MiCA Gets Overwhelming Support in EU Parliament
Last week saw the much-talked-about Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) pass the plenary of the EU Parliament, with 517 MEPs voting in favor of its implementation. Scheduled to go into force for stablecoin issuers in June 2024 and for other crypto asset service providers in December 2024, the framework clearly spells out the rules on how major crypto industry players—such as exchanges—are to operate across the 27 EU member states.
A final vote is expected to be conducted by the Council of the EU on May 16, while the publication of MiCA in the official journal of the EU would come 20 days after.
With MiCA, existing businesses may have to adjust aspects of their operations in compliance with the new framework. This, according to insider suggestions, could prompt EU banks to veer into offering crypto services, since a single license in one EU country would enable them to serve the entire region.
Top French Bank Drops Stablecoin
On the heels of the MiCA plenary vote in the EU Parliament came the news last week that Societe Generale–FORGE, the regulated subsidiary of top French bank, Societe Generale group dedicated to digital assets, has launched a stablecoin called EUR CoinVertible (EURCV).
Deployed in Euro denomination on the Ethereum public blockchain, SG-FORGE says it plans to work with crypto exchanges and other third-party platforms to have the EURCV listed in the coming months for exposure to institutional investors.
The stablecoin is supposedly designed at a bank-grade level to bridge the gap between traditional capital markets and the digital assets ecosystem. EURCV is based on an open-source Compliant Architecture for Security Tokens (CAST) framework, which guides trades of financial instruments on a blockchain.
Ethereum’s DevConnect Event Heads to Istanbul
Still in Europe, it was announced last week that DevConnect—the flagship Ethereum community event— will be held in Istanbul.
DevConnect is a week-long gathering that brings members together in smaller groups to talk and learn through in-depth sessions on specific topics, aimed at the continuous improvement of Ethereum, according to the Ethereum Foundation. The Foundation, which organized the first Ethereum Devconnect conference in Amsterdam in 2022, pointed out that the decision to take Devconnect to Istanbul between November 13 and 19, 2023, is predicated on the vibrancy of the city and the Turkish Ethereum community. Also, in consideration of the recent earthquake in parts of Turkey, the Foundation says DevConnect in Istanbul is a way to “show our support, and encourage others to support this region in different ways.”
Prominent Bitcoin Core Dev Bows Out
Dhruvkaran Mehta, a notable contributor to Bitcoin Core, last week disclosed that he has “decided to not pursue another year of Bitcoin Core open source grants” having started working on improving Bitcoin's P2P protocol through BIP324 since 2020.
By implication, it means that the developer has resigned from being one of the individuals that manage the Bitcoin Core open-source software that powers the Bitcoin network—the world’s largest blockchain. Instead, Mehta notes that he is pursuing a Bitcoin startup idea.
Contrary to widely-held belief, CoinShare recently dispelled the myth that only six individuals control Bitcoin, though only a group of project “maintainers” have commit access to make changes to the code.
Ongoing Efforts to Reboot or Sell FTX Exchanges; Taylor Swift Escapes Ordeal
A group known as the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of FTX came out last week to say they are working with the debtors to look at ways to reboot or sell the FTX exchanges and create value for creditors. While no definitive timetable has been set to launch a formal process, they noted that interested parties in either of the two options should reach out.
Also in the same week, news emerged that American singer, Taylor Swift, was almost involved in a $100 million sponsorship deal with FTX until she raised questions about unregistered securities. According to the lawyer handling a lawsuit filed against the likes of Shaquille O'Neal, Tom Brady, and Larry David who proceeded with the deal, the plaintiffs are seeking over $5 billion for their endorsement.
Trump, Starbucks, Nike’s .Swoosh Announce New NFT Collections
Last week saw former US President, Donald Trump, announce the launch of his second set of NFT collection cards. Much like he did when he first joined the NFT bandwagon, the announcement of his latest collection of 47,000 pieces minted on the Polygon network and priced at $99 each, was made on his social media platform, Truth Social.
In the same week, Starbucks launched its First Store Collection NFT series on Polygon. Buying any of the 5,000 pieces priced at $100 each gives users a 1,500-point reward in the Starbucks Odyssey app. For Nike's Web3 platform, .Swoosh, May 10 was set as the date for the public sale of its digital renditions of Air Force 1 Lows NFT series, "Our Force 1 (OF1)". The event will be preceded by an OF1 Poster airdrop which guarantees entry to the First Access sale starting on May 8.
Terra Update: Do Kwon Charged for Forgery
Following his recent arrest at the Podgorica Airport, prosecutors in Montenegro have reportedly charged the founder of Terraform Labs, Do Kwon, for using false travel documents to fly to Dubai. Kwon had been detained for 30 days while his forgery case was being investigated, according to DL News. His being formally accused for a trial scheduled to commence on May 11, a media report says, could see him bag a prison sentence of three months to five years. With the detention of Kwon and his co-defendant, Han Chang-Joon, extended for another 30 days on April 21, it is not clear what their fate will be regarding their sought extradition by US and South Korean authorities.
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