FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried made the second biggest contribution to Biden.

The real winner of this election has clearly been Bitcoin as not only the price of the digital currency reached some important levels to climb to a 24-month high, but crypto-friendly faces could be seen in the government too.

Quant trader and entrepreneur Qiao Wang also noted that Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been “openly hostile towards BTC.”

Not only “a likely Republican senate to counter Dems’ aggressive regulation tendencies,” but Wang also believes, “Democrats are more likely to create inflation which is good for BTC.”

Recently we also saw Wyoming electing Bitcoiner Cynthia Lummis to the US Senate.

KeyBank NA executive Don Graves has also been tapped for the role, a longtime Biden adviser involved in reviewing bank regulators.

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Author: AnTy

Pragmatic Play and Stake.com Partner to Take Crypto Gambling to the Next Level [Sponsored]

Pragmatic Play and Stake.com have reached an agreement that will change the sphere of the crypto gambling market – taking a gaming experience to the next level.

Pragmatic Play is one of the most played online slots providers in the world, with a live casino, bingo, and scratch games solution putting them ahead of the rest. They are by far the most played slots provider in the industry.

Stake.com is a crypto casino and sportsbook, also the largest in their industry. With 30 billion bets taken already in just three years, this immediately comes across as two gaming leaders combining to take their platforms to the next level.

The partnership between the two industry giants goes above and beyond just the integration of the games on Stake’s platform through Softswiss. Stake players will now have exclusive access to some Pragmatic new releases, kicking off with ​Pirate Gold Deluxe​, before any other casino in the world.

Disclaimer: This is a paid press release from Stake.com. BitcoinExchangeGuide does not endorse, nor are we responsible for the content included in this paid release. We encourage all of our readers to do their research before interacting with the company.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

FTX Launches Trading of Tokenized Shares in Partnership with German CM Equity AG

Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange FTX will now allow its users to trade not just crypto but tokenized shares of big giants and some of the world’s most popular companies like Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, and Tesla.

These tokenized equity offerings are backed by the shares of actual stocks, custodied by CM-Equity, and can be redeemed for the underlying shares.

For now, trading is available on more than 12 equity and cryptocurrency pairs like BTC and stablecoins.

Because the tokens represent a fraction of one share, traders will be able to trade even half of a share if they want. Erik Voorhees, CEO of crypto exchange ShapeShift said,

“American companies cannot offer or compete with this. I’m glad intl companies can still innovate, and that crypto breaks down all borders over time.”

There have been some concerns in the crypto community about FTX breaking US regulations by offering trading opportunities for stock CFDs.

But for starters, traders in the US and other restricted jurisdictions won’t be eligible to trade these new offerings.

Also, for this, FTX has partnered with Swiss-based Digital Assets AG and CM Equity AG, a financial firm fully regulated in Germany, to offer fractional stocks.

“CFDs aren’t illegal – and offering them for US-traded companies on the NYSE and NASDAQ is allowed – you just need to follow the regulations and not try and skirt the rules just because you are on a blockchain,” said Adam Cochran, a partner at Cinneamhain Ventures.

In response to this news, the price of FTT jumped to $3.91. But it is to be expected, as FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried said, “Everything on FTX involves FTT.”

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Author: AnTy

Ontology & Polkadot Collab to Accelerate the Adoption of Its Decentralized Identity (DeID)

Ontology announced last week that it has collaborated with Polkadot and will be building on top of this sharded blockchain as it looks to improve the efficiency of its Decentralized Identity (DeID) solution. According to the medium blog post by Ontology, the integration with Polkadot will be supported technically by Parity Technologies, one of Polkadot’s stakeholders.

This development will increase the market outreach and accessibility of Ontology’s DeID based on Polkadot’s cross-chain features, which allow multiple blockchain ecosystems to interact seamlessly. The Ontology DeID will be available within other chains operating on Polkadot once the integration is complete.

Ontology’s Parachain Vision

Integrating the DeID solution with Polkadot is just but the starting point; the Ontology blog highlights that a more significant effort will create a service-suite parachain. This feature will boost DeFi activity by providing credit scoring services, amongst other related functions. With this in place, Polkadot users will be able to leverage Ontology’s services to assess the lending and borrowing capabilities of other DeFi market participants.

Parity’s Ecosystem Development Lead, Eric Wang, emphasized the underlying potential in this collaboration,

“Ontology is an industry leader in the development and deployment of decentralized identity solutions. We look forward to working closely with the Ontology team to increase the use of ONT ID 2.0 through Polkadot to realize the benefits of digital identity, privacy for DeFi projects, and beyond.”

Ontology also intends to boost cross-chain liquidity within the Polkadot ecosystem; they plan on executing this through the elimination of DeFi entry barriers, especially for developers. On that note, Ontology has purposed to bid a parachain slot and make a debut of Initial Parachain Offerings (IPO) on the Polkadot blockchain network. Yaoqi Jia, Asia’s Parity Head of Engineering, is optimistic that they will help Ontology build an effective parachain,

“The Parity Asia team consists of talented engineers who are very excited to provide support to help guide Ontology in creating a truly impactful parachain.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Crypto Options Exchange, Deribit, Mandates ID Verification for All Users Before the Years End

The largest cryptocurrency option exchange in trading volumes, Deribit, will start mandatory government ID verification to maintain KYC/AML compliance rules.

Panama-based cryptocurrency options exchange, Deribit, requires all users on the platform to be ID verified by the end of the year. As per the official Deribit Twitter, it was confirmed that the tier verification model on the platform would be abolished for a blanket ID verification process for all users on the platform.

This follows a recent announcement by rival and troubled exchange, BitMEX, who will start ID verification on their platform. Both derivative exchanges will require new users and current ones to submit a copy of government ID verification, including passports, driver’s licenses, or legitimate and valid identification documents.

As the world of cryptocurrencies embraces the FATF “Travel Rule,” more entities are expected to join the bandwagon – tougher KYC/AML compliance being implemented. The official Twitter account said,

“New clients will be required to adhere to these market standard conditions in order to be able to open an account.”

“Existing clients will get one month from that date to become verified and upload both required documents (if not already). A formal announcement will follow soon including final timing.”

The new changes replace the old tiered system that allowed users to deposit and withdraw up to 1 BTC (~$13,000) from Deribit exchange without any KYC verification or ID requirements. All users on the derivatives exchange will be forced to verify their ID before trading or withdrawing any amount.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Luno Crypto Exchange Launches Bitcoin Savings Wallet With a 4% Annual Interest Rate

Luno cryptocurrency exchange app is now offering a ‘savings wallet’ that will allow its users to earn up to 4% in annual interest on BTC held. The exchange, which was recently acquired by popular blockchain investment firm, Digital Currency Group, is looking to tap into its 5 million user base by offering better rates than most traditional banks worldwide.

According to research conducted by Luno, 54% of its clientele earn zero percent interest on their cash deposits with local banks. The analysis also revealed, and it’s no surprise, that 95% of Luno users would like to earn interest on their crypto deposits.

The firm has since embarked on offering its new Bitcoin Savings wallet, which will pay out interest every month. Notably, this service carries no fees or fixed terms; users can withdraw their funds at any time. Luno Co-founder and CEO Marcus Swanepoel said that,

“In a time of economic uncertainty, the Bitcoin Savings Wallet is a safe alternative for anyone looking to make meaningful savings on their money.”

He highlighted that this milestone comes when the global community could benefit from investing in a ‘currency’ that is not correlated to an unhealthy economy. Luno, a U.K domiciled company, is currently available in Europe but does not serve the U.S market despite its burgeoning prospects.

The new Bitcoin savings feature by Luno coincides with the recent developments in Decentralized Finance (DeFi), where traditional financial products are now integrated with decentralized protocols. These innovations have been on the rise as speculators and fundamentalists invest in building this ecosystem. Nonetheless, it has presented some challenges, especially with scammers taking advantage of unsuspecting investors.

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Author: Edwin Munyui