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Thailand Outlawing Crypto Payments. This Week's Top Bitcoin and Crypto News

Nonfungible Tidbits: All the bitcoin, cryptocurrency and NFT news for the week ending March 25.

Photo illustration of coins forming a question mark
Here's what happened this week in the crypto world.
Eoneren/iStock/Getty Images

Welcome to Nonfungible Tidbits, a weekly roundup of news in crypto, NFTs and their related realms.

Our lead story this week is Thailand's upcoming ban on crypto payments for goods and services. We'll also cover Jerome Powell's remarks on crypto laws, a new debit card from Robinhood, NFL blockchain sponsorships and recent trademarks filed by Meta regarding crypto. 

Stay tuned for more next week.


Thailand bans crypto payments for goods and services

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Getty/Lambert

Thailand's securities regulator announced that crypto payments for goods and services will be outlawed starting April 1. The ban is intended to fend off financial instability, according to the country's Securities and Exchange Commission. The risk of cyber theft was cited as another concern.

The barring of crypto payments comes when cryptocurrency ownership in Thailand is high. Over 20% of the population ages 16 to 64 owns cryptocurrency, according to the Bangkok Post. Though crypto payments will be illegal, cryptocurrency investments are still allowed. 


Fed Reserve Chairman says crypto needs new rules

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During a banking panel on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell raised concerns about the risks associated with cryptocurrency, noting more US regulation will likely be required. "Our existing regulatory frameworks were not built with a digital world in mind. Stablecoins, central bank digital currencies, and digital finance more generally, will require changes to existing laws and regulation or even entirely new rules and frameworks," Powell said.

Powell's remarks come after President Biden's executive order earlier this month, which directed federal agencies to come up with policy ideas for the cryptocurrency industry and look into the possibility of a US central bank digital currency


Robinhood unveils new debit card with crypto rewards

Robinhood
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Robinhood announced the launch of a new debit card that allows users to earn crypto and stock rewards. Cardholders can round up purchases and invest the difference, aka "spare change," in crypto or stock, and Robinhood will offer a 10% to 100% bonus on rewards earned at the end of each week (this bonus is capped at $10 per week). This card will replace its existing crypto debit card and currently has a waitlist.

Robinhood made headlines last year during the GameStop stock frenzy, which created steep dips and rises in the stock price, and cost hedge funds billions. You can read about the GameStop stock saga here.

Read more about Robinhood's debit card here


NFL says limited blockchain sponsorships OK for teams 

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The National Football League issued a memo this week allowing NFL teams to accept limited blockchain sponsorships. The sponsorships, which are subject to NFL approval, may last no longer than three years and stadium signage is prohibited. Restrictions for cryptocurrency and fan tokens will remain in place. The memo also noted that teams may accept NFT-related sponsorships, also subject to NFL approval. 


Meta (Facebook) files trademarks for crypto exchanges, tokens and wallets

Meta and Facebook
James Martin/CNET

This week Meta, the recently renamed parent company of Facebook, filed trademarks covering cryptocurrency exchanges, tokens and wallets. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced last week that NFTs would be coming to Instagram, another social media platform owned by the multinational technology conglomerate. 

Meta has held digital currency aspirations for some time. The company attempted to launch its own stablecoin cryptocurrency called diem, but abandoned its plans and sold off the remaining assets earlier this year. The new trademarks suggest Meta may be taking another shot at creating cryptocurrency products.


Thanks for reading. We'll be back with plenty more next week. In the meantime, check out this story from Queenie Wong on shopping in the Metaverse.