Overview of current news in the crypto space

Bit Team
5 min readJan 22, 2024

In our digest, we took a look at some important crypto industry news over the past week:

  1. “Nornickel starts paying dividends in digital assets
  2. Bitcoin user paid a record transaction fee
  3. Cryptocurrency begins listing on crypto exchanges
  4. Thailand’s SEC lifts restrictions on investment in crypto assets
  5. Bitcoin usage in El Salvador. Research.
  6. Egypt plans to launch E-Pound digital currency by 2030
  7. Argentina signs first lease contract with payment in bitcoins

And now for more details. Reading time: 8 minutes.

  1. “Nornickel starts paying dividends in digital assets
    Under the Digital Investor Program launched in 2023, Nornickel employees will receive dividend equivalent payments in the form of digital financial assets (DFAs) called minetoken. These tokens are linked in value to the company’s shares. Nornickel’s Board of Directors recommended a dividend of RUB 915.33 per share, and shareholders approved the payment. Thus, minetoken holders will be able to receive the first dividend-like CFA payments. In 2023, 66.2 thousand wallets were opened on the Atomize platform and 51.3 thousand people received tokens. In January 2024, the second wave of the program was launched, covering Murmansk region, Transbaikal and Krasnoyarsk regions.
  2. Bitcoin user paid a record transaction fee
    An unusual situation occurred on the bitcoin network on January 16, 2024, when a user paid a commission of 4.03 BTC (about $173,148) for a transaction worth only 2.9 BTC. That’s about 30,000 times more than the average fee on the bitcoin network, which is currently around $11.35. Whale Alert, a service that tracks large cryptocurrency transactions, has drawn attention to this case. It is speculated that such a commission amount could be the result of user error or a money laundering strategy. This incident is not the only one. For example, last November, an unknown user who made a transfer of 55.77 BTC (2.1 million dollars) surprised everyone by paying a commission of 83.65 BTC (3.1 million dollars). This was a bitcoin network record for transaction confirmation fees.
  3. Beginning of cryptoruble listing on crypto exchanges
    The developers of cryptoruble are starting to list their asset on the new cryptocurrency exchange ABCex.io, according to Sergey Mendeleev, CEO of Indefibank. The platform is currently in beta testing and the asset is expected to be available within a few weeks. The cryptoruble, based on Ethereum blockchain technology, is a separate settlement instrument, unrelated to the digital ruble being developed by the Central Bank. This asset is issued through a decentralized smart contract pegged to the national currency at a 1:1 ratio and backed by three dollar-stablecoins — USDT, USDC and DAI. “Cryptoruble will make life much easier for everyone who frequently transfers fiat between cryptocurrencies,” Mendeleev said. After the test period, users will be able to participate in the eirdrop.
  4. Thailand’s SEC has lifted restrictions on investment in cryptoassets
    Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced a number of significant changes to its cryptoasset regulatory policy. This becomes a sign of a shift towards more inclusive regulatory practices necessary to create a favorable investment environment. The most important of these changes is the removal of restrictions on cryptocurrency investments. Authorities now allow retail investors to invest in digital tokens that are backed by real estate transactions or infrastructure assets. This move opens up new opportunities for market participants and could lead to an increase in the number of investors. In addition, Thailand’s SEC emphasizes its willingness to support the efforts of providers in establishing secure custodial services. This will build confidence in the crypto industry by ensuring the safety of customers’ investments. These innovations are a significant departure from the stricter regulatory policies that the SEC of Thailand has previously applied to digital assets, including a ban on staking and lending.
  5. Bitcoin use in El Salvador. Research.
    The number of Salvadorans using bitcoin as a means of payment has dropped in 2023, according to a study conducted by the Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas. The survey, conducted in December 2023, involved 1,280 citizens of the country. The results showed that only 12% used bitcoin to pay for goods and services, down significantly from 24.4% in 2022. The study also found that the majority of those who used bitcoin for purchases (49.7%) made transactions between one and three times. Bitcoin was most used at small grocery stores (22.9%) and supermarkets (20.9%), as well as veterinary clinics (15%). Nevertheless, only 6.8% of Salvadorans noted an improvement in their families’ lives since the legalization of bitcoin, and only 0.5% believe that the introduction of bitcoin as a means of payment has improved the economy.
  6. Egypt plans to launch E-Pound digital currency by 2030
    The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) intends to launch the E-Pound digital currency in early 2030, according to a forecast of the Egyptian economy’s strategic goals for 2024–2030. The introduction of the E-Pound is expected to strengthen the competitiveness of the national currency and improve the effectiveness of the country’s monetary policy. The digital pound, as explained by Abdel Moneim al-Sayed, director of the Cairo Center for Economic and Strategic Studies, will be the electronic equivalent of the paper pound and, unlike anonymous and highly volatile crypto-assets, will formally participate in the country’s economic life, providing a higher level of financial security. The inclusion of the E-Pound in economic calculations will also help authorities achieve 100% financial accessibility for citizens by 2030. It is important to note that back in 2017, the Central Bank of Egypt stated its intention to ban digital currency trading and the use of virtual assets in financial or banking transactions.
  7. In Argentina, the first rental contract with payment in bitcoins has been signed
    In Argentina there was a breakthrough in the real estate sector: here was registered the first rental contract with payment in bitcoins. The first such document was signed in Rosario City. Its terms stipulate that the tenant must pay the landlord the equivalent of 100 US dollars in bitcoins every month. Payments will be made through the local cryptocurrency exchange Fiwind during the first five days of each month. This is possible thanks to an ordinance signed in December that allows financial transactions in any currency, including cryptocurrency. In this way, residents can avoid transactions with the depreciating Argentine peso. The country’s foreign minister, Diana Mondino, explained that such contracts will be reviewed by local courts, which will make the final decision on their legality. This development underscores how cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular in poor countries where they are used to protect against inflation. Argentina is the leader in Latin America in terms of cryptocurrency transactions.

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