Digital Asset Custodians in the Current Crypto Regulatory Landscape With Arthit Sirumporn

Digital Asset Custodians in the Current Crypto Regulatory Landscape with Arthit Sirumporn

Crypto custodians play a crucial role as the guardians of users’ crypto funds by safekeeping their private keys. The collapse of FTX has altered the complete scenario. The crypto custody industry is currently working on regaining trust worldwide.

TheNewsCrypto engaged in an interview with Arthit Sriumporn, the founder and CEO of Rakkar Digital, an emerging digital asset custodian, to discuss how custodian platforms streamline their operations in the current crypto regulatory landscape.

Arthit, with his decade-long expertise in banking and finance, holds a strong focus on providing efficient and effective solutions to address every customer’s challenges. His passion for transforming the financial landscape has led him to position Rakkar Digital as a secure and easily accessible custodian. He highlights the key challenges faced by the crypto custody market and the strategies for mitigating risks.

Dorian Batycka (DB): How do you see the current scenario of crypto being adopted by banks and financial institutions?

Arthit Sriumporn (AS): The Southeast Asia and Hong Kong markets, in which we operate, have a much clearer regulatory framework. In contrast, the situation in the US, with its variable interest rates, is highly uncertain regarding the digital assets market. At Rakkar Digital, we are a third-party qualified custodian funded by SCB 10X and powered by Fireblocks infrastructure. And what we do is offer safe and qualified custodianship for digital assets.

DB: What exactly is a qualified custodian and how that differs from other platforms that hold user funds?

AS: There are two parts to custodians. One is using technological infrastructure like Fireblocks to do self-custody, in this case, asset managers or exchanges or brokers can use tech infrastructure like Fireblocks. So they hold custody of their own fund, they hold their own private key. We at Rakkar Digital are licensed custodians. That means we follow regulatory frameworks like anti-money laundering procedures and know your customer rules.

The liability is actually with us because we hold a private key on behalf of the customers. So liability is very different. There’s a lot of emphasis on third-party lately now because of what happened with FTX, they hold 100% of their customer assets. In Thailand, the government has a very clear regulatory framework, allowing digital asset operators to hold 10% of their self-custody in a hot wallet for liquidity, but the other 90% has to be stored in a third-party qualified custodian. This model emphasizes the segregation of controls.

DB: Centralized & crypto custodian platforms have come under stringent regulatory scrutiny due to a series of events that highly risked the safety of user funds. What measures have these platforms taken to uphold user security against soaring scams, heists, and data breaches?    

AS: There are multiple players in the ecosystem, operating as de facto exchanges, brokers, asset managers, and hedge funds. The custodian is actually the foundation of everything because custodians safeguard the asset, a very critical part of which is trust and security. And for exchange to implement their own custody is very difficult because their core business is the market match trading, but not safeguarding of the asset. And also these exchanges, it is very crucial for them to not hold everything in one bucket. So let’s say they want to do 100% self-custody, but if something goes wrong, the whole activity of the exchange can be jeopardized. So using qualified custodians, or a third-party custodian, is a good option for digital asset operators to defer the risk. And minimize the risk that can happen on-chain.

DB: And how about the integration of third-party custodian tools for digital assets like NFTs?

AS: Institutional exchanges and fund managers require adequate governance measures. As for NFTs, we have noticed an increasing number of entities that now offer storage solutions for these digital assets. Our company embarked on this journey last year and secured funding accordingly. While incorporating NFT support is part of our roadmap, we haven’t reached that stage yet.

DB: The crypto events of 2022 solidly registered one fundamental lesson in our minds: “Not your keys, not your coins.” How has the integration of multi-party computation (MPC) technology aided wallets in boosting the security of users’ private keys?  

AS: We’re using Fireblock’s technology, which uses multi-party computation (MPC), that’s the underlying technology infrastructure. The MPC facilitates the division of a key into encrypted key shards and its storage on different servers. At the SDX layer of the hardware, we break it down into multiple key shards. As a custodian, we store keys in the cold wallet, meaning it remains offline and disconnected from the internet. We hold part of the key share in the signing device, which is offline signing. To hack this algorithm, one has to gain unauthorized access to multiple cloud servers and the signing device kept in a secure room. Only authorized personnel have access to the signing device, making it highly secure.

DB: Countries are actively developing their CBDCs and harnessing their potential use cases in the financial markets. Regulators and even the crypto community do throw their criticism over these initiatives. In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of implementing CBDCs?

AS: Continuing from my previous answer regarding regulations, we are not opposed to a strict regulatory framework. However, what concerns us more is an unclear regulatory environment. What we want to be able to do is we want to understand what can do and what cannot do. We want to avoid a situation like what occurred in the US, where there was significant uncertainty, leading people to take actions that later resulted in legal consequences. I think that’s not fair. So that’s why I said in this market it’s much more clear. 

Speaking about the pros and cons of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), I think governments and central banks are trying to catch up. Of course, CBDCs offer more flexibility and good use cases. It can facilitate a lot of use cases like cross-border remittances or payments. It could speed up and could make people’s lives much easier. People also become apprehensive when a central bank or jurisdictional authority exercises control over a CBDC. The fact that it is electronic and subject to various actions by the governing body further contributes to this unease.

EXCLUSIVE: Beeple Donates Artwork Featuring Disgraced Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

EXCLUSIVE: Beeple Donates Artwork Featuring Disgraced Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

  • Beeple donated the FTX Board Meeting NFT to Castello di Rivoli, Italy’s first Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • The NFT satirizes the rumors of Sam Bankman-Fried at the office of Alameda Research.

Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, one of Italy’s premier contemporary art museums, has made an exciting addition to its permanent collection with a generous donation from artist Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple. 

The artwork, titled FTX BOARD MEETING, DAY #5676 11.13.2022, is a unique creation that exists both in the digital and physical realms. It comprises an NFT (non-fungible token) registered on the blockchain and a large oil painting on canvas.

Beeple’s Sam Bankman-Fried NFT Adopted by Italy

Beeple’s donation of the Sam Bankman-Fried-based art to the museum heralds a new era of institutional adoption of NFTs as a bona fide art medium.

In a statement, Carolyn Christov Bakargiev, the museum’s director, stated:

“For me, the collapse of the crypto world following the FTX scandal and the speculative bubble that exploded last year is one of the key moments of that world – it was like an atomic bomb going off in the crypto world.”

Through his work, Beeple employs the aesthetics of pornography and cartoonish digital graphics to criticize what he perceives as the adolescent recklessness and immaturity prevalent in the digital culture surrounding tech entrepreneur SBF.

Beeple, who has been creating and posting a new image online every day since 2007, has garnered a massive following on social media, with 2.4 million followers on Instagram, over 500,000 on Facebook, and more than 760,000 on Twitter

For his part, the artist gained international recognition during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown when his artwork EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS, a compilation of 5,000 images created over 15 years, fetched a record price at Christie’s auction. This event propelled digital art and the concept of NFTs, showcasing the uniqueness that each token represents through blockchain technology.

Explaining her selection of Beeple’s 1/1 edition, Christov-Bakargiev emphasized the artwork’s relevance within a broader art historical canon.  “Beeple is interesting as an artist in a similar way to Andy Warhol […] Warhol was critiquing the consumer society around him […] Beeple’s work is particularly controversial in that community because he is an artist who critiques the digital world.”

To commemorate the donation, the museum will host a public conversation between Beeple, Director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, and curator Giulia Colletti, which will be live-streamed on YouTube. Following the discussion, there will be a book presentation and signing of Beeple’s first monograph, “Beeple: Everydays, the First 5000 Days,” at the Castello di Rivoli Bookshop. 

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Crypto Community Rallies as Vitalik Buterin Defends Solana Against SEC

Crypto Community Rallies as Vitalik Buterin Defends Solana Against SEC

  • Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin defends Solana (SOL) amid the SEC turmoil
  • He emphasizes that the real competition is not the chains but “the rapidly expanding centralized world

On the heels of regulatory challenges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Solana (SOL) has found support among some OG crypto natives. Taking to Twitter on June 30, Vitalik Buterin, the enigmatic co-founder of Ethereum, wrote that Solana is facing unprecedented challenges that may prove strenuous for the crypto industry in the long run. 

He added that competition among blockchains must first deal with the challenges posed by centralized finance, or CeFi, before going on to develop a more robust crypto ecosystem as a whole.

“This is especially true since the real competition is not other chains, it’s the rapidly expanding centralized world that is imposing itself on us as we speak.” 

After wishing Solana the best in their current regulatory challenges, he offered some final words of solace. “I wish all honorable projects a fair outcome in this whole situation.”His tweet has been garnering support among many in the crypto community. 

Udi Wertheimer from Taproot Wizards responded: “A confident founder doesn’t FUD [short for fear, uncertainty and doubt other projects, he embraces competition as a healthy force for progress and fears a world where competitors are no longer around.”

While Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana labs, stressed that he was proud Buterin was taking a stand. 

He also added:

“We are all super lucky that Ethereum has amazing founders and a brilliant research community and devs that grind through really hard problems. Without all those folks contributing open-source code and research Solana wouldn’t be here.”

Over the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap, the price of SOL has soared more than 5% reclaiming the coveted $19 price point. Remarkably, the 24-hour trading volume of Solana (SOL) spiked by over 100%.

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The Evolution of Crypto Investments with Dialectic’s Ryan Zurrer

The Evolution of Crypto Investments with Dialectic’s Ryan Zurrer

From AI and Crypto Art to Collaborative Entrepreneurship: The Evolution of Crypto Investments with Dialectic’s Ryan Zurrer

In the fascinating realm where blockchain technology and art converge, Dialectic, an investment fund with a unique approach, is making waves. At the forefront of this venture is Ryan Zurrer, a visionary figure with a deep understanding of the crypto movement. As an entrepreneur and art enthusiast, Zurrer is exploring the transformative power of blockchain in cultural investments.

Zurrer has dedicated his expertise to generating exceptional returns for stakeholders in token-enabled decentralized consensus networks leveraging blockchain technology. With an impressive background in renewable energy, Zurrer’s journey into the world of blockchain began in late 2012 when he discovered Bitcoin, igniting a deep passion for the Ethereum ecosystem and blockchain technology as a whole.

More recently, Zurrer’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to become an angel investor, supporting start-ups that developed ground-breaking innovations utilizing blockchain-enabled networks. In 2019, he co-founded Dialectic alongside developer and software engineer Dean Eigenmann. Based in Zug, Switzerland, Dialectic is a Swiss capital enterprise focused on delivering above-market returns on strategic investments in unconventional assets and captivating globally diversified prospects.

Prior to that, Zurrer served as principal and venture partner at Polychain Capital, and was the CEO of a large Brazilian energy firm. Today, he is active in diverse fields and interests from collecting art through the 1of1 platform to exploring unique business opportunities in life sciences within the emerging field of psychedelics research through an initiative called Vine Ventures.

Aside from collecting art and running the venture capital wing of Dialectic and Vine Ventures, The News Crypto sat down with Zurrer during the Blockchain in Basel summit to discuss what the future holds for crypto and blockchain, and what the future may hold for token-enabled networks in both finance and culture.

Dorian Batycka: Here we are, at the Theatre Basel at Blockchain Basel, which you are sponsoring. How’s blockchain life? How is Dialectic and the fund?

Ryan Zurrer:Dialetic is great. Just to come in and watch the machine spend money every day is very rewarding. And that allows us to be super patient with the market because inevitably, the space is going through one of the strongest attacks that it’s ever faced. And in kind of the Sanskrit proverb of, first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. We’re definitely in the fight phase now. Right. So for us, this favours us because we can be patient with our capital. We’re really conservative, and our yielding machine just continues to outperform the market, so we’re pretty happy with that.

DB: And how are the funds allocated on-chain? 

RZ:  We allocate across three buckets: early-stage venture and SaaS late-stage tokens. We apply our yielding software to that and then really the bread and butter is the market neutral yielding just the way the MIB the way that we stack DeFI on top of delta neutral on top of MEV and take an automated approach to this. That market-neutral yielding just feels really comfortable right now.

DB: And how about NFTs? Are you still buying?

RZ: We just bought the wonderful Sasha Styles I saw this past week. Right now we’re loving this movement of AI art and some of the leading practitioners in that space. I just picked up Christopher Kulendran Thomas as well. I just loved how he took machine intelligence to create an output based on the history of Tamil art that then brought the community in and human intelligence to take it the last mile. We’re really grateful to be taking our time and thoughtfully picking up these artists.

DB: I feel like you are one of the few people in crypto who have a deep philosophical understanding of the movement. What do you learn from artists and from culture when it comes to developing a thesis for your investment portfolio? 

RZ: We look at the portfolio of important 21st-century cultural artifacts also as a capital asset. And because we have that ace in the sleeve of our yielding book, you know, we’re able to then take debt on these capital assets and yield with it and collect a really significant spread that is just a lot of fun. It makes our portfolio when you have a piece on the wall and you’re like, I just received a check from you last quarter. It’s just great. It’s even that much more beautiful. And so being playful but professional in using crypto primitives and these capital assets to yield in a really efficient manner, which crypto uniquely enables, is just something that we’re so just stoked every day to be in the weird soup of deep down the rabbit hole and pushing the space forward.

DB: You mentioned AI-enabled art, what are some of the dominant themes that you’re looking at now, whether it’s AI or generative art, are there other paradigm shifts you are looking at now that may impact the culture in the next few years? 

RZ: Yeah, certainly. I think it’s important, but also really intellectually compelling to embrace the movement of this moment which would be remembered as such a cultural, technological and frankly, financial curve that feels like this really important crucible moment. Embracing how machine learning and statistics can inform great generative art is really just rewarding on so many levels. So that’s one theme that we’re excited about. And we’re excited about the collections that we’ve made in this category. Some I’ve shared, some I’ll keep private for a little while. But then, conversely, in the quiet of the moment in crypto art and digital art enabled through NFTs, we’re able to very methodically sift through and make some really, I think, deeply meaningful and important acquisitions and then work with those artists to use crypto primitives in some interesting way. Even just something simple like the Squiggles post around my Squiggle, my signature. And recognizing that Snowfro’s founding statement of Squiggles was, this is my signature as an artist, I sort of said, well, why can’t my Squiggle be my signature as a crypto native? And I signalled to other crypto natives when I signed documents or emails or what have you, with my signature, which is my Squiggle.

DB: Did you ever engage in art-making yourself?

RZ: I did. I drew and painted some as a child and actually really enjoyed pencil drawing. But honestly, my art for as long as I can remember has always been business and entrepreneurship.

DB: Andy Warhol once said ‘“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”

RZ:  Yes, the way that artist progresses towards mastering their craft. And that’s why it’s really fun to collab with these artists and help them think through using crypto primitives to propel their community forward just beyond sale or resale, but using crypto primitives in interesting ways to propagate and propel a community of collectors, I think is just really fun. And so I prefer the collaboration. I prefer the collaboration of entrepreneurship as an art form unique to my skill set. Touching on that point, I have been thinking more and more of like, okay, now that we’re seeing the democratization of digital tools, should I be sitting down and doing that? And every day and just, like, walking this path? It’s something that I’ve been sitting with, but ultimately it takes away from my art, which is Dialectic, which is our investment fund and portfolio. 

Five Women Reshaping Crypto

In the annals of finance, women have long fought for recognition and representation. From the pioneering economist Joan Robinson, whose groundbreaking contributions to post-Keynesian economics challenged conventional wisdom, to the indomitable Wall Street veteran Muriel “Mickie” Siebert, the first woman to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, their struggles resonate even today. As the world delves deeper into the realm of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the need for female voices becomes even more pronounced, as diverse perspectives and experiences are vital to shape the future of this transformative industry and rectify the historical gender imbalances that have plagued finance for far too long. 

  1. Neha Narula: Neha Narula is a computer scientist and Director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is known for her research on blockchain scalability, cryptocurrency, and decentralized systems. Narula has been actively involved in advancing the adoption and understanding of blockchain technology. 
  1. Sarah Zucker: Sarah Zucker is a multimedia artist and animator known for her whimsical and imaginative digital art. Her creations often feature surreal landscapes, vibrant colors, and intricate details. Sarah Zucker’s work has been showcased and sold as NFTs, earning her recognition as a talented NFT artist. 
  1. Elizabeth Stark: Elizabeth Stark is a co-founder of Lightning Labs, a company focused on developing the Lightning Network, which aims to scale Bitcoin and enable faster, cheaper transactions. She is a well-known advocate for blockchain technology and has been actively involved in promoting decentralized systems. 
  1. Jinglan Wang: Jinglan Wang is the co-founder and COO of Optimism, a layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum. She has been instrumental in developing and implementing solutions to improve scalability and reduce transaction fees on the Ethereum network. Jinglan Wang’s work in the field of layer 2 solutions has contributed to the advancement of the Ethereum ecosystem. 
  1. Cynthia Lummis: Cynthia Lummis is a senator from Wyoming and has emerged as a vocal advocate for Bitcoin investment. She purchased over $100,000 worth of Bitcoin from exchanges and is often referred to as “the Crypto Queen” of the Senate. Lummis, along with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, introduced a bipartisan bill last year, the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, aiming to establish a new regulatory framework for the crypto industry. Lummis plans to introduce a new bill this year, which will propose more “statutory language” than the original. 

Bali’s Crackdown on Cryptocurrency Usage by Visitors Puts Tourism at Risk

  • Bali strictly prohibits the use of currencies other than the rupiah.
  • Foreign exchange businesses operating without permission are subject to imprisonment and a penalty charge of $1.4 million.

In an effort to regulate financial transactions within its popular tourist destination, Bali, the Indonesian local government is taking strict measures against the use of cryptocurrencies by visitors. Governor Wayan Koster of Bali conveyed this message to local media on May 28.

Wayan Koster, Governor of Bali, stated:

“Foreign tourists who behave inappropriately, do activities that are not allowed in their visa permit, use crypto as a means of payment, and violate other provisions will be dealt with firmly […] Strict actions range from deportation, administrative sanctions, criminal penalties, closure of business premises, and other tough sanctions.” 

The conveyed message, serving as a clear indication from an island heavily dependent on international tourism, has the potential to adversely impact the industry. Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Bali welcomed over 6 million foreign tourists, with a significant number utilizing cryptocurrencies for transactions at hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, and shopping establishments.

Governor Koster outlined stringent penalties for offenders, seemingly equating the utilization of digital assets with narcotics, indicating the seriousness with which the government views this matter.

Furthermore, a warning was issued to foreign exchange businesses, stating that operating without permission from the country’s central bank could result in severe penalties, including imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1.4 million.

Indonesia has stringent regulations regarding currency usage, imposing fines and imprisonment for individuals utilizing currencies other than the national currency, the rupiah.

Governor Koster emphasized that violations would be met with administrative sanctions such as written reprimands, fines, and restrictions on payment transactions. Director Trisno Nugroho, the head of Bank Indonesia, clarified that while cryptocurrencies are permitted in the country, they are not recognized as valid payment methods.

Similarly, Thailand, another popular tourist destination in Asia, has prohibited crypto payments, although cryptocurrency trading is still permitted within the kingdom.

In 2021, Jerry Sambuaga, the deputy minister of trade in Indonesia, gave the green light for the country to initiate a dedicated crypto exchange. The platform, called Bourse, has faced repeated delays but is set for release this June 2023. 

Uranium Finance Exploit Wallet Reactivates Via Tornado Cash

  • A new transfer of funds towards Tornado Cash from the wallet associated with the 2021 Uranium Finance exploit was detected.
  • The Uranium Finance attack saw approximately $50 million affected.

In March, a wallet address 0x59d7…D69 connected with Uranium Finance exploit started moving 2,250 ETH, worth approximately $3.35 million, in stolen funds into the popular crypto mixer, TornadoCash.

Earlier on March 7, the blockchain security firm, PeckShield detected the movement of funds from the wallet.

On April 28, 2021, Uranium Finance experienced a significant exploit. The attackers specifically targeted the token migration event of its v2.1 and exploited the project’s balance modifier. As a result, approximately $50 million worth of funds were drained from the protocol, which operates on the Binance Smart Chain.

Following the exploit, allegations of a rug pull emerged, despite the team maintaining their innocence in the matter. Shortly after the incident, Uranium Finance made the decision to halt the development of v3 and officially announced a complete shutdown. The project’s final post conveyed this information to the community.

SHIB’s Downward Spiral Continues: Bulls Struggle to Regain Momentum

  • SHIB’s price remains in a downward trend since mid-April, following a rejection at the $0.0000117 resistance level.
  • Bearish pressure has prevailed, resulting in losses of around 15.5% in May and further anticipated declines.

SHIB, the popular cryptocurrency, has surpassed PEPE in terms of trending searches on LunarCrush, raising hopes of a potential rally. 

Source: LunarCrush

Despite SHIB’s positive on-chain metrics, some market indicators still point to a bearish trend. While SHIB outperformed the meme-inspired PEPE, signaling its growing popularity within the crypto community, it remains uncertain whether this is an early indication of an upcoming price surge.

Notably, SHIB has maintained its position as the most traded token among the top 100 ETH whales, highlighting its appeal to influential investors. 

However, given the burn rate of SHIB tokens experienced a significant spike, with a staggering increase of over 20,000% in the past day alone. This burning of tokens, along with other transactions, has resulted in the elimination of 3,034,309,519 SHIB tokens over the last 24 hours.

In the previous week, SHIB’s price experienced a marginal decline of 0.38%, according to CoinMarketCap. Currently, SHIB is trading at $0.000008798, with a market capitalization of $5.1 billion. 

Could a potential bull run be in for SHIB?

Bullish sentiments have struggled to gain traction in the price action of SHIB. The bulls made an effort to establish a foothold around the $0.0000099 area, which coincided with a bullish order block from March.

Some signs also suggest a potential trend reversal for SHIB. Net deposits of SHIB on exchanges have been low compared to the previous seven days, indicating reduced selling pressure. Nevertheless, the number of active addresses has remained high, indicating increased usage of the meme coin.

Shiba Inu Price Chart (Source: Tradingview)

Furthermore, SHIB’s Relative Strength Index (RSI) is currently in an oversold position, which can potentially lead to increased buying pressure and drive up its price. factors that may hint at the possibility of a trend reversal in the near future. 

While SHIB’s overtaking of PEPE in trending searches is a positive development. Investors should remain cautious and consider additional market indicators before celebrating any potential rally.

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US Secret Service Holds AMA on Cryptocurrency Safety

  • The USSS says it will investigate only crypto scams that share a link to the US.
  • The enforcement agency plans to hire 455 special agents this year.

In a May 15 Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session, the US Secret Service’s (USSS’s) San Francisco Division and the Bay Area Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) shared their efforts in safeguarding the nation’s financial infrastructure, particularly in the realm of cryptocurrency. The Secret Service, known for protecting US leaders, also focuses on securing digital assets and educating the public about cryptocurrency scams. 

From the beginning, the law enforcement agency said that they are not willing to comment on ongoing investigations. 

The Secret Service asserted:

“We are involved with the crypto investigations from beginning to end (victim reports the crime, we investigate it, prosecute it, etc.). We work in collaboration with other agencies as the need arises, but each case is different.” 

The San Francisco squad comprises Special Agents and Analysts who are well-versed in the world of digital currencies. Over the past year, they have investigated cases involving cryptocurrency thefts and recovered millions in stolen funds. Their aim is to provide resources and tips to protect potential victims from scams, including the notorious “Pig Butchering” scheme. 

On the specific tools the agency uses to monitor potentially illicit transactions, “many investigators use more than one tool, including commercially available and open source tools. It’s an exciting and innovative space.” 

US Secret Service Against Crypto Scams

During the AMA, the Secret Service and REACT also addressed various topics, including the use of software tools for tracking, the recovery of funds for scam victims, the collaboration with international agencies, the introduction of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), and the potential benefits of the traceability of cryptocurrencies for law enforcement. 

In response to a question with respect to a scam not involving a US citizen, the agency said: 

“Unfortunately, unless there is a U.S. nexus we likely wouldn’t have jurisdiction to help. That being said, many cases have victims all over the world and we can do investigate those cases when there’s a link to the U.S.” 

While the Secret Service emphasized its role as a law enforcement agency rather than a regulator, it encouraged public engagement in reporting cybercrimes and staying informed about cryptocurrency scams. They also invited cryptocurrency and cybersecurity enthusiasts to consider joining their team, as they plan to hire 450 Special Agents this year. 

Despite concerns raised by some Redditors about privacy and surveillance, the AMA provided valuable insights into the Secret Service’s efforts to combat cryptocurrency-related crimes and protect the financial interests of the United States. 

The engagement with the crypto community demonstrates the increasing importance of digital assets and the need for collaborative efforts between law enforcement agencies and the industry to ensure a safe and secure environment for cryptocurrency users. 

On the age-old question of whether the USSS knows who the eponymous founder of Bitcoin is, known only by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, the agency simply responded, “We may know Satoshi, but that is classified!”

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SHIB Army Insists it Will be Development, Utility & Innovation that Will Set it Apart, In a Recent AMA by Huobi

  • The creators and moderators behind some of the recent developments behind SHIB took to a Twitter Spaces AMA on May 11, in an event hosted by the exchange Huobi. 
  • The popular meme cryptocurrency Shiba Inu recently burned 1.6 billion tokens, a move often used by cryptocurrency projects to optimize a token’s supply/demand dynamic. 

Shiba Inu, the meme-inspired cryptocurrency that skyrocketed to fame earlier this year, has continued to captivate the attention of investors. With a current market capitalization of $5.16 billion and a fully diluted market cap of $5.17 billion, the token has maintained its position as the 15th largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Its trading volume in the last 24 hours alone is $148.3 million, with a market dominance of 0.46%. 

Huobi, the 11th largest cryptocurrency exchange, recently hosted an AMA for Shib Army moderators on May 11, asking some of the leaders behind the project what the community can expect in the days and weeks ahead.  

According to Mazrael, the transition from a meme token to a vaulted and respected crypto project did not happen by accident, it was thanks to a large and dedicated team of developers who helped propel the project’s utility and entertainment value forward. 

He mentioned specifically Shibarium Shiba Inu 2, which is currently in the testnet phase, and will eventually form the layer 2 blockchain for SHIB that, he said, will include “cutting-edge technology like A.I.” 

“Also, we’ve got a successful mobile game that’s been developed by Shytoshi and with Playside Studios using Shiboshis,” providing an update on the NFT collection of 10,000 unique and playful Shiba Inus’ with different traits and abilities, telling listeners to the AMA that the mobile game is expected to be deployed to fans soon.

Furthermore, Mazrael added that the SHIB metaverse is still in production, though gave no exact date or timeline as to its eventual release but added that they had enlisted the services of one of the industry’s largest visualization studios, the Third Floor, which previously collaborated on Hollywood movies like Marvel and Star Wars. 

When it came to assessing the macroeconomic conditions around meme coins like SHIB and alt-coins in general, Digarch says that questions around adoption for risk-on assets tend to do worse in environments that experience high inflation: 

When you have high inflation, high-risk assets tend to get affected because what people do is sell off their high-risk assets and pay off their debts because with high inflation you get a high-interest rate high. So the cost of debt is expensive, so they sell off their high-risk assets and they pay off their debts. And unfortunately, cryptocurrency falls within the high-risk asset class.

On how these macroeconomic conditions may affect the adoption and price of SHIB, Digarch says a large part of it depends on liquidity in the Bitcoin market, mentioning specifically the upcoming Bitcoin halving, expected for April 2024.  

“To sustain those rallies, you would require more liquidity. And as we head into the end of 2023, that liquidity pump will be determined by the pace of US crypto regulation,” Digarch says.  

Yet Digarch remains optimistic about the potential of meme coins in general. “Memes are lovely, we know that in 2021, that bull run in all coins was actually driven largely by meme tokens. 

Remember Dogecoin and a few others back then that helped drive new crypto adoption from non-crypto natives? So meme tokens,  contributed a lot to the 2021 bull run. But will this repeat in the next cycle? Well, that’s quite tough to tell at the moment,” Digarch concluded. 

Stats Reveal Accelerated ETH Burn Rate Caused by Meme Coin Pumps

  • The popularity of meme currencies, such as PEPE, has caused a surge in Ethereum network activity, resulting in a high burn rate of ETH. 
  • Over the past month, approximately 23% of the total ETH burnt since the Merge occurred has been destroyed. 
  • ETH is facing increased pressure due to the significant surge in the latest wave of popular meme coins, leading to even higher gas fees. 

PEPE and other Memecoins trading activity is putting deflationary pressure on ETH. According to, over 60K ETH has been net burned since the Merge, representing a 2,62% annual supply reduction ceteris paribus,”holding other things constant,” or “all else being equal.” 

Uniswap, the largest decentralized exchange on the Ethereum network, accounts for the most significant burning, with around 32,800 ETH burnt in the last 30 days. In the previous seven days, over 45,000 ETH was burnt, resulting in a current burn rate of 4.53 ETH per minute with a 3.47x issuance offset rate. 

Despite the high gas prices, Ethereum remains the favored network for new projects, with PEPE, WOJAK, and TURBO alone generating nearly $3 billion in trade activity. If this trend continues, the burning of ETH fees is likely to increase, leading to more ETH being removed from circulation and positively impacting the price of ETH in the future. 

Over the past 24 hours, there has been a price change of -$49.19 (-2.57%) in the price of ETH, with the 24-hour low and high at $1,839.89 and $1,934.00, respectively. The trading volume during this period was $8,836,988,765, accounting for 9.31% of the total volume. 

However, with gas fees continuing to rise (in some cases north of $15 on average per transaction), the utility of ETH will be called into question by those seeking alternative blockchains to transact and do business – not memes – on. 

A New Exhibition by Hito Steyerl at Esther Schipper Gallery in Berlin Looks Critically at Cryptocurrencies

  • A new exhibition at Esther Schipper Gallery in Berlin unpacks several dominant cultural threads emanating from cryptocurrency and its social, economic and aesthetic comeuppance. 
  • The works on view are by artist and philosopher Hito Steyerl, whose works explore themes such as globalization, capitalism, and the impact of technology on society, exhibited at major institutions around the world including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Venice Biennale, and the Tate Modern in London.

Hito Steyerl’s Animal Spirits at Esther Schipper over Berlin Gallery Weekend is a thought-provoking exploration of cultural production in lieu of several micro-epochs of the last few years. The exhibit takes its name from economist John Maynard Keynes’ concept of human instincts and emotions that influence consumer behavior, and examines it with respect to the rise of NFTs and crypto-currency. 

The centerpiece of the exhibit is a film and AI-animated palaeolithic cave paintings projected on surrounding screens, which create a cave-like environment. The animations respond to the presence of the audience, altering in real-time, creating a unique and immersive experience. The film 24-minute film explores the interplay between wild corporate aesthetics and sheep herders in Spain, which Steyerl filmed on location. A curious combination of themes to be sure, but the sum of which are greater than its individual parts. 

Inside the exhibition are living plants encased in glass spheres, hung from the ceiling, illuminated by colored LEDs, these plants contain sensors that measure key parameters for plant health, reacting to the audience and altering the animations in real-time.

As a philosopher and teacher at UdK in Berlin, Steyerl has written considerably on topics like machine learning, AI, technology and economics. In her book Duty-Free Art, in an essay entitled “Is the Internet Dead?” Steyerl asks to what extent we have been led astray by technology as it creates an increasingly bigger presence in our lives. 

The essay poses a direct and non-metaphorical question: what has happened to the internet since it became a reality rather than a mere possibility? Steyerl argues that the once-unbounded immateriality of the internet has become entangled with the physical world, which has created a confusing situation. Images, in particular, contain new cultural codes that we are only now beginning to understand. 

In the Wretched of the Screen, published in 2012 by Sternberg Press, Steyerl writes:

“The poor image thus constructs anonymous global networks just as it creates a shared history.” She unpacks the speculative nature of image building, as images provoke “translation or mistranslation, and create new publics and debates.” 

Steyerl follows this up by suggesting that images create “visual substance” and “political punch” that creates a new aura around them. “This aura is no longer based on the permanence of the ‘original,’ but on the transience of the copy. It is no longer anchored within a classical public sphere mediated and supported by the frame of the nation-state or corporation, but floats on the surface of temporary and dubious data pools.”

Steyerl adds, “a nail polish clip becomes an Instagram riot. An upload becomes a shitstorm. An animated GIF materializes as a pop-up airport transit gate.”

Steyerl’s core philosophical argument is thus quite a compelling one: consider the emoticon as a Matryoshka Basarian paradox, the protest banner as the stylized language of traditional mimicry. Memes as the flags of the 21st century.

In a direct message, the writer and theorist Shumon Basar said of the many contextualities behind Steyerl’s work: “Is it not the case that ever ‘contra—’ is duly swallowed up by the the thing the contra— was supposedly against? Thus, Capitalist Realism is less of a neo-Marxist doctrine a la Mark Fisher now, but rather, the basis for a duvet cover design for boys who don’t own bed frames?”

Few images today are more wretched than that of Pepe. The small green anthropomorphic frog with a humanoid body who often appears wryly grinning was appropriated by far-right groups on 4chan, Pepe is today perhaps the most Steyerlian image of the post-modern era. $PEPE as the ultimate symbol of a new prompt reality, emblematic of what Steyerl calls the “circulationism” that “feeds into both capitalist media assembly lines and alternative audiovisual economies.”

Think of Pepe today as the perfect metaphor for the meme economy, with major tokens dictating new crypto-economic flows based on aggregtated data and access to economic information, $PEPE has grown from a niche internet meme into a $1 billion market cap cryptocurrency. 

Writers and theorists Caroline Busta and Lil Internet have a metaphor for this complex: clearnet versus the dark forest. It’s a metaphor they use to differentiate the space beneath the surface web and a web that is more intricate and opposes the cultural expectations surrounding genuineness and self-promotion that dominate major social media legacy sites like Facebook and Instagram, but whose musings would also aptly apply to an analysis of major trends within cryptocurrency markets and aesthetics. 

“Media is no longer linear. Legacy outlets fade into noise, and communities have become screens through which all platforms are diffracted,” Busta and Lil Internet write in a 2023 Outland article

“Already in the mid-2010s, dark-forest groups had devised ways of finding each other across constellations of platforms (whether by including key emojis in one’s bio—a pine tree, a frog, a black fist, a rainbow flag—or through sharing content from certain meme pages so members of an enclave can synch their clearnet feeds).”

Were not ancient Roman Coins the original memes, profile pictures that became currency by virtue of the armies and systems they represented? 

Uncovering the holographic realities foisted upon us, Steyerl’s documentary films, writings and musings form an oeuvre untethered to any single medium. The sum of which are complexities and multi-layered storytelling narratives that emanate from non-linear systems that mimic the protocol aesthetics that have become such a sad and wretched the contemporary condition. 

From pump and dump culture to rug pulls, to the ways in which the biological complexities of the earth have been destroyed by extractive technologies, Steyerl’s work reassembles the embryonic prototypes of these conditions into a mass of clear glass spheres illuminated by LED lights. 

Ultimately, Steyerl’s work asks us to look beyond the overwhelming swarm of online images to the constant and pervasive surveillance we are subjected to, challenging us to rethink the ways in which social and economic engineering have become such a primal fact of 21-century life, embedded not only in the forms in which we gather and herd sheep, but also the ways in which we have come to circulate images and imbue them with meaning. 

Pepe Price Soars, but Is Its Growth Sustainable?

  • Pepe (PEPE) has experienced an impressive surge in its market cap nearing the $1B milestone. 
  • The meme-inspired coin has soared by 78% in the last 24 hours, with its trading volume surpassing $859M.
  • Binance announces the PEPE Buying Guide, experts believe its release on the exchange is imminent.

Pepe, the cryptocurrency linked to the internet meme icon Pepe the Frog, has become a notable contender in the meme coin market, challenging the likes of Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Doge (DOGE).

It’s recent listing on BitMEX, a significant player in the cryptocurrency exchange sector, has contributed to Pepe’s surge in market capitalization and trading volume. BitMEX’s listing allows users to trade Pepe with up to 50x leverage against the US dollar and Tether.

Pepe’s growing popularity has seen its 24-hour trading volume outpace even that of the well-established Dogecoin (DOGE), and early buyers are now taking profits

On the OKX exchange, the PEPE/USDT pair is currently trading at a price of $0.00000209. Over the past 24 hours, the trading volume for this pair has reached $318 million.

Pepe (PEPE) Price Chart (Source: Tradingview)

PEPE Bullish or Bearish?

In the past week, there has been a steady acquisition of this new coin by investors, causing the meme coin to soar to the top. Based on information from CoinMarketCap, since its launch, PEPE has given its initial investors a remarkable 2790% return on investment.

Since listing a spot PEPE/USDT pair on OKX on May 1, the exchange has shot to the top of PEPE volume. Binance, for its part, has released a How to buy Pepe (PEPE) Guide, with some users on Twitter speculating that a listing on the world’s biggest exchange is also close. 

With the coin entering the top 100 cryptocurrencies on May 3, it seems the top may be getting frothy for the frog-inspired meme coin. 

What Next on Ethereum Roadmap After Shapella Upgrade?

  • According to reports, Ethereum developers are in the final stages of planning the next major upgrade.
  • The EIP-4844, which introduces “Proto-Danksharding” to Ethereum, is expected to occur during the Cancun hard fork.

The Ethereum roadmap remains extensive with several significant upgrades still in the pipeline. Over the next six months, Ethereum has planned upgrades to staking withdrawals, as well as various new applications that will enhance the blockchain’s security and provide a better user experience. 

With the implementation of Proto-Danksharding, a new feature called “data blobs” will be introduced. These blobs can be sent and attached to blocks, but they are not accessible to the EVM and are automatically deleted after a fixed period of time. This will enable rollups to send data at a reduced cost, resulting in lower transaction fees for users.

Another new development users and engineers are planning is what is known as Distributed Validator Technology (DVT). Crypto staking ecosystem provider Obol Labs is working on a DVT solution that it plans to deploy by 2024.

The third milestone involves proposer-builder separation (PBS), which aims to address MEV attacks (maximal-extractable-value). PBS aims to create a “division of labor between two crucial tasks of block-building: proposing a block, and building it,” Bankless further explained.

How does Ethereum Governance Work?

Typically, ideas in the Ethereum community originate from lively discussions on forums such as, Ethereum magicians, or the ETH R&D discord server. 

These conversations might arise in response to newly identified vulnerabilities, proposals from application layer organizations such as dApps and exchanges, or even to address known user frictions such as high costs or slow transaction speeds. 

Once these ideas have matured, they may be submitted as Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) and are subject to public scrutiny. This ensures that the entire community has an opportunity to provide input at any point in the process. 

At press time, Ethereum (ETH) traded at $1,894.77 with a 24-hour low/high range of $1868.6 to $1915. 

Ethereum Weekly Price Chart (Source: CoinMarketCap)

Over the past seven days, the low/high range has remained consistent at $1,870.41 to $1,919.17. The trading volume stands below $7 billion, and Ethereum holds a market cap of $228 billion, exhibiting a market dominance of 18.344%. Since the implementation of the Shapella upgrade, Ethereum has outperformed Bitcoin by 15% in gains.

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ChatGPT Empowers Digital Artist to Generate a Memecoin Worth $50M

  • Digital Artist Rhett “Mankind” created the memecoin TURBO with $69.
  • The memecoin’s website and marketing plan was generated by ChatGPT-4.

The emergence of $TURBO is a Web3 success story. Here is how the meme crypto was created by digital artist Mankind with the aid of ChatGPT, despite a lack of coding experience.

According to a Twitter thread, Mankind (aka Rhett Dashwood) created the coin with a $69 budget and the help of the world’s largest language model created by OpenAI. 

Starting from the bottom

The artist started with ChatGPT-4 and a budget of $69. His instructions were simple: “to make the next great meme coin.”

“I’ve been in crypto art for quite a few years, and this year has been absolutely dead for trying to sell digital art,” Mankind said in a YouTube video explaining his motivations. 

“I’ve been really struggling to get eyeballs on my work,” Mankind added. “That led me to think, while there’s no one buying, the market is dead […] this is the best time to just experiment and have fun.”

Nansen Art-20 NFT Index (Source: Nansen)

The first thing ChatGPT instructed Mankind to do was develop a concept for the potential coin. This involved devising a name, a captivating backstory, and a logo. Mankind then sought further assistance from ChatGPT to generate this name and/or how to explore other options, based on his budget. 

To this end, Mankind decided to involve his Twitter followers in the decision-making process. Querying his 14k Twitter followers, Mankind presented them with four alternatives from GPT’s suggested list of ten suggested meme coin names – HypeHound, AstroCorgi, FomoFeline, and TurboToad – and TurboToad emerged as the popular choice.

With the coin’s mascot name settled on as Quantum Leap, Mankind utilized Midjourney with ChatGPT’s help to design the logo. To finalize the mascot image, he asked his Twitter followers to select from a range of options, ultimately selecting a charming, Pixar-esque depiction of a yellow-orange toad in a spacesuit.

“TurboToadToken – GPT-4 described the mascot, affectionately known as Quantum Leap, as a futuristic toad. I merged this with top 4 styles on Midjourney,” he wrote.

Step two was to create a tokenomics structure. “It gave an idea based on 2021 (as that is where it’s trained up to) so I gave it examples of recent tokenomics like pepe, wojak, and tsuka.”

Step three was to create a one-page whitepaper. Step four was to develop the code, “after much back and forth I believe we have a really basic contract,” during which Mankind found errors to do with max transfer limits (anti-whale mechanic), which he again polled his Twitter users for a solution to.

After this, Mankind needed help auditing the solidity smart contract, which he again crowd-sourced among the community of Twitter followers he had amassed.

Mankind then instructed ChatGPT to create a basic website and marketing plan for the token. Now, the Turbo Toad Token Twitter handle has 9,147 followers, as well as a $50 million dollar market cap. 

“Birthed from a wild idea: ChatGPT-4 guided the quest to create the next generation memecoin.” It just goes to show, with a little idea, some entrepreneurial spirit, and an engaged and thoughtful community, anything is possible in the wild world of Web3.

Is Memecoin TURBO Bullish or Bearish?

The memecoin, Turbo (TURBO) which was generated by AI and boasts a futuristic toad mascot, made a massive impact overnight, amassing over $7 million in trading volume within 24 hours. This pioneering memecoin is now gaining attention as a trendsetter in the memecoin industry.

TURBO/USD Price Chart (Source: TradingView)

One Twitter user @DGMD22 wrote bullishly on May 2, “community is unreal because it was started by @rhett, an OG established digital artist in our space, not some scam dev in the background. This one is easy af to HODL.”

The TURBO ecosystem has adopted a distinctive tokenomics model that prioritizes equitable and prosperous distribution. It stands out for its tax-free nature, a launch funded by the community, fair distribution, and renounced contract.

Presently, TURBO is gaining significant traction and has been lauded for its robust memecoin narrative, which rivals that of PEPE. Although some argue that it may even be superior in terms of mass adoption potential, this claim remains debatable.

Goldman Sachs Remains Bullish on Crypto

  • Raoul Pal predicts that the crypto will experience a surge in capital as liquidity returns to the market.
  • This growth will result in new innovations that will attract more users.

According to a recent AMA session, former Goldman Sachs executive Raoul Pal predicts that the crypto industry will experience a surge in capital. As liquidity returns to the market, leading to growth from 300 million to what he believes will be one billion users worldwide.

Raoul Pal states:

“There will be applications you haven’t dreamt of or things you thought weren’t coming. That will come at scale, whether it’s digital identity, whether its massive cases of Web3, whether it’s DeFi (decentralized finance), or whether it’s something entirely new. Whether it’s ticketing via NFTs (non-fungible tokens), who the hell knows?”

Pal, who is a macro expert, believes that this growth will result in new innovations that will attract more users. Including digital identity, massive cases of Web3, DeFi, or even ticketing via NFTs. He also suggests that the Federal Reserve’s attempt to control inflation may result in a recession. Causing a reversal of course and money printing to boost the market. 

“This is exactly what happened in 2019 after the Fed pivot in 2018. The Fed is going to pause soon or has paused. I think they have paused or certainly should pause. And we’ll see this continued acceleration until liquidity slows down at some point, and then we’ll have pauses in the market.”

Pal’s predictions follow that digital assets will continue to be adopted by big companies and institutional investors.

“We may even have pullbacks if liquidity goes back, which I don’t really see. And then we’ll see acceleration as we hit the recession and the unemployment side of the equation, which comes later when the real money printing and rate cutting really starts.”

In May 2021, Goldman Sachs launched a crypto trading desk to assist its clients in trading bitcoin futures. 

Goldman Sachs Remains Bullish on Crypto

In a February 2023 interview with CNBC, another Goldman Sachs staffer, digital assets chief Mathew McDermott, said that crypto markets are undergoing a “flight to quality.” 

McDermott said:

“The excitement from our side is … seeing how this technology can impact many different parts of the financial system and have a real commercial impact,”

“We’re at such an early stage in terms of its adoption, but as you look across the marketplace and you see the breadth of financial institutions building out their digital asset teams, their digital asset strategies, be that the sell side or the buy side, it’s just super exciting and I think there’s a real recognition there.”

What are MEV Sandwich Attacks and Why Everyone in Crypto Should Know About Them?

Earlier this week, an anonymous bot operator using a Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) strategy reportedly made over $1 million using what is known as a sandwich attack, essentially a tool by which an operator takes over a mempool to validate transactions and seek arbitrage on giant pools of transactions.

The wallet address associated with the operator, linked to the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain “jaredfromsubway.eth,” gained $950,000 from the sandwich attacks on April 18, and also profited roughly $300,000 and $400,000 on April 17 and 19, on-chain data show.

According to Sealaunch, over 24-hour period from April 18 to 19, the MEV bot was responsible for 7% of all Ethereum gas fees, which it earned on $PEPE (PEPE) and $WOJAK (WOJAK), meme tokens that propelled jaredfromsubway.eth to the top spot as the largest consumer of gas over the past day and week.

What is a sandwhich attack?

A sandwich attack occurs when an entity places their own two transactions around a victim’s transaction with the intention of manipulating the price and profiting from the user, it is referred to as a sandwich attack.

Though not immune from other proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies, Ethereum (ETH) is particularly susceptible to sandwich attacks because it ranks as the second-largest coin with 3,079,109 watchlists. It is a blockchain-based platform that enables the creation of decentralized applications through the use of smart contracts and is a significant protocol used in decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

According to CoinMarketCap, ETH’s value dropped by 5.94% after news of the explot, with traders expressing bearish sentiment and some taking to Twitter to express their displeasure at the sandwich attack.

As of April 2023, Mev Blocker reports that MEV Bots have so far extracted more than $1.38 billion from Ethereum users who are engaged in transacting on the network, be it to mint an NFT or send wrapped ETH for a small transaction.

Several entities have recently popped up attempting to draw attention to the issue and safeguard Ethereum users from sandwich attacks. According to a report, earlier this month over 27 prominent Ethereum projects joined hands to launch MEV Blocker, a consortium that aims to prevent MEV exploits.

TORN Price Soars +20% on News of Jailed Developer’s House Arrest

According to recent reports, Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev is set to be released from jail by authorities and will be kept under house arrest with an ankle monitor and surveillance from next week, following a Dutch court ruling. 

Pertsev had been detained by Netherlands authorities in August after the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on the crypto mixing service.  While no formal charges have been presented against him, a panel of Dutch judges had denied bail earlier due to flight risk.

Following the news of Pertsev’s imminent release, Tornado Cash’s token price, TORN, has skyrocketed by over 20% in the last 24 hours and is currently trading at $10.45. The trading volume has also seen a significant increase of 235%, indicating a growing interest among traders. 

As per investor sentiment, TORN’s price could surge to $20 if Pertsev is released, and it could rally over $50 if exchanges like Coinbase list it. Coinbase has shown full support for Pertsev. The next hearing, in this case, is scheduled for May 24, where Pertsev’s lawyer plans to challenge the allegations made by prosecutors.

Bitget Managing Director Gracy Chen on the Future of Crypto Exchanges Amid Regulatory Crackdown

Bitget’s managing director Gracy Chen joined an exclusive interview with TheNewsCrypto to crucially talk about the future of crypto exchanges in the evolving regulatory landscape and also the role of Bitget exchange in the sector. Gracy Chen is a renowned “Global Shaper”, as acknowledged by the World Economic Forum in 2015.

Bitget is a centralized exchange with more than 8 million users from over 100 countries, with over 100,000 traders. At present it is in the top five in derivative crypto exchange among all the centralized exchanges and the top ten among spot markets. 

TheNewsCrypto: Why did Bitget highly focus on covering the derivatives market?

Gracy Chen: One of the reasons is that the company started off in the bear market in 2018. Usually, during the bear market, derivatives are more traded than just the normal spot market in terms of buy and sell options. Another reason is we set out mainly in East Asia and the users of the region majorly prefer derivatives. But that said doesn’t mean we want to just focus on the derivative market as we acknowledge the differences in user behavior in both markets.  Moreover, the majority of crypto users still opt for the spot market because of more leverage. But the majority, especially when we see cryptocurrencies going to the mainstream, the main users we are attracting as an industry are still spot market users. So since late 2021, we started to tackle the spot market more to attract these traders. 

According to the statistics on CoinGecko (at the time of the interview), Bitget holds a trading volume of $598 million in the spot market and $7.5 billion in the derivative market.

TheNewsCrypto: Where do you see the future of trading with respect to the emergence of different upgraded technologies such as AI or automated bots? 

Gracy Chen: Well, I think AI and automated bot trading are the future. I still doubt how much or how soon it can be. Right now, AI has become a popular topic, especially after ChatGPT’s viral arrival. Many people have started using AI-powered trading and its implementation on Bitget is at the nascent stage. It has got good advantages. Firstly, the AI-enabled prompts and problem-solving tools bolster the accuracy and efficiency of trading and also enhance the user experience. Secondly, some strategies are proven to be way more intelligent than other modes.

But on the flip side, risks and shortcomings do appear. AI-driven trading platforms relying on a large amount of historical data to develop and optimize trading strategies pull up the main risk. Things could go wrong if the data used are too historical with minimal integration of real-time market information. These AI tools or bots can generate better strategies for high-yielding trades if a balance between the usage of historical data and real-time data is maintained.

TheNewsCrypto: The collapse of high-profile exchanges like FTX has spurred the tension between CeFi and DeFi ecosystems. How does Bitget tackle these issues and ensure it stays well-capitalized?

Gracy Chen: Bitget is a centralized crypto exchange. But we focus on diversifying our ecosystem beyond centralized finance (CeFi). Significantly, as announced during the Paris Blockchain Week, we acquired BitKeep, a decentralized wallet, and become its major stakeholder. Through this, we step into decentralized finance (DeFi). DeFi requires greater support from crypto entities for further development and expansion. Because users’ trust in centralized entities has begun diminishing after the FTX collapse. 

To ensure we are well-capitalized, Bitget’s ecosystem is backed up by a primary market venture and also a secondary market investment. We also own a fund of funds (FoF) in other ventures and have invested $400 million in it. Moreover, Bitget has secured $10 million in funding from Dragonfly, a prominent crypto-focused venture capital firm. In addition to this, we also have a crypto media called Foresight News. 

TheNewsCrypto: What does an exchange-friendly regulation look like?

Gracy Chen:  It would, first of all, involve much more conversations between not just exchanges but also with the regulators, industrialists, and Web 3 projects and even other third-party providers. Crucially, these are on and off with the regulators. But at least we see, for example, the Hong Kong government is doing that. We’ve been having lots of conversations with them, with the key decision-makers. Yeah. So I think that’s one way of looking at it. I hope regulation will soon be more welcoming to exchanges.

Another thing, it’s important for exchanges to adopt a self-regulatory or self-proving framework, especially before the crypto regulation actually comes into the picture. We have our proof-of-reserve published, many other exchanges are doing the same. We also have a protection fund that’s the second largest protection fund – $300 million — after Binance in the industry to protect our user’s funds. The exchange maintains this fund as an open, publicly visible wallet.

TheNewsCrypto: In the global regulatory landscape, Hong Kong has begun garnering greater attention. What is Bitget’s stance in approaching these crypto-active jurisdictions?

Gracy Chen: Bitget is actively seeking a license to operate in Hong Kong. We are optimistic that East Asia will continue to see user growth in terms of volume and activity. On top of it, Bitget recently announced a USD 100 million Web3 fund. Through this, we will attract other entities that align with the exchange’s core mission.

New DeFi Protocol ‘Term Finance’ Expands Towards New Liquidity Horizons

  • In February, Term raised $2.5 million from a consortium of investors led by Electric Capital
  • On April 12, Term announced it had successfully cleared its first testnet auction

Term Labs announced on April 12 it had successfully launched its first testnet auction, cleaning $22.4 million in USDC loans against ETH at 2.96% interest over a four-week term. 

“We were pleasantly surprised to see the auction clear within a few basis points of the current midpoint of Compound Finance’s bid / offer spread for USDC,” Term said in a tweet announcing the successful deployment of its testnet. It added that it came out just under Aave’s USDC borrow rate for overnight funding.

“This demonstrates the potential for live Term auctions to clear in the middle of rates available on existing DeFi protocols,” Term said in a follow-up tweet. 

DeFi Liquidity Protocols

DeFi liquidity protocols, also known as decentralized finance liquidity protocols, facilitate the exchange and provision of liquidity for digital assets in a decentralized and automated manner. 

While popular DeFi liquidity protocols like UniSwap and SushiSwap function as DeFi exchanges that facilitate token swaps. SIgnificantly, Term Finance hopes to change the market by adding an auction element that it hopes will increase liquidity by providing onrails for more institutional access to lending and borrowing in cryptocurrency. 

In February, Term Finance, co-founded by Billy Welch and Dion Chu, first introduced its novel solution for offering a noncustodial, scalable fixed-rate lending protocol. That function allowed users to access liquidity on fixed terms without compromising on fees, slippage, custody, or trust. Consequently, the team developed it after securing a $2.5 million dollar investment led by Electric Capital. 

Similar to how auctions work in traditional financial markets, Term’s protocol allows lenders to submit offers to lend and borrowers to submit bids to borrow. 

While Term Finance is built for the crypto ecosystem, the team has taken inspiration from the U.S. Treasury’s auction calendar to facilitate borrower-lender matching. 

Scaling DeFi

Via Term, lenders now have the flexibility to set their own rates, but also determine the amount they are willing to lend, and specify the duration of the auction. Similarly, borrowers have the freedom to define their borrowing requirements within the platform.

“We’ve been speaking to a lot of liquid token funds or DeFi funds that have excess stablecoins, that would be lenders in the protocol,” Welch told Decrypt last February. “Market makers as well, we expect them to be a user of the platform to fund yield opportunities, as well as basis trading in DeFi.”

According to Term, this has several advantages over existing automated market maker (AMM)-based fixed-rate liquidity solutions. AMM models are capital intensive and suffer from excessive slippage, which can hinder their scalability. 

After its successful testnet launch on April 12, Term Finance is now open for early access with its mainnet set to launch later this year. 

Ethereum Shanghai Upgrade Goes Live

  • The hard fork will not have a “dramatic” impact on the price of Ethereum.
  • On average, those who staked ETH before the upgrade are down 12.7% from the price point.

Ethereum has moved one step closer to a fully autonomous proof-of-stake system after its long-awaited Shanghai upgrade takes hold on the world’s second-biggest blockchain. 

On April 12, the main feature of the Shanghai upgrade, known as EIP-4895, went live. The upgrade now allows some users to withdraw their staked ETH while introducing other features tangential to stake unlocking. Crucially, the new upgrades aim to reduce the gas fees that Ethereum developers pay. 

According to data from Etherscan, only 170,000 ETH of the 18.1 million ETH staked on the Beacon Chain will be unlocked within the first week of the Shanghai fork. As well, there is a withdrawal queue for the Shanghai upgrade that allows only 115,220 requests per day to be processed. 

According to a report by the research analytics firm Glassnode, the hard fork will not have a “dramatic” impact on the price of Ethereum because only 22% of the ETH staked before the upgrade is currently in profit. 

(Courtesty: Glassnode Data)

On average, those who staked ETH before the upgrade are down 12.7% from the price point at which the ETH was staked ($2,136), considerably lower than ETH’s current price of $1,875, representing total unrealized losses of $4.7 billion, according to Glassnode. 

“After the peak unrealized loss of $16B in July 2022, the net unrealized loss now amounts to $4.7B. It is mainly carried by the Whale sized depositors, who hold a 76% share of the unrealized losses,” Glassnote observed. 

CryptoQuant, another research analytics firm, agreed. In a report it released in February, they argued: “that there would be low selling pressure for Ether from staking withdrawals after the Shanghai upgrade.” 

Shanghai Goes Live Industry Reactions

Zhuling Chen, the CEO of crypto staking service RockX, noted in a statement that the staking landscape will handle more transactions per second and will create substantial long-term upgrades.

“Ethereum’s capacity to handle more transactions per second increases, transaction costs decrease, and the security and efficiency of smart contracts improve,” Chen wrote. 

Bob Baxley, a builder of the Maverick Protocol, wrote that he believes the Shanghai upgrade “will lead to war,” similar to the battle fought over stablecoin liquidity dominance. 

“I believe that Shanghai will provoke a period of intense competition among liquid staking protocols that will come to be known as the ‘Liquid Staking Wars,’ he noted. 

“Those of us who were here for DeFi Summer will remember the Curve Wars well: the ruthless competition between the emerging stablecoin protocols,” Baxley wrote

Tranchess founder Danny Chong said that the upgrade would lower the risk of liquid staking, also known as “soft staking,” which allows investors to earn rewards, typically in the form of a token, for locking assets into a pool. 

“Earning yield from liquid staking shares similarities with certain traditional financial instruments such as bonds or stocks that offer interest payments,” Chong told Forkcast. “Hence it would likely attract TradFi [traditional finance] participants who are familiar with such instruments.”

According to on-chain data provider DefiLlama, the total value of all crypto assets currently locked into staking services stands US $17.3 billion, up from US $14 billion in March. 

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NBA Top Shot NFTs Are ‘Plausibly’ Securities, Judge Rules in Dapper Labs Lawsuit

United States District Court Judge Victor Marrero has ruled in a case against Dapper Labs that NFTs associated with NBA Top Shots are likely securities.

On Feb. 22, Marrero denied Dapper’s request to dismiss the suit, stating that the NFTs offered on Dapper’s platform “plausibly” satisfy the requirements of a security.

In his ruling, Marrero cited the Howkey Test — a landmark Supreme Court Ruling to determine whether a transaction constitutes an investment contract, a type of security.

The U.S. Supreme Court established the test in the case SEC v. W.J. Howey Co. in 1946. The test has four elements that must be met for a transaction to be considered an investment contract:

  1. There is an investment of money.
  2. The investment is in a common enterprise.
  3. There is an expectation of profits from the investment.
  4. The expected profits come from the efforts of a third party or promoter.

“Courts have repeatedly found that consumer goods—including art and collectibles like basketball cards—are not securities under federal law,” a Dapper statement countered.

“We are confident the same holds true for moments and other collectibles, digital or otherwise, and look forward to vigorously defending our position in court as the case continues.”

The judge’s ruling gives credibility to the theory that networks that power Top Shot are more private than public, a ruling Dapper Labs would likely refute.

Although Dapper Labs created the Flow blockchain to support NBA Top Shot and other initiatives, the company intended it to be an open and permissionless network that has progressively decentralized its node operators. Dapper representatives claimed in late 2021 that Flow is now “controlled by the community.”

However, the judge’s ruling suggests that there is enough evidence to contradict this claim. The judge highlights Dapper’s control over the NBA Top Shot platform and the underlying intellectual property owned by the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). The ruling also points to statements made by Dapper Labs and CEO Roham Gharegozlou regarding the market value of moments, and the potential for Top Shot NFTs to increase in value over time. Furthermore, the ruling notes that in early 2021, when NBA Top Shot was overwhelmed with user demand, NFT holders were unable to access the marketplace and sell their assets.

Judge Marreo ultimately cautioned against applying his ruling to the broader market for NFTs in general, concluding in his ruling:

“Ultimately, the Court’s conclusion that what Dapper Labs offered was an investment contract under Howey is narrow,” he wrote. “Not all NFTs offered or sold by any company will constitute a security, and each scheme must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.”

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Fed minutes do little to shake crypto markets with BTC down 3.5%

Fed minutes in-brief:

  • 2% targeted inflation
  • Low unemployment, 3.5%
  • Fed funds target rate, 4.5% to 4.75%.
  • Debate among meeting participants whether to raise interest rates by 50 basis points
  • BTC remains stable at around $23.8k

Committee outlook

The Fed released its latest round of minutes today, announcing that job market conditions in the US remain restricted in December, as reflected by the unemployment rate reaching a historic low, tumbling back down to 3.5% in December.

As expected, the Fed also said the percentage change in the price index for personal consumption expenditures (PCE) over the course of 12 months indicated a decline in consumer price inflation during November and December. However, despite the downward trend, the inflation level remained high, at 5% in December, the minutes showed.

During a meeting, some participants expressed their support for raising the target range for the federal funds rate by 50 basis points, as they believed it would achieve a sufficiently restrictive monetary policy stance, per the minutes.

However, most participants agreed that while the committee had made progress in tightening the monetary policy, inflation remained above the committee’s 2% target, and the labor market was still tight, contributing to upward pressures on wages and prices.

The participants believed that monetary policy should remain restrictive until incoming data provided confidence that inflation was on a sustained downward path to 2%. They also stated that future increases in the target range should take into account the cumulative tightening of monetary policy, the lags with which monetary policy affects economic activity and inflation, and economic and financial developments.

Price of Bitcoin

At press time, the price of Bitcoin is $23,825.59 USD with a 24-hour trading volume of $30,541,075,235 USD, down 3.35% since yesterday.

Bitcoin 24 hour chart
(Source: Binance)

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Iceland’s abundance of renewable energy boosts Bitcoin hashrate

With its vast renewable energy resources, Iceland has emerged as a prominent destination for Bitcoin mining.

However, according to new research by one of the industry’s leading watchdogs, the country has maxed out at around 120 MW of energy for Bitcoin mining, which makes up around 1.3% of the global Bitcoin hash rate.

What makes Iceland such a mining powerhouse?

Thanks to Iceland’s  vast hydro and geothermal energy sources, the country has managed to dedicate 120 megawatts of electricity to Bitcoin mining, which accounts for only 1.3% of the global hash rate. But with a population of only 370,000, Iceland is the world’s largest producer of hash rate per capita.

Iceland’s outsized energy dominance

With an abundance of electricity resources, Iceland is the world’s most electricity-rich country, producing nearly twice as much electricity per capita as Norway, the second country on the list.

TOp 10 countries of electricity generated by per capita 2021
(Source: Luxor and Hashrate Index)

Iceland and Norway are the only two countries worldwide that rely entirely on renewable energy sources for their power needs.

Iceland: Electricity Production by Source in 2020
(Source: Hashrate Index and Luxor)

The recent surge in BTC prices has boosted mining profitability by 35% since the start of 2023. As the network hash rate reached a new high of 318 exahashes per second (EH/s), Bitcoin mining has gained momentum not only in Iceland, but worldwide.

Political stability

A big part of what makes Iceland’s attractiveness as a mining hub is that it is widely regarded as one of the most politically stable countries globally.

“Domestic companies involved in mining in Iceland include Greenblocks, Advania Data Centers, and Borealis Data Center. In addition, many international players currently operate or were previously there, like Genesis Mining, Bitfury, Hive Blockchain, and Startmining.”

The Icelandic government is supportive of Bitcoin mining, recognizing its potential to attract foreign investment and create employment opportunities.

However, the government has also expressed concern about the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining and has urged the industry to be more sustainable by adopting more energy-efficient technology.

Nevertheless, some of the main players in the Bitcoin mining industry in Iceland have been operating for 10 years, largely without any significant issue from authorities.

Iceland is hitting mining limitations

The factors that make Iceland such an enticing environment for Bitcoin miners have also had an impact on supply/demand.

“Iceland’s electricity supply might have seemed endless a few years ago, but it has gradually become scarcer over the past few years. Icelandic miners report that it is nearly impossible to get electricity allocation for new data centers.”

This means that the industry has limited growth potential in Iceland and will likely remain and the 120 MW year for “the foreseeable future.”


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Tencent adds to its host of Web3 offerings

Tencent, the Chinese multinational conglomerate headquartered in Shenzhen and owner of the popular everything app WeChat, hosted an event last week at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore meant to draw attention to the company’s increasingly large portfolio of Web3-based services and applications.

On Feb. 22, the company announced Tencent Cloud’s Global Web3 Ecosystem Support Program, an initiative meant to promote the company’s inroads into the blockchain industry.

Poshu Yeung, Senior Vice President, Tencent Cloud International, said of the initiative:

“At Tencent Cloud, we see a future with Web3, a new iteration of the internet that ushers in the concept of ‘Immersive Convergence’ where the physical and digital economies meet and integrate. With more businesses now keen to explore and adapt to an efficient, transparent digital future, we are ready to leverage our many years of technical experience in the fields of games, audio, and video to provide strong technical support for Web3, and work with industry partners to create a more immersive experience and nurture a better Web3 ecosystem.”

One of the partnerships announced is with Ankr, a Web3 infrastructure provider able to jointly develop a suite of blockchain API services. This suite will be deployed on Tencent Cloud’s infrastructure and provide builders with a globally distributed and decentralized network of Remote Procedure Call nodes. This will enable developers to power their Web3 projects, such as Web3 games and Web3 social applications, with reliable and efficient connections to most of the popular blockchains, the company said.

Tencent doubles down on blockchain

In addition, Tencent Cloud has signed Memorandums of Understanding with three other Web3 blockchain partners: Avalanche, Scroll, and Sui. These collaborations will seek to empower Web3 builders with practical tools and solutions to better build on the respective blockchains.

  • Avalanche is a smart contracts platform developed by Ava Labs, a consensus protocol and subnet infrastructure enabling Web3 developers to easily launch custom, highly-scalable solutions. Tencent Cloud has set up a fully synchronized Avalanche full node, which will enable efficient and quick node setup for developers. The collaboration will seek to explore blockchain solutions for enterprise customers in traditional sectors.
  • Scroll is an open-sourced bytecode-level equivalent zkEVM zk-Rollup to scale Ethereum. Tencent Cloud is working with Scroll to establish the initial scaling solution foundation, while validators and sequencers within the Scroll network can benefit from Tencent Cloud’s high-performing infrastructure to achieve performance stability and resource decentralization. Tencent Cloud will also provide cloud credit support for selected teams of builders in the Scroll community.
  • Sui is a Layer-1 blockchain being initially developed by Mysten Labs, and it’s optimized for high-performing games. The collaboration between Tencent Cloud and Sui will provide builders with effective cloud-based game development tools and dedicated support to optimize the on-chain gaming experience. Web3 game developers using Tencent Cloud’s infrastructure can seamlessly run games on the Sui network.

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Friendsies NFT collection rug pulls, deactivates Twitter

Popular NFT collection Friendsies tweeted Feb. 15 that it would pause its development, citing “challenging” market conditions as the primary reason for its hiatus.

“We had the best intentions to create a genuine digital companion for the future,” the company tweeted. “However, the market’s volatility and difficulties have made it increasingly challenging to advance this project in a manner that meets our standards.”

According to the Friendsies website, the initiative aimed to mint 10,000 whimsical avatars. It teamed up with auction house Christie’s in March 2022 to sell nine early-access mint passes to the collection on the secondary marketplace OpenSea, which allowed avid collectors to mint the rarest Friendsies.

Following the collection’s tweet, some users who inquired about the announcement found themselves blocked on Twitter. Shortly after, Friendsies deleted its account on the social media platform.

Tweet from @HashbastardsNFT
Tweet from @HashbastardsNFT (Twitter)
Tweet by @zachxbt
Tweet by @zachxbt (Source: Twitter)

In response to the @Zachxbt tweet @ArkhamInterl replied: “btw when these guys say “market volatility” they really mean “we bagheld ETH down 70% and then sold the bottom” and linked to the following transaction history:

Tweet by ArkhhamIntel
Tweet by Arkham Intel (Source: Twitter)

Twitter users also pointed fingers at Farokh, the host of Web3 program Rug Radio, and generative artist Jen Stark, who both reportedly promoted the collection on Twitter during its early stages, influencers at one point associated with the NFT.

Notable NFT influencers, including Farokh, the host of Rug Radio, were accused of being early supporters of the project and reportedly earned millions of dollars from its initial sale.

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Former Binance executive aims to raise $100M to start crypto adoption focused VC

Bill Qian, the former head of venture capital investments and acquisitions at Binance Holdings Ltd., says he aims to raise over $100 million through a new crypto venture capital fund.

Qian told Bloomberg he sees a need for significant user growth as one of the crypto industry’s most critical challenges, a key factor in founding Cypher Capital.

As the chairman of Dubai-based Cypher Capital since leaving Binance in June, Qian told Bloomberg that he plans to back startups focused on web3 and the decentralized internet powered by blockchain technology.

Qian believes that the crypto industry is facing a significant obstacle in terms of limited user growth, which he attributes to the predominant use of cryptocurrency for trading or gambling. To address this issue, Cypher Capital is focusing its investments on projects that can attract more of the approximately 5 billion internet and social media users to the web3 ecosystem, an investment thesis he believes can add to the macro adoption of cryptocurrencies world wide.

Qian did not disclose to Bloomberg whether the fund has secured any commitments from other outside investors, but noted that this year’s resurgence in digital assets, with Bitcoin surging by approximately 50%, has made fundraising less challenging.

“The macro backdrop for us is way better now than my expectations half a year ago,” he said in the interview. Nonetheless, “money is not cheap anymore.”

With a team of 10 employees, Cypher Capital has hired Elaine Liu, a former executive at Tencent, to bolster its expansion efforts in the UAE. In November, the firm established an office in Dubai Marina dedicated to crypto and blockchain startups as part of its strategy to identify potential investment opportunities.

Dubai, as well as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) more broadly, is emerging as a hub for the cryptocurrency industry as jurisdictions such as the US tighten regulations in the wake of last year’s scandals, including the collapse of FTX and the legal action against founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

Leading figures in the crypto space, including Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal, have relocated to Dubai, which recently issued a finalized set of rules for regulating the cryptocurrency sector.

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Helium announces migration date to Solana, 1M hotspots worldwide

Solana (SOL) experienced a surge in price following an announcement that Helium (HNT) would be migrating towards the platform beginning Mar. 27.

In a blog post from Feb., Helium announced the move.

“The Network migration to the Solana blockchain and deployment of Oracles represents the most significant upgrade to Helium Network scalability and reliability.”

Helium’s decentralized network of hotspots totals almost one million as of Feb. 2023.

News of the migration date sent the price of both tokens up last week. Following the news, Solana’s value has seen an over 21% surge — to a high of $27.11 on Feb. 17, from $22.34 on Feb. 16.

Currently, SOL is worth $26.15 and Helium is trading for $3.15 at the time of writing.

Helium (HNT) 7-day chart
Helium (HNT) 7-day chart (Source: Binance)
Solana 7-day chart
Solana (SOL) (HNT) 7-day chart (Source: Binance)

Helium is a network that focuses on creating an internet of things (IoT) powered by physical hotspots, with HNT tokens used to reward participants for validating coverage and providing wireless hotspots.

The migration of Helium from its current layer-1 (L1) solution to the Solana platform was recently announced by the Solana network — with the transition set to take place at the end of March.

With nearly one million hotspots worldwide across long range and 5G networks, the move is expected to help Helium’s community to focus on expanding decentralized wireless networks.

In a recent blog post, Helium encouraged its users to prepare for the transition, stating that the migration to the Solana ecosystem will allow its community to focus on building wireless protocols and enabling utility on these networks.

Once completed, HNT will become natively compatible with other platforms within Solana’s ecosystem, adding utility for HNT, MOBILE, and IoT token holders.

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Distributed EOA accounts coming to EVM chains

Intu — a decentralized account management protocol for web3 designed to make it more user-friendly — emerged from stealth mode and announced its beta launch during ETHDenver Buidl week on February 24th.

Intu announced on Feb. 20 that it had secured $2 million in pre-seed funding from notable crypto industry players — including CoinFund, Metaweb Ventures, Fantom Foundation, Kitefin, Orrick, and angel investors.

The news comes as the release of Intu’s beta marks an essential milestone in the company’s mission to promote the aims of self-custody and decentralization.

Intu aims to empower users to select the degree of decentralization they prefer within their local circle of trust — a key feature that the founders hope will make the beta appealing to decentralized application (dApp) developers.

Founded to provide crypto wallet solutions that give developers the tools to create decentralized, recoverable, and self-sovereign web3 accounts, the platform uses what is known as a distributed externally owned accounts (dEOA) account.

These combine the principles of self-sovereignty with the security of an EOA with the composability of smart contract wallets.

The platform allows users to access a software development kit (SDK) — a well-designed and elegant UX for onboarding web3 dApps or wallets. Developers can deploy various onboarding experiences or services to any web3 dApp or wallet through their easy-to-use SDK.

“Now more than ever, it’s clear how important good self-custodial solutions are needed,” said Max Radelius, Co-Founder of Intu. “Our goal is to provide solutions that give non-coiners the confidence to participate in web3 and a clear path to financial freedom.”

Intu’s beta version will be available to test at ETHDenver — set to take place from Feb. 24 – Mar. 5, where a working model of the EVM-compatible chain will be available.

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Someone forked Bitcoin ordinals NFTs onto Litecoin network

A GitHub user by the name of ynohtna92 has forked the Bitcoin Ordinals protocol to support Litecoin.

In the context of cryptocurrencies, a fork occurs when a blockchain protocol is split into two different versions, each running on its own separate network with a shared transaction history. The split may occur due to differences in opinion among the community of developers, miners, or users regarding the direction of the blockchain’s development.

According to the source code of the Litecoin Ordinal fork reviewed by CryptoSlate, some adjustments to the ordinal number scheme (sat count) were necessary for the fork to be implemented.

Modifications that were needed involved making a minor change to the main dependency rust-bitcoin, allowing it to decode and encode Litecoin addresses.

As a result of these modifications, ynohtna92 has also minted the first-ever Litecoin Ordinal, a first of its kind on one of the world’s oldest cryptocurrencies. To align with the recent Litecoin MWEB upgrade, ynohtna92 inscribed the mimble wimble white paper onto the first Litecoin Ordinal, known as inscription 0.


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