JPEX Weekly (Important Events) in the Third Week of August

The third week of August saw the launch of new NFT collections, a license of operations was granted to a well-established platform already dealing in cryptocurrencies, and there was another cut in the staff of a crypto lending platform due to increasing expenditure in a bearish market.

Aside from that, financial institutions continued to caution unsuspecting traders and investors about the dangers of indulging in crypto trading while a representative of a firm announced that their investment in a particular lending firm is hanging in the balance. 

At the start of the week, prices were soaring but went through a massive correction, and plunged to relatively lower prices towards the end. 

Philippines’ Bangko Sentral Cautioned Public Against Engaging Unregistered Foreign Exchanges

The Central Bank of the Philippines (Bangko Sentral) urged residents of the country to be cautious when dealing with crypto trading platforms or what it termed Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP), according to a press release on Wednesday, August 17. 

It hammered on unregistered platforms as well as others that can be accessed by citizens of the country through illegal means. 

“On top of the inherent risk of price volatility associated with Virtual Assets (VAs), VASPs that are based abroad may present additional challenges on enforcing legal recourse and consumer protection and redress mechanisms for local customers, among others”, per the press release.

Trading and investing in digital assets is extremely risky since cryptocurrencies are classified as a highly volatile asset class. 

There are several multiple percentage swings daily which could lead to enormous gains for experienced traders but can also bring about irrecoverable losses. 

Aside from that, crypto has become the new cash cow for hackers and cybercriminals as a whole since transactions cannot be reversed. 

This has led to a significant rise in crypto scams which continues to soar to billions of dollars annually in the last three years.

“The public should exercise caution, conduct their own due diligence, and always be mindful of the risks prior to engaging with VA-related activities”, the post added. 

The apex bank urged residents to visit the BSP-regulated VASPs to see which platforms are supervised and regulated by them. 

Skrill Gets a License to Operate in Italy

Skrill announced that it has acquired the necessary license to operate in Italy, according to a post by IBS Intelligence on Wednesday, August 17. 

“Skrill registered in Italy as a Virtual Asset Service Provider. Registration is issued by ‘Organismo per gli agenti e mediatori (OAM), which supervises crypto operators in Italy. Being registered as a VASP means Skrill can facilitate the exchange of virtual assets and cryptocurrencies”, according to a tweet on Skrill’s verified Twitter account. 

“As part of our commitment to providing secure, fast, and compliant services to our merchants and consumers, we continue to invest in our regulatory capabilities. Evolving regulatory frameworks are key to supporting our customers globally as the virtual asset class matures and adoption grows. We are proud of our new VASP-registered status in Italy, which has long been an important market for us”, Chirag Patel, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Digital Wallets at Paysafe (parent company of Skrill) added. 

Aside from Italy, Paysafe has also confirmed its status as a crypto asset company with the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

Houston Texans Announced Partnership with BitWallet

Houston-based National Football League (NFL) team Houston Texans announced that it has entered into an exclusive partnership with BitWallet to become the club’s official digital currency wallet, according to a blog post on Tuesday, August 16.  

This alliance will enable fans to buy game suites with cryptocurrency using BitWallet as the intermediary (the platform which will convert the digital assets into United States Dollars). 

“We are proud to partner with BitWallet to offer an exciting option for our fans who are looking to enjoy Texans gameday in one of our suites. BitWallet is a perfect collaborator as we continue our efforts to move our organization forward in new and innovative ways”, Greg Grissom, Houston Texans President commented. 

Responding to the partnership, John T. Perrone, Chief Executive Officer of BitWallet made it known that digital currency has become a primary means of payment and by partnering with his firm, the Texans are leading the way in the NFL. “I am honored that BitWallet is the first to offer Texans fans this service”, he added. 

Tencent Stops Sales on its NFT Platform “Huanhe”

Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings announced that it will no longer be releasing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its platform “Huanhe” due to regulatory scrutiny in the country, according to a news report by Reuters on Tuesday, August 16. 

China has been hostile to all areas of the crypto industry as the country’s central bank sees the new asset class as a threat to its stabilized economy. 

Officially launched in August 2021 to meet the growing demand of NFT collectors in the country, Huanhe competed with mainstream NFT marketplaces such as Looksrare, Magic Eden, OpenSea, and Nifty Gateway among others. 

New collectibles launched through the platform sold out in minutes and confirmed Huanhe’s status as one of the biggest digital collectibles platforms in China.  

“Based on the company’s consideration to focus on its core strategy, Huanhe is making adjustments to its business,” Tencent said in a statement that was reported by Reuters. 

As of Tuesday, Aug. 16, Huanhe has stopped releasing NFTs to the public but owners of existing collections can still hold, display, or request a refund for their possessions. 

Other Important Events

During the week, the crypto lender “Hodlnaut” laid off around 80% of its staff to reduce the company’s expenditure. This saw the crypto firm join a long list of companies in the industry in downsizing the number of employees on its payroll. 

Dapper Labs, the company behind the successful NFT collection NBA Top Shot announced the launch of NFL ALL DAY. This is a collection that will be showing the highlights and moments of the past and present seasons of the National Football League. Collectors are now free to buy, hold, and sell their digital collectibles. Like NBA Top Shot, the NFTs will be housed in the Flow blockchain, one of the most successful NFT chains of all time.