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Chelsea’s new shirt sponsor is a crypto platform

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Chelsea’s new shirt sponsor is a crypto platform

U.K.› Sports

Chelsea becomes the second club in the English premier league to have a cryptocurrency platform as one of its main sponsors.

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2 min read

Updated: May 12, 2022 at 3:44 pm

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

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European Champions League defending champions Chelsea Football Club signed a £20 million a year shirt deal with cryptocurrency investment platform WhaleFin.

Chelsea, which is currently undergoing a transfer of ownership, has faced significant financial challenges this season after sanctions on its Russian owner Roman Abramovic. The UK government sanctioned the billionaire due to his close ties with the Russian government.

We’re excited to reveal @WhaleFinApp, the digital asset platform powered by @ambergroup_io as our new sleeve partner from the 2022/23 season! 💙#AmberGroup | #WhaleFin

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 12, 2022

Abramovic’s assets in the U.K. — including Chelsea, which he was planning to sell — were frozen due to the sanctions. The sanctions also led to Chelsea sponsors such as Three, Zapp, Parimatch, and Hyundai cutting ties with the club.

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Per available information, American billionaire Todd Boehly will be taking over the club in a £2.7 Billion deal. However, the deal — expected to finalize this month — is pending approvals from the government and the Premier League.

However, reports confirmed that the shirt sleeve sponsorship agreement precedes this takeover. It is believed that the deal has been signed since January, when Abramovic was still in charge.

WhaleFin is a cryptocurrency platform owned by Singapore-based Amber Group. With the deal, Chelsea becomes the second club in the English premier league to have a cryptocurrency platform as one of its main sponsors.

In February, Manchester United signed a £20 million/year deal with blockchain network Tezos. The deal saw the Tezos logo appear on the football club’s training.

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Additionally, several other clubs in the EPL are involved in crypto in one way or another, including some of the top clubs in the league like Manchester City and Arsenal — both of which have fan tokens.

At least 17 of the 20 teams in the league have some partnerships with crypto companies.

Meanwhile, there are rumors that Liverpool is in discussions over a £70 million a year main shirt sponsorship deal, with one of the interested parties being a crypto company.

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Central African Republic wants to launch Africa’s first legal Bitcoin investment platform

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Central African Republic wants to launch Africa’s first legal Bitcoin investment platform

Africa› Bitcoin › Adoption

President Faustin-Archange Touadera has said that the traditional formal economy does give his country a chance to be competitive.

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2 min read

Updated: May 25, 2022 at 4:50 am

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

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According to an announcement on the country’s official Facebook page, the Central African Republic (CAR) is set to launch a cryptocurrency investment hub

The post revealed that the project would be known as “Sango.” According to the statement, President Faustin-Archange Touadera said

“The formal economy is no longer an option. An impenetrable bureaucracy is keeping us stuck in systems that do not give a chance to be competitive.”

President Touadera had hinted about the project on May 21 when he tweeted that “very soon we will announce the next planned phase” with the hashtag #Bitcoin.

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As a nation, we aim for a bright #future with #peace & #stability for our next generations. Today marks a month since we’ve started on this path. Other important #news will follow. Very soon we will announce the next planned phase.#Bitcoin #crypto #CAR #RCA

— Faustin-Archange Touadéra (@FA_Touadera) May 21, 2022

The Facebook post included a link to the landing page for sango.org, where visitors can register for the waitlist. Those who register for the waitlist will get a link to a 24-page presentation.

Central African Republic has huge Bitcoin plans

The document includes additional information about the project’s objectives, including building the first legal CryptoHub in Africa, taking Bitcoin Legacy to the next level, and Sango – The Crypto Island.

Following the unanimously adoption by the National Assembly of the #BTC legal tender status, we are pleased to showcase the first concrete initiative! It goes beyond politics&administration & has the potential to reshape #CAR’s financial system! #bitcoinhttps://t.co/1oxLHOen6q

— Faustin-Archange Touadéra (@FA_Touadera) May 24, 2022

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Additionally, it plans to establish a Digital Nation Bank, develop a crypto wallet, and facilitate land purchases using Bitcoin. Crypto firms will also have access to the natural resources in the country, and there will be a “citizenship by investment” program with zero taxes to encourage foreign investors.

The new plan comes a month after the Central African Republic announced making Bitcoin a legal tender. This made it the second country after El Salvador to take that step. 

International community does not support CAR’s Bitcoin decision

Several stakeholders have expressed concerns about the country Bitcoin’s decision. Analysts believe that there are significant barriers to Bitcoin adoption in the country.

The Central African Republic is one of the least developed countries in the world. It is ranked 188 out of 189 on the United Nations Human Development Index. Only 11% and 14% of its residents have access to the internet and electricity.

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Some residents have also expressed their surprise at the government’s adoption, as most are unfamiliar with crypto.

Although the government said that the National Assembly passed the bill making Bitcoin a legal tender unanimously, there are claims that many opposition lawmakers abstained from the votes.

The International Monetary Fund has also called for caution. IMF Africa Department Director Abebe Aemro Selassie said, 

“It’s really important to not see such things as a panacea for economic challenges our countries face.”

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Fed’s annual report shows most American crypto investors have ‘disproportionately high income’

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Fed’s annual report shows most American crypto investors have ‘disproportionately high income’

U.S.› Adoption

The report surveyed 11,000 respondents and shows that the financial well-being of Americans is at its highest since the report started.

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2 min read

Updated: May 24, 2022 at 11:15 am

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

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Roughly 12% of Americans own crypto, with most of them using it for investment purposes, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s annual report.

A closer look at the demographics shows that crypto investors in the U.S. are mostly the rich. According to the report, these investors have “disproportionately high income,” and most have some form of a retirement fund. Additionally, 99% of them have traditional bank accounts.

The report surveyed 11,000 respondents and found that the financial well-being of Americans is currently at the highest level since the regulator began publishing the report. 

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Per the report, 78% of U.S. adults said they are “doing okay or living comfortably financially,” with 68% saying they could cover a $400 emergency using cash. 

Crypto demographics

Of the 12% of U.S. adults who owned cryptocurrency, 11% held it as an investment option, 2% used it for payments or purchases, while 1% sent it to family and friends.

Only 29% of U.S. crypto investors had income below $50,000, while 46% earned more than $100,000 annually. Meanwhile, 89% of crypto investors still working have retirement savings.

However, the status of those using crypto for payments and transactions is quite different. 20% had income below $25,000, and 60% earned less than $50,000 per year, while only 24% of this group made over $100,000 annually.

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Unbanked crypto users

Additionally, a significant percentage of people using crypto for transactions are unbanked, with 13% lacking a traditional bank account, compared to 6% of the average adult American population. Meanwhile, 27% of this group did not have credit cards — far above the 17% of U.S. adults. 

The report also noted that those who use crypto for payments and transactions had lower education, with almost a quarter not having a high school diploma.

The Fed conducted the survey between October 2021 and November 2021, with respondents filling the responses online.

The report noted that the percentage of those using crypto among the overall population might be much lower than the sample population.

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Posted In: U.S., Adoption

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44 nations converged to discuss bitcoin in El Salvador: The Davos of crypto?

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44 nations converged to discuss bitcoin in El Salvador: The Davos of crypto?

Guest Post › El Salvador› Bitcoin › Adoption

The current traditional financial system has failed many countries leaving them subservient to the US Dollar, the meeting from 44 countries in El Salvador shows nations want change and see Bitcoin as a opportunity to do so.

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3 min read

Updated: May 24, 2022 at 9:25 am

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

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What happens when a government defaults on its ability to pay debt? On April 18th, Sri Lanka missed its deadline to pay $78 million in global bond payments.

Now, the country is on a trajectory of the biggest default in its history, worth $12.6 billion in overseas bonds.

The default trajectory is followed by mass riots amid food, power, and petroleum shortages. In such a scenario, a nation without much in the way of natural resources and monetary power is left with little recourse except to engage in money “printing” to pay for wages temporarily. 

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As the Federal Reserve increased its balance sheet by $4.5 trillion over the last two years, the central bank triggered an inflation rate above 8%, 4x higher than its 2% target. Yet, this is small compared to Sri Lanka’s nearly 30% inflation, going to 40%.

Such volatility is traditionally found in small-cap penny stock trading—not national currencies. Yet, this is the difference between having a global reserve currency as a cushion and depending on that currency.

From this subservient fiat currency position, Sri Lanka’s energy minister summed up the dire situation as “There aren’t enough dollars available to open letters of credit.”

In other words, despite the Fed’s unprecedented money supply increase that caused its inflationary devaluation, the dollar is comparatively superior to any other currency. This is its Bretton Woods legacy. As such, it is so high in demand that indebted nations can’t even use it for more debts—or is it?

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El Salvador: The Beginning of a New Bretton Woods?

On Monday, May 16th, El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele said he hosted a major central banking event. Already dubbed the Davos for Bitcoin, it gathered 32 central banks and 12 financial institutions from 44 countries. Without being the first nation to make Bitcoin legal tender, it is highly unlikely that this small country would become a host for such a gathering.

Many of the attendees represent developing nations on the Sri Lankan road to economic turmoil.

Banco Central de São Tomé e Príncipe

Banco Central del Paraguay

Banco Nacional de Angola

Bank of Ghana

Bank of Namibia

Bank of Uganda

Banque Centrale de la République de Guinée

Banque Centrale de Madagascar

Banque de la République d’Haiti

Banque de la République du Burundi

— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) May 16, 2022

The topic of the conference is financial inclusion. This term has been abraded from use. As the Bretton Woods byproduct, the not-invited International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been using it to onboard nations into its debt system. While the organization was tasked to help developed countries and manage financial crises, there is little evidence for this.

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Nathan Jensen, professor of political science in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, author of an IMF study published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, says,

“My analysis of economic trends in 68 countries over nearly three decades shows that countries signing IMF agreements attract about 25 percent less foreign direct investment than countries not under IMF agreements,” 

To check the IMF’s performance level today, one only has to see the Bank of England’s recent statement warning of “apocalyptic” famine. The governor said that:

“There’s a major worry for the developing world as well. And so if I had to sort of, sorry for being apocalyptic for a moment, but that is a major concern.”

When extra fat is stripped away, the world’s core issue is scrambled money allocation signaling. Central banks use their monetary tools to deal with temporary issues, often under political pressure. In turn, they create a domino of unintended consequences that keep piling up. 

As a decentralized money network outside of central banking, Bitcoin was designed to solve this money allocation problem, as noted by its embedded Genesis block message. El Salvador’s conference is the first step in educating central bankers on how this could happen. In charge of this education is the team with practical know-how, having developed their very own Bitcoin wallet.

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Nicolas Burtey, the founder of Galoy Money behind the Bitcoin Beach wallet, noted that central bankers from developing countries have much to learn, but he was pleased to answer the most common questions.

Some of the questions asked:

– how do we ensure consumer protection with bitcoin?

– if the price go down, how can we refund the user for what they lost?

– why are the benefits of bitcoin versus CBDC?

– how to prevent money laundering?

— Nicolas Burtey ⚡️🇸🇻🇨🇫⚡️ (@nicolasburtey) May 16, 2022

While only 20% of El Salvador’s adults are using the state-sponsored Chivo wallet, the country has seen a 30% tourism spike just on the back of passing the Bitcoin tender law. Yet, it is safe to say this is just the beginning of a trend. 

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Central bankers lining up to get help downloading and using Bitcoin Beach Lightning wallet pic.twitter.com/CWupR1Td4K

— Bitcoin Beach (@Bitcoinbeach) May 16, 2022

After all, it took ten years of Bitcoin development, including a variety of different Bitcoin wallets that progressively improved user experience and lowered entry barriers, to achieve the nationwide adoption milestone. A year from that, there was already a central banking conference in the same country to spur acceleration.

Whether El Salvador’s conference marks the beginning of a new Bretton Woods or not, it is clear that the Davos Agenda is pushing for digital financial inclusion. However, the WEF’s vision of this inclusion is through CBDCs. While central bank digital currency may be digital money, it doesn’t represent a monetary system reset. 

On the contrary, central banks would have more leeway with programmable CBDCs than ever before, once again led by the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. Developing countries now have the option to pick an alternative path that would not lead to the same repeat of failed central banking policies.

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Guest post by Shane Neagle from The Tokenist

Shane has been an active supporter of the movement towards decentralized finance since 2015. He has written hundreds of articles related to developments surrounding digital securities – the integration of traditional financial securities and distributed ledger technology (DLT). He remains fascinated by the growing impact technology has on economics – and everyday life.

Learn more →

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