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Παρασκευή 27 Ιανουαρίου 2023

Fortune Unicorn Club (FUC), the First DIY-Mint Method NFT Project, Has Won 2 Million in Funding in the ForChain Labs’ Seed Round

PRESS RELEASE. ForChain Labs was founded in April 2022 as a web 3 startup company. Meanwhile, the NFT project, Fortune Unicorn Club, was being developed. ForChain Labs has raised 2 million funds in its seed round and will use the funds to develop and operate Fortune Unicorn Club (FUC), the first NFT project to utilize DIY-minting.

As reported, ForChain Labs currently manages investments in four major segments: industrial, technology, finance, and web 2, with 198 portfolio companies and $9.3 billion in assets. As a result, the venture capital sector is actively exploring opportunities in the Web 3 market, and ForChain Labs has become one of the VC’s first companies to be backed by a Web 3 company. Due to confidentiality agreements, we cannot disclose more information about the venture capital firm at this time.

Fortune Unicorn Club (FUC) allows people to select traits during their mint. It offers 500+ high-quality 3D traits for people to assemble their FUC avatar, so the minter is the one to decide what the metadata is and the one to decide what each unique FUC avatar looks like. Thus, the NFT collection is generated by pure human aesthetics rather than generated by a cold random program or AI. ForChain Labs hopes people can put their personalities and stories into each FUC avatar using the DIY-mint method. In addition, it lets each FUC avatar carry an additional sentiment value, making the FUC collection more meaningful.

Furthermore, FUC has built its Create-to-Earn system. Minter (who decides what the unique FUC avatar looks like) will become Avatar Creator and receive 3% royalties on the avatar they created for life. Minters can claim their royalties anytime in FUC Holder Portal. The team aims to lower the threshold of co-creation and encourage people to co-create an NFT collection through this approach.

Metaverse and AR are also parts of FUC’s roadmap. However, the team claims it will never build its metaverse but will keep adapting for more popular metaverses. The team believes there are more proper ways to bring holders value than creating a metaverse. Instead, they will bring holders eternal value by building its compatibility and adapting FUC avatars into increasingly popular metaverses. Soon, holders can get into metaverses with the FUC avatar they created.

More Info:

https://fortuneunicorn.club/

https://twitter.com/FortuneUnicornC

https://discord.gg/joinfuc

 

 


This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.



from Bitcoin News

Coinbase Fined €3.3 Million in Netherlands, Exchange Considers Appeal

Coinbase Fined €3.3 Million in Netherlands, Exchange Considers Appeal

The Dutch central bank has imposed a fine on crypto exchange Coinbase for providing services in the past without the necessary registration. The trading platform, which has until March to object to the measure, is currently considering an appeal against the move.

Dutch Monetary Authority Fines Coinbase for Operating Without Registration

De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has imposed an administrative fine of €3,325,000 (over $3.6 million) on Coinbase Europe Limited, on Jan. 18, 2023. An announcement explained the penalty with the exchange offering crypto services in the Netherlands in a past period without registering with the central bank.

That, according to the regulator, constitutes non-compliance with Dutch rules as companies that want to provide crypto-related services are required to register with the DNB under the country’s Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act.

The monetary authority further detailed that the base amount for this category of fines is €2 million while pointing out that the fine in case with Coinbase has been increased “due to the severity and degree of culpability of the non-compliance.”

“In increasing the fine, DNB took into account the fact that Coinbase is one of the largest crypto service providers globally. Moreover, Coinbase has a significant number of customers in the Netherlands that make use of its crypto services,” the bank said and noted the exchange hasn’t paid any supervisory fees.

The Dutch central bank also highlighted that Coinbase operated without registration for a prolonged period of time, between mid-November, 2020 and late August, 2022, emphasizing it considers that a severe non-compliance.

However, the DNB also reduced the fine by 5% as it said Coinbase had always intended to obtain registration in the Netherlands, which it did on Sept. 22, last year. The registration requirement for crypto service providers was introduced in May, 2020.

The lack of registration meant that the global exchange was unable to report unusual transactions to the Dutch Financial Intelligence Unit during the said period and these transfers may have gone unnoticed by the investigative authorities, the bank insisted.

Coinbase will be able to object to the fine until March 2, 2023. The exchange was quoted by Reuters as stating it disagreed with the decision of the DNB, which it said “includes no criticism of our actual services.” The crypto company is now considering an appeal.

In July 2022, De Nederlandsche Bank imposed an identical measure against Binance. The world’s largest crypto exchange was also fined the same amount in euros for offering crypto services in the Netherlands without the required registration.

Do you think the Dutch central bank will fine other crypto service providers? Tell us in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Financial Advisors See Strong Interest in Crypto — 90% Receive Inquiries About Crypto Investing, Survey Shows

Financial Advisors Say Interest in Crypto Remains Strong — 90% Receive Questions About Crypto Investing, Survey Shows

A new survey shows that interest in cryptocurrency remains strong among financial advisors’ clients. “Despite market performance, the most common question was: ‘Should I consider an investment in crypto?'” the survey results reveal.

Financial Advisors Bullish About Crypto Long Term

Crypto asset manager Bitwise Asset Management published a report titled “Bitwise/Vettafi 2023 Benchmark Survey of Financial Advisor Attitudes Toward Crypto Assets” on Tuesday. This is Bitwise’s fifth annual study conducted in collaboration with Vettafi, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) platform.

The survey was conducted between Nov. 25, 2022, and Jan. 6, 2023, with the participation of 491 financial advisors, including independent registered investment advisors, broker-dealer representatives, financial planners, and wirehouse representatives from across the U.S. According to the survey findings:

Despite the sharp market correction of 2022, financial advisors remain highly engaged in crypto markets, with 15% allocating in client accounts and 90% receiving inbound questions from clients about the space.

“The survey is a reminder that crypto is one of the best business development opportunities in the financial advisor market,” said Bitwise’s chief investment officer, Matt Hougan.

The majority of respondents are bullish about bitcoin in the long term but bearish this year, with 63% expecting BTC to fall in 2023 while 60% believe it will be higher in five years. “While advisors’ interest in bitcoin (41%) was roughly twice that of ethereum (20%), their bullishness toward the two largest crypto assets was almost evenly split,” Bitwise described, adding that 53% favored BTC while 47% preferred ETH.

Reiterating that client interest in crypto “remains strong” as 90% of financial advisors “received a question about crypto from clients last year,” the report details:

Despite market performance, the most common question was: ‘Should I consider an investment in crypto?’

“Despite market volatility, 78% of advisors who currently have an allocation in client accounts plan to either maintain or increase that exposure in 2023,” the survey additionally found. Among respondents, 59% said “some” or “all” of their clients were investing in crypto on their own.

Moreover, “crypto equity ETFs” were financial advisors’ top crypto investment choice for 2023. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved several bitcoin futures ETFs but has yet to approve a spot bitcoin ETF.

Vettafi’s head of research, Todd Rosenbluth, commented:

Advisors and their end clients continue to want to learn more about crypto investments despite the volatility incurred in 2022. For those with a long-term focus, interest remains high.

What do you think about this survey? Let us know in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Arizona Senator Launches Bill to Make Bitcoin Legal Tender

Arizona Senator Launches Bill to Make Bitcoin Legal Tender

A senator in the U.S. state of Arizona has introduced a set of cryptocurrency bills, one of which seeks to make bitcoin legal tender. “Centralized digital money controlled by the central bankers is slavery. Decentralized bitcoin is freedom,” the lawmaker said.

Arizona Lawmaker Wants to Make Bitcoin Legal Tender

Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers has introduced several crypto-related bills, including one to make bitcoin legal tender in her state.

“Launched my crypto bills today,” Rogers tweeted Tuesday. The bills are co-sponsored by her state senate Republican colleagues Jeff Weninger and J.D. Mesnard.

One of the bills proposes making bitcoin legal tender. The legislation defines the cryptocurrency as “the decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currency in which a record of transactions is maintained on the bitcoin blockchain and new units of currency are generated by the computational solution of mathematical problems and that operates independently of a central bank.”

Another bill proposes allowing state agencies to enter “into an agreement with a cryptocurrency issuer to provide a method to accept cryptocurrency as a payment method of fines, civil penalties or other penalties, rent, rates, taxes, fees, charges, revenue, financial obligations, and special assessments to pay any amount due to that agency or this state.”

Rogers introduced a similar bill to make bitcoin legal tender in Arizona last year but it was quickly shot down. She tweeted last April:

Centralized digital money controlled by the central bankers is slavery. Decentralized bitcoin is freedom.

In September 2021, El Salvador became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar. Since then, the country, led by the pro-bitcoin president Nayib Bukele, has purchased thousands of BTC for its treasury. Last November, Bukele announced that El Salvador is buying bitcoin every day.

Do you think bitcoin will become legal tender in the U.S.? Let us know in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Russia Mulls Gold-backed Stablecoin, Lawmaker Confirms After Iran Visit

Russia Mulls Gold-backed Stablecoin, Lawmaker Confirms After Iran Visit

Russia may issue a stablecoin backed by gold to use in international settlements, a high-ranking member of the Russian parliament has admitted. The matter has been discussed during a recent visit to Iran where officials have also signaled interest in such an initiative.

Iran and Russia Talk Stablecoin Payments for Bilateral Trade Settlements

The Russian Federation is considering the creation of a stablecoin backed by gold that can be employed for cross-border settlements, including with Iran, the chairman of the Financial Market Committee at the lower house of Russian parliament, Anatoly Aksakov, told the Parlamentskaya Gazeta newspaper.

“We discussed the issuance of stablecoins, digital financial assets (DFAs) backed by certain valuables. For example, I spoke about gold, gold bars, refineries can provide them, or centers where gold is stored, and DFAs are issued against these reserves,” the lawmaker explained after a visit by a Russian delegation to the Islamic Republic.

Such a stablecoin can then be used as a means of payment, in mutual settlements between Russia and Iran for example, Aksakov elaborated, also quoted by the Interfax news agency. He added that the proposal has been received with interest from the Iranian side.

The high-ranking member of the State Duma further noted that Iran has a large debt for goods supplied by Russia. At the same time, the Iranian currency, the rial, fluctuates significantly and has two exchange rates to the U.S. dollar — the official, approved by the Central Bank of Iran, and the market rate — which is inconvenient in terms of calculations for Russian exports.

News that Tehran and Moscow are discussing the possible launch of a digital currency backed by gold came out earlier in January when the head of the Russian crypto industry association told the business daily Vedomosti that Iran’s central bank is mulling over developing one with Russian participation. The token would be used to facilitate trade in the Persian region, the executive revealed.

Gold-Backed Russian Digital Currency First Proposed in 2019

The idea to issue a Russian gold-backed stablecoin was initially circulated in May 2019, during a meeting at the State Duma joined by the governor of the Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina. At the time, the member of the house Vladimir Gutenev suggested that the central bank should initiate talks on the matter with the other BRICS countries and insisted:

Gold is the least vulnerable asset. We could probably find understanding in China, India, and Brazil.

“But these are rather not cryptocurrencies, maybe so-called stablecoins,” remarked Anatoly Aksakov, while Nabiullina indicated that the monetary authority is open to a stablecoin backed by a real asset. A proposal for a ‘golden ruble’ stablecoin was also featured in a report by the VEB.RF Institute for Research and Expertise released in the summer of 2022.

Pressed by Western sanctions, Russia and Iran have been also exploring options to use decentralized cryptocurrencies to circumvent restrictions in foreign trade. In August, last year, Iran placed its first official import order using crypto while Russia is taking steps to legalize cross-border crypto payments. A digital ruble and a crypto rial that are not backed by gold are also under development.

Do you think Russia will issue a stablecoin backed by gold in the near future? Share your expectations in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Πέμπτη 26 Ιανουαρίου 2023

PAYB․IO Makes Shopping Easier for Cryptocurrency Holders and Significantly Saves Their Time

PRESS RELEASE. (London, United Kingdom) – The operator of cryptocurrency purchases on the e-commerce market, PAYB.IO improves and expands its international operations.

Their innovative solution allows cryptocurrency holders from around the world to use a multi shopping cart to place orders in multiple online stores simultaneously, saving time and streamlining the shopping process.

With PAYB.IO and its new multi-basket, users in one transaction can place an order in up to 10 different stores in various countries and pay for them all with just one cryptocurrency transaction. This eliminates the need for multiple logins and payment transactions in different FIAT currencies. Such a unique solution, pioneered by PAYB.IO, makes shopping substantially easier and saves users’ time.

Save with PAYB.IO

The company is open to cooperation with projects that have their own token, enabling clients or team members to pay with them in online stores. Furthermore, PAYB.IO establishes partnerships to offer additional discounts for cryptocurrency holders. For more information on these deals, follow PAYB.IO on social media.

About PAYB.IO

PAYB.IO is a European company that supports purchases in online stores that do not accept cryptocurrency payments. The platform also offers a growing list of supported cryptocurrencies and constantly expands to include more tokens.

In addition to its secure and licensed payment system, PAYB.IO has gained the trust of its users by handling both large and small purchases.

For more information on PAYB.IO and its services, visit their website and watch their explanatory video.

Social Media & Contact:

Website | Twitter | Telegram | YouTube | Facebook | [email protected]

 


This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.



from Bitcoin News

Lido Protocol Reveals Plans for Withdrawal Feature Ahead of Ethereum’s Shanghai Hard Fork

Lido Protocol Reveals Plans for Withdrawal Feature Ahead of Ethereum's Shanghai Hard Fork

While the Ethereum community prepares for the upcoming Shanghai hard fork in March, the development team for the liquid staking project Lido revealed plans to create an in-protocol withdrawal feature. Lido’s team is seeking community feedback on the proposal that would allow withdrawals after the Shanghai upgrade is completed.

Lido Dominates Defi Economy With $7.9 Billion in Total Value Locked, Team Prepares for Shanghai Withdrawals

As of the time of writing, the decentralized finance (defi) liquid staking protocol Lido is the most dominant defi protocol today, in terms of total value locked (TVL). Statistics from defillama.com show that Lido’s $7.92 billion TVL dominates the $46.56 billion TVL held in defi today by approximately 17.01%.

Lido is the largest holder of staked ethereum as the protocol commands around 29% of the staked ether supply. Lido’s ethereum derivative token STETH is the 13th largest market valuation in the cryptocurrency economy with $7.73 billion. Furthermore, Lido has a governance token called lido dao (LDO), which has a market capitalization of around $1.96 billion on Jan. 25, 2023. The day prior, Lido’s development team published a proposal concerning withdrawals after the Shanghai upgrade.

Ethereum developers are determined to make the Shanghai hard fork happen this March and the main focus is allowing staked withdrawals. “The design proposed by Lido on the Ethereum Protocol Engineering team addresses these challenges with the in-protocol withdrawal requests queue,” the Lido team explains in a summary of the withdrawals landscape via the Lido protocol. “The process has to be asynchronous, due to the asynchronous nature of ethereum withdrawals,” the Lido developers add.

The Lido developers explain there would be various modes of withdrawals including a “turbo” feature and a “bunker” feature. Further penalties and slashing would be codified for validators that break the rules. The summary explains how slashings affect a user’s withdrawal request fulfillment.

“We are seeking the community’s feedback to make sure that our proposal takes all important considerations into account and to identify any potential improvements,” the Lido team details. “Your feedback is invaluable to create a proposal that is effective, efficient, and fair for all stakeholders.”

What are your thoughts on Lido’s proposal for in-protocol withdrawal requests and the upcoming Shanghai hard fork? Do you think this feature will have a significant impact on the crypto and defi market? Share your opinions in the comments below.



from Bitcoin News

ViaBTC Capital and CoinEx Release the 2022 Crypto Annual Report: Review of Nine Sectors and Forecast of Crypto Trend in 2023

In January 2023, ViaBTC Capital and CoinEx jointly released the 2022 Crypto Annual Report to offer data analysis and insights into nine sectors, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, stablecoins, NFT, public chains, DeFi, SocialFi, GameFi and regulatory policies. This report also predicts the crypto trend in 2023.

According to the report, affected by factors such as the macro environment and bull-to-bear transition, the whole cryptocurrency industry became bearish in 2022. In particular, following the Terra meltdown in May, most cryptocurrency sectors were hit by the bearish impact. Below is the overview of each segment.

1. Bitcoin

In 2022, the overall performance of Bitcoin remained sluggish, with significant declines in price and trading volume compared to 2021. The price at the end of 2022 even fell below the peak of the last bull market. The price trend of Bitcoin throughout the year is obviously influenced by the pace of US interest rate hikes, but as the US interest rate hike policy continues to advance, its impact on the price of bitcoin is gradually diminished. Regarding BTC mining, the network difficulty remained at a historic high. Meanwhile, the mining revenue plummeted, and miners have had to shut down their old models. Affected by multiple factors, the mining industry witnessed a strong crowding-out effect, which drove owners of small mining farms out of the market for various reasons. At the same time, long-established mining pools and mining farms managed to maintain a certain level of stability.

2. Ethereum

The primary statistics of Ethereum trended downward in 2022. In addition to the secondary market price and transaction volume, the on-chain data, including TVL, transaction cost, active address and burning volume also took a plunge. Despite that, the network did achieve a lot of progress in 2022. On September 15, Ethereum completed the historic transition from PoW to PoS. The Merge significantly cut the network’s energy consumption and daily output, thereby reducing the dumping pressure from secondary markets. Meanwhile, Layer 2 projects such as Arbitrum, Optimism, zkSync, and Starknet launched their mainnet either in whole or in part. Although their daily transaction volume was far less than Ethereum mainnet, the projects exceeded Ethereum in terms of the number of addresses. Moreover, their gas fee was generally 1/40 of that charged by Ethereum. At the same time, the network also saw an exponential increase in gas fees during 2022.

3. Stablecoins

The stablecoin market as a whole was stable in 2022. Specifically, throughout the year, the supply of stablecoins fell from $157 billion to $148 billion, a 6% drop. In this regard, the fall was not substantial. With respect to centralized stablecoins, USDT maintained its dominance, while BUSD is growing rapidly on Binance’s back. By contrast, algorithmic stablecoins were hit hard by the fall of LUNA, which shattered the faith in decentralized stablecoins and reduced trading volumes. As a result, there was a clear drop in the number of new decentralized stablecoins.

4. Public chains

Despite the rough market conditions in 2022, public chains remained a competitive sector. Due to the overflow of demand caused by the congestion of the Ethereum network, the new public chain with low fees maintained a bright performance before May. However, as various bad news brewed and fermented, a series of bankrupt occurred one after another. Many public chains were greatly impacted, and the decline was even worse than that of Ethereum. In May, Terra collapsed in only a few days, making it the first well-known public chain to fall. Furthermore, the Terra meltdown was also a signal that the market turned fully bearish. In November, hit by the fall of FTX and Alameda Research, Solana’s token price and TVL took another plunge, and the projects within its ecosystem were also hurt. Other new chains such as Fantom and Avalanche were also struggling. At the same time, a number of new public chains, including Layer 2 projects like Arbitrum and Optimism and Meta-related chains such as Aptos and Sui, made their debut in 2022.

5. NFT

Last year, the NFT sector declined after its initial boom. In April, the market cap of the NFT reached $4.15 billion, a historic high; In May, driven by the boom of Otherside, a metaverse NFT collection developed by Yuga Labs, the trading volume of the sector hit a record high of $3.668 billion. But soon afterward, as the NFT market turned sluggish, the trading volume declined. Meanwhile, the price of blue-chip NFTs, as well as the ETH price, plummeted, which both negatively affected the market. On the other hand, the number of NFT holders kept growing and reached a historic high in December.

6. DeFi

DeFi’s TVL also trended downward in 2022. In particular, during the LUNA/UST meltdown in May, mainstream coins witnessed the most spectacular crash in the history of cryptocurrencies, which was followed by a TVL collapse. Additionally, over the year, DeFi also suffered frequent hacks, which raised security concerns for DeFi. In terms of innovation, although the first two quarters of 2022 saw trending hypes about DeFi 2.0 from time to time, along with the slump of OHM and the (3, 3) meme, DeFi 2.0 was almost proven to be a completely false narrative, and the market shifted its attention back to DeFi 1.0 infrastructure projects such as Uniswap, Aave, and MakerDAO. Despite the bearish conditions, mainstream DeFi projects including AAVE and Compound managed to maintain steady operations and attracted many new users from certain CeFi projects (e.g. Celsius and FTX).

7. SocialFi

In 2022, the blockchain industry continued to explore new possibilities for SocialFi. Over the year, we saw the appearance of iconic terms like Fan Token, Soulbound Token (SBT), Web3 Social, and Decentralized Identity (DID), but the PMF (Product- Market Fit) was never identified. Despite that, the SocialFi still managed to present us with a number of star projects, including Web3 lifestyle app STEPN featuring SocialFi elements, credential network Galxe, BNB Chain domain name service SPACE ID, social graph Lens Protocol, and Web3 gamified social learning platform Hooked Protocol. Apart from that, the 2022 Qatar World Cup also helped Fan Tokens attract extensive market attention. As a result, instead of plummeting due to the bearish impact, the Fan Tokens also performed slightly better in 2022 than in 2021.

8. GameFi

2022 was also the beginning of the GameFi bear. There was no significant innovation in P2E blockchain game model. As the growth of users and trading volumes dwindled, institutional investors looked away from the P2E model. In the first half of the year, the Move-2-Earn model created by STEPN captured the spotlight with its innovative dual tokenomics and marketing approach, bringing new dynamics to GameFi. Last year, blockchain projects raised the largest funds in April, with blockchain investments totalling $6.62 billion. However, the market didn’t respond to other project teams focusing on the reality plus token model. As the multi-chain ecosystem gained growing popularity, Ethereum maintained its dominance in the GameFi ecosystem, but the growth rate of projects on Ethereum failed to match that of BNB Chain and Polygon. In addition, most chains relied heavily on their top projects, and there were still plenty of low-quality GameFi projects with a small user base, subpar interactions and low trading volumes.

9. Regulatory policies

Generally speaking, for the cryptocurrency industry, 2022 was full of ups and downs, but regulations are headed in the right direction. Over the past year, regulators in the developed world achieved a lot of progress. The United States released a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies; the European Union initially approved the MiCA Act and the TFR Act; the United Kingdom and South Korea made progress in the establishment of the relevant organizations; Russia and Hong Kong promoted the discussion and implementation of policies for cryptocurrency mining and virtual asset securities. The turbulence that happened in the cryptocurrency industry in 2022 was partially the result of the sharp drop in funds and partially the result of regulatory loopholes and crackdowns. Last year, the bankruptcy of Terra and FTX, two top cryptocurrency projects, prompted national regulators and law enforcement agencies to further enhance their cryptocurrency oversight and investigations.

For more details, please visit the ViaBTC Capital website via the link:

https://capital.viabtc.com/blog/ViaBTC-Capital:-2022-Review-and-2023-Forecast-in-Crypto-Industry-193?category=0&lang=en_US

 

 

 

 


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from Bitcoin News

Τετάρτη 25 Ιανουαρίου 2023

Jim Cramer Says Avoid Crypto, Stick With Gold for ‘Real Hedge’ Against Inflation and Economic Chaos

Jim Cramer Says Avoid Crypto and Stick With Gold for 'Real Hedge' Against Inflation, Economic Chaos

The host of Mad Money, Jim Cramer, has advised investors to avoid crypto and stick with gold if they “seriously want a real hedge against inflation or economic chaos.” He added that bitcoin is too volatile to use as a currency. “Imagine business owners trying to conduct transactions with shares of Facebook or Google … it’s ridiculous,” he stressed.

Jim Cramer Prefers Gold to Crypto

The host of CNBC’s Mad Money show, Jim Cramer, gave some investment advice regarding gold and cryptocurrencies on Monday. Cramer is a former hedge fund manager who co-founded Thestreet.com, a financial news and literacy website.

He believes that investors should stay away from cryptocurrencies despite bitcoin’s recent gains. Referencing charts interpreted by Decarley Trading’s senior commodity strategist and options broker, Carley Garner, Cramer emphasized that investors “need to ignore the crypto cheerleaders now that bitcoin’s bouncing.” He proceeded to advise:

If you seriously want a real hedge against inflation or economic chaos, she [Garner] says you should stick with gold. And I agree.

Citing Garner, the Mad Money host explained that the correlation between bitcoin futures and the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 is very high, as shown in their daily charts going back to March 2021. This indicates that bitcoin behaves more like a risky asset rather than a stable store of value or currency, Cramer claimed, elaborating:

Imagine business owners trying to conduct transactions with shares of Facebook or Google … it’s ridiculous, they’re too volatile. Bitcoin is no different.

Unlike Cramer, some people believe that bitcoin is a better hedge against inflation than gold, including venture capitalist Tim Draper and billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones.

Cramer also cautioned about “counterparty risk,” the potential for the other party in a transaction or investment to not fulfill their obligations. “Of course, you can just own bitcoin directly in a decentralized wallet — that protects you from counterparty risk,” he opined. “But if you ever want to use it for anything, the risk is back on the table. And as FTX’s customers learned, it can be devastating.”

The Mad Money host used to invest in bitcoin, ether, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) but he sold all his crypto holdings last year. He used to recommend bitcoin alongside gold. In March 2021, he said: “I have, for years, said that you should have gold … but gold let me down. Gold is subject to too many vicissitudes. It’s subject to mining issues. It’s frankly subject to failing in many cases.”

He has also repeatedly warned about the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) doing a “roundup” of uncompliant crypto firms, advising investors to get out of crypto now. “I wouldn’t touch crypto in a million years,” he stressed. Cramer often cited John Reed Stark, SEC’s former head of internet enforcement, who recently said a “regulatory onslaught is just beginning.”

What do you think about Jim Cramer’s advice? Let us know in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Economist Peter Schiff Explains Why Bitcoin and Gold Are up This Year — ‘They’re Rising for Opposite Reasons’

Economist Peter Schiff Explains Why Bitcoin and Gold Are up This Year — 'They're Rising for Opposite Reasons'

Economist and gold bug Peter Schiff has explained why bitcoin and gold are going up this year. “They’re rising for opposite reasons,” he said, claiming that the price of gold is climbing as investors view the metal as a hedge against inflation and a weaker dollar.

Peter Schiff Explains Why Bitcoin and Gold Are Rising

Gold bug and economist Peter Schiff has shared his view on why bitcoin and gold are going up this year. Schiff is the founder and current chairman of Schiffgold, a precious metals dealer specializing in gold and silver bullion. He has long been a bitcoin skeptic, regularly bashing the crypto while promoting gold. He tweeted Monday:

Both gold and bitcoin are up in 2023, but they’re rising for opposite reasons.

“Gold is rising as a hedge against inflation and a weaker dollar, while bitcoin is rising with other high-risk assets as speculators bet that a Fed pivot will cause a rally in 2022’s biggest losers,” the economist detailed.

A number of people on Twitter disagreed with Schiff, replying to his tweet that gold is not a good hedge against inflation. Some people took the gold bug’s tweet as a BTC buy signal.

Unlike Schiff, some people believe that bitcoin is a better hedge against inflation than gold. Venture capitalist Tim Draper, for example, has repeatedly said he is bullish about bitcoin due to its trait as an inflation hedge. Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones has also said he prefers bitcoin over gold, expecting the price of BTC to be “much higher.”

Bitcoin Has Outperformed Gold Since Schiff’s Sell Recommendation

Many people on Twitter also pointed out that bitcoin has hugely outperformed gold, emphasizing that the price of BTC has increased significantly since the gold bug’s sell recommendation. In December 2018, when the price of bitcoin was around $3K, Schiff warned that “a lot more air yet to come out of this bubble.”

Commenting on Schiff’s Jan. 12 tweet telling investors to sell their BTC at the $18K level, bitcoin proponent Peter McCormack tweeted Sunday:

Bitcoin is trading around 27% up since Peter Schiff advised you to sell your bitcoin. Gold isn’t.

While admitting that the price of bitcoin has risen since he told people to dump their coins, Schiff argued that he also advised people to sell their BTC when its price was well over $60K. At the time of writing, bitcoin is trading at $22,838.33, up about 35% over the past 30 days, while both gold futures and spot prices are up about 7% during the same time period.

Do you agree with Peter Schiff about why bitcoin and gold are rising this year? Let us know in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Bank of America, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo Collaborate to Launch Digital Wallet: Report

Bank of America, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo Collaborate to Launch Digital Wallet: Report

Seven major banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, have reportedly teamed up to launch a digital wallet that will compete with other third-party wallet providers such as Paypal and Apple Pay.

Big Banks to Launch a Digital Wallet

Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and four other financial institutions behind the payment network Zelle are collaborating to launch a digital wallet for consumers to use at online checkout, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The wallet will be managed by fintech firm Early Warning Services (EWS), which owns and operates Zelle. EWS provides risk management solutions to financial institutions, government entities, and payment companies. It is co-owned by Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Truist, Capital One, PNC Bank, and U.S. Bank.

The new digital wallet, which will be linked to shoppers’ debit and credit cards for online payments, will operate separately from Zelle. The banks aim to compete with other third-party wallet providers such as Paypal and Apple Pay as they are worried about losing control of their customer relationships, the publication conveyed, citing people familiar with the matter.

EWS plans to begin rolling out the new wallet in the second half of this year. Visa and Mastercard are already on board, and the fintech firm has reached out to other card networks, such as Discover Financial Services, to assess their interest in adding their cards to the wallet.

Bernstein analyst Harshita Rawat commented on the news in a note to clients Monday. She explained that the major banks have “likely always had Paypal envy,” adding:

It simply takes a very long time, a killer customer experience (which needs to be better than incumbents, not just similar), and a compelling merchant value proposition to build the two-sided network effects in payments to achieve scale.

What do you think about major banks collaborating to launch a digital wallet to possibly compete with Paypal and Apple Pay? Let us know in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Τρίτη 24 Ιανουαρίου 2023

Microsoft Layoffs Reportedly Hit Key VR and Metaverse Teams

microsoft vr metaverse layoffs

The latest round of layoffs at Microsoft, which announced it will cut 10,000 jobs this year, has hit key teams for its VR (virtual reality) and metaverse efforts, according to reports. The company will close two projects in these areas, Altspacevr and the Mixed Reality Tool Kit, potentially affecting the progress of Microsoft in these areas.

Microsoft VR and Metaverse Teams Hit by Layoffs

The latest round of layoffs announced by Microsoft on Jan. 18, has reportedly hit metaverse and VR (virtual reality) initiatives of the company, potentially affecting progress in these areas. Among the 10,000 jobs to be cut this year, representing 5% of Microsoft’s global workforce, teams behind initiatives like Altspacevr and the Mixed Reality Tool Kit are being axed as part of this reorganization process.

Altspacevr, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2017, has already announced it will sunset its platform on March 10. The platform, which was aimed at providing services to facilitate the creation of virtual environments for events with the participation of artists, creators, brands, and businesses, will migrate to Mesh, a more work-focused platform that has integration with Microsoft Teams.

The Mixed Reality Tool Kit, an open-source set of tools to build user interfaces for the metaverse will also ostensibly be abandoned, as there are no announcements of new teams dedicated to its development at the time of writing.

Metaverse and VR Slowdown

While the company justified these layoffs as a measure to align its cost structure with revenue and customer demand, some believe that these localized layoffs in the metaverse and VR sector signal the slowdown of the advancements of the company in this area.

The reported layoffs at Microsoft affect initiatives focused on the consumer metaverse primarily, following the course that Meta has taken by laying off 13% of its workforce, shedding 11,000 jobs.

However, the higher-ups at Microsoft are believers in the metaverse and other disruptive technologies, and the progress these will bring in the future. Recently, Satya Nadella, CEO of the company, stated that the sense of presence that metaverse tech can bring is game-changing.

Microsoft is also involved in the creation of the Global Collaboration Village — the metaverse world of the World Economic Forum (WEF) — and has shown interest in investing in AI (artificial intelligence) projects such as Openai, creators of AI bot Chatgpt.

What do you think about the layoffs affecting metaverse and VR-focused teams at Microsoft? Tell us in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Report: Crypto Adoption Hits New Milestones — Global Crypto Owners Reached 425 Million in 2022

Report: Crypto Adoption Hits New Milestones — Global Crypto Owners Reached 425 Million in 2022

Crypto adoption achieved new milestones in 2022, with the number of crypto owners reaching 425 million during the year, a new report by Crypto.com shows. Moreover, the report reveals that the number of bitcoin owners reached 219 million in December while the number of ether owners reached 87 million.

Cryptocurrency Adoption Achieves New Milestones

Crypto.com published a report titled “Crypto Market Sizing” for the year 2022 last week. The company explained that its analysis is built on a combination of Bitcoin and Ethereum on-chain data, survey analysis, and its own internal data.

Regarding the total number of global crypto owners, the firm’s Research and Insights team wrote that “in spite of macro headwinds,” namely high inflation, the conflict in Europe, supply chain disruptions, and lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic:

Crypto adoption in 2022 achieved new milestones, with the number of crypto owners reaching 425 million (December 2022).

The overall number of crypto owners worldwide grew by 39% from 306 million to 425 million during the year, the report elaborates.

The report also highlights the number of bitcoin and ethereum owners, stating:

Bitcoin (BTC) owners grew by 20% from 183 million in January to 219 million in December, accounting for 52% of global owners.

The strongest growth for bitcoin ownership in 2022 happened in April when the Central African Republic (CAR) became the second country to adopt the cryptocurrency as legal tender after El Salvador, the report notes. In addition, global investment bank Goldman Sachs offering its first BTC-backed loan in the same month showed “further signs of increased interest in crypto from Wall Street institutions,” the Crypto.com research team detailed.

Meanwhile, “Ethereum (ETH) owners grew by 263% from 24 million in January to 87 million in December, accounting for 20% of global owners,” the report continues, adding that “the main catalyst behind Ethereum’s high adoption growth rate was The Merge.” Further, the research team pointed out that “Ethereum’s monthly growth rates were higher than that of Bitcoin’s during the whole year except in April.”

Another company that recently estimated the number of global crypto owners is Triple A. The firm wrote: “As of 2023, we estimated global crypto ownership rates at an average of 4.2%, with over 420 million crypto users worldwide.”

What do you think about the number of global crypto owners reaching 425 million? Let us know in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Singapore Regulator Advocates ‘One Regulatory System’ for Crypto and Traditional Finance

Singapore Regulator Advocates 'One Regulatory System' for Crypto and Traditional Finance

Singapore’s senior minister and the chairman of the central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), says there should be just “one regulatory system” for both crypto and traditional finance. In addition, he stressed that regulators should provide “ultra clarity as to what’s an unregulated market,” so investors are aware that they go in at their own risk.

‘One Regulatory System’

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s senior minister who is also the chairman of the country’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), talked about cryptocurrency regulation during a panel discussion with other regulators and bankers at the World Economic Forum last week.

Shanmugaratnam previously served as Singapore’s deputy prime minister and the minister for finance. He is also currently the coordinating minister for social policies and adviser to the prime minister on economic policies.

“Something is very clear, whether it’s crypto or traditional finance, you gotta regulate for things like money laundering. So that’s very clear,” he began.

“But beyond that, if you have to think about regulating crypto the same way we regulate banks, insurance companies, and so on — for prudential reasons, for financial stability reasons — I think we’ve got to take a step back and ask the basic philosophical question,” the minister explained. “Does that legitimize something that’s inherently purely speculative, and in fact, slightly crazy?” he said, adding:

Or are we better off just providing ultra clarity as to what’s an unregulated market and if you go in, you go in at your own risk. I lean a bit more towards the latter view.

The MAS chairman proceeded to clarify that some segments of the crypto market should be regulated, pointing to stablecoins as a possible area of oversight.

“But to start getting into a game of regulating, whether it’s ostrich eggs or crypto or anything else, it’s going to be a never-ending game and I’m not sure that’s the right way to go,” he opined.

While emphasizing that “consumer education” is important, he noted: “But also just ultra clarity — make very clear that this is a risk you are taking at your own expense, and by the way please don’t take that risk because it’s going to be foolish. I prefer that approach.”

Minister Shanmugaratnam further detailed: “And then if crypto or blockchain or any of the parts of that ecosystem would like to do things that traditional finance is doing, you apply exactly the same regulations to that — capital, liquidity, reserve backing — exactly the same regulations.” He concluded:

So people are very clear. There is one regulatory system for everything. And if you’re outside of the regulatory system, buyer beware.

What do you think about the statements by Singapore Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam? Let us know in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Crypto Will ‘Play a Major Role’ in UAE Trade Going Forward, Minister Says

'Crypto Will Play Major Role for UAE Trade Going Forward,' Minister Says

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) minister of state for foreign trade says that cryptocurrency “will play a major role for UAE trade going forward.” He stressed: “The most important thing is that we ensure global governance when it comes to cryptocurrencies and crypto companies.”

Crypto to Play a Major Role in the UAE

United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani Al Zeyoudi talked about cryptocurrency Friday during an interview with Bloomberg in Davos, Switzerland.

He shared that one area the UAE is looking to expand is cryptocurrencies, adding:

Crypto will play a major role for UAE trade going forward.

“The most important thing is that we ensure global governance when it comes to cryptocurrencies and crypto companies,” Al Zeyoudi described.

“We started attracting some of the companies to the country with the aim that we’ll build together the right governance and legal system, which are needed,” the official noted.

Omar Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, also talked about cryptocurrency regulation last week in a World Economic Forum session titled “Finding the right balance for crypto” in Davos. He confirmed that no crypto exchanges have been licensed in the UAE, emphasizing that the regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies in the UAE are “not light.” The minister said:

UAE has not issued a single licensed crypto exchange in UAE, neither Binance nor FTX … no one was able to onboard any customers even last week.

The Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), established in March, also states on its website that it has not granted any operating permit to date. VARA is responsible for licensing and regulating the crypto sector in the Emirate of Dubai and its free zone territories (excluding DIFC) under UAE law.

However, a number of cryptocurrency exchanges — including Binance, FTX, Okx, Bitoasis, and Coinmena — have received a provisional license from VARA. The regulator recently clarified that these crypto trading platforms are in stage one of a four-stage approval process.

According to the “Digital Lifestyle” 2022 report published by the United Arab Emirates Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), about 11.4% of UAE residents own or have invested in cryptocurrencies.

Do you agree with Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani Al Zeyoudi that crypto will play a major role in UAE trade? Let us know in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Δευτέρα 23 Ιανουαρίου 2023

Bitcoin, Ethereum Technical Analysis: BTC Remains Near $23,000 to Start the Week

Bitcoin continued to hover around the $23,000 level on Jan. 23, as bullish sentiment remained high in markets. Over the weekend the world’s largest cryptocurrency rose to its strongest level since August, with bulls moving to consolidate these gains. Ethereum also traded in the green today, remaining above $1,600 in the process.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin (BTC) continued to trade near a five-month high to start the week, as sentiment in crypto markets remained bullish.

Following a low of $22,387.90 on Sunday, BTC/USD hit an intraday peak of $23,056.73 earlier in today’s session.

On Saturday, BTC rose to a high of $23,375, which was its strongest point since August 18, and it appears as though bulls are hoping to recapture this point.

In order to achieve this, the 14-day relative strength index (RSI) will likely need to move back towards a ceiling at 91.00.

Currently, the index is at the 85.26 level, which is already overbought, and this could lead to some opting to secure gains and abandon previous positions.

As of writing, BTC is trading at $22,876.55, which is marginally higher than Sunday’s peak.

Ethereum

Ethereum (ETH) also appeared to be consolidating the weekend’s gains, with prices remaining above the $1,600 mark.

On Monday, ETH/USD has so far risen to a peak of $1,658.02, which is relatively close to Saturday’s four-month high at $1,680.

Today’s peak comes as the world’s second largest cryptocurrency rebounded from a floor around the $1,610 mark.

Looking at the chart, the rebound took place following a failed breakout of a support point of 75.00 on the RSI indicator.

As of writing, the indicator is tracking at 75.23, with the next visible resistance level at 80.00 zone.

ETH bulls will likely be still targeting a move above $1,700, and for this to occur, the 80.00 mark must first be overcome.

Register your email here to get weekly price analysis updates sent to your inbox:

Could ethereum climb above $1,700 this week, despite prices being overbought? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.



from Bitcoin News

Bank of Spain Greenlights Euro-Backed Stablecoin Token Pilot Program

bank of spain monei digital euro

The Bank of Spain has given approval for the launch of a pilot program involving the issuance and usage of euro-pegged stablecoins. The program, which MONEI, a fintech institution, is launching, will allow users to issue digital euros with fiat deposits in order to experiment with these in payment applications, increasing their transparency.

Bank of Spain Authorizes Digital Euro Token Tests

Europe is becoming a hotspot for stablecoins and CBDC (central bank digital currency) experimentation. On Jan. 19, the Bank of Spain greenlighted a pilot program that involves the issuance of euro-pegged digital tokens. The project, which is being spearheaded by MONEI, a regulated fintech payments company, will allow users to issue their own euro stablecoins for different purposes.

Using Ethereum and Polygon blockchain technology, the eurm token will be issued with deposits coming from users, with each token being backed by real euros. The test, inscribed as part of the actions in the financial Sandbox of the bank of Sain, only allows the issuance of ten eurm maximum by each user registered in MONEI’s platform.

The test encompasses the issuance of up to 570 million eurm because Spain has 57 million phone lines subscribed. These funds will be held in two accounts in two financial institutions, BBVA and Caixabank, managed by MONEI.

Digital Euro Use Cases

MONEI is profiling its digital euro stablecoin as part of its modernization take on the payments in the Eurozone, increasing the speed of payments while cutting operational costs linked to them. On this, MONEI CEO and founder Alex Saiz Verdaguer stated:

The future of payments is digital. This is our chance to show the rest of Europe and the world that we are at the forefront. Eurm is the ultimate pan-European solution that will allow citizens and businesses on the continent to send and receive money instantly.

MONEI aims for this stablecoin project to be approved by regulators after this test, to tackle automatic and periodic payments that would benefit from programmable fiat equivalent money. As an example, a company could program payments to providers based on the sales executed on any given day, or allow workers to program their allowance payments on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis automatically.

This project is a private-led initiative and has no relationship with the digital euro initiative led by the European Central Bank, which is currently still in its investigative phases to decide if it will be issued.

What do you think about the euro-pegged token project approved by the Bank of Spain? Tell us in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Philippine Authorities Rescue Alleged Victims of ‘Crypto Trafficking Ring’

Philippine Authorities Rescue Alleged Victims of 'Crypto Trafficking Ring'

Philippine authorities say that they have rescued alleged victims of a “crypto trafficking ring” who were recruited to work in a call center in Cambodia and scam people out of their cryptocurrencies. The authorities are also investigating government employees who may have assisted crypto trafficking syndicates.

Alleged Victims of ‘Crypto Trafficking Ring’ Rescued

The Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI)’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) announced Friday that it has rescued six alleged victims of a “cryptocurrency trafficking ring,” the Philippine government-owned news agency reported.

Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Norman Garcera Tansingco explained that BI officers intercepted the alleged victims as they were about to board a plane to Phnom Penh on Jan. 15. Noting that these passengers had fake return tickets, the commissioner said they gave “inconsistent answers” to questions asked by BI officers, “which raised suspicions that they were merely disguised as tourists but their purpose is to work abroad.”

Ann Camille Mina, TCEU’s acting head, commented:

Eventually, they admitted that they will be working in a call center in Cambodia and were recruited through Facebook.

Authorities Probe Government Officials

Tansingco pledged to take action against any BI employees involved with crypto trafficking syndicates. He noted that the immigration officer who cleared the passengers for departure has been relieved from her duties pending the outcome of an investigation. The commissioner opined:

We want to also help locate and arrest those illegal recruiters that entice employees to take part in their illegal scheme … They are the root of this societal problem and they must also be arrested for this crime.

The Bureau of Immigration is currently investigating at least three persons of interest in the case, said BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval. Regarding whether this crypto trafficking case is related to human trafficking syndicates in Cambodia and Myanmar, she admitted: “That’s what worries us. It seems to be related.”

Crypto crime syndicates have been recruiting unsuspecting victims to work in call centers, particularly in Asian countries, and scam people on social media and dating apps. One of the most common tasks for trafficked victims is “pig butchering,” a type of crypto scam. According to a report by Propublica:

Tens of thousands of people from across Asia have been coerced into defrauding people in America and around the world out of millions of dollars. Those who resist face beatings, food deprivation or worse.

U.S. authorities have repeatedly warned that the pig butchering crypto scam is becoming alarmingly popular. In November last year, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) seized seven domain names used in pig butchering schemes. “Be very careful when you go on social media and dating apps and somebody starts developing a relationship with you, and wants you to start investing … Don’t get butchered,” an FBI official has warned.

What do you think about Philippine authorities rescuing alleged victims of a crypto trafficking ring? Let us know in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Fortune Unicorn Club (FUC), the First DIY-Mint Method NFT Project, Has Won 2 Million in Funding in the ForChain Labs’ Seed Round

PRESS RELEASE. ForChain Labs was founded in April 2022 as a web 3 startup company. Meanwhile, the NFT project, Fortune Unicorn Club, was b...