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• HSBC rolls out cryptocurrency services in Hong Kong: Report

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Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) — the biggest bank in Hong Kong — has reportedly introduced its first local cryptocurrency services.

HSBC has enabled its customers to buy and sell Bitcoin based exchange-traded funds (ETFs), local journalist Colin Wu reported in a tweet on June 26.

According to the report, HSBC will specifically offer cryptocurrency ETFs listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. At the time of writing, the exchange lists three crypto ETFs, including CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF, CSOP Ethereum Futures ETF and Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF.

• Blockchain Australia CEO calls for unified efforts to stamp out crypto scams

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Blockchain Australia’s new CEO, Simon Callaghan, is urging Australia’s banks, the government and the crypto industry to come together to combat rising cryptocurrency scams.

Speaking on the final day of Australian Blockchain Week in Melbourne on June 30, Callaghan announced that the association will now be focused on helping prevent scams that involve crypto, among its other efforts.

“We’re going to have to work with the banking sector. We’re going to have to work with the government,” the CEO said, stressing the need to protect consumers.

• U.S. House committee chairs, Blockchain Association turn up heat on SEC head Gensler

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Three committee chairs in the United States House of Representatives have sent a letter to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler demanding a more satisfactory response to their Nov. 1 letter regarding the SEC chairman’s and the agency’s compliance with recordkeeping requirements. 

The congresspeople, along with Rep. Tom Emmer, were responding to a Wall Street Journal report criticizing the SEC and other agencies for shoddy recordkeeping. “Government officials routinely engage in the same sort of record-keeping shenanigans for which Wall Street groups were recently fined [by the SEC],” the report concluded.

• CBDCs aren’t about solving today’s problems — Australia’s CBDC lead

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Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) may not solve any problems faced today, but could be the answer to ones not even fathomed yet, says the executive spearheading Australia’s CBDC pilot.

Dilip Rao, a former Ripple executive who’s now spearheading Australia’s CBDC research project, told Cointelegraph that a central bank-issued currency could be built for use cases not yet considered:

“It may not solve a problem today, but maybe it solves a problem the day after tomorrow.”

• UK crypto bill reaches final stage, on track for passage

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A bill bringing cryptocurrencies under the same rules applied to traditional assets is set to pass into law in the United Kingdom as it reaches the final stages for King Charles’ royal assent on June 29, the final step required for a parliamentary bill to become law.

Approved by the upper chamber of the U.K. parliament on June 19, the Financial Services and Markets Bill has been discussed in the British Parliament since July 2022 and is expected to increase legal clarity and support the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country.

Coinbase layer-2 network Base closes in on mainnet launch

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Base, a new layer 2 application-focused protocol by Coinbase, has just one criterion left to fulfill before being ready for mainnet launch.

On June 29, the team said the Optimism-powered, Ethereum-secured network has been subject to six months of rigorous security audits — both internally and externally — its second-last criteria required for launch.

“With the completion of these audits, we’ve now fulfilled ⅘ of our criteria for mainnet launch,” Base said, adding that the team feels confident after not finding any critical code bugs.

Concluding Notes:

  • Cryptocurrency services in Hong Kong
  • Australia to cut down on crypto scams
  • Committee chairs have sent a letter to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler
  • CBDCs will not necessarily solve todays problems
  • UK crypto bill reaches final stage
  • Base L2 mainnet launch

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