Crypto News Week March 16-22

Mar. 16 Singapore’s central bank revealed a new set of guidelines for companies facilitating crypto payments. The new guidelines aim at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.

Mar. 16 India's Ministry of Corporate Affairs announced an ongoing investigation into cryptocurrency companies sparked by an increasing number of fraudulent practices in the country.

Mar. 16 The Cardano Foundation announced that it is being prosecuted for allegedly breaking a contract with the Z/Yen Group Ltd. The Cardano Foundation "fully rejects the claims" by the plaintiffs.

Mar. 16 Bank of Russia's head of legal office, Alexey Guznov, hinted in an interview with Russia's news agency Interfax at an upcoming ban on the trading and issuance of digital currency within the country.

Mar. 16 The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a U.S. agency responsible for the supervision and regulation of national banks and financial institutions within the country, announced that Coinbase's chief legal officer, Brian Brooks, will be joining its staff as the new deputy.

Mar. 17 Russian Prime Minister Michail Mischustin introduced a bill, which would enable the creation of regulatory sandboxes for companies, which are researching new and innovative technologies in the fields of medicine, transportation, financial markets, etc. For instance, participating fintech companies would be subject to lighter regulation regarding cash reserves, financial reporting, and foreign currency controls. According to the bill, eligible companies would be, among other things, companies investing in artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technologies.

Mar. 17 Binance and its India-based subsidiary WazirX pledged $50 million to promote the development of an intricate blockchain ecosystem in India including fiat gateways, remittance platforms, and decentralized finance solutions.

Mar. 17 Coinbase announced that its Visa debit cards are now compatible with Google Pay allowing for crypto-backed payments on millions of Android and iOS devices. Initially, the new option will be made available in selected European countries.

Mar. 17 Stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) became the third asset in addition to Ether (ETH) and Basic Attention Token (BAT), which can be used as collateral on MakerDAO's decentralized finance platform Oasis to open vaults and generate Dai. The move is seen as a necessary measure to ensure stability and boost the liquidity of Dai following the recent market crash.

Mar. 17 Toyota revealed a blockchain venture, which for a year now has been exploring blockchain-based solutions for Toyota's supply chain management and mobility division.

Mar. 18 Digital Farms, a California-based cryptocurrency mining company operating a 57 000 sq. m facility ceased operations for an undisclosed period following the recent market crash.

Mar. 18 Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin tweeted a road map for the Ethereum 2.0 project. The focus of the project in the coming years would be to streamline the transaction verification process by introducing polynomial commitments.

Mar. 18 Natural gas distributor Gasnor, received a green light from Argentina’s national gas regulator Enargas to launch a smart contract-based certification platform.

Mar. 18 Crypto exchange CoinZoom to become the first company to offer crypto-backed Visa payments in the United States.

Mar. 18 The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) announced that it is preparing to implement stricter virtual currency regulations by the first of June with a focus on anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-terrorist financing (ATF) activities. According to the new regulations, companies with more than $10,000 CAD crypto activity will be required to register as a money services business at the FINTRAC. Furthermore, companies will be required to document various transaction details for virtual currency transactions above $1,000 CAD.

Mar. 18 PayPal wants to hire a blockchain expert, who will oversee the prevention of blockchain-related financial crimes and explore future blockchain-related opportunities.

Mar. 18 Hawaii looks to attract digital currency issuers by launching a "Digital Currency Innovation Lab", which exempts participants from the "double-reserve" requirement.

Mar. 19 Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi announced that it is introducing a "circuit breaker" mechanism, which would hold liquidations of leveraged positions in the case of extraordinarily high market volatility.

Mar. 19 A study by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) revealed that while 80% of the country's citizens have heard of cryptocurrencies, fewer than 1% have used cryptocurrencies as a method of payment.

Mar. 20 A hard fork of social media-centered cryptocurrency Steem, backed by cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and Huobi, stripped away voting rights from Tron's founder Justin Sun thus preventing possible abuse of power.

Mar. 20 Digital asset trading leader GSR reported a 400% year-over-year increase in demand for cryptocurrency-based options. The majority of the demand came from funds, cryptocurrency exchanges, and miners, who saw the options as a way to protect themselves from large price fluctuations.

Mar. 22 Banks of China warned the general public on WeChat, a popular Chinese messaging platform and social media, about the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies including fraudulent bot transactions, market manipulation, and money laundering.