Daily Archives: July 8, 2021

Bank of America Establishes Cryptocurrency Research Team

Bank of America Establishes Cryptocurrency Research Team

Bank of America has become the latest major bank to make a foray into the cryptocurrency sector. According to an internal memo, the bank has created a team dedicated to researching cryptocurrencies. Bank of America believes that it is “uniquely positioned to provide thought leadership” on cryptocurrencies and the technology behind them.

  • Bank of America (BOFA) has created a new team dedicated to researching cryptocurrencies, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg. A spokeswoman for the bank confirmed the contents of the memo.
  • The new crypto team will be led by Alkesh Shah, a founding member of the Data & Innovation Strategy Group at Bank of America. It will report to Michael Maras, who leads the bank’s global fixed income, currencies, and commodities research. Besides cryptocurrencies, the team will also cover technologies tied to digital currencies.
  • Candace Browning, head of Bank of America’s global research, said in the memo:

Cryptocurrencies and digital assets constitute one of the fastest growing emerging technology ecosystems. We are uniquely positioned to provide thought leadership due to our strong industry research analysis, market-leading global payments platform and our blockchain expertise.

What do you think about Bank of America launching a dedicated crypto research team? Let us know in the comments section below.

Crypto Exchange Binance.us Hires Former Financial Regulator

Crypto Exchange Binance.us Hires Former Financial Regulator

Binance.us has hired Manuel Alvarez, a former financial regulator from California, to work as its chief administrative officer. The San Francisco-based crypto exchange, which sources technology from Binance, is aiming to deal with “the big question” — compliance.

Binance.us Filling Roles in Compliance, Risk Management, and Legal

Binance.us, powered by matching engine and wallet technologies licensed from the world’s leading coin trading platform, announced the appointment of Alvarez in a statement released this week. The exchange’s new chief administrative officer has previously served as the commissioner of the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, Bloomberg reported.

Manuel Alvarez will join the company on July 22 and report to its CEO Brian Brooks, himself a former bank regulator. Brooks, who was acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), took his post at Binance.us in May this year.

Since then, Brian Brooks has been building his team, almost doubling the staff. He plans to employ more professionals for the exchange’s compliance, risk management, and legal departments in the next few months. Commenting on the latest hire, the chief executive stated:

Bringing on someone like Manny, who was the regulator responsible for the protection of over 40 million consumers, shows not only do we take this seriously, but we’re not going to be defensive about compliance and consumer protection.

Brooks added that Binance.us will continue to go after “the very best talent” and “the very most-senior people” for the respective “super important” functions. The company is expanding its workforce in a period of increased scrutiny over the crypto space, with exchanges under pressure from regulators around the world.

Binance Holdings, the company with which Binance.us shares a common founder and name, is now facing regulatory actions in Thailand, the U.K., and Japan. Binance.us is a separate entity from Binance, Brian Brooks noted. In his view, the calls for regulation aren’t bad signs and the market now needs basic frameworks. He emphasized:

Exchanges such as Binance.us have to navigate the big question of compliance.

“How do you allow decentralization to occur, how do you bring these assets to the market, while ensuring good risk management, compliance with law, the disclosure of what you’re selling to your customers and those kind of things?” Brooks said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

Binance.us, which is operated by the San Francisco-based BAM Trading Services, allows its users in the United States to buy and sell more than 50 cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ethereum (ETH), and the BNB token. CEO Brian Brooks revealed the exchange could eventually go public in the next four years.

What do you think about Binance.us hiring a former financial regulator as its chief administrative officer? Tell us in the comments section below.

OVR and the Future of Augmented Reality Chats

It was announced today that OVR, a mobile app linked to the world of blockchain and NFTs, is heading towards a new front, that of augmented reality chats.

In fact, the new update of the app, available for both iOS and Android, promises AR face-to-face chats, i.e. the ability to talk to friends within the app using avatars and interacting with them.

It is the first app to allow such a feature, especially if we think about the crypto sector and the implications of OVR in the blockchain world.

OVR is therefore moving towards a new direction of inclusivity and greater customization of avatars thanks to 10 new characters and ethnicities that can be used in the app.

With this new update of the app, you will also be able to receive notifications of chats with your friends and avatars that you meet in the OVR metaverse and also the ability to share links to your LANDs.

Prior to this update, it was not possible to share a simple LAND URL to invite people into your metaverse. Now each of the 1.6 trillion hexagons in which the virtual world of OVR is divided has its own link that can be shared. On each LAND it is possible to organize all kinds of experiences, from concerts to virtual NFT exhibitions and more.

Great news for this app, which recently formed a partnership with Chainlink and sold over 300,000 LANDs at auction, including the Eiffel Tower, which sold for $100,000 a few months ago.

OVR also has its own token of the same name, which can be purchased directly by credit card from the company’s website.

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Circle to Go Public via Bob Diamond-Backed SPAC Deal — Boston Firm Valued at $4.5 Billion

Circle to Go Public via Bob Diamond-Backed SPAC Deal — Boston Firm Valued at $4.5 Billion

The Boston-based crypto financial company Circle has announced the firm plans to go public this year in a merger with Concord Acquisition Corp. Circle revealed the news on Thursday and noted that the company expects to close the deal in Q4 with a valuation of $4.5 billion.

Circle Announces SPAC Deal With Plans to Go Public

The payments technology company Circle founded by Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire in 2013 plans to go public soon. The company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts has operated numerous services during the last eight years and more recently it launched the usd coin (USDC) with Coinbase and the Centre consortium.

For a small period of time Circle also owned Poloniex and then sold the exchange, and Circle sold the digital asset trading platform to Voyager Digital in February 2020 as well. Circle was the first company in New York to receive the Bitlicense back in September 2015 and now the company plans to leverage a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger to get listed.

The deal should be settled by the fourth quarter of 2021, and Circle expects the company will net a valuation of $4.5 billion. On Thursday, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire discussed the subject with CNBC’s Squawk Box broadcast.

“We just see an incredible opportunity to grow rapidly and grow around the world, and we think that this set of transactions and becoming a public company really sets us up to be a trusted platform in this digital currency industry,” Allaire remarked on the show.

USDC Adoption and Usage Grows Exponential

Another report notes that the deal is expected to see $691 million in proceeds funneled into the combined entity. Circle also said PIPE (private investment in public equity) financing will also bolster the firm and stem from companies like Daniel Loebb’s Third Point, Ark Investment Management, Marshall Wace, and Fidelity Management & Research Co.

A transcript filed by Circle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) discusses the SPAC venture and also mentions the growth of USDC.

Jeremy Fox-Geen, Circle’s chief financial officer said in a transcribed SEC investor conference call that the company has “seen growing adoption and usage of the USDC across an ever-widening range of use cases. While we believe that the use case for USDC is the same as the use case for a dollar, for many of those use cases, USDC is the better product,” Fox-Geen added.

Circle’s cofounder Allaire will remain the CEO and Bob Diamond, chairman of Concord Acquisition will become a board member. Diamond is also the chief executive officer of Atlas Merchant Capital and the former CEO of Barclays plc. “We operate this market infrastructure of USDC which doesn’t have a clear comparable,” Allaire emphasized on CNBC’s Squawk Box.

“It’s a fundamental innovation in payment systems, so you might think about large payment technology companies,” Circle’s CEO added.

What do you think about Circle planning to go public via a SPAC merger with Bob Diamond’s Concord Acquisition? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Shibaswap Dex Captures $1.5 Billion Locked in 2 Days, SHIB Platform Bumps ETH Fees Higher

Shibaswap Dex Captures $1.5 Billion Locked in 2 Days, SHIB Platform Bumps ETH Fees Higher

The crypto asset shiba inu (SHIB) now has a decentralized exchange (dex) platform called Shibaswap and since the trading protocol’s launch, the dex has $1.55 billion total value locked (TVL). The SHIB-fueled dex has a lot more liquidity than most platforms today as Shibaswap has been catching up to popular dex platforms like Pancakeswap and Sushiswap.

Shibaswap Dex Gathers Significant Liquidity in 48 Hours

Shiba inu has a leg up over dogecoin and baby doge this week as the meme-based crypto asset has launched a dex platform called Shibaswap. The dex Shibaswap is similar to dex applications like Uniswap, Sushiswap, and Pancakeswap the dex that leverages the Binance Smart Chain.

During the first 24 hours, Shibaswap gathered more than $1 billion TVL and on Thursday, the TVL jumped to $1.55 billion. SHIB stats show that on Thursday, SHIB is down 5.9% according to Coingecko and SHIB lost 7.9% during the last seven days.

Shibaswap Dex Captures $1.5 Billion Locked in 2 Days, SHIB Platform Bumps ETH Fees Higher

However, two-week stats show SHIB has increased by 18.8% and 30-day data shows SHIB is up 6.2%. Currently, shiba inu (SHIB) is swapping for $0.00000813 per token which means a dollar’s worth of SHIB is roughly 123,065 tokens using today’s exchange rates.

The developers behind the crypto asset shiba inu (SHIB) have also created other SHIB-related assets like leash ($2,049) and bone ($8.04). The leash and bone tokens are leveraged for different reasons. Bone for instance is given to Shibaswap liquidity providers.

Shiba inu’s leash token was meant to be a rebase token pegged to the price of dogecoin (DOGE), however, the token has been “unleashed” and does not rebase. The circulating supply of leash (LEASH) is only 100,000 tokens which is a stark contrast to SHIB’s 497 trillion supply currently in circulation.

The Shibaswap contract, the SHIB token and Shiba migrator all pressed ether fees higher on Tuesday. ETH fees have remained higher since the Shibaswap launch.

As far as TVL is concerned, Shibaswap is just below Sushiswap’s $2.72 billion TVL but above Bancor’s $1.22 billion and Balancer’s $697 million TVL. Shibaswap’s launch was also attributed to Ethereum network fees jumping from a low average of around $3 per transaction a few days before launch to $6.72 per transaction on July 7, 2021.

The director of research at the Block Crypto, Larry Cermak tweeted about Shibaswap and fees on July 6. “Gas is near 100 again as Shibaswap starts taking off and spamming Ethereum’s blocks. We live in a clown world,” Cermak wrote.

What do you think about Shibaswap’s launch increasing ether fees and the $1.5 billion TVL the dex currently holds? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

EU Mulls AML Authority and New Rules for Crypto Transfers, Documents Suggest

EU Mulls AML Authority and New Rules for Crypto Transfers, Documents Suggest

The European Union is preparing to set up an anti-money laundering agency to coordinate national supervisory authorities. According to a media report based on EU documents, the bloc also plans to impose new rules to increase transparency for cryptocurrency transfers.

Europe Steps Up Anti-Money Laundering Efforts on Union Level

In response to calls for enforcement of anti-money laundering (AML) rules throughout Europe, the European Commission is likely to propose the establishment of a new Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA). According to documents seen by Reuters, the agency should become the “centrepiece” of an integrated supervisory system consisting also of national authorities.

In the absence of a pan-European anti-money laundering body, the executive power in Brussels has so far relied mainly on national regulatory agencies to enforce its AML rules. Cooperation hasn’t always been satisfactory when it comes to stopping dirty money, the report notes. That’s why the authors of the documents insist:

Money laundering, terrorist financing and organised crime remain significant problems which should be addressed at Union level.

The new authority will be expected to help prevent money laundering and terrorist financing cases in the European Union “by directly supervising and taking decisions towards some of the riskiest cross-border financial sector obliged entities.”

The agency will coordinate national supervisory authorities to more effectively enforce common European regulations. Brussels also wants to make EU’s AML rules directly binding on member states to stop criminals from exploiting differences between national regulatory regimes.

EU to Adopt Stricter Reporting Requirements for Crypto Service Providers

Another proposal from the quoted documents is to adopt new European requirements for service providers working with crypto assets. These platforms will be obliged to collect and make accessible data concerning the originators and beneficiaries of cryptocurrency transfers. The scope of EU rules for financial services does not currently cover such transactions and EU officials warn:

The lack of such rules leaves holders of crypto-assets exposed to money laundering and financing of terrorism risks, as flows of illicit money can be done through transfers of crypto-assets.

According to Sven Giegold, member of the European Parliament from the German Green Party, the European Commission has prepared a strong package against money laundering. “With uniform standards and more centralised supervision, the EU Commission is introducing important improvements to enable consistent action against financial crime,” Giegold emphasized.

The MEP added that the EU should in the meantime pursue legal action against those EU members that are not enforcing its AML rules properly. A final approval from the EP and the EU states will be needed for the new regulations to come into force.

What’s your opinion about the proposals in the EU documents quoted in the report? Let us know in the comments section below.

US Senator Warren Presses SEC to Use ‘Full Authority’ to Regulate Cryptocurrency Trading

US Senator Warren Presses SEC to Use 'Full Authority' to Regulate Cryptocurrency Trading

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has warned of the growing risks of cryptocurrency trading. She recently called on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to “use its full authority to address these risks,” adding that “Congress must also step up to close these regulatory gaps.”

US Senator Warren Presses SEC to Step Up Crypto Oversight

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Policy, warned Thursday of the growing risks posed by the cryptocurrency market. She also blasted the SEC for the lack of crypto regulatory oversight.

“While demand for cryptocurrencies and the use of cryptocurrency exchanges have sky-rocketed, the lack of common-sense regulations has left ordinary investors at the mercy of manipulators and fraudsters,” the senator was quoted by Reuters as saying. She elaborated:

These regulatory gaps endanger consumers and investors and undermine the safety of our financial markets. The SEC must use its full authority to address these risks, and Congress must also step up to close these regulatory gaps.

Senator Warren also sent a letter to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler on Wednesday, raising concerns about the risks in the crypto market. She emphasized that cryptocurrency trading platforms lacked the same basic protections as traditional exchanges. The senator cited Federal Trade Commission (FTC) data showing that nearly 7,000 people reported a combined $80 million in losses from cryptocurrency scams in the six months to March.

Gensler, the MIT professor who taught classes on crypto and blockchain, was confirmed as the new SEC chairman in May. Has previously said that cryptocurrency exchanges needed more regulation but has yet to propose new rules. “This is a quite volatile, one might say highly volatile, asset class, and the investing public would benefit from more investor protection on the crypto exchanges,” he said in May.

Warren asked Gensler to outline how cryptocurrency exchanges may be undermining the SEC’s mission, whether additional investor protections were needed, and whether international regulatory coordination was required. She stressed:

The lack of regulation to provide basic investor protections is unsustainable.

Senator Warren told Gensler that she needed answers from him by July 28 on the SEC’s authority to protect consumers investing and trading in cryptocurrencies, and determine what future congressional action was needed.

What do you think about Senator Elizabeth Warren’s action regarding crypto regulation? Let us know in the comments section below.

Bitcoin Sinks Below $33K, Analyst Says BTC at ‘Dangerously Low Levels’ While ETH Rests at ‘Comfortable Levels’

Bitcoin Sinks Below $33K, Analyst Says BTC at ‘Dangerously Low Levels’ While ETH Rests at ‘Comfortable Levels’

Bitcoin and a number of popular digital assets have been dropping in value over the past 24 hours, as bitcoin has slipped below the $33K handle. The entire market capitalization of all 10,000+ crypto assets in existence has shed billions during the overnight trading sessions, and the crypto economy currently rests at $1.38 trillion, down more than 6% since yesterday.

Crypto Market Cap Sheds 6%, Ether Dominance Climbs Higher

Traders are focused on what will happen next in the land of crypto markets, as prices have started to dip after a long period of consolidation. At 7:00 a.m. (EDT), the price of bitcoin (BTC) slid to a low of $32,100 per unit but has regained some of the losses. 24-hour statistics show BTC has lost 6.4% during the last 24 hours and 2.87% during the last seven days.

BTC is 49.64% down from the all-time high it captured three months ago. Meanwhile, bitcoin dominance has dropped to 44.3% and ethereum (ETH) dominance has climbed higher in recent times (18.3%). BTC is currently trading for $32,518 per unit at the time of writing.

Ethereum holds the second largest position on Thursday, in terms of market capitalization with $251 billion. ETH has slid over 9% today but across the last week, ETH is up a touch over 2%. At press time, ether is swapping for $2,155 per unit and has close to $8 billion in 24-hour global trade volume.

Bitcoin Sinks Below $33K, Analyst Says BTC at ‘Dangerously Low Levels’ While ETH Rests at ‘Comfortable Levels’

Out of the entire top ten list of crypto coins, cardano (ADA) has managed to hold back losses. ADA has shed 5% today but the crypto asset is up over 3% over the course of the trailing seven days. The biggest gainer on Thursday is hyperion (HYN) which is up over 73% and the biggest loser is the tokenstars token TEAM which is down 53% in the last 24 hours.

Alex Kuptsikevich: ‘Bitcoin Is at Dangerously Low Levels, While Ether Rests Comfortably’

In a markets update note sent to Bitcoin.com News, Alex Kuptsikevich, the Fxpro senior financial analyst explained that “bitcoin is at dangerously low levels.” Kuptsikevich said that there’s been a summer lull in crypto markets lately, but it may just be “the calm before the storm.”

“Over the past 24 hours, Bitcoin has lost 7% and is trading around $32.3K,” Kuptsikevich said. “The price dynamic of the first cryptocurrency with seriously reduced trading volumes is considered a worrying sign. After all, if the market is affected by a small number of open positions, then any small storm could turn into a large-scale sell-off, disrupting an avalanche of stop orders. The current levels near the local lows of the last two months make us watch with bated breath for further movements.” Kuptsikevich continued:

The decline of the first cryptocurrency under $30k is likely to trigger a new wave of liquidation. But the most alarming thing for crypto-enthusiasts is that such an outcome will underscore the prolonged nature of the correction, increasing speculation around a new ‘crypto winter’ like in 2018.

Kuptsikevich said that whether or not a ‘crypto winter’ comes to fruition, we will find out soon enough. Even though BTC is resting at dangerous levels, ether is at “a quite comfortable level.” “The project is consistently moving along the roadmap of the transition to PoS. The developers have the confidence of market participants, and Goldman Sachs recently called ethereum more promising than bitcoin,” the market analyst added.

What do you think about today’s crypto market movements? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Revolutionary Ecosystem Developed by Synapse Network Opens up Cross-Chain Investment Opportunities

Synapse Network is developing the first cross-chain investment ecosystem based on blockchain technology. It will offer five cross-chain products for the cryptocurrency sector, including a DEX and DeFi marketplace, saving a lot of time and effort to everyone frustrated with the current fractured landscape.

Trade ETH to MATIC or BNB in Just One Swap

Technology specialist Synapse Network will provide investors with a simple one-stop-shop solution to consolidate their transactions. Compared to a multichain solution, where you need to invest into one of multiple pools – a costly and time-consuming process – it allows investors to allocate their funds in different blockchains, including Ethereum, Binance SmartChain, Solana, Polygon and many other popular blockchains. So investors can trade ETH to MATIC or to BNB in just one swap.

“The cross-chain revolution is the next big step of blockchain evolution, so we are thrilled to be the only player in the market to offer this technology. Cross-chain means you can choose any chain you want, or even several at a time, for any investment that you desire, – Synapse Network Co-Founder Paweł Łaskarzewski”

The ecosystem also includes a chain agnostic launchpad bringing together projects and private investors to enable investment opportunities in early-stage startups, and an accelerator and incubator for startups and entrepreneurs, where ideas are converted into working projects. There will also be an Investment Syndicate of trusted and reliable VC funds, business angels, tech partners, private investors and blockchain projects, providing fast-track access to capital, technology and partnerships.

Why Venture Capital Funds Back the Synapse Network Team

Synapse Network already has a live, working cross-chain launchpad product. It held an early community presale using it, is now listing startups/projects based on multiple blockchains and is enabling investors utilizing the product to invest in cross-chain investments. In addition, it has raised nearly $2,000,000 from venture capital and community funding rounds; current partners include Black Dragon, Dutch Crypto Investors, Moonwhale, Chainlink, OIG, ICO HUB, Crypto Weekly, Minted Lab and CSP DAO.

Synapse Network Co-Founder Paweł Łaskarzewski is a Technology executive and Enterprise
Solution Architect with a demonstrated history of over 20 years of experience in the IT industry. He is skilled in large scale projects with strong problem solving and business development skills, bridging the gap between technology innovation, business, and operations. Paweł has worked for several international companies, including Citibank, EuroSport and B/E Aerospace.

His Co-Founder, serial entrepreneur and investor Michał Domarecki, has founded and run several successful companies internationally in the areas of IT, transport and logistics. He has been involved in cryptocurrencies for over six years, actively investing in and advising blockchain startups and working with brands such as Crypto.com and founding Gems Reviews.

To learn more about the team and the amazing solution they developed visit Synapse.Network and follow them on Twitter and Telegram.

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Argentine Lawmaker Presents Bill Enabling Workers to Receive Salary in Cryptocurrency

Argentine Lawmaker Presents Bill Enabling Workers to Receive Salary in Cryptocurrency

A bill has been introduced in Argentina to allow workers to receive their salaries in cryptocurrency. He explained the idea is that workers “can strengthen their autonomy and conserve the purchasing power of their remuneration.”

  • Argentina’s national deputy for the Mendoza province, José Luis Ramón, tweeted that he has introduced a bill allowing workers to get paid in bitcoin. He wrote, as translated by Google:

I presented a bill so that independent workers … have the option of receiving their full or partial salary in cryptocurrencies.

  • He added: “The idea is that they can strengthen their autonomy and conserve the purchasing power of their remuneration.”
  • The Argentine lawmaker said that cryptocurrencies “have been used for a long time, because of the advantages they offer.”
  • The deputy noted that “This project was born from our participation in the Knowledge Economy forum some years ago, where we saw the need to solve some problems.”

  • Following El Salvador making bitcoin legal tender, Argentina deputy Francisco Sánchez temporarily put laser eyes on his profile picture, tweeting, “I can’t believe it, but this is how it is.”
  • Cryptocurrency adoption has been growing in Argentina. In May, a report found that Argentines were increasingly interested in bitcoin, ether, and stablecoins. Ripio Director Juan José Méndez commented at the time that “The pandemic accelerated the adoption of crypto platforms. Today we have 1 million users in Argentina when at the beginning of 2020 we had 400 thousand, and it is a figure that grows month by month.”
  • A survey conducted in Argentina last year showed that 73.4% of participants considered that in the current economic scenario, cryptocurrencies are the most effective way to save and protect their funds.
  • The full bill can be found here.

What do you think about the Argentine bill to allow workers to get paid in bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.