Valkyrie Digital Assets filed an application with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on January 22 for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), the second such filing in the last 30 days. At the end of December 2020, VanEck re-submitted an application to the SEC for a VanEck Bitcoin Trust ETF. Over the years the SEC has rejected bitcoin ETF proposals due to market integrity concerns. Now, with a new administration causing a changing of the guard at the SEC, it is widely hoped by crypto advocates that such an ETF will be approved in 2021.
Brixton Pound (B£), a local currency used in the Brixton district of London, has selected the Algorand blockchain platform to launch the blockchain-version of the “complementary” currency. B£ is only accepted by merchants the Brixton area of London and it is 1:1 pegged and backed by British pound sterling (GBP). The sterling goes into the Brixton Credit Union, and because the B£ organization isn’t making loans, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority apparently treats the currency as a voucher scheme and thus it avoids being regulated as a deposit-taking financial institution.
The B£ is one of several community currencies that currently run in the UK. Other community currencies operating in the UK include Bristol, Cardiff, Cornwall, Exeter, Kingston, Lewes, Liverpool, Plymouth, Stroud, Totnes, and Worcester. The B£ is strangely devoid of any details about how the scheme is run; the Bristol Pound website has way more detail about how it works. For example, only Trader Members can present Bristol Pounds for exchange back into sterling. Each Bristol Pound is backed by a sterling pound except where Paper Bristol Pounds have been sold outside the area to collectors as souvenirs.