Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Proposes Creating a Cryptocurrency Payment System for State Fees

The American politician and attorney serving as the 46th governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, announced the state’s 2022-23 budget proposal last week and proposed an idea to let businesses pay state fees with crypto assets. The governor’s “Freedom First Budget” suggests creating a department in Florida to accept state fees in cryptocurrencies.

Florida Governor’s Freedom First Budget Includes Crypto

The Republican governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis seems to be keen on allowing businesses in Florida to pay for state fees in crypto assets. Florida is becoming well known for its politicians who are positive about the digital currency economy as Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has been very vocal about supporting bitcoin. Suarez gets a portion of his salary in BTC and recently announced he plans to take a fraction of his 401k retirement plan and convert it into bitcoin.

A report published by Fortune says DeSantis has explained in recent times that he wants the Florida state government to become “crypto-friendly.” “Florida encourages cryptocurrency as a means of commerce and furthering Florida’s attractiveness to businesses and economic growth,” DeSantis wrote in Florida’s 2022-23 budget proposal.

During His Speech in Tallahassee, DeSantis Discussed Leveraging Blockchain Pilots to Bolster State-Operated Departments

DeSantis also spoke about the budget proposal in a speech on Thursday in Tallahassee. “Our view as the state government is this is something that we welcome and we want to make sure that the state government is crypto-friendly,” the Florida governor remarked. In addition to Miami’s Mayor Francis Suarez, crypto businesses like Blockchain.com, Etoro, and FTX have locations in Florida and Miami.

During his speech in Tallahassee, DeSantis also discussed blockchain technology. The Florida governor explained that the state aims to launch pilot programs that tether distributed ledger technology to state-operated entities like Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and Medicaid payments. While DeSantis has officially launched his bid for reelection as the state’s governor, there are rumors DeSantis may run for president of the United States in 2024.

What do you think about Ron DeSantis proposing that Florida businesses could pay state fees with crypto assets? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

This 7 days in Cash: Bitcoin and Ethereum Recuperate, Terra and Polygon Rally

Bitcoin and Ethereum managed to recapture floor soon after very last week’s marketplace wipeout. The market leaders have both of those began the weekend about 3% higher than very last Saturday. 

Bitcoin currently trades at $48,576. It’s drastically shy of its former all-time significant of $69,790, recorded on November 10 this year, but it’s still superior than last weekend’s crash, which bottomed out at around $45,000. 

Ethereum confirmed promising indicators of progress this 7 days, despite the fact that it unsuccessful to breach the $4,500 threshold. On Thursday it rose to $4,482 but right now it is again down to $4,061, which is all over 17% shy of its former all-time higher of $4,860 back on November 10.

This week’s crypto information cycle was a combined bag. On Monday, Bancolombia, the greatest bank in Colombia, declared a pilot method that will help a limited amount of clients to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Funds instantly from their lender accounts. 

The country’s economic regulator, the Monetary Superintendence of Colombia, will oversee the program, no doubt with an eye to possibly acquiring a regulatory framework around crypto. 

On Tuesday, the Biden administration released a doc identified as the “United States Strategy on Countering Corruption.” One of the proposals to aid struggle corruption is the establishment of a “National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team” which will be tackling the criminal misuse of crypto. 

Although the U.S. federal government proceeds clamping down on crypto’s dark and seedy underbelly, Wednesday introduced extra savory information for law-abiding crypto lovers. 

A delegation of CEOs from 6 of the leading crypto companies, which includes Coinbase, Circle, FTX, and Paxos, visited Congress to make the case for the escalating importance of crypto and laws in a 5-hour listening to. Considering that this time final year, the delegation would have been laughed out of Washington, the information demonstrates a notable transform of heart.

In excess of the Atlantic on Thursday, a distinctive frame of mind prevailed. British MPs on the Treasury find committee, which is responsible for retaining a shut eye on the British treasury and all of its involved bodies, together with the Economic Perform Authority (FCA),  advised the chief govt of the FCA, Nikhil Rathi, that companies should really stop using the text “invest” and “investment” when selling crypto. 

Previous JP Morgan banker-turned conservative MP Harriett Morgan instructed Rathi: “The terms ‘your investment’ endorse the idea that this is an financial investment on par with an FTSE 100 organization or a unit rely on.”

On the similar working day, Bitcoin and Ethereum fell much more than 5% in 24 hrs soon after Chinese genuine estate developers Evergrande and Kaisa were being not able to make scheduled U.S. greenback bond payments.

Some altcoins experienced a terrific week, although. 

Terra shot up 11% in excess of the previous 7 times and at this time trades for $63.10 at the time of writing. Polygon also rose noticeably, swelling by a minimal over 13% to strike $2.08. On Thursday Polygon introduced it signed a $400 million offer with Mir to extend the project’s Ethereum scaling abilities. 

The value of Tezos jumped 37% above Monday night time after Ubisoft introduced it would faucet the blockchain to mint NFTs for its impending Ghost Recon activity. This is the first time a major video clip video game publisher has supplied NFTs, and the fact that it chose Tezos is huge information for the community.

Tezos is the 41st-major cryptocurrency by current market capitalization and it is at the moment truly worth $4.51.

Lastly, Solana took a beating this week. The foremost Ethereum competitor dropped practically 13% in the last seven days and now trades for $169. 

Concluding, it is been an all-all over good week, even though only just.

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Bitcoin, Ethereum Article Weighty Losses for the Week as Crypto Current market Continues Slump

Marketplaces ongoing to slide on Friday—with Bitcoin, Ethereum and Solana all struggling double-digit seven-day losses. 

Bitcoin was trading for $47,985.20 at the time of crafting, a 15% drop above the earlier week. The largest digital asset is down more than 30% from its all-time significant of $69,044.77 1 month ago, for every CoinGecko figures. 

Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by sector cap, was also down 11.4% in seven days, buying and selling for just over $4,000. 

The altcoin marketplace also primarily took a beating. Solana, an Ethereum-competitor and the fifth-most significant cryptocurrency, was buying and selling for $173, shedding 25% of its worth in a 7 days. 

Other altcoins that suffered large losses over the previous seven times involved Polkadot (down 23% in a 7 days) Dogecoin (down 19%) Avalanche (down 21%). Almost all ended up down in the earlier working day as well. 

What could be producing the huge dip in price ranges? Decrypt noted yesterday that right after Chinese genuine estate builders Evergrande and Kaisa had been unable to make scheduled U.S. greenback bond payments, stock selling prices dipped—and cryptocurrency adopted suit due to the large variety of institutional traders with pores and skin in the recreation. 

Analyst and trader Alex Kruger informed Decrypt nowadays that it was also probably down to “year-finish revenue taking.” “Imagine efficiency charges, bonuses, audits, clean profits, tax loss harvesting,” he mentioned. “It takes place.” 

Bitcoin Cash developer Chris Troutner mentioned that it was probable down to this much too. He included that “​​prices generally feel to dip prior to the conclusion of the 12 months”—except for previous year, an fantastic calendar year when “institutional buyers piled into cryptocurrency to get ahead of inflation.”

In 2018 and 2019, Bitcoin’s price tag did dip at the end of the yr. This could be down to “folks promoting to purchase provides,” he explained to Decrypt. 

Whatsoever is resulting in the dip in selling prices, could a chilly crypto winter be all around the corner?

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Serum Newsletter #54. Welcome, readers, to Serum Newsletter…

Welcome, readers, to Serum Newsletter #54! The excitement continues unabated in the Serum and Solana ecosystems! In this week’s issue, we summarize the recent parade of new milestone events in the ecosystem and some cool updates on our favourite Serum-oriented projects! Stay tuned, and have a great week!

Serum Discord: https://discord.gg/V9Xzqqxj

Serum Telegram: https://t.me/ProjectSerum

Announcements: https://t.me/ProjectSerum_announcements

This week, 247K SRM was burned — That’s $1M at current prices!

Last weekend, Serum hit $350M in 24H volume, and we are just warming up!

BUIDLIN on Serum? You definitely need to be there!

Thanks to the AOB, Serum becomes a truly universal component usable by any protocol, derivative, spot or anything else. Devs can use it to match anything — even NFTs or non-fungible stuff or domain names

Zeta Markets is hiring! Give it a thought. There’s power in optionality!

The Zeta Markets doing what it does best, shipping!

“With Switchboard v2, Solana developers no longer need to ask anyone to sponsor or build support for a feed, if there’s a public endpoint they can bring that data on-chain all through Switchboard’s decentralized oracle network.”

“The project was built in response to many of the problems the team saw in DeFi at the time. Ethereum’s limitations made it slow and expensive, many protocols were de facto centralized, and there was (and remains) a lack of cross-chain functionality”.

Have you heard? The fees have been reduced on all Serum powered markets!

Avax now lives on Pyth network!

“Institutional adoption of digital assets is well underway at this point, but what we’re also starting to see is these same institutions adopt DeFi. We are excited to be a part of this project that helps further advance critical DeFi infrastructure and has the potential to unlock greater efficiency and transparency in our financial system”. Anton Katz, Co-Founder and CEO of Talos

This list is not exhaustive but hopefully illustrates some of the exciting projects building within the Serum ecosystem!

And so many more!

If you have any questions or wish to build in the Serum ecosystem, please feel free to reach out to us at contact@projectserum.com.

We’re always happy to answer questions or assist you in any way we can!

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Miami Mayor Francis Suarez Plans to Take a Fraction of His 401k in Bitcoin

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez Plans to Take a Fraction of His 401k in Bitcoin

During the first week of November, the reelected Miami mayor Francis Suarez explained that he would receive part of his salary in bitcoin via the payment processor Strike. A month later, speaking at Real Vision’s Takeover event in Las Vegas, Suarez revealed he plans to take part of his 401k in bitcoin as well.

Pro-Bitcoin Miami Mayor Plans to Convert a Portion of His 401k Into Crypto

Miami mayor Francis Suarez is a big fan of bitcoin (BTC) and he has spoken about his fascination with cryptocurrency on various occasions. In mid-October, Suarez told the press that he was building Miami into America’s crypto capital and the mayor stressed that cryptocurrency is a “major priority” for him. Suarez also told Chinese miners to relocate to Miami and leverage Florida’s abundant nuclear energy after China banned bitcoin mining.

Last month, Suarez revealed he was utilizing the third-party payment processor Strike to get a portion of his paycheck converted into bitcoin. Additionally, a growing number of mayors in cities across the U.S. have explained they too have an interest in getting paid in bitcoin. Now Miami mayor Francis Suarez is taking it a step further and converting some of his retirement money into bitcoin as well. Speaking with the Real Vision managing editor Samuel Burke in Las Vegas, Suarez remarked that it was a “personal choice.”

“I just think it is a good asset to be invested in. I think it’s one that’s obviously going to appreciate over time. It’s one that I believe in,” Suarez said. Burke asked the Miami mayor if he would invest his 401k in bitcoin next year and Suarez replied, “Oh yeah! Definitely.” The Miami mayor further added:

Blockchain has succeeded so well because people have confidence in it. They have confidence in it because they see that it’s an open-source and an un-manipulatable system. And I think that is the source of the popularity and why it’s done so well.

Suarez Discusses Obtaining a Crypto Yield From Miamicoin, Paying Municipal Fees in Bitcoin

Suarez explained last month that Miami residents may soon get access to a “bitcoin yield” that stems from the city’s own crypto-asset called “Miamicoin (MIA).” New York City also has its own coin called “NYC” and both NYC and MIA can be mined. The Miami mayor also told Real Vision’s managing editor that Miami residents will soon be able to pay municipal fees in BTC.

“We just had an industry day for bitcoin exchanges, and we’re in the process of putting out an RFP (request for proposal) on that,” Suarez remarked during his interview. The Miami mayor told Burke that because he has income stemming from the private sector it gives him the right to invest his 401k in crypto. “I do have private-sector income,” Suarez concluded. “So, in fairness, my mayoral salary is not 100% of my income. So it’s a part of my income I can do this type of investment with.”

What do you think about Miami mayor Francis Suarez getting part of his 401k in bitcoin? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Chainalysis to Offer Lightning Network Monitoring Service to VASPs in 2022

Chainalysis to Offer Lightning Network Monitoring Service to VASPs in 2022

On December 10, the blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis revealed that the company has added support for Bitcoin’s second-layer protocol the Lightning Network (LN). According to Chainalysis, firms like exchanges and virtual asset service providers (VASPs) can leverage the company’s Know-Your-Transaction (KYT) real-time transaction monitoring software in order to access compliant bitcoin deposits and withdrawals from a LN node.

Compliant Lightning Transactions

The blockchain surveillance and intelligence company, Chainalysis, announced on Friday that the company has added Lightning Network (LN) support to its list of blockchain and crypto-asset networks, the company currently monitors. For years, Chainalysis has monitored the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain, and these days the firm is not only monitoring BTC, but also a myriad of crypto networks and decentralized finance (defi) protocols.

Essentially, the LN is an offchain routed “layer 2” (L2) payment channel network that helps facilitate bitcoin (BTC) transfers faster and cheaper than onchain transactions. The Chainalysis LN support will provide VASPs with “Chainalysis KYT (Know-Your-Transaction) for real-time transaction monitoring will now be able to compliantly allow deposits and withdrawals of Bitcoin from a Lightning node.”

As of December 1, 2021, Chainalysis estimates there is “just under 3,600 BTC worth over $205 million is locked in public Lightning Network channels.” This has increased a great deal since the total value locked in the LN was around 468 BTC on January 1, 2021. Chainalysis also mentions that the LN L2 system is leveraged by countries such as El Salvador and large corporations like Twitter. Pratima Arora, the chief product officer at Chainalysis explains that the firm hopes compliant LN transfers will help the LN mature.

“Chainalysis exists to build trust in cryptocurrency in order to promote more financial freedom with less risk,” Arora said in a statement. “The Lightning Network solves many of the challenges that prevent the Bitcoin protocol from being used for micropayments and other transaction types that bolster financial inclusion. By enabling our customers to compliantly support Lightning transactions, we hope to grow the network’s popularity and help it scale.”

Lightning Network Support for Chainalysis KYT Customers to Launch in February

Chainalysis has expanded its resources a great deal and faces dozens of blockchain intelligence and monitoring competitors. The company raised $100 million at the end of June in its Series E funding round and the previous C and D rounds also saw $100 million capital injections. The company’s post valuation, after the Series E, was $4.2 billion according to the firm’s announcement at the time.

Speaking about the LN support, Chainalysis claims that for the first time, “VASPs can now offer support for Lightning transactions aligned with global regulatory best practices.” The product Chainalysis offers called Chainalysis KYT supports “pre-screening for Lightning withdrawals and behavioral alerts.” The blockchain surveillance and intelligence company further says that the LN support will be available for Chainalysis KYT customers in February.

What do you think about Chainalysis adding Lightning Network support? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Gitcoin Deactivates Grant for Farsi Speaking Communities Due to U.S. Sanctions

gitcoin

Gitcoin, an organization that helps fund open source projects around the Ethereum blockchain, has deactivated a grant due to it being directed to individuals from a sanctioned country. The grant, called “Free Smart Contract Development Course for Farsi Speaking Communities,” was directed and organized by an organization called Women in Blockchain Farsi. The move created a huge backlash on social media against this decision.

Gitcoin Defunds Farsi Speaking Community Grant

Gitcoin, an organization that promotes open-source software and other innovations around the Ethereum blockchain through the use of grants, has deactivated a grant due to legal issues concerning U.S. sanctions for other countries. The grant, titled “Free Smart Contract Development Course for Farsi Speaking Communities,” was directed to make the instruction of Farsi speakers on Solidity (Ethereum’s smart contracts language) much easier.

The course, that was organized and directed by an organization called Women in Blockchain Farsi is now without funds to continue its work. Prior to this, Consensys, another Ethereum software company, had also banned 50 Iranian students from attending coding classes due to them being located in U.S.-sanctioned countries last month. Women In Blockchain Farsi criticized this take, stating:

The grant is for Farsi speakers, the assumption that whoever that speaks Farsi then they must be living in Iran and they must be sanctioned is absurd.

Gitcoin’s Take on the Issue

Gitcoin argues that they were obligated to react this way and had to act because of law and jurisdiction. It seems that the organization was not aware of the grant reach and deactivated it as soon as it could. On this, Gitcoin stated:

This grant was brought to our attention by a reporter who is running a broader story about Ethereum and sanctioned nations. We are a US-based organization that complies with OFAC and US law. US sanctions laws apply to all US persons, wherever located.

The organization further explains that keeping this grant as it was could have jeopardized the whole operation, exposing them to legal actions from government institutions. Gitcoin also stated that they are focusing on a more decentralized grants program with their DAO at the front, that will allow them to offer dGrants that will be able to sidestep these legal hurdles.

However, this has not been well received by users on social media, who have criticized Gitcoin’s move to stop funding the grant directed to Farsi-speaking communities.

What do you think about the deactivation of the Gitcoin grant for this program? Tell us in the comments section below.

Makersplace Plans to Drop World’s First 2pac NFT Collection Authorized by the Shakur Estate

Makersplace Plans to Drop World’s First 2pac NFT Collection Authorized by the Shakur Estate

On December 15, the non-fungible token (NFT) market platform Makersplace will drop an assortment of NFTs based on Tupac Shakur’s most well-known jewelry pieces. Makersplace and the NFT artists and curators Impossible Brief and Digital Arts & Sciences worked closely with Shakur’s estate in order to drop the NFT collectibles called “The Immortal Collection.”

Tupac’s ‘The Immortal Collection’ to Drop on December 15

Fans of the rap legend Tupac Shakur (also known by his stage names 2pac and Makaveli) will soon be able to bid on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) officially backed by the Shakur estate. The NFTs will feature rare jewelry inspired by some of the pieces the influential rap star wore before his death on September 7, 1996. The NFTs for the drop hosted on Makersplace were designed by the NFT artist Impossible Brief, and curated by Digital Arts & Sciences in conjunction with the Shakur estate.

“[‘The Immortal Collection‘ is] set for release on December 15, this drop will feature an NFT jewelry collection based on some of Tupac’s most well-known pieces from his 2pac and diamond solitaire rings, to his Makaveli bracelet and the medallion he wore in the last photo ever taken of him,” the announcement details.

Makersplace Plans to Drop World’s First 2pac NFT Collection Authorized by the Shakur Estate

The NFTs are based on some of the Tupac artifacts and personal items that will be featured in the upcoming Tupac museum experience. The museum show will be called “Tupac Shakur: Wake Me When I’m Free,” which will premiere in January 2022.

Makersplace Plans to Drop World’s First 2pac NFT Collection Authorized by the Shakur Estate

The NFT artist Impossible Brief and curators Digital Arts & Sciences were able to select pieces from the rap legend’s archives with approval from the Shakur estate. The announcement details it will be “the world’s first NFT [collection] authorized by the Shakur estate.”

2pac NFT Jewelry Collection Dubbed: ‘Artist, Activist, Sinner, Saint’

The collection will feature four pieces of Tupac’s jewelry and will be called “Artist, Activist, Sinner, Saint.” The NFTs have “some of the deepest meanings and intentions attached to them,” the announcement details.

Makersplace Plans to Drop World’s First 2pac NFT Collection Authorized by the Shakur Estate

Tupac Shakur is widely considered the most influential rap artist of all time and he sold more than 75 million records worldwide. Approximately five full albums were released since Shakur’s death, and every album was certified Platinum.

“The four-piece Immortal Collection is based on and connected to what Tupac saw in himself, in the stories he felt were worthy of telling, and what connects everyone to each other,” the collection description concludes.

In 2020, the Shakur estate was estimated to be worth around $40 million. His mother, Afeni Shakur, managed his estate until she passed away in 2016. According to reports, trustees of Tupac’s estate are now managing the rapper’s inheritance. Despite being worth $40 million, it has also been reported that Tupac owed his record label three albums in exchange for bail funds to get out of prison.

What do you think about the first NFT collection officially approved by the Shakur estate? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Crowdfunding Platform Kickstarter Will Shift to Blockchain-Based Model

Kickstarter, one of the leading crowdfunding platforms on the market, has decided to abandon its current business model and migrate to a blockchain-based platform. This will be built by an independent organization funded initially by Kickstarter to work on the protocol. The new platform will be built on top of the Celo blockchain.

Kick-Starting a Blockchain Replacement

Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform for products, services, and ideas, announced yesterday it will shift its operations to a blockchain-based platform. The platform made the announcement in a blog post titled “The Future of Crowdfunding Creative Projects,” where it mentioned decentralization as one of the key reasons for the pivot. According to Kickstarter:

[The platform will] be available for collaborators, independent contributors, and even Kickstarter competitors, from all over the world to build upon, connect to, or use.

The newly designed platform will also be open-source, so other similar projects will be able to fork it and use it for different goals, bringing this solution to the whole developer community; this means the community will have tools to create crowdfunding sites with no intermediation. The company further explained that a whitepaper for the new organization will be released in the coming weeks. Other big companies recently are also including blockchain elements in their developments.

New Platform and Governance

The Kickstarter team believes their crowdfunding expertise will allow them to produce a blockchain-based protocol to better suit their needs. The new protocol will be created by an independent organization financed initially by Kickstarter. Kickstarter will also create a Governance Lab, that will be in charge of supervising the methods of governance for the protocol. This lab will undertake research and issue communications about the best ways to govern the new protocol using blockchain tools, including DAOs.

The crowdfunding protocol will be deployed on top of Celo, a smart contracts-enabled, “carbon-negative” blockchain (due to its proof-of-stake consensus algorithm). Kickstarter elaborated that Celo will minimize the environmental impact of the protocol. Celo’s price also benefited from the revelation, rising to $4.48 after the announcement. The price has since dipped to $3.93 moving alongside bitcoin, ethereum, and most cryptocurrencies, which are currently posting losses.

However, some users have been very vocal on social media about their dislike for this decision, stating they are not aware of the benefits such a change could bring to the platform, and criticizing the possible environmental effects.

What do you think about Kickstarter pivoting to blockchain? Tell us in the comments section below.

Novi Launches Whatsapp Integration Pilot Program for Selected Users in the U.S.

novi

Novi, the remittance and payments initiative of Meta (formerly Facebook), has launched a Whatsapp pilot test for customers in the U.S. This means that a small number of Whatsapp users will be able to send and receive payments, as well as purchase digital dollars directly from the interface of the messaging service. This is an extension of the pilot program started six weeks ago focusing on remittances.

Novi Extends Pilot Program With Whatsapp Integration

Novi, the wallet service of Meta, has launched an extension of its pilot program that started six weeks ago. This new phase includes integration with one of the most used messaging services in the world, Whatsapp. Now, selected users in the U.S. will have the opportunity to buy, send, and receive digital dollars with other users also enrolled in the test.

The announcement was made by Stephane Kasriel, the new head of Novi, who detailed this new phase of the pilot program on Twitter. Regarding the choice of Whatsapp, Kasriel explained:

We often hear that people use WhatsApp to coordinate sending money to loved ones, and Novi enables people to do that securely, instantly and with no fees. Payments will appear directly in people’s chat.

This seems a natural evolution for the future of payments envisioned by Novi, which aims to include a wallet in each smartphone that has Whatsapp. Prior to this announcement, Novi had started another pilot focused on allowing users to send remittances from the U.S. to Guatemala.

At that time, Facebook announced its system would be using USDP (paxos dollars) as currency for the system due to the regulatory problems the company had faced in launching its own currency. According to the interface shown on the official Novi Whatsapp page, this new phase of the test will also leverage USDP for payments.

Kasriel also hinted at a possible extended rollout of the pilot feature to other countries, once the company evaluates the behavior of the software and the response from users.

A Most Welcome Parting Gift

David Marcus, who was the lead for Novi and has managed the project since 2018, referred to this new development as a “farewell gift.” The executive stated on Twitter:

Another small step in the right direction. Today, we’re starting the rollout of the @novi wallet in @WhatsApp in the US. On a personal level, this is the best farewell gift from the best team ever!

Marcus announced his exit from the project last month noting he’d be pursuing new projects. This release could be a breath of fresh air for the project, which has been attacked by regulators since the first time it was announced.

What do you think about Novi and its Whatsapp rollout? Tell us in the comments section below.