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Rio Will Officially Be Accepting Bitcoin (BTC) Payments For Taxes On Real Estate
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will officially begin accepting Bitcoin (BTC) payments for taxes on urban real estate inside their municipal borders, also known as Imposto sobre a propriedade predial e territorial urbana (IPTU).
The new pro-cryptocurrency tax regulations will go into effect in 2023, according to the Secretary of Economic Development, Innovation, and Simplification, Chico Bulhes.
To that end, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced the opening of a new office in the region to support this cause led by Brazilian Mayor Eduardo Paes. With the implementation of this proposal, Rio de Janeiro will become the first Brazilian city to accept BTC payments.
Finally, there are also plans of implementing NFT-oriented governance regulations in a variety of areas, including tourism, culture and art.
Ethereum Overtakes MasterCard And Bank Of America In Market Cap As Investors Look Forward To PoS Transition
With the crypto market seeing a brief upswing as of late, prominent digital assets such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Cardano (ADA) have all performed well.
Ethereum in particular, the second biggest cryptocurrency by market cap, has actually seen its value remain over $3k for many days now, allowing its market capitalization to officially surpass that of traditional financial organizations such as Bank of America and MasterCard.
On the right track but a long way to go
Notwithstanding its recent climb, Ethereum remains well behind other major financial companies like JPMorgan Chase. Nevertheless, this specific banks market capitalization pales in comparison to Bitcoin, which is presently worth more than $840 billion.
Moreover, the Ethereum market cap has since increased by over 10% in the previous week to more than $375 billion as of the time of this writing. This growth also correlates with the assets value increasing by around 11% to its current price of more than $3,000. This is entirely understandable considering that recent reports indicated that huge sums of ETH withdrawals frequently preceded an increase in the coins price. This is clearly what is happening right now, since over 180,000 units of Ethereum were taken from various cryptocurrency exchanges about two weeks ago.
Another bullrun on the way?
In an attempt to comprehend what is driving Ethereums current price in its upward movement, some crypto analysts have speculated that the upcoming Ethereum Merge is attracting investors in droves.
As such, the highly anticipated change of the Ethereum network from a Proof of Work (PoW) system to a Proof of Stake (PoS) network will make the asset even more appealing to institutional investors who may be holding back due to worries about energy usage and environmental concerns. However, with the networks PoS update, more investors are likely to come into Ethereum.
Simultaneously, the network may be able to gain control of the NFT and DeFi spaces from other smart contract-oriented blockchains such as Avalanche, Cardano, and Solana. Still, as is so often the case in this sector, only time will tell what will happen as Ethereums rivals are experiencing success in their own right, particularly Charles Hoskinsons Cardano.
Former IBM And Twitch Executives Jump Ship To Join Unstoppable Domains
Unstoppable Domains, a top platform for user-controlled digital identity on Web 3.0 with over 2 million registered NFT (non-fungible token) domains, recently announced that they have hired two senior executives to oversee the company's worldwide development initiatives in Europe and Asia.
Big catches for Unstoppable Domains
As such, Sajjad Rehman has joined Unstoppable Domains as the new Head of Europe, after leaving Amazon's Twitch VP of Business Development EMEA. Meanwhile, Nilkanth Iyer, who formerly held senior positions at CAST and IBM, has joined the organization as the new Head of Asia.
Sandy Carter, Unstoppable Domains' Senior Vice President of Business Development, stated that the team is very excited to welcome two seasoned professionals who can help the platform make an impact in Europe, Asia, and beyond. She added that with Sajjad's and Nilkanth's assistance, Unstoppable Domains will continue to strengthen the new alliances in these locations, increase the staff, and finally welcome millions of new Web 3.0 consumers.
What will be the new hires' main responsibilities?
With nearly 15 years of experience behind him, Sajjad will primarily be responsible for onboarding new partners, including metaverse applications, cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges, fintech services, and lastly gaming platforms in Europe. Before Twitch, he served as the Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development at Jagex, where he was instrumental in the growth and exit of one of the U.K's most successful venture-backed game studios.
Meanwhile, Nilkanth Iyer will concentrate on collaborating with wallets and exchanges in Asia to capitalize on the enormous possibilities for development. Since partnering with India-based Layer-2 solution Polygon, Unstoppable Domains has gained significant traction in the region. Nilkanth formerly worked at IBM in cloud ecosystem development, where he was responsible for onboarding a million developers to the IBM Cloud Platform. He most recently assisted in the expansion of software intelligence business CAST in India, the Middle East, and ASEAN. He will leverage his extensive industry expertise to assist Unstoppable Domains gain further traction in major markets including South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.
With these two, Unstoppable Domains looks to live up to its moniker and truly become an unstoppable force on a global scale.
Here’s Why Everyone Should Be Paying Attention To AQRU
What is AQRU?
AQRU is a secure, easy-to-use and reliable investment platform that is available on the web as well as on all iOS and Android compatible devices. Users can buy or transfer a wide variety of cryptocurrency assets while simultaneously also earning annual interest of up to 12% on what they may invest in, which is paid every second.
AQRU is also registered in the Republic of Lithuania and is fully regulated, although it should be mentioned that the platform does not currently work with U.S based clients.
Why choose AQRU?
Naturally, there are many platforms out there which seem to offer the same service as AQRU. Upon closer inspection however, it becomes clear to see that this platform provides some unique and innovative features that may not be found elsewhere.
For starters, there is a 12% interest rate on various stablecoins and that the interest is paid in kind, which means that the USDT interest rate will be paid in USDT, DAI interest rate will be paid in DAI, and so on. If we were to compare this rate with others on the market, we would see that this is infact one of the highest available particularly when it comes to stablecoins. Moreover, the interest rate is 7% on BTC and ETH and there is even a $30 million insurance policy against hacking endeavors.
As if that werent enough, the interest is paid in real time per second as aforementioned. This is of the utmost significance as usually, most other platforms would normally have a lock-in period whereas with AQRU it is possible to withdraw funds whenever desired. There are also no fees whatsoever regarding the purchase of crypto assets, and the minimum deposit is just 100 EUR with no cap on how big the investment might be as the stated percentage on the total value of the investment is provided and paid daily with no hidden agenda or ulterior motives.
Finally, AQRU has instant withdrawals and cash withdrawals that function on a 24 hour basis with absolutely no lock-in periods either or any fees on fiat withdrawals. Needless to say, AQRU really has thought of everything.
But how does one sign up?
Getting started on AQRU couldnt be any simpler, as it only takes about 20 seconds to open an account and sign up. Upon registering, AQRU also offers a free 10 USDT bonus just for joining! Users are also encouraged to check out the website beforehand and see how everything works. Once signed up, they can then witness their interest growing in real-time.
Lastly, users will be required to verify their identities via a straightforward online verification system that only takes a couple of minutes to complete, after which deposit and withdrawal functionalities will be made available. As previously alluded to, the withdrawals can be made in either fiat or crypto, and whereas the fiat withdrawals are without any fees, there are however some low fees for crypto withdrawals. Lastly, users can expect to receive their asset within a day inclusive of the interest which would have been earned at the time.
For more information and regular updates, be sure to check out AQRUs website.
Russian Chief of Energy Proposes Accepting Bitcoin For Oil And Gas From Trading Nations
Pavel Zavalny, the Russian Federations Chief of Energy, has proposed the idea of accepting Bitcoin (BTC) as payment for its oil and gas from relatively friendly nations like China and Turkey.
He said that instead of the international standard U.S currency, these nations may begin paying for energy in Russian Rubles, Chinese Yuan, Turkish Liras, or even BTC.
He went on to say that hostile countries might pay for their oil in Rubles or gold. At the moment however, it is unclear if Russia has the authority to amend the terms of current contracts with nations that pay in Euros or U.S dollars.
In related news, Russia has been looking at viable methods to avoid international economic penalties imposed on it for invading Ukraine. Russian banks have since been removed from the SWIFT system, preventing them from settling cross-border payments, and most firms, with the exception of the oil and gas trade, have similarly been barred from doing business with Russia.
Australia Aims To Regulate Cryptocurrency
Australia has joined the increasing list of nations aiming to regulate the cryptocurrency industry, with the government unveiling plans for a major revamp of payment system improvements that shall reportedly also include virtual currencies.
According to various reports, the proposed legislation would primarily focus on crypto taxes, investor protection, and supervision of digital banks as well as exchanges.
As per Australias Minister of Financial Services, Jane Hume, the governments goal is to guarantee that everyone involved with crypto be able to operate inside a regulated environment as the use of various digital assets continues to increase across the globe.
Australias desire to regulate cryptocurrencies initially became known in 2021, when Treasurer Josh Frydenberg stated that the country will eventually be announcing new regulations.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Officially Legalizes Crypto As Donations Continue To Pour Into The Country
A month after the countrys parliament approved a law to begin preparing a framework for the regulation as well as management of cryptocurrency assets like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has now officially promulgated the structure upon which the nation will build local markets for BTC along with various other altcoins, thereby legalizing the emerging industry.
A new digital age for Ukraine
In the words of Ukraines Deputy Prime Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, all market participants shall be given legal protection under the law and the chance to make informed decisions which would be based on transparent, open and fair consultations with local government agencies.
The legislation establishes the legal status, categorization, ownership, and regulators of digital assets, in addition to the requirements for cryptocurrency service providers to successfully register themselves. The countrys Stock Market and National Commission on Securities market will oversee the burgeoning digital space. Moreover, exchanges shall be legally permitted to operate, and banks will reportedly open accounts for them too.
As such, the state body is in charge of developing and implementing virtual asset policy, regulating the sequence of digital asset circulation, providing permits to the service providers of these assets, and finally conducting supervision and financial surveillance concerning this sector.
Good news in a bad time
Of course, one of the main reasons as to why Ukraine has legalized crypto is because of the ongoing conflict with Russia. While the war has unfortunately still not ended as of this time, it has nevertheless prompted crypto donations to flow into Ukraine from across the globe. In fact, just during the last month, the country has received at least $100 million in cryptocurrency donations from those who wish to assist its defense and humanitarian endeavors.
Perhaps it was because of the immense pressure of fighting back against the Russians combined with the fact that so many donations were indeed digital assets (including NFTs that finally prompted President Zelensky to legalize crypto. After all, he had initially rejected such a proposal back in September of last year.
In any case, one can only hope for a swift end to the ongoing conflict that has already claimed so many innocent lives. Regarding crypto however, Ukraines Ministry of Finance is presently working on amendments which will be added to the nations civil and tax codes in order to properly launch the digital assets market for Ukraines citizens.
Cardano Could Be One Of The Main Projects To Keep An Eye On In 2022
As the crypto market begins the slow road to recovery, one project in particular has been making headlines and that is Cardano (ADA). While it is true that Charles Hoskinsons brainchild has taken a dip as far as the global rankings by market capitalization are concerned (Cardano is currently placed 9th overall), this hasnt stopped the project from adhering to its roadmap and experiencing success in the crypto, blockchain and DeFi industry.
Top five fastest developed assets
Cardano is still among the top five fastest developing assets in the previous month, according to Santiment statistics. Regarding development activity over the last 30 days, Uniswap, Solana, and Cardano have been the most active.
Despite the fact that development activity usually has little to no effect on short-term market pricing, it could nevertheless be a good sign of the projects long-term growth. After all, Cardano ranked first among the most developed assets in 2021.
Not too long ago, Charles Hoskinson announced the deployment of the first Hydra Heads on the public Cardano testnet. Hydra Heads, the initial protocol in a suite, is a vital component in Cardanos scaling trajectory. Hydra is essentially a group of Layer-2 technologies designed to improve network security as well as scalability.
Moreover, following the release of Cardano blockchain smart contracts technology, additional developers have begun to leverage the network and offer numerous use cases. Cardanos TVL (Total Value Locked) is increasing rapidly and has in fact grown by over 25,000% in 2022 alone. The DeFi LIama monitoring website reports that over $223 million is presently locked in different contracts developed on the Cardano network. Cardanos TVL also rose with the addition of staking, a key component of the project.
What should we expect going forward?
Even though the framework for future developments in the Cardano ecosystem has been laid, the price is struggling to return to its earlier highs. Of course, the same could be said about many altcoins and BTC itself (this is due to numerous factors chief among which being the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict) but ADA has nonetheless started recovering and Cardano enthusiasts remain hopeful that both the price as well as the projects ranking will improve sooner rather than later thanks to the initiatives strong fundamentals.
Mark Zuckerberg has stated that Instagram is planning to add NFTs
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, has stated that Instagram is planning to add NFTs after other platforms such as Twitter also recently stated that they are adding non-fungible token related functionalities.
The CEO claimed that his team is currently working on adding NFTs to Instagram in the near future. However, the Facebook creator did not specify when the deployment will take place nor were any particular dates mentioned. Nevertheless, he did say that he believes Instagram users will be able to mint their own NFTs on the platform in the coming months.
This is not Metas first foray into a crypto-related enterprise. In 2019, the organization announced intentions to launch "Libra" (later dubbed "Diem"), a USD-pegged stablecoin that failed owing to a lack of governmental permission and community opposition.
Proof Of Work Consensus Crypto Officially Not Banned In Europe
Following the development of the European Union's (EU) proposed regulatory framework for regulating digital currencies, known as the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework, the use of Proof-of-Work (PoW) cryptocurrencies was recently called into question and a potential ban was being considered.
However, on March 14th, 2022, the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs officially voted against any possible ban on the PoW methods that underpin popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
The clause that would have mandated PoW cryptocurrencies to switch to more environmentally friendly processes did not receive the necessary votes in parliament (32 were against the ban and 24 were in favor of it).
It is also vital to distinguish Proof-of-Work from Proof-of-Stake (PoS). PoW is the consensus method powering cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which typically need a massive amount of energy to operate.
As a result of the aforementioned vote, Bitcoin's PoW will no longer be restricted within the EU from now on. Instead, an alternate amendment has been approved which included BTC mining in the EU's sustainable finance taxonomy.
Venture Capital Interest In Crypto Continues To Skyrocket Despite Global Uncertainty
Bain Capital Ventures, one of the world's leading venture capital companies with over $5 billion in AUM, recently announced the opening of a new $560 million cryptocurrency fund. The fund will be used to invest in everything from cryptocurrency businesses to DAOs in areas such as Layer-1 blockchains and storage. The company anticipates that the fund shall be used in the next few years and will invest in around 30 enterprises.
Similarly, Sequoia Capital intends to invest up to $600 million in crypto startups via a new fund. With all the interest surrounding cryptocurrencies and the recent executive order signed by President Joe Biden himself, now could indeed be the ideal time to invest in crypto.
The Bain Capital fund was closed in November 2021, having already invested more than $100 million in various undisclosed projects. Bain Capital intends to be a lot more active than usual through the initiative in order to meet the rising demands of emerging crypto businesses.
Once the fund's capital has been invested, Bain Ventures may thus also consider opening other crypto-based funds. The broad consensus is that this is a 10 to 20 year opportunity, and the team is hence constructing a platform that they believe can support additional funds over time.
Sequoia Capital has announced the formation of a $500 million to $600 million fund focused on cryptocurrency tokens and other digital assets. This is the first time the 50 year old business has launched a fund focused on a certain industry.
Alfred Lin, a partner at Sequoia Capital, revealed that the company will invest the aforementioned sum in cryptocurrency tokens and startups via the new dedicated fund to help further develop this burgeoning sector.
What does it all mean?
The present trend follows a boom in venture capital interest in cryptocurrencies and digital assets during last year. Despite the fact that cryptocurrency prices remain extremely unpredictable in 2022 (and the current state of the world isn't exactly helping things either), venture capital companies have nonetheless continued to make major investments in the immensely popular sector.
In related news, Polygon recently secured $450 million via a funding round spearheaded by several top venture capital companies in the blockchain sector. Needless to say, this kind of interest is not going away anytime soon.
President Biden Signs Executive Order Detailing The Future Of Crypto Regulation
United States President Joe Biden has issued an executive order directing the government to investigate the dangers and advantages of cryptocurrencies. The crypto community has been awaiting this day for a long time because of mounting regulatory anxiety about the embryonic digital asset market that has dominated the world for several years now.
A house divided
There have been allegations of a schism between White House officials and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen which was reportedly causing policy delays. On Wednesday this past week, the order was nevertheless officially signed. As per a White House fact sheet, it calls on federal agencies to take a uniform approach to digital asset regulation and monitoring.
With the rising popularity of the crypto industry, many had predicted that such an order was indeed inevitable, and that if the United States wanted to maintain any kind of dominance in the world of financial technology, a regulatory approach instead of a blanket ban (which has repeatedly been the preferred solution in the past by organizations such as the SEC) would have to be adopted.
Brad Garlinghouse of Ripple had gone out of his way to tweet that the Biden administration should be appreciated as they have taken the initiative and are actively trying to understand the potential and possible use-cases of cryptocurrencies rather than outright rejecting them.
What does the order include?
Consumer and investor protection, financial stability, illegal activity, U.S. competitiveness on a global scale, financial inclusion, and responsible innovation will be the emphasis of the measures outlined in the aforementioned executive order.
Consumer protection in particular is a key component of the directive. There have been several reports of investors succumbing to crypto scams or losing large quantities of money as a result of cyberattacks on exchanges or users. The Biden administration has thus asked the Treasury to examine and make crypto policy suggestions. It also requests that authorities provide adequate monitoring and protection against any systemic financial risks presented by virtual assets to help the government in terms of regulatory efforts going forward.