Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
Ukrainian crypto exchange Whitebit has signed a memorandum of cooperation with the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide assistance to Ukraine’s Consular Service in countries where it has offices, and facilitate “the transition of foreign diplomatic institutions to barrier-free digital spaces”. It also pledged support for the ministry’s Anti-Crisis Center and a call center providing consultations to Ukrainians in need. At the same time, Binance is set to launch a “charity crypto card” for those forced to leave Ukraine, though no additional details have been shared. The crypto exchange has raised over $11 million in emergency relief funds for Ukraine and plans to increase this amount to $20 million soon.
Just three days after launching in South Asia, Coinbase has suspended services from payment portal United Payments Interface (UPI) for its Indian users, urging them instead to use Immediate Payment Service (IMP) for sell orders. UPI is governed by the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) special division, National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), which handles buy orders on Coinbase’s India platform. The NPCI had said last week that it did not recognize the legality of any crypto exchange using UPI, and Coinbase has said it will work with regulators to remedy this situation and ensure it is “aligned with local expectations and industry norms”.
In a bid to establish favorable regulations, crypto execs and lobbyists in the US are cooperating with lawmakers across different states, which are eager to attract jobs and employees they believe crypto will bring. Currently, over 150 pieces of crypto legislation are pending before state legislatures and Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, the newly launched Bitcoin-themed Financial Freedom PAC (political action committee) has said it wants to “elect BTC champions.” The super PAC, which is touted as “the first political organization whose power will scale with Bitcoin’s”, accepts BTC but not fiat donations, and operates with “a low-time preference, focusing entirely on high-impact expenditures”.
The UK’s top financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has permitted 5 crypto firms to continue operating in the UK with temporary registration. The FCA resgistration deadline was last week, and the applications submitted by the five firms — Cex.io Ltd., Copper Technologies (UK) Ltd., Globalblock Ltd., Revolut Ltd. and Moneybrain Ltd. — are still pending. This comes after the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said it was his “ambition to make the UK a global hub for crupto asset technology”.
Through a series of weekend purchases, the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) has added $173 million in BTC to its wallet, bringing its total BTC to 39,897,98 (worth around $1.67 billion). This comes after the LFG bought $230 million in BTC on 6 April and $200 million in AVAX on 8 April. Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon had previously said the LFG would acquire $10 billion in BTC to “open a new monetary era of the Bitcoin standard”.
Show me the money
BTC is trading at around $42,300 after a brief surge on Sunday, while ETH saw a similar pattern over the weekend, falling to approximately $3,200. Other major tokens saw mixed price movements: AXS and LUNA fell by a respective 1.5% and 2% and DOGE saw a 5% increase amid muted trading activity. Bitbull CEO Joe DiPasquale said that until “a major push” drove the price above $48,000, BTC was “likely to remain under pressure and struggle to hold $40,000 in the coming weeks”.