In today’s edition of Bitmama’s weekly crypto news roundup, we cover interesting developments in the cryptocurrency industry. Top picks – Mastercard to enable NFT and Web3 payments, Ethiopian central bank urges residents to stop engaging in crypto transactions, Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z partner to launch bitcoin educational program
Let’s get started.
Mastercard to Implement payments for NFT and Web3 projects
Traditional payments companies are starting to embrace cryptocurrencies and include them as options in their business strategies. Mastercard, one of the biggest payments companies in the world, has announced it is working with a number of companies in the NFT and Web3 fields to enable customers to pay with Mastercard technology for their products.
According to a PR statement, the company is working directly with Immutable X, Candy Digital, The Sandbox, Mintable, Spring, Nifty Gateway, and Web3 infrastructure provider Moonpay, to allow customers to use their Mastercard cards to pay for digital goods provided by these platforms. Mastercard estimates that the above companies constitute a large swathe of the NFT space, which generated over $25 billion last year in sales.
This move will enable any holder of a Mastercard card — the announcement notes there are 2.9 billion worldwide — to enter the sector using Mastercard products, sidestepping the crypto conversion phase.
The objective of the company is to make payments easier for potential buyers of these products, which might be encumbered by the barriers that the crypto space can present. According to Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice president for digital assets for Mastercard:
‘’Buying digital goods should be as simple as buying a T-shirt or coffee pods on an e-commerce site. You can make your purchase with one click — that’s it.’’
For some, this is a logical step forward for Mastercard, which has already worked with Coinbase to allow customers of the cryptocurrency exchange to purchase NFTs with their cards on its marketplace.
Also, the company stated that payments made with debit and credit cards on these online marketplaces will enjoy the “full suite of capabilities” that the company gives to payments realized in retail stores, protecting consumers in case of fraud.
Ethiopian central bank urges residents to stop engaging in illegal crypto transactions
The Ethiopian central bank has warned citizens against engaging in “illegal” cryptocurrency transactions, a report has said. The report adds that the central bank still does not recognize cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as a payment method.
In its report, the state-affiliated media outlet Fanabc refers to a statement from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) which reminded the country’s residents that the birr currency remains Ethiopia’s only legal tender.
The central bank reportedly said “Ethiopia’s national currency is the Ethiopian Birr, with any financial transaction in Ethiopia to be paid in Birrs, according to the law,”
Like many of its peers across Africa, Ethiopia has not completely banned the use of cryptocurrencies, but has adopted a wait-and-see approach. This approach has, however, not stopped the Ethiopian government from establishing a working relationship with Cardano.
The embrace of Cardano as well as the government’s apparent warming to blockchain technology has not stopped the NBE from repeating the claim that cryptocurrencies are primarily used for money laundering schemes. The central bank also urged residents to report such transactions should they come across them.
Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z partner to launch bitcoin educational program
Legendary rapper and inducted Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Jay-Z, joins forces with the founder of Twitter and Cash App, Jack Dorsey, to launch “The Bitcoin Academy,” an educational program advocating for the democratic vision that “education is power.”
This program is exclusively available for residents of the Marcy Project public housing complex in New York City. The program will commence on June 22 and run until September 7 with options for both in-person and online attendance. The free educational program is designed to enhance access to financial information and promote inclusive opportunities.
The program will be instructed by Lamar Wilson of the Black Bitcoin Billionaire and Najah J. Roberts of the Crypto Blockchain Plug. The specific details of the lessons are limited at this time, but topics surrounding the necessity, utility and vision for Bitcoin as well as general financial literature are all expected.
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