Worldcoin Triggers Swift Privacy Scrutiny in Europe

Earlier this week the U.K.’s Information Commission Office (ICO) was asked about Worldcoin launching in the U.K. and said publicly it would be “making enquiries”, before issuing some boilerplate warning that: “Organisations must conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) before starting any processing that is likely to result in high risk, such as processing special category biometric data. Where they identify high risks that they cannot mitigate, they must consult the ICO.”

Fast forward a few days and France’s data protection authority, the CNIL, has followed the ICO’s remarks with even more specific expressions of concern, as first reported by Reuters — out-and-out questioning the legality of what Worldcoin is doing. The French authority also revealed it’s already been actively investigating Worldcoin.

“The legality of [Worldcoin’s data] collection seems questionable, as do the conditions for storing biometric data,” a CNIL spokesperson confirmed by email, adding: “Worldcoin collected data in France, and the CNIL initiated investigations.”


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Putin Signs Digital Ruble Law Allowing CBDC Payments in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a bill providing the legal basis for the implementation of Russia’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the Tass news agency and other Russian media reported. The new federal law introduces a third, digital form of the national currency, the ruble, after cash and non-cash (bank) money.

Putin’s signature opens the door for using the CBDC named “digital ruble” as a means of payment and for other transfers in the Russian Federation. These will be free of charge for citizens while businesses will pay a 0.3% commission on the amount transferred.

Transactions with the digital currency will be processed through a dedicated information system — the digital ruble platform. Under the law, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is the sole issuer of the CBDC and will be the only operator of its payment system.


Kuwait bans cryptocurrency and virtual assets transactions

Kuwait’s supervisory authorities, including the Central Bank of Kuwait, the Capital Markets Authority, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Insurance Regulatory Unit, have jointly issued circulars to address the use and recognition of virtual assets within the country, Arabian Business reports. 

The circulars are in accordance with the recommendations set forth by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Recommendation No. 15 to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The circulars explicitly bans the use of virtual assets as a tool or means of payment and prohibit any transactions involving cryptocurrency for payment purposes.

RFK Jr. Vows to Back Dollar With Bitcoin, Exempt BTC From Taxes

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. unveiled a plan to exempt bitcoin (BTC) from capital gains tax when it is converted into U.S. dollars and to begin to back the greenback with "real finite assets" such as gold, silver, platinum and bitcoin, Coindesk reports. 

"Backing dollars and U.S. debt obligations with hard assets could help restore strength back to the dollar, rein in inflation and usher in a new era of American financial stability, peace and prosperity," said Kennedy. He would start the process, he said, "very, very small, perhaps 1% of issued T-bills" would be backed by hard currencies like gold, silver platinum or bitcoin.

BlackRock CEO: Crypto will transcend international currencies

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has delivered fresh remarks supporting cryptocurrencies’ role in democratizing investing worldwide, pointing to growing interest among the companys clients in digital assets, Cointelegraph reports. 

“More and more of our global investors are asking us about crypto,” Fink said during an interview with CNBC’s Squawk on the Street on July 14. BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, with over $8 trillion in assets spanning all types of investment products.

In Fink's view, cryptocurrencies have a “differentiating value versus other asset classes” in helping diversify portfolios. “It’s so international it’s going to transcend any one currency,” noted the executive.

Standard Chartered: Bitcoin Could Rise to $120K by End-2024

Bitcoin (BTC), the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market value, could rise to $50,000 by the end of this year and up to $120,000 by end-2024, Standard Chartered Bank said in a research report on Monday, reported by CoinDesk

The British multinational bank increased its bitcoin price forecast from the $100,000 predicted in April. Standard Chartered said at the time that bitcoin had the potential to reach that level because of several factors, one of them being the banking-sector crisis.

"We now think this estimate is too conservative, and we therefore see upside to our end-2024 target," the report said.

Bitcoin has climbed 80% since the start of the year and is currently trading around $30,100.

The report cites increased bitcoin miner profitability as one of the factors that will drive the price this time.

"The rationale here is that as well as maintaining the bitcoin ledger, miners play a key role in determining net supply of newly mined BTC,” wrote Geoff Kendrick, head of FX and digital assets research.