The United Kingdom has introduced two bills, both concerning the seizure of and support for cryptocurrencies as part of Prince Charles' remarks at the State Opening of Parliament.
In a Tuesday publication released by the U.K. Prime Minister’s Office, the government said it will address crypto regulation in the country with the introduction of the Financial Services and Markets Bill and theEconomic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill. The former aims to strengthen the country’s financial services industry, including by supporting “the safe adoption of cryptocurrencies.” According to the proposed financial services law, the measure will “[cut] red tape in the financial sector” in an effort to attract investors to the United Kingdom.
The crime bill proposed “creating powers to more quickly and easily seize and recover crypto assets” to mitigate risks for individuals targeted by ransomware attacks. The publication said the social and economic costs due to financial crimes were estimated at £8.4 billion annually — more than $10.3 billion at the time of publication.
Tuesday’s State Opening of Parliament was the first time Queen Elizabeth II was unable to attend since 1963 due to reported mobility problems. However, the Prime Minister’s Office still referred to the legislative agenda addressing economic issues, crime, the ongoing pandemic, and leadership as “the Queen’s Speech.” Prince William and the Duchess of Cornwall were also in attendance.
The Queen’s speech followed the United Kingdom's Economic and Finance Ministry declaring in April it intended to “take the necessary legislative steps” to bring stablecoins into its regulatory framework as part of a “package of measures” aimed at incorporating crypto assets and blockchain technology. The Financial Conduct Authority and Bank of England have also called for crypto firms to enforce the sanctions imposed on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
The creator of the Fearless Girl statue in New York, which stands for the empowerment of women, has brought the emblem into the crypto space by dropping a nonfungible token (NFT) counterpart for the symbolic art piece.
In an interview with Cointelegraph, sculptor Kristen Visbal told the story behind the artwork’s significance and how she aims to use it to empower women in crypto. According to Visbal, the piece is a symbol that fights for equality, the need for gender collaboration and parity. She explained that:
“Fearless Girl legally stands for the empowerment of women, equality, equal pay, supporting women in leadership positions, the education of women, education in the workplace for the prevention of prejudice, and the general well-being of women.”
Now, with the advent of NFTs, Visbal has found a new platform to spread the message of the Fearless Girl statue. The sculptor has released NFT versions of the iconic figurine “to entice women into a space dominated by men.”
Apart from this, Visbal mentioned that the proceeds from the sale will be used to defend the original message of the artwork. She said that the earnings will “defend this work as a work created for the people” so that the figure will be used in programs and events to the people’s benefit.
Back in March, a survey done by Arcane Research and Ernst & Young found that the number of women who held crypto doubled from 2021. The rate of crypto ownership went from 3% in the earlier months of 2021 and went to 6% by March 2022.
Meanwhile, on International Women's Day in 2022, The Sandbox (SAND) partnered with the NFT project World of Women (Wow) to launch a foundation aimed at female representation within the NFT and metaverse industry. The Wow Foundation received a $25 million grant from The Sandbox to fund its projects in the next five years.
Townsquare Media, a New York-based digital marketing and radio station company, is the latest business to back the original cryptocurrency with its addition of $5 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) to its balance sheet.
A filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosing Townsquare’s purchase of Bitcoin was first picked up by Macroscope, a Twitter account that focuses on institutional trading, posted the find on Monday.
According to the filing, the company “invested an aggregate of $5 million into Bitcoin” during the first quarter of 2021 and provided an explanation for why it chose a crypto investment, stating:
“The Company believes in the long-term potential of digital assets as an investment. The Company may increase or decrease its holdings of digital assets at any time based on our view of market conditions.”
While the price of Bitcoin at the time of purchase wasn’t disclosed, Townsquare said it recorded an impairment loss of $400,000, resulting from “changes to the fair value” of its digital asset holdings over the quarter.
The so-called loss appears to be due to the unusual way companies need to report on crypto holdings. Townsquare also stated it could have sold its Bitcoin for $6.2 million total on March 31, as the price of Bitcoin that day closed at a price of around $45,500. The company stated it views its Bitcoin investment as liquid due to the ease of converting it to cash using a crypto exchange.
While the purchase is small in comparison to MicroStrategy’s nearly $3 billion stash worth of Bitcoin, Townsquare Media is around the middle of the list in terms of the amount of the crypto held by publicly traded companies.
According to Bitcoin Treasures, a site that measures Bitcoin held by companies, Townsquare would sit somewhere around the Bitcoin mining companies Cleanspark Inc which holds around $4.3 million and Cathedra Bitcoin Inc., which holds just over $5 million worth of Bitcoin.
With the price of Bitcoin sliding this year and recently hitting 10-month lows, other companies with big positions in the world’s first cryptocurrency have reported losses due to having the asset on their balance sheet.
Earlier in May, crypto investment manager Galaxy Digital Holdings reported a $111.7 million loss in the first quarter of 2022 due to unrealized losses on its cryptocurrency portfolio. MicroStrategy CEO and Bitcoin advocate Michael Saylor also had to assure investors that the company could cover its debts if asked due to a Bitcoin-backed $205 million loan it took out in March.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.