Ethereum Layer 2 StarkNet Alpha Launches on Mainnet

Amidst this, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has been introducing a new improvement proposal, EIP- 4488, to cut the gas fees on layer 2 solutions.

After Optimism and Arbitrum, another Ethereum layer 2 is ready for use.

StarkWare, Ethereum L2 developer using ZK-rollups, has announced the launch of StarkNet Alpha on Ethereum mainnet five months after going live on a public testnet.

A permissionless Rollup, StarkNet offers scalability to Dapps building on the second-largest network without compromising Ethereum’s composability and security.

StarkNet is built on the Cairo programming language and powers all their production-grade applications, which have settled over 50 million transactions and $250 billion since Summer 2020.

Meanwhile, its tailor-made Ethereum scaling solution, StarEx, is used by several known projects such as dYdX, Immutable, and Sorare.

StarkNet Alpha also enables general computation smart contracts that support composability, both with other StarkNet contracts and via L1<>L2 messaging with L1 contracts. It also operates in a Rollup mode, meaning all the state diff data is sent on-chain.

Users are advised to use it cautiously as StarkNet Alpha is yet to be audited, and the project may also “delay” the audit until the network matures.

While starting with no transaction fees, StarkNet Alpha will introduce a fee mechanism in its next upgrade, which is a few weeks away.

About two weeks back, Israel-based StarkWare, the developer behind StarkNet, raised $60 million in a Series C funding round that puts its valuation at $2 billion. This new funding came after it raised $75 million in Series B round this year in March.

The latest funding round was led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from existing investors, including Alameda Research, Paradigm, Three Arrows Capital, and Founders Fund. StarkWare will use the fresh funding to grow its team and ecosystem.

Last week, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and Ether developer Ansgar Dietrichs authored a new improvement proposal, EIP- 4488, to cut the gas fees on layer 2 solutions.

This is to be achieved by decreasing transaction calldata cost, a primary mechanism for Optimistic Rollups and ZK-Rollups, and by adding a ceiling for total transaction calldata in a block.

While sharding is a long-term solution to scale Ethereum, this proposal is a short-term solution that can reduce gas fees, possibly before the end of this year.

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Author: AnTy

Another Billion-Dollar Venture Fund Launched for Crypto Investment

While the market is bearish, money is flowing into the market. But the former Citigroup executive’s latest fund is in preparation for a crypto winter “within 2-3 years on the horizon.”

While the $2.7 trillion market has been taking a break from an uptrend this month, money continues to flow as another billion-dollar crypto fund gets launched.

Former Citigroup executive Matt Zhang is launching a $1.5 billion venture fund Hivemind Capital Partners focused on cryptocurrency-related investments.

Zhang said his investment firm had received “a decent amount of interest” from qualified institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, family offices, pensions, and endowments.

“We believe blockchain technology is a paradigm shift, and we are still in the early innings. Our mission is to provide start-to-finish capital and infrastructure solutions to visionary entrepreneurs and category-defining crypto projects.”

Earlier this month, Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehsram and Matt Huang, former partner of Sequoia Capital, launched a record $2.5 billion new VC crypto fund, which topped the $2.2 billion investment fund announced by Andreessen Horowitz in June.

Hivemind Capital Partners meanwhile expects to add four to five more partners in the next 6-12 months. Citigroup itself is looking to hire 100 people to bolster its digital assets team.

The firm will be investing in four key strategies viz. risk and return management, venture capital, cryptocurrency trading, and “play to earn,” for which it has onboarded ex-Goldman Sachs analyst Sam Peurifoy to lead a dedicated “play-to-earn” strategy.

For this, they have also chosen Algorand as their first strategic partner.

Hivemind’s play-to-earn strategy will begin with building and expanding gaming communities. “We can put a great deal of care into planning ahead for how we can best support members of society” to help them potentially migrate to a digital ecosystem where they can live and earn money, said Peurifoy.

The new funding could also be in preparation for a downtrend as Zhang, who plans to run the funds’ crypto trading arm himself, said he expects the arrival of a “crypto winter.”

“Within two years, three years on the horizon, there will be a huge trading opportunity — market volatility will go up and down.”

But it is hard to be bearish in the current environment when so much money is flowing in the crypto market as investment firm CMS Holdings tweeted,

“I will simply not become bearish till we stop having billion-dollar raises every week.”

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Author: AnTy

Investment Firm Launches Another Attempt at Ether Futures ETF With Kelly Ethereum Ether Strategy ETF

Investment Firm Launches Another Attempt at Ether Futures ETF With Kelly Ethereum Ether Strategy ETF

Kelly Strategic Management has filed for an Ether Futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The Kelly Ethereum Ether Strategy ETF is an actively managed fund that will invest in cash-settled Ether futures contracts traded on CME, as per the filing.

In February of this year, CME launched Ether futures, and it limits these futures contracts to 8,000 contracts for an applicable month, with each contract representing 50 ETH.

CME will also be rolling out micro Ether futures that will be one-tenth of one Ether on Dec. 6. Micro Ether futures would provide an efficient, cost-effective way for individual and institutional investors to hedge their price risk as liquidity in Ether futures contracts grows steadily among institutional traders, said CME at the time.

The second-largest cryptocurrency is enjoying an uptrend today as it surpassed $4,740, up 520% YTD, only to follow Bitcoin and drop back to $4,585 as of writing.

This move from the Denver-based firm comes about three months after VanEck and ProShares pulled their similar filings following several Bitcoin Futures ETF applications. It was speculated at the time that the SEC pushed back on Ether futures ETF.

Last month, two Bitcoin futures-based ETFs from ProShares and Valkyrie went public after SEC chair Gary Gensler said futures contracts provide sufficient and better investor protection than spot Bitcoin.

Thanks to the first-move advantage, ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) is holding $1.4 billion in assets under management.

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Author: AnTy

Korea’s Oldest Bank to Use Hedera Network for Testing KRW-Stablecoin in Cross-Border Remittances

Korea’s Oldest Bank to Use Hedera Network for Testing KRW-Stablecoin in Cross-Border Remittances

Shinhan Bank, Korea’s oldest bank, has announced the completion of a proof-of-concept leveraging stablecoins and focused on international remittances.

The PoC is built on the Hedera Network, the enterprise-grade public ledger for the decentralized economy.

This partnership pushed the price of Hedera’s native token HBAR up 10% to $0.36. The $6.5 billion market cap coin is currently down 36.6% from its $0.569 ATH three months back. HBAR -2.15% Hedera / USD HBARUSD $ 0.35
-$0.01-2.15%
Volume 142.15 m Change -$0.01 Open $0.35 Circulating 18.09 b Market Cap 6.31 b
8 h Korea’s Oldest Bank to Use Hedera Network for Testing KRW-Stablecoin in Cross-Border Remittances 1 mon Circle’s Stablecoin USDC Launches on Hedera Hashgraph’s Network 1 mon CME Bitcoin Futures Open Interest Cracks A New ATH, Ethereum Aims for $4k Again

In its official announcement, Shinhan said it plans to mint South Korean Won (KRW)-backed stablecoins, and the partnering bank, Standard Bank in South Africa, will mint stablecoins backed by their local currency.

Users will be able to buy KRW-based stablecoin and send them to an account at the partner bank. The recipient will then receive funds in a locally denominated stablecoin and exchange it for the local currency.

The two banks will use the Hedera Consensus Service (HCS) to track and record transactions and confirm the foreign exchange rate at the time of each transaction.

Shinhan Bank, which serves 20 million customers and holds KRW 471.5 trillion ($396.6 bln) in assets, will be utilizing the Hedera Token Service (HTS) and Hedera Consensus Service (HCS) to test the issuance and distribution of stablecoins.

The idea is to remove the time-consuming process, which typically takes 3-7 days, involved in cross-border transactions and high intermediary bank costs that are borne by customers, an equivalent of $20-$80 on top of regular transfer fees. Mance Harmon, CEO, and co-founder of Hedera said,

“International remittances were a massive market of $702 billion in 2020, with $539 billion going to low- and middle-income countries.”

“There is a massive opportunity to cut out the middleman and make this process dramatically more efficient and cost-effective, getting the most money possible to people who often need it urgently.”

The Hedera network platform is governed by a council that includes Boeing, Chainlink Labs, Deutsche Telekom, FIS (WorldPay), Google, IBM, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), LG Electronics, Nomura Holdings, Standard Bank Group, Swirlds, Tata Communications, University College London (UCL), Wipro, and others.

Shinhan joined the Hedera Governing Council in April 2021. Before Hedera, earlier this year, Shinhan invested in Korea Digital Asset Custody (KDAC) and further completed a demonstration platform for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) with LG CNS.

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Author: AnTy

Twitter CEO & Bitcoiner Jack Dorsey is Out, Ethereum Is In

Ether is also leading the market as it surpasses $4,710 today, down less than 7% from its ATH, while Bitcoin uptrends at a much slower pace to $58.7k, 16% off of its $69k high.

Bitcoin proponent Jack Dorsey stepped down from his position of Twitter’s chief executive officer on Monday.

The same day, crypto enthusiasts found that Twitter’s tips button now features an Ethereum address.

Dorsey has been known for focusing only on Bitcoin and time and again clarifying that his crypto focus will only concentrate on the leading cryptocurrency alone. Now, on the day of his resignation, Ether enthusiasts got the gift of inclusion on Twitter.

However, while recognized this week, the option has been in the test-out phase since September.

The Tipping feature on Twitter is currently restricted to iOS users, but the company plans to roll out the support for the users of Android mobile devices.

The second-largest cryptocurrency, which has a market cap of $523 billion, is also showing strength and leading the market, while Bitcoin is currently struggling.

Today, Ether surged past $4,720, and as of writing, ETH is trading around $4,710, down 7% from its all-time high of $4,875 about 20 days back. On the other hand, Bitcoin is down 16% from its ATH of $69,000 hit also 20 days back, as it surged to $58,825 on Tuesday.

According to Delphi Digital, “All in all, the market doesn’t look too hot here, but taking the long view, we believe any near-term downside volatility will wind up being rather short-lived.”

Over One Million ETH Burned

117 days ago, on August 5th, the Ethereum network implemented the London hard fork upgrade, which included EIP-1559 that changed its fee rate to make the crypto asset deflationary.

Now, after about four-month, more than 1 million Ether worth over $4 billion has been officially burned, according to Dune Analytics.

The biggest contributor to this Ether burn is NFT marketplace OpenSea, accounting for 115,517 ETH. With just over 100k ETH burned, Ether transfers come in second place.

While the popular DEX Uniswap’s V3 comes in third place with over 98k ETH burned, together with V2, Uniswap (UNI) is responsible for the highest amount of Ether burned at more than 134,200 ETH.

Other top Ether burners include stablecoin USDT, Ethereum wallet MetaMask, stablecoin USDC, NFT play-to-earn game Axie Infinity (AXS), 1Inch, SushiSwap, SHIB, smart contract deployments, and MEV Bot.

JPMorgan Reiterates Ether Being Better than Bitcoin

According to baking giant JPMorgan Chase, Etherum can be a better and safer bet for investors than Bitcoin because of the utility its underlying technology offers. BTC -1.38% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 57,017.37
-$786.84-1.38%
Volume 36.74 b Change -$786.84 Open $57,017.37 Circulating 18.89 m Market Cap 1.08 t
6 h Investment Firm Launches Another Attempt at Ether Futures ETF With Kelly Ethereum Ether Strategy ETF 8 h Twitter CEO & Bitcoiner Jack Dorsey is Out, Ethereum Is In 9 h Polkadot (DOT) and Solana (SOL) Continue To Be The Winners Of Inflows Relative To AUM

“The rise in bond yields and the eventual normalisation of monetary policy is putting downward pressure on bitcoin as a form of digital gold, the same way higher real yields have been putting downward pressure on traditional gold,” JPMorgan said in its recent report.

Ethereum, according to them, has already played a leading role in the emerging decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFT) and because of greater focus by investors on environmental, social, and governance investing.

“With Ethereum deriving its value from its applications, ranging from DeFi to gaming to NFTs and stablecoins, it appears less susceptible than bitcoin to higher real yields,” they added. Still, as per JPMorgan, both cryptocurrencies are currently overvalued and far too volatile for most institutional investors.

A recent survey from uk.investing.com also found that 52% of investors plan to invest in Ether before the year is over compared to 48% who intend to buy Bitcoin.

“Many crypto investors have turned more bullish on Ethereum over the past year thanks to its increased involvement in DeFi projects and NFTs,” said Jesse Cohen, a senior analyst at uk.investing.com.

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Author: AnTy

Polkadot (DOT) and Solana (SOL) Continue To Be The Winners Of Inflows Relative To AUM

Polkadot (DOT) and Solana (SOL) Continue To Be The Winners Of Inflows Relative To AUM

Bitcoin has been posting inflows for 11 straight weeks now while Ether for five bringing their YTD flows to over $6.9 bln and almost $1.2 bln, respectively.

Yet another week of inflows into cryptocurrency products and funds sent the year-to-date inflows to a record $9.5 billion surpassing $6.7 billion in 2020.

Meanwhile, continued price pressures saw total assets under management (AUM) fall from $75.4 bln to $72.8 bln.

For the week ending Nov. 26, crypto products recorded $306 million in inflows, with Bitcoin accounting for the majority of it for the fifth week in a row, CoinShares data showed.

This has been despite the price declines in the last few weeks, which means institutional investors are unperturbed by the price actions and continue to flock into the space.

Bitcoin (BTC) has been posting inflows for 11 straight weeks now with a total of $2.7 bln. So far, in 2021, the crypto asset has attracted just over $6.9 bln and $48.32 bln overall. BTC -1.39% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 57,005.43
-$792.38-1.39%
Volume 36.71 b Change -$792.38 Open $57,005.43 Circulating 18.89 m Market Cap 1.08 t
6 h Investment Firm Launches Another Attempt at Ether Futures ETF With Kelly Ethereum Ether Strategy ETF 8 h Twitter CEO & Bitcoiner Jack Dorsey is Out, Ethereum Is In 9 h Polkadot (DOT) and Solana (SOL) Continue To Be The Winners Of Inflows Relative To AUM

The leading cryptocurrency saw the most significant inflows in 5 weeks totaling $247 million.

“Inflation is skyrocketing, and people are searching for more alternatives for their money in the bank,” said Ruud Feltkamp, chief of cloud-based automated crypto trading bot Cryptohopper.

“I don’t think it’ll take long until investors see this as a ‘cheap’ buying moment. We are still in the midst of the bull cycle, and I think rising inflation will lead to more money being allocated to stocks and crypto.”

Ethereum (ETH) meanwhile had its fifth straight week of inflows. With $23.1 million flowing in last week, the YTD inflows now stand at almost $1.2 bln. ETH 4.19% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 4,631.48
$194.064.19%
Volume 28.63 b Change $194.06 Open $4,631.48 Circulating 118.56 m Market Cap 549.09 b
5 h Ethereum Layer 2 StarkNet Alpha Launches on Mainnet 6 h Investment Firm Launches Another Attempt at Ether Futures ETF With Kelly Ethereum Ether Strategy ETF 8 h Twitter CEO & Bitcoiner Jack Dorsey is Out, Ethereum Is In

In terms of inflows relative to assets under management, Polkadot (DOT) and Solana (SOL) continue to be the winners, with inflows representing 8.6% of AUM, or $11.5 million, and 5.9% or $14.6 million, respectively, last week. DOT 2.15% Polkadot / USD DOTUSD $ 37.96
$0.822.15%
Volume 1.55 b Change $0.82 Open $37.96 Circulating 987.58 m Market Cap 37.49 b
9 h Polkadot (DOT) and Solana (SOL) Continue To Be The Winners Of Inflows Relative To AUM 1 d Invesco Launches Physically-backed Bitcoin ETPs, WisdomTree Lists Three Crypto-Basket ETPs in Europe 1 w DeFi Hub Acala Network Secures First Spot In Polkadot’s Parachain Auction
SOL 2.13% Solana / USD SOLUSD $ 208.67
$4.442.13%
Volume 2.89 b Change $4.44 Open $208.67 Circulating 304.18 m Market Cap 63.47 b
9 h Polkadot (DOT) and Solana (SOL) Continue To Be The Winners Of Inflows Relative To AUM 1 d Invesco Launches Physically-backed Bitcoin ETPs, WisdomTree Lists Three Crypto-Basket ETPs in Europe 1 w Investors Unfazed by Profit-taking as Another Week of Flows Bring YTD Crypto Inflows to $9.2B

Multi-asset investment products saw inflows totaling $9.1 mln last week, representing the third-largest investment product by AUM at $4.6 bln.

Cardano (ADA) was the only one last week to post outflows of $1.1 mln, while Binance Coin (BNB), Tron (TRX), and Ripple (XRP) didn’t record any flows. ADA -2.97% Cardano / USD ADAUSD $ 1.55
-$0.05-2.97%
Volume 1.81 b Change -$0.05 Open $1.55 Circulating 33.31 b Market Cap 51.8 b
9 h Polkadot (DOT) and Solana (SOL) Continue To Be The Winners Of Inflows Relative To AUM 1 d Invesco Launches Physically-backed Bitcoin ETPs, WisdomTree Lists Three Crypto-Basket ETPs in Europe 1 w Investors Unfazed by Profit-taking as Another Week of Flows Bring YTD Crypto Inflows to $9.2B
BNB -0.26% Binance Coin / USD BNBUSD $ 622.67
-$1.62-0.26%
Volume 2.78 b Change -$1.62 Open $622.67 Circulating 166.8 m Market Cap 103.86 b
9 h Polkadot (DOT) and Solana (SOL) Continue To Be The Winners Of Inflows Relative To AUM 10 h Will Bitcoin Break the Streak? Historically, Red November Always Leads to Losses in December 1 w “Ethereum Is The Clear Winner,” says ConsenSys CEO as MetaMask Users Grow 38x in Last Year
TRX -0.05% TRON / USD TRXUSD $ 0.10
$0.00-0.05%
Volume 2.39 b Change $0.00 Open $0.10 Circulating 71.66 b Market Cap 6.92 b
9 h Polkadot (DOT) and Solana (SOL) Continue To Be The Winners Of Inflows Relative To AUM 1 w Investors Unfazed by Profit-taking as Another Week of Flows Bring YTD Crypto Inflows to $9.2B 2 w 13 Consecutive Week of Inflows Send Bitcoin AUM to A Record $56B and Ether’s Past $21B For The First Time
XRP 0.68% XRP / USD XRPUSD $ 1.00
$0.010.68%
Volume 2.95 b Change $0.01 Open $1.00 Circulating 47.16 b Market Cap 47.07 b
9 h Polkadot (DOT) and Solana (SOL) Continue To Be The Winners Of Inflows Relative To AUM 1 w Investors Unfazed by Profit-taking as Another Week of Flows Bring YTD Crypto Inflows to $9.2B 1 w Ripple Strikes at the SEC’s Crypto “Monopoly” by Proposing Bigger Role to CFTC

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Author: AnTy

Will Bitcoin Break the Streak? Historically, Red November Always Leads to Losses in December

With just one day left to end November, Bitcoin needs to turn 6.4% losses in the month to profit as it hovers around $58k while Ether surpasses $4,640.

Bitcoin is all set to end November at a red note, recording 6.4% losses in the month.

Meanwhile, the leading cryptocurrency’s year-to-date return is above 98% compared to Ether’s more than 500% gains. While Ether managed to be green this month, it has been barely at 6%.

As of writing, the price of Bitcoin is hovering around $58k and on an uptrend after hitting nearly $59k on Monday. Ether meanwhile went on to surpass $4,640 on Tuesday.

Much like Bitcoin, the leading global oil benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) also noted negative returns at -9.33% while up 61.56% YTD. Gold is barely holding on to its 0.13% gains this month while the US dollar jumped 2.11%, more than SPX’s 1.08% gains, according to Skew.

Coming back to the trillion-dollar leading cryptocurrency, historically, there has been twice that Bitcoin was red in November 2018 and 2019. And both the times, December was also a red one but of significantly less magnitude.

In 2018, a negative 45.3% performance in November led to -7.1% in December, and the following year, the losses were 19.5% and 5.1%, respectively.

But that was a bear market, and while many are fearful that we are entering the bear market, not everyone is convinced yet.

Additionally, green November has always resulted in a subsequent green month except for 2014 when it posted an 11.1% upside resulting in a loss of 16.6% in that December.

Now it remains to be seen if we break the streak or history ends up repeating itself.

For now, BTC is holding up just alright while ETH and BNB have found strength and are leading the market, while AVAX, which was the top performer until a few days ago, has taken quite the beating. BNB -0.35% Binance Coin / USD BNBUSD $ 623.00
-$2.18-0.35%
Volume 2.78 b Change -$2.18 Open $623.00 Circulating 166.8 m Market Cap 103.92 b
9 h Polkadot (DOT) and Solana (SOL) Continue To Be The Winners Of Inflows Relative To AUM 10 h Will Bitcoin Break the Streak? Historically, Red November Always Leads to Losses in December 1 w “Ethereum Is The Clear Winner,” says ConsenSys CEO as MetaMask Users Grow 38x in Last Year
AVAX 0.74% Avalanche / USD AVAXUSD $ 120.82
$0.890.74%
Volume 1.74 b Change $0.89 Open $120.82 Circulating 223.85 m Market Cap 27.05 b
10 h Will Bitcoin Break the Streak? Historically, Red November Always Leads to Losses in December 1 w DOGE Pumps on Elon Musk’s Enquiry to Binance, CZ Strikes Back 1 w “Ethereum Is The Clear Winner,” says ConsenSys CEO as MetaMask Users Grow 38x in Last Year

According to Delphi Digital, the DVOL index, which measures implied volatility (IV) on a 30-day forward basis, has gone down in recent days.

IV is a measure of market uncertainty, and when things get dicey, it tends to rise while it usually falls when things look unidirectional.

“Fatter, higher tails towards the left side implies puts are getting more expensive as participants turn their focus towards hedging spot or speculating on further downside,” it noted. “All in all, the market doesn’t look too hot here, but taking the long view, we believe any near-term downside volatility will wind up being rather short-lived.”

The first ten days are the focus right now, with the majority of the gains recorded by Bitcoin during this period of every month.

And with the last day of November here, risk asset investors are most concerned about the new Covid variant Omicron and rising rates and inflation. But the good thing, as Jeff Dorman, CIO at Arca, says, “they both can’t be true” due to them being offsetting forces.

“Tapering and the many hurdles ahead do not mean “end of the bull market,” yet hurdles do make it harder to push higher. Upwards & bumpy. That’s my view, which I’ve been hammering for quite a while. This is a great environment for good short-term traders,” commented trader and economist Alex Kruger.

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Author: AnTy

UK’s HMRC says Cryptocurrencies Not Exempt from Digital Services Tax

UK’s HMRC says Cryptocurrencies Not Exempt from Digital Services Tax

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) says cryptocurrencies do not qualify as money or commodities and are not exempt from the digital services tax.

The tax office has also informed online crypto exchanges that they are subject to the tax, according to a report from The Telegraph, which says it is designed to ensure tech firms like Amazon and Google pay more to the Exchequer. Both of these tech giants have passed the cost of the digital services tax to merchants and advertisers, respectively.

Crypto exchanges have been roped into the Treasury’s tech tax after HMRC said they would not qualify for an exemption granted to financial services companies.

The agency said crypto assets are “not financial instruments” and do not qualify as commodities or money. As such, crypto exchanges that sell crypto are not able to claim an exemption for financial marketplaces.

Last year, the digital services tax came into force and placed a 2% sales tax on online marketplaces, social media, and search engines services that have a global revenue of over £500 million and UK sales of over £25 million.

In its update to the guidance on the digital services tax, HMRC said, “There are a wide variety of crypto assets, each with different characteristics.”

And because crypto does not represent commodities, money, or financial contracts, “it is unlikely that crypto-asset exchanges can benefit from the exemption for online financial marketplaces.”

While expected to be phased out earlier this year, the tax continues to be in force until its replacement comes into effect.

CryptoUK, the country’s cryptocurrency industry body, is lobbying the Treasury and HMRC over the issue, saying it is unfair to treat crypto differently from other financial assets.

Ian Taylor, a director of CryptoUK, called the move a new blow to crypto exchanges after the “arduous” licensing regime introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and said it would lead to higher fees for people buying and selling crypto assets.

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Author: AnTy

Emirates Post Group Launching NFT Stamps to Celebrate the UAE National Day

Emirates Post Group Launching NFT Stamps to Celebrate the UAE National Day

Emirates Post Group (EPG) is becoming the first in the region to issue non-fungible token (NFT) stamps to celebrate the UAE National Day 2021, according to the local report.

EPG will be unveiling the four distinct NFT stamps on December 2. These MFT stamps will be sold as digital collectibles linked to their physical stamp counterpart.

“In line with EPG’s goal of transforming into a more digital-centered company, we are proud to announce the launch of the first NFT stamp in the region, which utilises blockchain technology. By introducing tradable NFT stamps, we are bridging the gap between traditional stamps and the world of digital cryptocurrency,” said Abdulla Mohammed Alashram, CEO of Emirates Post Group.

These NFTs will honor the country’s Golden Jubilee, 50th National Day, and the NFT enthusiasts will be able to collect, exchange, and trade these stamps, which also promotes milestones of the UAE, he added.

Each of the stamps will carry a distinct design based on the UAE national theme. The first one is a premium edition containing a gram of gold titled the Golden Jubilee 2021, while the second is called the “Spirit of the Union – 1971”, which symbolizes the founding fathers’ establishment. The third stamp is called the “Year of the 50th – 2021” and represents the UAE’s futuristic vision the fourth design is called “Projects of the 50th 2071.”

The buyers of the NFT stamps will only get to see the digital design linked to the physical stamp after scanning the QR code printed on the front side of the card. For verification, the stamp contains a cryptographic NFC chip. One can verify the NFT using any smartphone that has an NFC reader.

Over two months back, the national postal service of Switzerland also introduced tradable digital stamps.

On Sept. 20, the Swiss Post announced the launch of the “Swiss crypto stamp,” a digital collectible linked to a physical stamp issued by the postal service worth 8.9 Swiss francs, in late November. The digital representation of the physical stamp was to be stored on the Polygon blockchain.

Before this, in May this year, Austria’s postal service also announced plans for incorporating NFC chips in its Crypto Stamp 3.0 after releasing its first-ever crypto stamp in 2019.

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Author: AnTy

Indian Finance Minister: No Plan to Recognize BTC As Currency; Indians Want Crypto Taxed but Not Legalized

India does not plan to recognize Bitcoin as a currency, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, in response to a question in the Lok Sabha, as per the local report.

When asked whether the government has a proposal to recognize the leading cryptocurrency as a currency in the country, Sitharaman gave a “No.”

On Monday, another minister asked the Ministry of Finance whether the government is aware of the cryptos that are traded in India. He further asked whether crypto trading is legally permitted in India and if the government has allowed crypto exchanges to operate legally in the country.

“Government does not collect information on trading in cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies are unregulated in India,” said Pankaj Chaudhary, Minister of State (MoS) in the Ministry of Finance.

Chaudhary further pointed to the Reserve Bank of India’s circular from May 2021 that advised its regulated entities to continue to carry out customer due diligence processes in line with regulations governing standards for KYC, AML, CFT, and obligations of regulated entities under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, (PMLA) and ensuring compliance with provisions under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) for overseas remittance.

High Court Asks For An Update

On Monday, Bombay high court also directed the Center to update it on the proposed crypto legislation expected to be tabled during Parliament’s ongoing winter session.

The Indian government plans to introduce a new bill, ‘Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021’, that could bar most private cryptocurrencies.

According to a legislative agenda released recently for the winter session of Parliament, the government will only allow certain cryptos to promote blockchain technology and its uses.

Meanwhile, the direction from the court came as the court is hearing public interest litigation that says in the absence of appropriate legislation, aggrieved persons do not have a redressal mechanism for their complaints.

The petitioner, Advocate Aditya Kadam, said investors face problems as their rights were being violated, and their investments were at risk due to the crypto business being unregulated.

No Legalization Please

Meanwhile, according to an opinion poll, 54% of the people surveyed in India don’t want the government to legalize cryptocurrencies.

More than half of the respondents want the government to tax them like a digital asset held in a foreign country.

The poll was conducted by LocalCircles involving 56,000 people in the last 15 days.

The findings revealed that only 26% of them said crypto should be legalized and then taxed, while the remaining 20% didn’t have a view on it.

“While many Indian citizens have invested in cryptocurrencies, the absence of a robust framework leaves investors open to high risks. This is confirmed by the study findings as 71% of the study respondents have low or zero trust in the same,” said Sachin Taparia, CEO at LocalCircles.

The survey further revealed that about 87% of families don’t have anyone trading or investing in crypto assets, while only 1% have high trust in them.

The majority (74%) also believe crypto advertisements are not highlighting risks effectively, and only 5% are in favor of crypto platform continuing advertisements.

Half of the survey respondents (about 51%) also support the central bank rolling out its own digital currency.

According to a report from the Economic Times (ET) on Monday, RBI is working on the phased implementation of a CBDC.

Entering The Indian Market

Despite the regulatory uncertainty, Singapore-based crypto exchange Coinstore has begun operations in India. It launched its web and app platform and planned branches in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore for its expansion in the country.

“With nearly a quarter of our total active users coming from India, it made sense for us to expand into the market,” Charles Tan, head of marketing at Coinstore told Reuters. Tan expects the government to come out with a healthy framework for crypto.

There are an estimated 15 million-20 million crypto investors in India, with total crypto holdings of around 400 billion rupees (over $5.3 billion), according to industry estimates.

The exchange further plans to spend $20 million for hiring as many as about 100 employees for the marketing and development of crypto products and services in the Indian market.

Before Coinstore, CrossTower launched its local unit in India in September. Besides India, Coinstore also plans to expand into Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

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Author: AnTy