Happened in Crypto: Apple's Ban on Payments Ruled Unlawful, an much more
Will UK regulators collaborate with the crypto sector? Is the US Securities and Exchange Commission chairman's approach to digital assets inconsistent? How will the recent decision by a Californian court regarding Apple impact crypto and NFT apps?
Discover the answers to these questions and more in our periodic summary of news and events that are influencing the world of virtual currencies.
UK's FCA Seeks Collaboration with Crypto Industry for Regulatory Framework
The United Kingdom's financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), aims to collaborate with crypto companies to create a regulatory framework for the industry. FCA Executive Director Sarah Pritchard emphasized the need for cooperation during London's City Week conference, inviting the industry to provide input to ensure effective crypto regulations.
Acknowledging the mainstream adoption of crypto, Pritchard highlighted the advantages of early engagement in shaping regulations that benefit markets, consumers, and firms. Currently, the FCA's responsibilities are limited to ensuring UK crypto firms comply with Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing legislation. Pritchard noted that the FCA would have more powers to regulate crypto once the government legislates on the issue.
The FCA has registered 41 crypto firms and is working with the government on proposals to regulate stablecoins.
Crypto Community Reacts to Gensler's 2018 Video Equating Crypto with Cash
A 2018 video of Gary Gensler, now head of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has surfaced, showing him stating that cryptocurrencies are similar to commodities or cash and not securities.
The video is from a "Blockchain and Money" class Gensler taught at MIT before joining the SEC. In the video, Gensler notes that most ICOs don't trigger US securities laws, with three-quarters of the market being "non-securities, just a commodity, cash, crypto."
However, since becoming the SEC chair, Gensler has taken a more stringent approach to regulating the crypto industry. His current stance on cryptocurrencies and their potential classification as securities seems to be at odds with his previous statements.
This apparent contradiction has led to criticisms and reactions from notable figures in the crypto community such as Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and ShapeShift founder Erik Voorhees, who accuse Gensler of hypocrisy and question his change in opinion on the matter. Although some defend Gensler, arguing that his views as a professor may differ from those as a regulator.
Hottest NFT Trends in 2023: Virtual Real Estate, Gaming, Digital Art, Music, and DeFi Integration
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been growing steadily, with 2023 expected to bring further excitement to the digital assets space. What are the top trends to watch for? Here’s a hint from Marios Athinodorou.
1. Virtual Real Estate: As virtual reality technology advances, virtual real estate demand is surging. Platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox enable users to buy, sell, and develop virtual land as NFTs.
2. Gaming and In-Game Assets: The gaming industry has embraced NFTs, with games like Axie Infinity, Gods Unchained, and CryptoKitties incorporating digital assets and virtual currencies.
3. Digital Art and Collectibles: Renowned artists and collectors use platforms like SuperRare, Foundation, and OpenSea to mint, purchase, and sell unique digital art pieces, with generative art projects like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club gaining popularity.
4. Music and Entertainment: Musicians are releasing album covers, concert tickets, and even entire albums as NFTs, providing exclusive content and new revenue streams.
5. NFT Integration with DeFi: As decentralized finance platforms grow, NFT integration with DeFi is becoming more common, allowing NFT holders to stake, lend, or borrow against their digital assets.
Athinodorou adds that to get involved in the NFT market, research and educate yourself, create and mint NFTs, invest cautiously, and participate in the NFT community. Stay informed and enjoy exploring this dynamic digital frontier.
Apple's Ban on Outside Payments Ruled Unlawful, Potentially Benefiting Crypto and NFT Apps
A California court has ruled that Apple's ban on app developers using alternative in-app payment methods, which includes a 30% commission, violates state competition laws.
This decision could pave the way for cryptocurrency and non-fungible token (NFT) projects to add more functionality to their iOS apps. The ruling came in the case of Apple vs Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, and upheld a lower court's 2021 decision.
Epic Games' founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney, celebrated the ruling, stating that it "frees iOS developers" by allowing them to direct consumers to alternative payment solutions.
If Apple does not appeal the ruling, it could set a case law precedent that benefits creators of crypto and NFT apps by exempting them from Apple's 30% commission.