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Cryptocurrency roundup for May 19: USBTC and Major Companies Sign Deal to Boost Bitcoin Mining and more

A daily round-up of the most interesting articles on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether to help jump-start the day.

May 19, 2023 / 09:26 AM IST
Lagrange Labs, a zero-knowledge startup, has announced a pre-seed funding round of $4 million to boost its proprietary zero-knowledge proof system.

United States Bitcoin Corp (USBTC) has inked extensive multi-year contracts to accommodate 150,000 bitcoin mining rigs, among notable companies such as Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA).

[content][quote]Bitcoin [/quote][title]USBTC Signs Multi-Year Hosting Deals for Bitcoin Mining Expansion[/title][body]

United States Bitcoin Corp (USBTC) has inked extensive multi-year contracts to accommodate 150,000 bitcoin mining rigs, among notable companies such as Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA).

> These agreements reflect the evident recovery of the mining sector, which is striving to bounce back after a challenging 2022.

> The crypto slump last year led to a host of significant miners filing for bankruptcy, Compute North included, which originally managed the three USBTC locations.

> The trio of bitcoin mining facilities is strategically located in Kearny, Nebraska, and both Granbury and Upton County in Texas.

> The stakes in two of these sites - one each in Nebraska and Texas - previously held by Compute North, were bought by energy investment firm Generate Capital. Details here.


[content][quote]Blockchain Improbability[/quote][title]Lagrange Labs Raises $4M for Zero-Knowledge Blockchain Interoperability[/title][body]

Lagrange Labs, a zero-knowledge startup, has announced a pre-seed funding round of $4 million to boost its proprietary zero-knowledge proof system.

> The round, led by 1kx, included Maven11, Lattice Fund, CMT Digital, and Daedalus Angels, among others.

> The firm aims to solve the long-standing issue of blockchain interoperability, permitting developers to build decentralized applications (dApps) that can access multiple blockchains at once.

> "Modern DeFi applications require more sophisticated relationships between data on different blockchains, and we’re excited to see how our technology can unlock new multi-chain DeFi primitives," said Ismael Hishon-Rezaizadeh, Founder and CEO of Lagrange Labs.

> Zero-knowledge-proof technology is gaining traction as a viable solution to scalability issues in the Ethereum ecosystem. Continue here.


[content][quote]Services Halted[/quote][title]Binance Australia Halts Key Services Amid Regulatory Scrutiny: An In-depth Analysis[/title][body]

Binance Australia has announced a halt to certain Australian dollar deposit services due to an external payment provider's decision.

> It also alerted customers to expect a disruption in bank transfer withdrawals, though the extent of the impact is yet to be determined.

> In a statement on social media on Thursday, Binance Australia informed its users that it would no longer be supporting PayID deposits.

> The company stated, "We are working tirelessly to secure an alternative provider to continue offering AUD deposits and withdrawals to our users.”

> The suspension of these services comes just a month after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission withdrew Binance’s license for its derivatives operations in the country. Details here.


[content][quote]Crypto in Pakistan[/quote][title]Pakistan's Unyielding Stance on Cryptocurrency Amid Rising Popularity[/title][body]

Pakistan's official approach towards cryptocurrencies is becoming increasingly strict, despite the continued enthusiasm from its citizens who seek a hedge against the depreciating national currency amid the country's volatile political climate.

> During a meeting with the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Pakistan's Minister of State for Finance and Revenue, reinforced the government's position against the digital currency phenomenon.

> As reported by local media, Pasha was quoted stating categorically that cryptocurrencies will "never be legalized in Pakistan".

> According to Pasha, the stringent stance is driven by stipulations imposed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international finance watchdog.

> By refraining from legalizing cryptocurrencies, Pakistan aims to avoid the FATF's infamous "Grey List". Continue here.


[content][quote]Eurotrip[/quote][title]Coinbase One Expands to Europe: A New Era in Zero-Fee Crypto Trading[/title][body]

Coinbase, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, has decided to broaden the reach of its subscription-based product, Coinbase One, to encompass the United Kingdom, Germany, and Ireland.

> The product, priced at a monthly fee of $29.99, offers its subscribers the benefit of trading with no fees, elevated staking rewards, access to crypto data services, and 24/7 customer support.

> The decision to extend the product’s availability stems from the exchange's strategy to secure a steady stream of income in contrast to the inconsistent revenue associated with unpredictable cryptocurrency markets.

> Remarkably, Coinbase’s subscription and services revenue saw an impressive increase, doubling to $362 million in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same timeframe in the previous year. More here.


[content][quote]Fee-Less Payments[/quote][title]Visa Explores Ethereum's Potential: An Experiment in Fee-less Payments[/title][body]

Visa, the multinational payments titan, is further exploring Ethereum blockchain technology, executing smart contracts designed for feeless payments on Goerli, Ethereum's test network.

> The company is utilizing a feature known as account abstraction, which enhances the functionality of user accounts and enables wallets to independently carry out intricate tasks and manage transaction fees for other accounts.

The company unveiled two separate "Paymaster" smart contracts, providing a comprehensive account of their experiments in a report.

> The main goal of these contracts is to streamline user engagement with the Ethereum network, eradicating the necessity for users to possess ether (ETH), Ethereum's native cryptocurrency, for covering transaction or “gas” fees or enabling users to pay using any token of their choice. More here.


[content][quote]Bitcoin's Fall[/quote][title]Bitcoin Tumbles Below $27K: Impact of Debt Ceiling Talks & Regulatory Moves[/title][body]

A significant drop in Bitcoin's value under the $27,000 benchmark has been observed as the crypto market reacts to ongoing debt ceiling negotiations in the U.S. capital and the latest updates in cryptocurrency regulations.

> As per the latest data from CoinDesk, Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency in terms of market value, has witnessed a decrease of 2.1% over the last 24 hours and is currently valued at approximately $26,700.

> Bitcoin showed signs of recovery earlier in the day when it almost reached $27,500. However, a sudden downturn in the afternoon dragged its value down to almost $26,400.

> Ethereum, the runner-up in the crypto market in terms of market cap, mirrored this trend. The value of Ether depreciated by 1.6% and was trading around $1,795 as of Thursday afternoon.

> Reflecting these changes, the CoinDesk Market Index (CMI), which provides a measure of the general performance of the cryptocurrency market, recorded a 2.2% decrease on Thursday.


Murtuza Merchant is a senior journalist and an avid follower of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
first published: May 19, 2023 09:26 am