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Stellar Development Foundation and MoneyGram Partner with Techstars to Spur Innovation on Blockchain-Based Cross-Border Payments

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Stellar Development Foundation and MoneyGram International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGI) announced a new partnership with Techstars, a global investment business that provides access to capital, one-on-one mentorship, and customized programming for entrepreneurs. The program will recruit founders across the world who are focused on driving technological innovation in areas such as blockchain and digital payments to further streamline cross-border payments and support financial inclusion.

The accelerator will specifically target technologies that facilitate the movement of money to and from Latin America. Each year for the next three years, the program will select a class of up to 12 fintech startups to participate in an immersive 13-week program where entrepreneurs will work with mentors from Techstars, the Stellar Development Foundation, and MoneyGram to solidify their value proposition and product-market-fit. At the end of each class, the participants will present their progress and vision to a curated group of investors and key stakeholders in the fintech community on Demo Day. Applications for the first class of startups will open on Monday, July 25, 2022, and the deadline to submit applications is Wednesday, October 12, 2022.

“Blockchain and digital assets are changing the cross-border payments process, enabling people to almost instantly and cost-effectively send money internationally,” said Denelle Dixon, Stellar Development Foundation CEO and Executive Director. “We believe that we can improve access to the financial system for all participants, and we’re proud to work with MoneyGram and Techstars to empower the next generation of innovators to build a more inclusive and accessible cross-border payments system that takes full advantage of 21st-century technology”

This partnership builds on the previously announced collaboration between the Stellar Development Foundation and MoneyGram to bridge digital and local currencies.

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“We’re excited about this latest expansion of our partnership with the Stellar Development Foundation as we look to further accelerate our strategic goals to lead cross-border payment innovation,” said Alex Holmes, MoneyGram Chairman and CEO. “As the fintech landscape rapidly evolves, we’re committed to utilizing our combined expertise in global digital payments, blockchain, and compliance to uncover new opportunities for global customers and enhance the existing financial system. Partnering with startups through our new relationship with Techstars will further support our innovation efforts and ultimately benefit consumers around the world.”

“At Techstars, we believe great ideas are everywhere, but access to opportunity is not, which is why our global-investment model is to reach founders anywhere and everywhere,” said Maëlle Gavet, Techstars CEO. “As we look to reach founders in the Americas, this program will provide early-stage blockchain and digital asset innovators the advantages and resources they need to succeed in building an inclusive, accessible financial system, and deliver world-changing solutions.”

With the majority of Latin Americans either unbanked or underbanked, this region is uniquely primed for digital finance adoption. Both the Stellar Development Foundation and MoneyGram have deep roots working in Latin America, with an established ecosystem to help new entrants succeed with connections and mentorship. The Stellar network’s growing ecosystem and MoneyGram’s well-established presence in Latin America, one of its largest remittance corridors in the world, present a unique opportunity to effect change in the region. The new accelerator program aims to tap into the growing group of developers of financial technology and to provide a path to build locally-inspired solutions.

The Stellar Development Foundation, MoneyGram and Techstars will officially launch the program in Austin at SXSW.

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Blockchain

PayPal receives New York crypto trust charter

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The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has granted PayPal Digital a limited purpose trust charter, a designation typically held by digital asset custodians and some stablecoin issuers.

Last August, PayPal launched its PYUSD stablecoin, marking the first stablecoin from a BigTech company. Paxos Trust Company, which also holds an NYDFS limited trust charter, currently issues the PYUSD stablecoin. Paxos has been PayPal’s partner for its cryptocurrency services since inception. Consequently, the new trust charter may signal PayPal’s intention to take over the custody of its clients’ crypto-assets and potentially move the issuance of PYUSD in-house.

Despite reaching out to PayPal for clarification on the purpose of the trust charter, no response was received before publication.

The PYUSD stablecoin is still in its early stages, with its recent integration for cross-border payments via PayPal’s Xoom app. The stablecoin’s market capitalization has grown to nearly $400 million, up from $190 million in early April. Notably, wallets associated with the issuer Paxos hold over $125 million, possibly on behalf of PayPal. The top five wallets constitute 71% of the stablecoin balance, with 17 wallets holding $1 million or more, accounting for 97% of the total holdings.

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The largest holders include Paxos, Crypto.com, Curve (DeFi), Defiance Capital, and Frax (DeFi). Among these, Crypto.com holds a balance of $103 million and Bullish holds $23 million.

Additionally, in November, the SEC’s enforcement division issued a subpoena requesting documents related to the issuance of the PYUSD stablecoin.

Source: ledgerinsights.com

The post PayPal receives New York crypto trust charter appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Hong Kong SFC to conduct compliance checks on crypto firms

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The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has announced that it will conduct on-site compliance checks on local virtual asset trading platforms (VATPs) that are still completing their regulatory applications following the June 1 licensing deadline.

In a notice issued on May 28, the SFC emphasized that all local crypto trading platforms must be either licensed or “deemed-to-be-licensed” by the regulatory body before the June 1 deadline. Operating an unlicensed VATP in Hong Kong after this date will be considered a criminal offense, and the SFC will actively pursue non-compliant companies.

In the coming months, the SFC will perform on-site inspections of deemed-to-be-licensed VATP applicants to evaluate their compliance with regulatory requirements. These inspections will focus on how firms safeguard client assets and implement Know Your Customer (KYC) processes.

The SFC urged investors to trade cryptocurrencies only on SFC-licensed platforms to ensure their protection. It also cautioned companies seeking licenses against actively marketing their services or onboarding new retail clients until they are formally licensed. Additionally, firms must prevent mainland Chinese residents from accessing their services, adhering to China’s ban on cryptocurrency trading.

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Earlier this month, it was reported that the number of crypto exchanges seeking operational licenses in Hong Kong had been decreasing. Eleven crypto companies and exchanges, including well-known platforms like OKX and Huobi’s local arm, withdrew their applications ahead of the deadline. Currently, only 18 applications remain pending approval.

In response to the upcoming licensing requirements, some crypto firms have proactively taken steps to ensure compliance. For example, Gate.HK, a crypto exchange, halted all activities related to acquiring new users and marketing, prevented existing users from making deposits, and began delisting tokens on May 23. The exchange plans to relaunch its services after restructuring its platform to comply with Hong Kong’s regulatory requirements.

According to the SFC, only two companies, OSL Digital Securities Limited and Hash Blockchain Limited, have been granted licenses to operate in Hong Kong so far.

Source: tradingview.com

The post Hong Kong SFC to conduct compliance checks on crypto firms appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Argentina crypto group plans to set up a blockchain valley in Buenos Aires

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The crypto community in Argentina is planning to establish a “blockchain valley” in Buenos Aires as part of the Crecimiento movement, which has a following of 500 individuals.

This group includes prominent figures in the country’s crypto ecosystem, such as Diego Guitérrez, co-founder of Bitcoin Layer 2 Rootstock; Marcelo Cavazzoli, CEO and co-founder of Lemon Cash, a leading crypto purchasing app in Latin America; and Elian Alvarez, a general partner at Ripio Ventures.

Significantly, Crecimiento’s core team has the support of advisors to Argentina’s new libertarian president, Javier Milei.

Crecimiento aims to create a hub for crypto and technology-oriented business founders in the capital, offering a comprehensive three-dimensional plan. This includes bringing 5 to 10 million people on-chain by offering exclusive items, boosting the number of tech-related startups, and providing necessary support.

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The group’s mission is to work with Argentina’s newly crypto-friendly government to bolster the cryptocurrency sector through initiatives like tax rebates, industry investment, and simplified regulations.

During his campaign, President Milei highlighted the benefits of Bitcoin, associating it with a sense of freedom, though no formal statements have been made on the subject. Nonetheless, the group has been actively collaborating with officials to establish their crypto center in Buenos Aires.

Maria Milagros Santamaria, a Web3 lawyer, noted that regulators are showing a high level of positivity toward their proposals and are requesting specific plans regarding the crypto sector to move forward. She mentioned that there are only a few individuals opposed to the initiative, and fortunately, their numbers are minimal.

Source: cryptonewsz.com

The post Argentina crypto group plans to set up a blockchain valley in Buenos Aires appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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