Weekly Report [June 07 – 14]: 3iQ Crypto Feeder ETFs, Lithuania booming crypto wallet ban, MasterCard NFT collaborations and more

Weekly Report [June 07 – 14]: 3iQ Crypto Feeder ETFs, Lithuania booming crypto wallet ban, MasterCard NFT collaborations and more

By Sam Grant - min read

Here is everything you missed from the cryptocurrency sector last week:

  • PayPal allows US users to withdraw BTC, ETH BCH, and LTC to external wallets
  • Asset manager 3iQ launches Bitcoin and Ether feeder ETFs
  • Senator Lummis discusses the proposed crypto bill that suggests the lead regulatory role left to the CTFC
  • Lithuania could soon ban exchange transfers with unhosted wallets
  • MasterCard collaborates with NFT firms to facilitate easy and safe NFT buys

PayPal allows crypto withdrawals into private wallets

Payments firm PayPal revealed last week that its customers can now withdraw Ethereum and Bitcoin into external wallets. The financial services company added that the much-awaited feature would be rolled out to US customers, confirming that the users can transfer their crypto between PayPal and crypto exchanges. These transfers would only demand public address information of the external wallet.

The change coming with PayPal’s new update would benefit its users who already enjoy the lack of charges in facilitating crypto transactions, unlike most crypto exchanges. With that, the firm said that in addition to the lead two tokens, transfers for Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash are also supported for eligible users.

In a recent interview, PayPal’s Senior Vice President for Blockchain, Crypto, and Digital Currencies reaffirmed the company’s commitment to increasing access to crypto. He added that the early signs of demand are there, explaining that now PayPal’s current focus is on “continuing the learning curve of our base” rather than onboarding more people. 

Fund manager 3iQ launches crypto ETFs in Australia

Following an official press release sent out last week, 3iQ has become the latest firm to launch an exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the nascent Australian market. The asset manager joins the ranks of Cosmos Asset Management and 21Shares.

The two products, 3iQ CoinShares Bitcoin Feeder ETF (BT3Q) and the 3iQ CoinShares Ether Feeder ETF (ET3Q) would be listed on the Cboe Australia exchange and would charge a management fee of 1.2%, the lowest of ETFs currently in the country. Purchases into the said products have been made available for Australian dollars.

The BT3Q and ET3Q tickers would track underlying ETFs having direct interaction with crypto assets via their long-term holdings in Bitcoin and Ethereum. As such, with the nature of ETFs, Australian investors can dabble in these crypto-assets while shielded from the risk of market volatility.

The Australian crypto market has been receiving attention recently, getting its first two ETFs debuted by ETF Securities and 21Shares in early May following a two-week delay.

US Senator Cynthia Lummis unveils proposed comprehensive cryptocurrencies bill

Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis last week discussed and provided more details on the highly anticipated crypto regulation bill. The Responsible Financial Innovation Act, worked on in conjunction with Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, will cover several issues but keenly among them, jurisdiction.

The proposed Act deviates from the suggestion that a new institution is created to reign over the larger cryptocurrency space. Instead, it proposed split authority between the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The bill would see the CTFC be the primary regulator over crypto assets, as it considers most cryptocurrencies more of products than securities.

Insisting on the importance of the crypto sector, Lummis said that it would be unwise to overregulate, adding that the aim is achieving consumer protection and take out the rogue players. Notably, the bill will also cover stablecoins, which have recently come under increased scrutiny following the breakdown of the decentralised stablecoin UST.

With mid-terms coming in early November, the deal will probably not see the floor of the house. Even in a new house, the proposal is expected to generate massive interest, whichever party is in control. 

Legal amendments set Lithuania on a path to ban unhosted crypto wallets

The government of Lithuania has enacted changes to its ‘Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing,’ targeting transparency in the country’s crypto sector and ensuring “further sustainable development.” The amendments come on the back of an EU judgment that restricted transfers between unhosted wallets and crypto exchanges.

With the modified law, Lithuania will enact strict KYC requirements on exchanges in addition to the ban on anonymous crypto wallets. Also, exchanges based in the country must update their leadership structures to ensure all employees holding managerial positions are permanently based there. In addition, starting next year, they would be required to demonstrate minimum nominal capital of 125,000 Euros.

The finance minister, Gintarė Skaistė, said that the move establishes a proactive approach that also helps prepare for subsequent decisions at the European Union level. He added that the decision helps the country battle financial misdoings, including money laundering, terrorism financing, and sanction evasion.

The European Union’s parliament recently voted to outlaw anonymous crypto transactions, citing tax evasion and money laundering concerns. The decision now falls in the hands of Lithuania’s legislature, which must approve it before it’s passed into law.

MasterCard seeks to enable safe NFT purchases collaborates with major marketplaces

Digital financial services firm MasterCard said in an official email sent to PYMNTS that it has collaborated with leading NFT marketplaces to make it easier and safer to buy NFTs. Towards powering NFT commerce, MasterCard will facilitate payments via its networks with said firms which include Candy Digital, Nifty Gateway, Spring, Mintable, The Sandbox, and NFT infrastructure firm Immutable X.

According to the press release, Mastercard is partnering with these firms to allow users to purchase the tokens using their cards through their marketplace or their crypto services. The electronic payments platform also noted that NFT marketplaces account for a substantial portion of the NFT business, with in excess of $25 billion in sales last year.  

In addition, the firms will work to assist Mastercard’s Web3 usage to continue to grow. MasterCard has previously partnered with Coinbase to allow users to purchase NFTs using their cards on the crypto firm’s decentralised marketplace.

Having recently completed 15 NFT and metaverse trademark filings as part of a broad effort to expand its payment processing system, slogans, and branding into the new virtual economy, there are sure to be further incursions into the Web3 space.