Privatbank, the largest commercial bank in Ukraine, has temporarily halted transfers in national currency to digital asset exchanges. The financial institution explained the move with restrictions imposed by the country’s central bank under the current martial law.
Leading Bank in Ukraine Bans Clients From Sending Hryvnia to Crypto Trading Platforms
Ukraine’s largest bank in terms of assets, Privatbank, has prohibited its clients from transferring funds in Ukrainian hryvnia, the national fiat currency, to exchanges trading cryptocurrencies. The temporary ban has been introduced on March 16.
According to a statement, quoted by the crypto news outlet Forklog, the measure stems from a resolution issued by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) on Feb. 24, the day when Russia launched its military invasion of the country.
Although it does not specifically mention crypto-related transactions, the document regulates the operation of the banking system under martial law and introduces stricter rules for bank operations. For example, cash withdrawals were limited to 100,000 hryvnia (approx. $3,400) daily and the hryvnia’s exchange rate was fixed.
Banks are prohibited from carrying out cross-border transfers of currency from Ukraine on behalf of clients, Privatbank explained in its announcement. Transferring funds for use on cryptocurrency exchanges is no exception, the bank elaborated.
The report notes that Binance, the world’s leading crypto exchange by trading volume, has confirmed the news of Privatbank’s decision regarding hryvnia deposits. The company is warning users that other banks may do the same and recommending they turn to peer-to-peer trading.
Ukraine has been accepting crypto donations to fund its defense efforts in the face of advancing Russian forces and addressing growing humanitarian needs. The ban comes despite President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signing this week the country’s new law “On Virtual Assets.”
Peter Thiel Says His ‘Biggest Mistake of the Decade Was Getting Too Late and Too Little Into Bitcoin’
During a discussion published on March 12, 2022, the billionaire entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Peter Thiel discussed how he built Paypal with fellow co-founders Max Levchin, David Sacks, and Luke Nosek. Toward the end of the hour-long conversation, the topic quickly turned to cryptocurrencies and Thiel stressed that his “biggest mistake” during the last ten years “was getting too late and too little into bitcoin.”
Paypal Co-Founder Peter Thiel Reveals the Biggest Mistake He’s Made in the Last Decade
Last week, the new book dubbed “The Founders” written by Jimmy Soni was discussed at great length during a panel conversation with the co-founders of Paypal. The book called “The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley,” was published last month and the story gives an account of Paypal’s origins.
The callin.com broadcast published on March 12, features the Paypal co-founders Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, David Sacks, and Luke Nosek. While most of the conversation touches on the Paypal origins topic, at the 55:30 mark, the discussion turned to cryptocurrencies. The host of the discussion managed to squeeze in one more question, as he said “it would not be a tech conversation without a little bit of wild-eyed forward-looking statements.”
The discussion host explained that amid Paypal’s rise, a “whole crypto thing going on” and he highlighted how Peter Thiel has “written and spoken a lot about it.” When asked what the group thinks about “payment systems now and crypto,” Thiel responded. The Paypal co-founder remarked:
The biggest mistake I made in the last decade was getting too late and too little into bitcoin.
While Thiel Was Super Interested in Bitcoin, He ‘Was Somehow Programmed to Not to See It’
Thiel explained further: “You know, we invested in 2014 in Founders Fund and did reasonably well, but it was on my radar in 2010 and 2011 — We had seen all these crazy cryptocurrency people, at the time at Paypal, it was one of the things that I was actually super interested in and it motivated me, but none of the models quite worked.” Thiel further added:
With bitcoin, I was somehow programmed to not to see it as much as I should have.
The Paypal co-founder’s statements last week are similar to the declarations he made in October. Speaking at a cryptocurrency event in Miami last year, Thiel told participants that he felt like he was “underinvested in [bitcoin].” Speaking further on the benefits of bitcoin in Miami, Thiel stressed that bitcoin was “the canary in the coal mine — It’s the most honest market we have in the country.”
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What do you think about the Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel’s statements about bitcoin and his remorse for not getting into it much sooner? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Binance Informs Canadian Regulator It’s ‘Committed’ to Ceasing Crypto Trading Services in Ontario
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has informed the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) that it is committed to ceasing opening new accounts for Ontario residents and winding down certain services to comply with regulations.
Binance Promises to Increase Efforts to Comply With Regulation
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance sent a letter to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) Wednesday.
In the letter, Binance listed a few commitments to the OSC, including “ceasing opening new Ontario accounts,” “ceasing trading in existing Ontario accounts, with exceptions to protect investors, along with winding down its businesses in certain products,” and “providing fee waivers and offering fee reimbursement to certain Ontario users.”
In addition, Binance will also make reports to OSC staff and retain an independent third party to ensure the effectiveness of its efforts to implement its commitments.
Binance decided to withdraw its services from Ontario in June 2021. The exchange told Ontario users in the same month that they will need to close all active positions by Dec. 31, 2021.
Binance detailed in its letter that on Dec. 31 last year:
Binance confirmed to Staff that the trading restrictions were in place for Ontario accounts, and would remain so, including (a) no trading by existing Ontario users, (b) no new Ontario users, and (c) no marketing targeted at Ontario users.
However, on Dec. 29, Binance notified Ontario users that it was allowed to continue its operations in Ontario. The Canadian regulator said at the time: “Binance has issued a notice to users, without any notification to the OSC, rescinding this commitment. This is unacceptable.” Binance has acknowledged this announcement was not correct.
Binance acknowledged in its letter that “Despite the representations made to [OSC] staff and investors, Ontario investors were able to continue to trade after the restrictions were supposedly in place.”
In addition, Binance admitted that its customer service team “tweeted inaccurate information, informing an Ontario user that they could trade after January 1, 2022, as normal if their account was already open, which Binance now acknowledges was not correct.”
Binance has informed the regulator that it is committed to pursuing a regulatory path to ensure compliance with Ontario securities law.
Do you think Binance will get into more trouble with the Canadian regulator? Let us know in the comments section below.
Big Cabal Media’s seed funding
If you are on Twitter, you might likely have read content from Zikoko, TechCabal, or both. Did you know that Zikoko and TechCabal are owned by the same parent company, Big Cabal Media (BCM)?
I became aware of this last year, and I was impressed that the parent company is developing two fantastic products. I believe that BCM has a product for everyone because even if you’re not interested in tech news, you should be interested in the content Zikoko covers because it focuses on African youth.
So, what happened? The Nigeria-based media company, BCM, announced yesterday that it had raised $2.3 million in seed funding to expand its audience and build new verticals.
MaC Venture Capital led the round, and VC firms Luminate, Unicorn Group, Future Africa, and other angel investors participated.
Recall that BCM previously raised $620,000 in angel and pre-seed funding between 2016 and 2020, bringing its total financing disclosed to more than $2.9 million.
BCM was launched in 2013 by Seyi Taylor and Bankole Oluwafemi. And in 2018, Tomiwa Aladekomo, the company’s CEO, took over from Taylor.
TechCabal, a publication that covers technology news, was founded in 2014. The platform has newsletters such as The Next Wave and TC Events, an events arm that organises sought-after gatherings of operators and investors.
Meanwhile, Zikoko’s target audience is different. The publication, debuted in 2016, creates and curates content centred on African youth culture for Gen Zs and Millennials within and outside Africa.
According to Aladekomo, the new fund will allow BCM to invest significantly in its technology and optimise the websites of its publications. It also intends to expand Zikoko Memes, a Giphy-like product focusing on African memes, gifs, and images that the company launched in 2020.
Finally, the investment will be used to expand its audience, make new hires across the board, and solidify its position as one of Africa’s most influential media and technology brands.