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Arun Srivastav



Articles by Arun Srivastav

CFTC Lawsuit Against Ooki DAO, $250,000 Settlement with bZx Creates New Precedents

2 days ago

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has filed an enforcement action lawsuit against Ooki DAO, a crypto margin trading and lending platform for engaging in digital asset margin trading that only CFTC-registered Futures Commission Merchants (FCM) can perform. 
Ooki DAO also failed to adhere to customer identification requirements prescribed under the Bank Secrecy Act, the commission further alleged in its lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  
CFTC Files Charges Against Ooki DAO
“The CFTC seeks restitution, disgorgement, civil monetary penalties, trading and registration bans, and injunctions against further violations of the CEA and CFTC regulations, as charged,” the Commission said in a statement on Thursday.  
The

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Twitch Reveals When it Will Ban Crypto Gambling Livestreams

5 days ago

The controversial crypto gambling sessions anchored by Twitch celebrities and live-streamed to their followers will be banned effective October 16, Twitch said in a statement. It mentioned that Stake.com, Rollbit.com, Duelbits.com, and Roobet.com, the most notable crypto gambling sites using its platform, will no longer be able to use it to stream their activities.
Going forward, Twitch will identify other crypto gambling sites and disable their access to its platform. 
Twitch Bans Gambling Livestreaming
“Gambling content on Twitch has been a big topic of discussion in the community, and something we’ve been actively reviewing since our last policy updates in this area. Today, we want to update you on our plans…
So, we’ll be making a policy update on October 18th to

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SEC Charges Crypto Influencer for Not Disclosing Incentive to Promote Unregistered ICO

5 days ago

The United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a lawsuit against prominent crypto influencer, investor, and entrepreneur Ian Ballina over an initial coin offering (ICO) dating back to 2018.
The SEC accused Ballina purchased $5 million worth of SPRK tokens from Sparkster Ltd. and received 30% bonus tokens before he started promoting it on social media. He did not disclose that he was given an incentive to promote the ICO, the regulator has charged in its lawsuit in federal court in Austin, Texas, media reports said. 
SEC’s Case Against Sparkster   
Sparkster and its CEO Sajjad Daya hogged the media headlines in 2018 and 2019 for never launching the SPRK tokens for which they had already raised $30 million in ETH. In an interesting development, one of the

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XRP Giveaway Scam Launched on Crypto Exchange CoinDCX’s Twitter Account

6 days ago

The Twitter account of Indian crypto exchange CoinDCX remained compromised for hours on Tuesday.
Hackers posted a fake XRP giveaway scheme through the exploited Twitter handle @CoinDCX to the exchange’s over 230,000 followers. The giveaway message was interspersed with a phishing link.
CoinDCX Twitter Account Exploited
As CoinDCX tried to take control of its compromised Twitter account, it put out an alert through another Twitter handle, @CoinDCX _Cares.
It was also retweeted by CoinDCX officials, including CEO Sumit Gupta. The message cautioned the followers of the exploited status of its Twitter account and warned them not to click on any link or notice that they may receive from the Twitter handle @CoinDCX today. 
To make it look natural, the exploiters were

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Dubai 5-Star Hotel and Ukrainian Superstore Chain Embrace Crypto Payments

7 days ago

Five-star hotel Palazzo Versace Dubai has started accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for stay, dining, and spa services.
Guests can use BTC, ETH, and BNB to pay their bills, which will be processed through the Binance payment gateway.
Palazzo Versace to Accept Crypto Payment  
The 146-room ultra-luxury property ln Jaddaf Waterfront will also accept crypto payments for merchandise, mainly gifts and vouchers, on its e-commerce platforms, it said in a PR. 
“Palazzo Versace’s ability to now accept payments in virtual assets is a reflection of how the hospitality industry in Dubai is at the forefront of innovation as we move into a more digital world.
Payments are just the beginning and we look forward to building on this partnership together,” Nadeem Ladki, head of

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Hope for Spot BTC ETF Grows Stronger After DEFI Launch Under the Securities Act 

9 days ago

The prospect of a physically-backed ETF or spot ETF got a boost with the launch of Hashdex Bitcoin Futures ETF (DEFI) on Thursday, media reports said. The basis for the optimism is that DEFI was filed under the Securities Act of 1933, unlike other futures-backed ETFs, which were under the Investors Act of 1940.  
DEFI has been developed with Teucrium, which specializes in alternative investments.
Prospect of Bitcoin Spot ETF
As a physically-backed Bitcoin ETF would fall under the 1933 Act, the launch of DEFI is believed to pave the way for a BTC spot ETF someday soon. However, analysts believe the SEC may not allow a spot ETF until it gets the regulatory oversight of crypto exchanges, the coverage said.  
All other futures-backed Bitcoin ETFs are filed under the Investment

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Biden Administration Pitches for Regulation and Strict Oversight of Crypto 

10 days ago

In a series of reports, the Joe Biden administration on Friday has offered its response to the President’s executive order on cryptocurrencies – Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets – issued earlier this year, media reports said.
Here is all that you need to know about the Biden administration’s Friday reports:
The Joe Biden administration has asked the enforcement agencies to strictly pursue the digital asset sector and identify gaps in regulations. It also urged regulators such as the SEC and the CFTC to issue guidelines for potential risks of digital assets such as money laundering and fraud.
Despite a growing role, cryptocurrencies have the potential to be misused. They can global harm global finance, claimed the report.
Director of the National

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Suspension of Withdrawals: Poolin Brings in IOU Tokens to Mitigate the Impact

10 days ago

Poolin, the embattled crypto mining pool service provider, will offer freshly-minted IOU tokens to its users whose assets are frozen after the platform suspended withdrawals last week.
The distribution of IOU tokens will be made today, the 15th of September.
Poolin’s IOU Tokens
The IOUs will be minted under the ERC-20 protocol on Ethereum, the China-based company said in an official statement on its website.  
“The team has come up with the IOU-tokens scheme to minimize the impact of withdrawal suspension. The tokenomics of IOU-tokens will bring intuitive & various options and easy-to-use operations,” Poolin said in its statement.
Poolin accounted for 10.6% of all BTC blocks mined in the last 12 months, making it the fifth-largest mining pool after Foundry USA, AntPool,

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Court Rules Celsius Network’s Holdings to Be Probed by Independent Examiner: Report   

11 days ago

An independent examiner will look into various aspects of Celsius Network’s digital asset holdings, a US Bankruptcy Court ruled. It indicates that the failed crypto lending platform will face more stringent scrutiny of its financial conduct.   
US Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn approved a request to this effect on Wednesday, media reports said. However, the examiner has not been selected yet. 
Probe by Independent Examiner 
The court order to appoint an independent examiner comes in the wake of the Justice Department’s repeated call for greater transparency during the insolvency hearings.   
In this case, the examiner will probe how Celsius stores its crypto assets and if different types of accounts are mixed at some stage.
A committee of unsecured creditors, represented by

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SWIFT’s New Blockchain Pilot Project Aims to Drive Efficiency Around Corporate Events

11 days ago

Leading secure financial messaging system SWIFT is testing out blockchain in a pilot project with fintech company Symbiont Inc.
Previously, SWIFT explored ways how to enter the central bank digital currency space.
SWIFT’s Blockchain Experiment
The collaboration aims at driving efficiencies in the transmission of data related to corporate events like dividend payments and mergers, a Bloomberg report said, adding that Citigroup, Vanguard, and Northern Trust will also participate in the project.
“By bringing Symbiont’s Assembly and smart contracts together with SWIFT’s extensive network, we’re able to automatically harmonize data from multiple sources of a corporate action event,” said Tom Zschach, Chief Innovation Officer at SWIFT.
The experiment will focus on data tracking

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Traders Flock to Binance as New Taxes Send Indian Exchanges Out of Business: Report

12 days ago

A Bloomberg report on Wednesday claimed that Binance app downloads in India jumped to 429,000 in August, the highest this year.
This comes just months after the country implemented stringent taxation on local exchanges.
Binance’s India Gains
Binance is the only one among the major exchanges whose app downloads had seen an increase in August over July, the month when 1% transaction tax in the form of TDS kicked in, a Bloomberg report said, quoting data from Sensor Tower, which tracks mobile and internet data to provide actionable intelligence to its clients.
Binance app downloads in India were three times those of CoinDCX, whose downloads stood at 163,000 for the month from 2.2 million in January. WazirX’s downloads dropped to 92,000 in August from about 596,000 in

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Cake DeFi Launches Blockchain Hub Birthday Research With $50 Million Investment Plans

13 days ago

Decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Cake DeFi will set up a global R&D hub called Birthday Research to develop best-in-class technologies for the blockchain and digital asset sectors.
The project said its initial budget will be set at $50 million.
Cake DeFi’s Research Hub 
Based in Singapore, Birthday Research will have a budget of $50 million to be spent over the next four years. The headcount at Cake DeFi’s current R&D department will grow to over 100 members from around 50 now, Cake Defi said in a PR shared with CryptoPotato on Tuesday. 
“The launch of our global R&D hub, Birthday Research, in Singapore supports the Singapore Government’s direction on digital asset innovation. We are committed to building the B2B digital asset infrastructure and uplifting Singapore’s

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Singapore’s Whampoa Group Announces $100M Venture Fund for Crypto Investments

16 days ago

Singapore’s asset manager Whampoa Group plans to set up a venture capital fund and a crypto hedge fund for investments in digital assets. 
Upon early estimations, the company intends to allocate $100 million.
$100 Million Venture Capital Fund
The group has earmarked $100 million for the venture fund while it plans to raise $50 million for the crypto hedge fund. It has set up a new entity called Whampoa Digital, which aims to attract third-party capital to invest in the digital assets market.
Whampoa Group’s multi-pronged investment strategy includes a $100 million private market asset fund and a $50 million public market hedge fund, media reports said.  
The private venture capital fund, which is likely to be launched in the next quarter, will invest in early-stage

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Asset Manager Brevan Howard Reveals Details of Crypto Hedge Fund in SEC Filing

18 days ago

UK-based asset management company Brevan Howard has revealed details of its $1-billion crypto hedge fund that has been in the news lately.
$1 Billion Crypto Fund  
In a statutory filing with US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Braven Howard, a global asset manager with $25 billion in assets under management (AUM), provided details of two sub-entities that together raised over $210 million towards its planned $1 billion crypto hedge fund.
Digital Asset Multi-Strategy Fund Ltd has raised $184.15 million from four investors, and the minimum acceptable investment was $10 million. Brevan Howard Digital Asset Multi-Strategy Fund LP gathered $29.71 million from six investors, the company said in its SEC filing dated September 6, 2022.
In August, media reports suggested

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Liquidity Issues Force Poolin to Suspend Withdrawals, Flash Trades, and Swaps

19 days ago

Crypto mining pool service provider Poolin becomes the latest casualty of panic withdrawals that left several crypto platforms with serious liquidity issues forcing them to halt withdrawals, among other services.   
Poolin Suspends Withdrawals, Flash Trade 
Beijing-based mining pool Poolin has announced the suspension of withdrawals, flash trades, and internal transfers in its bid to preserve liquidity amid a “dull crypto market.” The company is facing liquidity issues and operational stability after mass withdrawals, media reports said. 
Recently, Poolin was in the news for sending 4400 BTC to Binance. Beginning with Celsius Network, which crashed in mid-June following mass withdrawals, several crypto exchanges and Defi platforms have suspended withdrawals amid the market

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Ahead of the Merge, SEBA Bank Launches Ethereum Staking for Institutional Investors

19 days ago

Swiss-regulated SEBA Bank on Wednesday launched Ethereum staking for institutional investors.
The development comes only days before the much-anticipated Merge that will transition the second-highest valued blockchain network to Proof of Stake (PoS) from the Proof of Work (PoW) mechanism of transaction validation.  
Institutional Access to ETH Staking  
The transition is likely to take place sometime between September 10 and 20, with September 15 being referred to as the most probable date. Once completed, mining will become obsolete, and staking will play its designated role of helping the validation of transactions on the Ethereum network.
As of now, SEBA Bank offers staking support for Cardano, Polkadot, and Tezos.
“The launch of SEBA Bank’s Ethereum staking services

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Sanction Breaches Must Be Reported, UK Tells Crypto Exchanges in a Rule Update: Report

21 days ago

The United Kingdom’s Office of Financial Sanction Implementation (OFSI) has included “cryptoassets” in a list of assets that must be frozen if they belong to a person or company who is facing sanctions.
These developments come as the list of sanctioned Russian entities continue to increase.
Eye on Sanctioned Accounts, Breaches
As per the new rules, crypto exchanges will face criminal charges if they “fail to report clients designated for sanctions.” The exchanges must identify and report sanctioned customers and their transactions immediately to UK authorities, said a report in The Guardian.
The official guideline on financial sanctions was updated on August 30 to include digital assets amid growing concern that Russia might be using bitcoin and other digital assets to

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Thai SEC Toughens Crypto Ad Regulations Amid Broader Market Downturn

22 days ago

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand (SEC Thailand) has asked cryptocurrency companies operating in the country to include clear and visible warnings about the risks associated with virtual tokens and crypto investments.
SEC Guideline on Crypto Ads
In an email statement from last week, the capital market regulator asked companies to abstain from giving false and misleading information in their ads. They were also asked to provide information on advertising terms to the SEC. The new rules should be complied with within 30 days, and old ads that don’t conform should be removed.
“Operators must give details of ads and spending including the use of influencers and bloggers to the SEC including terms and time frame,” the SEC said.
The new SEC crypto ad guidelines

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CryptoCom Backs Out of Sponsorship Deal with UEFA’s Champions League

23 days ago

Citing legal issues it’s facing in some European countries, Singapore-headquartered CryptoCom has backed out of a $495-million sponsorship deal with Union of European Football Association (UEFA) Champions League.
Regulatory Issues Behind Scrapping of Deal
The cryptocurrency company that offers trading, DeFi, and wallet services, among others, was set to replace Russian oil major Gazprom as the sponsor for the next five seasons, up to 2027. UEFA ditched the deal with Gazprom in March after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, media reports said.
As per media coverage, CryptoCom is expecting legal and regulatory problems in trading and operations in the UK, France, and Italy. The decision to back out at the last minute appears to be forced by the bear market, which has seen

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FBI Cautions Investors About Risks of Cyberattack Against DeFi Platforms

24 days ago

In a public announcement on Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned investors about security vulnerabilities in DeFi platforms. It also asked those who suspect that their investments have been stolen to approach the FBI through the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) or the local FBI office.
DeFi Vulnerabilities
“Between January and March 2022, cybercriminals stole $1.3 billion in cryptocurrencies, almost 97 percent of which was stolen from Defi platforms, according to the US blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis,” the FBI said in a Public Service Announcement on Monday.
This is an increase from 72% in 2021 and 30% in 2020.
Cybercriminals try to exploit the open-source nature of DeFi platforms and complex cross-chain functionality coupled with investors’

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Iran Formally Approves The Use of Digital Assets for Imports 

27 days ago

Iranian trade minister revealed on Monday that regulations and logistics have been finalized to facilitate the use of crypto in Iran’s international trade.
The move comes nearly 3 weeks after it officially announced to have completed $10 million worth of imports paid in crypto.
Iran Approves Crypto for Global Trade
Iran’s Trade Minister Reza Fatemi Amin said the country, which has been facing US sanctions since 1979, on finalized regulations to use cryptocurrencies for imports.
The Iranian minister further revealed that all underlying issues and logistics, such as assigning and granting licenses and providing fuel and energy for mining activities, have been finalized.
“By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widespread in foreign

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CoinSwitch Is Not Investigated for Money Laundering, Claims CEO 

29 days ago

CoinSwitch Kuber’s CEO Ashish Singhal on Saturday provided more details about the searches at his office and residence by India’s financial crime investigating agency the directorate of enforcement (ED), two days ago.
He refuted the recent allegations that his firm has been investigated for certain illicit activities.
CoinSwitch CEO Explains
In a Twitter thread, Singhal explained that the ED’s searches were not linked to any investigation related to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). 
“Enforcement Directorate – Bengaluru has been engaged with us with respect to the functioning of our crypto platforms / exchanges. We are fully cooperating with them… Our engagement with the Enforcement Directorate – Bengaluru was NOT related to any money laundering enquiry under

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KuCoin Survey Says India Has 115 Million Crypto Investors

29 days ago

Early this week, KuCoin released a survey regarding the new developments in India’s blockchain and crypto space – Into The Cryptoverse Report India, which revealed the number of crypto investors in the country to be in the range of 115 million as of June 2022.
These people have either traded or held crypto assets in the past six months, the study claimed.
Crypto Investors Have a Youthful Profile
The KuCoin’s India survey presents a cheerful crypto investment landscape in the country. It says 115 million crypto investors represent 15% of India’s population in the 18-60 year age group, while another 10% of the same group are crypto-curious consumers planning to invest in the asset in the next six months.
The demographic profile of crypto investors is increasingly becoming

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India’s ED Searches the Residences of CoinSwitch Kuber’s CEO and Directors 

August 26, 2022

India’s Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on Thursday conducted searches at the offices and residences of CoinSwitch Kuber as well as its CEO and directors. The financial crime investigating agency is reportedly investigating a possible violation of the Foreign Exchange Maintenance Act (FEMA).
The searches were carried out after the ED officials found that the top executives of CoinSwtich Kuber, an India-focused a16z-backed crypto exchange, were not cooperating with the investigation, media reports said. 
“We receive queries from various government agencies. Our approach has always been that of transparency. Crypto is an early-stage industry with a lot of potential and we continuously engage with all stakeholders,” an unnamed CoinSwitch spokesperson said in a statement on

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UNI Token Holders Approve Proposal to Create Uniswap Foundation

August 25, 2022

The proposal to create Uniswap Foundation has received overwhelming support from the community members, paving the way for it to become a reality.
Announcing the news, Devin Walsh, along with Ken Ng, had submitted the initial idea, tweeted Wednesday, “Last night our proposal to create the Uniswap Foundation passed its final vote!” Both Walsh and Ng are Uniswap community members and former Uniswap Labs executives.
The proposal put to voting from August 17 to August 23 needed about 40 million votes for approval. It received more than 88 million votes, over 99% of the total votes of the UNI token holders.
Uniswap Foundation will work to improve governance in the Uniswap ecosystem by removing friction and reinvigorating grants to ambitious and impactful projects, the proposal

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Newly-Launched Blockchain Forum Aims to Make India Global Hub of Web 3

August 24, 2022

A group of leading Indian blockchain influencers with expertise in trading, NFT, Metaverse, cybercrime, etc., recently announced the formation of the India Blockchain Forum (IBF).
The event at Hyderabad in India’s Telangana state was attended by the state government’s principal secretary for industry, commerce, and information technology, Jayesh Ranjan, said media reports. Hyderabad is India’s second largest tech hub after Bengaluru.
IBF to Adopt Collaborative Model
The newly-minted Indian blockchain advocacy platform said its vision is to make India the global hub for blockchain and web 3. It will adopt a collaboration model and work with the government, regulators, industry, and research institutes to promote web 3.
IBF has adopted a 10-point agenda that includes

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South Korean Finance Ministry Says Airdrops Are Subject to Gift Tax

August 22, 2022

The Ministry of Strategy and Finance of the South Korean government has said that virtual asset airdrops are subject to gift tax as per existing tax laws.
Gift tax has to be paid when free virtual assets with economic value are paid out, media reports said.
Gift Tax on Airdrops
Recently, the South Korean finance ministry was asked by a tax law interpretation inquiry to provide its interpretation of whether an airdrop is subject to gift tax or not. In its response, the finance ministry said the free transfer of virtual assets is a gift under the Inheritance and Gift Tax Act, and therefore, it should be taxed.  
“In this case, a gift tax will be levied on the third party to whom the virtual asset is transferred free of charge,” the ministry said. 
The ministry is of the

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Thai SEC Cautions Investors About Risks of DeFi Transactions

August 19, 2022

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand (Thai SEC) has asked crypto investors in the country to be careful with DeFi transactions, terming them risky.
The watchdog argued that local regulators have no control over the up-and-coming industry.
Popular but Not Full-Proof
In a statement on Wednesday, the financial and capital markets watchdog said DeFi services have become popular, especially deposit taking and lending services. But these services are risky as the mechanism to control operations that enforce terms in smart contracts may be absent in DeFi platforms. 
“Therefore investors are advised to study any DeFi programme before joining… as deposit taking and lending services are not regulated by the financial and capital market regulators in Thailand,”

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Kraken CEO Doubts Decision to Ban Tornado Cash Will Survive in Court: Report 

August 17, 2022

The shutdown of Tornado Cash by the US Treasury Department on August 8 has made Kraken CEO Josse Powell question the constitutionality of the decision.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV on Tuesday, Powell doubted if the Treasury’s move will withstand judicial scrutiny.
Tornado Cash allows users to conceal sources and destinations of funds by mixing several users’ coins before sending them to their destination addresses.
Powell argued that banning Tornado Cash because it is being used by criminals is similar to banning email services because some criminals may be employing them.
Kraken, USDC Block Tornado Addresses
Meanwhile, Kraken has blocked accounts linked to Tornado Cash following the United States Treasury Department’s sanctions against the crypto mixer platform.

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Ripple, SBI Remit Join Hands to Enable Real-Time Payments Between Japan and Thailand  

August 16, 2022

Japan’s SBI Remit will use RippleNet Technology to enable instant money transfers between Japan and Thailand.
The new partnership also brings Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) on board, Ripple said in a PR on Tuesday.
Japan-Thai Remittance Service
As part of the arrangement, both SBI Remit and SCB will use Ripple’s enterprise blockchain solution RippleNet to process real-time remittance services. Right now, Thai recipients use local agents to retrieve cash sent by their relatives in Japan.
“This makes it possible for 47,000 Thai nationals living in Japan to send money home faster. SBI Remit’s customers can use ATMs to instantly send money in JPY to a recipient’s SCB savings account in Thailand and receive funds in THB within seconds,” Ripple said in its PR.

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