May 18,2024

New MiCA Regulations Could Cause Kraken To Delist USDT

Kraken is contemplating the removal of Tether (USDT) on its European Union (EU) platform to adhere to upcoming Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulations, based on a recent Bloomberg report. The EU is instituting MiCA rules for crypto trading, particularly focusing on stablecoins such as USDT and USDC. These regulations will come into effect in July, likely imposing restrictions on how these stablecoins are offered within the EU.

As the European Banking Authority finalizes the technical standards for MiCA, exchanges like Kraken are preparing for a future where the present variety of stablecoins may not be viable in Europe. Earlier this year, OKX, another significant crypto exchange, already restricted USDT functionality in the EU.

 

Clarity Needed

During an interview on Thursday, Marcus Hughes, the Global Head of Regulatory Strategy for Kraken, mentioned that they are awaiting clearer guidelines on the rules before making a final decision. In light of the MiCA regulations, Tether highlighted the need to concentrate on Euro liquidity for European clients while keeping USDT as a transactional gateway.

Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino has also expressed concerns regarding certain MiCA requirements, indicating that Tether will keep engaging with regulators but does not plan to be regulated under MiCA in the medium term. Moreover, as MiCA regulations aim to create a licensing framework for stablecoin issuers and enforce stricter corporate governance and reserve management standards, Kraken foresees that many stablecoins presently available in the EU will likely be removed in the near future.

 

Tether Is On Board

The scope of the type and number of stablecoins that are offered today in Europe are unlikely to be able to be offered going forward, Hughes stated, before adding that at some point in the future, a lot will depend on which assets are being properly registered within the European Union under the e-money regime.

As of right now, there are no current plans to delist Tether or alter USDT trading pairs. As a leading crypto exchange, Kraken is constantly evaluating their global strategy and operations to ensure that they remain compliant both now and in the future. Regarding MiCA, Kraken claims to be fully committed to following the rules as they continue their mission of accelerating the adoption of cryptocurrencies on a global scale.

 

May 16,2024

Sexual Misconduct Claims Lead To Eclipse CEO Being Replaced

Neel Somani, the initiator behind the Ethereum (ETH) layer-2 blockchain Eclipse, has stepped down as CEO amidst accusations of sexual misconduct. On May 16th, 2024, Eclipse Labs announced on X that Vijay Chetty would assume the role of CEO immediately, succeeding Neel Somani, who is departing.

 

Time For Change

Chetty, formerly the Chief Growth Officer at Eclipse, brings leadership experience through Uniswap Labs, dYdX Trading, and Ripple Labs, along with investment expertise gained at BlackRock. In an operational update on behalf of Eclipse Labs, it was stated that with immediate effect, Vijay Chetty will be appointed CEO of Eclipse Labs, taking over after Neel Somani, who is stepping down. Chetty, will now assume all CEO responsibilities, as per the latest announcement.

Somani had mentioned on May 9th that he would be temporarily reducing his public role within the firm due to serious allegations about sexual misconduct against him, which he has refuted. He stated that he had never sexually assaulted or harassed any woman and vowed to work to clear my name and defend myself.

 

A New Era

There has been a notable shift in the sociopolitical climate in recent years, especially regarding issues of sexual misconduct and other misdemeanors. With the rise of social media and increased awareness around issues of harassment and discrimination, there has been a heightened scrutiny on the behavior of individuals, particularly those in positions of power or influence.

Organizations are facing increased pressure to address allegations of misconduct swiftly and transparently. This shift is partly due to the MeToo movement, which has empowered survivors to come forward with their experiences and demand accountability. As a result, many companies are implementing stricter policies and procedures for addressing allegations of misconduct, and there is a growing expectation for swift and decisive action when such allegations arise.

 

May 16,2024

Chinese Authorities Initiate Crackdown On Massive Operation Linked With Tether

Chinese law enforcement authorities have made a significant breakthrough in their efforts to combat illegal financial activities. They have dismantled a sizable underground banking network believed to be facilitating unlawful transactions using the USDT stablecoin. The operation, which spanned across multiple provinces, has reportedly facilitated over $2 billion worth of illicit USDT transactions.

Recently, Tether froze approximately $5.2 million USDT in response to findings by the crypto tracking and compliance platform MistTrack. The platform identified 12 Ethereum addresses associated with phishing operations, prompting Tether to implement new security measures in collaboration with Chainalysis to monitor secondary markets and detect suspicious transactions promptly.

 

A Huge Case

A major underground banking case involving a massive 13.8 billion Yuan ($1.9 billion) was uncovered by the Chengdu Municipal Public Security Bureau, according to local reports. The operation extended across 26 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions. A total of 193 suspects have been apprehended nationwide, with public security agencies in each jurisdiction initiating 58 cases. Authorities have also seized 149 million Yuan in funds linked to the operation.

The investigation began in November 2022 when the Longquanyi District Branch flagged suspicious fund settlements through underground banks, indicating potential involvement in illegal foreign exchange activities.

The Chengdu Municipal Public Security Bureau formed a task force comprising various departments, including economic investigation, cyber security, legal affairs, and technical investigation. On June 1st, 2023, the task force conducted coordinated arrest operations in several locations under the command of the Ministry of Public Security and the Public Security Department.

 

The Crackdown

25 criminal suspects, including Lin, Weng, and Chen, were apprehended, and significant evidence, such as bank cards and payment instruments, was seized. The investigation uncovered that the criminal gang, led by Lin, Weng, Chen, and others, primarily operated within the import and export business sector.

Authorities claim they exploited USDT to provide illegal services to customers seeking to transfer funds abroad, primarily involving illegal foreign exchange, payment, and settlement businesses. These activities reportedly facilitated various criminal operations, including drug smuggling, overseas asset purchases, and fraudulent tax refund schemes.

Tether has taken swift action against criminal operations utilizing its digital currency in response to allegations of involvement in illicit activities. Tether CEO, Paolo Ardoino, has reiterated the company remains committed to combating illicit activity and has denounced Tether as the dumbest choice for doing illicit activity.

 

May 16,2024

Allegedly Misled NFT Buyers Furious With Dolce & Gabbana

A customer recently initiated a lawsuit against Dolce & Gabbana USA on Thursday, alleging that the NFTs they acquired lost 97% in value due to a mishandled delivery on part of the company. According to Bloomberg on Friday, the Italian fashion brand sold the NFTs on Ethereum, assuring buyers of a slate of digital, physical and experiential benefits.

 

Unusable Digital Fashion

The company purportedly informed consumers that purchasing their DGFamily NFTs would provide access to various digital rewards, physical items, and exclusive events. The lawsuit further claims that Dolce & Gabbana did not deliver the NFTs and promised benefits on schedule. The digital outfits, which were delivered 20 days late, could only be used in a metaverse platform with minimal users.

Even after the delayed delivery, token holders reportedly had to wait another 11 days before they could utilize them. The complaint asserts that Dolce & Gabbana had not in fact obtained prior approval by the metaverse platform. Their typical approach has been to promise products they fail to deliver, then abandon a project and community they promised to support, the complaint stated.

 

NFT Market Growth Slows In 2024

Plaintiff Luke Brown claims he incurred a loss of $5,800 on the NFTs he bought. Brown mentioned he is suing on behalf of others who purchased digital assets associated with this NFT project. His lawsuit also implicates NFT marketplace UNXD, including it in the legal action.

Meanwhille, the NFT market has exhibited growth so far in 2024, with estimates indicating a 41% increase in marketplace value compared to 2023. However, this represents a significant deceleration compared to the explosive growth of previous years.

NFTs offer several advantages, including verifiable proof of ownership and authenticity for digital assets, allowing artists and creators to earn royalties through future sales of their work. They open up new monetization opportunities across various industries such as art, music, and gaming, and provide a way to collect and trade unique digital items. However, there are also significant drawbacks. The creation and trading of NFTs can have a substantial environmental impact due to the energy-intensive blockchain processes involved. The market is highly volatile and speculative, which can result in financial losses for investors.

 

May 16,2024

New Solana Meme Coin Skyrockets Before Consolidating

The Solana meme coin frenzy persists while major meme coins such as Shiba Inu (SHIB), Dogecoin (DOGE), and DogWifHat (WIF) have been trading flat lately and losing steam. However, Diamond Paws (DIAPAWS) has the potential to go viral, much like Shiba Inu and Dogecoin before it. Launched just yesterday, DIAPAWS, also a Solana-based meme coin, surged over 700% within just a few hours before stabilizing as some initial investors took massive profits.

 

A Possible Turnaround

Despite seemingly being left holding the bag, the majority of DIAPAWS investors are holding onto their tokens, anticipating a listing on MEXC later this week, which is expected to cause another surge. Many of these investors believe that the current valuation of DIAPAWS offers an excellent opportunity to buy at a lower price ahead of the next rally. Others however, remain unconvinced, and believe that the ship has already sailed.

Still, with a market cap currently below $9,000, DIAPAWS is projected to reach a modest market cap between $200,000 and $500,000, potentially offering early investors returns of 2,000%-3,000% in a short span. Certain analysts claim this meme coin could even rally another 12,000% in the next couple of days while also potentially achieving a multi-million dollar market cap within weeks.

Presently, DIAPAWS is available for purchase on Solana decentralized exchanges, such as Jupiter and Raydium. To acquire Diamond Paws on these platforms, users need to connect their Solflare, MetaMask, or Phantom wallet, and exchange SOL for DIAPAWS by entering its contract address in the receiving field.

 

A Risky Endeavor

While the returns may indeed be substantial, it is important to remember that meme coin investments are very risky due to their extreme volatility, lack of intrinsic value, and reliance on social media hype. Prices can surge rapidly but also plummet just as quickly, often influenced by speculative trading rather than fundamental factors. This makes them highly unpredictable and susceptible to significant financial loss.

As a matter of fact, major meme coins such as Shiba Inu, Dogecoin, and DogWifHat all provided fantastic returns at one point or another but every single one of these and more just like them have been trading flat lately and losing steam. This is prompting many SHIB, DOGE, and WIF investors to turn towards new Solana meme coins like DIAPAWS, but this is also risky as experts believe it to be just a matter of time before this latest project is seemingly abandoned in favor of the next ultra popular meme coin, at which point the cycle repeats itself.

 

May 15,2024

Geothermal Energy Investment Pays Off For El Salvador As The Country Mines Over 470 BTC

El Salvador has extracted 473.5 Bitcoin (BTC) in the past three years by harnessing the geothermal power of the Tecapa volcano, as reported by Reuters earlier today. With the current price of Bitcoin, this translates to a $29 million surge in value.

 

Advocating For Bitcoin

The nation now holds a total of 5,750 BTC, equivalent to nearly $354 million, according to data by the Bitcoin Office, a government-owned agency. The mining endeavors in El Salvador position it as a leader in environmentally friendly crypto mining, which stands in stark contrast to the energy-intensive methods often criticized for their ecological impact.

President Nayib Bukele, a vocal advocate of Bitcoin, has been spearheading local adoption of the cryptocurrency since it was recognized as legal tender in 2021. He mainly legalized Bitcoin in El Salvador to promote financial inclusion, attract investment, and foster innovation in the domestic economy.

 

A Smart Investment

In November 2022, Bukele introduced a national Dollar-Cost Averaging (DCA) strategy, aiming to purchase one Bitcoin daily. This approach has yielded unrealized profits exceeding 43% on their Bitcoin holdings, according to data by the Nayib Bukele Portfolio Tracker.

In addition, El Salvador has also taken a further step towards Bitcoin transparency. The Bitcoin Office unveiled a brand new platform yesterday that can be utilized by all El Salvador citizens, enabling anyone to access its Bitcoin investment data via a personalized mempool.

 

May 15,2024

PEPE Leaves Everyone In The Dust After Reaching New All-Time High

A meme coin with a frog theme, Pepe PEPE/USD, reached its highest value ever on Tuesday, making all of its holders profitable at one point during the day. Within the last 24 hours, the coin emerged as the top gainer in the meme coin market and one of the leading performers in the broader market, showing gains of over 10%, as per data by Benzinga Pro.

 

Huge Profits

Nearly 98% of PEPE holders were in profit at the time of publication, as per data by IntoTheBlock, with the number reaching 100% earlier in the day. This meme token surpassed well-known cryptocurrencies like Solana SOL/USD, BNB BNB/USD, and Dogecoin DOGE/USD in terms of 24-hour trading volume, totaling $3.8 billion.

The sudden rise attracted the attention of investors, prompting some to invest in PEPE. According to Spotonchain, a trader withdrew more than 407 billion tokens, valued at $4.4 million based on prevailing market prices.

 

PEPE Roars

This significant acquisition indicated expectations of the value of PEPE potentially increasing even further in the near future. The surge in value was likely fueled by the excitement surrounding the return of retail trader Roaring Kitty, which also propelled various other meme tokens upward.

This upswing additionally marked the beginning of the second bull market for meme coins this year, the first of which occurred in March and resulted in substantial profits for enthusiasts of this cryptocurrency category. In fact, one cryptocurrency trader highlighted how meme coins were delivering substantial returns, while fundamental and utility tokens were underperforming.

 

May 14,2024

OKX Is Transitioning To Australia Due To Friendly Local Crypto Environment

OKX is poised to launch a locally regulated entity in Australia, marking a significant move for the cryptocurrency exchange towards expanding its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. The official announcement was made in Sydney on May 14th, 2024, by Oscar Piastri of McLaren Racing, the main sponsor of OKX.

 

Enhancing The Platform

Jamie Kennedy, the general manager of OKX Australia, emphasized the development of a secure and user-friendly platform, offering access to banking facilities and AUD pairs with popular cryptocurrencies, alongside a reduced number of trading pairs tailored for Australian users. Options trading is also available for crypto enthusiasts.

Hong Fang, the president of OKX, highlighted the diverse Australian customer base, comprising both experienced cryptocurrency users and newcomers to the market. The company initially expressed interest in expanding to Australia in March 2023, recognizing the growing interest in cryptocurrency among Australians.

 

Why Australia

The transition to Australia involved establishing various local entities, OKX Australia Pty Ltd and OKX Australia Financial Pty Ltd, in compliance with the Corporations Act 2001. Despite regulatory requirements, OKX lauded Australian regulators for their transparency. The exchange had to adjust its services to adhere to local legislation, including discontinuing copy trading, yield-bearing products, and trading certain tokens.

Despite these adjustments, OKX remains one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide by volume, with a daily trading volume of $2.8 billion, ranking third globally behind Bybit. At any rate, the expansion into Australia signifies a new phase for OKFC in its cryptocurrency journey, characterized by a commitment to regulatory compliance and customer satisfaction. The company aims to leverage the innovative and crypto-friendly environment prevalent in Australia to provide cutting-edge solutions tailored to the ever-changing needs of the crypto market.

 

May 14,2024

GameStop Meme Coin Skyrockets As Solana Experiences Significant Gains

Meme coins could be on the rise once more as GameStop recently saw its share price double between the period of when it closed on Friday and opened on Monday, prompting trading of GME to be paused nine times due to volatility. Additionally, a GameStop-themed meme coin on Solana is also seeing significant gains.

 

The Memes Have Risen

The GameStop token on Solana, using the GME ticker, has experienced a whopping 1,900% price surge over the past 24 hours, reaching approximately $0.01. This surge brings the GME market cap to $68 million. GME on Solana, an unofficial meme coin created as a tribute to the company, was launched in January shortly after GameStop announced it would no longer be partaking in the crypto world, closing its NFT marketplace that debuted in 2022.

Similar to many other meme coins, GME had a brief and highly volatile moment of attention. Meme coins are typically based on Internet memes and cultural trends, often developed by anonymous creators, and can sometimes result in investors losing value due to liquidity issues.

 

Roaring Kitty Gets Involved

The GME token reached a peak price of $0.0135 in early February but fluctuated for weeks before gradually declining. Prior to the recent surge, it was trading around $0.0005. Stock trader Keith Gill, known as Roaring Kitty, played a significant role in the surge of the GameStop shares in early 2021 through Reddit posts and livestreams, advocating for the purchase and holding of shares. This trend extended to other struggling brands like AMC.

Although the initial craze subsided, there seems to be a revival following a post on X by Gill on Sunday, which was also the first post he had made in nearly three years. Elsewhere, AMC saw a 37% increase, while adjacent stocks like Reddit and Robinhood are also experiencing substantial gains.

 

May 13,2024

Mark Cuban Shuts Down Crypto Critic And Blames SEC For FTX Fiasco

Billionaire and well-known television personality, Mark Cuban, recently emphasized a range of cryptocurrency advantages in response to an apparent critic of the asset class. James Love, Director of an NGO Knowledge Ecology International, posed a sarcastic query about the usefulness of cryptocurrencies to Cuban. He questioned what the practical uses for crypto can be which are not based in speculation, tax avoidance, and involvement in illegal activities.

 

Mark Responds

In his response, Mark Cuban detailed various benefits of digital assets, including minimal transaction fees, easily accessible credit, and protection against theft. He added that for crypto specifically, the main aspects are reduced capital transfer costs, instant collateralized loans, wealth storage, asset tokenization, application and retention of royalties to digital assets like books, real-time, cost-effective insurance markets, and finally ownership of significant assets in cold storage to safeguard against theft.

Regarding incidents like the FTX collapse, which questioned the credibility of crypto as a whole in many eyes, Cuban attributed it to the SEC, saying that it is a failure of the agency and its institutional structure, and not necessarily a problem with crypto itself.

 

The Significance

Mark Cuban is a highly influential figure in the crypto realm and as such has repeatedly advocated for clarity in legal frameworks governing digital assets. Like many influencers, he has criticized the SEC and its heavy-handed approach to the issue and held SEC Chair Gary Gensler responsible for hindering cryptocurrency companies when it comes to operating in the United States.

Mark added that  if the SEC had implemented audited collateral and segregation of funds requirements, then there would have been a strong possibility that FTX, Terra, and other similar situations could have been avoided altogether.

With an enthusiastic pro-crypto campaign initiated by former U.S. President and current Republican candidate, Donald Trump, many players in the space have extended their unwavering support to the outspoken leader. Cuban, on the other hand, believes that Trump would be the wrong choice for President despite his supposed pro-crypto stance.

 

May 13,2024

FRA Gets Chosen By DOJ To Oversee Binance Settlement

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has reportedly appointed Forensic Risk Alliance (FRA) to supervise Binance after it confessed to breaking U.S. anti-money laundering laws, leading to a substantial $4.3 billion penalty. Binance founder and former CEO Changpeng Zhao recently agreed to plead guilty to money laundering charges as part of a broad settlement with U.S. law enforcement and banking regulators.

 

FTX Is To Blame

FRA was chosen over Sullivan & Cromwell because of the latter being associated with FTX, a decision applauded by legal and crypto communities who criticized Sullivan & Cromwell for overlooking significant fraud at FTX.

The bankruptcy of FTX, which was a Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange, commenced in November 2022. The fall of the exchange, prompted by a surge in customer withdrawals that revealed a $8 billion hole in its accounts, was the catalyst for its bankruptcy.

 

Still A Chance

The responsibility of the FRA entails thorough monitoring of Binance and all of its internal operations to ensure adherence to U.S. regulations. They will be granted unrestricted access to all Binance records, facilities, and personnel, with a mandate to report directly to the U.S. government.

It is worth mentioning that Sullivan & Cromwell may still secure a position with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to oversee compliance procedures with transaction reporting rules. Additionally, Binance faces penalties beyond the U.S., having agreed to fines in India while also receiving a $4.4 million penalty in Canada for failing to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.

 

May 13,2024

Web3 Fundraising Deals - May 07th to May 13th, 2024

Zest Protocol secured $3.5M in Seed funding with the backing of Tim Draper.

 

 

UXLINK raised an impressive $5M, partnering with HashKey Capital to revolutionize Social platforms.

 

 

StarNest had a Pre-Series A funding of $6M led by Chuangqi International Limited, poised to redefine the Social landscape.

 

 

Telos secured $1,000,000 in strategic funding to fuel our mission of revolutionizing the blockchain space.

 

 

Presto Labs raised $12,000,000 in seed funding led by HashKey Capital to accelerate efforts in blockchain innovation.

 

 

Slingshot has secured $3,000,000 in with support by Alphabit Digital Currency Fraud to drive their mission of social impact through blockchain technology.

 

 

Arbelos has raised $28,000,000 in seed funding with the help of DragonFly Capital to further revolutionize DeFi.

 

 

BlockBooster has secured $1,500,000 in seed funding with help by OKX Ventures to accelerate their journey in the world of blockchain.

 

 

StakedGain made a splash with $500K in Seed funding, gearing up to disrupt the DeFi sector.

 

 

 

Bella Protocol garnered $4M in Seed funding with a strong focus on DeFi, gaining traction with a Twitter Score of +4.

 

 

BAC Games scored $1.5M in Seed funding, backed by Gate Ventures, marking a significant stride in the GameFi arena.

 

 

Arch Network secured an impressive $7M in Seed funding, supported by Multicoin Capital, amplifying Blockchain Infrastructure development.

 

 

Arcium (Elusiv) raised $5.5M in Strategic funding, driving innovations in Blockchain Service, with a remarkable Twitter Score of +19.

 

 

AgriDex raised $5M in Pre-Seed funding, cultivating Blockchain Service solutions with the support of Endeavour Capital.

 

 

UXUY secured $7M in Pre-Series A funding, with Binance Labs backing, set to redefine DeFi experiences.








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