Payment Expert’s Blockchain Bulletin analyses how the world of blockchain is constantly evolving and having a major impact on the payment industry, with cryptocurrencies, NFTs and the metaverse revolutionising the space. 

This week, the European Commission has outlined plans to better prepare the continent for the eventual integration of the metaverse and Web 4.0, whilst the UK’s FCA is making good on its promise to stamp out crypto ATMs across the country. 

European Commission explores Metaverse and other virtual worlds 

In its efforts to “steer the next technological transition and ensure an open, secure, trustworthy, fair and inclusive digital environment for EU citizens,” the European Commission outlined plans to adopt virtual world technology over the next several years. 

Despite seemingly being in the early stages of Web 3.0, the EC is looking beyond that to Web 4.0 to better prepare and understand virtual and augmented reality and its scalability, which is projected to have a market size of over €800bn by 2030. 

In its report, the EC also has four pillars it intends to adhere to in its early adoption phase of virtual worlds, pillars such as laying out correct standards and creating a talent pipeline to have the best developers in the continent to help the Web 4.0 sector flourish. 

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internet Market, stated: “Europe has what it takes to lead the next technological transition: innovative start-ups, rich creative content and industrial applications, a strong role as global standard-setter, and an innovation-friendly and predictable legal framework.”

26 Crypto ATMs shut down as FCA enforces ban 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – has announced it shut down as many as 26 illegal crypto ATMs in the country this year alone. 

The 26 ATMs were located across 34 different regions – underlining the FCA’s stance against crypto ATMs since the watchdog warned of their potential danger, ultimately banning them. 

Steve Smart, Joint-Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, stated: “If you use a crypto ATM in the UK, you are using a machine that is operating illegally and you may be handing your money over to criminals. You will not be protected if something goes wrong, and you could lose your money.”

UK’s CBDC project gets Nuggets onboard to oversee privacy measures

The UK’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) research group – Project Rosalind – gained the services of payment identification firm Nuggets to look into privacy and security elements of the potential digital pound. 

Nuggets has worked on using technology to build parameters around a CBDC to effectively detect and prevent fraud and money laundering, which was outlined in the BoE’s consultation into CBDCs last February.

The firm confirmed its involvement in Project Rosalind several weeks back, but it was recently revealed that the company aims to design security layers – such as the tracking of transaction data – for a CBDC pilot. 

BIS reports CBDC projects has spiked 93% since last year

The UK is not the only country working on their own CBDC as a recent Bank of International Settlements (BIS) revealed 86 central banks are working on developing their own digital currency – a 93% rise from last year’s responses. 

BIS also projected that there could be as much as 15 retail and wholesale CBDCs circulating publicly by the end of the decade, with many central banks believing them to hold potential value for years to come. 

Crypto compliance of utmost importance to iDenfy and CoinSniper

iDenfy has partnered with digital asset platform CoinSniper to help mitigate crypto fraud attacks by enhancing security onboarding measures. 

The new partnership entails that CoinSniper will integrate iDenfy’s verification software, enhancing the KYC onboarding experience for the platform’s crypto users.