Mexico’s Central Bank to Launch its Digital Currency in Next 3 years to “Advance Financial Inclusion”

Mexico’s Central Bank to Launch its Digital Currency in Next 3 Years to “Advance Financial Inclusion,” says the Government

The central bank of Mexico will launch its own digital currency by 2024, announced the Mexican government on social media.

“Banxico reports that it will have its own digital currency in circulation by 2024,” the Mexican government wrote on its official Twitter account this week.

In its post, the central bank said it considers these new technologies and the latest payment infrastructure “very important” and “valuable options to advance financial inclusion in the country.”

Banxico, the monetary authority of Mexico, however, hasn’t confirmed the development itself. The central bank is legally independent of Mexico’s government. An anonymous senior bank official also told Reuters that the announcement was “not official.”

A couple of weeks back, Banxico said in a report that it is actually studying and working on the development of a platform for the implementation of a digital currency but gave no details on timing.

This CBDC project aims to improve financial inclusion by opening accounts for the registration of a digital currency for both banked and unbanked people, the report added.

This week, the central bank of India also said that they need to adopt a basic model for its CBDC.

“Given its dynamic impact on macroeconomic policymaking, it is necessary to adopt basic models initially and test comprehensively so that they have minimal impact on monetary policy and the banking system,” the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in a report. “India’s progress in payment systems will provide a useful backbone to make a state-of-the-art CBDC available to its citizens and financial institutions,” it added.

The apex bank further said in its report ‘Trend and Progress of Banking in India 2020-21’ that the CBDC can offer myriad benefits such as liquidity, scalability, acceptance, faster settlement, and ease of transactions with anonymity to its users.

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Author: AnTy

SBI Holdings to Launch Japan’s First Crypto Fund; Including BTC, ETH, DOT, LINK, XRP & BCH

SBI Holdings to Launch Japan’s First Crypto Fund; Including BTC, ETH, DOT, LINK, LTC, XRP & BCH

Japanese financial services company SBI Holdings has announced the launch of Japan’s first cryptocurrency fund for retail investors that will invest in seven major crypto assets.

These assets include the top two cryptos, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), which are trading under $47k and $4k respectively, along with Polkadot (DOT), Chainlink (LINK), XRP, Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

As per the official announcement, this SBI cryptocurrency Asset Fund is the first in Japan to invest directly in crypto for general investors.

The maximum number of its holders is 499, said SBI, adding, “This product is an investment of 5 million yen or more in units of 1 million yen” (just under $9k) with no upper limit.

The fund will have a one-year investment period and is aiming to manage at least 10 billion yen (about $88 million). The application period for purchase is between Dec. 17, 2021, and Jan. 31, 2022, while the contract period will be between Feb. 1, 2022, and Jan. 31, 2023.

In case one crypto asset gains high dominance in the crypto fund, the composition will be rebalanced, as per the announcement.

Besides allowing the trading of crypto, SBI said it “may temporarily lend the cryptocurrency assets” to be sold to a crypto exchange for a short period of time as a technical measure.

The firm will charge a sales commission of 3.3% and a 0.66% management fee.

The fund will be allocating 20% of investment in crypto over the next three months, depending on the market conditions.

Back in early September, Tomoya Asakura, who oversees asset management for Japan’s biggest online brokerage, told Bloomberg that “Once people feel it firsthand … they will understand that we aren’t recommending cryptocurrencies as a tool of speculation.”

Meanwhile, in its official announcement, SBI noted the launch of the Bitcoin futures ETF which has increased the value of crypto-assets and the widespread use of NFTs using blockchain technology.

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Author: AnTy

“It’s All About ETH,” As It Outperforms Due to “Overwhelming Institutionalization” of Bitcoin

CME will launch Micro Futures of Ether today, the only crypto which is “not stretched to the downside” on technical metrics as legacy institutions take profits heading into year-end.

Following last week’s dump, crypto markets recovered some only to show weakness on Monday, with the majority of digital assets still struggling to make a recovery.

Ether showed the most strength among top cryptos as it went past $4,200 on Sunday, up from $3,585 low on Saturday, not “as negatively impacted by the hawkish language out of the Fed,” as per Stephane Ouellette, CEO and co-founder of FRNT Financial Inc.

While Ether today dropped back under $4,025, Bitcoin is now trading near $48,100. As such, ETHBTC is maintaining its position above 0.08. While down from 0.0857 high on Sunday, it is still at 0.0833.

“The rest of the crypto market recovers at a much faster pace than Bitcoin” from events that create macro uncertainty, Fundstrat head of digital-asset research Sean Farrell said in a note. According to Farrell, this shows the “overwhelming level of institutionalization of Bitcoin” and “as legacy institutions look to preserve annual gains heading into year-end.”

Today, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) will also launch Micro Ether Futures, sized at 1/10th of one Ether, just ten months after launching Ether futures earlier this year and eight months after Micro Bitcoin Futures were released.

“Think that from here on out, ETH absorbs some crypto native SOV premium from BTC. ETH has enough lindy now + positive momentum, which BTC doesn’t. Alt players in aggregate are increasingly less loyal to BTC as well, and all the DeFi/NFT/P2E innovation = more appreciation for ETH,” said Andrew Kang of Mechanism Capital.

Ether is also on its way to becoming an institutional darling as UBS, in its latest FX Strategy report, wrote, “It’s all about ETH.”

They noted that over the past fortnight, all major crypto registered better volatility-adjusted performance versus equities and gold. And while every crypto slipped slightly, ETH was the “exception.”

Ether “has outperformed and now screens as the only coin not stretched to the downside on our technical metrics,” they said.

Meanwhile, in a report published last month, James Malcolm, a top currency strategist at UBS, noted that crypto has the potential to diversify an investor’s portfolio.

“One can now assert with considerable confidence that private digital currencies are here to stay and constitute a nascent asset class,” wrote Malcolm. And it doesn’t matter if one wants to get involved or not because “it’s going to be very difficult to avoid.”

Not to mention, a lot of mainstream companies are becoming more interested in digital assets, and they are only “going to be doing more things in crypto.”

However, according to him, crypto will still be a niche, alternative class that will have a fairly light-weighting in portfolios.

In his research, Malcolm highlighted regulation “likely to be positive, paving the way for widespread adoption and broader participation.” He also expects blockchain interoperability to be the “next big thing” in 2022.

As we reported recently, JPMorgan also called Ether a better and safer play than Bitcoin in its report. At the end of last month, the banking giant said, unlike Bitcoin, the rise in bond yields and the normalization of monetary policy are not putting downward pressure on Ether. Also, Ether is deriving its value from DeFi, NFTs, gaming, and stablecoins.

It wasn’t even the first time that JPMorgan backed Ether over Bitcoin. This has been going on since early this year when the bank’s analysts noted that the continued growth for DeFi and other components of the Ethereum-based economy brings bullish tailwinds versus bitcoin.

According to them, ETH 2.0 also brings additional opportunities to earn yield through staking, which will also be one of the factors to help crypto become “more mainstream.” “In fact, in the current zero rate environment, we see the yields as an incentive to invest,” analysts said in July.

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Author: AnTy

Argentina Plans to Launch Bitcoin Futures; US SEC Postpones Valkyrie Spot BTC ETF Deadline to Jan

Argentina Plans to Launch Bitcoin Futures While US SEC Postpones Valkyrie Spot Bitcoin ETF Deadline to Early January

Valkyrie Fund CIO says Bitcoin Spot ETF is not coming until the middle of next year as the regulator tries to “get their heads around what exactly is going on with these exchanges.”

Argentina is now considering launching regulated Bitcoin futures.

Local Futures and Options exchange Matba Rofex submitted a proposal to Argentina’s securities regulator to launch cash-settled Bitcoin futures in Argentine pesos. Talks for the same began a few months ago, but the National Securities Commission of Argentina is yet to rule on the matter.

If approved, this will be the first regulated Bitcoin futures to be launched in Argentina though similar products are accessible through unregulated platforms.

The product would not be aimed at the general public but only at “qualified and specialized investors” and “corporations” who are “informed about the product and its volatility.”

It is likely the company would get the approval as a few months back, the President of Argentina Alberto Fernandez had said that he was open to adopting Bitcoin as legal tender.

“I don’t want to go too far out on a limb […], but there is no reason to say no,” he said at the time.

Rofex, the biggest futures market in Argentina, is not only eyeing futures for Bitcoin but also considering similar products for other cryptocurrencies if there is demand for them.

What About the Bitcoin Spot ETF?

In the US, meanwhile, the first Bitcoin Futures ETF started trading last month. More than one such product made its debut, with ProShares becoming the fastest fund to amass $1 billion in assets while Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTF) attracted $10 million in the first 5 minutes of trading.

While the exchange-traded fund tied to Bitcoin futures contracts listed on the CME has seen the green light, the spot Bitcoin ETF is nowhere close to reality. This week, the US SEC further postponed its decision on the Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund for an additional 60 days, i.e., January 7, 2022.

“The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the issues raised in the comment letters that have been submitted in connection therewith,” said the regulator in a statement.

In an interview with CNBC, Valkyrie Funds chief investment officer Steven McClurg said he doesn’t see a bitcoin ETF until at least the middle of next year.

“The staff is still trying to get their heads around what exactly is going on with these exchanges. They’re trying to put a little bit more regulatory structure around them before they … move forward with this,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

MoneyGram Partners With Circle And Stellar to Launch Cash In And Cash Out Links to USDC

MoneyGram Partners With Circle And Stellar to Launch Cash In And Cash Out Links to USDC

Cross-border payments giant MoneyGram is now working with the Stellar network for instant money transfers using the USDC stablecoin.

The companies announced on Monday that they would start the pilot in the fourth quarter of this year, and a gradual rollout of enabling USDC fiat on and off-ramp across MoneyGram’s retail platform will happen early next year.

This ledger-based stablecoin bridge between crypto and local currencies aims to connect MoneyGram’s over 150 million global customers.

“Working with MoneyGram allows end consumers to have on- and off-ramps everywhere that MoneyGram’s vast agent network supports this. So this is just transformational in terms of being able to exchange crypto for fiat and fiat for crypto,” said Denelle Dixon, CEO and executive director of the Stellar Development Foundation.

“We’re trying to go as big as we can.”

United Texas Bank will be serving as a settlement bank between MoneyGram and Circle.

According to Circle, this “marks a breakthrough moment for the use of digital currencies in cross-border payments.” Peer-to-peer remittances cumulatively amounted to more than $700 billion a year in pre-pandemic times.

MoneyGram is not new to crypto as previously it partnered with Ripple to leverage the company’s on-demand liquidity (ODL) to facilitate FX trading. But the partnership came to an end after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Ripple and its top two executives in December last year for conducting an unregistered security offering.

According to Alex Holmes, MoneyGram’s chairman and CEO, their partnership with Stellar is different from their relationship with Ripple and also larger in scope because it directly touches on consumer payments.

This week also came the report that Circle has received an investigative subpoena from the SEC, but MoneyGram CEO isn’t concerned as he said in an interview, “I’m quite used to regulation.”

“Unfortunately, a lot of regulation ends up being a look back. I think the blockchain world and digital asset world [have] really accelerated and now I see a lot of regulators looking to catch up.”

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Author: AnTy

Wormhole Launches Solana-Ethereum Bridge to Move NFTs Cross-Chain

Solana-based interoperability protocol Wormhole officially announced the launch of a cross-chain bridge between the competitors Solana (SOL) and Ethereum (ETH).

This bridge will enable the transfer of digital assets between ERC-20 and SPL blockchains.

The total value locked (TVL) in the decentralized finance space has skyrocketed to nearly $170 billion, climbing towards the $192 billion peak earlier this month. This growth in TVL continues to grow as more and more layer 1 blockchains gain traction, driving this demand for cross-chain bridges.

Ethereum is currently in the lead at $118 billion, followed by Binance Smart Chain (BSC) at $16.23 billion, then Solana at $8.74 billion, Terra $8.05 billion, Polygon at $4.1 billion, Avalanche $3.16 billion, and Fantom at $1.24 billion, according to DeFi Llama.

As Yearn Finance (YFI) creator Andre Cronje explained last week in a panel hosted by Sanctor Capital,

“The whole DeFi wave gave a reason for people to begin interacting with different blockchains.”

“The more we’re interacting, the more we are realising that there’s actually a little bit too much activity for any one chain to handle this stuff.”

“While I can’t specifically pinpoint a big bang moment, it’s a combination of the maturing of different blockchains and their DeFi ecosystems, and things like NFTs that are giving people more and more of a reason to interact.”

On Wednesday, Wormhole stated that they are launching the NFT bridge between Ethereum and Solana, meaning users will now be able to send Ethereum and Solana NFTs such as CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club, and Degen Ape Academy cross-chain.

Just like different layer 1 blockchains are cropping up and ruling the cryptocurrency market, non-fungible tokens (NFT) are all the mania right now as well.

NFTs are currently the most vibrant sector, representing material activity on Ethereum, as can be seen in the daily number of ERC-721 transfers that increased by over 10x from the beginning of 2021 to today.

NFT marketplace OpenSea, meanwhile, is the economic hub of NFT activity on Ethereum, which grew at a staggering pace this year. In August, OpenSea registered more than $3 billion in total volume while the number of unique buyers peaked at 35k the same month.

Besides attracting new users and generating new economic activity, NFTs also congested the Ethereum network and started growing on other blockchains, which offered cheaper and faster alternatives.

So, Wormhole is enabling the users to move digital art across the two blockchains.

For now, in the initial version, the bridge will only support ERC-721 (with metadata) and SPL assets with plans to expand NFT support even further to enable cross-chain transfers of ERC-1155 assets as well.

“We can’t wait to see how users will leverage the NFT bridge to bring together previously disparate communities of artists, musicians, and content creators across multiple ecosystems,” tweeted the team.

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Author: AnTy

SBI Holdings to Launch Japan’s First Crypto Fund Before 2021 is Over

SBI Holdings to Launch Japan’s First Crypto Fund Before 2021 is Over

Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings is now planning to launch the country’s first cryptocurrency fund before the year is over. With this offering, the company aims to give individual investors a way to diversify their broader portfolio, reported Bloomberg.

The fund that seeks to be launched by the end of November could grow to several hundred million dollars.

It will invest in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and other crypto assets, said Tomoya Asakura, who oversees asset management for Japan’s biggest online brokerage, SBI affiliate Morningstar Japan K.K.

“I want people to hold it together with other assets and experience firsthand how useful it can be for diversifying portfolios,” Asakura told Bloomberg, adding that if the fund succeeded, the company would “move quickly” to launch a second one.

Investors in the fund may be required to put in a minimum of roughly 1 million yen ($9,100) to 3 million yen.

Asakura further said that this fund would mainly be aimed at people who understand risks associated with cryptocurrencies, such as high volatility.

It took four years for SBI to come to this point, primarily because of Japan’s tightening restrictions over crypto investing.

Earlier last month, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) Commissioner Junichi Nakajima said he is open-minded about the potential benefits of crypto but added that digital currencies are currently being used primarily for speculation and investment and not as a means of transferring money. Nakajima said at the time,

“We 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

Axie Infinity Prepares for AXS Staking Launch, Community Treasury Skyrockets Past $1 Billion

Axie Infinity Prepares for AXS Staking Launch, Community Treasury Skyrockets Past $1 Billion

Sky Mavis, the company behind Axie Infinity, is asking its community members to “abide by the laws of their home countries” after the Philippines government started investigating the play-to-earn games.

Popular play-to-earn blockchain game Axie Infinity continues to lead the protocol revenue chart, earning $125.8 million on a weekly basis. In the last three months, the project has generated more than half a billion dollars in revenue, $1.1 bln in the past six months, and $1.4 bln in the past year.

The token AXS also continues to trade above $71 and is within reach for its $82.40 ATH from less than a week back.

Amidst this, Delphi Digital made its report on Axie from the end of June public in which it noted that it was the Ronin launch that was the key catalyst for the NFT game’s explosive growth as its daily active users went to 252,000 from 38,000 in just two months.

The majority of Axie’s new users are from the Philippines and Venezuela, it added.

The community treasury of the project has also grown from less than $1 million to over $14 million at June end. In another two months, the Treasury skyrocketed to surpass the billion-dollar mark as everyone piled into the project.

In November 2020, the Axie team had shared that 100% of all fees and primary sales from the Axie universe will be deposited in the Treasury. It also said that it would also direct a portion of staking issuance, starting at 35%, and gradually taper off over time towards Community Treasury.

“We’re also working with the Axie team on the upcoming launch of AXS staking. There’s a meaningful amount of supply set aside for staking rewards, and the treasury itself is over $1B and growing rapidly,” said Yan Liberman, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Delphi Digital, on Thursday.

The treasury also saw daily growth increasing from sub-100k in April to a peak of over $600k in June.

Delphi Digital projected in its June-end report that the community treasury is expected to have 15.6 million AXS and 26.6k ETH, equating to roughly $150 million at the time when the price of AXS was a mere $5 and Ether was just above $2k while currently past $3k. This, however, does not include additional AXS deposited once staking incentives go live, scheduled for a Q3 release as such could come by September end.

An estimated 24% of circulating AXS is expected to be held by the treasury by the end of the year.

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AXS token holders are entitled to this treasury and, once staking goes live, will start receiving distributions and further dictate how it’s spent through governance.

“It will be interesting to see how the treasury build-up plays out, given that treasury growth will likely be higher than circulating supply expansion,” the report said.

Amidst this explosive growth, Sky Mavis, the company behind Axie Infinity, posted a statement on Twitter in regards to the reports of the government in the Philippines investigating the play-to-earn games and Axie Infinity in particular regarding the nature of tokens and because officials say the company should pay taxes on their revenue.

The Vietnamese company has asked its community members to “abide by the laws of their home countries.”

“Play-to-earn is an important shift in the nature of work; we look forward to working with physical nations (governments) on a path forward that encourages innovation and empowers gamers.”

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Author: AnTy

dYdX Launches Governance Token, But the Airdrop Won’t Cover US-based Users

The decentralized trading platform also announced the launch of the dYdX Foundation “to fully decentralize” the Protocol and remove single points of failure.

Decentralized finance (DeFi) project dYdX announced the launch of dYdX Foundation, a Zug-based independent foundation, which it describes as the first important step in its journey towards complete decentralization.

The same day, the trading platform announced that the dYdX Foundation is launching the governance token DYDX, which “powers a community-led ecosystem of governance, staking, and rewards.”

The Foundation has minted a total of 1 billion DYDX tokens which will become accessible over five years starting on August 3rd.

50% of this is allocated to the community, out of which — 25% goes to its users who trade on Layer 2 based on fees and open interest, 7.5% to past users who complete a certain trading milestone on Layer 2, another 7.5% to LPs, 5% to a community treasury, and 2.5% goes to users staking USDC and DYDX each.

dYdX’s past investors will be getting a 27.73% share while the project’s founders, employees, advisors, and consultants get 15.27%, and the remaining 7% is allocated to future employees of dYdX Trading or Foundation.

All DYDX issued to stockholders, directors, officers, employees, and consultants are subject to various vesting schedules — 30% will unlock in 18 months, 40% will unlock equally from month 19 through month 24th, 20% from month 25 through month 36, and the remaining 10% will unlock equally from month 37 through month 48.

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The tokens will be airdropped over this month which will become transferable on Sept. 8. However, DYDX is not available to its users from the US and other prohibited jurisdictions.

“The launch of the dYdX Layer 2 protocol came with a new focus on global growth outside of the United States,” noted the team.

In order to be eligible for retroactive rewards, users must have traded on dYdX protocols (perpetual, margin, spot) on Layer 1 or Layer 2 in the past or deposited funds into its borrow/supply pools and have hit a certain threshold.

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The team also announced trading fee discounts based on DYDX holdings.

Meanwhile, the Foundation will help the project in research and development activities, promote and educate the public about it, and engage with third parties for the benefit of the ecosystem.

It will also issue, receive, spend, and hold digital assets (no speculative trading activities) and acquire, hold or grant trademarks, copyrights, and other intellectual property (IP) rights or licenses.

Through this Foundation, the project aims “to fully decentralize the dYdX Protocol, removing single points of failure and creating a self-sustaining protocol governed by a community of users.”

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Author: AnTy

Coca-Cola to Launch First NFT on OpenSea on Friendship Day to Benefit the Special Olympics

Coca-Cola to Launch First NFT on OpenSea on Friendship Day to Benefit the Special Olympics

Coca-Cola, one of the most popular beverage companies in the world, has announced that it will launch a non-fungible token (NFT).

In a press release shared earlier today, the Atlanta-based beverage conglomerate confirmed that it had partnered with developer Tafi to launch branded virtual wearables as NFTs. The tokens will represent different items, and they will be available on multiple blockchain-powered platforms.

NFTs for a Good Cause

The upcoming launch will be Coca-Cola’s first foray into NFTs. It also marks yet another big brand working with these tokens to grow their reach. With the beverage company looking to celebrate International Friendship Day with the NFT, all proceeds coming from the sale will go to the Special Olympics.

Explaining the NFT drop, Coca-Cola explained that the collection would feature four separate pieces and feature multi-sensory NFTs housed inside a Friendship Box. the box itself will be an NFT too. The NFT will be auctioned off, and the winning bidder will get additional unique surprises when they digitally open it.

Another unique feature of the NFT launch is that the assets can be worn within Decentraland – a blockchain-powered 3D virtual reality world. Coca-Cola also said that it would host a “Rooftop Party” on Decentraland to celebrate the NFT launch.

Coca-Cola Deepens Crypto and Blockchain Ties

While this is a milestone for Coca-Cola, it’s not their first foray into the blockchain and crypto industry. In November 2019, Business Insider reported that Coke One North America (CONA), the company that handles IT operations for Coca-Cola, used a blockchain solution to manage its supply chain.

Per the report, CONA managed a platform to oversee different franchises that manufacture, bottle, and ship about 160,000 Coca-Cola product orders daily. The technology could help improve cross-company transaction processes and transactions, allowing the bottling operation to move along more rapidly.

Andrei Semenov, senior manager at CONA, told Business Insider that the company expected to use blockchain to reduce order reconciliation durations from 50 days to just a few days. With an inter-company, transparent blockchain platform, CONA will get real-time insights into all bottlers’ transactions, which generate up to $21 billion in annual revenues.

Last year, Amatil X, Coca-Cola Amatil’s corporate venture platform, also announced an investment into Centrepay – a digital asset and payment service provider. Amatil, one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the world, had built a corporate partnership with Centrepay at the time that allowed users to make crypto payments at any of its 2,000+ vending machines across New Zealand and Australia.

With the investment, Centrepay claimed that it would expand its service range t include Epay gift cards, contactless fiat, and vouchers.

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Author: Jimmy Aki