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Doubling down on crypto ➿
Payment processing companies Mastercard and Visa making moves to support crypto payments. Elizabeth Warren's anti-crypto army. Gary sent to jail for stealing from Larry. NFTs bear market struggles.
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Mastercard and Visa have been making moves to support cryptocurrency payment processors and open up new options for users worldwide. And now, Mastercard has taken another step forward with its latest web3 solution: the Mastercard Crypto Credential.🔥
This aims to enhance user verification standards and "reduce the opportunities for bad actors" in the digital asset space.
👥 Mastercard's Partners in Crime
Crypto wallet providers: Bit2Me, Lirium, Mercado Bitcoin, and Uphold.
Blockchain companies: Aptos, Avalanche, Polygon, and Solana.
💳 Secured Transactions
The Mastercard Crypto Credential solution aims to enhance user verification standards and reduce the opportunities for bad actors in the digital asset space. Users will be issued a unique identifier to verify the address they want to send funds, ensuring that Mastercard has vetted it and is in compliance with the company's standards.
To prevent nefarious activity, Mastercard can quickly revoke the verification of bad actors who slip through the cracks. Plus, Mastercard with CipherTrace will enable them to verify addresses and support compliance with cross-border transaction regulations.
The Crypto Credential isn't just for traditional crypto payments. It's also designed to enhance verification in NFTs, ticketing, enterprise, and other payment solutions.
Despite the crypto winter, payment giants like Mastercard and Visa are charging full steam ahead with their web3 initiatives:
🌐 Mastercard's plans:
January 2023: Binance and Mastercard announce the launch of the Binance Card in Brazil.
March 2023: Bybit introduces Mastercard-powered debit card.
April 2023: launches NFT-gated musician accelerator program.
Partnered with a host of cryptocurrency exchanges. Specifically, the company collaborates with Binance, Nexo, and Gemini in regard to their crypto card service.
👀 Keep an Eye on Visa
March 2023: With Mastercard, signed new debit card deals with crypto startups around the world.
April 2023: Cuy Sheffield shares plans for a product designed to drive mainstream adoption of public blockchain networks and stablecoin payments.
April 2023: Job posting to hire a senior software developer for its crypto team.
Why not sponsor us, eh?
TTD Army 🪖
Elizabeth Warren wants to bring the party to your doorstep in 2024.
The senator from Massachusetts is on a mission to make your crypto wallet illegal. She's teamed up with Kansas Senator Roger Marshall, who seems to have forgotten all about the principles he campaigned on. These two are proposing that crypto wallet providers comply with bank Anti-Money Laundering rules.
This would require any computer programmer entrepreneur who writes code for crypto wallets to register with the Treasury Department as if they were Western Union.
Apparently she's also building an "anti-crypto army."
The bill also seeks to ban crypto privacy tools, exposing users to surveillance by hackers and totalitarian regimes.
TTD Numbers 🔢
Worth of Bitcoin Gary James Harmon, an Ohio man stole from his brother.
Result? Sentenced to 4 years and 3 months in prison for stealing 712 Bitcoin that belonged to his brother, the U.S. Department of Justice has announced.
The 712 Bitcoin in question? worth over $21 million at today’s prices—was taken by Harmon after the arrest of his brother in February 2020. The funds were worth around $4.8 million at the time they were taken.
Brother who? Harmon’s brother, Larry Dean Harmon, was arrested in February 2020 for operating a coin-mixing service called Helix, which processed over 350,000 Bitcoin between 2014 and 2017 and partnered with several darknet markets.
Larry pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy and charges associated with the improper transmission of money in 2021. In addition to criminal charges, he was hit with a $60 Million penalty by The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the first penalty levied against a Bitcoin mixer.
How did Gary do it? He sent the 712 Bitcoins on the device by recreating Bitcoin wallets with his brother's credentials. Then laundered the assets further, using online mixers.
When cornered for good, he agreed to forfeit the cryptocurrencies - 17.4 Million Dogecoin, around 647 Bitcoin, and over 2 Ethereum - all of it roughly valued around $21 Million.
Gary pleaded guilty to criminal charges in January, faced with one count each of wire fraud and obstruction of justice, carrying a maximum sentence of 40 years combined.
TTD Security 🔐
Someone just cracked a Bitcoin seed phrase faster than you can say "crypto security."
Bitcoin enthusiast Andrew Fraser won a bounty of 100,000 satoshis (or 0.001 BTC) by brute-forcing a 12-word seed phrase in just 25 minutes. Now, that may not seem like a lot of dough, but it's still worth around $30.
It took just 25 minutes to unlock the 100,000 satoshis.
How? With just a gaming GPU and BTCrecover, a software available on GitHub - it offers a range of tools that can determine seed phrases with missing or scrambled mnemonics and passphrase-cracking utilities.
TTD Blockquote 🔊
Kevin Rose, Proof co-founder and CEO
“Holy shit have the last few months been tough, right?”
Rose is honest and rough about all them things NFT. In an interview with Decrypt, Rose said that the market has been tough, with many projects struggling to gain traction and sell their NFTs. And that the hype around NFTs has died down, making it harder to attract new users.
All that said, Rose remains optimistic about the future of NFTs and believes that the market will eventually recover.
TTD Surfer 🏄
The bitcoin kiosk company Coinme, its subsidiary Up Global and the CEO fined $4 Million by SEC over "unregistered offers and sales of securities."
Italy restores ChatGPT after OpenAI added several new privacy features to its AI chatbot.
A whistleblower reports that AT&T email addresses were hacked, and users exploited AT&T’s internal system for $20 Million.
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The Token Dispatch is a daily newsletter that takes you on a 4-5 minute drive through the wild west of the Crypto World. Daily in your email inbox @13:00 GMT. Almost always.