This Week in Crypto 4-24-23

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Welcome to This Week in Crypto, where we cover the top trending headlines in the cryptocurrency industry. The world of crypto news moves fast, and we’re here to bring it to you for your weekly digest. This week, we’re looking at the European Parliment passing new crypto legislation, Nike’s exciting new NFT shoe collection, and Starbucks’ newest NFT release. Enjoy this week’s top stories!

European Parliament Passes New Crypto Legislation
Members of the European Parliament voted to pass new legislation that aims to update the government’s approach to digital assets. MiCA, or Markets in Crypto Assets, was welcomed with positive caution by major players in the cryptocurrency industry like Binance and Coinbase as it is one of the first pieces of crypto legislation passed by a governing body as large as the EU. Stefan Berger, the Parliament member responsible for the bill’s creation, says that Europe is now the “first continent with comprehensive regulation for crypto assets”. However, it has yet to be approved by the European Council, which will make it into official law. 


So what exactly does the 400-page bill say? Generally, it’s about the EU taking a unified approach towards regulating cryptocurrency assets. For example, if a crypto firm gets approved in one country that’s part of the EU, its approval can act as a passport for approval in other EU countries. However, the process for crypto firms to get initial approval will be much more strict than it’s been in the past. Stablecoins will face even more strict regulation, as they will be required to back the assets with cash funds. Europe hasn’t had much in terms of official crypto legislation in the past, and looks to be aiming to be a leader in the space. 

Nike Announces Our Force 1 Sneaker NFT Collection
Nike announced its first NFT sneaker collection, dubbed “Our Force 1”, which is to be released on its .Swoosh marketplace later this year. The collection launches on the Polygon network, and will pay tribute to the iconic Nike Air Force 1 shoe design originally released in 1982. The sneaker will be sold in virtual shoe boxes that cost $19.82 – however, Nike is not accepting cryptocurrency as payment for the boxes. Nike gave early access to select .Swoosh members through an airdrop of virtual Air Force 1 posters, which act as a key. Those with posters will be able to mint their NFTs on May 8th, a full two days before all other members will be able to. .Swoosh currently has around 330,000 members and aims to be “the marketplace of the future”, GM of Nike Virtual Studios according to Ron Faris. Will you be buying yourself a pair of Our Force 1’s?

Starbucks Launches First Store NFT Collection
Major coffee chain Starbucks is re-entering the NFT game with the launch of its second NFT collection, named the First Store collection. The collection, which opened on April 19th, is made up of 5,000 NFTs minted on the Polygon network priced at $100 per NFT. Those who purchase a First Store NFT also get 1,500 rewards points in the Starbucks app. Starbucks previewed what rewards NFT holders could expect in the near future, including donating to charitable organizations like Feeding America to naming a tree at the Starbucks coffee farm in Costa Rica. This is all part of the Starbucks Odyssey Beta, a testing program for the coffee brand’s future NFT-based rewards program that is rumored to come out sometime this year. Starbucks is already well-known for its rewards program, and adding the exclusivity of NFTs just enhances the customer experience.

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