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UK Takes Early Steps Into CBDC
His Majesty’s Treasury is searching via Linkedin for a head of the U.K.’s new central bank digital currency to head the development of a digital pound. The job will “…require extensive engagement across and beyond the HM Treasury.”
The Linkedin post says the Treasury and the Bank of England are working together with the CBDC Taskforce, exploring the case for issuing a digital pound. The move mirrors that of several other European nations, including Sweden and Denmark, who are also considering their own digital currencies. The European Central Bank (ECB) is also exploring issuing a digital Euro.
Some advocates claim that CBDCs offer benefits like reduced costs for businesses and consumers, plus increased security and financial inclusion. Critics point out that blockchain based currencies like Bitcoin already solve these problems without the specter of central bank monetary manipulation.
James Dewar, partner at U.K. based Bitcoin merchant solution, Bridge to Bitcoin, pointed out that CBDC’s require “trust in third parties, central banks and governments, to not abuse the supply of the currency.”
Bitcoin Mining Brings Benefits in East African Nation
A Bitcoin mining operation in an undeveloped region of Malawi is connecting residents to the grid and delivering economic development to an impoverished area.
Tapping into an excess of clean hydro energy, the operator, Gridness tweeted that there are “1600 families connected to this remote hydro minigrid in the mountains of southern Malawi.” The project taps into 50 kilowatts of stranded energy as a test for a major new mining site, but the real-world impact was felt immediately.
“The power developer had built these powerhouses a few years ago, but they weren’t able to expand to more families because they’re barely profitable and couldn’t afford to buy more 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, Erik Hersman, adding “It’s always amazing to me to see how useful and valuable mini-grids are to the community. It [Bitcoin mining] immediately changes the education, healthcare, business, logistics and wealth of the community where they go in.”
Porsche NFT Collection Runs Into Ditch
Porsche unveiled its first-ever NFT collection consisting of 7500 NFT’s of its iconic 911, with a set mint price of 0.911 Ether [ETH] or $1,490 per NFT.
According to the allowed mint list, the NFTs were produced in four waves. Afterward a public mint allowed buyers to mint up to three of the 911 NFTs. The first of three planned phases is underway. Porsche hasn’t disclosed much about Phase 2, but Phase 3 appears to be based on limited supply with users able to turn their 911 into a variation of the advertised minimum 150,000 NFTs.
But, within hours of the opening mint, sales all but seized up with only 1371 of 7500 NFTs moved, leaving more than 82% unsold. OpenSea’s NFT marketplace reported that the selling price of the 911 NFTs dropped below the mint price of 0.911 ETH. The floor price had reached as high as 3 ETH on Jan. 23rd before the 911 NFT blew a gasket.
Genesis Sues Bitcoin ‘Billionaire’ for $21 Million
The bankrupt crypto lender Genesis has sued early Bitcoin advocate Roger Ver after he failed to meet a $21 million margin call. According to the lawsuit, Genesis is seeking, “money damages for defendant’s failure to settle cryptocurrency options transactions that expired on Dec. 30, 2022, in an amount to be determined at trial but no less than $20.9 million,”
Genesis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 19th, but clarified in an announcement that the filing doesn’t apply to any of its derivatives, spot trading, or custody businesses. Genesis is affiliated with Barry Silbert’s crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group (DCG).
For his part, Roger Ver is keeping mum thus far, but Twitter users had lots to say:
Just months ago, Ver was served a notice of default by CoinFLEX, a derivatives exchange and yield platform, claiming unpaid debts. According to CoinFLEX CEO Mark Lamb, Ver owes the exchange $47 million in USDC stablecoin. Lamb claims his exchange had “a written contract with [Ver] obligating him to personally guarantee any negative equity on his CoinFLEX account and top up margin regularly.”
On Twitter Ver denied the debt and insists that CoinFLEX, in fact, owes him: