Daily Archives: January 1, 2022

2 Mirrored, Copycat Bored Ape NFT Projects Cause Copyright Infringement Controversy

In the midst of the hype surrounding the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) non-fungible token (NFT) collectibles, two NFT projects have appeared offering near-identical or mirrored versions of the original BAYC NFTs. The NFT marketplace Opensea has removed the NFT projects from the market for breaking the rules against copyright infringement.

2 Copycat Bored Ape Yacht Club Projects Cause a Stir

NFT fans have been discussing two controversial copycat NFT projects called PHAYC and PAYC (Phunky Ape Yacht Club) in recent times. The two projects introduced the copycat versions of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs that were slightly altered or mirrored.

2 Mirrored, Copycat Bored Ape NFT Projects Cause Copyright Infringement Controversy

Essentially, the phony BAYCs face left instead of right, and they share the exact same avatars as BAYC originals. When the PAYC project revealed its concept, it paid homage to the Cryptophunks which were also similarly styled, copycat versions of the popular Cryptopunks NFT collection.

“Once upon a time, the Cryptophunks waged war against the tyranny of DMCA,” the PAYC creators wrote on December 6. “We are joining the battle. It’s time to get phunky. We are launching 10,000 hand-coded and phlipped NFTs.”

The other project, PHAYC, was covered by Coindesk author Tracy Wang on December 30. Wang detailed that the PHAYC project “launched Tuesday evening as a free mint to the first 8,500 claimers and generated about 60 ETH from the remaining 1,496 sales.”

The Battle Over Which Phony BAYC Project Was First

Additionally, both PAYC and PHAYC have been battling on Twitter about which project is the true copycat of the popular BAYC NFTs. “I have just been informed that there is a copycat PHAYC that launched after us. Anybody else hear of this blasphemy?” the PAYC project tweeted on December 29. An individual responded and said:

I guess the first one of you with your own independent market wins. Victors get to write the history books good luck.

Following the significant demand for Cryptopunks (CP) and Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs in 2021, a number of unoriginal copycat ideas were launched but none of them were near-identical, mirrored copies of the originals.

Yuga Labs, the creators of BAYC have copyrighted the original BAYC artwork and the artists could take legal action and file a DMCA claim. To date, both CP and BAYC have been the most popular NFT collections in terms of volume. While CP captured $2.98 billion in all-time volume, the original BAYC NFT collection obtained $1.04 billion in volume.

What do you think about the 2 copycat BAYC NFT projects? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Shiba Inu Project Reveals ‘Doggy DAO,’ Devs Say Phase 1 to Provide ‘Immediate Power to the SHIB Army’

Shiba Inu Project Reveals 'Doggy DAO,' Devs Say Phase 1 to Provide 'Immediate Power to the SHIB Army'

During the last half of 2021, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) have been popping out of the woodwork in mass numbers, airdropping tokens and creating governance systems for specific projects. Just before the end of the year on December 31, the developers behind the Shiba Inu crypto protocol have announced the launch of a “Doggy DAO” in order to give more power to shiba inu users.

Shiba Inu Project Announces Doggy DAO

The second-largest crypto meme token in terms of market capitalization, shiba inu (SHIB), has announced the launch of a “Doggy DAO” in order to reward SHIB users. The SHIB development team says the project has always focused on “working towards decentralization.” The meme token has propelled itself into the limelight this year, gathering 43,685,107% against the U.S. dollar in 12 months, and getting listed on numerous crypto platforms, as well as gathering merchant acceptance.

On January 1, 2022, SHIB has been swapping for prices between $0.00003282 to $0.00003450 within the 24-hour range. While SHIB is up 8.1% during the last two weeks, over the last seven days, SHIB is down 7.6%. SHIB’s market valuation of $18.5 billion represents 0.79% of the $2.3 trillion crypto-economy on Saturday. The meme coin dogecoin (DOGE) is the only crypto meme market that’s larger than SHIB’s with $22.7 billion. The announcement from the SHIB team on Friday notes:

[The] Doggy DAO will be released in a stage-by-stage metric and phased approach. This allows the community to understand what are the needs, and requirements of the project while also attending to the possibilities that this ecosystem brings to our community.

Shiba Inu’s DAO to Provide ‘Immediate Power to the Community’

The Doggy DAO phase 1 will provide “immediate power to the community to decide which crypto projects and pairs on the Shibaswap WOOF Pools will be, and how the $BONE rewards (Allocation Points) are to be distributed amongst them,” the blog post explains. The governance system will leverage $tBONE for votes and $BONE for staking.

“This is a crucial first step, orienting our Decentralized Exchange to grow, while promoting all the benefits to the #Shibarmy from such pairs, and welcoming new investors to use the platform,” the SHIB team says.

The Doggy DAO follows a slew of decentralized autonomous organizations that have been discussed during the last week in the crypto space. Digital currency advocates have been talking about the Opendao airdrop and Gas DAO airdrop in recent times as well. While both of those DAOs are less established, the SHIB team — and community dubbed the ‘Shibarmy’ — has been around for quite some time.

What do you think about SHIB’s Doggy DAO? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Despite Negative Mining Malware Press, Privacy-Focused Crypto Monero Jumps 36% in 2 Weeks

The privacy-centric crypto asset monero has seen significant gains during the last two weeks, jumping 36% in value against the U.S. dollar. Despite the negative press from the “Spider-Man: No Way Home” torrents with monero mining malware, seven-day statistics indicate the crypto asset has gained more than 21%.

Monero Sees Double-Digit Gains Amid Mining Malware Headlines

The privacy-focused digital currency monero (XMR) has seen double-digit gains this week, while most of the crypto economy has suffered losses and seen a period of consolidation. Just recently, XMR made headlines after a cybersecurity firm warned that torrent files containing the “Spider-Man: No Way Home” film may contain malicious monero mining malware.

Mining malware reports have plagued the Monero community for years as some applications exist which hijack a victim’s CPU, and then mine monero without the victim knowing. The act is sometimes referred to as “cryptojacking.”

Year-to-date, monero (XMR) has gained 58% against the U.S. dollar and the crypto asset has a market capitalization of around $4.4 billion, ranked 44th among 12,135 crypto assets. XMR represents 0.19% of the $2.3 trillion crypto-economy on January 1, 2022.

XMR has a 24-hour price range of around $227.51 to $248.45 per unit and tether (USDT) is the asset’s biggest trading pair with 42% of all trades. This is followed by BTC (18.39%), ETH (7.83%), USD (5.94%), EUR (3.35%), GBP (2.32%), and JPY (2.32%).

Monero (XMR) is an open-source digital currency network based on Cryptonote technology authored by Nicolas van Saberhagen in 2013. The blockchain network is said to be obfuscated but the blockchain surveillance firm Ciphertrace claims it has monero tracing capabilities.

The project’s privacy techniques include IP address obscuring, ring signatures, zero-knowledge proofs, bulletproofs, and stealth addresses. At the end of August 2021, a Monero developer announced BTC to XMR atomic swap capabilities. Additionally, monero (XMR) is leveraged on a number of darknet marketplaces.

Monero also faces numerous privacy-coin competitors such as horizen (ZEN), dash (DASH), and zcash (ZEC). ZEN, for instance, has gained 438% year-to-date against the U.S. dollar and ZEC increased 130.8% this past year.

What do you think about monero jumping 36% in value against the USD over the last two weeks amid the mining malware reports? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Indian Authorities Raid Cryptocurrency Exchanges for Tax Evasion

Indian Authorities Raid Crypto Exchanges for Tax Evasion

India’s Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) reportedly raided major cryptocurrency exchanges Saturday. Their offices were searched and “massive goods and services tax (GST) evasion has been detected by DGGI.”

Tax Authorities Say Cryptocurrency Exchanges Have Been Evading GST Tax

India’s Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) reportedly raided major cryptocurrency exchanges across the country Saturday. Citing official sources, ANI news agency detailed:

Around half dozen offices of cryptocurrency service providers have been searched and massive goods and services tax (GST) evasion has been detected by DGGI.

According to the sources, the authorities are investigating Coinswitch Kuber (Bitcipher Labs), Coindcx (Neblio Technologies), Buyucoin (Iblock Technologies), and Unocoin (Unocoin Technologies). The crackdown has uncovered tax evasion worth about Rs 70 crore ($9.4 million), the publication conveyed.

The raid followed the discovery of a major GST tax evasion of Rs 40.5 crore by cryptocurrency exchange Wazirx Friday. The authorities subsequently recovered Rs 49.20 crores in cash pertaining to GST evaded, interest, and penalty from the exchange.

Noting that cryptocurrency exchanges charge a commission for facilitating the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies, official sources stressed:

These services attract GST rate of duty of 18% which all of them have been evading.

Another official source, who was part of the search, told the publication, “These transactions were intercepted by DGGI and they were confronted with evidence that proved non-payment of GST.”

Crypto exchanges subsequently paid Rs 30 crore and Rs 40 crore as GST, interest, and penalty for non-compliance to the statutory provisions of GST law, according to the publication. Moreover, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has recovered Rs 70 crore from them.

What do you think about Indian authorities raiding crypto exchanges for tax evasion? Let us know in the comments section below.

Ex-Head of Crypto Exchange Wex Released in Poland

Ex-head of Crypto Exchange Wex Released in Poland

Former chief executive of the Russian cryptocurrency exchange Wex, Dmitry Vasiliev, has been released from arrest in Warsaw earlier this month. The ex-head of the now-defunct coin trading platform has since returned to Russia while court proceedings against him in Poland are still ongoing.

Polish Court Rejects Extradition of Wex Executive to Kazakhstan

Authorities in Poland have released Dmitry Vasiliev, the man who was at the helm of Wex, once Russia’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The 34-year-old native of Belarus was detained at the Warsaw airport on Aug. 11, initially for a period of 40 days but he remained in custody for almost four months.

Vasiliev told the Russian business news portal RBC that he was allowed to leave on Dec. 7 and has since returned to Russia where he resides. His Polish lawyer further explained that the court has dismissed his extradition to Kazakhstan but is yet to make a final decision on his case.

The former Wex executive was arrested after the disappearance of $450 million from accounts linked to the exchange. According to the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, the exchange’s management is responsible for the loss of money that belonged to citizens of EU member states, including Poland, and other countries.

Wex launched in September of 2017 and is regarded as the successor of the notorious BTC-e exchange. The latter ceased activities earlier that year, following the detention in Greece of one of its alleged operators, Alexander Vinnik, who was apprehended on a U.S. warrant.

American prosecutors accuse the Russian IT specialist of laundering up to $9 billion through BTC-e. He was sentenced to five years in prison by France last December. French judicial authorities also rejected his extradition to Russia, where he is implicated in other crimes.

Dmitry Vasiliev was also detained in Italy, in the summer of 2019, on a request from Interpol in connection with the criminal case against him in Kazakhstan where he is wanted on fraud charges. Then, in August of the same year, Italian authorities released Vasiliev despite ongoing criminal proceedings against him in a number of other countries such as Russia, Belarus and China.

In September, reports revealed that 100 ETH had been withdrawn from a Wex wallet, the first movement of the funds in three years. The remaining balance of 9,916 ETH, worth $30 million at the time, was also transferred to a new address a few days later. In November, the Russian interior ministry, MVD, was accused of failing to act on a request from victims of the exchange to seize its assets.

What are your thoughts on the release of the former Wex executive Dmitry Vasiliev? Tell us in the comments section below.

Gold Bug Peter Schiff Claims Bitcoin’s Yearly Gain of 60% Was Achieved in First 5 Weeks of the Year

Gold bug Peter Schiff has claimed that though bitcoin went up by 60% during the past twelve months, most of these gains were achieved during the first five weeks of the year in 2021. He insists that the majority of those that bought the asset in 2021 have not gained.

Bitcoin Gains Higher Than Those of Gold

With the calendar year ending and bitcoin up more than 60% since last January, one of the crypto asset’s chief critics, Peter Schiff, has claimed in a tweet that this gain was only achieved in the first five weeks of 2021. Schiff argues that the majority of people who bought the digital asset in 2021 have not gained.

Indeed, after starting 2021 trading at just above $29,300, the price of bitcoin — as shown by Bitcoin.com data — more than doubled and was trading just above $63,500 by mid-April. This is in contrast to Schiff’s gold which started the year trading at around $1,900 per ounce but had dropped to $1,730 at around the same time.

Gold Bug Peter Schiff Claims Bitcoin's Yearly Gain of 60% Was Achieved in First 5 Weeks of the Year

While prices of both assets continued to fluctuate throughout 2021, year-end data shows that the crypto asset had again outperformed gold after it recorded double-digit gains once more. This performance suggests that despite it being a very volatile asset, it still generated positive returns for investors, even after February.

Gold Bug Peter Schiff Claims Bitcoin's Yearly Gain of 60% Was Achieved in First 5 Weeks of the Year

Gold, on the other hand, ended the year nearly 4% lower, a fact Schiff does not mention in one of his last anti-bitcoin tweets of 2021. Instead, he uses the crypto asset’s price in February 2021 to support his argument that bitcoin has not generated positive returns for a majority of investors. Schiff said:

Bitcoin bulls point to bitcoin’s 60% gain in 2021 as more evidence that it’s the best asset to buy. But all of those gains occurred during the first five weeks of the year. Bitcoin is lower now than it was in Feb. The vast majority of people who bought Bitcoin in 2021 are down.

Five-Digit Gains

Besides bitcoin, which ended the year 60% higher than it started, numerous other cryptocurrencies also outperformed gold. Ethereum, which hit an all-time high of $4,891 in November, had a net gain that surpassed 500% by the end of 2021.

Also, a Bitcoin.News report shows that about ten crypto assets had gains of more than 10,000% during the same period.

Schiff’s tweet has riled bitcoin proponents. For instance, in their response to the gold bug’s latest attack on BTC, one Twitter user named Moon Landing asked why Schiff worries too much about bitcoin. Another user, Benjamin Cowen suggested that gold no longer keeps up with inflation. He tweeted:

“The vast majority of people who bought gold over the last decade have just watched it not even keep pace with inflation.”

Do you agree with Peter Schiff’s latest claims? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Mexico Announces It Will Issue Its Own Digital Coin by 2024

mexico

The government of Mexico announced that the country’s central bank will issue its own digital currency. The statement of the official account of the presidency of Mexico informed that the development should be ready towards 2024, and remarked about the importance the technology has for the future of the financial structure of the country.

Banxico to Issue Digital Peso

A statement issued by the official account of the presidency of Mexico on Twitter reported that the institution was planning to issue its own digital currency. The announcement also informed that this development was likely to happen towards 2024, putting the country on the list of the nations that are studying, or plan to release, their own central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The issued statement declared:

The Banxico reports that by 2024 it will have its own digital currency in circulation, considering these new technologies and the next-generation payment infrastructure are extremely important as options of great value to advance financial inclusion in the country.

Mexico Lacks Financial Inclusion

Mexico is among the top five countries with the least financial inclusion in the world, according to a study realized by a company called Merchant Machine. The study, which was released in the month of March, found that Morocco, Vietnam, Egypt, the Philippines, and Mexico are the nations where the unbanked population is largest.

This data is backed by findings of the Banking Association of Mexico, which recognizes that 53% of the adults in the country do not have a bank account, and 7 out of 10 do not have access to credit. This represents a problem in the Mexican economy, that has to deal with a lack of trust that citizens have in financial products and services and the complications that citizens have to face in accessing these services.

Other countries, like the Bahamas (that launched the sand dollar) and China (that released its digital renminbi), are already in implementation phases of their central bank digital currencies, even running tests or allowing citizens to use them for retail purchases in some cases. The EU is also still studying the launch of a digital euro.

What do you think about Mexico preparing to launch its own digital currency? Tell us in the comments section below.

Gibraltar Stock Exchange Receives Purchase Proposal by Blockchain Firm

Gibraltar

The stock exchange of Gibraltar, a British territory, has received a purchase offer by a blockchain firm called Valereum. The purchase, that is set to occur in the new year, if effective, might make the Gibraltar Stock Exchange the first bourse where cryptocurrencies and stocks could be traded with cryptocurrencies. Regulators are currently reviewing this offer.

Gibraltar Could Become a Crypto Haven

Gibraltar might make history as the territory in which the first mixed bourse, with crypto assets and stocks available for investors, operates. The main bourse of the British territory, the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, has received a purchase offer from Valereum, a blockchain firm. The firm, which is based in Gibraltar, would be seeking to acquire 80% of the said bourse, with its actual owner, the Global Stock Exchange Group, keeping 20% of the company.

The two companies signed an option for this acquisition back in October, where the company announced its intention of completing this deal. However, the details of the acquisition had not been released to the public. The option reveal document states:

The exercise of the Option and the acquisition of 80% of the GSX (the “Acquisition”) are subject to approval by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (“GFSC”). Valereum will seek approval from GFSC to establish the GSX as one of the world’s first fully regulated, integrated fiat and digital exchanges.

The report also stated that the group will seek to integrate cryptocurrency in the bourse if the deal passes.

Regulatory Complications

The possible approval of the deal by regulators of the country has caused a series of reactions from experts and people observing the outcome. Richard Poulden, chairman of Valereum, is extremely positive about the deal, and has stated that this is a step in the evolution of digital assets in their way of becoming tradeable at a worldwide scale. However, not all are so optimistic about this probable deal.

Many are hesitant about the effect that this could have on the oversight that other global regulator groups, like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), could exert on the country. Charlie Steele, a partner at Forensic Risk Alliance, a consulting firm says:

It could enable or facilitate money laundering, sanctions evasion, terrorist financing, so everyone’s wary of that as well,

Valereum also signed a purchase agreement with the Juno Group, a trust management company that will be able to provide custody services for the cryptocurrency assets acquired in the exchange, even if the deal needs to be ratified by regulators.

What do you think about the purchase of the stock exchange of Gibraltar by Valereum? Tell us in the comments section below.

South Korean Lawmaker Says He Will Start Accepting Crypto Donations in the New Year

Lee Kwang-jae, a South Korean lawmaker, recently stated that he will be accepting cryptocurrency donations starting mid-January 2022. According to the politician, this plan represents his attempt to raise awareness about cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens among South Koreans.

Donations to Be Converted Into Korean Won


A Korean lawmaker, Lee Kwang-jae, has said he will start accepting cryptocurrency donations sometime in mid-January of 2022. According to the lawmaker, anyone that wishes to sponsor his campaign will be able to do so by directly transferring funds to his office wallet.

As explained in The Korean Times report, once received, the donated crypto will be converted into Korean won and then deposited into his sponsorship account. The report meanwhile reveals that receipts for such donations will be issued in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and sent to the respective donor’s email address.

Explaining his reasons for choosing to accept digital currency donations, Kwang-jae — a member of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea — claimed that this decision will help raise awareness about crypto assets and NFTs. He explained:

I have had a deep sense of regret that the politicians here have had an outdated perception of digital assets at a crucial time when the blockchain technologies used for cryptocurrencies, NFTs and the metaverse, are advancing rapidly day after day.


The lawmaker also suggested that now might be the appropriate time to undertake innovative experiments to enhance Korean politicians’ understanding of future technologies. According to the report, the lawmaker’s hope is that such experiments might ultimately help to change perceptions about digital currencies and NFTs.

The report, however, states that since the acceptance of crypto donations is yet to be institutionalized, Kwang-jae can thus only receive a maximum of $8,420 or 10 million Korean won. On the other hand, sponsors can only donate digital assets that are worth not more than $842.

Growing Criticism of Korea’s Crypto Regulations


The plan by Kwang-jae, who is set to become one of the first lawmakers in South Korea to accept crypto donations, comes as the South Korean government exerts more regulatory pressure on the cryptocurrency industry.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker’s decision to accept crypto donations follows reports that stakeholders from the local cryptocurrency industry have been stepping up their criticism of financial watchdogs.

In their criticism of what the report refers to as Korea’s overly strict set of regulations, the stakeholders assert that such a regulatory regime will continue to prevent the country from becoming one of the leading nations in this emerging financial field.

What are your thoughts on the lawmaker’s plan to accept crypto donations? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Malaysia Seizes 1,720 Bitcoin Mining Machines in Electricity Theft Crackdown

Malaysia Seizes 1,720 Bitcoin Mining Machines in Electricity Theft Crackdown

Police in Malaysia have shut down a bitcoin mining operation and seized 1,720 bitcoin mining machines in a major electricity theft crackdown following public complaints. “Police inspected 75 premises around the district and 30 of them were found to be carrying out illegal bitcoin mining activities and stealing electricity.”

Malaysian Authorities Shut Down Bitcoin Mining Operation


Malaysian police have cracked down on a major electricity theft case involving bitcoin mining, local media reported. Perak police chief Datuk Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said at a press conference Thursday at the Manjung district police headquarters that the crackdown was carried out following public complaints.

Noting that the operation involved the Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and the Sitiawan Fire and Rescue Station, the police chief explained:

This operation is the biggest success with TNB this year.


He noted that according to the TNB, the theft of electricity was worth about RM2 million ($478,870).

“Police inspected 75 premises around the district and 30 of them were found to be carrying out illegal bitcoin mining activities and stealing electricity,” the police chief explained, adding:

We seized 1,720 bitcoin mining machines.


In addition, “15 monitors, 22 central processing units (CPUs), 16 keyboards, seven mice, 56 modems, and a laptop” were also seized, the police chief detailed. He added: “Also seized was a Toyota Hilux, 44 exhaust fans, five alarms, and seven closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.”

Mior Faridalathrash explained that further investigation is being conducted to identify the mastermind behind the illegal bitcoin mining operation and establish how long it has been going on.

The police also arrested a 28-year-old caretaker of the premises in Ayer Tawar on suspicion of carrying out illegal bitcoin mining activities and being involved in stealing electricity. The chief of police noted:

The arrested man was remanded for four days and is being investigated under Sections 379 and 427 of the Penal Code and the Electricity Supply Act 1990.


In July, Malaysian authorities completely destroyed 1,069 bitcoin mining machines with a steamroller. The coins were confiscated earlier this year.

What do you think about this case? Let us know in the comments section below.