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The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) is inching closer to a full launch of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) - the digital dirham - for domestic and international payments.
In addition to addressing issues with domestic and international payments, the central bank said this will help improve financial inclusion as the Emirates strives to become a "cashless country". When the strategy was first unveiled on February 12, CBUAE Governor Khaled Mohamed Balama said, "The launch of our CBDC strategy marks a key step in the evolution of money and payments in the country. The CBDC will accelerate our journey towards digitalisation and promote financial inclusion."
As of March 2023, the CBDC is surveying 114 countries representing more than 95% of the world's GDP. According to the US-based think-tank Atlantic Council, 65 countries are already at an advanced stage of implementing the digital system.
Nasdaq, one of the largest technology exchanges, is set to launch a custody service for digital assets by the end of the second quarter of this year. This custody service will be the exchange operator's first major step in the crypto industry. Nasdaq will thus join a growing group of traditional financial firms that are moving into the digital sector after witnessing numerous bailouts of US banks.
Ira Auerbach, head of Nasdaq's digital assets division and senior vice president of the company, made the announcement during an interview in Paris and said the group plans to secure all necessary regulatory approvals and technical infrastructure. Nasdaq's first step will be the custody of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The entry of this US tech exchange into the world of cryptocurrencies could potentially change the perception of the entire sector. The giant's reputation and size in the global foreign exchange market could help boost institutional investor confidence in the crypto market and pave the way for traditional financial institutions.
Deutsche WertpapierService Bank (Dwpbank) has revealed its plans to launch wpNex, a platform that will enable approximately 1,200 banks in Germany to offer Bitcoin trading to their retail customers. The integration will be seamless and enable Dwpbank's affiliates to add other cryptocurrencies, digital assets, and tokenized securities in the future.
Tangany and Tradias will also participate in the new service, with retail customers not required to perform additional KYC procedures or use a separate payment account. MLP Banking is one of the affiliates that has already signed up for the platform.
Germany's crypto-friendly environment, with almost half of its citizens planning to invest in cryptocurrencies, is expected to fuel the platform's adoption further.