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Brazilian mayor to reportedly invest 1% of city reserves in Bitcoin

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Brazilian mayor to reportedly invest 1% of city reserves in Bitcoin

Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes talked about Bitcoin with Miami mayor and BTC bull Francis Suarez at Rio Innovation Week.

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Brazilian mayor to reportedly invest 1% of city reserves in Bitcoin

Eduardo Paes, mayor of Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro, wants to allocate 1% of the city’s treasury into Bitcoin (BTC), Cointelegraph Brazil reported.

Paes reportedly announced plans for “Crypto Rio,” or turning the city into a cryptocurrency hub during Rio Innovation Week on Thursday, according to a report by local news agency O Globo.

The mayor spoke about Rio’s cryptocurrency-related ambitions in a panel with Miami mayor and Bitcoin bull Francis Suarez, who started accepting his paychecks in BTC in November 2021.

“We are going to launch Crypto Rio and invest 1% of the treasury in cryptocurrency. The government has a role to play,” Paes reportedly said, adding that the state is also planning to introduce tax exemptions for the industry.

The panel also included major Brazilian officials like city finance secretary Pedro Paulo, who noted that the administration is considering a 10% discount on property tax in Brazil on payments with Bitcoin. “Let’s study the legal framework to do this,” he said.

Related: ‘Mecca of mining’: Brazil considers zero tax on green Bitcoin mining

The news comes as the Brazilian government increasingly warms its stance on Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry, with federal deputy Luizão Goulart proposing a bill to legalize crypto as a payment method for public and private sector workers in November. In December, MercadoPago, a major crypto payment firm in Brazil, enabled Brazilian residents to buy, sell and hold major cryptocurrencies like BTC and Ether (ETH).

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Singapore crypto ATMs shut down after central bank crackdown

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Singapore crypto ATMs shut down after central bank crackdown

The move is part of a broader effort by the Singaporean watchdog to regulate advertising cryptocurrency to the public.

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Singapore crypto ATMs shut down after central bank crackdown

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has reportedly decided to shut down cryptocurrency automatic teller machines in the city-state.

According to Bloomberg, to comply with new regulations issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore’s central bank, cryptocurrency ATM operators in the country were forced to shut down their operations on Tuesday.

The new clampdown on cryptocurrency ATMs sparked several reactions from the city’s cryptocurrency operators, with Daenerys & Co saying it was “surprised” and canceling its ATM service on Tuesday evening. Its main competitor, Deodi, switched off its ATM network and sent staff to remove its crypto ATMs.

The move is part of a broader effort by the Singaporean watchdog to regulate advertising cryptocurrency to the public. On Monday, the central bank released new guidance that bans crypto firms from advertising their services in public places, websites and social networks.

Singapore’s souring on crypto, however, is more of a surprise. Coincub, a fintech startup based in the city-state, named Singapore the most crypto-friendly country in the world in December, owing to the city’s “good legislative environment” and “high rate of cryptocurrency adoption.” However, the legislative climate in the city-state appears to be cloudier right now.

Related: UK advertiser ASA continues crypto ad banning spree

Cointelegraph reached out to the MAS for more information but did not receive a response as of publishing time. This article will be updated if new details emerge.

The clampdown in Singapore came soon after similar advertising limitations were enacted in Spain and the United Kingdom. On Monday, the Spanish government required crypto businesses to submit ad campaigns for regulatory approval 10 days in advance, while the U.K. launched a review of cryptocurrency advertising norms, vowing to crack down on products with deceptive claims.

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Turkish ruling party holds meeting in metaverse, talks crypto regulation

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Turkish ruling party holds meeting in metaverse, talks crypto regulation

Turkey’s governing political party has discussed the upcoming crypto regulation in its first metaverse meeting.

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Turkish ruling party holds meeting in metaverse, talks crypto regulation

Ak Party, Turkey’s governing party, held its first metaverse meeting on Monday wherein it discussed upcoming crypto regulation. 

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) hosted its first meeting in the metaverse, Cointelegraph Turkey reported. Attending the virtual meeting were TBMM group deputy chairmen Mahir Ünal and Mustafa Elitaş along with Ömer İleri, the vice president of Ak Party responsible for information and communication technologies.

Physically, Elitaş attended the meeting from the parliament building, while Ünal and İleri were at the Ak Party (AKP) headquarters. Crypto regulation was the highlight of the meeting, Ünal told state-run news agency AA, adding that crypto assets require both financial and legal regulations.

Elitaş, who recently hosted a meeting with representatives from the Turkish crypto ecosystem at TBMM, stressed that it’s impossible to stay out of the virtual world. “I believe that metaverse-based meetings would be improved expeditiously and become an essential part of our lives,” he added.

Elitaş is also expected to meet with Binance Turkey on Thursday. As reported before, Binance Turkey was fined 8 million Turkish lira (about $600,000) after failing an audit for monitoring Anti-Money Laundering compliance.

As blockchain technology made digital ownership possible, Turkey has sped up its metaverse efforts, Öİleri said. Seeing the metaverse as a nascent yet quickly developing field, he predicted that it could impact many industries in the future.

Ak Parti olarak #Metaverse üzerinden ilk toplantımızı gerçekleştirdik. pic.twitter.com/19Xfd6sIWR

— AK Parti Bilgi İletişim Teknolojileri (@AKbilgitek) January 17, 2022

The metaverse is open for development in virtual reality, product management and innovative business models, İleri noted, adding that AKP wants to pave the way for a metaverse ecosystem.

Related: Turkey’s crypto law is ready for parliament, President Erdoğan confirms

İleri argued that digital and technological advancements have legal, economic and social aspects. The AKP is striving to develop policies regarding crypto assets and social media to protect the citizens while empowering Turkey’s innovation capabilities, he concluded.

While the Turkish government is keen on blockchain technology and a central bank digital currency, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is known for his stern stance against cryptocurrencies. Last year in a public Q&A session, he “declared war” on crypto, saying, “We have absolutely no intention of embracing cryptocurrencies.”

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Russian Orthodox Patriarch is not a Bitcoiner, church clarifies

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Russian Orthodox Patriarch is not a Bitcoiner, church clarifies

A video emerged claiming that the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church was blessing financial investments.

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Russian Orthodox Patriarch is not a Bitcoiner, church clarifies

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Rus’, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, has not urged his flock to invest in Bitcoin, despite videos claiming otherwise. 

A clip recently emerged claiming that Kirill had urged the faithful to invest in cryptocurrencies. While the video does include genuine comments from the patriarch regarding the benefits of robotics for the economy, and a mention of Bitcoin (BTC), the comments were heavily edited, with the narrator further claiming that the leader would bless those who wish to invest in crypto in a special service at a Moscow church.

The church’s top media representative, Vakhtang Kipshidze, told local publication Daily Storm:

“This is an absolute deception, misleading those people who might think that the patriarch allegedly encourages someone to participate in financial fraud and speculation.”

Kipshidze said that he considered the fraudulent nature of the video to be apparent, stating, “It would never occur to any sane person that the patriarch would call for investing in some kind of fly-by-night scheme, the fraudulent nature of which, in my opinion, is quite obvious.”

Religious communities around the world have had varying opinions about cryptocurrencies, ranging from cautious approval to outright condemnation. 

Related: Indonesia’s national Islamic council reportedly declares Bitcoin haram

In the Islamic world, which has its own set of guidelines and laws pertaining to finance — and now digital assets — the acceptance of cryptocurrency is far from uniform

Malaysia’s shariah advisory council, for example, has declared that trading digital assets was permissible, while late last year, religious authorities in Indonesia have found it “haram,” or forbidden, namely due to its speculative nature and purported propensity for fraud. 

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