Daily Archives: September 4, 2021

Report: Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission Sets Up Fintech Division for Crypto Research

Nigeria’s securities regulator, the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has set up a fintech division “to study crypto investments.” This was revealed by Lamido Yuguda, the director-general of the SEC during an interview.

Protecting Crypto Investors

In the interview, Yuguda explains that the study’s findings will help inform the SEC of the best ways to regulate cryptocurrency should the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s February 6 directive be lifted. However, the director-general did not provide a time frame for issuing regulations or state when he expects the CBN directive to be lifted.

Meanwhile, in the same interview, Yuguda explains why his organization is eager to come up with crypto regulations. He explained:

We are looking at this market closely to see how we can bring out regulations that will help investors protect their investment in blockchain.

As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, Nigeria continues to be an ideal hunting ground for crypto scammers. Many unsuspecting investors continue to lose money to criminals who also appear to take advantage of the country’s lack of laws regulating cryptocurrencies.

Therefore, in order to protect investors, Nigerian regulators like the SEC have issued warnings while the central bank has gone as far as to block the crypto industry’s access to the banking ecosystem.

The Real Reason Behind the Desire to Control Crypto

However, some Nigerian crypto enthusiasts believe that the naira’s continuing depreciation is the real reason behind CBN and other regulators’ desire to control the crypto industry. The continuing shortages of foreign exchange versus the rising demand are blamed for accelerating the naira’s decline against major currencies. Cryptocurrencies are another way individuals can preserve value outside of the faltering naira.

In response to this worsening situation, authorities have imposed restrictions both on crypto and non-crypto entities like the Bureau de Change operators. In addition, the CBN recently took action against six fintech companies after they allegedly violated provisions of their operations licenses.

Yet in contrast to the CBN’s hardline approach, Yuguda insists his organization wants to “work with fintech firms to boost the marketing of domestic securities to prevent capital flight.” He adds that the “SEC is looking to boost savings through investment schemes, which currently have over $9.7 billion under management split between public and private fund managers.”

What are your thoughts on this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

NFL Bars Teams From Participating in Certain Cryptocurrency and NFT Ventures: Report

NFL Bars Teams From Participating in Certain Cryptocurrency and NFT Ventures: Report

According to a recent report, the National Football League (NFL) advised teams that they could not, at least for now, sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and sponsorships to digital currency companies. Advertisements for specific crypto assets were mentioned alongside initial coin offerings (ICOs), according to various club sources who remained anonymous.

Anonymous Club Sources Disclose the NFL’s New Policy

On Friday, The Athletic reported that sources familiar with the matter detail that the NFL is barring teams from participating in certain crypto ventures. The NFL’s alleged ban follows a great number of blockchain, NFT, and cryptocurrency endorsements from a number of star athletes and teams.

For instance, Tom Brady has shown his support for bitcoin with laser eyes, but he’s also started his own NFT company called Autograph. Brady and his Brazilian supermodel wife Gisele Bündchen also signed a long-term partnership with FTX.

But the seven-time Super Bowl champion is not the only one dipping into the crypto economy. The world’s largest cryptocurrency asset manager, Grayscale Investments, has partnered with the New York Giants. Trevor Lawrence, the NFL’s No. 1 Draft Pick, put his signing bonus into crypto in May. NFL player and offensive lineman Russell Okung gets half of his salary in bitcoin (BTC).

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes released a collection of NFTs on Makersplace on March 17th. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers player, Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, sold an NFT collection as well. Moreover, MLB and the National Basketball Association (NBA) have both gotten involved in the crypto asset and non-fungible token space.

“Multiple club sources” from the NFL told The Athletic contributor Daniel Kaplan teams cannot contribute to this space at the moment. An anonymous NFL team official read the following:

Clubs are prohibited from selling, or otherwise allowing within club controlled media, advertisements for specific cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, other cryptocurrency sales or any other media category as it relates to blockchain, digital asset or as blockchain company, except as outlined in this policy.

NFL’s New Policy Does Allow Specific Crypto Partnerships

The report does not disclose if any negative repercussions have been felt by those who have already participated with crypto firms or if they have been granted immunity for now. If the report holds weight, the NFL’s action may just stop players and teams from following the lead of other clubs and players.

The NFL’s purported new policy does allow sponsorships with firms “whose primary business is providing investment advisory and or fund management services in connection with cryptocurrency, provided that such advertising sponsorship rights are limited to promoting the company’s corporate brands,” the anonymous source concluded.

What do you think about the sources that say the NFL is barring teams from participating in certain cryptocurrency affairs and deals? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Newly Launched Wallstreetbets Defi App Aims to ‘Take Over Traditional Financial Markets’

Newly Launched Wallstreetbets Defi App Aims to 'Take Over Traditional Financial Markets'

At the beginning of 2021, a trend ignited by the creators of the Reddit forum r/wallstreetbets caused the whole world to focus on retail traders in the stock market purchasing so-called dead stocks like AMC, GME, and others. The hype behind the Wallstreetbets group has fizzled in the last few months, but a group that claims to represent the Wallstreetbets community has started a decentralized finance (defi) project called wsbdapp.com. The Wallstreetbets application provides traders with the ability to swap synthetic stocks backed by blockchain tech.

Wallstreetbets and Defi: ‘Synthetic Stonks’

A small team that claims to be associated with the creator of Reddit forum r/wallstreetbets has started a defi platform, or decentralized application (dapp). The platform is called wsbdapp.com and the protocol allows users to swap tokens similar to popular decentralized exchange (dex) apps today.

The tokens are blockchain-based tokens that represent stocks listed on the stock market and they are otherwise known as synthetics. In fact, at the end of July, Uniswap delisted 100 tokens and many were synthetics tied to commodities and stocks. The crypto community assumed Uniswap delisted the synthetics because they could possibly be considered unregistered securities by U.S. regulators.

On August 31, the Twitter account called @wallstreetbets tweeted out a video about the new platform and left a link to wsbdapp.com. According to the video, the founder of the Wallstreetbets community, Jaime Rogozinski, is behind the project.

When visiting the website, people are greeted by neon-lighted words that say “Defi’ing Wall Street with blockchain tradeable assets.” The defi platform says it is “always open” and the dapp offers “borderless trading, 24/7, 365 days a year.” The wsbdapp.com web portal adds:

[Wsbdapp Gives] the benefits of blockchain made real for traditional investors.

Wsbdapp’s Native Token WSB

The wsbdapp.com has its own native token called WSB and the token can be leveraged for liquidity pools and staking, the website claims. At the time of writing, WSB is exchanging hands for $0.03 per unit. During the last 24 hours, $1,078,872 worth of WSB has been swapped and there’s 1,000,000,000 WSB in circulation, according to the token’s smart contract.

This means the aggregate WSB market valuation is a touch over $30 million on Saturday, September 4, 2021. Interestingly, WSB token has been doing well and is up 6.3% during the last 24 hours and 33.2% for the week.

Two-week statistics show WSB has gained 48.9% and one-month metrics show WSB is up 58% to date. The Wallstreetbets community who created the new dapp note that the work they are focused on will not be easy but the community is focused on a common goal.

“Taking over the traditional financial markets is no small hill to climb — it’s a giant mountain with jungles, wild beasts, and crushing climates,” the website explains. “The meme ‘Apes Together Strong’ that we are so fond of in the [wsbdapp] community represents more than just strength in numbers — it’s a call to arms. Our community advances headstrong towards a common goal… Mass adoption of distributed investment governance — with the [wsbdapp] at the core, governed by community vote using the WSB token.”

What do you think about the wsbdapp? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

JPMorgan Says Cryptocurrency Markets Are ‘Looking Frothy’

JPMorgan Says Cryptocurrency Markets Are ‘Looking Frothy’

Global investment bank JPMorgan says cryptocurrency markets are “looking frothy” as retail investors spill over from the stock market into cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Crypto Markets Look Frothy, According to JPMorgan

JPMorgan published a note Wednesday on the stock market and cryptocurrencies. It explains that retail investors bought stocks at a record pace over the summer with an estimated net flow into the U.S. stock market of $13 billion in August after reaching a record high of almost $16 billion in July.

The JPMorgan analysts asserted that the stock-buying frenzy spilled over into altcoins and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in August, and the surge in NFTs and decentralized finance (defi) activity has boosted the price of certain cryptocurrencies, such as ethereum, solana, and cardano.

They wrote:

Cryptocurrency markets [are] looking frothy again.

As Bitcoin.com News reported, the crypto market gained approximately 83% in value over the last three months, led by altcoins. The global crypto market cap is currently $2.28 trillion. Bitcoin’s dominance slipped from 47% on Aug. 1 to 41.39% Saturday. Ethereum (ETH) currently represents 20.13% of the entire crypto market, followed by cardano (ADA) at 4.11%. Solana (SOL) represents 1.80%.

Solana has become one of the top-performing cryptocurrencies this year. At the price of $141.04 per coin, SOL is now the seventh-largest crypto by market capitalization. The coin gained 310.8% during the last month and 3,277.6% year-to-date.

The JPMorgan analysts noted that altcoin trading now represents about 33% of the crypto market, emphasizing that it was a big increase from the 22% reading in early August. They concluded:

The share of altcoins looks rather elevated by historical standards and in our opinion it is more likely to be a reflection of froth and retail investor ‘mania’ rather than a reflection of a structural uptrend.

What do you think about the comments by JPMorgan’s analysts? Let us know in the comments section below.

India Has New Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrencies: Report

India Has New Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrencies: Report

India is reportedly working on a new way to regulate cryptocurrencies. “The government is planning to define cryptocurrencies in the new draft bill that also proposes to compartmentalise virtual currencies on the basis of their use cases,” according to a report.

How India Will Regulate Cryptocurrencies

India is reportedly planning to regulate cryptocurrencies as commodities based on use cases. “The government is planning to define cryptocurrencies in the new draft bill that also proposes to compartmentalise virtual currencies on the basis of their use cases,” The Economic Times reported Friday, citing three people aware of the development. The publication detailed:

Cryptocurrencies will be treated as an asset/commodity for all purposes, including taxation and as per use case — payments, investment or utility.

“Crypto assets can be either categorized on the basis of the technology they use or they can be defined on their end-use. So, before talking about how the regulations should work, the government has to spell out what it means by cryptocurrencies,” said one of the persons with knowledge of the matter. The person added that the government “is not looking to allow payments and settlements through virtual currencies.”

In addition, the government will decide which cryptocurrencies will be allowed to trade in India.

This would be the first time cryptocurrencies will be categorized by the technology they use, sources told the news outlet, clarifying that the government will focus on the end-use of the asset for regulatory purposes.

The news of the Indian government possibly considering regulating cryptocurrencies as commodities and based on their use cases is well received by the local crypto community.

Nischal Shetty, CEO of crypto exchange Wazirx, said: “This step is very positive for the crypto industry and I’m glad that the government is taking this direction towards crypto regulation. This will bring more clarity for the entire industry and push more entrepreneurs into this sector. It will reduce the fear of VC investors wanting to invest in the crypto industry in India. For retail investors and traders, this will again boost confidence and bring in a sense of stability.”

Vikram Subburaj, CEO of crypto exchange Giottus, opined: “Just like the internet, cryptocurrencies have a multitude of use cases and hence a nuanced approach is best rather than a one-size-fits-all policy. Even among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, there is a wide difference in objective and investor appeal.”

Mudrex CEO Edul Patel commented: “The idea of compartmentalizing cryptos on their use cases is thoughtful, and if implemented efficiently, would be a significant boost to the newly recognized asset class. It also shows that the government acknowledges that cryptocurrencies are much more than speculative instruments and have actual use cases.”

Do you think the Indian government will regulate cryptocurrencies in the way described above? Let us know in the comments section below.

BBVA Switzerland Launches ‘New Gen’ Digital Account With Integrated Crypto Wallet

BBVA Switzerland Launches ‘New Gen’ Digital Account With Integrated Crypto Wallet

Clients of BBVA Switzerland will be able to buy, store, and trade crypto assets with a digital account that comes with a cryptocurrency wallet. The new banking product will be available across the European Union as well as in a number of markets in South America.

BBVA Switzerland Account Facilitates Cryptocurrency Investments

The Swiss subsidiary of Spain’s banking giant Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) has announced the launch of a “100% digital investment account.” With the offering, the bank is trying to meet the needs of a new type of tech-savvy clients who want to invest “in more innovative, sustainable sectors and even in crypto-assets.”

The ‘New Gen’ account, BBVA Switzerland explained, offers access to a catalog of companies and funds. They are organized into 11 themes including climate change, and by disruptive technologies like robotics, 3D printing, and autonomous vehicles. “The catalog also seeks to emulate the portfolios of major investors such as Cathie Wood or Warren Buffet,” the bank noted, adding:

The client can invest in traditional assets such as shares or investment funds, and also has a ‘wallet’ for cryptocurrencies.

A European customer who would like to take advantage of the digital investment account must be a resident of an EU member state. The product is also offered in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, and Chile among other countries. Javier Rubio, Director of Client Solutions at BBVA Switzerland stated:

With New Gen we want to reach a new type of investor, attracted by new sectors that have great potential to transform the future.

Rubio emphasized the new account boasts a wide range of investment ideas allowing every client to put their money into what is of interest to them. He insisted the offering does away with obstacles and barriers while providing “one of the most competitive rates in Swiss banking” along with BBVA’s guarantee and security.

To start trading, a client has to first register via a dedicated form and then make a video identification call. BBVA Switzerland claims the whole verification procedure takes less than 15 minutes. The minimum deposit requirement to open an account is $10,000 or an equivalent amount in either euros or Swiss francs.

BBVA Switzerland Launches ‘New Gen’ Digital Account With Integrated Crypto Wallet

BBVA Switzerland, which specializes in private banking, stressed that the New Gen account provides access to a full range of online banking services and IBAN numbers in dollars, euros, or Swiss francs. The crypto wallet is fully integrated with the bank’s mobile app which allows users to track their bitcoin holdings and other assets.

The array of crypto-related offerings by Swiss banks has been constantly expanding. In May of this year, the state-owned Postfinance bank launched an investment and payments app supporting 13 cryptocurrencies in cooperation with online trading platform Swissquote. In February, 177-year-old Swiss bank Bordier offered its clients exposure to bitcoin and crypto trading services through a partnership with Sygnum, one of Switzerland’s licensed crypto banks.

Do you expect more financial institutions in other countries to follow the example set by Swiss banks? Tell us in the comments section below.

Bithumb to Ban Foreign Traders Failing Mobile Phone Identification

Bithumb to Ban Foreign Traders Failing Mobile Phone Identification

South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb said it will deny access to foreigners unable to verify their identities via mobile phone. The decision comes as the trading platform moves to comply with the country’s updated regulations coming into force later this month.

Korean Exchange Bithumb Prepares to Register Under New Rules

Foreign nationals who do not pass mobile phone identity verification will not be able to use services provided by Bithumb, one of South Korea’s four largest cryptocurrency exchanges. The platform made the announcement this week as it prepares to follow new, stricter rules for the Korean crypto sector by Sept. 24.

The country’s revised Special Funds Act took effect on March 25 and will be enforced after a six-month grace period. It requires domestic crypto exchanges to register with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) under the Financial Services Commission (FSC). They also have to cooperate with local banks on the implementation of the real-name accounts system.

Bithumb to Ban Foreign Traders Failing Mobile Phone Identification

Although Bithumb’s Sept. 1 notice is addressed to “foreigners living abroad,” it also states that foreign nationals “residing in Korea” who cannot verify their identity via mobile phones cannot use the platform. According to the Korea Herald’s report on the matter, the traders should perform the procedure through “Korean mobile phones” and “regardless of where they live.” The publication also notes that Bithumb has already stopped onboarding foreigners without alien registration cards.

The exchange further warned affected users they should withdraw their assets, without specifying any dates. According to the notice, services will be terminated “within 2021 (when customer confirmation becomes mandatory).” The trading platform promised to notify users again “when customer verification is mandatory and policy changes are made.”

The English-language Korean daily quoted a Bithumb official who said the company was taking final steps before applying for registration with the Financial Intelligence Unit, South Korea’s main anti-money laundering body. In July, Bithumb terminated its trademark agreements with two coin trading platforms operating overseas under its brand name.

On Friday, the country’s largest digital asset exchange, Upbit, became the first platform to register with the FIU. Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit are working to propose a “travel rule” solution to meet another of the new regulatory requirements, the newspaper added.

Do you expect other Korean crypto exchanges to introduce similar restrictions for foreigners? Tell us in the comments section below.

European Citizens Reject EU-Imposed Crypto Regulation

EU

Most European citizens reject the idea of a cryptocurrency regulation regime imposed by the European Union (EU) on its member states, according to a recent survey. Most surveyed citizens lean towards independent cryptocurrency regulation in each country, compared to 25% that approve an EU-imposed regulation. However, most of the citizens polled acknowledged they still don’t know much about cryptocurrencies in the first place.

Europeans Reject EU Crypto Laws, Favor Local Proposals

European citizens are against the establishment of EU-imposed cryptocurrency-related laws, according to a recent survey ordered by Euronews. The poll, that was carried out by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, a global consulting firm, polled more than 31,000 citizens in 12 states of the European block: Germany, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Spain.

The survey found that most Europeans support locally issued laws instead of a set of rules imposed by the European Union. Citizens from Greece (51%), Italy (47%), Estonia (46%), Netherlands (41%), Germany (40%), Latvia (39%), and France (37%) said they would prefer their own government to regulate cryptocurrencies.

Also, a surprisingly high number of citizens would prefer the issuance of local cryptocurrencies instead of a digital euro, something that shows more and more Europeans blame economic inefficiencies on the European Union integration. Dimitar Lilkov, from the Wilfried Martens Center for European Studies in Brussels, stated:

A large part of the population remains convinced that the crisis was caused by poor decisions made at the EU level and not by serious deficiencies in its national banking sector.

However, the affiliation of each country with the EU impedes this from being a reality. Italians (41%), Greeks (40%), Estonians (39%), and Spaniards (37%) registered the highest support for the initiative. On this, Likov stated:

Eurozone countries that want to make use of a digital currency would be linked to a potential digital euro, led by the ECB in coordination with the eurozone banking system.

To him, any country issuing its own central bank digital currency would have to exit the EU in order to do so due to the possibility of a digital euro happening in the future.

Cryptocurrency Still Unknown

The survey also revealed that most European citizens have only just heard “a little” about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. This shows that, even with the recent boom of crypto assets due to a bull season, there is still room for people to get better informed about cryptocurrencies and their proposals. In fact, the lack of knowledge about cryptocurrencies appears again in the survey as the main reason why Europeans have avoided purchasing crypto assets.

What do you think about the EU imposing crypto regulations over its member states? Tell us in the comments section below.

Law Project Establishes Period to Decide Cryptocurrency Regulations in Brazil

brazil

A law project introduced in June in the National Congress of Brazil has jumped into the spotlight recently because it establishes a fixed period for the executive to start regulating cryptocurrency transactions. If approved, the proposal will establish the payment of taxes for cryptocurrency-based transactions. The project is being reviewed by the Chamber of Deputies and will have to be analyzed conclusively by the Finance and Taxation Committee.

Cryptocurrency Transactions to Be Regulated in Brazil

A law project proposal, Bill 2140/21, that was introduced to the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil in June, is now in the spotlight because it establishes a fixed period for the regulation of cryptocurrency transactions for the executive branch of the government. If approved, it would give a time limit of 180 days to devise all the necessary structures to regulate cryptocurrency transactions in an effective way. The project was presented by the deputy Alexandre Frota, part of the Partido de la Social Democracia Brasileña (PSDB).

Frota states that the absence of clear regulation for cryptocurrencies puts investors and the traditional financial system at risk, as crypto can aid in getting funds out of the country with no supervision. Frota declared:

With private and public banks, it is necessary to have rigorous regulation and inspection so that the population will not be deceived with promises of high individual profits, which has already happened to a great extent.

Brazil has been a country known for its crime associated with crypto-related scams in the last few years. The state has been fast to act when it comes to stopping these schemes, organizing several operations to shut down and arrest those responsible for illegal cryptocurrency-related activity over the last few months.

Taxes Could Be Coming

Another important part of the project states that operations carried out abroad must be scrutinized according to the same rules applied to banks, including taxation norms. However, it is still unclear how this might be carried out, due to the nature of cryptocurrency transactions. This issue is currently being tackled by a special committee of the Chamber of Deputies.

However, Brazil is very much open to the issuance of a central bank digital currency. The Central Bank of Brazil is researching the creation of a Digital Real and debating if there is really a demand for such an instrument from the Brazilian population.

What do you think about regulating and taxing cryptocurrency transactions? Tell us in the comments section below.

Italian Soccer Champion Inter Secures $100 Million Crypto Partnership Deal

Italian Soccer Champion Inter Secures $100 Million Crypto Partnership Deal

Inter Milan, Italy’s reigning soccer champion, has signed a partnership agreement with blockchain company Zytara Labs. The collaboration aims to provide users of the club’s mobile app with access to crypto products and allow Inter to create digital collectibles for fans around the world.

Italy’s Inter Finds Sleeve Sponsor in the Crypto Industry


The €85 million ($100 million) multi-year product partnership agreement has been sealed with support from the Digitalbits Foundation, FC Internazionale Milano and Zytara Labs announced Thursday. The collaboration will facilitate Inter’s plan to open up to an audience that is increasingly digital, global, and that represents different age groups, the entities explained in a press release.

Italian Soccer Champion Inter Secures $100 Million Crypto Partnership Deal

As part of the deal, Zytara will become the “official global digital banking partner” of Inter while digitalbits (XDB) will be the club’s “official global cryptocurrency.” The fintech firm will work to develop the Inter mobile app and integrate its digital banking services, allowing users to access crypto-based products. The app will be the main selling point for Inter’s home game tickets.

The Italian soccer giant wants to introduce crypto payments with the XDB coin, both in stadium as well as via its online and physical stores across Milan. The partners revealed they intend to leverage the Digitalbits blockchain to create digital player cards and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for the numerous Nerazzurri fans around the world. Inter Corporate CEO Alessandro Antonello commented:

While digital-first experiences are vital for all sport clubs, our partnership aims higher. By leveraging Zytara digital banking and blockchain technology we will be able to enhance our global reach towards younger and digital savvy audiences.


In accordance with the partnership terms, the Digitalbits brand will become the European football team’s new sleeve sponsor. The cryptocurrency’s logo will appear on all Inter jerseys for both the men’s and women’s first teams as well as the Primavera and youth teams in all official domestic and international matches. Al Burgio, founder of Zytara and the Digitalbits blockchain, noted:

Our collaboration will position Inter as one of the most technologically advanced and forward-thinking clubs in the world. We’re thrilled to partner with the reigning Italian champions and a club with such a rich history.


The launch of the partnership between Inter and Zytara will be commemorated with limited edition Nerazzurri merchandise which will be presented by the end of this month. The offering will provide Inter fans with an opportunity to make a crypto purchase using the XDB token.

This isn’t the first sponsorship deal of this kind in the Italian soccer Lega Serie A. In early August, Inter’s city rival, AC Milan, reached a long-term partnership agreement with Bitmex which placed the logo of the crypto exchange on Milan’s jerseys. Bitmex became the club’s “official sleeve and crypto trading” partner.

Do you think we are going to see more of these partnerships in sports in the near future? Share your expectations in the comments section below.