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• Pakistan Announces Fresh Ban on Crypto, but Adoption as a Hedge Remains Pop

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Pakistan’s government has hardened its stance against cryptocurrencies, even as retailers continue to hedge their financial bets against a devaluing Pakistani rupee partly due to a volatile political situation in the nation.

Cryptocurrencies will “never be legalized in Pakistan,” said Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha to the country’s Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Wednesday, according to local reports.

The minister said that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had set a condition that cryptocurrency will not be legalized to keep it off the international finance watchdog’s so-called “Grey List,” according to one local news outlet, and another said Pakistan’s stated position is because it goes against the conditions set by the FATF.

• Cryptos have no intrinsic value and trading in them should be regulated like gambling, UK lawmakers say

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Unbacked tokens like bitcoin and ether aren’t underpinned by underlying assets and have “no intrinsic value,” lawmakers on the U.K. Treasury Select Committee said in a report published Tuesday.

The events of the past year in the crypto industry — from the downfall of crypto exchange FTX to the decline of stablecoin experiment Terra — have drawn heightened scrutiny from regulators, who are concerned by negative effects on consumers.

In its Tuesday report, the Treasury Select Committee said the heightened volatility and potential to lose huge sums of money mean that cryptocurrencies pose significant risks to consumers, the committee said.

• Crypto should become a regular part of TradFi within 5-10 years: Exchange CEO

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Speaking to Cointelegraph at Bitcoin Miami on May 18, Bittrex Global CEO Oliver Linch stated that in several places — including the United States — regulators tend to view crypto through the lens of traditional finance while trying to comprehend its nature. He argued, however, that it is ineffective to try and analyze crypto through the “prism of traditional finance.”

Instead, crypto should be a “brand-new […] thing” in the traditional finance space while still aligning with the same fundamental principles as other traditional financial products, Linch said, adding: “You’ve got securities, you’ve got derivatives, you’ve got crypto. It’s just another component, right?”

On the other hand, Linch emphasized that the “most robust regulatory regimes” being set up are countries that actually engage with “crypto-on-crypto zone terms.”

In an ideal world, Linch suggested that in “five to 10 years” from now, crypto will seamlessly integrate into traditional finance, and events like “Bitcoin Miami shouldn’t exist.”

Axie Infinity Game Launches on Apple App Store in Key Markets

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Sky Mavis, the creator of non-fungible token (NFT) project Axie Infinity, is launching its Axie Infinity: Origins card game on the Apple App Store in key markets where the game is most popular. The game was previously available in limited regions on the Google Play store and through the company’s Mavis Hub.

The card-based strategy game, which provides players with free non-NFT “starter” characters, will first launch in the Apple store across Latin America and Asia in countries including Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. The game has 1.5 million installs across all platforms and plans to continue its global expansion via Google and Apple mobile users.

• SEC warns that Filecoin ‘meets definition of a security’ — Grayscale

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The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has asked Grayscale Investments to pull its application for a Filecoin Trust, warning that its underlying asset, Filecoin , can be seen as a security.

According to a May 17 announcement from Grayscale, the firm initially lodged a Form 10 application with the regulator to launch an updated Filecoin Trust product on April 14.

The Form 10 would see the firm’s pre-existing Filecoin Trust product become more akin to a public company, which would file quarterly reports on its financial activity.

Grayscale said it received a comment letter from SEC staff on May 16, where regulator then warned that FIL “meets the definition of a security” under federal law and asked them to withdraw their application for the trust product.

Ledger Bats Back Criticism of New Wallet Recovery Service

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Crypto wallet maker Ledger came under fire this week for its new “Ledger Recover” feature, with some posters on Twitter arguing that the service – which stores encrypted user seed phrases with third-party custodians – undermines Ledger’s stated commitment to privacy and security.

During a Twitter Space session, Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier defended the offering.

“You’re saying this is not what customers want. Actually, this is what future customers want,” he said. “This is the way that the next hundreds of millions of people will actually onboard to crypto.”

The incident underscores the long-simmering tension between blockchain-focused companies looking to attract new users and ideologically minded segments of the crypto community: It can be difficult to square user experience with core ideals.

Concluding Notes:

  • Pakistan bans cryptocurrencies
  • The United Kingdom might regulate crypto the same way as gambling in the future
  • “Five to 10 years” from now, crypto will seamlessly integrate into traditional finance
  • Axie Infinity launches on the Apple App Store
  • Filecoin meets the definition of a security
  • Concerns about the new Ledger Recovery feature

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