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Vitalik Buterin shares positive outlook on the establishment of crypto cities

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In a blog post published on Sunday, Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin voiced his support for utilizing the cryptocurrency phenomena to serve the interests of local governments and their citizens.

Specifically, Buterin discussed the formation of city tokens and decentralized autonomous organizations, known as DAOs. DAOs are self-governing organizations where users draft and enforce rules themselves, such as voting on protocol amendments based on the amount of the underlying crypto tokens they hold.

The idea is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, Buterin claimed that city tokens should satisfy at least three of the following five objectives:

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  1. Act as a sustainable sources of revenue for the government
  2. Facilitate economic cooperation between residents and the city
  3. Promote saving and wealth-building for all stakeholders
  4. Encourage city-wide social initiatives
  5. Reduce wealth inequality

Regarding the last point, Buterin proposed that the vast majority of newly issued city tokens should go to residents as a form of universal basic income. The Ethereum co-founder critiqued current economic mechanisms as favoring “wealthy people over poor people.”

The most prominent crypto city project outlined in the blog post is CityCoins, which is built on the Stacks (STX) blockchain. Stacks is a layer-one solution that enables smart contracts on the Bitcoin (BTC) network. The protocol allocates 30% of BTC mining revenue forwarded to STX holders into a wallet reserved for each city.

Theoretical uses include discounts and benefits provided by local businesses to CityCoin holders. The group has already launched one such type of city token, the MiamiCoin. Miami Mayor Francis Sanchez has publicly endorsed it, saying it could “revolutionize the way governments are funded”.

Socio-economic effects aside, Buterin also praised the potential of city tokens to improve existing governance:

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“21st-century digital democracy through real-time online quadratic voting and funding could plausibly do a much better job than 20th-century democracy, which seems in practice to have been largely characterized by rigid building codes and obstruction at planning and permitting hearings. And of course, if you’re going to use blockchains to secure voting, starting off by doing it with fancy new kinds of votes seems far more safe and politically feasible than re-fitting existing voting systems.”

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US Congressman Claims Crypto Is for Elon Musk and Goldman Sachs

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US Congressman Brad Sherman slammed Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for not showing up to the hearing.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) launched a scathing tirade against the cryptocurrency industry during a hearing on digital assets held by the House Committee on Financial Services:

They believe that somehow this is new and hip, and an attack on the powers of society. The fact is that the advocates of crypto represent the powers in our society. The powers of our society on Wall Street and in Washington have spent millions, and are trying to make billions and trillions. These include Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, Visa, Citadel, Musk and Zuckerberg. Not to mention the CEOs that are before us today.  

Sherman lambasted Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for not showing up personally to the hearing and then took aim at Tether for not sending their representative at all:  

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If you wonder about where the power is, Zuckerberg had to come out here and sit there Brian Armstrong sent his number two. And Tether didn’t bother to show up at all.

He then reiterated that the number one threat to crypto is crypto itself since Bitcoin could be displaced by Ether, which is not the case for fiat currencies.

Whales and volatility risks

In response to a question posed by Rep. Al Green (D-TX) about the cryptocurrency market turning into a bubble, Bitfury’s Brian Brooks said that one person unwinding their positions could have a massive impact on the price.

He argues that the U.S. market needs liquidity and more price discovery, not less.

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried says that there is complete transparency about open interest on FTX and other major exchanges.

Rep. Emmer (R-MN) asked Bankman-Fried about guardrails that FTX.US deploys for protecting customers.  

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Blockchain and supercomputers

Bankman-Fried also spoke about the impact of supercomputers on blockchain:    

It has the potential to create new cryptographic algorithms that are faster and more efficient.

Later, he also said that all major blockchains are “super secure” in response to a question posed by Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY):

I don’t know of one. All the major blockchain networks are super secure.

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Other countries have it easier

Brooks says that other countries, such as Germany, the UAE have clear-cut regulations for cryptocurrency assets, urging U.S. regulators not get left behind:   

We are the last country standing that hasn’t figured it out.   

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Visa debuts crypto consultancy for retailers and banks

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  • Visa is now advising companies and financial institutions on cryptocurrency offerings.
  • UMB Bank is reportedly the first client to use the company’s crypto consulting and advisory service.
  • The new service further cements Visa’s involvement in the crypto sector. 

Global payment network Visa announced Wednesday it’s launching a consulting and advisory service to help financial institutions and retailers navigate through cryptocurrency. The development today further strengthened the company’s move into the digital currency space and would drive more crypto services and mainstream adoption.

Crypto consultancy

At the moment, the payment company already works with over 60 crypto-related companies, according to the press statement. Through its expertise, Visa will assist financial institutions, retailers, and central banks to roll out cryptocurrency offerings, including non-fungible token (NFT) projects and central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The crypto consultancy was launched as an offering under “Visa Consulting & Analytics (VCA)” and already has American bank UMB as the first client, which is already exploring the roadmap of a strategy for a new digital currency-related offering. 

“We came to Visa to learn more about digital currency and the use cases that are most relevant for various business lines as we serve our customers in the years ahead,” says UMB Bank’s executive vice president, Uma Wilson.

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Visa is digging deeper into cryptocurrency

Since 2021, the payment company has been making strategic efforts to expand into cryptocurrency as the dominant on and off-ramp medium for crypto to fiat conversion. Besides partnering with major exchanges like Coinbase and FTX for card programs, the company has been increasing its team of cryptocurrency experts to further drive its digital currency business.

As recently as November 12, Cryptopolitan reported that the company was looking to hire a director for its “Crypto Ecosystem Readiness Lead,” who will focus on creating and growing new revenue streams and expanding strategies for accelerating the company’s crypto card acceptance.

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Bank of Thailand bans commercial banks from trading crypto

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  • Bank of Thailand bans commercial banks from crypto trading
  • An official of the bank cited price volatility
  • Thailand’s tourism industry encourages crypto holders to visit

Trading digital currency is very rewarding, and that is if a trader knows what he is doing in the market. Despite that, the market has been targeted by several evil users, pushing countries to regulate the sector or ban it outrightly. In the latest update, the Bank of Thailand has announced that it has barred all commercial banks in the country from providing crypto trading services.

Bank of Thailand official cited price volatility concerns

The statement was released yesterday through one of the top members of the Bank of Thailand, Chayawadee Chai-Anant. In his statement, the executives talked about a series of issues associated with trading crypto but rested majorly on price volatility. Since banks have a moral obligation to hold cash for clients, they should be nowhere near cryptocurrencies.

This latest statement is coming off the back of several key partnerships between commercial banks and crypto exchanges across the country. Last month, Bitkub announced that it had concluded details and has inked a partnership deal with Siam Commercial Bank. Another crypto exchange announced in August that it had completed a massive funding round.

The funding round was led by the Bank of Ayudhya and saw the exchange raise $1.3 billion. The Bank of Thailand has continued to be unmoved in its clamor against digital assets, although most people in the country are moving to it. Another senior member of the Bank of Thailand, Sakkapop Panyanukul, advised businesses about the risks of operating with digital assets.

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Thailand’s tourism industry continues to invite crypto holders

The Bank of Thailand has in previous times talked about some of the disadvantages of using digital assets as payments for goods and services bought. Chai-Anant believes that people need to abandon digital assets completely. He listed several risks associated with holding and using them, including theft, price spikes, money laundering, and theft of personal data.

He opined that the massive usage could eliminate stability in any system and risk consumer protection. This recent warning was released after Thailand announced that it had completed preparations to receive crypto-rich visitors into the country. Although the Tourism industry wants people to bring their crypto in, the Bank of Thailand wants them to be alert. Thailand holds its tourism sector in high regard as it is one of the most income-generating sectors.

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have caused a stop in income generation from this sector for a while. Although crypto holders have been encouraged to visit, the country has continued to record a low turnout of visitors.

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