Myanmar's government in exile has backed the launch of the country's first all-crypto bank which could help it gain access to better financial services. Meanwhile, several spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund applications made their way to the Federal Register this week and the Nasdaq's crypto custody service has been put on ice.
Myanmar’s exiled gov backs launch of crypto-based bank
The first crypto-based financial institution in Myanmar is set for a soft launch on July 22 and could help the country's shadow government gain better access to funding and financial services.
Called the Spring Development Bank, it was named after the Spring revolution — the opposition movement led by Myanmar’s exiled National Unity Government (NUG) against the ruling State Administration Council (SAC), the military junta that seized control of the country in early 2021.
The bank is based on the Polygon blockchain with the main goal of making domestic and international payments faster and more efficient, along with offering access to a broad array of financial products for both the 55 million Burmese living in Myanmar and the 2 million outside the country who frequently send money back.
A number of new fiat-pegged stablecoins including the Myanmar kyat, Thai baht, Singapore dollar and the U.S. dollar will be issued by the bank which can be plugged into a “currency swap” feature built on UniSwap V3 allowing users to exchange the stablecoins.
While not launched directly by the NUG, an official told Cointelegraph the bank is launched with its full support and resources and the bank is licensed and regulated by the NUG-controlled interim central bank of Myanmar.
Spot Bitcoin ETF applications make their way to Federal Register
Multiple spot Bitcoin ETF applications have been published in the Federal Register, raising optimism in the crypto community that the path to approval was gradually being laid.
According to July 19 records, the Federal Register listed the spot Bitcoin ETF applications of BlackRock, Fidelity, Invesco Galaxy, VanEck and WisdomTree. The listings give the Securities and Exchange Commission a window of up to 240 days to accept or request the applications’ proposed rule changes that would pave the wave for a spot Bitcoin ETF to be listed.
Before crypto enthusiasts get too excited, it’s important to note that the Federal Register publications were expected after the firms filed the initial applications in June. To date, the SEC has not given any indication that it’s prepared to approve a spot investment vehicle for digital assets.
Nasdaq halts launch of cryptocurrency custody service
Global securities marketplace Nasdaq is halting the launch of its own cryptocurrency custody that it previously planned to roll out by the end of the second quarter 2023.
Nasdaq has suspended the launch of its digital asset custody business because of regulatory risks in the United States, CEO Adena Friedman announced during the Q2 results call.
“This quarter, considering the shifting business and regulatory environment in the United States, we have made the decision to halt our launch of the U.S. digital assets custodian business and our related efforts to pursue relevant license," Friedman stated.
Nasdaq CEO emphasized that the company remains committed to digital asset business development, stating:
"We continue to build and deliver technology capabilities that position Nasdaq as a leading digital assets software solutions provider to the broader global industry. This includes advancing our custody solution as a technology platform to serve the broader, global digital assets marketplace."
Friedman also added that Nasdaq will be closely monitoring the market for potential regulatory events in the coming months.
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