JP Morgan Flip-Flops: Launches Bitcoin Fund

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Mike Grants
May 03,2021

pIn what can only be considered the largest flipflops of opinion by any financial institution this decade JP Morgan has walked back their harsh criticism of Bitcoin and is now launching a new Bitcoin investment productppWith overnbspa hrefhttpspillarwmcomwealthmanagementjpmorgan targetblank trillionanbspin assets under management as of JP Morgan is one of the largest investment banks in the world In JP Morgan CEO Jamie Diamond made headlines tagging bitcoin asnbspanbspldquofraudrdquonbspanbspquotterrible store of valuequotnbspand even went as far as to call it ldquoa hrefhttpswwwcityamcomjpmorganchiefsayswewillhavetobeinvolvedwithbitcoin targetblankworse than tulip bulbsardquo and that he would fire any JP Morgan trader caught trading Bitcoin This was met with harsh criticism from the Bitcoin community when shortly after making those announcements the company took a position in Bitcoin capitalizing on the selfinduced dip However since that time the company has dramatically softened its toneppOn the February Daniel Pinto the copresident of JP Morgan Chase said thatnbspquotthe institution will have to be involvedquotnbspin cryptocurrenciesnbspEither due to the explosive growth of Bitcoin or the tens of thousands of angry customers that they neglected to offer the asset JP Morgan has finally come around albeit with their tail between their legsppnbspppstrongWhat You Need to KnowstrongpulliThe fund will be an actively managed Bitcoin fundliliNYDIG will be serving as the custodian for the fundliliIt is slated to roll out later this summerliliThe fund will be reserved strictly for private wealth clientsliulpnbspppstrongWhat this Means for CryptostrongppWhile crypto heads can take solace in the fact that they can say quotI told you soquot to JP Morgan this move actually represents a much larger tectonic shift in the way financial institutions are looking at Bitcoin However cold and bearish they may have seemed in the past the sheer amount of consumer demand for the asset will ultimately force the hand of any financial institution that wants to survive It is no longer risky to hold Bitcoin now its riskier not top






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January 24,2022

OpenSea Is Being Exploited

OpenSea is actively being exploited nowadays owing to a weakness on the platforms front end. As per various reports, a user had successfully stolen 347 ETH from the NFT marketplace not too long ago.

Moreover, several users discovered that it was possible to acquire certain NFTs from OpenSea at rates previously advertised on the Rarible marketplace.

Also, while no backend or blockchain hacking process was required for the attack, the user merely leveraged the imbalance between the two orders on the different platforms to obtain value by purchasing an NFT for a substantially cheaper price than indicated on OpenSea.

Ultimately, its been a rough week for the NFT sector as not only have there been many functionality-related issues, but the NFT community previously also discovered that practically anybody can obtain a verified Twitter profile image by right-clicking and saving nearly any NFT and then subsequently mint it as a distinct collection on OpenSea without purchasing the real piece.

January 23,2022

Russia To Ban Crypto As Global Crackdown Efforts Intensify

Russia's central bank has suggested a blanket ban on cryptocurrency usage and mining within the country, citing concerns of financial stability, individuals' well-being, and the nation's monetary policy autonomy. The action is the most recent in a worldwide cryptocurrency crackdown, as governments from various countries in Asia all the way to the United States are concerned that privately controlled and extremely volatile virtual currencies would threaten their authority over banking and monetary systems.

Why ban it?

For years, Russia has suggested that cryptocurrencies can be used to launder money or support terrorists, and it is not the only country to think this way either. It finally granted them legal status back in 2020, but prohibited their usage as a payment method. The central bank stated that speculative demand was principally responsible for cryptocurrencies' quick rise and that they exhibited features of a possible financial pyramid, hinting at future market bubbles endangering financial stability and the country's people.

As a result, the bank advocated prohibiting financial institutions from conducting any activities involving cryptocurrencies, and that procedures be devised to stop transactions involving the purchase or sale of cryptocurrencies for fiat currencies. Cryptocurrency exchanges are also included in the planned prohibition, although Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has previously said that they are willing to work alongside the regulators to help legitimise the crypto industry.

Crypto mining and its future

The ban further targeted crypto mining, which it claimed harms the country's eco-friendly programme, jeopardises Russia's energy supply, and intensifies the negative impacts of cryptocurrency proliferation, providing incentives to avoid control and regulation. Russia is currently the world's third biggest cryptocurrency miner, so a ban on this could have catastrophic effects.

Many in the crypto community have viewed the proposed ban to mirror that of China's prohibition on cryptocurrencies and their usage, which also includes mining. In 2021, China's decision to ban crypto mining in various provinces had adversely impacted both the hash rate and the price of Bitcoin (BTC), which then resulted in massive price drops for numerous altcoins as well. Still, Russia appears to be a bit more lenient than China when it comes to crypto, so time will tell how the suggested ban will be put into effect and to what extent its consequences could be.

January 23,2022

$4.5 Billion To Be Raised by Andreessen Horowitz For New Cryptocurrency Funds

A venture capital firm known as Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has made significant investments in the cryptocurrency sector in the past. Most recently, it has announced that it is currently trying to generate $4.5 billion for new crypto funds. This total is more than quadruple the size of its previous $2.2 billion cryptocurrency fund, which debuted in June of last year.

Should the fund be successful, it shall be the company's fourth large-scale investment of its kind. Its inaugural fund was opened in 2018 for $300 million, and its second fund was launched in 2020 for $515 million. It also oversees more than $3 billion in cryptocurrency firms and protocols across 3 funds.

Moreover, each a16z cryptocurrency fund was bigger than the previous one, indicating that there is increased interest as well as demand in this field which presently shows little to no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

&lsquoWe're still early'

Bitcoin (BTC) has been around for a long time now, and although there have been numerous fluctuations with its price over the past decade, many believe that we are still relatively early as far as reaching the true potential of crypto is concerned. Andreessen Horowitz believes this as well, which led it to claim that it has been regularly amazed and delighted by the vast range of inventive cryptocurrency-based concepts that have emerged over the years.

The firm went on to explain that it seems like the early days of the Internet, Web 2.0, social media and smartphones once again for everyone who has been active in the software business for a long time. However, not everyone wants increased mainstream crypto adoption as is made evident by countries in several continents considering more stringent regulations and even blanket bans.

a16z looks to raise additional funds

a16z reportedly informed investors that it aimed to raise a maximum of $3.5 billion for its most recent cryptocurrency venture fund, as well as an extra $1 billion for yet another fund focusing on early stage investments in virtual assets, all of which it claims shall be completed by March of this year.

Furthermore, the firm manages roughly $28 billion in assets across numerous funds in industries such as healthcare, fintech and cryptocurrencies. Its crypto portfolio hence includes 41 distinct firms at the moment, including industry heavyweights such as dYdX, Solana, Dapper Labs, Near, Phantom, Uniswap and OpenSea.

January 21,2022

Crypto.com Hacked With Millions Stolen

Crypto.com has now revealed key details concerning a recent attack on its platform that occurred last weekend, stating that over 480 of its customers were impacted and that illegal withdrawals of nearly $19 million in BTC, $15 million in ETH, and more than $66,000 in various other currencies had transpired.

The overall losses, estimated to be higher than $34 million at today's prices, are reportedly more than what analysts projected prior to Crypto.com making its announcement.

CEO Kris Marszalek admitted that the hack had taken place after verifying that some Crypto.com users claimed their funds were indeed stolen via allegations that had previously been answered with cryptic and vague comments from the company, which had only referred to all of this as little more than an 'incident' in the past.

As of now, the CEO has not shared any details regarding the process through which the breach occurred, although he did acknowledge that the company had reimbursed all of the affected accounts and are currently looking into the issue.

January 20,2022

Google Treading Carefully Into The Realm Of Bitcoin And Cryptocurrencies

Google is treading carefully into the realm of Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies as the organization's payments division tries to achieve a major market share in the payments sector alongside the promotion of custody capabilities for such assets to its respective digital cards.

"We pay a lot of attention to cryptocurrencies," said Bill Ready, Google's Head of Commerce. "The company will therefore have to evolve in tandem with user and merchant demand so as to keep up to date with a changing world and economy."

Moreover, in order to successfully provide the new functionality, Google has formed agreements with both Coinbase Inc. and BitPay. However, it must be mentioned that the company will still refrain from accepting BTC for various transactions for the foreseeable future.

In related news, Google has also recently appointed former PayPal CEO Arnold Goldberg to lead its payments division as part of a larger push to offer a wide variety of different financial services, which reportedly includes crypto as well.

January 19,2022

Mastercard announces a partnership with Coinbase

Mastercard has recently announced a partnership with Coinbase, the latest in a string of collaborations between various payment processors and cryptocurrency organizations.

Coinbase users will soon be able to utilize Mastercard debit and credit cards to successfully make purchases via the crypto exchange's future NFT marketplace as part of the arrangement. Coinbase had previously announced its intentions of developing a platform for minting and purchasing NFTs last year, which was mainly due to the fact that non-fungible tokens have since grown tremendously in terms of popularity and usage as of late.

Moreover, Coinbase officials stated that by partnering up with Mastercard, they essentially want to eliminate friction in the NFT purchasing process. Customers are now required to establish a cryptocurrrency wallet, purchase digital currencies, and then spend them on NFTs through an online marketplace. Meanwhile, Mastercard claimed that it wants to enable consumers to have more options for paying for NFTs in the future.

January 17,2022

Jack Dorsey Sets His Sights On Improving Bitcoins Decentralization

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Block, formerly known as Square, announces plans to provide greater decentralization to Bitcoin bringing easier affordable participation in the Bitcoin mining process to the masses, through a new Bitcoin mining system. The project sets out to address several pain points in the current Bitcoin ASIC mining business including access to equipment, cost of equipment, reliability of equipment and vendors, while also tackling the biggest elephant on the list, power consumption. The ultimate rollout of these efforts being that Bitcoin mining is more accessible to everyone, and Bitcoin becomes more decentralised as a result. Lofty goals with an excellent narrative that has improving upon Bitcoin's core fundamental strength, decentralised control, at its heart.

Proof Of Stake is so popular&hellip

In a time when Proof of Stake Coins and moves to Proof of Stake consensus (Ethereum) are in the spotlight, Jack Dorsey moves his company to support and expand the most popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin's Proof of Work system. The two systems both offer decentralisation but to different degrees. Technically when Ethereum moves to Proof of Stake consensus it is still decentralised, though it will be to a far less degree than presently. Is that the correct direction evolving towards a less decentralised network? In light of the current crypto trends/sentiment, and an aspiring fully decentralised Web3, we think not.

Node purchase or a stake on Ethereum 2.0 is set to be 32 Ethereum. These 2.0 Ethereum nodes or stakes will replace current miners on the Ethereum network and start earning the rewards for validation of transactions. A future buy-in to producing Ethereum will be to commit 32 Ethereum to a stake, an enormous price tag even today. Presently anyone with a video card in their computer can support the Ethereum network and earn rewards. In the future it will only be the wealthy that can afford to be rewarded. Thus, the Ethereum network will be centralised among wealthy people only.

Jack has a strong case championing the decentralisation component in Bitcoin and crypto, striving to retain and develop further incentive for the "little guy" to participate, adding to Bitcoin's decentralisation and strength as a network. We think he is heading Block in the right direction and working towards Web3 aspirations of online privacy, decentralised control, fewer online monopolies, and a system that everybody can support, and be rewarded for doing so.

January 17,2022

Pakistan Prepares For Heavy-Handed Crypto Ban

The central bank of Pakistan along with its federal government have both recently suggested that cryptocurrencies and all associated activities be outright prohibited for the foreseeable future. Their report has been forwarded to the local finance and law ministries for further consideration.

This incident comes shortly after the FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) of Pakistan issued an inquiry to Binance as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into a scheme in which Binance wallets as well as integrated applications were reportedly utilised to swindle around $100 million from Pakistani consumers.

A multi-million dollar scam

Imran Riaz, the head of the FIA Cyber Crime Zone Sindh, tweeted a letter dated January 6th which was written to Binance's Cayman Islands headquarters and the general manager of Binance Pakistan, Humza Khan.

According to the letter, there had been countless complaints regarding an online financial scam which had occurred within Pakistan involving bogus applications that robbed innocent individuals of millions of dollars. It further stated that as of right now, the investigation has discovered fake accounts on 11 different applications which include UG, TASKTOK, 91FP, BX66, BB001, OKIMINI, FXCOPY, HFC, MCX, and more. During the investigation, over 25 Binance wallets were discovered to be connected to the fraudulent applications.

Essentially, the scammers had instructed Pakistani users to open a Binance account and subsequently transfer cash from their respective Binance wallets into the application. Users were then able to join various Telegram groups where administrators would provide price action recommendations until the users had placed significant sums into the applications. The applications would suddenly and mysteriously 'crash' shortly afterwards and the funds were stolen.

Furthermore, according to the FIA, the average investment per person in these applications was about $2,000, and each application had roughly 5,000 clients, implying that scammers gained a massive profit of approximately $100 million. For its part, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has stated that he is willing to work alongside the FIA and various other global regulators to further legitimise crypto.

&lsquoCrypto ban' is imminent

It seems increasingly apparent that the Pakistani government and its central bank, the State Bank of Pakistan, will outright prohibit cryptocurrencies. According to various local media channels and outlets, the supposed total ban suggestion would penalise any and all cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase and all related crypto-oriented activities. Currently, the prohibition is only a proposal, and it is uncertain whether it will be fiercely contested as authorities continue to analyse it with the tentative date for the final decision being said to be around mid April, 2022.

Additionally, the SHC (Sindh High Court) has been investigating the legality of virtual currencies for many years now, but this is the first instance of the central bank taking an official position pertaining to the cryptocurrency asset class. The SHC had previously requested that the asset class be regulated by the government in October 2020, however with the new recommended prohibition, none of that would be necessary if crypto in Pakistan is banned completely.

Many local crypto enthusiasts and people of influence have therefore repeatedly asked the government and the central bank to re-evaluate their decision, as Pakistan currently ranks among the top five countries worldwide in terms of crypto adoption. Others have stated that more regulation and educational efforts instead of a complete blanket ban would be the best way forward and that blame should be directed towards the scammers themselves and not to crypto as a whole since fraudulent activities such as this can occur via stocks, bank transfers and all kinds of other methods as well.

January 16,2022

Solana (SOL) May Soon Be Known As The Visa Of The Digital Asset Ecosystem.

According to a new Bank of America report, Solana (SOL) may soon be known as the 'Visa' of the digital asset ecosystem. This is due to many factors, chief among which are its emphasis on scalability, usability, and low transaction fees.

The bank therefore believes that the Solana blockchain could eventually be transformed into the equivalent of Visa in the realm of cryptocurrencies as well as NFTs. At the moment however, many still actively prefer Ethereum (ETH).

Moreover, despite its benefits, critics pointed out that Solana's speed comes at the price of decentralisation and dependability. On the other hand, supporters feel the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, as Solana's ability to be comparatively fast, low cost, and relatively easy to utilise produces a blockchain ideal for consumer use cases such as micropayments, NFTs, decentralised finance, gaming, and Web 3.0.

Additionally, Solana offers some of the industry's quickest transaction speeds and promotes scalability, however a blockchain that is less decentralised and safe has certain disadvantages too, as seen by various network performance and security-related difficulties since its debut.
 

January 14,2022

Tonga Looks To Follow El Salvadors Lead, Stepping To Make Bitcoin Legal Tender

According to a former MP, Tonga is getting set to imitate El Salvadors decision of making Bitcoin (BTC) legal tender and therefore officially become the next country to formally adopt the biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

Tongan Prime Minister Lord Fusitua predicts that his nation will most likely accept Bitcoin latest by November or December in a judgement that is nearly identical to the one made by El Salvador last year.

The former local member of parliament provided an ETA for the flagship cryptocurrency possibly becoming legal tender within Tonga via a series of tweets that have since gone viral. Following in the footsteps of El Salvador, the action has the potential to bring over 100,000 Tongans onto the Bitcoin network and thus promote mainstream adoption and provide important use-cases.

There will hence be a 5-point plan to be followed.

 

January 12,2022

BEAST NFT Announces NFT Pre-Sale and Token Launch

BEAST NFT Announces NFT Pre-Sale and Token Launch

The Digital Asset Investment Platform Gears Up for an Eventful Month Ahead 

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, 12 January 2022 - BEAST NFT is proud to announce its upcoming token presale and IDO (Initial DEX Offering) launch. The presale, which is set to begin on Tuesday, 11 January at 21:00 GMT, will last for 24 hours. 

This event will provide retail investors with the opportunity to gain first access to top-shelf digital assets. The presale will require a minimum wallet purchase of 1BNB and will also limit investments to a maximum of 10BNB. 

We are thrilled to grant crypto investors and NFT enthusiasts of all backgrounds the chance to participate in our token presale this week, supporting our mission of adding NFTs to every portfolio. We look forward to continually making wealth-building strategies like NFT investment accessible to everyone. Shivam Talwar, CEO of BEAST NFT. 

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are one of the fastest-growing sectors of the crypto industry. NFTs skyrocketed in 2021, generating roughly $25 billion in sales. 

Usable in multiple applications and encompassing (but not limited to) digital art, music, and collectibles, NFTs had a year-over-year increase of more than 38,000% from Q3 of 2020, per DappRadar. 

Now is the perfect time to participate in this exciting and continuously evolving market through NFT acquisition. 

BEAST NFT will follow up its presale with the official launch of its initial DEX offering (IDO) on 24 January 2022. 

The BNFT Token is a community-driven DeFi token that allows holders to take part in every aspect of the BEAST NFT ecosystem, which includes everything from NFT presales to earning rewards from NFT staking. Additional discounts will be offered to BEAST NFT users when BNFT is used as a form of payment on the platform.

In addition to its BNFT tokens, BEAST NFT plans to launch an array of applications and services in 2022, including BEAST SWAP, BEAST WALLET, BEAST LAUNCHPAD, and BEAST MARKETPLACE. 

These additions will all work to fulfill BEAST NFT vision of a fully comprehensive, decentralized NFT ecosystem that makes NFT investment and creation both easy and effortless. 

To take part in the presale, you will need to join our telegram @beastnft or visit our website beastnft.io. The presale will be on the Beast NFT website (www.beastnft.io), where interested parties can take part without a whitelist.

About BEAST NFT

BEAST NFT is the world's first community-driven Binance NFT ecosystem project. It is a user-friendly, innovative one-stop shop for digital asset investment. A breakthrough platform that creates passive income opportunities for its users via redistribution, reflection, staking, and BNFT trading, BEAST NFT strives to empower investors to best manage and grow their wealth through blockchain activity. BEAST NFT sets itself apart from its competition by prioritizing and ensuring global accessibility and traceability, open transparency, transaction efficiency, and competitive fees while maintaining privacy, security, and autonomy. For further information, please visit  beastnft.io.

January 11,2022

Samsung Goes All In On Crypto, NFTs and The Metaverse

In what continues to become the month's hottest story, Samsung has made multiple announcements pertaining to cryptocurrencies, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and even the metaverse itself. As the cryptocurrency and DeFi sector continues to gain more traction and mainstream adoption, many were pleasantly surprised at the revelation that Samsung looks to become increasingly involved with this industry, and whether this could potentially open the doors for even more companies to enter it as well in the foreseeable future.
 
&lsquoNFT Aggregation Platform'
To begin with, the new Samsung smart TVs will include a built-in, user-friendly NFT platform that shall allow customers to explore and trade digital works from the comfort of their sofas. The company revealed its intentions to launch a new smart TV series with integrated NFT functionality, allowing users to browse, purchase, sell, and show content through a tailored platform.
Customers will reportedly be allowed to explore as well as purchase NFTs directly from their TVs via the new &39NFT Aggregation Platform,&39 which shall be available on Samsung&39s MicroLed, Neo QLED, and The Frame models. The site imports NFTs from other marketplaces, enabling visitors to view the art and find other relevant details like who created the piece alongside important blockchain metadata.
Furthermore, those who already own NFTs can use the site to exhibit their collection. According to Samsung, its &39Smart Calibration&39 technology will be able to automatically alter the television&39s settings to properly match the original creator&39s standards, guaranteeing that the image is delivered as accurately as possible via the TV.
 
Cardano exposure
Aside from NFTs, Samsung has also partnered up with Veritree through which the electronics manufacturer will gain access to the Cardano (ADA) blockchain. The collaboration is part of Samsung&39s land restoration initiatives, and also gives the corporation access to not just Cardano, but the wider blockchain sector.
In 2022&39s first quarter, 2 million trees shall be planted as a result of the collaboration. As part of the company&39s commitment to mitigate the consequences of climate change, mangrove trees will be planted in Madagascar. Planting these trees would appear to be a smart move since they store ten times more carbon than other tropical forest plants, according to the latest reports.
Moreover, Cardano and Veritree have been working together for quite some time, with Veritree&39s own verification records pertaining to reforestation being maintained on the blockchain. This subsequently allows for the certification of data from planting locations and the linking of every contribution to the area it helped repair.
 
Entering the metaverse
As if that weren&39t enough, Samsung has also entered the metaverse sector through a partnership with Decentraland (MANA), an Ethereum-oriented virtual reality platform. In Decentraland, the company has hence built a digital counterpart of its real-world flagship 837 store. The actual store is located at 837 Washington Street in Manhattan&39s Meatpacking District whereas the virtual store, known as the Samsung 837X, shall be available in Decentraland for a short period.
According to Samsung representatives, this is one of the biggest and most significant brand land takeovers in Decentraland history. "The metaverse enables its users to go beyond physical and geographical constraints in order to create innovative, unique and memorable digital experiences which would not be possible otherwise," stated Michelle Crossan-Matos, Samsung&39s Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Communications.
Although the Samsung 837X store would only be available for a short period in Decentraland, the company nevertheless intends to introduce additional similar experiences as the year progresses.