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CRYPTO DIGEST: Eye-Scan Technology, Ledger Controversy, MiCa Approval, UK Regulation Proposal, Ripple’s Latest Acquisition, Samsung and Bank of Korea Collaboration

By Anja Prosch
Anja Prosch

5 Min

May 19, 2023

Eye-Scan Authentication and Crypto: OpenAI's Worldcoin Project Makes Waves 

OpenAI's CEO, Sam Altman, is at the forefront of the groundbreaking Worldcoin project, which aims to revolutionize the world of cryptocurrency. With Worldcoin's objective of providing access to digital currency for every individual on the planet, Altman's involvement has garnered significant attention. Recently, the project has been making waves as it approaches a remarkable $100 million investment round. 

One of the standout features of Worldcoin is the introduction of cutting-edge eye-scan authentication technology. By incorporating secure eye-scanning technology into the cryptocurrency ecosystem, Worldcoin seeks to enhance authentication processes, addressing security concerns and paving the way for a future where digital transactions are more secure and accessible. 

Altman's leadership and dedication to the Worldcoin project have propelled it forward, capturing the imagination of both investors and cryptocurrency enthusiasts alike. With its innovative approach and commitment to inclusivity, Worldcoin has the potential to reshape the global financial landscape, offering a new paradigm in secure and accessible digital currencies. 

Ledger Crypto Wallet Faces Backdoor Security Concerns 

In recent news, Ledger, the popular crypto wallet provider, has come under fire due to backdoor security concerns. The company's new recovery tool “Ledger Recovery” is an ID-based key recovery service that backs up users’ seed phrases. To use the service, users must provide a passport or national identity card to confirm their identity. Then, private seed phrases are split into three separate parts, each part being kept under custody by three different custodians. This new firmware update has generated many concerns among the community, with people expressing fear of vulnerability related to the possibility of their keys being exposed. 

“It's a horrendous idea, DON'T enable this feature,” - Polygon Labs Chief Information Security Officer Mudit Gupta on Twitter. 

Ledger has since defended its recovery tool, stating that additional security measures are in place and that for seed phrases to be initiated into this process, one must approve it directly on his Ledger. 

EU Approves World's First Crypto Regulations 

The European Union has achieved a major milestone in the global cryptocurrency landscape with the final approval of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulations. This groundbreaking regulatory framework establishes clear guidelines for the crypto market, enhancing legal certainty and consumer protection. MiCA aims to foster innovation while mitigating risks associated with digital assets, introducing a harmonized approach across EU member states. 

This regulatory framework is important for many different reasons: 

  1. Cryptocurrency service providers and crypto businesses will be subject to comprehensive rules encompassing areas such as licensing, disclosure requirements, and capital requirements. This will ensure transparency, security, and market integrity. 
  1. It helps the industry in the process of gaining the trust of customers and it’s an important step towards mass adoption
  1. It sets a precedent for global jurisdictions, highlighting the importance of embracing technological advancements while safeguarding investors' interests. The MiCA regulations are poised to pave the way for a transparent and trustworthy crypto ecosystem within the EU. 

Betting on Regulation: UK Lawmakers Propose Treating Cryptocurrencies Like Gambling 

In response to the evolving landscape of cryptocurrencies, UK lawmakers have proposed a regulatory framework that would treat digital assets similar to gambling activities. The aim is to address concerns surrounding market volatility and potential risks to investors. The proposed regulations would require cryptocurrency platforms to comply with the same stringent measures applied to gambling operators, including customer protection protocols and anti-money laundering standards. 

By treating cryptocurrencies as a regulated industry, the UK aims to strike a balance between fostering innovation and ensuring the necessary safeguards for market participants. The proposal highlights the growing recognition of cryptocurrencies' influence on the financial ecosystem and emphasizes the need for comprehensive regulatory frameworks that promote transparency, security, and consumer protection

However, while the proposal of a regulatory framework is certainly a step forward, not everyone seemed happy with the betting comparison, with industry body CryptoUK stating that it strongly disagrees with equating the crypto sector with gambling. 

Ripple Buys Swiss Crypto-Custody Startup Metaco for $250M 

Ripple, the renowned blockchain payment solutions provider, has made a significant acquisition in the crypto industry, announcing on Wednesday the purchase of the Swiss-based crypto-custody provider Metaco for $250 million

The deal allows Ripple, which markets itself as a payments-focused crypto firm, to expand into the institutional (crypto custody) market, enhancing its service offerings and providing a more comprehensive solution for its users. 

“Metaco is a proven leader in institutional digital asset custody with an exceptional executive branch and a truly unmatched customer track record,” said Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple. 

This strategic move aligns with Ripple's vision of revolutionizing cross-border payments and further solidifies its position as a leading player in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sphere. With a focus on enhancing security and expanding its suite of services, Ripple continues to adapt and innovate to meet the evolving needs of its users and the industry at large. 

Samsung and Bank of Korea Join Forces to Explore Offline CBDC for Galaxy Phones 

Samsung, the global leader in technology, is teaming up with the Bank of Korea to explore the possibility of developing an offline central bank digital currency (CBDC) that would be compatible with Samsung Galaxy phones. This collaboration aims to leverage Samsung's innovative capabilities and the Bank of Korea's expertise in monetary policy to enhance the accessibility and usability of digital currencies. 

The proposed offline CBDC would allow Samsung Galaxy phone users to conduct transactions, even in situations where an internet connection is unavailable. This groundbreaking approach has the potential to revolutionize digital currency adoption, making it more convenient and inclusive for individuals across various scenarios and locations. 

By exploring the integration of offline CBDCs into widely used devices like Samsung Galaxy phones, Samsung is actively contributing to the evolution of the digital economy and the future of financial transactions.