Digital Euro Summer, Enjin Filled With Millions, Biden's USD 2T Tax Plan + More News

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

CBDCs news The President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, has stated that European Union finance chiefs could approve the launch of a digital version of the euro in summer this year – but Europeans will likely have to wait for several years before they can start using the proposed central bank digital currency (CBDC). In an interview with Bloomberg, Lagarde said that the ECB needed “to make sure that we do it right” and it “owed it to the Europeans” to do so. She said: “Let’s be realistic about it – the whole process will in my view take another four years, maybe a little more.” The ECB will shortly reveal the results of an 8,000-response public consultation survey. Tax news US President Joe Biden is proposing corporate tax changes that could help raise over USD 2trn over the next 15 years. Per a White House summary, the administration seeks to set the corporate tax rate at 28%, up from the current 21%; discourage offshoring by boosting the global minimum tax for US multinational corporations to 21%; enact a minimum tax of 15% on large corporations’ book income; prevent US corporations from inverting or claiming tax havens as their residence; eliminate tax preferences for fossil fuels, etc. Investments news Enjin (ENJ), the creators of the ERC-1155 non-fungible token (NFT) standard, have sold out their USD 18.9m private sale for Efinity, an NFT blockchain made for games, apps, enterprises, and creators, built on Polkadot (DOT). The funding round was led by Capital, DFG Group, and Hashed, with support from Hypersphere, BlockTower, Ventures, Fenbushi, Iconium, HashKey, Arrington XRP Capital, DeFi Alliance, and other firms, celebrities, and individuals, Enjin said in an emailed press release. imToken, a blockchain technology company known for its decentralized digital wallet, announced the completion of a USD 30m Series B financing led by Qiming Venture Partners, with participation from its lead Series A investor IDG Capital, as well as new investors including Breyer Capital, HashKey, Signum Capital, Longling Capital, SNZ, and co-founder of Fosun International, Xinjun Liang. The company will use the funds to accelerate the development of its imToken 3.0 version. It said that imToken’s digital wallet platform has 12m users from over 150 countries, with over USD 50bn in assets currently placed on it, and the total transaction value via imToken exceeding USD 500bn. Nasdaq-listed CoinShares, Europe’s major digital asset investment firm, announced their interim financial results of Q4 of 2020: trading gains generated by CoinShares Capital Markets of GBP 5.2m (USD 7.17m), an increase of 116% on Q4 2019; total income of the Group of GBP 4.4m (USD 6m), an increase of 16%; adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of GBP 7.9m (USD 10.9m), a 147% increase; and management fees generated by CoinShares Passive of GBP 7.1m (USD 9.8m), an increase of 137%. Derivatives newsCrypto options exchange Deribit has launched a bitcoin (BTC) implied volatility index called DVOL to help traders assess the market’s mood. This index uses the implied volatility smile of the relevant expiries to output one number that gives a gauge of the 30 day annualized implied volatility, they said. Futures on this index are said to follow soon. Mining news Major Canada-based blockchain firm Blockstream announced the launch of its Blockstream Mining Note (BMN), a security token that expands exposure to bitcoin mining to more investors, by providing non-US qualified investors access to hashrate generated at Blockstream’s mining facilities. The company is packaging mining in a tradable token, with the first EUR 12.5m (c. USD 15m) tranche confirmed to go on sale on April 7. The minimum investment is approximately EUR 200,000 (c. USD 240,000), or the equivalent in bitcoin, Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC), or tether (USDT). Exchanges news The South American crypto exchange Cryptobuyer has been rocked by the news of the death of its founder and CEO Jorge Luis Farías from coronavirus complications. Per an official announcement, Farías died on Saturday after battling the virus for “over a week.” The Panama-based firm is particularly active in Venezuela, Farías’ country of birth, where the CEO had successfully brokered crypto pay deals with scores of retailers and hotel chains. Farías had been active in the Latin American community since 2012.Digital money platform Uphold has received approval by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for its acquisition of US broker-dealer JNK Securities. This means that Uphold is one of, if not the first crypto firm to own a broker-dealer approved to offer equities on an omnibus basis to retail investors in the United States, they said. The platform also plans to launch fractional equities in the US later this year. Blockchain news The Chinese tech giant Baidu has been showing off the speed of its XuperChain open-source blockchain protocol development kernel, reported The kernel, named Open Atom (literal translation), works in a manner not unlike a Linux kernel, and can launch a blockchain protocol application in “under 10 minutes.” The company has donated the code to an open-source repository. The firm, China’s answer to Google, debuted its public beta for XuperChain, labeled a blockchain service for businesses, back in January this year.The HUMAN Protocol Foundation announced in an emailed press release that it will be leveraging ChainLink (LINK)’s infrastructure to launch new, decentralized oracles that will enable the autonomous distribution of tasks and payments for HUMAN-powered work pools across Ethereum (ETH), Polkadot (DOT), and Solana (SOL) blockchains. Within the HUMAN Protocol architecture, work requesters can launch new data-labeling tasks with pre-funded bounties, and HUMAN’s Exchange Oracles pick up these jobs, manage the bidding on job types, and direct tasks toward HUMAN labor pools and workers. Upon job completion and quality evaluation, the pre-funded bounty assigned to the job is then automatically released by HUMAN’s Reputation Oracles directly to the labor pool or worker. Career news The chief finance officer of London digital-bank Monzo, Alwyn Jones, is stepping down after two years, as the latest in the series of executives to leave following a major reshuffle in the company's top ranks over the last year, Sifted reported. Jones will serve out his six-month notice period at the bank while Monzo looks for a replacement. He will reportedly join crypto exchange Luno.

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