November 20,2023

Argentina Will Have A New Bitcoin Friendly President

In a historic triumph, Javier Milei has secured the presidential seat in Argentina, indicating a potential significant change in the economic landscape of the nation going forward. Milei, renowned for fervently supporting Bitcoin and strongly criticizing central banks, has injected a wave of optimism into the cryptocurrency market. Following the announcement of his victory, BTC experienced an immediate increase, rising by 2% to reach over $37,300.

Time for a change

The success experienced by Milei in the elections reflects the increasing dissatisfaction that Argentina has with conventional financial institutions, amidst the country grappling with one of the highest inflation rates worldwide. His outspoken opposition to central banks, which he outright labels as a scam, and his advocacy for transferring financial authority to the private sector through cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin resonated with a significant portion of the voting population.

Provisional results indicate that Milei secured more than 55% of the votes, representing a clear mandate by the Argentine public. His primary competitor, Sergio Massa, conceded the run-off vote prior to the official results being declared. This victory is particularly noteworthy as it signifies a remarkable ascent for Milei, a former television commentator and political outsider who vowed to break up with the status quo.

A need to be independent

One of the most ambitious campaign pledges that Milei put forward is to dollarize Argentina, where the dominant currency would be USD. If implemented, this action would be unprecedented for a country of this scale, effectively relinquishing control of its monetary policy to decision-makers in the United States. This proposal underscores the commitment that Milei has to radical economic reforms, including a potential shift towards cryptocurrencies.

At any rate, the election may very well usher in a new era for Argentina, where the adoption of digital currencies may emerge as a fundamental aspect of its economic policy. The global financial community is closely monitoring this shift, as it could establish a precedent for nations dealing with high inflation and skepticism towards traditional banking systems, potentially turning to decentralized digital currencies for stability and progress.

As Argentina embarks on this transformative path with a pro-Bitcoin leader at the helm, the world observes with keen interest to witness the unfolding of this daring experiment in national economic reform.

November 20,2023

Crypto Fundraising November 14 - 20

On behalf of the hashtagWeb3 community, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the companies that announced their success in fundraising between 14th November and 20th November 2023. We are thrilled to see such tremendous support from all involved. Well done! 

Fnality International raised $145M - Fnality International started its life as a pure research project to better understand how DLT could change financial markets.

BC Tech Group raised $90.91M - This strategic transaction is a testament to OSL's unwavering commitment to setting new standards in digital asset security, compliance, and technological innovation.

Kakarot zkEVM raised an undisclosed amount - The primary objective of this funding is to grow KakarotZkEvmteam and speed up the development of Ethereum scaling solutions.

Baton raised $4.2M - The investment will go toward hiring several engineering, product and marketing roles, as well as allow Baton to develop a mixed-media collaboration and rights management ecosystem for visual artists, filmmakers and designers.

EthXY raised $1.6M - EthXY have implemented various innovations that make using Base as seamless as chatting on Telegram. For the user, they're simply interacting with the chat, while underneath the service, they're conducting all their games on-chain.

Blockchain.com raised $600M - Blockchain.com (formerly Blockchain.info) is a cryptocurrency financial services company.

SteakHut Finance raised an undisclosed amount - The funding will help SteakHut launch and scale the growth of the upcoming decentralised market-making platform.

Arkham raised an undisclosed amount -  The company has closed $12 million in funding, and plans to exit beta and launch publicly by the end of 2023.

Kinto raised $5M - The Kinto network features native know-your-customer (KYC) checks &ndash a type of anti-money-laundering prevention.

Uniblock raised $2.3M - Uniblock's goal is to be the default developer platform that companies use when building for the blockchain.

beoble raised $2M - Beoble asserts that the messaging platform will offer advanced end-to-end encryption and secure wallet-to-wallet communication for decentralized connectivity.

Superstate raised $18M - Superstate is a blockchain-based government bond fund, using the Ethereum blockchain as a secondary record-keeping tool.

Sei raised an undisclosed amount- Sei, the first layer 1 blockchain optimized for DeFi, announced a $5 million funding round led by Multicoin Capital with participation from.

CFX Labs raised $9.5M- CFX Labs's funding round will provide resources to expand its network reach and continued development of innovative technologies supporting international payments.

To stay updated with news about future Web3 Funding Rounds, Follow CryptoWeekly
 

November 19,2023

Fidelity Files Ethereum Spot ETF Application To Compete With BlackRock

Fidelity Investments officially submitted a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 17th, seeking approval for an Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF). Cboe BZX, in turn, filed a 19b-4 document outlining a proposed rule change to list and trade shares of the planned fund. Fidelity previously submitted an application for a spot Bitcoin ETF to the SEC in late June.

The race is on

In a similar vein, BlackRock, the main competitor to Fidelity, recently filed an S-1 document for its spot Ethereum ETF on November 15th, following its spot Bitcoin ETF application in June. The near-simultaneous submissions by these asset management giants may be attributed to their significant market standing.

BlackRock holds the position of the largest asset manager worldwide with $9 trillion in assets under management (AUM), while Fidelity ranks as the third biggest with $4.2 trillion in AUM. Various other asset managers have also presented applications for spot Bitcoin and spot Ethereum ETFs after these high-profile submissions. The SEC is anticipated to make a decision on a Bitcoin ETF by January 10th, 2024, particularly regarding the application submitted by ARK Invest earlier in May.

All eyes on the SEC

While the SEC evaluates both spot Ethereum ETFs and spot Bitcoin ETFs separately, approval of one type of fund could set the stage for the other. It is worth noting that the SEC has not yet greenlit any Bitcoin or Ethereum spot ETFs, but it has approved futures ETFs for both types in recent months and years.

Following these developments, ETH experienced a slight increase in price and volume, gaining approximately 0.5%. Despite major Wall Street companies sequentially applying for spot Ethereum ETFs, the SEC has yet to reach a decision on spot Bitcoin ETFs.

In related news, the SEC has postponed two different Bitcoin ETF applications, including the Global X Spot BTC ETF, which had not reached its final decision date. Various analysts suggest that if Bitcoin ETFs gain approval, the likelihood of approval for Ethereum ETFs is strong.

November 19,2023

Cardano Founder Wants To Work With Former OpenAI CEO

Charles Hoskinson recently extended a friendly gesture to former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on the X platform, openly inviting him to explore the prospect of collaborating on a decentralized Large Language Model (LLM) for a Cardano PartnerChain.

This unexpected partnership could unite the innovative minds of two prominent figures in the computing realm. At any rate, a potential collaboration between Cardano and Altman could lead to the creation of a groundbreaking platform surpassing conventional centralized AI models.

A rude awakening

It is noteworthy that this invitation follows closely on the heels of OpenAI announcing that Sam Altman was indeed fired before anointing Mira Murati as interim CEO. Sam being fired was extremely surprising, but experts believe that the departure was largely attributed to a lack of transparency in his actions and a conflict with the Board of Directors. Sam has also hinted at potential consequences if the conflict worsens.

Furthermore, the departure of three key researchers, namely Jakub Pachocki, Aleksander Madry, and Szymon Sidor, in addition to Altman being fired and President Greg Brockman resigning, has added plenty of tension and complexity to the recent upheaval at OpenAI, hinting at internal challenges. This instability coincides with significant leadership changes at the company, prompting concerns about the future direction of the influential AI developer.

Looking ahead

While the reasons behind these departures and changes in OpenAI leadership remain unknown, they could influence key strategic decisions and research pursuits going forward. Altman and Brockman expressed surprise and discontent with the aforementioned decision, and Sam likened the experience to reading your eulogy while you are still alive.

Cardano, a blockchain platform known for its commitment to robust technology and decentralized applications, has been gaining plenty of attention in the crypto market. As such, Hoskinson inviting Altman into the world of DeFi reflects how Cardano is striving to push the boundaries of innovation in the technology sector.

Even in the realm of AI, the concept of a decentralized LLM aligns with what Cardano wants to achieve in terms of creating sustainable and scalable solutions. A decentralized LLM also signifies a fundamental shift in AI research and utilization, potentially offering enhanced security, transparency, and accessibility through blockchain technology.

November 17,2023

Germany Should Make BTC Legal Tender, According To Local Parliament Member

In a significant development with potential ramifications for the cryptocurrency landscape, German legislator Joana Cotar is reportedly leading an effort to designate Bitcoin (BTC) as an official currency in the country. As of now, El Salvador and the Central African Republic (CAR) are the only nations to have made BTC legal tender.

Bitcoin in the Bundestag

Cotar, a member of the German Bundestag, aims to commence a preliminary examination to establish a legal framework acknowledging Bitcoin as an official medium of exchange in Germany. Stressing the importance of legal certainty for both businesses and individuals, she also addresses potential risks linked to Bitcoin, including money laundering, tax evasion, and various other illicit activities.

As part of her awareness-raising campaign within the parliament, Cotar has launched the Bitcoin in the Bundestag initiative. Her key focus areas encompass advocating for the numerous features that Bitcoin has, including but not limited to freedom, privacy protection, security standards, and prevention of excessive regulation.

Bitcoin takes priority

Despite there being so many cryptocurrencies, Cotar is exclusively interested in Bitcoin and has outlined plans to establish a formal Bundestag committee to delve into the technological distinctions between Bitcoin and other digital assets. Known for her harsh criticism of the CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) plans put forth by the European Central Bank, Cotar decided to add her perspective to the ongoing discourse on digital currencies and payments in Europe.

At any rate, Cotar pushing for Bitcoin to attain legal tender status in Germany occurs amid a global conversation on the role of cryptocurrencies in mainstream finance. Her specific emphasis on Bitcoin, to the exclusion of other cryptocurrencies, aligns with the viewpoint of many advocates who see Bitcoin as the most promising digital asset in terms of being both a valuable investment and long term source of storage.

November 17,2023

Crypto Keeps Growing Despite Bearish Sentiments

Avalanche and Solana displayed remarkable performance, experiencing significant double-digit price surges once again. Bitcoin responded positively to the weekly low it established, surging by $3,000 within hours, challenging the $38,000 mark anew. Altcoins are also showing gains, with ETH and BNB hovering around the $2,000 and $250 marks respectively.

Reaching $38,000 again

Bitcoin underwent a substantial surge precisely a week ago, reaching $38,000 for the first time in 18 months. However, the anticipated move by bears swiftly pushed the asset southward, resulting in a decline of over $2,000 in minutes.

By the weekend, BTC had regained some value, staying above $37,000 for several days. The situation worsened on Tuesday and particularly on Wednesday, when bears drove the cryptocurrency to a weekly low of $35,000.

Despite this, BTC rebounded after adding $3,000 in less than a day, revisiting $38,000 before once again falling under that mark. Presently, it has been unable to surpass this level, hovering approximately $500 below it. Still, its market capitalization has grown by around $30 billion, reaching just over $730 billion on CoinMarketCap.

Altcoins show positive momentum

During periods of heightened Bitcoin volatility, most altcoins do not stay on the sidelines. Modest gainers among larger-cap altcoins include ETH, BNB, XRP, TRX, LINK, and LTC, with price increases of up to 4%.

More significant price surges are seen in Solana (11%), Cardano (9%), Dogecoin (6%), Polkadot (8%), Toncoin (8%), and Uniswap (5.5%). Avalanche stands out with a substantial 27% daily surge, resulting in AVAX trading well above $23. The total crypto market cap increased by over $60 billion overnight, currently nearing $1.45 trillion on CoinGecko.

Other markets

Asian stocks declined on Friday amid escalating US-China tech competition, prompting Alibaba to scrap an $11 billion cloud unit listing. The 10% decline in stock price for Alibaba also adversely impacted Hong Kong and mainland benchmarks. Meanwhile, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index dipped, despite being on track for a weekly gain of around 3%.

In the oil market, prices faced a fourth consecutive weekly loss, entering bear territory. Treasury yields held steady after a decline fueled by soft US economic data. US shares experienced volatility, with the S&P 500 on track for its best month in over a year. China directed lenders to limit interbank funding rates, while Berkshire Hathaway sold Yen bonds. In India, regulators urged banks to increase buffers for certain consumer loans, and money-market fund assets reached a record high. Lastly, gold prices rose after the most significant increase in a month.

November 16,2023

Bitfinex And Tether Successfully Repel Class Action Lawsuit

In a significant turn of events, cryptocurrency entities Tether and Bitfinex have effectively repelled a class-action lawsuit. Shawn Dolifka, the plaintiff, alleged that Tether was not truthful regarding its reserves. According to the lawsuit, Bitfinex and Tether engaged in undisclosed, conflicted transactions to cover losses by transferring money out of Tether reserve funds. Nevertheless, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York has since dismissed this legal action.

Understanding the context

Tether was previously ordered to produce financial records relating to the backing of the USDT stablecoin by a US judge in New York as part of a lawsuit alleging that the company conspired to issue the stablecoin as part of an effort to inflate the price of Bitcoin (BTC).

Back in 2019, the New York State Attorney General (NYSAG) also sued Bitfinex, a popular cryptocurrency exchange. According to a 23 page document, the NYSAG had reason to believe that several New York based traders transacted on the exchange, despite Bitfinex claiming that it would no longer serve clients in the city in 2018.

Unsurprisingly, the NYSAG launched an investigation to expose ongoing fraud being carried out by the company and affiliated firms which led to it requesting any and all documentation related to Bitfinex users in the state of New York.

Crypto wins

Chief Judge Laura Taylor Swain rejected the plea put forth by Shawn to revise her complaint against the firms. Subsequent to this ruling, Dolifka opted against appealing, thereby solidifying the decision by Judge Swain to favor Tether and Bitfinex.

The official statement released by the USDT issuer and Bitfinex acknowledged the lawsuit as imprudent but commended the decision not to pursue an appeal. The companies asserted that the claims presented by the plaintiff lacked any validity and emphasized that continued legal proceedings would yield no financial or other benefits for him or his legal representatives.

The statement concluded with a resolute assertion by both companies, stating that both as of now and in the future, Tether and Bitfinex have never nor ever will succumb to baseless lawsuits aimed at extracting monetary gains.

November 16,2023

Paxos Secures License In Singapore Amid Plans Of Developing A USD Backed Stablecoin

Paxos has secured a preliminary license in Singapore by local authorities, paving the way for Paxos Digital Singapore Pte. Ltd. to initiate digital payment token services under the Payments Services Act while awaiting final approval.

A growing demand for stablecoins

In response to the increasing global demand for stable digital currencies, Paxos plans to develop a stablecoin backed by the United States Dollar (USD) in Singapore once full authorization is granted. Walter Hessert, Paxos Head of Strategy, emphasized the challenges faced by those outside the United States in accessing and using USD securely and in compliance with regulations.

In alignment with the growing demand for stablecoins, Paxos regularly discloses reports on the reserves and attestations of its stablecoins. This licensing development aligns with the recent clearance given to Paxos within Singapore to offer tokenization, custody, and trading services. Industry experts predict substantial growth in the stablecoin market, projecting an increase to $2.8 trillion over the next five years.

Room for improvement

In the past year, cryptocurrency usage among the average person in Singapore remained low, with slower growth compared to emerging markets like Vietnam and the Philippines. Singapore dropped to the 76th spot in the 2023 Global Crypto Adoption Index by Chainanalysis, ranking 63rd in 2022. Meanwhile, Hong Kong, aspiring to be a crypto hub, fell to 47th place.

The index, assessing grassroots crypto adoption, highlights countries where individuals invest a significant portion of their wealth in cryptocurrency. The central and southern Asia-Oceania region dominates the index, with India leading, followed by Nigeria, Vietnam, and the United States. Despite global recovery since late 2022, grassroots adoption is still below its peak, although several SEA (Southeast Asian) countries like Singapore and Hong Kong are steadily gaining momentum.

November 15,2023

Chinese Company Plans To Allocate $100 Million For Crypto Investments

Despite China maintaining a stringent stance on Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies in general, there has nevertheless been a notable surge in crypto adoption there as of late. Boyaa Interactive, a major gaming entity in China listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, recently declared its intention to invest in cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH).

Investment with a catch

In any case, the aforementioned announcement is being viewed as a positive signal, suggesting growing interest by institutional investors in engaging with digital assets and the cryptocurrency market.

As such, the targeted cryptocurrencies for purchase include BTC, ETH, Tether (USDT), and USD Coin (USDC), all within the next year. Boyaa Interactive emphasized that the selected cryptocurrencies must align with the overall business development and asset allocation strategy of the company. The evaluation and approval process will be overseen by the virtual asset management and risk control department.

Slow and steady

The statement outlines criteria for the purchased cryptocurrencies, emphasizing that they should be issued by the Board of Directors, possess strong market liquidity, boast large market capitalization, enjoy broad market recognition, and hold relatively enduring value. The primary focus within the authorized purchasing scope will therefore be on the two biggest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, namely BTC and ETH.

Notably, the company, having initially earmarked $5 million for cryptocurrency investments in August, is now expanding its commitment to crypto adoption by allocating more funds for cryptocurrency acquisitions. With that in mind, Boyaa Interactive anticipates allocating around $90 million for acquiring both BTC and ETH, with an additional allocation of no more than $10 million for acquiring USDT and USDC.

November 15,2023

IRS Introduces New Crypto Tax Regulations But Not Everyone Is Happy

The United States based cryptocurrency advocacy group, the Blockchain Association (BA), strongly disapproved of the tax regulations recently introduced by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In a letter dated November 13th, the BA voiced significant concerns about the new rules that the IRS announced in August, which aimed to regulate the sale and exchange of various digital assets.

Since the release of the draft rules, various stakeholders, including local lawmakers, industry leaders, and legal experts, have expressed their opinions on the various implications the proposal may have on cryptocurrency taxation in the country. Under the current draft, rules for reporting cryptocurrency transactions could take effect in 2026 for transactions conducted in 2025.

Clarity is key

The BA argued that these rules not only surpassed the authority of the IRS but also reflected a serious misunderstanding about the nature of digital assets and decentralized technology. The US Treasury Department made a draft of these rules aimed to address complexities in reporting and taxing cryptocurrency transactions.

At any rate, the Blockchain Association mainly focused its criticism on the belief that complying with these regulations would be challenging for many cryptocurrency participants. They asserted that individuals involved in decentralized finance would be fundamentally unable to comply with the proposed regulations. The BA also accused the Treasury of exceeding its authority and potentially infringing on constitutional rights, such as privacy and freedom of expression.

A need to work together

Kristin Smith, CEO of the Blockchain Association, stressed the need for the Treasury Department to take more time to comprehend the potential harm and impracticality of not having a clear and concise definition regarding decentralized technology. Smith also argued that the proposal put forth by the Treasury could violate the privacy rights of individuals using such technology.

In October, Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal warned that the rules could pose a significant threat to the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry. Conversely, a group of US senators expressed support for the proposed regulations, advocating for their enforcement before 2026.

In conclusion, the resistance by the BA to the IRS highlights the ongoing debate and concerns about cryptocurrency taxation in the United States, with various stakeholders expressing differing viewpoints on the matter. Regardless, both parties will have to work together in order to avoid stifling innovation and growth in the country.

November 15,2023

Crypto Fundraising November 7 - 13

On behalf of the Web3 community, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the companies that announced their success in fundraising between 6th November and 12th November 2023. We are thrilled to see such tremendous support from all involved. Well done! 

LIAMA raised $6M - Llama empowers protocols with an onchain policy engine to set permissions for action creation and roles for action approvals and disapprovals.

Due raised $3.3M - Due aims to empower underserved and emerging markets with uninterrupted access to global liquidity, while facilitating transactions at much lower costs and significantly faster settlement times compared to traditional methods.

StabIR raised $3.5M - StablR is a Euro stablecoin company that issues EurR to bring liquidity to the DeFi and CeFi markets. StablR hopes it can bring liquidity to both DeFi and CeFi markets, ultimately bringing more users into the crypto ecosystem.

Pimlico raised$5.8M - The funds raised will be pivotal in propelling the development of Pimlico's innovative smart account infrastructure, revolutionizing Ethereum's ecosystem.

Kresko Labs raised $4.15M - Kresko's mission is to make wealth accessible to anyone, anywhere. Kresko is an open platform for synthetic stocks, commodities, and crypto. The platform consists of two products.

Sock raised $2.8M - Sock customers can transact without paying network fees (gas), safeguard investments by setting upper or lower thresholds for token sales to mitigate potential losses.

Authentickator raised $4M - The company announced the launch of its NFT platform Authentickator, which lets users browse, purchase and verify the authenticity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) without a crypto wallet.

Citadel raised $3.3M - This round gives Citadel's the opportunity do things that were not possible when bootstrapping.The Citadel has always had an ambitious vision, but now Citadel's have the resources to realize the full potential of that vision.

STACKR raised $5.5M - The raised capital will be allocated towards several key objectives, including team expansion, preparation for the imminent launch of the platform's v1 version, and the growth of Stackr's developer ecosystem.

Definitive raised $4.1M - Named Definitive, the new startup seeks to automate many aspects of the decentralized finance world, which encompasses a broad spectrum of financial services.

Galactic Holdings raised $16.25M - Since 2020, Galactic Holdings has been unwavering in its commitment to fostering close collaboration with Latin American authorities, with a steadfast focus on aligning with regulatory guidelines.

Ritual raised $25M - Ritual started with a clear goal in mind: to merge the best principles and techniques of cryptography and artificial intelligence.

To stay updated with news about future Web3 Funding Rounds, Follow CryptoWeekly
 

November 14,2023

Swan Issues Warning To Customers Because Of New Regulatory Policies

Swan, a Bitcoin (BTC) accumulation platform, has issued a cautionary notice over the weekend, alerting users that engaging with BTC mixing services might lead to the termination of their accounts.

The platform informed users that its banking and custodial partners would cease servicing clients directly interacting with BTC mixing services like Wasabi, Samourai, and comparable services.

New rules

Swan attributed these changes to the adjusted policies of banks and custodians, influenced by newly proposed rules provided via the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). If implemented, these rules would mandate regulated financial institutions to report transactions when there is suspicion of involvement in transaction mixing.

This warning aligns with the increasingly stringent regulatory environment in the United States concerning crypto mixing services. Regulatory agencies and lawmakers are growing concerned about the potential of mixers to facilitate money laundering by illicit actors. FinCEN Director Andrea Gacki emphasized the critical role of mixing services in facilitating illicit activities such as funding ransomware operations and aiding criminals in concealing ill-gotten gains. 

Acting out of fear

Swan CTO and Co-founder, Yan Pritzker, expressed his lack of surprise at the stance taken by the financial institution partners in response to the proposed rules, which Swan vehemently opposes. He pointed out the prevailing fear in the banking sector due to the current political climate, with many banks refusing to engage with anything related to cryptocurrency.

He noted the necessity of using a bank or Money Services Business (MSB) to process USD in the United States, and all such financial institutions are subject to regulations by FinCEN, the Financial Action Task Force, and other unelected bodies.

Notably, a federal judge recently sided with the US Treasury in a case where Coin Center and other crypto industry advocates challenged the various sanctions levied against the Tornado Cash mixing service. The court dismissed the argument, asserting that the Treasury has the authority, under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, to sanction any entity in which a foreigner has an interest.








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