Japan’s Biggest Brokerage Offers Corn and Other Dishes for Crypto Tokens

Japan’s Biggest Brokerage Offers Corn and Other Dishes for Crypto Tokens

An affiliate of Japan’s biggest brokerage Nomura Holdings Inc. has started offering subscriptions to a luxurious Italian food delivery service. As per this, customers can use the tradeable crypto tokens to buy and trade dishes as their value fluctuates.

The firm started selling the security tokens this week for four high-end food parcels a year from award-winning Japanese chef Masayuki Okuda. An annual subscription costs ¥60,000 ($546), in addition to an initial ¥3,000 membership purchase.

Delivery options include corn, pumpkin ravioli, asparagus pizza, and chicken tortellini, according to the website. Token holders will be able to trade them next year under current plans.

Nomura expects the industry of security tokens, which give investors the rights of underlying assets, to grow, which is still nascent in Japan.

For this, it is expanding the ibet platform to include security tokens for assets like real estate and corporate bonds.

Besides helping grow the digital asset market, the brokerage aims to create business for local agricultural and fishery products, a spokesman told Bloomberg.

Back in 2018, Nomura became the first crypto custodian bank forming partnerships with companies in the cryptocurrencies sector. Earlier this month, as we reported, Japan’s Financial Services Agency Commissioner said they “need to consider carefully whether it is necessary to make it easier for the general public to invest in crypto assets.”

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Author: AnTy

Increased Demand in Crypto has Citigroup Considering Offering its Biggest Clients Bitcoin Futures Trading

Increased Demand in Crypto has Citigroup Considering Offering its Biggest Clients Bitcoin Futures Trading

Citigroup is now considering whether to offer its biggest clients the option to trade in Bitcoin futures, citing increased demand in the cryptocurrency space.

According to the reports, the banking giant is currently awaiting approval to begin trading CME Bitcoin futures.

According to a Financial Times report, the bank first started weighing the option of providing crypto-related services in May.

“Our clients are increasingly interested in this space, and we are monitoring these developments,” Citigroup said in a statement this time.

Other banking giants JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs, are also working on allowing all of their wealthy clients access to cryptocurrency funds.

Citibank further said they are currently only considering futures for some of its institutional clients due to the fact that they operate under strong regulatory frameworks. The bank is basically being “very thoughtful” of how they approach the crypto industry due to many unanswered questions around regulatory frameworks, supervisory expectations, and other factors.

Sights on the Regulated Product

Bitcoin futures are also presently the popular product for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to be based on after SEC Chair Gary Gensler signaled that he is more open to a futures-backed Bitcoin ETF under the 1940 Act, which offers more investor protection instead of physically-backed ETF that are filed under the 1930 laws that allow stock exchanges to list products.

Tennessee-based Valkyrie Investments is one of the firms to file for the Valkyrie XBTO Bitcoin Futures Fund that would be listed on the Nasdaq exchange. Their request was only revealed on Tuesday as smaller issuers are allowed to file confidentially for new offerings.

“We still thought a physical bitcoin ETF was a little further away and, with futures, the way they are regulated and the way they trade with the CME, they are already. It is a regulated product. So it’s kind of a one-step, two-step way to get a physical ETF, but we thought there were a lot of opportunities with futures,” said Steven McClarge, CIO at Valkyrie Investments, in an interview.

While Valkyrie is the first to file for a futures-backed Bitcoin ETFs, several others have filed since Gensler’s statement, with two dozen filing sitting at SEC’s desk for approval.

“The SEC is trying to be cautious here – which they should be doing,” McClarge said.

“While I believe the market is ready for physically backed ETFs, I know they are trying to be extra cautious before putting anything in the market that could hurt retail investors, and that is their reason to do so.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Surges Past $50k on Low Funding But Institutional Investors Are More Bullish on Ethereum

Bitcoin’s breakout is “coinciding with the biggest increase in development activity,” while OI for Ether futures on CME has hit a new peak and has been on an uptrend since July 20.

The cryptocurrency market has been back on the move since before the weekend.

The overall crypto market cap is gradually climbing towards a $2.6 trillion all-time high from mid-May as it surges past $2.2 trillion on Monday.

This past week, the biggest contribution to this growth was made by Avalanche (AVAX), which rallied 160%. Audius (AUDIO), Arweave (AR), Near (NEAR), Fantom (FTM), Terra (LUNA), Thorchain (RUNE), Cosmos (ATOM), Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), Kusama (KSM), PancakeSwap (CAKE), and BNB recorded between 20% to 80% uptrend in the last 7-days.

As for the leading cryptocurrency, after falling just under $44,000, the price of Bitcoin went on to hit $50,000 late on Sunday or early Monday. BTC went as high as $50,600, a level that was last seen on May 15.

This breakout is “coinciding with the biggest increase in development activity… also since May,” noted analytics company Santiment. “If Github submissions continue pushing higher here, it will be a promising sign.”

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All the while, the funding rate on Bitcoin perpetual contracts remains subdued, with the highest at 0.0497% on OKEx. On Bybit, for USDT margin contracts, the funding is actually negative at 0.0347%.

Open interest on Bitcoin futures, on the other hand, is currently at $18.25 billion — adding $7.63 billion since June 26 low but still needs about $10.5 billion to hit the mid-April peak of $27.68 billion.

On CME, the OI is only at $1.75 billion, up from $1.11 bln low in July and still far off from $3.26 bln in late Feb., according to Bybt.

This is unlike Ether futures, where OI had climbed to a new peak at $682.68 million and has been on an uptrend since July 20, when it was at $292.58 million. First introduced in early February on CME, the OI on Ether futures was just under $608 million when it topped out mid-May.

“CME futures suggest that a bullish sentiment towards ETH is brewing among institutional investors,” noted Arcane Research.

CME Crypto Futures 3 Month Rolling Basis

Overall, OI for Ether futures keeps above $9 billion, adding $4.58 billion in the last two months and needing $2.6 billion to reach $11.6 billion ATH from May 10th.

As for price, Ether has gone past $3,365 for the first time since May 19. ETHBTC, however, has taken a drop to 0.065 as Bitcoin started rallying. Now the first resistance for ETHBTC is around 0.068, then around 0.070, and then above 0.077.

Working in Ether’s favor is that the percentage of ETH held by the exchanges has dropped to just 12.8%, the lowest in the past three years. Meanwhile, more than 7 million ETH are staked on ETH 2.0 and an almost record 9.7 million in decentralized finance (DeFi).

Adding to this supply crunch, 78,000 ETH worth roughly $245 million has been burned in less than 20 days since the activation of EIP 1559 with the London upgrade earlier this month.

With NFT marketplace OpenSea accounting for close to 10k ETH burns, non-fungible token mania is the biggest contributor to this rapid number of ETH moving out of circulation.

“NFTs may be one of the largest catalysts we’ve seen for ETH since the creation of DeFi,” noted Ethereum enthusiast Croissant. “They can bring both liquidity & value to previously intangible assets.”

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Author: AnTy

South Koreans Turn to Serum (SRM) As Solana (SOL) Ecosystem Pumps

SRM is currently the second most traded crypto on one of the biggest South Korean exchanges, Upbit, after Dogecoin. It is also trading at a premium on both Upbit and Bithumb, the latter also announcing the listing of SOL.

While Bitcoin and Ether are taking a breather under $45,000 and $3,000, respectively, other altcoins are busy pumping.

This especially holds for Ethereum (ETH) competitor Solana (SOL) and other coins in its ecosystem that have been pumping like crazy.

After months of ‘Solana Summer’ chanting by the SOL enthusiasts, finally, it is having a blast. Up 182% in the last 30-days, SOL is currently trading just above $70, having hit a new ATH at $80.12, according to CoinMarketCap on Wednesday.

SOL’s year-to-date gains currently stand at a whopping 3,706%, among the highest in the crypto space.

Amidst this uptrend, one of the biggest South Korean exchanges, Bithumb, announced the listing of SOL against KRW and BTC.

With SOL on an uptrend, decentralized exchange Serum built on Solana is also up 192% in the last 30-days. But trading at $7.87, SRM is still down 39.5% from its ATH four months back and has recorded only about 600% returns YTD.

This week, Huobi Global announced the listing of SRM against USDT and BTC.

SRM is currently the second most traded crypto on the biggest South Korean exchange, Upbit, after Dogecoin. Bitcoin doesn’t come until the 4th spot and Ether until the 9th as Koreans choose altcoins over the top coins.

SRM is currency trading at $8.28 on Upbit, while on Binance, it’s at $7.89, representing a kimchi premium of nearly 5%, according to Coinmarketcap.

While on Bithumb, which is listing SOL today, SRM is not among the top 10 most traded crypto assets but falls at the lower end of the top 20 and is also trading at a premium at $8.22.

“If the Koreans love SRM that much they’re gonna fucking love SOL,” tweeted trader @SmartContracter

South Koreans are simply busy trading XRP, DOGE, LUNA, ADA, ETC, AXS, and EOS.

AUDIO of Solana-based Audius streaming protocol has gone up over 110% in just a week after its partnership with TikTok.

Other Solana-based projects that are up in triple-digits in the last 30-days are COPE, Raydium (RAY), Bonafide (FIDA), MAPS, and Step Finance (STEP).

Besides SOL and the tokens in its ecosystem, another DeFi platform with a focus on stablecoins and with the backing of A-list investors such as Andreessen Horowitz and Galaxy Digital that is growing in value is Terra (LUNA), up over 100% in the past two weeks, hitting a new ATH today $33.22 and currently trading at just above $29.

LUNA’s YTD gains stand at 4,418%, nearing Dogecoin’s 5,163% gains which is yet again pumping as Dogecoin Foundation returns with its board of directors, including Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and Jared Birchall, manager of Elon’s family office, but is still down 59% from its ATH.

Currently, above $2, another Ethereum competitor Cardano (ADA), is also just less than 15% away from its ATH. Arweave (AR), Avalanche (AVAX), Thorchain (RUNE), and XRP have also enjoyed almost triple-digit gains in the last 30 days.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Shorts Get Annihilated, OI Drops by 50k BTC from Last Week

While Bybit Bitcoin’s futures had the biggest drop of 15.59% in OI, followed by Binance’s 12% in the past 24 hours, Bitfinex, FTX, and CME had the biggest increase of 12.81%, 11.54%, and 11.86%, respectively.

Bitcoin price surged to nearly $40,000 in a strong upwards move, late on Sunday or early Monday. This represents a nearly 36% jump in price since the $29,300 low last Tuesday.

While several factors like Alameda Research putting in a bottom by “buying a LOT” at the lows, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced his bullishness for crypto, and speculation over Amazon’s potential involvement in the cryptocurrency sector contributed to this bullish strength, shorts have a significant part to play in this.

As we have been reporting for the past month, the funding rates on the perpetual contracts have been staying in the negative, with the market extremely short on BTC. At the same time, open interest continued to climb sharply.

And finally, an epic short squeeze happened.

In the past 24 hours, 102,558 traders have been liquidated for $1.14 billion, with nearly $945 million of it belonging to shorts, as per Bybt.

The figure is expected to be much higher given that Binance had stopped showing its real liquidation numbers and is currently accounting for less than 20% of all liquidations when it used to be about half, much like Bybit.

“Bitcoin shorts just got blown out. Quarterly basis popped from 5% to >10% briefly,” noted trader and economist Alex Kruger.

Amidst this, Binance and FTX have reduced their leverage offering from more than 100x previously to now only up to 20x. Andrew Kang, Mechanism Capital, said,

“Usually, big short squeezes like we saw on BTC today bleed out, but this continued upward momentum is pretty indicative of shorts/stables being price-insensitive buyers trying to scoop any liquidity they can.”

The result of this short squeeze can also be seen in open interest. Total OI on Bitcoin futures has crashed by 50k BTC — currently at 349.7k BTC from over 400k BTC less than a week back.

In the past 24 hours, OI on Bybit Bitcoin’s futures had the most significant drop of 15.59%, followed by Binance’s 12%, which leads the futures space. OI on Binance is now at 79.1k BTC, down from 101.37k BTC on June 20, which increased 78% in nearly a month as new short positions were opened.

Meanwhile, Bitfinex, FTX, and CME had the most significant increase of 12.81%, 11.54%, and 11.86%, respectively, as of writing.

In the case of Ether, Binance is the only with a decrease, of only about 3.67%, though, in OI. Total Ether OI is now 2.54 million ETH, down from 2.94 million ETH in less than a week. SplitCapital said,

“Make no mistake, the real pain won’t come from shorts rather the absurd amount of people that are parked all in stablecoins. They won’t chase till 40k breaks.”

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Fees And Daily Transactions Spike Thanks to Shiba Inu (SHIB), Tether & Uniswap

Much like in May, Shiba Inu is the biggest gas guzzler on the second largest network, as it launched ShibaSwap. NFTs through Axie Infinity and OpenSea, and MetaMask are also the contributors.

Daily transactions on the Ethereum network are now back over 1.35 million, which had fallen to just above 1 million, but still down from the 1.7 million peak in early May.

Fees are also seeing a spike, with average transaction fees making their way towards $10 after falling to $2.33 in late June. At its peak in May, it soared past $70.

Additionally, gas fees are recording an uptick to 55 Gwei after falling and remaining in single digits for a couple of weeks in June.

According to Etherscan, Tether and Uniswap are the biggest gas guzzlers today, followed by addresses that belong to the Shiba Inu coin project. At 5th and 9th place again is the SHIB project, all of which together accounts for more than 18% usage in the past 24 hours.

Much like in May, on Tuesday, the SHIB project was the biggest gas guzzler and was also at the 3rd and 5th spot, as noted by crypto trader Joe McCann.

The popular dog coin is actually launching a decentralized exchange (DEX) called ShibaSwap. In a single day, ShibaSwap attracted $1 billion in total value locked (TVL).

The token SHIB is currently trading at $0.00000874, down 77% from its all-time high of $0.00003791 hit two months back.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin was the one who sent the SHIB prices crashing in May after selling 50% of its supply (about $6 billion worth at the time) which was sent to his wallet unbeknownst to him, in place of burning the tokens. Vitalik actually gave these coins to charity, saying he doesn’t want that kind of power over a project.

Amidst this, some critics point out that aping into ShibaSwap for a four-figure APR might be a risky venture, given that its smart contract allows a single address to migrate the deposited funds.

“TLDR: All the staked funds can be rugged by the devs at any moment #WarOnRugs,” said Valentin Mihov, ex-CTO at data provider Santiment.

Since then, the project has addressed the concern and made changes, moving the owner to multisig.

“ShibaSwap devs reached out and transferred the owner role to a 6/9 multisig. They also informed they plan to deploy a timelock,” said Banteg, a core developer at DeFi bluechip Yearn Finance.

Besides Shiba Inu, the popular NFT game Axie Infinity is the fourth-largest gas guzzler. As we reported, while the NFT space has been cooling down, the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity is seeing the highest volume at $84.1 million, 769% higher than Q1 2021 and reaching over 4,700 daily unique on-chain users, an increase of 360.61% from the previous quarter.

It also had a breakout month in June, earning a record $12.2 million in revenue, and already in the first five days of the month, it has generated $9.2 million.

The AXS token has surged 300% in less than two weeks and is up 2,145% YTD.

NFT marketplace OpenSea and popular Ethereum wallet MetaMask, which earned $7 million in the past 30-days (4th highest) and $31.7 million in the last 3-months (3rd highest), are also among the top ten gas guzzlers on the second-largest network.

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Author: AnTy

Britain’s NatWest Group is Latest to Cap Daily Transfers to Crypto Exchanges

Britain’s NatWest Group is Latest to Cap Daily Transfers to Crypto Exchanges

One of Britain’s biggest domestic lenders, NatWest Group, has capped the daily amount customers can send to cryptocurrency exchanges due to concerns over investment scams and fraud.

This also affects leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, which, as we reported, has already removed the ability to deposit and withdraw British Pounds (GBP) from the platform through Faster Payments and bank cards.

The suspension of both GBP payment channels on Binance came on the heels of the UK’s financial regulator, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), issuing a consumer warning against Binance Markets Limited, which is not an outright ban.

Now, NatWest Group has imposed a temporary cap, on June 24, targeting several exchanges and digital asset firms with the maximum amount varying depending on the platform but typically in thousands of pounds. The company spokesperson said,

“We have seen a high level of cryptocurrency investment scams targeting our customers across retail and business banking, particularly through social media sites.”

As such, to protect its customers from criminals exploiting these platforms, a temporary step has been taken to reduce the maximum daily amount that a customer can send to crypto exchanges. The company has also blocked payments to a small number of crypto asset firms where NatWest saw “particularly significant levels of fraud-related harm for our customers.”

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase’s Goal is to List ‘Every’ Crypto Asset, says CEO Brian Armstrong

Coinbase’s Goal is to List ‘Every’ Crypto Asset, says CEO Brian Armstrong

The biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, Coinbase co-founder and chief executive officer Brian Armstrong took to Twitter on Monday to remind the crypto community just how it lists assets.

“Our goal is to list *every* asset where it is legal to do so,” he said.

Besides following the listing standards in terms of legality and safety, Armstrong said, the firm doesn’t have an opinion on the value of each asset.

“We are asset agnostic, because we believe in free markets and that consumers should have choice in the cryptoeconomy. This is how we’ll have the most innovation.”

Over time, Coinbase will provide tools to give customers ratings and reviews of assets to make more informed decisions. However, Armstrong said, listing on Coinbase shouldn’t be taken as an endorsement of that asset.

Coinbase has started to list more and more cryptocurrencies to its exchange recently, and the exchange has been focused on adding more assets, with CFO Alesia Haas saying last month,

“We’re making big investments to improve the speed of our asset addition.”

Armstrong also shared late on Monday that they are working to keep up with the “incredible amount of assets being issued” and interacting with the asset issuers who are “building the future of this industry.”

For this, Coinbase will be increasing its staff to engage with all asset issuers in a timely manner through its AssetHub, where it encourages crypto projects to list their assets across Coinbase projects and promote them to over 56 million customers, as previously done by Algorand (ALGO), Polkadot (DOT), Dogecoin (DOGE), Cosmos (ATOM), and Compound (COMP).

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Author: AnTy

a16Z Launches Largest Ever $2.2 Billion Cryptocurrency-focused Fund

Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has launched the third and biggest multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency-focused fund to continue to invest in the market.

Founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, the firm announced its new $2.2 billion fund on Thursday. It plans to deploy capital across blockchain, digital assets, next-generation payments, decentralized finance (DeFi), Web 3, and more. Katie Haun and Chris Dixon, partners who run Andreessen’s cryptocurrency group said,

“The size of this fund speaks to the size of the opportunity before us: crypto is not only the future of finance but, as with the internet in the early days, is poised to transform all aspects of our lives.”

The company launched its first crypto-focused fund three years ago during crypto winter. Currently, Bitcoin has halved from its all-time high, and altcoins have lost even more of their value.

But as Haun and Dixon noted, “prices may fluctuate but innovation continues to increase through each cycle.”

“We believe that the next wave of computing innovation will be driven by crypto,” they wrote, adding that they’re “radically optimistic about crypto’s potential.”

The firm is known for its early bets on companies like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Lyft. It made the first move into the crypto asset space in 2013 through Coinbase, which went public this year. Additionally, it is now an early investor in Facebook-backed stablecoin Diem, previously known as Libra. The firm has also joined the NFT boom by investing in Dapper Labs and OpenSea.

Andreessen Horowitz said it plans to hold these crypto investments for a decade or more.

The firm also announced new hires for the fund, including former SEC director Bill Hinman as an advisory partner and former undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs Brent McIntosh as an advisor.

For the global head of policy, Tomicah Tillemann, the former chair of the Global Blockchain Business Council and an adviser to the White House, has been appointed. Anthony Albanese, who left the New York Stock Exchange last year, will serve as the new COO, while Rachael Horwitz, who led communications at Twitter, Facebook, and Google, is joining as an operating partner.

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Author: AnTy

Despite ‘Significant’ Demand, Denmark’s Biggest Bank Will Maintain ‘A Very Cautious Approach’

Despite ‘Significant’ Demand, Denmark’s Biggest Bank Will Maintain ‘A Very Cautious Approach’

The Nordic region is simply staying away from crypto due to a lack of regulation in the sector.

Danske Bank says it won’t allow trading of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on its platform despite the growing interest from its clients.

The reason for not lifting the ban on trading crypto is the lack of transparency and regulation in crypto trading, as per the bank’s website. Denmark’s biggest bank also warned of volatility, “opaque” pricing, and the carbon footprint of crypto mining being at odds with its goal of sustainable banking.

“We recognize that there is a significant global market for crypto currencies and that many customers find cryptocurrencies interesting,” the bank said.

“However, as a financial institution, Danske Bank for several reasons maintains a very cautious approach towards cryptocurrencies.”

The bank is currently under investigation for money laundering in the U.S. and Europe.

Danske said it was waiting to see the developments to be made under new European Union legislation, Regulation of Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), and that it will review its position if crypto assets get properly regulated.

“We continuously monitor developments in the area of cryptocurrencies, and as the cryptocurrency market matures and is further regulated, we will review our position.”

Nordic Region Staying Away From Crypto

A Swedish hedge fund Volt Capital Management also said it wouldn’t invest in Bitcoin because they prefer a regulated market.

Nordea Bank Abp has also banned Bitcoin, saying it is too risky to explore without regulations and won’t let employees trade it either.

Earlier this week, the head of Sweden’s financial regulator, Erik Thedeen, further warned of a “significant risk” that crypto assets may be used for criminal purposes.

“Financial firms need to ask themselves whether they really want to invest in or encourage the growth” of such assets when they have “no obvious valuable, legitimate use,” he said.

Not Everyone Is Onboard

Elsewhere, a Coinbase user complained on Reddit that he is having issues with withdrawing money from Coinbase to their Citibank account via instant debit card.

“They informed me that they are no longer accepting incoming credits from Coinbase or other cryptocurrency-related institutions,” wrote the user.

However, this isn’t the first such incident. Back in 2018, four banks Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Capital One, prohibited purchasing cryptocurrencies at the platform using their credit cards.

But now banks have started to get comfortable with crypto, with big giants like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan offering crypto trading services to their clients.

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Author: AnTy