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June 25,2024

Mark Cuban Sells 14 NFTs In 2 Days In Sudden Sell Off

Mark Cuban, previously the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a notable investor on Shark Tank, has garnered attention by suddenly selling numerous NFTs via his extensive collection. Recent data indicates that over the last two days, transactions via the markcuban.eth address have involved 14 NFTs. While many of these sales featured less renowned collections, Mark has nevertheless sparked interest and speculation within the NFT community.


A Significant Transaction

Cuban sold his Pudgy Penguins NFT 6329 for 9.065 Ethereum (ETH), valued at nearly $30,000 at the time. Additionally, he attempted to sell a Dallas Mavericks-themed NFT in the Proof of Culture series for 15 ETH (approximately $50,194) through one of his OpenSea wallets.

According to OpenSea records, this wallet, associated with Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks, holds approximately 1,600 items. Despite these recent sales, his portfolio still encompasses a substantial array of NFTs valued at over 1,900 ETH, or about $6.2 million. The recent NFT sales also coincide with a notable decrease in the floor price of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs, which fell below 10 ETH last week. This backdrop has led to speculation about the timing and motivations behind his sales.


A Mixed Bag

Cuban, a prominent supporter of NFTs since the 2021 surge, has heavily invested in NFT projects and platforms such as CryptoSlam and Mintable. In late 2023, he expressed optimism about NFTs, advising collectors to buy based on passion rather than speculation. Drawing parallels with early struggles faced by now-successful tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft, he highlighted the potential of the NFT market.

Still, the broader NFT market has experienced a downturn, with CryptoSlam reporting a 48.52% decrease in NFT sales volume over the past 30 days, amounting to $485 million. There are some who believe that Cuban may simply be responding to these market conditions as an investor or as part of a strategic adjustment within his larger portfolio.


June 25,2024

Crypto Remains A Critical Point Of Discussion For UK Youth

Ahead of the upcoming General Election, findings indicate that over one-third of young adults in the United Kingdom view crypto as a significant electoral concern. The survey, conducted by Zumo in collaboration with Focaldata, shows that 34% of individuals aged 18-24 and 25-34 believe UK politicians should prioritize the growth of the crypto industry.

The research, encompassing more than 3,000 UK adults, reveals widespread support for positioning the UK as a hub for digital assets, particularly among younger demographics (18-34 years old). Furthermore, 38% of 18-24 year-olds have invested in crypto directly, with 39% considering it a viable source of long-term financial benefit. Many young adults (40% of 18-24 year-olds and 37% of 25-34 year-olds) also have close contacts involved in cryptocurrency investments.


Lingering Concerns

Despite the aforementioned enthusiasm, concerns persist among some young adults (32% in both age groups) about the future regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies in the UK. Nick Jones, CEO of Zumo, emphasized that as crypto gains mainstream acceptance, young adults across the nation want it to become a higher priority on the political agenda.

Looking ahead, Jones urged governmental collaboration with industry stakeholders to establish a regulatory framework conducive to the growth of the digital assets sector and its potential as an economic driver for the UK.

The caution expressed by some young adults aligns with recent moves by UK financial regulators, including the establishment of a sandbox for digital securities trading. This initiative aims to support technological advancements while providing a controlled environment for experimentation with real customers.


A Global Issue

The approval of the first crypto exchange-traded products (ETPs) by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for trading on the London Stock Exchange reflects a growing sentiment by the UK to enhance its standing in the global digital asset market.

Interestingly, similar dynamics are unfolding in the United States ahead of the 2024 elections. Recent surveys indicate growing investor interest in Bitcoin amid geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainties, with significant implications for US electoral dynamics. Former President Donald Trump has adopted a favorable stance on crypto which is in stark contrast to the Biden administration and their stringent regulatory approach.


June 24,2024

ZK Compression Finally Gets Added To Solana

Solana (SOL) has launched ZK compression, an innovative feature designed to significantly reduce costs and enhance scalability for developers. Developed in collaboration with Light Protocol and Helius Lab, this tool allows developers to compress on-chain state data, thereby minimizing expenses associated with token and account creation on the Solana network.


Massive Scale Improvements

On June 21st, Light Protocol partnered with Helius Labs to introduce ZK compression on Solana, aiming to make application development more scalable by compressing on-chain data. This approach stores state roots on-chain while keeping other data on the Solana ledger, leveraging zero-knowledge proofs to ensure data integrity and retrieval through supported RPC providers.

Helius CEO Mert Mumtaz highlighted the scalability improvements, stating that the team achieves 10,000x scale improvements by compressing on-chain state. Austin Federa, the Head of Strategy for Solana, emphasized the cost-saving benefits for on-chain account storage, enabling broader creation of on-chain products.


Mixed Reactions

Despite the advantages, some in the crypto community, like Adam Cochran and Ryan Berckmans, argue that ZK compression resembles a layer-2 (L2) network in functionality. Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko acknowledged similarities to L2 solutions but noted differences in governance and security models.

Despite debates about its categorization, the introduction of ZK compression represents a significant advancement for Solana, promising improved scalability and reduced operational costs. This innovation underscores the overall commitment by Solana toward advancing blockchain technology and addressing industry challenges, potentially fostering broader adoption and innovation within its ecosystem.

June 24,2024

Nigerian Authorities Accelerate Cryptocurrency Provider Registration

The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a 30-day program aimed at expediting the registration process for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs). This initiative is designed to bolster compliance and stability within the rapidly expanding Nigerian crypto market.

Earlier this year, the Nigerian SEC revised its Rules on Digital Assets, which included a significant increase in VASP registration fees to 150 million Naira ($100,806). While this fee hike raised concerns about reduced business participation, it was intended to promote financial stability among VASPs.


A Turbulent History

On June 21st, the SEC introduced the Accelerated Regulatory Incubation Program (ARIP), providing a streamlined pathway for Nigerian VASPs to swiftly fulfill all regulatory obligations and ensure full compliance. VASPs are required to complete registration through the SEC ePortal within this 30-day period to avoid potential prosecution.

This initiative coincides with the appointment of Emomotimi Agama as the new director-general of the SEC in April. Agama, known for his supportive stance on cryptocurrencies, has encountered resistance by stakeholders in the Nigerian crypto industry. In May, he initiated efforts against the use of the Nigerian Naira on crypto exchanges, attributing its devaluation partly to this practice, resulting in the Naira being delisted in major exchanges like KuCoin and Binance.


Striking A Balance

In December 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria lifted a two-year ban on banks maintaining accounts for VASPs, opting for a regulatory approach instead of an outright prohibition. However, microfinance banks are still restricted when it comes to facilitating crypto transactions. The increased registration fees and the ARIP underscore a strict local regulatory approach toward crypto trading and usage.

Nigeria has emerged as a burgeoning crypto hub, with approximately 22 million individuals (10.3% of the population) actively engaged in crypto ownership. The recent measures by the SEC aim to foster a more stable and secure environment for crypto activities. These regulatory adjustments are part of a broader effort by the Nigerian authorities to strike a balance between innovation and security in the crypto sector. By tightening regulations and raising fees, the SEC aims to eliminate unqualified participants and fortify market integrity, crucial for building consumer trust and fostering industry growth.


June 24,2024

Web3 Fundraising Deals - 18th To 24th June, 2024

Infrared Finance secured an undisclosed amount of funding via Binance Labs on June 24th. Infrared stands as the leading application in the realm of the Proof of Liquidity (PoL) consensus mechanisms.


SoSo Value raised $4.15M in seed funding led by HongShan (ex-Sequoia China) on June 23rd. SoSo Value is a one-stop financial research platform tailored for all kinds of cryptocurrency investors.


Verida successfully secured $5.00M in seed funding, supported by Gatelabs, as announced on June 22nd. Verida is the self-sovereign private data DePIN designed for Web3 and serves as a fully mobile ZK wallet for identity, data, and crypto related needs. received $3.00M in undisclosed funding by LD Capital on June 21st. is a set of Web3 social protocols for identity, DAO governance, and social networking.


Gudchain secured $5.00M in undisclosed funding by Mechanism Capital on June 20th. Gudchain is a platform specifically designed to promote blockchain technology in gaming. Currently, Gudchain serves as a comprehensive solution for game developers, allowing them to launch frictionless Web3 games to a broad audience.


Farworld Labs raised $1.75M on June 20th, with support by Variant. Built on Farcaster, Farcade is a platform and suite of tools designed for developers to create crypto-native games that integrate with on-chain social interactions. It enables users to play games directly within their existing social environments.


Bring acquired $1.10M in undisclosed funding on June 20th, with support by StarkWare. Bring offers cashback rewards on purchases across a variety of categories, including fashion, electronics, health and beauty, and travel services, via a network of 450 retailers.


Zeek Network secured $3.00M in seed funding via Everest Ventures Group (EVG) on June 20th. Zeek is a decentralized collaboration economy that incentivizes reputation through innovative social bounty mechanics. Individual behaviors and engagements build a reputation layer known which can be monetized and used to measure credibility, reliability, and influence.


Saltwater Games received an undisclosed amount in seed funding by Animoca Brands on June 20th. Saltwater Games is a dynamic online platform that offers an extensive collection of engaging games and interactive experiences.


Particle Network closed a Series A round of $15.00M led by The Spartan Group on June 20th. Particle Network is a Web3 infrastructure project, with a keen focus on developing an Intent-Centric Modular Access Layer for Web3. The platform aims to revolutionize the industry by shifting to consumer friendly markets.

June 23,2024

Bitcoin Dumps To Five Week Low As Investors Exercise Caution

The price woes for both Bitcoin (BTC) and the broader crypto market persisted Friday evening as the flagship crypto dropped to its lowest level in over five weeks, dipping well below $64,000. Altcoins are similarly sluggish, with Avalanche leading the decline with a significant price drop.


BTC Hits Multi Week Low

Following an unsuccessful attempt last week to breach $70,000, Bitcoin headed southward, hitting $64,000 on Friday, marking a monthly low. The weekend brought relative stability, with the cryptocurrency hovering just above $65,000.

Monday saw a brief rally to over $66,500, but subsequent bearish pressure pushed BTC down for several days, culminating in a drop to $63,400 yesterday, its lowest since May 15th. Despite this, Bitcoin has since recovered slightly and now sits above $64,000. Its market cap has also dipped below $1.270 trillion, with its dominance over altcoins holding steady at 51.5% on CoinGecko.

Elsewhere, most major altcoins have shown lackluster daily performances. DOGE, TON, XRP, and DOT are slightly down, while ETH, BNB, SOL, SHIB, and TRX have posted modest gains. However, Chainlink and Cardano have seen more significant declines, dropping over 4% and 3%, respectively, in a day. AVAX recorded the most substantial daily drop, plummeting over 9% and struggling to stay above $25. The total crypto market cap fell by approximately $20 billion overnight to $2.460 trillion on CoinMarketCap.


Other Markets

Global investors are exercising caution in nearly all categories, reflecting a shift in sentiment as credit markets experience their first stumble of the year. Meanwhile, upcoming economic indicators by the Federal Reserve may signal a path towards future rate cuts. On the commodities front, Brazil has emerged as an unpredictable factor in the oil market following a significant plunge in production.

In China, persistent earnings challenges are tempering optimism surrounding its stock market recovery. Ardent Health, backed by an equity group, is making a second attempt at an initial public offering, highlighting ongoing market volatility. The dollar continues its winning streak against the yen, impacting global currency dynamics. Elsewhere, a sharp rise in cilantro prices is forcing Mexican taquerias to adopt innovative strategies.

Amid these developments, the Tokyo Stock Exchange begins its trading year, with Wall Street witnessing heightened trading volumes at market close. Despite recent gains, smart-trade strategies are facing headwinds in the midst of a buoyant stock market. Lastly, AMC Entertainment is gearing up for upcoming earnings announcements and is in talks with lenders to restructure debts and extend maturities, reflecting broader challenges and adaptations in the current economic landscape.


June 22,2024

MicroStrategy Keeps Buying Bitcoin As Total Holdings Reach $15 Billion

MicroStrategy recently disclosed acquiring nearly 12,000 additional Bitcoin (BTC) between April and late June 2024, bringing its total holdings to about 226,331 BTC valued at nearly $15 billion. According to a filing with the SEC, MicroStrategy purchased 11,900 BTC between late April to June 19th at an average price of $65,883 per BTC, totaling approximately $780 million.


Making Waves

Currently holding around 1% of all BTC, MicroStrategy stands as the largest publicly listed corporate holder of the cryptocurrency. The company has invested approximately $8.33 billion in accumulating its Bitcoin reserves, averaging an acquisition cost of $36,798 per BTC. The latest purchases were financed through a senior notes convertible offering, originally targeting $500 million but increased to $800 million due to strong demand.

CEO Michael Saylor has been a vocal advocate of Bitcoin, considering it a hedge against inflation and a store of value. This conviction has driven MicroStrategy to continually invest in the flagship cryptocurrency. Despite recent fluctuations, MicroStrategy remains tied to the volatile cryptocurrency market and its heavy reliance on Bitcoin for better or worse.


Domino Effect

The aforementioned Bitcoin-centric strategy has inspired other companies, both in the US and abroad, to adopt similar treasury strategies involving BTC. This includes firms like DeFi Technologies and Semler Scientific in the US, as well as Metaplanet in Japan, which have increased their Bitcoin holdings recently. This ongoing commitment to Bitcoin by MicroStrategy via strategic acquisitions and funding methods reflects its confidence in the potential of crypto for future appreciation and practical usage.

As of June 20th, MicroStrategy and its subsidiaries hold a total of 226,331 BTC, showcasing its strong belief in Bitcoin. With an average purchase price of $36,798 per Bitcoin, MicroStrategy has managed its acquisitions strategically to maximize its holdings. As the largest publicly listed corporate holder of Bitcoin, its significant holdings, funded through convertible notes, set a precedent influencing other companies going forward.


June 21,2024

Montenegro Prime Minister Revealed To Have Invested In Terra

A recent Bloomberg report disclosed that the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Milojko Spajic, personally invested in Terraform Labs years prior to the collapse of the company. This revelation has sparked concerns over the decision made by the founder to evade prosecution by seeking refuge in the same nation.


The Controversy Continues

The founder of Terraform Labs, Do Kwon, was detained in Montenegro in March 2023 and is currently facing extradition requests by the United States and South Korea. Spajic has been asked to resign by several constituents, both internally and externally,  and these requests have only been amplified by the opposition.

According to Bloomberg, Spajic has asserted that the investment was made through Das Capital SG, a Singapore-based company where he held a partnership. However, the independent Montenegrin newspaper Vijesti, which first reported the news, stated that the holdings reached nearly $90 million at one point.


Calls For Resignation

The LinkedIn profile for Spajic indicates that he worked as a credit analyst and investor in Singapore between 2014 to 2020 before returning to Montenegro to assume the role of finance minister in late 2020.

The timing of these revelations is critical for Montenegro, where Spajic has led a fragile ruling coalition since October. As a NATO member and a candidate country for the European Union, the controversy surrounding the involvement of the PM in a collapsed cryptocurrency firm has intensified pressure by the opposition, who are now demanding his immediate resignation.


June 21,2024

Inaugural Solana ETF Will Launch On Toronto Stock Exchange

The Cent3iQ Digital Asset Management, a Canadian fund manager specializing in digital assets, has initiated the process to publicly offer the first Solana exchange-traded fund (ETF) in North America. The Solana Fund, trading under the ticker QSOL, is set to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, providing investors exposure to SOL.


Slow And Steady

Greg Benhaim, Executive Vice President of Product and Head of Trading at 3iQ, expressed both excitement and cautious optimism for expanding their lineup of regulated investment options. These offerings adhere to rigorous standards and involve collaborations with top-tier partners, enhancing accessibility to the crypto asset class for both individual and institutional investors.

The Fund aims to mirror SOL and its daily price movements, foster long-term capital growth, and generate staking rewards. 3iQ has a track record of digital asset innovation, having launched the first publicly traded Bitcoin and Ether funds in Canada.


The US Needs To Take Notice

Commenting on the whole ordeal, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas remarked on the relative scarcity of similar filings in the US. He suggested that asset managers might view such moves as strategic positioning in anticipation of a potential regulatory shift supportive of cryptocurrencies.

VanEck, a prominent investment firm, has also shown confidence in Solana and its potential, having previously introduced a Solana ETN on the Deutsche Börse in 2021. VanEck analysts foresee a surge in filings by asset managers aiming to enter the spot ETF market in 2024, reflecting growing interest in digital assets.


June 20,2024

AI Crypto Tokens Skyrocket Thanks To Nvidia

During a broader market downturn, crypto assets utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) have shown significant growth, driven by the widespread AI enthusiasm in both traditional finance and crypto markets.

This surge has been bolstered by the sustained rise of tech giant Nvidia, which recently claimed the title of the most valuable company worldwide with its stock price soaring to unprecedented heights. Benefits, now valued at $3.34 trillion, has nearly doubled its stock price since the year began, surpassing tech giants like Microsoft and Apple.


The Reasons Behind The Increase

The increase is attributed to the dominant position exhibited by Nvidia in supplying crucial chips for AI, often referred to as the new gold or oil in the tech sector. Against this backdrop, AI-based crypto tokens have emerged as top performers, overshadowing major cryptocurrencies that have undergone significant price corrections driven by Bitcoin (BTC).

According to CoinGecko, notable gainers among AI tokens include (FET), Singularity Net (AGIX), and Ocean Protocol (OCEAN), which have seen increases of 24%, 23.5%, and 22% respectively in the past 24 hours.

FET, for example, has experienced a notable recovery and broken its downtrend after a substantial price correction to $1.10. Despite being down more than 58% compared to its peak of $3.45 in March, blockchain research firm House of Chimera highlights practical applications for For instance, FET optimizes logistics by analyzing and predicting optimal routes, thereby cutting costs and enhancing delivery times.


Potential For Long-Term Growth

Similarly, the AGIX token has mirrored FET, peaking at $1.46 in March but currently trading 58% lower at $0.6018. Yet, the focus of the protocol on creating and monetizing AI services through its marketplace suggests potential for substantial gains and investor interest over time.

OCEAN also exhibits comparable price movements, trading at $0.6094 with a notable 20% increase in trading volume over the past 24 hours. Ocean Protocol has an open-source model which aims to facilitate data and service monetization, including AI-powered prediction and trading bots for crypto price feeds.

Chris Penrose, the Global Head of Telco Business Development for Nvidia, remains optimistic about future price gains in the AI sector, which could further drive adoption of AI-based crypto tokens. Penrose underscores the transformative potential of generative AI, emphasizing its impact on global businesses has only just begun. Wedbush Securities echoes this sentiment, predicting fierce competition in the tech sector as Nvidia, Apple, and Microsoft vie for a substantial $4 trillion market cap in the coming year.


June 20,2024

Iran Will Officially Launch New CBDC Initiative In June

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has initiated a public pilot for the Iranian national digital currency, targeting local micropayments. On June 18th, the CBI officially announced the launch of a trial program for a local Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), known as the digital Rial. Beginning June 21st, coinciding with the start of the month of Tir, the digital currency will be accessible to banking clients and tourists visiting Kish Island.


Full Digitalization

Kish Island, the second largest in the Persian Gulf and a popular tourist destination with approximately 12 million annual visitors, operates as a free trade zone which does not require a visa for many nationalities. As part of efforts to expand the digital Rial pilot initiated in 2023, the CBI aims to integrate the digital currency into everyday transactions on Kish Island, enhancing payment options alongside cash and bank cards.

Unlike traditional electronic money requiring bank accounts and interbank settlements, the digital Rial facilitates instant transfers through barcode scanning and specialized software. This approach aims to simplify payments and bolster security compared to conventional card transactions, marking a significant step toward developing the local digital economy and enhancing domestic micropayment capabilities.


Enhancing The Local Infrastructure

The CBI highlighted the role of the digital Rial role in fortifying the local payment infrastructure, rejuvenating electronic currency usage for small-scale transactions, and managing risks associated with private currencies. Notably, the current usage of the digital Rial is confined within Iran itself, emphasizing its intended focus on domestic applications.

In the realm of cryptocurrency policy, Iran has permitted crypto trading while prohibiting its use as a medium of exchange for goods and services. The country has also regulated its local cryptocurrency mining sector since 2018, a move viewed by some U.S. lawmakers as potentially circumventing sanctions, posing national security concerns.


June 19,2024

Ethereum 2.0 Investigation To Be Formally Dropped By The SEC

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has concluded its inquiry into Ethereum 2.0 and will no longer pursue legal action alleging that ETH sales constitute securities transactions, according to a recent announcement by Consensys.


Ether Picks Up Huge Win

The aforementioned development is certainly a significant victory for Ethereum developers, technology providers, and industry participants. Consensys described it as a huge step in the right direction for Ethereum developers and businesses, eliminating uncertainty that could have otherwise hindered growth and stifled innovation.

In March, an update on the Ethereum Foundation GitHub repository revealed that the organization was under investigation by an unnamed state authority. After the discovery, Fortune reported that the SEC pursued an energetic legal campaign to classify Ether as a security. Uncertainty intensified after Consensys filed a lawsuit against the SEC in April. Part of the overall goal was to seek a court ruling that would classify ETH as not a security.


Consensys To The Rescue

FOX Business reported in late April that the SEC Enforcement Division, headed by Gurbir Grewal, initiated a formal investigation into the status of Ethereum in March 2023. This investigation, known as Ethereum 2.0, explores transactions and activities associated with Ethereum dating back to 2018.

As noted, the latest decision by the SEC comes after Consensys sent a letter to the SEC arguing that the recent approval of spot Ethereum ETFs implied ETH was not a security, and the SEC should close the investigation. The move likely hinged on considering ETH a commodity, much like Bitcoin (BTC), and signifies no forthcoming legal challenges.

Despite this progress, Consensys said the quest for definitive regulatory guidelines continues, especially concerning services like MetaMask Swaps and Staking. The team is still seeking broader clarity by the SEC on crypto regulations.