U.S. Sanctions Crypto Miner BitRiver, Russia to Use Crypto as Payment Tool
Adding to the 400+ sanctions Russia is facing due to its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the United States is moving to crack down on companies operating in Russia’s virtual currency mining industry, including BitRiver.
The U.S. Treasury Department announced the sanctions on BitRiver and 10 of its Russia-based subsidiaries on Wednesday, April 20. The Treasury also adds Russian commercial bank Transkapitalbank and 40 individuals in the new wave of economic punishments.
The Treasury notes that it is working to ensure that no asset becomes a mechanism for Russia to evade the impact of these sanctions.
Coinbase Launches NFT Marketplace, Binance.US Quits Blockchain Association
The non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace of America’s biggest exchange, Coinbase, is now live six months after its official introduction. The Coinbase beta marketplace will allow a small group of users to use the platform for the first time.
In addition to buying and selling NFTs, Coinbase’s marketplace will allow users to display their personal profiles and follow accounts whose content will appear in a “For You” feed. Users can also “like” and comment on each other’s posts.
The U.S. arm of the world’s biggest crypto exchange, Binance, has announced that it will be leaving the Blockchain Association – a body created by industry leaders to lobby for the interests of the blockchain industry.
According to a source close to the company, Binance.US is leaving due to differences in “values, goals, and standards.” Binance.US leaves the organization just two years after America’s biggest exchange, Coinbase, called it quits.
Commerzbank Applies for German Crypto License, Singapore Tightens Regulations
Commerzbank, one of the biggest banking institutions in Germany, confirmed that it is officially going into the digital asset world by applying for a local crypto license during the first quarter of 2022.
The bank has become the first major German bank to move into cryptocurrencies. The license will enable the bank to offer exchange services, crypto-asset custody, and protection if the application is approved.
A spokesman from Commerzbank confirmed that the bank “applied for crypto custody license in the first quarter of the year.”
In a recent by Coincub, Germany, which was ranked fourth last year, has overtaken Singapore to become the most crypto-friendly country in the world.
Buterin Speaks on Losing Influence in Ethereum and Difficulty in Making Changes
The co-founder of Ethereum (ETH), Vitalik Buterin, one of the strongest voices in cryptocurrency, has expressed his concern about the future of Ethereum, saying that his influence over the project has been on the decline.
In an interview with Naval Ravikant, an investor and tech entrepreneur, Vitalik Buterin said that his influence reduces every six months. According to him, the decision-making process on Ethereum is now “more vetocratic” than it was three years ago.
Buterin asserts that making changes to the Ethereum protocol is more difficult now than six years ago. Although Buterin is influential in the cryptocurrency space, he doesn’t have the power to single-handedly ensure that his vision for Ethereum comes to being.
He explained he tried to implement the EIP-4488 to reduce the cost of Ethereum rollups over the short term. According to Buterin, like many of his proposals, the EIP-4488 was not adopted by Ethereum developers.
Buterin has called on the community to exercise their voice to avoid only things of immediate profit and not what’s best for Ethereum being built.