Payment Expert’s Blockchain Bulletin analyses how the world of blockchain is constantly evolving and having a significant impact on the payment industry.

This week’s edition focuses on the impact of a Treasury report eyeing to change the way crypto is regulated – which was met with backlash from the industry.

Treasury Committee: UK Crypto should be regulated like gambling

In what may be a key development for the regulatory framework of crypto in the UK, a cross-party group has published a report urging the government to regulate the industry as if it was gambling. 

A report from the group highlighted the risks involved with current proposals, which it believes may well portray crypto in the wrong light and fall short of making consumers aware of the risks in the space. 

Commenting on the report, Harriett Baldwin MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said: “The events of 2022 have highlighted the risks posed to consumers by the crypto assets industry, large parts of which remain a wild west. Effective regulation is clearly needed to protect consumers from harm, as well as to support productive innovation in the UK’s financial services industry.

“However, with no intrinsic value, huge price volatility and no discernible social good, consumer trading of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin more closely resembles gambling than a financial service, and should be regulated as such. By betting on these unbacked ‘tokens’, consumers should be aware that all their money could be lost.”

CrytpoUK backlash over treasury report 

Having been a long time advocate of regulation of the crypto sector, UK firm CryptoUK battled back against the Treasury Report. 

The firm emphasised that it could have a significant impact on the growth of the sector and how the UK competes on a global scale, as the market becomes increasingly competitive. 

Commenting on the consultation, Su Carpenter, Director of Operations at CryptoUK, said: “We believe that a regulatory regime for crypto assets is key to enabling the UK to be competitive as a destination for the fast growing crypto assets market.

“We support the ‘same risk, same regulatory outcome’ approach and continued UK commitment to the development and promotion of international standards, given the cross-border nature of the crypto-asset industry. 

“We would welcome the UK taking a leading role in promoting safe and orderly crypto asset markets given that this will both support the further development of the crypto industry, as well as the competitiveness of the UK as a destination for crypto firms. 

“We welcome proactive engagement with industry by the HMT and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in preparation of both a UK crypto asset regulatory framework. 

“We suggest taking a broader view at all of the enablers for the UK to deliver on its ambition to become a global hub for the crypto industry, which includes a proportionate application of FinProm rules to trading venues, addressing concerns of de-banking by the crypto industry and progressive tax policy that addresses the nuances of the asset class.”

LG moves into NFTs 

Tech giant LG has expanded its presence in Web3 – confirming a new patent involving NFTs. 

The move would be considered a big one in the space, with LG one of the most significant players in the tech space and potentially having capabilities to elevate NFTs to new audiences and within new realms.

The filing stated: “In one embodiment, the TV platform further includes a camera capable of obtaining an image of the TV platform in one direction through an image sensor, and the control unit is configured to use the user’s unique information obtained through the camera.”

Layer One X looks to grow potential of blockchain 

Layer One X, set to launch in August 2023, has landed what they term as X-talk, which enables different blockchains to directly communicate and work together without middlemen.

In a move that underlines the potential of blockchain, the group detailed it eliminates the need for bridges and could well ‘transform the blockchain ecosystem’.

Native interoperability enables seamless transfer of assets, data, and information between blockchains, fostering collaboration and synergy across different blockchain ecosystems. To date, however, no Layer One blockchain has achieved native interoperability. 

Layer One X Founder Kevin Coutinho stated on the move: “At Layer One X we have achieved native, decentralised interoperability with X-talk. This world-first we have achieved not only affects blockchain, but it impacts the field of technology as a whole.”

Furthermore, through the technology Layer One X will not only be able to transfer assets between any chain but also implement logic, which will allow smart contracts on different chains to be able to communicate and collaborate with each other for true cross chain collaboration.