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, Europe’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) kicked into effect at the start of the week and are already proving to be instrumental in how operators are acting, as one exchange has delisted and an operator gaining key clearance. 

Why MiCA helps crypto get rid of ‘Wild West’ persona 

With the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) rules and regulations being officially implemented, it represents a new era for how crypto is being handled in Europe. 

With this comes varying compliance elements crypto asset service providers (CASPs) must abide by in order to flourish on the continent. Most notably, cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp had to delist Tether’s EU native EURT stablecoin as it did not meet MiCA’s e-money token guidelines. 

Eleanor Gaywood, Head of Strategy at crypto security firm Coincover, welcomes MiCA’s rules regarding stablecoins and crypto overall as a way to rid the sector of its “Wild West” image. 

Circle gains early European stablecoin foothold

Upon receiving an Electronic Money Institute (EMI) licence in France, Circle is now able to trade its USDC and EURC stablecoins. 

Circle Mint will become available for customers in Europe. This provides near-instant and cost-effective access to mint and redeem both USDC and EURC in the European market, backed by local banking capabilities. 

Amongst the top 10 stablecoins by market capitalization, USDC becomes the first and only MiCA-compliant stablecoin. 

Paxos to supply stablecoins following Singapore entry

In other market regulation news, stablecoin and crypto issuer Paxos has gained entry into the Singapore market to offer its range of digital payment token services to relevant companies. 

Asian bank DBS was cited by Paxos as its first banking partner in Singapore and will look to offer its cash management and custody of some of its stablecoin reserves. Paxos issues a range of stablecoins, such as PayPal’s PYUSD and Pax Dollar. 

Stripe delves deeper into USDC transaction cases

Stripe has partnered with Coinbase to increase on-chain adoption and provide faster, cheaper financial infrastructure.

Stripe has integrated USDC on Base into its crypto payouts product, also adding USDC on Base to its fiat-to-crypto onramp, enabling customers to convert fiat currency to crypto more efficiently.

Standard Chartered makes bold tokenisation forecast

Standard Chartered expects global demand for and trade in tokenised products to reach new heights over the coming years, and it is not the only bank to have made these observations.

Kai Fehr, Global Head of Trade, Standard Chartered, said: “We see the next three years as a critical junction for tokenisation, with trade finance assets coming to the fore as a new asset class.”