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, following Ripple Labs’ non-security XRP win last July, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is aiming to overturn the decision after filing an appeal to a New York judge

SEC stands firm on XRP as a security stance

The SEC has lodged an appeal to last July’s non-security ruling for Ripple Labs’ XRP token as the financial regulator seeks to double-down on its crypto tokens as a security stance. 

The US District Court of the Southern District of New York ruled in favour of Ripple last July, but the SEC argues that retail investors purchasing XRP on the Ripple exchange falls under the same category and rules that typical financial institutional investors abide by. 

The regulator filed the appeal to judge Analisa Torres last Friday and was confirmed Monday, claiming “undisputed facts” when it pertains to the SEC’s security laws falling under security laws. 

The filing read: “The undisputed facts (e.g., Order at 23 – Programmatic Sales are ‘blind bid/ask transactions’) – present a legal question – can an issuer’s offers and sales on crypto asset trading platforms create a reasonable expectation of profits based on the efforts of others? 

“This legal question is at issue in a number of pending cases, and a Second Circuit ruling will have ‘precedential value.”

Coinbase ups the Stablecoin ante with Circle stake acquisition

Stablecoins are surging in popularity and this was bolstered by Coinbase acquiring a minority stake in the issuer of one of the largest stablecoins in the market, Circle

The stake purchase also means that Circle will move its issuance of its popular USDC token fully in-house, as well as being supported by an additional six blockchain networks, bringing its total now to 15. 

Coinbase and Circle co-launched USDC five years ago and is the second largest stablecoin in the world. The stake acquisition draws questions whether or not this is a play to enhance its value after PayPal launched its own native stablecoin recently. 

FCA seeks to tighten UK crypto regulations with new ‘Travel Rule’ 

In a quest to ensure that consumer protection is of the utmost priority, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has introduced a ‘Travel Rule’ that will make companies collect and share crypto data. 

Set to be enforced this October, the FCA has set out guidelines for firms to abide by in order to be fully compliant with the Travel Rule, guidelines such as relaying information from the Money Laundering Act, due diligence with third-party operators and more. 

The Financial Action Task Force has called upon other jurisdictions to implement the Travel Rule so there can be more transparency around crypto transactions and their data. 

Mastercard creates platform for CBDC collaboration to flourish

As many global governments are seeking out best practices to implement a CBDC, Mastercard is offering to invite companies to collaborate and share ideas for solutions. 

Consensys, Fireblocks and Ripple Labs are some of the many companies already working under the new Mastercard programme, with Fluency already breaking ground on interoperability measures and how to best introduce them. 

CDBC designs are essential for mass adoption

In other CBDC news, FNA has conducted its own research into CBDCs by researching its design elements, in which it concluded it essential to stem user interest and create widespread adoption. 

Carlos León, an FNA researcher, commented: “By implementing an agent-based learning-by-simulation approach, the complex interdependence between the initial conditions of the retail payment ecosystem and the retail CBDC design options can be modelled and studied before incurring the costs and risks of a learning-by-doing approach.” 

Trustly provides payment capabilities for new casino NFT offering

Trustly has partnered with Station Casinos to become the exclusive payments provider for its new NFT loyalty marketplace STN Charms

The NFT platform launched last March to enhance the gaming experience by revamping its loyalty program in a “ground-breaking way”. Trustly aims to provide guaranteed deposits and withdrawals for user wallets to help assist in customers engaging with NFTs on STN Charms.