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Brazil Proposes to Legalise Crypto Payments and Elon Musk Hints at Twitter Payments

Every month of 2022 has brought a myriad of changes and developments to the Blockchain space, and this last week has been no exception. 

Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies has passed legislation which could legalise the use of cryptocurrencies as a payment method if passed by the executive—hopefully leading to increased use and further mainstream adoption. 

Further, Elon Musk has released plans for future features and products offered in his Twitter 2.0 which subsequently led to a surge in the price of Dogecoin, fuelling speculations that the implementation of crypto—or even a Twitter Coin—may be on the horizon. 

In other news, Coinbase has removed the NFT capabilities of their iOS crypto wallet following a dispute with Apple over the tech company’s infamous 30% ‘NFT Tax’, and Nexo has indicated it will cease operations within the United States citing a lack of clear regulations. 

Brazil proposes to legalise the use of crypto as a payment method 

The South American nation’s parliament has approved legislation to legalise the use of crypto as a payment method, though the planned laws do not recognise it as legal tender. The legislation is now with Brazil’s President for approval. 

While it passed the senate earlier this year, the bill was held up in the nation’s lower house for recent months. Of course, this proposed legislation must be approved by the executive branch before becoming law, but it certainly marks a confident direction for broader mainstream crypto adoption.  

The new legislation does not recognise any digital currencies as legal tender, such as is the case in El Salvador, but rather included crypto among Brazil’s legal payment methods. It will also move to create licences for crypto exchanges, custody providers, and virtual asset managers, improving consumer confidence along with steadier increases in government regulatory measures. 

Once passed, this legislation could see Brazilians make everyday transactions with cryptocurrency, which could lead to extended growth and greater adoption across the board. 

Musk’s plans for Twitter 2.0 fuel speculation of Dogecoin integration 

Dogecoin surged over 30% following Elon Musk’s public Twitter 2.0 plans that hinted at future payments on Twitter. 

On Sunday 27th of November, Twitter’s new CEO posted a tweet containing a number of slides that had been previously presented at a company talk. The presentation highlighted future plans for the social media platform including long form tweets, a relaunch of the verification tick, and a hint of payments.

While Musk made no direct reference to any cryptocurrency, the mention of payments created a huge buzz among the Dogecoin community, resulting in a price rally.  

When news broke of Musk’s acquisition of the social media platform in October, speculation around Dogecoin integrations rose, generating a huge amount of interest and excitement.  

That said, there’s some evidence to suggest that Dogecoin may not be needed as rumours of a native ‘Twitter Coin’ have emerged. Tech researcher, Jane Wong, who had previously leaked previous feature releases such as Twitter’s edit button and Instagram’s decision to hide likes, discovered Twitter code that could support a future token.

Coinbase and Apple go toe-to-toe 

Apple has blocked Coinbase NFT transfers over a purchasing dispute regarding the ‘Apple tax’.  

Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, has been forced to remove its NFT transactions from its iOS wallet app in the wake of a decision by Apple to apply a 30 percent ‘tax’ to all transactions. 

Apple is known for taking a 30% cut through all transactions on its app store, and has been the subject of criticism for doing so. The idea of users having to pay almost a third of their blockchain network fees to Apple essentially negates the point of making any such transaction, and Coinbase has had to disable the NFT feature due to Apple’s policy.

According to Coinbase, compliance is impossible. The current in-app purchasing system implemented by Apple doesn’t support crypto. Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, described negotiations with Apple as having become ‘absurd’. 

As Apple insists on having their tax applied to NFT transactions, the functionality of any such transactions on any of their platforms is largely negated. Considered unconscionable by many, these policies have led many users to become outwardly critical of what they perceive to be greedy, intransigent, and inflexible behaviour on the part of the tech giant. 

Nexo leaves USA citing lack of clear regulations 

Cryptocurrency lending platform Nexo has declared that it shall no longer accept new registrations, winding down operations for existing customers in the US. 

According to a blog post on 5 December, Nexo has indicated its desire to proceed with a gradual slowing of operations in the United States.

Nexo is an online crypto borrowing and lending platform, with a focus on cloud-based loans and mortgage compliance management software, currently managing the assets of over three million users across 200 jurisdictions. 

The London-based company stated that no agreement could be reached with regulators over the past 18 months, with regard to how the company could comply with financial laws and regulations. In a rather scathing review of the situation, Nexo accused the US of refusing to enable blockchain businesses, stating it couldn’t rely upon US regulators’ good faith in their dealings with Nexo customers. Nexo has off-boarded customers based in New York and Vermont and suspended further registrations. 

This all comes as US regulators face increased criticism in the wake of the FTX collapse, with some arguing for regulators to have more extensive reach, and others arguing that overregulation is driving investment into more risk-prone offshore exchanges. 

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