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AI and Blockchain to Drive Web3 Growth

Forbes emphasizes the pivotal role of artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain in fueling the growth of Web3, the next iteration of the internet. The synergy between blockchain's transparency and security features and AI's data processing and predictive capabilities holds the potential to enhance user experiences and reduce friction in Web3 adoption. The integration of blockchain and AI addresses critical challenges faced by each technology individually. Blockchain's consensus mechanism ensures data integrity, mitigating the risk of faulty outputs in AI algorithms due to poor-quality data. This symbiotic relationship enhances the reliability and accuracy of AI-driven applications within the Web3 ecosystem. The global Web3 market is poised for exponential growth, with projections indicating a significant expansion from USD 2.18 billion in 2023 to approximately USD 65.78 billion by 2032, driven by a robust compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46%. The emergence of the metaverse and...

Non-Profit Organization in El Salvador Unveils Updated Bitcoin Diploma Program

A non-profit organization based in El Salvador, known as "Mi Primer Bitcoin" or "My First Bitcoin," has launched an updated version of its Bitcoin Diploma program. This initiative is aimed at promoting wider adoption of Bitcoin and educating individuals from early age about its technology in BTC education. The organization started offering BTC classes in El Salvador following the implementation of the Bitcoin Law in 2021. In June 2022, they introduced the first 10-week educational program, enrolling 38 students from public schools in El Salvador, making it the first BTC Diploma program in any public school system worldwide. Now collaborating with the Ministry of Education in El Salvador, the organization's BTC-focused educational program has been adopted as the primary resource for the country's educational curriculum. Through partnerships with the government and Bitcoin Beach, they are currently training 700 public school teachers to deliver the BTC Diploma curriculum in local...

Google Agrees to Delete Billions of Data Records in Settlement Over Alleged Privacy Violations

In a settlement to resolve a lawsuit alleging privacy violations, tech giant Google has agreed to delete billions of data records. The lawsuit claimed that Google improperly tracked users' internet activity even when they believed they were browsing in privacy mode. Users accused Google of monitoring their activity despite using features like Chrome's "Incognito" mode or other browsers' "private" browsing options. The settlement, estimated to be worth over $5 billion, includes updates to Google's disclosures on data gathering during private browsing and a five-year restriction on third-party cookies for Incognito users. Despite Google's denial of the allegations, the settlement reflects the company's commitment to addressing privacy concerns and improving transparency regarding user data collection. The development establishes the growing scrutiny and demand for accountability in the tech industry, particularly regarding data privacy practices. As Google navigates these legal...

Tether Achieves SOC 2 Certification and Unveils Strategic Plan for Market Expansion

Tether Ltd, the company behind the world's leading stablecoin Tether (USDT), has successfully passed a comprehensive SOC 2 audit, affirming its commitment to data security and privacy. This certification underscores Tether's dedication to maintaining the highest standards of compliance and safeguarding user assets and data. With the SOC 2 certification, Tether aims to enhance user trust and confidence in its platform by demonstrating robust information security and data protection measures. CEO Paolo Ardoino emphasizes the importance of this certification in reassuring users about the integrity of their assets managed by Tether. Looking ahead, Tether outlines a strategic plan to expand its market presence and diversify into Bitcoin mining. The company aims to control 1% of the Bitcoin mining operations by 2024, signaling its ambition to not only diversify revenue streams but also expand its influence in the cryptocurrency industry. Additionally, Tether plans to invest in building...

China Partners with Conflux Network to Launch Blockchain Infrastructure for Belt and Road Initiative

China announces a collaboration with Conflux Network to develop a blockchain infrastructure platform for the Belt and Road initiative, signaling a strategic shift towards embracing blockchain technology for international trade and cooperation. Despite its stringent stance on cryptocurrencies, the Chinese government recognizes the potential of blockchain in enhancing global collaboration. The project aims to establish an integrated public blockchain network to facilitate cooperation projects among Belt and Road countries, leveraging blockchain's capabilities to transcend geographical boundaries. Cosmos System, operating primarily on Conflux Network, plays a important role in enabling this initiative, showcasing China's commitment to utilizing domestically developed blockchain technology for strategic objectives. While China has imposed regulations to limit cryptocurrency activities within its jurisdiction, including banning operations and closing exchanges, it acknowledges the complex...

Switzerland’s Crypto Innovation: Insights from Lugano

Amidst ongoing Bitcoin price volatility, the recent developments in Switzerland, particularly in the city of Lugano, offer significant signals for the crypto industry's future. While short-term price fluctuations dominate investor discussions, understanding long-term goals is crucial in the crypto space. Lugano serves as a prime example of how cryptocurrencies are shaping daily life and financial interactions. While Switzerland boasts robust financial services, many parts of the world still face challenges in accessing financial systems. In Lugano, however, residents can pay taxes using cryptocurrency, with over 15% of citizens already utilizing crypto for payments. This approach extends to over 400 businesses in the city that directly accept crypto payments, with expectations to exceed 2,000 in the coming years. Globally, efforts by payment service providers and tech giants to integrate crypto, coupled with increasing acceptance by businesses, are propelling the adoption of...

Deribit Receives Conditional VASP License in Dubai, Relocates Global Headquarters

Deribit, the world's leading crypto derivatives exchange, has achieved a significant milestone by receiving a conditional Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from Dubai's Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA). This makes Deribit the first crypto derivatives exchange to obtain regulatory approval from VARA, signaling a positive development for both the firm and the broader crypto community. The VASP license, covering virtual asset exchange services for both spot and derivatives trading, is subject to specific conditions and final operational approval. The official launch will take place once all formal steps are completed and full VARA approval is obtained. In addition to this, Deribit has announced plans to relocate its global headquarters to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This move aims to offer crypto services to institutional and qualified investors as the firm commences corporate operations in Dubai. Meanwhile, services for retail investors will continue through a...

Tornado Cash Co-Founder Files Motion to Dismiss Money Laundering Charges

Roman Storm, co-founder of the cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash, has filed a motion to dismiss all three charges against him alleging money laundering and violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Storm's lawyers argue that he cannot be deemed to have conspired to launder funds, as Tornado Cash was developed and publicly available before it was allegedly used by hacking groups sanctioned by the US Department of the Treasury. The charges revolve around Tornado Cash allegedly facilitating the efforts of the North Korean Lazarus Group to bypass US sanctions, purportedly funding the country's nuclear program. Storm's legal team contends that Tornado Cash was not a money-transmitting business, as it did not charge a fee for transmitting funds, and users retained sole control over their crypto. Storm pleaded not guilty to all charges in September 2023 and was released on a $2 million bond. However, he is largely restricted from traveling outside certain areas of New...

Tinkoff Bank Secures License to Issue Digital Financial Assets in Russia

Tinkoff Bank, one of Russia's major banking players, has obtained a license to issue and sell "digital financial assets" (DFAs) in the country. The Central Bank of Russia added Tinkoff to its list of approved DFA operators on March 28, as reported by Interfax. This move by Tinkoff follows closely on the heels of its rival Sberbank, which recently launched a DFA trading platform. Sberbank's platform could potentially offer access to various types of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to its customers. The Central Bank of Russia initiated its DFA register in February 2022, with Atomyze being the first platform granted approval. Tinkoff Bank has also invested in Atomyze and aims to capitalize on this relationship as it ventures into the DFA market. Tinkoff Bank expressed optimism about the DFA market's potential, highlighting its plans to conduct experiments and launch new products leveraging its technological expertise. The bank sees DFAs as a means to diversify financial instruments in the...

EU’s MiCA Regulation Sparks Changes in Stablecoin Landscape

The impending implementation of Europe's Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) has prompted significant disruptions in the stablecoin sector, with offshore stablecoins facing challenges and exchanges adapting to comply with the new regulatory framework. The move by Seychelles-based exchange OKX to delist Tether (USDT) trading pairs for users in the European Economic Area (EEA) ahead of MiCA's enforcement signifies a broader trend of regulatory adjustments in the crypto market. MiCA's stringent requirements, particularly regarding compliance with electronic money rules and maintaining 1:1 reserves, pose significant challenges for stablecoin issuers, especially those operating outside the European Union. The regulation distinguishes between "significant" and "non-significant" issuers, imposing greater compliance burdens on larger market-cap stablecoins. Despite short-term disruptions, MiCA is expected to enhance market integrity and investor protection, setting an example for...

Binance-Affiliated HKVAEX Withdraws License Application from Hong Kong SFC

On March 28th, HKVAEX, a crypto exchange affiliated with Binance and based in Hong Kong, withdrew its license application from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The SFC had set a deadline for all crypto exchanges to apply for operational licenses by February 29th. HKVAEX had initially applied for a Hong Kong license on January 4th. Following the withdrawal of its application, HKVAEX is required to cease its operations in Hong Kong by or before May 31st. Additionally, three other crypto asset trading platforms, including Huobi, also withdrew their operational license applications in 2024 for undisclosed reasons. The reasons for these withdrawals remain speculative, with factors such as changing audit firms or requests for more information being suggested. HKVAEX's withdrawal comes amid increasing regulatory scrutiny in the crypto industry and follows other related developments, including the suspension of operations by CommEx, a Russian crypto exchange with ties...

Portugal Halts WorldCoin’s Biometric Data Collection Amid Privacy Concerns

Portugal has imposed a temporary halt on WorldCoin, a project led by Sam Altman, from collecting biometric data, highlighting growing global concerns over privacy and data protection rights. WorldCoin aims to create a unique digital ID and financial network using facial scans and has registered over 4.5 million individuals across 120 nations. However, the venture faced suspension in Portugal due to concerns raised by the CNPD regarding citizen data protection risks, particularly unauthorized data collection, including minors, consent withdrawal issues, and data deletion. Jannick Preiwisch, WorldCoin’s Data Protection Officer, expressed surprise at the allegations and assured efforts to rectify reported issues, especially concerning underage participation. Despite facing regulatory scrutiny in Portugal, other countries like Spain and Kenya have also curtailed WorldCoin's operations over similar concerns about biometric data collection. Privacy advocates and regulators, including the...