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Summary of Past Week Articles March 18, 2022

Russia finding the way – Russian and Chinese central banks are collaborating on SWIFT-alternative interoperability:

According to a senior Russian politician, the Central Bank collaborates with the People’s Bank of China on workarounds that might allow the two countries to avoid the SWIFT banking network, such as domestic alternatives, blockchain solutions, and digital fiats.

Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on Financial Markets, told attendees that the central banks were working on interoperability solutions at a recent press conference. According to Tass, the final goal is to allow Moscow’s homegrown SWIFT alternative SPFS to connect with China’s version, the CIPS.

Aksakov stated that trade between Russia and China surged by more than 40% in the first two months of 2022 and anticipated that the trend would continue, particularly if the two countries could agree upon mutual SWIFT.

However, as previously noted, both Moscow and Beijing have long anticipated the need for domestic alternatives. As known to the public, both capitals in the east have been developing them for years.

On the other hand, Russia’s attack on Ukraine has accelerated the demand for innovation in this and other areas of financial technology.

Furthermore, Aksakov indicated that due to the conflict and the financial sanctions put on Russia, blockchain-powered finance and central bank digital currency (CBDC) progress would be accelerated in both China and Russia.

New Crypto Lawsuits in sight: Meta and Coinbase File New Legal Battles:

Two recent lawsuits could impact the crypto industry, with the suing parties targeting Facebook owner Meta and major crypto exchange Coinbase, respectively, for their alleged unwillingness to take more decisive steps to combat crypto-related scams advertisements engaging in unlicensed securities sales.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has filed a complaint in federal court against Facebook’s Meta Platforms. In their accusations, ACCC alleges that they engage in false, misleading, or deceptive conduct by allowing the publication of scam crypto-related advertisements starring prominent Australian public figures on the social media platform.

According to the ACCC, the Facebook ads, which promoted investments in cryptocurrency or money-making schemes, were likely to mislead the platform’s users. Allegations point out that users may believe that the methods were associated with well-known Australians such as entrepreneur Dick Smith, TV presenter David Koch, and former New South Wales Premier Mike Baird.

ACCC claims that the people portrayed in the advertisements never approved or endorsed them. The second legal case, involving a class action lawsuit targeting Coinbase, accuses the exchange of selling securities to its consumers despite not having a license to do so.

As a result, the three plaintiffs, who are residents of the United States, especially California, New Jersey, and Florida, demand USD 5 million on their behalf and on behalf of all other consumers who purchased dogecoin (DOGE) and 78 other coins through Coinbase.

ApeCoin Price Increases Following Launch, BAYC NFT Prices Manipulation Scheme:

ApeCoin (APE), the new utility and governance token of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) non-fungible token (NFT) collection, was airdropped to BAYC ecosystem NFT owners on Thursday, skyrocketing in price as major exchanges hurried to sell it.

APE was trading at USD 14.61 at 10:13 UTC on Friday, up 41% on its first market day.

Overnight, the value began to rise again, hitting a peak of slightly over $18 in early European trade.

The DAO announced that NFT owners had 90 days beginning Thursday to claim their tokens.

Following the token’s introduction, the floor prices of the three NFT collections in the BAYC environment soared before going down.

The ecosystem’s three collections comprise the principal Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), and Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC). Among these, the cost of BAKC fell the most, as traders learned that NFTs from this collection had to be coupled with one maybe more NFTs from BAYC or MAYC to become eligible for the token claim.

Worldcoin Exits Many Countries Due to Data Privacy Concerns and Technological Challenges:

Worldcoin, a Coinbase-backed startup, has chosen to halt operations in at least seven countries due to escalating operational issues hindering the company’s launch plans.

The company is working on a scheme to give cryptocurrency to everyone on the earth by scanning and picturing everyone’s irises.

Scanning serves to assist Worldcoin in ensuring that the cryptocurrency is dispersed evenly.

The startup has amassed photos of hundreds of thousands of people’s eyes in roughly 20 countries. Still, concerns with local contractors and authorities and technical difficulties recently led the company to cease its work in a handful of regions, according to Bloomberg.

In a recent interview, Alex Blania, co-founder and CEO of Worldcoin, stated that the difficulties were the consequence of highly aggressive testing for the firm, which has grown from 10 to 100 personnel in the last year.

Despite its small staff, Worldcoin is the custodian of sensitive biometric data collected from over 450,000 people worldwide, raising concerns about the startup’s ability to maintain adequate data protection.

HSBC Joins the Sandbox as JPMorgan Experiments with Decentraland:

With significant financial institutions increasingly entering the metaverse, UK bank HSBC is the first international financial services provider to enter the virtual world, The Sandbox. The Uk’s financial institution follows the example of US-based banking behemoth JPMorgan, which recently opened a lounge in another virtual world, Decentraland (MANA). 

According to the British bank, there is a huge opportunity to develop new experiences via emerging platforms, opening up a world of possibility for our existing and future clients and the communities we serve.

As reported by the release, the bank will purchase a plot of LAND, or virtual real estate in The Sandbox metaverse. The asset will serve to interact and connect with sports, esports, and gaming enthusiasts.

HSBC joins the ranks of more than 200 Animoca Brand names digital environment partners, namely Warner Music Group, Adidas, Ubisoft, and Gucci.

The collaboration with HSBC may be especially significant for The Sandbox’s further connection with worldwide financial infrastructure.

The UK company is one of the globe’s largest financial services firms, with around USD 2.96 trillion in assets as of 2021.

According to the research, 13% of financial industry executives believe that augmented and virtual reality would be used by 20% of clients as an alternate method for everyday transactions by 2025.

NFTs will be available on Instagram in ‘several months,’ according to Zuckerberg, because the Metaverse is the ‘next chapter of the Internet’:

According to various sources citing Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the big photo and video social network Instagram may begin supporting certain NFTs over the next several months.

Zuckerberg also emphasized the significance of the metaverse to his organization.

In a talk at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) on Tuesday, Meta’s CEO unveiled the proposal without much detail, adding that the feature would go live as soon as Instagram worked out the tech problems.

According to Hannah Murphy, a Financial Times tech reporter, Zuckerberg thinks that profile pic apparel in the metaverse can be minted as NFTs.

Meta, which was still known as Facebook at the time, announced late last year that it would rename itself Meta to reflect better its aspirations for expanding the metaverse.

And, just yesterday, Zuckerberg reaffirmed his commitment to establishing the metaverse, referring to it as the next chapter of the internet.

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