Digital Currency Group backs South Korean crypto exchange operator

Digital Currency Group, the venture capital firm behind some of the biggest companies in blockchain, has become the second-largest shareholder of Streami, a leading cryptocurrency exchange operator in South Korea.  Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group, explained his rationale for backing Streami: “We expanded our investment in Streami because of their fantastic team and the incredible potential of the digital asset market in South Korea. Streami provides the critical foundation for this market to scale rapidly, and our investment will fuel its position as the most trusted…

Kazakhstan opens public consultation for central bank digital currency

Kazakhstan’s central bank is planning to examine the potential benefits and risks of adopting a state-backed digital currency. The National Bank of Kazakhstan, or NBRK, published Wednesday a report on a digital tenge pilot project and opened a public consultation on the potential central bank digital currency, or CBDC. According to the report, the digital tenge would be a new form of money issued by the NBRK to enable the “further development of the national payment system and reduce reliance on cash settlement using unique technical features.” The bank emphasized…

Georgia’s central bank is exploring ‘Digital Gel’ CBDC

The National Bank of Georgia said that it is considering launching a central bank digital currency. In an announcement today, the central bank hinted at the issuance of a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, in an effort “to enhance efficiencies of the domestic payment system and financial inclusion.” The National Bank of Georgia, or NBG, said it would be inviting fintech firms and other financial institutions to participate in the project, named Digital Gel after the symbol for the country’s fiat currency, the lari. “CBDC holds the promise to…

Galaxy Digital to acquire crypto custodian and services provider BitGo

Galaxy Digital, a crypto and blockchain-focused financial services and investment manager founded by Mike Novogratz, is set to acquire institutional crypto custodian service and wallet operator BitGo. According to an announcement on Wednesday, Galaxy Digital Holdings will pay $1.2 billon in stock and cash to settle the deal. Under the acquisition’s terms, BitGo shareholders will get 33.8 million in newly issued shares of Galaxy Digital, in addition to $265 million in cash. To fund the cash part of the acquisition payment, Galaxy will use its balance sheet and defer a large…

Binance CEO warns of CBDC drawbacks as digital dollar pilots proceed in US

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) will co-exist “for a while” with more restrictive digital currencies like China’s digital yuan, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a Bloomberg interview on Monday. According to Zhao, some of the key features of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) — freedom of use and limited supply — won’t be offered by central bank digital currencies. “At the end of the day, those are core properties that users care about,” he stated. Zhao said that the differences between the two types of digital assets could make…

Digital euro’s privacy promise not worth a centralized system, Oasis exec says

When European Central Bank board member Fabio Panetta addressed the European Union Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs in April, he emphasized the importance of privacy in any potential future CBDC rollout. The ECB had conducted a public consultation on the possibility of a digital euro, canvassing the opinions of over 8,000 individuals and businesses. The responses that came back suggested privacy was the number one concern surrounding the issuance of a central bank digital currency. With 43% of respondents highlighting privacy as the core requirement, Panetta declared that the…

Accenture and Digital Dollar Foundation to trial United States CBDC this year

Fortune 500 company Accenture has teamed up with Digital Dollar Foundation to conduct Central Bank Digital Currency, or CBDC, trials in the United States. Announced on Monday, May 3, the newly formed Digital Dollar Project will carry out five CBDC pilot programs over the next 12 months. The project’s objective is to generate data to inform U.S. policymakers on how to develop a domestic digital currency. The Digital Dollar Project will launch three pilot programs in the next two months, generating data on the functional, sociological, and business benefits of…

China’s tech giants drive digital yuan adoption

While key central bank figures in the West like Jerome Powell and Christine Lagarde appear to be procrastinating on the subject of central bank digital currencies, China continues to make significant progress. China’s digital currency electronic payment project, or DCEP, helmed by the country’s central bank, continues to draw significant private sector participation. From tech giants, to e-commerce conglomerates, many of the major private sector firms are playing pivotal roles in the quest to create the digital yuan. DCEP testing also continues to expand, with trial runs via lotteries taking…

The new digital, decentralized economy needs academic validation

It is a pivotal moment in the development of the new digital economy. Interest in all things crypto keeps growing exponentially, and investment follows closely. There has arguably never been so much money poured into a product class that was so poorly understood, both by the wider public and by most investors. In lieu of actual understanding, stakeholders in the crypto space have to operate on reputation and trust instead. This necessity has given rise to a dangerous new con.  Unlike blatant scams like OneCoin or Bitconnect, today’s blockchain opportunists…