Skip to content

Twitter Rebrands to X While Kuwait Officially Bans Digital Currency Transactions

Twitter to rebrand to X and become an “everything” app 

Dogecoin rose 15% in the week following the news as investors speculate the new platform could support storing, spending and buying DOGE as well as other cryptocurrencies.  

Elon Musk is never too far from the spotlight, and the brightness on him has intensified ever since his controversial takeover of Twitter in late 2022. Since purchasing the social media app, Musk has made a slate of divisive business decisions that’s seen many users leave the platform. However, his latest announcement might be the biggest and most polarising of them all. 

Twitter is set to undergo a significant re-branding event – and the first step is to do away with the iconic blue bird, colour scheme and name. The social media website will become “X”, a one-stop-shop for social media, music and creator content.

How this will exactly take shape is still a bit of a mystery, but several points have piqued the ears of crypto investors. Importantly, Elon envisions X will integrate banking services. Conducting finances on a social media platform seems a little strange, but investors were quick to speculate this could mean X would allow its users to store and spend certain cryptocurrencies.

A platform as large as X – assuming not too many Twitter loyalists migrate to competitors – supporting cryptocurrency would be a huge win for the sector’s goal of mainstream adoption. Being able to interchangeably purchase goods and services with both digital and fiat currencies may streamline the crypto onboarding process, bringing a whole new demographic into the market.  

While there has been no word from X in relation to crypto payments, it hasn’t stopped investors from getting excited. Dogecoin, the meme coin that’s enjoyed a multi-year love affair with Elon Musk, saw weekly gains of 15% in response to the announcement.  

Worldcoin token launch met with mixed reaction from community 

The project’s native token surged in value within just two hours despite concern from industry figureheads like Vitalik Buterin.  

Worldcoin (WLD), one of the crypto market’s most anticipated projects, finally dropped on Monday to a lukewarm reception. WLD tokens were released at a starting price of $0.3 USD, but within a few hours, they were trading at $3. However, the hype quickly cooled, with the cryptocurrency settling at around $2.40. The varied price action in the days since Worldcoin’s launch is almost identical to the mixed sentiment shared by crypto experts and industry figureheads regarding the project.

Worldcoin was quick to attract attention thanks to its all-star lineup of developers – notably including Open AI CEO Sam Altman. The project plans to revolutionise the digital identity system using a new technology called the “Orb”. With this device, users can simply scan their irises to immediately verify their identity and streamline this process across hundreds of potential industries. 

However, with such a grand vision comes concerns. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin released a blog post outlining issues with how the project collects and stores data. An MIT story from 2022 also claimed Worldcoin had used “deceptive marketing practices”, which doesn’t paint things in a good light. The UK Data Watchdog is now getting involved and will investigate the project to clarify Worldcoin’s practices and how it maintains privacy and security for its participants. 

Checkout our technical deep dive into Worldcoin (WLD).

US Republican Party Unveiled A Bill To Regulate Crypto 

Bill proposes new regulatory framework that may improve clarity for centralised exchanges 

United States regulatory bodies have been on the tip of the crypto community’s tongue for the first half of 2023 – for good and bad reasons. Now, the US Republicans are joining the party with a new bill to help evolve crypto’s regulation in the nation. 

The bill, titled the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (yeah, a bit of a mouthful), was tabled to legislators last week. In simple terms, the Act intends to set a clear framework for new crypto projects and exchanges to register with the SEC.

Approval of this bill will allow crypto exchanges to list “unregistered tokens” without repercussion, so long as they are acting in the best interest of their customer’s safety. Yet, while this pathway may improve regulatory clarity for centralised businesses in the mould of Binance and Coinbase, the bill may introduce pain for certain decentralised finance assets.  

The bill excludes several noteworthy assets from its definition of digital securities, including stocks and bonds – but more troublingly – “certificates of participation in any profit-sharing agreement”. This may give regulators the leverage to go after DeFi staking tokens the same way they’ve been cracking down on exchanges over the past six months. 

Of course, the bill is still in its very early stages. The Republicans do not have a majority in the Senate, and may struggle to pass the legislation without first making major amendments or reaching agreement with the Democrats.  

Kuwait To Fully Ban Crypto

July 18th saw the nation introduce a blanket ban over all cryptocurrency-related transactions 

Cryptocurrency trading in Kuwait took a massive blow last week, when the country’s primary financial regulator announced an all-encompassing ban on all things crypto. This legislation didn’t just wipe out exchanging goods and services for a bit of Bitcoin. No, the prohibition implemented by Kuwait extends to mining, trading, staking and investing in any form of digital asset. Businesses providing a crypto service of any kind may face serious consequences. 

According to a circular issued on Monday, the harsh ban is intended to diminish the effectiveness of money laundering rings operating within Kuwait’s borders. The only exceptions to the nationwide ban are “securities regulated by the Central Bank of Kuwait… and the Capital Markets Authority”.

The all-out ban comes as international watchdog FATF – the Financial Action Task Force – released its travel rule guidelines for dealing with crypto assets. The operative currently requires crypto exchanges to disclose transaction data over a certain amount of money to help prevent terrorism financing and money laundering schemes. However, the FATF has not published guidelines suggesting nations should ban digital assets entirely. 

Kuwait’s ban is a ploy to get into the FATF’s good books, given their issues with money laundering. However, it still comes as a surprise given the Arab region’s generally positive stance on crypto investment. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have all welcomed blockchain innovation in some form over the past few years. 

Written by

Ben Knight