Regulatory Initiatives Aim to Bring Clarity and Protection to Crypto Space

• Laura Navaratnam, former head of fintech at the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, examines how various regulatory initiatives are expanding oversight of the crypto industry.
• 2021 saw the crypto market reach an all-time high, but 2022 has seen painful lows with the market dropping to a third of its value from the previous year.
• Navaratnam discusses the implosion of the Terra stablecoin ecosystem, the bankruptcies of Three Arrows Capital, Celsius Network, Voyager Digital, and BlockFi, and the influence of FTX on the crypto space.

The cryptocurrency industry has experienced some turbulent periods over the past few years, with 2021 and 2022 being no exception. Towards the end of 2021, the crypto market was at an all-time high, reaching an impressive market cap of $3 trillion. This year, however, the crypto market has sunk to less than a third of its value from the previous year.

In light of the recent volatility in the crypto market, several regulatory initiatives are underway to expand oversight of this nascent industry. Laura Navaratnam, director of Gattaca Horizons and the former head of fintech at the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), examines the potential implications of these regulatory efforts.

Navaratnam points out that the crypto market in 2022 has witnessed some seismic events, such as the implosion of the Terra stablecoin ecosystem and the bankruptcies of Three Arrows Capital, Celsius Network, Voyager Digital, and BlockFi. Additionally, the influence of the FTX exchange has been felt across the crypto space, with the exchange’s token becoming the fourth-largest asset by market cap.

Navaratnam believes that these regulatory initiatives could lead to greater clarity and better consumer protection in the crypto space. She envisions a future where cryptocurrencies are treated more like traditional assets, with governments and regulators providing clear guidance on how to buy, sell, and store them. Additionally, Navaratnam suggests that there should be more clarity on the taxation of cryptocurrencies, as well as a framework for how crypto businesses should operate in order to be compliant with local laws.

Overall, Navaratnam believes that the regulatory initiatives currently underway in the U.S., U.K., and Europe could have a positive impact on the crypto industry. These initiatives could help foster trust in cryptocurrencies and provide greater protection for users, which could lead to increased adoption and use of crypto assets.

Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment

Crypto Lending Platform Arch Raises $2.75M, Launches New Product

• Fintech startup Arch has launched a new crypto lending product, and has also raised $2.75 million in funding.
• The platform allows users to take out a single loan collateralized across combined alternative assets, with loans custodied by BitGo and denominated in either U.S. dollars or USD coin (USDC) stablecoins.
• Arch doesn’t touch or reloan customer funds for any reason, and the target customers are higher income individuals who invest heavily in alternative assets.

Fintech startup Arch has made a major announcement today: the launch of its new crypto lending product, alongside a successful funding round of $2.75 million. Founded in February 2022, Arch is a financial technology company targeting alternative asset investors, based in New York.

The platform allows users to take out a single loan collateralized across combined alternative assets – starting with cryptocurrencies. The loans are custodied by BitGo and denominated in either U.S. dollars or USD coin (USDC) stablecoins (and can be repaid in any combination of the two).

Arch promises that it won’t touch or reloan customer funds for any reason. This is an important distinction that sets it apart from other crypto lenders such as BlockFi, Celsius Network and Genesis Global Trading, which have all been affected by liquidity issues in the past.

The company’s target customers are higher income individuals who invest heavily in alternative assets. They may have been discouraged by traditional lenders in the past, so Arch is hoping to offer them a more suitable option.

In the future, Arch plans to expand its offering by allowing other alternative assets as collateral. The capital raised in the funding round will help the firm to achieve this, as well as to expand the team and financial partnerships. Some of the funds will also be lent out.

Co-founder and CEO Dhruv Patel said: “Arch is committed to providing greater access to capital through our lending platform, allowing people to leverage their alternative asset portfolios to unlock value and increase liquidity. We’ve seen an increasing demand for crypto-backed loans, and we’re committed to providing an easy, transparent, and secure platform for borrowers.”

Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment

Altcoin Rally Sparks Short Squeeze, Traders Rush to Profit

bulletpoints:
• Smaller market capitalization tokens such as FTT, Serum, ZIL, and APT rallied, outperforming BTC and ETH.
• FTT, the token of the crypto exchange that failed in November, jumped 55%.
• Traders liquidated some $245 million worth of short positions.

Altcoin Rally Triggering Short Squeeze

The crypto market has been experiencing a surprising surge today, with smaller market capitalization tokens such as FTT, serum, ZIL, and aptos outperforming blue chips bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).

FTT, the token of the crypto exchange that failed spectacularly in November, jumped 55% in the past 24 hours, although it is still down 96% over the past year. Serum (SRM), the native token of the Solana-based decentralized exchange, surged 28% on the day. ZIL, the Zilliqa blockchain project’s native token, increased 37%, while the native token of the Aptos blockchain, APT, known for its rocky launch and venture capital backing, gained 30%.

Traders were caught off-guard by the sudden surge, and in the past 24 hours, traders liquidated some $245 million worth of short positions. The sudden uptick in prices has been attributed to a renewed sense of optimism in the market, as well as the recent surge in the price of bitcoin.

The positive sentiment in the markets has been reflected in the daily trading volume of bitcoin and altcoins, which have increased significantly since the start of the year. This surge in trading volume has been key in driving the price of some altcoins higher, as traders have been buying and selling them, trying to capitalize on their rapid price movements.

The recent rally in altcoins also indicates a shift in sentiment among traders, as they move away from bitcoin and towards smaller market capitalization tokens. This shift could be a sign of a growing appetite for risk in the crypto markets, as traders look to capitalize on the potential of smaller tokens.

Overall, the crypto markets are showing signs of life once again, as traders take advantage of the renewed optimism and the rally in smaller tokens. With traders liquidating their short positions, the market could be set for further gains in the near future.

Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment

Ether-Bitcoin Ratio Could Rally to Two-Month Highs: Analyst

• The ether-bitcoin (ETH/BTC) ratio could rally towards a two-month high according to Lewis Harland, a portfolio manager at Decentral Park Capital.
• The ratio has broken out of a multi-month triangle pattern, often called a wedge, indicating a bull victory in the prolonged tug-of-war with bears.
• The breakout has opened the doors for a rally towards the early December high of 0.07636 and early November highs of nearly 0.078.

The crypto market is abuzz with excitement as the ether-bitcoin (ETH/BTC) ratio could be on its way to a two-month high. This prediction comes from Lewis Harland, a portfolio manager at Decentral Park Capital, who believes the ratio has broken out of a multi-month triangle pattern, often called a wedge. This indicates a bull victory in the prolonged tug-of-war with bears and could pave the way for a rally towards the early December high of 0.07636 and early November highs of nearly 0.078.

The triangle pattern was identified by trendlines connecting highs registered in September, October and December, and lows hit in October, November and December. It is quite common in the crypto market as triangles occur when both bulls and bears are unwilling or unable to lead the price action, leading to volatility compression. An eventual breakout or breakdown often brings a big bullish or bearish move. This is exactly what happened in the case of the ETH/BTC ratio as the bullish breakout has opened the doors for a possible rally.

Harland believes that the breakout has created a strong foundation for the bulls to push the ratio towards the two-month highs. He also said that this could result in a “bears in disbelief rally” in ether in the coming weeks. This bullish sentiment is echoed by other crypto analysts as well who are of the opinion that the ETH/BTC ratio could push higher in the near-term.

For now, the bullish momentum seems to be firmly in place and if the bulls can sustain the upward move, the ETH/BTC ratio could reach new highs in the coming days. This could pave the way for further gains in the crypto market, especially in the ether market, as more investors pour in. However, it is still early to call the shot and one should always exercise caution while trading in the highly volatile crypto market.

Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment

The Internet: Unlocking Opportunities, But With Risks

• This article discusses the increasing number of people using the internet.
• It examines the potential benefits of the internet, such as improved access to information, enhanced collaboration and communication, and an increase in economic productivity.
• It also looks at the potential risks and challenges posed by the internet, such as cybercrime, privacy issues, and online addiction.

The internet has become an integral part of our lives. In the last two decades, more and more people have been connecting to the internet, leading to a massive increase in the number of internet users worldwide. This surge in internet usage has brought about both benefits and risks.

The internet has opened up a wealth of new opportunities, making information more accessible, enabling collaboration and communication between people, and increasing economic productivity. It has also allowed businesses to reach new markets and customers, and to access new types of data that can help them to better understand their customers and make better decisions.

However, the internet also poses some risks. Cybercrime is a growing threat, with criminals using the internet to commit a variety of crimes, such as identity theft, fraud, and the sale of illegal goods. There are also concerns about the privacy of users, as companies collect and store data about their users’ activities. Finally, there is the risk of online addiction, with some people spending too much time online and neglecting other aspects of their lives.

Despite these risks, the internet remains a valuable tool for both individuals and businesses. With the right safeguards in place, the internet can be a powerful enabler of economic and social progress.

Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment

Embracing SEC Regulation: The Key To Unlocking The NFT Market

• Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are securities, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will eventually recognize and regulate them.
• The art market has always been a securities market, but the physical object got in the way of recognizing it. NFTs eliminate the object and enable collectors to trade ledger entries directly.
• Rather than fear SEC regulation, the NFT industry should embrace it, as it will likely lead to a light touch in terms of regulation.

The non-fungible token (NFT) market is a revolutionary technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way we trade digital assets, and it’s no wonder that the industry is growing rapidly. However, many participants in the NFT market are fearful that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will eventually recognize and regulate NFTs as securities.

Although this may seem like something to be feared, it is actually something that should be embraced, as it is inevitable and desirable. To understand why this is the case, it is important to look at the art market and how it functions.

The art market is a securities market, in the sense that when someone buys an artwork, they are buying an entry on an artist’s catalogue raisonné, or the list of all the artworks attributed to that artist. This ledger entry is usually accompanied by a physical object, such as a canvas or a sculpture, but it is the ledger entry that is actually valuable and not the object itself.

This is because if the connection between the ledger entry and the object is broken, then the object is rendered worthless, even though it hasn’t changed physically. This shows that the object is just a way to enable the sale of the ledger entry, much like a bearer bond.

NFTs work in a similar manner, as they eliminate the need for a physical object and enable collectors to trade ledger entries directly, which is much more efficient and cost-effective.

Rather than avoid SEC regulation, the NFT industry should embrace this categorization, as it is inevitable and desirable. This is because once the SEC understands how the NFT market works, it is likely to regulate with a light touch. This is beneficial for the industry, as it will lead to greater transparency and allow for more efficient trading.

In conclusion, the NFT industry should not be afraid of SEC regulation, as it is inevitable and desirable. This is because it will lead to greater transparency and allow for more efficient trading. Therefore, rather than fear SEC regulation, the industry should embrace it.

Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment

FTX Customers Take Action in Bankruptcy Proceedings, Seek Damages

• A class-action lawsuit has been filed against FTX executives with the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, accusing them of intentionally misappropriating customers’ funds.
• Plaintiffs of the lawsuit are asking the court to declare that any customer property held on behalf of customers does not belong to the company and that customers should be given priority to repayment of customer property.
• They are also seeking damages in an amount to be determined at a trial by jury.

A group of FTX users have taken the unprecedented step of filing a class-action lawsuit with the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in order to protect their rights in the exchange’s bankruptcy proceedings. The lawsuit, filed by exchange customers Austin Onusz, Cedric Kees van Putten, Nicholas J. Marshall and Hamad Dar and “all others similarly situated”, accuses former FTX executives of intentionally misappropriating customers’ funds to fund risky strategies and a lavish lifestyle in the Bahamas “in direct violation of FTX’s own customer agreements and terms of service.”

The court filing alleges that FTX executive defendants “failed to institute any corporate controls and were therefore able to cause, direct or allow the misappropriation of billions of dollars in customer funds and digital assets deposited or held worldwide at FTX.” The plaintiffs of the lawsuit are seeking a court order to declare that any customer property held on behalf of customers does not belong to the company and that customers should be given priority to repayment of customer property. They are also seeking damages in an amount to be determined at a trial by jury.

The case against FTX has been building for some time, with FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried facing felony charges in the US and two other executives, Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison, having pleaded guilty to fraud charges. It is clear from the legal filings that the plaintiffs believe that the exchange’s executives have misused customer funds, and they are now seeking to ensure that customers are the first to be repaid in the exchange’s bankruptcy proceedings.

The class-action lawsuit is an important step in protecting customers’ rights in the FTX bankruptcy proceedings and ensuring that customers are not left out of pocket. It is yet to be seen how the court will rule on the case, but it is clear that the plaintiffs are determined to ensure that FTX’s customers are the first to be repaid.

Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment

Cryptocurrency Investment Scam Nets €15M; Assets Seized

• Italian and Albanian law enforcement authorities busted a suspected cryptocurrency investment scam that is estimated to have netted 15 million euros (US$16 million).
• Assets worth 3 million euros were seized, along with more than 160 electronic devices, including computers, servers, digital video recorders and a cellphone.
• The perpetrators posed as brokers offering advantageous investments in cryptocurrencies with zero risk, and encouraged victims to make large deposits, in some cases their entire economic capital.

Italian and Albanian law enforcement authorities have recently taken action against a suspected cryptocurrency investment scam estimated to have netted 15 million euros (US$16 million). The joint investigation team seized assets worth 3 million euros, along with more than 160 electronic devices including computers, servers, digital video recorders and a cellphone.

The perpetrators of the scam operated out of a call center in Tirana, Albania. Victims were asked to create an account and transfer an initial sum, which showed an immediate financial gain. They were then contacted by the perpetrators posing as brokers, offering advantageous investments in cryptocurrencies with zero risk. However, it is not clear that any crypto assets were actually purchased.

Victims were then encouraged to make far larger investments, in some cases their entire economic capital. Once the larger deposits were made, the account details were changed, and the victims were locked out.

Crypto investment scams are becoming increasingly popular with criminals, as they target victims seeking to make sizable short-term financial gains despite the market’s decline this year. This is separate from the use of cryptocurrency, with its perceived lack of traceability, to hide the proceeds of crime. In the U.K., crypto tactical advisers have begun to be stationed in police departments specifically to investigate and seize digital assets linked to crime.

Eurojust, the European Union’s cross-border agency for fighting organized crime, issued a statement about the bust, but stated that no further details could be provided as the investigation was still ongoing. It remains to be seen how this case will be settled, and what the consequences will be for the perpetrators of the scam.

Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment

NFTs: Unlocking the Future of Brand Marketing

• Global marketing expenditure exceeded $1 trillion in 2022, despite the threat of recession.
• The current digital media landscape is fragmented, leaving brands reliant on third-party platforms and data.
• Non-fungible token-based experiences can empower connection between brands, creators and fan communities, enabling them to remunerate creators and give communities a stake in what they love.

The marketing industry is in the midst of a digital revolution, with brands spending an estimated $297.5 billion on marketing in the U.S. alone in 2022. Globally, advertisers spent over $1 trillion, with the prospect of recession looming large. Yet, many marketers expect their budgets to continue increasing in 2023.

The digital media landscape has evolved rapidly in recent years, but it is still fundamentally broken for brands, artists and fan communities. Fragmentation is a major problem; a typical media mix for a major advertiser typically includes influencer campaigns, paid social, short-form video, TV ads, email, performance marketing, and more. Even when brands find their target communities, their relationship with them is mediated by third-party platforms and limited by third-party data.

It is unsurprising, then, that even amidst market upheaval, major brands entered the non-fungible token (NFT) space for the first time in 2022. To date, over 100 brands have released NFTs, from Pepsi to Adidas to McDonald’s. Straith Schreder, the executive creative director at Palm NFT Studio, believes that Web3 offers an alternative to the current digital media landscape. NFT-based experiences are empowering, as they allow creators to encode rights that can remunerate them, and give communities a stake in what they love.

With NFTs, brands can create pieces that point to what’s possible with art and technology; pieces that live, breathe, and react to the moment. Fans can see themselves in a generative collection that renders comic canon uniquely personal, or an editioned series that forces them to confront their own values. By connecting brands, creators and fan communities, NFTs offer a more meaningful relationship between them.

The marketing industry is undergoing a digital revolution, and the future of marketing lies in the ability to connect with and empower fan communities. Non-fungible token-based experiences are enabling brands to do just that, giving them the opportunity to create pieces that are personalised, interactive, and meaningful. It is this connection that will drive future marketing success, and brands must embrace Web3 in order to capitalise on it.

Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment

DeFi: Improving User Safety on-Chain for a Safer Crypto Ecosystem

Bullet Points:
-The need for blockchain to improve user safety on-chain is becoming more important than ever.
-Decentralized finance (DeFi) could potentially fix many of the issues that centralized finance is facing.
-However, DeFi users currently face numerous threats, causing some to walk away in fear and financial ruin.

The need for increased safety on-chain is becoming more pressing in the world of crypto. With the investment side of crypto (aka “money crypto”) struggling to repair the damage caused by centralized finance (CeFi), tech crypto must focus on improving user safety with blockchain technology. This could have profoundly beneficial and lasting impacts across the crypto ecosystem.

In order for middleman-less finance to take off, protocols must be not only useful but also safe. To do this, the risk profile of DeFi must be low enough to make users feel safe enough to actually use it. Unfortunately, this is not currently the case. Bad actors have a range of attack vectors that the tech has yet to address. News of exploits, scams and financial losses is causing some to walk away in frustration and fear. This, combined with the difficulties and risks involved, means that many people never become users in the first place.

Fortunately, work has already started to address this issue. Self-custody and peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions enabled by blockchain could go a long way to avoid the sort of failures seen in CeFi. This could provide a much-needed solution to the problem, while also improving user safety on-chain.

In order to make this a reality, developers and engineers must create protocols that are not only secure but also intuitive and easy to use. They must also work to ensure that the protocols operate in a manner that makes users feel safe and in control of their funds. This includes creating robust mechanisms for dispute resolution, as well as ensuring that users are able to access their funds quickly and easily. Additionally, developers need to build in measures to detect and prevent fraud and scams.

All of this must be done in a way that is compliant with applicable laws and regulations, so that users and regulators alike can trust the ecosystem. Bill Hughes, senior counsel and director of global regulatory matters at ConsenSys Software Inc., has argued that this is the only way to ensure that crypto “fixes” the investment side of crypto.

The work to improve user safety on-chain has already begun, but there is still a long way to go. It is essential that developers and engineers continue to focus on this issue, as it is key to the success of the crypto ecosystem. If done correctly, it could revolutionize the way we transact and invest in crypto, and make it much safer for everyone involved.

Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment