Has crypto winter scared off Visa and Mastercard?

Crypto cycles are not for the faint-hearted. As the industry continues to evolve from cypherpunk to mainstream, we can expect a lot of growing problems. The dumpster fire that took place in 2022 may have scared off many companies interested in exploring the sector. Example: Visa and Mastercard’s adoption of cryptocurrencies may have been hampered by a bear market and unclear regulations.

According to a new report from Reuters, the credit card giants are holding back the launch of some crypto products until market conditions and the regulatory environment improve. Cuy Sheffield, who heads Visa’s crypto division, was not happy with the report, reassuring the market that Visa is very committed to realizing its crypto ambitions.

This week, Crypto Biz explores the latest revelations regarding Visa and Mastercard, Jack Dorsey’s decentralized alternative to Twitter, and Goldman Sachs’ apparent need for more digital asset specialists.

Breaking: Visa and Mastercard Pause New Cryptocurrency Partnerships – Report

Credit card giants Visa and Mastercard will delay the launch of new crypto partnerships due to the bear market and unclear regulatory conditions, according to a February 28 Reuters report. Companies are hesitant to launch new crypto partnerships after high-profile bankruptcies in the sector such as FTX, BlockFi, Celsius, Voyager, Genesis, etc. part of mainstream payments and financial services,” a Visa spokesperson said. However, Visa’s crypto chief later clarified that the company continues to “work with crypto companies to improve fiat on and off the ramps.”

Jack Dorsey’s decentralized Twitter rival enters the app store

Jack Dorsey embraces decentralized social networks with the launch of a private beta of Bluesky – the so-called decentralized alternative to Twitter. Bluesky made its way to Apple’s app store as an invite-only app, allowing key people to try out the new platform. An early look at Bluesky reveals an interface that closely resembles Twitter. The main difference between the two is that Bluesky claims to be “decentralized”, meaning it runs on independently run servers rather than centralized servers controlled by a single entity. It’s not entirely clear if Bluesky will have Bitcoin (BTC) integration, which Dorsey thinks very hard about. In June 2022, Cointelegraph reported that Dorsey was building a “Web5” powered by Bitcoin.

Goldman Sachs remains open to hiring cryptocurrencies amid massive 3,200 staff cuts

Watch what they do, not what they say. Faced with continued layoffs in the digital asset sector, international investment bank Goldman Sachs has not closed the door to hiring more crypto professionals. According to Goldman’s head of digital assets, Matthew McDermott, the bank remains “extremely positive” about exploring blockchain applications, which may require more staff. Goldman Sachs’ digital assets unit currently employs 70 people and is unlikely to result in any reductions in employment at the bank. It seems that just yesterday Goldman Sachs was very critical of cryptocurrencies. It now fully embraces the sector and its innovation potential.

Coinbase’s CEO reiterates that “staking” products are not securities

Last week, Crypto Biz told you that Coinbase has a lot to lose. This week, CEO Brian Armstrong reiterated that Coinbase’s staking products are not securities and should not be subject to enforcement action by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). “[We] they’re really just providing a service that goes through these coins to help them participate in betting, which is a decentralized protocol,” he said, referring to the exchange’s staking products. The SEC has already thrown the book at crypto exchange Kraken for its staking services. Will the Regulator Buy the Coinbase Argument? Only time will tell.

Before you go: Is Binance in trouble?

It’s hard to get positive coverage of cryptocurrencies in the mainstream these days. This week, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao responded to a scathing article about his exchange’s business practices. Meanwhile, Solana’s network experienced another outage. This week’s market report outlines the FUD around Binance and discusses Solana’s potential. You can watch the full replay below:

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