This week brought some exciting developments in the world of cryptocurrency and NFTs. Our lead story is the UK’s push to become a center for crypto asset investment and technology. We’ll also dive into a south Florida case where US authorities confiscated $34 million in cryptocurrency and Robinhood’s new cryptocurrency wallet. Lastly, we’ll discuss Tom Brady’s NFT sales, a collection of NFT stick figures going for wild sums of money and what happened to the first mainstream video game to integrate NFTs as in-game items.
Welcome Nonfungible Tidbits, CNET’s weekly roundup of news in crypto, bitcoin, NFTs and their related realms. Read on to find out about the six stories you may have missed this week, and stay tuned for more next week.
UK announces NFT to promote national crypto initiative
The British government announced plans on Monday to make the UK a global hub for investment and tech in crypto assets. The UK is looking to make stablecoins a valid form of payment, and the Royal Mint will issue an NFT to promote Britain’s crypto push. “The measures we’ve outlined today will help to ensure firms can invest, innovate and scale up in this country,” UK finance minister Rishi Sunak said in the announcement. This comes just weeks after the country’s financial regulator declared all bitcoin ATMs in the UK illegal and ordered them to shut down. The country’s advertising authority has also been cracking down on crypto ads in the country for failing to highlight risks associated with cryptocurrency investing.
US Authorities Seize $34M in Crypto in South Florida Case
US authorities confiscated 34 million worth of cryptocurrency that was allegedly made from selling illicit items and stolen accounts from online services, including HBO, Netflix and Uber, on the dark web, the Justice Department said Monday. The DOJ says this is one of the largest cryptocurrency forfeiture actions the US has ever filed. The announcement didn’t specify the identity of the south Florida resident the cryptocurrency was confiscated from or if the DOJ was pursuing further legal action.
Robinhood rolls out cryptocurrency wallet for people on waiting list
Robinhood’s cryptocurrency wallet is now available for eligible users who previously signed up for the waiting list. The wallet’s release was announced by Robinhood CPO Aparna Chennapragada on Thursday at the Bitcoin conference in Miami. The Robinhood crypto wallet allows transferring cryptocurrency into external wallets with daily withdrawals capped at $2,999 total and 10 transactions. However, residents in Hawaii, New York and Nevada are not eligible to sign up, due to state regulations. Robinhood has been a subject of controversy since the company’s role in the GameStop stock saga.
ESPN, Tom Brady sell NFTs to promote documentary series
An NFT collection from ESPN and Tom Brady was released Wednesday in concert with the Tom Brady documentary series ‘Man in the Arena: Tom Brady’ arriving on Hulu and Disney Plus. The NFTs feature ESPN magazine covers of Brady, range from $100 to $500 and have already sold out. Brady, along with his wife, Gisele Bündchen, previously took an equity stake in the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and released a commercial for the crypto company.
NFT stick figures are selling for thousands of dollars
Over $100 million in cryptocurrency has been spent on ‘mfers,’ an NFT collection featuring drawings of stick figures in front of color backgrounds. Recently, the least expensive NFT in the collection was 3.97 ether, or around $14,000, and the collection’s simple art is very much on purpose. “Underlying mfers’ meme art is, hilariously, an argument about intellectual property,” says CNET Senior Writer Daniel Van Boom.
First mainstream video game to use in-game NFTs will end new content
Ubisoft became the first big video game developer to integrate NFTs into mainstream video games when the company introduced ‘digits’ in Ghost Recon Breakpoint earlier this year, a move that didn’t go over well with much of the game’s fanbase. On April 5, only a few months post-integration, Ubisoft announced it is ending new content for the game. However, Ubisoft is looking to hire more blockchain-related roles at the company and reportedly wants to put NFTs in future games, so gamers can probably expect to see NFTs in upcoming Ubisoft titles.
Thanks for reading. We’ll be back with plenty more next week. In the meantime, check out this cautionary tale from Farnoosh Torabi on how bitcoin blackmailers tried to steal from her dad’s E-Trade account.
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