A special economic zone on a tourist island off the Caribbean coast of Honduras has adopted bitcoin and other cryptos as legal tender.
The special zone, called “Honduras Prosperity,” was established in 2020 to encourage investment and has administrative, fiscal, and budgetary autonomy.
The economic zone will also allow municipalities, local governments, and international companies to issue bitcoin bonds within the region’s jurisdiction.
Prosperity in Honduras includes parts of the scenic island of Roatan and the city of La Ceiba on Honduras’ Atlantic coast.
In September, neighboring El Salvador became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. However, the launch caused skepticism and criticism in public.
In Honduras, the central bank said it could not guarantee crypto transactions.
The following jurisdiction to make Bitcoin legal tender is Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal.
Madeira regional government chairman Miguel Albuquerque said individuals on the island of Madeira are exempt from capital gains tax when buying and selling bitcoin while touting the region’s 5 percent corporate tax rate in its free trade zone as one of the lowest in Europe.
Cash App Users Can Now Invest Their Salaries In Bitcoin
At the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami on Thursday, Cash App announced a new feature for US customers. The feature will allow them to automatically put a portion of their paycheck into Bitcoin for direct deposit.
The mobile payment service, operated by Jack Dorsey’s Block (formerly Square), will allow Cash App Visa Cash Card users to opt-in to this “pay in bitcoin” feature for free.
Miles Suter, Cash App’s head of bitcoin products, announced the news on Thursday. He explained that any percentage of their direct deposits from 1% to 100% can be automatically converted to bitcoin and adjusted whenever needed.
Additional features include the option to round up any Cash Card transaction made with the Visa debit card associated with the Cash App balance to the nearest USD and redirect remaining changes to BTC.
Recently, Cash App announced compatibility with the Bitcoin Lightning Network for BTC transfers. This allows US users Cash App to conduct faster BTC transactions in mainstream businesses.
Lightning Labs, the leading developer of the Lightning Network, closed a $70 million Series B round this week to enable faster and cheaper bitcoin and stablecoin transactions.
Following the announcement on the main stage of the Bitcoin Conference, tennis champion Serena Williams, NFL’s Odell Beckham Jr., and Aaron Rodgers sat down with Suter to discuss Bitcoin. Both Rodgers and Beckham Jr. were among the athletes who partnered with Cash App. Plus, both of them chose to receive a portion of their salary in bitcoin last year.
Shopify Merchants Can Pay With Crypto
Chicago-based payments app Strike has integrated with global e-commerce giant Shopify. The integration allows merchants to accept Bitcoin payments via the Bitcoin Lightning Network.
The Lightning Network (LN) is Bitcoin’s Layer 2 scaling solution to enable faster and cheaper transactions.
Strike CEO Jack Mallers announced the new integration today at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami. The move will allow Shopify’s nearly 2 million merchants worldwide to accept bitcoin payments in US dollars.
However, Strike’s only official retail partner is Los Angeles-based streetwear brand Warren Lotas. Additionally, the website is also unavailable at the moment of writing.
According to Macrotrends, Shopify is the 18th largest e-commerce company globally, with about $4.6 billion in annual sales. Its services allow merchants to build online stores in 175 different countries.
According to Mallers, one of the main benefits of using Bitcoin instead of the Lightning Network is that payments can be processed almost instantly, rather than “with 2 to 15 days of delayed processing,” which he sees as a disadvantage of existing mainstream electronic payment methods. He added that instant settlement could help consumers and merchants complete their accounting and know their exact balances more quickly.
Mallers also revealed Strike’s partnership with the Blackhawk payment network, reportedly the largest point-of-sale provider globally. The company has annual sales of $2.5 billion. Its website says its products are available in more than 400,000 stores in 28 countries.
Bitcoin 2022 is already a hotbed of excitement, not only for Bitcoin’s “Miami Bull,” which launched ahead of the inaugural event, but also for Robinhood. Robinhood announced the launch of its long-awaited crypto wallet to 2 million standby customers. The wallet will also integrate LN.
Crypto And Gaming Clash In High-Stakes, Money-Making Economies
Jarindr Thitadilaka made $2,000 a month last year from his digital pets collection he kept and used to mine crypto.
The 28-year-old from Bangkok plays Axie Infinity, a new blockchain-based online game called “Play-to-Earn” that combines entertainment with financial speculation.
These games can create lucrative deals amid the hype surrounding NFTs and virtual worlds.
They attract millions of players and billion-dollar investors who see gaming as a way to introduce crypto to people.
In Axie Infinity, users buy virtual blob-like creatures with different properties, like non-fungible tokens, for tens to thousands of dollars.
Players can use pets to earn money by winning battles and creating new pets whose value depends on their rarity. Users can trade these assets with other players on the platform, with around 1.5 million daily users.
The dangers of this speculative ecosystem and the largely unregulated crypto gaming industry came into focus last week. Last week, Axie Infinity suffered a $615 million heist. Hackers targeted part of the system used to transmit crypto in and out of the game.
Sky Mavis, the Vietnamese owner of Axie Infinity, said he would cover the loss with his balance sheet funds and $150 million raised by investors, including crypto exchange Binance and venture capital firm a16z.
Gamers spent $4.9 billion on in-game NFTs last year, or about 3 percent of the global gaming industry, according to market tracker DappRadar.
Although demand has cooled since peaking last November, gaming NFTs still generated $484 million in revenue so far in 2022.
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