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$22.5M Seed Funding Announced by Web3 Infrastructure Firm Fortress Blockchain Technologies

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Fortress Blockchain Technologies announced it has raised Seed funding of $22.5M led by Ayon Capital. The round also included Soaring Investment Management, Fortress’ founder Scott Purcell, and a few select super-angel investors. The capital supports Fortress’ team as it creates transformative B2B infrastructure for the Web3 industry.

With a team of 84 full-time product managers and software engineers, a key focus of this B2B FinTech/BlockTech infrastructure firm is the ongoing development of the Fortress technology initiatives for API-embeddable, user-friendly NFT and crypto wallets, API-driven and white-label minting engines for fungible and non-fungible tokens, and its proprietary core-system for financial and trust services.

In addition to engineering, Fortress has invested heavily in its regulatory initiatives. This has included hiring Albert Forkner, formerly the Banking Commissioner (WY) and Chairman of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors as the CEO of the firms wholly-owned subsidiary, Fortress Trust, and his successfully guiding the firm to achieving trust charter and building a complete financial services stack including asset custody, payments, compliance, trustee, crypto liquidity and other utilities needed by Web3 innovators.

Now hitting the “go to market” phase of the startup lifecycle, the funding is being deployed to build a world class sales team. Ryan Miller, previously head of sales at the multi-billion-dollar FinTech MX Technologies, has joined Fortress as its Chief Revenue Officer and is now building a team of enterprise sales veterans across a variety of industry verticals.

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“The tokenization of information and assets via fungible and non-fungible tokens will transform the world” noted Scott Purcell, founder and CEO of Fortress, “and we look forward to helping Web3 innovators of all types, from Fortune 500 brands to FinTechs to next-generation startups with the financial, regulatory and technology infrastructure they need to build incredible businesses.”

“With our extensive investments in the crypto ecosystem we see first-hand the transformative effect that the blockchain is having, and will continue to have on every facet of society” said Rahul Pagidipati of Ayon Capital “and as a fund, our singular thesis is to only back world-class founders who have the vision and ability to execute, we are excited to back Scott, Kevin, George and their team on this venture.”

“Technological and societal paradigm shifts are ushering in Web3. Fortress is one of the critical building blocks for this next wave of the web,” said Soaring Investment Management director, Frank Zhang. “Fortress is positioning itself as the infrastructure partner of choice for celebrities, corporate brands, crypto exchanges, NFT marketplaces, real estate professionals, neo-banks, FinTechs, healthcare firms and others entering the space with their Web3 initiatives.”

The funding will enable Fortress to continue to write software, begin to extend its regulatory services globally, and build the sales and operational teams to support a wide variety of B2B customers across numerous industries.

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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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