Hong Kong aims to become cryptocurrency hub
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority stated in a letter that banks should support regulated cryptocurrency activities with their legitimate need for bank accounts. The regulator said that credit institutions should avoid a wholesale de-risking approach that would discourage potential participants, and called on institutions to train employees and form dedicated teams to support the sector, efforts that are aligned with the state’s goal of becoming a cryptocurrency hub.

Largest Bitcoin fraud case for CFTC
A federal judge has ordered a South African company to pay $3.4 billion, which the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission considers its largest Bitcoin fraud case. The judge decided that Mirror Trading International had committed fraud related to currency transactions by requiring people to pay in Bitcoin to participate in an unregistered commodity pool.

Voyager acquisition dropped by Binance
Binance.US has decided to cancel its $1.3 billion deal to purchase the assets of insolvent cryptocurrency lender Voyager Digital. The acquisition faced strong resistance from regulators, but was eventually approved by the court. Now, Binance.US says that the hostile and uncertain regulatory environment in the United States led to its decision to withdraw.

Mastercard launches cryptocurrency identity service
Mastercard is launching a service that aims to ensure that wallet-to-wallet transactions are verifiable and compliant. Mastercard’s cryptocurrency identity service will initially cover cryptocurrency transfers between countries and use a common set of standards for identifying wallets in compliant transactions. The goal is to prevent money laundering, terrorism financing, and other fraudulent activities.

PayPal moves to expand cryptocurrency services
PayPal is expanding its cryptocurrency services for Venmo users and launching a new feature that allows its customers to transfer cryptocurrencies between each other. Venmo, PayPal’s popular peer-to-peer mobile payment service, now allows users to use QR codes to exchange cryptocurrencies with other Venmo accounts or external wallets.

Robhinhood allows users to directly purchase cryptocurrencies
The popular trading platform Robinhood has announced “Robinhood Connect,” allowing cryptocurrency investors to purchase cryptocurrencies directly with a credit card and withdraw them to their own wallets. The service is currently available for MyDoge and Slingshot wallets, with Phantom and Exodus to follow in the future. Robinhood Connect will compete with MoonPay and Coinbase Pay.