Japanese Art Commission Platform With Over 1.5M Users is ‘Very Interested’ in Accepting Crypto

Japanese Art Commission Platform With Over 1.5 Million Users Is ‘Very Interested’ in Accepting Crypto as Payment

Japanese artwork commissioning service Skeb took to Twitter to share that it won’t be joining the non-fungible token (NFT) mania.

Last week, Skeb said that it has “no plans to issue NFTs,” and if it does, these digital artworks will belong to the creators. If they issue NFTs to clients, this will be the proof of “I requested it,” but the company noted NFTs can shift ownerships and that “will be meaningless.”

Non-fungible tokens are unique assets stored on a digital ledger that uses blockchain technology to establish a verified and public proof of ownership, and this year they have exploded into popularity and usage, recording more than $10 billion in sales.

“NFTs are now heating up as targets for investment, and creators may be issuing them without fully understanding how they work. It is also important to note that the ownership of NFTs is not in sync with the ownership of arts associated with them,” wrote the company on Twitter.

Skeb further said that NFTs are like museum memorabilia, and they should not be associated with copyrights or real properties. “NFTs should not be used as proofs of ownership of them,” it added.

As of Sept. 25, the company’s total number of registered users exceeded 1.5 million.

While not interested in NFTs, Skeb is “very interested” in using cryptocurrency as a payment method. This payment method will allow them to “keep the freedom of expression without any influence of credit card companies.”

This makes sense given that the platform accepts Visa and MasterCard but can’t accept PayPal as the payment giant doesn’t provide support to them. PayPal actually started offering crypto buying, selling, and storing last year, while Visa and MasterCard have also become crypto-friendly. This year, Visa also joined the NFT trend by buying a CryptoPunk and recently announced an NFT program to help creators.

“It isn’t that Skeb does not accept PayPal. It is that PayPal denied Skeb,” wrote the company on Twitter earlier this year.

As such, the company is actually currently having internal discussions regarding how it can be involved with cryptocurrency.

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Author: AnTy

OpenSea Killer, Coinbase NFT Marketplace, Sees ‘Insane’ Interest, Over 1M Users on the Waitlist

OpenSea Killer, Coinbase NFT Marketplace, Sees ‘Insane’ Interest, Over 1 Million Users Sign-up on the Waitlist

In a matter of 24 hours, Coinbase’s NFT marketplace has garnered an extremely positive response.

“We are getting a LOT of signups – so grateful for all your interest,” Coinbase vice president of product Sanchan Saxena wrote on Twitter.

“We are seeing insane loads on our servers and our team is working hard to get this resolved.”

The yet-to-be-launched marketplace for NFTs saw more than one million sign-ups on its waitlist on the very first day it opened, reported Bloomberg citing a person familiar with the situation.

In August, Coinbase had said that its customer usage had slowed at the start of the third quarter due to the crypto prices going down and that in response, it is seeking to diversify its revenue. NFT marketplace is the move in that direction.

“Fees are more likely to mirror retail than institutional crypto-trading commissions,” wrote Bloomberg Intelligence’s senior fintech analyst Julie Chariell in a report.

“NFT trading at our 3% fee estimate would bring much more revenue per trading dollar, along with less volatility to Coinbase operations than the crypto trading platform.”

While some of the signups could be duplicates and spam, it is extremely clear that Coinbase’s NFT extension has become a hot topic already. These numbers will beat the popular marketplace OpenSea very easily.

OpenSea’s total traders’ overtime on Ethereum, those registered users who have made at least one transaction, are currently at 535,345 while monthly active traders made a 281,400 high in September, according to Dune Analytics.

In the first half of 2021, Opensea had increased its market share from just 35% to a whopping 95%. Of the $2.8 billion spent on NFT marketplaces last month, the majority of it, $2.72 billion, changed hands on OpenSea.

But now, this dominance is being threatened by other entrants. After the leading crypto exchanges Binance and FTX jumped in this week, Coinbase also entered this race to lead the NFT marketplace space.

With its 68 million users, Coinbase can further expand the NFTs audience by making it “more accessible,” effortless, and putting the complexity behind the scenes.

In other news, OpenSea said it recently patched security flaws that would have allowed bad actors to loot its users’ digital crypto wallets. The issue was first brought to the attention by the researchers of Israel-based cybersecurity company Check Point, which noted that the attacker used “malicious” NFTs to lure users in.

“Security is fundamental to OpenSea….we investigated the matter and implemented a fix within an hour of it being brought to our attention,” said the company in a statement.

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Author: AnTy

Binance, OKEx, and Gate Kicks Out CNY & Existing Users, WeChat Blocks Searches, Mining Falls to Zero

China Update: Binance, OKEx, and Gate Kicks Out CNY & Existing Users, WeChat Blocks Searches, Mining Share Goes to Zero

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced on Wednesday that it is delisting the CNY trading zone, starting Dec. 31, 2021, in response to the regulatory requirements of the local government.

The exchange also said that it would also stop providing services to users in mainland China. Binance said it would “conduct an inventory of platform users,” and those from mainland China will have their accounts switched to the “withdrawal only” mode. It will notify the users by email seven days in advance.

Users based in China are now only able to withdraw, withdraw, redeem, and close positions.

Binance further said that they already withdrew from the Chinese mainland market in 2017 and do not engage in exchange business there.

“Binance has always attached great importance to compliance obligations and has always strictly complied with the relevant requirements of local regulatory agencies.”

Binance’s native token is unaffected by the news, trading at $460, up over 17.5% in the past 24-hours due to the announcement of a $1 billion incentive program to grow the Binance Smart Chain ecosystem on Tuesday.

Following Binance, another big crypto exchange OKEx issued a statement. Like Binance, OKEx said it has not been engaging in the Chinese market since 2017, and their site isn’t accessible in mainland China either.

“OKEx will continue to develop steadily in the international market, continuously improve its products and services, continue to maintain the policy of “exiting the Chinese mainland market,” and not set up offices and teams in mainland China.”

OKEx’s OKB token saw some fluctuation on the back of the news as it first went down to $15.14 from $16.44 only to spike to $16.89. As of writing, OKB is trading just under $16.

Another exchange Gate.io announced that it has blocked access to its website and removed its App from mainland China in response to local government regulatory policy requirements.

“In order to ensure the normal use and access of international users, Gate.io will normally provide legal and compliance services outside of mainland China,” said the exchange.

The same day, China’s largest social media platform WeChat blocked search results from the likes of “Binance” and “Huobi.”

After search engine Baidu and Twitter-like social media platform Weibo blocked searches for crypto exchanges in June, WeChat has also joined them by showing “no more results” to searches for them through existing articles to the exchanges are still accessible.

Amidst all this, China’s mining share after the ban has tanked, and the US has taken the lead.

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According to Cambridge Alternative Finance Center data, China’s share of global hash rate has fallen from 44% in May to zero. Two years back, China was accounting for a whopping 75.5% of the share. At the time, the US’s share was a mere 4.1%, which has grown to 35.4%.

During this time, Kazakhstan’s share increased significantly — 16.7% to achieve 18.1%; meanwhile, Russia’s share rose 5.3% to reach 11.2%. Canada also recorded significant growth going from 0.6% in June 2020 to 10.8% in July 2021.

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Author: AnTy

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler Targets Crypto Lending Platforms, Starting with Coinbase Lend

SEC doesn’t want Coinbase Lend to allow its users to earn a 4% interest rate on USDC “over 8x the national average for high-yield savings accounts.”

Coinbase has been warned by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against launching a new product, Lend, that allows its users to earn interest on their crypto holdings.

The biggest crypto exchange in the US said it had received a Wells notice saying the agency will bring an enforcement action against them if the company goes ahead with its product. Coinbase said that it plans to delay the launch at least until October.

Coinbase Lend allows users to earn a 4% interest rate on USDC stablecoin, which it says is “over 8x the national average for high-yield savings accounts.”

In the company blog post, Paul Grewal, Chief Legal Officer, said they had been proactively engaging with the SEC about Lend for nearly six months. But didn’t get any response from the agency other than that the SEC considered Lend to involve security.

Instead of providing an explanation, the SEC has opened a formal investigation and has asked for documents and written responses, along with the name and contact information of every single person on their Lend waitlist.

“We have not agreed to provide that because we take a very cautious approach to requests for customers’ personal information. We also don’t believe it is relevant to any particular questions the SEC might have about Lend involving a security, especially when the SEC won’t share any of those questions with us,” said Grewal.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong also took to Twitter to share the “really sketchy behavior” from the SEC.

He also pointed out how in his confirmation hearing, SEC Chair Gary Gensler said that it is “important for the SEC to provide guidance and clarity.” And now, they are doing exactly the opposite.

Earlier that month, in an interview with FT, Gensler asked crypto companies to “Talk to us, come in,” adding, existing platforms are “begging for forgiveness, rather than asking for permission.” And when Coinbase did just that, the SEC didn’t provide any explanations.

“If you don’t want this activity, then simply publish your position, in writing, and enforce it evenly across the industry.”

As we reported, Gensler has been targeting two areas: crypto trading and lending platforms and stablecoins that are embedded on these platforms. He also asked for legislative priority on them, whether centralized or decentralized.

The CEO then argued that while SEC claims to be working to protect investors and create fair markets, who exactly “are they protecting here and where is the harm?”

Armstrong also met with every regulator and branch of government in the DC that he could in May this year except the SEC that “refused” to meet him, “saying “we’re not meeting with any crypto companies.” This was right after we became the first crypto company to go public in the US,” he said.

In response to Armstrong’s Twitter thread, Dallas Mavericks’ Mark Cuban advised him to go on the offensive.

Meanwhile, the crypto community pointed to the fact that Gensler is a former Goldman Sachs partner and speculated that the banking industry is making the moves behind the curtain to try and curb the crypto industry that is revolutionizing finance and working on putting them out of business. Others speculate that it could be a personal political power grab by SEC leadership.

“Hopefully the SEC steps up to create the clarity this industry deserves, without harming consumers and companies in the process. America could really use us all working together to figure this out right now,” concluded Armstrong.

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Author: AnTy

MetaMask’s Active Users Reaches 10.35M as it Gains Traction in the Philippines, Vietnam, China & India

MetaMask’s Active Users Reaches 10.35 Million as it Gains Traction in the Philippines, Vietnam, China & India

The number of users actively using crypt wallet MateMask has now reached 10 million, increasing 18x over the last year, driven by a surge of interest in decentralized finance (DeFi), stablecoins, and non-fungible tokens (NFT).

Back in July 2020, MetaMask reported monthly active users of just about 545,000, which shot up to 8 million on June 1st and went up to 10.35 million by August this year, noted the parent company ConsenSys, a software company focused on Ethereum network founded by Ether co-founder Joseph Lubin.

The non-custodial wallet launched in September 2016 is a mobile app and browser extension that allows its users to manage their own private keys without a third party.

A year back, ConsenSys owned MetaMask’s open-source code and in Q2 launched MetaMask Institutional, a wallet built for institutions that have an address tracking system called Codefi Compliance that allows custodians to identify addresses within pools that are suspected of nefarious activity.

According to ConsenSys, it was the launch of the mobile version in Sept. 2020 that played a “crucial role” in bringing new users from global markets. The top 15 countries using the wallet are the Philippines, United States, Vietnam, United Kingdom, China, India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey, Germany, France, Canada, and Spain.

MetaMask is hosting a party in the metaverse Decentraland on Sept. 2 to celebrate this milestone.

It is currently earning about $2.2 million on a weekly basis and has earned $63.3 million in total over the past year, according to TokenTerminal.

As we reported, Popular Ethereum wallet provider MetaMask is also open to creating its token, but there are no immediate plans as such, it said.

This tidbit was shared by MetaMask in its first-ever community call this week, where the development team discussed the possibility of launching a token eventually.

As we saw with Uniswap, 1inch, ShapeShift’s, FOX, and many others, airdrops in the cryptocurrency industry are a great way to reward the community and early users as they grow to be very valuable and, in cases, worth thousands of dollars.

However, the MetaMask team clarified that there are no immediate plans to launch a token, but added one could be released in the future.

The project is “absolutely open to the idea of making the project community-owned” through a crypto token, said Erik Marks, senior software engineer at MetaMask. However, the main concern is that they don’t want to create a token “that doesn’t have a use case.” The use case must be “compelling,” not to mention it will involve the whole pump and dump part.

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Author: AnTy

Twitter Testing Tipping Users in Bitcoin Through Lightning Network in Beta

Twitter Testing Tipping Users in Bitcoin Through Lightning Network in Beta

Twitter has started testing the ability to tip users on the platform in Bitcoin.

According to MacRumors, the Twitter beta shows that the social media giant is testing this service. Mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi has also leaked an image of what it would look like.

According to the report, this tipping function will use the Lightning Network to make smaller Bitcoin payments and would support both custodial and non-custodial wallets.

Lightning Network is a layer 2 solution for faster and cheaper Bitcoin transactions. The capacity of LN has risen to a new all-time high of 2,350 BTC while the number of channels and number of nodes is also hitting new highs at 68,787 and 25,969, respectively, according to 1ML.

The leaked image shows that Twitter will use Jack Maller’s LN app Strike to generate Bitcoin Lightning invoices. This means, in order to use this feature, users would require a Strike account to receive tips.

“We use Strike to generate Bitcoin Lightning invoices so you’ll need to connect your account to accept Bitcoin tips.”

Back in July, on Twitter’s second-quarter earnings, CEO Jack Dorsey suggested that Bitcoin would be coming to Tip Jar and other products, including Super Follows, Commerce, and Subscriptions.

At the time, he also reiterated that Bitcoin is the “best candidate” to become the “native currency” of the internet which will mean “people and companies can freely trade goods and services anywhere on the planet.”

As we recently reported, Dorsey said he’s using LN to enable a currency for the internet by allowing every account on Twitter to link to a Bitcoin Lightning Wallet. He also said the company is planning a Bitcoin hardware wallet and a KYC-complaint DEX for Bitcoin and exchanging other assets like stablecoins but with a decentralized identity solution.

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Author: AnTy

Avalanche Launches New Cross-Chain Bridge To Connect Users With Ethereum

Avalanche Launches New Cross-Chain Bridge To Connect Users With Ethereum

Blockchain protocol Avalanche has launched a new bridge aimed at facilitating cross-chain interoperability.

Avalanche Bridge To Replace Avalanche-Ethereum Bridge (AEB)

According to Emin Gün Sirer, creator of the Avalanche protocol, the new Avalanche Bridge (AB) would replace the existing Avalanche-Ethereum Bridge (AEB).

Sirer said the new bridge provides a faster user experience alongside stronger security and lower fees than the AEB bridge. Users will be able to merge Avalanche Bridge seamlessly with other basic applications of Avalanche like the Avalanche Wallet and Avalanche Explorer.

This bridge was built using Intel SGX Enclave technology, a software program that enables all operations in an environment to be secure.

Currently, the Avalanche Bridge will support only the Avalanche and Ethereum blockchain. However, the firm plans to rapidly expand the bridge to other new chains across the decentralized finance (DeFi) community.

Sirer is optimistic that the new Avalanche bridge will encourage users to explore the Avalanche blockchain and the DeFi sector more. He stated,

“Day-by-day I see incredible innovation happening across the Avalanche Community. This bridge will unlock a vast amount of opportunities for builders who get their start on $AVAX, as well as projects who have been waiting to expand to Avalanche.”

DeFi Protocols Migrating To Avalanche Network

Avalanche is an open-source platform for launching decentralized applications. Since its mainnet launch in September 2020, the platform has been focused on solving the speed and scalability problems of other blockchain platforms, especially Ethereum.

The platform claims to be an interoperable and highly scalable ecosystem that can process more than 4,500 transactions per second. Avalanche is similar to other base-layer blockchains like Solana and Binance Smart Chain. However, Avalanche has declared itself as the best smart contracts compatibility network.

Avalanche has been actively integrating other protocols on its blockchain recently. DeFi Yield farming platform, known as DYP, announced its expansion to Avalanche earlier this month. The platform revealed that three of its products, DYP Farming, DYP Tools, and DYP NFTs, would be live on Avalanche.

Before the DYP integration, Onomy, a crypto lender, also integrated its FX marketplace DEX called Onomy Exchange with Avalanche. The implementation of this partnership will be completed in Q3 2021.

Tenderly, a developer platform, also recently expanded to the Avalanche blockchain. This integration allows developers to use Tenderly’s toolkit to facilitate building on Avalanche. According to Tenderly, the toolkit allows for stressless bug fixing and testing different scenarios without spending any gas fees.

Avalanche has also been pushing its native token, AVAX. A few days ago, AVAX was launched on the digital asset trading platform BitMart. The tokens are now available for trading on the platform. Users would also be able to transfer AVAX tokens between their Avalanche Wallet and BitMart Account.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Australian ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Firm Looking to Allow Users to Trade Crypto on Customer Demand

Australian ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Firm Looking to Allow Users to Trade Crypto on Customer Demand

Zip Co Ltd, an Australian buy now, pay later (BNPL) firm, explores the option to allow its users to trade cryptocurrencies.

Trading in crypto using Zip digital wallets was one of most requested new product features from users, said co-founder Peter Gray on Thursday.

Zip said it would likely launch the new service in the US first and then in the next 12 months in Australia. The US is driving its fourth-quarter growth and is set to soon become its biggest market by volume.

The company’s fourth-quarter volumes and revenue doubled, with transaction volumes hitting A$1.76 billion ($1.29 billion) in the June quarter and volume at its US unit quadrupled.

Zip’s Australian user base is mature, with about 30% of adults having a BNPL account.

This attempt by Zip to go into crypto is also propelled by the company’s established competitors like Afterpay and Klarna expanding into more countries and planning new offerings like a banking app. The BNPL sector is also attracting the giants like PayPal and even Apple.

“We know our younger generation of customers seek additional products and services that are relevant to them,” Gray told Reuters. The company itself is also looking at expansion in Europe and the Middle East.

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Author: AnTy

After Binance, Huobi Is No Longer Serving Canada-based Users; ED Sends Notice to WazirX

After Binance, Huobi Is No Longer Serving Canada-based Users; ED Sends Notice to WazirX

Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi is no longer serving its Canada-based users and has given them until this year-end to close their position and withdraw their crypto assets. Huobi’s message to its users reads,

“Regrettably, we can no longer provide services for Canada-based users due to compliance reasons. If you are one of them, please close out all active positions and withdraw all assets before Dec 31, 2021.”

Recently, Huobi Global updated its User Agreement and restricted retail users in mainland China, Taiwan, China, Israel, the UK, and several other countries from using the “derivatives trading” services provided by them.

Additionally, users from Canada, along with the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Crimea, were also restricted.

Previously, the exchange temporarily ceased the intake of users with Canadian KYC or a Canadian IP address.

Now, to comply with Canadian law, the country is part of restricted jurisdictions.

Last month, Binance also restricted its services for users in Ontario, Canada, due to its “compliance efforts,” as the leading cryptocurrency exchange faces regulatory scrutiny from all over the globe.

Navigating this regulatory minefield is its biggest task ahead, said chief executive and founder Zhao Changpeng in an interview with The Straits Times. For this, Binance has to tailor its processes to suit the different demands that different jurisdictions are putting in place.

Binance-owned crypto trading platform WazirX also received a show-cause notice from the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) this week for allegedly violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act in relation to transactions worth 2,790.74 crore rupees (about $372 million).

ED questioned the Indian-based exchange’s capability to allow users to make cross-border payments without direct oversight of regulators.

“These were carried out in violation of forex rules. WazirX’s platform allowed clients to transfer cryptocurrencies without proper documentation, making it a route for laundering.”

“One needs to be sure that this money isn’t cheap money (cheap money is low-interest loan) or dirty money (used for illegal activities).”

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Author: AnTy

NYDIG Collaborates with Q2 to Allow its 18.3M Registered Users to Buy, Sell and Hold Bitcoin

NYDIG Collaborates with Q2 to Allow its 18.3M Registered Users to Buy, Sell and Hold Bitcoin

Bitcoin services provider NYDIG is now collaborating with banking and lender provider Q2 holdings. This collaboration will allow Q2 to provide its more than 18.3 million registered users to buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin.

The digital banking platform Q2 powers about 30% of the top 100 banks in the US and enables one in ten digital banking customers to transact.

With this latest step, Q2 will be able to provide its customers with integrated Bitcoin services and further drive end-user acquisition, retention, and engagement along with increasing its fee revenue opportunities.

In the official announcement, Jonathan Price, EVP of Emerging Business, Corporate and Business Development, Q2 noted that a December 2020 study by Cornerstone Advisors found that 15% of US consumers own Bitcoin or some other form of cryptocurrency and that majority of these crypto owners would use their banks to invest in crypto if they had the choice to do so.

As such, they are now enabling “financial institutions to take advantage of this market opportunity and meet the demands of their account holders.”

This week, NYDIG also collaborated with Fiserv, a payments and financial services technology solutions provider with 74.84 billion in assets as of March 31, 2021. With this integration, Fiserv customers can manage bitcoin transactions directly within their customer bank accounts. Nic Carter, founding partner at Castle Island Ventures said,

“Quietly, one of the most important developments in the ongoing integration of bitcoin and financial services is happening right now.”

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Author: AnTy