FATF: Malta Takes Heat for Crypto Friendly Policies

According to a recent report by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a regional regulatory body, the Maltese government has allowed the crypto industry to adopt a lax attitude toward regulations.

The FATF alleges that more than $70 billion in crypto transactions have moved through Malta, and some of these transactions may not have been subject to sufficient oversight.

However, the data set that the FATF used to establish its allegations is suspicious.

No firm dates were given for when the money is thought to have moved in and out of Malta’s crypto industry. In addition, very little information about why there may be a lack of oversight has been made public.

There is, without any doubt, a huge blockchain presence in Malta.

Malta is home to Ledger Projects, Stasis, Bitmalta, Okex, Coinvest, Decentralised Ventures, Yovo, as well as the Blockchain Malta Association. Many of these companies haven’t applied to be regulated, and the ones that have applied haven’t been approved according to local media.

Malta isn’t the Problem

While it is common to allege that cryptos are widely used in illegal transactions, actual studies by major international bodies show that when compared to cash and the existing fiat financial system, there is little to no illegal activity in the crypto industry.

There is no doubt that cryptos can be used in connection with crimes – for example in ransomware attacks, however because major tokens like Bitcoin are often the payment options of choice – it is actually pretty simple to track down any major beneficiaries of an attack.

What many people – especially regulators and politicians – don’t understand is that most major cryptos aren’t that private.

A person’s identity on the Bitcoin network may be difficult to figure out unless you have the cooperation of some tech savvy investigators, but in reality, if a crime is committed and Bitcoin is involved, it is pretty hard to hide the ill gotten gains.

The sad fact is that most people don’t know much about Bitcoin, or that the entire blockchain is freely open to inspection by anyone who has the skills.

Politicians play on this ignorance, and are able to divert attention from the fact that the fiat financial system is a cesspool, and that it is the most popular way to move around dirty money.

Cash is also a great way to hide transactions, but it probably isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

A Drop in the Ocean

It is difficult to assert that the Maltese government or regulators have done anything wrong. Unlike many governments, Malta is simply allowing a promising industry to grow without being unjustly antagonized.

In the coming decades – this may look extremely wise in retrospect.

On the other hand, the fact that major governments that have the ability to effectively regulate a financial system that is clearly out of control are asleep at the wheel is another matter entirely.

It is easy to forget that while there are offshore destinations that cater to the criminal class, these banking centers must have a bank in a major nation – think the USA or UK – as a counterparty to clear transactions.

Of course, having an offshore company or a bank account on an island that few people could find on a map is totally legal. And if this account or company was involved in illegal activity, well, it would be very hard to know much without a top-tier investigation team.

The deck – is – stacked. And not in the favor of the taxpayers who think the system is working for them, and is, at its core, basically honest.

The truth is the opposite.

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China and the Changing Face of Crypto

China Bitcoin Mining

China is kicking out the Bitcoin miners – and that is just the start of it. Crypto has come a long way, and as we have been telling readers for years, it has a lot further to go.

Nothing has changed – and everything has changed.

Bitcoin was ignored. Like most things in a dictatorship, unless it has the ability to challenge the power of the state – it is ignored. That is why so many Bitcoin exchanges have their roots in China.

The Chinese people are smart and ultra motivated. It didn’t take long for them to figure out that Bitcoin and other cryptos were a hot ticket – and once it became possible to trade fiat currency for crypto – well simple local corruption did the rest.

Now, Xi and the CCP are serious about ridding China of crypto infrastructure.

The cover story is green, as if China cared about its environment. The real story is the Digital Yuan, and as smart as the Chinese people are, the CCP is pretty dumb.

Does Power Make People Stupid?

We are told that power corrupts, but to us, it is far easier to show that it makes people dumb. The CCP is moving to popularizing its Digital Yuan – aka the first major Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

From the perspective of a technocrat, a CBDC makes a lot of sense.

The Chinese government probably thinks that it will gain more control by going over to a fully digital currency – and for the next decade – they may well be correct (big maybe).

However, the power that is gained today by using CBDCs will be lost soon enough.

People all over the world will realize that any digital currency can be used, and there is no reason to use one that is created and controlled by a central bank or government that is both power hungry and obsessed with terrible ideas.

Probably a Move for the Better

Concentrating a large amount of Bitcoin’s network in China wasn’t a great idea to begin with. Free market principles being what they are – there isn’t much we could have done to stop it.

China has loads of cheap energy, and we should allow anyone that wants into a PoW mining system to participate.

Now – that people are starting to wake up to PoS and all the amazing things that make it a far more sustainable system, most of this noise will die down over the next few years.

Bitcoin – and PoW was amazing – but things are changing.

The simple fact is that loads of people are interested in cryptos, and the back end of the operation isn’t really that important.

People want money that is easy to use, and PoS systems create a door for platforms that can compete with the incoming wave of CBDCs.

This is About Power – and Nothing Else

The reason why Bitcoin used electrical energy to create a gateway for the creation and maintenance of the network is simple – resources are scarce.

Now that many, many people understand how flawed the fiat currency system is – there is no need to back a token with the depletion of energy resources.

Cheap power could help the poor – and probably other needy causes as well.

The writer of this piece has done well by cryptos, and they understand that this isn’t just about money. We need better resource allocation – and the throngs of global poor are good evidence of that.

The global elite is working to co-opt the idea of digital currency, and it is happening now. The good news is that we don’t need to use any sort of violence to resist them.

We continue to discredit fiat currency for the trash it is – and if they want to make it 100% digital trash – all the better (we all have a delete key these days).

In the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region we may not have the same luck.

The CCP is doing things that are beyond anything that can be accepted morally in Xinjiang – and the last time this happened – a major war broke out. For the moment the Uyghurs are at the mercy of a violent, heartless dictatorship.

For the moment.

Perhaps it is best that crypto infrastructure is moving out of the Middle Kingdom.

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Wedbush Joins Paxos’ Blockchain-based US Stock Settlement Platform

Paxos

Major financial firm Wedbush has joined the Paxos Settlement Service according to a recent press release. Wedbush offers its clients a range of financial services, and as a part of its business, clears stock transactions on US exchanges.

The Paxos Settlement System makes clearing stock transactions much easier, and has already been adopted by other major financial institutions like Societe Generale, Credit Suisse, and Instinet.

For the moment, the Paxos Settlement Services is operating under No-Action Relief from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Until the Paxos Settlement Service is given permission to act as a full clearing agency, it will only be able to have a total of seven members. Paxos plans to apply for this permission in the near future.

Gary Wedbush, the CEO of Wedbush, commented,

“Wedbush has long been an innovator in securities clearing services…It’s crystal clear that Blockchain technology is destined to completely modernize securities settlement and custody. Paxos is way out in front in the evolution, and we are thrilled to be on board with this exciting new platform.”

Wedbush is likely correct, as the securities settlement process is archaic by any measure. In essence, settlement for a stock trade is simply moving data, which should be a fast and fully transparent process.

The world of financial institutions is finally waking up to blockchain, and how it can modernize securities trading and settlement.

Paxos Sees the Future Coming into View

There is little doubt that blockchain-based platforms will lower costs and speed up settlement time. In addition, as institutions become more comfortable with blockchain and tokens, the industry may see a move to use security tokens in increasing ways.

The CEO and Co-Founder of Paxos, Charles Cascarilla, told media,

“US equities settlement is opaque and relies on outdated technology. The Paxos Settlement Service reduces risk, enables greater trading liquidity and provides ownership transparency, which will revolutionize securities markets.”

What is true for US equities settlement is true in numerous markets, and these inefficiencies not only create higher transaction costs, but they also act as a limiting factor for liquidity.

Security Tokens are Coming Fast

The DeFi boom demonstrated that from a technical perspective, blockchain is able to create novel, liquid markets that can accommodate almost any structure imaginable.

The use of security tokens in established markets requires the full cooperation and support of regulators, which appears to be happening in the UK real estate market. Archax is planning to support trade in security tokens issued by Digi Shares on its fully FCA compliant exchange.

The tokens issued by Digi Shares represent real estate, and will allow smaller investors to enter a market that has traditionally been controlled by larger financial interests.

The Archax trading platform also permits international investors to buy and sell tokens, which means that securitized real estate assets will have a global investor base.

With a lower barrier to entry and a far wider investor base, securitized assets may rise in value as capital finds its way into new markets.

Hard Assets Are Likely to Create Lasting Returns

We have all watched as the NFT boom created public awareness of cryptos in a way that Bitcoin never did. However, NFTs are simply collectibles that don’t offer real investors any kind of return, nor do they allow the creation of value.

Security tokens, as well as the regulated exchanges that allow their trade, do allow new market dynamics to emerge. Retail investors can enter markets that were basically off limits a decade ago, and these markets now have the potential to go global.

The NFT boom was a blast to see play out – but it will likely seem small when compared to what happens when security tokens catch on around the world.

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Fox Entertainment to Launch Blockchain-based Animated Show

Fox Entertainment has announced the launch of “Krapopolis”, a comedy animated show created by Dan Harmon, the creator of the award-winning animated series “Rick and Morty”.

According to the company, the show will take place in “mythical ancient Greece” and centered on a “flawed family of humans, gods, and monsters that tries to run one of the world’s first cities without killing each other.” 

Michael Thorn, president of entertainment for Fox Entertainment, referred to the upcoming show by stating,

“Leave it to Dan Harmon to turn the mythos of early Greek civilization into remarkably sharp commentary on today’s politics, celebrity and pop culture.”

Bento Box Entertainment, Fox Entertainment’s animation studio, will be in charge of the production of the show, which will be curated in its entirety using blockchain technology.

With the intention of entering the NFT business, Fox and its animation studio have decided to launch a new unit by the name of “Blockchain Creative Lab” which will focus on creating a platform for the creation, storage, and distribution of content created using Non-Fungible Tokens.

Blockchain Creative Labs Will Manage a $100 Million Fund

Fox also announced that Blockchain Creative Labs will be in charge of managing a $100 million creator fund aimed to boost innovation in the growing NFT space.

According to Fox Entertainment CEO, Charlie Collier, the fund and upcoming marketplace are, “a natural extension of Bento Box’s talents, one that allows the team to support, elevate and reward innovators and artists in new and creatively exciting ways.”

With their participation in the NFT industry, Collier expects Fox and Bento to play a major role in shaping its future due to their unique position, which will allow them to offer unique NFTs based on their intellectual property, as well as their relationships with the creative community.

Fox has previously expressed its interest to take advantage of the NFT craze but has yet to provide further details on which shows, if any, will also get the same treatment as the upcoming animated series.

With Rick and Morty’s latest season being set to premiere on June 20th, Fox could be taking advantage of the fanbase’s excitement to make more announcements in this regard.

Media Companies Continue to Explore the NFT Space

While the NFT craze has started to cool down since its highest point early this year, it is still a force to be reckoned with in the blockchain industry.

In recent months, other media companies have also expressed an interest in NFTs while some have been quick to take advantage of it.

With personalities like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Loha, Shawn Mendes, Steve Aoki, and many more expressing their support for the technology and launching their own tokens, mainstream media was quick to put the spotlight on NFT.

Media outlets like Quartz, Associated Press, Times Magazine, and The New York Times, all launched their own NFTs in different marketplaces, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.

A short released as an NFT; “Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah”, also made history by becoming the first short of such nature to be the first NFT-based documentary to be nominated for an Oscar.

CNN, which is owned by WarnerMedia, also announced recently that it will be launching NFTs of the channel’s most memorable moments in its 41-years of existence.

While WarnerMedia has still not made any announcement regarding other channels joining the movement, the increasing interest in the industry is likely to create a domino effect.

However, NFTs are becoming more common, and there may eventually be a point where the public begins to question the value of all these digital collectables.  For the moment, that time hasn’t come.

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Stratis Unity SDK: Allows Gaming Devs to Create Blockchain Apps

Stratis Unity SDK is now available for all Unity3D game-developers, gaming devs can create blockchain apps utilizing Stratis blockchain technologies .

Unity Technologies created a cross-platform gaming engine with an integrated IDE. An integrated development environment (IDE) is software that combines common developer tools into a single graphical user interface (GUI) for developing programs.

Unity’s IDE is used to make games for web browsers, desktop platforms, consoles, and mobile devices. Along with Unreal and GameMaker, it is perhaps one of the most popular game engines currently accessible.

Stratis is Making Blockchain More Accessible to Gamers

Stratis Blockchain Technologies’ expanded Unity 3D Support to include a minimal wallet and SDK. This milestone allows the STRAX Token to be used in game creation as well as the InterFlux Hub, opening up a world of possibilities through Stratis’ Smart Contracts written in C#.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are of special relevance to game developers that want to include in-game currency. By implementing an NFT, in-game things can be truly held by the player, eliminating the possibility of losing acquired things due to lost login credentials or account termination.

The Stratis Unity SDK is accompanied by an instructional film that shows how Stratis Blockchain Technologies may be used in game creation with ease.

A software development kit (SDK) is a collection of downloaded tools that developers can use to create apps for certain operating systems. Stratis SDK for Unify 3D contains everything gamers need to make games more immersive, private and decentralized.

More Coming to the Blockchain Gaming World

Blockchain is a perfect fit for gaming, and now that blockchain and cryptos have hit the mainstream, platforms like the one Stratis just introduced are likely to attract a substantial number of developers.

Much like the early days of crypto, there will probably be a large number of new platforms entering the gaming space that focus on blockchain integration.

One of the biggest advantages that gaming has as an outlet for blockchain technology is that it is a global market that cuts across cultures and language barriers. In addition, some of the earliest opposition that cryptos found was due to the fact that they are a form of digital money that competes with fiat currency.

Central banks are extremely powerful, and operate as an international cartel. The gaming companies do have some amount of power, but unlike money, gaming isn’t controlled in nearly the same ways as the monetary system.

Stratis is in an Exploding Market

The gaming market appeals predominantly to younger people, and many people who are just entering the market as a platform user don’t have any sort of loyalty to a specific platform. This means new devs can offer novel ideas globally, and build up a following quickly.

As a blockchain technology startup that provides a flexible and modular platform tailored to the requirements of enterprises, now also for game devs, Stratis is well placed to grow over the next decade and beyond.

There is little doubt that platforms like this will attract developers, and offer new products at both a commercial and retail level. Because cryptos can flow over borders, it is easy to monetize a project, even if the users are spread out over many nations.

The blockchain developers at the Stratis platform have extensive experience in a variety of industries, including banking, pharmaceuticals, logistics, telecommunications, and media.

Stratis has renowned specialists on board who can provide key knowledge across every advancement in blockchain, from full nodes, smart contracts, sidechains, and wallets to conducting initial coin offerings (ICOs.)

All of this makes the new Stratis Unity SDK developers tools look like a potentially massive influence on gaming development, if not today, then in the not too distant future.

If you want to learn more about Stratis, or the newly released Stratis Unity SDK, please click here for more information.

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Survey: Crypto Will Represent 7% of Hedge Funds Assets By 2026 as Institutional Interest Soars

Finance

A survey of 100 hedge fund Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) forecasts that hedge funds all around the world will be holding 7.2% of their assets in crypto within 5 years.

The results reflect an increasing vote of confidence in cryptocurrencies despite the increasing regulatory pressure and volatility the industry has experienced over the past months.

Hedge Funds are Going for Crypto

The survey estimates that the equivalent value of 7.2% of the assets would represent around $312 billion across the industry.

17% of the CFO’s surveyed said they expect to have more than 10% of their assets in cryptocurrency, which experts estimate could result in other hedge funds increasing their crypto holdings.

While the number of hedge funds actively investing in cryptocurrency at this time is limited to those with high-risk tolerance, the increasing long-term potential has proven to be too attractive for hedge funds to ignore.

The survey, which was conducted by Intertrust, showed that all of the executives interviewed hold cryptocurrency accounting for at least 1% of their portfolios’ worth.

Those executives worked for hedge funds with an average of $7.2 billion in assets across North America, Europe, and the United Kingdom.

A surprising finding was that while North American funds expect an exposure of 10.6% on average by 2026, funds in the UK and Europe expect an average of 6.8%.

This is despite the uncertainty the crypto industry has experienced over its future regulation in the world’s biggest economy.

Bitwise Raises $70 Million in Funding

With Institutional Investors continuing to show an interest in crypto, projects involved with crypto continue to find new sources of funding to launch and maintain their platforms.

This was the case of the crypto asset management company Bitwise, which raised $70 million in Series B funding.

With more than 30 investors from Wall Street and Silicon Valley participating in the funding round, this news shows that institutional investors are not backing down on crypto but instead looking for projects that allow them to capitalize on its growing popularity

Bitwise’s CEO, Hunter Horsley, referred to the success of the Series by stating:

“People thought we (and crypto) were crazy. You may have, too. Indeed, it’s been a wild ride. […] We envision a future—five, ten years from now—where the vast majority of investors in America own crypto because of the powerful things it can do to help them protect and grow their capital and savings. A 1-10% allocation for most investors, I’d guess.”

The crypto index fund has grown to become the dominant force in the industry, managing more than $1 billion for clients all around the world despite having only 30 members in its team.

Institutional Investors Want Crypto

Sygnum, a crypto-bank based in Switzerland, has recently announced the launch of a custody and trading service for DeFi tokens. This service is specially designed to cater to the needs of institutional clients looking to invest in the cryptocurrency market.

The bank will be supporting the leading tokens in the DeFi ecosystem, including Aave, Aragon, Curve, Maker, Synthetix, Uniswap, and 1inch Network, as well as offering banking services for USDC.

Aave’s CEO; Stani Kulechov, said:

“Sygnum’s institutional-grade custody solution makes it easier for clients to onboard to the digital asset ecosystem. We look forward to continued collaboration with the aim of bridging the traditional banking world with decentralized finance.”

The evolution and growing popularity of Decentralized Finance has become the driving force behind the adoption of crypto by many institutions that are trying to bridge the gap between centralized and decentralized finance to create a better financial ecosystem.

Many DeFi platforms offer double digit annual returns for staking, and many DeFi tokens have also gone up in value. With Central Banks holding interest rates near record lows, we may see more large investors looking for the kind of returns that are on offer in the DeFi space.

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Coinbase Pro: Adds Polkadot as Institutional Interest Grows

NASDAQ-listed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced on Monday the addition of DOT support in Coinbase Pro as interest in the coin continues to increase.

Starting on June 14, Coinbase Pro users were able to transfer DOT to their accounts in all of Coinbase’s supported jurisdictions with the exception of Singapore, with DOT trading being scheduled to begin on Wednesday the 16th.

Users of the professional trading platform will then be able to trade DOT with any of the DOT-USD, DOT-BTC, DOT-EUR, DOT-GBP, and DOT-USDT trading pairs, as long as the order books are deemed to be sufficiently healthy by the exchange on Wednesday.

Coinbase Offers Polkadot to Pros

DOT won’t be supported by Coinbase’s retail platform yet, the exchange announced it will be making a separate announcement once it decides if it will be listed.

However, based on previous listings, it is expected that Coinbase’s other platforms will be adding support for the cryptocurrency sometime in the next weeks.

Earlier this month, Coinbase Pro listed Dogecoin following months of increasing popularity that saw the coin’s market capitalization rise. However, DOGE has not been listed in the standard version of the exchange so far.

Parallel Finance Raises $2M From Major Investors

Parallel Finance, a Decentralized Finance Protocol built on Polkadot, recently raised $2 million to boost the DeFi ecosystem in Kusama, Polkadot’s Canary network.

The project was backed by companies like Pantera Capital, Polychain Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Breyer Capital, 8 Decimal Capital, and Hypersphere Ventures, some of the most recognized investors in the cryptocurrency space.

In an interview with Coindesk, Parallel Finance’s CEO explained the project’s mission by stating:

“One of the biggest problems we are trying to solve is the lack of lending protocols in the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem. We’ve seen a significant demand for DOT/KSM holders to borrow and lend their tokens.”

With the support of developers and technical advisors from Stanford University, Ruan’s team is looking to create a platform that allows investors to borrow funds using their staking derivatives as collateral.

With developers racing to capitalized on the diminishing dominance of the Ethereum network on the DeFi ecosystem, networks like Solana, Binance Smart Chain, Algorand, and Polkadot have gained traction among new DeFi projects.

Polkadot Is Becoming a Favorite Among Institutional Investors

Following the recent market crashes that followed the latest bull run, investors have been unsure of what position to adopt when it comes to cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

The increasing pressure that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have experienced over the recent weeks, has not helped to clear the panorama.

Despite this, 2 major points of view seem to have been taken: retail investors going for short-term gains with coins like DOGE and SHIBA INU, and institutional investors looking at alternative networks like Polkadot.

With experts like Ked Ban Schereven, managing director at digital asset investment company KR1, showing their support for Polkadot.

The network is seen to be gaining popularity among institutional investors that see as one of the most likely competitors to Ethereum.

Schereven referred to this opinion by stating:

“We’re seeing talent move on to Polkadot that was going to build on Ethereum […] I think it’s going to be one of the winners in the next few years, and then it’s going to last for maybe 100 years.”

Firms like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and UBS have also been reported as supporting DOT products like 21Shares AG’s ETP, further reflecting the potential of the network.

Likely contenders to be “Ethereum killers” include networks like Cardano, Algorand, Solana, and Polkadot, but there is still ample time to see how Ethereum 2.0 will address the issues that have resulted in its loss of developers.

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Nvidia’s CEO Talks Crypto, NFTs, and The Metaverse

Blockchain Games

Jensen Huang, Nvidia CEO, talked about the future of the metaverse in a briefing with press members during Computex, including his views on NFTs and crypto.

The idea of the Metaverse has been part of popular culture for decades ever since American science-fiction author Neal Stephenson used it in “Snow Crash”. As seen in movies like Ready Player One, Tron, Altered Carbon, and many others, the Metaverse seems like an inevitable outcome of technological advancement.

The metaverse is a virtual world that connects with the world we currently live in, enabling people to interact with each other independently of physical barriers. Such a virtual world has a real design and economy, as well as avatars and digital assets that belong to users in a realistic manner.

With Nvidia being one of the leaders when it comes to Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), as well as in the gaming industry, Jensen Huang seems like one of the most qualified authorities to discuss the topic. As such, he was asked about the topic during the virtual computer exposition.

Asked about his thoughts on the metaverse, Huang stated his belief that “we’re right on the cusp of it” and that “there will be many types of metaverses.” He stated that components like VR and AR technology are coming together faster than ever before as a result of being more accessible and easy to use for consumers.

With Nvidia having its own metaverse project, dubbed Nvidia Omniverse, the company combines most products ever developed by its team of experts. It is currently being used by more than 400 companies including BMW, WPP, and Bentley.

Blockchain and Crypto Will Have an Important Role in the Metaverse

Due to the digital nature of the Metaverse, technologies like Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies are expected to have an important role.

As metaverses are all about user ownership over digital assets, the immutability of blockchain could provide a way for users to truly own anything they obtain through it.

Huan shared his stance on the potential economy of a metaverse by stating:

“The economy in the metaverse will be larger than the economy in the physical world. Digital currency, cryptocurrency, could be used in the world of metaverses.”

With NFTs growing in popularity around the world will also allow them to play an important role in the metaverse economy, allowing users to interact with the assets they own via AR.

Games like Decentraland and The Sandbox are already creating virtual worlds powered by blockchain, crypto, and NFTs, using them to represent everything from Virtual Land to the game currency.

The success of these two projects shows the increasing interest of institutional investors in such an approach, which could be “easily” translated into the metaverse.

The Graphic Card Industry Is Excited About Proof Of Stake

Huang was also questioned about the increasing demand that the crypto mining industry has placed in the graphic cards industry, which has resulted in increased prices and unavailability around the world.

In this regard, Huang said the reason Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other networks chose Nvidia’s GPUs for mining was their energy efficiency, performance, and benefits for distributed networks.

However, this popularity also resulted in a shortage problem in the semiconductor market, affecting more than graphic cards.

He said,

“Our strategy is to alleviate, to reduce the high demand that is caused by crypto mining, and create a special product, the CMP, directly for the crypto miners. If the crypto miners can buy, directly from us, a large volume of GPUs, and they don’t yield to GeForce, so they cannot be used for GeForce, but they can be used for crypto mining, it will discourage them from buying from the open market.”

This increasing shortage problem and the need for a more efficient method of crypto mining have led networks such as Ethereum to, “implement a second-generation.” With more people depending on DeFi, he believes that, “this is a great time for proof of stake to come.”

During the discussion, Huang also shared Nvidia’s commitment to protecting the GeForce supply for gamers, who have historically been the major source of income for the company, while also offering crypto mining with alternative solutions.

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Arrington Capital Creates $100M Algorand Growth Fund

Algorand

After already investing in Algorand’s private rounds years ago, Arrington Capital has now announced the launch of a dedicated $100 million USD fund to invest in the Algorand ecosystem by financing projects that show a high level of potential in the financial sector, including native coins.

The partnership with Algorand for the launch of the Arrington Algo Growth Fund is the second partnership established by the digital asset management fund, which already runs an XRP fund.

Michael Arrington, Founder of TechCrunch and Arrington Capital, believes that Algorand will play an important role in the future of finance due to its “unmatched tech, robust developer resources, and vision for long term sustainability.”

He also referred to the increasing importance of cryptocurrencies on the global stage despite their “ups and downs” which according to him, are the results of the blockchain and crypto industries moving “a lot faster” than the legacy tech world.

This sentiment was shared by multiple participants in Bitcoin Miami, which counted with the participation of celebrities like Floyd Mayweather, Tim Draper, Jack Dorsey, the Winklevoss twins, and Michael Saylor, as well as more than 12 thousand attendees.

Algorand Is Becoming a Positive Force in Blockchain Development

Ranked 34th by market capitalization, Algorand has become one of the most popular blockchain networks in the space with a market capitalization of more than 3.2 billion dollars

The increasing traction experienced by the network has resulted in the creation of other funds aiming to support Algoran-based initiatives across the world, including a $25M fund in Miami, $400M fund from Borderless Capital, $10 fund for NFT projects, and $250 grant program launched by the Algorand Foundation.

Algorand’s notoriety has also increased in recent months due to the company’s commitment to be the greenest blockchain network by continuing to be fully carbon-neutral, a growing concern for regulators and investors around the world due to the negative environmental impact that mining has on networks like Bitcoin.

While the environmental impact of blockchain and cryptocurrency is only one of the sources of the criticism received by the industry over the past months, Algorand expects that by committing to an environmentally friendly approach they will be able to address part of those concerns.

The recent announcements have allowed ALGO to keep a positive trend during the last 7 days when it comes to its value, which is remarkable at a time when out of the top 35 projects, only 9 have managed to do so.

Pantera and Arrington Capital Raise $5.8M in Funding for Unbound Capital

The two digital asset management firms co-led a private investment round for Unbound Capital, a project aiming to be the first cross-chain stablecoin, raising $5.8 million with the participation of more than 26 venture capitalists and angel investors.

The earnings from the investment round will be used for the development of the protocol, which leverages idle liquidity to enable interest-free crypto loans, which will also offer a cross-chain stablecoin and other synthetic assets.

The list of supporters includes venture capitalists like Pantera Capital, Arrington XRP Capital, CMS Holdings, Hashed, and LedgerPrime, as well as private investors such as Angelist, Enjin, Gnosis, Kyber Network, and Polygon.

Arrington referred to the potential of the protocol by stating:

“Unbound Finance is new primitive with the potential to unlock billions in unproductive value trapped in AMMs. We’re excited about the launch of Unbound as a fundamentally new mechanism for borrowing, lending, and synthetic assets in DeFi.”

Unbound Capital will be launching its “DeFi Treasury For Liquidity Pool Tokens” in the near future after having launched its first testnet back in December, as well as its last version in April of this year.

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Hoard NFT Marketplace: Trade, Buy, Sell, Loan & Rent NFTs

Established in 2018, Hoard NFT Exchange is an early mover in the NFT space. It first focused on building a blockchain-powered platform where community members can contribute to its development and governance using the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) model

As a primary blockchain project offering players True Ownership, and also implementing Ethereum and Plasma, Hoard NFT Exchange has become a popular option for trading NFTs.

From this beginning step until now, the exchange has witnessed quite strong growth. The team has completed Software Development Kit – a game-integrated tool and released its native token.

Designed for the gaming industry that enables the exchange of value between games, the gaming community, and game developers, Hoard aims to improve the purpose and utility of Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) through a series of interesting and smart applications.

The team also shows a strong interest in the traditional gaming industry but it is not an immediate focus. Plasma is used due to the high number of users on the platform, which is a sign of how successful the exchange has become.

Hoard NFT Exchange Delivers Scarce Items to the Masses

With the advent of blockchain, a scarcity in the digital world was created and it connected part of the real world with the virtual world.

The crypto craze set the stage for NFT to become the latest investment trend. The increased growth of the blockchain community also makes investors, even media or those interested, unable to stay out of the NFT attraction.

NFTs are one of the key foundations of the new digital economy, which is powered by blockchain. These tokens have been tested in many areas such as gaming, digital identity, licensing, certification and fine arts.

Holders can even split and own proportionally high-value items with this technology.

Many NFT protocols have blown the blockchain community away with their innovative ideas. Hoard NFT Exchange is the latest project that got in the NFT space early, and is reaping the rewards today.

What is Hoard NFT Exchange?

The platform has recently established the creation of an open-source marketplace, sticking to the goal of building a global ecosystem, allowing users to segment the use of products and services.

The plus point that sets Hoard apart from other competitors is that the protocol provides a high-performance ecosystem with competitive fees. HRD holders can benefit from a robust set of high-end services and transactions options.

Beyond the addition of new Marketplace functionalities, the Hoard team plans to capitalize on the platform’s better UX experience and work on implementing a L2 solution.

Hoard Token (HRD)

  • Token Name: Hoard
  • Symbol: HRD
  • Type: ERC20 (Utility Token)
  • Supply: 1,000,000,000
  • Emission: TypeFixed
  • HRD Token Market: HRD/ETH
  • Utility Token: Fee, Governance token
  • Networks: Ethereum Blockchain

Hoard token is the ERC20 token used to pay for purchases of items in the Hoard ecosystem, including all games designed on their platform. Besides, Hoard Token supports the release of games, items used in games.

Developers use Hoard tokens to pay service fees.

Regarding the token distribution — out of the 1 billion HRD tokens in the total supply, the team plans to distribute 48%, the team endowment is allocated 20%, 25% goes to the project pool, and the remaining 7% is distributed to the community.

Hoard Software Development Kit

Hoard sets up the SDK as a user-friendly tool to integrate any game with the blockchain. Hoard’s SDK is easy to use, accurate, designed to simplify the gaming zone acces. In other words, developers don’t need an in-depth blockchain background to develop their games and asset tokenization is also easier.

Hoard Marketplace

Following the details of the development roadmap in 2021, Hoard Exchange recently confirmed the release of the NFT marketplace on the Ethereum mainnet by the end of last month.

The market comes with multiple functions, including loans and equity reserves, with the use of NFT as collateral for the loan.

Hoard Market is one of the two key types of services offered by Hoard and its SDK. Its objective is focused on the management of digital products while simplifying the interaction between developers and users.

NFTs used for trading, lending or leasing may include in-game items, real-estate, digital art, and many more.

Hoard Marketplace
Hoard Marketplace

The marketplace will feature LOAN, a peer-to-peer lending platform where users can use their NFT as a pledge to obtain crypto loans. NFT holders can receive these funds for further investment, while lenders will deploy their stablecoins to generate additional income by charging interest.

As mentioned above, the HRD coin is the platform’s native token. With Hoard tokens, HRD holders are granted access to lending functionality. In addition, users holding HRD shares will be eligible for a partial refund of the platform fees as a stock bonus.

With the marketplace live on the mainnet, Hoard users can now list their NFTs, discover other NFTs and make purchases for their favorite ones.

After listing or obtaining their NFT, can be applied as collateral for loans. In addition to interest income, in the event of foreclosure, lenders are also eligible for NFTs.

According to Hoard’s CEO Radek Zagórowicz, the market lending feature is the first of many NFT features and utilities coming soon.

Hoard Architecture and User Flow

The team has stuck to its plan as the Hoard’s Market was launched according to the official announcement from the company.

The Hoard Market is structured with three key elements: Lender, Borrower and Staker. Loan is applicable to borrowers using NFTs as collateral. Loan payments are made determined by the parameters under the lender’s setting.

  • Lender: Hoard’s lending functionality is open for any stablecoin holders as long as they wish to profit from this type of investment. They approach the opportunities to increase their profit and acquire NFTs they prefer. In the case of off-time loan repayment, the NFT used as collateral will move to the lender’s account.
  • Borrower: Hoard members who acquire and want to optimize earnings on ERC20 and ERC721 assets are able to employ crypto assets to secure them. Borrowers put their NFT in the Marketplace system and select a loan value as a minimum. If the loan is paid off by the due date, any funds enhanced by interest will move to the lender’s account and borrowers will get the NFT used as collateral.
  • Staker: Staking is another major highlight of Hoard Market. The platform opens a world of reward opportunities for those interested in HRD (ETHHRD UNIV2) and financial returns. Stakers pay fees through tokens with strong liquidity like stablecoins. For staking on Hoard Marketplace, users are rewarded and the longer they contribute, the more rewards they receive. Users will eventually claim their rewards through MetaMask wallet.

Currently, users can easily find a number of contracts listed on the Hoard Market, such as CryptoKitties, Axie, Cryptovoxels, Decentraland LAND, Decentraland Names, Gods Unchained Cards, MyCryptoHeroes Extension, MyCryptoHeroes Hero, SuperRare, Wrapped CryptoPunks and many more to come.

What’s Next On Hoard’s Road Map?

The team’s focus this year is on the completion and development of Hoard Market. The next quarter is expected to be the launch of the trading and building feature. After this, Hoard will release the Rent feature and enable the ability of governance.

Hoard NFT Exchange is Growing

Hoard NFT Exchange is primed to be one of the most popular NFT exchanges in this new and exciting market. While cryptos have attracted a lot of attention from the investment community, NFTs have brought the masses to tokens. To learn more about Hoard, just click right here!

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iM Intelligent Mining: A Green Path to Power Blockchain

After years of research and development, iM Intelligent Mining has created an Autonomous, Solar-Powered, Decentralized Mining Rig. The company’s fully renewable and reusable infrastructure allows highly profitable blockchain mining without harming the environment.

Founded in 2017 by Daniel Elimelech, iM Intelligent Mining is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Elimelech is a young entrepreneur who has a great interest in environmental sustainability, and developing systems that make green tech a reality.

iM intelligent Mining was created after the founder started mining in his own home and had to deal with heat and dust problems, high energy consumption, loud noises, and other inconveniences.

iM Technology Can Make a Big Impact

iM intelligent Mining would like to transfer data mining to a sustainable energy model which is combined with greater decentralization of mining operations.

Bitcoin mining consumes energy in large amounts, and in many cases, it uses fossil fuels for power. This will increase as Bitcoin usage and price both shoot up over the medium term.

Mining operations are overly centralized with 5 main players controlling most of the market – which also creates the risk of a 51% attack.

In order to deal with the problems of worldwide power consumption, environmental damage, centralized block-mining operations, and high barriers to entry for individuals and developing countries, iM created a technology that may engender a paradigm shift in blockchain mining.

The operation is supported by the following key features:

State of the Art

iM’s highly efficient and streamlined operation is built at scale which helps it be cheaper and more effective than personalized rigs.

The specialized cooling technology not only keeps the equipment cool in the desert but also excess heat generated by mining activity is captured and reused.
Furthermore, extra power is sold to local grids and can be returned to iM at night.

Profitable

Token holders are able to stake iM tokens to get rewards. It is also used to stake in exchanges, liquidity pools, or in the dApp. The iM token holders are going to receive rewards at the rate of 12% per year as profit from mining rewards.

Decentralized

In order to increase funding abilities and decentralize mining efforts, ownership is distributed to and accessible to a large network of small investors.

This helps these small investors to gain fractional ownership of a potentially profitable business. The sustainably powered mining rig is supported, and the investors don’t have to build and maintain their own equipment.

The iM token also offers voting rights towards current and future operations that ensure only the best and most equitable protocols are deployed.

iM technology is at the forefront of a dynamic shift in blockchain mining activities. It’s creating ways for green energy production to be used and access to the operation will be open to investors large and small.

A New Way to Mine Crypto and Use Green Energy

iM intelligent Mining autonomous using solar-powered mining rigs have been built in the desert and are owned by a decentralized network of iM token holders – this is a new way to mine tokens, and use solar power.

The team developed a sustainable decentralized solution, called the IM Green Protocol, which is working to provide a future for blockchain networks while protecting the environment and maintaining the economic viability of the industry.

iM is serving various clients, including current investors in blockchain and tech generally, early adopters, opinion leaders, young consumers, those driven by collaboration, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and human rights.

Features Make All The Difference

Tokenomics

The organization offers the token holder three options including staking the iM Token on Plasma Finance, staking iM directly on the iM dAPP, and providing liquidity in the pair of iM/ETH on multiple DEXs.

The token holders will receive an APR of 12% for staking and 24% for Liquidity Providing per year once an option is selected. Rewards are delivered to holders daily and have a lockup period of 72 hours.

The iM community is received the Green wrapped Bitcoins (GRB) by mining and staking pools as follows:

  • 60% – will be available only for iM token holders using iM+ and a fraction of iM to acquire these Green bitcoins that will be mined via the GR Protocol thus creating less iM in circulation
  • 30% – Reinvested back into operations such as mining facilities and staking pools.
  • 9% – Reinvested into the Development Team and iM Labs.
  • 1% – Given to the non-profit of token holders’ choice via governance.

With the goal to decentralize the market and create as many stakeholders as possible, iM has launched various levels of investment that appealed to over 70 investors, mainly leading Bitcoin holders.

iM Stakenomics

The Stakenomics for iM network are designed in a simple way.

When staking the iM token, holders will receive more iM at a rate of 12% APR yearly. These rewards will be deployed daily. This is an incentive to assist in the decentralized securitization of the iM network.

What Makes iM Unique?

The Solar-Powered Mining Rig

One of the biggest problems in Blockchain is the energy consumption of the network.

This leads to harmful environmental pollution by requiring enormous energy resources of the mining process. iM developed a solution that uses 100% green solar energy and technology, allowing the mining process to take part by employing a unique cooling system.

All mining rigs are built on non-arable desert land. Also, the company’s cooling system technology helps iM create a more profitable business model than that of standard mining farms.

The cooling systems reduce or remove heat, соrrоѕiоn, noise, dust аnd еlесtriсitу from the equation.

iM ѕеrvеrѕ are submerged in iM’s innovative non-conductive liquid oil solution which helps them to оvеr-сlосk indefinitely without damaging the miner, extracting mоrе vаluе оut оf thе ѕаmе mасhinеѕ.

Without overclocking, the system will arrive at 1.2x ѕtаndаrd revenue while reaching 1.5x ѕtаndаrd revenue with оvеrсlосking.

In short, solar panels offer the energy needed to run the farm at iM’s facilities. The power collected is then sent to the mining facility to run the servers. Custom hardware will run underwater, avoiding problems with heat, corrosion, noise, dust, and electricity.

The GR PROTOCOL

In the future, the company is going to launch the GR Protocol, or the Green Protocol, in which an internal DEX only provides Green assets that have been mined with Green energy.

Green Bitcoins, or GRB, will be mined and wrapped on the Eth Proof of Stake network. Other Proofs of Work coins, such as Zcash (GRZ) are confirmed to be available soon.

The GR Protocol will release iM+ tokens into circulation through a drip in stake rewards.

The only way for users to buy GR Protocol coins will be to use iM+ tokens, as well as the only way to get iM+ tokens will be to stake iM tokens and receive iM+ through the Token Distribution Model.

iM intelligent Mining Leads Crypto Mining into a Green Era

The company aims to become an industry game-changer, offering green solutions for blockchain worldwide, with its innovative methodology and approach.

iM is in the process of building the 1st cooling system. The full mining system has been tested in the desert in a 45-degree environment. A fully operating mining farm will be in place at end of 2021. according to the company.

According to the founder, Daniel Elimelech, the company aims to spread sustainable energy across the globe and ultimately into space where there is no interference through the use of AI technology.

The immediate goal is to form energy from information to prevent further global warming.

In the past, iM has donated all data and used computer equipment to a nonprofit organization called Human I-T, which provides the resources and equipment to children who can’t afford them for their own studies.

To learn more about iM Intelligent Mining, you can read more about its goals in the whitepaper, or follow the company on Twitter, Telegram, or WhatsApp.

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MahaDAO to Launch ARTH: World’s First Valuecoin on Polygon

MahaDAO

Happening June 22nd, MahaDAO will launch the world’s first valuecoin on Polygon, called ARTH, according to the company.

ARTH, the asset, will debut on the Polygon network. The Polygon network was selected based upon three simple reasons: It fully benefits from Ethereum’s network, it is secure and it is open and powerful.

Polygon is an Ethereum-compatible protocol and architecture that builds and interconnects blockchain networks. The network brings together scalable Ethereum solutions to support a multi-chain Ethereum ecosystem.

Following the launch in the near future, ARTH, a fractional reserve stablecoin entirely backed by collateral, will be further implemented on Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), and other blockchain networks.

MahaDAO Brings New Value to Polygon

Unlike other stablecoins like USDT and USDC, ARTH’s value is determined by the asset’s underlying buying power rather than its price.

Other than being backed by the US dollar (USD), as is the case with fiat-pegged stablecoins, ARTH is backed by a basket of uncorrelated assets that includes 5% bitcoin, 15% gold, and 80% fiat.

MahaDAO will allow users to farm its new collateral-backed stablecoin after it launches on June 22nd, paying with MAHA and ARTHX tokens in return. Top decentralized platforms like SushiSwap, DFYN, and others will offer ARTH farming.

Early miners reach higher rewards due to MahaDAO’s exponential distribution program designed to promote liquidity farming. Miners also earn interest on ARTH tokens by staking ARTH and earning an interest, through MahaDAO ARTH Savings Rate program.

ARTH and ARTHX are Coming

ARTHX is a deflationary token designed to absorb the volatility of ARTH and ensure its stability. While MAHA is the protocol’s native governance token.

Holders of MAHA tokens are entitled to redistribute ARTH’s non-correlated basket of assets – i.e. reduce the percentage of fiat while increasing that of bitcoin.

The ARTH target price is determined by a basket of stable assets calculated using a Maha proprietary index dubbed the “Global Measurement Unit.” Additional solid measures including seigniorage shares, automated rebalancing, and trusted oracle price feeds will help to keep the price of ARTH stable.

Early adopters interested in participating in the MahaDAO Genesis launch can trade USDT, USDC, DAI, ETH, and MATIC tokens for ARTHX tokens. Also, these users taking part in the Genesis will participate in a raffle to win an NFT from the MahaDAO team.

A Great Way to Enter Crypto

MahaDao with its ARTH token is targeted at students, shoppers, tourists, businessmen, employees, passengers, institutions & governments; basically anyone needing to exchange value.

MahaDAO is ready to deploy cross-chain liquidity, since ARTH is compatible with tokens and currencies from other blockchains.

This token compatibility allows a massive liquidity pool across chains. Very soon ARTH holders will be able to stake, lend, borrow and trade ARTH across chains. Also, MahaDAO is developing products, built and managed by the community itself, that will fuel the entire ecosystem.

Huge Debts May Drive Cryptos Higher

For the first time in 2021 the United States reached over $27 trillion of national debt excess, and current inflation sits at 4.5%. The management team at MahaDAO strongly believes that a new kind of hedge, independent of the value of the US dollar, is badly needed.

As expected within the crypto ecosystem, several projects are undergoing integration processes to include ARTH within its operations, three particular ones were chosen to be incubated by MahaDAO itself. Most of these projects will be ready to go live in parallel to the MahaDAO platform release on June 22nd.

The DeFi initiative behind algorithmic valuecoin ARTH is MahaDAO, a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (or DAO) operating on rules encoded in smart contracts.

Because the valuecoin is value-stable and governed by its community via a separate governance token, holders can vote on savings rates, stability fees, direction, strategy, and future advancements for the ARTH token.

For more information on MahaDAO, and the new ARTH valuecoin, please click here.

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US Senator Elizabeth Warren: Regulators Must Confront Crypto

Bitcoin

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren put crypto in the spotlight during a CBDCs senate hearing, warning regulators about the need to stop hiding out when it comes to digital currencies.

The Democrat senator called on fellow policymakers to focus on the problems that cryptocurrency has created for the national economy as it failed to provide millions of Americans with the benefits it supposedly would provide.

While supporting the proposition of creating a digital dollar as a means to boost the economy, she referred to crypto by stating:

“Cryptocurrency has created opportunities to scam investors, assist criminals, and worsen the climate crisis. The threats posed by crypto show that Congress and federal regulators can’t continue to hide out, hoping that crypto will go away. It won’t. It’s time to confront these issues head-on.”

In an interview with Bloomberg, Warren called the crypto market as the “wild west” while also stating that digital currencies were not a good asset to trade assets or invest. She also added that cryptocurrencies were, “an environmental disaster.”

The Senate Banking Committee Can’t Agree on CBDCs

The Senate Banking Committee hearing took place on Wednesday 9th focused on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and included the input of four key witnesses:

  • Dr. Neha Narula from MIT
  • Mr. Lev Menand from Columbia Law School, Senior Counsel at Willkie Farr & Gallagher
  • Christopher Giancarlo
  • Dr. Darrell Duffie of Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

All of the witnesses agree on the idea that a well-built CBDC could prove beneficial to the United States in a variety of ways ranging from providing new ways of storing a value to facilitating and improving the efficiency of transactions.

While Warren and other democrats expressed their support for the Federal Reserve’s plans of issuing a digital dollar, Republican lawmakers were not as enthusiastic with the idea.

Republican Senator Pat Tommey said there was no need for a state-sponsored bank interfering with a free-enterprise system which has proven successful.

With countries like China working on the development of their CBDCs, the United States run the risk of falling behind on what could become the new norm when it comes to a digitalized fiat currency.

The risk of falling behind and increasing concerns around cryptocurrency has been an increasing topic of interest among US regulators and lawmakers, which promises to be one of the most important topics the new administration will need to handle in the near future.

El Salvador Disagrees With US’s Stance

While the United States have taken an increasingly hostile stance toward Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies in recent years, countries in Latin America have started to embrace them as a potential legal tender.

Nayib Bukele, the President of El Salvador, recently announced his plans to make Bitcoin a legal tender in the country. His plans came to fruition on June 9th when a majority of the country’s legislature approved the proposal, officially becoming the first country in the world to recognize BTC as a legal tender.

While the US dollar will continue to be El Salvador’s main currency, Bitcoin can now be used in any transaction and all businesses will be required to accept payments in Bitcoin if they don’t lack the technology to do so.

Bukele said the new law would bring financial inclusion, investment, tourism, innovation, and economic development to the Central American nation, as well as open up financial services to more than 70% of citizens who have no access to them.

While El Salvador is the 104th economy by GDP, it could set an example for other Latin American countries to consider using BTC as a legal tender. Countries like Argentina, Paraguay, and Panama have already seen some of their congressmen talk about, “not falling behind,” in terms of financial innovation.

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US Government Recovers Bitcoin from Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack

QuadrigaCX FBI

The United States Department of Justice announced on Monday 7th the recovery of $2.3 million worth of Bitcoin connected to the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack which took place in May of 2021.

The recovered funds represent more than half of the ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline to the group known as DarkSide, which demanded more than $4.4 as a ransom in exchange for restoring the company’s network.

The statement issued by the DOJ says that the accounts holding the stolen funds were found by reviewing Bitcoin’s public ledger, for which the FBI had the private key. However, no details were given on how the private key was obtained.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said in a statement that “Following the money remains one of the most basic, yet powerful tools” at the disposal of authorities to investigate such cases.

FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate referred to the seizing by saying:

“There is no place beyond the reach of the FBI to conceal illicit funds that will prevent us from imposing risk and consequences upon malicious cyber actors. We will continue to use all of our available resources and leverage our domestic and international partnerships to disrupt ransomware attacks and protect our private sector partners and the American public.”

These resources continue to be a mystery but there has been speculation about crypto exchanges being involved in the seizing.

Coinbase Denies Involvement in US Government Operation for Bitcoin

With speculation about involvement by crypto exchanges, Coinbase has been the target of claims about its involvement in the FBI and DOJ’s operation.

Philip Martin, Coinbase’s Chief Security Officer (CSO), took on Twitter to clarify that the company has not been involved in any way in revealing the private keys to the wallet holding the stolen funds.

In his Tweets, Martin said that there was no evidence that any of the funds went through a Coinbase account and no warrant had been issued by the US government at any point. He also referred to some specific claims that seem to have been based on technical issues with the explorer being used.

Referring to how the FBI could have obtained the private key, Martin speculated that it could have been some “whiz-bang magic” but it was more likely the result of “good ol’ fashioned police work” in conjunction with a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty request and political pressure.

The news about the seizing caused the value of Bitcoin to drop as concerns about the abilities of the FBI to gain access to private keys started to spread.

Global Authorities Are Declaring War on Ransomware

Colonial Pipeline was the target of criticism for paying the ransom as many believe that by doing so, bad actors have more incentives to continue to target critical infrastructure around the world.

However, Monaco said that the company’s early actions assisted in achieving the seize:

“Today’s announcements also demonstrate the value of early notification to law enforcement; we thank Colonial Pipeline for quickly notifying the FBI when they learned that they were targeted by DarkSide”

She also added that the United States government will continue to target “the entire ransomware ecosystem” to make it more costly and less profitable for criminals to demand ransom payments.

The US DoJ has created a Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force that will prioritize the disruption, investigation, and prosecution of ransomware activity in the country, according to the press release.

The US government has recently started to keep a closer watch on the use of cryptocurrencies for illegal activities, which has the entirety of the crypto market in the spotlight of regulators around the globe.

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Huge Global Appointed Agency of Record for Tezos Foundation

The Tezos Foundation chose Brooklyn-based global experience agency HUGE to develop and execute promotional initiatives through marketing programs. This is a new way of parthering up in the crypto world, and it is likely to drive more use of the platform.

Tezos made the decision based on Huge’s award-winning reputation worldwide. For example in March 2021 Huge Inc. was acknowledged as Leader by Gartner Research & Advisory in its 2021 Magic Quadrant for Global Marketing Agencies report.

“Make Something You Love,” says Huge COO/CFO and Acting CEO Raj Singhal as a reminder of Huge’s north star. Huge is widely known for its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion granting equal opportunities for people of all backgrounds and perspectives to create, build and grow.

Tezos and Huge are a Great Team

This new appointment between Huge and Tezos is first-of-its-kind. Huge will collaborate with the Tezos ecosystem to produce go-to-market strategies, brand expressions, developer involvement, and engaging experiences for community members, developers, builders, and the media.

Huge will enhance Tezos’ marketing efforts, including brand identity, integrated marketing, creative, event activation, collaborations, marketing innovation, and public relations, in its new role as AOR.

This is Tezos’ first experience with an AOR agency collaboration, and it comes on the heels of Mark Soares’ recent appointment as CMO and Founder of Blokhaus within the Tezos Foundation.

Huge Brooklyn President Matt Weiss remarked, “Huge has a long history of helping new economy brands enter the market, helping people connect in new and exciting ways.”

Matt Weiss recognizes Tezos at the vanguard of blockchain innovation, and also believes the blockchain industry is a fascinating and altogether new area.

Huge came in the field to increase Tezos’ brand awareness, an opportunity Huge is looking for to build memorable experiences for people now and in the future

A Platform that is Primed to Grow

Tezos is the renowned open-source blockchain platform to be one of the first to use the more energy-efficient Proof of Stake convention protocol for mining.

A global community of validators, researchers, and developers support Tezos, basically an open-source blockchain platform that can evolve by upgrading itself.

Stakeholders not only govern the need of upgrades to the core protocol, but also decide over the upgrades to the amendment process itself.

In a nutshell, Tezos addresses the following fundamental issues that have restrained blockchain and smart contracts adoption thus far: Safety, long-term upgradability, and open participation.

By adopting Proof of Stake (PoS), Tezos uses almost two million times less energy than Proof of Work (PoW) networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum, freeing developers and businesses from sacrificing sustainability and allowing them to focus on innovation instead.

The Tezos network has proven to be secure and resilient. Over 1.2 million contract calls within April and May 2021 indicate an increasing adoption of the open-source software, powering the global suite of NFT marketplaces and DeFi applications.

Worldwide companies and global brands such as Formula One team Red Bull Racing Honda, the legendary game publisher Ubisoft, the financial services giant Societe Generale among others, are currently adopting Tezos as their blockchain of choice.

Mark Soares, the CMO and Founder of Blokhaus – a marketing & communications organization spinoff of TQ Tezos – sees no competition in the market, Huge is really the only choice to make.

Soares sees the Huge team as having the exact blend of competencies needed to truly expand Tezos awareness inside this fast-moving space.

At a rapid rate, the Tezos ecosystem is spearheading the Clean NFT movement and attracting worldwide companies. Soares and the Tezos developers are delighted to have the Huge team on board to help boost Tezos efforts and awareness as crypto becomes more mainstream.

The recent agreement between Tezos Foundation and Huge Global comes after Huge announcement of client-partnerships with SubZero, Nikko AM, Wakefern, and Coppertone for the first and second quarters of 2021.

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MicroStrategy Will Double Down on Bitcoin Investment

Bitcoin

Despite having incurred losses due to Bitcoin’s crash back in May, MicroStrategy has announced that it is planning to raise $400 million to acquire more bitcoins.

The company directed by Michael Saylor made the announcement via a press release on Monday 7th, just hours after disclosing via a regulatory filing that it expects to incur the impairment loss in the quarter ending on June 30th.

Accordion to the filing, the company expects to incur a loss of at least $248.5 million as a result of bitcoin’s value crash, which had an impact on the company’s shares tumbling almost by 55% since February due to the 92,079 on its balance sheet.

MicroStrategy is Bitcoin’s biggest corporate backer of any publicly-traded company in the world, which makes its decision to double down on Bitcoin despite the recent crash a reflection of the increasing interest in crypto in the corporate world.

MicroStrategy Believes in Bitcoin

Michael Saylor has been a long-time supporter of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology which has made him a personality in the crypto community due to the investment he and the company he directs has made in the ecosystem.

Speaking at the 2021 Bitcoin Conference in Miami, Saylor shared the stage with personalities like Jack Dorsey, Tony Hawk, and Floyd Mayweather Jr to talk about his reasons to be so bullish on bitcoin and what they expect for the cryptocurrency in the future.

Saylor referred to Bitcoin by calling it “the apex property of the human race” due to it being the catalyst to provide property rights to 8 billion people. He also referred to the environmental concerns around Bitcoin mining by stating:

“I think bitcoin is an extraordinary, disruptive, beneficial technology to the whole energy industry. As I studied it, it became clear that it’s the highest value use of intermittent energy. It’s the highest value use of renewable energy. It’s the highest value use of wasted or stranded energy. And it’s just the highest value use of energy, period. It’s the solution to developing power plants in remote locations, to driving up efficiency of plants and driving down costs…I think as the world understands it, they’re going to embrace it.”

He also referred to Microstrategy’s decision to incur in debt to acquire more bitcoins as a “big breakthrough” to convert the company’s cash from a liability to an asset that can grow more than the percentage paid to borrow cash, making it a valid strategy to generate gains.

 Saylor Is Trying to Bring Miners Together

As concerns about the environmental impact of bitcoin mining continue to grow, Saylor took it upon himself to form a Bitcoin Mining Council to promote sustainable mining and increased transparency in the industry.

The initiative counts with the support of crypto mining operations like Argo, Blockcap, Core Scientific, Galaxy Digital, Hive, Hut 8 Mining, Marathon Digital Holdings, and Riot Blockchain, some of the most influential companies in the crypto space.

While there are concerns among cryptocurrency purists about the possibility of an increase in the centralization of decision making in the industry, CEO of Argo Blockchain Peter Wall addressed the concerns by stating:

“We’re not talking about Bitcoin code or block size or anything related to changing the nature of Bitcoin, We all love Bitcoin the way it is, as a decentralized, permissionless system.”

With media outlets jumping at the opportunity to point out environmental concerns as a disadvantage of cryptocurrency, initiatives to fight against misunderstandings relating to crypto are becoming increasingly popular among crypto companies.

CoinBase, one of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges, recently announced it would be redoubling its media efforts to fight disinformation around the crypto market, while also providing educational resources for investors and people interested in crypto.

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President of El Salvador To Make Bitcoin Legal Tender in Nation

Bitcoin

El Salvador may become the first nation to make Bitcoin legal tender, joining a host of Latin American nations that are turning to digital currency to fight both inflation and potential corruption.

Nayib Bukele, the current President of El Salvador addressed the Bitcoin 2021 Conference in Miami via a prerecorded video. In the video, Bukele states that in the coming weeks, he will introduce a bill that would make Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador.

Strike CEO Jack Mallers commented

“Over 70% of the active population of El Salvador doesn’t have a bank account. They’re not in the financial system…They asked me to help write a plan and that they viewed bitcoin as a world-class currency and that we needed to put together a bitcoin plan to help these people.”

One reason why many Salvadoreans don’t have a bank account is due to the high cost of banking services relative to income. While many in the global North don’t think about banking services as being expensive, in many nations, they are prohibitively costly.

Bitcoin and Crypto is The Right Direction

In many cases, nations that have a high percentage of impoverished citizens also have a low number of citizens with access to financial services. This is true in Latin America, as well as India, and many other areas of the world.

Sadly, poor nations also have a track record of abusing their financial systems to benefit a dominant political party, and also further antagonize the poor that simply don’t have the means to finance their lives in any other way.

Without a viable alternative, many poor people are left in a truly hopeless situation, and many may not understand that it is being done to them via regulations at a national level.

Clearly, El Salvador isn’t on the same path as Venezuela, or India, at least in a monetary sense. The move by Bukele to use Bitcoin as a currency in the nation will help to raise the profile of cryptos globally, which is likely a good thing for the global poor.

Money as a Control Mechanism

In Venezuela, the situation appears to be very different from the one in El Salvador.

Venezuela’s captive population has seen roaring inflation in the last decade, and repeated attempts by current president Nicolás Maduro to exploit both the national crypto, called the Petro, and the nation’s monetary system to exert control over the increasingly isolated country.

It could be argued that the Petro was the first national cryptocurrency, however, it is seen as worthless, and not used by any person or nation that can avoid it.

Instead, people in Venezuela’s broken economy use cryptos that can easily be sent from overseas, where family members have fled in hopes of finding some work, and money to help their loved ones escape starvation.

Why Crypto Makes Sense

The poor have little say in a governance structure, even when some amount of democracy is permitted.

The Indian demonetization in 2016 is a perfect example of this. Many in India have no bank accounts, so when still President Modi opted to demonetize most of the nation’s currency, the poor were left in a terrible situation.

While a nation can make cryptos illegal, it would have a much harder time enforcing laws that banned their use – especially at a village level.

This is a major advantage for cryptos and one that will almost guarantee that they will survive the governments that are currently working to either regulate their use – or ban them outright.

Despite what the power-mad technocrats of today’s governments may think – power comes and goes. In this age when Western cities are burning and global borders are as complex as they have ever been, it is likely that simple systems that empower the masses will gain in popularity.

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Edgeware: The Future of Blockchain Community Building

More than a decade since the birth of the smart contract the advent and development of blockchain technology have made it applicable and more efficient in realistic uses. Now Edgeware is taking smart contract technology to the next level.

Ethereum laid the basic foundations for the establishment of smart contracts on the Blockchain. The smart contract became popular with Ethereum has given people globally the ability to create complex smart contracts to handle a variety of applications.

Smart contract projects and tokens within the Polkadot system are of great interest to crypto enthusiasts. Edgeware (EDG) is one of the most promising new projects to hit the markets in a long time, and it is leveraging some of the most powerful new technology to make an impact on the crypto markets.

What is Edgeware?

Developed by Commonwealth Labs – a San Francisco-based token management company Edgeware is a high-performance, peer-to-peer smart contract platform within the Polkadot ecosystem.

The core technology behind the blockchain is a combination of Proof-of-Stake consensus protocol, on-chain identity, governance interface, and various outstanding technologies.

Polkadot is known as a network of chains (parachains) with the ability to expand and interoperability characteristics.

Each group of parachains takes control over financial, resource aspects. Edgeware will offer the most efficient and simplest way to deploy smart contracts within the Polkadot system.

The project aims to drive more adoption in the community, with 90% of Edgeware’s tokens being issued to all crypto investors through the method of “Lockdrop”. It is understandable that this method is to stake ETH to create EDG coins.

A New Way to Create Connections

As a premier project that has been built and developed on the Polkadot network, Edgeware provides a leveraged infrastructure with the goal of supporting other Blockchain systems to operate in the most efficient and secure environment, creating the basis for these systems to exchange information easily and securely.

The project also creates a space for coders to build DApps, protocols and DAOs on the Edgeware platform.

While users participating in Lockdrop will have a say in the future of the network, their decisions will affect network upgrades. In return users will receive rewards from contributions in the network.

The project does not limit its ability and capability in building a user-friendly smart contract blockchain.

Apart from creating a new crypto ecosystem, the focus is also on bringing a range of benefits to participants. That said, those interested can participate and contribute without leaked identity concerns, whether they use their real names or choose to stay anonymous on the platform.

Edgeware Functionality

Edgeware network functions based on the two key components: Coder and User.

Coder: Coder can be understood as the core element to build and operate the DAppS (in other words, the role is similar to developers). With Coder, Edgeware can improve the operating conditions while in return, coders have a better space to grow.

User: User is the core component that determines the development of the system during its operation. Users are those who will vote, authorize, and subsidize technology upgrades used in the system through the DAO, while the system will vote cryptographically and economically.

Users in the Edgeware system have a certain role with benefits, represented by the governance mechanisms and the Lookdrop token distribution mechanism (Token distribution mechanism works by staking ETH to generate coins).

Users participating in the Lockdrop will have certain roles and benefits, represented by the governance mechanisms and token distribution, which serves the improvement of the system. Their contributions will give them the opportunities to gain rewards from the system.

A Range of Features

Edgeware’s smart contract is integrated in many different languages ​​such as C, C++ compiler, Rush, and Wasm.

What makes Edgeware stand out is that their smart contract deploying interface supports tables linked to other strings to make it easier for developers to code.

The protocol is also focused on addressing the common issues within the consensus systems, for example, the nothing-at-stake problem.

Edgeware applies the GRANDPA Proof-of-stake protocol to optimize the system. Users in the network have full rights to vote, delegate, and fund each other to upgrade the network.

Beyond that, there are a couple of major highlights, including:

Premier Smart Contract on Polkadot

Edgeware was the fastest and the most convenient bridge for other projects to deploy on Polkadot since Polkadot came into operation.

Development on Parity Substrate

Substrate provides a Blockchain infrastructure with the essential building blocks needed to grow. That allows Edgeware to implement smart contracts, DeFi applications, and administrative network elements in the system.

Nominated Proof of Stake Consensus Protocol

Edgeware uses the Nominated Proof of Stake (NPoS) protocol to optimize the system. Every user is empowered to participate in voting, delegate responsibility, and fund each other.

Time Block

Each block lasts 5 seconds, this period is considered moderate, ensuring network latency and keeping the processing speed of large transaction volumes in stable condition.

Edgeware Token (EDG)

EDG is the official token of the Edgeware infrastructure platform. EDG was launched in the form of Lookdrop. Edgeware launched mainnet in February 2019.

Edgeware Coin Basics (EDG)

  • Blockchain: Edgeware
  • Token type: Utility Token
  • Total Supply: Unlimited
  • Currently Supply: 5,467,988,804 EDG

Token Allocation

With an initial supply of 5 billion tokens, EDG is distributed by the development team into five parts with the following ratio:

  • 90% of EDG tokens distributed to ETH holders via Public Lockdrop method
  • 4.50% of EDG tokens used for Commonwealth Labs
  • 3.00% of EDG tokens for Parity technology development
  • 2.50% of EDG tokens as rewards for strategic advisors

Token Sale

With the mentioned token allocation, it’s easy to find out there will be no ICO funding round. However, Commonwealth Labs successfully raised $2 million from a confirmation.

Token Release Schedule

Here are the details of token release schedule:

  • Lockdrop: Lockup EDG token distribution is applicable to participants who lock their ETH for 3, 6, 12 months after the mainnet project. Those who only participate in “Signal” (unlocked) will get 25% of EDG after mainnet, the remaining 75% will be released after 1 year of mainnet.
  • Commonwealth Labs: no unlock schedule
  • Parity Technologies: no unlock schedule

What is Edgeware (EDG) Used For?

EDG is the token that empowers the Edgeware framework, its uses therefore vary. Here are some of the ways that EDG is used.

Governance

With EDG, users have the right to vote for future changes or improvements within the system as well as for participating in managing project activities.

Staking Rewards

EDG holders who participate in staking EDG through confirmed transactions on the network can earn rewards from the project. According to the team, the current reward is 158 EDG/block.

Payment

Similar to other tokens, EDG will also act as a means of payment in the coming applications like DApps, DAOs, and many more.

Edgeware Storage Wallet (EDG)

Built on the Polkadot ecosystem, users could store EDG tokens on the Polkadot network. In addition, they can store the tokens on a mobile wallet platform that supports EDG storage, called Math Wallet.

Edgeware is still in the early stages of its development, the future of Edgeware Coins (EDG) is promising when Polkadot operates.

Edgeware will likely be the bridge to provide infrastructure for projects operating on Polkadot.

As a means of payment in the infrastructure, this leads to a sharp increase in demand for EDG. To learn more about Edgeware, please click here!

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Introducing Spores Network: The Full-Stack NFT-DeFi Platform

Spores is a new full stack NFT and DeFi platform for creative industries that empowers creators to develop, share, and convey their life’s work is here. Consolidated as Asia’s leading NFT Marketplace supporting De-Fi and Interoperability Tools.

Spores came to life as a natural response to the growing digital “metaverse” that is already changing the way we think and act about living, owning, and sharing our physical and digital lives.

Spores’s developers envision a full-stack NFT platform that is cross-chain compatible to achieve universality. On this platform, users can issue NFTs, auction and exchange assets, and use other DeFi products without limitations.

The Spores platform uses blockchain and smart contract technology to authenticate NFTs, track the history of ownership and buy/sell movements, and securely decentralize their trading process, all while fully complying with intellectual property and copyright licenses to protect the benefits of NFT creators and owners.

Spores comes with a comprehensive set of features designed to benefit and facilitate all participants (artists and content creators, game developers, entertainment producers, clubs, collectors, celebrities and fans, and so on) in order to foster a creator-centric, frictionless, borderless, and community-driven ecosystem.

The platform is made up of four major components:

NFT marketplace

is where NFTs can be auctioned, sold, and traded. The market is supported by a cross-chain swap protocol and an auction engine. When a transaction (for example, an NFT auction) is completed, it is routed to the associated smart contracts and blockchains to settle payment and transfer ownership.

Any new NFT submitted for minting and auction is checked for existence and copyright by an AI assistant. It searches all popular NFT marketplaces for copycats, then compares resemblance between items/files for sale and reports plagiarism if found for further measures.

NFT decentralized exchange

a cross-chain interoperable DEX that allows NFT holders and DeFi users to trade fungible crypto assets for NFTs on BSC, Ethereum, and Polkadot-Substrate. Decentralized wrapping and cross-chain atomic swap protocols are used by the DEX to ensure that transactions run smoothly independent of the underlying blockchain.

Minting & Management Interface (MMI)

enables game developers, artists, and creators of digital content to mint (issue) and manage NFTs that represent their assets/items, as well as NFT holders to play and trade with their collections.

Users can also connect to the Spores Marketplace for NFT auction and exchange through the MMI. Minting & Management Interfase is a user-friendly blockchain-agnostic platform, so everyone can play on it easily.

Blockchain-smart contract protocols and infrastructure

Multiple Solidity-compatible platforms (Ethereum, BSC, Polkadot-Subtrate-Moonbeam) are used to build Spore’s blockchain-smart contract protocols and infrastructure, which use cross-chain interoperable protocols to enable smooth and frictionless NFT minting and trading with lower fees.

The ERC-721 standard is used to build the majority of NFTs. The ERC-1155 standard, on the other hand, allows for semi-fungible tokens, which is very beneficial in the gaming world. EIP-2309 has recently been proposed to make minting NFTs significantly more efficient.

This standard enables transaction-based mining. On the Spores Platform, a fungible (ERC-20 type) token reward mechanism is also in place to motivate all participants (game developers, artwork & digital content makers, clubs, celebrities, influencers, fans, collectors, sellers & buyers, etc).

What Makes Spores Unique

The NFT business is expanding, and there are a lot of new players in the field. Following, the basics and comparisons among Spores’ leading competitors in the NFT world.

Spores is developing a full-stack decentralized NFT finance platform that gamifies DeFi users’ and collectors’ enjoyment of the NFT sector while also making it easier for developers and creators in the creative industries to monetize their work.

Any completed transaction (e.g. auction, exchange, swap) is subject to a transaction fee or gas, which can range from 2 to 6% depending on the transaction type.

The fees are distributed proportionally to the Spores’ respective NFT creators, Foundation, and Reserve Fund (to buy back tokens for community reserve thus enabling development proposals).

Spores’ Main Features:

  • Gamified royalty sharing: transaction mining that incentive users & traders with shared royalty over their NFTs creations.
  • T-DeFi: improving overall liquidity by fractionalizing multiple NFTs, utilizing LP mining on DEXes while lending & staking.
  • Batch minting & transfer: minting and transferring bundles of NFTs with minimal fees
  • Cross-chain trading: avoids market fragmentation on NFT swaps & wrapping across major blockchains (Ethereum, BSC, Polkadot)
  • User friendly: No need for coding skills or blockchaing knowledge needed to create NFTs.
  • NFT drops: Free NFT drops for users and LPs from notable & exclusive creators.

Beyond Art: Why NFTs Are Evolving

NFTs are used to denote ownership of unique products. They enable us to tokenize items such as artwork, collectibles, and even real estate.

These tokens can only have one official owner at a time, and they’re protected by the Ethereum blockchain, which means no one can change the ownership record or create a new NFT.

The transaction volume of NFT for various segments, as well as the market size of NFT within the same segments, demonstrate the volatility character of developments in this new market: Gaming transactions decreased, while the value of arts increased.

Blockchain and NFT technologies provide a frictionless and borderless development age for the creative sectors, which includes digital collectibles, digital content, various game types, fashion, digital artwork, entertainment, and sports.

NFTs Market to the Moon

On March 23, 2021, the NFT market capitalization reached an all-time high of $7.48 billion USD.

Spores’ ultimate objective is to create a full-stack NFT platform that includes an NFT minting gateway and a marketplace for trading NFTs, as well as cross-chain interoperable decentralized finance protocols, to address the aforementioned NFT space limits.

Spores Network envisions a cross-chain interoperable full-stack NFT platform that can issue NFTs, auction and exchange assets, and use other DeFi products without any barriers.

Spores uses blockchain and smart contracts to verify NFTs, manage ownership and buy/sell history, and safely decentralize their trading process, all while adhering to intellectual property and copyright licensing to safeguard the benefits of NFT developers and owners.

Why Digital Artists Are Flocking to Spores

Spores Network is equipped with features to facilitate and benefit all participants (artwork & content creators, game developers, entertainment producers, clubs, collectors, celebrities and fans, etc).

Spores comes with all of the necessary features to help and benefit all players (game creators, artwork & content creators, entertainment producers, collectors, celebrities, fans, etc).

SPO Token Specifics:

  • SPO token: Spores Platform’s native token is built for community governance and DeFi usage, with a focus on NFT creators on a DeFi community.
  • Incentivization: Throughout the network, SPO is utilized to reward NFT developers, buyers, agents, and liquidity providers.
  • Transaction fee: To purchase back tokens and fund development ideas, the fee was distributed among NFT Creators, SPO stakeholders, Spores Foundation, and the Reserve Fund.
  • Royalty sharing: Users can create assets and trade NFTs on Spores to generate royalty income streams.

Spores: Making Content King

Spores believes that content is king and expects to launch a venture fund dedicated to NFT + DeFi projects, including blockchain game publishing, that can expand the reach of its ecosystem.

Spores believes content is all and is forming a venture fund dedicated to NFT + DeFi projects to increase its ecosystem’s reach.

It chooses to be predominantly Asian-centric, and it is willing to focus on and promote Asian-dominated industries including digital art, gaming, animation, celebrity, and e-sports.

Differentiators and USPs:

  • Tech USP: In a straightforward manner, creators may mint and manage their NFTs. Spores’ open-source SDK makes it simple for producers to create their own white-labeled mini-site.
  • Creator-friendly USP: Spores’ platform provides a certain level of curation and marketing support for producers. Creators can set up a residual royalty so that they receive x percent of the sales price from every secondary trade, allowing them to profit as their works gain in value.
  • Loyalty USP: Spores will implement a liquidity mining program that pays artists for selling more NFTs pieces on its platform, as well as purchasers for transacting on it.
  • Content USP: Spores intends to focus its marketplace on Asian digital art, gaming, animation, celebrity, and e-sports. From investing in digital artists to co-financing the creation of metaverses and blockchain games, it is willing to license and even co-publish NFT-related projects.

Moreover, crypto marketplaces and/or animation studios like Animoca Brands, Razer, Tencent, Netease, EPIC, EA, and others are looking to enter NFT/blockchain.

The post Introducing Spores Network: The Full-Stack NFT-DeFi Platform appeared first on Blockonomi.

Ripple Seeks to Get Documents From 14 International Crypto Exchanges

Ripple XRP News

As a part of its legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ripple filed a motion on June 2nd to obtain documents from 14 international exchanges that the company believes could serve its case.

If the motion was to be approved it would result in a formal request for Finex, Bitforex, Bithumb, Bitlish, BitMart, AscendEX (formerly Bitmax), Bitrue Singapore, Bitstamp, Coinbene, HitBTC, Huobi Global, Korbit, OKEx, Upbit Singapore, and ZB Network Technology to provide documentation that could prove ripple didn’t violate Section 5 of the Securities Act.

The motion would also require authorities in the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Seychelles, and Malta to help enforce the request.

Ripple’s defense team insists that all XRP sales made by the company took place on foreign exchanges instead of domestic ones, which means the Securities Act was not violated as the transactions took place outside the SEC’s jurisdiction:

“In the case of transactions conducted on such foreign trading platforms, both the offers of XRP and the sales of XRP occurred on the books and records of the respective platforms, and therefore geographically outside the United States. The SEC’s failure to allege domestic offers and sales should be fatal to its claims.”

The motion’s approval would also require assistance from authorities in the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Seychelles, and Malta to help enforce the request.

SEC is Unable To Obtain Legal Docs From Ripple

The motion-filled by Ripple on Tuesday is just the latest chapter in a saga that has been developing since December of 2020 when the SEC filed a lawsuit against the company for violating the securities act after the regulator deemed XRP to be a security.

The previous chapter in the legal battle was the SEC’s defeat when it requested access to privileged legal documents currently in the hands of Ripple’s legal team, claiming that Ripple had waived attorney-client privileges back in March.

Manhattan’s U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn ruled in favor of Ripple on Sunday 30th of May, concluding:

“The SEC’s motion is DENIED. If at some later date, Ripple raises its good faith beliefs or relies upon its privileged communications in support of its fair notice defense, the Plaintiff may renew its application to the Court.”

The magistrate also clarified that her ruling was limited to the claim that Ripple had waived its privileges by asserting a fair notice defense as a result of the lack of notice by the SEC regarding the legal status of XRP.

The SEC’s Case Seems to be Crumbling

The motion filed by Ripple is sure to add weight to its “fair notice” defend, which could have a favorable impact on other lawsuits filed by the SEC against cryptocurrency projects as it also failed to provide warnings in such cases.

A recent Tweet by James K. Filan revealed on June 2nd that the SEC had requested an extension of the deadlines for fact and expert discovery by 60 days, which has been seen as an indication of a lack of clarity in its legal team’s approach.

Jeremy Hogan, a partner at Hogan & Hogan, referred to this news by stating in a tweet:

“The SEC has apparently bitten off more than it can chew and is asking the Court for more time at the dinner table. I don’t know if the Court will grant the extension but I do know that the SEC is way behind the eight ball!”

The lawsuit’s resolution will directly impact the future requirement for the SEC to give fair notice and in the legitimacy of SEC’s claims over jurisdiction over transactions that took place on international exchanges.

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SuperFarm Launches NFT Farming: Benefits For $Super Holders

SuperFarm has announced the launch of new core functionality NFT farming which empowers $SUPER holders and partner projects to leverage their tokens in a non-inflationary way. This launch turned SuperFarm into a new era.

The platform SuperFarm is designed to offer a cross-chain NFT farming platform that makes non-fungible tokens (NFTs) more accessible and easier to get to grips with.

With SuperFarm, anyone is able to set up their own NFTs and NFT farms without any coding knowledge required.

The platform is where users not only can purchase NFTs with points generated by farming and create their own unique NFTs, but also help to break down the technical challenges that typically come with digital collectibles.

More Utilities Are Going to Be Added for the SuperFarm Community

A few days ago, the platform has launched the claim portal and native launchpad SuperStarter, helping it to maintain the fast pace of delivering its product suite.

The NFT Farming is going to live now promises to the SuperFarm community another key piece that will bring powerful utility to the $Super token.

in addition, SuperFarm’s unique tech stack will allow partner projects to use the SuperFarm platform to turn their native token into NFT farms, which is also promised to bring attractive utility to both the project’s and SuperFarm’s communities.

Farming Genesis Series NFTs with SUPER Tokens

To mark this significant milestone, the SuperFarm platform now allows SUPER holders to deploy their tokens and get started with NFT farming.

By staking $SUPER tokens and accruing points on a block-by-block basis based on a proportional share of the total pool, users will be able to redeem these points for SuperFarm Genesis Series NFTs. Unredeemed points will have additional utility in the future.

SuperFarm Merges DeFi and NFTs in New Innovative Ways

The blockchain industry has seen exciting innovations and new applications in both the NFT space and the DeFi landscape.

With the launch of NFT farming on SuperFarm, the platform has made an entirely new level of utility and gamification to the NFT and DeFi world.

NFT farming gives a project’s community an exciting opportunity to get rewards in a non-inflationary way which protects token holders from being “inflated away.”

Also, SuperFarm provides projects endless possibilities to add unique NFT properties and utility by allowing Farmed NFTs to come in different shapes and forms.

Furthermore, projects are able to create a novel gamification aspect to their ecosystem in many creative ways. There is no limit to what can be accomplished with NFT farming.

This Is Just the Beginning

The $Super farm is just the beginning, the platform claimed that multi-asset LP farms including a SUPER/ETH farm to reward liquidity providers will be come up soon.

In addition to giving priority access to drops and enabling farming boosts, the platform promises that users will be received special in-game utility in upcoming SUPERVERSE games on Genesis Series NFTs.

SuperFarm is working on with several partner farms to give users a genuinely immersive and collaborative experience with NFT farming on SuperFarm.

More SuperFarm is Coming

SuperFarm is created by Elliot Wainman, also known as Ellio Trades. He is a famous crypto content creator, trader, and influencer with over 100,000 followers across YouTube and Twitter.

The platform is a cross-chain DeFi protocol allowing users to deploy crypto and NFT farm without code requirements.

The SUPER token is a major component of SuperFarm products. SUPER token holders help shape how the platform develops by voting on governance proposals in the SuperFarm network. Users will need to stake 100,000 SUPER to create their farm that ensures only high-quality farms are launched.

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TRON Partners BSCPad to Launch TRONPAD IDO Platform

Tronpad

TRON has launched an IDO Platform with guidance from the first BSC IDO Platform – BSCPad. BSCPad and TRON have announced that both well-known companies in the cryptocurrency industry are cooperating for new strategic reasons.

Under this partnership, the first native IDO Launchpad will be built on TRON, called TRONPAD. BSCPad is the largest BSC network-based IDO platform while TRON is also one of the largest and most popular blockchain protocols.

Justin Sun, the founder of TRON and the CEO of BitTorrent, expressed his expectation towards the new collaboration for creating more new helpful platforms.

He said:

“The BSCPad team is very strong and knowledgeable, they consist of some of the top players in the space. We are looking forward to taking this collaboration to new heights. As the hyper adoption of crypto continues to explode, TRONPAD will serve as a fair IDO platform for projects launching on the TRON blockchain.”

Meanwhile, the co-founder of BSCPad, Godzilla, also believed that the cooperation of two teams will attract more users by a predictable and provably fair system:

“We are very happy to be collaborating with the TRON team to build the first-ever native IDO platform on one of the largest blockchain networks,” he continues, “We believe that providing users with a predictable and provably fair system gives users the proper incentives to accumulate and hold tokens and support each and every project launched.”

Tron and BSCPad Have Great Synergy

BSCPad team has developed fair decentralized products through its tiered structure. The products empower cryptocurrency projects to distribute tokens and also raise liquidity in a way that includes everyone who holds their tokens.

The team not only continues to improve its launchpad mechanics but also evolve the incentive structure. It rewards all token holders, not just the top 1%.

BSCPad is launched in March of 2021. Until to date, Binance Smart Chain has appealed to many users which has exponential growth in adoption. The platform has seen a growth of over 21,000,000 in BSC unique wallets, and over 5,000,000 in daily transactions.

Therefore, TRONPAD could also drive arrive a similar boom by attracting more people to invest in TRON projects. Tron has many advantages and could be the next big blockchain.

Other New Launches are Coming

Both companies are also building and developing more new plans under this strategic partnership that are released soon.

“TRON and BSC Synergy” is a cooperation project which combines BSCPad of the strength in the West and Tron’s in the East will create a powerful global marketing and IDO platform.

“TRONPAD IDO” is announced in the coming days on the BSCPAD telegram channel and official Twitter account. It will commence exclusively on BSCPad.

BSCPad is known as a fast-growing launchpad in the DeFi space as well a the leader in ATH and ROI. The platform provides benefits to all holders of token and fair launches allowing traders of all levels to invest in the upcoming projects from Binance Smart Chain.

Tron was released by Justin Sun in September 2017, TRON helps to accelerate the decentralization of the internet thanks to blockchain technology and decentralized applications.

Since its establishment, the firm has launched a range of successful products, such as MainNet in May 2018, network independence in June 2018, and the TRON Virtual Machine in August 2018.

The company acquired BitTorrent in July 2018, which is a pioneer in decentralized services owning approximately 100M monthly active users. As a P2P structure, BitTorrent was an early iteration of the ideas that have driven the adoption of blockchain technology.

As developers and companies look for more cost-effective ways to enter the decentralized blockchain space, this new partnership may become extremely popular.

The post TRON Partners BSCPad to Launch TRONPAD IDO Platform appeared first on Blockonomi.

Coinbase Card: Users Can Now Use Apple & Google Pay

Coinbase announced on June 1st that users of its Coinbase Card can now use it with Apple Pay and Google Pay, bringing crypto payments to two of the most popular mobile payment apps.

Selected customers who are already on the waitlist will be invited to start using the service while earning crypto rebates, providing new opportunities for the use of their crypto holding in everyday situations.

The rebate feature will provide users with up to 4% back in crypto rewards when paying using their Coinbase card with Apple pay or Google Pay, a reward that will surely incentivize users to join the 29% of users who are using mobile phone payments in the United States.

The announcement also states that users “can earn 1% back in Bitcoin or 4% back in Stellar Lumens”, which is the latest feature added to the card by Coinbase since its launch in 2020.

Multiple crypto platforms like Binance, Crypto.com, and BlockFi have been stepping up their efforts to promote their own crypto cards as the industry pushes the use of cryptocurrency on retail transactions, boosting the mass adoption of crypto as more than an investment opportunity

Coinbase Pro Lists Dogecoin After Teasing Users

Coinbase Pro announced on June 1st that users are now able to transfer their Dogecoin (DOGE) holdings to their Coinbase Pro accounts ahead of the start of the Trading on June 3rd at 9 AM pacific time.

According to the announcement, the DOGE-USD, DOGE-BTC, DOGE-EUR, DOGE-GBP, and DOGE-USDT, order books will be launched once there is a sufficient supply of DOGE in the platform, with the process taking place in three phases: post-only, limit-only, and full trading.

Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong, had already teased users back on May 15th by saying that the exchange planned to list DOGE in the next six to eight weeks.

Dogecoin has been one of the most popular cryptocurrencies over the past months as big personalities and the internet community have railed behind the coin, which started as a joke, causing its value to increase by 13533.0% over the past year according to CoinGecko data.

The value of the cryptocurrency reacted to the news by raising by about 13%, allowing the cryptocurrency to occupy 6th place by market capitalization with a $47 billion market cap.

Coinbase Plans to Also Act as a Media Company

Armstrong recently shared via an official blog post his belief that “every tech company should go directly to their audience, and become a media company”, a belief that will signify a change in the way the company approaches its users from an educational standpoint.

The blog post announced the launch of a blog section called “Fact Check” in which the company will focus on combating “misinformation and mischaracterizations about Coinbase or crypto being shared in the world.”

While the articles posted by the company so far are reactive in nature, Armstrong stated that the company will be transitioning to a more proactive approach as time goes on in an attempt to educate users on the different elements of the cryptoeconomy.

The company is also planning to move beyond fact-checking by creating original content that highlights the latest events in the world of crypto through the use of podcasts, YouTube, blogs, Twitter, and other channels that make use of blockchain technology such as Bitclout.

While cryptocurrency has been getting a major place in traditional news outlets as it gains popularity, the information provided by these outlets can be biassed due to financial interests and lack of knowledge when it comes to the industry and underlying technologies.

Make no mistake – despite lower prices, cryptos are hitting it at all levels. Look out for the next bull.

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Unizen: Smart Exchange Ecosystem Creating Liquidity Across CeFi & DeFi Ecosystems

Unizen

Unizen is developing a smart exchange ecosystem that concentrates the advantages of centralized exchanges, decentralized exchanges, and effective decision-making tools into a single platform.

This new model allows deep hybrid liquidity and is supported by an interconnected ecosystem including centralized and decentralized exchange elements.

The products and exchanges are all accessible on one platform which helps to reduce trade execution time and mitigate risk through interaction with audited products.

In addition, Unizen allows users to access any asset without leaving the platform and without sending funds between exchanges.

AI-driven social sentiment indicators will take responsibility to show the sentiment at the time when a trade is processed.

Unizen users are able to benefit from process trades with less slippage, higher asset availability, and better security.

What is Unizen?

One of the highlights of Unizen is it supports CeFi and DeFi applications on any network and aggregates trades across the entire ecosystem.

It’s also unique thanks to a partnership with LunarCrush which facilitates social indicators and compliance capabilities via KYC across all modules.

USPs include Binance shared liquidity, multi-asset yield staking, DeFi app onboarding, a cross-chain trade aggregation algorithm, and AI-driven social trade sentiment.

CeDeFi Solutions

The rise of enterprise blockchain solutions has the potential for many news trends, and Centralized Decentralized Finance or CeDeFi is one of the latest trends in the blockchain world.

CeDeFi is a combination of traditional centralized financial organizations with mature DeFi applications. The CeDeFi system brings benefits of regulatory safeguards in traditional systems.

Furthermore, it could also offer the benefits of modern innovative financial infrastructure and products.

The Unizen team believes that traders will be able to find out the best opportunities which are based on liquidity depth and fees, network fees, KYC stipulations, and withdrawal fees through CeDeFi architecture of Unizen.

The platforms in the DeFi world can onboard many applications. The Unizen platform allows for voluntary KMC/AML to be carried out while interacting with hosted DeFi applications.

The world’s largest crypto exchange Binance introduced a smart chain, called Binance Smart Chain (BSC), for supporting users in building and developing decentralized applications.

Binance Smart Chain is also known as Binance CeDeFi. The Binance CeDeFi also has the ability to fund protocols, takes advantage of yield farming, as well as offers support for Ethereum based applications.

The ZCX Token

The native Unizen token is ZCX which is created as an ERC-20 token.
ZCX also mirrors on Binance Smart Chain and can be converted to BEP-20. By integrating Binance Cloud, Binance is able to share liquidity. Users can stake ZCX to fuel the entire Unizen ecosystem and get cross-chain rewards.

CeFi and DeFi Moving Closer

The difference between Centralized Finance (CeFi) and Decentralized Finance DeFi primarily focuses on the opposing principles underlying their two architectures. CeFi requires users to trust a central intermediary while DeFi requires trusting the blockchain-based protocol.

CeDeFi is an amalgamation of CeFi and DeFi. The introduction of CeDeFi brought unique advantages, such as exchanging vetted tokens or projects, resolving the limitations in Defi for earning multiple yields and tokens simultaneously.

Three Key Components Drive Unizen’s Ecosystem

Unizen Modules are custom modules built and integrated by the Unizen team. The Unizen CEX module not only allows users to interact with Binance shared liquidity, but also allows Unizen to list emerging projects before the first third-party module is onboarded.

Third-Party Modules are enabled through an SDK. This helps any module to be onboarded while maintaining strict security and protecting full product innovation thanks to Unizen’s exposure to versatile APIs.

Unizen Custom Logic makes module interaction as seamless as possible.
The key point of the Custom Logic is the trade aggregation algorithm. The algorithm is enabled by Unizen’s data collection and accessed via APIs.

Smart Social Sentiment Indicators make raw data pipelines about user sentiment for a particular asset available. Unizen sets up datasets into indicators to help traders make better decisions.

The Smart Social Sentiment Indicators is a new class of digital asset monitoring platform that provides global traders and retail investors with real-time data about market sentiment.

They are able to access many blockchain projects thanks to the combined functionality of a secure CEX, DEX, AI-driven social sentiment indicators, and Binance liquidity.

How to Trade Crypto on Unizen Platform

ZCX has been listed on several crypto exchanges. Unlike other main cryptocurrencies, ZCX cannot be directly purchased with fiat money. However, traders can easily purchase it by first buying Bitcoin from any large exchanges and then transfer to the exchange that offers to trade this coin.

Dynamic Multi-Asset Staking

Staking ZCX on the Unizen platform allows users to get rewards in a multitude of digital assets. These rewards are not limited to a single network, they are sourced through a node pool operated by the Unizen team, ZenX incubated projects or listing fees.

Dynamic Multi-Asset Staking on BSC aims to support prominent networks, reward ZCX holders, and foster further Unizen innovation. ZCX stakers will have access to early seed and pre-sale rounds for trendy and up-and-coming projects.

The Unizen team is developing blockchain nodes to distribute rewards to stakers. Some projects might also allocate a certain number of tokens to Unizen. Thus, they might vest tokens to existing stakers.

Stakers will also be able to benefit from the ZenX Labs incubator. The big advantage for Unzien stakers is that they receive a variety of different tokens as a reward.

The Founders of Unizen

Unizen is backed by an excellent team.

The company is led by CEO Sean Noga, who is also CEO of Zen Innovations Pte Ltd., which operates the Unzien Smart Exchange Ecosystem. Sean has experienced as a senior advisor with various crypto firms, working with projects like Hathor, DIA, and Verasity, among others.

Unizen CTO Martin Granstrom takes responsibility for spearheading Unizen Group’s software engineering and product development efforts.

In the past, Martin worked at Netrounds (acquired by Juniper Networks), where he managed a DevOps team for a cloud-based AWS microservice application and monitored Tier 1 Operator networks.

With 15 years of experience as a former CEO of multiple startups focused on tech-centric architecture and development in the medical and entertainment industries, the CMO of Unizen, Brandon Dallmann, continues to build a network of networks to support the egalitarian ecosystem of innovation that defines Unizen as a liquidity provider.

Tom Sweeney brings over 30 years of experience in fund management, strategy, and tech investing. He is also Chief Operating Officer of Zen Innovations Pte Ltd and a Managing Partner at JUN Capital Management Ltd.

Look to Unizen for Big Advantages in CeDiFi

The Unizen team would like to bring a shared vision to help crypto newcomers and veteran traders operate on a secure exchange and have access to world-leading liquidity and specifically curated projects.

The company has achieved a wallet count of 3,100 , launched the secured Binance Cloud services, developed the Dynamic Multi-Asset Staking module & ZenX Labs program, and created the Unizen underlying ‘operating system’.

Recently, the team partnered with AllianceBlock, the world first globally compliant decentralized capital market, in order to bring effortless KYC/AML to all DeFi modules for institutional traders

At Unizen, global traders and retail investors alike are provided with a trading infrastructure built on multi-chain deep liquidity from best-in-class centralized and decentralized sources, eliminating the need for trading platform alternatives.

It is a fully modular aggregation of CeFi, DeFi, and AI-driven social sentiment indicators: all in one seamless user experience. To learn more about Unizen, just click right here!

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Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Says Crypto Businesses OK for Indian Banks

India

A new official notice published by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has positively impacted crypto enthusiasts in India as the central bank pointed out that a previous circular preventing banks from making business with crypto industries is no longer valid.

The notice was addressed to all commercials and cooperative banks, payment banks, small finance banks, and other financial institutions on Monday 31st as a result of media reports about certain entities cautioning customers against virtual currencies based on a previous circular.

The RBI circular referred by the notice was originally published on April 06 of 2018 and was titled “Prohibition on dealing in Virtual Currencies (VCs)”. It prohibited all entities regulated by the reserve bank from dealing with or providing services involving any form of virtual currencies.

This forced any entity that was providing such services to stop during the following 3 months.

The circular, which had been cited by some of the country’s biggest banks when cautioning users about Virtual currencies, was later overturned by India’s Supreme Court in 2020. T

he RBI told financial institutions that as a result of the supreme court’s decision, the circular is not only valid but also can’t be cited or quoted from.

The RBI also noted that regulated financial institutions were still able to carry out customer due to diligence processes based on governing standards.

These standards cover Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Combating of Financing of Terrorism (CFT), and obligations of regulated entities under Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

RBI Move Floods Indian Crypto Industry With New Optimism

Despite the increasing uncertainty around the future of the cryptocurrency industry in the world’s 5th largest economy, the news was received with optimism by crypto leaders in the country.

Sumit Gupta, Co-founder, and CEO at CoinDCX, referred to the news by tweeting:

“This is great news directly coming from RBI. RBI clarified the stand around the old circular which was set aside by the honorable Supreme Court. Simply put this is a testament, that banks cannot stop people from investing in crypto.”

The hashtag “IndiaWantsCrypto” was trending in the country soon after the news made it through the country, reflecting the increasing pressure government institution are experiencing when it comes to allowing cryptocurrency companies to operate under a legal framework.

The uncertainty around the legal status of cryptocurrency in the country is also shared by crypto enthusiasts around the world, as the increasing popularity of crypto has increased regulators’ concerns about the implications of widespread adoption.

The Regulatory Landscape In India

Back in February of 2021, the Indian Crypto industry received with concern the news concerning the introduction of legislation that could result in a widespread ban of cryptocurrencies in the country as the government prepared to develop its own digital currency.

The legislation, which was titled “Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021”, could result in the banning of cryptocurrencies while allowing “for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.”

The increasing media coverage around the topic of crypto regulation, which was especially prominent during the second half of May when it cited the 2018 circular, has resulted in increased pressure for the clarification of crypto’s legal status as millions of Indian investors campaign for the repeal of legislation against crypto.

The clarification published by the RBI is widely considered a result of citizen pressure, as some experts believe there were concerns regarding possible lawsuits.

Financial entities in the country have also been using the past circular as a pretext for their position against crypto, which means the reversal could result in the pressure moving from the RBI to them.

With Indian citizens and companies starting to campaign in favor of crypto while the RIB is looking to implement a Central Bank Digital Currency that operates using the technology behind crypto, the need for a clear regulatory framework in the country is clearer than ever.

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Cardano Leading Token in Crypto Market Recovery

Cardano ADA Price

Cardano, which is in the top 10 coins by market capitalization, has been a leading token in the crypto market recovery that took place over the weekend. The platform has announced Cardano’s Alonzo test deployment.

While the total capitalization of the crypto market only increased slightly on Sunday 30th, Cardano’s cryptocurrency (ADA) experienced gains as high as 32% days after the deployment of the Alonzo testnet on May 27th.

According to CoinGecko data, ADA has been the most consistent earner over the past 7 days among the biggest 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, only slightly behind BNB in terms of overall gains.

Cardano Flys Higher

Cardano had been one of the top-performing cryptocurrencies before the recent market crashes, having reached its all-time high of $2.46 on May 16th before seeing its value drop by more than 50% over the next few days.

The previous success behind the cryptocurrency had been the result of its scientific approach toward scalability and performance, which allowed it to become one of the biggest Ethereum contenders along with networks like Binance Smart Chain and Polkadot.

The network also announced on May 23rd that it had reached the 1 million ADA wallets mark, with more than 70% of existing ADA being staked across more than 2.5k pools.

IOHK Launched the First Testnet in Alonzo Rollout

Input-Output Hong Kong (IOHK), the company founded by Charles Hoskinson to drive the development of Cardano, announced on May 27th that it had successfully deployed the first testnet in the Alonzo Rollout.

Also named Alonzo Blue, the testnet is the network’s early alpha network designed to provide the core network functionality for the Alonzo node.

Along with the announcement of the deployment, IOHK also stated that it had started the process of onboarding a select group of stake pool operators and “Plutus Pioneers” to better develop the foundations.

Alonzo Blue is the first phase in the deployment of the Alonzo update. It will be followed by Alonzo White, Alonzo Purple, Alonzo Red, and finally, Alonzo Black.

Over the next months after Alonzo Blue’s deployment, the program will be expanded to include users as new features and testnet functionalities are added.

The Alonzo hard fork will bring smart contract functionalities to the Cardano network, marking an important milestone in the development of the blockchain network as it will open new doors for the development of dApps and platforms.

Will Cardano and Altcoins Outperform Ethereum?

Raoul Pal, a former Goldman Sachs executive, has recently shared his belief that Cardano and other altcoins could outperform Ethereum once the Bull market returns.

The Co-Founder and CEO of Real Vision Group was recently interviewed by Crypto Banter. After being asked about his crypto investment strategy, Pal made an analogy between traditional and crypto markets:

“In traditional markets, once an established trend takes place, you move out the risk curve. So from Bitcoin, being like government bonds, you then go to Ethereum which is like corporate bonds, and then you go to junk bonds, which is all the other stuff, and then private-sector lending. So I’m just moving out the risk curve because the trend is established, and I know that in a bull market, ETH will outperform Bitcoin and alts will outperform ETH.”

He also stated that his belief was not necessarily based on his belief if Cardano or Polkadot will surpass Ethereum, but on the general trend that would arise in the case of a bull market that affects Ethereum and Bitcoin.

While Cardano has a lot going for it, given the mixed signals that global governments are sending to the crypto markets, caution on the future direction of any token is warranted.

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Binance Announces Launch of NFT Marketplace

Binance NFTs

Binance announced that it will be launching its own Non-fungible Token (NFT) market on June 24, following the steps of platforms like Crypto.com and Gemini.

The platform aims to become the “ultimate destination” for NFT and digital collectible enthusiasts looking to add content from some of the “world´s top creators and artists” to their digital collections.

Over the next weeks, the exchange will be announcing the name of some of the creators that will be launching their content on the platform on June 24, with a slate that will include digital artists, musicians, athletes, and celebrities.

So far, Binance has announced that users will have access to content by Two-time BRIT Award winner Lewis Capaldi, visual artist Trevor Jones, Esports team eStarPro, and football stars Michael Owen and Alphonso Davies.

A program for content creators by the name of the “Innovative creators program” was announced earlier in May to allow content creators interested in joining the emerging NFT collectibles space to do so.

The marketplace will make use of Binance Smart Chain, the network launched by Binance back in April of 2019, which has become an increasingly popular alternative to the Ethereum network over the past months when it comes to NFTs and Decentralized Finance.

CipherTrace Now Supports Binance Smart Chain

CipherTrace, one of the leading cryptocurrency cybersecurity companies in the world, announced on May 27th that it has added analytics support for Binance Smart Chain, which will allow the identification of higher-risk financial transactions taking place in the network.

The addition of Binance Smart Chain support is just the latest addition to the more than 1000 virtual assets that the cybersecurity firm already analyzes, expanding the compliance support the company can provide projects looking to make use of the blockchain network.

CipherTrace’s CEO, Dave Jean, referred to the development by stating:

“We are very excited to announce analytics support for one of the fastest-growing blockchains currently being deployed by developers. One of the advantages of our data attribution system is that once we add analytics for a blockchain, we also add support for all applications built on that network. This efficient system gives us the ability to adjust to the constantly-changing cryptocurrency landscape much faster than competitors, setting us apart from other blockchain analytics companies.”

As regulatory concerns in the crypto space continue to grow, analytics solution is becoming more important for projects relying on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency as it allows the compliance with global anti-laundering regulations.

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao: No One Can Shut Bitcoin Down

Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao (also known as CZ), referred to the inability of any government or regulator to shut down Bitcoin due to the growing popularity the cryptocurrency has acquired over the past years, which in conjunction with its decentralization makes it to resilient to censoring efforts.

Speaking at the Consensus 2021 virtual conference, CZ referred to the growing regulatory efforts by government entities around the world that can no longer ignore the growing cryptocurrency ecosystem but also are unable to shut it down.

Referring to Crypto as a “new tool that can increase the freedom of money all around the world”, Zhao shared his belief that regulators should embrace crypto and blockchain technology, as the crypto industry is not meant to be a competitor and should be able to work together with regulators.

It was reported back on May 13th that Binance was facing an investigation by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) concerning the role that the use of the crypto exchange could be playing on tax evasion and money laundering.

While Binance was not accused of misbehaving in any way, the news resulted in a drop in the crypto market total market capitalization as well in Binance Coin’s (BNB) value. Back then, CZ criticized how the article had mischaracterized the exchange’s collaboration with the agencies despite having described their position.

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PARSIQ Adds Advisor & Investor Evan Cheng to Team

Evan Cheng just joined the PARSIQ team as an investor and adviser. Cheng is a heavyweight in the world of high-profile tech and blockchain companies.

Cheng is already an advisory at Chainlink, a decentralized oracle network that provides live data to the blockchains, and his full-time job is the Head of Novi Research at Facebook, a division that focuses on advancing blockchain and crypto.

His strategic background and experience mean a unique growth opportunity for PARSIQ. He was involved as an advisor to Chainlink and Zilliqa from their very beginnings. Cheng also held the position of Director of Engineering, Programming Languages, and Runtimes for Facebook.

Cheng, who worked at Apple for over 10 years, is a big fan of what PARSIQ is doing.

He commented,

“Blockchain data & analytics is a rapidly growing field, supported by the increasing usage and popularity of projects in this space. PARSIQ stands out among its peers by enabling programmable triggers on top of streaming data with high precision and high availability. PARSIQ is a game changer and I’m thrilled to be working with the team as a strategic investor and technical advisor.”

He has the appropriate experience and knowledge to advise the PARSIQ team on developing their core products and services, including the stream processing language ParsiQL and the PARSIQ Platform as a whole.

PARSIQ is Putting Blockchain Data to Good Use

PARSIQ is a unique performer on the blockchain, they do what no one else does. They provide data monitoring and automation across most blockchains and Layer 2 chains, bridging off-chain and on-chain apps and allowing users and projects to be notified of real-time transactions and occurrences.

The PARSIQ blockchain currently supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Solana, Celo, Dash, and Algorand as an effort to automate all processes and user applications.

The platform grows and learns consistently while storing data and releasing alerts across the entire network of chains. While there is loads of data being produced in the blockchain space, there aren’t many great ways to use it effectively.

In addition, there needs to be a solid way to connect both blockchain and data from the real world.

PARSIQ is a new type of platform.

It is time for the crypto space to evolve from a currently narrowed network interoperability to one that establishes connectivity between this novel blockchain technology and the off-chain world.

Many off-chain events can be used as a part of the blockchain ecosystem, but the connecting infrastructure is still under construction.

The blockchain’s co-founders and the team strongly believe that transparency and simplification are key for blockchain to achieve mainstream adoption. PARSIQ has busy times ahead of them, as they announce new partnerships with companies like Polkadot in their mission to make blockchain data usable.

Connecting Platforms

PARSIQ is a multi-level bridge between blockchains and off-chain applications, as well as a blockchain monitoring and workflow automation platform. In terms of offering a great view of blockchain data, it is an extremely valuable tool.

PARSIQ technology is a proprietary ParsiQL programming language that allows users to monitor and comprehend an infinite stream of data on the blockchain, allowing traders and everyday users to keep track of their wallets.

The platform’s developers will continue to innovate and improve features in the future to make the blockchain more accessible to everyone. PARSIQ is becoming a blockchain to watch and offers real value to users, investors, and developers.

It all comes down to connections, and PARSIQ is making it work for everyone. With the addition of Evan Cheng, the platform is growing its already impressive capacity to grow.

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PayPal Will Expand its Crypto Operations: Coin Withdrawals Soon

PayPal

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, a PayPal executive, announced at the Consensus 2021 conference that the company was actively working on the development of a cryptocurrency withdrawal feature.

The General Manager for PayPal’s Blockchain, Crypto, and Digital Currencies division referred to the future feature by stating:

“We want to make it as open as possible, and we want to give choice to our consumers, something that will let them pay in any way they want to pay. They want to bring their crypto to us so they can use it in commerce, and we want them to be able to take the crypto they acquired with us and take it to the destination of their choice.”

The feature would be a long-waited addition to the PayPal ecosystem, which adopted crypto back in 2020 by allowing its United States Costumers to acquire and sell cryptocurrency via the platform. This support was later on extended to allow users to pay using their cryptocurrency balance upon checkout.

While PayPal’s endorsement of crypto was well received by most cryptocurrency advocates, some critics were quick to point out that the features were lacking functionality to be consistent with crypto’s ethos, as the platform forced users to keep the cryptocurrency use limited to the PayPal ecosystem.

Crypto Is Becoming an Essential Component of PayPal

PayPal’s interest in cryptocurrency has been increasing over the months, with the company’s CEO telling Time Magazine back in April that, “Demand on the crypto side has been multiple-fold to what we initially expected. There’s a lot of excitement.”

In the Interview, Dan Schulman also said that the company’s interest in cryptocurrency and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) has been brewing for about six years, but executives had considered that crypto was lacking when it came to acting as a currency, citing its volatility.

The addition of crypto futures is a reflection of the company believes in the future of crypto, as Schulman believes that the next decade will bring, “a tremendous decline in the use of cash” and “Credit cards as a form factor will go away,” something he believes will mark the, “advent of digital currencies.”

While digital currencies also refer to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) being developed by governments around the world, he believes that CBDCs won’t take the spotlight away from crypto but will coexist with them.

PayPalCoin is Not Here Yet

Rumors about the possibility of a PayPal stablecoin gained popularity in early May, resulting from an exclusive report by “The Block” which gave prominence to the rumor. According to the website, four sources shared that the company had been holding exploratory talks around the topic of stablecoin development.

While the company did not confirm the rumors at the time, a spokesperson referred to the rumors by stating:

“As a global company working with regulators and industry partners throughout the world to shape the next generation of financial systems, the company is in frequent conversation about technologies that enable these goals. However, rumors and speculation are not predictive of the company’s future plans.”

Despite the statement, rumpus continued to circulate the crypto space, which prompted the moderator at the Consensus 2021 conference to ask Schulman about the possible launch of a PayPal stablecoin, with PayPal CEO replying that “This is way too early”.

The launch of a stablecoin by a company with the influence and userbase of PayPal could further increase interest in cryptocurrency by users who might not be familiar with it, as PayPal is one of the most recognized and used digital payment solutions in the world.

The use of cryptos in PayPal’s multitude of platforms may create more demand for digital assets going forward.

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Will Michael Saylor’s Bitcoin Mining Council Work?

Bitcoin Mining

Michael Saylor has announced his intent to form a Bitcoin Mining Council. The initiative, which counts with the support of the leading Bitcoin mining operations in North America, aims to promote sustainability initiatives and increase transparency worldwide.

The announcement was made by Michael Saylor, Founder, and CEO of MicroStrategy, via a Tweet on May 24th amid growing concerns about the environmental impact of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency mining continue to increase.

The debate around the energy requirements of crypto mining has become a major source of the escalation between Bitcoin critics and supporters, becoming one of the most influential factors in the market’s behavior.

According to Saylor’s tweet, the creation of the Bitcoin Mining Council was the result of a meeting between himself and executives representing crypto mining operations like Argo, Blockcap, Core Scientific, Galaxy Digital, Hive, Hut 8 Mining, Marathon Digital Holdings, and Riot Blockchain, some of the most influential companies in the crypto space.

The organization was formed with the intention to “standardize energy reporting, pursue industry ESG goals, & educate+grow the marketplace.”

These goals should help address the growing concerns by environmentalists, regulators, and the general public who find themselves puzzled by the conflicting information that has surfaced over the past months.

The Council is Already the Center of Controversy

While few details have been provided when it comes to how these objectives will be achieved by the organization, experts and investors are already speculating and offering suggestions on what the best approaches could be.

With all the parties involved in the creation of the Council, users are worried that their interests could be the ones guiding the actions taking by the council instead of the interest of the average Bitcoin user.

Critics have also been quick to point out the risk that such an organization could represent in terms of “centralizing” power in a way that could allow the manipulation of the decentralized cryptocurrency.

Peter Wall, CEO of Argo Blockchain, referred to concerns about the power the council could hold over Bitcoin’s protocol by stating:

“We’re not talking about Bitcoin code or block size or anything related to changing the nature of Bitcoin, We all love Bitcoin the way it is, as a decentralized, permissionless system.”

While Saylor has been a major supporter of cryptocurrency, his lack of experience when it comes to cryptocurrency mining has been pointed out by critics of the organization who believe the initiative should be led by an actual expert.

Leading a Leaderless Community

As the cryptocurrency that started the blockchain and crypto movement which has gained the support of billions of people around the world, the decision to create a council to make decisions regarding the network has been one of the central topics in the crypto space for the past 2 days.

In the past, companies have agreed to work together to boost the evolution and growth of Bitcoin, as was the case with the Bitcoin Scaling Agreement at Consensus 2017, also known as the New York Agreement, in which more than 50 companies met behind closed doors to decide Bitcoin’s future.

While the new council has claimed not to be interested in changing the underlying infrastructure of the network in any way but only to coordinate efforts to defend bitcoin against “uninformed” and “hostile” critics, the precedent has proven worrisome for Bitcoin veterans.

Great American Mining co-founder, Marty Bent, shared his concerns by stating:

“It’s extremely concerning that this group of bitcoiners wandered into this ‘meeting’ without any sense of self-awareness. Do they not recall the last time there was a closed-door meeting that involved industry stakeholders who attempted to speak on behalf of an entire industry? How did they think this would turn out? The hubris is astounding.”

While it certainly is still too early to know what the creation of the Council will imply for the crypto ecosystem in terms of “leadership”, the dichotomy that its creation and intention imply has proven to be mobilizing enough for a debate around what constitutes “decentralization” and how far it extends to ensue.

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