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China plans crackdown on illegal fundraising in metaverse, NFTs

China Supreme People’s Procuratorate warned of “severe punishment” for financial crimes such as illegal fundraising and money laundering in a work report released on Tuesday.  See related article: ‘Metaverse’ enters government radar at China’s Two Sessions Fast facts China’s highest procuratorate has taken note of rising financial crimes deemed illegal fundraising, disguised as metaverse, non-fungible […]

Why NFT scams are on the rise — and how to stop them

‘Lazy minting’ may seem affordable but heightens the risk of NFT theft, writes Anthem Blanchard of Herasoft. Is storing NFTs on-chain the solution?

NFT startup Immutable valued at $2.5 billion in Temasek-led financing

Australian non-fungible tokens (NFTs) startup Immutable has raised fresh funding in a round led by Singapore’s Temasek, bringing its valuation to US$2.5 billion, the company said in a statement on Monday.  See related article: Jump in NFT demand reflects crypto prices, right? Wrong Fast facts Immutable raised US$200 million in a Series C funding led […]

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.
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Burned out on crypto? Pro tips on finding calm in a bear market

The crypto market never sleeps, but you should take a breather, advises Ben Armstrong, aka BitBoy Crypto. Here’s how to recharge and fill your cup.

DeFi wizard Cronje’s departure sends TVL sinking 

Decentralized finance (DeFi) total value locked (TVL) is taking a significant dip after pioneer and founder of Yearn Finance Andre Cronje quit crypto with his colleague and senior developer at the Fantom Foundation, Anton Nell, who announced their farewell on Sunday.  See related article: Fantom overtakes Binance Smart Chain in DeFi TVL Fast facts The […]

‘Metaverse’ enters government radar at China’s Two Sessions

Regulation is urgently needed to govern data security and curb speculation as the metaverse industry develops, delegates say.
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Singapore prohibits crypto, NFT transactions in sanctions against Russia

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has prohibited transactions involving digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in its sanctions against Russian banks and entities, the central bank said in a statement.  See related article: USDT-RUB volume outpaces Bitcoin pair as Russia sanctions pile Fast facts Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, MAS will […]

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

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 […]

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.

At least 3M Aussies own some form of crypto asset

Australia estimates at least three million Aussies, or 11% of its people, own some form of crypto asset, according to a government-backed report published on Wednesday. See related article: Australia announces biggest overhaul to payments in 25 years — eyes now set on crypto Fast facts Crypto has been on Australia’s radar, with the Senate […]

Ukraine cancels crypto airdrop, promises NFTs

Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Federov said on Thursday that Ukraine would cancel a crypto airdrop created to reward its donors that had been announced just one day before. Fast facts “After careful consideration we decided to cancel airdrop. Every day there are more and more people willing to help Ukraine to fight back the agression. […]

Can crypto cushion Russia from the pain of sanctions?

War-mongering Russia is finding itself increasingly isolated. What if the rogue state tries to regain its financial footing via cryptocurrency?
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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.

India’s blockchain courses ramp up to meet demand for learning

Recruiters from the public and private sectors are on the hunt for top blockchain talent. Educational institutions are catching up with customized courses.

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 […]

Tencent calls dibs on metaverse virtual concerts in patent application

Chinese tech giant Tencent is applying for a virtual concerts patent, as conglomerates race for the first-mover advantage in the metaverse industry, business tracker Qichacha’s data shows. See related article: 16,000 metaverse trademark applications filed, unlikely to pass in China Fast facts The Shenzhen-based social and gaming giant’s patent application involves a computing approach and […]

NFTs enter ‘mini-bear market’ as buyers drop to three-month low

The number of unique non-fungible token (NFT) buyers in February dropped to 843,000, in what data aggregator CryptoSlam calls a “mini-bear market.” See related article: Wash trading in NFT marketplace LooksRare can inflate prices: analysts Fast facts February’s NFT market had a 7% month-over-month drop in buyers from the all-time high set in January. February […]

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 […]

Over half of S.Korea crypto traders are in their 30s and 40s

South Korea’s financial regulator revealed Tuesday that 58% of the country’s 5.58 million cryptocurrency traders are in their 30s and 40s. See related article: S.Korea crypto market growing but needs promotion, not just regulation: BCG Fast facts South Korea’s Financial Intelligence Unit released its first report on the local US$45.8 billion crypto market. South Korea […]

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 […]

Bitcoin, proof-of-work ban removed from European Union’s MiCA

The European parliament has scrapped wording from proposed legislation that would have banned cryptocurrencies that rely on the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism, like Bitcoin. See related article: How serious is the threat of Bitcoin mining to the environment? Fast facts The European Parliament member in charge of spearheading the bill known as the Markets in […]

Metaverse NFT projects boom as Meta ignores blockchain

It’s been a booming time for the NFT market, and as data from CryptoSlam shows, there has been particular interest in metaverse projects recently.

‘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.

How the market is evolving from GameFi to SocialFi — and what comes next

A blockchain is a database that can record all transactions and transfers for the entire world. All users can use public blockchain explorers to verify all data is correct.  Blockchain facilitates transactions of virtual currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Transactions that take place are fast, cheap, tamper-proof and irreversible.  But blockchain technology is not limited […]

Crypto market gained $200B in the last 12 hours

The global cryptocurrency market cap recovered above US$2 trillion since dropping below the mark in mid-February, in a US$200 billion 12-hour run.  See related article: Bitcoin, crypto market tank as Putin declares war on Ukraine Fast facts Bitcoin’s price jumped over US$2,000 in a 10-minute window from 6:30 am HKT Tuesday to mark a ceiling […]

How Is Play-To-Earn Disrupting Traditional Gaming?

Are the days of playing games on Nintendo, SEGA, and other consoles and powerful desktop gaming computers gone? No.

Who are the biggest players in the metaverse today?

The multi-faceted metaverse provides new channels for gaming, socialization, art exhibitions and more. Who’s leading the race and how?

Will Bitcoin and Ethereum make a comeback in 2022?

Russia’s war on Ukraine is battering crypto prices, but what does the more distant future hold for BTC and ETH? Fintech experts offer predictions.

Ukraine crypto donations top $36M amid Russian invasion

Cryptocurrency donations to Ukraine through government and private channels have topped US$36 million as contributions continue to mount throughout the Russian invasion.  See related article: Binance may join sanctions imposed on Russian targets Fast facts The Ukrainian government has received 113 BTC and 2,001 ETH, totaling almost US$10 million, as of press time. Binance has […]

Ethereum reaches 1 million NFT buyers as gas fees sink

The total number of unique non-fungible token (NFT) buyers on the Ethereum blockchain crossed the 1 million customers milestone on Sunday as the network’s gas fees slid to its lowest since August.  See related article: Ethereum price expected to hit $7,609 in 2022: report Fast facts NFT sales on Ethereum increased by 36.06% in the […]

India top court queries crypto legality over $2.6B Bitcoin scam

The Supreme Court of India has sought clarification from the government on the legality of cryptocurrencies in the country in the wake of surging Bitcoin scams, local media reported. See related article: Indian crypto scam investigated Fast facts A bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant asked additional solicitor general (ASG) Aishwarya Bhati […]

Is Bitcoin really a hedge against inflation?

Bitcoin’s recent slumps have been coupled with macroeconomic activities, bringing its status as an inflation hedge into question.

Ukraine’s crypto demand soars; Russian sanctions tighten

Trading volume on Ukrainian crypto exchanges triples as Russia continues its attack on Ukraine. Meanwhile, there is still no sign of Russia using crypto to evade sanctions yet,

Russia unlikely to turn to crypto if SWIFT sanction is imposed

Measures to detect sanctioned entities’ crypto transactions can come into play, experts say.

Play to live: GameFi drives a Southeast Asian crush on crypto

More people in the region are in thrall to play-to-earn gaming as it adapts to offer real-world uses, says Infinity Ventures Crypto founding partner Brian Lu.

BitMEX founders Hayes, Delo fined $10M each, plead guilty to AML violations

BitMEX founders Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act’s anti-money-laundering provisions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said on Thursday. See related article: BitMEX pays US$100M to settle AML, KYC compliance breach charges Fast facts Under the terms of the plea agreement, Hayes and Delo will each pay US$10 […]

Putin’s attack triples Ukrainian crypto exchange’s trading volume

Trading volume in Ukrainian crypto exchange Kuna has more than tripled by Friday since Russia invaded the Eastern European nation, according to CoinGecko data.  See related article: Bitcoin, crypto market tank as Putin declares war on Ukraine Fast facts The 24-hour trading volume at Kuna was at around US$1.5 million on Thursday morning Asia time, […]

Crypto traders in China may serve over 10 years in prison

China’s Supreme Court specified cryptocurrency trading as a means of illegal fundraising in its latest judicial interpretation of criminal law released on Thursday, the first time in the country’s history.  See related article: Court in China says trading in cryptocurrency ‘not protected by law’ Fast facts A judicial interpretation is the Supreme People’s Court’s official […]

South Korean crypto businesses scramble to meet FATF travel rule

Around 30 South Korean crypto and blockchain firms have officially started partnering with CODE, a joint venture formed to meet the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) travel rule. See related article: What lies ahead for crypto regulations in 2022 Fast facts FATF’s travel rule is a global set of guidelines for virtual asset service providers […]

India’s crypto brain drain may accelerate once again

Government indecision on crypto regulation prompted some businesses to move abroad. Investors and crypto professionals may follow if uncertainty prolongs.

Meta showcases focus on AI, announces new voice assistant program

The brand has long centered around connecting people and seems determined to carry that branding to its next stage as a metaverse company.

Bitcoin, crypto market tank as Putin declares war on Ukraine

The cryptocurrency market took a nosedive in what was already seeming like a day in the red zone after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a “special military operation” for the “demilitarization and de-Nazification of Ukraine.”  See related article: Crypto market tumbles amid uncertainty over Russia and Ukraine Fast facts The global cryptocurrency market cap dipped […]

Terra bullish trend continues; rest of crypto top 10 in red

Terra LUNA is continuing its bullish trend from where it left off on Wednesday, up almost 7% to trade at $59.39 on Thursday morning, Asia time. Fast facts See related article: Is Terra — whose LUNA coin is now at another all-time high — really where the smart money is? The currency has been as […]

Bitcoin miners unwelcome in Hangzhou despite targeted energy hike

A new electricity rate hike for crypto miners in China’s southeastern province Zhejiang is a penalty, not a green light, province capital Hangzhou authorities said, the China Times reported on Wednesday.  See related article: China’s Zhejiang province busts dozens of state-owned entities for mining crypto Fast facts Zhejiang Province announced this month that it would […]

India’s crypto ads to get ‘highly risky’ banners starting April

All cryptocurrency ads in India will carry standard disclaimers to warn investors of risks associated with crypto beginning April 1, as per guidelines released by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on Wednesday.  See related article: Indian court seeks standardized disclaimers on crypto ads Fast facts The disclaimer must read: “Crypto products and NFTs […]

Jupiter Meta launches fully curated NFT marketplace in India

Jupiter Meta on Wednesday launched a fully curated non-fungible token marketplace in India focusing on music, film and gaming.  See related article: WazirX launches India’s first NFT marketplace Fast facts The NFT marketplace is built on Jupiter Meta’s Rubix blockchain, which the company claims has zero gas fees and is sustainable.  Jupiter Meta has also […]

Why India’s Bitcoin premium is now higher than South Korea’s

The RBI is casting a cloud of regulatory uncertainty over the local digital assets industry, but the nation’s Bitcoin premium shows India wants crypto. 

Digital yuan pilot attracts Chinese province bordering Russia

Heilongjiang province in northeastern China has joined the bid to compete with 10 other cities to become the next digital yuan pilot city, it announced on Monday.  See related article: E-CNY chief says digital dollar poses no threat to China Fast facts See related article: Hong Kong makes apt testbed for e-CNY cross-border use

Second K-pop agency taps Binance for NFT partnership

Binance inked a partnership with an SM Entertainment subsidiary to explore non-fungible token (NFT) opportunities, the second K-pop agency to sign with Binance in February.  See related article: Animoca Brands, K-pop agency Cube form metaverse joint venture Fast facts The pair will build what they call a “play-to-create” ecosystem, which aims to let fans reproduce […]

Alibaba to reward NFTs in its first blockchain game

Alibaba is rewarding non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its first blockchain game Ant Adventure, which can be played through the Alipay mobile application, one of China’s leading mobile payment providers.  See related article: Ant Group’s NFT arm punishes users for digital collectible resales Fast facts Ant Adventure is powered by Alibaba’s blockchain AntChain, and takes users […]

Hedera gears up for smart contract upgrade, leads market rebound

Hedera’s HBAR is leading a crypto market bounce with a 14% surge over the last 24 hours to trade at US$0.2306 on the back of the HederaStarter launch announcement as the ecosystem preps for its smart contract era.  See related article: Hedera Hashgraph provides provenance for data from Syrian war Fast facts HederaStarter is slated […]

Law can’t cover crypto losses, China court reiterates

The high court of China’s southeastern Guangdong province has ruled cryptocurrency investment activities are not protected by law, further clarifying that crypto is not a legitimate currency in the mainland.  See related article: China customs seizes 49 second-hand crypto mining rigs for export Fast facts The Guangdong high court on Tuesday listed a crypto-related virtual […]

Tether slashes commercial paper, shows more reserves than liabilities

Tether cut its commercial paper holdings by 21% last quarter according to the stablecoin operator’s latest quarterly assurance opinion released Monday.  See related article: Tether unveils reserves and backing for its USDT stablecoin in new report Fast facts Auditor MHA Cayman completed an attestation, finding Tether’s reserves held for its digital assets exceed the amount […]

Temasek leads $200M funding round in crypto firm Amber

Amber Group has secured US$200 million in a funding round led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek, raising the cryptocurrency platform’s valuation to US$3 billion.  See related story: Temasek-founded Affinidi launches new business unit to bring Web 3.0 to financial services to Southeast Asia Fast facts Existing investors including Sequoia China, Pantera Capital, Tiger Global […]

Solana, Terra join Bitcoin in free fall as markets continue tumbling

Solana joined Bitcoin’s free fall along with other cryptocurrencies on Tuesday, after being among the few cryptos standing in the green during a red day in the crypto market on Monday.  See related article: What Solana prices will be at the end of 2021 and beyond Fast facts Solana — currently at US$83.50 – is […]

South Korea sees new metaverse ETF while forerunners lag in profit

NH-Amundi Asset Management listed its second metaverse exchange-traded fund (ETF) Tuesday that will specifically invest in metaverse-related companies in the U.S. See related article: Hong Kong gears up for its first metaverse ETF Fast facts The HANARO U.S. Metaverse iSelect ETF follows 20 key players in the U.S. metaverse, virtual and augmented reality, and the […]

Why digital assets are poised to disrupt philanthropy

Charitable giving in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is growing by leaps and bounds. Michael B. Greenwald and Logan Weber explain the risks and benefits.
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Jump in NFT demand reflects crypto prices, right? Wrong

An asset bought and valued in crypto becomes decoupled from crypto prices, a split that reflects the differences between crypto investors and NFT buyers.

NFTs can upend the music business. Artists should take note

Blockchain technology allows musicians to sell songs directly and earn more per song, writes Adi Ben-Ari of Applied Blockchain.

India needs to make up its mind over crypto

Although India hoped that taxation would be a step toward regulation rather than a ban, the high tax rates and proposed rules seem to be geared toward dissuading crypto trading.

CCTV NFTs hit resale market before transfer permitted

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or digital collectibles, issued by China Central Television (CCTV), the nation’s largest state-owned broadcast media, are appearing in China’s largest online second-hand market for at least 10 times the original price in a pre-sale bid, even before trade embargoes on the assets have lifted.  See related article: China’s mouthpiece newspaper is giving […]

LooksRare trails OpenSea in sales volume as developers cash out $30M

Trading volumes on non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace LooksRare dropped by more than half its daily volume since developers withdrew roughly US$30 million of its native LOOKS token and cashed out in wrapped Ether (wETH) Fast facts LooksRare was averaging daily sales volumes of around US$550 million but fell more than 50% overnight in early February […]

‘Extreme fear’: Bitcoin continues bear run, while Solana is up

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, continues to tank along with other cryptocurrencies in the global market, with investor sentiment at “extreme fear” at Bitcoin’s Fear and Greed Index.  See related article: Bitcoin leads market-wide downturn as Russia fears rise Fast facts Bitcoin is currently down by almost 2% to trade at US$39,185. Bitcoin’s […]

South Korea’s largest financial group mulls crypto ETFs

South Korea’s KB Asset Management launched a committee on Monday that will develop investment strategies for releasing digital asset products such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs). See related article: South Korean banks find workaround to cash in on crypto services Fast facts The ‘Digital Asset Management Preparatory Committee’ aims to be the first to launch digital […]

Sandcastles in cyberspace and the rise of the metaverse

As businesses wake up to the potential of the metaverse, we ask The Sandbox’s Sebastien Borget whether its creator-driven promise will persevere.

Azuki, CryptoPunks battle it out for week’s top NFT title

Azuki, an anime avatars NFT collection, is in a tight race with the CryptoPunks for the weekly sales volume title, building on its successful debut month in January, according to CryptoSlam data.  See related article: ‘All eyes are on it:’ CryptoPunks at center of copyright legal dispute Fast facts Azuki traded the top spot with […]

South Korea struggles to prevent sexual harassment of minors in the metaverse

While the government cultivates the booming metaverse industry, experts say laws fail to protect youth from abuse within virtual and digital realms.

Buyers snap up Olympics panda NFTs

Animoca Brand’s nWayPlay sold out second batch of Bing Dwen Dwen mascot NFTs on Thursday as prices of first set fetched 900% in average resale value.
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Hong Kong gears up for its first metaverse ETF

Hong Kong’s first metaverse-themed exchange-traded fund (ETF), the CSOP Metaverse Concept ETF, is scheduled to be listed on Feb. 21 on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, according to a CSOP Asset Management disclosure document.  See related article: NFTs, metaverse listed as top ‘must watch’ security risks in Hong Kong Fast facts The metaverse ETF […]