FTX Continues to Spread Brand Awareness With Formula One Team Mercedes-AMG Petronas Sponsorship

FTX Continues to Spread Brand Awareness With Formula One Team Mercedes-AMG Petronas Sponsorship Deal

FTX, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, has signed a long-term partnership deal with the Formula One (F1) Team, Mercedes-AMG Petronas as announced on Thursday. While FTX has made numerous other collaborations in the last year, this particular one is set to scale significantly from the benefits that come with the deal. While full details of the partnership haven’t been fully announced, it is expected to see the FTX logo prominently branded on the Mercedes-Benz race cars, driver’s gears, in the garage, and in communication centers as part of the deal. The branding on the F1 team is to be unveiled at the upcoming Russian Grand Prix, scheduled for 26th September this year. The FTX logos are to be featured on the Formula One race team for the next multiple seasons.

FTX also intends to utilize the Mercedes racers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to expand its global market reach among the Formula One fan base.

The partnership between the two teams is set to launch strategic initiatives such as FTX Pay integration, NFT assortment, and other corporate social ideas and initiatives for the future.

This year is remarkable for the number of corporate deals signed with the crypto space. Well-known car brands and world-famous race teams have been entering the blockchain and cryptocurrency space in great numbers. Beginning of this year, Crypto.com, another well-known crypto exchange, signed a sponsorship reportedly worth $100 million with Formula One, and now FTX venture into motorsport marks the latest announced official move.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Canada’s Security Regulator Releases New Guidance for Crypto-Trading Firms

Canada’s Security Regulator Releases New Guidance for Crypto-Trading Firms Relating to Advertising and Marketing

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) has released fresh guidance for cryptocurrency exchanges on advertising and marketing along with the use of social media.

An umbrella group for securities regulators in the country, CSA published the guidelines this week in collaboration with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada after they became aware of certain advertising activities and marketing strategies by crypto trading platforms (CTPs) that may breach certain requirements of securities legislation and/or raise investor protection or public interest concerns.

According to the joint staff notice, it assists those CTPs that are registered as a dealer, have applied for registration, or are considering establishing as a CTP.

The notice covers the false or misleading statements made in advertising and marketing materials and improper “gambling style” promotions and schemes that encourage trading or excessively risky trading.

“We wish to remind CTPs that registered dealers have an important role as gatekeepers of the integrity of the capital markets. They should not, by act or omission, engage in or facilitate conduct that brings the market into disrepute.”

These guidelines come on the heels of Canadian regulators tightening their noose on unregistered service providers.

As we reported last month, its security regulator prohibited regulated crypto exchanges from trading in Tether (USDT) stablecoin. In June, Binance announced that it is restricting its services for users in Ontario for “compliance” reasons. Earlier this year, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) had filed an enforcement action against crypto exchanges.

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Author: AnTy

Solana-Based DAO Developer, Grape Network, Raises $1.2 Million in Funding

Solana-Based DAO Developer, Grape Network, Raises $1.2 Million in Funding

The blockchain resurgence is still in full swing, with several leading platforms – and the projects built on them – seeing more attention.

The most recent on the roll call is Grape Network – a network for building decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that runs on the Solana blockchain.

Two Impressive Funding Rounds in a Week

Grape’s objective is to make it easier for decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols and non-fungible token (NFT) projects to create their DAOs. Despite just launching five months ago, it is quickly becoming an integral part of the Solana blockchain.

So integral is Grape that it closed a $1.2 million funding round. The round was led by Multicoin Capital – a crypto and blockchain investment firm based in Austin, Texas. Other participants include SkyVision Capital, LongHash Ventures, and even Solana Capital.

Grape’s recent funding round is coming after the company had raised $600,000 via an Initial Decentralized Exchange Offering (IDO) on the Raydium AcceleRaytor crowdfunding platform just last week. Grape’s IDO was famous for having caused an outage on the entire Solana network that lasted about 17 hours.

At the time, Dean Pappas, Grape’s co-founder, had explained that they were quite happy with the IDO’s performance. If investor demand for Grape had caused a network like Solana to go down, it showed that they are indeed on the right path.

Like it did with its IDO, Grape completed its latest funding round via a token sale. Papas told industry news sources that they would be looking to use the funds to upscale and improve on their current products. Pappas pointed out that demand for Grape’s toolset has already beaten their expectations, and they would be hoping to improve their workforce and capacity to handle demand and keep up with their developmental roadmap.

Grape already saw significant progress with its Grape Access tool, which lets DAOs provide access to community members based on their wallet balances. The tool connects users’ cryptographic keys with their social accounts, thus identifying real network contributors and delegating tasks to them to further the DAO’s objective.

Solana Projects Doing Numbers

Grape hopes to improve the efficiency and seamlessness involved in running DAOs, giving a sneak preview of more things to come, Papas told news sources that Grape is also looking to launch an intra-DAO payment system that will make it possible for DAOs to program quicker payments.

Grape isn’t the only Solana-native protocol that raised capital this year. Earlier this week, Orca – a decentralized exchange built on the blockchain – completed a Series A funding round valued at $18 million. The round was led by Three Arrows Capital, with participation from Polychain Capital, Solana Capital, Coinbase Ventures, and more.

Orca explained that the funds would be used to improve its automated market maker (AMM) solutions for the Solana (SOL) blockchain. The project, which is less than a year old, explained that it hopes to differentiate itself from other AMMs by offering a better user experience.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

While “Not an Issue Yet,” BoE Deputy Gov Sees Growing Appetite for Crypto Among Both Retail and Institutions

While “Not an Issue Yet,” BoE Deputy Governor Sees Growing “Appetite” for Crypto Among Both Retail and Institutions

While not wanting to stop firms from doing things that make commercial sense, Sam Woods calls for a “very conservative view” on capital measures.

The Bank of England Deputy Governor doesn’t want the banks to have big exposure to crypto-assets not backed by sufficient capital, and for that, if they would have to front-run global rules, he would.

Sam Woods said on Thursday that Britain’s banks at the point “don’t have material exposures to crypto” but added that there is certainly “an investor appetite and not just retail, also institutional investor appetite to have a little bit of this stuff.”

He further noted that some of the banks have announced their plans to provide ancillary services “that may be OK but as that develops and if it develops into something big, we are going to need to make sure the capital treatment is pretty robust,” Woods told Reuters.

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BIS), which is a global banking supervisory authority, has already laid down capital requirements for banks that hold crypto assets. The committee has proposed punitive charges for not meeting them that lenders said would make their involvement in the cryptocurrency sector prohibitive.

According to Woods, Basel’s proposals were “quite sensible,” and that the regulatory community was starting to get a better grip on the cryptocurrency sector.

Still, it can take years to adopt norms that would need to be implemented by members like the European Union, the US, and Britain.

“We would not want to stop firms doing things that make commercial sense, but we would take a very conservative view on capital treatment, and if necessary, we would therefore front run, maybe not exactly in the same way, but we would put some capital measures in place,” Woods said. “It’s not an issue yet.”

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Author: AnTy

Mark Cuban Advocates for DeFi’s Role in Shaping the Future of Banking

Mark Cuban Advocates for DeFi’s Role in Shaping the Future of Banking

Mark Cuban, the billionaire and cryptocurrency enthusiast has continued his campaign to supports cryptocurrencies in whatever way he can.

As the Dallas Mavericks owner is wont to do, he once again propper up decentralized finance (DeFi) as a viable alternative to the traditional global banking system,

Convenience Wins Every Time

Earlier this week, Cuban went on one of his usual social media monologues, where he touted the simplicity of DeFi over the complex and bureaucratic processes employed by the biggest banks. As Cuban explained, DeFi brings ease to financial processes like lending and borrowing.

While the loan application process with a traditional bank might be tedious, anyone can get on a DeFi protocol and get a loan in minutes.

Another benefit that Cuban pointed out with DeFi is that anyone can play the role of an institution. People with enough capital can provide loans from the comfort of their homes and ear interest – whether through direct payouts or staking.

The billionaire added that he didn’t think DeFi would eventually end banks – because banks, as he said, aren’t stupid. However, he shared his belief that DeFi would disrupt the banking space. Evolution could see banks step into DeFi or integrate it somehow. But, DeFi will have a major role to play in how banks operate in the future.

A Call for Regulation

Cuban has been known to balance his optimism about the growth of crypto and DeFi with his belief that regulation is important. Back in June, the billionaire caused quite a stir as he called for stablecoin and DeFi regulation.

At the time, Cuban had been a victim of the Iron Finance fold-up. The DeFi protocol fell victim to a “historical bank run,” which caused its stablecoin’s price to move off the peg. As a result, Iron Finance’s TITAN token lost almost 100 percent of its value, and the protocol itself was forced to shut down.

Speaking to Bloomberg following the incident, Cuban explained that stablecoins would need better regulation going forward. The billionaire blamed himself for not doing enough research on Iron Finance but added that regulation would be the best way for projects to thrive and affect change.

Despite criticism from many in the industry, Cuban has remained committed to his belief that regulation will be the best way to move the crypto and DeFi spaces forward.

Adding to his regulatory call, Cuban recently asked that the government and financial regulatory agencies adopt a proof-of-authority basis for crypto oversight. In a tweet, Cuban explained that he’d be open to crypto regulation as long as it can be created based on existing fraud laws.

The billionaire added that the ideal crypto laws would need identity and proof of authority. This way, regulations can achieve their goal of encouraging innovation and protecting investors. While this would reduce the privacy and anonymity of cryptocurrencies, Cuban believes that it is a healthy trade-off for the regulatory clarity and stability that the crypto market would be getting.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Cleveland Fed President Supports Tapering in November and is “Open Minded” about a Digital Dollar

Cleveland Fed President Supports Tapering in November and is “Open Minded” about a Digital Dollar

Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said Friday she supports the US central bank to start tapering its bond purchases at the next monetary policy meeting. Mester during a speech to the Ohio Bankers League said,

“In my view, the economy has met those conditions, and I support starting to dial back our purchases in November and concluding them over the first half of next year.”

However, this “should not be taken as a signal that the FOMC plans to raise the fed funds rate any time soon,” added Mester, who will be a voting member of the Fed’s interest-rate committee next year.

According to her, the standard the Fed has set for the first-rate hike is expected to be met by the end of next year. Though the economy has “largely” met the Fed’s bar, it is still some distance from maximum employment,” she said.

The Fed has been making a total of $120 billion purchase, $80 billion of Treasury bonds, and $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities each month since last summer while keeping the long-term interest rates virtually zero to support the economy.

Earlier this week, Fed chair Jerome Powell said they could start paring down its purchases at its next meeting on Nov. 3.

In her remarks, Mester said despite the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic creating a headwind to growth; she expects a strong 5.5% growth rate this year. She also expected price pressure to wane over time, though inflation remains elevated relative to the Fed’s 2% target.

As for the US unemployment rate, she sees it falling to 4.75% by the end of this year and then 4% next year. In August, the unemployment rate fell to 5.2%, from the April 2020 peak of 14.8%. Just before the pandemic struck in February last year, it recorded 3.5%.

Mester also commented on a central bank digital currency, saying she is open-minded on the potential for having a US CBDC. But she wants policymakers to first think through how a digital dollar could affect financial stability and the banking system.

“I’m actually at this point open minded,” Mester said during the event.

A discussion paper on digital fiat is due to be released soon by the Fed that will lay out the costs and benefits and invite the public to comment, Mester said, adding that it will be important to generate broad consensus from the government and the public before moving forward with it.

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Author: AnTy

4th State Issues an Emergency Cease and Desist Order Against Crypto Lender Celsius Network

4th State Issues an Emergency Cease and Desist Order Against Crypto Lender Celsius Network

Cryptocurrency lending platform Celsius Network has now received an emergency cease and desist order from Kentucky’s securities regulator over its “Earn Interest Accounts.”

On Thursday, Kentucky joined three other states, including Alabama, New Jersey, and Texas, that last week took similar actions.

The Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions has ordered the company to stop offering its interest-paying accounts in the state, calling the accounts “an unregulated market that represents an unprecedented risk to consumers.”

In its order, the regulator said, Celsius offers unregistered securities to its customers, which is in violation of state law. It further said that the company didn’t sufficiently disclose to customers what it did with their deposits.

The regulator also has issues with the language regarding interest earned on certain crypto accounts that Celsius calls “rewards” or a “financing fee.”

According to the order, Celsius can either request an emergency hearing to challenge the decision or appeal it in court.

Last week, in a live-streamed ask-me-anything (AMA), Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky dismissed the company’s standoff with state watchdogs, saying he welcomes the chance to educate the US regulators.

“Any regulator who wants to learn more about what we do: we collaborate, cooperate and we don’t see any issues with that – the opposite.”

Mashinsky further said that regulators “should be cheering” for crypto lending service providers because “we’re effectively helping redistribute wealth and provide opportunity for everybody, not just the 1%,” before commenting, “regulators are here to protect consumers.”

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Investors Approaching Large Institutions in Bond Market for Loans Against Digital Assets

Crypto Investors Approaching Large Institutions in Bond Market for Loans Against Digital Assets

The largest institutions are seeing increased inquiries for loans from crypto investors, revealed TCW Group portfolio manager Bryan Whalen.

During a panel discussion this week at the Morningstar Investment Conference, Whalen said crypto investors are seeking loans for big institutions against their crypto assets. This is particularly happening in the bond market, he added.

“The market is starting to knock on the doors of big institutions, even in the bond world,” said Whalen, who manages $225 billion as the head of TWC’s fixed income group. “What I’ve found has crept our way is incoming inquiries about the question of lending against crypto.”

While TCW does not service requests, he suggested others such as alternative asset managers and hedge funds might.

One of the biggest asset management firms, Fidelity Investments, has partnered with crypto lender BlockFi to allow institutional clients to take loans against their BTC holdings.

“For us the role of crypto is really a cross-market, cross-company conversation,” said Robin Foley, the chief investment officer of bonds for Fidelity. “We are looking to the future as the market evolves.”

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Tanks on Same Old China Ban News, But Investors Who Sell Here Will End Up “Bummed”

Cryptocurrency Market Tanks on the Same Old China Ban News, But Investors Who Sell Here Will End Up “Bummed”

As China banned crypto yet again, Jeremy Allaire of Circle urged the US to “be on the right side of history; embrace the open internet of value.”

Crypto markets have just made a decent recovery with Bitcoin going above $45k, Ether nearly $3,200, and the total crypto market cap above $2 trillion when China struck again with its same-old repetitive news of cryptocurrency ban.

Despite the news of crypto mining and trading ban coming from China for nearly the last 8 years, it managed to spook investors once again and drove them to sell.

The deep March sell-off was also in part caused by China’s ban, and you would expect by now, the market would be immune to such ripples due to the same old news, but sadly not. Crypto assets once again dropped, with Bitcoin going to $40,700, Ether $2,730, and the total market cap to $1.92 trillion.

As of writing, Bitcoin is trading around $41,000, and Ether is hovering just below $2,800.

The good thing about this dip is buying the China dip has worked out well historically for the buyer.

As Pantera Capital noted in its June report, “Investors who sell on China “bans” usually end up bummed…” which happened not only in the case of Bitcoin but also Google, Facebook, and every other disruptive tech that they banned.

On Friday, a notice on “Further Preventing and Disposing of the Risk of Hype in Virtual Currency Trading” appeared on China’s central bank website dated Sept 15.

“Recently, virtual currency trading hype activities have risen, disrupting economic and financial order, breeding illegal and criminal activities such as gambling, illegal fund-raising, fraud, pyramid schemes, and money laundering, and seriously endangering the safety of people’s property.”

To further prevent and deal with the risks and effectively maintain national security and social stability, it notes that virtual currency does not have the same legal status as legal currency, and related business activities are illegal financial activities.

Anyone investing in virtual currency and related derivatives that violates public order and good customs will be subject to investigation, it said.

Additionally, overseas exchanges offering their services to Chinese residents through the internet are described as “an illegal financial activity.”

The notice calls for multi-level risk prevention and disposal system in which financial institutions and non-bank payment institutions shall not provide services for virtual currency-related business activities.

It explicitly mentions “severely crack down on illegal financial activities” and “criminal activities” related to virtual currencies. If a crime is committed, it must be transferred to the judicial organ for investigation and punishment according to law.

The PBOC also ordered to strengthen the management of Internet information content and access and the registration and advertising management of market entities, all related to virtual currency.

In response to China’s crypto ban, Jeremy Allaire, co-founder and CEO of Circle, urged the US to “be on the right side of history; embrace the open internet of value.”

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Author: AnTy

IOHK to Launch a dApp Marketplace and Fractional NFTs on Cardano (ADA) Blockchain

IOHK to Launch a dApp Marketplace and Fractional NFTs on Cardano (ADA) Blockchain

The Cardano blockchain has been on a significant expansion spree following the launch of its smart contract feature. Now that smart contracts are live, the blockchain’s developers- Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) – are wasting no time making it more functional.

Bringing All Available dApps to One Place

On Wednesday, IOHK published a blog post announcing that they would be looking to launch a store for decentralized applications (dApps) on the Cardano blockchain. The store – called Plutus – will serve as a central repository for all dApps launched on Cardano, making it easier for community members to find them.

The blog post included a snapshot of Cardano’s “integrated approach” to the development of its ecosystem. The company is looking to make Plutus a central part of its Cardano Summit.

Shruti Appiah, Cardano’s product and smart contracts lead, pointed out that Plutus will address two issues primarily. The first problem is the lack of a formal discovery process for Cardano’s dApps, while the second is the absence of a consolidated view of the dApps. On Plutus, Cardano users will be able to run through all available apps on the chain through a single “web page.”

IOHK added that it would also add a certification program for third-party dApps on Cardano. This way, third-party developers would build their apps and launch on the blockchain, and certification will make these apps more trustworthy to users.

The spate of announcements didn’t stop there, however. The next day, dcSpark – a fast-rising blockchain startup – announced a new Cardano-based project called Fracada. The project will integrate with Cardano’s Plutus language to make it possible for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to be broken down into “fractions.”

Using fractionalization, people will be able to purchase parts of an NFT if they don’t have the funds to buy the whole thing. It is unclear whether there will be an equally large market for fractionalized NFTs. Still, NFT functionality coming to the Cardano blockchain is another impressive feat that’s coming thanks to the introduction of smart contracts.

Good Times for Cardano

It has been an exciting two weeks for the Cardano blockchain. Much anticipation was built towards the launch of smart contracts on the chain through the Alonzo hard fork, and the successful implementation of the hard fork bright a new wave of adoption.

Data shows that over 200 smart contracts have been listed on the Cardano blockchain, showing that developers are now looking to build on it. Charles Hoskinson, the founder of IOHK, has publicly bragged that the introduction of smart contracts on Cardano now means that the decentralized finance (DeFi) space is now “up for grabs.” he pointed out that the “winning” blockchains will be those to focus on multi-chain support and liquidity, and this is what they plan to do at Cardano.

Last month, dcSpark confirmed that its sidechain project would also bring Ethereum-compatible smart contracts to the Cardano blockchain. As the market continues to grow, Cardano could be putting itself in a unique position.

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Author: Jimmy Aki