🌍Ripple Bets On African Remittances,🪙India's CBDC Rollout Scheduled,🌽Visa Invests in Brazil's Tokenization Market

Your 5 minute emerging markets web3 weekly update

In This Issue

Africa
🔸Ripple Is Breaking Into The African Remittance Game With Onafriq Partnership
🔸ZARP - South Africa's Stablecoin - Gets Huge Liquidity Boost

Asia
🔸Digital Rupee Update: Indian Banks Set for January Wholesale CBDC Launch, Focusing on SMEs
🔸Mitsubishi, Japan's Leading Bank Enters Stablecoin Arena for Efficient Crypto Settlement

Latin America and the Caribbean
🔸Visa Bullish on Brazil’s Real World Asset Tokenization Market, Invests in Agrotoken
🔸Bitcoin Miner Marathon Digital Expands to Paraguay with Hydro-Powered Project Ahead of 2024 Halving

Eastern Europe
🔸Ukraine's $52.8 Billion Crypto Loss: Impact of Regulatory Vacuum Revealed - Report
🔸Blockchain Against Corruption: Ukraine Creating Regulatory Sandbox To Support Web3 Projects

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Africa

Image Credit: Dall-E 3

Ripple Labs has partnered with South African fintech firm Onafriq to expand remittance payment capabilities between Africa and regions including the Gulf Cooperation Council, the U.K., and Australia. This collaboration will establish three blockchain-based payment channels connecting Onafriq users in Africa with UK-based fintech firm PayAngel, Abu Dhabi's digital wallet Pyypl, and Australia-based payments company Zazi Transfer. The partnership aims to offer faster and more cost-effective cross-border payments for individuals looking to send money into Africa from various parts of the world, eliminating the delays and high fees associated with traditional remittance payments by using XRP, Ripple's cryptocurrency.

Old Mutual Wealth and Inves Capital are collaborating to enhance liquidity for the ZARP Stablecoin, a cryptocurrency linked to the South African Rand's value. Their goal is to provide substantial liquidity to the ZARP network and promote its use in decentralized finance protocols. Old Mutual Wealth currently manages the treasury of South African Rand assets backing the ZARP Stablecoin, and this partnership will expand to include liquidity funding for the ZARP network. The move comes as regulatory clarity in South Africa opens up new opportunities for crypto asset service providers, and stablecoins like ZARP are seen as vital in the emerging financial landscape of the region.

Asia

Image Credit: Dall-E 3

Banks in India are planning to launch a wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) by January, targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the initial phase, and eventually onboarding large corporates later as their transaction sizes are expected to be larger. The Reserve Bank of India had launched a wholesale CBDC pilot in November 2022 for settling secondary market transactions in government securities. However, banks are proceeding with caution to ensure the necessary infrastructure and security safeguards are in place before the launch, with a focus on convincing corporates to use the CBDC over the existing Real Time Gross Settlement system due to concerns related to payment settlement disputes between senders and receivers.

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation is partnering with Ginco Inc. and Progmat, Inc. to initiate a joint study to develop a stablecoin infrastructure aimed at improving settlement in the cryptocurrency market. The study aims to issue two stablecoins, XJPY (Japanese yen-denominated) and XUSD (U.S. dollar-denominated). These stablecoins will utilize the Progmat Coin platform, ensuring compliance with Japanese regulations, particularly the revised Payment Services Act, which restricts stablecoin issuance to licensed financial institutions and registered money transfer agents. Other participants include crypto asset liquidity provider Cumberland Global Limited, Japan-based crypto exchange Bitbank Inc., and Mercoin.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Image Credit: Dall-E 3

Visa has announced an investment in the real world asset token market in Brazil by leading a Pre-Series round in Agrotoken, a Brazilian company focused on tokenizing agricultural commodities. This partnership aims to create more opportunities in the agricultural industry and promote greater inclusion of small farmers through tokenized financial products, connecting digital stablecoins and traditional currencies with blockchain technology to support agricultural producers and entrepreneurs. The investment will be used to accelerate Agrotoken's project growth, develop new products, and expand the issuance of Agrotoken Visa cards internationally.

Marathon Digital is expanding its bitcoin mining operations by building a 27-megawatt project in Paraguay, powered by hydro energy, in partnership with Penguin Infrastructure Holding. This is Marathon's second international deployment, following its expansion into the United Arab Emirates earlier this year. Its expansion into international markets allows for improved margins, risk reduction, and further decentralization of the Bitcoin network's hash rate while helping countries and businesses reduce emissions and improve economics. The company aims to achieve 1.1 exahash per second of computing power by the beginning of next year, part of its strategy to reduce costs ahead of the bitcoin halving scheduled for April 2024.

Eastern Europe

Image Credit: Dall-E 3

Ukraine has reportedly lost over $52.8 billion between 2016 and 2022 due to the lack of cryptocurrency market regulations, according to a study by Ukraine Economic Outlook. The losses resulted from factors such as missed income opportunities for the population and companies, lack of investment instruments, and limited liquidity of foreign exchange instruments within the country. Deputy Head of the Ministry of Digital Development Alexander Bornyakov emphasized the importance of regulating the crypto market and suggested a special tax regime to bring the sector out of the shadows, suggesting personal income tax rates of 5% and corporate tax rates of 18%.

Ukraine's Ministry of Digital Development is working on establishing a regulatory sandbox to support innovative projects not currently covered by Ukrainian regulations, focusing on areas like Web3, cryptography, and artificial intelligence. This initiative aims to establish a regulatory framework for technological advancements in Ukraine, with a specific focus on utilizing blockchain in the fight against corruption. The sandbox will provide companies with the opportunity to test their products and refine their business models, facilitating market entry and attracting investments.

Thanks for reading and have a great week ahead!

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Written by Jon Lira. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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