Morgan Stanley's head of digital assets, Andrew Peel, has issued a warning about a potential "paradigm shift" in the global perception and use of digital assets, particularly Bitcoin, which could pose a threat to the dominance of the United States dollar as a global currency. Peel attributes the accelerated shift to the recent approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs by the SEC in the United States, leading to substantial weekly inflows exceeding $1.18 billion. With Bitcoin's remarkable global adoption and over 106 million people holding the cryptocurrency worldwide, Peel suggests that this growth could challenge the USD's leadership.
In addition to Bitcoin, Peel highlights the potential impact of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) on the USD's dominance. He notes that CBDCs from various countries could facilitate swift cross-border payments without relying on a common currency like the U.S. dollar. Peel emphasizes that CBDCs may establish a unified standard for cross-border transactions, reducing dependence on traditional intermediaries such as SWIFT and dominant currencies like the dollar. While acknowledging the influence of Bitcoin and CBDCs, Peel also suggests that stablecoins, particularly fiat-pegged ones, could play a crucial role in reshaping global finance by providing a practical solution for moving money across borders.
OKX's Dubai subsidiary has been granted a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license by Dubai's Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) for exchange services. However, despite receiving the license, OKX emphasizes that it will remain "non-operational" until it fulfils the requirements set by the regulator. Rifad Mahasneh, OKX’s general manager for the Middle East and North Africa, stated that the company is actively working to meet these conditions and anticipates the license to become operational within the next few months.
Once operational, OKX Middle East will be authorized to provide regulated VASP services, including spot and fiat trading services, AED deposits and withdrawals, and spot trading pairs. These services will be accessible to both retail and institutional users. The licensing comes in the wake of Dubai's prime minister and ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, approving a virtual assets law in March 2022, establishing a legal framework for cryptocurrencies in Dubai. Mahasneh commended VARA's efficient license application process, highlighting the regulator's effectiveness in overseeing the local virtual assets sector. He also emphasized the significance of well-defined regulations in fostering responsible growth within the crypto space, underscoring the collaboration between OKX and VARA as a testament to this importance.
The Avalanche blockchain has witnessed a surge in user interest with the creation of over 100 million Avalanche inscriptions since their introduction last year. Particularly, attention has gravitated towards inscription tokens on the Avalanche blockchain, known as ASC-20 tokens, following the successful launch of Bitcoin Ordinals and inscription tokens (BRC-20). A recent Chinese-language Twitter Space hosted by Bitget, a cryptocurrency exchange, focusing on Avalanche inscription token Avascriptions (AVAV) attracted more than 585,000 listeners. During the session, the chief operating officer of the AVAV project, Ori, outlined that the project's roadmap aligns with the development trajectory of BRC-20 assets. Analysts at Gate.io note that the ASC-20 protocol enables users to mint, deploy, trade, and hold customized tokens for various projects, supporting the creation of a diverse range of assets, including loyalty points, stablecoins, and shared ownership of real-world assets. Unlike BRC-20, ASC-20 tokens use the JSON inscription format for lower transaction fees and feature a mechanism returning unresolved funds to users in the absence of miners to process transactions. The rapid growth in trading activity and volume, surging 2,000% in less than a week since the launch of the Inscription token on Avalanche, reflects the market's enthusiastic response to the ASC-20 token.
However, the heightened interest has also attracted the attention of bad-faith actors. AVAV developers recently warned of a potential fake token listing on the MEXC cryptocurrency exchange involving AVAV1, an imitation of the Avascriptions platform deployed on the BNB Smart Chain. The developers noted that one address held over 99% of the tokens. In response, MEXC issued an apology, acknowledging a mistake in their project review process and cancelling the listing. The popularity of Bitcoin Ordinals and inscriptions has been evident since their introduction last March, with the Ordinals token (distinct from the protocol) surpassing $1.5 billion in market capitalization. This surge in interest aligns with broader developments in the cryptocurrency space, such as the unveiling of a BRC-20 decentralized exchange (DEX) by MicroVisionChain (MVC) developers as part of their roadmap for Q1 2024.