Crypto News- As we approach the final weeks of 2023, it’s evident that one of the key driving forces shaping the strategies of crypto companies revolves around a single word: licenses. Navigating the complexities of a stringent regulatory environment has become paramount, especially amid the challenges of the ongoing crypto winter.
Crypto Biz: Uniswap Introduces Android Wallet App, Cboe Set to Roll Out BTC and ETH Margin Futures, and Other Developments
Some countries have taken proactive measures to create a crypto-friendly atmosphere. The United Arab Emirates stands out as a magnet for major crypto companies, exemplified by Crypto.com securing a Virtual Assets Service Provider (VASP) license in Dubai. This pivotal license enables Crypto.com to offer a range of services through its local operations, including retail and institutional trading, broker-dealer services, and credit-related services. Similarly, Hex Trust, an institutional crypto custodian, obtained a similar license in Dubai, expanding its presence beyond offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Italy, and France.
Even traditional financial players are recognizing the significance of crypto licenses. In Germany, Commerzbank recently achieved a crypto custody license, positioning itself as the first “full-service” bank in the country to secure such authorization.
Within the regulatory landscape, Bitget made headlines by withdrawing plans to obtain a Virtual Asset Trading Platform (VATP) license in Hong Kong, citing considerations related to business and market dynamics. Consequently, the exchange is in the process of winding down its local operations in the coming weeks.
While licenses are indispensable for crypto firms to operate, they also mark a new chapter in the evolving relationship between the crypto industry and governments worldwide.
This week’s Crypto Biz also explores noteworthy developments such as Uniswap’s Android app launch, Cboe’s entry into crypto margin futures trading, and Disney’s venture into the non-fungible token (NFT) space.
Uniswap Labs has officially introduced an Android mobile wallet app on the Google Play Store, allowing users to make swaps directly within the app without the need for a separate web browser extension. The app supports multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, French, and Chinese (both traditional and simplified). Additionally, users can view the value of their crypto holdings in their local currency. The iOS version of the app was released in April.
Disney has collaborated with blockchain firm Dapper Labs to launch a non-fungible token (NFT) platform called Disney Pinnacle. This platform will tokenize iconic characters from Disney’s extensive catalog, including those from Pixar and the Star Wars universe, presenting them as collectible and tradable digital pins. The NFT platform is set to launch later in 2023, catering to users on iOS, Android, and web platforms.
Turning to the financial sector, Cboe Digital has announced plans to roll out Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) margin futures trading on January 11, 2024. Positioned as the first regulated crypto-native exchange in the United States offering both spot and leveraged derivatives trading on a single platform, Cboe Digital has garnered support from eleven firms, encompassing both crypto and traditional financial entities such as B2C2, BlockFills, Cumberland DRW, and Talos, among others. Approval for margin futures trading was secured from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission in June.
In a significant funding development, global investment bank Goldman Sachs and French bank BNP Paribas have spearheaded a $95 million funding round for Fnality, a blockchain-based wholesale payments firm backed by Nomura Group. Fnality, initiated as a UBS-led blockchain project in 2019, aims to establish a round-the-clock global liquidity management network for new digital payment models in wholesale financial markets and emerging tokenized asset markets. The funds raised will play a pivotal role in realizing this vision, with other investors including WisdomTree and Nomura.