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’s edition looks at the PE Summer Series and why crypto regulation could be coming in 2023.

2023 can usher in regulatory frameworks 

A decorated panel gathered for the Payment Expert Summer Series, as they discussed the potential 2023 holds for the formation of regulatory frameworks. 

Speaking on the webinar, Su Carpenter, Director of Operations at CryptoUK, emphasised that the organisation has been closely collaborating with policymakers over the evolution of a bill. 

She detailed the importance of understanding the nuances of the crypto space, specifically when it comes to the formulation of frameworks. 

“I think that has been our biggest concern to date. There is an opportunity to be able to replicate some of the existing regulations that exist within financial services, but there is also a real need here to look at something bespoke and tailor-made for different asset classes and use cases,” added Carpenter. 

Meanwhile, the panel also placed close attention to the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) bill to be launched by the EU in 2024, with it being cited as a milestone moment for the industry. 

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust lands key SEC victory 

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust has landed a key victory in a court appeal against the US Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the denial of its exchange-traded fund (ETF) application.

Grayscale’s attempts to become a spot bitcoin ETF have placed it next to other asset managers such as BlackRock, WisdomTree and Fidelity, in their monolith undertaking of pursuing approval from the SEC, which has so far maintained a trend of rejecting such applications.

The regulator did, however, recently end up approving an application for a bitcoin futures ETF, which some experts believe could lead to a substantial change in SEC’s views, despite it having yet to approve a spot bitcoin ETF. 

Mastercard and Binance collaboration ends 

Likely signalling an end to co-branded crypto cards, Mastercard and cryptocurrency exchange Binance have both confirmed the two entities will no longer continue their partnership. 

Those most affected by the termination of the partnership will likely fall in South America, as Mastercard and Binance launched crypto prepaid cards in Argentina and more recently in Brazil for users to make crypto-to-fiat – and vice versa – payments. 

The SEC eyes NFTs 

American NFTs issuer Impact Theory has been charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission over the sale of unregistered products.

According to the regulator, Impact Theory has engaged NFT buyers with unregistered crypto asset securities in the form of a three-tier NFT purchasing system, through which the company illegitimately gained around $30m (£24m) of investor funds.  

The scheme allegedly took place between October and December of 2021, when Impact Theory presented the purchase of one of its three-tier NFTs as an investment into the business itself, which would turn profitable as the company grows.