Investments in crypto assets reach new highs

Asset managers such as CoinShares, Bitwise, Grayscale, ProShares, and 21Shares have reported an influx of $176 million in crypto assets in the last week, marking a total of $1.76 billion in 10 weeks. This period of inflows is the most significant since the launch of bitcoin futures-based ETFs in the US in October 2021. Trading volumes have remained high, with $2.6 billion in the last week. Bitcoin funds led the inflows, while Ether products also showed recovery. This growth comes amid rising values of bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) and ether (COIN:ETHUSD), with expectations of future ETFs in the US.

Bitcoin leads the cryptocurrency market rally

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies experienced a significant increase on Monday, with Bitcoin reaching its highest value in 20 months (COIN:BTCUSD), approximately $41,750. This growth represents a gain of over 50% since mid-October. The surge is attributed to hopes of approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF and expectations of interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, Ether (COIN:ETHUSD) and other altcoins also recorded gains, with Dogecoin (COIN:DOGEUSD) and Shiba Inu (COIN:SHIBUSD) showing dynamic movements.

Societe Generale launches the first digital green bond on the blockchain

Societe Generale (EU:GLE), one of the largest banks in France, announced the issuance of its first digital green bond on a public blockchain, marking an advancement in its crypto services. The issuance of $10.87 million in unsecured senior bonds was subscribed by AXA Investment Managers and Generali Investments. Using the Ethereum blockchain, these green bonds aim to fund environmental projects. AXA IM invested in the bond through the purchase of SocGen’s stablecoin EUR CoinVertible.

Zodia Custody and Metaco collaborate to strengthen crypto asset custody

Zodia Custody, backed by Standard Chartered (LSE:STAN), is partnering with Metaco, affiliated with Ripple (COIN:XRPUSD), to enhance crypto asset custody services for institutions. This partnership offers access to high-level security solutions and risk management. The collaboration emphasizes connectivity with fundamental blockchain layers and the creation of a robust settlement network. The goal is to make Zodia Custody the most connected custodian in the digital asset ecosystem, focusing on expanding options for clients and ensuring asset security.

Shopify drives advances in cryptocurrency

Kaz Najatian, VP of Product and COO of Shopify (NYSE:SHOP), anticipates surprises with the company’s advancements in cryptocurrency and blockchain. “The cryptographic work we are doing at Shopify is some of our best work right now. In a few years, people will be surprised at how quickly we have progressed, but that’s because of the work being done now,” Najatian wrote in a post on X. Without specific details, the statement suggests a focus on integrating these technologies into the platform. Shopify has already adopted encrypted payment solutions, such as integration with Solana Pay and Crypto.com Pay. The Canadian-based e-commerce giant serves over 2 million businesses globally.

Franklin Templeton CEO reveals personal investments in cryptocurrencies

Jenny Johnson, CEO of Franklin Templeton (TG:GCOR), revealed in an interview with Fortune that she has personal investments in cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD), Ether (COIN:ETHUSD), and governance tokens like Uniswap (COIN:UNIUSD) and Sushi (COIN:SUSHIUSD). Johnson described these investments as a small portion of her overall portfolio and expressed skepticism about non-fungible tokens (NFTs), preferring assets with clear financial returns. While Franklin Templeton has applied to the SEC for a Bitcoin ETF, Johnson acknowledges uncertainty regarding regulatory approval.

Mantle launches a revolutionary liquid staking protocol on Ethereum

The web3 ecosystem led by the DAO Mantle (COIN:MNTLLUSD) announced its new Mantle Liquid Staking Protocol (LSP), enabling interactions with the Ethereum proof-of-stake (PoS) network. This permissionless and custody-free protocol, operating on Ethereum L1, is the second flagship product after the Mantle L2 Network. With the Mantle LSP, users stake ETH and receive mETH, a token that accrues value and rewards. mETH, tradable on various exchanges, stands out for its deterministic exchange rate calculation. Mantle prioritizes user experience and security, presenting a simplified architecture and robust risk management strategies.

Amazon Managed Blockchain and Polygon expand collaboration for Web3 developers

Amazon Managed Blockchain (AMB) now supports Polygon’s proof-of-stake mainnet and Mumbai testnet, facilitating the development of Web3 applications. AMB, which provides access to public and private blockchains, is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine used in dApps, NFTs, and tokenization. This integration allows developers to create efficient and cost-effective Web3 applications on Polygon, benefiting consumer brands and financial institutions, with a focus on NFTs and digital assets. The collaboration promotes the development of scalable Web3 applications and gaming applications, with advantages such as automatic scaling and reduced costs. This partnership between AWS and Polygon is not unprecedented, as they have had previous collaborations like the MoonRealm Express Accelerator with Animoca Brands.

Impressive recovery of Terra and Terra Classic tokens

Tokens associated with the Terra 2.0 and Terra Classic ecosystems, including Luna Classic (COIN:LUNCUSD), Terra 2.0 (COIN:LUNAUSD), and Terra ClassicUSD (COIN:USTCUSD), have experienced a significant increase. Driven by various factors, such as investments from Terraform Labs and a plan to revamp USTC using Bitcoin, trading volume exceeded $2 billion. Additionally, Binance implemented a LUNC burning scheme, and the “Six Samurai” proposed a revitalization plan for Terra Classic. This remarkable recovery comes after the dramatic collapse of the Terra network in May 2022.

Crypto.com receives EMI license from the UK financial regulator

Crypto.com, one of the leading cryptocurrency platforms, has obtained authorization as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. This license, broader than the registration as a crypto company acquired in August 2022, allows for the issuance and management of electronic money, as well as offering various financial services. The company joins other major players like Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) and Gemini, expanding its range of electronic money products in the UK.

Challenges and concerns regarding the deployment of Digital Pound in the UK

The UK Treasury Committee has expressed uncertainties about the benefits of a Retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) known as the Digital Pound, pondering whether its advantages outweigh the risks. The implementation of this currency could pose economic challenges, including the possibility of bank runs and increased loan interest rates. Additionally, there are significant concerns about privacy and data security. Legislators have suggested that any progress in introducing the Digital Pound should be cautious, with lower initial deposit limits and a careful approach to evaluating whether the benefits justify the risks. The project, which began development in 2020, is currently in the design phase, and a final decision is not expected before the second half of this decade.

South Africa evaluates cryptocurrency licenses

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority of South Africa is reviewing 36 license applications from cryptocurrency companies, out of the 138 initially proposed. This month, the FSCA will focus on criteria such as market participation, consumer protection, and risk management. The process will consider the range of services offered, regulatory compliance, and cyber and credit risk management to ensure secure investments. South Africa, observing local growth in digital assets, seeks a robust regulatory environment inspired by the European MiCA model.

India registers cryptocurrency service providers under anti-money laundering rules

Up to 28 cryptocurrency service providers have registered with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of India, as announced by the Minister of State for Finance, Pankaj Chaudhary. This measure follows the March decision by the Ministry of Finance, requiring crypto companies to register with the FIU and follow procedures under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, including KYC checks. The regulation also extends to offshore cryptocurrency exchanges operating in India, with possible actions under the PMLA against non-compliant platforms. Notably, none of the registered companies are offshore entities.

China, Japan, and South Korea join forces in technology and trade

At the 10th China-Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Busan, South Korea, China, Japan, and South Korea reaffirmed their commitment to deepening collaboration in emerging technologies such as big data, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. With a focus on regional and global economic recovery, the countries seek to revitalize negotiations for a trilateral free trade agreement. This cooperation aims to promote peace, prosperity, and economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region, aiming for global leadership in technological innovation. Meanwhile, South Korea faces challenges with the increasing cryptocurrency-related crimes, highlighting the need for a collaborative and strategic approach.

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Treasury returns to profit

El Salvador’s national Bitcoin treasury, according to NayibTracker.com, has returned to profit. The total investment of $127 million now shows a gain of $4 million, a profit of 3.17%. Based on President Nayib Bukele’s promise to buy 1 Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) per day since November 2022, the website tracks purchases and earnings.

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