One of the biggest sports and entertainment venues in the US, the Staples Center in Los Angeles, will be renamed after a cryptocurrency company in a multi-million dollar deal.
A Singapore-based firm will pay more than $700m (£520m) for the rights to the 20,000-seat stadium, which will be called the Crypto.com Arena.
It has agreed a 20-year deal with owner Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG).
The rebrand will be effective from Christmas Day.
The Staples Center is home to four professional sports teams – basketball's LA Lakers, LA Clippers and the LA Sparks, as well as ice hockey's LA Kings.
It has also hosted major boxing events as well as some of music's biggest stars, including Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift.
The stadium was opened in October 1999 and this would mark its first name change. The office supply company Staples Inc initially paid $100 million for the naming rights for a 10 year period. In 2009, it signed a deal to extend those rights indefinitely.
But in 2019, stadium owner AEG bought the rights back for an undisclosed sum.
Crypto.com launched in 2016. According to its website, the company has some 10 million users and 3,000 employees.
Its main business is running an online exchange that allows users to trade and store cryptocurrencies, but it has recently launched its own token.
The company's co-founder, Kris Marszalek, told the Los Angeles Times that "in the next few years, people will look back at this moment as the moment when crypto crossed the chasm into the mainstream".
In recent years, cryptocurrency companies have become increasingly involved in sports sponsorship as the industry seeks to obtain mainstream recognition.
Crypto.com already has more than $400 million worth of sports sponsorship deals, including a high-profile shirt partnership with the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team.
Meanwhile, in June, Major League Baseball announced a five-year partnership with the cryptocurrency exchange company FTX.
And in the UK, Premier League football club Watford recently announced that their new shirt sponsor, Stake, had paid them in cryptocurrency. The club had previously been sponsored by industry giant Bitcoin.
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ETC Labs believes regulation is the key to preventing future 51% attacks – Cointelegraph
US banking regulators are looking to clarify crypto rules in 2022 – The Verge
One of them is already working to make banks’ responsibilities clearer
The Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (or FDIC), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) have issued a joint statement announcing a plan to clarify the rules and regulations around how banks can use cryptocurrencies over the next year (via Bloomberg).
The agencies say they’re focusing on setting expectations for what banks can do when it comes to holding crypto, allowing customers to obtain crypto, issuing their own stablecoins (or cryptocurrencies whose value is tied to a fiat currency like the US dollar), and taking crypto as collateral for loans and keeping it on their balance sheets. According to the letter, the goal is to make sure consumers are protected and that banks act responsibly. The regulators also say it’s an attempt to make sure the financial industry isn’t used to launder ill-gotten currency, something the Treasury Department has been focusing on recently.
The OCC has already made moves in this direction — on Tuesday, the acting comptroller released a letter clarifying decisions that the office had made throughout 2020 and early 2021. Now, the letter says, banks will have to ask permission from regional regulators before getting into certain crypto fields.
Previously, the Comptroller said banks were allowed to hold cryptocurrencies for customers as well as assets being used to back stablecoins. Banks were also told they could use stablecoins and act as nodes on blockchain networks. While financial institutions will still be able to carry out these activities, they’ll have to be able to prove to regulators that they can do so safely and responsibly.
These announcements come as some crypto companies have skirmished with regulators over what legal classifications their products fall under. Recently, Coinbase canceled its Lend program after a public feud with the Securities and Exchange Commission over whether what it was selling counted as securities (and would therefore fall under heavier legal scrutiny). The Treasury has also proposed that large cryptocurrency transfers be reported to the Internal Revenue Service, and has asked Congress to start regulating stablecoins.
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