Daily Archives: January 11, 2022

Crypto Tops Investor Threats for US Securities Regulators

Crypto Tops Investor Threats for US Securities Regulators

U.S. state securities regulators have revealed that cryptocurrency investments are their top investor threat this year. “Before you jump into the crypto craze, be mindful that cryptocurrencies and related financial products may be nothing more than public facing fronts for Ponzi schemes and other frauds,” one regulator warned.

Crypto Is the Top Threat for US Securities Regulators

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) released its “annual list of top investor threats” Monday.

The NASAA, formed in 1919, is a nonprofit association of state, provincial, and territorial securities regulators in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The association has 67 members, including the securities regulators in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“The top threats to investors were determined by surveying North American securities regulators to identify the most problematic products, practices, or schemes,” the association explained. “Investments tied to cryptocurrencies and digital assets” top the list of the threats most often cited by securities regulators, the association noted.

Alabama Securities Commission Director Joseph P. Borg commented:

By far, NASAA’s securities regulators revealed that investments related to cryptocurrencies and digital assets is our top investor threat.

He elaborated: “Stories of ‘crypto millionaires’ attracted some investors to try their hand at investing in cryptocurrencies or crypto-related investments this year, and with them, many stories of those who bet big and lost big began appearing, and they will continue to appear in 2022.”

The NASAA warned: “Digital assets do not fall neatly into the existing investor regulatory framework, and it may be easier for the promoters of these products to fleece the public. All investments carry the risk that some, or all, of the invested funds could be lost.”

Texas State Securities Board Enforcement Division Director Joseph Rotunda cautioned:

Before you jump into the crypto craze, be mindful that cryptocurrencies and related financial products may be nothing more than public facing fronts for Ponzi schemes and other frauds.

He continued: “Investments in cryptocurrency trading programs, interests in crypto mining pools, crypto depository accounts and securitized tokens should be seen for what they are: extremely risky speculation with a high risk of loss.”

What do you think about cryptocurrency investments being the top investor threat for U.S. securities regulators? Let us know in the comments section below.

Bitrue Is Launching a New Yield Farming Hub

PRESS RELEASE. In the world of cryptocurrencies, it is important for any crypto exchange to offer plenty of different options when it comes to making money. This is precisely why Bitrue, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, has recently announced the launch of a new yield farming hub, available to all of its users from January 10th at 10:00 UTC.

The main reason and context behind this new initiative has to do with the fact that staking and yield farming have become immensely popular methods through which investors can earn additional income. Bitrue therefore wants to cater to the real needs of its clientele in a safe manner and also keep up with all of the latest updates and changes regarding this industry, which it shall accomplish through the formation of key partnerships in the future as well as the mitigation of risks such as impermanent loss.

What will the new hub do?

The new hub enables the users to mine for tokens in a manner comparable to DeFi (decentralized finance) pools, which were quite popular last year. At launch, more than 20 pools with APRs (Annual Percentage Yields) of 150% or higher were made accessible, with consumers being able to choose from a variety of staking intervals. Bitrue Coin BTR, Bitrue’s native platform currency, shall be powering these pools. To start farming, either BTR or perhaps the token for which the user chooses to mine shall be made stakeable. Additionally, ever since its inception in July 2018, BTR has increased by over 300% to date.

Furthermore, Bitrue has had plenty of experience regarding developing cutting-edge investing solutions, with Power Piggy acting as the initial cryptocurrency-based investment service released across the globe in early 2018. This new hub shall thus include Power Piggy, Vote Staking, BTR Lockups, along with a wide variety of other businesses that leverage BTR to produce profits for their respective consumers.

Essentially, the initiative allows its consumers the choice to pick an investing plan which would be best-suited for them by providing such a diverse range of investment alternatives with varied lockup periods, yields, and formats. In the words of Adam O’Neil, Bitrue’s Chief Marketing Officer, it establishes BTR as the world’s inaugural Yield Token, which is a token dedicated solely to increasing the return on crypto-oriented investments. The new Yield Farming Hub is also only accessible at www.bitrue.com and it is just one of many upcoming initiatives by Bitrue that customers can look forward to.

Bitrue’s vision

Bitrue, which debuted in July 2018, is a diverse crypto exchange that supports trading, lending, and investments. It intends to use blockchain technology to provide financial possibilities to everyone, irrespective of geography or financial situation. The exchange has offices all over the world and are constantly developing new features to effectively support the new era of the digitised modern economy. In essence, the BTR token possesses the “explicit utility regarding the maximization of returns on investments”.

What’s more is that the months-long resistance for BTR also appears to have been broken, as the token just crossed the $0.40 mark. Price discovery is incoming along with the highest weekly close during this weekend. For additional information, both the official website as well as the exchange’s Twitter channel can be checked upon for regular updates.

 

 


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175-Year-Old News Cooperative the Associated Press Plans to Launch NFT Marketplace

On January 10, 2022, the Associated Press (AP), the American non-profit news cooperative founded in 1846, has announced the news agency is launching a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace. The AP NFT market was built by the distributed ledger technology provider Xooa and on top of the Polygon blockchain network.

AP Announces NFT Marketplace Launch

The 175-year-old news cooperative the Associated Press revealed that the organization is launching an NFT marketplace using the Polygon blockchain network. According to the AP announcement, the NFT market built by Xooa will allow NFT collectors to collect the news agency’s iconic photojournalism. AP’s newly crafted Polygon-based NFT market will launch on January 31, 2022.

Dwayne Desaulniers, AP director of blockchain and data licensing, explained that the non-profit news cooperative is thrilled to showcase the organization’s Pulitzer Prize-winning images from current and former AP photojournalists. “Each NFT will include a rich set of original metadata offering collectors awareness of the time, date, location, equipment, and technical settings used for the shot,” the AP press release notes.

“For 175 years AP’s photographers have recorded the world’s biggest stories through gripping and poignant images that continue to resonate today,” Desaulniers said in a statement on Monday. “With Xooa’s technology, we are proud to offer these tokenized pieces to a fast-growing global audience of photography NFT collectors.”

Proceeds From the NFT Market’s Sales Will Go Back to Funding AP Journalism

While the initial launch will begin on the last day of January, AP says that the collection will be released over a period of weeks, and “NFT price points will vary.” Proceeds from the NFT sales will go back into funding “factual, unbiased AP journalism.” According to the AP, owners of the AP NFT images can also sell them on secondary markets after the initial sale. AP also details that people can purchase the NFTs with crypto or credit cards.

The AP announcement further highlights that the Polygon blockchain is more “environmentally friendly” than other blockchain networks. “In this marketplace deployment, emphasis has been placed on accessibility for all types of collectors to empower them to join a community that shares their interest in stunning photography,” Zach Danker-Feldman, Xooa’s head of marketplaces said on Monday.

What do you think about the Associated Press launching an NFT marketplace? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Iran to Permit Use of Cryptocurrencies in International Settlements, Reports Reveal

Iran to Permit Use of Cryptocurrencies in International Settlements, Reports Reveal

Authorities in Iran are preparing to allow the employment of cryptocurrencies for international settlements. According to local media, central bank and government officials have given the green light to adopt a mechanism using digital coins in the field of foreign trade.

Businesses in Iran to Be Able to Pay Foreign Partners With Crypto

Iranian companies will be allowed to use cryptocurrencies in settlements with partners in other countries, local media reported. An agreement to that end has been reached by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade. Quoted by the Financial Tribune, the head of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Alireza Peyman Pak, announced:

We are finalizing a mechanism for operations of the system. This should provide new opportunities for importers and exporters to use cryptos in their international deals.

According to the Iranian news agency IBENA, Pak, who is also deputy minister of trade, took to social media to provide details about the first meeting of a joint foreign exchange working group between his department and the CBI. The participants approved a number of measures to facilitate Iran’s foreign trade, including the adoption of the crypto mechanism.

A follow-up report quotes the same official as saying that the Trade Ministry will produce a plan within two weeks for the use of locally mined cryptocurrencies and coins acquired by private companies to pay for the import of goods. The initial proposal comes from the Central Bank of Iran.

Pak emphasized that cryptocurrencies and blockchain systems have many practical applications and if Iran ignores them, it will lose business opportunities. “In some of our target markets, especially in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan, there may be restrictions on using cryptocurrencies, but in our major markets such as Russia, China, India and Southeast Asia, using cryptocurrencies is common,” he elaborated.

Besides mining, which was legalized in 2019, Iran’s crypto space remains largely unregulated. In April, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) authorized domestic banks and money exchangers to use locally minted digital coins to pay for imports to the sanctioned nation. However, Tehran authorities have been going after crypto trading and payments in the country.

Cryptocurrencies have enjoyed a growing popularity in the Islamic Republic, with up to 12 million Iranians holding one coin or another, according to a recent estimate. Some officials have opposed restrictive policies, insisting these could push innovations underground. Limitations will deprive the nation of opportunities, Iranian fintechs warned in May, pointing out that local companies have managed to bypass the economic blockade with crypto transactions.

Do you expect Iranian businesses to expand the use of cryptocurrencies in foreign trade? Tell us in the comments section below.

Expanding Crypto Market Caps by 500% to 1,300%: Stablecoin Issuance Saw Significant Growth Last Year

Expanding Crypto Market Caps by 500% to 1,300%: Stablecoin Issuance Saw Significant Growth Last Year

As crypto-assets grew immensely in value last year, the growth of the stablecoin economy swelled as well and today, there’s $170.24 billion worth of stablecoins in circulation. Data indicates that over the last 12 months, a slew of stablecoin valuations grew exponentially.

12-Month Stats Show Stablecoin Market Valuations Saw Massive Growth

Last year, numerous crypto assets touched all-time high (ATH) prices as current data highlights the crypto economy’s significant growth in 2021. Moreover, fiat-pegged tokens, commonly referred to as stablecoins, have also seen massive growth as centralized custodians and decentralized protocols have issued billions of tokens since last year.

For instance, on January 11, 2021, tether’s (USDT) market cap was $24.4 billion and it has grown 221.31% since last year. Usd coin (USDC), the second-largest stablecoin asset in terms of market valuation, had a market cap of $4.4 billion on the same day last year. Today, USDC’s market cap is $43.9 billion, which is an increase of 897.72%.

The stablecoin issued by Binance (BUSD) only had a $1 billion market cap a year ago and now it’s $14 billion, increasing 1,300% this past year. Terra’s stablecoin UST had a market valuation of $138 million on January 11, 2021, and today the market cap is $10.5 billion.

Over the Last Year, Fiat-Pegged Token Market Caps Jumped Higher Than Most Crypto Gains

Makerdao’s DAI token went from $1.3 billion to today’s $9 billion as it grew 592.30% over the last year. MIM, otherwise known as Magic Internet Money, is a stablecoin that’s not even a year old but is the 6th largest stablecoin in existence.

MIM started issuance in September 2021 with $5.4 million and today, MIM’s market cap is $4.6 billion. Furthermore, the stablecoin frax (FRAX) has a $2 billion market cap currently but last year it was only $92 million.

It’s safe to say some of the dollar-pegged token market caps that saw immense growth over the last year have seen their market cap gains grow more than the gains of traditional crypto assets like bitcoin or ethereum.

Currently, stablecoins represent 8.24% of the entire crypto-economy worth just over $2 trillion today. Stablecoin global trade volume during the last 24 hours was around $72.6 billion, which is 61.94% of today’s $117.2 billion in volume across the entire crypto economy.

What do you think about the stablecoin market caps that have grown 500% to 1,300% over the last year? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Down From the Peaks: A Look at How Far Crypto Assets Have Slid From Their All-Time Highs

Digital currencies had a phenomenal year, and a great deal of the crypto assets in existence reached all-time high (ATH) prices against the world’s fiat currencies. However, the same digital currencies that tapped ATHs last year are currently down a great deal in value, as numerous cryptocurrencies have lost 30% or more since 2021’s price highs.

Crypto Values Are Lower Than Last Year’s Price Highs

2021 was a good year for crypto assets as numerous blockchain networks swelled in fiat value as billions upon billions were added to the alternative digital economy. Bitcoin (BTC) broke its previous ATH recorded in December 2017 at the end of 2020, when it surpassed the $20K per unit zone.

BTC’s price continued to rise higher into 2021 and eventually, it tapped a high of $64K per unit. Furthermore, on November 10, 2021, the price of bitcoin jumped to the $69K zone but today the price is 39% lower.

A myriad of crypto assets today are in the same boat as BTC, as they reached ATHs at some point last year, but have since shed at least 30% or more in fiat value. Ethereum’s (ETH) value skyrocketed to an ATH sixty days ago touching $4,847 but has since lost 35.46%.

Binance coin (BNB) hit an ATH last year but it was eight months ago and today, it’s 34% down from the $689.92 per coin price it once held. Two months ago, solana (SOL) reached a high of $258.93 per coin, and today SOL is lower than that price by 47%.

Different Percentage Losses, Time Frames, and Crypto Tokens That Staved Off the Losses

Most of the leading crypto assets, in terms of market capitalization, have a wide array of differing percentage losses since their 2021 ATHs. Cardano (ADA), for instance, is down 62.78% since touching $3.10 per coin four months ago.

Other crypto assets have either shorter time frames or much longer time frames since their ATHs. Xrp (XRP) for example, is one of the only top ten leaders that did not hit an ATH last year. The digital currency xrp touched its ATH four years ago when it reached $3.30 per coin.

Polkadot (DOT) touched its all-time high two months ago when it reached $54.98 per coin and today, it is down 55.9%. Meanwhile, Terra’s (LUNA) ATH is much closer as LUNA tapped its ATH 16 days ago when it hit $102.63 per unit. LUNA is down 29.51% from the crypto asset’s ATH.

Plenty of crypto assets below the top ten are down significantly, but a few have managed to remain high. Near protocol (NEAR) is only down 6.96% as it reached an ATH of $17.52 per unit seven days ago. Furthermore, the crypto asset issued by Bitfinex, Unus Sed Leo (LEO) is only down 9.75% from eight months ago.

What do you think about the crypto assets in the top ten and how far down they are from their all-time price highs?

The Blockchain-Based Webtoon Platform “TooNFT” Launches on Toomics’ Ecosystem

PRESS RELEASE. Tortola, BVI, 10 Jan 2022: Anyone who has been paying attention to the world of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) will know that people love investing in cartoon-themed initiatives. Whether it be the immensely popular canine-oriented cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB), or perhaps even well-known NFT collections like The Bored Ape Yacht Club (TBAYC), the fact remains that as far as investing is concerned nowadays, toons continue to play an important role.

With that being said, ‘TooNFT’, a blockchain-oriented webtoon platform, recently made it known that it has debuted on the ecosystem of South Korea’s leading webtoon company, Toomics. To help with the construction of a fully decentralised webtoon platform, the TooNFT team secured a whopping $1.75 million via a private financing round.

What is TooNFT?

TooNFT is built upon the Toomics ecosystem, which is one of the most sought after webtoon service platforms with about 50 million active web users in addition to more than 10 million app downloads on both Android and iOS, as well as a robust profit-generating business structure. Essentially, TooNFT may best be understood as a blockchain-oriented platform which strives to revolutionize the comics and webtoon industry through the creation of an intuitive next-generation ecosystem built around NFTs.

HG Ventures had thus led the previously mentioned private round of funding, which was supported by notable institutional investors like Adaptive Labs, Alphabit, GBIC, Prestige Fund and Mindfulness Capital. By adhering to high standards and the overall goal of embracing a decentralized future, the TooNFT platform was launched on top of the aforementioned Toomics ecosystem so as to introduce the concept of non-fungible tokens to the webtoon and comics sector.

TooNFT’s main objective is to hence enhance the innovative environment by providing a system which enables writers to draw in investments through the P2P (Peer To Peer) format without monopolising the intermediation process. As a result, by generating a sizable amount of support via early-stage investors in the amount of $1.75 million in their private as well as seed rounds, TooNFT can thus begin developing its webtoon NFT infrastructure to successfully integrate with the blockchain distributed ledger technology. Moreover, it is working towards making meaningful improvements regarding the webtoon industry including but not limited to easy-investment access for numerous regular users without the involvement of intermediaries, as well as a secure and dependable service with transparent data and various staking and reinvestment opportunities. TooNFT therefore leverages blockchain to become the world’s inaugural worldwide decentralized webtoon platform for mass consumption.

The significance of Toomics

Toomics began in 2015 by garnering up to $15 million in venture capital funding to launch their objective of developing a platform for webtoons and comics. Toomics has since exceeded all initial expectations and has up to 7 million MAU, inked collaborations with AfreecaTV, Tencent, KEB Hana Bank, and GMarket, and is now considered as one of the biggest webtoon platforms in the entire world, having received various accolades from respected institutions. Toomics hence has strong business traction, with up to $60 million made annually from centralized sales of various webtoon subscriptions on its platform.

In layman’s terms, it aims to disrupt the webtoon business by using a blockchain-oriented protocol and developing a highly advanced and intuitive NFT ecosystem. TooNFT will therefore do well by working alongside such an innovative and successful platform.

Media Contact:

CEO name: Kim Dongil

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +82 10 8006 0401

Company: Global Digital Contents Ltd.

Address: Charles Court, 1st Floor, 189 Main Street, PO Box 4406, Tortola, VG1110, British Virgin Islands.

 


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.

Report: Fintech Firms Received 62% of the $4.9 Billion Raised by African Tech Companies in 2021

Fintechs account for nearly two-thirds of the $4.9 billion that was raised by African technology firms during the past year. Fintech groups also dominate in terms of funding that exceeds $50 million, with a 40% share of the total number of tech firms.

The Covid-19 Factor

Out of the $4.9 billion in funding that was raised by African technology companies in 2021, almost two-thirds of this went to fintech companies, data from a new report has shown. In terms of deals wherein the capital raised exceeded $40 million, fintechs accounted for 40% of such deals.

As shown in the latest Africa Investment Report, the fintech dominance in 2021 eventually culminated into a period with “the highest number of single, non-M&A [mergers and acquisitions] deals above $100 million” on record so far. The report also shows that Nigeria has the biggest share of fintech firms that raised more than $100 million.

Meanwhile, the report suggested that the Covid-19 pandemic could well be the main explanation for the surge not only in the funding of fintechs, but non-fintech firms as well.

“Logistics and energy follow by volume of funding but the most recent wave of digitization — perhaps boosted by Covid-19 — is propelling sectors such as e-commerce, agriculture and healthcare,” concluded the study report.

Funding Highly Concentrated

However, the same report does concede that most of the funds raised in 2021 were concentrated in a few projects. The report explains:

Although highly concentrated in a few cases, [which] only represents less than 3% of total disclosed deals but captures over 55% of total disclosed funding, this investment size carries significant weight and acts as a pull factor for several investors.

Besides equity financing, the Africa Investment Report data shows that debt financing is increasingly becoming a viable funding route. To support this assertion, the report points to the fact that 6% of total disclosed funding in 2021 was debt financing.

In terms of the origins of the late-stage investors, the data shows that the United States is by far the biggest source of capital for Africa tech companies with a 62.5% share. In a distant second place was the United Kingdom, which had a share of 7.5%, followed by South Africa 6%, and Canada which accounts for 4%.

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

El Salvador to Add More Geothermal Energy Sources to Power Bitcoin City

El salvador

The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, has confirmed that the country is making investments to secure a geothermal power source for the construction and operation of the upcoming Bitcoin City, which will be financed with the earnings of the so-called “volcano bonds.” Bukele stated there are high chances of finding a well in the area of the Conchagua volcano that will be able to power the whole city by itself.

El Salvador Investing in New Geothermal Energy Sources

The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, has confirmed that the country is making investments to increase its geothermal energy production. Bukele explained that the power coming from the volcanoes, managed and maintained by a state company called Lageo, produces more than 1,000 gigawatts for the nation yearly.

The company is now adding more wells to increase its power production. According to statements from Bukele, the company is preparing the inclusion of four new wells to the system, that would contribute to production. One of the more advanced wells will supposedly be able to provide more than 95 MW (megawatts) of energy to the national grid. Regarding the nature of the energy provided, Bukele stated:

[It will be] clean, cheap and renewable energy, from a source that will last at least a couple of million years.

Power for Bitcoin City

On the topic of powering Bitcoin City with geothermal energy, Bukele stated that they are also drilling new wells for this purpose. According to an article published by the presidency of the country, Bukele stated:

We have a 90% probability of finding a well (with capacity) to (contribute) at least 42 MW. Enough to provide energy to the entire Bitcoin City.

He further explained that if the city has more power demand than was anticipated, other wells that are in preparation can be used to supplement it. Bitcoin City, announced September 2021, is to be powered with energy from the volcanoes that is renewable and green.

However, the project has been criticized by some that believe the volcanoes around the city are unable to produce this energy. This is the case of economist Steve Hanke, who said that the volcano which will supposedly power the city (the Conchagua) was inactive. However, Bukele rebuffed this position by stating that most geothermal wells were constructed around inactive volcanoes.

Others have also criticized the usage of geothermal energy for mining bitcoin in the country, stating that it could end in an environmental disaster.

What do you think about El Salvador’s new investments in geothermal energy? Tell us in the comments section below.

Binance Becomes Official Sponsor of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2021)

Binance is thrilled to announce that it is an official sponsor of the 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament, taking place from January 9 till February 6, 2022 in Cameroon.

What To Expect

  • This sponsorship deal will make Binance the exclusive cryptocurrency and blockchain platform for the AFCON 2021 tournament as we take our global brand and technology to African football.
  • Binance will also be the official partner of the Assist of the Day / Binance Assist of the Week / Binance Assist of the Tournament, which will be promoted across CAF’s social media channels and across all six venues in five cities in Cameroon.

The TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations kicked off on Sunday, January 9, 2022 at 5PM (WAT) at Olembe Stadium in Yaounde, with the host country Cameroon facing Burkina Faso. More than 160 nations will live broadcast the tournament with an audience of over 300 million.

Veron Mosengo-Omba, CAF’s General Secretary said, “I am delighted to welcome Binance as an official sponsor of the AFCON tournament this year. Through this partnership with CAF, Binance will connect further with its users and the African community through football. CAF is ready to embrace blockchain-based technology and its impact on the future of African football development. I am certain that together with Binance, we can take African football to a new level.”

As part of our mission to drive blockchain adoption and enable greater access to financial services for the world’s unbanked, Binance has provided free crypto education classes to over 541,000 Africans since 2020, on topics ranging from user protection to building a career in blockchain. Yi He, co-founder and CMO of Binance said; “With a population of 1.2 billion Africans and the prevalence of blockchain technology & its use cases, we believe the African continent could lead the future of the blockchain industry. We will continue to put in our efforts in pushing the mainstream adoption of crypto, so that more people can understand crypto, and understand Binance.”

The TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations tournament starts the sports calendar of the year for Africa. Emmanuel Babalola, Binance Director for Africa said; “Football is the most popular sport in Africa, one that unites the entire continent and as the leading blockchain ecosystem, we are proud to be an official sponsor of the AFCON tournament. This corroborates our mission to take crypto mainstream across the continent.”

 


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