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Vitalik Buterin: Ethereum is more than DeFi. Is social media its next big use?

At EthCC in Paris, Ethereum’s boyish creator lays out a vision for the blockchain’s non-finance uses — like ridding social media of bots and fake news.
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NFT buzz continues as OpenSea raises US$100M

OpenSea, the world’s second-biggest non-fungible token marketplace by trading volume, has raised US$100 million in a series B funding round led by venture capital firm A16z, the company has announced.  Fast facts The new funding raises the company’s value to US$1.5 billion, making it a unicorn — a start-up with a valuation of more than […]

Chinese insurer Ping An seeks digital yuan payments for new Covid-19 policy

China’s trial of e-CNY, the digital version of the national currency, the yuan, has extended to the insurance industry, with conglomerate Ping An encouraging medical staff in the southern city of Shenzhen to pay premiums for a Covid-19 insurance plan using the new currency. Fast facts One Ping An branch in Shenzhen is offering insurance […]

Blockchain gaming unicorn Animoca Brands and Brinc launch NFT accelerator

Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming company Animoca Brands and global venture accelerator Brinc have launched Launchpad Luna, a new accelerator program to identify, mentor, and invest in promising blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFT) startups, according to a company statement. Fast facts Projects accepted into the accelerator program will receive training, end-to-end support and funding of up […]

India’s crypto community plays for time as New Delhi dithers on regulation

The prospect of a ban on cryptocurrencies has haunted the industry for years, but it appears to be receding as delayed rules give policymakers time to think before they act.

Why Thailand’s oldest bank is investing US$110 million in DeFi

In a special Q&A, Mukaya ‘Tai’ Panich of SCB 10X, the venture arm of Siam Commercial Bank, marvels at decentralized finance innovations. ‘Whatever traditional finance has, there’s a parallel version in DeFi.’

FTX’s $900 million deal. Dogecoin in the doghouse. Digital yuan dragnet.

Top blockchain and crypto news: FTX swells to $18 billion valuation. Etherum and Dogecoin disowned by creators. US pols call for Olympics boycott of e-yuan.

Crypto miner ships China-based rigs abroad in deal with U.S. fossil fuels firm

Optimum Mining Host-Black Rock Petroleum plan comes as Canaan seeks greener operations through Czech partnership.

EU to ban anonymous crypto asset wallets in AML/CFT push

The European Commission intends to tighten anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism rules by banning anonymous crypto asset wallets as it seeks to align European Union law with Financial Action Task Force standards, according to legislative proposals presented yesterday. Fast facts A key change is a proposed amendment to the 2015 EU regulation on transfers […]

FTX crypto derivatives exchange closes record $900M Series B with $18B valuation

Fast-growing FTX just pulled off the largest-ever fundraise for a crypto exchange to date. Will heightened regulatory scrutiny lie in its near future?

Clean-energy crypto mining ETF launches to put an ‘E’ in Bitcoin

As Bitcoin’s carbon footprint continues to make ESG investors uneasy, a new clean-energy crypto mining ETF aims to allay their environmental concerns.

Russia looks to tap demand for power as crypto miners flood out of China

Plentiful electricity, cold climate are among drawcards as Chinese mine operators flee crackdown at home.

Chinese fireworks artist Cai Guoqiang auctions first NFT for $2.5M

Chinese fireworks artist Cai Guoqiang has entered the world of non-fungible tokens, recently auctioning off his first NFT work for US$2.5 million. Fast facts Cai’s work “Transient Eternity — 101 Ignitions of Gunpowder Paintings,” commissioned by the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, was auctioned on TR Lab for US$2.5 million after a 48-hour bidding period […]

Street performers embrace digital payments as cashless society emerges

Buskers and street performers who accept electronic or digital currency often receive larger sums than they do accepting only cash, according to a recent survey by RMIT, a university in the Australian city of Melbourne. The trend has accelerated following global lockdowns amid Covid-19 as familiarity with QR codes and other technologies grows. Fast facts […]

U.S. needs ‘to act quickly’ to regulate stablecoins, treasury secretary says

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says that the United States needs “to act quickly to ensure there is an appropriate U.S. regulatory framework in place” for stablecoins. Fast facts Yellen made her comments at a Meeting of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, held on July 19. According to a readout of the meeting, […]

Bitcoin’s promise of financial freedom still beckons, academic says

In a special Q&A, Yale-NUS College professor Andrew Bailey says the world’s oldest cryptocurrency has untapped potential to promote liberty, equality and justice around the world.

China’s digital yuan moves a step closer with smart-contract technology

Central bank in apparent push for adoption ahead of Olympics as it doubles up on warning over non-state cryptocurrencies.
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How to solve the Bitcoin energy consumption problem

As the world grapples with crypto mining’s carbon footprint, Nischal Shetty of WazirX examines the technical and regulatory solutions.

Late digitization is Asia’s edge in crypto, says Fireblocks CEO

While the West has first mover advantage in traditional banking, Asia — not wedded to ol infrastructure — now has an edge in the crypto era, says Michael Shaulov of Fireblocks.

Binance draws warning over stock tokens from Hong Kong regulator

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission today issued a warning that Binance — the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume — was not allowed to conduct “regulated activity” in the city, specifically trading in stock tokens. Fast facts In its statement, the SFC said it was aware that Binance was offering stock tokens in […]

How blockchain can transform social media | Part 2

Why is social media’s current centralization problematic, and what would a decentralized Twitter or Facebook look like?
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Bitcoin price Google searches at lowest point for 2021. Is BTC still an inflation hedge?

The price of gold is rising with inflation. Then why is ‘digital gold’ Bitcoin’s price stagnant — and public interest in BTC falling to a new low?
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Hong Kong finance sector body prepares response to planned virtual asset rules

Hong Kong’s Financial Services Development Council — a cross-sector advisory body established by the government to engage the city’s financial services industry — is putting together industry feedback on the government’s legislative proposals related to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. Fast facts In May, Hong Kong’s Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau released […]

Axie Infinity fans play their way to payday as game token prices soar

Play-to-earn game Axie Infinity has caught the blockchain community’s attention in the past few months as the price of its governance token has kept rising. Now it’s hit an all-time high, players are earning some serious money.

Has the NFT bubble burst? The data says otherwise

Axie Infinity, Meebits and Bored Ape Yacht Club are some of those keeping the market for non-fungible tokens alive.

Reserve Bank of Australia is exploring a CBDC — despite skepticism

The Reserve Bank of Australia is researching the implementation of a central bank digital currency — despite not seeing a need for it.

Polkadot chain Phala Network’s Khala wins 4th Kusama parachain slot

Privacy-focused cloud computing project Phala Network’s “canary network” Khala this week won the fourth Kusama parachain slot auction with 132,280 Kusama (KSM) contributed by 2,759 addresses. A canary network is an experimental environment for blockchain developers to build and test out their code as well as products and services. Fast facts Phala Network is designed […]

Grayscale’s Bitcoin bounty. Circle’s SPAC listing controversy. NFTs for thieves.

Top blockchain and crypto news: Crypto markets await Bitcoin fund release. USDC issuer opts for the back door. In China, NFT copyrights and wrongs.

New crypto mining firms in China now in scramble to leave

The9 and BIT Mining — non-crypto firms that pivoted to crypto mining during Bitcoin’s boom — now seek to ‘expand’ overseas.
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C.R.E.A.M. Finance’s Iron Bank and PleasrDAO execute $3.5M loan with NFTs as collateral

C.R.E.A.M. Finance’s Iron Bank today announced that it has facilitated a US$3.5 million loan with cypto art collective PleasrDAO using high-value non-fungible tokens as collateral, according to an announcement shared with Forkast.News. Fast facts Taipei-based C.R.E.A.M. Finance, part of the Yearn finance ecosystem, is a decentralized lending protocol for individuals, institutions and protocols to access […]

Singapore’s Temasek posts record returns, continues investing in blockchain and AI

Singapore state-owned investment firm Temasek has announced record returns of S$381 billion (US$283 billion) for the financial year ending March 2021, up 24.5% from the year before. Fast facts According to its latest annual review, Temasek is “increasingly shaping” its portfolio in line with four trends: digitization, sustainable living, future of consumption, and longer lifespans. […]

Stablecoins promise much, but can they deliver?

As issuer Circle prepares to list and China sounds the alarm over speculation, the mood among regulators is mixed, despite stablecoins’ clear appeal to investors.

7 key developments in blockchain capital markets in 2021

In the second installment of a 2-part report, Lucas Schweiger of Blockdata examines the most notable current trends in blockchain and capital markets.

Band Protocol launches Phase 2 to bring off-chain data to DeFi

Oracle platform Band Protocol is aiming to enable data providers like Google Cloud and Bloomberg to work better with decentralized applications.

NFTs and the music industry: Token gesture or transformative technology? | Part 1

In the first of a four-part series, Forkast.News looks at how non-fungible tokens may be changing who calls the tune in the recording business.

Gravity DEX brings DeFi into Cosmos network’s orbit

Cosmos’s DeFi capital pulling power is set to get stronger as Gravity DEX launches, with Gravity Bridge and the Emeris DeFi portal on the way.

Ripple seeks to force ex-SEC director to testify on XRP next week

Despite opposition from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Ripple is pushing ahead with plans to question former SEC director William Hinman, the former head of the regulator’s Division of Corporation Finance, telling the judge overseeing discovery in the SEC v. Ripple Labs lawsuit that Hinman’s deposition has been rescheduled to July 19, according to a […]

Derivatives will be crypto’s ‘next big thing’ says 100x CEO

Crypto industry gets the ‘overleveraged’ label and authorities are cracking down on derivatives providers. Alexander Höptner of 100x believes the pushback foreshadows the industry’s next big thing — derivatives.

BIS: cooperation essential for CBDCs to improve cross-border payments

In a new report, BIS says countries must work together and design CBDCs with interoperability in mind. Hong Kong and Singapore lead mCBDC efforts.

Crypto prices continue to fall: Is the market ailing from the Covid Delta variant?

The price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency continue to slide as global failure to contain the Covid Delta variant lead to worries of another economic downturn.

Special series: ‘Let’s get serious’ — how blockchain is revolutionizing payment systems

Though Dogecoin and NFTs dominate headlines, their underlying technology — blockchain — is transforming our world in more meaningful ways, according to authors Kosrow Dehnad and Joe Duncan.
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SEC says Ripple not entitled to testimony on XRP from ex-director

Is William Hinman a former ‘high-ranking’ SEC official exempt from disclosing his prior communications on XRP, or must he provide testimony to Ripple?

Key takeaways from FATF’s latest report on virtual assets

The Financial Action Task Force — the global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards-setter — this week released its second 12-month review on virtual assets and virtual asset service providers, and called on countries to implement the revised FATF standards, including travel rule requirements “as soon as possible.” “The global nature of the underpinning technology […]

How is blockchain going to disrupt capital markets?

In the first of a special two-part report, Lucas Schweiger of Blockdata explores what the future of capital markets could look like with blockchain-based infrastructure.

Ethereum: London calling. Will the SEC ever approve Bitcoin ETFs? Foreign miners reap rewards amid China crypto crackdown.

Top blockchain and crypto news: Ethereum upgrade, torque of the town. SEC in snafu over Bitcoin ETFs. Crypto miners flourish amid China fallout.

Meitu to lose big on BTC investments; SK banks warned over crypto laws

Chinese tech giant forecasts a US$17.3 million loss in its BTC investment as more musicians in Asia lean towards NFTs.

Software firm Meitu loses US$17.3M on Bitcoin

Higher value of Ether investments softens blow to value of Bitcoin holdings.

Binance suspends SEPA euro deposits as CZ calls compliance a ‘journey’

Facing an onslaught of regulatory scrutiny, Binance CEO calls crypto regulations ‘positive sign’ of a maturing industry and announces new hires in compliance.

Hong Kong CBDC project looks to commercialize for cross-border payments

Eddie Yue, CEO of Hong Kong Monetary Authority lays out the future of the territory’s digital currency at a Hong Kong Academy of Finance event.

Will Basel Committee’s proposed rules for crypto banking fly?

The standards-setter for banks around the world wants to subject crypto like Bitcoin to higher capital requirements. What do industry players think?

Why decentralization is essential for protecting user data and privacy

Centralized data management is outdated and vulnerable to hacking, says Li Jun of Ontology. Here’s how blockchain can make data more secure.

Ether hits two-week high as Ethereum’s London upgrade nears

The price of Ether has jumped to a fortnight high as Ethereum’s London EIP-1559 upgrade draws close and investors look to get back into alt-coins.

How blockchain is giving rise to a growing ‘Crypto Nation’

Being a ‘crypto native’ involves much more than using Bitcoin and DeFi, writes Alvin Lee of DeGate DAO. It’s sharing core values like freedom and inclusion.

WazirX, Binance boost compliance procedures; Forkast speaks to FTX CEO

Crypto exchanges WazirX and Binance look to implement stronger compliance measures. Forkast News speaks with FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried about crypto regulatory measures in Asia. Chinese district rewards residents with e-Yuan for counting footsteps. We’ll have more on these stories and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world in this episode of […]

One day, we’ll just call Bitcoin ‘money,’ says crypto veteran

El Salvador recently became the first country to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender, and it seems unlikely to be the last. Samson Mow, chief strategy officer of Bitcoin technology company Blockstream, looks forward to a future in which Bitcoin edges out fiat currency.

Will court let Ripple force ex-SEC director to testify about XRP?

Ripple says William Hinman holds important insights into SEC’s stance on Bitcoin, Ether and XRP. How is Hinman’s 2018 speech on crypto relevant to the lawsuit?

Chinese ‘smart city’ to give away 3 million e-CNY to promote exercise

The Chinese city of Xiong’an, a prototype so-called smart city, has launched a new round of digital yuan giveaways. Fast facts Unlike previous giveaways, which have been based on a lottery system, authorities are handing out 3 million yuan in e-CNY based on the number of steps people walk in a bid to encourage fitness. […]

Bye-bye, Binance. Elon Musk spawns Floki Shiba Inu craze. Tickets for tokens in China.

Top blockchain and cryptocurrency news: Binance bounced out of Britain. Musk moves Shiba Inu prices again. China’s digital currency gets ready to roll.

How to assess the maturity of a network and DeFi ecosystem

What does a fully functioning network with DeFi applications look like, and why is it important to assess? Garrette Furo of Cosmos explains.

Crypto exchange Coinbase to launch crypto app store in international strategy

Nasdaq-listed Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, announced today its plans to expand its business internationally as it seeks to improve its asset-listing process and build a crypto app store. Fast facts: “We’re seeing crypto quickly mature from its initial use case of trading bitcoin to the trading of thousands of new […]

What is Theta blockchain, and how might it revolutionize online streaming?

With Theta’s new mainnet 3.0, the network aims to be the go-to blockchain-powered content delivery platform for online streaming. Will Theta succeed?

A portfolio balanced by digital assets

Do cryptocurrencies follow broader market trends? Cryptocurrency has long been perceived as a hedge against the fluctuations of the broader equities market. The idea of cryptocurrency as an alternative investment has taken off during the Covid-19 pandemic as equity prices rose to stratospheric highs despite the fundamentals of the economy significantly weakening.  An example that […]

Evangelizing to different investor profiles

Millennials and Gen Z Millennials have earned the reputation of disrupting or killing traditional industries, and the financial sector is no exception.  The disconnect between millennials and traditional investments is the result of various factors, such as their firsthand experience with the long-term effects of the 2008 global recession on assets and investments, as well […]

Tokenized asset market sizing and analysis

How value is created Our methodology for calculating the value of this market includes tokenized commodity, energy, currency (i.e., stablecoins), gold and real estate projects. Calculations include publicly listed projects found via Blockexplorers. It excludes cryptocurrency, as it’s a native digital asset, as well as DeFi projects because of their extreme volatility. All tokenized assets […]

Building liquidity

Although institutional interest in Bitcoin is rising, there is still the volatility conundrum to consider. Bitcoin’s market fluctuations, however, make it a poor store of value. But, at the same time, there is an advantage to keeping capital stored in crypto: cashing out crypto into fiat is almost always a taxable event and not ideal […]

Family offices are turning to digital assets

Interview with Trent Barnes, Principal at Zerocap Tokenization brings new models for raising capital, as well as institutional-grade opportunities Forkast.News: How does a digital asset become “institutional-grade”? What sort of criteria are institutional-level traders looking for? TB: The criteria would include clear guidelines and regulatory frameworks as to how digital assets are treated, deepening pools […]

What kind of new regulation can help Australia become a global crypto hub?

Through tomorrow, a Senate committee is taking public comments on how best to make Australia into a global crypto leader and fintech hub.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission’s new crypto rules will hinder opportunity

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission chief, Ashley Alder, kicked off a firestorm during Hong Kong FinTech Week 2020 by announcing a plan to regulate all cryptocurrency exchanges that operate in the city or target its citizens.  These new proposed rules would replace a voluntary framework introduced in 2019 that allowed exchanges to opt in […]

Trends and opportunities

Top three digital asset market trends shaping the future Three key trends in the digital asset market are: Tokenization of widely traded traditional assets, such as stocks and bonds; Tokenization of previously untraded or under-traded assets, such as real estate and fine art; Institutional adoption and trading of digital tokens. During the past year the […]

Singapore crypto exchange Coinhako sees trade soar 500%, eyes IPO

Singapore cryptocurrency exchange Coinhako today announced a 500% increase in trading volume during the first five months of 2021 compared to the whole of 2020.

Why big investors are pouring money into blockchain data analytics for crypto

Nansen, a Singapore startup, is the latest darling of venture capitalists like Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) bullish on the growing field of crypto analytics.

The importance of a third-party custodian

Interview with Phil Mochan, founder of UK-based custody provider Koine Forkast.News: What is a custody solution? What’s the difference between simple cold storage and custody? Phil Mochan: Custody is about a lot more than simply managing safes (or cold stores). The trade settlement process is an integral part of the function of the custodian. At […]