A finalized text of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation now seeks to bring Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and algorithmic stablecoins under its regulatory purview. According to a bill draft dated September 20, EU authorities have been urged to take a “substance over form” approach to the law, suggesting that NFTs such as BAYC’s […]
“NFT[s] will not stop Russian missiles, but blockchain technology will contribute to the economic recovery and development of Ukraine,” said Alexander Borniakov.
The Ukrainian government will be using the proceeds of sales from an online nonfungible token, or NFT, museum to restore artwork in the real world.
According to a Friday announcement and information shared with Cointelegraph, Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy said the government’s Meta History Museum of War platform, aimed at preserving the timeline of major events in Russia’s war with Ukraine, raised 803.28 Ether (ETH) — roughly $1.3 million at the time — through NFT sales. The ministry said proceeds from the sales will go toward “the restoration of Ukrainian cultural institutions,” many of which have been damaged or destroyed by missile attacks from Russia.
“During the six months of the war in Ukraine, the Russians destroyed hundreds of our museums, theaters and cultural institutions,” said Oleksandr Tkachenko, Ukraine’s Minister of Culture and Information Policy. “Ukrainian culture and national heritage have been damaged by almost 6 billion euros, and judging by the actions and intentions of the Russian Federation, this figure will only increase.”
Alexander Borniakov, deputy minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine for Information Technology Development, added:
“NFT[s] will not stop Russian missiles, but blockchain technology will contribute to the economic recovery and development of Ukraine as an innovation-friendly country.”
We wish it was the last drop of NFT artworks, but Russia continues to destroy our homeland
Therefore we represent the 3rd drop of the artworks dedicated to events between March 15 – 31. It includes masterpieces created by Maria Oz, Anton Abo, Oleksii Dyvysenko and the others. pic.twitter.com/T43keVzVgL
— Meta History: Museum of War (@Meta_History_UA) July 22, 2022
The Ukrainian government launched the Meta History project in March, one month after the first missiles struck Ukrainian targets in the ongoing conflict. While the $1.3 million will go toward Aid For Ukraine — a platform launched by the government that accepts crypto donations “to support people in their fight for freedom” — the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy has said the funds will be used for restoration rather than supplies for the nation’s military.
UNESCO, the agency behind many of the world’s heritage sites based on their significance to history, nature and art, reported that as of Monday, 164 cultural sites in Ukraine had been partially damaged or destroyed as a result of the war with Russia. These include 72 religious sites, 12 museums, 32 historic buildings, 24 buildings for cultural activities, 17 monuments and seven libraries.
“These repeated attacks on Ukrainian cultural sites must stop,” said UNESCO director-general Audrey Azoulay in June. “Cultural heritage, in all its forms, should not be targeted under any circumstances.”
Since the beginning of the war with Russia in February, Ukraine’s government has raised more than $100 million in crypto donations sent directly to wallet addresses provided by the Ministry of Digital Transformation. According to Aid For Ukraine, crypto donations go toward supplying the country’s military as well as humanitarian aid.
The municipal government pledged to support the enterprises that are discovering the non-fungibles market.
China’s biggest city Shanghai officially intends to boost the development of innovations such as blockchain, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), metaverse and Web3 in general during its next five-year plan.
On July 13, Shanghai’s Municipal Government published the draft of its “14th Five-Year Plan for the Development of Shanghai’s Digital Economy”. A document sets the mission of “promoting the deep integration of digital technology and the real economy,” with “scientists judging technology prospects” and “entrepreneurs discovering market demand”.
The plan suggests supporting the enterprises that plan to construct the NFT trading platforms and “research and promote the digitization of NFT and other assets.” A separate section is dedicated to blockchain, with a voiced commitment to promote the development and application of “blockchain+” technology and build a blockchain development ecosystem with strong innovation capabilities and independent control.
There is also a place for metaverse ambitions, as the municipal government plans to accelerate the research and deployment of the platform for the interaction between the virtual world and the real society by carrying out the development of core technologies and encouraging the creation of new platforms with richer and more diverse content scenarios. The plan emphasizes the significance of new forms of digital entertainment consumption, such as virtual concerts, virtual idols, and virtual sports.
A planned exploration of Web3 opportunities would include researching a multi-platform OpenID, distributed data storage, decentralized domain name resolution system (DNS), and end-to-end encrypted communication technology, complemented by the update of hardware base and deployment of 6G, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), sixth-generation wireless network technology (Wi-Fi6) and quantum communication.
While the plan keeps silent on the prospects of decentralized finance (DeFi), it mentions “digital finance” with a promise to promote smart contracts and improve asset trading, payment and settlement, registration and custody. However, the section puts an emphasis on exploring the pilot of the digital yuan, a central bank digital currency (CBDC), cherished by the Bank of China.
Other, non-crypto-related directions of a five-year plan touch on the issues of smart cities, low-carbon energy, digital health, intelligent service robots and others.
In his article from June 26, Yifan He, the CEO of Red Date Technology — a major tech firm involved in the development of China’s major blockchain project called the Blockchain Service Network (BSN) — has called private cryptocurrencies the “biggest Ponzi scheme in human history.”
The policy also covers secondary NFT trading as the firm notes that “accounts that provide services or content related to the secondary transaction of digital collections shall also be dealt with.”
The top social media platform in China, WeChat, has updated its policies to ban accounts that provide access to crypto or NFT-related services.
Under the new guidelines, accounts involved with the issuance, trading, and financing of crypto and NFTs will be either restricted or banned and will fall under the “illegal business” category.
The policy also covers secondary NFT trading, with the firm noting that “accounts that provide services or content related to the secondary transaction of digital collections shall also be dealt with in accordance with this article.”
The move was highlighted by Hong Kong-based crypto news reporter Wu Blockchain (Colin Wu) on June 20, as he pointed out the significance of the action given that WeChat has more than 1.1 billion daily users in China.
WeChat with more than 1.1 billion daily active users in China, has updated its rules: WeChat public accounts which involved in the issuance, trading and financing of crypto and NFTs will be limited function or banned. https://t.co/0I9oMrvFTp pic.twitter.com/mzclYjFZNg
— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) June 20, 2022
In terms of punishments, the new policy states that “once such violations are discovered, the WeChat public platform will, according to the severity of the violations, order the violating official accounts to rectify within a time limit and restrict some functions of the account until the permanent account is banned.”
The Chinese government rolled out a phased ban on the local crypto sector between May and September last year. However, given the timing of the latest policy update on WeChat, it could suggest the platform has been letting some crypto activity go unnoticed since then.
Furthermore, there is still a regulatory gray area in the country concerning NFTs as the assets can be purchased in fiat. Still, companies and platforms generally bar secondary trading to avoid potential compliance issues over the financialization of the tech.
In general, officials have frowned upon NFTs, with the China Banking Association, the China Internet Finance Association, and the Securities Association of China issuing a joint statement in April warning the public about the “hidden risks” of investing in the assets.
Popular platforms such as WeChat and Ant group-owned WhaleTalk have been distancing themselves from the tech since March after they both reportedly began removing or restricting NFT platforms from their networks over a lack of regulatory clarity and fear of a crackdown from Beijing.
Despite this, a local media report from June 16 highlighted data showing the number of digital collectible platforms in China has grown to over 500, a 5X increase since February 2022.