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2nd U.S. Bitcoin futures ETF starts trading today, and a 3rd will launch next week

Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy Fund, the second Bitcoin futures exchange traded fund (ETF) in the U.S., is set to start trading today, while VanEck’s Bitcoin futures ETF, which also received approval this week, is expected to launch early next week. Fast facts ProShares Bitcoin Strategy Fund, the first U.S. Bitcoin futures ETF, started trading on the […]

China has no plan to promote its e-currency within BRI countries — yet

“For now, we do not have any plan for using e-CNY in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) countries yet,” China’s central bank chief said at the 2021 G30 International Banking Seminar, regarding the electronic yuan (e-CNY), the world’s first major central bank digital currency that is being slowly rolled out in China. Meanwhile, authorities […]

Ethereum price touches new all-time high in altcoins rally

Ethereum prices surged to new heights ahead of next week’s Altair Beacon Chain upgrade but then pulled back. How do crypto experts make sense of it?

China releases plan to merge blockchain into global trade

China’s Ministry of Commerce, along with 23 other central departments, on Tuesday jointly issued “The 14th Five-Year Plan for Service & Trade Industries.” It outlines how China will integrate blockchain into the process of global trading, including applying blockchain on bills of lading, building a blockchain-based global shipping information network, and using blockchain to record […]

FTX raises $421 million, valuation jumps $7B in 3 months

Just three months after closing a record US$1 billion series B, the two-year-old cryptocurrency exchange is now valued at US$25 billion. Fast facts The US$420,690,000 Series B-1 funding round saw the participation of 69 investors, with prominent names the lineup, including Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, via its Teachers’ Innovation Platform, Singapore’s state-owned investment firm […]

Bitcoin hits all-time high; Lotte World opens in metaverse

Bitcoin hits all-time high, also Lotte World opens in metaverse

Ripple expands cross-border payments using XRP with Tranglo in Asia, Al Ansari Exchange in Middle East

Despite its legal troubles in the U.S., San Francisco-based blockchain payments company Ripple has been pushing ahead to bring faster and cheaper cross-border payments using XRP in Asia and the Middle East. Fast facts Ripple and Tranglo, a Malaysia-based cross-border payments provider, today announced that Tranglo has launched its first live On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service […]

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com offers NFTs despite state media criticisms

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com is giving away free non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to those who sign up for its annual technology conference JD Discovery, in a move to jump on the NFT bandwagon following its rivals Alibaba and Tencent. Fast facts JD.com’s tech arm JD Technology said yesterday in a social media post it is giving […]

Bitcoin reaches new all-time price high, but in a very different market since last time

When the world’s largest cryptocurrency last reached a price high, China had yet to crack down on crypto mining, and there was no U.S. Bitcoin futures ETF. What do changing market conditions mean for the growth of Bitcoin and the crypto industry?

A radically different financial architecture is here. Who will own it?

DeFi is a real-world experiment testing out a new model for finance, writes Alex Grebnev of Oxygen. What is the future of banking without Wall Street?

South Korean theme park Lotte World opens on metaverse

Lotte World Adventure, one of the most popular South Korean amusement parks, is opening a virtual replica on Naver’s Zepeto metaverse. Fast facts Lotte World Adventure constructed “Magic Island,” its outdoor section of the park, onto the Zepeto metaverse, which opens tonight at 6 p.m. Korea time. Upon entering the Lotte World map on the […]

Tesla records $51M Bitcoin impairment charge in Q3 despite profit growth

Electric carmaker Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA) on Wednesday reported that its third-quarter revenue surged 57% to US$13.76 billion from US$8.77 billion last year, and a net income of US$1.62 billion for the quarter. However, the company’s digital assets were hit by a Bitcoin-related impairment of US$51 million, down to US$1.26 billion in digital assets from […]

What Singapore’s novel crypto license scheme means for the future of payments

In a special Q&A, CEO Louis Liu describes the hoops FOMO Pay jumped through to win Singapore’s first crypto license and calls its regulator a ‘collaborator.’

Blockchain gaming unicorn Animoca Brands closes $65M capital raise at $2.2B valuation

Animoca Brands, a Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming, metaverse and non-fungible token (NFT) company, has closed a capital raise for US$65 million at a pre-money valuation of US$2.2 billion, according to a company statement. Fast facts Investors in the round included Liberty City Ventures, Ubisoft Entertainment, Sequoia China, Dragonfly Capital, Token Bay Capital and Justin Sun, […]

Bitcoin price hits all-time high after ProShares ETF debut

Bitcoin set another record as it traded above US$67,000 Wednesday, one day after ProShares’ first-day trading volume reached nearly US$1 billion

The crypto policy landscape and how to educate policy makers about Web 3.0 | Ep. 5

How the crypto economy is engaging with legislators, what policy makers need to know about Web 3.0 and what role the U.S. infrastructure bill has played in kickstarting better cryptocurrency education.

Bitcoin inches toward all-time-high; Mining difficulty on the up

Bitcoin inches toward all-time-high on the back of the first Bitcoin futures ETF in the U.S.

Martha Stewart, media mogul and lifestyle guru, turns to Halloween-themed NFTs

In a sign that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are hitting home, media personality and businesswoman Martha Stewart, perhaps the biggest influencer on modern American home life and middle-class domestic strivings, just launched online store FRESH Mint that will sell Halloween-themed NFTs featuring pumpkin crafts and costumed images of America’s domestic goddess herself.  Fast facts The NFT collection is launched in partnership […]

Trick of the trade: Is SEC helping or reining in Bitcoin with ETF?

Top blockchain and cryptocurrency news: Bitcoin grows up. Facebook’s metaverse journey. China’s crypto investors find a workaround.

China’s crypto presence shrinks, while the U.S. rides the tide

More industry players are exiting the Chinese mainland market amid tougher crackdown.

U.S. lawmakers urge Facebook to halt Novi’s pilot launch

A group of U.S. lawmakers called on Facebook to halt its cryptocurrency and digital wallet project Novi hours after its pilot launch began on Tuesday, amid the company’s ongoing trust crisis. Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tina Smith (D-MN) said the tech giant “cannot be trusted […]

How to make sense of the hot new digital assets, like Bored Apes? Think: Lego blocks

Money, culture and community are now converging in NFTs and the token economy, writes Lily Z. King. Welcome to a new world where ‘money Lego’ meets ‘culture Lego.’

South Korean crypto exchanges look for new revenue sources

After iron-fisted regulations closed down many exchanges, remaining trading platforms look for alternatives to transaction fees.

Chinese find ways around crypto ban; ANZ settles debanking case

Chinese find ways around crypto ban meanwhile ANZ settles debanking case

Atlas expands crypto mining operations in U.S. with Compute North

Singapore-based Atlas Mining today announced that it is expanding its cryptocurrency mining operations in the United States in a multi-year hosting service agreement with Compute North, a U.S.-based cryptocurrency mining infrastructure provider. Fast facts The deal will see Compute North providing over 100 megawatts colocation capacity — enough to power a small city — for […]

N.Y. Attorney General to shut down two ‘unregistered’ crypto lending platforms

New York state Attorney General Letitia James has ordered two “unregistered crypto lending platforms” — one of which has appeared to be Nexo — to cease operations in New York, and requested another three platforms to provide information about their activities. Fast facts James said in a press release published on Monday: “Cryptocurrency platforms must […]

China’s crypto investors get creative to bypass domestic trading ban

Some are registering companies overseas, via — you guessed it — Taobao vendors.

Where are Bitcoin prices heading as 2021 ends? 50 experts offer predictions

As the price of Bitcoin hovers just under its all-time high, a report released today by Australia-based comparison site Finder.com is predicting that the world’s largest cryptocurrency will peak at US$80,021 later in 2021 before ending the year slightly lower at US$71,415. Fast facts Bitcoin was trading at US$62,294 at publishing time, just below its […]

Coinhako launches crypto platform for institutions and HNWIs

Singapore-based crypto trading platform Coinhako has launched “Coinhako Privé,” a digital assets platform for high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and institutions, according to a company announcement today. Fast facts The Coinhako Privé platform will provide members with institutional grade digital asset services and white glove services, such as a dedicated relationship manager, personalized support from […]

Facebook to create 10,000 jobs in the EU to build its vision for the metaverse

Facebook says it will create 10,000 jobs in the European Union over the next five years to build its highly anticipated metaverse — a digital platform that utilizes technology such as virtual and augmented reality that the company says has the potential to unlock new creative, social and economic opportunities. Fast facts According to a […]

How Singapore’s crypto regulations are shaping its DeFi space

Singapore is a major crypto hub. But for whom? In this primer, Malcolm Tan explains the island-state’s regulatory evolution and which groups are no longer in its favor.

Is Estonia, once a trailblazer in crypto, now killing it off?

Estonia revoked more than 70% of all crypto licenses last year. Its recently appointed anti-money-laundering chief wants to nullify the rest.

Institutional investors pour into Bitcoin amid ETF excitement

As excitement grew over the imminent approval of Bitcoin futures exchange traded funds (ETFs) in the United States, Bitcoin investment products saw inflows of US$70 million last week — the fifth consecutive week of inflows — while Ethereum saw outflows of US$1 million, according to digital assets manager CoinShares. Fast facts According to CoinShares, the total […]

What the coming Bitcoin-futures ETF bonanza means for investors

The first US Bitcoin futures EFT is set to begin trading today. Will this exchange-traded fund bring Bitcoin closer to the masses?

Samsung Next, others grow blockchain portfolio despite tightened South Korea regulations

Conglomerates including Samsung continue to invest in blockchain and crypto startups despite a government crackdown on the industry.

Bitcoin nears all time high; HK exhibition showcases NFTs for good

Bitcoin nears all time high also HK exhibition showcases NFTs for good

Crypto trading platform Bakkt goes public

U.S.-based Bakkt, a cryptocurrency custodian and trading platform, went public Monday on the New York Stock Exchange after an announcement by Intercontinental Exchange, or ICE, which owns Bakkt and the NYSE. Fast facts Unlike its competitor Coinbase, which chose a direct listing on Nasdaq, Bakkt is going public by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company, […]

China fuels blockchain development despite stricter crypto ban

Authorities encourage new ways to apply blockchain across various industries, although there’s no room for crypto
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Steam, Epic Games take opposing stance on blockchain, NFT games

Two of the largest PC video game stores, Steam and Epic Games, have adopted different approaches to blockchain and non-fungible token (NFT)-based games — Steam has shunned them while Epic is open to it. Fast facts As NFT games like Axie Infinity are soaring in popularity, Valve, which operates Steam, has added games “built on […]

BTC price nears all-time-high as futures ETFs near approval

The U.S. could see a long-awaited Bitcoin futures ETF trading on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq in the next few days. Forkast.News spoke with market watchers to find out what it means for the industry.

20% crypto tax is critical issue in next South Korea presidential election

Candidates and possible contenders in South Korea’s next presidential election call for delaying a plan to tax virtual assets — currently scheduled to begin in January — in a bid to appeal to millennial and Generation Z voters. Fast facts Lawmakers from both the ruling democratic party and the opposition party have spoken out against […]

Crypto tax critical to Korean election: China crackdown continues

South Korean presidential hopefuls lean towards delaying crypto tax to impress younger voters.

Taking opulence online: How blockchain is beckoning luxury brands

As luxury brands eye the virtual realm, Zilliqa co-founder Max Kantelia looks forward to a convergence of desirable objects and digital opportunities.

SEC calls Ripple’s 30,000 legal requests in XRP lawsuit ‘abusive’ and ‘crushing’

But Ripple says its 5,000 pages of requests for admission to SEC are reasonable and could cut down on trial time.

Chinese President Xi Jinping underscores blockchain importance in transport

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday at the United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference the country needs to uphold an innovation-driven approach and create more drivers for development. He specifically mentioned in his remarks the integration of blockchain. Fast facts Xi said more should be done to develop smart transport and smart logistics and […]

Sotheby’s to auction digital art in a digital world

Sotheby’s, the 277-year-old auction house, is launching its own immersive digital experience to offer prospective buyers a new way of engaging with the latest art-world craze — non-fungible token (NFT) artworks — according to a press release shared with Forkast.News. Fast facts Sotheby’s is creating a metaverse to allow users to explore and learn about […]

China Mobile launches a network-less E-CNY wallet

The state-run Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and telecommunications service giant China Mobile on Wednesday jointly announced the launch of a fiat digital-yuan hard wallet that allows equipped phones to transact in e-CNY without a mobile network. Fast facts The wallet, SIM Pay, is a super-SIM card with near-field communication (NFC) technology. NFC […]

Binance taps former Dubai financial services official as regulatory liaison chief

Binance — the world’s biggest cryptocurrency by trading volume — today announced the appointment of Mark McGinness, former head of international relations at the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), as its chief regulatory liaison officer, according to a company statement. Fast facts McGinness’ appointment comes as Binance bolsters its compliance efforts and navigates regulatory headwinds […]

Crypto mining pool AntPool to stop IP access from mainland China

AntPool, currently the world’s second-largest Bitcoin mining pool in terms of real-time hashrate, announced today that it is stopping the connection of IP addresses from the Chinese mainland beginning Friday. Fast facts AntPool said in its statement it decided to make the adjustment to abide by the Chinese government’s relevant rules on crypto mining and […]

U.S. leads in Bitcoin mining as China’s share drops to zero: Cambridge data

U.S., Kazakhstan, Russia take up largest Bitcoin hashrate shares as the exodus of Chinese miners continues.

Taiwanese fintech startup XREX collaborates with TRM Labs to ramp up security

XREX Inc., a Taipei-headquartered crypto-fiat exchange and trade technology platform, today announced a partnership with TRM Labs, a blockchain intelligence provider, to ramp up its platform’s security and enhance its ability to combat fraud and suspicious activities. Fast facts XREX said in a statement it has put to use the risk management tools developed by […]

East Asia falls from 1st to 4th place in share of global crypto transaction volume

East Asia’s share of global cryptocurrency transactions plunged to 14% in June 2021 from 31% in April 2019 when it was by far the world’s largest crypto economy, according to blockchain data provider Chainalysis’ 2021 Eastern Asia Report published today. Fast facts China’s crypto crackdown in May saw East Asia — with China the biggest […]

Another Chinese state-run media outlet faults NFT frenzy

The Chinese government-aligned newspaper Guangming Daily published an opinion article to criticize non-fungible token (NFT) hype, which is “definitely not good for the healthy development of NFT.” Fast facts The article cited Gartner, a global technology research company, and its report Hype cycle for emerging technology, indicating that NFTs are at a high point of hype. The […]

Crypto platforms Cobo, Gate.io leave mainland following China crypto ban

Cryptocurrency investors on the Chinese mainland continue to feel the chill from the country’s latest crypto ban, as more and more industry players exit the Chinese market. Cobo, a Singapore-based crypto management platform, is among the latest to opt out. Fast facts In order to reflect the regulatory requirements on the mainland, Cobo said Wednesday […]

Why global regulations for stablecoins can help catalyze crypto adoption

In this special Q&A, industry leaders tell Forkast.News why global stablecoin regulations can help catalyze crypto adoption.

Hong Kong exhibition to showcase NFTs for good causes

An NFT art exhibition demonstrates how digital tokens can be used to promote United Nations sustainability goals.

Crypto lender Celsius bags US$400M despite regulatory heat

In spite of ongoing regulatory issues, cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network has raised US$400 million in an investment round pegging the valuation of the company at US$3 billion. Fast facts The funding was led by U.S. growth equity firm WestCap and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), a global investment group.  Celsius will use the funds to […]

Bitcoin bulls set for stampede amid six-figure forecasts

Top blockchain and crypto news: Big money heads for Bitcoin. How fishy are Squid Game NFTs? China mothballs mining.

Coinbase and Binance move to diversify; Stablecoins under scrutiny

Coinbase and Binance move to diversify meanwhile Stablecoins under scrutiny

TikTok’s first NFT collection auction goes live featuring rapper Curtis Roach

Popular short-video app TikTok has started its non-fungible token (NFT) auction of “TikTok Top Moments” that feature works of a series of rappers and artists, as the social media giant appears keen to jump on the NFT bandwagon. Fast facts The auction of Detroit rapper Curtis Roach’s “Bored in the House” NFT has gone live, […]

Bitmain to supply 10K Antminer rigs to Bit Digital for U.S. expansion

Crypto miners in China may be under siege and driven out of business or forced to flee to friendlier shores. But one corner of the country’s crypto mining industry — the mining machine manufacturers — does not seem to be affected much. Chinese mining rig maker Bitmain, for example, has recently secured a deal with […]

Crypto exchanges diversify amid growing competition

As non-crypto players like Twitter and PayPal take up digital assets, Coinbase, Binance and others look for ways to expand offerings.

Binance to shut down yuan trading on C2C platform after China’s crypto ban

Binance — the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by market value — is set to close down the yuan trading feature on its customer-to-customer platform on Dec. 31, the company said today in a statement, in a move to “meet regulatory requirements of the local government.” Fast facts Binance also said it will conduct […]

South Korean crypto exchange toughens anti-money laundering efforts

Coinone, one of South Korea’s major cryptocurrency exchanges, is creating a new center to strengthen its anti-money laundering capabilities. Fast facts Coinone announced yesterday it has established an anti-money laundering (AML) center and is making Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) to financial authorities. Coinone’s AML Center, along with its partner NH Nonghyup Bank, will conduct know-your-customer […]

Squid game NFTs traded on Opensea; Bitcoin on a roll

Squid game NFTs traded on Opensea, also Bitcoin on a roll

Ripple to fund solar energy projects in the U.S.

San Francisco-based blockchain payments company Ripple has partnered with Nelnet Renewable Energy, the renewable energy investment business of NYSE-listed Nelnet, on a US$44 million clean energy fund to support solar energy projects in the United States, the company said. Fast facts The solar projects financed by the Ripple Nelnet Renewable Energy Fund are estimated to […]

Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic bags $60M from SoftBank, Wells Fargo, others

Blockchain analytics company Elliptic has raised US$60 million in its Series C funding round led by Evolution Equity Partners and Japanese investment giant SoftBank, the company has announced. Fast facts Elliptic counts a number of marquee investors among its existing backers who participated in the current financing round, including Digital Currency Group, Wells Fargo Strategic […]

Bitcoin price poised to retest all-time high

Crypto market watchers tell Forkast.News what’s behind Bitcoin’s latest resurgence and predict Bitcoin’s price heading into Q4 2021.

McDonald’s China launches first NFT to commemorate 31 years in mainland market

Working with Chinese blockchain Conflux, McDonald’s China has launched its first NFT to commemorate its 31st anniversary in the Chinese mainland market and the official opening of its new headquarters in Shanghai. The NFT, “Big Mac Cube,” is a three-dimensional digital token inspired by McDonald’s branding and the shape of its new headquarters building.  Fast […]

Postal Savings Bank of China tapped for development role in digital yuan payments

The Postal Savings Bank of China has become one of the appointed research and development institutions for the electronic Chinese yuan (e-CNY), allowing the bank to hold a first-mover advantage in the competition for position in China’s electronic payments market, its owner, the state-owned China Post Group, said in an article. Fast facts The bank […]

Stacks surges after NFT push; Samsung Next invests in Sky Mavis

Stacks surges after NFT push while Samsung Next invests in Sky Mavis

Samsung backs blockchain-based gaming, invests in Axie Infinity

South Korean conglomerate Samsung is increasingly involved in the burgeoning world of blockchain-based gaming, while within Korea, games with blockchain elements are banned from official release in the country. Fast facts Samsung Next, the tech giant’s investment subsidiary, participated in a US$152 million Series B round of Sky Mavis, the Vietnam-based blockchain game company and […]