The digital asset financial services company Abra announced on June 10 that it is launching the first crypto rewards credit card on the American Express network.
The Abra Crypto Card will offer crypto rewards on any purchase, Abra CEO Bill Barhydt said.
“We’ve made it super easy for anyone to trade crypto, earn interest, and borrow against crypto holdings in one integrated app,” Barhydt added. “Our partnership with American Express will now make it even easier to access and earn crypto.”
Separately, Abra announced an integrated non-fungible token (NFT) capacity in its wallet, adding that will make buying and selling NFTs simple on a variety of marketplaces.
Mastercard Takes Crypto Payment out of NFT Sales
Mastercard announced a group of partnerships that will allow cardholders to buy NFTs over its network rather than use crypto payments — NFTs are generally priced in Ethereum’s ether tokens.
To make buying NFTs “easier and safer,” Mastercard is teaming up with a number of companies, including Immutable X, Candy Digital, The Sandbox, Mintable, Spring, Nifty Gateway and Web3 infrastructure provider MoonPay, it said in a release.
The release noted that Mastercard is working with these companies to allow people to buy NFTs with their Mastercard cards, using either the companies’ marketplaces or using their crypto services. It builds on an earlier project that brought Mastercard payments to crypto exchange Coinbase’s new NFT marketplace.
Seth Green Buys His Bored Ape
Actor and producer Seth Green has been reunited with his stolen Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT after buying it back — for $300,000 — from a collector who bought it from the thief who stole it from Green, BuzzFeed reported on June 9.
The stolen Bored Ape collectible, #8398, is the star of a new television series Green is producing called “White Horse Tavern,” in which the haloed primate named Fred Simian plays a bartender. The production was put on hiatus over concerns about copyright ownership. Given the costs of a television production, including investments already made, the price was probably worth it, if presumably galling.
This seems kind of strange given that the NFT Green repurchased was, allegedly, stolen property. A New York University law professor called the concerns “nonsense,” saying “stolen rights given under the license … give you system powers, not legal rights.”
US Prosecutes Trading Scheme as Wire Fraud
The Department of Justice is prosecuting an insider trading case against a former executive of NFT marketplace OpenSea as wire fraud rather than as a violation of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s insider trading regulations.
In a June 10 op-ed on CoinDesk, attorneys David Axelrod, practice leader of securities enforcement and corporate governance litigation at the firm Ballard Spahr LLP, and his colleague Andrew D’Aversa said that while the case is similar to typical insider trading cases, “it stops short of labeling the NFTs at issue as securities.”
The reason, they speculate, is that the “government was concerned that it could not prevail if it brought this case as a typical insider trading case.”
The SEC has aggressively targeted a wide variety of issues relating to cryptocurrencies broadly and has recently issued subpoenas related to NFT offerings.
The SEC has said most cryptocurrency offerings are securities sales under its jurisdiction, although that is not only disputed in the industry, a bipartisan Senate bill seeks to clarify that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) would have control of many crypto sales.
Salesforce Service to Target Non-Collectible Uses
Customer relations software giant Salesforce will launch a cloud-based service that will assist companies in creating and selling NFTs.
It is geared toward consumer brands looking to use NFTs for business purposes like event admissions rather than selling art and collectible images or videos.
While the collectibles and art market has dominated NFT usage, there is growing interest in using the unique cryptocurrencies for business purposes ranging from concert tickets to holding real estate title deeds and even stock shares.