➊ Mastercard program powers banks to offer crypto: Mastercard is delving deeper into the crypto asset business by offering banks the ability to provide trading capabilities to customers; the payment giant will partner with Paxos to offer a new suite of products, including crypto trading, custody, etc.
ComiBlock's Takeaway: We are seeing a positive move across the crypto space by Tradfi players despite the bear market. Recently, banking giant BNY Mellon launched a new crypto custody platform in the US. Industry watchers have said that TradFi institutions are opting to get more involved in the segment despite the ongoing crypto winter.
➋ Aptos powers up its blockchain: Aptos, a keenly-anticipated layer 1 blockchain, debuted operations with its mainnet launch after four years of development and several funding rounds that valued the company at $2B. Founded by ex-Meta engineers and backed by a16z, Tiger Global, and the venture arms of Coinbase, Binance, FTX, and PayPal, Aptos is dubbed by some a ‘Solana killer.
ComiBlock's Takeaway: Aptos has raised the bar in terms of expectations, and its mainnet launch will show its heavyweight backers whether it can live up to its lofty valuation. Could it take over Solana? Never say never - but if we’ve learned anything over the past several months, valuations are not necessarily a predictor of success.
➋ South Africa moves to regulate crypto assets: South Africa has declared crypto assets to be a financial product, according to a new notice from the country’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority. The change brings digital assets more under the purview of South Africa’s regulators. The notice defines a crypto asset as a “digital representation of value” that is not issued by a central bank but can be traded, transferred, or stored electronically “for the purpose of payment, investment and other forms of utility.”
ComiBlock's Takeaway: We believe that this is a positive step and legal step that was required to bring the crypto asset industry within the South African legal framework and will open the door to many of the large traditional financial institutions to start providing crypto products and services.