June 21,2022

After Ropsten, The Sepolia Testnet Is Next In Line For Merge Trial

After Ropsten, the Sepolia testnet is next in line for a merge trial run, as its Beacon Chain is now live and ready to provide developers with valuable information in the run-up to the real thing.

As such, the Sepolia testnet shall begin reaching consensus using PoS rather than PoW after merging with its dedicated Beacon Chain. However, the precise date of Sepolia has yet to be confirmed and further delays are expected due to the difficulties concerning ETH 2.0.

Testnet merges are necessary for Ethereum developers as well as independent project developers who use the Ethereum network to recognise what to expect when the complete merge occurs.

The Ethereum mainnet merge, like the testnets, would therefore involve the entire network finally transitioning to PoS consensus, which is reportedly being said to ultimately reduce Ethereums energy consumption by over 99%.

June 19,2022

Operation Hidden Treasure Officially Launched By IRS As Regulators Tighten Their Grasp On Crypto

Although cryptocurrency assets like Bitcoin, Cardano, Ethereum and so on continue to become increasingly popular and are even being widely accepted as a viable alternative to traditional assets, this has not changed that fact that numerous regulatory authorities around the world are still looking for ways to regulate and tax the new asset class, in addition to also punishing those crypto investors who fail to pay their taxes.

With that in mind, the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has officially launched Operation Hidden Treasure, the goal of which is to clamp down on anyone investing in cryptocurrencies and not paying their taxes. It is also important to note that the IRS has only recently focused its attention towards cryptocurrencies, which has since resulted in a subtle alteration to the crypto-oriented inquiry on income tax returns that now asks citizens whether they disposed, bought, sold or exchanged any financial interest in the context of digital currencies.

What is Operation Hidden Treasure?

The IRS has introduced Operation Hidden Treasure in order to impose strict penalties on those who fail to report their income generated from investing in cryptocurrencies. On March 5th, 2021, Damon Rowe (the IRS Director of the Office of Fraud), announced the new initiative and said that it primarily aims to catch those taxpayers who attempt to conceal their crypto income regarding their respective tax returns.

With that in mind, in order to ensure that the operation is successful, the IRS has formed a task force composed of specialists and experts who have plenty of experience when it comes to the monitoring of various types of crypto-based income and revenue. Moreover, the IRS will also be collaborating with the agencys Criminal and Civil departments to further enforce crypto-related taxation laws.

How will the IRS go about it?

The aforementioned task force intends to address a common crypto tax evasion strategy which involves carrying out recurring financial transactions under $10,000 in order to avoid tax reporting obligations. Elsewhere, other tax evaders occasionally utilize shell companies to conceal their actual crypto income since they can help hide the identity of a companys owner, thereby allowing them to partake in different types of criminal activities without being discovered by the authorities.

Lastly, due to the fact that some cryptocurrency exchanges permit taxpayers to trade for items or various other digital assets without having to disclose their identities, Operation Hidden Treasure shall also look into crypto blockchain cloaking technology. Lastly, many expect the investigation to provide more options for tracing unreported cryptocurrency income via anonymous transactions going forward.

June 15,2022

Cardano Finally Arrives on Ledger

Cardano has finally arrived at Ledger Live following months of anticipation. Users are now capable of sending, receiving, purchasing, and managing ADA directly through the application.

With this latest development, the Ledger Live app now officially supports the top ten biggest cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization, thanks to the long-awaited integration of ADA.

Ledger Live allows users to manage their digital assets from the safety of the Nano Hardware Wallet, securing assets on the Ledger Nano X or Nano S Plus.

Ledger is also among the worlds leading crypto hardware wallet providers and it had announced back in April that version 4.0 of the Cardano app for Ledger wallets which support smart contracts was indeed made available.

Around the time that Ledgers support team revealed that the Ledger Live app was actively working on adding full Cardano support, the Cardano community was ecstatic and things could potentially only get better from here as in terms of future developments, the Vasil hard fork is just around the corner as it is scheduled to occur on June 29th, 2022.

June 13,2022

Jack Dorsey Announces Plans For Web5

Jack Dorsey, a well-known Bitcoin maximalist, has habitually dismissed all cryptocurrencies and chains other than Bitcoin (BTC) as unsatisfactory and untrustworthy. Most recently, after Jack Dorsey misspelled the cryptocurrencys name on Twitter, Solana jokingly renamed itself Solano.

This past Friday, the Twitter co-founder announced the intention of Block subsidiary TBD to create Web5, which will reportedly be an extra decentralized platform constructed on top of the Bitcoin blockchain to address what Dorsey sees as Web3s failures to safeguard users privacy and personal data.

Although Solana is still called as such on the companys official website, many are nevertheless wondering what the future of the cryptocurrency will be after repeated exploitations on the Layer-1 blockchain had resulted in a seemingly irrecoverable loss in investor confidence and interest.

Meanwhile, many are actively questioning what Jack Dorsey means by Web5 when the world has not even fully entered the Web3 era as of yet. Some have taken it as little more than a joke, whereas others are very interested in what the former Twitter CEO has planned for the future.

June 13,2022

Celsius Network Freezes Transfers

Bitcoins (BTC) price has fallen even further after Celsius Network, a major U.S cryptocurrency lending company, had frozen transfers, swaps and withdrawals after citing extreme conditions. This is the most recent indicator of how financial market volatility is causing havoc in the crypto market.

The Celsius move resulted in a sell-off across cryptocurrencies, with their value falling beneath $1 trillion for the very first time since the beginning of 2021.

Celsius provides customers who deposit cryptocurrency assets on its platform with interest-bearing products, after which it subsequently lends out cryptocurrencies in order to earn a return.

According to a blog post, the company has frozen withdrawals and transfers between accounts in order to stabilize liquidity as well as operations while the team works to reportedly protect and preserve the digital assets and crypto investors.

Nevertheless, the spike in interest regarding crypto lending has alarmed regulators, particularly in the United States, who are becoming increasingly concerned about investor protection along with all the systemic risks posed by unregulated lending products.

June 12,2022

Pressure On Regulators To Come Up With A Viable Framework For Cryptocurrencies As 21 Advocates Write Joint Letter To Lawmakers

Although the crypto and blockchain sector is expanding at an extraordinary rate and decentralized finance is being adopted just about everywhere as a viable substitute for traditional finance, several authorities have nevertheless adopted quite the critical stance toward the industry. This has resulted in various groups worldwide advocating for the adoption as well as fair regulation of digital assets like cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

Among these groups includes 21 human rights advocates from 20 different countries who have collectively written a letter to U.S lawmakers defending cryptocurrencies and praising their role in societies across the globe as we move closer to the inevitable Web 3.0 era.

Is Bitcoin really the future?

According to the letter, Bitcoin (BTC) facilitates financial inclusion as well as equality as it is open, transparent, accessible and permissionless. The advocates believe that the flagship crypto is available to anyone on the planet and that both Bitcoin and various stablecoins provide unprecedented access to the global economy for a variety of different groups in numerous countries such as Argentina, Nigeria and Turkey, all of which are nations where local currencies are on the brink of collapse.

As per the letter, these activists have apparently committed their lives to the fight for liberty and democracy. In this struggle, they, like countless others living under authoritarian regimes as well as unstable economies, have depended on BTC and stablecoins to survive. The most recent example of this, according to them, would be the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Is everyone on board?

Moreover, the letter says that it is now crucial to take an expansive, ethical and empathetic approach regarding monetary tools and digital assets which are increasingly playing a key role in the lives of countless people facing financial difficulties and political repression around the world.

However, it should be mentioned that this letter is in fact a rebuttal to another written a week prior by a group of more than 1,500 computer scientists who urged lawmakers to not give in to pressure from digital asset industry financiers, lobbyists, and supporters to create a regulatory safe environment. This is because these digital assets are, in their opinion, risky, unreliable, flawed and relatively unproven as far as longevity is concerned in addition to also lacking real-world use cases.

At any rate, both letters showed up at a period when Congress is debating legislation to regulate digital assets and lawmakers are actively proposing regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrency markets. The world looks to those in charge to take initiative as the United States seeks to set an example for the rest of the world. Only time will tell what the regulatory outcome will be.

June 12,2022

Tezos Blockchain To Become New Home For USDT Tokens As Tether Launches New Asset

Tether, the company being the worlds leading cryptocurrency stablecoin, recently announced the launch of new USDT tokens which shall be constructed via the Tezos blockchain. The goal is to expand the companys digital footprint across both the DeFi as well as digital payments sectors.

Too little, too late?

It is no secret that Tether has had its fair share of problems. Most recently, following the Terra (LUNA) and TerraUSD (UST) disaster, institutional faith in stablecoins had been shaken to the point that many actively questioned their long-term utility and reliability.

Although some stablecoins such as BUSD and USDC have been trying to renew this confidence and help the crypto market recover, Tether remains the leading stablecoin as aforementioned and all eyes are fixated on what the company will do going forward, especially after last years controversy wherein Tether was penalized for $41 million by the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) for reportedly making false and misleading statements about its USDT token being completely backed by corresponding fiat currencies.

A new era for Tether?

Still, all may not be lost as USDT on Tezos, according to the press release, shall apparently power revolutionary applications such as payments, decentralized finance, and more. As such, greater context about the intended utility of these new Tether tokens was provided as well.

As per the official statement, the new Tether tokens are not to be viewed as an investment, but rather a utility for conducting online transactions, fighting against inflation and volatility, and serving as a safe haven as far as remittances are concerned. Moreover, the Tether tokens will be securely stored, received and sent across the blockchain, in addition to also being redeemable for the underlying asset, although this will be subject to the relevant terms of service as well as the fee schedule.

Tether presently supports transfers on a number of blockchains, including Avalanche, Algorand, Ethereum, EOS, Liquid Network, Kusama, Omni, Polkadot, Solana, Tron, and even Bitcoin Cashs Standard Ledger Protocol.

Paolo Ardoino, Tethers Chief Technology Officer, praised the launch of USDT on Tezos, predicting that it will help Tether grow in the coming years and showcase the true value of the stablecoin. He also stated that Tezos is rapidly entering the market, and that the team firmly believes that this integration shall be critical to long-term growth and sustainability.

June 12,2022

Mastercard Continues Forming Key Strategic Partnerships Moving Towards Web3

Mastercard is continuing to form key strategic partnerships in 2022 as the company looks to strengthen its position in the coming Web3 era. As such, Candy Digital, Immutable X, Nifty Gateway, The Sandbox, MoonPay, and Mintable are among the most recent partners for the payment processor.

Ever since Mastercards partnership with Coinbase was established in January, which enables customers to buy NFTs from the cryptocurrency exchanges new marketplace, the company is now reportedly attempting to bridge the gap between creators and customers by eliminating the requirement for buyers to own crypto in order to purchase the latest NFT.

Mastercard produced its first NFT in September 2021, based on the prestigious football coach and global ambassador, Jose Mourinho. This NFT was subsequently awarded to a U.K. Mastercard customer during a sweepstakes competition.

In related news, Mastercard also filed a trademark application with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) in April, thereby further highlighting the companys intention to provide payment services and digital spaces to its customers within the metaverse going forward.

Lastly, although Mastercards goal is to allow NFT purchases to occur without the use of cryptocurrencies, customers buying the NFTs will still require a crypto wallet to successfully store the non-fungible tokens.

June 08,2022

PayPal Confirmed Its Customers Can Now Transfer Crypto To And From Paypal Wallets

PayPal has confirmed that its customers can now transfer crypto to and from their personal wallets, with the company stating that it will actively support native cryptocurrency transfers between PayPal and various other wallets and exchanges going forward.

The new feature was reportedly consistently ranked by users as being among the most requested enhancements to PayPal's cryptocurrency services, according to company representatives.

As such, users can now withdraw crypto assets to cryptocurrency addresses, hardware wallets and third-party exchanges using the new service. Furthermore, the service additionally enables users to deposit crypto into their PayPal accounts and send the digital assets to anyone of their choosing, be it friends, families, colleagues, and so on.

Right now, support is available for the following PayPal-supported assets: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC), with more expected to be listed before long. Nevertheless, many see this as a vital step towards mainstream crypto adoption and are hopeful that PayPal's new service will be successful.

June 05,2022

New Policies Being Made By The White House To Address Crypto Mining Energy Consumption

The Biden administration is reportedly designing new policies geared toward reducing the energy intake and emissions footprint of Bitcoin (BTC) and various other PoW (Proof-of-Work) crypto assets.

To that end, the Principal Assistant Director of Energy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Costa Samaras, offered an in-depth look into the upcoming policies, pointing out that its important, if this is going to be a part of the countrys economic framework in any significant way, that the new framework and policies are advanced responsibly and work towards minimizing general emissions.

White House forced to take action as crypto industry continues to rise

President Biden has been routinely asked about his approach to cryptocurrencies and what kind of regulations his administration is planning to implement going forward. For the most part, he said that the main priority will be to try and understand these digital assets, which also include NFTs, in order to design effective and fair regulatory policies which can provide some semblance of control and safety without stifling creativity and technological innovation.

With that in mind, the President signed an executive order on March 9th, 2022, detailing certain timeframes, mostly within a 120 to 180 day period, during which numerous reports would be published with help from various other government institutions which can then collectively make an effort to understand the broader crypto market and community.

New policies for a new digital age?

The Energy Department, which sets several of the emissions standards that are likely to be discussed as part of the new policies, has not yet commented on the issue of PoW-based cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

According to Samaras, there is a clear need to consider what the appropriate policy responses would be in a world that has shifted to PoS (Proof-of-Stake), or one which has some continuous mix of both PoS and PoW. This is because, he continued, PoW is designed to be energy-intensive, but it also bolsters security. Samaras is not entirely wrong either, as the upcoming Ethereum Merge will see the worlds biggest altcoin shift from PoW to PoS, thereby further illustrating the Principal Assistant Directors point.

Following the timeline of the aforementioned executive order, a report aimed at uncovering emissions, pollution, energy efficiency for various consensus mechanisms, and the potential rejuvenation of fossil fuel focused mining techniques is scheduled to be released this August.

There have been numerous reports of noise, local pollution, and older fossil generators restarting in communities, and these are not insignificant loads by any means, Samaras said. In any case, crypto mining has been a cornerstone of the industry for a long time, but with all the attention being given to the environmental impact of these mining efforts, many in the space are actively making the change to PoS, with Ethereum being the biggest example of this.

June 05,2022

Free NFT, Crypto And Blockchain Domains To Be Provided To Abu Dhabi Women Via New Partnership With Unstoppable Domains

As part of the countrys continuous efforts to become the blockchain and crypto hub of the world, Access Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (Adio) have now teamed up with Unstoppable Domains, a Web3 identity platform and NFT domain name provider, to offer free crypto domains to all women residing in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) capital.

The initiative aims to encourage more women to learn about and eventually partake in Web3, a burgeoning space where only 5% to 7% of all participants are women, and only 12% work in blockchain-oriented fields.

Women empowerment in the UAE

Women of Web3, a dominant force of disruptive female tech experts and entrepreneurs from the U.S exploring the UAE as a gateway of sorts for global expansion, recently announced the new initiative as part of a delegation visit to Abu Dhabi. Access Abu Dhabi, a Maven Global Access program powered by Adio, hosted the delegation. In a nutshell, the program aims to empower different kinds of minorities as well as women-owned businesses in a fast-growing country where women already own 50% of small and medium-sized businesses.

The initiative is also important because women and minorities have traditionally not been given the same kind of treatment and opportunities as men in the region, but the countrys current leadership looks to change all that and instill a feeling of diversity while adopting a relatively progressive attitude as it looks to attract foreign investment and workers.

As the country intensifies its efforts to transform itself into the Middle Easts crypto and blockchain hub, the UAE is ensuring that the required resources and funds are available to motivate active participation in the Web3 space by women from all communities. To that end, a key pillar of blockchain technology which has contributed to its popularity is its ability to provide access that extends beyond financial and geographical barriers that previously excluded many different groups.

Free domains as inclusion continues to be a top priority

According to Abdulla Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi, acting-director general of Adio, the collaboration with Unstoppable Domains to offer free crypto domains to all women in Abu Dhabi encapsulates the nations promise of inclusion while providing opportunities for private sector involvement in a rapidly evolving space.

Moreover, the project has the potential to be a life-changing opportunity for Abu Dhabi women to capitalize on Web3 prospects. In contrast to Web2 domains, which are leased for specified periods via third-party brokers, it provides women with a decentralized web address as well as digital identity which grants them comprehensive control over their data and information within a space that only they own.

The SVP of Unstoppable Domains and Founder of Unstoppable Women of Web3, Sandy Carter, expressed her delight that Abu Dhabi is spearheading the mission to bring Web3 opportunities to numerous women living in the Middle East.

She went on to say that giving free crypto, NFT, and blockchain domains to all of these women is indeed essential and Abu Dhabi is ensuring that women will be included in greater numbers within the overall Web3 ecosystem for future generations as well. She concluded by exclaiming that the overwhelming support from Adio and Maven Global Access demonstrates that Abu Dhabi is actively working towards building a more inclusive and decentralized future instead of just making false promises.

June 04,2022

Japans Parliament Passed New legal Framework Governing Stablecoins

This past Friday, Japans Parliament passed a new legal framework governing stablecoins in a historic move, thereby providing a safety net of sorts for investors in the aftermath of last months TerraUSD collapse, which resulted in innumerable losses across the entire crypto market and community.

Although the new law will be administered in a years time, Japan is nevertheless among the first major economies to pass a stablecoin-specific law. After the aforementioned Terra disaster, many became increasingly concerned about the future of stablecoins and the wider crypto industry in general.

As such, the bill clarifies the definition of stablecoins, which are now considered as virtual money and are therefore mandated to be linked to the Yen or any another legal tender, therefore allowing holders to redeem them at face value.

Moreover, only licensed banks, registered money transfer agents, and trust companies can issue stablecoins from now on. The bill makes no mention of asset-backed or algorithmic stablecoins, as stablecoins are infact not listed on Japanese exchanges.

The bill was designed by Japans FSA (Financial Services Agency) in late 2021 and was accepted by the House of Councilors a few months ago in March, 2022. Most recently, the House passed the bill after a majority vote during the plenary session.

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