Forkast.News is now Forkast Labs

China’s e-CNY push; India’s crypto tax kicks in

India’s long-awaited crypto tax comes into effect. Meanwhile, China expands the digital yuan program.

Ronin hack delays Axie Infinity upgrade

Sky Mavis, the developer of the popular blockchain game Axie Infinity, delayed its highly anticipated Origin upgrade in response to the recent hack worth over US$600 million on its Ronin network.  See related article: Top NFT game Axie Infinity generated $1.3B in revenue last year Fast facts The Vietnam-based developer’s new Origin upgrade will now […]

Metapolis’ Zilliqa surges 80% over 24 hours, outpacing Solana’s OpenSea integration

Zilliqa is leading Thursday’s crypto market with an 80% charge over the last 24 hours, part of a 270% weekly pump since its metaverse-as-a-service platform Metapolis launch event was announced.

Can Ethereum’s proof-of-stake transition save the planet?

Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake promises to dramatically lower energy consumption, curbing greenhouse gas emissions that would require an annual offset by a forest roughly the size of Belgium.

Is Dubai the new crypto promised land?

Top blockchain and cryptocurrency news: Dubai’s crypto caravan. Mt. Gox unlocked. Digital yuan in play again.

India’s biggest telecom firm latches onto metaverse

Bharti Airtel Ltd., India’s largest wireless telecom services provider by active users, is planning to cash in on the metaverse by leveraging its upcoming fifth-generation radio waves (5G) network, according to local media reports.  See related article: Who are the biggest players in the metaverse today? Fast facts Airtel is seeking partnerships with content providers […]

Lessons learned from my five years of building blockchain

DLT projects are defined by their network effects, writes Donald Thibeau of HBAR Foundation. Here’s why open networks and community are critical for success.

Axie Infinity blockchain Ronin hacked for over $600M

Ethereum sidechain Ronin, where play-to-earn blockchain game Axie Infinity runs, has been hacked for over US$600 million in crypto, making it one of the biggest hacks in crypto history. See related article: Axie Infinity becomes first NFT series to break $4B in sales Fast facts Ronin said the hacker compromised four of their own validator […]

Binance wants to play ball with regulators

Binance is racing to anchor its sprawling global operations as regulators in China, where it was founded in 2017, go after firms for lax know-your-customer practices.

Gaming fintech firm enables Bitcoin tips for streamers

Gaming fintech ZEBEDEE launched ZBD Streamer on Tuesday, enabling content creators to collect Bitcoin tips while live streaming on online platforms including Twitch and YouTube.  See related article: PlayNFT plug-in to enable streamers to offer NFTs on Twitch Fast facts Viewers can send tips using a Bitcoin Lightning wallet, with an option to send custom […]

Like it or not, blockchain and P2E will disrupt the traditional gaming space

Despite criticisms of play-to-earn games, blockchain innovations are here to stay and represent gaming’s future, writes William Wu of Catheon Gaming.

India’s tax bogeyman is scaring off young crypto investors

The country’s attempt to profit from digital asset gains puts off new investors to the asset class, even as existing ones redeploy funds into traditional assets.

Mastercard partners with Australia’s BTC Markets for payment options

Australian crypto exchange BTC Markets has partnered with Mastercard to allow its customers to make direct debit, prepaid or credit card payments to purchase cryptocurrencies from the platform. See related article: Mastercard partners with Australian exchange for crypto card Fast facts The move is part of a broader trend by payments giants like Mastercard and […]

Mt. Gox may return Bitcoin worth over $6 billion, Karpeles says

The Japanese trustee for Mt. Gox is likely to distribute the remaining trove of Bitcoins held by the defunct cryptocurrency exchange sooner than later, former CEO Mark Karpeles tells Jake Adelstein in an exclusive interview for Forkast.

Asian Games set for digital yuan, metaverse pilots, tech firm claims

A Hangzhou-based data firm has confirmed that it is working on the application of the digital yuan and the metaverse in the upcoming 2022 Asian Games.  See related article: China’s digital yuan app now publicly accessible, one step closer to launch Fast facts See related article: 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou to sell torch NFTs […]

Russia’s bitcoin for oil proposal; Crypto market makes gains

Russia considers a bitcoin for oil proposal. Meanwhile, crypto markets make gains after weeks of volatility.

Killing it softly or regulating to innovate? India at the crypto crossroads

India’s crypto tax represents both a threat to the industry and an opportunity to create a regulatory framework to support it, says Polygon’s Jaynti Kanani.

Azuki spikes past Bored Apes in daily sales

Azuki, an anime-inspired NFT avatar collection, surged over 140% in the past 24 hours to top Friday’s sales volume chart, surpassing Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Mutant Ape Yacht Club, according to CryptoSlam data.  See related article: Azuki, CryptoPunks battle it out for week’s top NFT title Fast facts With its latest spike, Azuki’s […]

Bollywood Icon’s Tax Bill; Metaverse Fashion Week Opens

Chinese telecom ZTE registers metaverse-related trademarks. Meanwhile, Bollywood star gets chased over NFT taxes.

Thailand bans Bitcoin and crypto payments

Cryptocurrency payments will be banned in Thailand starting April 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Wednesday.  See related article: Thailand eases crypto tax burden until 2023 to promote industry Fast facts The SEC said price volatility, lack of customer safeguards, money laundering and cyber theft risks drove the decision to ban cryptocurrencies […]

Meta files 8 trademark applications for cryptocurrency, metaverse

Meta, formerly Facebook, has filed eight trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) relating to blockchain, crypto and the social media giant’s metaverse push. See related article: Meta showcases focus on AI, announces new voice assistant program Fast facts One of these applications includes a trademark for cryptocurrency services including exchange […]

Fusang defers IPO; Yuga Labs hits $4bn valuation

Malaysia’s Fusang defers their IPO. Meanwhile, Blockchain Week Australia looks into intellectual property rights.

Executive Summary

NFT sales amounted to US$18.5 billion in 2021 — a 570-fold increase from 2020 as avatars and digital art gained in popularity and organizations such as the NBA issued NFT collections that attracted an overwhelming response, data from NFT industry data aggregator CryptoSlam showed. With sales holding above US$2.5 billion in recent months and reaching […]

Echoes of El Salvador as Malaysian minister calls for crypto adoption

Top blockchain and crypto news: Bitcoin buzz in Malaysia. Yuga Labs teases Otherside. Blockchain verdict in China.

Regulations on the Radar

While blockchains and NFTs can theoretically eliminate plagiarism and fraud, there is as yet no clear distinction between NFTs that have been inspired by the designs of others and those that are simply copycats. Nike, for instance, has filed a lawsuit against StockX for selling NFT images of its shoes, while Hermès has sued an […]

New Investors and Investments

As NFT adoption grows, massive amounts of capital are pouring into the industry.  January 2022 saw the close of investment rounds in several high-profile companies, including NFT marketplace OpenSea, which raised US$300 million in Series C funding from investors led by Paradigm and Coatue. The new investment valued OpenSea at US$13.3 billion. Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands, […]

The Metaverse Conquest | Interview with Sébastien Borget

The Sandbox metaverse is made up of 166,464 unique land NFTs, digital pieces of real estate, that players can own to publish their creations, monetize their games or rent to other creators. These lands will host a wide range of experiences, and their limited number makes The Sandbox seem like a virtual Manhattan when it […]

Getting Creative | Interview with Audrey Ou

Traditional art and NFTs Art collectors have become much more interested in NFTs over the past year. Crypto-native NFT projects, like profile photos, are opening an entirely new market to art fans. The ranks of mainstream art collectors are also expanding, since many young NFT collectors go on to explore other forms of art, including […]

The Boost from Blockchain Gaming

From the lookout: Unbeknownst to those outside the NFT space, there’s a mammoth blockchain game on the horizon. Even before the launch of Star Atlas, which promises cinema-quality graphics, investors are already pouring millions of dollars to purchase in-game NFT items. The unreleased game’s leaderboard shows a player with US$4 million worth of assets. This […]

Trends Within the Trend

What major use cases or trends will we see in the NFT space in 2022? Trend 1: Mass adoption. Currently, we estimate there are around 1 million unique wallets globally that have been used to buy, sell or hold NFTs. We believe this number will rise sharply as more companies and developers create NFTs to […]

Introduction

In March 2021, a non-fungible token (NFT) in the form of artist Beeple’s digital collage sold for US$69 million at a Christie’s auction. It created a buzz among retail and professional investors who began to take a serious look into this new revenue stream for digital artists. Around the same time, Dapper Labs’ NBA Top […]

BAYC creator Yuga Labs raises valuation to $4B

Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs announced on Wednesday Asia time that it has raised US$450 million in a funding round, bringing the Web 3.0 company to a total valuation of US$4 billion.  See related article: The future is decentralized: How Web3 can reshape the world Fast facts The funding round was led by […]

How DeFi can lift up the poor in emerging markets

Traditional banks are failing the nearly 2 billion people in the world without access to financial services, writes Khalid Howladar. But DeFi can be a lifeline.

Challenges to Address

The rapid rise of NFTs has sparked concerns about speculative bubbles as well as the negative impact on the environment. As discussed earlier, China permits trading in NFTs so long as there is a holding period after each purchase. The country’s state media have also warned against speculative behavior surrounding NFTs.  In places such as […]

Plant a tree in metaverse, and S.Korea will plant two in fire-damaged forest

The Korea Forest Service is starting a tree-planting campaign in the metaverse in conjunction with fintech company Dunamu — for every tree planted in the metaverse, it will plant two trees in the fire-affected mountain forest of Andong. See related article: South Korea places $185M bet on the metaverse Fast facts An event is planned […]

The Flippening: When will Ethereum overtake Bitcoin?

Ethereum’s market value passing up Bitcoin’s may not be a matter of if, but when. Dr. Kosrow Dehnad and Joe Duncan offer a predictive model.
and

Bored Apes creator to launch new metaverse ‘Otherside’ 

Yuga Labs, creators of the Bored Apes Yacht Club (BAYC) non-fungible token (NFT) collection, teased the launch of its metaverse called Otherside, coming in April. See related article: BAYC’s floor price surpasses 100 ETH since ApeCoin launch Fast facts The teaser video released by Yuga Labs on Saturday featured Yuga Labs NFTs including Mutant Ape […]

Russian bank given crypto license: China to monitor outflows

As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine rages on and sanctions continue to mount, Russia-based bank Sberbank obtains a crypto license from the Central Bank of Russia. Meanwhile in China, social media platform Weibo allows its users to mint NFTs of their social media posts.

From crisis currency to consumer adoption: What next for crypto?

Cryptocurrencies have won credit for their role in Ukraine’s war, showing utility that will drive them beyond the battlefield, says Amber Group’s Michael Wu.

Europe’s first metaverse ETF lists on London Stock Exchange

Europe’s first metaverse-themed exchange-traded fund (ETF), the ETC Group Global Metaverse UCITS ETF (METR), listed on the London Stock Exchange Thursday, available for sale across Europe. See related article: Hong Kong gears up for its first metaverse ETF Fast facts The ETF will track the Solactive ETC Group Global Metaverse Index, which currently offers exposure […]

Coinbase wallet announces support for Solana

The largest U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase announced on Friday support for the Solana ecosystem through its wallet browser extension, allowing users to manage their Solana (SOL) and Solana-based SPL tokens See related article: Solana wallet Phantom brings valuation to $1.2B after $109M Series B Fast facts Solana’s integration with the wallet enables users to access […]

BAYC’s floor price surpasses 100 ETH since ApeCoin launch

Bored Ape Yacht Club’s (BAYC) floor price surged to 106.5 ETH since the launch of ApeCoin, while its spin-off collection Mutant Ape Yacht Club’s (MAYC) floor price rose to 23.65 ETH at press time. See related article: Bored Ape Yacht Club teams up with Animoca Brands to develop play-to-earn game Fast facts The ApeCoin launch […]

Hong Kong’s flagship bank HSBC heads into The Sandbox metaverse

HSBC, a leading global banking and financial services provider, announced a partnership with blockchain gaming platform The Sandbox, in a statement released on Wednesday, to build its presence in the Hong Kong-based firm’s metaverse. See related article: Who are the biggest players in the metaverse today? Fast facts HSBC will develop a plot of LAND, […]

China highlights crypto crimes; Kazakh miners busted

Chinese authorities cracked down on crypto related crimes on Consumer Rights Day. Meanwhile in Kazakhstan, the former President’s brother was busted for illegal crypto mining operations.

Bitcoin avoids European ban as lawmakers decline to outlaw ‘proof of work’

Top blockchain and crypto news: PoW spared as Europe revamps MiCA rules. Yuga Labs acquires CryptoPunks rights. China’s Mango TV makes NFT debut.

China lashes out at crypto fraud on World Consumer Rights Day

No more Burger King, Nike and Muji. This year’s annual focus on marketplace abuse names and shames crypto scams.

BSN partners with INDUSTRIA, eyes UK market

China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) has announced a partnership with U.K. tech firm INDUSTRIA, as the state-backed blockchain infrastructure looks to make a foray into the European market. See related article: BSN to integrate CasperLabs’ chain to support NFT issuance in China Fast facts The partnership marks BSN’s first attempt to enter the U.K. and […]

Singapore targets designated Russian banks amid sanctions

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has imposed financial measures targeting designated Russian banks, entities and activities in Russia, and fundraising activities benefiting the Russian government, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. See related article: Singapore prohibits crypto, NFT transactions in sanctions against Russia Fast facts An MAS notice named the designated banks as […]

How crypto is driving diversity and gender equality

While crypto used to be associated with a ‘bro’ culture, it is now maturing into a hotbed for inclusivity, writes Cynthia Wu of Matrixport.

How Singapore is reimagining its ‘Asian crypto hub’ image

The Lion City has been the place to be for crypto firms, but retail activity is slowing down while the central bank continues to build a haven for institutional investors.

Two sides to every coin: Crypto as a weapon in the fight for Ukraine

Cryptocurrency is being used both to fund Ukraine’s defense and prevent Russia’s ability to skirt sanctions in what may become a pivotal moment for the industry.

A crypto bull wins the presidency: What it means for South Korea

ICOs, revamped taxation, and investor protection reverse a past crypto reluctance under the incoming administration.

US senators sound alarm over China’s digital yuan, Russia SWIFT sanctions

Nine U.S. senators are backing a bill that aims to crack down on China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the e-CNY or digital yuan, which they claim could allow Russia to bypass financial sanctions imposed on its banks and entities.  See related article: Digital yuan pilot attracts Chinese province bordering Russia Fast facts “If left […]

Tomorrowland wants to bring music to Web 3.0 with FTX Europe

Global cryptocurrency exchange FTX’s European arm announced a partnership with Tomorrowland on Thursday with goals to bring blockchain and Web 3.0 applications to the popular electronic music festival. Fast facts The partners will explore Web 3.0 applications such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for art, music, ticketing, as well as crypto payments and metaverse events.   The […]

ICON surges 60% as South Korea elects new president

ICON surged more than 60% in less than half a day as South Korea’s incoming president Yoon Suk-yeol won election on Thursday morning. See related article: Crypto investors are being wooed in South Korea’s tight presidential election Fast facts In a startup forum last December, Yoon minted his signature as a non-fungible token (NFT) on […]

Russia faces crypto freeze as exchanges toe line on sanctions

Top blockchain and crypto news: Moscow faces crypto winter. DeFi doyen quits Fantom. China mulls metaverse moves.

S.Korean presidential hopefuls campaign to avatars in the metaverse

The two leading candidates to become South Korea’s next president entered the metaverse to answer questions from avatars believed to be controlled by voters in their 20s and 30s. See related article: S.Korean presidential candidate issues over 22,000 NFTs Fast facts Ruling Democratic Party candidate Lee Jae-myung and opposing conservative People’s Power Party candidate Yoon […]

How will digital money play into banking’s future?

Blockchain technology is rapidly transforming the finance sector. DBS Bank CEO Piyush Gupta offers an insider’s look at what’s coming next.

Aid for Ukraine: why a stranded founder turned to DAO and crypto

Stranded away from home, Web 3.0 company Everstake founder Sergey Vasylchuck realized he could still help his war-torn homeland Ukraine by raising funds through a DAO.
and

Conflict currency: How crypto has become enmeshed in the war in Ukraine

Bitcoin and other cryptos are being used on both sides of the fight, raising ethical issues that cut to the core of decentralization, says AAX’s Ben Caselin

Korean exchanges block Russians; Crypto’s role in conflict

As the war in Ukraine enters it’s second week, we take a look at how cyptocurrencies and digital assets can play a role in a conflict.

Covid shuts cinema but Hong Kong gets backup from the metaverse

Hong Kong-based film production company National Arts Entertainment Group announced it is building a simulation of the Xiqiao Shan filmmaking studio in the metaverse while cinemas remain shut due to local Covid restrictions.  See related article: Who are the biggest players in the metaverse today? Fast facts Xiqiao Shan filmmaking studio is known for its […]

OpenSea blocks Iranian users, citing US sanctions list

OpenSea users based in Iran claim their accounts have been suspended from the U.S.-based non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, in a growing list of users experiencing restrictions from cryptocurrency-related service providers due to sanctions against the Iranian government, CoinDesk reported.  Fast facts See related article: Binance may join sanctions imposed on Russian targets Many OpenSea users […]

The future is decentralized: How Web3 can reshape the world

As the public tires of Big Tech’s privacy abuses, Web3’s premise of decentralization has never looked better, writes Edward Chen of Huobi.

China’s Two Sessions: what to expect for blockchain

Look for progress reports on e-CNY, blockchain technology, new digital infrastructure, and subtle mentions of the international sanctions against Russia.

Ukraine government’s crypto wallets near $40M in donations

Crypto donations raised by the Ukrainian government alone since the Russian invasion topped US$38.8 million on Thursday, as funds flowing into alternative channels bring total contributions to at least US$60 million.  See related article: Ukraine crypto donations top $36M amid Russian invasion Fast facts Aid for Ukraine, a decentralized autonomous organization set up by the […]

Nomura Holdings plans new digital assets company

Nomura Holdings will restructure its Future Innovation Company into a newly established company to leverage the rise of digital assets, effective April 1.  Fast facts See related article: IBM, Nomura to use blockchain for plastics recycling in new consortium The Japanese financial services giant revealed in a statement its plans to expand its private markets […]

Bitcoin shores up Ukraine fighters amid Moscow’s money meltdown

Top blockchain and crypto news: Digital currency battling Russian invasion. Ethereum remains NFT projects’ chain of choice. China to lock up crypto traders.

Animoca Brands halts services to Russians: report

Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands has shuttered its services to Russian users saying it is relying on legal advice that equates Western sanctions against Russian entities to the blanket sanctions against North Korea, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. See related article: Binance may join sanctions imposed on Russian targets Fast facts “The legal advice we’ve been receiving […]

Nvidia hackers threaten to unleash Ethereum mining limiter disabler

The ransomware outfit behind Nvidia’s data breach last week is looking to sell what it claims to be a driver that unlocks Ethereum mining limitations on the chipmaker’s graphic cards. See related article: China customs seizes 49 second-hand crypto mining rigs for export Fast facts The hacker group Lapsus$ allegedly stole 1TB of data from […]

Russian ruble plunges; Ukraine DAO aids civilians

Sanctions on Russia have prompted a resurgence in the Crypto market as the Russian ruble takes a nosedive. And as the attack on Ukraine continues, a decentralized autonomous organization is created to support Ukrainian civilians who have joined military efforts.

‘We don’t have time’ for traditional fundraising, crypto is most efficient: Ukraine DAO

With limited access to donations through traditional crowdfunding, cryptocurrencies and NFTs offer immediate help, Trippy Labs tells Forkast.