The Chinese government is set to launch another digital Yuan lottery to help its ongoing digital currency trials, happening in the capital of Beijing. The Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration announced yesterday that the government will distribute 40 million digital yuan ($6.2 million) to Beijing residents as part of a test run for the new digital currency.
Starting in June, the program will feature red envelopes, a traditional way of gifting money. Each envelope will have a free wallet containing 200 digital yuan ($31). The red envelopes are intended to be distributed to 200,000 lottery winners. Winners must download an application to use their prizes. The digital yuan can be used at nearly 2,000 designated merchants in the city. To register, consumers can use two banking apps: China’s Mobile Banking App and ICBC Mobile Banking app.
According to the announcement, Beijing residents must apply to participate in the lottery before midnight of June 7, and the winners will be able to spend their prizes by June 20. Users will have the ability to top up their wallets if they want to spend some extra money.
This is not the first giveaway the government has carried out. Multiple digital yuan giveaways were done in other cities such as Shenzhen. The lotteries are intended to help the People’s Bank of China test the country’s digital currency after the central bank launched the first digital Yuan trials in April 2020.
China has reportedly given away as much as 150 million digital Yuan ($23.5 million) to promote digital currency use as part of the trials as of late March. In fact, China’s central bank is looking to allow foreign athletes and visitors to use the digital yuan during the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.
Cardano partners with Fortune 250 company, Dish Network
Cardano has announced that it is partnering with a Fortune 250 company, Dish Network, a TV and wireless service provider. The announcement was made by Chris Ergen, the head of Innovation at Dish.
Chris Ergen made this announcement at the 2021 Cardano Summit with Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of Input-Output present. Chris stated, “I am excited to announce that Dish and input-output are entering into a strategic collaboration to build blockchain services and to make blockchain a core part of our network and consumer strategy.”
Hoskinson stated that the partnership will help integrate Dish’s telecom business into the Cardano blockchain so as to help provide digital identity services to Dish customers. He further stated, “Ultimately, the collaboration is going to be both innovative, safe and suitable for the customers and regulators of this industry.”
The partnership aims at bringing the telecoms industry to the blockchain space. It’s the first collaboration of its kind, unlocking significant value for Dish’s customers while growing adoption for Cardano.
Recall that Cardano just recently launched an Alonzo hard fork mainnet upgrade. The upgrade brought to the Cardano network the capability to launch smart contracts, ushering in a new era for the blockchain which puts it in direct competition with the likes of Ethereum and Solana.
Since the launch of Smart Contracts, over 200 smart contracts have been listed on the Cardano blockchain explorer.
Charles concluded the announcement stating, “this is the kind of deal I can imagine in a decade horizon, will involve hundreds of millions of people if not billions of people. I am deeply passionate about it because to do the things we like to do as a company, which is to bank the unbanked and connect the unconnected, makes this is a tremendous challenge.”
Cardano’s native token is down 6.22% for the day as it currently trades $2.20 as of the time of this writing.
Square to build Bitcoin hardware wallet
Last month, Square CEO, Jack Dorsey hinted in a tweet that the company was considering creating a non-custodial hardware wallet for Bitcoin. Yesterday, he confirmed the rumours by tweeting “We’re doing it,” in a reply to Jesse Dorogusker, Square Inc.’s hardware Lead, who was announcing that the company had decided to build a hardware wallet.
Square, Inc. is an American fintech financial services and digital payments company based in San Francisco, California. The company was founded by Jack Dorsey who is also the CEO of Twitter.
Jesse Dorogusker also tweeted that the company has started assembling a team to handle the project, emphasizing the product is very much in the drawing-board stage. Nevertheless, he said Square will seek to bring a mobile-friendly, “assisted-self-custody” wallet to a global audience.
“We have decided to build a hardware wallet and service to make Bitcoin custody more mainstream. We will continue to ask and answer questions in the open. This community’s response to our thread about this project has been awesome, encouraging, generous, collaborative and inspiring,” he stated.
Square’s status as a mainstream fintech would likely inject new attention into Bitcoin custody. It has much wider name recognition than even the best-known hardware builders in the cryptocurrency industry. It has also carved out a niche in making Bitcoin accessible through its flagship product, Cash App.
What this means
With the increase in cryptocurrency-related thefts and scams, many companies have emerged to serve a growing need to protect their crypto assets. A hardware wallet provides a unique opportunity to safeguard cryptocurrency assets offline, safe from the clutches of online scammers. Hardware wallets provide a non-custodial service in such a way that you have sole control of your private keys, which in turn control your cryptocurrency and prove the funds are yours.
This innovation will help stem the increase in cryptocurrency-related theft and will help make Bitcoin custody more mainstream.
Standard Chartered Bank plans European crypto exchange
Standard Chartered Bank, United Kingdom’s multinational banking and financial services company, plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange. To achieve this, the bank has partnered with Hong Kong exchange owner, BC Technology Group, to launch a platform for the U.K. and European institutional market.
The bank has long expressed interest in the cryptocurrency market and this is their way of breaking into the space. The project will be handled by Standard Chartered Ventures, the innovation arm of the bank, but no timeline has been given for the launch.
What they are saying
Alex Manson, Head of SC Ventures, in an interview with Reuters, stated, “We have a strong conviction that digital assets are here to stay and will be adopted by the institutional market as a highly relevant asset class.”
Raphael Polansky, the managing director at Boerse Stuttgart Digital Ventures GmbH, mentioned last week that demand for cryptocurrencies from traditional banks will increase over time but in the short run, they may be more reluctant and sceptical especially now that the market has been getting a lot of backlashes from regulatory authorities in various countries.
He stated, “We foresee a lot of strategic moves in the market where traditional banks will invest in crypto custodians instead of building up their own solutions.”
Standard Chartered is now one of the latest mainstream financial players to show interest in cryptocurrency trading. The bank’s longtime rival, HSBC, publicly announced that it had no interest in entering the cryptocurrency market, even as competitors seek to meet institutional and client demand for cryptocurrency-based investments.
What this means
With more traditional banks getting involved in cryptocurrencies, the notion that cryptocurrencies are speculative assets is being dispelled and the value of the crypto market is becoming clearer to investors, especially and with the global inflation rate which is expected to increase.
Standard Chartered share price is trading £505, currently up 0.52%.