Starling Bank is now blocking cryptocurrency transactions.

The UK-based digital bank has sent its customers a text message which reads: “We consider crypto activity to be high risk.

“We’ve taken the decision to prevent all card payments to crypto merchants and to implement further restrictions on outgoing and incoming transfers.”

A spokesperson said: “Starling has had restrictions of varying degrees on crypto transactions for some time, like many other banks. We recently tightened restrictions on inbound and outbound transactions by card and bank transfer.

“Today’s message was to make sure that customers who have made such transactions in the past, but not recently, are aware of this.

“The innovative technology, and thinking, behind cryptocurrencies have great potential advantages, however, right now, they are high risk and heavily used for criminal purposes and, as such, we no longer support them.”

Lloyds, Barclays, RBS and Santander are among the banks to take measures against crypto, including blocks on credit card payments and transactions with exchanges.

Cryptocurrency shorts

An FTX lawyer told the company’s first bankruptcy hearing in Delaware that the crypto exchange was run as the “personal fiefdom of Sam Bankman-Fried… he was in the control of a small group of inexperienced and unsophisticated individuals, and unfortunately, the evidence seems to indicate that some or all of them are also compromised individuals”.

Crypto investment firm Foresight Ventures has launched Foresight X, an incubator program with $10m available to fund innovative Web3 startups. It has partnered with developer hub Gitcoin for the initiative.

Web3 and VR game developer Thirdverse has secured $15m funding led by the MZ Web3 Fund.

Tropee has raised €5m in a seed round led by Tioga Capital to help creators deliver post-mint experiences to holders.

Nucleo has raised $4m seed investment to build privacy crypto infrastructure for organisations. The round was led by Bain Capital Crypto and 6th Man Ventures.

The word ‘Metaverse’ is among three in the running for Oxford ‘Word of the Year’. In a first ever public vote for the award, it is up against ‘#IStandWith’ and ‘Goblin Mode’.

Argentina’s shock 2-1 World Cup defeat to Saudi Arabia saw the Argentine Football Association Fan Token (ARG) fall 31% by the end of the match. The floor price of ‘The Saudis’, a Saudi Arabian-themed NFT collection, jumped 53% over the same timeframe.

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the 21,800 coins is at $822 billion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 5.1% increase in the last 24 hours.

For round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments, click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.