Central African Republic Top Court Blocks Purchases with New Crypto

The High Court of the Central African Republic (CAR) has ruled that using government-backed cryptocurrency to buy “e-residency” or citizenship and land goes against the country’s constitution.

The Central African Republic’s Constitutional Court on Monday determined that the purchase of citizenship, “e-residency” and land using a crypto coin that the government launched last month was unconstitutional.

The court stated that nationality does not have a market value while residency requires a physical stay in the CAR.

On July 25, the Central African Republic rolled out the launch and sales of its national cryptocurrency called “Sango Coin”.

However, the sales of the national digital currency tokens began with a low tone, with just over 5% of the target bought in the hours after its launch.

The slow start raised doubts over the project’s viability in a poorly connected and war-torn country.

The Sango Coin project would have let foreign investors buy citizenship for $60,000 worth of crypto — with the equivalent Sango Coins held as collateral for five years and “e-residency” for $6,000, held for three years, the Sango initiative stated.

The initiative also listed a 250-metre square plot of land as $10,000, with the Sango Coins of the equivalent amount locked away for a decade.

But yesterday, the country’s top court found out that such purchases are “unconstitutional”, stating among other reasons that nationality does not have a market value and that residency requires a physical stay in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Bitcoin Provokes Regional Backlash

In April, The Central African Republic became the first African country to adopt Bitcoin as its official currency, after El Salvador followed the same step last year.

 The move by CAR, one of the world’s poorest countries, to make Bitcoin legal tender raised eyebrows among crypto experts and prompted the International Monetary Fund to warn it that Bitcoin adoption as legal tender raises major legal, transparency, and economic policy challenges.

In May, the Regional Central Bank, the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), urged the Central African Republic to nullify the law it passed in late April that made Bitcoin legal tender. The Central bank warned that the move breached its rules and could affect monetary stability in the region.

However, Faustin-Archange Touadera, the President of the Central African Republic, called the move as a decisive step toward opening up new opportunities for the country. The President noted that cryptocurrency can help foster financial inclusion in one of the poorest countries in the world.

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Argentina’s Mendoza Province Begins Accepting Tax Payments in Crypto

Argentina’s province of Mendoza announced last week on Friday that it has enabled a system that allows residents to pay taxes using cryptocurrencies.

The system is part of a strategic move by the authorities of the province to modernize the payment of tax and state tributes, tariffs, and trade, thus giving residents many options to fulfil their obligations.

Nicolas Chávez, general director of the Mendoza tax administration authority, talked about the development: “It is one more door to facilitate the payment of taxes to taxpayers. This is a service offered by the payment processor with which we have incorporated new technology, such as virtual wallets and cryptocurrencies.”

Mendoza’s government stated that users will be able to pay taxes through the use of any crypto wallet such as Binance, Bitso, Buenbit, Bybit, Ripio, and Lemon.

According to the authorities, taxpayers can get a QR code and send the funds from their wallets.

An unidentified third-party firm will receive cryptocurrency payments, process and convert them into Argentinian pesos and send the funds to the province’s tax administration.

The system only receives payments in stablecoins, including USDT, USDC, and DAI, among others. In this way, the system maintains volatility out of its operations.

New Government Policies Accelerating Crypto Adoption

Other province and municipal governments in Argentina and major Latin American economies including Brazil, Panama, Panama, and The Bahamas, among others, have also announced plans to include cryptocurrencies as a means of payment for taxes.

In March, Rio de Janeiro, one of the largest cities in Brazil, disclosed plans to allow the payment of a municipal real estate tax with cryptocurrencies beginning in 2023.

In April, the country witnessed a lot of crypto-related changes. The capital city of Argentina, Buenos Aires, announced plans to allow the payment of taxes using cryptocurrencies. During that time, Horacio Larreta, the head of the government of Buenos Aires, said the use case could be implemented in 2023 together with a blockchain-based identification system.

In April, lawmakers in Panama’s National Assembly approved a law to regulate the use and commercialization of crypto assets in the Central American country and even to allow the payment of taxes with these assets in the country. The law also plans to allow the country’s governing bodies to receive payments for taxes, fees, and other tax obligations in crypto assets.

Also in April, The Bahamas government announced plans to allow citizens to pay taxes using digital assets beginning in 2026, according to a white paper that outlines the country’s digital asset strategy.

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Meta Users Can Now Post Digital Collectables on Instagram and Facebook

Meta Platforms Inc has announced that it has enabled the digital collectables features across its two major social media apps – Instagram and Facebook.


The new feature will allow users the capability to post digital collectables.

As one of the social media platforms with a vested interest in the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) ecosystem and the broader Web3.0, Meta has already launched capabilities for digital collectables on Instagram as reported earlier by Blockchain.News. The recent update has now extended the capabilities to Facebook and its 2.9 billion active users will be able to benefit from the allowance.

“As we continue rolling out digital collectables on Facebook and Instagram, we’ve started giving people the ability to post digital collectables that they own across both Facebook and Instagram. This will enable people to connect their digital wallets once to either app in order to share their digital collectables across both,” Meta Platforms said in a Blog post first published on May 10 but updated to fit the Facebook permission.


The integration of NFTs into Meta’s systems has been a very gradual ride. The shared NFTs can be verified and users can add the description of the collection and the team behind the project to bolster its authenticity claims.


While the Instagram version was rolled out to feature just a handful of selected testers, the firm rolled out public access to the feature earlier this month. As announced, NFTs that are hosted on the Ethereum, Polygon, and Flow blockchains are currently accepted, and the company said it plans to add more chains in the near future.


The NFT or digital collectables pursuit of Meta Platforms is just one of the first moves into a metaverse-driven world that the company is envisioning. In a few years, it hopes the metaverse will be the next frontier of social interactions, and it is positioning itself to be a major player in the Wbe3.0 ecosystem that will be ushered in.

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Lightnet Group Lands $50M to Help Scale Velo Blockchain Protocol

Global investment firm LDA Capital has committed $50 million to Lightnet Group – a blockchain financial technology startup to help in building out its infrastructure.


The startup will have the option to receive more funding, up to $100 million cumulative in the next three years.

Lightnet Group will be deploying the massive funding to bolster its “Web 3.0 payment and blockchain ledger-based remittance services focused across the Asia Pacific and globally around the world.”


As part of the primary commitments of Lightnet Group is the need to develop the blockchain protocol of one of its tech partners, Velo Labs Technology.


“Lightnet’s next generation financial infrastructure, along with Velo Labs’ disruptive technology, will be the future rails for dynamic and regulated markets providing financial mobility and inclusivity across Asia,” commented Warren P. Baker III, Managing Partner, and Co-Founder at LDA Capital.


While not the only blockchain-based payment infrastructure service provider, Lightnet Group seeks to carve out its own niche with a unique value proposition. This value proposition includes amongst other things the plan to build the largest CeDeFi platform in the entire Asian region.


With the funding from LDA Capital, the startup is a step closer to achieving its aim. As announced in the issued press release, Lightnet group will also leverage its existing licensing to further integrate itself into major economies around the world.


“This investment will allow us to grow and expand our infrastructure, which partners can participate in and grow business solutions. Our unique architecture makes the solution accessible and attainable for anyone to adopt the service,” said Tridbodi Arunanondchai, Co-Founder & CEO of Lightnet.


The financial backing the Lightnet Group is receiving is not a distinct affair because quite a lot of protocols with an impressive infrastructural focus in the Web3.0 space are getting backing from firms. One of the latest funding in the space is the $45 million secured from Animoca Brands Japan.

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Sam Bankman-Fried Denies FTX Has Plans to Purchase Stake in Huobi

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) is a well-known figure in the digital currency ecosystem, and while his personality gained popularity as a proficient crypto trader, his investment prowess is now largely standing out.


FTX Derivatives Exchange, his flagship company positioned itself as a lender of last resort, with a focus on helping bailout companies that the crypto winter plunged into a state of distress.

Considering its robust activity in the Merger & Acquisition space, Bloomberg wrote a report, drawing on alleged anonymous sources that FTX is looking at buying a stake in Huobi. Recalled as reported earlier by Blockchain.news that Huobi’s founder and biggest shareholder, Leon Li revealed plans he was set to sell at least a 60% stake in the company to a new buyer.


The dots between the readiness to sell and the willingness to make targeted acquisitions was connected by industry observers, thus fueling the talk that SBF may be making a bid for the Chinese-born crypto exchange.


Taking to Twitter on Monday, Bankman-Fried tweeted saying:


“Just to be explicit because apparently a lot of people are saying this: No, we are not planning to acquire Huobi.”


Known as a figure that is well respected in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the words of Sam Bankman-Fried might be enough to clear off the doubts about the future of both FTX and Huobi in the near term. However, crypto users may not be surprised if both companies ink a form of partnership in the long term.


FTX has a massive interest in the embattled crypto lender, BlockFi, and the behemoth exchange firm is likely to acquire the company for as low as $15 million, after extending a $250 million credit facility earlier. Attempts by FTX to consider helping bankrupt crypto lender, the Celsius Network were thwarted by the huge gap in the bankrupt firm’s balance sheet. 


In recent times, FTX has also made a bid to Voyager Digital, but the platform’s lawyers advised against taking the deal as they maintained the notion that it favoured FTX the most.

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MTV Awards Feature Eminem and Snoop Dogg as Bored Apes

The push into the metaverse is taking a new turn for the positive as the Snoop Dogg and Eminem duo performed in the metaverse at the MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday. 


While their performance as Bored Apes remains the highlight of the event, the debut of the MTV Music Video Awards opened a new category for the best performance in the metaverse for the first time.


Eminem and Snoop Dogg’s performance was set in the Yuga Labs’ owned Otherside metaverse platform. The duo’s debut into the metaverse began with the smoking of an oversized pot. 


According to popular media descriptions of the performance, it features some choice acting from the rappers, who fall down a swirling multicoloured vortex and morph into the Bored Apes they own. There are also cameos from Kodas, the mysterious creatures created by Yuga that live in the Otherside.


The embrace of the metaverse by MTV connotes many positive things for the broader Web3.0 world. It highlights how much traction the metaverse is gaining amongst major entertainment brands. It also shows how far the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Otherside project is going far in bringing value to its community of users across the board.


The MTV MVA’s best performance title was won by South Korean girl band Blackpink, ahead of Justin Bieber and Charli XCX. 


The Otherside metaverse is pitched as the media empire of the Bored Ape enterprise. 


While there are significant events that have been recorded thus far, Yuga Labs has reiterated the fact that more use cases are in the works for the project as it looks toward creating significant value for the other NFT collections under its collections including Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), CryptoPunks and Meebits.


The metaverse is a remarkable world that many entities are working hard to develop. The idea is that in the next few years, the metaverse will define social interactions and activities.

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Indonesian Tech Firm GoTo Acquires Local Crypto Exchange For $8.4M

GoTo Gojek Tokopedia Tbk (GoTo) announced on Monday that it has entered the digital asset business by acquiring local cryptocurrency exchange PT Kripto Maksima Koin as part of efforts to diversify its services.

GoTo notified the Indonesia Stock Exchange on Monday, stating that it acquired 100% shares of PT Kripto Maksima Koin for 124.84 billion rupiahs ($8.38 million).

GoTo is an Indonesian holding company that offers mobility, food delivery, logistics, e-commerce, and financial technology solutions. The company mentioned that the deal was part of its goal to become “a diverse money management hub”.

“We believe that blockchain technology may play a mainstream role in the future of finance,” GoTo stated on Monday.

However, the tech company did not disclose further plans for the newly acquired entity.

PT Kripto Maksima Koin is among the 25 crypto exchanges that have been awarded licenses by Indonesia’s Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency, known as Bappebti.

In April this year, GoTo raised $1.5 billion in IPO to become Indonesia’s fourth most-valuable company at a $28B valuation. The firm took advantage of Indonesia’s IPO listing rules which have led to record venture funding for Indonesia startups for the $70 billion digital market of Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

Founded in 2010 Gojek is an app for ordering food, commuting, digital payments, shopping, and hyper-local delivery, with more than 10 services. It is Indonesia’s first and fastest-growing decacorn building an on-demand empire across Southeast Asia.

Bitcoin Opportunity in Indonesia

The acquisition by GoTo followed Binance’s move to acquire a controlling stake in the Indonesian-based crypto exchange, Tokocrypto in May 2020.

During that time, Binance stated that the investment would help Tokocrypto to launch new services and products and expand across Indonesia.

Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world, with over 270 million people. The country, therefore, has huge potential, a key factor that helped to attract Binance to the deal.

Binance seems to be targeting nations with larger populations for its expansion. In November 2019, Binance acquired the Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX to serve over 1 billion people in the country. Although early this month, Binance claimed that it does not own WazirX as it said the transaction of the deal was not completed.

Indonesia ranks so highly in the cryptocurrency market because its population and regulators have opened wide the doors of opportunity for crypto and blockchain development in the nation. The growth potential is massive.

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Virtuzone Partners with Binance To Drive Crypto Adoption In UAE

Virtuzone announced on Monday that it has become the first company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to accept cryptocurrency payments for business setups through Binance Pay.

Virtuzone is a Dubai-based company that helps businesses to establish their operations in the UAE. The company said it enabled such development through a partnership with the Binance cryptocurrency exchange.

Established in 2009, Virtuzone’s mission is to remove the complexities of company setup in the UAE so that entrepreneurs and corporate clients can focus 100% on running their businesses.

In other words, Virtuzone is a company formation specialist that offers a one-stop-shop solution for entrepreneurs who want to start a business in the United Arab Emirates and for international firms looking to establish their presence in the nation.

With the crypto adoption, Virtuzone wants to assist in reducing barriers to entrepreneurship and business establishments by enabling crypto payments for company setups. The firm also plans to create more opportunities for global businesses to tap into the nation’s thriving startup community.

Through such a strategic partnership, Virtuzone also intends to advance the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies in the UAE, while playing a key role in the Web 3.0 movement in the country.

Neil Petch, Chairman and Co-founder of Virtuzone, talked about the development: “The partnership we have forged with Binance reflects our commitment to continue our pursuit of innovative solutions that will positively impact the UAE startup community, whilst expanding the future possibilities and opportunities for Virtuzone and its clients. Collaborating with a renowned Web 3.0 technology leader like Binance puts us at the forefront of digital transformation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution across the UAE and the region.”

With this development, Virtuzone has joined the likes of JA Resorts and Hotels and Majid Al Futtaim as innovative firms in the UAE to have integrated Binance Pay into their systems.

Dubai Wants to Become A Global Hub for Tech and Innovation

The launch of the crypto payment services by Virtuzone comes as the UAE is working to become a global entrepreneurship centre.

Announced its intentions in February this year, the nation aims to be home to 20 unicorns, or start-ups valued at more than $1 billion, by 2031 as it seeks to attract and expand small and medium enterprises.

The Entrepreneurial Nation initiative aims to provide support through a series of public-private partnerships that help entrepreneurs set up in the UAE, expand their businesses, tap into online sales, and export their products.

The UAE is also positioning itself to be a global crypto hub, with other global exchange firms like Binance, Crypto.com, FTX, Bybit, among others setting up operations in Dubai.

The country sees cryptocurrency as a stepping stone toward a global tech hub.

The UAE has been harbouring and encouraging an environment for the growth of its crypto industry with Dubai’s development of the Virtual Assets Law and the establishment of the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA).

While the crypto sector was majorly unregulated a few years ago, recent legislative measures have shown the UAE government’s commitment to reducing the potential financial crime risk in the nascent industry.

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