The lowdown this week...
- The UK approves stablecoins as a valid payment method
- Minecraft states a resounding "no" to in-game NFTs and blockchain technology
- US advisory issues statement on NFT investments
- Guatemalans who use OSMO Wallet and IBEX Mercado can now trade in Bitcoin
Guatemalans trade in Bitcoin with IBEX Mercado and OSMO Wallet
Guatemalan citizens have recently gained access to Bitcoin's Lightning Network. This was made possible through the pairing of OSMO Wallet and IBEX Mercado. OSMO is currently partnered with AirPak, a remittance company that enables OSMO users to cash out Bitcoin at more than 8,000 locations. The partnership was announced through a press release, and now enables citizens to buy, transact, and sell Bitcoin.
“By demonstrating how easily and quickly we can enable financial services to go to market using the lightning network we can actually empower local communities that have historically been excluded.”
Esteban de la Peña, Partner at IBEX
Nearly 70% of Central Americans are unbanked, and while financial inclusion is worsening - heightened levels of connectivity are prevalent within the country. Citizens will now be able to cash out Bitcoin in their wallets in exchange for fiat. OSMO predicted that they'll reach 1 million retail points in the next 5 years, and hopes to make Bitcoin's presence more prominent across Latin America.
Order in the Court!
The US Federal Agency states a legal advisory on NFT investments
The United States Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has issued a statement advising senior government officials on the best practices for handling investments in the form of NFTs. Government officials will now be required to disclose their investments worth $1,000 and above. Director Emory Rounds III mentioned that these investments should be disclosed as long as they are "held for investment or production of income" during the reporting period.
Additionally, officials who earn more than $200 during the reporting period will have to declare their assets. The government demands transparency during this time, especially for NFT investments that involve "property" or real estate. The need for stricter monitoring of crypto exchanges is necessary to address the government's budget for the following fiscal year. With the evolvement of NFTs and blockchain technology, the OGE plans to religiously monitor and adjust to changes in the future.
Talk of The Town
Minecraft will not introduce in-game NFTs and blockchain technology
Minecraft has a strong stance against NFTs and stated that "integrations of NFTs with Minecraft are generally not something we will support or allow." In a blog post called Minecraft and NFTs, they stated that "blockchain technologies are not permitted to be integrated inside our Minecraft client and server applications, nor may they be utilized to create NFTs associated with any in-game content, including worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods."
Minecraft plans to closely keep an eye on how blockchain technology evolves, ensuring that their principles align with it. Mojang Studios, the developer of Minecraft - wants to keep the environment untainted by blockchain technologies. They go on to explain that skins, persona items, and worlds should not be created for the purpose of being scarce digital assets. They're open to the idea of Minecraft collectibles, and that players can earn NFTs by playing in Minecraft on a server - or earning them outside the game. However, scarcity and exclusion are values that go against the community. While Minecraft is not known for incorporating blockchain technology, they're not completely shutting out the thought.
The United Kingdom approves stablecoins as a valid payment method
The UK is set to utilize stablecoins as an acceptable form of payment via a new bill. After their move to serve lawsuits in the form of NFTs was approved, the country has made significant strides towards cryptocurrency. The regulation rules are being ironed out and the bill seeks to regulate "certain types" of stablecoins as a valid form of payment. The Financial Services and Markets Bill will grant the government the power to oversee regulators, and review financial rules. The Financial Markets Infrastructure Sandboxes, which is part of the the bill - will allow firms to carry out experiments for new technologies.
Jon Cunliffe, Bank of England Deputy Governor - promised that stablecoin rules would be implemented before August. Crypto regulations in the UK will soon follow after the introduction of the rules. Newly-appointed finance minister, Nadhim Zahawi also commented on the bill, saying the framework "reinforces the U.K.’s position as a leading center for technology as we safely adopt crypto assets."
Food for thought:
- Do you think the new UK bill to approve stablecoins has any cons?
- Do you think the UK should have their own CBDC instead of approving stablecoins?
- Is Minecraft's move to ignore NFTs a positive factor or not?
- Should the US Federal Agency have any involvement in the use of NFTs?
This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. Charts, graphs and references to any digital assets are for informational and illustrative purposes only.
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