Worldcoin to stop paying Orb operators in USDC 

Worldcoin to stop paying Orb operators in USDC 

Key Points

  • Worldcoin has announced that it will ditch USDC usage in favor of its native coin, WLD.
  • The project has also announced changes to the terms behind WLD loans to Market makers.

Worldcoin is set to start paying Orb Operators in WLD, replacing the USDC that had been in use as early as next month. Per an October 22 announcement, Worldcoin confirmed that the Orb Operators are “independent ecosystem participants” but will now be paid in WLD tokens for scanning people’s irises.  

Worldcoin announced new changes to WLD loans and USDC usage

Worldcoin, a project by OpenAI’s Sam Altman, picked pace earlier this year with the launch of the Orbs and a native coin, WLD. The project’s launch was a solution for the growing interest in AI to help identify a human from an AI on the internet.

However, it hasn’t come without resistance from certain jurisdictions, given that important and sensitive biometric data is being collected in the process. The project functions by having Orb Operators who scan users’ irises, which are then paid in USDC. Users also receive airdrops in WLD.

Now, the company has stated that it intends to reverse the payments in USDC to WLD for the Orb operators. It added that the initial use of USDC was just but a “transitional phase” for the project’s pilot phase.

Parallel to that announcement, Worldcoin stated that it would extend the expiration date of 100 million WLD loans due to expire from OCT 24 to December 15. A total of five market-making entities took these loans. The five entities will return it as a reduced amount of 75 million WLD; however, they will still need to return or purchase some or all of the remaining 25 million coins per their agreement.

Keep watching Fintech Express for more updates on this and other crypto-related stories. 

MicroStrategy acquires an additional 5,445 BTC, taking total holdings to 158,245 BTC

MicroStrategy acquires an additional 5,445 BTC, taking total holdings to 158,245 BTC

Key Points

  • Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy has acquired an additional 5,445 BTC at an average price of $27,053 per Bitcoin.
  • The company now holds 158,245 BTC worth over $4.68 billion purchased at an average price of $29,582 per bitcoin.

MicroStrategy has continued with its Bitcoin buying spree as it acquired an additional 5,445 BTC, taking its total tally to 158,245 BTC.

MicroStrategy continues investing in Bitcoin

MicroStrategy indicated in August via a court filing that it was preparing to buy more bitcoin from the sale of shares. At the time, it had added 14.5 million USD worth of Bitcoins two months after buying a whooping 12,333 BTC.

With its most recent purchase, the company now holds over $4.68 worth of Bitcoin and is still expecting to keep buying more. Michael Saylor has been vocal about Bitcoin and its role in the global financial landscape, insisting that it is the solution to the increasing loss of value in fiat currencies. 

He led MicroStrategy to first buy Bitcoin in 2020, where he was bashed after the company made significant unrealized losses on its investments. However, the company has continued “filling its bags” till now, where every of their coin is in profits. 

Saylor is a staunch believer in the revolutionary power of the crypto industry, and under his leadership, it is expected that MicroStrategy will continue investing in Bitcoin and supporting it. Keep watching Fintech Express for more updates on this and other fintech-related developments.

Mixin Network suffers $200M in mainnet asset drain

Mixin Network suffers $200M in mainnet asset drain

  • Mixin Network, a decentralized peer-to-peer network, has lost nearly $200 million in a mainnet hack. 
  • The hack compromised the database of a third-party cloud service provider

Mixin Network has taken to to confirm that its services are down as a hack has compromised its cloud service provider database, resulting in a $200 million loss. It explained that it was hacked on Sept 23, Hong Kong time, but they have contacted Google and SlowMist to work together to secure the protocol.

Mixin Network suspends transactions as investigations are underway

The platform has immediately suspended all deposit and withdrawal services to prevent further draining of funds. The protocol has appointed SlowMist and Google to help with investigations as its team attempts a recovery.

During the time of the attack, the protocol held assets amounting to $141.32 million in its portfolio, according to on-chain data analytics firm PeckShield. The analytics firm outlined the assets held by Mixin Network as follows:

  • Ether: $94.48 million 
  • DAI: $23.55 million
  • Bitcoin: $23.3 million

This event is not a standalone hack. Recently, billionaire Mark Cuban suffered a hack that drained his crypto wallet. Ethereum Co-founder Vitalik Buterin also had his account hacked and used to advertise scam links. 

Crypto hacks and scams have been rampant as the industry is young, and most people do not know how to avoid them. Every year, billions of dollars are lost in scams and attacks, sensitizing the public about the need for more resilience in the markets. Keep watching Fintech Express for more updates on this and other fintech-related developments.

Stanford University to refund millions in crypto donations to FTX

Stanford University to refund millions in crypto donations to FTX

  • Stanford University has indicated that it intends to reimburse millions to FTX after confirming illegal donations by Sam Bankman Fried.
  • FTX legal counsel has increased efforts to crawl back all donations that were made by EX-CEO Sam Bankman Fried using customer deposits

Stanford University has confirmed receiving donations from FTX for pandemic-related prevention and research but will fully refund it. The institution is complying with calls from FTX liquidation officials to refund the money which had been part of customer deposits.

FTX continues ploughing back illegal donations

FTX, under Sam Bankman Fried’s leadership, had dished out multiple donations, which are alleged to have come from customer deposits. The CEO sought political and other strategic allies, giving out those donations.

Following the collapse of the multi-billion dollar company, it has been understood that there were a lot of fraudulent activities and mismanagement of customer funds, which has hurt customers and creditors. While Sam Bankman Fried is facing charges in the United States, FTX is under a liquidation process to repay its creditors and refund customer deposits.

As part of the repayment process, the current leadership has moved to reclaim all donations made illegally. The California-based institution, Stanford University, falls in the entity category that is to refund all donations issued to them.

The university received $5.5 million between November 2021 and May 2022. In a Sept. 19 email, the institution’s spokesperson said that its administration had been discussing with FTX legal counsel to recover the gifts received and intended to refund the defunct exchange.

Similar efforts and reports of donations being ploughed back are still expected to happen with time as the FTX debtor’s legal counsel seeks to gather as much funds as possible from the liquidation process. Keep watching Fintech Express for more updates on crypto and other fintech-related fields.

South Korean City of Cheongju to seize crypto from thousands of tax evaders

South Korean City of Cheongju to seize crypto from thousands of tax evaders

Key Points

  • Authorities in the South Korean City of Cheongju are set to seize crypto from uncooperative taxpayers.
  • These authorities seek to seize crypto from thousands who have over $750 in crypto taxes to the government.

The South Korean City of Cheongju is set to seize crypto holdings from thousands of taxpayers who owe the government more than $750 in crypto taxes.

South Korean City of Cheongju doubles down on tax evasion among crypto enthusiasts

The City serves as the capital of the North Chungcheong province. Its authorities have indicated they intend to enforce a compliance norm among crypto users.

As such, it has requested seven South Korean crypto exchanges to inquire into the holdings of thousands of tax evaders, as a local news source reported on August 22. These authorities seek assistance from exchanges like Bithumb and Upbit to inquire into over 8K crypto users who owe over $750 each.

Following the inquiry, the administrators seek to repossess the crypto assets as they feel it has been a growing culture that citizens of the country are using crypto to evade tax payments. This process is set to enforce a culture of compliance among all citizens of the nations and block loopholes in tax losses.  

It is not the first time South Korea has conducted tax-related crypto confiscations. In 2022 and 2021, the national government collected over $180 million worth of crypto assets from tax evaders. 

Keep watching Fintech Express for more updates on crypto and other fintech-related developments.

PayPal to roll out a crypto Hub for select users

PayPal to roll out a crypto Hub for select users

Key points

  • PayPal is set to launch a cryptocurrencies hub for select users
  • The adoption of crypto solutions is part of the platform’s plan to reinvent itself as a crypto-inclusive platform

PayPal recently launched a stablecoin in a push to rebrand as a crypto-inclusive payments platform. On Monday, it also announced it was also rolling out a cryptocurrency hub for select users.

Paypal’s crypto endeavors continue

Paypal’s new cryptocurrencies hub will allow for the sale and purchase of crypto assets, among other crypto-friendly functionalities. The payment company’s recent terms and conditions update detail the prerequisites for crypto users interested in trying out the new platform.

The Cryptocurrencies Hub service will also facilitate the payment of purchases via PayPal using money stored after the sale of crypto assets. It will also be crucial in the conversion between PYUSD and other crypto assets. 

PayPal further released a statement explaining that any balances in the Cryptocurrencies Hub represent a user’s ownership of the amount of each crypto asset displayed. As such, users will not hold the digital crypto assets in their crypto asset balance.

Since this feature is still in the pilot phase, not all PayPal users will get to explore it. The eligible users of the Cryptocurrencies HIb must have “a personal PayPal account and a Balance Account in good standing.” Additionally, PayPal will verify the required identifying information like names, taxpayer identification numbers, and physical addresses.

“You can only use your Cryptocurrencies Hub as part of your Balance Account by accessing it through your personal PayPal account. If you are a Hawaii resident, we will not allow you to establish a Cryptocurrencies Hub now.”

Upon launch, the Cryptocurrencies Hub will be connected with PayPal users can access it using existing credentials. These developments come days after the company launched a highly divisive crypto stablecoin pegged on the US Dollar, the PYUSD

Some feel that it may propel the mainstream adoption of crypto assets, while others believe it may bring trouble in decentralization as the company has its smart contracts infused with functions like “freeze funds” and “wipefrozenfunds” which goes against the spirit of decentralization. 

Keep watching Fintech Express for more updates on this and other fintech-related developments.