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Today in Crypto: Ripple Partners with Montenegro Central Bank, Bitmain Facing a $3.6M Fine, Head of Exchange Vishal Gupta Leaving Coinbase

Today in Crypto: Ripple Partners with Montenegro Central Bank, Bitmain Facing a $3.6M Fine, Head of Exchange Vishal Gupta Leaving Coinbase

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

CBDC newsThe Central Bank of Montenegro (CBCG) will collaborate with the American blockchain provider Ripple to develop a strategy and pilot a program to launch the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) or a national stablecoin, said the press release. The project will go through several stages, including identifying the practical application of a digital currency or national stablecoin and the design to simulate its circulation and use under controlled conditions. “Aligning with the CBCG’s core objectives, the digital currency’s introduction is another step forward to digitizing financial services and fostering a world of greater financial accessibility for Montenegro’s citizens,” it added.Tax newsBitcoin mining hardware maker Bitmain is facing a fine of $3.63 million for unpaid taxes in Beijing, China, according to a report citing a notice from the State Administration of Taxation Beijing. Per the notice, Bitmain was contacted in August last year about the issue but allegedly failed to withhold individual income tax amounting to about $2.42 million.Career newsHead of Exchange Vishal Gupta is leaving the major crypto exchange Coinbase. Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the matter, that he is departing to work on a “new project.” Gupta worked at Coinbase for nearly three years, according to his LinkedIn page. Before Coinbase, he was at Circle, in charge of launching the USD Coin (USDC), and he spent eight years at Goldman Sachs as vice president and head of US-listed options.Exchange newsBitMEX has launched a new profit and loss (PnL) realization feature that allows cross-margining users to automatically realize their PnL for open positions, with the same margin currency, every 10 minutes, said an announcement. “Put simply, this means cross-margining users can now free up capital from their winning positions, which they can then deploy when trading multiple contracts,” it added.Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX paid more than $30 million in monthly fees to lawyers and advisers in February, according to new compensation reports filed in bankruptcy court. Lawyers, financial advisers, investment bankers, and consultants billed FTX approximately $29.7 million for compensation and another $407,000 in reimbursement costs, in addition to other fees and expenses.Blockchain newsThe BNB Chain’s decentralized storage infrastructure, BNB Greenfield, has gone live with its testnet Congo on Monday. BNB, the native token, serves as a gas and governance token for BNB Greenfield, said the press release. The team is calling developers to contribute across the decentralized storage tech stack, including Validators, Storage providers (SPs), and Dapp Builders, it said.Payments newsGaming fintech ZEBEDEE announced a partnership with Bitnob, a company focused on building and providing payment infrastructure in Africa, to empower their users with access to global and borderless payment options over the Bitcoin Lightning Network. “Users from Africa can now earn Bitcoin through ZEBEDEE-powered apps and games, then easily spend that in real life using their local currency,” said the announcement.Investment newsXclaim, a public marketplace to trade crypto locked by bankruptcy, announced today that it closed a $7m Series A funding round, led by angel investor Josh Jones, a managing partner at The Fund LA. Per the announcement, “the company intends to use the funds to accelerate the adoption of electronic bankruptcy claims trading by introducing new financial products to further enhance market liquidity and accessibility.” Xclaim listed over $600m of crypto claims from customers globally and traded over $200m in claims, it added.Gaming newsInfluence, a space strategy MMO, is launching on Starknet, a permissionless decentralized ZK-Rollup operating as an L2 network over Ethereum. According to the press release, “it will be fully decentralized, meaning its creators can never “switch it off” and players will help to determine its future.” Players’ transactions will constantly be recorded on-chain, thanks to the scaling power of validity proofs (Zero Knowledge Proofs), the team said. Unstoppable Games will be opening sales of Influence assets on April 11, ahead of the game’s launch this summer.Mining newsBitcoin miner CleanSpark announced a purchase of 45,000 brand-new units of the Antminer S19 XP bitcoin mining machines for a total price of $144.9 million, said an announcement. All units are expected to be ready for delivery by the manufacturer before the end of September. Once deployed, they will add over 6.3 exahashes per second (EH/s) of computing power to the company’s current hashrate of 6.7 EH/s, which is a 95% increase.

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