Daily Archives: November 11, 2021

Sotheby’s to Bring Down the Hammer in Ethereum on 2 Iconic Banksy Paintings

Sotheby’s to Bring Down the Hammer in Ethereum on 2 Iconic Banksy Paintings

Sotheby’s, the British-founded American luxury auction house, has announced the company will be selling Banksy works for real-time bids in ethereum at “The Now Evening Auction” on November 18. While the upcoming auction will have pieces from highly acclaimed artists such as Mark Bradford and Yoshitomo Nara, Banksy’s “Love in the Air” and “Trolley Hunters” will be sold for ether “for the first time at auction.”

2 Banksy Paintings to be Sold at Auction in Ethereum via Sotheby’s Fine Auction House

In 2021, the fine auction house Sotheby’s has been in the thick of cryptocurrency payments and non-fungible token (NFT) collectibles. While at first getting into NFTs, the leading auction house decided to accept digital currency payments via Coinbase this past May. In October, Sotheby’s launched the firm’s Metaverse Marketplace and Paris Hilton listed a few NFTs on the newly launched market.

On November 11, Sotheby’s announced the “The Now Evening Auction” will feature real-time auction bids in ethereum (ETH). The auction will take place on November 18 and will feature two Banksy artworks that will be sold for the crypto asset. “[Ether] Banksy Bid,” Sotheby’s wrote. “For the first time at auction, Sotheby’s will be bringing down the hammer in ETH on two iconic Banksy paintings in The Now sale.”

Sotheby’s to Bring Down the Hammer in Ethereum on 2 Iconic Banksy Paintings

The two Banksy paintings will be the infamous “Love in the Air” piece and the artist’s “Trolley Hunters” painting as well. “Love in the Air” is estimated to be worth around $4 to $6 million and “Trolley Hunters” could fetch anywhere between $5 to $7 million at auction. “You can’t miss Auctioneer Oliver Barker fielding bids in ETH for Banksy’s iconic paintings ‘Trolley Hunters’ and ‘Love is in the Air,’” Sotheby’s added.

Sotheby’s is not the only fine auction house in the world that has entered the galaxy of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency solutions. The luxury auction house Christie’s has been into blockchain, NFTs, and cryptos this year as well. Moreover, Sotheby’s is not the first luxury auction house to sell Banksy artwork for digital currencies. The well-known Phillips Auction House held an auction for Banksy’s “Laugh Now Panel” (worth $2.8 to $4.1 million) in May and would settle in cryptocurrency payments.

What do you think about Sotheby’s taking real-time ethereum bids for two Banksy artworks? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Announcing the Launch of the Lao Crypto and DeFi Product – Welnance Finance

PRESS RELEASE. Welnance, a DeFi protocol built on Binance Smart Chain, is set to launch the first Lao crypto and decentralized product on the 11th of November, 2021. Welnance is a decentralized financial platform that’s aimed at promoting financial freedom and choices for people around the world by offering fast, secure, reliable financial products and services to customers.

Welnance is under the Phousy Group ( one of the 6 companies authorized by the government of Laos to trade and mine cryptocurrencies). Since its inception in 1997, The company has participated in different business operations in Laos, especially its construction portfolio of roads and bridges. In 2009, The company’s total assets increased to over $3 billion and today it has skyrocketed. Phousy Group Portfolio comprises road and bridge construction, architecture & design, petroleum, irrigation system, mining, hydropower, and import/export, hotel, transportation, and grindstone factory. It’s home to over 1000 employees operating in a friendly environment.

Welnance Finance is a platform that provides Decentralized Exchange, Staking, and Yield Farming Pools, along with other upcoming features such as, Lottery Lucky Draw, rewards, and most importantly, Official Welnance Token. By leveraging blockchain technology, Welnance plugs into the Digital World to disrupt financial systems and services where wealth is accessible for all with financial freedom and choices.

Jom Sichanthalath, CEO of Welnance seems quite confident about the unique De Fi product saying:

“I firmly believe that Welnance will be a modern, centralized financial system with a complete ecosystem to help push Laos internationally and to use the Blockchain system to move Laos out of the least developed countries by 2030. I hope everyone will support this project and achieve this reality”

Welnance is a protocol on the Binance Smart Chain that establishes money markets, which are pools of assets with algorithmically derived interest rates, based on the supply and demand for the asset. Suppliers (and borrowers) of an asset interact directly with the protocol, earning (and paying) a floating interest rate, without having to negotiate terms such as maturity, interest rate, or collateral with a peer or counterparty. Each money market is unique to a Welnance asset (such as BNB, a BEP-20 stable coin such as BUSD, or a BEP-20 utility token such as Augur), and contains a transparent and publicly inspectable ledger, with a record of all transactions and historical interest rates. What’s more, it allows users to transact at any time and anywhere in the world with fast, secure, and low cost transactions thereby facilitating a high return on investment.

Unlike any exchange or peer-to-peer platform, The Welnance protocol aggregates the supply of every user; When a user supplies an asset, it becomes a fungible resource. The protocol incentivizes liquidity and users can withdraw their assets at any time, without waiting for a specific loan to mature. What’s more, participants with long-term investments in Ether and token can utilize a Welnance money market as a source of additional returns on their investment. All Welnance Protocol assets are bound by the BEP-20 standard.

The native token, WEL token, can be staked and farmed in Welnance Pools to earn more tokens. As a governance token, WELers (WEL token holders) are allowed to make propositions and contributions towards the future changes of the platform including new features or even the governance system.

Token Distribution

20% of additional supply is allocated for platform development teams, R&D, and marketing and Investors. While 80% goes to the public such as Defi, Exchange, and public services.

5% — Developer Team

3% — R&D

1% — Marketing

10% — Investors

80% — Community

 

About Welnance Finance

Welnance Finance is a decentralized finance (DeFi) algorithmic money market and synthetic stablecoin protocol that is based on Binance Smart Chain. It’s a legal and reliable project for financial freedom where users can earn rewards instantly when supplying and borrowing cryptocurrencies.

 

Media Contact

Website: https://welnance.com/

Telegram: https://t.me/joinchat/CmNRGxux4aw5OWZl

https://t.me/joinchat/7nogsxqhMV0wNzA9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/welnanceworld

YouTube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCrmG4IuPIY83xTZT0Bept_Q

Instagram: https://instagram.com/welnanceofficial

 


This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

DCG Mining Subsidiary Foundry Launches Range of Services for 20 Crypto Staking Networks

DCG Mining Subsidiary Foundry Launches Range of Services for 20 Crypto Staking Networks

Foundry, the Digital Currency Group (DCG) subsidiary and cryptocurrency mining and consulting firm from Rochester, New York announced the launch of a new platform on Wednesday called Foundry Staking. The company says the product currently supports 20 blockchain networks and will provide digital asset staking and advisory services going forward.

Foundry Launches Staking Services

The New York-based Foundry has been making a number of moves in 2021 and partnering with a variety of crypto mining operations. Companies like Hut8, Bitfarms, Greenidge, and many others have joined forces with Foundry in recent times. Furthermore, in terms of Bitcoin hashrate, the firm’s mining pool Foundry USA is the fourth largest mining pool operating today with 12.67% of the network hash at the time of writing. The mining pool Foundry USA has 20.72 exahash per second (EH/s) in hashrate on November 11, 2021.

The new platform called Foundry Staking offers “white-glove services around various proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain networks to institutions,” the announcement details. The service covers 20 blockchains so far, including PoS networks like Horizen, Solana, Helium, Flow, Livepeer, Near Protocol, Provenance, and The Graph. Essentially participants can earn PoS rewards from Foundry’s service connections to different networks and the company wants to make staking PoS networks “more accessible to institutions.”

“We have made significant investments in engineering talent and PoS infrastructure to replicate our mining success in the fast-growing staking industry,” Foundry’s CEO Mike Colyer said in a statement sent to Bitcoin.com News. “Foundry will continue to support the development and growth of staking teams, protocols, and companies, strengthening PoS networks around the world and maximizing value for our clients.”

Billions of Dollars Are Staked in PoS Protocols Today — Foundry Recognized Institutions Have a Need for Staking Services and ‘Ever-Evolving Environments’

Statistics from defillama.com indicate there are billions of dollars in crypto assets being staked today via various PoS protocols. Foundry Staking offerings are made for institutions, the press release notes and Foundry says it maintains the “institutional clients’ privacy.” According to the Foundry team, the company is working with the all-in-one prime brokerage firm, Genesis, in order to offer treasury management services such as “high-security custody, actionable insight for treasury management, staking strategies, and portfolio diversification.”

Adam Nemec, the VP of Business Development at Foundry Staking, detailed that the firm recognized that institutions have needs for these services. “In 2020, our engineering team began building our staking solution from the ground up in order to stake our own assets and support DCG. Now, after more than a year of honing and battle testing our solutions, we’re excited to bring this best-in-class offering to other institutions,” Nemec said.

What do you think about Foundry offering staking services to 20 different blockchains? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Rarible Marketplace Users Can Now Create, List, and Trade Flow-Based NFT Collectibles

Rarible Marketplace Users Can Now Create, List, and Trade Flow-Based NFT Collectibles

On November 10, the non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace Rarible.com and the Rarible protocol announced an integration with the Flow blockchain. The announcement details that Rarible users can now create, list, and trade Flow-based NFTs on the marketplace.

Rarible Partners With Flow Blockchain

The NFT market Rarible.com and the Rarible protocol have revealed the support of the Dapper Labs crafted blockchain network Flow. Rarible’s announcement explains that Flow-based NFT users will see “extremely low gas fees and a swift user experience.” For instance, data shows on Thursday, November 11, ethereum (ETH) network fees are 0.012 ether per transaction or $57.98. Rarible’s announcement notes that Flow’s network fees are around $0.0001 per transfer.

“Moreover, since Flow has been created with both end-users and developers in mind, we also integrated it with the Rarible Protocol, which means that you can now make use of fully open-source infrastructure to build NFT projects with Flow’s refined developer ergonomics,” the Rarible team details.

The Dapper Labs created Flow blockchain is well known for various NFT projects like NBA Top Shot and Cryptokitties. Flow recently partnered with Filecoin and joined forces with the tech giant Google in order to help bolster Web3 development, blockchain gaming, and non-fungible token (NFT) technology.

Rarible announced that it would integrate with Flow at the end of June. At the time, the NFT marketplace explained that it also raised $14 million in a Series A funding round. According to statistics from dappradar.com, Rarible’s all-time sales are around $264.69 million and it’s the sixth-largest NFT project in sales. Flow’s NBA Top Shot NFTs have seen $728.23 million in all-time sales and it’s the fourth leading NFT project in terms of overall sales.

What do you think about the NFT marketplace Rarible integrating the Flow blockchain this week? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

China’s Real Estate Giant Evergrande Narrowly Dodges Default for Third Time in 30 Days

China's Real Estate Giant Evergrande Narrowly Dodges Default for the Third Time in 30 Days

In mid-September China’s Evergrande Group, the country’s second-largest property developer by sales, sparked fear in the global economy as the company’s market valuation plummeted to an 11-year low. Global economists have warned that if Evergrande defaults on its debts, it could start a credit contagion similar to the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2007. So far, Evergrande has managed to dodge default on its loans three times in the past month, but Evergrande bondholder Deutsche Marktscreening Agentur (DMSA) seems to be preparing to file for bankruptcy against the real estate giant.

Credit Contagion Stemming From Real Estate Sector Looms — Evergrande Wobbles, Zillow Falters

The real estate market worldwide has issues and a number of occurrences have shown that major corporations dealing with properties are struggling. China’s Evergrande is just one piece of the puzzle as real estate markets across the globe are feeling a squeeze. For instance, the major real estate company Zillow revealed during the first week of November that the firm would stop buying and renovating properties. Furthermore, Zillow cut 25% of the company’s workforce as Zillow lost $304 million in Q3 2021.

China’s Evergrande has been wobbling for quite some time and on Wednesday people assumed the real estate giant would default on its bond payments. According to a letter from the bondholder DMSA, Evergrande failed to meet the interest payment deadline. Despite the DMSA claims and its attempts to get other bondholders to file bankruptcy against the Chinese real estate corporation, a Clearstream representative told Bloomberg that the company had received interest payments and Evergrande deferred default.

US Central Bank Warns Evergrande’s Problems Could Pose Risks to Global Economic Growth

This is the third time Evergrande has narrowly avoided default in the last 30 days and DMSA is not the only associated firm complaining. Rival Kaisa Group is one of Evergrande’s largest bondholders and has already begged for help from creditors and the Chinese government. No one knows if Beijing will continue to help Evergrande, but during the last few weeks, the company’s top executives have been meeting with China’s regulators and government officials.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve has also warned that Evergrande’s woes could spread globally if not dealt with soon, noting: “Stresses in China could strain global financial markets through a deterioration of risk sentiment, pose risks to global economic growth, and affect the United States.” As DMSA preps bankruptcy proceedings, the company’s senior analyst Marco Metzler brought up the Fed’s warning.

“While the international financial market has so far met the financial turmoil surrounding the teetering giant Evergrande with a remarkable basic confidence – one can also say: with remarkable naivety – the U.S. central bank Fed confirmed our view yesterday,” Metzler stressed. “In its latest stability report, it explicitly pointed out the dangers that a collapse of Evergrande could have for the global financial system,” the DMSA representative said.

Furthermore, the recently published Bloomberg report which quotes the Clearstream representative also quotes two unnamed Evergrande bondholders. According to the anonymous sources, Evergrande had distributed interest payments to them on Wednesday late afternoon (ET). The sources remained anonymous because “they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.” Evergrande’s distress has caused speculators to wonder whether or not the U.S. housing market will be the next to falter, especially after Zillow’s issues and the median home price in the country spiking over 25% in five quarters.

What do you think about the problems Evergrande bondholders face and the possibility of a credit contagion? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Indonesia’s Islamic Authority Declares Cryptocurrency Haram, Forbidden for Muslims

Indonesia's Islamic Authority Declares Cryptocurrency Haram, Forbidden for Muslims

Indonesia’s top Islamic body, the country’s authority on Shariah compliance, has reportedly declared cryptocurrency haram, forbidden for Muslims under Islamic law. The Indonesian Ulema Council explained that crypto has elements of uncertainty, wagering, and harm.

Cryptocurrency Is Forbidden for Muslims Under Islamic Law in Indonesia

Indonesia’s Ulema Council (Majelis Ulama Indonesia or MUI), the country’s top Islamic body that holds the authority on Shariah compliance, has reportedly declared the use of crypto as a currency haram, forbidden under Islamic law for Muslims.

Asrorun Niam Sholeh, head of religious decrees, explained Thursday after the council held an expert hearing that cryptocurrency has elements of “uncertainty, wagering, and harm,” Bloomberg reported.

However, he noted that if crypto can abide by Shariah tenets and can show a clear benefit, then it can be traded as a digital asset or a commodity.

Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population, has an estimated 231 million Muslims, which is 86.7% of the country’s population.

The Ulema Council advises the country’s finance ministry and central bank on Islamic finance issues. It comprises many Indonesian Muslim groups including Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Muhammadiyah, and smaller groups such as Syarikat Islam, Perti, Al Washliyah, Mathla’ul Anwar, GUPPI, PTDI, DMI, and Al Ittihadiyyah.

The MUI decree is not legally binding and does not mean cryptocurrency is banned in Indonesia. However, it could deter Muslims from investing and local institutions from issuing or providing services in crypto assets.

In October, a provincial branch of one of the largest Islamic organizations in Indonesia, Nahdlatul Ulama, similarly declared cryptocurrency haram under religious law.

However, the Indonesian government has indicated that the country will not impose an outright ban on cryptocurrency as China did. Crypto assets are allowed to trade alongside commodity futures in Indonesia but cannot be used as a currency. Meanwhile, the government is pushing to set up a crypto exchange by the end of the year and Bank Indonesia has been exploring a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

What do you think about Indonesia’s Ulema Council declaring cryptocurrency haram for Muslims? Let us know in the comments section below.

MetaWars Launches Strong, Now Looking to the Future

PRESS RELEASE. MetaWars, a space-themed play-to-earn blockchain game utilising high-tech NFTs, is looking forward to a very bright future following a successful token launch.

The game, in which players will take the role of pilots in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic 50th century space war, will utilise special NFTs, its native token, as well as in-game currency in a rewarding ecosystem to command a fleet of mechs and conquer planets.

After much hard work behind the scenes to develop the best tokenomics for their dynamic game architecture, as well as expert strategic execution from marketing partners, both $WARS and $GAM tokens are now in the hands of the project’s earliest user base.

A Promising Start

The MetaWars team indicated their thanks to their 82,000+ community and strong array of partners after a smooth and exciting start to their journey to become the best intergalactic GameFi product on the market.

Impressively, the team has hit all its deadlines so far, with their pre-launch NFT auction running smoothly on the official website and providing an easy way to buy valuable in-game assets and supplies before the game is released.

Early supporters were delighted to see a slick staking pool and dapp go live just three days after launch, meaning both investors and future players can already stake $WARS tokens to earn $GAM, the in-game currency, or stake WARS-BUSD LP for five times more $GAM rewards.

Some of the $WARS launch highlights:

  • The pre-launch NFT auction attracted close to 1,000 bids and raised 2,000 BNB
  • $WARS presale tokens were sold out in just minutes on all three launchpads — Polylauncher, Red Kite, GameFi
  • Listing on PancakeSwap showed great potential as the price soared, gradually settling down after some time between $0.50 and $0.70
  • The first MetaWars game trailer and demo was released — watch it here.
  • Staking of $WARS and $WARS-$BUSD LP is live on the dapp, which can be accessed at https://app.metawars.gg
  • The project’s Discord server is active and there is an invitation contest underway in which the community can earn limited in-game asset NFTs

Much Greater Adventures To Come

MetaWars is just getting started, and there is so much to look forward to on the project roadmap towards the end of the year and in the first quarter of 2022.

The team is doing more prep work on the NFT front, meaning staking of NFTs could be enabled soon. Users will be able to stake NFTs plus $WARS or $GAM tokens to earn even greater rewards for the metaverse wars to come.

Another aspect of the game being teased are planets, which must be acquired and defended as territory in the game. Players should soon be able to purchase them, either via another auction or by other means. Those eager to know will need to await announcements in this regard.

Last but not least, an adventure game is close to being released. In this game players will be able to make use of their tokens and NFTs, providing a taste of what’s to come in terms of the ecosystem’s functionality when the full MetaWars game is released next year.

Details about the adventure game will be announced along with a series of other events. This is sure to bring more excitement to the community and draw the attention of new investors. Keep on the MetaWars radar and follow their official channels to stay up to date with developments.

About MetaWars

MetaWars is a play-to-earn next-generation blockchain gaming experience. Explore and battle throughout the universe. Fight, trade, and earn robots, ships, and planetary terrain backed by in-game NFTs. The $WARS token will become the anchor of an entire universe up for grabs.

Website | Twitter | Telegram | Reddit | Discord

 


This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

US Faces More Inflation Woes as CPI Hits Highest Record in 30 Years

U.S. inflation continues to roar higher as this week’s data from the consumer price index (CPI) jumped 6.2% from a year ago. Americans are concerned as the Federal Reserve has expanded the monetary supply like at no other time in history, suppressed the benchmark interest rate, and U.S. politicians are creating multi-trillion-dollar packages with money the government doesn’t have. The news of hotter than usual inflation caused stock markets to fall on Wednesday, and U.S. president Joe Biden said the White House is prioritizing “getting prices down.”

Inflation: ‘The Predictable Outcome of Reckless Government Policies’

Inflation in the U.S. is running hot and after the media and Federal Reserve officials continued to say inflation would be “transitory” for the last 12 months, it clearly is not. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer price index (CPI) indicates inflation is the highest it’s been in the country since the 1990s.

The CPI is a basket of products and the American populace has not lost this much purchasing power against these items since November 1990. Moreover, after the Bureau of Labor Statistics removed energy and food values, which can be volatile, the index was still up 4.6%. The index with the stripped factors is the highest it has been since August 1991.

Meanwhile, the latest CPI data has everyone talking and discussing topics like government spending, the Federal Reserve, and the broken supply chain in the United States.

“Inflation hits 6.2%—wiping out the raises of those lucky enough to even have a good job—parents are worried about the price of milk for their kids (when the shelves aren’t empty),” the whistleblower and privacy activist Edward Snowden remarked after the CPI data was published.

“Inflation is a huge tax increase on Americans and the predictable outcome of reckless government policies: massive spending bills, trillions of dollars created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve, and labor and supply shortages exacerbated by misguided interventionist schemes,” former United States representative Justin Amash wrote on Wednesday.

White House Will Prioritize ‘Getting Prices Down’

While Americans are grappling with the highest inflation records in 30 years, U.S. president Joe Biden says the inflation is “worrisome.”

Biden also said the administration is focused on getting people back to work, “getting prices down,” and “making sure our stores are fully stocked.” Biden made the statements during a speech at the Port of Baltimore on Wednesday and the U.S. president further said:

Everything from a gallon of gas to a loaf of bread costs more. And it’s worrisome, even though wages are going up.

The politician continued to sell his newly passed infrastructure bill, which will be signed on Monday. Biden talked about a number of provisions that he claims will help ease the issues the supply chain is dealing with these past two years. “[We] are going to modernize our ports with $17 billion dollars in investment — We’re going to reduce congestion,” Biden told the audience.

What do you think about the CPI data this week and the rising inflation discussion? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Over 3 Million Customers Can Earn Bitcoin Points Dining at 500 Restaurants via Landry’s Rewards Program

Over 3 Million Customers Can Earn Bitcoin Points Dining at 500 Restaurants via Landry's Rewards Program

Millions of customers dining at 500 restaurants across the U.S. will soon be able to earn bitcoin points, thanks to a partnership between restaurant giant Landry’s and New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG). In addition, Landry’s said it will buy bitcoin for its treasury. “We view bitcoin as a good choice for a portion of our own treasury, so we want to offer that choice to our customers as well.”

Earning Bitcoin Points While Eating at 500 Restaurants

Restaurant giant Landry’s announced Tuesday a partnership with New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) “to power a bitcoin loyalty rewards program for the millions of customers in Landry’s loyalty program — Landry’s Select Club.” NYDIG is the bitcoin investment arm of Stone Ridge Asset Management.

The announcement details:

This partnership will allow Landry’s Select Club members to earn bitcoin points when dining at any of its 500 locations nationwide.

“The Landry’s Select Club program currently offers one point back for every $1 spent, with 250 points translating to a $25 reward,” the company detailed.

The restaurant giant told CNBC that it hopes to go live with the new bitcoin program before Thanksgiving. The program will then be available to the 3.2 million members of its loyalty program.

“Customers that opt in to the new bitcoin loyalty program can receive points that track the value of bitcoin and can be redeemed in $25 reward increments based on the market price of bitcoin at the time they redeem.” the company explained. “All bitcoin loyalty points may only be redeemed for Landry’s Select Club rewards and will not be transferable outside of the Landry’s Select Club.”

Landry’s operates more than 500 high-end and casual dining establishments, including more than 60 award-winning brands. Some well-known Landry’s restaurants include Landry’s Seafood, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Rainforest Cafe, Mitchell’s Fish Market Restaurants, Morton’s Steakhouse, The Oceanaire, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood, Chart House, Saltgrass Steak House, Claim Jumper, and Mastro’s restaurants.

To support the program, Landry’s said it will invest in bitcoin through NYDIG’s institutional-grade custody solution, elaborating:

Beyond managing the program, Landry’s also announced its intention to hold a portion of its treasury reserves in bitcoin through NYDIG.

Trey Zeluff, director of Landry’s digital asset strategy, opined: “We view bitcoin as a good choice for a portion of our own treasury, so we want to offer that choice to our customers as well.”

What do you think about Landry’s bitcoin points program and its plan to hold a portion of its treasury reserves in BTC? Let us know in the comments section below.

Digital Ruble to Give Russians What They Need, Bank of Russia Governor Says

Digital Ruble to Give Russians What They Need, Bank of Russia Governor Says

The digital ruble is what Russian citizens need as it will facilitate inexpensive and reliable payments, the head of Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina, told participants in an international banking forum. The governor also warned that cryptocurrencies and fiat-backed stablecoins create risks for financial stability.

CBR’s Nabiullina Praises Digital Ruble Concept, Rejects Cryptocurrencies

The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) takes very seriously cryptocurrencies and stablecoins as they pose risks to the financial stability of the country, the head of the monetary authority said during a conference organized by Bank of Finland’s Institute for Emerging Economies. Russia takes a cautious view on both of these types of private tokens, Elvira Nabiullina told the audience via a video call while also sharing the Russian perspective on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

The entrance of cryptocurrencies and especially global stablecoins into emerging markets may increase currency substitution, crowding out fiat currencies, Nabiullina elaborated. As a result, financial stability risks may increase while the monetary transmission mechanism may weaken, the high-ranking official added during her presentation devoted to Russia’s digital ruble project. She further emphasized:

That’s why we think that CBDC is the proper solution to give people what they need – a cheap, reliable, and protecting personal data solution for payments.

The executive remarked that Bank of Russia does not allow the use of private cryptocurrencies in the Russian payment system. Her statement reiterated the regulator’s long-standing position against permitting the free circulation of bitcoin and the like, which it often calls “money surrogates.” The central bank maintains that under current Russian law the ruble is the only legal tender.

The digital ruble, the third incarnation of the national fiat currency after cash and bank money, will also have legal tender status, which means it will be mandatory for merchants to accept it, Elvira Nabiullina explained. The Russian Federation is now preparing to adopt the necessary legislation, launch a prototype, and begin trials with the participation of commercial banks and other organizations.

The chair of the CBR described the transition to CBDCs as a significant development. In her opinion, the state-issued digital currencies will facilitate more advanced, as well as cheaper — which is important for Russia — payment solutions. They also promise to simplify and accelerate cross-border transactions in the longer run, Nabiullina noted.

Bank of Russia started contemplating a CBDC in 2018 and after analyzing the pros and cons, decided to explore the possibility of issuing a digital ruble last year. A consultation paper was published in October with a long list of questions to gather feedback from the financial sector and other stakeholders. In April, the authority released a digital ruble concept outlining the CBDC’s principle architecture.

CBDC Wallets to Be Linked to Identities of Holders

The digital ruble will be a retail CBDC and all individual wallets will be opened on Bank of Russia’s balance sheet and on a centralized ledger operated by the CBR. Commercial banks and other financial intermediaries will provide access to customers’ wallets through their apps. Due to anti-money laundering considerations, cash-like anonymity is not an option, Nabiullina stressed, adding:

We shall also keep in mind that the flip side of anonymity is a much greater exposure to fraud of all sorts.

“The digital ruble wallets will be linked to the identities of their owners, thus from the standpoint of access mechanics, this clearly fits in the definition of an account-based system,” as opposed to a token-based solution where the formula involves knowing the key to an anonymous account, the central banker detailed. Nevertheless, it will be possible to tokenize the currency in the account-based wallets.

According to the CBR official, there’s a strong consensus that the design of the digital ruble should put an emphasis on its use as a medium of exchange while limiting its appeal as a savings vehicle. “With that in mind, the Bank of Russia made the definitive decision that the digital ruble will not be interest-bearing” in order to avoid competition with bank money in the savings space, Nabiullina revealed. At the same time, she believes the digital fiat will challenge the banking sector’s monopoly on electronic payments, leading to lower commissions and higher interest payments.

To avoid bank runs, imposing a limit on the amount a person can transfer from a regular bank account to a digital ruble account “may be advisable,” the governor stated. Another option is to cap the amount of funds that can be stored in a single digital ruble wallet, she added.

Elvira Nabiullina expects a prototype of the digital ruble platform to be available at the beginning of next year and piloting to commence later in 2022 to “test and refine all aspects of using the digital ruble.” Once the pilot phase is completed, financial authorities in Russia will take a final decision on the launch of the digital ruble.

Do you expect Russia to eventually issue a digital version of the ruble? Tell us in the comments section below.