The future is Bitcoin according to South Park creators

“It’s the future — we’ve all decided centralized banking is rigged so we trust more in fly-by-night Ponzi schemes,” said the motel clerk accepting Bitcoin as payment.

South Park, the animated TV series that often tackles topical issues with a comedic twist, showed Bitcoin being used as a mainstream means of payment in the not too distant future.

In the “Post COVID” episode of its 24th season which aired Thursday, South Park depicted one of the show’s protagonists, Stan Marsh, paying for a stay in a cheap motel using Bitcoin (BTC) roughly 40 years from now, when the pandemic is jokingly about to end for good. The fictional Super 12 Motel Plus — in a future where nearly all brand names have “plus” and “maxx” included — only accepts “Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency,” with the show having Marsh pay using a plastic card with the BTC logo and a QR code.

“It’s the future — we’ve all decided centralized banking is rigged so we trust more in fly-by-night Ponzi schemes,” said the motel clerk.

Many in the crypto space know South Park for its criticism of the United States government’s and banks’ response following the 2008 financial crisis, popularized by the meme “aaaand… it’s gone” — referring to Marsh losing money immediately after depositing it in a bank. Among the other future predictions in the recent episode are autonomous vehicles, holographic digital assistants and stand-up comedy becoming a shadow of itself amid “woke” culture.

Though referencing cryptocurrency and blockchain in mainstream media is somewhat commonplace now, this wasn’t always the case. The first TV series to feature BTC was The Good Wife in January 2012, but others have gone on to use the emerging technology and financial tool for both comedy and drama. This year, James Spader’s character in The Blacklist claimed to know the true identity of Satoshi, and The Simpsons showed the BTC price moving to infinity on an animated stock ticker feed.

Related: Reality show is casting crypto users locked out of their wallets

Bitcoin’s appearance on the popular animated series comes as the price of the crypto asset has stayed mostly under $60,000 for more than a week. According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, the BTC price is $59,237 at the time of publication, having fallen more than 14% since reaching an all-time high of $69,000 on Nov. 10.

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Putin: Still Early but Crypto Can Be Used for Oil Trade Settlements, Store of Value

Putin: Still Early but Crypto Can Be Used for Oil Trade Settlements, Store of ValueAccusing the U.S. of undermining the dollar through money printing and sanctions policy, President Vladimir Putin has admitted that cryptocurrency can be utilized for settlements in the future, although it’s too early to do that in oil trade. While noting that it lacks backing, the Russian leader assumed crypto could be used to store value […]
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Russia doesn’t plan to follow in China’s footsteps by banning crypto outright, says deputy finance minister

Crypto payments in the country are currently banned, but Russians have been allowed to purchase and trade digital assets like Bitcoin.

While Russia continues to enforce a ban on cryptocurrency payments as part of a law which took effect in January, the country has no plans at this time to completely prohibit trading by its citizens.

According to an Oct. 12 report from local news agency Interfax, Alexey Moiseev, the deputy finance minister of the Russian Federation, said he believes Russian citizens will continue to be allowed to buy and use cryptocurrencies outside the country on foreign exchanges without the threat of legal action at home. Crypto payments in the country are currently banned, but Russians have been allowed to purchase and trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC).

“Russian citizens can have a wallet open outside the Russian Federation, but if they operate within the Russian Federation then they will be subject to bans, I think, for the entire foreseeable future, due to our financial sovereignty,” said Moiseev.

The deputy finance minister added that lawmakers still needed to properly define digital currencies and blockchain technology in Russia’s civil code. The Russian government has claimed accepting Bitcoin as an official currency could negatively impact the country’s financial and economic system.

Russia’s position stands in contrast to that of China, where financial and regulatory institutions have repeatedly issued anti-crypto statements and policies. Most recently, the People’s Bank of China declared that all crypto transactions in the country were illegal, and prior to that, miners in several provinces fled when faced with a crackdown on their operations.

Related: Survey finds 77% of Russian investors prefer Bitcoin to gold and forex

However, certain Russian officials have claimed the use of a digital ruble issued by the country’s central bank would not pose the same financial risks as BTC and other cryptocurrencies. Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, said last year that a Russian central bank digital currency could become an integral part of national settlements by 2024.

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PayPal launches crypto services for UK customers

PayPal customers with verified identities will soon have access to crypto trading. However, crypto transactions for PayPal business accounts aren’t yet supported.

Beginning this week, residents of the United Kingdom will be able to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies through PayPal for the first time — marking a significant milestone for a company that began offering digital asset services less than a year ago. 

The global payments provider announced Sunday that U.K. customers will soon have access to Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) through PayPal’s website and mobile app. The announcement marks the first expansion of PayPal’s cryptocurrency services beyond the United States — a service that first launched in November of last year.

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, a senior executive for PayPal’s crypto division, cited the “digitization of money” during the pandemic as one of the primary motivations for entering crypto in the first place. He continued:

“Our global reach, digital payments expertise, and knowledge of consumer and businesses, combined with rigorous security and compliance controls provides us the unique opportunity, and the responsibility, to help people in the U.K. to explore cryptocurrency.”

By offering its cryptocurrency services to U.K. residents, PayPal could play a role in increasing exposure to digital assets in the country. It’s reported that, among all European countries, PayPal penetration is highest in the United Kingdom at over 2 million monthly active users.

Related: PayPal reportedly assembling crypto team in Ireland as Bitcoin adoption grows

Rumors about PayPal’s crypto expansion plans have been circulating since last month when CEO Dan Schulman told investors that the U.K. is likely to get the service soon. As Cointelegraph reported, the company is also eyeing developments in decentralized finance, or DeFi, which is a possible precursor to future integration plans.

On the regulatory front, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA, is increasingly cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges that do not meet its registration requirements. Binance’s U.K. operations were shuttered earlier this summer after the FCA warned the exchange it was not permitted to offer regulated trading activity in the country. PayPal’s da Ponte said his company is “committed to continue working closely with regulators in the U.K. and around the world” in rolling out its crypto offerings.

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