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- The Huobi business group appears set to make a return to the United States a year after it hastily exited the country. The group’s Hong Kong-based Huobi Tech subsidiary declared that it had received a trust license from the regulatory Nevada Financial Institutions Division. Huobi CEO Leon Li took control of Huobi Tech in a reverse takeover deal back in 2018. And per a document submitted to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Huobi Tech has been awarded a Trust Company License from the Nevada regulator, effectively green-lighting the launch of Huobi crypto custodial and compliance operations in the USA.
- Banks and the Italian Banking Association (ABI), in cooperation with ABI Lab, the banking research and innovation centre of the ABI, said they have started experimenting with the digital euro. The project is divided into two areas: one involving the infrastructure and distribution model to analyze technical feasibility, and the second one is focusing on programmability to experiment with use cases that can differentiate the central bank’s digital euro from the electronic payments already available, they said in an emailed press release.
- London-based payments platform Wirex said it has become a principal member of Visa in Europe. It will allow Wirex to issue Visa cards themselves, offer new innovative products, and apply for additional licenses, they added.
- Bitfarms, a listed Bitcoin (BTC) mining company, said it recently deployed 1,000 new Whatsminer M31S mining rigs, and placed an order for an additional 3,000 Whatsminer M31S+ miners scheduled for delivery in late February 2021. The 1,000 new M31S miners were deployed last week at one of Bitfarms’ high-power data centers, adding 74 petahash (PH) of computing power, thus increasing Bitfarms’ total operating hashrate to over 965 PH, they added.
- Unstoppable Domains, a company building blockchain domain names, said it will extend its grant program with an additional USD 1m to help decentralized apps (dapps), DeFi apps, and exchanges support blockchain domains. In total, Unstoppable Domains said it has allocated USD 5m in grant funds to serve as a bridge across DeFi apps, exchanges, wallets, and browsers.
- SkyBridge Capital appears to be on the verge of launching a bitcoin (BTC) fund in the United States. The hedge fund is fronted by Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House Director of Communications and Goldman Sachs investment banker. In a filing with the regulatory Securities and Exchange Commission, the firm detailed an offering named the SkyBridge Bitcoin Fund L.P. (limited partnership), detailing its proposed fund as a “pooled investment fund” for approved investors.
- Japan’s leading credit card issuer, the Tokyo-based JCB, is set to issue a blockchain-powered B2B transaction system in conjunction with LayerX, one of Japan’s biggest blockchain technology firms. Per a report from Nikkei, the new platform will seek to connect corporate inter-company ordering systems and accounting apps to simplify processes, offset payments and receipts and ensure that companies are only required to settle the difference in business deals, rather than draft and pay separate invoices. The platform will also provide transaction history data to financial institutions who are considering granting loans to business applicants.
- Major car manufacturer Ford claims that its research revealed that dynamic geofencing and blockchain can combine with hybrid-electric vehicles to help improve air quality in cities. The time a trial vehicle entered or left a geofenced zone was recorded into a blockchain, ensuring ‘green miles’ driven could be stored and potentially shared among relevant parties such as city authorities and fleet owners, they said.