Saudi Arabia Central Bank Hires Crypto & CBDC Expert

The Saudi Central Bank has hired former Managing Director at Accenture, Mohsen AlZahrani, to lead the bank’s crypto and CBDC efforts, Bloomberg reported.

According to Bloomberg’s several sources, Riyadh is taking a new interest in digital assets and communicating with the biggest companies in the space, looking at UAE’s position toward crypto.

One of the countries’ joint digital asset efforts is a CBDC initiative called Aber.

Announced in 2019, Aber is a “joint digital currency and distributed ledger” project, a dual-issued central bank digital currency pilot. Two central banks – the Central Bank of United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) and Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) – and six commercial banks were involved in the development of the project.

Bill Murray’s Ethereum Wallet Hacked for $174K

The Ethereum wallet tied to actor and comedian Bill Murray—which is being used to sell official NFTs inspired by his life—was attacked last night following the completion of a charity auction this week, Decrypt reports.

Ultimately, nearly 110 Wrapped Ethereum (WETH) was stolen from the wallet, worth about $174,000 at the time of the attack.

Gavin Gillas of blockchain startup Project Venkman, which Murray co-owns, told Decrypt that he first noticed an unauthorized transaction removing 108.03 WETH (about $171,500) from the wallet last night, followed by another transaction for 1.73 WETH (about $2,750). Those were the only transactions in which WETH was stolen, Gillis confirmed.

Dubai Issues Crypto Marketing Rules to Better Protect Investors

Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), announced new regulatory guidelines on the marketing, advertising and promotions of virtual assets on Thursday, Gulf News reports.

In the rules, the VARA referred to all forms of outreach, communications and advertising, dissemination of information, building awareness, customer engagement, investor solicitation and others.

The guidelines cover all virtual asset-related communications and entities publishing information on Dubai-based media websites, search platforms as well as online and offline publishing channels that target customers within the Dubai market.

The rules reportedly also require all local virtual asset service providers (VASPs), including advertising platforms, to ensure factual accuracy and openly demonstrate any promotional intent to avoid misleading potential customers.

The VARA reportedly noted that the new guidelines relate to Dubai’s crypto-focused Minimal Viable Product (MVP) license, stating:

These regulations specifically address marketing and communications activities, ahead of operationalizing the MVP licensees so that any mass-market information dissemination, and consumer solicitation are designed to safeguard community interests.

Bitcoin Dips Below $20,000

Bitcoin dipped below $20,000 on Saturday, continuing a drop that has taken it down nearly 60% from its year high, Reuters reports.

It is down 58.7% from the year's high of $48,234 hit on March 28.

Ether, the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, meanwhile dipped 2.76 % to $1,467.2, losing $41.60 from its previous close.

The weakness in risk assets came after Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell cautioned against expecting a swift end to its rate tightening. The Fed's actions on interest rates has caused some investors to forecast more pain for equities. read more

"Bitcoin broke below 20,000 as investors expect a weekend full of pessimism from Jackson Hole to drag down sentiment," Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, said on Saturday.

"European and Asian central bankers will likely be much more pessimistic than Fed Chair Powell and that has many traders bracing for a weak open on Sunday night," he added.

Bitcoin was last below $20,000 in mid-July.

US Crypto Adoption Rises to 13%

According to a recent report by Finder.com, 13% of American adults now own crypto as of July 2022, up from 10% in January 2022, Cryptonews.com reports.

A spokesperson for Finder.com told Cryptonews.com that the survey has been running since April 2022, and "the data for July is the rolling average of the April, May, June and August reports which display the rolling averages of May, June, and July."

In total, the site collected some 217,497 responses from across the world, of which 10,006 were US-specific responses.

The survey indicated that US-based men were much more likely to own crypto, as they represented 74% of crypto holders in July, and women comprised the remaining 26%.

Bitcoin (BTC) was the most popular coin among US crypto owners, at 36%, followed by ethereum (ETH) and dogecoin (DOGE), each with a stake of 25%, according to data obtained by Finder.com.

Over 400 Australian Retailers Now Accept Bitcoin

More than 440 retail outlets owned by Peregrine Corp., including over 175 OTR fuel and convenience stores, now accept Bitcoin as payment, Bitcoin Magazine reports.

DataMesh Group, a payments infrastructure provider, serves as the backbone connecting the retail locations to the cryptocurrency exchange.

Mark Nagy, CEO of DataMesh, said:

We know merchants are looking at many alternative payment instruments including crypto as an opportunity to diversify their payment streams and attract new customers, which is why we are determined to deliver integrated processing capabilities that will make crypto payments fast and accessible for all involved.

All OTR locations across Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia can accept bitcoin as payment, per the release. Additionally, consumers will be able to leverage this service at 250 additional retail locations owned by Peregrine Corp., OTR’s parent company.

Executive chairman of Peregrine Corporation, Yasser Shahin, commented:

The OTR story is about giving customers choice and making life easy. The decision to offer cryptocurrency payments is centered around this story –– by offering our customers convenience in how they pay, whether it be cash, card or crypto.