In today’s edition of Bitmama’s weekly crypto news roundup, we cover interesting developments in the cryptocurrency industry. Top picks – Fintech giant Stripe jumps into crypto with a feature that lets Twitter users get paid in stablecoin, USA Secret Service seizes more than $102 million in crypto assets, Ukraine’s central bank bans crypto purchases in local currency.
Let’s get started.
Fintech giant Stripe jumps into crypto with a feature that lets Twitter users get paid in stablecoin
Online payments firm Stripe says it will start offering merchants the ability to pay their users in cryptocurrency through the stablecoin USDC. Starting with Twitter, in the latest sign of how large financial firms are warming to digital assets.
The $95 billion online payments company said Friday it will start offering merchants the ability to make payouts in crypto through the stablecoin USDC, which is issued by crypto firm Circle. Stablecoins are tokens that are pegged to fiat currencies to maintain a stable price. In USDC’s case, as the name suggests, the cryptocurrency is backed by the U.S. dollar.
Twitter will be the first company to integrate the new payment method. Starting Friday, the social media platform — which has been the subject of much talk lately over a potential takeover by Tesla CEO Elon Musk — will let a certain number of creators receive their earnings from its paid Ticketed Spaces and Super Follows features in USDC.
It’s Stripe’s first significant push into crypto since dropping support for bitcoin four years ago. The San Francisco-based start-up stopped accepting payments via bitcoin in January 2018, citing the digital coin’s notoriety for volatile price swings and a lack of efficiency in making everyday transactions.
USA Secret Service seizes more than $102 million in crypto assets
The U.S. Secret Service is cracking down on illicit digital currency transactions, seizing more than $102 million in cryptocurrency from criminals in connection with fraud-related investigations.
David Smith, assistant director of investigations, said agents and analysts actively track the flow of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on the blockchain, similar to old-fashioned surveillance. Best known for protecting presidents, the Secret Service also conducts financial and cybercrime investigations.
“When you follow a digital currency wallet, it’s not different from an email address that has some correlating identifiers,” Smith said in an interview at the agency’s headquarters. “And once a person and another person make a transaction, and that gets into the blockchain, we have the ability to follow that email address or wallet address, if you will, and trace it through the blockchain.
Ukraine’s central bank bans crypto purchases in local currency
Ukraine’s central bank has banned the purchase of cryptocurrency using the country’s local currency, invoking martial law which has been in effect since the invasion by Russia.
Individuals may only purchase crypto using foreign currency up to a value of 100,000 Ukrainian hryvnia ($3,400) per month, the National Bank of Ukraine said on Thursday.
Crypto purchases are classed as “quasi cash transactions,” which also includes replenishment of electronic wallets and brokerage or forex accounts and payment for traveler’s checks.
The measures are being taken “to prevent unproductive outflow of capital from the country under martial law.”
Ukraine formally legalized crypto in the country last month, determining the legal status, classification, ownership and regulators of virtual assets to be regulated by the National Commission on Securities and the Stock Market.
At the time, Ukraine had received at least $100 million in crypto donations since the Russian invasion.
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