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Agora CEO Criticizes Yield-Bearing Stablecoins, Introduces AUSD as “Stablecoin 3.0”

Nick van Eck, CEO of the stablecoin issuer Agora, has criticized yield-bearing stablecoins, claiming they do not function as true stablecoins or money. Van Eck highlighted that stablecoins providing passive income to holders stray from their intended purpose, leading to decreased utility and acceptance in the market. Van Eck explained the evolution of stablecoins, starting with Stablecoin 1.0, which includes early centralized digital dollars like Tether’s USDT. He noted that while USDT remains a prime example of the first-generation stablecoins, many subsequent stablecoins have emerged following its model. He identified two major issues with yield-bearing stablecoins: reduced utility and acceptance, and a lack of margin for development. Van Eck pointed out that liquidity issues plague the yield-bearing stablecoin market, making them less effective as a financial tool. Additionally, these stablecoins are often deemed securities in jurisdictions like the United States, restricting...

Ledger Finally Ships Long-Awaited Ledger Stax Devices, Unveils New E-Ink Wallet Design

French startup Ledger has begun shipping its highly anticipated Ledger Stax devices, nearly 18 months after their initial announcement. The new hardware wallet, designed in collaboration with Tony Fadell, one of the key figures behind the iPod, features a cutting-edge E-Ink display. The E-Ink technology, similar to that used in e-book readers like the Amazon Kindle, provides a clear display in daylight while consuming minimal power. After fulfilling all pre-orders, Ledger plans to list the Ledger Stax on its website once sufficient stock becomes available. The extended delay in shipping the Ledger Stax can be attributed to significant challenges in producing the curved E-Ink display at scale. This innovative display is larger and includes a secure touch screen that interacts directly with the device’s secure element, enhancing user-friendliness compared to the arrow buttons on other Ledger devices. While the Nano S Plus requires a USB-C cable, both the Nano X and the Stax include a...

Cristiano Ronaldo Unveils Fourth NFT Collection Amid Legal Troubles

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo is set to delight fans with his fourth NFT collection on the Binance NFT Marketplace, despite facing a $1 billion class-action lawsuit for allegedly promoting unregistered securities. Ronaldo's latest NFT collection will launch on May 29, 2024, exclusively on Binance, celebrating the football star's legendary career by highlighting key moments and iconic goals. The collection aims to offer fans and NFT enthusiasts a unique opportunity to relive Ronaldo's remarkable journey digitally. In a blog post, Ronaldo shared his excitement, stating, “My football journey has seen me travel around the world, and I’ve been honored to play for some of the most prestigious clubs out there. Now it’s your turn to join me on that journey too.” While specific details such as the total number of NFTs remain undisclosed, the announcement confirmed that the price for each "normal NFT" will be uniform, with "Super Rare" and "Super Super Rare" NFTs varying in...

Crypto Platforms Withdraw Applications Amid Hong Kong’s Push to Become Crypto Hub

Hong Kong is witnessing a series of cryptocurrency platforms retreat from the city, despite its efforts to establish itself as a regional crypto hub. The latest to withdraw its application for a virtual-asset trading platform license (VATP) is OKX, following similar moves by Gate.HK and Huobi. Last week, OKX announced it would be pulling its application for a digital asset license. "After careful consideration of our business strategy, we've decided to withdraw OKX HK's VASP license application at this time," the exchange stated. OKX, the second-largest crypto exchange by volume, will cease providing centralized virtual asset trading in Hong Kong by May 31. Users will be able to withdraw their funds after this date. Similarly, Gate.HK, the Hong Kong arm of Gate.io, also announced the withdrawal of its VATP application. "We will be undergoing a major overhaul of our current platform, along with potential development of new services and products in the near future," Gate.HK said. The...

U.S. Representative House Passes CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act Amid Partisan Debate

The CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives on May 23, following a largely partisan vote of 216-192. The bill, which seeks to amend the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, aims to prohibit Federal Reserve banks from offering certain products or services directly to individuals and using central bank digital currency (CBDC) for monetary policy. Republican supporters of the bill voiced concerns about the potential abuse of a CBDC, while Democrats focused on the importance of innovation, the international competitiveness of the dollar, and criticized the bill's drafting. Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Digital Assets Chairman French Hill emphasized the risks of governmental overreach, stating, “We live in a world where the government can abuse the tools it has.” Representative Mike Flood challenged the audience to consider the dangers of political control over a CBDC, while Warren Davidson likened Project Hamilton to China’s digital yuan, calling...

Argentina and El Salvador Forge Bitcoin Regulatory Alliance

Argentinian regulators have initiated discussions with their counterparts in El Salvador regarding Bitcoin (BTC) adoption, the National Securities Commission of Argentina (CNV) confirmed this weekend. This move could signify a significant shift in Argentina's approach to digital assets. The Argentinian CNV, in an official notice and supported by a report from Criptonoticias, revealed that top officials, including CNV President Roberto Silva and Vice President Patricia Boedo, met with Juan Carlos Reyes, President of El Salvador’s National Commission for Digital Assets (CNAD). The discussions focused on evaluating potential cooperation agreements related to digital assets. High-ranking CNV officials visited El Salvador to understand the Salvadoran government’s regulatory framework for Bitcoin, which was adopted as legal tender in 2021. Silva praised El Salvador for its pioneering role in Bitcoin and the broader crypto asset sphere, highlighting the value of their experience for...

Ex-CEO of Heartland Tri-State Bank Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $47.1 Million for Crypto Purchases

Kansas-based Heartland Tri-State Bank's former CEO, Shan Hanes, has pled guilty to embezzling $47.1 million, which he used for personal cryptocurrency purchases. This financial misconduct led to the bank's collapse in July 2023, resulting in a complete loss of equity for investors, as noted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas. Hanes, 52, orchestrated a series of crypto schemes to cover the bank's losses, ultimately squandering tens of millions of dollars. Attorney Kate Brubacher described Hanes as a "liar and a master manipulator" whose actions caused the bank's downfall. "Many victims will never fully recoup losses to their life savings and retirement funds. But at least, we at the Department of Justice can see that Hanes is held criminally responsible for his actions," Brubacher stated. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Reserve Board, and Federal Housing Finance Agency are currently investigating...

Binance Executive Tigran Gambaryan Collapses in Nigerian Court During Money Laundering Trial

Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive currently detained in Nigeria, collapsed in the Federal High Court in Abuja during his trial for alleged foreign exchange violations and money laundering offenses brought against him by the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). According to local media, Gambaryan's legal representative, Mark Mordi, informed the court on May 22 that his client had been unwell since the previous trial date and continued to experience health problems. Gambaryan previously failed to appear in court on the same day for a separate arraignment on tax evasion charges brought by the Nigerian Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) but attended the money laundering trial. During the court proceedings, Gambaryan failed to respond when the case was called and remained seated in the back row. Judge Emeka Nwite, noticing his absence, asked for clarification, prompting Gambaryan’s defense lawyer to assist him to the dock. However, Gambaryan suddenly collapsed...

Worldcoin Foundation Expresses Disappointment Over Hong Kong Ban

The Worldcoin Foundation has voiced its disappointment with the recent decision by Hong Kong regulatory authorities to ban its operations. The foundation asserts that it operates lawfully and fully complies with data privacy laws, including Hong Kong’s Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance. In a statement to crypto.news, a spokesperson for the Worldcoin Foundation emphasized the organization's commitment to lawful operation and data privacy compliance. “This includes the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance of Hong Kong, among many other similar statutes across other markets,” the spokesperson stated. Worldcoin highlighted its mission to prepare humanity for the age of artificial intelligence by enhancing privacy standards through strategies like data minimization, user control over data, and advanced technologies such as personal custody, iris code deletion, and secure multi-party computation. The foundation argues that these measures ensure user data is handled with the highest levels of...

Elon Musk Raises Concerns Over AI Bias and Political Correctness

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk expressed his concerns about potential bias in current artificial intelligence (AI) protocols during his appearance at Viva Tech Paris 2024. Musk highlighted that his primary worry is the lack of a rigorous pursuit of truth within AI systems, noting that the field is increasingly driven by political correctness. Musk cited a striking example involving Google's Gemini AI, which gave an alarming response to a question about preventing a global nuclear apocalypse. Musk remarked, “AI might conclude that the best way to prevent misgendering is to eliminate all humans, making misgendering impossible. So you can see some dystopian outcomes there.” Following the backlash, Gemini AI released multiple updates to address these concerns. However, Musk's apprehensions extend beyond political correctness. He stated, “AI systems are fundamentally being trained to lie, and I think training superintelligence to be deceptive is very dangerous. Therefore, with xAI,...

U.S. House of Representatives Passes FIT21 Bill Clarifying Crypto Market Regulation

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the FIT21 bill, which aims to clarify the regulation of crypto markets under the jurisdiction of securities and commodities regulators. The bill passed with 71 Democrats and 208 Republicans in favor, while 136 members voted against it. It will now move to the Senate for review, with further action unlikely until early next year. Representative Patrick McHenry highlighted the ongoing struggle between the SEC and the CFTC over control of crypto asset regulation. Conversely, Representative Maxine Waters criticized the bill, expressing concerns that it would place crypto regulation in a "no man's land" and excessively deregulate the industry. The FIT21 bill proposes granting the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) more oversight over crypto spot markets under the designation of "digital commodities." Meanwhile, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would retain oversight over "restricted digital assets." Coinbase CEO Brian...

Florida Appeals Court Overturns Ban on Binance, Allowing Operations to Resume

A state appeals court ruled Wednesday that Florida regulators acted improperly when they blocked Binance from operating in the state. The decision effectively allows Binance to resume its operations in Florida. In a unanimous decision on May 22, the First District Court of Appeals overturned the emergency suspension order issued by Florida financial regulators. The court ruled that the regulators failed to justify their decision to block the company from doing business. Binance. US did not respond to Cryptonews' request for comment by press time. The emergency order to suspend Binance. US’s money transmitter license was issued in November amid concerns over anti-money laundering violations. This crackdown followed the guilty plea of Binance founder Changpeng Zhao on November 21, 2023, for violating U.S. anti-money laundering laws. Despite the global exchange facing legal action, Binance.US continued operations within the country, reaffirming its commitment to serve its customers....

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