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Visa Will Launch Crypto Consulting Services

Visa soon will be launching a new consulting and advisory service to assist its customers in navigating the world of cryptocurrency.

On Wednesday, the payment processor said that the crypto consulting business of its consulting and analysis department would provide financial institutions, retailers, and other companies with advice on everything from launching encryption functions to exploring irreplaceable tokens.

According to Visa, Bank of America UMB already uses its crypto consulting services.

This move means that Visa is determined to deepen the crypto industry further.

Head of Visa’s European crypto business, Nikola Plecas, said that from October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021, the company processed $3.5 billion in digital currency transactions through its encryption-related card program.

The company is also developing products for stablecoins. These stablecoins are virtual tokens correlating to the value of sovereign currencies. They are basically digital currencies from the central bank.

Visa’s goal is to help further mainstream adoption of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Like rival MasterCard, the credit card giant sees cryptocurrency as a critical growth opportunity as it expands beyond card payments.

Lately, major payment networks have faced brutal competition brought by the new financial upstarts.

Simultaneously Visa is also facing pressure from tech-giant companies. The previous month, Amazon announced that it suspended accepting Visa credit cards in the UK because of the company’s high fees. The e-commerce giant has taken similar measures against Visa in Australia and Singapore.

According to Visa’s research, 94% of people now have a certain degree of understanding of the crypto industry. At the same time, nearly a third of them use it as an investment or medium of exchange. This research, conducted in collaboration with marketing services company LRW, surveyed over 6,000 people worldwide.

Australia Introduces New Regulations For Crypto

 

Australia will establish a licensing framework for cryptocurrency exchanges. The government will consider launching a retail central bank digital currency as part of its largest reform of the 650 billion Australian dollars daily payments industry shortly.

The country will also expand its payment law to cover online transaction providers such as Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google and buy-and-pay (BNPL) providers such as Afterpay Ltd. It will oversee its operations without direct supervision.

Compared with countries such as India and China that criminalize cryptocurrency, Australia’s conservative government is positioning itself at the forefront of global efforts to contain large technology companies while adopting a more inclusive approach.

During the pandemic, as people’s lives moved online, the use of cryptocurrencies and non-cash payments surged in Australia.

Australia has about 55 million non-cash payments every day. Almost half of the population uses mobile phones to make payments. Compared with last year, the number of Australians using cryptocurrencies for transactions has surged by 63% in 2021.

The government plans to begin negotiations in early 2022 to establish a licensing framework for digital exchanges. It will allow consumers to buy and sell crypto assets in a regulated environment.

The government will also consult on the feasibility of regulating companies holding digital assets on behalf of consumers and the central bank’s digital currency.

Australia’s approach is consistent with US regulators. They have stated that they want to establish a regulatory framework that allows banks to provide customers with ownership of crypto assets.

In the UK, regulators are calling for the authorization to manage the online promotion of digital assets in response to a large amount of “problematic content.”

Meanwhile, India’s proposed law approves arresting anyone who uses cryptocurrency as payment. Simultaneously, Chinese regulators have already banned cryptocurrency trading and mining. 

Binance Singapore obtains 18% of HG Exchange

Binance listed new token. BEST and METIS ICO already began Binance Asia Services, the Singapore branch of the major cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has acquired shares in the local private stock exchange Hg Exchange (HGX).

On December 7, the company officially announced the acquisition of an 18% stake in HGX. HGX is a stock exchange licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Richard Teng, CEO of Binance Singapore, stated that the new investment would help Binance and HGX further expand the scale of products and services in Singapore supported by blockchain technology.

HGX is a community-driven private stock exchange founded by financial institutions such as wealth management company Phillip Capital, local financial services group PrimePartners, and Southeast Asia private investment technology platform Fundnel. According to reports, the exchange uses the Zilliqa blockchain.

After serving as the CEO of Abu Dhabi Global Markets Financial Services Regulatory Authority, Teng joined Binance Singapore as CEO in August 2021, a few years after establishing the Singapore branch.

Soon after Binance encountered some regulatory issues in Singapore, new investments emerged. In late September, Binance restricted Singaporean users from using its platform for compliance reasons. Previously, Binance denied the supply of products in Singapore due to regulators claiming that the company may have violated payment laws.

To establish a dedicated local entity in November 2021, Huobi chose to withdraw from Singapore as a global company. 

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