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Here’s What Happened This Week in Crypto

June 1, 2024

Crypto Brings Nations Together

The Argentine government is looking to learn from El Salvador’s experience of adopting Bitcoin as legal tender. In fact, leaders from Argentina are looking to strengthen ties with the Central American nation and are exploring the possibility of signing collaboration agreements with them. Parallelly, Ark Invest’s CEO is bullish on El Salvador’s economy. She sees the GDP increase multi-fold over the next half a decade, if it continues to ride the AI and Bitcoin wave.

The ETF ‘Flippening’

BlackRock’s spot ETF became the world’s largest Bitcoin fund, overtaking Grayscale. It now holds more than 288,671 BTC. IBIT needed only 96 trading days to close GBTC's lead. Furthermore, since going live, investors have poured in $16.5 billion to IBIT. Conversely, they have withdrawn $17 billion from Grayscale’s fund. Fidelity follows Grayscale and BlackRock right behind, at the third position.

Mt. Gox Wallets Move Bitcoin Worth Billions

This week, Mt. Gox’s cold wallets also indulged in a series of Bitcoin transfers. The defunct exchange moved assets worth billions to an unknown wallet for the first time in over five years. The latest transfers relieve the burden from creditors’ shoulders.  Over the past few months, users had registered and selected a repayment method for their compensation. Right after, they were asked to confirm their identities and exchange accounts for repayment. Mt. Gox has until October 31, 2024 to reimburse customers.

PayPal Taps on Solana

PayPal launched its native stablecoin, PYUSD, on the Solana blockchain. PayPal launched PYUSD three quarters back on Ethereum. PayPal’s executive pointed out that “Ethereum works well enough.” However, to get retail on board, “you basically need at least 1000 transactions per second, and you need transaction costs in the pennies, not in the dollars," and thus, Solana was chosen for the expansion.

Israel’s CBDC 'Challenge'

Israel is fast-tracking the development of its native central bank digital currency. The Bank of Israel is looking to tie up with service providers to help it create a digital shekel payments ecosystem. To advance an "action plan for a possible issuance of the digital shekel,” the government is launching a challenge. The chosen entities by the central bank will be provided with an experimental environment integrated with a layer of APIs. The challengers will compete to build real-time CBDC payment systems for the general public.

Mastercard Rolls Out ‘Aliases’ Pilot

Mastercard launched its ‘Crypto Credential' P2P pilot program. Instead of using blockchain addresses, users will now be allowed to send and receive crypto using their Mastercard Crypto Credential IDs or aliases. For now, a selected group of crypto wallet users will take part in the pilot on a first-come first-serve basis. Wider availability will roll out to more than 7 million users across the participating exchanges over the coming months.

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