Crypto Biz: DID you see what Africa is doing with Web3?

If you’ve spent any time reading about blockchain and Web3, you know that this industry is filled with big buzzwords and half-baked concepts. But, concepts such as decentralized identity services, or DIDs, bring real meaning and utility to Web3. If you haven’t yet wrapped your mind around DID, it refers to a self-owned, independent identity that enables trusted data exchange. In other words, it puts digital identity management and administration directly in your hands instead of some third party’s. 

In this week’s Crypto Biz, we take a look at a Web3 partnership designed to bring DID-powered payment solutions to Africa. We also chronicle Maple Finance, the European Central Bank and Nasdaq.

Payments platform Fuse integrates ChromePay to bring DID services to Africa

Is Web3 even possible without decentralized identity services, or DIDs? It depends on who you ask. For Web3 payment solutions Fuse and ChromePay, DIDs will play an essential role in expanding access to the decentralized internet, especially in places like Africa. This week, the companies announced a new partnership to bring a suite of DID-powered Web3 payment products to the African continent. Specifically, ChromePay will integrate the Fuse blockchain, allowing users to access both traditional and blockchain-based payments directly on their mobile devices.

Maple Finance launches $300M lending pool for Bitcoin mining firms

Crypto lending platform Maple Finance is showing no signs of slowing down amid the bear market. The company announced this week that it would provide up to $300 million worth of secure debt financing to Bitcoin (BTC) mining firms. Why is this important? Well, for starters, the loan could help miners stay afloat during one of Bitcoin’s most severe downturns. The loan will be secured by physical and intellectual assets owned by the mining firms, including their BTC mining rigs.

European Central Bank chooses Amazon and 4 other firms to prototype digital euro app

The European Central Bank, or ECB, will prototype its digital euro app with five e-commerce and fintech companies led by Amazon. Nexi, EPI, Worldline and CaxaBank round out the list of partners the ECB has chosen to develop specific functions for the digital euro prototype. Although the ECB has been vague about its intent to release a central bank digital currency, the monetary authority appears to be laying the groundwork for its implementation. I’m no fan of CBDCs, so make of this what you will.

Nasdaq reportedly preparing crypto custody services for institutions

The bear market might be a perfect opportunity for institutional investors to learn about crypto and, by extension, begin investing in the digital asset class. (Regulatory clarity will also help.) It was reported this week that financial services firm Nasdaq is preparing to offer digital asset custody services — a move that could make buying and holding BTC and other cryptocurrencies more palatable for institutional investors. In my view, it’s only a matter of time before banks, hedge funds and family offices begin dabbling in crypto. At this stage, not considering Bitcoin is a major career risk for investors. Ignore BTC at your peril!

Before you go: Why did the crypto market dump after the Ethereum Merge?

Ethereum’s highly anticipated Merge was completed successfully last week, but even that didn’t prevent crypto prices from crashing again. In this week’s Market Report, I sat down with Marcel Pechman, Benton Yaun and Ray Salmond to discuss the factors impacting crypto markets. I also shared my thoughts on when Bitcoin could reach its definitive cycle bottom. You can watch the full replay below.

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Crypto Biz is your weekly pulse of the business behind blockchain and crypto delivered directly to your inbox every Thursday.

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