Banks and Institutions
The EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets regulation, or MiCA, has advanced in the European Parliament. The final committee vote was 31 for, four against, and 23 abstentions, with the Green and Left parties showing the most opposition to the regulation. Their motion to bring back provisions that would push proof-of-work mining out of the EU failed to pass the committee. Disputes over proof-of-work had delayed the committee votes from the end of February. The regulation will now move to trilogue debates to consolidate with the European Council and the European Commission.
Financial services company Santander said it will offer a new type of loan in Argentina, backed by tokens based on agricultural commodities. The loans are backed by tokens tied to grains like soy, wheat and corn. Agrotoken offers stablecoins that each represent a ton of stored grain. These include soy (SOYA), corn (CORA) and wheat (WHEA). Each token’s value is pegged to the price of each commodity in US dollars.
A new bill in the US Senate takes aim at China’s new central bank digital currency. The bill requires the production of a series of reports on China’s use of the digital yuan and particularly the expansion of its network into the United States, and include strict guidance limiting the use of the digital yuan on US government hardware and the requirement for governments receiving foreign military financing from the US to disclose their use of the digital yuan. Legislators see it as a tool to undermine the global dominance of the US dollar.
Crypto startups are giving up hope of continuing to do business in the UK under pressure from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The regulator has given companies under the current temporary version of its anti-money laundering register a stark choice: either withdraw their applications and wind down any UK crypto operations or see the process through and risk outright rejection. There are less than three weeks to go until the March 31 deadline for operators to win FCA approval. B2C2 has already withdrawn from the temporary register — effectively ending its application. In other news, the FCA has contacted all crypto ATM operators to shut down their machines or face penalties since they are unlicensed.
Ukraine plans to raise funds selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) , saying they would feature art representing news stories about its war with Russia. The NFT collection will be “like a museum of the Russian-Ukrainian war”. Ukraine has received more than $60 million in crypto donations. “We want it to be cool, good-looking, and it takes time,” said Alex Bornyakov, Ukraine’s deputy minister of digital transformation
The British bank has acquired a plot of land in the metaverse startup’s virtual world — space that will be developed to entertain sports, e-sports, gaming and finance professionals. Alongside HSBC, companies such as Gucci, Warner Music Group and Ubisoft have flocked to The Sandbox’s metaverse.
Crypto synthetics, or synths, are derivative tokens of other digital assets that are pegged to the value of the underlying collateralized asset such as Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH). In THORChain’s variation, the project has opted to back its synths with 50% of the underlying asset and 50% in RUNE. The activation went live earlier today and synthetics such as synthetic BTC (sBTC) and synthetic ETH (sETH) are now able to be traded on the network. RUNE’s recent surge, which also sees it up more than 48.4% over the past 14 days, may also be in relation to the full integration of Terra (LUNA) into the THORChain protocol at the beginning of March.
Yuga Labs, which maintains the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, is hoping to raise hundreds of millions of dollars by selling off virtual plots of land. The virtual land sales are the first phase of a metaverse initiative that aims to diversify revenue away from selling ape-based NFT images. To that end, Yuga is planning to build a gaming-focused metaverse named MetaRPG that will be compatible with a host of NFTs. In total, 200,000 plots will be distributed across two sales in March and August this year.
Ethereum scaling project Polygon’s blockchain network was down for roughly eight hours last night due to a technical upgrade that went wrong. The network has now been restored with a “temporary hotfix,” according to a tweet from the company. A “small upgrade” on the block production layer led the consensus layer to get stuck and the network stopped producing blocks. The outage comes a few months after Polygon was at risk of losing nearly all of its MATIC tokens, worth $24 billion, in December.