Weekly crypto roundup: Telegram users can now send and receive crypto

In today’s edition of Bitmama’s weekly crypto news roundup, we cover interesting developments in the cryptocurrency industry. Top picks -Telegram users can now send and receive crypto following a 2-year hiatus, Panama’s legislature  passed a bill aimed at making the country a favorable locale for crypto business, Bitcoin is now official currency in Central African Republic

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Telegram users can now send and receive crypto following a 2-year hiatus

Cryptocurrency functionality has been added back into the social app Telegram following a more than two-year hiatus stemming from a lengthy bout with the SEC in 2019.

Users can now send and receive Toncoin, as well as make bitcoin purchases via the app, according to a Tuesday tweet by The Open Network (TON) Foundation. Telegram boasts more than 550 million active users and is one of the world’s most popular social networks.

The foundation is responsible for the development of the TON blockchain which enables the crypto infrastructure for use within the social app. Last week, the foundation announced that it had raised $1 billion in donations to further its development efforts.

Following that announcement, Toncoin rose 14.3% from around $2.03 on Tuesday to $2.32 by Wednesday before succumbing to sell-side market pressure. As of press time, the token is down 10% over a 24-hour period and is changing hands for $2.06, data by provider CoinGecko shows.

Users are not required to pay transaction fees and will no longer need to enter long crypto addresses with wallet functionality embedded into the app, according to the announcement.

It marks the first time the app has restored crypto functionality since its battle with the SEC in October 2019. Telegram abandoned the project shortly after being requested by the securities regulator to cease the sale of its native “Gram” tokens. As part of a 2020 settlement, Telegram was required to return the $1.2 billion the company raised in the token sale and ordered to pay an $18.5 million fine.

“Telegram’s active involvement with TON is over,” Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov wrote at the time.

By May 2020, Telegram’s involvement with TON became less clear, and the development of the TON blockchain was overtaken by various enthusiasts and projects, who forked the original project’s open-source code.

Panama’s legislature  passed a bill aimed at making the country a favorable locale for crypto business

Panamanian Congressman Gabriel Silva – the sponsor of a bill passed on Thursday regulating the use of cryptocurrencies in the country – said the bill doesn’t allow for any crypto to become legal tender, but makes possible free use of crypto as a means of payment for any transaction.

“We can’t just establish bitcoin because that will be unconstitutional and if it’s unconstitutional, then the project won’t happen,” said Silva, speaking on Twitter Spaces. Panama has no currency per its constitution, but has officially been on the U.S. dollar for more than a century.

Prior to the bill, said Silva, it was illegal for digital asset companies to set up shop in Panama, but that would change once the legislation becomes law.

Crypto news

Additionally, he said, the law treats crypto assets as foreign-source income, which in accordance with Panama’s territorial taxation system, means no taxes on capital gains.

“The idea is to just respect the tradition that Panama has already had for many years, where the country taxes what happens inside of its borders, and the internet is obviously not in any country’s borders,” explained Felipe Echandi, a local crypto entrepreneur who assisted Silva in drafting the bill.

President Laurentino Cortizo still must sign the bill for it to become law, but the legislation was passed by a 40-0 vote, suggesting good prospects for that to happen.

Bitcoin is now official currency in Central African Republic

The Central African Republic has adopted Bitcoin as an official currency, the presidency said on Wednesday, making it the first country in Africa and only the second in the world to do so.

Despite rich reserves of gold and diamonds, the Central African Republic is one of the world’s poorest and least-developed countries and has been gripped by rebel violence for years.

A bill governing the use of cryptocurrency was adopted unanimously by parliament last week, said a statement signed by Obed Namsio, chief of staff of President Faustin-Archange Touadera.

“The president supports this bill because it will improve the conditions of Central African citizens,” Namsio told Reuters, without elaborating.

Crypto news

In the statement, he called it “a decisive step toward opening up new opportunities for our country”.

The Central African Republic is one of six nations that use the Central African CFA franc, a regional currency governed by the Bank of Central African States (BEAC).

Also Read : Spend more than $10,000 on international transactions with Bitmama Cards without FX limits


Bitmama Team

May 2, 2022

4 mins read

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