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Bitcoin Daily: DBS Launches Digital Asset Exchange; BitLipa Users Can Buy, Sell Crypto On Paxful; Oyster Pearl Blockchain Founder Faces Tax Evasion Charges

Financial services firm DBS announced in a press release Thursday (Dec. 10) that it is launching a “members-only” digital exchange for integrated digital asset tokenization, trading and holding.

Institutional and accredited investors will be able to use the DBS Digital Exchange to list and trade digital currency that is backed by a financial asset, such as company shares, private equity funds or company bonds, according to the release.

The exchange will also facilitate conversions between four cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and XRP — and four fiat currencies — U.S. dollar, Singapore dollar, Japanese yen and Hong Kong dollar, the release stated.

“The exponential pace of asset digitalization provides immense opportunities to reshape capital markets,” said Piyush Gupta, group CEO of DBS, in the release. “For Singapore to become even more competitive as a global financial hub, we have to prepare ourselves to welcome the mainstream adoption of digital assets and currency trading.”

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) is taking a 10 percent stake in the DBS Digital Exchange, according to the release.

“There are significant opportunities to bring trust and efficiency in price discovery to the global digital assets space,” said Loh Boon Chye, CEO of SGX, in the release. “We look forward to working closely with DBS.”

Meanwhile, BitLipa users can now buy and sell Bitcoin and Tether on Paxful using the Kenyan peer-to-peer (P2P) remittance network as a “fiat on-ramp” to the P2P crypto exchange.

According to a press release, the partnership helps users gain access to faster global payments without the “high costs of traditional money operators.”

“We hope to open new opportunities for our users, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when financial confidence is most needed,” said Ray Youssef, CEO and co-founder of Paxful, in the release. “We will continue to make crypto more accessible as a real-world payment method.”

The release stated the two tech companies are working together in the name of financial inclusivity, with the potential to reach the 60 percent of Africans who are currently unbanked, according to Apollo Omer, CEO and co-founder of BitLipa.

“…this partnership gives mobile money users across Africa access to the greatest financial revolution of our time,” Omer said in the release.

In other news, the IRS has charged Amir Bruno Elmaani, founder of blockchain protocol Oyster Pearl, with two counts of tax evasion, which each carry sentences of up to five years in prison.

In the indictment filed with the U.S. Southern District Court of New York, Elmaani is accused of failing to report a “substantial portion of his income,” which was allegedly in the millions of dollars in 2017, and failing to file any tax return in 2018.

The filing also says that Elmaani, who went by “Bruno Block,” online, took millions of new Pearl tokens for his personal use and then sold them for other cryptocurrencies. He then spent $10 million to purchase several yachts, over $700,00 to purchase two homes, and over $450,000 for home improvement.

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