Crypto News Headlines (29-Sep-2022)

Students at four U.S. historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) could have access to a free crypto literacy program offered by Circle, the financial technology company, in October.

According to a press release shared with CoinDesk, students can take a mandated or extracurricular part of their fall 2022 curriculum in Circle’s courses, on such topics as Bitcoin and blockchain technology, Ethereum and tokenization, and Web3 and applications. Also, students with excellent academic performance may get earlier access to apply for Circle internships and employment.

The new program is part of Circle Impact, the company’s initiative to improve financial inclusion and economic prosperity. Earlier this year it cooperated with Bowie State University in Maryland and Rhodes University in South Africa to offer a module in digital financial literacy for business students as part of the spring 2022 semester.

Banque de France Governor François Villeroy de Galhau talked about cryptocurrency regulation at a conference on digital finance in Paris Tuesday. The French central banker stressed:

We should be extremely mindful to avoid adopting diverging or contradictory regulations, or regulating too late. To do so would be to create an uneven playing field, risking arbitrage and cherry picking.

Villeroy de Galhau added that “unduly complex” crypto regulations could fall short of investor protection and money laundering prevention.

The European Commission introduced the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) bill in September 2020 as part of its digital finance strategy to bring crypto assets, issuers, and service providers across the EU under one regulatory framework. The European Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on the MiCA bill on June 30, but MiCA is not expected to be implemented until 2024.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman Rostin Behnam said on Thursday that Bitcoin might “double in price” if it traded in a CFTC-regulated market.

The chairman added that the crypto industry had “a massive opportunity for institutional inflows that will only occur if there’s a regulatory structure.”

The comments come as the crypto industry faces intensifying scrutiny globally, from Brazil to Australia to Tether’s well-documented legal woes stateside.

However, some governments, like Japan and the UAE, also appear keen to embrace crypto and Web3, seeing them as an opportunity for growth.

The wave of regulation heading for crypto might not be a bad thing, though, according to Behnam. “Non-bank [crypto] institutions thrive on regulation, they thrive on regulatory certainty, they thrive on a level playing field, […] because they are the smartest, the fastest and the most well-resourced,” he said.

Despite the Vasil hard fork, the ADA price has been unable to recover from its near-year-low following the upgrade. Cardano creator Charles Hoskinson thinks a verified wallet would be beneficial to the Cardano network in terms of decentralization and sync speed. Daedalus Turbo, a new wallet algorithm for Cardano, promises faster sync times than the existing Daedalus wallet by a factor of 10.

On September 28, Cardano’s creator Charles Hoskinson uploaded a video to YouTube announcing the success of the Cardano wallet Daedalus Turbo proposal, which has now been funded with $759,000. According to the proposal, the Daedalus Turbo algorithm has a synchronization time that is 10 times faster than the standard Daedalus wallet.

Whopping 6% of the Whole Catalyst Budget

The proposal states that the centralized Cardano wallet, Daedalus, is inefficient since it takes a full day to sync for the first time and hours to resync when used seldom. As a consequence, those who are unfamiliar with Cardano form a negative opinion of the platform.

Despite Russia pushing the idea of using cryptocurrencies for cross-border payments, it still remains unclear what digital asset exactly the government plans to adopt for such transactions.

Russian authorities are quite unlikely to approve the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) for cross-border transactions, according to local lawyers and fintech executives.

Bank of Russia needs to control cross-border transactions

It’s “highly questionable” that Russia would allow usage of Bitcoin or any other similar cryptocurrency for cross-border payments because such assets are “hard to control,” according to Elena Klyuchareva, the senior associate at the local law firm KKMP.

Klyuchareva emphasized that the draft amendments to the legislation on cross-border crypto payments are not available yet, while reports only state that the Bank of Russia and the Ministry of Finance have agreed upon a common approach to the issue.

The collapse of Terra in May left a vacuum in the Cosmos ecosystem, where Terra’s UST stablecoin – which was algorithmically pegged to the U.S. dollar – was used heavily across Cosmos’ interconnected family of blockchains. Now, with the help of the stablecoin issuer Circle, Cosmos is replacing code with collateral.

Circle said on Wednesday that it plans to launch its USD coin (USDC) stablecoin – the second-largest dollar-backed stablecoin by market capitalization – natively on Cosmos in early 2023. The announcement came alongside news that Circle would begin issuing USDC natively on four other ecosystems in addition to Cosmos.

Cosmos’s fledgling decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem previously relied on the promise of Do Kwon’s digital dollar, and the algorithm that supposedly backed it, to build up its on-chain lending, borrowing and exchange markets. When UST came crashing down, its role was assumed by various different stable currencies – the most popular being wrapped USDC, a synthetic version of the centralized USDC stablecoin issued on the Ethereum blockchain – but these alternatives didn’t offer the same security to users that a natively issued stablecoin could.

Chainlink has made a number of announcements during the Smartcon 2022 event in New York City. For instance, on Wednesday the smart contract and oracle network project revealed a program called the Sustainable Chainlink Access for Layer 1 & 2 Enablement otherwise known as SCALE.

“SCALE is a holistic and win-win economic model for both blockchains and the Chainlink Network,” Chainlink tweeted on September 28. “As [layer one and layer two] userbases expand, fees from [decentralized applications] can eventually cover the full on-chain costs of Chainlink oracle nodes—driving long-term viability across different ecosystems,” the project’s team added.

Additionally at the Smartcon 2022 event, Chainlink further revealed the “CF Bitcoin Interest Rate Curve—in association with Chainlink.” Chainlink has partnered with the crypto benchmark prices and indices provider CF Benchmarks to launch the CF BIRC product.

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt thinks Web3 is “not normal” compared to other industries—but says it’s on the right track.

In a Wednesday fireside chat at the SmartCon conference in New York City, Schmidt shared his thoughts and concerns about the current state of crypto and Web3 with Chainlink Labs Co-Founder Sergey Nazarov.

“I’m historically a skeptic,” Schmidt said of his prior stance.

Now, he sees progress being made. The former Google exec told Nazarov the Ethereum Merge that occurred earlier this month—where Ethereum moved from proof of work to proof of stake—is “a sign that your industry is getting its act together.”

But Schmidt still has some gripes about Web3. He argued that today’s smart contracts—which are used to execute instructions on blockchains like Ethereum—are “poor in their capabilities” and thinks Web3’s overall marketing strategy “got a little ahead of reality.”

Many people involved in the early creation of cryptocurrencies and related technologies, in his opinion, aspired to utilize them to avoid mainstream financial institutions and monetary systems, but this is not a viable nor a desirable objective for obvious reasons. The minister stated:

Rather, the future of digital currencies lies firmly within the mainstream financial system, where they can make an enormous difference to several problems in areas such as payments, banking and investing.

To make such a vision a reality, Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama believes that people at the forefront of pushing new technologies should be allowed more leeway while ensuring that the appropriate policies that safeguard consumers and the financial system and prevent criminal business are in place.

As emerging markets take the lead in crypto adoption, Ghana, a country located in West Africa, may soon catch up to other African countries regarding cryptocurrency use.

In a report released by blockchain analytics platform Chainalysis, researchers found that Ghana has the potential to achieve crypto adoption levels similar to Kenya and Nigeria, countries which ranked 11th and 19th in the analytics firm’s global crypto adoption index.

According to Ray Youssef, the CEO of P2P platform Paxful, the local population’s needs along with the current growth trends in Ghana show that it has the potential to become a leader in crypto adoption in Africa.

Youssef said that in the last year, the total trading volume coming from Ghana in their P2P exchange has grown by 400% in the last two years. The executive also believes that many Nigerians consider Ghana as their home during the summer and are educating Ghanaians on Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto.