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Thai lawmakers urged to approve tourism crypto to entice digital nomads

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Thai lawmakers urged to approve tourism crypto to entice digital nomads

The rollout of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s TAT Coin is coming closer to fruition, and is now awaiting government approval according to local figures.

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Thai lawmakers urged to approve tourism crypto to entice digital nomads

A push in Thailand to boost gross domestic product (GPD) by targeting crypto digital nomads is coming closer to fruition according to local media.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has been looking into launching its own utility token called TAT Coin since September as part of a planned “cryptourism” campaign. The initiative aims to attract crypto wealthy digital nomads and the TAT has been in discussions with the Stock Exchange of Thailand regarding TAT Coin’s issuance.

According to a Nov. 24 report from the Bangkok Post, the infrastructure behind the TAT Coin is “ready” to go and is now awaiting the green light from the Thai government.

Speaking at the “Transform tourism with cryptourism” conference on Tuesday, Jirayut Srupsrisopa the founder and CEO of local crypto exchange Bitkub urged policymakers to approve the rollout of TAT Coin:

“Private sectors are ready to provide digital infrastructure, but we’re just waiting for the government to press the button by enacting laws, regulations or even policies to help facilitate digital asset markets.”

“Our national GDP could grow six times if we can strengthen this market,” he added.

According to the Bangkok Post, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn explained that the cryptourism campaign consists of “building a new tourism ecosystem which utilizes digital technologies to allow wealthy populations, including cryptocurrency holders, to channel their money directly to tourism operators without agents or brokers.”

Related: Mastercard launches crypto-linked cards across Asia-Pacific

Supasorn said the move would greatly help local businesses recover that have been impacted by the lack of tourism capital flowing into the country due to the global pandemic. Al Jazeera reported this week that Thailand saw a total of 106,117 tourists in the first 10 months of 2021, which is a tiny fraction of the 40 million yearly average pre-pandemic.

Despite the private sector appearing ready to support this campaign, Supasorn warned that there is still a lot of work to do within the government to prepare for the rollout of such an ambitious digital currency-focused initiative.

“Due to the TAT’s status as a state enterprise, there are a lot of regulatory issues we need to discuss with related parties before implementation. And there are also other preventive measures against cybercrimes and customer protections we need to prepare,” he said.

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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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