Crypto Market in Recovery Mode After ‘Fake’ News Volatility Amidst Increased Regulatory Scrutiny

The mainstream media outlets decry crypto after jumping fast on the fake Walmart press release announcing support for Litecoin payments while CT started dissecting the news right from the moment it got published and declared it “fake.”

The crypto market had a rough Monday as rumors of crypto derivatives exchange FTX being hacked floated on Twitter which turned out to be fake.

FTX CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried then took to Twitter to clarify that,

“For those who don’t know, Bitcoin withdrawal processing involves combining together UTXOs from deposit addresses etc; a few days ago we consolidated some UTXOs into an address to make processing quicker.”

Before this, Litecoin (LTC) pump and dump news shook the market as crypto asset prices experienced a bout of volatility. Today, we are back on track, i.e., upwards with Bitcoin (BTC) trading above $46k, Ether (ETH) $3,300, and the total market nearly at $2.2 trillion.

However, the mainstream media outlets picked up on the fake Walmart press release announcing support for Litecoin payments pretty quickly.

This news sent the price of Litecoin up by more than 30%, only to tumble back on the ground after it became clear that the press release sent out by GlobeNewswire was fake. Walmart spokesman also confirmed the inauthenticity of the PR.

GlobeNewswire then issued a “notice to disregard” the original release and said that a fraudulent user account was used to issue the release. A spokesperson said,

“This has never happened before, and we have already put in place enhanced authentication steps to prevent this isolated incident from occurring in the future.”

“We will work with the appropriate authorities to request – and facilitate – a full investigation, including into any criminal activity associated with this matter.”

Even the Litecoin Foundation tweeted out the fake news, which was then quickly deleted. In a statement, the Litecoin Foundation said one of their social media team members “was a little too eager” and shared the story and that they have taken steps to correct the future issues.

Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin and managing director of the Litecoin Foundation, also described the incident as an “unfortunate situation.”

The Crypto community started dissecting the news right from the moment it became public and already declared it “fake” with Neeraj Agrawal of CoinCenter noting how it was not in Walmart’s newsroom, the wire account for “Walmart Inc” didn’t post anything, and Walmart’s contact email in the PR was owned by a squatter. Not to mention, ​​the retail giant’s email domain used in the PR was registered just last month and didn’t link back to any official website.

In the aftermath, mainstream media is now talking about the industry needing regulatory oversight.

“It’s hard to know what’s legitimate in the anything-goes world of cryptocurrencies,” reads an opinion piece on Reuters.

Bloomberg also wrote that the incident “will only add to the perception that cryptocurrency is at best a play thing for investors and at worst a hotbed of corruption.”

Meanwhile, the article on Reuters talked about US regulators routinely cracking down on such scandals in the stock market and expects similar enforcement here.

“This happens with the regular stock market also. It happens a lot more with the regular stock market than with crypto,” said Litecoin creator Lee.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, meanwhile, has said it does not comment on such matters.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler has recently called crypto the “Wild West,” adding,

“This asset class is rife with fraud, scams, and abuse in certain applications. We can do better.”

Regulators around the world have already increased their scrutiny of the cryptocurrency industry and are working on trying to strike a balance in regulating the market to protect investors and punish the wrongdoers while ensuring that innovation continues to flourish.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Developer to Lead Twitter’s “Decentralized Standard for Social Media” Bluesky

Crypto Developer to Lead Twitter’s “Decentralized Standard for Social Media” Bluesky

Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey’s “decentralized standard for social media” Bluesky has found its lead in Jay Graber, a cryptocurrency developer and a founder of a social events startup.

As we reported last week, Dorsey acknowledged that Bluesky has “taken a long time,” which was first announced in 2019, as the team decided to research before hiring a lead which he said would be announced this week.

And on Monday, Twitter said the open-source project will be led by Graber and is currently focused on hiring and setting up the group as an independent entity that will be funded by Twitter.

“Over the past year, I’ve been working closely with a group of thinkers and builders from the decentralized social ecosystem. We published an ecosystem review in January, and my next step will be hiring for the bluesky team,” said Graber on Twitter.

Graber built her own decentralized social network called Happening and previously worked on the development team behind the privacy-focused cryptocurrency Zcash (ZEC).

“The team and community that Jay will bring together can shape the future of social media through decentralization using open standards,” said Parag Agrawal, CTO at Twitter.

Dorsey had previously said that with Bluesky, the idea is to introduce new decentralized technology as a standard on which others will rebuild their platforms and become its clients. This, he had said, will allow collaboration on building content algorithms promoting “healthy conversation.”

Back in March, in written testimony to a US House committee, Dorsey said the project is “complex and unprecedented” and is expected to take years to build.

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Author: AnTy

TikTok Bans Investment Promotions Including Cryptocurrency Ads

Popular China-based social media app TikTok, with an estimated 1 billion monthly active users, has updated its branded content policy to put a global ban on touting financial services, including cryptocurrencies.

Besides cryptos, this ban also covers but is not limited to Forex companies loans, credit cards, pyramid schemes, investment services, get rich quick schemes, management of money assets, and buy now pay later companies.

The social media giant’s ad policy stated that financial services are allowed to advertise to users over the age of 18. However, ads for cryptocurrencies are prohibited from the platform.

This move is aimed at putting a stop to the promotion of high-risk investments on social media.

In February, UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) released a report that said that TikTok had been used to target young investors looking to make a quick buck.

“The findings reveal there is a new, younger, more diverse group of consumers getting involved in higher-risk investments, potentially prompted in part by the accessibility offered by new investment apps,” reads the report.

Last month, TikTok also teamed up with Citizens Advice to roll out videos talking about making informed financial decisions. At the time, the company said, it wanted to help users become confident and alert to financial misinformation.

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Author: AnTy

“More Rigid Policies Are Yet To Come,” Says Chinese Media While Beijing Subway Runs e-CNY Test

“More Rigid Policies Are Yet To Come,” Says Chinese Media While Beijing Subway Runs e-CNY Test

The Chinese media group Caixin Global published an editorial this week with the title, “It’s Time to Declare War on Cryptocurrency.”

The editorial talks about how no other country than China has been more determined to “put an end to speculative trading of digital currencies” as the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) instructed several financial institutions and payment services to stop providing crypto-related services.

The latest development in China cracking down on crypto mining and derivatives trading has more than 10,000 mining machines stopped in Yunnan.

The Bitcoin hash rate has already fallen quite drastically, sending the block time to 2010 levels representing the shutdown of Chinese miners. And these miners have already either moved or are in the process of moving overseas.

40% of the miners actually want to move outside China while 45% of the miners choose to continue mining and wait in China, and 14% of the miners have chosen to sell machines, as per Chinese publication Wu Blockchain’s survey of 409 crypto miners.

Amidst this crackdown, on Tuesday, Beijing Subway has launched a test of DCEP / e-CNY payment where users can scan their payment QR code for entry and exit.

Those who have activated ICBC’s digital RMB service can participate in the swipe and ride test via the Yilutongxing app, Beijing municipal travel app, within the 24 operating lines of Beijing Subway and 4 suburban railways.

This experiment will further extend to Beijing Subway and be used in multiple scenarios, including ticket sales and at gates.

It Ain’t Over!

According to Caixin’s article, the latest regulatory measures are the result of policymakers’ ever-growing understanding of the emerging risks associated with crypto and the country’s needs to better manage financial risks and to transition to a low-carbon economy.

“This is an unmistakable signal that more rigid policies are yet to come,” it said.

While the piece acknowledges that every time a cryptocurrency comes under regulatory pressure, “it always comes back even stronger than before,” it goes on to state that the Chinese government is serious this time, and speculators are advised to give up or risk going broke.

Overall, it is pretty clear that “cryptocurrency mania is fundamentally destructive,” and it should be “stamped out at all levels like doctors working to eradicate a virus.”

According to trader and economist Alex Kruger, “it clearly ain’t over, likely more actions to come, but do think the worst is priced in.”

Besides Caixin Global, Global Times also published a piece this week that states Bitcoin will only live underground and that virtual currencies are considered illegal currencies and illegal investment products.

Bitcoin was actually defined as a virtual commodity by the Central Bank of China in 2013. A few months ago, Li Bo, the deputy governor of PBOC, said Bitcoin should be used as investment tools or alternative investments.

This week, IMF President Kristalina Georgieva proposed to appoint Li Bo as vice president, effective August 23, 2021.

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Author: AnTy

Due to Increased Demand, Social Trading Platform Firm eToro Now Supports DOGE

Bitcoin may have brought cryptocurrencies to the limelight, but altcoins seem to be enjoying media attention in recent weeks.

The unprecedented surge in the value of small-cap cryptocurrencies has brought an influx of investors who have called for their listing on popular trading platforms.

The latest is meme-based cryptocurrency Dogecoin (DOGE) which enjoyed great fame following its bullish run in April.

In a few weeks that saw Dogecoin post over 300% increase in value, calls have continued to grow for the meme token to be listed on major crypto exchanges in the US.

The first response is coming from popular brokerage company eToro.

eToro US Lists DOGE

Israeli online brokerage firm eToro announced the listing of parody-based cryptocurrency Dogecoin on its U.S platform.

The listing will see Dogecoin join a host of other popular digital assets like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), as well as, BCH, XRP, TRX, ETC, ADA, DASH, LTC, EOS, MIOTA, XLM, NEO, XTZ, ZEC, LINK, and UNI on the eToro US platform.

The brokerage firm with over 20 million active global users noted that this step was taken due to growing client demand for the meme coin to be listed.

eToro’s decision comes at a point in time when it witnessed remarkable rallies. It’s known as one of the most highly sought-after digital currencies.

It has also received backing from popular figures like Tesla’s Elon Musk and Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban.

Both men have contributed immensely to the continued success of Dogecoin.

At one point, Musk described DOGE as his favorite crypto.

This saw the price of the digital asset climb 20% with a further 10% when he confirmed his appearance on the popular tv show Saturday Night Live.

Cuban has been quite vocal too.

He has spent the better part of 2021 talking about cryptocurrencies and their potential to revolutionize the financial landscape.

In a recent tweet, he compared Bitcoin and gold as stores of value, noting that both are more or less financial religions in how they are used.

He also noted that BTC is easy to trade, create, and store with minimal delivery issues.

Also, Bitcoin allows for the transfer of value domestically and cross-border in contrast to gold which he said can be a hassle.

He also spoke on the decentralized platform Ethereum, which he said is far better, cheaper, and faster in authenticating financial transactions in a trustless manner through smart contracts than conventional financial institutions.

Cuban did not forget to speak about DOGE in his series of tweets. According to the billionaire investor, Doge may become a usable currency if more companies accept the digital coin in exchange for products and services.

Businesses Jumping on DOGE

Top on the list of companies adopting Dogecoin is NBA franchise Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs have since accepted Dogecoin as a form of payment for tickets and online merchandise. The solution was done in partnership with crypto payment provider BitPay.

Other businesses jumping on the Doge train have been consumer electronics company Newegg, Air Baltic, and Canada-based internet service provider EasyDNS.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Gemini Survey Reveals Adults Are Becoming More Interested in Cryptocurrencies

With cryptocurrencies gaining more and more media attention, investors in traditional financial markets are gradually looking into cryptocurrencies. Beyond institutions, more women are starting to get involved with Bitcoin.

14% of US Populace Own Crypto

According to a Gemini State of Crypto Report for 2021 on 3000 US adults, crypto is beginning to broaden its investor base.

The document estimates that 14% of the US population, roughly 21.1 million adults, own crypto assets. It also showed that 74% of these crypto holders are male, while 77% are under the age of 45.

Women are not left out, as they make up 26% of crypto investors.

The document also pointed out that the average age of a cryptocurrency owner is 38 years old, making approximately $111,000 per annum.

Gemini spoke about another group of investors called the “crypto-curious.”

Gemini defines this group as investors who are yet to take the crypto plunge but planning to do so in 2021. This section comprises over 63% of US adults.

About 13% of this group plan to diversify their investment portfolio into cryptocurrencies in the next 12 months.

Gemini notes that this could see 19.3 million new crypto holders coming into the space, which would double the crypto population in the North American nation.

The survey also shows an interesting trend. Women are more likely to buy crypto soon as 53% of female respondents say they plan to own a digital asset by the end of the year. 4% of the current female crypto owners are 55 years or older, and the average age is 44 years.

Regarding demographics, 52% of current investors reside in urban or suburban areas, while 26% are domiciled in small towns and rural areas.

Bitcoin Still Most Dominant Digital Asset

Even though cryptocurrencies are gaining mainstream acceptance and more investors are coming into the crypto space, the knowledge of the various virtual currencies on offer is still lacking.

95% of respondents still associate crypto with Bitcoin and claim partial knowledge of other digital assets.

Even though Ethereum is the second most valuable cryptocurrency globally, just 38% of respondents said they have heard about it.

Bitcoin forks, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, followed after that with 24% and 16% of respondents claiming knowledge about these lesser traded digital coins, respectively.

Foremost stablecoin USDt could only gather 11%, while San-Francisco blockchain firm Ripple Labs’ XRP had 6%. Oracle provider Chainlink had 8% of respondents saying they must have come across it once.

The least known projects were Cardano’s ADA and Polkadot’s DOT which secured a meager 2% given their influence in the crypto space.

This showed that most crypto investors and enthusiasts are still experiencing knowledge gaps regarding the various crypto assets in the blockchain ecosystem. According to Gemini, this can be addressed with accessible educational crypto materials to turn the crypto-curious into active crypto investors.

The survey also noted that most crypto investors view these digital assets as a long-term investment strategy.

A whopping 69% of investors buy and hold for long-term appreciation compared to 36% who trade short-term for profits. 27% of the respondents use digital assets to make purchases online.

Another survey by analytics firm Piplsay points to a growing faith in the safety of trading cryptocurrencies, with 50% of respondents stating their willingness to invest in the space. A further 57% demanded that consumer companies like Amazon and Apple start accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

TIME Now Accepts Crypto as Payment for Subscriptions in the US and Canada

TIME, a global media brand with an audience of 100 million around the world, has announced that it has started accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment for digital subscriptions.

As was reported previously, the company would be HODLing any BTC that they receive, much like electric car maker Tesla when it announced that they are accepting only BTC as payment soon after investing $1.5 billion in it.

This announcement follows TIME’s recent expansion into the cryptocurrency space after it offered an exclusive series of three TIME covers as NFTs at auction.

“We are thrilled to offer cryptocurrency as a payment option for our digital subscribers for the first time.”

Bharat Krish TIME Chief Technology Officer

Currently, this pay with the crypto feature is only available in the U.S. and Canada. But the company plans to roll up the global access in the next several months.

Those subscribers who pay with crypto will receive unlimited access to content across Time.com for 18 months with their one-time purchase, as well as subscriber-only events and offerings.

TIME will accept crypto through its partnership with the cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com that will also offer Pay Rewards of up to 10% back for subscribers who pay with CRO, the native coin of the exchange.

“As TIME continues to innovate and find new ways to build upon our existing community of 2.3 million subscribers, we are proud to offer this new payment option through our partnership with Crypto.com.”

Keith Grossman TIME President

Last month, TIME also opened the position for CFO who has “Comfort with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.”

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Author: AnTy

China Stance on Crypto Remains The Same; Blockchain, Not Bitcoin

In a recent report by Chinese state media Xinhuanet, the Chinese government wants its citizens to stop paying attention to cryptocurrency but concentrate more on blockchain technology, the technology behind the cryptocurrencies.

China is emphasizing that the current rise of almost all crypto coins could seem very attractive to investors, which may not be permanent.

According to the media report, the warning is to protect the Chinese citizens and residents from making life-damaging investment decisions. However, it encourages citizens to invest more time and resources in Blockchain technology since it can be applied in various industries.

The past few weeks had seen the upsurge of Bitcoin price, as it moved above its previous all-time high achieved in 2017 when it reached $20,000 per Bitcoin. The same story goes for other cryptocurrencies. Some even tripled in price, representing massive investment profits for the crypto holder.

Bitcoin’s direction is uncertain

Various market analysts have predicted on the recent Bull Run and where the market is headed next. Some have even predicted that Bitcoin’s price could reach $100,000 soon, as market indices show.

However, China is advising its citizens not to throw their entire investment bag into Bitcoin because the market is highly volatile. Generally, the country is known to be a strong supporter and advocate of advanced technology. But this time, the government is making a distinction between blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Based on the publication, one of the reasons for the advice against cryptocurrency investment is that no one knows why Bitcoin is rising fast. As a result, the fall can be dramatic and very volatile for some investors to bear.

The Chinese government has always been very protective of its citizens when it comes to investments. In the shared post, the government described Bitcoin’s price as a “hype,” and the risk f trading on the top cryptocurrency is very high, according to the post.

Different views about blockchain and cryptocurrency

But when it comes to the technology behind Bitcoin, China is well known to be an ardent optimist. It has made concerted efforts to develop its blockchain industry and has gone a long way towards developing it’s Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) system.

The country has already passed the first stage of its DCEP testing. Additionally, China is in the process of developing its blockchain-based network service. Several public chains have already integrated into the network, including EOS, NEO, Tezos, and Ethereum. But it’s the negative stance of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency remains unchanged.

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Author: Ali Raza

China State-Owned Media Covers Crypto as 2020’s Best Performing Assets Driven by DeFi & Weak Dollar

In an unusual coordinated report on Friday, several Chinese state-owned media covered cryptocurrencies, calling them the best-performing assets of 2020.

The country’s top broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV), ran a three-minute-long news clip, highlighting crypto assets rallying 70% this year.

“Cryptocurrency has undoubtedly become the top-performing investment” among several other global assets, said the report.

The clip also mentions DeFi and the weak dollar as the two reasons for the crypto bull market this year.

“China is just getting started on DeFi…” said a researcher at crypto fund The Spartan Group who noted the retail investors are likely to go for early DeFi projects in China like DODO and MCDex and the blue chips UNI, YFI, COMP, and MKR that also has a Chinese community.

CCTV also covered ETH being the top performer and fear of inflation driving the growth along with the central banks experimenting with CBDCs as a bull case for cryptocurrencies but government regulations being a major uncertainty.

“There is another following coverage today on CCTV2 abt PBOC encouraging accelerating DCEP adoption and enlarging beta test cases. So previously, coverage on ‘cryptoasset’s top performance’ seems to be related to this DCEP bull narrative in general,” noted Dovey Wan of Primitive Crypto.

A Bullish Affair

All of this got the Chinese crypto community’s attention, who shared the clip on WeChat as a bullish signal.

CCTV’s crypto reporting came after state-owned news agency Xinhua which also published an article titled, “Cryptocurrency is this year’s ‘No. 1 asset’” a day before. Prior to its digital version on Xinhua, the same article appeared on one of the longest-running state media, Cankaoxiaoxi, in print form.

Such a rare coordinated effort is at odds with China’s stance on crypto speculation, but trader Qiao Wage said it is a “misconception” that the Chinese government has always been “hostile” towards Bitcoin and crypto.

“If there was a parallel financial system that could rival the dollar-based system, they would love to be part of it. What they are hostile towards is fraud and speculative craze,” he said, adding, “I do agree with the view that they are against capital flight using crypto, which is pretty obvious.”

Yesterday, the South China Morning Post also reported of at least 1 trillion yuan ($145.5 billion) worth of funds moving out of China into gambling activities every year, aggravating the country’s economic and financial security risk, as per Liao Jinrong, the director-general of the International Cooperation Department under the Ministry of Public Security.

“The volume and speed of cross-border capital flows are unprecedented,” Zhu Min, head of the National Institute of Financial Research at Tsinghua University, was quoted by the People’s Daily mouthpiece this week.

“This will not only result in sustained fluctuations in major world currencies, but will also lead to higher volatility in global financial markets. Therefore, we must be prepared for potential risks,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

G20 Set to Accept Digital Currencies; Green Lights Policy Changes for Regulatory Framework

The G20 members are set to accept digital payments as soon as November 2020, according to the Japanese media outlet, Kyodo News. This shift in attitude towards crypto assets coincides with increasing interest by oversight bodies.

Last year, the G20 was skeptical on digital assets’ ability to impact current financial ecosystems, this now seems to have changed as the members prepare for the annual summit to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Kyodo News detailed that the change in tact towards crypto ecosystems has been influenced by Facebook’s Libra proposal and China’s digital yuan. These two projects hit the crypto scene with a bang, fueling discussions across the board.

While China’s digital yuan is at its sunrise phase, Libra is still facing regulatory challenges. Nonetheless, the G20, which comprises 20 members, including the EU, has seen it fit to lay a framework for digital assets as well.

The changes in policy are scheduled to take effect as of October, just before the G20 annual summit. Discussions will revolve around digital currency use, money-laundering risks, and the challenges of using crypto as a form of payment. With such groundwork in place, G20 is optimistic about spreading the risk attributed to stablecoins as per an October 2019 report.

Global Progress in Digital Asset Frameworks

China continues to lead the way in CBDC progress, having recently piloted a digital yuan. The Asian superpower is now looking to integrate this PBoC backed digital currency with its existing financial ecosystem. Going by China’s active use of mobile payments via Alipay and WeChat, stakeholders are optimistic about a seamless integration in a move that will enhance the CCP oversight in digital payment networks.

The EU has made some fundamental progress in this field, especially in regulation. Currently, crypto-oriented businesses operating within its jurisdiction have to comply with the 5AMLD, which came into play earlier this year.

However, this framework has not been very friendly to all crypto-based entities as some had to relocate shops in search of more accommodating digital asset laws. Finally, the U.S, which has long been skeptical, are also looking into digital assets. CFTC Chairman, Heath Tarbert, recently said that they are waiting on the SEC guidance to go ahead with listing more crypto derivatives in the U.S market.

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Author: Edwin Munyui