🔴Score One for Ripple

Putin bans crypto payments, a district judge calls out the SEC for hypocrisy in the Ripple lawsuit and South Park slams crypto celebrities. These stories and more this week in crypto.

Russia Bans Crypto for Payments

President Putin signed into law a national ban on using digital assets for payments in Russia. Under the new law, digital assets cannot be accepted as consideration for goods and services within the country. In a statement, the Kremlin said it doesn’t want any “monetary surrogates” being used in place of the ruble.

Judge Calls Out SEC for Hypocrisy

A federal judge in Manhattan has ordered the SEC to release documents related to its expert witnesses in its court battle with crypto firm Ripple. The SEC’s attempt to shield the identities and opinions of its experts from any public scrutiny is unprecedented and the judge is calling the agency’s continued efforts to do so as “hypocrisy.”

Celsius Files for Bankruptcy

Troubled cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network became the latest to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The filing reveals a deficit of $1.2 billion on its balance sheet. This happened weeks after it froze user accounts, essentially locking them out of their funds. According to Celsius, the need for bankruptcy protection will help it in the restructuring process.

Crypto Staff Cuts Continue

OpenSea, the world’s largest marketplace for NFTs, has announced it will be cutting about 20% of its staff. The marketplace joins other crypto firms such as Coinbase, Gemini, and Crypto.com in announcing staff cuts. CEO and co-founder Devin Finzer said the company had to prepare for the possibility of a prolonged downturn.

Polygon’s MATIC Jumps on Disney Partnership

Polygon’s MATIC token is up nearly 30% after being the only blockchain company selected for Walt Disney’s 2022 Accelerator Program. Disney’s business development program is designed to accelerate the growth of cutting-edge entertainment companies. This year, the program is focused on augmented reality, non-fungible tokens, and artificial intelligence.

A Playboy Mansion in the Metaverse

A Playboy mansion is coming to the metaverse as the firm has announced a licensing collaboration with the Ethereum-based metaverse project, The Sandbox. The “Metamansion” will feature NFT collectibles, programmed events, social play, and gaming experiences. Playboy entered the Web3 space in the spring of last year with its genesis NFT drop featuring art from Playboy’s archives.

Swiss Post Office Enters Crypto

The Swiss Post Office plans to create a crypto trading and custody product following high demand from users. Available through its banking division PostFinance, the service is likely to be available by 2024 at the latest. PostFinance is not only the banking arm of Switzerland’s post office but also the fifth largest retail bank in Switzerland with over 2 million customers.

South Park Slams Crypto Celebrities

A new South Park episode takes aim at crypto promotions made by celebrities last year. The episode spends most of its time on Matt Damon, alluding to his widely-panned advert for Crypto.com, but FTX-endorsing tennis star Naomi Osaka and celebrity NFT investors like Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon were also sufficiently singed in the animated series’ crypto celebrity roast.

That’s what’s happened this week in crypto, see you next week.