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UK takes first steps in CBDC
His Majesty’s Treasury, via Linkedin, is looking for the head of a new UK central bank digital currency to spearhead the development of a digital pound. This work “…requires extensive participation in Her Majesty’s Treasury and beyond.”
The Linkedin post says that the Treasury and the Bank of England are working together with the CBDC Task Force to explore the possibility of issuing a digital pound. The move echoes the actions of several other European countries, including Sweden and Denmark, which are also considering creating their own digital currencies. The European Central Bank (ECB) is also exploring the possibility of issuing a digital euro.
Some proponents argue that CBDCs offer benefits such as reduced costs for businesses and consumers, as well as increased security and financial inclusion. Critics point out that blockchain-based currencies like Bitcoin are already solving these problems without the specter of central bank monetary manipulation.
James Dewar, partner at UK-based bitcoin trading solution Bridge to Bitcoin, noted that CBDCs require “trust in third parties, central banks and governments not to abuse the supply of the currency.”
Bitcoin Mining Benefits East African Nation
A bitcoin mining operation in an undeveloped area of Malawi connects residents to the network and ensures the economic development of an underprivileged area.
Using excess clean hydropower, operator Gridness tweeted that “1,600 families are connected to this remote hydroelectric plant in the mountains of southern Malawi.” The project uses 50 kilowatts of orphan energy as a test for a major new mining site, but the real effect is felt immediately.
“The power company built these plants a few years ago, but they have not been able to increase the number of families because they are barely making a profit and cannot afford to buy additional meters to connect more families. So our deal allowed them to immediately buy 200 more meters to connect more families,” said Gridless CEO and co-founder Eric Hersman, adding, “It always makes me happy to see how useful and valuable mini-grids are to society. it [Bitcoin mining] immediately changes education, healthcare, business, logistics and the well-being of the community they are a part of.”
Porsche NFT collection flies into the ditch
Porsche has unveiled its first ever NFT collection, consisting of 7,500 NFTs of its iconic 911 at a set price of 0.911 Ether. [ETH] or $1,490 for NFTs.
According to the authorized list of mints, NFTs were issued in four waves. After that, the public mint allowed customers to mint up to three of the 911 NFTs. The first of three planned phases is underway. Porsche hasn’t said much about Phase 2, but Phase 3 appears to be based on a limited offer where users can turn their 911 into a variant of the advertised minimum of 150,000 NFTs.
But within hours of the mint’s opening, sales nearly ground to a halt, with only 1,371 of the 7,500 NFTs moved, leaving over 82% unsold. Marketplace OpenSea NFT reported that the sale price of 911 NFTs fell below the par price of 0.911 ETH. The price floor reached 3 ETH on January 23 before 911 NFT blew the pad.
Genesis Sues Bitcoin Billionaire for $21M
Bankrupt crypto lender Genesis is suing former Bitcoin proponent Roger Ver after he failed to meet a $21 million margin call. According to the lawsuit, Genesis seeks “monetary damages for defendant’s failure to settle cryptocurrency option transactions that expired on December 30, 2022, in an amount to be determined in court, but not less than $20.9 million.”
Genesis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Jan. 19, but clarified in the announcement that the filing does not cover any of its derivatives, spot trading, or custody business. Genesis is affiliated with Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group (DCG).
For his part, Roger Ver remains silent for now, but Twitter users had something to say:
Just a few months ago, Ver received a notice of default from CoinFLEX, a derivatives and yield exchange platform claiming outstanding debts. According to CoinFLEX CEO Mark Lamb, Ver owes the exchange $47 million in USDC stablecoin. Lamb claims that his exchange had “a written contract with [Ver] obliging him to personally guarantee any negative equity in his CoinFLEX account and replenish the margin regularly.”
On Twitter, Ver denies the debt and insists that CoinFLEX essentially owes him:
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