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Summary of Past Week Articles March 04, 2022

Spanish Telecom Telefónica, the world’s largest telecommunications company, investigates cryptocurrency payment options:

The Spanish telecom giant Telefónica is considering accepting crypto pay for some of its services. However, at the time, their crypto projects referring to payments were yet to be established. 

The company’s Digital Unit director, Chema Alonso, spoke to Europa Press’s media outlet and stated that the project had not been approved.

Alonso added in the interview that the firm is currently reviewing options to enable payments through an exchange. According to him, the project would allow mobile users to convert crypto payments into fiat euros instantly. 

Telefónica is no stranger to cryptocurrency via its sibsidiary Movistar. Last year, it released a coin called the Movistar token, a crypto-powered loyalty points program scheme that pays consumers for in-app actions, including viewing sponsor adverts and interacting with its automated AI-powered assistant. In addition, the telecom giant was on the last year’s Blockchain 50 list published by Forbes.

The Swiss city of Lugano has declared Bitcoin and Tether to be “de facto legal tender.”

The Swiss city of Lugano partners with Tether to become the Bitcoin capital of Europe. 

During the event hosted by the city’s officials, Tether’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Paolo Ardoino stated that Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT) would become de facto legal tender in the southern city. 

Ardoino added that besides the two well-known currencies, the local token Luga (LVGA) would also be one of the coins that businesses and the city’s public sector accepted. 

USDT and LVGA will be based on the Polygon blockchain. The CTO also specified that Lightning Network would play an essential role in this bitcoin adoption. 

Among these new crypto initiatives was the establishment of new offices for 25 companies in the bitcoin and blockchain industry. 

Ardoino added that the company is currently having active negotiations with the city officials to develop a mining facility that would run on green and renewable energy.

Umbrel Bitcoin Node Runners Now Assist in Avoiding Internet Censorship:

Users who run Umbrel Bitcoin (BTC) and Lightning nodes can now assist others in circumventing internet censorship by installing the Snowflake proxy program on their nodes.

Snowflake is a mechanism for circumventing internet censorship. Snowflake allows censored users to access the internet. According to the app’s description, their connection is routed through Snowflake proxies, which volunteers manage.

Users may find more information about installing and running an individual Umbrel node on the project’s official website.

A US SEC has launched an investigation into the sale of non-traditional financial instruments (NFTs):

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is conducting additional investigations into the developers of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and NFT markets to see whether some of the assets are being offered in violation of the agency’s securities offerings laws.

According to Bloomberg, the investigation looks at whether certain NFTs are used to raise funds similarly to regular securities. As of its research, the SEC looks into so-called fractional NFTs, which can be broken into portions and sold individually.

In recent months, attorneys from the regulator’s enforcement branch have issued a series of subpoenas requesting information concerning initial coin offerings (ICOs) from firms operating in the crypto sector.

Garry Gensler, Chair of the SEC, stated at a House Committee on Financial Services hearing in October 2021 that he wants crypto exchanges to be registered with the regulator. Simultaneously, crypto-friendly lawmakers accused Gensler of overstepping his jurisdiction and harming the crypto business.

The regulator uses the so-called Howey test, devised by the US Supreme Court in 1946, to decide whether a particular asset is a security.

China’s Digital Yuan Is Ready for Local Adoption, Airport, and Banking Initiatives:

China’s digital yuan is getting closer to a statewide deployment, with banks, airports, and provinces ramping up adoption efforts after last month’s Winter Olympics and ahead of the Paralympic Winter Games.

However, media outlets in the country revealed that the pilot is looking even further ahead, with numerous Chinese provinces mentioning digital CNY multiple times in their most recent five-year plans.

According to the report, Chinese financial institutions will collaborate to create a digital CNY app sharing platform among these efforts. An interoperability network will likely allow the already numerous digital CNY wallet and app offerings to be used cross-platform.

The nationwide implementation of the e-CNY may still be some time away, but lift-off may be considerably closer.

According to YNet, Beijing has approved a plan. Several significant airports will collaborate on a digital CNY-powered project to leverage the capital’s experience in building a payment service environment for the Beijing Winter Olympics. 

 In addition, according to the Hubei Daily, Wuhan would launch more than 20 critical digital economy projects this year, including several metaverse and blockchain ventures.

The UK Advertising Standards Authority has banned the Floki Inu London ad campaign:

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of the United Kingdom has decided to prohibit an advertising campaign conducted by Floki Inu (FLK), a meme coin named after Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s Shiba Inu dog.

The action comes after prior appeals from local legislators to prohibit advertisements showcasing unregulated financial products from being displayed by Transport for London (TfL).

The ad centered on the slogan MISSED DOGE. According to the ASA, regulators challenged the ad because Floki Inu’s use of an illustration of a dog wearing a Viking helmet and the campaign’s slogan exploited consumers’ fear of missing out. It trivialized investment in crypto assets.

The operator of Floki Inu justified itself by claiming that the cartoon dog image was their company emblem, and it was utilized to increase brand recognition.

Despite these justifications, the UK agency has decided that the ad in its current form would not run again.

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