BIS Innovation Hub partners with Fed to support analysis of digital assets

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has announced it will be partnering with the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub as part of the launch of its New York Innovation Center, an initiative aimed at exploring technology used to develop the global financial system.  In a Monday speech for the opening of the New York Innovation Center, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said the partnership would support the agency’s analysis of digital currencies including the rollout of a central bank digital currency, or CBDC. The center plans to support…

Galaxy Digital raises $500 million in convertible debt to fund business expansion

Galaxy Digital, a cryptocurrency brokerage and merchant bank founded by billionaire investor Michael Novogratz, announced on Monday that it would be issuing $500 million in exchangeable senior notes to accelerate business initiatives. The debt is convertible into company equity and bears an interest rate of 3% per annum, with maturity in 2026. New expansion areas include nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, with the firm committing $62 million of its capital into 22 NFT-related companies since the start of the year. Over the years, Galaxy Digital founder and CEO Mike Novogratz has…

UK digital services tax targets crypto exchanges

A recent update to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) regulations has introduced a digital services tax that will be levied on cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the United Kingdom. Crypto exchanges in the UK will now have to pay a 2% digital services tax according to a Telegraph report. Britain’s tax authority, HMRC, does not recognize digital assets as financial instruments and therefore exchanges are not eligible for financial exemptions. On Nov. 28, the authority included cryptocurrency exchanges under the Treasury’s tech tax. The digital services tax on revenue was…

Thai lawmakers urged to approve tourism crypto to entice digital nomads

A push in Thailand to boost gross domestic product (GPD) by targeting crypto digital nomads is coming closer to fruition according to local media. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has been looking into launching its own utility token called TAT Coin since September as part of a planned “cryptourism” campaign. The initiative aims to attract crypto wealthy digital nomads and the TAT has been in discussions with the Stock Exchange of Thailand regarding TAT Coin’s issuance. According to a Nov. 24 report from the Bangkok Post, the infrastructure behind…

European Council approves two digital asset proposals

The European Union’s planned framework for regulating cryptocurrencies is one step closer to becoming official. On Wednesday, the European Council, which guides the EU’s political agenda, announced its position on the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework and the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA). Following the deal, which must then be ratified, the European Council and Parliament may now begin discussions on the initiative before it is finally approved as legislation.  The MiCA framework is designed to safeguard investors and consumers from fraud, including guarantees that investors’ money is secure…

Japanese megabanks join consortium launching yen-based digital currency

A consortium of roughly 70 Japanese companies, including the country’s biggest financial institutions, have joined forces to trial and launch a new yen-based digital currency in fiscal 2022, sending a strong signal that the private sector was embracing blockchain-based payment systems.  The new digital currency, dubbed “DCJPY,” will be backstopped by bank deposits and rely on a common platform to expedite large fund transfers and settlements among the participating companies, according to Kazuhiro Tokia, the chief executive of cryptocurrency exchange DeCurret. DeCurret is leading the consortium, which includes banks Mitsubishi…

Palau partners with Ripple on climate friendly national digital currency

Ripple, the digital payment network, has partnered with the Republic of Palau to help the Pacific island nation develop its own digital currency. The initial focus of the partnership will see the development of a USD-backed digital currency to help facilitate cross-border payments for the nation. The collaboration “could see the implementation of the world’s first government-backed national stablecoin in the first half of 2022” according to Ripple’s announcement. Ripple suggested the national digital currency may not necessarily be just another CBDC. “Ripple would provide Palau with technical, business, design…

US Senator Pat Toomey supports digital dollar, nomination of Powell as Fed chair

Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, one of the lawmakers who supported amending the language around crypto in the recently passed infrastructure law, said the United States should lead the world in the adoption of a central bank digital currency, or CBDC. In a Tuesday interview with Bloomberg’s David Westin, Toomey said the U.S. dollar should have “the most sophisticated capabilities of any currency in the world” as the country could benefit from a digital dollar. However, the senator said the rollout of any U.S. central bank digital currency should not rely…

Regal to partner with Flexa to enable digital currency payments in theatres

On Tuesday morning, Regal, a movie operator of more than 500 locations and 7,000 screens in 42 states plus D.C., announced it would be partnering with digital payment network Flexa to enable its customers to pay for movie tickets, food and beverages in crypto. Regal will accept a wide variety of coins and tokens, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Doge (DOGE), USD Coin (USDC), DAI (DAI), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), Chainlink (LINK), Cosmos (ATOM), Basic Attention Token (BAT) and more. Flexa is known for its ability to guarantee…

Russian Sberbank plans to register its digital asset tool in September

Sber, the largest banking institution in Russia, continues progressing with the development of its blockchain-based platform for issuing digital assets. Anatoly Popov, deputy chairman of the executive board at Sber, said that the bank is planning to have registered its digital asset issuance platform with the Bank of Russia — the country’s central bank — by mid-September, local news agency TASS reported on Thursday. Popov said that Sber has started building functionalities to allows third parties to issue digital assets and expects to have rolled out this feature by the…