March 2023

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Sushi DAO to Set up Defense Legal Defense Fund; Project Receives Unspecified US SEC Subpoena

Sushi, the Web3 exchange that pivoted into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), is seeking to organize a legal defense fund. If approved, the proposal, which already is available for voting, will put $3 million USDT as part of a fund to defend itself from legal actions against the organization and its members. The organization disclosed it had recently received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Sushi DAO Presents Proposal to Establish Legal Defense Fund

Sushi DAO, a Web3 exchange and staking platform, is seeking support to establish a legal defense fund in order to effectively take on legal cases that are already coming its way. The proposal, which is currently being approved with the support of 75% of the vote at the time of writing, would allow the organization to make use of $3 million USDT to help its maintainers to defend from demands and legal cases.

If approved, the fund would come from Kanpai, which is part of the treasury of the DAO, in 50%. The other 50% would be deducted from the Sushi fees and from the reserve destined for giving grants. If depleted, the organization would have to refund the initiative with $1 million USDT more until the end of the legal case.

Undisclosed SEC Subpoena Received

Jared Gray, head chef and main maintainer of the Sushi DAO, announced that he had received a subpoena from the U.S. SEC, but did not disclose the nature of the case the organization is facing. When questioned on the issue, Gray stated:

Unfortunately, I cannot speak publicly more than what was disclosed in the post, which is standard. Many DAOs will need or have implemented Legal Defense Funds for contributors.

Sushi follows in the footsteps of Makerdao, which also established a legal fund for covering similar expenses in December, with coverage of up to 5 million DAI. However, Makerdao’s proposal is more specific and includes definitions for beneficiaries and claims, as well as periods to make payments and determine eligibility for these protections.

This is not the first time that a U.S. government organization exerts legal action against a DAO. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) already did it back in September, alleging Ooki DAO had illegally offered trading services to U.S. citizens without having registered as a Designated Contract Market (DCM). The Ooki DAO case is still ongoing.

What do you think about Sushi establishing a legal defense fund to protect its DAO and head chef Jared Gray? Tell us in the comment section below.

Popular Crypto Analyst Says Bitcoin Surge to $40,000 To Happen A Lot Quicker, Issues Warning on Altcoins

A widely followed popular cryptocurrency analyst and trader is expressing bullish sentiment on Bitcoin (BTC). The pseudonymous analyst Kaleo tells his 569,500 Twitter followers that Bitcoin’s rally to the key […]

German Government Invests $1.2 Million in Metaverse Startup Flying Sheep Studios

The German government has allocated $1.2 million in funding for a metaverse game being developed by Flying Sheep Studios. The company, based in Cologne, will use the funds for the development of a game called Star Life, which will also include blockchain elements in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Flying Sheep Studios Raises $1.2 Million From the German Government

Flying Sheep Studios, a Cologne-based metaverse startup, has recently announced that it raised $1.2 million from the German government. The funds raised will be used to develop an online metaverse game called Star Life, a multimedia online role-playing experience.

The funding, which came from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, is part of the allocation that the federal government uses to support interactive experiences. This raise has allowed the company to hire an additional workforce to accelerate the completion of the game.

Thomas Rössig, managing director of Flying Sheep Studios, stated this kind of support is important to grow a national metaverse and video game industry. He explained:

We are grateful to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action for their support and trust in our project. This funding demonstrates the federal budget for video games working as intended, fostering the development of cutting-edge technical know-how made in Germany.

Star Life Details

Star Life, the game that will be developed with the funds raised, will be a free-to-play-anywhere game that will focus on cooperation and socialization between diverse users, which will be part of the game’s virtual metaverse.

The game will also integrate blockchain elements, with NFTs being items that will be able to be transported to other games and metaverses. This will allow users to have more control over how these optional elements will be managed on the platform and even the opportunity of establishing monetization options — although the introduction of a digital token for the game has not been announced yet.

While reports predict that the metaverse will face a cooldown phase during 2023, some countries have taken the responsibility of funding these projects directly. This is the case with South Korea, which recently announced an investment of $51 million in local metaverse-related projects. However, private companies like Meta have recently pivoted to put more funds into the artificial intelligence field than in the metaverse industry.

What do you think about the German government investing in a metaverse game? Tell us in the comment section below.

New Feature Enables Nigerian Metamask Wallet Users to Buy Crypto Assets Within the App

Metamask users in Nigeria can now directly and instantly buy crypto assets within the mobile app, Consensys and its Web3 infrastructure partner Moonpay have said. According to a Consensys executive, rolling out this feature helps to reduce friction while bringing down barriers that block or stop Nigerians from embracing Web3.

Purchasing Crypto via Instant Bank Transfers

Consensys, one of the leading Web3 firms, has said users of the Metamask wallet in Nigeria can now directly purchase crypto assets within the mobile app. To help it make this possible, Consensys partnered with the Web3 infrastructure company Moonpay. The addition of this feature allows users from the country to purchase crypto assets without having to set up accounts with centralized crypto exchanges.

In a March 21 joint statement, Consensys said the decision to enable direct purchases had been prompted by the very high number of declined or blocked transactions when the method of payment is a credit or debit card. However, using this recently added feature, Metamask users can now use instant bank transfers to purchase crypto within the mobile app and the portfolio dapp (decentralized application).

Simplifying User Experience

Commenting on the addition of the new feature to the wallet, Lorenzo Santos, the senior product manager at Metamask, noted:

This is an essential next step in a critical market that has embraced crypto and Web3 but faces serious challenges when using [the] fiat to crypto on-ramp. We are reducing friction and bringing down barriers to keep supporting Nigerians as they onboard into Web3.

Zeeshan Feroz, the chief product & strategy officer of Moonpay, said the integration makes it possible for Nigerians to fund their self-custody wallet through what he described as “a simplified user experience.”

Meanwhile, the statement also revealed that Consensys and its partner plan to roll out this feature in Kenya, Botswana, and South Africa in the coming month.

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What are your thoughts on this story? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Multichain Wallet Bitkeep Raises $30 Million From Bitget to Strengthen Links Between Defi and Cefi

On Wednesday, the multichain wallet Bitkeep announced it raised $30 million from the crypto derivatives platform Bitget. Bitkeep now has an overall valuation of $300 million, with goals aimed at strengthening the links between decentralized finance (defi) and centralized finance (cefi).

Bitget Invests $30 Million in Bitkeep; Wallet Firm Is Now Valued at $300M

Crypto derivatives exchange Bitget has announced that it has invested $30 million in the multichain wallet company Bitkeep, making it the startup’s controlling stakeholder. Bitget detailed on Wednesday that the wallet will gain access to the exchange’s technology and security features. Bitkeep is a multichain wallet that allows users to connect to various defi applications and non-fungible token (NFT) projects.

Bitkeep wallet users can access blockchains like Bitcoin (BTC), Solana (SOL), Fantom (FTM), Polygon (MATIC), Tron (TRX), Heco (HT), Ethereum (ETH), Binance Smart Chain (BSC), and OEC (OKT). The wallet managed to raise $15 million in May 2022 in a finance round led by Dragonfly Capital with participation from Kucoin Ventures, A&T Capital, Foresight Ventures, Sevenx, Matrixport, Bixin Capital, Danhua Capital, Peak Capital, and YM Capital.

The latest $30 million injection from Bitget gives Bitkeep a post-capital valuation of $300 million. “This move is a win-win choice for Bitget and Bitkeep and facilitates collaborative efforts in the decentralized space and beyond,” Gracy Chen, managing director at Bitget, said. “We are not only delighted to provide the team at Bitkeep with the necessary support to reinforce the security and stability of its offering services, but also excited to have such an established industry player as part of our growing ecosystem.”

Bitkeep claims to have “more than 8 million users worldwide, covering 168 countries in North America, Europe, and Asia.” Besides the aforementioned networks, the wallet supports 80 different blockchains and 250,000 different types of crypto assets. The wallet competes with the likes of defi and Web3 wallets like Metamask, which has over 10 million active users. Other Bitkeep competitors include wallets like Defi Swap, Zengo, Safepal, and Trust Wallet.

What do you think about Bitget’s investment in Bitkeep and how do you think it will impact the multichain wallet industry? Share your thoughts about this subject in the comments section below.

US Senator Introduces Bill to Ban Direct-to-Consumer Central Bank Digital Currency

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has introduced “legislation to prohibit the Federal Reserve from developing a direct-to-consumer” central bank digital currency (CBDC). The lawmaker warned that it “could be used as a financial surveillance tool by the federal government.” Another senator stressed: “The American people ought to be able to spend their money how they choose without the possibility that every transaction could be tracked by the government.”

Senator Ted Cruz’s CBDC Bill

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced Tuesday that he has reintroduced “legislation to prohibit the Federal Reserve from developing a direct-to-consumer central bank digital currency which could be used as a financial surveillance tool by the federal government.” The bill, cosponsored by Senators Braun (R-IN) and Grassley (R-IA), was first introduced in March of last year.

The announcement highlights the importance of ensuring that the U.S. digital currency policy “protects financial privacy, maintains the dollar’s dominance, and cultivates innovation.” Cruz warned:

CBDCs that fail to adhere to these three basic principles could enable an entity like the Federal Reserve to mobilize itself into a retail bank, collect personally identifiable information on users, and track their transactions indefinitely.

The senator from Texas noted that unlike decentralized cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, CBDCs “centralize Americans’ financial information, leaving it vulnerable to attack.”

He cautioned, “The federal government has no authority to unilaterally establish a central bank currency,” adding:

We should be empowering entrepreneurs, enabling innovation, and increasing individual freedom — not stifling it.

“Allowing the government to centralize Americans’ financial information and increase surveillance of Americans’ financial activity is simply a bad idea,” Senator Braun noted.

Commenting on the bill he cosponsored, Senator Grassley opined:

The American people ought to be able to spend their money how they choose without the possibility that every transaction could be tracked by the government.

Senator Cruz is a bitcoin investor who purchases BTC on a weekly basis. Expressing strong optimism towards the crypto, he explained that he is bullish on BTC because it’s decentralized and uncontrollable. In January this year, he introduced a resolution encouraging Capitol gift shops to accept cryptocurrency.

Meanwhile, Congressman Tom Emmer also recently reintroduced his “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act” in the House of Representatives. This week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis proposed a ban on the use of a federally adopted CBDC as money in his state. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, however, said earlier this month that the Fed is not at the stage of making any real decisions on a CBDC. “We haven’t decided that this is something that the financial system in the country would want or need,” he clarified.

Do you agree with Senator Ted Cruz about the harm a direct-to-consumer central bank digital currency could bring to U.S. consumers? Let us know in the comments section below.

ARB Token Airdrop: Anticipation Spurs IOU Markets for Arbitrum’s Native Cryptocurrency Asset

A week ago, the Ethereum layer two scaling solution Arbitrum announced the launch of its native token called ARB, and since then IOU markets have launched giving some indication of how much the token may be worth. ARB claiming begins March 23 and when people get their coins on exchanges, the token’s value may turn out to be a whole lot different. At present, ARB has been exchanging hands for $5.41 to $7.92 per unit over the past 24 hours.

ARB Token Sees IOU Trade Volume but Market Value May Shift Significantly After Real Tokens Start Trading

A new digital asset is entering the cryptocurrency economy after the layer two scaling solution Arbitrum announced the launch of its governance token last week. After the announcement, several centralized cryptocurrency exchanges launched IOU markets that people can trade, but only represent the market value of ARB before its launch.

ARB claiming begins March 23 and the Arbitrum airdrop is highly anticipated. The cryptocurrency market price aggregation website (CMC) shows ARB’s current value via exchanges that have launched IOU markets. According to CMC data, the ARB IOU token reached an all-time high of $14.02 per unit on March 19.

Since then, the IOU token has dropped about 51.43% from its all-time high three days ago. ARB IOU tokens also recorded an all-time low at $2.81 per unit and current prices are 140% higher at $6.88 per coin. While 24-hour metrics show prices between $5.41 and $7.92, the IOU has seen $8.7 million in global trades over the last day. In that time, ARB markets lost nearly 8% against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, 15 hours before ARB claiming begins.

The cryptocurrency analytics platform Dune Analytics shows several ARB airdrop tracking tools ready to go live on March 23. When claims begin, the tools feature counters highlighting the total ARB claimed, the number of unique ARB holders, and other allocation data.

The current IOU value of the ARB token is higher than Optimism’s native governance token OP. The current value of OP is about $2.53 per unit and there’s a circulating supply of 314,844,141 OP. As mentioned earlier, once real ARB tokens start trading then the market value may shift significantly, and the IOU token’s all-time high and low indicate that these changes are likely to continue for some time.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming ARB token airdrop and its potential impact on the cryptocurrency market? Share your opinions in the comments below.

Texas Lawmaker Launches Resolution to Protect Bitcoin Investors, Support BTC Economy

A legislative proposal has been introduced to support the bitcoin economy in the U.S. state of Texas. “The individuals who own bitcoin should be protected” under the Texas Constitution, the proposal describes. “No citizen of Texas shall ever be deprived of their right to own bitcoin and that all bitcoin owners will be protected as they enjoy all the privileges associated with the cryptocurrency.”

Resolution to Support Bitcoin Economy

A legislative proposal called House Concurrent Resolution 89 (HCR89), which expresses support for the bitcoin economy in Texas, was introduced in the state’s House of Representatives on Monday by Rep. Cody Harris. Concurrent resolutions require the approval of both the House and the Senate in the state but do not have the force of law.

The resolution reads:

The individuals who own bitcoin should be protected under Section 9, Article I, Texas Constitution, which states that ‘The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions, from all unreasonable seizures or searches’; this right should also extend to digital possessions, such as cryptocurrencies.

Moreover, the resolution not only aims to obtain backing from the state legislature to protect “individuals who code or develop on the Bitcoin network” but also welcomes bitcoin miners “to seek out any forms of energy to help secure the Bitcoin network in the state of Texas.”

The resolution adds: “Individuals who mine bitcoin in Texas will never be inhibited by any law or resolution that restricts the practice of securing the Bitcoin network for the safety of the virtual currency.”

Furthermore, the resolution states:

No citizen of Texas shall ever be deprived of their right to own bitcoin and that all bitcoin owners will be protected as they enjoy all the privileges associated with the cryptocurrency, including the immunity afforded by censorship-resistant spending of bitcoin and the ability to store bitcoin in an unhosted wallet without undue interference from any state agency.

What do you think about this resolution to protect bitcoin owners and support the bitcoin economy in Texas? Let us know in the comments section below.

Bitcoin Supercycle May Be Happening, Says Commodity Strategist Mike McGlone

Bloomberg Intelligence senior commodity strategist Mike McGlone has explained that a supercycle may be happening in bitcoin, noting that the cryptocurrency is beating gold by almost 10 times so far this year. The strategist added that if past trends hold, bitcoin’s volatility is more likely to recover compared to commodities when the crypto “heads toward new highs.”

Bitcoin’s Supercycle

Mike McGlone, a senior commodity strategist for Bloomberg Intelligence (BI), the research arm of Bloomberg, explained on Twitter Tuesday that a supercycle may be happening in bitcoin. He tweeted:

Looking for a super cycle? Bitcoin outperforms commodities with declining risk — Bitcoin beating gold, the top-performing old-guard commodity in 2023 to March 20, by almost 10x may be indicative of a super cycle happening in the crypto.

The strategist explained that a benefit bitcoin (BTC) has over most commodities is its “nascent stage of low and rising adoption vs. diminishing supply.”

Referencing the chart titled “Elongated Bitcoin Upward Trajectory Gaining Fuel,” shown above, McGlone noted that the elongated upward trajectory of BTC’s price compared to the Bloomberg Commodity Spot Index is “typical compared with most assets.” However, he pointed out, “What’s unique relative to commodities is the 260-day volatility of bitcoin bottoming from a new low,” adding:

If past trends hold, the crypto’s volatility is more likely to recover vs. commodities when bitcoin heads toward new highs.

The Bloomberg Intelligence strategist explained last week why he expects BTC to continue to outperform gold and the stock market. “Facing the Federal Reserve, inflation, and war, 2022 may be primed for risk-asset reversion and mark another milestone in bitcoin’s maturation,” he tweeted Friday. “It’s unlikely for bitcoin to stop outperforming gold, stock market amid bumps in the road as the Fed attempts another rate-hike cycle,” McGlone opined.

In a different tweet posted Saturday, he commented on how recent failures of major banks, including Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, affected bitcoin. The strategist detailed:

Banking issues may define bitcoin, crypto dollars — Bitcoin may be progressing to trade more like U.S. Treasury long bonds and gold as banks come under stress on the back of the bond-price collapse. Bitcoin sustaining above $25,000 is a clear sign of divergent strength.

Do you think a supercycle is happening in bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.