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UK Minister wants the nation to be a crypto hub while making it less prone to criminal activities

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UK Minister wants the nation to be a crypto hub while making it less prone to criminal activities

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The UK’s digital Minister has said that his Government wants the nation to be a major crypto hub in the world while at the same time he says to be cautious and vigilant about the criminal activities in the digital domain.

“We do intend the United Kingdom and London to be crypto hub and centers,” Chris Philp said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio on Wednesday. “But of course, we’ve got to do that in a way that protects the public and pays attention to the issues concerning for example money laundering, and making sure that crypto is not used as a way to circumvent things like sanctions.”

The crypto industry has been accused of regulatory failings and scams over the years. In April, a US regulator said Anchorage Digital Bank, a major cryptocurrency lender, failed to prevent money laundering and also reported suspicious transactions. Both the US and the EU have appointed teams to check and investigate and at times prosecute illicit cryptocurrency schemes.

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More recently, the state of the crypto market has been down. For instance, it can be seen through rising interest rates and a series of high-profile blowups like the last month’s collapse of the Terra Blockchain. Bitcoin on Wednesday came close to falling below $20,000 for the first time since December 2020. As per Philp,

“The treasury is working closely with the Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Prudential Regulation Authority to make sure that balance is struck in the right way.”

Philp also said that the London Stock Exchange was weathering a pullback from equity markets better than New York’s Nasdaq.

“Nasdaq has actually suffered much more than the London Stock Exchange,” Philp said after talking to a couple of founders and CEOs at London Tech week on Monday who were discussing the fact that their stock price would have been hit much harder had they been Nasdaq listed instead of London listed. The Nasdaq composite index is worth about six times as much as the UK’s All-Share Index and Britain are considering reforms to stop firms listing overseas and make its course more competitive.

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Swiss Luxury Brand Hublot Adopts Bitcoin Payments

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Swiss Luxury Brand Hublot Adopts Bitcoin Payments

The Swiss luxury watchmaker – Hublot – allowed its customers to buy certain limited products in cryptocurrencies by partnering with the bitcoin payment service provider – BitPay.

In addition, Prague City Tourism joined forces with Global Payments to enable passengers of the emblematic Tram Line number 42 to purchase tickets in digital assets.

Hublot Enters the World of Crypto

Embracing cryptocurrencies as a means of payment has turned into a move practiced by numerous companies part of the fashion industry. The Switzerland-based renowned watchmaker – Hublot – is the latest member of that club.

In a recent announcement, the firm said it launched a limited collection called “Big Bang Unico Essential Grey,” which consists of 200 watches. Those products could be purchased only on Hublot’s US e-Boutique platform as clients can pay with cryptocurrencies.

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Introducing the new #BigBangUnico Essential Grey, a limited edition of 200 pieces solely available online on the e-commerce platform https://t.co/FtQRk4LWq7. Exclusively on our Hublot United States eBoutique, clients will be able to shop using select Cryptocurrencies with BitPay. pic.twitter.com/Ny2tct8lQ2

— Hublot (@Hublot) June 21, 2022

The price of a single watch from that edition is around $21,200, meaning that if one wants to pay in bitcoin, they will have to part with approximately 1 BTC (calculated at current prices).

Last month, another Swiss luxury watchmaker – Tag Heuer – also said “yes” to such payments. The enterprise accepted leading cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Shiba Inu, plus five stablecoins as a means of settlement on its US website.

Explore Prague in Exchange for Crypto

Another example of the latest cryptocurrency adoption is Prague’s iconic Tram Line number 42. One of the oldest trams in the Czech Republic is currently used as a tourist attraction. Visitors can ride on it and explore the most popular sightseeings of the country’s capital, such as the Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and the Powder Gate.

According to a local coverage, the Tram Line teamed up with Global Payments to allow travelers to pay for their experience in crypto. Petr Soukup – Director of IT at Prague City Tourism – said:

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“Cryptocurrencies are a very popular source of money today. There is no reason why people should not use them for regular payments. They can now pay for a ticket with a piece of bitcoin or, for example, Ethereum.”

He further explained that clients could pay in digital assets, but merchants can choose whether to accept the transaction in crypto or fiat (for example, Czech crowns).

Featured Image Courtesy of Hublot

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