CryptoSlate Daily wMarket Update: Stagnant market sees Shiba Inu lead top 10

https://cryptoslate.com/cryptoslate-daily-wmarket-update-stagnant-market-sees-shiba-inu-lead-top-10/

The cryptocurrency market cap saw net outflows of $7.9 billion over the last 24 hours and currently stands at $1.09 trillion — down 0.7% from $1.09 trillion.

During the reporting period, Bitcoin and Ethereum’s market cap fell 1.6% and 0.3% to $457.28 billion and $200.49 billion, respectively.

The top 10 crypto assets posted losses over the reporting period except for Solana, Polkadot, and Shiba Inu, which gained 1.3%, 0.8%, and 1.3%, respectively. In contrast, Dogecoin fared worst, losing 2.1%.

Top 10 cryptocurrencies
Source: CryptoSlate.com

In the last 24 hours, the market cap of Tether (USDT) increased to $70.6 billion. USD Coin (USDC) saw a marginal drop to $42.2 billion, while Binance USD (BUSD) fell  5% to $11.78 billion.

Bitcoin

In the last 24 hours, Bitcoin decreased 1.6% to trade at $23,734 as of 07:00 ET. Its market dominance fell to 42.2% from 42.5%.

During the reporting period, BTC peaked at $24,613 before grinding lower, moving into a sharp spill that found support at $23,626 shortly before 07:00 ET.

Bitcoin chart
Source: TradingView.com

Ethereum

Over the last 24 hours, Ethereum lost 0.3% to trade at $1,636 as of 07:00 ET. Its market dominance stayed flat at 18.4%.

ETH’s price performance mirrored BTC — peaking above $1,680 during the reporting period, leading to a sharp sell-off that bottomed at $1,630 just before the cut-off period.

Ethereum chart
Source: TradingView.com

Top 5 Gainers

BinaryX

BNX is the day’s biggest gainer, rising 52.7% over the reporting period to $148.630 as of press time. The project was yesterday’s biggest loser; it recently announced a token swap and revaluation plan. Its market cap stood at $430.04 million.

Alchemy Pay

ACH is up 17.7% to trade at $0.04590 as of press time. The team announced partnering with Conflux Network to work on a hybrid PoS/PoW blockchain. Its market cap stood at $233.28 million.

Stacks

STX increased 15.5% in the last 24 hours to trade at $0.82605 as of press time. The token is up 211% over the past month. A recent report attributed the boost to interest in Bitcoin NFTs. Its market cap stood at $1.12 billion.

ssv.network

SSV jumped 13.7% to $38.0179 as of press time. The token has risen by 117.8% over the past 30 days. Its market cap stood at $380.18 million.

Yearn Finance

YFI gained 14.3% in the last 24 hours to trade at $9,215.64. Its market cap stood at $337.64 million.

Top 5 Losers

Filecoin

FIL is the day’s biggest loser, falling 8.4% to $7.758 as of press time. Despite today’s sell-off, the token is still up 58.8% over the past month. Its market cap stood at $3.04 billion.

Synapse

SYN shed 6.7% in the last 24 hours to trade at $1.55841. Its market cap stood at $217.82 million.

Voyager Token

VGX lost 5.1% to trade at $0.48584 at the time of writing. The platform agreed with FTX to settle an outstanding $445 million loan. Its market cap stood at $135.3 million.

Internet Computer

ICP fell 4.3% to $6.64119 over the reporting period. Its market cap stood at $1.93 billion.

Klaytn

KLAY dumped 3.9% to $0.29890 in the last 24 hours. The project announced an additional 300 million token airdrop. Its market cap stood at $918.78 million.

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Coinbase discloses ‘uncertain, potential impact’ of SEC subpoenas

https://cryptoslate.com/coinbase-discloses-uncertain-potential-impact-of-sec-subpoenas/

Coinbase disclosed outstanding SEC subpoenas per Twitter account @AP_Abacus.

The crypto exchange filed its 10-K annual report for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2022, on Feb. 21.

@AP_Abacus noted that the 10-K filing included details of outstanding SEC subpoenas. Referring to the notes on the consolidated statement, @AP_Abacus quoted:

“Based on the ongoing nature of these matters, the outcomes remain uncertain and the Company cannot estimate the potential impact, if any, on its business or financial statements at this time.”

These matters relate to “certain customer programs, operations, and existing and intended future products.” Specifically, the filing mentioned token listing processes, the staking program, and stablecoin and yield generation products.

The company does not believe the matter will have any “material, adverse effect” on overall operations. However, the exchange still cautioned investors that the potential impact could affect results for a particular period.

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Polygon co-founder sees no future for Solana, Aptos, Avalanche, Cardano

https://cryptoslate.com/polygon-co-founder-sees-no-future-for-solana-aptos-avalanche-cardano/

Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal said Ethereum would emerge as the dominant smart contract protocol — with all other competing layer 1s falling by the wayside.

Speaking to Ran Neuner on the Crypto Banter YouTube channel, Nailwal described his future vision of the crypto landscape:

“I don’t think there’s going to be a multi-layer 2 environment. There’ll be a layer 1 environment; there will be one single layer 1, which is Ethereum in my mind.”

User activity will happen on layer 2s that interact with the Ethereum base layer, said Nailwal.

Neuner said, “that’s a big statement,” and asked Nailwal to clarify whether if thinks the likes of Solana, Aptos, Avalanche, and Cardano will eventually disappear.

Nailwal said that none of the previously mentioned protocols had demonstrated significant traction, nor have their respective layer 2s. With that, he declared that no other chain could compete with Ethereum.

“I don’t see any significant traction on any of these chains.”

The video elicited a wide range of comments — one user pointed out that layers 2s exist to patch the failings of the base layer and that “new layer 1s” require no patching.

Others spoke of Nailwal’s shortsightedness for dismissing the multi-chain future.

Polygon woes

On Feb. 21, Polygon announced cutting 20% of its workforce due to prevailing macroeconomic conditions.

Despite the reduction in headcount, the company said it remains in a strong financial position — including cash holdings of over $250 million and a MATIC war chest to the tune of 1.9 billion tokens, valued at approximately $2.7 billion.

Users mentioned a delay in block production that lasted around two hours on Feb. 22. Nailwal attributed the issue to a problem with the native block explorer and recommended users use OKLink in the meantime.

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EMURGO launches Cardano Spot social network

https://cryptoslate.com/emurgo-launches-cardano-spot-social-network/

Blockchain company EMURGO has announced the beta launch of Cardano Spot – a social network for enthusiasts to discuss the ecosystem.

The Managing Director of EMURGO Media Sebastian Zilliacus said the closed beta was released at the end of 2022. Project development has since moved on to the open beta stage, taking into account community feedback, and is now ready for onboarding projects.

“In Closed Beta, we worked silently to build a platform based on community feedback and direction. With Open Beta, we are launching a host of new features and open ourselves to ideas and suggestions from the whole community.”

The Cardano Spot exists to aggregate trustworthy and reliable content into an “all-in-one place.”

More on Cardano Spot

Cardano Spot is an interactive platform based on user-generated content to bring together the Cardano community. It went live on Feb. 16.

“Cardano Blockchain has over thousand projects being built on top of it, along with over 4 million community members. Cardano Spot will serve these native projects and their communities.”

The platform features the following aspects to serve the Cardano community:

  • Community hub – tailored home feed showing posts from followed content creators.
  • News feed – latest updates on developments within the Cardano ecosystem, including educational posts and “how to” content.
  • Project library – listing of Cardano projects containing information to assist research.
  • Events calendar – dates for upcoming events such as webinars and meetups.
  • Market status – market data, including token prices, market cap, and tokenomics.

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CryptoSlate Daily wMarket Update: Another market dump sees Solana leading large cap losses

https://cryptoslate.com/cryptoslate-daily-wmarket-update-another-market-dump-sees-solana-leading-large-cap-losses/

The cryptocurrency market cap saw net outflows of $19 billion over the last 24 hours and currently stands at $1.09 trillion — down 1.7% from $1.11 trillion.

During the reporting period, Bitcoin and Ethereum’s market cap fell 1.9% and 1.7% to $465.96 billion and $201.27 billion, respectively.

All top 10 crypto assets recorded losses over the reporting period. Solana posted the most significant drop, down 6.8%. In contrast, Dogecoin fared best, losing just 0.6%, closely followed by XRP, down 0.7%.

Top 10 cryptocurrencies
Source: CryptoSlate.com

In the last 24 hours, the market caps of Tether (USDT) and USD Coin(USDC) increased to $70.47 billion and $42.21 billion, respectively. Meanwhile, Binance USD (BUSD) fell to $12.44 billion.

Bitcoin

In the last 24 hours, Bitcoin decreased 1.9% to trade at $24,144 as of 07:00 ET. Its market dominance fell to 42.5% from 42.7%.

During the reporting period, BTC peaked at $24,786 before grinding lower to bottom at $23,876 during the early trading hours of today.

Bitcoin chart
Source: TradingView.com

Ethereum

Over the last 24 hours, Ethereum lost 1.7% to trade at $1,644 as of 07:00 ET. Its market dominance stayed flat at 18.4%.

ETH’s price performance mirrored BTC — peaking above $1,686 during the reporting period, leading to a downward trend that bottomed in the early hours.

Ethereum chart
Source: TradingView.com

Top 5 Gainers

Ankr

ANKR is the day’s biggest gainer, rising 46.9% over the reporting period to $0.04885 as of press time. The project announced partnering with Microsoft for node hosting. Its market cap stood at $471.99 million.

RSK Infrastructure Framework

RIF jumped 40.8% to $0.14116 as of press time. The token has risen by 144.6% over the past 30 days. Its market cap stood at $133.64 million.

Synapse

SYN is up 20.1% to trade at $1.63907  as of press time. Its market cap stood at $229.1 million.

Amp

AMP gained 10% in the last 24 hours to trade at $0.00566. Its market cap stood at $238.86 million.

Filecoin

FIL increased 8.4% in the last 24 hours to trade at $8.47105 as of press time. The token is up 57.9% over the past month. Its market cap stood at $3.32 billion.

Top 5 Losers

BinaryX

BNX is the day’s biggest loser, falling 44.1% to $100.621 as of press time. The project recently underwent a token swap and revaluation plan. Its market cap stood at $291.12 million.

Fetch

FET lost 12.2% to trade at $0.42416 at the time of writing. Despite today’s sell-off, FET remains up 48.2% over the past month. Its market cap stood at $347.35 million.

SingulaityNET

AGIX shed 12.1% in the last 24 hours to trade at $0.38982. Despite the sell-off, AGIX is still up 113.3% over the past month. Its market cap stood at $469.4 million.

Injective

INJ fell 11.6% to $3.73421 over the reporting period. Its market cap stood at $272.62 million.

Blur

BLUR dumped 11.1% to $0.96680 in the last 24 hours. The project announced an additional 300 million token airdrop. Its market cap stood at $376.33 million.

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Hong Kong to accelerate Web3 innovation in region with $50 million spend

https://cryptoslate.com/hong-kong-to-accelerate-web3-innovation-in-region-with-50-million-spend/

TRON founder Justin Sun linked details of a $50 million spend by the Hong Kong government to accelerate Web3 development in the region.

Sun called the plan a sign of “readiness to compete in global digital economy.”

Seize Web3 opportunities

Details of Hong Kong’s Web3 ambitions were laid out in a budget document updated on Feb. 22. Lawmakers acknowledged Web3 as “the third generation internet” that will likely disrupt the status quo.

A $50 million spend will fund plans administered by Cyberport, a digital community tasked with fostering start-ups and technology companies run by the Hong Kong government. The organization is tasked with the following:

“organising major international seminars, to enable the industry and enterprises to better grasp frontier development and to promote cross-sectoral business co-operation, as well as arranging a wide array of workshops for young people.”

The document disclosed that “many innovative enterprises” had enquired about setting up a base in the city-state.

It also recognized “Virtual Assets (VA)” as an intrinsic aspect of a “vibrant Web3 ecosystem.” A task force is currently looking into the responsible development of the cryptocurrency sector.

Is Hong Kong a pilot program for the mainland?

Rumors that Hong Kong was softening toward cryptocurrency had been circulating for several months.

In recent weeks, numerous reports confirmed those rumors, including the issuance of tokenized bonds and public consultation on crypto exchanges.

Sun reiterated previous comments about the changing Hong Kong crypto landscape being a pilot program for the mainland.

“The changing attitude of the Hong Kong SAR government towards crypto signals a nod from the Chinese central government granting pilot status to HK for some forward-looking experiments on how can crypto be best adopted and localized for the huge Chinese market at large,”

However, He Yihan, founder and CEO of Red Date Technology, said there would be no U-turn on China’s hardline crypto stance, saying, “It does no good to the real economy.”

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Decentralized storage protocol Filecoin leads top 100 on 27% jump in price

https://cryptoslate.com/decentralized-storage-protocol-filecoin-leads-top-100-on-27-jump-in-price/

Filecoin (FIL) jumped 27% over the last 24 hours to $6.857 at the time of press, leading the top 100 coins by market cap.

A volatile 24 hours has seen large caps experience a minor sell-off, losing momentum, following Bitcoin recording a YTD high of $25,260 around 16:00 (GMT)on Feb. 16.

Nonetheless, standout performances over the last 24 hours from Filecoin, Astar, up 17%, and Rokcet Pool, gaining 15.5%, have bucked this trend.

Filecoin’s YTD gains amount to a 130% increase in price, having started the year at $3.013. In line with general market movements, FIL had been steadily rising throughout January, moving above the 50-day moving average on the 12th.

By Jan. 22, a two-week period ranging between $4.646 and $5.83 began. Having re-tested the $4.646 support zone a second time on Feb. 13, Filecoin began trending higher.

Today, Feb. 17, sees a 27% upswing in the daily candle (coinciding with a 27% increase in price over the last 24 hours) to post a 26-week high.

Filecoin daily chart
Source: FILUSD on TradingView.com

Despite the strong run, FIL is still down 97% from its $236.84 all-time high, achieved on April 1, 2021.

Filecoin Virtual Machine

No new fundamental developments were noted to explain the uptick in buyers.

However, on Jan. 19, the project announced Filecoin Virtual Machine (FVM,) which is set to go live on March 1 during ETHDenver.

FVM is the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) operating on top of the Filecoin protocol, enabling developers to port any EVM smart contract to FVM. This will bring general programmability to the Filecoin storage network, enabling use cases such as perpetual storage, DeFi, and DataDaos.

Datadaos refer to preserving and curating datasets, including research databases, and opening up the value and utility of that data through a tokenized stakeholder system.

“The Filecoin Virtual Machine (FVM) is a runtime environment for smart contracts (also called actors) on the Filecoin network. FVM brings user programmability to Filecoin, unleashing the enormous potential of an open data economy.”

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‘Communist Bitcoiners’ exposed by Ordinals as control freaks

https://cryptoslate.com/communist-bitcoiners-exposed-by-ordinals-as-control-freaks/

Peter McCormack was frank in calling out the “Communist Bitcoiners” for their adverse reaction to Ordinals.

The What Bitcoin Did Podcast host said the best thing about Ordinals is how it “p*sses off” the Bitcoin zealots. He said the fallout uncovered those who seek absolute control and hate anyone making money.

All the bitcoin control freaks have been exposed, they want to tell you what to think, feel and eat.”

McCormack admitted that Ordinals hinder Bitcoin as a monetary medium, but he proceeded to downplay their significance — calling them a fad that would soon fade.

The tweet was met with various responses, including criticism over whitewashing a potential attack vector, dissent over Ordinals as a fad, and debate regarding its monetary impact.

What’s the big deal with Bitcoin Ordinals?

Ordinals began gaining traction around the start of February. However, functionality to extend block sizes and store digital artifacts — including NFTs — has been available since the Taproot upgrade rolled out in November 2021.

Summarizing the situation, Binance stated that, despite the uproar, over 124,000 inscriptions had been made. Inscriptions refer to the metadata that forms the digital artifact.

“Despite push backs from “Bitcoin Maxis”, the Ordinals Protocol has continued to gain steam with over 124K inscriptions created to date.”

Recent investigations in the Bitcoin NFT landscape show huge FOMO — even for cloned collections. Furthermore, given the inadequate infrastructure, there is a distinct lack of transparency and a reliance on trust — which defies the tenet of trustlessness.

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CZ: ‘Landscape is shifting,’ following 15% drop in BUSD market cap

https://cryptoslate.com/cz-landscape-is-shifting-following-15-drop-in-busd-market-cap/

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) said the “landscape is shifting,’ concerning stablecoin movements triggered by recent regulatory pressures.

Tether gains at BUSD’s expense

The Binance CEO tweeted details of changes in the valuations of the top three stablecoins. He said BUSD’s market cap had fallen by almost $2.5 billion to $13.7 billion — a 15% decrease, sinking to a 14-month low.

USDC’s market cap also declined — albeit to a lesser extent — falling 1.7% to $41.5 billion.

Tether is the winner in all this, recording a 3.5% increase in market cap to $70.1 billion — posting a 15-month high in the process.

BUSD market cap dropped -$2.45B (from 16.1B to 13.7B as of now), and most of it has moved to USDT.

USDT marketcap + 2.37B (From 67.8B to 70.1B)

USDC also declined -739M (from 42.3B to 41.5B).”

Changes in stablecoin valuations suggest the market is concerned about recent crackdowns against BUSD, as levied by the SEC and New York Department of Financial Services (NYFDS).

Despite long-running issues with Tether — regarding its reserves and whether the company is sufficiently liquid to meet its liabilities — it seems out of all the major stablecoins, Tether has the most trust from market participants.

On Feb. 16, Tether released a blog post detailing its continued reduction in commercial paper exposure. The company claimed USDT is now 81% backed by cash and cash equivalents.

Binance in hot water?

On Feb. 13, the SEC issued a Wells notice to BUSD-issuer Paxos over allegations the stablecoin is an unregistered security. Shortly after, the NYDFS ordered Paxos to stop BUSD issuance.

CZ has distanced Binance from the enforcement actions — most recently in the above tweet — saying, “BUSD is NOT issued by Binance.”

Binance U.S. is under investigation over potential violations of money laundering rules. Binance Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Hillmann played down the reports, saying the company is in touch with “virtually every regulator across the globe on a daily basis.”

On Feb. 16, Reuters reported details of an inappropriate $404 million transfer from Binance U.S. to a company managed by CZ.

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Nigeria’s CBDC program called ‘a very dark experiment’

https://cryptoslate.com/nigerias-cbdc-program-called-a-very-dark-experiment/

Referencing the e-Naira, Journalist Nick Corbishley said, “A very dark experiment is underway in Nigeria.”

In a tweet posted on Feb. 16, as riots broke out across several Nigerian cities, Corbishley said a failure to convince citizens to adopt the e-Naira has led to a doubling down by the central bank.

Since October 2021, 99.5% of Nigerians have refused to use the central bank’s digital currency, the so-called e-Naira, preferring to continue using cash. So what did the central bank do? It doubled down.

Drawing parallels with what happened in India in 2016, in which high-value bills were demonetized, Corbishley pointed out that Nigerian officials ruled a similar move in December 2022.

The goal is to make it much more difficult for Nigerians to use cash. And it’s working like a dream/nightmare.”

This policy has culminated in a severe cash shortage triggering anger and disruption as businesses refuse to accept old denominations. Incidentally, a general election is set to occur on Feb. 25.

CBDC global expansion on the way

Corbishley said people would die, as they did in India, and businesses will close, turning daily life on its head in the country. However, according to Corbishley, the Nigerian government and central bank “say the pain is worth it.”

Citing data from the Atlantic Council in which 95% of countries are exploring a CBDC, this monetary experiment is coming our way, Corbishley said.

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Hong Kong legalizes crypto trading sparking outcry from Brian Armstrong

https://cryptoslate.com/hong-kong-legalizes-crypto-trading-sparking-outcry-from-brian-armstrong/

Hong Kong citizens will be allowed to buy, sell, and trade crypto assets from June 1, according to the Twitter account @NoodleofBinance.

Current rules limit cryptocurrency trading to professional investors — individuals with a portfolio of at least HK$8 million (US$1.02 million).

@NoodleofBinance called this a bullish event, saying, “Expect a huge influx of big money from the East.” He also called the rollout of a Hong Kong dollar-based stablecoin a “certainty.”

Recent months have seen the growing narrative that China is warming to cryptocurrency and seeks to implement pro-crypto regulation in Hong Kong as a sort of sandbox evaluation.

U.S. crypto regulations lagging behind

Linking the tweet, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong called out U.S. regulators for dragging their feet as far as implementing a unified framework is concerned.

“America risks losing it’s status as a financial hub long term, with no clear regs on crypto, and a hostile environment from regulators.

He said Congress needs to act fast on crypto regulation or lose ground to the U.K., Europe, and now Hong Kong.

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Hoskinson: Contingent staking, why the Cardano community is pushing back

https://cryptoslate.com/contingent-staking-why-the-cardano-community-is-pushing-back/

The Cardano community is divided over contingent staking, with detractors calling it a compliance protocol to appease U.S. lawmakers.

Input Output CEO Charles Hoskinson said he finds such criticisms baffling, putting it down to a misconception of the idea.

“I’m still at a loss reading some of the comments on contingent staking. It’s incredible how polarized some people have become to the extent that they can not understand a basic concept and continue to misrepresent it.

What is contingent staking?

Recent SEC enforcement action against Kraken over its Staking Program has spotlighted staking compliance.

In a recent live stream, the IO CEO spoke about contingent staking — which can be conceptualized as a protocol-level “right to refuse business.”

Stake Pool Operators (SPOs) are businesses, but under the existing Cardano staking model, SPOs cannot refuse delegators (or customers,) unlike a real business, Hoskinson said. For example, the operators of a fried chicken shop being able to refuse to serve a rowdy, unpleasant customer, he said.

However, as things stand, SPOs cannot refuse delegated tokens.

The SPO’s right to refuse delegated tokens “is not, at its core, a compliance protocol,” stressed the IO CEO. Furthermore, contingent staking is simply a multi-sig setup — requiring the delegator’s proposed delegation transaction to be approved by the SPO.

“It’s not, at its core, a protocol about giving the U.S. government control over things.

Hoskinson said this multi-sig approach can be used to “fire” bad customers, get rid of those who don’t conform to your values, and “yes, that pattern can be used for KYC.”

Cardano community divided

A comment in a Reddit post further highlighted the changing narrative — which has gone from decentralized blockchain being an equalizing force, to changes becoming needed for compliance. The poster asked, what other changes are coming down the line?

“The point being made is that if we change it at the base layer to please America now… what other changes will we make later?”

Hoskinson deemed such criticisms “low information, dramatic, knee-jerk reactions,” especially as contingent staking is only a concept for discussion.

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US crypto regulation on track despite recent SEC enforcement actions

https://cryptoslate.com/us-crypto-regulation-on-track-despite-recent-sec-enforcement-actions/

Despite recent SEC enforcement actions against Kraken and Paxos, Jeff Zelkowitz, Executive Vice President at APCO Worldwide, said there is appetite and willingness among U.S. lawmakers to “get something done.”

Zelkowitz shared his U.S. regulatory outlook in CoinMarketCap’s 2023 Crypto Playbook. The Playbook covered what may lie ahead for various sectors, including DeFi and user adoption, according to leading figures in the space.

Crypto regulation was a pressing issue last year, featuring numerous flash points such as the Tornado Cash sanctions and the EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) legislation singling out stablecoins.

For 2023, Zelkowitz concedes there is a long road ahead, but he sees lawmakers making concerted efforts in the right direction.

U.S. crypto regulation is a mess

Recent enforcement actions have fostered the narrative that the SEC is hellbent on hampering the U.S. crypto industry, ultimately driving innovation to friendlier jurisdictions.

However, Zelkowitz has a different take on the matter. He talked about a desire from both political parties to cement U.S. financial dominance, using technology to do so. At the same time, Zelkowitz conceded that lawmakers must balance this with tackling bad actors.

“What is clear is that U.S. policymakers from both major parties want to reinforce American leadership in the global financial system and at the technological frontier – while defending this frontier against bad actors.”

A key criticism of the U.S. regulatory approach to digital assets is the lack of a unified framework. The upshot of this means oversight is done through a jumble of state and federal financial regulators applying existing legislation. Some argue that this method cannot appropriately capture the nuances of cryptocurrencies.

Adopting this approach also creates an overlap, even friction, between different regulators, further muddying the waters on compliance.

The U.S. regulatory outlook

Recent efforts to rectify this issue include the White House’s Executive Order and Senators Gillibrand and Lummis’s proposal for the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, which Zelkowitz cited as evidence of the “collegial tone” between U.S. lawmakers in pushing for appropriate crypto regulation.

However, this momentum came unstuck due to the U.S. midterm elections and the FTX collapse, Zelkowitz said.

Referring to several high-profile SEC enforcement actions, including the ongoing case against Ripple, Zelkowitz admitted that the general public has been “roiled” by the apparent unfairness of the case. But he explained the agency’s stance as grounded in decades-old securities legislation.

In turn, this is opening up calls for the CFTC to step in and make its mark – a move championed by some who view the CFTC as a “softer touch” compared to the SEC.

Regardless of whether that is the case or not, there remains a gulf to close in deciding how to move forward, starting with the classification of cryptocurrencies as either securities or commodities.

Zelkowitz acknowledged there is much more work to do in shaping an appropriate framework. But thankfully, he sees a readiness from both political parties to make it happen.

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Bitcoiners direct Jordan Peterson to Lightning Network over GoFundMe

https://cryptoslate.com/bitcoiners-direct-jordan-peterson-to-lightning-network-over-gofundme/

Canadian Clinical Psychologist Jordan Peterson was advised to use the Bitcoin Lightning Network over GoFundMe to raise funds for a friend who had suffered a string of misfortunes.

Peterson tweeted that his friend Charles Joseph, an indigenous person of the Pacific Northwest Coast, had recently lost his wife, leaving him to raise three children alone.

Further tragedy struck when Joesph’s carving shed caught fire, burning down his adjoining house. Joseph managed to escape with his children, suffering minor burns.

Helping Joseph, Peterson set up a GoFundMe, contributing CAD$10,000 ($7.4k) to kick off the fundraiser. The GoFundMe page detailed the extent of Joseph’s situation, including his predicament with insurance and ownership rights.

“The insurance situation is not clear: Charles had just recently moved into this house and the transition from previous owner to current had not been finalized. There is plenty of ambiguity about such things as ownership on the reserves in Canada, and it is not obvious how this is going to be resolved, or what Charles is going to do in the meantime.”

As of press time, the GoFundMe campaign has raised over CAD$30,200 ($22.5k) through over 260 donors.

Bitcoin Lightning Network

Chiming in, Journalist Joe Nakamoto said posting a Lightning Network address would increase the campaign’s reach, adding, “A lot of people have had enough of GoFundMe.

Peterson replied, “I don’t know how to do this. Enlighten me if you would.” The response was met with offers of help to set up an address and users pledging to donate Bitcoin. However, one user dismissed the significance of Lightning, saying most Bitcoiners “don’t even use it.”

Despite the initial interest, Peterson has yet to post a Lightning address.

Canadian Truckers

GoFundMe’s reputation was damaged last February over its treatment of Canadian Truckers protesting mandatory vaccinations and vaccine passports.

The crowdfunding platform froze the campaign, which had accrued CAD$10,000,000 ($9.7 million) in support of the truckers. A statement from the firm said reports from police of “violence and other unlawful activity” informed the decision.

“We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity.”

Prime minister Justin Trudeau later enacted emergency powers that legalized the freezing of bank accounts associated with truckers and their supporters. This action coincided with a police operation to remove protestors forcefully.

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Peter Schiff deems Kevin O’Leary, Mark Cuban crypto sell-outs

https://cryptoslate.com/peter-schiff-deems-kevin-oleary-mark-cuban-crypto-sell-outs/

Gold bug Peter Schiff said Kevin O’Leary and Mark Cuban had sold out to crypto companies over the lure of sh*tcoins.

Crypto’s “sexy story” did not fool Schiff

Speaking to Anthony Pompilano in a recent interview, the pair discussed several topics, including the macro, assets for protection, and the debt ceiling. However, of particular interest was Schiff’s take on crypto marketing.

When asked about “nefarious actions” that hurt investors, Schiff quickly pointed out that the easy money, casino-like environment of cryptocurrency encouraged fraud and get-rich-quick schemes.

Further, Schiff says that this problem “feeds on itself” in that crypto investors who make money are seen by others who experience FOMO, thus perpetuating a cycle of contagion.

“Crypto, I think, almost was a perfect asset for that. It had a real sexy story. When I first heard the story, I understood money too much to get taken in on it.”

This strategy was a huge success for early investors, conceded Schiff, but still came off the back of “marketing this pyramid, Ponzi, chain letter; however you want to describe it.”

Schiff then blasted the central banks and their quantitative easing policies, which encouraged a glut of cheap borrowing, further fueling the cycle.

The role of celebrities

Turning his attention to celebrities, entertainers, sports stars, and influencers, Schiff said crypto companies tempt them by offering sh*tcoins in return for promoting to their followers.

Throwing out the example of Kevin O’Leary, Schiff said, previously, the Canadian entrepreneur was a fierce critic of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. However, O’Leary flipped pro-crypto after accepting an FTX endorsement deal.

“Kevin O’Leary only changed his mind because he was paid to change his mind. He became a shill for a crypto company. He was negative on BItcoin until someone paid him to be positive on it. So, he sold out.”

Schiff said the same thing happened with Mark Cuban, who was previously skeptical of Bitcoin, until “he got into NFTs and all of a sudden had laser eyes, whatever.”

There was so much money at the height of this bubble, but that bubble has now popped, said Schiff.

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Bitcoin spikes to $22,330 after dip on worse than expected CPI data

https://cryptoslate.com/bitcoin-spikes-to-22330-after-dip-on-worse-than-expected-cpi-data/

The release of January’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) data showed inflation at 6.4% year-on-year (YoY). This came in worse than the estimated 6.2% figure.

Bitcoin initially sunk 1.4% on the news and was trading just short of $21,640.

However, approximately an hour after the announcement, bulls took control, spiking the price as high as $22,330.

Bitcoin chart
Source: BTCUSDT on TradingView.com

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Bitcoin’s top and bottom correlation with gold, the S&P 500, and US property

https://cryptoslate.com/bitcoins-top-and-bottom-correlation-with-gold-the-sp-500-and-us-property/

Data analyzed by CryptoSlate showed a degree of relationship between Bitcoin tops and bottoms in relation to those of gold, the S&P 500, and the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index (CSHPI).

Bitcoin versus others

The chart below interlays the price of BTC, gold, the S&P 500, and CSHPI. It was noted that when Bitcoin bottomed during the covid crash in March 2020, the price of the other three assets/indices also bottomed soon after, except for CSHPI.

Bitcoin, gold, S&P 500, and Case Shiller
Source: TradingView.com

Examining the tops on an expanded timeframe also shows mixed results for BTC as a leading indicator. Bitcoin topped $69,000 in November 2021, the S&P 500 followed by the year-end, followed by the CSHPI, which peaked in January 2022.

However, gold had topped at $2,070 around August 2020, some 15 months prior to BTC topping.

Bitcoin, gold, S&P500, and Case Shiller
Source: TradingView.com

In summary, the data points to a high degree of bottoming correlation between Bitcoin, gold, and the S&P 500, but not U.S. property. The covid period was a black swan event that would have exerted sell pressure among liquid asset classes.

Regarding topping, Bitcoin displayed a strong degree of correlation with the S&P 500 and the CSHPI, but not with gold.

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Zilliqa ROLL1NG THUND3RZ Web3 console, ecosystem launches soon

https://cryptoslate.com/zilliqa-roll1ng-thund3rz-web3-console-ecosystem-launches-soon/

Zilliqa co-founder Max Kantelia announced the launch of ROLL1NG THUND3ERZ, calling the progress made to date a “monumental achievement.”

“I think this is a tremendous model for us as long as we are careful in selecting the right people, who have the right backgrounds, and the right visions for how they want to build long-term sustainable businesses.”

Kantelia was speaking with Zilliqa’s Head of Gaming, Valentin Cobelea, in an AMA on the future of Web3 gaming when the announcement was made.

ROLL1NG THUND3ERZ refers to a Web3 gaming and hardware company. Rather than adapting blockchain tech for gaming, ROLL1NG THUND3RZ develops fun games that utilize blockchain.

“At ROLL1NG THUND3RZ, our philosophy is building fun games that leverage the unique capabilities of blockchain, not the other way around.”

Zilliqa console not needed

In September 2022, Zilliqa announced plans to launch a Web3 gaming console, saying it planned to onboard millions of non-crypto users into its ecosystem.

The announcement was accompanied by pics of the prototype, showing various ports, including HDMI, Ethernet and USB-C, and USB 3.0. But details of its hardware were kept under wraps at the time.

The console has since been named “Lightn1ng,” but today’s announcement clarified that the “Gaming Hub ecosystem” is accessible on a desktop without the Lightn1ng console.

What is ROLL1NG THUND3ERZ?

During the AMA, Cobelea said the name ROLL1NG THUND3ERZ was inspired by the lyrics from the AC/DC song Hells Bells, which captured the project’s “forces of nature” approach to gaming.

In describing what the company does, Cobelea said ROLL1NG THUND3ERZ is more than a gaming studio. The company also emphasizes and develops the tooling enabling any developer to build games and dApps. 

“If we think in the long run, we cannot build just a game, that doesn’t work. We have to start with the tools so we can allow any kind of developer, including ourselves, to build applications and games on top of the Zilliqa blockchain.”

Commenting on the significance of the Lightn1ng console, Cobelea said it offers a plug-and-play way of accessing an optimized version of the Hub.

However, on the matter of the Lightn1ng console facing an uphill battle against Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, Cobelea said the firm is not competing directly because “we have the Web3 component,” in addition to ledger and crypto mining functionality.

The company is aiming for a March 31 release for the Hub.

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Messari founder accuses SEC Chair Gensler of foul play

https://cryptoslate.com/messari-founder-accuses-sec-chair-gensler-of-foul-play/

Messari founder Ryan Selkis accused SEC Chair Gary Gensler of acting with a conflict of interest, conspiring against the crypto industry.

Chair Gensler is a fraud, a destructive force to our capitalist system, and a $100mm ex-banker pulling up the ladder after himself.

The comment was made following SEC allegations that Paxos committed securities law violations over the issuance of its Binance USD (BUSD) stablecoin.

Crypto in the ironsights

On Feb. 9, Kraken said it was forced to end its staking program for U.S. customers following enforcement action by the SEC. The crypto exchange also disclosed paying a $30 million fine as part of the settlement deal.

SEC Commissioner Pierce clarified that the SEC does not have staking policies, meaning there are no guidelines for an exchange to meet staking compliance.

Why is the SEC targeting crypto?

Former SEC Advisor — now Policy Director at Paradigm — Justin Slaughter labeled recent events as “a divide between crypto and the SEC.” The SEC wants “to pre-clear” individual cases using current regulations, He said.

Slaughter clarified his position, saying he has recently become “less sympathetic” due to the lack of regulatory progress.

Personally, I was pretty sympathetic to the SEC’s position five years ago (the questions posed by crypto are hard! Learning about a new space takes time), but have gotten less sympathetic since there’s been no progress on regulations over that time.

Host of the Bankless Podcast Ryan Adams holds a different point of view of the SEC — compliance is impossible for crypto firms to achieve, he said.

“This is by design.”

Selkis not impressed

Selkis echoed Adams’ sentiment, saying he intended to end Gensler’s political career over what he deemed unjustifiable enforcement actions.

My new goal in life is to end @GaryGensler’s political career and make him the reason Biden loses reelection.”

The Messari founder later tweeted a list of reasons why Gensler is a “disgrace,” referring to Gensler’s ties to banking, his incorrect reference to Satoshi Nakamoto and the unusual relationship the SEC had with fraudulent exchange FTX.

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