Crypto Moves — Bitcoin up, Ether down; Twitter pilots virtual currency payments

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded higher on Sunday, up 0.30 percent to $39,702 as of 08.30 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $2,949, down 0.14 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Twitter, Stripe pilot cryptocurrency payments

Twitter Inc. and digital payments processor Stripe Inc. will pilot cryptocurrency payouts for select users of the social media site’s content monetization products, the companies announced on Friday.

Eligible users of Twitter’s Ticketed Spaces and Super Follows programs will be able to receive their earnings from the company in USD coin, a stablecoin whose value is pegged to the US dollar.

Twitter added the monetization features last year in an effort to integrate more into the “creator” economy and boost revenues.

Users who receive crypto payments can hold their earnings in crypto wallets on the Polygon network, a crypto infrastructure firm on the Ethereum blockchain, and can then exchange them into other currencies.

The crypto payments will be routed through Stripe Connect, which will also handle know-your-customer requirements, Stripe said.

Stripe plans to add options for payment in other cryptocurrencies in the future, the company said.

Twitter is in the midst of a takeover attempt by Tesla head Elon Musk, a prominent figure in the cryptocurrency world who has used the platform to promote bitcoin and “meme coins” like dogecoin.

India praised by IMF for leading the charge on digital currencies

RIYADH: The IMF has praised the Indian government’s approach to cryptocurrency at the fund’s press conference.

“It is a country that is on the frontline of digital currencies, especially central bank digital currency and how it handles a reduction of risk from crypto assets for the Indian people and businesses,” Managing Director at the IMF,  Kristalina Georgieva said. 

Officials of India’s Ministry of Finance have reportedly been consulting with the IMF and the World Bank on crypto policies as the government works on how to treat crypto assets, reported. 

The Indian government started taxing cryptocurrency income at 30 percent without allowing loss offsets or deductions on April 1, which has led to a sharp drop in crypto trading volumes on exchanges across the country.

An additional 1 percent tax deducted at source, known as TDS, will come into effect soon, according to 

“I think the biggest risk for all countries across the board will be the money laundering aspect and the aspect of currency being used for financing terror,” the Minister of finance, Nirmala Sitharaman said. 

She added: “Regulation using technology will have to be so adept that it has to be not behind the curve, but be sure that it is on top.”

While Tobias Adrian, Financial Counselor and Director of the IMF Monetary and Capital Markets Department, said last week that “regulating crypto assets is certainly high on the agenda” for India.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India is working on a digital rupee which the finance minister said will be introduced this year. 

US regulator says crypto bank violated anti-money laundering rules

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Thursday said flagship crypto bank Anchorage Digital Bank National Association violated rules for monitoring for suspicious activity and preventing money laundering.

The Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based firm failed to adopt a compliance program that meets Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering requirements, OCC said in its order. 

Anchorage Digital received a conditional bank charter from the regulator in January 2021.

A spokesperson for Anchorage Digital, which did not admit or deny the OCC’s findings, said the firm has already begun to strengthen and “will continue to bolster” the areas OCC identified as deficient in 2021.

The OCC’s order requires the company appoint a compliance committee within 15 days and have that board submit a progress report and plan for remediation to the regulator, among other actions.

Anchorage has begun corrective action and is committed to remediation, the order said.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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