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

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 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 Bitcoins 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 Bitcoins 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 centralized 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 Bitcoins decentralization 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 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

The Associated Press Is Introducing An NFT Marketplace

The Associated Press (AP) news agency is introducing an NFT marketplace for collectors to buy images shot throughout the course of its nearly 200 year long history. Xooa, a blockchain technology firm, is reportedly developing the marketplace and the NFTs shall be issued via the Polygon blockchain.

Moreover, the inaugural collection will be presented over many weeks beginning on January 31st and shall include topics ranging from space, environment, and conflict on various AP photographers' work. Every NFT shall additionally have full information about the location, equipment, date, time, and technical parameters utilised to capture the image.

The marketplace will also allow secondary market purchases and transactions via credit card payments and cryptocurrency wallets like MetaMask, with Coinbase and Binance support to follow.

The Associated Press concluded that the revenues generated through the NFTs will be used to finance its journalism endeavors and initiatives for the future.

January 10,2022

Crypto Prices Slide With Interest Rate Hike News

In crypto a new year never ceases to surprises. With Crypto in full swing and hopes high for ATH in October and November, the resulting December and start to January have been a letdown for sure. Since December 27, 2021 to present, Bitcoin has fallen in price by more than $10,000 USD per coin, and the rest of the cryptocurrency market has followed suit sheading over $300B USD in total crypto market cap, in that same time. The crypto market has reached high levels of fear on the Fear and Greed index, and on Wednesday the Federal Reserve accentuated the downside by releasing minutes from December that recorded their intention to move up the timetable for interest rates increases, to mid-March. An obvious move in the face of present inflation numbers. The effect this information had on sentiment in all investment markets was clearly visible via substantial red candles across the board.

The minutes explored measures by the Fed to reduce their support in the traditional financial markets starting in March. It was an expected move and is necessary with spiraling inflation numbers. Crypto continues to show a strong correlation to traditional investments and is naturally reacting with higher levels of volatility to the downside. Other crypto news items like Bitcoin mining bans in Kosovo, Internet outages in Kazakhstan, seasonal investment trends and practice of booking profits are also a go to reasoning for late December downward shifts in crypto prices. These topics have added to fears, but the true culprit is crypto's correlation to traditional investment markets and news, with ongoing troubles. 

Crypto veterans will know by experience that this kind of volatility is good for the market, and in future will be recognized as a great buying opportunity. Pullbacks do in fact shake out weak hands and build a stronger foundation. It is also always encouraging to see that bottom grow. Crypto continues with exponentially increasing adoption, delivering new opportunities daily, and this downside will look microscopic in time from certain higher highs.

January 10,2022

Digital Yuan Gets Added To WeChat As Work On CBDCs Continues

WeChat, owned by Tencent and China's most popular messaging app as well as one of the nation's biggest payment platforms, has announced plans of supporting China's sovereign digital currency, the digital Yuan.

China had begun working on the digital yuan all the way back in 2014, but it has yet to be implemented on a nation-wide scale. However, WeChat's decision to allow the digital currency, which has since garnered more than 1 billion users to date, might provide it with a significant boost if the country' citizens start utilising it for various payments and transactions on a regular basis.

What is WeChat?

WeChat could very well be unfamiliar to consumers beyond China's borders, but it is pervasive within the world's second-biggest economy. As it incorporates several services, WeChat is often referred to as a kind of 'all-in one app', mainly because it allows users to take advantage of various chat functions in addition to using WeChat Pay to make all kinds of purchases as well as hail cabs, taxis and even order meals. WeChat Pay lets customers pay for things in-store by showing merchants a barcode via their smartphones. WeChat Pay has even managed to gain nearly 800 million active monthly users. Adding digital Yuan capabilities would therefore seem like a no-brainer.

Even now, the PBoC (People's Bank of China), which is responsible for issuing the digital Yuan, also referred to as e-CNY, has conducted limited experiments in specific locations through lotteries during which the central bank has distributed modest quantities of the nation's currency to certain residents. With that being said, despite the lack of a specific time frame for a statewide deployment, there would appear to be several indicators which suggest that the PBoC is aiming to extend the use of the digital Yuan.

The PBOC has thus created an e-CNY app for consumers in specific Chinese provinces and localities. All residents living in those locations shall be able to download and subsequently sign up to utilise the digital Yuan as a result. In the past, the users were only allowed access to the app through invitation.

CBDCs Vs Crypto

It is no secret that the increased usage and popularity of cryptocurrencies has prompted governments and regulatory agencies all over the world to come up with a counter to these new digital assets, and this answer arrived in the form of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Despite many countries already working on their own respective CBDCs, China would nonetheless almost always be at the forefront of the conversation, as it was the Chinese government which had decided to put an all end to all crypto-based activities within the country last year, which also involved the shutting down of various mining operations and nation-wide crackdowns that resulted in many local crypto enthusiasts, traders and investors being forced to flee the country and Bitcoin's hash rate being adversely affected.

Ultimately, it is unclear as to how successful CBDCs will be in the future as certain nations have elected to opt for cryptocurrencies instead and we need only look at El Salvador officially making Bitcoin (BTC) legal tender for proof of this. Still, the work around the digital Yuan should not be ignored, as the usage of e-CNY could have great potential as we draw closer to the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, which is an event that has also caused some controversy as it had been reported that all visiting teams will be required to use the digital Yuan with seemingly little to no choice.

January 10,2022

Samsung Goes All In On Crypto, NFTs and The Metaverse

In what continues to become the months 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.
 
NFT 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 NFT Aggregation Platform, which shall be available on Samsungs 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 Smart Calibration technology will be able to automatically alter the televisions settings to properly match the original creators 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 Samsungs land restoration initiatives, and also gives the corporation access to not just Cardano, but the wider blockchain sector.

In 2022s first quarter, 2 million trees shall be planted as a result of the collaboration. As part of the companys 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 Veritrees 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 werent 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 Manhattans 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, Samsungs 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.

January 09,2022

Bitmart Customers Await Compensation News

Bitmart customers have been speaking out for a while now and some have even resorted to calling foul play following the company's apparent failure to react to numerous requests for new updates in the wake of the recent December attack, which had resulted in the loss of a massive $200 million in assets from a couple of Bitmart's hot wallets.

Victims of the December 2021 breach are currently awaiting additional information from Bitmart regarding restitution of the lost funds, however the situation is far from being resolved.

To that end, the exchange has stated that the victims of the attack will be compensated in due time. In related news, most if not all email correspondence with Bitmart's CEO has since resulted in little more than bounced emails.

Despite the attack, many nevertheless remain optimistic about the future of crypto and DeFi and believe that as the sector grows, incidents like this will gradually decrease in volume and frequency.








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