e-Commerce Giant Shopify Joins Libra Association

Digital commerce platform Shopify has joined the Libra Association. The company announced the move in a blog post Friday, becoming the latest member of the Facebook-founded stablecoin developer. Shopify joins roughly a month after Vodafone pulled out of the organization to focus on its own digital payments system. This is the first new member of the organization since its formation four months ago. Shopify said in its blog post it intends to “work collectively” to build a payment network that works “everywhere.” Libra was unveiled by Facebook last summer as…

New Settlement Layer to Offer Asian Crypto Institutions Local Alternative to Silvergate Bank

Legacy Trust’s digital asset division has plans to create the first settlement layer in Asia for institutional investors trading both fiat and cryptocurrencies. First Digital Trust (FDT) announced Friday that its new rapid settlement and clearing network (RSCN) will provide custodian clients, including some of Asia’s most prominent over-the-counter desks and financial institutions, with the means to transfer digital assets seamlessly across the region. Based in Hong Kong, FDT also holds its clients’ funds there because the territory’s regulatory framework allows them to offer a custodial solution for both cryptocurrencies…

WATCH: Vitalik Buterin Explains the New Tech Behind Eth 2.0

Where do things stand with the tech overhaul of the world’s second-largest blockchain? We took the question to ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin at ETHDenver last weekend. Here’s what he had to say: Eth 2.0 is the next iteration of the ethereum blockchain, incorporating novel protocol designs such as proof-of-stake (PoS) and sharding. Last December, Buterin released a blog post on ways to speed up the launch of Eth 2.0, which has been in the works for years. PoS consensus algorithms reward cryptocurrency investors for holding the network’s native currency. Holding…

You Are the Product: A Three-Step Plan to Take Back Control of Personal Data

Entrepreneur and investor Jennifer Zhu Scott is a Council Member of The Future of Blockchain Council at the World Economic Forum and holds a dual fellowship with the APAC Program and the Digital Society Initiative at Chatham House. She is also a consultant to the HBO show “Silicon Valley.” Let’s state a simple fact. Your traits and intimate personal information, such as your relationships, location histories, sexual orientation, genetic details and your children’s images have become business assets. But they are not yours. They are recorded in digital form and…

Officials Arrest US Resident for Allegedly Laundering Drug Proceeds With Crypto

The U.S. arrested an alleged money launderer Tuesday on accusations of using cryptocurrencies and cashier’s checks to obfuscate the origins of funds related to drug running. First noted by George Washington University deputy director of the Program on Extremism Seamus Hughes, the complaint, unsealed Wednesday, charges Pedro Antonio Aquino-Eufracia with conspiracy for allegedly participating in a drug cartel, laundering funds using a combination of cashier’s checks and cryptocurrencies. According to the filing, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Drew Gizzi alleged Aquino-Eufracia was part of “a large-scale, international Money Laundering…

Italian Soccer Giant Juventus Inks Deal for Ethereum-Based Player Collectibles

Top Italian soccer team Juventus is launching digital collectibles of its star players on blockchain-enabled fantasy football platform Sorare. The freshly inked licensing deal, announced on Wednesday, will see Juventus offer digitally rare collectible “cards” of world-famous players such as Cristiano Ronaldo on Sorare. Sorare, which is based in Paris, France, provides a soccer team management game with digital cards – created with ethereum tech – representing players that fans can collect and trade. The firm told CoinDesk the cards represent non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on ethereum’s ERC-721 standard. “We…

Norwegian Air May Allow Customers to Pay With Crypto as Soon as Spring

Travelers on Norwegian Air, one of the largest airlines in Europe, will soon be able to pay for flights using cryptocurrency. In an interview with a local business newspaper, CEO of Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) Stig Kjos-Mathisen said his crypto trading platform had successfully developed payment infrastructure that will allow customers on Norwegian Air to purchase tickets with digital assets. “Everything is ready to go from our side”, Kjos-Mathisen said the interview. NBX aims to roll out the new feature to Norwegian customers sometime later this year, and possibly as early…

Dutch Authorities Arrest 2 in Million-Euro Crypto Money Laundering Investigations

Dutch tax enforcers with the Netherlands’ Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Services (FIOD) arrested two men Monday for allegedly laundering millions of euros in cryptocurrency, according to a joint statement by the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5). FIOD arrested the Dutch nationals in separate crypto tax evasion investigations, recovering about 260,000 in unnamed cryptocurrencies and more than 6.6 pounds of gold. Credit and debit cards holding crypto and euros were also seized, among other items. One of the suspects is alleged to have used the defunct bitcoin mixing service…

US Court Tells Telegram and SEC to Focus on ‘Economic Realities’ of Gram Token Sale

A U.S. federal judge says the SEC shouldn’t get hung up on “labels” in determining whether messaging platform Telegram conducted an illegal securities offering. In his first public remarks on the case, Judge P. Kevin Castel of the U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York began Wednesday’s hearing with an opening statement that urged both parties to consider the “economic realities” of the $1.7 billion token sale while recognizing that “disclaimers don’t control” how the court views the asset. Castel also asked about Telegram’s economic justification for…