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Economist Nouriel Roubini backtracks on anti-crypto stance with digital dollar plans

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Economist Nouriel Roubini backtracks on anti-crypto stance with digital dollar plans

U.S.› Adoption

Atlas Capital, co-founded by Roubini, will work with web3 developer Mysten Labs to develop the “United Sovereign Governance Gold Optimized Dollar.” 

2 min read

Updated: May 10, 2022 at 10:25 am

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Long-term crypto critic Nouriel Roubini is working on a digital dollar through Atlas Capital Team L.P. that will serve as “a more resilient dollar,” Bloomberg News reported.

Atlas Capital, co-founded by Roubini, will work with web3 developer Mysten Labs to develop the “United Sovereign Governance Gold Optimized Dollar.” 

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According to Roubini, the company plans to “create a global store of value” as it understands that the U.S. dollar’s current role as a reserve currency is vulnerable due to the U.S. government printing too much money and increasing de-dollarizing by hostile countries.

Roubini stated these plans while speaking with Bloomberg News and considered the inflation-proof tokenized dollar as a “financial inclusion opportunity, ” as it will give people who don’t have “exposure to the dollar and have a need for stable portable value that replaces the dwindling value of their own local currency.”

Atlas Capital said:

“The future of money is digital and away from cash (banknotes and coins).” 

Roubini had previously criticized crypto

 Roubini’s involvement in creating a digital currency is a surprise since he has ferociously criticized cryptocurrency and blockchain technology before.

During his appearance at the U.S. Senate banking committee hearing in 2018, he delivered a 37-page speech criticizing crypto. He famously referred to it as “no better than a spreadsheet.”

In the same year, Roubini published a treatise on why CBDCs will destroy Bitcoin. He believes blockchain technology is overhyped, and CBDCs won’t need it to function effectively.

He wrote:

If anything, CBDCs would likely replace all private digital payment systems, regardless of whether they are connected to traditional bank accounts or cryptocurrencies.

The economist also criticized El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, for buying Bitcoin using the country’s funds. He called for his impeachment, saying the Bitcoin investment had bankrupted the nation.

However, Roubini won’t be the first crypto critic to flip the script and adopt the technology. Hedge fund billionaire and former Bitcoin critic Ray Dalio changed his stance about Bitcoin last year, calling it an “amazing accomplishment.”

Posted In: U.S., Adoption

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Panama President demands strict anti-money laundering measures in new crypto law

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Panama President demands strict anti-money laundering measures in new crypto law

Adoption

Panama has been listed as a country with “strategic deficiencies” in dealing with money laundering.

2 min read

Updated: May 19, 2022 at 2:37 pm

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo said he will not sign the new cryptocurrency bill until it provides provisions for stricter anti-laundering controls, Bloomberg News reported on May 19.

President Cortizo wants strict money-laundering controls

The legislative assembly passed the bill last month after several deliberations, but Cortizo said the bill needs to ensure it complies with global anti-money laundering standards.

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While speaking at the Bloomberg News Economy Gateway Latin America Conference, Cortizo said he will not sign the law because he did not have enough information. He said:

I have to be very careful if the law has clauses related to money laundering activities. Anti-money laundering activities are very important to us.

If passed, the law will enable cryptocurrency exchanges to get the license they need for operations in the country. However, it will also regulate all crypto transactions.

The bill will also enable the government to put public records on the blockchain. Supporters believe it’ll make Panama an attractive country for fintech companies looking to invest in Latin America. Even the president agreed it’s a good law saying that “it’s an innovative law from what I have heard.”

Panama targeted by money launderers

Cortizo’s misgivings about the bill are understandable. The global money laundering and terrorist financing observer, Financial Action Task Force, included Panama on its list of countries with “strategic deficiencies” when dealing with money laundering.

Cortizo has promised to change this by implementing the task force’s recommendations. He’s also planning to tighten the restrictions on dirty money.

With the risks of crypto becoming another opportunity for money laundering, it has become necessary for the president to take a hard stance.

A recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revealed:

“[Crypto] may be used to transfer corruption proceeds or circumvent capital controls.”

Panama is an attractive destination for those looking to launder money. Its proximity to Mexico and Columbia, two countries with large-scale drug organizations, is a risk factor. It also has a dollarized economy.

However, Cortizo doesn’t have to reject the whole bill. It is possible to sign it partially while vetoing other parts. The president has said he’s considering this while his lawyers review the bill.

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Op-Ed: Bringing interest and longevity to play-to-earn gaming

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Op-Ed: Bringing interest and longevity to play-to-earn gaming

Guest Post › GameFi

Currently too many of the offerings in the P2E space are unsustainable and uninspired, there has to be a change to have all types of gamers participate

3 min read

Updated: May 19, 2022 at 5:07 am

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

The last couple of years has seen the rise of a new game style based on decentralized technology and offering digital rewards with real-world value. Blockchain-powered “Play-to-Earn” (P2E) gaming has begun to draw some attention, but there is a catch.

Too many of the current offerings have unsustainable economies and uninspired gameplay experiences. This has put up a wall that excludes many traditional gamers who aren’t interested in earning more than gameplay.

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It doesn’t have to stay this way, though. New gaming platforms emerge that take necessary new steps to balance their economies while also delivering complex and exciting entertainment. 

The Divide

The rise of P2E gaming has split the gaming community into two camps. On the one hand, you have more traditional gamers who want rich, immersive, and innovative experiences.

On the other, you have those motivated to play by the chance to earn actual income. Usually, the former comes from more affluent parts of the world, where the average gamer sees the endeavor as pure entertainment.

The latter tends to come from more impoverished areas and see an opportunity and a chance to earn an income that often transcends the local average for jobs and is certainly easier. 

While those interested in earnings don’t seem to mind if a gameplay experience isn’t enjoyable, those who play for entertainment often see the integration of monetary elements into their games as intrusive and abrasive.

Just look at the intense pushback that has occurred around things like microtransactions and loot boxes. Not to mention that, on average, gamers seem to be entirely opposed to NFTs as well.

This has created a divide that has held virtually all P2E and blockchain games from breaching mainstream audiences. By limiting appeal, these platforms restrict themselves to only financially motivated users.

This then creates another problem. These users, by definition, act as value extractors of the overall ecosystem. They consistently move their earnings off-platform instead of reinvesting them.

While it is their right to do so, and an open ecosystem should allow for this, it still means that the overall system is unsustainable long term. A thriving economy can’t consist solely of those who seek to move value out of it. 

How To Build a Bridge

To bridge these separate game worlds and bring new users and liquidity to these games, developers need to reimagine both their economics and their gameplay.

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For one, there need to be some types of incentives within the experience for users to recirculate at least some of their earnings back into the game. What this looks like could vary, but a system that offers compounded rewards for long-term engagement needs to be implemented to encourage a thriving economy.

Then there’s the actual end-user experience. Presumably, financially motivated players wouldn’t mind games that are truly fun to play, and it may even encourage more of that mindset to get involved.

However, more importantly, if developers create titles that compete with their non-blockchain predecessors, then both casual and hardcore gamers will begin to come into the P2E space. This will bring in support that won’t simply jump ship if the in-game earnings become less profitable and hence should act as a stabilization element on the in-game market.

The point is, gamers demand thoughtful products that entertain and challenge. For most of them, being able to earn a bit of money isn’t a motivation to pick up a title.

If they do show up for the gameplay, they may be pleasantly surprised to find they can earn a bit of money along the way. In this way, almost all types of users can find value in a title that blends smart economics with a genuinely engaging experience.

Guest post by Michael Rubinelli from WAX Studios

Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX Studios, is a technology & gaming leader with 15+ years’ progressive experience in executive leadership, product development, and continual revenue growth and is renowned for his success at top corporations (including Disney, THQ, Electronic Arts). Michael has now turned his attention to Play-to-Earn games and spends most of his time expanding the Gaming Division of WAX Blockchain.

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Animoca Brands co-founder says web3 is growing despite the recent crypto crash

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Animoca Brands co-founder says web3 is growing despite the recent crypto crash

Bitcoin · Ethereum › Interview

Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu claims the recent crypto market rout is different from the one in 2018 because the industry has more utility, which makes it stable.

2 min read

Updated: May 18, 2022 at 12:37 pm

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu believes the web3 ecosystem continues to expand rapidly despite the recent turmoil in the crypto markets, according to an interview with Bloomberg’s Stephen Engle on May 18.

Siu said the recent crash in the crypto market is not similar to the 2018 rout. He highlighted that Bitcoin (BTC) was trading below $3,000 and Ethereum (ETH) traded below $100 at some point during the 2018 crash. Siu added that most crypto adopters at the time had embraced the sector for speculative purposes because the ecosystem was immature and did not have utility.

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However, at the moment, the crypto sector has expanded and has diverse applications in the metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Speaking about the recent TerraUSD-triggered collapse, Siu said it is more contained. Moreover, Siu believes the recent crash has not affected the crypto ecosystem in terms of utility, although prices took a sharp dive.

Additionally, unlike in 2018, when investors converted their crypto into fiats, he claims investors converted their holdings into stablecoins or other crypto tokens following the turmoil. In so doing, Siu believes crypto adopters continue to build the web3 ecosystem, making it more stable.

Investors with a long-term outlook continue investing in crypto

Sharing his thoughts on whether the poor performance of the crypto market has discouraged venture capitals from injecting funds into the space, Siu said people that understand the industry are investing actively. He added that Animoca Brands considers the current market situation an ideal buying opportunity.

According to him, Animoca Brands’ lens is not focused on the three to 12 months. Specifically, he said the company is investing based on a 10 to 20-year approach. Siu added that Animoca Brands invests in projects that help build the network of NFTs. The company’s recent acquisition of French video game studio Eden Games aligns with this strategy.

Although he admits ten years is a lot of time, Siu said web3 is a natural evolution of the internet, and most of the world will embrace it. He pointed out that a significant percentage of the global population already depends on the digital world.

However, the current web2 platforms do not offer users a say or stake in their operations, even though their existence solely depends on user activity. On the other hand, web3 platforms offer stakes and rewards for their time and engagement.

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