Daily Archives: November 14, 2021

Local Council Member in Ukraine Declares 124 BTC and 500 Tesla Shares

Local Council Member in Ukraine Declares 124 BTC and 500 Tesla Shares

A government official in Rivne region of Ukraine owns close to $8 million in cryptocurrency and 500 Tesla shares, his declaration shows. The news comes as another Ukrainian lawmaker in Kyiv has found it hard to prove possession of the crypto holdings on her asset statement.

Ukraine Officials Declare Crypto Assets, Fail to Provide Proof of Ownership

Crypto investments have enjoyed a growing popularity among Ukrainian politicians in recent years, mandatory asset statements have revealed. According to recent media reports, a member of the Virovsky Village Council in the western Rivne Oblast has declared having 124 BTC worth almost $8 million in today’s prices.

Vladimir Pachesny acquired the coins in early 2013 for 73,920 hryvnia at the time of purchase, a little over $2,800, using the latest exchange rate of the inflated Ukrainian fiat currency. In 2019, the 36-year-old local deputy also bought 500 shares of the U.S. electric vehicle company Tesla which pushed crypto prices up this year with its announcements of accepting and owning bitcoin.

Pachesny is neither the first, nor the richest cryptocurrency investor among officials in Ukraine, which has established itself as a leader in crypto adoption. A report from April unveiled that government workers and politicians held 46,351 BTC worth 75 billion hryvnias at the time (more than $2.6 billion), with a member of the Dnipro City Council, Mishalov Dmitrovich, having the largest stash of 18,000 BTC.

In their 2020 declarations, public figures have admitted to owning a total of 46 351 BTC and various other digital currencies, including ETH, LTC, BCH, and XMR, according to numbers compiled by the Opendatabot platform which monitors public registries in Ukraine. Not all of them, however, have been able to provide the necessary documents to prove they are in control of the coins. This spring, the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption (NAPC) promised to verify the numbers.

Another Ukrainian MP Cannot Account for Owned Cryptocurrency

Ukrainian media reported in September that a parliamentarian from President Zelensky’s Servant of the People party had failed to prove his digital holdings. Data filed by the lawmaker revealed that his wife, Maria Saltykova, had 42 BTC last year but NAPC said he had not submitted any documentation confirming the accuracy of this information. The deputy only explained that the crypto was stored on a hardware wallet that disappeared when his car got stolen earlier this year.

Gurin’s is not an isolated case in Ukraine. A recent article by the “Slovo i Dilo” portal showed that another member of the Verkhovna Rada, Anna Skorokhod, did not give the NAPC a proof that she actually owned the cryptocurrencies she had previously reported to the institution.

In her last declaration, Skorokhod stated she had 44 BTC, 130 ETH and 135 ETC while her husband at the time, Alexey Alyakin, kept in his possession some 118 ВТС, 78 ЕТН and 350 ETC. The Ukrainian MP gave “general explanations regarding the obtaining and ownership of the cryptocurrency without providing documents certifying the facts of the acquisition and the availability of the cryptocurrency as of the end of the reporting period.”

The cryptocurrencies’ value has been estimated at more than 2.7 million hryvnia (over $106,000) at the time of purchase. Skorokhod told the NAPC that due to her insufficient knowledge about the digital money, all operations with the coins were carried out by her husband on her behalf. She added she had no access to the keys or any accompanying documents after their divorce.

Virtual Assets of Ukraine, a public organization, and the Blockchain4Ukraine association, uniting lawmakers from different political factions in the Ukrainian parliament, have proposed to introduce a requirement that would increase transparency as far as officials’ asset statements are concerned. The two entities insist that public officials should provide the addresses of their cryptocurrency wallets on their declarations.

Do you think Ukrainian politicians will be able to account for all their cryptocurrency holdings? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Popular Tezos NFT Marketplace Discontinues Services Without Explanation

Popular Tezos NFT Marketplace Discontinues Services Without Explanation

After becoming one of the top non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces, the Tezos-based NFT market Hic et nunc has discontinued its services. After more than $50 million in all-time sales on the market, Hic et nunc’s creator has not disclosed why the NFT marketplace was shut down.

Tezos-Based NFT Marketplace Shuts Down

A popular non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace that leveraged the Tezos network has closed down its business and has not explained why. The now-defunct NFT market is called Hic et nunc and it was one of the top twenty NFT markets in terms of all-time sales. At the time before its closure, dappradar.com metrics show Hic et nunc was the 14th largest NFT marketplace in terms of all-time sales.

At press time, the Hic et nunc front end is not operating and it gives a server error explaining that the server cannot be found. Although, other affiliated links like hen101.xyz are still operational. The marketplace’s official Twitter account “@hicetnunc2000” is also still working and the account shared two messages about closing without much explanation.

The first is the Twitter account’s bio now says “discontinued” and alongside this, the account tweeted the market’s smart contract address. Furthermore, no one can respond to the tweet as the owner has replies shut off. Statistics show that Hic et nunc saw $50.37 million in sales to date and the average sale on the marketplace was $25.19 per NFT. The marketplace also had around 48,346 traders before closing down shop.

Lack of Explanation Gets Criticism

The myriad of Twitter replies to Hic et nunc’s official Twitter message are not very kind and people are upset that the market simply shut down with no reason behind the move. Some tweeted that the platform pulled a ‘rug pull,’ some said it was the “Wild West days,” while others accused the market of getting hacked. According to one person, Hic et nunc’s creator dubbed ‘Raf’ was upset about some messages he received.

“Raf is (thinking) of discontinuing HEN (even [though] he changed Twitter bio right away),” one individual wrote on November 11. “He got upset about some messages then decided this on a whim.”

Two days later another person speculated on the cryptic message Hic et nunc wrote on Twitter. “I’ve been thinking about this and I think I understand why this is the last post on this account,” the person said. “Hic et nunc was never the website: Hic et nunc is the contract. The contract lives forever.”

Still, many others were very confused about the last tweet and what it actually meant. “This was the last tweet HEN sent out. Does anyone know what this means?” another person asked.

**Editor’s Note: This post was updated at 3:30 p.m. (EST) to reflect the claims that there are mirror websites people can leverage to access Hic et nunc, but some are still confused about the “safety/intent of some of them.”

What do you think about the Tezos-based NFT marketplace Hic et nunc discontinuing operations? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Highly Anticipated Bitcoin Upgrade Taproot Activates — Taproot Script-Spends Seen in the Wild

Highly Anticipated Bitcoin Upgrade Taproot Activates — Taproot Script-Spends Seen in the Wild

Bitcoin advocates are celebrating the successful implementation of the Taproot upgrade after block height 709,632. The upgrade was highly anticipated as it was one of the biggest changes since the introduction of Segregated Witness (Segwit) in 2017. After the upgrade was completed, the Bitcoin community discussed the slew of benefits Taproot and Schnorr signatures have to offer and have started measuring Taproot usage as well.

Taproot Has Been Activated on the Bitcoin Blockchain

At 12:15 a.m. (EST) at block height 709,632, at difficulty period 352, Taproot was officially activated on the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain. The upgrade was long-awaited as it’s an improvement that’s taken seven years to complete.

Taproot allows users to operate Bitcoin scripts in a myriad of ways in order to improve privacy, scalability, and security. Combining Taproot with an improvement called Schnorr signatures allows for more compact transactions and key aggregation, which provides a multi-faceted array of multi-signature transaction schemes. Schnorr offers three major benefits according to the codebase introduction on Github:

  • Provable security: Schnorr signatures are provably secure. In more detail, they are strongly unforgeable under chosen message attack (SUF-CMA).
  • Non-malleability: The SUF-CMA security of Schnorr signatures implies that they are non-malleable. On the other hand, ECDSA signatures are inherently malleable.
  • Linearity: Schnorr signatures provide a simple and efficient method that enables multiple collaborating parties to produce a signature that is valid for the sum of their public keys.

The collaboration technique or key aggregation “is the building block for various higher-level constructions that improve efficiency and privacy, such as multi-signatures and others,” the Github description adds.

The Schnorr signature scheme is combined with MAST (Merklized Alternative Script Tree), which essentially creates a new script language called Tapscript. The Taproot activation page on Github now says: “Taproot locked-in. Thanks miners.” After Taproot was activated a great number of crypto supporters discussed the implementation on social media.

“The Taproot upgrade for Bitcoin has officially [been] activated,” bitcoin investor Anthony Pompliano tweeted after the upgrade. “Congratulations and thank you to every developer, miner, and Bitcoiner who made this happen.” Another individual dubbed ‘Hashoveride’ tweeted:

Taproot activated! Bitcoin upgraded! This is how consensus is formed and upgrades are done! Incredibly slow, non-controversial, and not forced. Y’all better recognise. [Bitcoin] ready to fly.

Bitcoin Developer Pieter Wuille: ‘At Long Last, BIP341/342 (“Taproot”) Are Active on Bitcoin Mainnet’

Bitcoin Core developer Pieter Wuille also discussed the successful soft fork on Twitter and thanked all the network participants.

“At long last, BIP341/342 (“taproot”) are active on Bitcoin mainnet. Thanks to everyone involved for getting us this far,” Wuille tweeted. “The real work will be in building wallets/protocols that build on top of it to make use of its advantages. I’m very excited to see where that takes us,” the Bitcoin developer added. Other bitcoin fans shared data of Taproot being used in the wild. For instance, Alekos Filini wrote:

A modified version @bitcoindevkit made this transaction. It’s a Taproot script-spend with a 1-of-2 multisig that uses the new `OP_CHECKSIGADD.` It looks like this is the first ever `OP_CHECKSIGADD` used on Bitcoin! It’s the third Taproot script-spend in the block, but the two coming in before didn’t use that opcode.

Additionally, the blockchain analysis Open Exploration Tool (oxt.me) tweeted about Taproot usage on the Bitcoin blockchain after the successful implementation. “It’s happening #Taproot,” the oxt.me Twitter account said, sharing a Taproot usage chart. Bitcoiner Lyle Pratt also talked about the benefits of Taproot and explained why he was excited.

“[Three] reasons I’m personally excited about Taproot,” Pratt wrote. “1) the upgrade process gave us a good recipe for future upgrades. 2) taproot will help proliferate new DLCs services and use cases, eventually bringing them to Lightning. 3) 1 mil+ participant multisig federations are now possible.”

When asked by another individual what the benefits of federated multi-sig for many participants would be, Pratt responded by noting: “Much more decentralized pools of signers or oracles are now possible. Pre-taproot about ~15 p2sh signers was the practical limit.”

What do you think about the successful implementation of the Bitcoin upgrade Taproot and the community’s opinion about the latest soft fork? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

FivebalanceUSA Exploring Adding ShibaInu Token as an Additional Reward

PRESS RELEASE. Miami, FL – As the first and only company publicly known to date to use blockchain technology to fight depression and anxiety, FivebalanceUSA is one of a handful of Companies listed on Coinmarketcap and trading on exchanges that has a real product fighting real world problems. The Company has just signed a linkage agreement with V.O.A to provide services.

Fivebalance trades on the Mercatox exchange under the ticker symbol FBN. At time of writing it’s current price is well under a quarter of a penny. This is significant for a number of reasons which will be laid out in this article.

  1. Fivebalance has just over 1 billion coins in circulation as verified on Coinmarketcap.
  2. The order books on Mercatox exchange look extremely thin, so much that 50 dollar transactions move the price.
  3. When speaking with the CEO James McCoy, he has said he wants to see a minimum of 10 cents, but he believed fair value to be a dollar per coin. When asked for the reasoning behind those numbers, he stated “FBN Coin is designed to be an incentive/motivation for users of the mobile app to reach their goals, and to assist in self improvement. He stated that a coin with no real value would not be much of an incentive. He said he looks at FBN coin as a form of Universal basic Income, and that he is building partnerships and relationships that will help to bolster the mobile apps user base as well as the value of the Coin. He said money can’t solve everything, but it can help in a lot of cases, and if at least 1 person can benefit from the app, then that’s a great start.”
  4. Fivebalance has applied to all major exchanges, and their Coinbase and Binance applications are well over 8 months pending. Coinbase said back in January that they wanted to list all coins that were compliant. Fivebalance has obtained their Attorney opinion letter, as well as installed Rossetta into their code per Coinbase previous requirements. They have met the minimum requirements and are patiently waiting for their application to move through the que.

FiveBalanceUSA is a unique startup that has developed a self-improvement application available for free on the Google Play store. The app serves people dealing with sub-clinical depression by rewarding them with the FBN cryptocurrency upon achieving their personal customized goals in 5F categories – Fit, Financial, Family, Flair, and Faith.

The FiveBalance app incentivises users with FBN cryptocurrency to meet their life goals.

Another thing that was mentioned by James was the new incentive for premium members. Fivebalance mobile app users that have purchased a premium membership will soon be able to receive Shiba Inu coins for reaching their goals. The mechanism to facilitate this is currently being evaluated at the time of writing. This would be a game changer, to allow users multiple options of coin rewards for meeting their goals. When asked about the possibility of using DogeCoin as an additional reward since Elon Musk recently called Doge the peoples coin, James stated. Although he respects Mr. Musk for his technological wizardry, he’s just too out of touch with the common folk. James stated that with no disrespect intended towards Mr. Musk’s, but his employees wouldn’t be considered the common people where he comes from. Their goal is to help the average everyday person who struggles daily. Your fast food workers, City employees, factory workers, etc. Those are who James considers the people, and FBN Coin was designed for them.

FivebalanceUSA’s mission is to support all people who desire to have a prosperous and productive life. FivebalanceUSA has released new articles with resources to help individuals facing anxiety and subclinical depression caused from the stresses of dealing with Covid19 and the many hardships this pandemic has created. Articles with resources on emergency shelter, food, healthcare, as well as free counselling and where to go for financial aid have been released in the mobile app. These resources will also be available on their Youtube channel FivebalanceTV for those users that do not have access to the mobile app. “We want to help everyone” James stated.

Building partnerships

FivebalanceUSA has secured a working partnership with Volunteers of America of Greater N.Y to provide their self improvement tools to the Clients of the V.O.A. Volunteers of America is celebrating their 125th year of providing much needed services to Veterans, Families in need, Homeless individuals, Women who have been subjected to domestic violence, and many other important at risk groups. This will allow for the clients of Volunteers of America to have access to the Fivebalance mobile app. The Volunteers of America organization serves on average 1.5 million people a year and counting. With the mental and physical stress created by Covid-19 as well as many other situations, Free resources for individuals to have access to is not just a great idea, it’s mandatory at this point.

You can learn more about Volunteers of America and how they have been helping individuals for over a century on their website https://www.voa.org/about-us

Fivebalance Mobile app ecosystem

A Chat feature has been implemented into the Fivebalance mobile app to allow users that are facing sub-clinical depression and anxiety to be able to chat with others facing similar issues. The Company intends to build its own ecosystem inside the app complete with Social media video and audio interface, a marketplace where they currently have NFT’s and self improvement novels, and much more. Development is expected to continue to roll out through the end of the year, and well into 2022.

Summing things up!

Real Company with real products, real use case, real partners, low market cap, pending applications on major exchanges, and dedicated reachable team. All the correct ingredients at the correct time!

A video is available on how to purchase FBN coin on Mercatox exchange on their Youtube channel FivebalanceUSA https://youtu.be/xtt37ughpWk

For details about the project, the leadership, the company’s whitepaper, and upcoming updates, please visit the provided link: https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/fivebalance/ or contact Fivebalance on its Social Media feeds.

Social Links




Media Contact

Company: FivebalanceUSA. LLC

Contact: James

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://fivebalance.com/

SOURCE: TD publishing


This is not investment advice! Investing in Cryptocurrency is risky, and you could lose your investment. Mercatox, is NOT a U.S regulated exchange. This guide does not imply in any form or fashion that the coin price will rise or fall in value. This guide is simply to show you how to purchase FBN Coin at this time. As always, please do your own research and consult with a licensed Financial advisor for any investment advice.


This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

Dutch Authorities Seize Cryptocurrency Worth Over 25 Million Euros

Dutch Authorities Seize Cryptocurrencies Worth Over 25 Million Euros, Including Bitcoin

Dutch authorities have seized more than 25 million euros in cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ether, from dozens of suspects in criminal cases. “Cryptocurrencies are widely used as a means of payment for various types of crime,” said the Netherlands’ Public Prosecution Service.

Authorities in the Netherlands Seize More Than 25 Million Euros in Cryptocurrencies, Including Bitcoin and Ether

The Netherlands’ Public Prosecution Service announced last week that it has seized more than 25 million euros ($28.6 million) in cryptocurrencies in recent months in collaboration with two other agencies.

The Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), the National Criminal Investigation Service (DLR), and the Public Prosecution Service (OM) collaborated on various investigations in which the emphasis was on seizing crypto wallets, the announcement details.

The FIOD is an agency of the government of the Netherlands responsible for investigating financial crimes. The National Criminal Investigation Service is part of the Dutch National Police Unit. The Public Prosecution Service, also called Openbaar Ministerie, is the body of public prosecutors in the Dutch criminal justice system.

The announcement states:

More than 25 million euros in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum have been seized from dozens of suspects.

Various crypto exchanges in the Netherlands and abroad cooperated with the FIOD and the Public Prosecution Service when criminal proceedings were levied. “They are obliged to do so under Dutch law,” the OM explained, adding that their cooperation made it possible to seize the content of various “crypto wallets managed by criminals with a total value of more than 25 million euros.”

However, the authorities explained that the identity of the suspects in an investigation is not always known. Some of the suspects are from the Netherlands while others are foreign nationals. “They will be transferred to the designated foreign authorities, subject to applicable international agreements,” the OM explained.

The Public Prosecution Service also warned of crypto’s use as a means of payment for criminals, stating:

Possession and use of cryptocurrencies is legal but also popular among criminals. The reason is that criminals perceive cryptocurrencies as anonymous and they can be moved around the world quickly. Cryptocurrencies are therefore widely used as a means of payment for various types of crime.

The OM detailed that cryptocurrencies are used in cybercrime, such as ransomware, and as a means of payment, such as to pay for hosting services. “In addition, we increasingly encounter cryptocurrencies in forms of crime such as drug and human trafficking, fraud, and tax evasion.”

Furthermore, “The investigation also revealed that criminals counteract unwanted exchange rates by converting cryptocurrencies into so-called ‘stablecoins’ such as USDT. These are cryptocurrencies whose value are linked to the U.S. dollar,” the Public Prosecution Service noted.

What do you think about Dutch authorities seizing 25 million euros in cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.

Crypto Advocates Weigh ETF Rejection — Veteran Trader Peter Brandt Says Bitcoiners Should ‘Oppose Spot Bitcoin ETFs in US’

Crypto Advocates Weigh ETF Rejection — Veteran Trader Peter Brandt Says Bitcoiners Should 'Oppose Spot Bitcoin ETFs in US’

Following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rejection of Vaneck’s bitcoin spot market exchange-traded fund (ETF) on Friday, a number of cryptocurrency advocates discussed the subject this weekend. For instance, the veteran FX trader Peter Brandt told his 581,700 Twitter followers that bitcoin maximalists “should oppose” a spot market bitcoin ETF. Bitcoiner Preston Pysh said bitcoin could care less “about the approval of a spot ETF.”

Crypto Community Discusses Recent Bitcoin ETF Rejection — Peter Brandt Says ‘Let’s Not Encourage Wall Street to Convert Bitcoin Into a Vending Machine Asset’

During the first week of November, U.S. lawmakers urged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to approve bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs). But on November 12, the U.S. regulator rejected Vaneck’s bitcoin spot ETF and cited a lack of prevention toward “fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices” in the market. The rejection also follows the approval of the first bitcoin ETFs based on the crypto asset’s derivatives markets, specifically futures.

In fact, the Proshares Strategy ETF debut captured close to $1 billion in volume and broke records for previously listed exchange-traded funds. Then SEC chairman Gary Gensler told the public why the SEC approved a bitcoin futures version of an ETF. After the Vaneck bitcoin spot market ETF rejection, a number of digital currency proponents discussed the situation. The veteran FX and cryptocurrency trader, Peter Brandt, tweeted on Saturday that bitcoin advocates should disapprove of a bitcoin spot market ETF.

“IMO, Bitcoin maximalists should oppose spot [bitcoin] ETFs in [the] U.S.,” Brandt said. Bitcoin’s store of value story depends on its scarcity and even some difficulty to purchase. Let’s not encourage greedy grub-hungry Wall Street to convert BTC into a vending machine asset. Say NO to ETFs,” the analyst added.

Preston Pysh: ‘Bitcoin Literally Feasts on Corruption and Manipulation’ —Tamping Down Bitcoin Prices via Futures

Host of The Investor’s Podcast (Bitcoin Fundamentals), Preston Pysh, also discussed the SEC refusal on social media. “The SEC is making decisions on the bitcoin spot ETF which benefits hedge funds [and] Wall Street at the expense of retail investors,” Pysh said. “Gary Gensler, Hester Peirce isn’t this the opposite of what you’re charted to do? We want answers. Your decisions are increasing distrust,” the podcast host noted. Pysh also said bitcoin could care less about the SEC decision and stated:

Here’s the beauty folks. Bitcoin gives 2 sh*ts about the approval of a spot ETF. It costs nearly nothing to custody and it settles in 10 min. They are fighting a clock – tick, tock, tick…This thing literally feasts on corruption and manipulation and boy is the plate full.

Some individuals argued that bitcoin futures are easier to manipulate and that’s why the U.S. government has allowed the derivatives version. “The SEC denied a spot [bitcoin] ETF. Why? Because futures are easier to manipulate IMO,” the Twitter handle dubbed ‘Meme Sergeant Spliffwrote. “The head of the CFTC admitted they can ‘tamp down’ silver prices via futures. What do metals [and] bitcoin have in common? Anti inflationary. They can tamp them down, so USD looks more attractive/safer,” he added.

Meanwhile, most crypto traders were pleased to see that the rejection “had no real bad price influence.” Many others shared the opinion that bitcoin “doesn’t need a spot ETF.” “As long as the Real Bitcoiners keep buying and hodling,” Rodolfo Martinez wrote. “This rocket is heading to the moon and beyond.”

What do you think about the recent opinions this weekend about the SEC rejecting Vaneck’s bitcoin spot market ETF? What do you think about Peter Brandt’s statements about opposing a spot ETF in the U.S.? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Russia Fails to Act on Request to Help Freeze Millions in Crypto Withdrawn From Wex Wallet

Russia Fails to Act on Request to Help Freeze Millions in Crypto Withdrawn From Wex Wallet

The Russian Ministry of Interior has rejected a request filed by clients of Wex to do its part in the blocking of crypto funds removed from a wallet controlled by the now-defunct crypto exchange. Over 10,000 ETH have been recently withdrawn from the wallet and transferred to other platforms.

Wex Victims Try to Freeze $46 Million of Cryptocurrency Lost to Bankrupt Russian Exchange

The Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (MVD) has refused to act on a request from victims of crypto exchange Wex to take steps aimed at seizing digital assets worth $45.9 million withdrawn from one of its wallets in September. Details were shared on social media by the CEO of Indefibank Sergey Mendeleev who quoted an official document from the department.

The former Wex users have provided the MVD with a detailed scheme of how the funds were transferred from the wallet to other crypto platforms, Forklog reported. They also submitted data from an analytics tool to prove the coins had been stolen and informed authorities they had reached out to Binance where a portion of the amount, 97.8 ETH, was sent. The crypto exchange froze these assets for a period of seven working days.

Current procedures at Binance allow the company’s security department to temporarily freeze funds after receiving convincing evidence of a theft. Then the party that asked for the measure has to contact relevant law enforcement authorities and return a police report to the crypto trading platform. Binance would then cooperate with investigators to resolve the case.

The Wex clients referred to the Russian Interior Ministry calling for the seizure of the stolen funds. However, according to an official response from the department from Oct. 25, the circumstances set out by the victims need further investigation before authorities can take any action. The MVD believes that a decision to confiscate the assets during the preliminary investigation and based on the available information would be premature.

Crypto exchange Wex is the successor of the infamous BTC-e, once Russia’s largest crypto trading platform, which went offline four years ago. In September this year, reports came out that Wex’s former chief executive, Dmitry Vasiliev, has been arrested in Warsaw. They were later confirmed by Polish authorities which also announced they are reviewing an extradition request submitted by Kazakhstan where he is accused of fraud.

Wex was launched in the fall of 2017 and it reportedly reached a daily turnover of $80 million before it suddenly halted withdrawals in the summer of 2018 and eventually went bankrupt. According to estimates by a group of users quoted by Forklog, the total losses exceed $400 million and Vasiliev is suspected of misappropriating $200 million.

The crypto news outlet reported that 100 ETH had been withdrawn from a Wex wallet in mid-September. That’s the first movement of these funds in the past three years, the publication noted. The remaining balance in the wallet, 9,916 ETH worth $30 million at the time, were also transferred to a new address a few days later.

Do you think Wex clients will convince Russian authorities to take action to freeze and seize the funds withdrawn from the exchange’s wallet? Tell us in the comments section below.

South African Fintech Raises $120 Million in Funding Round Led by Fidelity

A South Africa and London-based fintech startup, JUMO, recently revealed it has raised $120 million in a funding round led by Fidelity Management & Research Company.

AI-Powered Financial Services

According to a report by Techcrunch, financial services giant Visa and Kingsway Capital also participated in the funding round, which now sees JUMO valued at $400 million. This latest capital influx comes a year after the startup successfully raised $55 million in what the report calls a similar but unnamed funding round.

JUMO, which was founded in 2015 by founder and CEO Andrew Watkins-Ball, claims to use AI to power financial services, particularly lending in emerging markets where over 1.7 billion people do not have basic access to financial services.

So far, the fintech has reportedly served loans worth over $3.5 billion to more than 18 million customers across these markets, granting up to 120 million individual loans. Although JUMO claims to have the opportunity to disburse $29 billion a year, the addition of Nigeria and Cameroon to the list of countries where it offers its services will result in the value of loans disbursed rising to $40 billion.

JUMO’s Highly Attractive Lending Platform

In addition to expanding to Nigeria and Cameroon, JUMO suggested that it will use part of the $120 million raised to improve and increase the number of financial products it offers to small and medium-sized businesses. It also plans to provide longer-term lending options for merchants and larger businesses.

In her remarks following JUMO’s latest funding round, Visa’s global head of risk and identity services, Melissa McSherry, said:

JUMO’s lending platform is highly attractive in its ability to scale across markets and drive financial inclusion by creating access to credit for consumers and small businesses.

McSherry added that her company is excited about its investment in JUMO and is looking forward to accelerating the adoption of JUMO’s platform across markets and to delivering on Visa’s mission of helping individuals, businesses, and economies to thrive.

What are your thoughts about this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Santander Prepares to Offer Bitcoin ETF in Spain


Santander, a leading financial institution in Spain, is preparing to offer a Bitcoin ETF to its customers in the country. This, while Spanish asset managers have been largely reluctant to embrace crypto products as part of their investment portfolio offerings to customers.

Santander Bitcoin ETF in Preparation

Santander will be giving the finishing touches to a Bitcoin ETF product in Spain, according to reports from local sources. This reportedly positions the company to be the only financial institution interested in offering this type of product to its customers in Spain. Santander’s Executive Chairman Ana Botín declared that the institution has had a team working on this offering for some time. She stated:

Our clients want to buy bitcoin, but we have been quite slow to adopt it due to regulatory issues. We are now about to offer crypto ETFs.

The fact is that most asset managers in Spain are still reluctant to put their funds in cryptocurrency-based investments, at least domestically. Spain’s BBVA is already offering bitcoin trading services to its users in Switzerland, due to the advanced cryptocurrency ecosystem and clear regulations the country offers. But crypto regulation in Spain is a whole different issue.

No Product Registered Yet

Botín could have been referring to the work they are doing on the ETF within the bank, because no product of this kind has been registered with the CNMV, the institution that oversees the securities market in the country. Botín also failed to offer any kind of timeline regarding the availability of this product.

The first cryptocurrency ETF approved in the U.S. stirred up demand from institutions that were waiting for a more traditional and regulated product to invest in cryptocurrencies. However, the vehicle approved was a bitcoin futures ETF, making its management costly and taking part of its charm away for small investors. Local investors in Spain agree that if a similar product gets approved, it should be a spot bitcoin ETF to minimize management costs.

Even so, some feel the importance and reach of such an important product for investing in bitcoin should not be overlooked, as it could give Santander an advantage when it comes to portfolio offerings. Other banks have failed to see the importance of such an offering, with CaixaBank, Sabadell, and Bankinter declaring they are still waiting for more regulation in the field.

What do you think about Santander’s Bitcoin ETF bid in Spain? Tell us in the comments section below.

Two Entertainment Projects Featuring Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs Get Backing From Universal Music Group, Timbaland

Two Entertainment Projects Featuring Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs Get Backing From Universal Music Group, Timbaland

This week Universal Music Group, the Dutch–American multinational music corporation announced the formation of a non-fungible token (NFT) metaverse music group called Kingship, which features four Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs. Following the announcement, the hit record producer Timbaland revealed the creation of a metaverse-based entertainment company called Ape-In Productions (AIP), which will also leverage BAYC NFTs.

Universal Music Group Reveals BAYC NFT Supergroup Called Kingship

While non-fungible token (NFT) collectibles have been all the rage this year, one particular collection called Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) has turned a lot of heads in terms of sales and popularity.

Data shows that BAYC has an overall market valuation of $1.82 billion and the collection has seen $658 million in all-time sales volume, according to dappradar.com statistics. BAYC’s trade volume has been among 9,296 traders across 22,122 sales. The average sale price for a single BAYC NFT on November 13th is around $29.74K.

BAYC’s popularity has inspired one of the largest music firms in the world, Universal Music Group (UMG) to start a metaverse supergroup called Kingship. Reports indicate that the “10:22PM” project’s founder, Celine Joshua, started the Kingship initiative with the popular NFT collector Jimmy McNeils.

Two Entertainment Projects Featuring Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs Get Backing From Universal Music Group, Timbaland

The 10:22PM web portal’s description says: “As Universal Music Group’s next-gen Web3 label, 10:22PM has been discovering, developing and empowering artists, digital creators and brands since 2018.” Every one of Kingship’s four members, Celine Joshua, told the press; “has their own story and personality that influences and contributes to Kingship’s overall narrative.”

Hit Record Producer Timbaland Reveals Ape-In Productions

Following UMG’s and 10:22PM’s announcement, Timothy Mosley, known professionally as Timbaland, announced the launch of a BAYC entertainment label called Ape-In Productions (AIP). Speaking with the news publication Variety, Timbaland revealed that the hit record producer said AIP aims to bolster creators.

“We’ve built a new entertainment platform in the metaverse that puts creative control and long-term ownership back in the hands of artists, a concept that is incredibly important to us,” Timbaland told the Variety contributor Jem Aswad.

Two Entertainment Projects Featuring Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs Get Backing From Universal Music Group, Timbaland

According to Variety’s report, AIP will reveal a music group called “Thezoo” and a track which will be tethered to an NFT collectible called “Apesh!t.” The report further adds that AIP was developed by Timbaland and a number of BAYC community members. Jonathan Tenenbaum, Andrew Rosener, Gary Marella, Clement Kwan, and Timbaland’s Beatclub will also contribute.

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