Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
Worldpay from FIS has announced the launch of a new service that enables merchants to receive payments in USDC. For businesses that do not have USD bank accounts, this could minimize losses incurred by converting USD into their local currencies. Nabil Manji, Worldpay from FIS’ senior VP and head of crypto and Web3, said the new service would “further drive corporate innovation in payments” and benefit consumers. To test the service, Worldpay from FIS will run a pilot with Crypto.com, with which it already has a close relationship.
Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon plans to back Terra’s stablecoin UST with a “basket of the top Layer 1 assets” by continuing to buy BTC “whenever there’s an opportunity” to do so. While he said BTC would remain UST’s dominant reserve, he added that Terra would “turn on reserves for a few of the popular ones” and hinted at the possibility of UST being backed by AVAX if users were “minting UST on Avalanche”, as they would trade in AVAX and therefore “improve the size of AVAX reserves”. He further said: “If Terra stablecoins were the largest consumer of SOL or AVAX and the reserves are that large, there’s an inherent alignment with the user base from each of those ecosystems.”
In its first quarterly rebalance of the year, digital asset management firm Grayscale has added AVAX and DOT to its Digital Large Cap Fund, and ATOM to its Smart Contract Platform Ex-Ethereum (GSCPxE) Fund. This adds to the GSCPxE Fund’s existing holdings of ADA, SOL, MATIC, ALGO and XLM. The firm has also removed tokens from DEXes Synthetix and SushiSwap, as well as from its DeFi fund, after the 2 crypto assets failed to meet the minimum required market capitalization. The DeFi fund’s remaining digital assets include Uniswap, Aave, Curve, MakerDAO, Amp, Yearn.finance and Compound.
Indian MP Sushil Kumar Modi has likened crypto to gambling and wants crypto income taxed at 50%, saying this is necessary to “discourage and disincentivize” crypto trading and investing since “nobody knows who is behind” them. He also suggested that, instead of 18% GST levied on crypto exchange services, 28% GST be levied on the entire value of each crypto transaction, as was the case for “gambling, horse racing, casinos (and the) lottery”. Meanwhile, Bank of England (BOE) governor Andrew Bailey has warned that crypto creates an “opportunity for the downright criminal”, justifying his statement by pointing out that perpetrators of ransom attacks usually demand payment in crypto. He doubled down on his position by saying, “Some crypto enthusiasts say they shouldn’t be covered by Russian sanctions because that’s not their world. I’m sorry; it is your world. We’re all in the same world.”
Sberbank, the Russian Federation’s largest bank, has denied any link to a new cryptocurrency called sbercoin (SBER), which was launched by Sbercoin.Finance last month. However, SBER issuers have claimed otherwise, tweeting a Business Insider article on SBER’s launch on 17 Mar — the same day the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) allowed Sberbank to issue digital currencies. Sbercoin.Finance promises investors a fixed annual percentage yield (APY) of up to 383,025.80% on their investments in SBER, which is advertised as the “world’s first auto staking and USDT rewards token”. The token, which was listed on Pancakeswap in Mar, has since lost most of its value and is currently trading at $0.00006674.
Show me the money
Less than a week after soaring above $47,000, BTC has fallen by over 6% to below $44,000, while ETH has dipped by nearly 7% to just above $3,200. At the same time, major altcoins have dropped further into the red, with SOL down by over 10% and ADA and DOT down by approximately 8%. Memecoins DOGE and SHIB saw a respective decline of about 12% and 9%.