Our weekly crypto newsletter is here! Learn more about the new UK Prime Minister’s crypto strategy, Hong Kong’s plans to legalize crypto, and INTERPOL lurking in the Metaverse!
Sign up here to receive this newsletter in your inbox every Friday!
New UK Prime Minister is Bullish on Crypto
The UK saw its third Prime Minister in just two months as Conservative party leader Rishi Sunak was appointed earlier this week. This news grabbed the attention of the crypto world, as Sunak has been outspoken about blockchain technology in the past.
While serving his former role as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he pushed for stablecoins to be a recognized form of payment and proposed an initiative for a CBDC to be launched in the UK. Even though this would encourage investment in the space, the Bitcoin community strongly opposed the idea, claiming CBDCs would erode privacy and result in tracking consumer transactions.
In either case, the economic backdrop of his appointment might suggest these developments are a long way ahead. After an incredibly turbulent few months politically, which saw the GBP drop in value significantly, the UK government is still facing many challenges.
Hong Kong plans to Legalize Crypto
Hong Kong seeks to move away from China’s strict crypto regulations and regain its position as an “international virtual asset hub.” Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is planning to allow retail investors to “invest directly in virtual assets.” This was announced by the SFC’s director of licensing and head of its fintech unit, Elizabeth Wong, during an event earlier this week. Wong emphasized that the cryptocurrency industry has become more regulated over the past four years.
The move would lift a regulation limiting cryptocurrency trading on centralized exchanges to professional investors. Under that regulation, which has been in place for the past four years, only investors with at least 8 million Hong Kong dollars (USD 1 million) in liquid assets can buy and own crypto. A more flexible regulation of digital currency trading is one of the initiatives being taken by the government to restore Hong Kong’s status as a tech hub.
According to some reports, Hong Kong has already had some success with crypto adoption. In a study published in July 2022 by Forex, Hong Kong was considered the best-prepared country for broad crypto adoption, considering a range of factors such as crypto ATM installations, pro-crypto policies, and startup culture.
INTERPOL Goes After the Bad Guys in the Metaverse
What springs to your mind when you read or hear someone mention “the Metaverse”? Whatever things we all associate with the Metaverse, chances are the police aren’t one of them. Apparently, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) has decided to surprise everyone. At its 90th General Assembly that ended last week in New Delhi, the global law enforcement agency announced the launch of the first-ever “police Metaverse” task force. The officials said that the already up-and-running INTERPOL Metaverse was “specifically designed for law enforcement worldwide,” and it will address the growing presence of criminals in the Metaverse. Equipped with Meta Quest 2 headsets, the event attendees could tour the organization’s headquarters in Lyon, France. In addition, registered users will be able to interact with fellow officers and take virtual forensic investigation training courses! Similarly, INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock spoke during the session about the need to form a special unit to deal specifically with crimes in the crypto space.