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Enterprise Grade Blockchain IOST Partners Moonstake to Support Crypto Staking of IOST Coin



IOST has teamed up with Moonstake in order to support staking functionality for IOST coin on Moonstake wallets.

Moonstake began offering services in the staking business in 2020 with the goal to develop the biggest staking network in Asia. Since that time, Moonstake claims it has created the most user-friendly crypto wallets for Web Wallet and Mobile Wallet (iOS / Android) that are reportedly compatible with more than 2,000 virtual currencies.

After completing a full-scale operation that was introduced in August 2020, Moonstake’s total staking assets now “sit at over $993 million and the Moonstake platform is now one of the top 15 largest staking service providers globally in just one year,” according to a blog post by IOST.

As noted in the update, The Moonstake’s staking community can “easily” earn staking rewards from  Cosmos, IRIS, Ontology, Harmony, Tezos, Cardano, Qtum, Polkadot, Quras, Centrality, Orbs, and soon, IOST.

IOST is an enterprise-grade blockchain or distirbuted ledger tech (DLT) network created specifically for online service providers. IOST uses a unique, “breakthrough” blockchain consensus protocol known as “Proof of Believability’’ (PoB) that “allows high transaction throughput speeds while all the nodes stay compliant.”

IOST reports a “tremendous 650% boost in market price” which the platform attributes to its entry into the red hot decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible token (NFT) space along with  getting staking support and “increased staking volumes on major global exchanges such as Binance and Huobi.”

As mentioned in the update:

“With seasoned development teams and robust enterprise partnership networks across the globe, the collaboration between Moonstake and IOST promises to bring about a satisfactory staking experience for IOST holders on Moonstake Wallet.”

The full integration of Moonstake wallet “shall happen within May, and Moonstake will also join the IOST ecosystem as a partner node,” the announcement confirmed.

Jimmy Zhong, CEO at IOST, stated:

“We’re pleased to collaborate with Moonstake, one of the world’s top 10 largest staking providers with user-friendly, secure, and highly powerful staking wallets. IOST is always looking to partner with reputable projects and so far, we are very much impressed with the market position Moonstake has achieved in just one year since launch. We look forward to increased adoption of IOST staking and the IOST network following the launch of IOST staking on Moonstake Wallet as well as further collaboration opportunities with the Moonstake team.”

Mitsuru Tezuka, Founder at Moonstake, remarked:

“We’re excited to partner with IOST, an esteemed leading blockchain platform, to enable the IOST staking for our holders on Moonstake Wallet. The demand for IOST staking has been on the rise on the market recently following the many great strategic achievements of the IOST network and we can’t wait to bring this much-requested feature to our users. Moonstake also looks forward to potential deeper collaboration opportunities in different fields of decentralized technology with the innovative experts at IOST.”

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SEC Commissioners Peirce and Roisman Criticize Chair Gensler’s Regulatory Agenda While Pointing to Missing Digital Asset Rules



Following the revelation of the regulatory agenda for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the leadership of Chair Gary Gensler, two Commissioners have issued a statement criticizing the list of rules and regulations the Commission is expected to tackle in the coming months.

Additionally, the two Commissioners have wondered about the missing topic of digital assets and how the Commission will proceed going forward.

Gensler, an expert in blockchain and Fintech in general, has seemingly avoided a subject of profound innovation that suffers under opaque regulation. Industry participants continue to struggle with the lack of bright-line rules and “regulation by enforcement” – to the point that some innovators have set up operations in other jurisdictions.

As covered this weekend, the SEC has outlined a broad swath of potential rulemaking and amendments including exempt securities offerings and the definition of accredited investors – a policy area that may impact online capital formation.

Reg D, a market that tops a trillion dollars on an annual basis, has long been viewed as a huge success as it is the most popular exemption utilized by promising early-stage ventures. Any change could potentially undermine this crucially important market.

Regarding the definition of an accredited investor, the last Commission attempted to make the definition more inclusive allowing greater access to individuals to participate in the private securities market. While the goal is not yet clear, the Commission may be considering restricting access to a greater degree thus further disenfranchising smaller investors.

Commissioners Hester Peirce and Elad Roisman state “the Agenda makes clear that the Chair’s recent directive to SEC staff to consider revisiting recent regulatory actions” – rules accomplished during the last administration.

The two Commissioners point to proxy voting, harmonization, the definition of an accredited investor, and more as a problematic retrenchment in progress already accomplished by the SEC.

To quote Commissioners Peirce and Roisman:

“Not only are the Commission’s most recent amendments to each of these rules less than a year old; they have only been effective for a range of three to seven months. As far as we can tell, the agency has received no new information which would warrant opening up any of these rules for further changes at this time. We are disappointed that the Commission would dedicate our scarce resources to rehashing newly completed rules. The agency historically has embraced a transparent, methodical, and rigorous rulemaking process to ensure its rules reflect sound policy, transcend political differences, and thus enable our registrants to operate in a consistent, predictable regulatory regime.”

The Commissioners note that a change in leadership obviously includes a change in policy but the list includes policy moves without any “new evidence to warrant reopening” of these rules.

“We hope Chair Gensler will reconsider the need to revisit freshly minted rules, but we look forward to working with him and our fellow Commissioners on other rulemaking initiatives reflected on the Agenda and on addressing issues of perennial importance such as elder investor fraud and small business capital formation.”

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Kabbage Adds Digital Checking to Platform



Kabbage, an online lending Fintech that was acquired by American Express (NYSE:AXP) has announced the launch of “Kabbage Checking,” said to be the first business checking account offered by American Express and built for U.S. small businesses. To help encourage uptake of the new service, SMEs holding $100,000+ in Kabbage Checking will generate an APY of 1.10% during a time of little to no yield held in current accounts.

Kabbage notes that there are no set-up or monthly fees.

According to a release, Kabbage Checking is the first of several new digital cash flow management solutions emerging from American Express as it seeks to boost its Fintech cred.

American Express has also begun offering Kabbage Funding to its existing customers with plans to make it more broadly available later this year. Kabbage Funding offers flexible lines of credit between $1,000 and $150,000.

Gina Taylor Cotter, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Operations at Kabbage, says that SMEs should not have to sacrifice features in an affordable checking account:

“Kabbage Checking is built to give small businesses the flexibility of mobile banking—from in-app account management to mobile check deposits—with the convenience of a traditional bank—including in-person cash deposits, free ATM access, and a compelling APY to directly support our customers’ growth.”

Small business owners may apply online for a Kabbage Checking account regardless of their business’s age or revenue.

Additional features include free in-network ATM access, mobile deposits, debit card, bill pay, and more.

American Express is on a mission to be a digital one-stop shop to help manage small businesses in their financial needs in a very competitive Fintech world.

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Bitcoin Proxy: MicroStrategy Sells $500 Million in Debt to Buy More BTC



MicroStrategy (Nasdaq:MSTR) , an analytics software firm that has emerged as a publicly traded Bitcoin proxy, has announced the completion of a sale of $500 million in secured notes with an annual coupon of 6.125%. The notes were sold in a private placement and come due in 2028.

Net proceeds from the sale of the notes and the related guarantees are expected to be approximately $488 million, after deducting initial purchaser discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by MicroStrategy.

The notes and the related guarantees are secured by security interests on substantially all of MicroStrategy’s and the guarantors’ assets, including any Bitcoins or other digital assets acquired on or after the closing of the offering, according to the company. This is to the exclusion of existing Bitcoins as well as Bitcoins and digital assets acquired with the proceeds from existing Bitcoins.

MicroStrategy reports that currently approximately 92,079 Bitcoins are being held by a newly formed subsidiary, MacroStrategy LLC.

Shares in MicroStrategy popped on the news rising by 12% as of this writing. MicroStrategy’s market cap stands at around $5.65 billion.

At the current price of BTC, MicroStrategy holds approximately $3.74 billion in Bitcoin.

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CBDCs: Swiss National Bank, Banque de France, BIS Innovation Hub, Accenture Launch New Digital Currency Pilot



The Swiss National Bank, the Banque de France and the BIS Innovation Hub and a private sector consortium being led by Accenture will be carrying out a pilot program by using wholesale central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) for settling cross-border transfers.

The private sector consortium reportedly includes Credit Suisse, Natixis, R3, SIX Digital Exchange and UBS. This announcement has come as the BIS, Swiss National Bank and SIX successfully completed the testing for a wholesale CBDC (initiative is referred to as Project Helvetia).

Andréa M. Maechler, Member of the Governing Board, Swiss National Bank, stated:

“It is essential for central banks to stay on top of technological developments. The Swiss National Bank is already investigating the settlement of tokenised assets with wholesale CBDC as part of Project Helvetia. We are looking forward to expanding this analysis to a cross-border context by participating in this exciting initiative.”

The pilot, named Project Jura, will be looking into cross-border settlement with two wholesale CBDCs and a French digital financial instrument implemented on a distributed ledger technology (DLT)-enabled platform. This will reportedly involve the exchange of the financial instrument against a Euro wholesale CBDC via a delivery versus payment (DvP) settlement mechanism. It will also include the exchange of a Euro wholesale CBDC against a Swiss franc wholesale CBDC via a payment versus payment (PvP) settlement mechanism.

These transactions are to be cleared between banking institutions headquartered in France and in Switzerland.

Sylvie Goulard, Deputy Governor of the Banque de France, remarked:

“The Banque de France is convinced of the potential benefits of wholesale central bank digital currency to provide maximum security and efficiency in financial transactions, and opened last year an experimental programme to make progress in this area. In this perspective, we are delighted to be able to conduct an important experiment – called Jura – on cross-border settlement in partnership with the Swiss National Bank and the BIS Innovation Hub.”

Project Jura will look to further expand on central bank research that looks into the feasibility and overall effectiveness of using wholesale CBDC for international transactions.

The statement from the parties confirmed that the initiative is currently in its experimental stages and must not be viewed as any indication that the Swiss National Bank or the Banque de France intend to launch wholesale CBDCs.

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