CBDC helicopter money rains down on Shenzhen, May 26-June 1

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China’s pandemic-hit economy needs all the help it can get after a spike in COVID-19 infections triggered mass shutdowns across the country. In an attempt to kick-start consumption, the southern city of Shenzhen has used Beijing’s central bank digital currency, or CBDC, to airdrop free money to local residents. A similar strategy was used in the northern province of Hebei, where even more digital yuan was deployed. Think of all the things governments can do when they have full control over the on-ramps of fiat currency.

This week’s Crypto Biz newsletter explores China’s helicopter CBDC strategy, the latest funding news from the blockchain world, and whether Apple is getting closer to integrating non-fungible token (NFT) technology.

Binance Labs’ $500M Fund to Catalyze Crypto, Web3, and Blockchain Adoption

The biggest funding news of the week comes courtesy of Binance Labs, which announced plans to allocate $500 million to Web3 and blockchain startups. The new funding initiative, launched in partnership with DST Global Partners and Breyer Capital, will focus on incubation as well as early-stage and late-stage growth companies. These mega-funds are not new to crypto. But interestingly, venture capital is pumping even more money into the industry at a time when crypto prices are collapsing. Things are not always what they seem on the surface.

Goldman Sachs Reportedly Eyes Crypto Derivatives Markets With FTX Integration

Goldman Sachs’ foray into the crypto market seems to be getting deeper every week. The latest news is that the US banking giant wants to integrate some of its derivative products into FTX.US, one of the leading crypto derivatives exchanges. The reason for the integration, according to financial outlet Barron’s, is that Goldman wants to offer crypto derivatives using its own tools. It looks like Goldman’s derivatives customers will join the retail trade in sinking during the next major market downturn. Or am I being too negative? Learn more about liquidation cascades before you decide.

Shenzhen city drops 30 million free digital yuan to boost consumer spending

You’ve heard of helicopter money before. Well, the city of Shenzhen is making it a reality by launching 30 million digital Chinese yuan (e-CNY) to local residents in a bid to boost consumer spending. To qualify for the airdrop, locals must register with the food delivery app Mietuan Dianping. If selected, they will have the opportunity to spend their digital yuan at over 15,000 merchant terminals. For better or worse, you get a glimpse of how governments will use central bank digital currencies to achieve their macroeconomic goals. But yes, CBDCs also have many disadvantages.

Apple’s Upcoming Developer Conference Sparks NFT Trading Card Rumors

Apple’s upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, also known as WWDC, has sparked interest from the crypto community amid rumors that the iPhone maker is looking to integrate NFT trading cards – rumors do not are not unfounded either. MacRumors fanatics have apparently clicked through the Memoji characters featured on new Apple devices and software models and discovered three trading card characters available to claim. The good news is that we won’t have to wait long for the rumors to be confirmed or squashed as WDCC takes place next week.

Don’t miss it! What is the impact of the Fed on your crypto?

Much has been said about the Federal Reserve and interest rates over the past few months. After lying to us about inflation, the Fed was forced to do a U-turn in monetary policy to ease cost pressures. So, whether you like it or not, the cabal of central bankers who meet eight times a year has a major impact on your wallet – and that includes crypto. In this week’s Market Report, we explain how the Fed is pulling the strings. Click below to watch a full replay of the show.

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

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