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Today in Crypto: MoneyGram Partners with Stellar Development Foundation, First Two ETFs Launched in Hong Kong, FTX Wants to Sell Four Subsidiaries

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Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Payments news

  • Global payments company MoneyGram partnered with the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) on the launch of Stellar Aid Assist, a blockchain-powered aid disbursement system “that delivers relief funds quickly, affordably and efficiently to individuals in crisis,” including the people of Ukraine, said an announcement. Stellar Aid Assist enhances existing cash assistance efforts by making it possible for organizations to distribute Circle’s USD coin (USDC) directly into an individual’s digital wallet, which can then be converted into cash and withdrawn at MoneyGram locations. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) both announced separate successful pilots of this system to help the people of Ukraine.

Investment news

  • Two exchange-traded funds (ETFs) – CSOP Asset Management’s Bitcoin Futures ETF and Ether Futures ETF – debuted in Hong Kong on Friday. The South China Morning Post reported that the two saw an uptick in trading activity towards the end of the day after a slow morning. The ETFs are the first of their kind in Hong Kong.
  • Singapore-based crypto lender Amber Group announced a $300 million Series-C round, led by Fenbushi Capital US, with participation from other crypto-native investors and family offices. It also said that it would be scaling down its mass consumer efforts and non-essential business lines, announcing layoffs as well.

Exchange news

  • Auditing firm Mazars Group has paused work on proof-of-reserves (PoR) audits for all crypto clients globally, Bloomberg reported, citing crypto exchange Binance, which was a customer of the firm. The company also worked with Crypto.com and KuCoin.
  • The collapsed crypto exchange FTX filed a motion to a US Bankruptcy Court to approve the sale of four of the firm’s independent solvent subsidiaries, in a bid to repay the creditors. According to the filing, FTX wants to sell Embed Technologies, LedgerX LLC, FTX Japan, and FTX Europe over the next two months.

Blockchain news

  • Web3 domain provider Unstoppable Domains announced an upcoming suite of integrations with blockchain explorer Etherscan, slated for early 2023, to let users see transactions and on-chain data connected to an Unstoppable domain and replace the need to copy-and-paste long crypto wallet addresses. Polygonscan will also integrate support for Unstoppable Domains to be used in Ethereum and Polygon transactions.
  • BNB Chain announced its partnership with Patika.dev, an online learning platform with a community of over 135,000 that trains developers at scale. The collaboration will bring 10,000 developers to Web3 through a free, nine-month structured learning pathway and will support them in building projects on BNB Chain, said the announcement. At the end of the program, participants will be connected with the BNB Chain team to pitch their projects and will receive tailored support, it added.

Web3 news

  • Trusted Media Brands (TMB) and Theta Labs announced that TMB would become the newest Enterprise Validator Node to join the Theta Network, alongside partners like Samsung, Sony Europe, Google Cloud, and Creative Artists Agency. TMB will also join Theta’s Metachain initiative and will launch four new non-fungible token (NFT) drops with ThetaDrop in 2023 with its top brands, it said.

Metaverse news

  • The Sandbox, a decentralized gaming virtual world and a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, announced a strategic partnership with Wunderman Thompson to develop metaverse brand experiences. The press release said that Wunderman Thompson would “work closely with The Sandbox to strengthen its ability to help brands optimize their relevance within Web3 culture by creating engaging interactive experiences and activating their fans and customers.”
  • PIXELYNX, a music metaverse gaming platform founded by Joel Zimmerman and Richie Hawtin, announced a partnership with the DanceFight app to bring augmented reality street dance experiences to its mobile game ELYNXIR. DanceFight dancers will have opportunities to monetize the recordings of their signature dance moves as they participate in dance battles, while ELYNXIR players’ avatars will be able to move like street dancers and directly support the humans who created the movements, said the announcement.

Career news

  • Payments technology company ConnexPay has appointed Blair Jeffery as Chief Operating Officer (COO) to lead the company’s core strategic and operational teams. Per the press release, Jeffery previously served as CEO at Vertical, Executive in Residence at LLR Equity Partners, and Chief Operating Officer of Noventis

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