EU agrees rules to regulate ‘crypto Wild West’

Cryptocurrency

The EU Parliament, EU Council and EU Commission have reached provisional agreement to regulate what one of its lawmakers termed the ‘crypto Wild West’.

An anti-money laundering body is closer to formation following the agreement on some of the details. This will supervise “high-risk and cross-border financial entities… if they are considered risky”.

European Parliament member Ondřej Kovařík said EU officials had also reached a provisional political agreement on the Transfer of Funds Regulation, which will oblige crypto-assets service providers (CASPs) in the EU to collect data on transactions with unhosted wallets.

The TOFR rules apply to every transaction, no matter how small – including ATM withdrawals – and requires that the identities of an unhosted wallet’s owner are verified on transactions above €1,000. 

The rules will become effective 18 months after the MiCA regulation is applied.

“We are putting an end to the Wild West of unregulated crypto, closing major loopholes in the European anti-money laundering rules,” said European Parliament member Ernest Urtasun. 

“The rules won’t apply to P2P transfers where there is no obliged entity involved.”

 

NFT hat-trick for Southampton FC

Southampton Football Club is entering the world of digital collectable art with the launch of three non-fungible tokens.

To celebrate the launch of its ‘Bold is Brave’ 22/23 home, away and third kits, Saints and hummel will launch one NFT digital drawing per kit – becoming the first Premier League club to launch an NFT of its kit designs.

It says the new home shirt “draws inspiration from those worn by the flamboyant and free-flowing Saints side of the early 80s. Reversing the colours of the shirt first worn by trailblazers like Kevin Keegan, Alan Ball and Charlie George… the striking central red stripe and central badge mark a brave new direction for the club”.

Fans will be invited to bid for the NFTs in an auction via the OpenSea marketplace. The home kit NFT is already live, with the away and third kit launching in the coming weeks. 

The recipient of each NFT will also receive the first off-the-line matching physical shirt.

The next big cyber threat is Russia – & blockchain

Cryptocurrency shorts

NFT marketplace OpenSea has warned users to watch out for phishing emails after an employee of its contractor Customer.io – a platform for managing email newsletters and campaigns – leaked the addresses to an outside party.

Polkadot founder Gavin Wood has outlined plans to make the blockchain ecosystem’s decision-making process more inclusive and decentralised, while dramatically increasing the number of proposals that can be voted on. Gov2, which will remove any preferential ‘first-class citizens’ in governance, is set to launch imminently on its experimental sister network Kusama.

A British Virgin Islands Court has ordered the liquidation of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, reports Sky News. Voyager Digital recently issued 3AC with a notice of default after failing to repay a loan worth $660 million. The report said Teneo Restructuring will restructure the firm.

Russia, which is being crippled by Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine, has approved a draft bill that exempts cryptocurrency issuers from VAT.

NFT sports firm Sorare has signed up PSG and France superstar Kylian Mbappé as an ambassador and investor.

Crypto-backed mortgages could streamline the process of buying a house with property loans linked to crypto assets allowing investors to avoid incurring capital gains taxes, finds research from investment banking giant Citigroup. However it warned that crypto holders could be forced to pay significantly more should the price of tokens fall during a bear market, adding: “Introducing cryptocurrency exposure into the credit profile arguably increases the overall risk of the loan.”

Crypto must decentralise to survive

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the more than 20,000 coins is at $889.9 billion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 1.3% decrease in the last 24 hours.

Market leader Bitcoin – the original cryptocurrency created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – lost 1% to return below $20,000. BTC is 2% down in a week.

Ethereum, the second most valuable crypto coin – created as a decentralised network for smart contracts on the blockchain – shed 4% to below $1,100. ETH is slightly up over the course of a week.

Binance Coin is a cryptocurrency created by popular crypto exchange Binance to assist its aim in becoming the infrastructure services provider for the entire blockchain ecosystem. Its BNB token lost 1% to $217, leaving it 1% down over seven days.

Cardano is an open source network facilitating dApps which considers itself to be an updated version of Ethereum. Its ADA token, designed to allow owners to participate in the operation of the network, fell 2% to below 46 cents and is 3% down in a week.

The XRP token of Ripple, a payment settlement asset exchange and remittance system, acts as a bridge for transfers between other currencies. XRP shed 2% to below 33c and its price is slightly down on seven days ago. It has moved back above Cardano in the valuation table by market cap.

Solana is a blockchain built to make decentralised finance accessible on a larger scale – and capable of processing 50,000 transactions per second. Its SOL token lost 7% to $32.48 and is 10% down compared with its price a week ago.

Meme coin DOGE was created as a satire on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies but is now a major player in the space. DOGE gained 2% to 6.7c, leaving it 5% up in a week.

Polkadot was founded by the Swiss-based Web3 Foundation as an open-source project to develop a decentralised web. Its DOT token, which aims to securely connect blockchains, lost 4% to $6.90 and is 9% down on its price a week ago.

Avalanche is a lightning-quick verifiable platform for institutions, enterprises and governments. Its AVAX token lost 7% to $17.03 and is where it was a week ago.

To see how the valuations of the main coins have changed in recent times – and 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.


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