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Happy Thursday <<First Name>>!

First of all, we're very excited to announce that we've added a new section to our newsletter for podcasts. There's a lot that transpired in the last few weeks, so make sure to stick around all the way down!

Enjoy reading!

Big Tech

📱 At the Galaxy Unpacked 2022 event tech giant Samsung announced the new Samsung Wallet on the Galaxy S22 Ultra smartphone. This wallet will be able to access and explore complex digital products, such as cryptocurrencies. The secure payment wallet will work with the firm's own payments platform, Samsung Pay. The security is provided by Samsung's Knox Vault platform which encrypts sensitive information and blockchain keys and isolates it from the phone's main operating system.

Russia

🇷🇺 The Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that the government and the Bank of Russia have reached an agreement on how to regulate cryptocurrencies. They're now preparing a draft law which will define crypto as an "analogue of currencies" rather than as digital financial assets.

🤔 The Bank of Russia announced the registration of tokenization service Atomyze as the first company in Russia to be put on the Central Bank's list of approved digital assets operators. The Bank has formally deemed the rules of the company's information system and the platform's technical implementation as being compliant with the Russian law.

Criminality

🤑 Two individuals were arrested in Manhattan for an alleged conspiracy to launder cryptocurrency that was stolen during the 2016 hack of Bitfinex. Thus far, law enforcement has seized over $3.6 billion in cryptocurrency linked to this hack. Do you want to learn more about this? Check out our new Podcast section below!

The Metaverse

👰🏼 The first marriage in the Metaverse took place when a Phoenix couple married their digital identities. The wedding ceremony took place in Decentraland with witnesses, Supreme Court Justice officiant Clint Block, and a virtual crowd of 3000 guests. In the Metaverse, there's no legal framework for marriage, thus whether or not it will be legally binding is rather a question of contract.

🇧🇧 The island nation of Barbados is preparing to legally declare digital real estate sovereign land with the establishment of a Metaverse embassy. The Barbadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade signed an agreement with Decentraland to accomplish this establishment. The government is also finalizing agreements with other Metaverse platforms.

A new category of our newsletter is this Podcast section. Want to learn more about crypto and/or get a heads up? Listen to the interesting podcast episodes mentioned below:

Cryptocast
Are you interested in the hack of Bitfinex and the arrest mentioned in the News section above? This episode will give you all the ins and outs. The U.S. authorities arrested a New York couple who are suspected of having laundered stolen Bitcoins. The coins from the much-discussed Bitfinex hack in 2016. Remarkably, the couple is not suspected of theft, but of laundering the coins. In combination with that this episode is about the new crypto-asset regulation: MiCA. What can we expect from that?

How I Built This with Guy Raz
This weeks' episode is all about the crypto exchange Coinbase and its founder. Brian Armstrong wanted to be a tech entrepreneur since he was in high school. Around 2010 he stumbles across an intriguing idea for a peer-to-peer digital currency called Bitcoin, which quickly turned into his obsession. Brian's initial prototype for a hosted Bitcoin wallet got him accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator program, and he launched Coinbase soon thereafter. Today, Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

Crypto Cowboys
Is one podcast episode not enough for you? This Dutch podcast has four episodes all about Xpose Protocol. A famous rapper, a game king, a marketing magnate with millions of followers and the Ajax director. Blend these people with threats and millions of dollars and you have a toxic mix. This is the story of Xpose Protocol: The largest crypto scam in the Netherlands.

"After seizing the Bitfinex hacks funds, the US government is now one of the largest hodlers of Bitcoin."

- Dan Held

👮🏻 The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Digital Currency Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology released the findings of their initial technological research into a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The research describes a theoretical high-performance and resilient transaction processor for a CBDC what was developed using open-source research software (OpenCBDC).

🤑 The Frankfurt School Blockchain Center released it's Coinbase Crypto Report Europe 2021. They jointly examined the crypto asset sector in Europe together with INTAS.tech and Coinbase. For this purpose, they collected and analyzed data on the behavior, investment climate and demographics of crypto assets owners in Europe.

Postscript

Thank you for reading the latest edition of the Watsonlaw newsletter. If you have any content-related recommendations or news you'd like us to share for next time, please don't hesitate to reach out to info@watsonlaw.nl or even better, directly connect with our team members Willem-Jan Smits and Jorie Corten. To stay up to date with all our updates and connect with our team, follow Watsonlaw on LinkedIn. Did we miss anything? Or perhaps something got you particularly intrigued? Do send us a message and let's talk! Ciao for now and see you again next time!

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Watsonlaw is a 's-Hertogenbosch-based law firm specializing in corporate and civil matters and the legal implications of new technologies in everyday life and business.

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