Payment Expert’s Blockchain Bulletin analyses how the world of blockchain is constantly evolving and heavily impacting the payments industry, with cryptocurrencies, NFTs and the metaverse revolutionising the space. 

This week, we have more reaction from last week’s launch of the Bitcoin ETF, with ZUMO CEO, Nick Jones believing that it has “crossed the chasm to mainstream adoption”.

Breaking down the impact of the Bitcoin ETF

Last week, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finally approved a Bitcoin ETF on its largest securities exchanges, a landmark moment for the crypto sector. 

Whilst those outside of the sector have been asking themselves ‘what is a Bitcoin ETF?’, the approval has been labelled as a key factor in helping crypto break into the mainstream. 

Speaking to Payment Expert, Nick Jones, CEO of Edinburgh-based crypto company Zumo, believes this will prove to the moment crypto enters the mainstream market it has been reaching to get to. 

He said: “Digital assets have now crossed the chasm to mainstream adoption and the future is very bright. With the stamp of legitimisation – and money flows – that US spot Bitcoin ETF approvals bring, crypto now has every chance to make good on its promises to democratise and update our financial system.”

Why calls are being made for NFT evolution

NFTs have endured a period of decline over the last year and one of its largest marketplaces is calling for an evolution to the blockchain-based product. 

OpenSea is planning to launch the ‘OpenSea 2.0’ app upgrade to help foster NFT evolution, establishing greater differentiation between the categories as the number of uses for NFTs increase. 

Sales and demand for NFTs have sharply declined in the last two years, with sales dropping 63% amid a down period for the overall crypto sector. 

Exploring the UK’s borders to crypto regulation

George Iddenden, Reporter at The Payments Association, wrote for Payment Expert this week on the hurdles UK regulators are facing when it comes to establishing itself as a leading international hub for the crypto sector.

He shared: “While the UK has worked hard to make early gains in the crypto space, it has encountered a dual challenge linked to the legacy banking sector, which is preventing progress being made, according to industry insiders.

“One of the major issues revolves around retail customers’ ability to access crypto products, with large banks, including Chase Bank, blocking transactions with crypto exchanges.

Deriv enhances access to SOL payments

Deriv has announced an expansion of its existing partnership with BVNK to enable Solana (SOL) payments. 

With an estimated four million owners of cryptocurrency around the world and Deriv’s customers demanding digital currency payments, the partnership looks to change its payment strategy plan for its 2.5 million-strong user base. 

Dubai positions itself as leading market as OKX gains licence approval

OKX is the latest cryptocurrency exchange viewing Dubai as a potential burgeoning hub for digital assets after receiving licence approval from the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). 

The firm will now be able to launch the ability to process fiat transactions in the country, as well as its range of sport services and pairs to customers through the exchange and the OKX app.