After witnessing the parabolic growth of the nonfungible token (NFT) ecosystem since the turn of the year, popular cryptocurrency exchange FTX has become the latest crypto platform to announce the launch of a native NFT marketplace.
Exclusive for United States-based customers, the platform will enable users to mint, buy and sell NFTs — all traded cross-chain across the Ethereum and Solana blockchains. Deposits and withdrawals are also expected to be launched in the coming weeks, opening up the capability of depositing external NFTs onto the platform.
In a public display of the new feature, the exchange has launched a word-art style image that simply reads “Test.” The image has a current bid of $1,100 and a remaining time of 19 hours.
In an interview with CNBC’s Street Signs Asia two weeks ago, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried expressed caution over the rapid growth of the NFT space, suggesting that investors could become susceptible to vulnerability in such a dynamic market if improperly educated on the potential risks:
“It could lead to just incredibly fast and giant adoption. It could also lead, frankly, to sort of a sour taste in people’s mouth if there’s a crash, and no one ever quite figured out what it was.”
Regulators must step up protections for consumers who invest in crypto tokens but also keep in mind that overreach could backfire, the chair of the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has cautioned.
In a new speech written for the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, Charles Randell, chair of the FCA and Payments Systems Regulator, said that there is currently a real problem with consumers who delve into the crypto sphere without due awareness of the risks.
He singled out the role of influencers and paid-for advertising, in particular, noting that Kim Kardashian’s recent Instagram promotion of EthereumMax (EMAX), a brand-new token issued by “unknown developers,” “may have been the financial promotion with the single biggest audience reach in history.”
While Randell reserved judgement on whether or not EthereumMax is itself fraudulent, the vast reach of such a campaign and its potential to mislead under-informed consumers should give regulators pause, he implied.
Add to this dynamics such as retail investor hype, FOMO and the proliferation of pump-and-dump crypto-related scams, Randell claimed that many consumers remain blind to the financial risks they are courting by trusting influencer endorsements and savvy online token campaigns.
SAN SALVADOR, Sept 7 (Reuters) - El Salvador on Tuesday became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, a real-world experiment proponents say will lower commission costs for billions of dollars sent home from abroad but which critics warned may fuel money laundering.
The plan spearheaded by the young, charismatic and popular President Nayib Bukele is aimed at allowing Salvadorans to save on $400 million spent annually in commissions for remittances, mostly sent from the United States.
Last year alone remittances to El Salvador amounted to almost $6 billion, or 23% of its gross domestic product, one of the highest ratios in the world.
Polls show Salvadorans are skeptical about using bitcoin and wary of the volatility of the cryptocurrency that critics say could increase regulatory and financial risks for financial institutions. Still, some residents are optimistic.
"It's going to be beneficial ... we have family in the United States and they can send money at no cost, whereas banks charge to send money from the United States to El Salvador," said Reina Isabel Aguilar, a store owner in El Zonte Beach, some 49 km (30 mi) southwest of capital San Salvador.
El Zonte is part of the so-called Bitcoin Beach geared toward making the town one of the world's first bitcoin economies.
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