Bank of England rejects Revolut’s banking license application, ASX abandons Blockchain, HashKey to raise $1 billion worth of funds, Ledger co-founder calls Recover service Launch a ‘horrible mess’
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- Bank of England told Treasury that it planned to reject British neobank Revolut’s application for a banking license after the two-year campaign, reportedly due to concerns over its balance sheet, The Telegraph reported. The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), the arm of the bank responsible for licensing, informed the government in March that it planned to issue a statutory warning to Revolut within a few weeks.
- Australia’s stock market operator, ASX Ltd, said it will no longer seek to rebuild its software platform with blockchain-based technology, Reuters reported. At a meeting on May 17, ASX exchange project director Tim Whiteley said that while the exchange continues to explore all options, it will “certainly […] need to use a more conventional technology than in the original solution to achieve the business results,” the report said, citing a recording of the meeting.
- Financial services for digital assets HashKey Group plans to raise $1 billion worth of funding, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter. The firm is reportedly targeting a $100-200 million raise, looking to take advantage of a currently favorable environment for crypto firms in Hong Kong.
- Grayscale is targeting a possible loophole with a new Bitcoin (BTC) Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) filing. According to the Financial Times, Grayscale proposes that its 40% exposure to spot bitcoin ETFs will be equally weighted between five underlying funds. If approved, the US-listed vehicle would invest in “spot” bitcoin exchange-traded products traded in other countries, it said.
- Ledger co-founder, shareholder and former CEO Éric Larchevêque called the wallet maker’s new and controversial service launch a “terrible mess.” He said he doesn’t have all the details of the launch, but that “something went wrong and the Ledger Recover service was put in your face in the worst possible way. This is obviously a sensitive subject and would have needed a much more prepared communication.” However, he claimed the “meltdown” was a PR failure and not a technical one. “Ledger is still safe, there is no backdoor, Ledger Recover is not a conspiracy, no one will ever force anyone to use Recover,” he said.
- New York based Bitcoin miner Bit Digital is expanding its operations to Iceland in an effort to hedge regulatory risk amid a proposed crypto mining tax from the Joe Biden administration, the Wall Street Journal reported. Samir Tabar, CEO of the Nasdaq-listed miner, said the company bought 2,500 new mining machines for $5 million last week and will house them in Iceland, the first time the company has shipped new computers outside the US in two years.
- Central banks’ digital currency (CBDC) systems operating on different networks can be used for cross-border and cross-currency payments, according to a new report published by researchers with the U.S. New York Federal Reserve and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). “Project Cedar is the first project to New York Innovation Center (NYIC) [and] a multi-phase technical research effort evaluating potential applications of financial technology solutions to improve the efficiency of cross-border wholesale payments, it said.
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- Switzerland’s canton of Zug increased the limit for tax payments with BTC and Ethereum (ETH) to ₣1.5 million ($1.66 million) from the previous ₣100,000 ($111,000). “The increase in the limit is an important step towards the digital future,” Zug’s CFO Heinz Tannler said in a statement, as reported by The Block. “From the second half of 2023, another innovation will be possible — to pay taxes with cryptocurrency directly by scanning the QR code on the payment slips issued by the tax authority. This simplified process makes payment with cryptocurrencies even more attractive.”