Over the past few months, our weekly crypto news often began quite depressing, listing market-wide declines and poor macroeconomic prospects. This week (July 15, 2022 to July 22) is finally different! Bitcoin was up 15% over the past seven days and Ethereum was up as much as 37%.
The rest of the crypto market rose hard as is usual with Bitcoin and Ethereum leading. Some other big winners were Polygon (MATIC) up 38%, THORChain (RUNE) up 32% and Avalanche (AVAX) up 30%.
Collectively, these increases caused the total crypto market capitalization to climb back above the magical €1 trillion mark. Just over a month ago, the crypto market plummeted hard below this mark.
The crypto market peaked around November 2021. The total market capitalization then stood as high as €2.8 trillion and Bitcoin was at €56,000. So since then, the market has taken quite a beating, but last week's increases seem to have breathed new life into it.
These price increases are of course the biggest news of the week for crypto enthusiasts, but there were many other interesting news items. For example, wealthy Dubai is looking to expand its economy even further with nothing less than the "metaverse," and two more countries are making great strides in crypto adoption and regulation. Below you'll find all the most important crypto news of the week!
Dubai aims to add $4 billion to economy with Metaverse
Dubai's crown prince, Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced Monday that the emirate wants to use the metaverse to create 40,000 virtual jobs and add $4 billion to its economy over the next five years.
In a tweet, he explained the region's intention to increase the number of blockchain and metaverse companies fivefold in the same time frame.
The "Dubai Metaverse Strategy" aims to put the region on the virtual map as one of the "top 10 cities worldwide in terms of virtual economy.
The tweet stated that the metaverse and blockchain sector currently contributes $500 million to Dubai's national economy. It also said it will look at developing metaverse use cases and applications in Dubai's government.
UFC fighter Luana Pinheiro receives full salary in Bitcoin
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Luana Pinheiro announced that she has partnered with Bitwage to receive her salary in Bitcoin (BTC). Pinheiro said she still receives fiat payments from her sponsors, but she converts them directly to BTC through Bitwage.
The fighter said she chose to receive her salary in Bitcoin after her friend and fellow mixed martial artist Matheus Nicolau encouraged her.
Comparing Bitcoin to her fighting style, jiu-jitsu, Pinheiro emphasized that she prefers to be paid in BTC and does not care about the volatility of the cryptocurrency. According to her, volatility is the main factor that drives asset appreciation.
"Think about it: it takes an average of 10-15 years for an individual to get a black belt in Brazil in Jiu Jitsu, so my time preference here is just as long, if not longer. Everything else is just noise to me and the lower the price, the more Bitcoin I can secure for the future."
The Brazilian also revealed that Bitcoin works for her as a hedge against inflation, because over the years the purchasing power of fiat currencies has deteriorated with inflation, while BTC, despite its corrective moves, remains in an uptrend.
"Remember, I'm from Brazil, so I know a thing or two about inflation and its effects. I was born around 1994, around the time the Brazilian currency Real was introduced and at the time was pegged 1:1 to the US dollar. It is now 5 BRL for 1 USD. Bitcoin is for that, as a protection against inflation," she said.
Paraguay's crypto framework to be realized soon
The Paraguayan Senate on Thursday approved a bill establishing a tax and regulatory framework for companies operating in the cryptocurrency and cryptomining sectors.
The bill, which was introduced last July by Senator Fernando Silva Facetti and approved by Congress in May before reaching the Senate, calls for the creation of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIC) to oversee service providers in the crypto industry. The bill is now one step away from being signed into law by President Mario Abdo Benítez.
A Congressional announcement in May stated that the bill specifically covers cryptomining, commercialization, intermediation, exchange, transfer, custody and/or administration of crypto assets or instruments that enable control over crypto assets.
Local news outlet ABC reported on Thursday that companies operating in the crypto industry would be treated the same as companies engaged in securities for tax purposes. As a result, they will be exempted from paying a value-added tax (VAT) by the state tax department, but will be included in the income tax regime.
This makes Paraguay the latest Latin American country to take a leap forward in crypto adoption and regulation. El Salvador adopted Bitcoin (BTC) as a legal currency in 2021, and the governments of Brazil, Argentina and Panama are all working on their own crypto legislation.
Andorra gives green light to Bitcoin and blockchain
Andorra, too, is now making great strides when it comes to crypto adoption and regulation. The tiny European country nestled between France and Spain recently approved the Digital Assets Law, a regulatory framework for digital currency and blockchain technology.
The law is split into two parts. The first concerns the creation of digital money, or "programmable digital sovereign money," which can be exchanged in a closed system. In effect, this would allow the Andorran state to create its own token.
The second half of the law refers to digital assets as financial instruments and is intended to create an environment in which blockchain and distributed ledger technologies can be regulated. While it is unclear what digital assets the government plans to regulate with the Digital Assets Act, the economically motivated move could help grow the Andorran economy and welcome blockchain- and crypto-based businesses.
This was the most important crypto news of the week. Earlier this week, we also wrote about the increase in demand for hardware crypto wallets, such as Trezor's. Want to know more about that? Then read the article "Demand for crypto wallet Trezor has grown substantially