bookmark_borderBitGo receives trust license from New York regulators

Goldman Sachs-backed crypto custodian BitGo has acquired a New York Trust license to operate as an independent custodian in the state.

Major American digital asset custody and security company BitGo has acquired a New York Trust license from the New York State Department of Financial Services.

According to an announcement, the new charter enables BitGo to provide custodial services for institutional clients in New York seeking to make large investments in crypto in compliance with local regulations.

With the new license, BitGo will provide Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering controls and offer offline cold storage of cryptographic keys in bank-grade vaults, BitGo said.

BitGo CEO Mike Belshe said that the new trust charter from NYDFS will help the company serve the world’s premier financial organizations based in the state of New York.

Belshe said that the company has seen a significant surge in institutional customers: 

“The past year has been exceptional for BitGo and the digital asset markets overall, primarily due to the influx of large financial services institutions that bring a new level of credibility, liquidity and stability to the crypto ecosystem.”

BitGo applied for the New York trust charter in August 2020 in a move to start operating as an independent and regulated custodian in the state

Founded in 2013 in Palo Alto, California, BitGo provides institutional-grade storage for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) as well as handling crypto transactions. The company is backed by major mainstream companies like Goldman Sachs as well as industry firms including Digital Currency Group and Galaxy Digital Ventures.

Last year, BitGo established two new custodial subsidiaries in Switzerland and Germany, with each one being regulated by the authorities in their respective jurisdictions.

bookmark_borderPlasmaPay 推出 DEX 平台 PlasmaSwap,提供专业级交易工具

链闻消息,去中心化支付和汇款平台 PlasmaPay 推出交易平台 PlasmaSwap。PlasmaSwap 将包含一套专业的交易工具,将市场分析工具与用户界面相结合,在去中心化的环境下提供中心化交易所的能力。套利交易者可以使用 PlasmaSwap 的 Flash Rebalancer 工具,在单笔交易中,将一个交易对的流动性重新平衡到多个交易对,大幅减少时间和 Gas 费 PlasmaSwap 还在进行最后的测试,正式版将于 3 月 5 日推出。

原文链接:PlasmaPay 推出 DEX 平台 PlasmaSwap,提供专业级交易工具

bookmark_borderUnslashed Finance raises $2M for crypto insurance platform

Investors include Lemniscap, P2P capital and others. Unslashed Finance has sold $400 million in coverage since its private launch last month.

Unslashed Finance, a decentralized insurance protocol built on Ethereum, has raised $2 million to fund its tokenized insurance product, highlighting another positive use case for blockchain technology. 

The funding round, which was led by Lemniscap, P2P Capital and other investors, will aid Unslashed Finance in expanding its decentralized insurance protocol for crypto assets. The protocol works by connecting people willing to buy insurance for their assets and investors seeking to earn an uncorrelated yield.

Unslashed claims that its protocol enables “almost instant liquidity to insurance buyers and risk underwriters,” as well as constant collateralization. By tokenizing coverage, the platform allows the insured to pay as they go or simply offload the coverage if they no longer need it.

The insurance covers exchange and smart contract hacks, validator slashing, stablecoin pegs, oracle failures and other types of risks that traditional firms do not insure.

Since its initial private launch in February, Unslashed Finance has sold $400 million in insurance coverage and collected $90 million in capital deposits. Its clients include ParaSwap, Ethereum Lido Finance, Enzyme, Techemy Capital and others

“The growth was purely organic,” Marouane Hajji, founder and CEO of Unslashed, tells Cointelegraph. He explained that roughly one-third of the covered buyers are protocols protecting themselves, 20% are crypto hedge funds and the remaining are DeFi power users.

Regarding the future of blockchain insurance products, Hajji says the banking and insurance industries “tend to be slow movers with regards to new technology.”

He continues:

“Although some insurance companies were experimenting with public and private blockchains pretty early on (2015/2016), and McKinsey published a report back then explaining how blockchain could have several use cases in the insurance industry, real-life applications on public blockchains are not the focus of traditional industry players.”

The blockchain-based insurance industry appears to be growing in light of the DeFi boom, as more users seek out coverage against centralized exchange hacks. Presently, the coverage is quite expensive, although this could change as the market continues to mature.

Credit card issuer American Express has even commented positively on the cryptocurrency insurance market but noted that major issuers are taking a very cautious approach. The concern stems from the fact that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) are effectively a bearer asset like cash, which entitles the possessor to the underlying value of the asset.

“Consequently, when someone’s bitcoins are stolen, it’s difficult to establish rightful ownership without actual possession of that bitcoin,” Justin Grensing of American Express said.

bookmark_borderIota releases Smart Contracts Protocol alpha ahead of Coordicide rollout

Developers can now try out the upcoming WebAssembly smart contract platform.

The Iota protocol (MIOTA) is continuing its pivot toward implementing smart contracts with an alpha release of IOTA Smart Contracts Protocol, or ISCP.

As announced on Thursday, the project has released a more stable iteration of its smart contracts platform, which was previously in the pre-alpha stage. The new version signals a higher readiness of the technology, allowing developers to compile and test smart contracts for the first time. The smart contracts are based on Rust and the WebAssembly framework, putting it in a similar development environment as some of the more recent smart contract platforms like Polkadot and Near Protocol.

The overall architecture of the ISCP is also somewhat similar to existing sharding-based projects. The smart contract-enabled chains would act as layer-two environments, validated by Iota’s Tangle, a ledger based on a Directed Acyclic Graph. The validators do not need to verify all chains at once, as the creators of the smart contract chain will directly choose the mechanism for assigning validators. This allows creating both open networks and permissioned enterprise chains, which is a major focus of the Iota project.

The Iota team expects that the alpha release will attract developers who want to build applications in decentralized finance and nonfungible tokens, thus hoping to hitch a ride on recent trends in blockchain. For Iota developers, building new projects won’t be as easy as taking the code of some popular project on Ethereum, a strategy commonly seen on many current Ethereum competitors. Due to the WebAssembly environment, there are few ready-made projects to implement. Still, the Iota project plans to have an environment-agnostic presence, with support for the Ethereum Virtual Machine and its smart contracts being in the immediate roadmap.

The smart contracts alpha is being rolled out in parallel to the GoShimmer testnet, an environment without the Coordinator. A “Mana” module to be released this month would allow to integrate the ISCP chains directly into this Coordinator-free testnet, though in the meantime developers can deploy isolated testnets to develop DApps in an Iota-based environment.

An Iota spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the smart contracts will be an integral part of the upcoming Coordicide completion, which would signal the launch of Iota 2.0:

“The vision of ISCP is to run in production on the fully decentralized IOTA protocol without a Coordinator. That is what we are building for with GoShimmer and we are very confident that we will be able to achieve that this year.”

The alpha smart contracts release signals that the Iota project feels confident about its plans and is looking to grow a developer community around its project. Still, the team will need to work double-time to compensate for the late start in an extremely competitive and somewhat crowded smart contract chain landscape.

bookmark_borderRipple’s executive chairman moves to dismiss SEC lawsuit

Chris Larsen has filed a motion to dismiss the SEC’s case against him as part of the Ripple lawsuit.

Chris Larsen — Ripple’s executive chairman — has joined company CEO Brad Garlinghouse in moving to dismiss the securities violation case filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In a court letter filed on Wednesday, Larsen’s attorneys provided four arguments detailing the reasons why the case against the Ripple executive should be struck.

According to the letter, the SEC cannot substantiate its claims that Larsen “knowingly or recklessly provided substantial assistance” towards the violation of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933.

Arguing further, the letter stated that in 2015, when Larsen bore the designation of Ripple CEO, both the Justice Department and the Treasury Department’s Finance Crimes Enforcement Network classified XRP as a currency.

Building on this line of argument, Larsen’s legal team also declared that the Ripple executive cannot be said to have taken actions to ensure the success of XRP sales.

In its fourth line of argument, the letter stated that the statute of limitations has run out on any alleged involvement of Larsen in the sale of XRP since 2013, adding:

“Because the SEC has alleged that the sales of XRP over a multi-year period constituted only one offer, which began in 2013, the statute of limitations began to run in 2013 and expired in 2018.”

In a separate letter also filed on Wednesday, Garlinghouse’s attorney Matthew C. Solomon offered two arguments in favor of dismissing the case against the Ripple CEO.

Echoing Larsen’s attorneys, Solomon wrote to Judge Analisa Torres of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York stating that FinCEN has previously classified XRP as a virtual currency.

Garlinghouse’s legal representative also panned the SEC’s case against the Ripple CEO for personally violating securities regulations. According to Solomon, Garlinghouse’s activities concerning the sale of XRP tokens were simply part of this job as head of the company.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the SEC filed an amended complaint with the court back in February, accusing Ripple executives of misleading investors and manipulating the price of the XRP “coin.”

Both the SEC and Ripple have previously stated that a pre-trial settlement was not on the agenda.

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