Jack Dorsey’s decentralized Twitter rival enters app store
Jack Dorsey-backed decentralized Twitter alternative Bluesky hit the app store in private beta, with the app looking very much like Twitter.

Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of the social networking platform Twitter, is progressing with Bluesky — a decentralized Twitter alternative — as its mobile application enters private beta testing.

Bluesky has hit the Apple app store as an invite-only app, allowing certain persons to try out the new social experience by creating an account via an invite code.

According to a report by TechCrunch, the Bluesky iOS app debuted on Feb. 17, amassing about 2,000 installs as of Feb. 28. The app is reportedly not yet available for Android testers on Google Play.

On Bluesky’s app store preview, the rival app looks very much like Twitter, with the interface having a lot of Twitter-like features, including how handles, followers, posts and replies are presented. In a similar style to Twitter, the Bluesky app’s feed also has likes, comments and reposts.

According to TechCrunch, the app allows users to create a post of up to 265 characters or just fewer than Twitter’s 280 characters. Instead of Twitter’s “What’s happening?” Bluesky asks, “What’s up?” Bluesky users can share, mute and block accounts, while more advanced tools, like adding them to lists, are not yet available.

Despite resembling Twitter so much, Bluesky is set to have some technical features designed to make it very different from Elon Musk’s social media giant. The platform aims to provide a decentralized social network protocol, which is expected to make its user data free from influence by any government or corporation.

Bluesky is built on the AT protocol, a new federated social network that integrates ideas from the latest decentralized technologies. Originally known as the authenticated transfer protocol, or ADX, the AT protocol is Bluesky’s main effort to enable a new way for servers to communicate with each other, allowing individuals and businesses to self-host and have multiple websites instead of one.

As previously reported, Bluesky released its first batch of code in early May 2022, a few weeks before Dorsey exited Twitter’s board of directors. In October, officially introduced the Bluesky social app and the AT protocol, which came nearly three years after Dorsey launched the project with support from Twitter in 2019.

The news comes amid Dorsey reportedly moving some Bitcoin using his other social protocol, Nostr. Damus, the first mobile app to leverage the protocol, was published on the app store in February 2023.


Coinbase launches grassroots campaign for pro-crypto policy in the U.S.
The U.S. has been criticized by the crypto industry for allegedly having vague laws that make it hard for the businesses to comply.

Coinbase has launched a grassroots political campaign to promote pro-crypto policies, according to a Feb. 28 Twitter thread from the company.

The company said that the #Crypto435 campaign is intended to “grow the crypto advocacy community and share tools and resources” so that crypto users can make their voices heard in all 435 congressional districts.

Coinbase provided a link to a signup page asking users to provide a name, address, phone number and email address to receive further information. The exchange claimed that it will provide people who sign up with “information about how to contact specific politicians in their local districts, what those politicians’ records on crypto are, tips for making your voices heard in D.C., and more.”

In the thread, Coinbase argued that the crypto community has reached a “pivotal moment” in which political action will now be necessary, stating:

“The crypto community has reached an important moment. Decisions being made by legislators and regulators in DC and around the country will impact the future of how we can build, buy, sell, and use crypto.”

The announcement had mixed reactions from Twitter users. Many applauded the move with statements like “Crypto is what we can all come together and support.” and “Good stuff Coinbase. Very important!” At the same time, some XRP fans alleged that the announcement was hypocritical. They felt that if Coinbase really wanted to fight the powers that be, it would not have delisted XRP after the Securities and Exchange Commission labeled it as a security.

Aside from a small tax provision enacted in 2021, the U.S. Congress has not passed any laws defining what a cryptocurrency is or legislating how specifically crypto businesses can comply with regulation.

This is in contrast to Singapore, where the legislature passed a law that specifically spelled out the requirements for operating a crypto-related business in the country.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler has argued that existing U.S. securities law applies to crypto in some cases. But Nexo and other crypto companies have claimed that current U.S. laws are so vague the industry doesn’t know how to comply with them.

The issue of crypto regulation continues to be hotly debated both inside and outside the crypto community. Crypto companies have donated to lobbying groups in the past. But this appears to be one of the first times a crypto company has tried to organize a grassroots political campaign.


Breaking: Visa and Mastercard halt new crypto partnerships — Report
Major payment processors Visa and Mastercard have put the launch of new crypto products on hold until the regulatory environment improves.

According to a Reuters report published on Feb. 28, American payment processors Visa and Mastercard have delayed the launch of new partnerships with crypto firms due to high-profile bankruptcies in the industry that led to increased regulatory scrutiny. The move follows a period of warming relations between payment giants and crypto firms as the popularity of cryptocurrencies exploded, with Mastercard exploring payments in USD Coin and Visa targeting stablecoin settlements weeks before today’s development.

Both Visa and Mastercard are said to be pushing back the launch of certain products and services related to crypto until market conditions and the regulatory environment improve. The delays are reportedly due to an uncertain regulatory crypto environment following the collapse and bankruptcies of digital asset custodial firms, such as Celsius, FTX, Three Arrows Capital, Voyager Digital and others, within the past year. According to a spokesperson at Visa:

“Recent high-profile failures in the crypto sector are an important reminder that we have a long way to go before crypto becomes a part of mainstream payments and financial services.”

In a tweet written by Cuy Sheffield, head of product at Visa, Sheffield says that the Reuters report is "inaccurate" and that Visa "continue to partner with crypto companies to improve fiat on and off ramps as well as progress on our product roadmap to build new products that can facilitate stablecoin payments in a secure, compliant, and convenient way."

"Despite the challenges and uncertainty in the crypto ecosystem, our view has not changed that fiat backed digital currencies running on public blockchains have the potential to play an important role in the payments ecosystem."

Previously, Visa and Mastercard both partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Binance to issue crypto-fiat-linked payment cards. Since 2020, Binance's cryptocurrency Visa debit card has been available to residents of the European Economic Area with teaser cashbacks. Similarly, Mastercard and Binance said they would launch a prepaid crypto-fiat debit card for Brazilian users that pass know-your-customer verification requirements.

The exchange has also become embroiled in regulatory controversies in recent months. On Feb. 13, blockchain infrastructure company Paxos announced it would end its relationship with Binance over the issuance of its Binance USD (BUSD) stablecoin. On Feb. 8, Binance temporarily suspended U.S. dollar deposits and withdrawals over Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) channels, citing its banking partner, Signature Bank, and their decision to reduce cryptocurrency exposure.


This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph

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