Last week in review: El Salvador makes history

El Salvador made history last week, ushering a new era for the global financial system. Meanwhile, yet another country has passed their own Bitcoin law, just as institutions continue to ride a wave of fresh adoption.

It was a momentous week in crypto, here are our picks of the best stories to come from it.

El Salvador makes history

  • El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele believes the “bitcoin process” will still be a “learning curve.”
  • Despite a handful of reports suggesting the Salvadoran government stumbled on adoption day, President Bukele clarified the slow start in a tweet, saying the government-provided Chivo digital wallet was only briefly offline to increase server capacity.
  • Aiding El Salvador’s adoption of bitcoin, the Salvadoran government has created a $150 million bitcoin trust to facilitate merchants and to mitigate risk.
  • According to El Salvador’s Minister of Economy, María Luisa Hayém Brevé, the trust will convert bitcoin to dollars in real time, which will allow local merchants to offset their risk exposure to bitcoin.
  • Some Salvadorans have taken to Twitter to celebrate their first transactions made with bitcoin at franchises like Starbucks and Mcdonald’s.

Mastercard makes moves in the crypto sector

  • Payments giant Mastercard has acquired CipherTrace, a crypto tracing firm that develops solutions for cryptocurrency anti-money laundering, forensics, and blockchain threat intelligence.
  • In a statement given by Ajay Bhalla, Mastercard’s president of cyber and intelligence, said the rapid growth of the digital asset ecosystem brings the need to ensure it is trusted and safe. “Our aim is to build upon the complementary capabilities of Mastercard and CipherTrace to do just this,” said Bhalla.
  • Although details of the acquisition were not disclosed, this is yet another sign of Mastercard making moves in the crypto sector. In July, the financial services company announced plans to allow merchants to accept payment in crypto. In the same month, Mastercard also announced that it will use the USDC stablecoin as a bridge asset for cardholders.
  • “Our philosophy on cryptocurrencies is straightforward: It’s about choice,” said Mastercard’s crypto VP, Raj Dhamodharan, before stating the payments company is “here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value.”

Ukraine passes new Bitcoin law

  • Just one day after El Salvador’s rollout of bitcoin as legal tender, Ukraine has indicated that they could adopt their own crypto bill that will legalise the regulation of virtual finance assets.
  • Ukraine’s vice prime minister of digital transformation, Oleksandr Bornyakov, says the new law will develop a new industry and “attract transparent investments and will strengthen the image of our country as a high-tech state.”
  • “The adoption of specialised legislation is going to stimulate the attraction of foreign exchanges to the Ukrainian market.”
  • According to the Kyiv post, Ukraine plans to open cryptocurrency markets to businesses and investors by 2022.

LaLiga leads the way with NFTs

  • Spanish football league LaLiga, has made itself Europe’s first topflight league to offer non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of all its players.
  • LaLiga has partnered up with French digital football collectables platform Sorare, and will allow fans to buy and trade player NFTs, and to participate in fantasy tournaments featuring NFTs of players from 20 of Spain’s biggest clubs.
  • Users can create their own team made up of five players represented by NFTs, which can then be entered into various fantasy football tournaments where prizes can be won based on real-life player performances.
  • Spanish teams can now join the likes of other clubs including Germany’s Bundesliga team Bayern Munich, Italy’s Serie A squad Juventus, and the English Premier League’s Liverpool.

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