Wisly Wednesday Industry News — 10 November 2021
The world of crypto never ceases to amaze us with another week filled with fascinating developments that are sure to keep crypto enthusiasts purring with delight. Incoming New York mayor wants crypto to be taught at schools; Mastercard launches crypto payment cards in Asia-Pacific; Bank of England governor slams crypto assets; and Zimbabwe pushes ahead with Bitcoin adoption plans.
Incoming New York mayor wants crypto to be taught at schools
New York’s incoming mayor, Eric Adams, has ambitious plans to make New York City the epicentre of crypto and innovation — starting by opening up schools to teach cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Adams is of the view that Bitcoin is the new way of paying for goods and services around the world, and he wants New York to be at the very heart of this. In light of this, he has encouraged schools to teach students about crypto and businesses in the city to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
An excited Adams said, “I want to send a signal. This city was the Empire State….This is the center of innovation, self-driving cars, drone development, cybersecurity, life sciences… And that is what we must do: open our schools to teach the technology and teach this new way of thinking when it comes down to paying for goods and services.”
Adams went one further by claiming on Twitter that he would take his first three paychecks as New York mayor in the form of Bitcoin. Responding to that, an esteemed professor at Harvard University and former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors — Jason Furman — stated, “Not only is this a bad economic strategy for New York City and a bad investment decision, but it also seems like a conflict of interest. Like a mayor announcing I’m buying Amazon stock and then going to put in place policies to benefit Amazon.”
As always, Wisly will keep you updated on the very latest with this story.
Mastercard launches crypto payment cards in Asia-Pacific
Exciting times abound for Mastercard users in Asia-Pacific as the global payments giant has announced a new partnership with cryptocurrency service providers Amber, Bitkub and CoinJar to launch a historic first crypto-funded Mastercard payments card in the Asia-Pacific region.
Mastercard first announced its support for cryptocurrencies earlier this year in February, and this most recent development underscores its commitment to crypto users. With many merchants around the world already accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the decision to introduce a crypto-funded payments card became much easier for Mastercard.
Australian-based CoinJar and Thailand-based Amber Group, and Bitkub currently offer crypto purchase and exchange services within their respective borders and are delighted to expand their offering by joining Mastercard’s global Crypto Card Program that allows cardholders to convert their crypto to fiat currency.
Mastercard’s Executive Vice President of Asia-Pacific — Rama Sridhar — beamed with delight as he said, “Cryptocurrencies are many things to people — an investment, a disruptive technology, or a unique financial tool. As interest and attention surge from all quarters, their real-world applications are now emerging beyond the speculative. Rather than directly transferring cryptocurrencies to a merchant, cardholders will now be able to instantly convert their cryptocurrencies into a traditional fiat currency which can be spent everywhere Mastercard is accepted around the world, both online and offline. The currency will always enter Mastercard’s network as traditional fiat currency.”
Sridhar added, “Mastercard isn’t here to recommend you start using cryptocurrencies. But we are here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value — traditional or crypto — however they want. It should be your choice, it’s your money!” Wisly will keep you posted on the very latest.
Bank of England governor slams crypto assets
Governor of the Bank of England — Andrew Bailey — has slammed crypto assets and raised concerns about how they potentially encourage illegal activities. He expressed his thoughts at a recent event where he claimed that the widespread acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a form of payment helped to aid the cause of scammers and cybercriminals.
Bailey was firm in his beliefs as he said, “I’m afraid that the advent of digital means of payment, and in particular crypto assets… is providing another means of payment for people who want to conduct criminal activity.” His comments echoed the sentiments of former deputy governor of the Bank of England — Jon Cunliffe — who was vocal in his push for tougher crypto regulations in the country. Cunliffe previously stated, “The crypto-world is beginning to connect to the traditional financial system and we are seeing the emergence of leveraged players. And, crucially, this is happening in largely unregulated space.”
Despite these comments, key players in the country’s financial industry were of the opinion that the Bank of England would buckle under pressure and succumb to the crypto wave by buying Bitcoin before it rises to $1 million per coin. Keep an eye on Wisly’s blog for the very latest on this.
Zimbabwe pushes ahead with Bitcoin adoption plans
Zimbabwe is pushing ahead with its plans to introduce Bitcoin as legal tender in the country in a move that mirrors El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption earlier this year. With the global rate of crypto adoption sitting at all-time highs coupled with developing nations under pressure from high inflation, many countries with ailing economies are warming up to the idea of using Bitcoin as legal tender.
Zimbabwe is now amongst those countries that are assessing their crypto options and looking for new avenues to tap into its growth. A local publication in the Southern African country recently revealed that the government was exploring the option of Bitcoin adoption as legal tender in an effort to meet the growing demand and leverage the technology capabilities.
Zimbabwe’s Head of the Office of the President — Brigadier Colonel Charles Wekwete — let the cat out of the bag by indicating that the government had already held discussions with businesses in the region and was involving all core sectors to gain valuable insight before making changes to their financial system. Wekwete added that the government was looking at ways to regulate the crypto sector in order to protect investors and ensure that Zimbabwe’s financial future was secure.
Wisly will keep you posted on the latest developments with this story.