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On Thursday afternoon, Twitter announced that it would be rolling out iOS support for nonfungible token, or NFT, hexagonal avatars. As of now, only paid subscribers of Twitter Blue using iOS, which costs $2.99 per month, can access the feature. According to a tutorial video, users can connect their wallet, including Coinbase Wallet, Rainbow, MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Argent, or Ledger Live, and set it as their profile pic, with the process taking a few seconds.
Users can also learn more about each other’s NFT avatars, such as their owners, creators, description of the series, as well as verification of authenticity on third-party platforms like OpenSea. According to Twitter, the platform does not maintain an ongoing connection with one’s crypto wallet. However, the firm stores one’s public wallet address to ensure that it continues to hold the NFT avatar. Although one can only set it on iOS through Twitter Blue, the NFT profile pic will be visible across all platforms.
The functionality of the development is still in the early stages. Twitter currently supports only static images, such as JEPG and PNG files, minted on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, including ERC-721 and ERC-1155 token standards. But if one sells or transfers the NFT while still set as profile picture, it will not display any information regarding its ownership when clicked.
You asked (a lot), so we made it. Now rolling out in Labs: NFT Profile Pictures on iOS pic.twitter.com/HFyspS4cQW
— Twitter Blue (@TwitterBlue) January 20, 2022
But any over-enthusiasm would be short-lived. According to Twitter user and blockchain enthusiast @HollanderAdam, The feature appears to work for any NFT in one’s collection, not only verified collections. In other words, an internet stranger can simply right-click-save any NFT from a Twitter profile, mint it, and then use it as their avatar.
Tarjih Muhammadiyah is the third Islamic organization to issue a fatwa against the use of cryptocurrencies in Indonesia.
According to a report by CNBC Indonesia, the Tarjih Council and the Central Executive Tajdid of Muhammadiyah issued a new fatwa against cryptocurrency use, deeming it haram, or unlawful, for Muslims. The organization detailed two reasons behind the move.
Firstly, it observed that digital assets such as Bitcoin are speculative and highly volatile in nature. Additionally, cryptocurrencies are not backed by any other assets such as gold and are believed to be “obscure,” thereby making them unlawful under Islamic laws.
Secondly, the fatwa also stated that digital currencies do not follow Sharia tenets for barter system or medium of exchange laws which need them to be legal tender and approved by the state, or in this case – the central bank.
Even though Tarjih Muhammadiyah happens to be one of the largest non-government Islamic organizations in the country, fatwas are typically not treated as binding judgments. But this isn’t the first time that an Islamic organization deemed cryptocurrencies “haram,” which means forbidden, in Indonesia.
In November, the Islamic scholars declared that all digital asset trading is forbidden for Muslims. The National Ulema Council (MUI) cited aspects such as uncertainty, wagering, and harm in cryptocurrency assets.
It is important to understand that the decisions made by the Islamic authorities are not an official decree, nor do they imply an outright prohibition on cryptocurrency trading. But its far-reaching consequences, in a country that houses the largest Muslim population, cannot be ignored entirely.
Having said that, the barriers of trading have never been lower in Indonesia. It recorded almost $10 billion in crypto transactions in 2021. Moreover, the crypto giant Binance was in talks with some of Indonesia’s biggest companies to launch a crypto venture in the country.
The CZ-led exchange also teamed up with a consortium led by telecom Indonesia-backed MDI Ventures to expand the blockchain ecosystem in the country by setting up a new digital asset trading platform.
Despite the initial reluctance, cryptocurrencies were legalized in September 2018. Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade approved the trading of crypto assets as commodities.
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Sponsorship deals have become part of the measures that crypto-related companies employ in widening the knowledge and acceptance of cryptocurrency, one of the recent deals in the Australian Football League (AFL) and Crypto.com.
Most of these sponsorships have been on sporting teams, with more football and basketball.
This deal comes as the number 1 primary crypto sports sponsorship for AFL as this deal with Crypto.com will be backing its women’s league (AFLW).
The sponsorship deal, about $25 million, is expected to last for five years. It depicts an increase from the current $18.5 sponsorship contract AFL has with Toyota.
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This Crypto.com partnership with AFL represents its first sponsorship for an Australian sports team. Also, it stands as the initiating move from the crypto exchange in supporting an elite women’s sports competition globally.
Reacting to the milestone created by the sponsorship, Kylie Rogers confirmed that she is proud to be a part of it.
The general manager said that the AFL is proud of receiving the honor as the first Australian Sports league and the global elite women’s competition to partner with Crypto.com. She stressed their excitement in working with a company with the same passion. And for the progress and sustainability of elite sports and technology.
Karl Mohan, the general manager of Asia and Pacific of Crypto.com, is on his part. He revealed that his company’s attraction came from the high volume of interested women in cryptocurrency.
Mohan stated that their latest research on their Australian customers revealed female investors in cryptocurrencies were over 53%. The general manager mentioned that such a discovery is quite encouraging.
According to Mohan, this indicates that crypto adoption in Australia cuts across all levels without any inhibition from either gender or background. So, Crypto.com is pleased to serve as their beck-on-call platform for any of their crypto-related activities.
In August, a survey from CNBC disclosed that women’s participation in crypto investments is far below half of their male counterparts. The report indicated that while 16% of men were involved, only 7% were recorded.
The Singapore-based crypto exchange, Crypto.com, provides many crypto services to its customers. These include digital wallets, crypto-backed debit cards, and others.
In addition, the crypto exchange has had several sponsorships deals from sports brands within the past few months which amounts to more than $1.5 billion.
Related Reading | Bitcoin Implied Volatility Plummets To Pre-Bull Market Levels: What This Means
Crypto.com, in June ending, bagged a $100 million sponsorship deal with Formula 1. This was followed closely with its July partnership with the UFC worth over $175 million.
Furthermore, mid-November saw the company with a new agreement of renaming the Staples Center in Los Angeles to the Crypto.com Arena. The deal worth over $700 million is expected to cover the next 20 years.
Featured image from Pixabay, chart from TradingView.com
A popular crypto analyst says that Bitcoin (BTC) is likely to experience a significant price drop, but such a sell-off might be the catalyst that finally sends the leading crypto past $100,000.
In a new strategy session, Nicholas Merten tells his 495,000 YouTube subscribers that he remains optimistic about Bitcoin even while preparing to see red candles on the chart.
“We may be on the verge of a pretty harsh correction of over a 20% to 30% decline in Bitcoin’s price.
We’ve been bearish in the short term over the past couple of weeks and we believe that there is still more downside to go, [but] I’m still a long-term bull.
I believe that we’re still in a bull market, not a bear market… It’s very likely that we could see this correction, but at the same time, it could be the catalyst to finally set ourselves up on the next uptrend and charter towards the $150k range, $200k range for Bitcoin.”
The Data Dash host also warns that such a potential sell-off might be shockingly sudden.
“When the sell-off does come it’s not going to be this… slow but steady sell-off of lower highs, lower lows.
I really feel we’re going to get something quite dramatic.”
Merten goes on to look at Bitcoin’s recent rally when it jumped from a January 10th low under $41,000 to briefly topping $44,000 two days later, before giving up most of those gains by the 14th.
“We did have a little bit of a rebound… that got some bulls very confident that this was the end of the selloff, that prices were going to recover.
Those gains have quickly faded, and it looks like this is not only going to be considered a dead-cat bounce in price, which means the price will roll over but when we roll back down here, there really aren’t many ranges of significant support.”
The analyst says that Bitcoin will probably retest levels last seen during the market crash in May of 2020.
“It’s just likely at this point… that we repeat what we saw back in May to some degree.
Having a correction down to this range [$29,000 to $30,000], getting people towards what I would define as max pain…
It basically defines the point of peak fear when everyone, even the bulls are convinced that we’re in a bear market.”
At time of writing, Bitcoin is down 1.65% and trading for $41,792.
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Cardano (ADA) is surging after launching the first-ever decentralized exchange (DEX) built on the smart contract platform.
According to a statement made by the SundaeSwap (SUNDAE) team, the fully functional beta version of the DEX premiered today on Cardano.
Its launch boosted Cardano from its day-low of $1.32 to $1.42, a 7.5% increase. The fifth-largest crypto asset by market cap has since stabilized and is exchanging hands at $1.40 at time of writing.
SundaeSwap’s utility token, SUNDAE, allows holders to trade, stake, and lend coins as well as vote on the platform’s governance protocol. The token is unique because its price will be determined by the community as a whole rather than just by SundaeSwap Labs, the DEX’s developers.
“It doesn’t feel appropriate for SundaeSwap Labs, only one member of [the] community, to sell the token [at a] set price.
The initial circulating supply of the token will be sold by the DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) directly using an automated price discovery mechanism. Enter: The Taste Test.
At the launch of the protocol, 7% of the community supply of the token will be locked by the DAO into a smart contract called The Taste Test.”
The Taste Test is a 10-day period where members of the community can deposit ADA or SUNDAE from their reward pools without any swapping occurring. After the 10 days, the deposited tokens will create the ADA/SUNDAE liquidity pool, which would establish the initial price of the token.
Participants can then claim the liquidity provider tokens, which represent both assets in the pool, and track their share of the pool.
SundaeSwap isn’t the only new feature seen on ADA this week as the Ethereum (ETH) competitor recently ventured into the metaverse with the launch of Pavia, a play-to-earn non-fungible token (NFT) virtual reality project.
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The U.S. Federal Reserve is opening comments to the public after releasing a discussion paper on the pros and cons of a potential central bank digital currency.
In a publication released Thursday titled “Money and Payments: The U.S. Dollar in the Age of Digital Transformation”, the Fed said it would likely not be authorized to issue digital wallets or accounts capable of holding a U.S. central bank digital currency, or CBDC, but rather leave such matters to the private sector. In addition, the government body said it would be considering privacy concerns, whether a CBDC could be “readily transferable between customers of different intermediaries,” and identity verification to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The paper added that the U.S. rolling out a CBDC could mitigate the risks of “proliferation of private digital money” while still encouraging innovation in the private sector, leveling the playing field between large and small firms for whom some of the costs of issuing their own digital currency may be prohibitive. Cross border payments, the speed and efficiency of digital payments, and additional financial inclusion are all among the potential benefits of a digital dollar.
“A CBDC could fundamentally change the structure of the U.S. financial system, altering the roles and responsibilities of the private sector and the central bank,” said the Fed paper. “Some have suggested that, if these new CBDCs were more attractive than existing forms of the U.S. dollar, global use of the dollar could decrease — and a U.S. CBDC might help preserve the international role of the dollar.”
Regarding the risks in potentially introducing a digital dollar to the U.S. and world economies, the Fed said that a CBDC could effectively replace commercial bank money, raising prices for retail customers and driving interest away from investments in “mutual funds, Treasury bills, and other short-term instruments.” The paper also repeated some of the concerns previously raised by officials on the stability of the current financial system, how the Fed might need to increase its reserves based on demand for a digital currency, and striking a balance between user privacy and transparency needed to prevent fraud.
To that end, the Fed is opening up comments to the public for 120 days — until May 20 — asking concerned citizens to address 22 questions related to the possible rollout of a digital dollar’s benefits, risks, design, and policy considerations:
“The Federal Reserve will only take further steps toward developing a CBDC if research points to benefits for households, businesses, and the economy overall that exceed the downside risks, and indicates that CBDC is superior to alternative methods. Furthermore, the Federal Reserve would only pursue a CBDC in the context of broad public and cross-governmental support.”
First announced by Fed chair Jerome Powell in May 2021 to be released last summer, the publication of the CBDC discussion paper has been delayed several times. On Jan. 11 during his testimony to members of the Senate Banking Committee, Powell said that the paper would be coming in a matter of weeks following delays due to “changes in monetary policy.”
Related: Digital dollar needs broad consensus among authorities, says US Treasury Secretary
Though a notice from the Fed stated the discussion paper “does not favor any policy outcome,” Powell has previously suggested there was no rush in the U.S. releasing a digital dollar despite other countries, including China, moving ahead with trials in different cities. Athletes are expected to travel to China for the 2022 Winter Olympics in a few weeks, when competitors and visitors will have the opportunity to use the country’s digital yuan.
Russia has proposed a full ban on crypto, this includes both mining and use of cryptocurrencies. The country’s Central Bank suggested that the trading of cryptocurrencies must come to a stop immediately. In the report put forth in an online press conference, the Russian government along with the Bank of Russia suggested this regulatory measure. This blanket ban on cryptocurrency was tied to risks of financial instability and rising illegal activities. The digital asset apparently posed a serious threat to the sovereignty of Russia’s monetary policy. Russia holds the third rank in bitcoin mining after US and Kazakhstan.
This recent ban on cryptocurrency comes right after the Central Bank of Russia displayed interest in securing information from commercial banks in respect to private money transfers. It also specified that the information collected will comprise of details of individuals who have previously traded in cryptocurrency, not only within the country but also outside of it. Despite Russia legalising cryptocurrencies in the year 2020, it always remained sceptical in regards to accepting the same as a medium of exchange. The report stated that this measure of banning crypto might after all be in favour of Russial as this decision happens to be the “best” and “optimal” one that safeguards Russia.
In the report, “Cryptocurrencies: trends, risks, measures” an excerpt read that cryptocurrenices “offer an outlet for people to take their money out of the national economy, thereby undermining it and making the regulators job of maintaining optimal monetary policies harder.” The other major concern that led to this ban was the ever increasing dynamic and volatile nature of cryptocurrency along with illegal activities being funded by the digital asset. The culmination of which has urged the Central Bank to form new laws and regulation which could help ban the digital asset in Russia.
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Russia previously also expressed its concerns around cryptocurrency as they believed that the asset could be used for money laundering and even financing terrorism. Reportedly, Russia has showed interest in creating thier own digital currency (CBDC) which is believed to enable, equip and finally empower the functioning of future banking in the country.
This could help people of Russia to opt for a quicker, easier and more seamless payment option. The report also stated that there will be a prohibition of mutual funds investments in cryptocurrency. Besides that, institutional investors have also been discouraged from investing in crypto. This move might be quite a blow to the country’s financial organisations as any cryptocurrency in the form of a financial asset will not be accounted for. Failing to abide by the above mandated resolution will result in firm punishment as mentioned in report.
The crypto industry's growth has attracted a lot of negative attention | Source: TOTAL-CRYPTOCAP on TradingView.com
Twitter has launched its long-awaited NFT profile picture feature for Twitter Blue subscribers. The feature allows users to link their NFT collection to their Twitter profile and obtain a hexagonally-shaped NFT profile picture as proof of authenticity.
Earlier today, Twitter announced the launch of its NFT profile picture feature for Twitter Blue users, a paid membership that offers certain exclusive features. Users will connect their crypto wallets to Twitter, which will then verify the NFTs the user owns.
NFT profiles pictures will be recognizable by their distinctive hexagonal shape, as opposed to the circles used for standard pics.
Twitter Blue’s account showcased a demonstration of the feature in action and also provided a simple walkthrough for how to set up the NFT Profile Picture.
As of now, the feature only supports Ethereum NFTs and only iOS users can use it; however, the hex-shaped NFT profile pictures will be displayed as such across all platforms.
Today’s launch is part of Twitter’s broader strategy of incorporating blockchain technology into its business model. Last November, Twitter formed a crypto team focused on integrating Web3 applications.
That was before Jack Dorsey announced his resignation from Twitter later that month. Since then, he has made several distinct moves in the crypto space. He first changed the name of his other massive company, payments provider Square, to Block. He also continued his support for the Bitcoin ecosystem when he announced his non-profit Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund earlier this month .
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies.
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