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Top Headlines for 3 May, 2022

Indian Ministry Orders Crypto Exchanges to Collect Customer Data

India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEIT) issued a directive that orders cryptocurrency exchanges and Virtual Private Network (VPN) providers to archive their users’ data for five years.

Effective 22 June 2022, Indian crypto exchanges are legally required to store information such as personal identifiers, investments and contacts of their clients. Moreover, the exchanges and VPN providers are obligated to report any cyber incidents within six hours of their occurrence. The directive may drive many privacy-centric crypto platforms and VPN providers out of business or offshore.

The Ministry claims that storing identifiable information about clients of these services will help law enforcement respond to cyber and crypto-related crimes. However, expanding the oversight beyond personal identifiers and including cryptocurrency holdings has made many investors concerned about their privacy.

Some industry insiders, including those who have received or hope to receive preferential treatment from the government, believe that MEIT’s new directive is a positive development for Indian cryptocurrency regulation, as it will make stopping tax evasion easier. It is not yet clear if the regulations will only apply to Indian exchanges or also to foreign exchanges operating in India.

The Indian administration appears to be attacking the crypto industry. First through a heavy-handed tax rate of 30% which significantly diminished the trading volume on cryptocurrency exchanges, and then with MEIT’s latest directive which will discourage many privacy-conscious investors from interacting with centralized cryptocurrency exchanges.

Argentina’s Biggest Bank Adds Crypto Trading

The biggest commercial bank in Argentina, Banco Galicia, is debuting crypto trading services for its clients.

Initially, the financial institution will only support four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and the USDC stablecoin. It has plans to add more cryptocurrencies in the future.

The new functionality was first revealed by the bank’s customers on Twitter through screenshots, which the bank later confirmed. The primary reason behind the popularity of crypto assets in Argentina is that the country is battling with an exceptionally high inflation rate. The Central Bank of Argentina informs that the current inflation rate in the country is above 50%.

Algorand Inks Sponsorship Deal with FIFA

Algorand Foundation, the governing body for the Algorand proof-of-stake blockchain, has signed a sponsorship deal on 2 May, 2022 with sports organization FIFA to serve as an official partner of the soccer association.

The ALGO cryptocurrency was up 25% within the first 24 hours after the deal was announced.

The network has agreed to be a regional supporter of FIFA’s upcoming World Cup in North America and Europe. Algorand will reportedly help the sports organization develop its “digital assets strategy.” Although FIFA has not officially disclosed any details, it’s clear from the organization’s announcement that it will most likely include non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Apart from developing an NFT collection for FIFA, Algorand will also create an “official blockchain-supported wallet solution” for the association.

Algorand is the second crypto-related organization to ink a sponsorship deal with FIFA for its 2022 World Cup. In March 2022, the leading cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com became FIFA’s official crypto trading platform.

FIFA’s World Cup is one of the most-watched sports events. Its last championship, held in 2018, had over 3.2 billion viewers. The association of blockchain-related organizations like Algorand and Crypto.com with FIFA will bring massive attention to the industry.

Warren Buffett Mocked for New BTC Critique

Legendary veteran investor Warren Buffett once again went after Bitcoin, claiming that the premier cryptocurrency has no intrinsic value.

He said, “Now if you told me you owned all the Bitcoin in the world and you offered it to me for $25 I wouldn’t take it…” His latest statements drew new flak from the cryptocurrency community. He had previously called Bitcoin “rat poison squared and a delusion”.

Peter Theil recently called Mr. Buffett a “sociopathic grandpa from Omaha” and an “enemy of Bitcoin.” He was echoed by tech investor Marc Andreessen, who wrote, “It’s so wild he says this stuff while nakedly shilling diabetes,” referring to Buffet’s public appearances surrounded by boxes of candies produced by one of his companies.

Buffet’s partner, Charlie Munger, joined his colleague in condemnation by predicting that Bitcoin is “still likely to go to zero.” He also explained that it is “evil because it undermines the Federal Reserve System,” and called on the U.S. government to ban it as China has done. These are two gatekeepers from another era who do not necessarily understand the technology and actively oppose it. As of May 2022, Bitcoin has a larger market cap than Buffet and Munger’s company Berkshire Hathaway, about $734 billion vs $713 billion.

Louis Vuitton Game Hits 2M+ Downloads

In 2021, Luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton released an NFT-based game, ”Louis – the game,” to celebrate the company’s 200th anniversary. As of 2 May 2022, it has passed the milestone of 2 million downloads.

The game is an immersive adventure in which the player controls a character called Vivienne who must complete various quests while learning about Louis Vuitton and the brand’s history. The company has placed NFT postcards throughout the game, which the player can collect by completing different challenges. The app is available for mobile operating systems, both Android, and iOS.

The fashion brand plans to develop the lore around the game in subsequent updates and has reported its intention to add new features like celebrity NFTs. Players who complete the game can access two expansion packs that reportedly have 10 NFTs up for grabs.