Wisly Wednesday Industry News — 18 May 2022

With May now in full swing, it’s been another incredible week in the world of crypto with some fascinating developments that are sure to keep crypto lovers talking for days. Argentina’s central bank stops commercial banks from offering crypto; Gucci starts accepting crypto; Portugal accepts Bitcoin for real estate purchases; and Japanese car dealership accepts crypto for exports.

Argentina central bank stops commercial banks from offering crypto

The Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) has moved to stop all digital currency services offered by commercial banks in the country — stating that no financial entity in the country is permitted to engage in unregulated digital assets.

The news came as a shock to crypto lovers in the country, especially since two of Argentina’s largest banks — Banco Galicia and Burbank — recently announced that they would allow their clients to buy and trade in crypto.

According to a statement by the BCRA, the directive is applicable to “crypto assets and those whose yields are determined based on the variations that they register.” The BCRA further elaborated that the decision was intended to protect the country’s financial system as well as safeguard citizens from the inherent risks of cryptocurrencies — citing high volatility, operational disruption, cyberattacks, financing of terrorism, money laundering, and capital flight.

The BCRA has advised commercial banks in the country to rather focus their efforts on financing investments, production, marketing, and other sectors that promote import and export — much to the dismay of the banks in question.

Commercial banks in the country are aware of the massive interest in cryptocurrencies from their clients and want to offer products and services that cater to their needs. This latest move by BCRA is seen as a low blow that aims to derail the efforts of commercial banks in Argentina.

While this news may appear disappointing, things can change rapidly, and crypto laws may well be reintroduced in the future in the South American country. Wisly will keep you up to speed on the latest with this story.

Gucci starts accepting crypto

One of the world’s most iconic luxury brands — Gucci — has announced that it will soon be accepting crypto as payment. Gucci positions itself as a luxury brand that innovates, influences, and inspires — so this latest move intends to reaffirm Gucci as a trend-setter amongst global luxury brands.

Since Marco Bizzarri and Alessandro Michele started to spearhead Gucci, the brand has constantly challenged conventions and raised the bar. This latest move aims to appeal to the Gen Z customer, with which Gucci is already extremely popular.

Gucci is no stranger to the world of crypto and was among the first movers in the luxury metaverse while also being the first luxury brand to release an NFT in the form of an art film — subsequently selling for a whopping $25,000. Additionally, its two NFT collections, SuperGucci and Gucci Grail, are highly successful, with owners of those NFTs having exclusive access to the Gucci Vault Discord.

If that wasn’t enough, Gucci has started to develop real estate on the blockchain-based platform — Sandbox — clear evidence that it has embraced crypto and wants to make it a prominent part of the luxury brand.

For now, only North American stores will accept crypto payments that include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, and Ethereum — to name a few. This is certainly a game-changer, and other luxury brands will be watching on with envy, hoping to get in the crypto game sooner rather than later. Wisly will keep you informed of the latest developments with this.

Portugal accepts Bitcoin for real estate purchases

Officials in Portugal have slowly warmed to digital assets and cryptocurrencies over the past year and have recently relaxed laws toward crypto payments in the country. This was evident as an apartment in Braga recently sold for 3 BTC — much to the new owner’s delight.

The two-bedroom apartment in Braga was valued at €110,000 or 3 Bitcoin by Portuguese real estate company — Zome — and was previously closed for crypto purchases due to tough crypto regulations in the country. However, things swiftly changed as the Portuguese government loosened the rules — somewhat — leaving one eager crypto investor to swoop in for the deal.

The Portuguese government has come to realise the untold potential of introducing digital assets in their economy and now allows citizens of the country to invest, store, and transfer Bitcoin. However, industry sentiment is that the sale of the apartment in Braga is just the tip of the iceberg. As more companies come on board, the country will start to experience a wave of crypto purchases.

Zome has also opened to door to accepting other cryptocurrencies like ETH and DOGE, although it remains to be seen when that will materialise. This is superb news for Portuguese crypto investors, who now have more opportunities to spend their crypto in the country while stimulating the economy. Wisly will keep you updated on the latest with this.

Japanese car dealership accepts crypto for exports

Tokyo-based Japanese used car export company — SBI Motor Japan — has announced that it will now accept Bitcoin and XRP as payment options. SBI Motor Japan has lucrative business interests in Africa and has considered crypto as a payment option due to its popularity on the continent.

Payments will be settled through SBI VC Trade — a crypto trading subsidiary of financial giant, SBI Group. The Japanese motor company recently opened an office in Tanzania and hopes to increase its African footprint in the next year.

Morningstar — another subsidiary of the Tokyo-based financial giant, SBI Group — announced that it had extended its XRP benefit programme. This will enable its shareholders to receive Ripple-affiliated cryptocurrencies as a benefit.

Many countries in Africa have shown a great appetite for second-hand Japanese cars due to their reliability and cost-effectiveness — making the decision by SBI Group to accept crypto all the more practical.

This is fantastic news for developing nations in Africa who are keen to exploit the second-hand car market in Japan while using their crypto. Wisly will keep you in the loop with the latest developments on this.

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