TL;DR: Welcome to In Case You Missed It (ICYMI), a daily crypto news update. Binance is reportedly closing a deal to acquire stake in Swipe. US city coalition to test Universal Basic Income. 1.9 million UK citizens hold digital assets. University of California San Francisco paid $1.14 million worth of BTC in a ransomware attack. EIC grants $5.6 billion to blockchain startups, and 350,000 Australian crypto users are to receive tax warning letters.
Binance Closing Deal to Acquire Stake in Swipe
Binance is closing a deal to buy majority stake in Swipe, a crypto banking app that allows its customers to spend cryptocurrencies with Swipe debit cards. The move would pave the way for the exchange to release a physical version of its branded Binance card, already available in beta version since April in selected regions. Swipe debit cards are Visa debit cards currently issued by Contis Financial Services Ltd, a UK based, FCA approved financial services company.
US City Coalition to Test Universal Basic Income
A coalition of 12 US cities decided to start testing Universal Basic Income, joining a group called “Mayors For A Guaranteed Income,” aiming to give periodic payments to citizens. Los Angeles, Oakland, California, Atlanta, Tacoma, Newark, Saint Paul, Jackson, Compton, Shreveport, and Stockton comprise the group. Each city will formulate its program, finding their own financing methods, coordinating their efforts by sharing data.
1.9 Million UK Citizens Hold Digital Assets
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), UK’s financial watchdog, found 1.9 million citizens hold digital assets, 3.86 percent of the UK’s population, according to a study. However, while a large number does hold cryptocurrencies, most of them don’t have a big part of their funds in crypto, with 75% of the surveyed having less than £1,000 in cryptocurrency. This reveals the growth of cryptocurrencies even in developed countries, with people just testing the waters while still depending on traditional finance.
University of California San Francisco Paid $1.14 Million BTC in Ransomware Attack
The University of California San Francisco reported having paid $1.14 million worth of BTC to retrieve data in a ransomware attack. The attack was perpetrated on June 1st by the Netwalker criminal gang that took control of equipment with sensitive data and encrypted it. IT staff from the university started negotiations and was asked to pay $3 million, but just paid $1.13 for the decryption software, transferring 116.4 BTC to the wallet of the criminal group. The University Of California declared The data recovered was important for its academic work.
EIC Grants $5.6 Million to Blockchain Startups
The European Innovation Council, an EU organization supporting high risk and high impact ideas, selected six winners to award grants totaling $5.6 million for using blockchain to solve societal problems. The program, called “Blockchains for Social Good,” chose these six projects from more than 176 applications coming from 43 countries (19 of them coming from outside the EU). WordProof, PPP, GMeRitS, OXBBU, CKH2020, and PROSUME were chosen.
350,000 Crypto Users in Australia are Receiving Tax Warning Letters
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) started sending warning letters to cryptocurrency users, alerting them about the responsibility to report taxes resulting from cryptocurrency transactions. Crypto users receiving letters will have the opportunity of changing their tax statements and pay the corresponding taxes. According to Forbes, the ATO targeted all crypto users regardless of holdings — usually, such agencies focus on high fund cases due to administrative costs.
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