News Roundup — ‘In Argentina, contracts can be settled in Bitcoin’ — foreign minister

December 26, 2023

Major news stories this week;

  1. ‘In Argentina, contracts can be settled in Bitcoin’ — foreign minister
  2. Ethereum Developers Target January for First Testnet Deployment of Next Big Upgrade, 'Dencun'
  3. UK introduces new regulations for its Digital Securities Sandbox
  4. UAE based crypto businesses can now tap commercial liability cover after Dubai Insurance move
  5. Belgium to Push European Blockchain Network During EU Council Presidency, Digital Minister Says

Story Summaries;

  1. Diana Mondino, the minister of foreign affairs, international trade and worship of Argentina, has claimed that a decree legalizing the use of certain currencies in contracts and for payments would apply to Bitcoin.
    In a Dec. 21 post on X (formerly Twitter), Mondino said that a decree seemingly aimed at economic reform and deregulation would allow the use of BTC and other cryptocurrencies in the country under certain conditions. The “Bases for the Reconstruction of the Argentine Economy” decree, passed on Dec. 20, did not specifically mention crypto but included provisions that debtors had the choice to pay in currencies not recognized as legal tender in Argentina.
    “We ratify and confirm that in Argentina contracts can be settled in Bitcoin,” said Mondino. “And also any other crypto.”
    According to Mondino, the decree would also allow for settling contracts using liters of milk or steers. Other provisions within the decree give individuals the freedom to choose the type of currency used — largely referring to foreign currencies but not explicitly denying crypto.
    “The parties have the liberty to specify the amounts and the type of currency used for the bond or security deposit, as well as the method for its reimbursement upon the lease’s conclusion,” said Article 1196 of the decree.
  2. Ethereum developers are heating up their testing process for the upcoming Dencun upgrade, a major milestone expected next year that would add capacity for data storage via a new process known as "proto-danksharding."
    In a biweekly call Thursday, the developers discussed that they are targeting Jan. 17 for the Goerli test network (testnet) to run through Dencun, the much-anticipated upgrade that will enable “proto-danksharding,” which reduces fees for layer 2 rollups and scale the blockchain by increasing space for “blobs” of data.
    “Obviously if we find a major issue or something crazy before then we can always cancel,” Tim Beiko, protocol support lead at the Ethereum Foundation said on the call. “This would mean ideally we’re putting out the blog post for the fork sometime during the week of January 8th, so people have at least a week to update.”
    Dencun was originally targeted for the last quarter of 2023, but the developers pushed it back to 2024, citing the engineering complexities of the upgrade.
  3. The UK has introduced new regulations that will give the nation's financial watchdogs rules for supervising a sandbox for tokenized securities, according to an official publication on Monday.
    The regulations will be for the UK's Digital Securities Sandbox, DSS, and they come into force on Jan. 8, 2024. They are part of the UK government's Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, or FSMA.
    The new rules set the overall limitations on what can be carried out within the sandbox and which participants are eligible for involvement. The sandbox will let regulators and companies test solutions, including distributed ledger technology and the tokenization of securities.
    The UK Treasury stated that oversight of the new regulations will be a joint effort between the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA. "The Bank and the FCA must take such steps they consider appropriate to co-operate with each other in connection with the operation and supervision of the DSS," the legislation said.
  4. Crypto businesses in the UAE will soon be getting some sort of safety net for their high stakes ventures. Dubai Insurance has signed up with Hong Kong based OneDegree to offer ‘digital asset insurance’ to such businesses. To start with, the partners will provide commercial liability insurance, and specifically ‘professional indemnity’ and ‘directors & officers’ insurance.
    They will also be seeking regulator approval to introduce more digital asset cover products in the UAE. OneDegree was among the pioneers in Asia when it came to being a licensed insurer for digital assets.
    "OneInfinity products are helping some of the world’s best Web3 companies to grow their businesses in a secure and compliant manner," said Alvin Kwock, co-founder of OneDegree. "With MENA, and especially the UAE, continuing to grow and attract leading digital asset companies, OneInfinity and Dubai Insurance Co. are a natural fit to identify and support good actors.”
  5. Belgium will give Europe’s ambitious blockchain initiative a political push when it takes the EU Council presidency in January, the country’s digital minister said in an interview with CoinDesk.
    Mathieu Michel has already shared his grand vision for an EU-wide digital infrastructure that – at the very least – could store records such as driving licenses and property titles on a common blockchain controlled by the bloc’s governments.
    Key to that plan is the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) initiative, which began in 2018 as a technical project. Michel said the goal is to rev up political support for it during Belgium’s six-month Council presidency and that eight member states are already on board.
    “In the coming months, what we will do is to propose to other European countries to be involved in the project or to use the project for application,” Michel said.

And that’s all for last week’s news! Wishing you a great week ahead!

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