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Crypto Currents: Mt. Gox, Mining, Mastercard, Messi

US Senate takes aim at crypto mining, Mt. Gox creditor holds on to Bitcoin, Mastercard's Bitcoin debit card, and NFT news this week.

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While our news feed covers the top stories and market trends of the week, here's a summary of other developments in the crypto sphere that deserve our attention.

Crypto mining in focus at US budget proposal

The US Treasury Department has proposed a 30% excise tax on the cost of powering crypto mining facilities, to be phased in at 10% each year over the next three years. The tax would be imposed on companies "using computing resources" to mine cryptocurrencies, which would also be required to report how much electricity they use and what type of power was tapped.

The move is part of US President Joe Biden's 2024 budget proposal and explicitly states that the tax may lower the overall number of mining machines in the US, and reduce the negative environmental impacts associated with crypto mining. The proposal will need to be passed by the House of Representatives and Senate before it can be implemented.

Other crypto tax updates include:

  • Closing a tax loophole known as the "wash sale" rule, which would prevent people from selling digital assets at a loss, claiming the loss on their taxes, and then immediately buying back the same assets
  • Expanding securities loan rules to include digital assets
  • Capturing foreign account-holders in crypto tax reporting provisions
  • Requiring people with foreign financial accounts holding at least $50,000 in crypto to report these holdings in their tax reports, and amending the mark-to-market rules to include crypto.

Mt. Gox creditor holds on to Bitcoin, averts selling pressure

The largest Mt. Gox creditor is intending to hold on to its Bitcoin instead of selling the tokens it is due to receive this year.

An anonymous source told Bloomberg that Mt Gox Investment Fund has no plan of selling the tokens upon their scheduled return in October.

The fund opted for an early payout of 90% of what can be collected over waiting for the resolution of litigation surrounding the collapsed exchange. 70% of the payout will be in Bitcoin and 30$ in cash.

Meanwhile, the registration date for Mt Gox creditors has been pushed back by another month from 10 March to 6 April. The distribution of assets will begin from 10 October instead of 30 September.

The market has feared a major selloff once creditors are returned their Bitcoin, which has been locked since 2014. Bitcoin’s price closed 2014 at $318. Whilst its current price of $20,000 is 70% down from its ATH of $68,789.63, one Bitcoin is still up over 6,000% from 2014.

Mastercard launches Bitcoin debit card

Bybit and Mastercard have announced the launch of a crypto debit card for the EU and UK.

Named the Bybit Card, the debit card is powered by Mastercard and issued by Moorwand.

According to a press release, the card enables users to off-ramp crypto into the fiat world, make purchaes, and withdraw from ATMs.

Clients in the EU and UK who complete the necessary KYC and AML procedures will be eligble for the ByBit Card. The free virtual card was launched earlier this week, with a physical version launching next month.

Read more: Mastercard Enters APAC Crypto Payments with a Metaverse Card

Blue-chip cryptos including BTC, ETH, USDT, USDC, and XRP will be supported by the Bybit Card.  Payment requests will automatically convert balances in these digital assets into EUR or GBP.


Metaverse & NFT News

Messi, Gündoğan champion web3 projects

Footballer stars Lionel Messi and İlkay Gündoğan are making moves in web3.

Web3 football gaming startup Matchday has raised $21 million in seed funding to develop a whole suite of games, with backing from Messi’s venture capital fund.

Messi’s Play Time firm joins Courtside Ventures, Greylock, HackVC, Capricorn Investment Group, and Horizons Ventures in the investment round.

The PSG forward and 2022 FIFA World Cup winner already serves as a brand ambassador for prominent NFT fantasy football game Sorare. He also invested in Sorare and signed a $20 million endorsement deal with fan token platform Socios, where he also serves as an ambassador.

In December, Messi launched his own “Man Of The Past” NFT collectibles through the Ethernity Chain platform.

Meanwhile, Gündoğan has spoken about engaging fans with the metaverse. The Manchester City midfielder serves as an ambassador for OKX. Speaking at his club, Gündoğan said, “The Web3 space creates a lot of wonderful opportunities to connect with fans.”

“That is why I appreciate OKX giving me and my teammates a chance to touch base with this exciting new technology. I look forward to learning more about the space from OKX and from the people who use the platform.”

OKX signed a global partnership with the Premier League champions in 2022. Last month, the exchange announced further partnerships with Gündoğan, Alex Greenwood, Jack Grealish and Ruben Dias to create unique new experiences for fans in the OKX Collective metaverse.

Related: Football Clubs Take a Shot at Crypto Fan Tokens But Fail to Score


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