The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has expanded the trials of their CBDC to the Hainan Province from April 12 to April 25
the-peoples-bank-of-china-pboc-has-expanded-the-trials-of-their-cbdc-to-the-hainan-province-from-april-12-to-april-25

It is reported that from April 12 to April 25, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) will expand the CBDC trial to Hainan province. This was the first event in an attempt to normalize cryptocurrencies across China. Now the People’s Bank of China has also conducted the test in other provinces.

Hainan Province announces its first-ever CBDC event in an attempt to normalize the digital currency across China

The Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DC/EP) is a fiat currency designed to replace a system of reserve money. Currently in the testing process, but CBDC is still gradually being adopted in China.

Members of the Sanya municipal government, including their employees, businesses, and permanent residents, will be the main participants of this trial. The trial will raise awareness for the digital yuan, foster secure transactions with wide accessibility. Additionally, participants in this trial will receive a 15% discount for every 100 yuan spent on the island.

While CBDC trials continued across China, cities like Chengdu and Beijing have shown promising success. The second batch of trials was announced in Shanghai, Trường Sa, Qingdao, Xi’an, and Dalian.

Currently, the digital yuan is in beta in China. It is being piloted as a retail CBDC. In the future, though, the central bank aims to be able to interact with other countries. The PBOC and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority are currently testing the digital yuan for cross-border use.

Besides, PBOC has included the affiliated banks of digital payments giants, AliPay and WePay, in their trials to increase adoption. Due to this partnership, users with WeBank and MyBank accounts can now access their money using PBOC apps running CBDC. AliPay and WePay together dominate more than 93% of the digital payments market in China.

There are currently 573.6 million users for digital payment platforms in China. This number is expected to increase to 618 million by 2025 showing huge potential for a shopping mall in this market.

How to Buy Tether (USDT): A Step-by-Step Guide for 2021

Bitcoin broke past the $60,000 mark on March 13, 2021, to surpass Facebook in total market value. To learn more about this and other stories, keep reading this article.

Bitcoin Hits Over $60,000 and Surpasses Facebook in Value

On March 13, 2021, bitcoin recorded a high of $61,683.86. This is yet another milestone that the cryptocurrency has achieved after recording a series of several all-time highs in the past three months.

Institutional investors continue to boost bitcoin’s price with Chinese firm Meitu being the latest company to purchase crypto. The firm bought $22.1 million in ether and $17.9 million in bitcoin.

“Beeple’s $69 million [non-fungible token] record demonstrates the true power of crypto, adding curiosity and fuel to the retail fire. Expect volatility but a landing of $100K levels by Q3,” said Jehan Chu, Managing Partner of trading firm Kenetic.

Furthermore, bitcoin’s market cap has risen to the eighth position, surpassing Facebook. Currently, bitcoin has a market capitalization of about $1.07 trillion while Facebook has a market cap of $808.76 billion.

Luno Users Can Now Earn Interest on Ether and USDC Savings

Luno users can now add ETH and USD coin (USDC) to their savings wallet where they can earn 4 percent and 7.6 percent APR, respectively. The exchange introduced the savings wallet five months ago allowing users to earn up to four percent on their bitcoin savings.

“The addition of two new cryptocurrencies to the savings wallet gives customers even greater flexibility and potential to earn interest as they grow their crypto savings. A high percentage of Africans who own cryptocurrency do so for speculative investment purposes, with the majority holding their crypto for the long term. If your crypto investment strategy is holding your crypto long-term, the savings wallet earns you additional interest for what you were already doing,” said Marius Reitz, the General Manager for Africa, at Luno.

According to a Luno 2020 survey, more than a third of the respondents (35 percent) were not earning interest on their traditional cash savings. On the other hand, 54 percent were not earning interest on their current bank accounts. As a result, Luno wants to change these statistics with its crypto savings wallet.

The savings feature pays out interest monthly and users can access their savings 24/7. Moreover, 250,000 people are using the savings wallet since its launch.

South African Company Invests in Bitcoin

It is not large companies alone that are investing in bitcoin. According to an article on Tech Central, open-source software firm LSD Information Technology has purchased R2 million in bitcoin (about $135,570.70).

The company’s board agreed to invest in the digital asset on January 4, 2021. In the initial purchase, it bought R1 million in bitcoin then bought the other R1 million over the next two weeks. The firm used the crypto exchange BitFund to buy and hold the BTC.

“Our vision is to make the world more open, and bitcoin supports our philosophy on how we believe the world works best. Working in the open-source space seems to attract many crypto enthusiasts for whom the decentralised open nature of cryptocurrencies appeals,” said LSD founder and CEO Stefan Lesicnik.

The firm participates in running and maintaining bitcoin full nodes.

The Central Bank of Sweden Released First Study of Digital Currency

Sweden’s plans to create a central bank digital currency might be more complicated than initially thought according to a new study published by the nation’s central bank. It estimated that the Scandinavian country could delay the release of the e-krona until 2026.

How Does a Cashless Future Look Like?

The Riksbank published the results of the first phase of a pilot project exploring an eventual post-cash era and its consequences. The simulation showed that the rapid speed at which cash is disappearing presents ”potential problems.” However, a digital currency under the control of a central bank has the ability to address them.

The project is colossal, and Sweden’s central bank, which is the oldest one in the world, keeps delaying the timeframe for completing it. Initially, the institution announced it will be ready with the task and move ahead with the e-krona by 2018.

The Riksbank now indicated the current pilot project won’t see the light of day before next year. Some more pessimistic projections, though, stretched the timeframe until the end of 2026.

Mithra Sundberg, who leads the Riksbank project in Stockholm, said that it’s vital to avoid settling on the technology before realizing precisely what the digital currency needs to do. The bank indicated it’s not replacing cash and moving forward with the task will most likely require a new legal framework before releasing it.

In the meantime, the largest economy on the Scandinavian peninsula is proud to be one of the smallest users of cash in the world. During the pandemic, cash usage in the country was at its lowest level ever. According to Riksbank’s research, less than one-tenth of all payments in the county are made in cash.

The Controversy From Other Countries

Norway, Sweden’s neighboring country and another mainly cashless nation, also weighed in on the CBDC topic. However, its central bank said there’s ”no acute need” to introduce digital currency yet.

Other countries also spoke about being a first-mover in the field of digital currency. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently opined that there is no need to force the process. He noted that the US would ”rather be right than first”.

Sundberg noted that Sweden’s e-krona project still needs to explore the monetary policy consequence of such a transformation. But her team had ”looked at the technical possibilities of being able to charge interest.”

Meanwhile, the Riksbank has focused on a so-called two-tier model. This system will be responsible for the circulation and redemption of CBDC. Michael Lindgren, the technical project manager at the entity, mentioned that this model will allow direct contact between the so-called participants, such as banks or payment firms, and the end-users.

Spain Seeks Public Comments on Potential Cryptocurrency Regulations

Cryptocurrency regulations across different countries continue to be a hot topic, and Spain is the latest to join in. The nation’s watchdog has asked industry participants, investors, and consumers for their opinion, and they have until April 16th to respond.

Spain’s Regulator Looks for Crypto Legislation

According to a report from La Informacion, The National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), Spain’s watchdog overseeing the securities markets, has initiated the first steps of nationwide crypto regulations.

The process has started by sending emails to representatives of the cryptocurrency industry, investors, and customers. They have less than two weeks to prepare statements with their comments on the proposals and send them back to the agency.

The coverage outlined that the potential regulations could affect almost all areas of the cryptocurrency industry. However, the legislation could exempt some professional activities, assets that are exclusively used as means of payment, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Interestingly, the US also hinted at new rules regarding NFTs recently, but they seemed significantly more strict. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may implement taxes on NFT purchases made with profits of digital assets, as CryptoPotatoreported recently.

Apart from the aforementioned potential regulations on crypto assets, Spain has also explored developing a central bank digital currency. The country’s central bank said in late 2020 that releasing a CBDC is among the priorities in the next three years.

Regulations in Other Countries

The exponential growth of the entire crypto space in the past year or so has caught the attention of global regulators. Consequently, numerous countries have started looking into inserting legislative frameworks.

Spain’s northern neighbor, France, called for a new and robust approach towards crypto regulations in February this year. The chairman of the nation’s financial regulatory body (AMF) believes that the current legal structures are insufficient when it comes down to new asset classes such as digital currencies.

Continuing north on the map and Britain’s Finance Minister, John Glen, urged the country to firstly focus on regulating stablecoins rather than the entire market, while the FCA has repeatedly issued warnings.

In some countries, such as South Korea, the implemented regulations have caused troubles for some of the firms operating within their borders. The East Asian nation introduced new AML legislation last month, and several cryptocurrency exchanges announced closing doors for their respective South Korean branches in response.

Hedge Fund Giant Invests In Bitcoin Trust, JPMorgan’s CEO On Crypto Regulation + More News
Hedge Fund Giant Invests In Bitcoin Trust, JPMorgan's CEO On Crypto Regulation + More News 101
Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan. Source: a video screenshot

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Investments news

  • USD 48bn hedge fund giant Millennium Management invested in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), TheStreet reported, citing two undisclosed sources familiar with the matter. “While the price premium GBTC long traded at against bitcoin collapsed recently, it’s unclear if New York-based Millennium booked any losses on the crowded trade,” the report added, without providing any numbers about the investment.

Regulation news

  • Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, placed the legal and regulatory status of cryptocurrencies on a list of “serious emerging issues that need to be dealt with – and rather quickly.” Per a letter to shareholders, others such issues include the growth of shadow banking, the proper and improper use of financial data, the risk that cybersecurity poses to the system, the proper and ethical use of AI, the effective regulation of payment systems, disclosures in private markets, and effective regulations around market structure and transparency.
  • A collective of Russian crypto and blockchain players has launched a bid to convince politicians not to pass restrictive a new set of crypto laws, per Izvestia. The new campaign has been masterminded by the pro-business pressure group Investment Russia, the law firm the Digital Rights Center and the public organization RosKomSvoboda, a body that claims to support open self-regulatory networks and protection of digital rights of Internet users. The campaign addresses the country’s finance ministry, Duma financial chiefs, tax bodies and the Central Bank. A manifesto calls for amendments to draft laws that the parties say “will have an extremely negative impact on the Russian crypto industry” if they are adopted.

NFTs news

  • Latvian airline airBalticsaid that it will become the world’s first airline to issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The airline will issue limited collector NFTs showcasing an individual Airbus A220-300 with its registration and a piece of art of the Kuldiga city to promote tourism and Latvia in the world. Starting with Kuldīga, the cities and towns which were voted as the people’s favorites will one by one be represented on the digital art pieces issued by airBaltic. The initial drop of the first airBaltic limited NFT will be announced later in April.
  • The seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady is launching an NFT platform called Autograph this spring, CNN reported, citing a representative for Brady. The platform “will bring together some of the biggest names in sports, entertainment, fashion, and pop culture to work with creators to develop unique digital collectibles,” it added.

Exchanges news

  • Blockchain technology company Ebang International Holdings Inc.announced the official launch of its crypto exchange for qualified investors to register and trade on. This launch will “not only expand the revenue sources from our cryptocurrency business but also optimize the development of our blockchain industry chain,” said the company Chairman and CEO Dong Hu.
  • bitFlyer has gotten their third president in two years. The new president is Goldman Sachs alum Kuniyoshi Hayashi, who replaced the outgoing President Kimihiro Mine on March 30, they said.
  • ShapeShift announced support for simultaneously connecting multiple wallets. Per an emailed announcement, users can switch between KeepKey, Trezor, Ledger, Portis, and ShapeShift mobile wallets on the ShapeShift web platform, without needing to reconnect. Support for additional wallets is coming soon, they said.
  • South African crypto exchange iCE3said they “will not return to operation” and that they “have been advised to initiate liquidation proceedings.” “All withdrawals from the platform have been disabled, and we have processed the withdrawals which have already been submitted via the form today, manually. We currently have no withdrawal requests pending for any currencies other than BTC and LTC,” they said.
  • Coinme, a US-based cryptocurrency cash exchange, announced its entrance into Florida with the launch of over 300 bitcoin-enabled Coinstar kiosks located at select Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Mas, Harveys, and other grocery outlets across the state.
  • The Miami HEATsaid it has entered into a long-term partnership with crypto derivatives exchange FTX.us, making this platform “The Official and Exclusive Cryptocurrency Exchange Partner of the Miami HEAT.” This deal works in tandem with the recent announcement that, starting with the 2021-22 NBA season, the home of the Miami HEAT will be known as “FTX Arena.”

Mining news

  • Chinese online lottery company 500.com has acquired Bee Computing, a Hong Kong-registered maker of Bitcoin mining machines, in a USD 100m deal, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 500.com will pay Bee Computing USD 35m in stock by the end of the second quarter and send the other USD 65m worth of stock after the company has produced a certain number of 7nm ASIC bitcoin mining machines, as well as made higher performance bitcoin, ethereum (ETH), and litecoin mining machines.

Crypto adoption news

  • A new deal with the Valencia-based crypto exchange Criptan will allow Spanish travelers to make claims for airline-related delays and other incidents – and receive crypto rather than fiat as compensation. Per El Mundo Financiero, the exchange has teamed up with the Wings to Claim platform. The parties will allow travelers to make claims from travel agencies or airlines in situations whereby customers experience delays of three hours or more, lose baggage, if their flights are canceled or overbooked, or if they miss a connecting flight.

Blockchain news

  • Daegu, one of the largest cities in South Korea, has introduced a blockchain-powered ID authentication system for users of its online and offline public services. Per the Daegu Shinmun, the new platform makes use of a smartphone app that allows users to reserve city-operated facilities, make use of city-funded electric scooters and borrow library books using blockchain-based innovations. In a separate development, Law Issue reported that the electricity provider Nambu Power will also make use of blockchain-powered ID solutions on its renewable energy certificates platform.

Legal news

  • Michael Hlady pled guilty before a US Chief District Court Judge to conspiring to extort a startup company for millions of dollars in ethereum. When sentenced, Hlady faces up to 20 years in prison, as well as a fine, said the US Department of Justice. The startup was a mobile-based business that issued cryptocurrency as loyalty rewards for generating user traffic to its clients’ products. Hlady and his co-conspirator Steven Nerayoff issued threats to the company executives that included destruction of the company if they did not agree to demands for additional funds and tokens, claims the press release. As a result of this threat, the startup transferred ETH 10,000 to Nerayoff. He has entered a plea of not guilty to extortion charges and is awaiting trial.
Is Regulation the Silver Bullet for Financial Malpractice? / What is Financial Regulation and Does it Matter to DeFi?

The text below is an advertorial article that was not written by Cryptonews.com journalists.

cryptonews

In traditional finance, financial regulation is intended to provide protection, safety and stability for institutions and consumers alike. Organisations such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK are tasked with policing the conduct of banks, asset managers and other financial organizations to ensure that strict rules are followed and punishments applied when those rules are broken.

DeFi and cryptocurrency more widely has fallen outside the remit of regulation since Bitcoin was first launched in 2009. For more than a decade digital asset holders and service providers have largely been able to go about their business unfettered by the same rules and regulations that fall on the shoulders of JP Morgan Chase, for example; not least because the rules that are set for traditional financial institutions are extremely difficult to apply to digital assets.

Regulation across TradFi, CeFi and DeFi

As anyone who has ever applied for a credit card, bank loan or mortgage will know, the long-arm of financial regulation places a significant emphasis on data collection and suitability assessment. This requires collecting and storing vaults of customer information, running complex individual credit risk checks and ensuring detailed custody, anti-money laundering and transaction regulations are followed – and while this is achievable for JP Morgan, it is less so for many cryptocurrency organizations.

In the world of CeFi, or centralized finance, we are seeing moves in this direction, with Coinbase – one of the largest CeFi exchanges – in regular discussions with the SEC as it seeks to list on the US stock market. However, in the world of DeFi, regulation is anathema to much of what the ecosystem stands for. Built largely on a decentralized, permissionless system of autonomous smart contracts, many protocols do not have the central management required to carry out regulation. Moreover, many DeFi applications don’t ask users for their information (or “KYC”), which is a key attraction for many DeFi users.

Regulation and the regulated

Governments and public-sector bodies often cite seven specific areas as being major goals of financial regulation: investor protection, consumer protection, financial stability, market efficiency, competition, the prevention of financial crime, and fairness. For end users, investor and consumer protection are the most important and refer to the way in which financial organizations should market investment products and communicate with their customers. Rules in these areas generally call for transparency (especially around potential risks of products and investments) and clear, open communication with customers.

This is, few would dispute, a highly laudable facet of regulation that should protect vulnerable customers. In practice, however, it frequently doesn’t. Aside from the sort of systemic failings the world witnessed in 2008/09, leading to USD 321 billion in fines dished out to major banks such as Barclays for LIBOR rigging, regulation often fails to keep out bad actors. In the UK, the “mini-bond” space has been a hotbed for fraud, with more than 11,000 people losing GBP 236 million in 2019 to a company claiming to offer property-backed savings accounts. These savers – largely inexperienced older people – suffered heavy losses and the scandal led to a widespread overhaul of a space with hundreds of similar cases.

Best practice should span all sectors

Despite its failings, however, regulation is important: many schemes such as the UK’s Financial Compensation Scheme (a fund paid for by banks that will reimburse savers in the event a regulated institution collapses) provide genuine protection for consumers, as do imperatives for clear, transparent disclosure about products and services and treating customers fairly. Most importantly, however, the onorousnes of regulation can also help to keep out some of the worst actors who may not have the conviction or capacity to comply with regulation.

As such, YIELD App seeks to emulate the key tenets of prudential regulation across its entire platform and customer service proposition. We provide clear and consistent public information including a product disclosure statement that details our structure, practices and principles and clearly states the risks associated with digital assets. On our site we also host a comprehensive set of FAQ’s along with a 24-hour customer helpdesk to ensure we can answer any customer queries quickly and accurately. YIELD App also seeks to mirror important system-level financial regulation, including well capitalized treasuries and the prevention of financial crime through level 1 KYC. We have also partnered with Merkle Sciences for chain analysis to ensure we comply with the FATF red flag rules and to adhere to our internal KYC/AML policies.

While DeFi is operating independently today, as one of the fastest growing areas in cryptocurrency DeFi is likely to fall under the scrutiny of regulators in the future: indeed, ita seems impossible that a market of 40 Billion USD that is expanding by the multi-millions every day would not. Therefore, it is essential that any organization truly serious about its long-term future as a DeFi service provider operates under the best practices already established in traditional finance. As highlighted above, regulation itself is no guarantee: it is only as strong as those that implement and comply with it, and you don’t have to be regulated to do so.

Swedish Central Bank Wants ‘Market Actors’ to Join Next Stage of CBDC Pilot
Swedish Central Bank Wants ‘Market Actors’ to Join Next Stage of CBDC Pilot 101
Source: Adobe/romaset

Sweden’s central Riksbank is forging ahead with its e-krona pilot project, and has outlined the next steps it wants to take – putting it on track to become the first European nation to roll out a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The Riksbank has been bullish about issuance, but will still have to convince politicians in the country to grant it the legal powers to proceed with its plans. However, in a new “phase one” report from the bank, described by Bloomberg as “essentially the most advanced exploration of a post-cash era to be undertaken by a major, western economy,” the Riksbank spoke of how it was making use of R3’s Corda blockchain platform and distributed ledger technology innovations.

Now the Riksbank says it will spend at least another year exploring technical solutions after extending its existing contract with Accenture.

During that time, it will seek to do the following:

  • Involve “market actors” – presumably private sector firms and commercial banks – which will be invited to take part to see if their internal systems can be successfully integrated with the prototype CBDC
  • Develop offline functionality, a feature already being built into the Chinese digital yuan, and a key point for accessibility
  • Develop more storage solutions, which could involve third-party CBDC wallet providers, such as commercial banks
  • Develop a more efficient payments infrastructure and integrate with existing point of sale (PoS) terminals
  • Boost performance and scalability
  • Evaluate and analyze its CBDC’s performance and network infrastructure progress, a step that will involve the “division of responsibility among participants”

Bloomberg quoted Mithra Sundberg, the head of the Riksbank unit charged with conducting the pilot, as stating that the bank has “looked at the technical possibilities of being able to charge interest,” although possible “monetary policy ramifications” have not yet been examined.

The Riksbank CBDC model is a two-tier approach whereby it would issue, redeem and destroy tokens as it sees fit, with intermediaries (namely commercial banks and payments providers) distributing the CBDC to both businesses and individuals.

The report’s authors appeared to be aware of the potentially thorny user data-related issues likely to lie ahead. Critics of CBDCs in other countries say they are worried too much of their spending anonymity will be compromised by such projects.

The authors wrote,

“The Riksbank is currently analyzing to what extent the information stored in the transaction history can be regarded as information covered by banking secrecy and whether it comprises personal data.”

Japanese Central Bank Starts Testing on Digital Yen
Japanese Central Bank Starts Testing on Digital Yen 101
The Bank of Japan headquarters. Source: Adobe/Leonid Andronov

The central Bank of Japan (BoJ) has come good on its promises to begin testing a prototype for a digital yen before the end of Spring.

Per Reuters, the BoJ has begun a series of tests that will run until March 2022, and will test the “technical feasibility of issuing, distributing and redeeming” its central bank digital currency (CBDC) – although unlike its East Asian economic rival China, it is still yet to commit to issuance.

The media outlet quoted the bank’s Executive Director Shinichi Uchida as repeating the claim that no firm commitment would be forthcoming on issuance. Uchida told politicians and banks,

“While there is no change in the BoJ’s stance it currently has no plan to issue CBDC, we believe initiating experiments at this stage is a necessary step.”

A second phase of tests, to follow, will see the BoJ look at matters including the question of whether it wants to limits the amount of CBDC commercial banking partners can hold.

The BoJ is also looking into the possibility of creating a pilot with payment providers and a limited number of end-users, Uchida added.

Reports from both Japan and South Korea have indicated that Tokyo and Seoul are playing a frantic game of catch-up with Beijing and its forthcoming digital yuan – and are unwilling to allow China to pull too far ahead in the CBDCs race.

Both Beijing and Moscow have identified CBDC issuance as part of a greater strategy to help them purge the USD from their trading ecosystems. Also, central banks have stepped up their CBDC efforts at least in part to ward off the threat from cryptocurrencies.

CBDC projects are also underway in the European Union and elsewhere in the world.

A Japanese company has already helped Cambodia release its own CBDC and says it is working with “other countries” on possible CBDC-related projects.

____

Learn more:

If a CBDC Is an ‘Instrument of Control,’ It’ll Fail – Expert

Economists: CBDCs to ‘Flop’ if They Aren’t Designed as Stores of Value

2021 Trends in CBDCs: More Pilots, Maybe Some Launches, But Not For Retail

Expert Warns CBDCs Won’t Carry the Same Advantages as Bitcoin

Weekly Roundup: Bitcoin Hits over $60,000, Luno Launches ETH & USDC Interest Accounts

Bitcoin broke past the $60,000 mark on March 13, 2021, to surpass Facebook in total market value. To learn more about this and other stories, keep reading this article.

Bitcoin Hits Over $60,000 and Surpasses Facebook in Value

On March 13, 2021, bitcoin recorded a high of $61,683.86. This is yet another milestone that the cryptocurrency has achieved after recording a series of several all-time highs in the past three months.

Institutional investors continue to boost bitcoin’s price with Chinese firm Meitu being the latest company to purchase crypto. The firm bought $22.1 million in ether and $17.9 million in bitcoin.

“Beeple’s $69 million [non-fungible token] record demonstrates the true power of crypto, adding curiosity and fuel to the retail fire. Expect volatility but a landing of $100K levels by Q3,” said Jehan Chu, Managing Partner of trading firm Kenetic.

Furthermore, bitcoin’s market cap has risen to the eighth position, surpassing Facebook. Currently, bitcoin has a market capitalization of about $1.07 trillion while Facebook has a market cap of $808.76 billion.

Luno Users Can Now Earn Interest on Ether and USDC Savings

Luno users can now add ETH and USD coin (USDC) to their savings wallet where they can earn 4 percent and 7.6 percent APR, respectively. The exchange introduced the savings wallet five months ago allowing users to earn up to four percent on their bitcoin savings.

“The addition of two new cryptocurrencies to the savings wallet gives customers even greater flexibility and potential to earn interest as they grow their crypto savings. A high percentage of Africans who own cryptocurrency do so for speculative investment purposes, with the majority holding their crypto for the long term. If your crypto investment strategy is holding your crypto long-term, the savings wallet earns you additional interest for what you were already doing,” said Marius Reitz, the General Manager for Africa, at Luno.

According to a Luno 2020 survey, more than a third of the respondents (35 percent) were not earning interest on their traditional cash savings. On the other hand, 54 percent were not earning interest on their current bank accounts. As a result, Luno wants to change these statistics with its crypto savings wallet.

The savings feature pays out interest monthly and users can access their savings 24/7. Moreover, 250,000 people are using the savings wallet since its launch.

South African Company Invests in Bitcoin

It is not large companies alone that are investing in bitcoin. According to an article on Tech Central, open-source software firm LSD Information Technology has purchased R2 million in bitcoin (about $135,570.70).

The company’s board agreed to invest in the digital asset on January 4, 2021. In the initial purchase, it bought R1 million in bitcoin then bought the other R1 million over the next two weeks. The firm used the crypto exchange BitFund to buy and hold the BTC.

“Our vision is to make the world more open, and bitcoin supports our philosophy on how we believe the world works best. Working in the open-source space seems to attract many crypto enthusiasts for whom the decentralised open nature of cryptocurrencies appeals,” said LSD founder and CEO Stefan Lesicnik.

The firm participates in running and maintaining bitcoin full nodes.