While the European Union proceeds with smoothly passing its landmark crypto framework, the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA), through the legislation phases, its financial services chief urges their United States’ counterparts to keep in step to ensure the forthcoming regulations will be global, not local.
On Oct. 18, the European Commission’s financial services commissioner Mairead McGuinness emphasized to the Financial Times that the regulatory efforts should take a global character. “We do need to see other players also legislating,” said McGuinness, adding, “We need to look at global regulation of crypto.”
These remarks were made during McGuinness’ visit to Washington DC, where she met the Republican Representative Patrick McHenry and the Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, one of the co-sponsors of the U.S. crypto bill. The commissioner was encouraged by these meetings and believes that the U.S. lawmakers were moving in “the same direction.” Nevertheless, she shared her concerns about the possible delays of that movement:
“There could be — in time, if it grows — financial stability problems. There also are investor issues around a lack of certainty.”
The European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) approved the MiCa on Oct. 10 following a vote from the European Council. Following legal and linguistic checks, Parliament approving the latest version of the text, and publication in the official EU journal, the crypto policies could go into effect starting in 2024.
Meanwhile, after several different bills on crypto in general and stablecoins, in particular, have been introduced to the public, the U.S. lawmakers’ discussion stalled. One of the reasons might be the upcoming midterm elections, which could re-draw the balance of powers in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The FT also highlights the disagreement between the Democratic and Republican parties, especially regarding stablecoins.
Walmart’s global chief technology officer Suresh Kumar has tipped cryptocurrency to become a “major” area of disruption, particularly in how customers pay for virtual and physical goods in the future.
Speaking at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit on Oct. 17, Kumar outlined Walmart’s positive stance on digital assets, noting that “crypto will become an important part of how customers transact” for both physical and virtual goods.
“I think that there are three major areas of disruption. Crypto falls in sort of the middle of it,” he said, explaining that “the way in which customers are getting inspired and discovering products” is changing.
Kumar also suggested that a significant amount of customers will be marketed to through the Metaverse and live streams on social media apps, and that crypto could be an important payment option in these kinds of areas:
“When you specifically talk about crypto, it is going to be about discovery of products, whether it is physical or virtual inside, either the Metaverse or upfront, and then how people transact.”
Such may explain Walmart’s recent foray into the Roblox Metaverse, launching Walmart Land in late September. The company is hosting a range of virtual experiences there such as games, a DJ booth and a Ferris wheel, while also offering virtual merchandise products called “verch” for users’ avatars.
Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and crypto are not integrated with the Roblox metaverse at this stage. However, Walmart has previously indicated in patent filings from January that it could look to create digital currencies, tokens and NFTs in the Metaverse space sometime in the future.
“We want to make sure that we make it as friction free for customers to be able to transact, and to be able to buy, and how they are able to derive value out of it. And that is where-- I think a lot of the disruption is going to start happening in terms of different payment methods, different payment options,” he said.
The multinational retail giant has been rumored to have been working on rolling out crypto payment support for a while, but so far only false alarms have arisen such as the fake deal with Litecoin that was announced via a dubious press release from September last year.
As it stands, there were around 200 Bitcoin ATMs installed at Walmart stores across the United States in October 2021, with plans at the time to expand that number to 8,000 at an unspecified time in the future.
The International Criminal Police Organization is reportedly planning to strengthen its crackdown on cryptocurrency-related crimes by forming a dedicated division.
Interpol, the world’s largest global police organization, has set up a special team in Singapore to help governments fight crimes involving virtual assets, the Indian news agency Business Standard reported on Oct. 17.
Interpol made the announcement at a press conference ahead of its 90th general assembly in Delhi, which is to be attended by high-profile police officials from its 195 members from Oct. 18 until Oct. 21.
According to Interpol secretary general Jürgen Stock, the absence of a legal framework for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether poses major challenges to law enforcement agencies. “Because very often, agencies are not properly trained and properly equipped” to address cryptocurrency crimes in the beginning, Stock reportedly noted.
Stock also pointed out that cryptocurrency and cybercrime will be the main focus of the agenda at Interpol’s general assembly in India.
#Crypto currencies are emerging as major threat across the globe: Jurgen Stock, Interpol chief
The Interpol global complex for innovation in Singapore is working on a mechanism to deal with challenges emerging from #Cryptocurency October 18, 2022
Praveen Sinha, the special director of India’s Central Bureau of Investigations, reiterated that it has been increasingly difficult to monitor cybercrime. He also highlighted Interpol’s role in establishing and developing better police cooperation at the global level.
“The only answer is international cooperation, coordination, trust, and real-time sharing of information,” Sinha said.
The news comes soon after Interpol issued a “red notice” to global law enforcement in September for the arrest of Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon. South Korean prosecutors in Seoul previously asked Interpol to circulate the “red notice” for Do Kwon across the agency’s 195 member nations to find him following the collapse of the Terra ecosystem in May 2022.
Interpol’s latest efforts to better track cryptocurrency crimes are not the agency’s first initiative to get more crypto-related skills. Interpol has been working to get more expertise to learn about cryptocurrency transactions and identify criminal activity in the darknet as early as at least 2015.
In 2020, Interpol partnered with the cybersecurity firm Trend Micro to reduce cryptojacking affecting routers across South-East Asia. The agency also worked with the South Korean data intelligence startup, S2W Lab, to analyze dark web activity, including cryptocurrency transactions in March 2020.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.