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Coinbase Launches Crypto Trading In India

Coinbase is adding support for India’s popular UPI payment tool, making its namesake cryptocurrency exchange the world’s second-largest internet market for the first time.

The publicly-traded company began testing UPI payments a few weeks ago. They announced the official launch at its first event in India on Thursday. Moreover, they added that they are working on expanding the product offering in the country.

UPI, a payments infrastructure developed by a consortium of retail banks, is the most popular way for Indians to conduct online transactions. Coinbase users in India will be able to use the UPI network to transfer funds to and from their accounts. To encourage customers to try out the Coinbase app, it said it would also offer $2.65 to any registered user.

Notably, the company has not disclosed the names of its banking partners to initiate UPI payments. Following the local central bank’s long-standing view of virtual digital assets, most banks in India continue to scoff at crypto-related transactions.

The arrival of Coinbase, which operates in dozens of markets, comes at an exciting time in India. Coinbase is already an investor in the two largest local cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

New Delhi began taxing the country’s crypto earnings by 30 percent in the past week. The new law has prompted hundreds of thousands of people to restrict or stop crypto trading.

Coinbase says it is making a “long-term” bet on India. Coinbase has invested $150 million in Indian startups and plans to more than triple its workforce in India to 1,000 this year, said Coinbase co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong.

Singapore Fintech Adds Bitcoin Payments To Merchants Working With BitPay

Singapore-based cross-border payments company Nium has announced a new API-based solution that allows businesses to start accepting cryptocurrency payments.

According to the announcement, the newly launched product is called Crypto Accept. It allows online sellers to accept Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) before expanding to other digital assets in 2023. Payments are sent to internet merchant accounts in U.S. dollars or other fiat currencies the next business day. This allows merchants to expand their marketplace and enhance the online payment experience while avoiding price volatility.

Nium has partnered with crypto payment processor BitPay to launch the Crypto Accept feature. Consumers choose their preferred cryptocurrency wallet and scan a QR code to complete the transaction. The service verifies that the digital currency is available and settles the transaction in the currency chosen by the merchant.

Founded in 2014 as Instarem, Nium’s headquarter is in Singapore. The payments company claims to have a global network of 130 million consumers. The company is licensed as a Money Services Business (MSB) in Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, Canada, Europe, and the United States.

Nium’s latest move follows in the footsteps of other popular payment processors accepting cryptocurrency payments. Major Philippines-based fintech firm PayMaya recently launched a new cryptocurrency feature on its app. The feature allows users to trade, buy, and spend digital assets through their accounts.

PayPal-owned Venmo has a similar feature. It allows users to buy, store, and trade cryptocurrencies directly within the app through a partnership with Paxos Trust Company. Last March, PayPal also started accepting bitcoin as a payment method for its millions of merchants worldwide.

Philippines’ Leading Payment Provider Adds Crypto To Its Mobile App

Major Philippines-based fintech firm PayMaya has reportedly followed in the footsteps of PayPal, Venmo, and others to launch a new cryptocurrency feature in its app.

According to TechInAsia, PayMaya users can use their accounts to trade, buy and spend digital assets. This is also part of PayMaya’s goal of offering a comprehensive encryption package to anyone interested in entering the market.

With the new features, PayMaya aims to make it easier for Filipinos to understand and use cryptocurrencies, the report said. Additionally, It eliminates the need for users to register with cryptocurrency exchanges. Plus, they won’t need to create crypto wallets and go through other KYC hoops.

PayMaya is the most prominent digital payments provider in the Philippines. It is also a virtual currency issuer (EMI) and virtual asset service provider (VASP) licensed by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the central bank of the Philippines. The PayMaya app has over 40 million registered users.

PayMaya users with upgraded accounts can directly exchange their Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) for Philippine Pesos. Other cryptocurrencies that can be traded on the site are Cardano, Chainlink, UNISWAP, Solana, Quant, Polkadot, and Polygon. They will add more coins soon.

ASEAN countries have shown a growing interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in recent years. The Philippines, in particular, has been at the forefront of digital asset adoption and has even taken steps to regulate the industry. The Philippine Department of Finance has made it clear that it wants to share in the profits made by playing Axie Infinity and other games, given the massive success of the crypto-powered game Axie Infinity in the country.

U.S. Crypto Rules Should Support Innovation And Manage Risk, According To Treasury Secretary

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday that crypto-asset regulation should support responsible innovation while managing risk, following the contours of a recent White House executive order welcomed by the crypto market.

In a speech on digital asset policy released by the Treasury Department, Yellen said that, in many cases, regulators already have bodies in place to manage crypto risks, with appropriate oversight of new intermediaries such as digital asset exchanges.

Crypto regulation remains imperfect, with regulators still figuring out how best to oversee the trading platforms and crypto services offered by banks, such as the custody of digital assets.

Some lawmakers want regulators to crack down on the industry due to volatility in crypto asset valuations, raising concerns about onerous new rules in some markets. But messages from the White House and the Treasury Department supporting responsible innovation eased some of those concerns.

Biden’s executive order requires Treasury, Commerce, and other agencies to produce reports on the “future of money” and cryptocurrencies’ role.

Yellen also said that cryptocurrency regulations should be “technology-neutral” and geared toward risks associated with home and business services rather than the underlying technology.

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