January 30,2022

Cardano Continues Its Development Amongst Wave Of Criticisms And Technical Problems

Cardano (ADA) is a project by Charles Hoskinson that had a lot of promise when it was first introduced as an alternative to Ethereum (ETH). Over the past few years, Charles Hoskinsons initiative skyrocketed in terms of popularity and usage, even reaching the top 3 global cryptocurrencies by market capitalization once upon a time.

However, therein lies the problem, as Cardano has been unable to replicate that kind of success as of late which has since led many to believe that perhaps its best days are truly behind it. As to whether that is indeed the case or not remains to be seen.

Successes

Its not all bad for Cardano though, as the amount of addresses that are holding ADA recently increased to a new all-time high of 4 million back in December. Despite overall activity on Cardanos network being down that month, the number of holders nevertheless increased. Also, Cardano transaction costs, which averaged $0.38 in November, continued to fall to $0.33 in December. Transaction costs on the network averaged $0.69 in September of the previous year.

Whats more is that Cardano transaction traffic even momentarily eclipsed that of the Ethereum blockchain ahead of the debut of SundaeSwap, a much-anticipated decentralized exchange (DEX) on Cardano, earlier this month. Furthermore, its first DeFi programme, MuesliSwap, was released with minimal fanfare but nonetheless saw its total value locked increase dramatically.

Moreover, the average blockchain load recently managed to remain over 90%. This is the very first time the system had ever reached this degree of blockchain load, and its maintenance of the metrics is even more remarkable.

Struggles

Unfortunately, Cardano has also been facing a lot of problems lately despite its recent success. The ongoing drama between SundaeSwap and CardStarter has since left a sour taste in the mouths of the ADA community, to the point where Hoskinson himself had to get involved. To make matters worse, the launch of SundaeSwap was filled with all sorts of technical problems wherein numerous users repeatedly reported failed transactions.

As if that werent bad enough, the overall sentiment regarding Cardano has also slightly worsened as an increasing number of crypto investors and enthusiasts believe that the project is failing to deliver on its various promises.

Still, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel as we draw closer to the Basho stage of Cardano which is based around scaling, interoperability and optimization. Ultimately, time will tell what shall become of the 6th largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

January 30,2022

Hackers Target And Steal $80M From Qubit Finance

Hackers have recently targeted Qubit Finance, a DeFi (Decentralised Finance) network. The culprits gained access to the network, which is based on BSC (Binance Smart Chain), and stole roughly around $80 million. So far, this is the biggest crypto heist to occur this year.

In a tweet, Qubit Finance acknowledged the robbery and stated that their team is actively discussing what actions to take with their security and network partners, before adding that they shall provide further updates as soon as they become available.

The Qubit team also released a public message to clients informing them that the hacker as well as their stolen assets were being tracked, and that the hacker has since been contacted in order to provide a 'maximum bounty offer' and hopefully have the funds be returned to their rightful owners.

January 28,2022

Fidelity Investments Has Submitted Application For Metaverse ETF

Fidelity Investments has submitted an application for a new Metaverse ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) which will track publicly traded firms with exposure to the blockchain-oriented network of three-dimensional digital worlds.

As per the filing, the Fidelity Metaverse ETF shall hence follow the Fidelity Metaverse Index, which measures 'the performance of a worldwide universe of firms that create, produce, distribute, or otherwise sell various services or products linked to building and enabling the Metaverse'.

Fidelity's application is the most recent among corporations attempting to capitalise on the growing interest regarding the metaverse concept. ProShares submitted a similar ETF application with the SEC in December 2021 whereas Roundhill Investments debuted a metaverse ETF on the New York Stock Exchange in June of last year.

Nevertheless, the SEC often remains reluctant to approve ETFs however, as was highlighted when it declined the approval of a Fidelity Spot BTC ETF earlier this week, adding to the ever-growing list of rejected applications.

January 26,2022

Jennifer Esposito Announces Collaboration with International Artists and OpenSea to Debut a First-of-its-Kind FRESH KILLS Film NFT

[LOS ANGELES] Jennifer Espositos directorial debut reinvents the film fundraising model, offering an exclusive NFT sale in collaboration with award-winning Barcelona-based female NFT artist, Gala Mirissa, and platinum award-winning musician and producer Mike Gonek. The sale will go live on OpenSea on February 3 and run until February 5.

The FRESH KILLS NFT collection, namesaked after Espositos upcoming film, combines kinetic visual art with original music tracks based on the films powerful screenplay. Espositos vision of empowering female-led film projects is echoed by OpenSea, the worlds largest NFT marketplace and crypto startup Unicorn. 

NFTs are at the forefront of a cultural and artistic revolution. Projects like Espositos are just the tip of the spear at disrupting the traditional film industry by democratizing access to production funds, and offering new ways for filmmakers to interact and connect with fans, explained Alexander Bercow, arts partnership manager at OpenSea.

The FRESH KILLS NFT sale will begin on February 3rd on the periphery of Sundance's virtual events week. Additionally, the FRESH KILLS team will be headlined on OpenSea, the worlds leading NFT marketplace and the industrys foremost unicorn startups. To mint, a FRESH KILLS NFT, visit their website and learn more about the sale: https://www.arebelliousact.com/fresh-nfts

The collection came together to support the importance of supporting female-driven content created by female directors. 

The collection incorporates early rewards for fans and supporters. FRESH KILLS NFTs, will include perks like executive producer credits, red carpet premiere invites, visits to set and even a cameo on the film. 

The NFT space to me is freedom. Freedom for the artist and freedom for the people who take part in the journey of that NFT. Having these incredible artists step forward and give their support not only to my film but also to female-driven content made by female directors is magical. This kind of collaboration through NFTs is the future, said Jennifer Esposito.

Esposito and producers Alexis Varouxakis and Christine Crokos have already adopted a novel funding model. FRESH KILLS became the first feature film owned and traded by a global fan base. 

FRESH KILLS seeks to support underrepresented voices, empower artists to be heard and people to participate in the success of the film. A percentage of profits from the film will support films made by women. 

In full support of that spirit, acclaimed artist Ali Sabet will be donating a curated collection of his works to the teams sale.

There are moments in your life that you know you have to step up and serve. Helping Jennifer to bring her vision to life of a female narrative is one of those moments for me, explained NFT artist Ali Sabet.

 

ABOUT THE PROJECT

FRESH KILLS is a gripping drama that tells the story of the loyal women of an organized crime family that dominated some of the boroughs of NYC in the late 20th century. Unlike the typical mob movie formula, FRESH KILLS is written from the perspective of women within organized crime, the fear, violence and the rage that dictates who they are and who they become.

Espositos team has already hinted at a future partnership with other NFT leaders to launch what they described as a ground-shaking NFT project to revolutionize the Film Industrys move into Web 3.0.

The FRESH KILLS NFT sale will begin on February 3rd on the periphery of Sundances virtual events week. Additionally, the FRESH KILLS team will be headlined on OpenSea as part of partnership between the two. To learn more about the FRESH KILLS NFT collection, visit their website: https://www.arebelliousact.com/fresh-nfts

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Gala Mirissa ranks amongst the top sales in the rank list of NFT by CryptoArt.io. She was named by BeInCrypto on International Womens Day 2021 as one of the three most influential hispanic women in the cryptocurrency industry using NFT (non-fungible token) technology.Creator of the first NFT of ELLE magazine, specifically the cover of February (Spain) with the top model Barbara Palvin.

 

Mike Gonek is a platinum producer and composer known for his innovative sound design and unique soundscapes. His records have been cut by artists like Chris Brown, Usher, PartyNextDoor, and others. As a global DJ and the other half of Torro Torro, Mike has toured the world with artists like Diplo, Skrillex, Zedd, and Dillon Francis.

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

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.








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