Basketball Legend Charles Barkley: My People Do Not Believe in Crypto

NBA legend Charles Barkley said that his financial advisors do not recommend involving with cryptocurrencies. However, he did not specify why they have such a negative opinion on digital assets.

Barkley’s Advisors Say No to Crypto

In a recent interview for CNBC, the former professional basketball player Charles Barkley revealed that the people who run his financial operations are not keen on virtual currencies. As he said, one of the advisors even insisted on being fired if he ever recommends dealing with digital assets:

“My people do not believe in crypto. I got a couple of financial guys. One of them said: ‘If I ever put you in crypto, you should fire me on the spot.’”

The 58-year-old American, who was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, did not explain why the analysts consider digital assets as a no-go area. Nonetheless, he agreed that Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the other virtual currencies are gaining global popularity:

“And listen, I know that [crypto] is all over the place, to be honest with you, but my people don’t believe in [it].”

Charles Barkley, also known as “Sir Charles,” opined that people should not rush to new opportunities. He revealed that the most important money lesson he’s learned throughout his 13-year basketball career is “learn to say no and don’t feel bad about it.”

Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley, Source: USA Today

Other Sportsmen Love Digital Assets

While the basketball legend seems unfavorable about digital assets, numerous players and teams in the US have shown their support towards Bitcoin and some altcoins over the past few months.


For example, at the beginning of April, the NBA giant – the Sacramento Kings – informed that everyone in the organization could soon start receiving their salaries in BTC instead of dollars. The team’s CEO, Chairman, and Governor – Vivek Ranadivé – asserted:

“I’m going to announce in the next few days that I’m going to offer everyone in the Kings organization, they can get paid as much of their salary in bitcoin as they want, including the players.”

The National Football League also has its cryptocurrency supporters. In late June, the legendary quarterback – Tom Brady – together with his wife – Gisele Bündchen – took an equity stake in FTX as part of a long-term partnership. As a result, the couple will receive some payments in virtual assets.

In his turn, the rising star of American football – Saquon Barkley – highlighted Bitcoin as the right choice for a store of value, especially when inflation starts to shake the economy. He even vowed to receive all his future endorsement money exclusively in the primary cryptocurrency.

Featured Image Courtesy of TheSportsRush


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On-Chain Data Shows Bitcoin Daily Transaction Volumes Are Up 94%, Rally Might Not Be Over Just Yet

Bitcoin has recently lost momentum following the rally that occurred over the past week. The digital asset had seen gains of over 20% while the entire market followed suit and showed massive gains all across the board. Bitcoin had spent 9 consecutive days closing in the green for the first time in a decade.

As the cryptocurrency sees slowing momentum, the price has experienced various dips that have driven the price down. After the asset had jumped over $42,000 for the first time in over a month. With this slowdown, it seems that the rally has come to its end. But on-chain data shows that bitcoin is picking up steam in other areas.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Is More Oversold Than It Was At ATH In April, Says Analyst

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On-chain data analysis shows that daily transaction volumes of bitcoin have picked up in the past week. Jumping up 94% to $9.1 billion per day from $4.7 billion per day. Showing that while the price may have slowed down, the volumes have not.

Small Holders Accumulate Bitcoin Aggressively

This report from Glassnode shows that small-time bitcoin holders are accumulating the digital asset even more aggressively than the whales. These wallets which are referred to as the “Shrimp and Crab” wallets are the wallets holding less than 10 BTC on their balance. For the first time, small-time holders now collectively own 13.8% of the entire bitcoin supply.

Related Reading | On-Chain Expert Predicts $162K Bitcoin Peak This Cycle

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The trends show that the wallets have been accumulating coins since May, after the market crash that saw assets losing up to 50% of their value in a short period of time. Wallets holding less than 10 BTC have continuously increased their holdings as the market has dipped and dived through the months.

Accumulation patterns continue to point towards bullish, and so does coin maturation, but these bullish indicators can often take time to develop in the market. Small investors accumulating more coins show more faith in the market. As more and more investors are now choosing to hold their coins instead of selling them off.

Price Movements So Far

Bitcoin price continues to struggle in the $38,000 range following the price dip at the beginning of the week. Momentum continues to remain low in the digital asset while it seems the rest of the market is trying to dissociate from the pioneer cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin price chart from

Bitcoin price chart from

BTC price continues to trend low | Source: BTCUSD on

The coin has so far lost over $1,000 in a 24-hour period. Showing a 3.64% decline in the coin price in the past day. Trading volumes have also declined 11% according to CoinMarketCap.

As of the time of this writing, bitcoin is currently trading at $38,358, as the market cap continues to remain above $720 billion.

Featured image from Cointelegraph, chart from


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Crypto Analyst Predicts Massive Ethereum Breakout, Forecasts New Bitcoin All-Time High by November

A prominent crypto analyst says that he expects both Bitcoin and Ethereum to put up stellar performances toward the end of the year.

The crypto strategist, known in the industry as Inmortal, tells his 56,100 Twitter followers that Ethereum is poised to ignite a strong rally against Bitcoin (ETH/BTC) and surge as high as 0.11 BTC, worth about $4,203 at time of writing.



He also says that a “flippening,” or an overtaking of Bitcoin in terms of market cap, is in store for Ethereum.

“This consolidation will come to an end soon. The flippening is knocking the door.”

Source: Inmortal/Twitter

Inmortal’s price prediction represents potential gains of over 70% from ETH/BTC’s current value of 0.064 BTC or $2,445. According to the trader’s chart, ETH/BTC could achieve the price target by October.

As for Bitcoin (BTC), the crypto trader also sees the leading cryptocurrency meteorically rising to a new all-time high of around $80,000 by November. According to Inmortal, Bitcoin’s daily chart looks very similar to its price action at the start of 2020 when BTC rallied from $7,000 to $10,000 in a few weeks.

Looking at Bitcoin from a long-term perspective, Inmortal says he believes that the current boom cycle will be longer than its predecessors. He also predicts that BTC could top out at $150,000 in the first half of 2022.

After the bull market, however, the trader forecasts a massive 80% drop in BTC’s value to around $30,000, where it could bottom out and enter a new phase of consolidation by 2023.

“4-year cycles on Bitcoin.”

Source: Inmortal/Twitter

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NBA Top Shot to Sell NFTs In-Person at Summer League Games

In brief

  • Exclusive NBA Top Shot moments will be sold at NBA Summer League games in Las Vegas next week.
  • Fans can pre-order the NFTs from a Top Shot kiosk at the arena, and then they will be delivered to their respective accounts once created.

It might be the NBA offseason, but Dapper Labs has big plans for its NBA Top Shot crypto collectibles platform for the rest of the summer. Today, Dapper revealed that the service will offer exclusive NFT moments that can only be purchased at NBA Summer League games in Las Vegas.

This marks the first time that the service—which sells NBA video highlights packaged as rare, trading card-like digital moments—has created NFT collectibles that can only be purchased from a physical location. It’s also the first time that NBA Top Shot moments will be available for purchase at real NBA games, even if these are off-season games that will primarily feature newly-drafted rookies and minor league G League players.

Essentially, fans can pre-purchase a moment that will later be created based on footage from one of the games held each day. One moment each will be created from a game on August 8, 9, and 10, respectively, with the specific games to be announced closer to the dates.

Each moment can be purchased for $5 from a kiosk at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, and the number of moments minted will be based on total demand, with a minimum edition size of 1,000 for each NFT. The NFTs will be delivered to fans’ Top Shot accounts “as quickly as possible,” per a blog post, possibly as soon as the day after the game. Fans may purchase up to 10 of these moments apiece each day.

Dapper Labs will also fly out eight NBA Top Shot users to attend next week’s games via a sweepstakes, with the number of drawing entries determined by the NFT moments they already own as well as collectible challenges completed. The firm previously sent eight Top Shot collectors to the NBA Finals in a similar sweepstakes, as well as the recent NBA Draft.

Top Shot’s roadmap

NBA Top Shot was arguably the biggest winner of this spring’s NFT market explosion, helping to introduce crypto collectibles into the mainstream as pro athletes backed the platform and moments sold for thousands of dollars or more on the secondary marketplace. A LeBron James moment sold for $387,600 in April, marking the peak so far for the platform. Top Shot has reportedly generated more than $700 million in transaction volume to date.

In an interview streamed today as part of Top Shot’s online “First Mint Fest,” Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou recalled the sudden crush of demand in February and March, and how it made Top Shot difficult to use for a while.

Gharegozlou admitted that Dapper was ill-prepared for the enormous surge of users, echoing comments from Dapper’s Caty Tedman last spring, but said that his company has boosted its customer service team and is “ready for the next leg of growth.” He said that would include moments from the next NBA season, “legendary players” from the NBA’s past, and Dapper’s third-party partnerships, including upcoming avatar marketplace Genies.

Beyond new Top Shot sets and partnerships, Gharegozlou also suggested that Dapper will provide “more communication and more transparency” to NFT collectors, and that his team is working on “mass-scale” engagement efforts beyond the Summer League arena promotion.

Lastly, he spoke of NBA Top Shot Hardcourt, a mobile game tie-in that was planned to help introduce NFT collectibles to the mainstream NBA fan—before the NFT moments themselves found a huge audience on their own. He said that the game is in testing, but admitted that Dapper is “not happy with where it slots into” the overall Top Shot experience now.

“We’re confident that moment ownership directly can be a mass market activity,” Gharegozlou said, adding that Dapper will launch the Hardcourt game “when we’re ready for the millions of users that are going to come.”


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Monero Developer Comments on Fluffypony Arrest

Key Takeaways

  • Details around Riccardo “Fluffpony” Spagni’s arrest have emerged.
  • The Monero development team has locked certain accounts in case authorities demand information from Spagni.
  • Meanwhile, Spagni and his lawyers have commented on the case, arguing that he can safely be released.

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New details around the arrest of Riccardo “fluffypony” Spagni emerged today. One Monero has developer has weighed in, while statements from Spagni and his lawyers have been publicized.

Monero Restricts Spagni’s GitHub Access

Yesterday, it was reported that former Monero lead maintainer Riccardo Spagni had been arrested. The charges dated back to 2009 and concern Spagni’s role in the South African firm Cape Cookies.

Now, Monero developer binaryFate has responded to the arrest. He stated that the team has removed Spagni’s permissions from Monero’s Github repository. The team has also moved 5577 XMR from Monero’s General Fund to a wallet that Spagni has no access to.

BinaryFate emphasized that these actions do not indicate any stance on Spagni’s case and that they will likely be reversed.

“The sole reason to remove potentially critical access is because he could be pressured [by the authorities to reveal information] while in custody. It has nothing to do with him being guilty or innocent or what we think about it,” binaryFate explained.

BinaryFate also noted that Spagni’s devices have not been seized and that there has been no unusual activity in the relevant accounts since Spagni was put under arrest at the end of July.

Spagni and His Lawyers Comment

Meanwhile, Spagni has commented through his spouse Saskia Spagni. “Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding with regards to the setting of court dates in an old matter… I have been held in contempt of court and [I am] currently awaiting extradition,” he wrote.

Spagni’s lawyers also filed a legal response on Friday that is now available. That document frames the arrest as a matter of Spagni’s failure to appear for certain court dates, arguing that COVID-19 and Spagni’s pre-existing medical conditions posed a hindrance.

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Spagni’s lawyers also argued that he should be released from prison due to the fact that he cooperated with Interpol on other matters, citing those details as evidence that Spagni is not a risk.

On social media, a “Free Fluffypony” campaign is in progress, as many users emphasize that Spagni’s charges are unrelated to crypto and allege corruption within the South African government.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

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Ethereum Addresses Using DeFi Rose 65% Last Quarter

In brief

  • The second quarter of 2021 was a strong one for Ethereum-based DeFi protocols.
  • More addresses are interacting with DeFi.
  • DeFi protocols hold nearly one-quarter of all USDC stablecoins.

The second quarter of 2021 was the biggest one yet for decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols on the Ethereum network.

From April through June, the number of Ethereum addresses increased 10%, according to the ConsenSys Q2 2021 DeFi Report released today, while the number of addresses that used a DeFi protocol expanded by 65%.

DeFi is the catchall term for blockchain-based protocols that remove banks and other intermediaries from financial transactions. With DeFi, sellers can swap tokens directly with buyers, holders can earn crypto for depositing funds, traders can take out loans, and speculators can make bets on price movements. 

While DeFi applications are available on a handful of networks, including Binance Smart Chain and Solana, they started on Ethereum, where the lion’s share of use remains. There are nearly $70 billion in assets tied up in DeFi protocols, per DeFi Pulse

“As community driven education, simple user interfaces, appealing yields, and general awareness around DeFi best practices increased throughout the quarter, so too did the number of new addresses,” wrote software development firm ConsenSys (which provides funding to an editorially independent Decrypt). It went on to note that users can have multiple addresses.

All told, by the beginning of July, 2.91 million Ethereum addresses had interacted with DeFi protocols such as decentralized exchange Uniswap, crypto lender Compound, or liquidity fund KeeperDAO.

Abetting DeFi’s big boost in the first half of 2021 was a massive increase in stablecoin supply, which stood at $65 billion by the start of July. That marks a 60% increase in the dollar-pegged assets since March 31. Leading the way was Tether, which accounts for nearly half of all stablecoins on Ethereum. USDC is also widely used—according to ConsenSys, nearly one-quarter of USDC is in DeFi lending protocols.

The benefit of stablecoins is that they can be bought with dollars then traded for other cryptocurrencies without having to dip back into the traditional financial system. As crypto prices surged and swooned last quarter, speculators and investors could hold onto stablecoins while they waited for the right time to enter the market.

We’re already over a month into Q3, which hasn’t been as rosy as Q2 during its peak. The amount of funds locked into DeFi protocols has just inched back toward where it was in early June. The same goes for the price of Ethereum, the strength of which is correlated with network usage.

And with the Ethereum community’s eyes set on this week’s London upgrade, which will change how transaction fees are structured on the network, many will be anxious to see whether that spurs additional DeFi growth this quarter.


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Buy Your Sandwich With Bitcoin: Quiznos Launches BTC Payment Pilot at Select Restaurants

Bakkt Holdings recently announced a partnership with Quiznos to launch the pilot for their new Bitcoin payment system. This will allow Bakkt users to purchase food at some Quiznos locations in Denver using the digital asset.

Quiznos: Buy a Sandwich With Bitcoin

Bakkt users will be able to utilize the pilot in certain Quiznos stores across Denver starting this month. This includes the high-traffic Denver airport location.

Chief Revenue Officer at Bakkt, Sheela Zemlin, expanded on the significance of the new system being adopted by Quiznos:

“This is an exciting tentpole moment for us as we connect the next generation of customer experiences to the digital economy… Through this partnership, we are introducing unique experiences to Quiznos customers by enabling them to take advantage of new ways to interact with digital assets and bringing bitcoin utility to the mainstream consumer market.”

Upon monitoring the performance of the new pilot, Bakkt may “expand the partnership” to Quiznos locations across the country, according to Zemlin. According to ChainXY, there are now 216 Quiznos restaurant locations across the U.S.

President of REGO Restaurant Group (which owns Quiznos) Mark Lohmann explained why he believes the partnership is beneficial to the company.


“Partnering with an innovative platform such as Bakkt is appealing to us for a number of reasons, primarily because it allows us to accept bitcoin directly at the point of sale as part of a quick and seamless transaction.”

Lohmann added that the company is excited to offer yet another way for customers to purchase their food, using the Bakkt digital asset wallet in this instance.

Photo by Quiznos

Bakkt’s Other Institutional Partners

Bakkt began as a futures trading platform for institutional investors, but now also operates as an intercontinental exchange. It was formerly owned by Kelly Loeffler, wife of Jeffrey Sprecher– the New York Stock Exchange owner.

Bakkt has been responsible for increasing crypto adoption among other major institutions besides Quiznos. After launching their app back in April, users can use their digital wallet to reload their Starbucks cards, while providing payment solutions to over 3.5 million members of GolfNow.


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Billions in Crypto Tied to Crime Has Flowed Into China Since 2019: Report

In brief

  • Chinese crypto addresses associated with illegal activity have sent and received billions of dollars, Chainalysis found.
  • This dirty money is used for scams and darknet market operations, such as drug trafficking.
  • But despite the big numbers, the volume of criminal crypto addresses is falling.

China still has one of the biggest cryptocurrency user bases in the world—second only to the U.S.—but billions of dollars of digital assets are being used for crime, according to a new report. 

Between April 2019 and June 2021, Chinese addresses sent over $2.2 billion-worth of crypto to addresses associated with illicit activity, blockchain data company Chainalysis said in a Tuesday report, “Cryptocurrency and China.”

And in that time Chinese crypto addresses have also received over $2 billion in dirty digital money, according to Chainalysis. The illicit activity includes scams and “darknet market operations”—such as the trafficking of the opioid drug, fentanyl, the report said. 

“Just as it’s been a crucial part of the overall cryptocurrency ecosystem, China has also historically played a large role in cryptocurrency-related crime,” the company noted.  

But despite these huge sums, China’s transaction volume with illicit addresses has actually fallen over the two-year period in terms of absolute value and compared to other countries, like the U.S. and Russia, which have both experienced surges in crypto-related crime.  

Why? Because big Ponzi schemes—like the 2019 PlusToken scam—are now dead, according to the findings. China-based PlusToken was one of the biggest alleged Ponzi schemes in the history of cryptocurrency scams, allegedly conning investors out of over $3 billion in crypto. 

Chainalysis also said that money laundering via crypto is “disproportionately carried out in China”—particularly with over-the-counter (OTC) trades, which Decrypt has previously reported

Though Chinese authorities are cracking down on this and in June arrested 1,100 individuals involved in cleaning dirty cash via crypto, said Chainalysis. 

 “The timing of these arrests suggests they may be related to the CCP’s [Chinese Communist Party’s] broader cryptocurrency crackdown, but it will be interesting to see whether the arrests lead to a drop in flows of illicit funds to China-based cryptocurrency businesses and OTC traders,” the report added. 

Between the Chinese government’s crackdown on illicit crypto transactions and its ban on Bitcoin mining, China’s dominance over the cryptocurrency market may continue to fade.


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SEC’s Gary Gensler Calls For Further Crypto Regulation

Key Takeaways

  • Gary Gensler believes cryptocurrency transactions are often used to skirt laws and launder money.
  • He added that the asset class was rife with fraud and scams, and insisted on protecting US investors.
  • He implied that more regulation was coming for exchanges who would also receive more guidance from the SEC.

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While many expected new SEC Chair Gary Gensler to pursue his former Obama-era progressive economic policies, the Goldman Sachs alumnus has warned crypto: greater regulation is coming.

Gensler Wants To Protect Consumers

During the Aspen Security Forum, SEC Chair Gary Gensler expressed his opinions on cryptocurrencies and the regulation surrounding digital assets. Following his Bloomberg interview on Tuesday, he insisted that his words represented his opinion and not the official stance of the SEC.

While the ex-Goldman Sachs lauded the vision of Satoshi Nakamoto, he reminded the audience that no cryptocurrency asset currently fulfills the three key functions of money (store of value, unit of account, and medium of exchange).

“Primarily, crypto assets provide digital, scarce vehicles for speculative investment. Thus, in that sense, one can say they are highly speculative stores of value. We also haven’t seen crypto used much as a medium of exchange. To the extent that it is used as such, it’s often to skirt our laws with respect to anti-money laundering, sanctions, and tax collection. It also can enable extortion via ransomware, as we recently saw with Colonial Pipeline.”

For Gensler, crypto is most often used as a mean of exchange in the context of illegal transactions, as in the recently mediatised case of the Colonial Pipeline ransom.

While cryptocurrency gets a bad reputation for being linked to criminal activity, Chainalysis’ 2021 report showed that the volume of transactions linked to criminal activity on the blockchain has fallen to less than 0.5%.

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To use Gensler’s chosen example, US authorities were able to retrieve part of the Colonial Pipeline ransom through examination of the public blockchain data which showed where attackers had parked their Bitcoin. In reality, Bitcoin’s embedded transparency is far from ideal for criminals.

“Right now, we just don’t have enough investor protection in crypto. Frankly, at this time, it’s more like the Wild West. This asset class is rife with fraud, scams, and abuse in certain applications. If we don’t address these issues, I worry a lot of people will be hurt,” Gensler added.

Seeing as crypto markets fall under the jurisdiction of the SEC in the US, Gensler’s declaration are surely a sign that more regulation around digital asset can be expected while he’s at the helm of the SEC.

Disclaimer: The author held ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies at the time of writing.

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Crypto Giant FTX Sponsors League of Legends Esports Series in 7-Year Deal

In brief

  • Cryptocurrency exchange FTX will sponsor the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) esports competition in a seven-year deal.
  • FTX already sponsors LCS team TSM FTX via a $210 million deal announced in June.

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX continued its push into the esports industry today with the announcement of a seven-year partnership with Riot Games to sponsor its League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) franchised league in North America.

As the “official cryptocurrency exchange” of the league, FTX branding will appear throughout LCS broadcasts beginning this weekend. FTX will specifically sponsor broadcast segments related to the in-game gold currency, such as the current amount of gold that each player and team has accumulated thus far in each match. The exchange will also sponsor the league’s Most Improved Player Award.

The seven-year alliance is Riot Games’ first with any cryptocurrency exchange, and also the longest sponsorship deal that Riot has signed to date for any of its regional esports leagues. Financial terms of the deal were not revealed, and Riot did not respond to Decrypt‘s request for further details.

In June, FTX made a major splash in the esports industry by signing a 10-year, $210 million sponsorship deal with popular esports club Team SoloMid (TSM), which would rebrand as TSM FTX as part of the agreement. TSM competes in the LCS, and it is arguably the organization’s most valuable and prominent esports team. League of Legends is one of the most popular games in esports, with the 2019 World Championship drawing more than 44 million peak concurrent viewers, per Riot.

However, soon after the announcement, it was revealed that TSM FTX faced limitations by Riot Games regarding cryptocurrency sponsorships in both League of Legends and VALORANT. Due to those restrictions, TSM cannot activate the FTX sponsorship or use the full “TSM FTX” name during broadcasts for official competitions for those games. The team confirmed that those limitations were carved out in the partnership agreement.

According to Chris Greeley, Riot Games’ Head of Esports for North America and Oceania, the new LCS deal with FTX does not change the activation limitations around TSM’s FTX sponsorship, as well as other teams that have cryptocurrency sponsors. Riot’s deal does allow the league to remove digital FTX branding from international LCS broadcasts in countries where cryptocurrency advertising is limited, however, as first reported by Dot Esports.

“Our partnership with FTX does not change our league-wide stance on cryptocurrency exchange sponsors,” Greeley told Decrypt in an emailed statement. “LCS activations with FTX can be removed from broadcast when needed in regions that limit cryptocurrency advertising. A sponsor that appears on apparel or other non-digital activation cannot.”

Interestingly, the terms of use for Riot Games’ software APIs and development tools strictly prohibit the use of cryptocurrency or blockchain technology by third-party developers. Riot Games’ LCS Publishing Manager Michael Sherman tweeted today that there are “no plans to update this policy,” despite Riot’s newfound embrace of a crypto exchange.

Rival exchange Coinbase recently announced a deal with global tournament operator ESL to sponsor StarCraft II and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions, and also sponsored team organization Evil Geniuses—which competes in the LCS—this past spring. Meanwhile, decentralized exchange Uniswap sponsored esports club Team Secret in June via a $112,000 grant voted on by governance token holders.

FTX’s sponsorship spending spree hasn’t been limited to esports, either: in April, the exchange agreed to pay the NBA’s Miami Heat $135 million over 19 years for naming rights to its arena. The firm also signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Major League Baseball in June that includes a patch on umpires’ uniforms, along with other promotional activations.


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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 26,070.99 1.97%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,574.47 1.23%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 64.29 0.80%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 206.94 1.00%