Wisly Wednesday Industry News — 8 September 2021

Another fascinating week has passed in the world of crypto with some tantalising news that’s sure to tickle the taste buds of crypto enthusiasts. El Salvador becomes the first country in history to adopt Bitcoin; NFL bans crypto sponsorship deals; Australian neo-bank partners with crypto exchange in ground-breaking deal; and the FCA slams Kim Kardashian for putting investors at risk.

El Salvador becomes the first country in history to adopt Bitcoin

El Salvador becomes the first country in history to adopt Bitcoin

El Salvador has become the first country in history to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender for use of all goods and services in the country, including taxes. This historic moment manifested on Tuesday, 7 September 2021, and is a culmination of remarkable efforts by President Nayib Bukele who has long advocated for the adoption of Bitcoin in the country.

Bukele has been firm in his belief that this day would come judging by his previous remarks where he explained the need to break the paradigms of the past and to move El Salvador towards the first world. El Salvador’s president aims to reduce and ultimately eliminate over $400 million that the country spends each year on commissions for remittances that are mostly paid to the US.

President Bukele announced on Monday that his government had concluded the purchase of 200 Bitcoins ahead of the formal adoption taking place. El Salvador now holds 400 Bitcoins which is estimated to be worth over $28 million at current trading levels.

All citizens will now be able to download an official government app, the Chivo Wallet, that gives each user $30 to promote its use. A buoyant Bukele tweeted, “The process of #Bitcoin in El Salvador has a learning curve. Every step toward the future is like this, and we will not achieve everything in a day, nor in a month.” Former El Salvadorian resident and Bitcoin enthusiast, Gerson Martinez, couldn’t contain his excitement as he beamed, “It’s hard to describe the hope and joy it makes me feel that our country is the first domino to fall in this inevitable transition. What a time to be a Salvadoran.”

Despite pockets of protests against Bitcoin’s adoption in El Salvador, this news has certainly galvanised a country that hopes to attract new investments and boost its economy. Wisly will keep you updated on the very latest.

NFL bans crypto sponsorship deals

NFL bans crypto sponsorship deals

The National Football League (NFL) has banned sports teams and franchises under its umbrella from participating in sponsorship deals with crypto trading companies. The ban is widespread and includes NFT auctions although it stops short of sponsorships from those companies that have any connection with cryptocurrencies — investment advisory and fund management services — where its primary focus is on that company’s corporate brands rather than crypto.

Despite a growing number of sports teams across the globe collaborating with crypto entities to create non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and lucrative sponsorship packages, the NFL has expressed doubts in terms of its industry participation. In a recently released statement, the NFL said, ”Clubs are prohibited from selling, or otherwise allowing within club controlled media, advertisements for specific cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, other cryptocurrency sales or any other media category as it relates to blockchain, digital asset or as blockchain company, except as outlined in this policy.”

Sponsorship deals with crypto companies have created innovative ways for sports teams and players to earn extra revenue, while crypto companies find additional marketing opportunities and increased visibility. The NFL’s stance, however, is consistent with its views regarding income generation from taboo industries such as alcohol and gambling.

Considering the growing number of sports teams and franchises around the globe collaborating with crypto companies, there is always the possibility that the NFL will change its position in the future. Wisly will keep you posted on the latest developments.

Australian neo-bank partners with crypto exchange in ground-breaking deal

Australian neo-bank partners with crypto exchange in ground-breaking deal

In a first-of-its-kind deal in Australia, neo-bank — Volt — has decided to partner with crypto exchange — BTC Markets (BTCM) — to offer banking capabilities to users of the popular crypto exchange. BTCM’s 325,000 Australian customers will benefit from access to a corporate cash management account with payment automation and real-time notifications courtesy of Volt.

BTCM plans to invite its users to open Volt bank accounts in the coming months so that they can participate in real-time trading. In terms of the Financial Claims Scheme in the country, all deposits in Volt accounts are insured to a maximum of AU$250,000 per account holder. This ground-breaking deal will help neo-banks in the country to forge a presence in the banking sector with its low-cost offers.

Volt hopes to break the monopoly of Australia’s Big 4 banks — Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp, New Zealand Banking Group, and National Australia Bank. Although the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has imposed stricter requirements for entities seeking banking licenses, this has not deterred neo-banks from competing with the big boys. Wisly will keep you updated on the very latest with this development.

UK financial watchdog slams Kim Kardashian for putting crypto investors at risk

UK financial watchdog slams Kim Kardashian for putting crypto investors at risk

Chair of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Charles Randall, has slammed Kim Kardashian for her recent Instagram post where she advertised for crypto token, Ethereum Max, to her 200 million followers. His remarks were made at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime this past Monday where he said that celebrities like Kardashian were putting retail investors at great risk by promoting obscure crypto tokens.

Randall elaborated on how celebrity influencers can trick investors towards cryptocurrencies that could very well turn out to be scams. Kardashian’s post is said to be a financial promotion with the single largest audience reach in history — astounding!

Randall was forthright in his comments as he said, “In line with Instagram’s rules, Kardashian disclosed that this was an ad but she didn’t have to disclose that Ethereum Max — not to be confused with Ethereum — was a speculative digital token created a month before by unknown developers — one of hundreds of such tokens that fill the crypto-exchanges.”

He continued, “Of course, I can’t say whether this particular token is a scam. But social media influencers are routinely paid by scammers to help them pump and dump new tokens on the back of pure speculation. Some influencers promote coins that turn out simply not to exist at all.”

The FCA chair was of the belief that regulators should have greater power over cryptocurrencies to curb disreputable cryptocurrency promotions and the associated risks of trading in unregulated digital tokens. He also affirmed that regulating cryptocurrencies would give digital assets more legitimacy in the eyes of investors while concluding that more rules are needed.

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