Blockchain-Based Firm Millicent Received UK Government Funding

UK-based blockchain company Millicent has received government funding in the form of a UK Research, and Innovation (UKRI) Innovate UK Smart Award. The project aims to assist in the nation’s strives to launch a central bank digital currency.

Millicent’s UK Funding

Based in London, England, Millicent is a blockchain-powered firm promising to rewrite “the code of global finance.” In the press release seen by CryptoPotato, the project described the grant as “the UK’s most competitive and prestigious” one, which should provide the company with resources to continue the development of its digital finance network.

Millicent uses hybrid distributed ledger technology. It combines Direct Acyclic Graph (DAG) speeds with blockchain’s structure and aims to “transform the world’s outdated financial system into an open, borderless, and interconnected digital network, underpinned by a suite of regulation-compliant stablecoins.”

The company said it had become the first stablecoin- and CBDC-oriented project that has received funding directly from the UK government. The timing of this grant is particularly intriguing, as central banks across the world continue to dabble with how to launch digital versions of their native fiat currencies.

The Bank of England has yet to confirm whether or not it will follow the trend, but funding a project that focuses on providing CBDC initiatives could be regarded as a step toward that direction.


Assessors from Innovate UK commented that Millicent could “change the way we bank and spend,” as its impact “could be very significant for the UK – financially, socially, and technically.”

Bank the Unbanked?

Whether it’s bitcoin or another project coming from the cryptocurrency space, the goal for many has been to provide banking services to the nearly two billion people globally that don’t have such as of now.

Millicent promised to work in the same direction as well since its open-source framework should provide small to medium enterprises and individuals the necessary access.

“In today’s system, it’s usually the people with the least money who pay the most for financial services. Millicent is designed to level the playing field for everyone, creating an “Internet of Value” that is open and accessible to all.” – said company CEO Stella Dyer.


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Bitcoin On-Chain Demands Suggests That The Market Has Reached Its Bottom

Bitcoin on-chain analysis can be a good way to try to guess where the market is headed. The market tends to repeat itself with metrics looking the same before a bull or a bear rally, thus making this data a pretty good indicator of what’s to come. Analyst Willy Woo uses this same data to demonstrate a pattern that occurs before the bull rally, the criteria which are being met once again.

Start Of A Bull Run?

In a recent string of tweets, analyst Willy Woo presents data from on-chain analysis that points to the bitcoin dump having reached its bottom. According to him, “Price in relation to on-chain demand from both speculative and hodl category of investors are now both at peak oversold levels.” Woo points out that the last time that something like this had happened was when bitcoin reached its bottom following the COVID crash.

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The analyst further outlines the times where this has happened in the past. Going as far back as 2012, he points out the same had been the case in February of that year. What followed had been the memorable 2021-2013 bull run that saw bitcoin gain more popularity among investors.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Halving To Bring The Subsequent Crypto Frenzy

Fast forward to 2015 and the same had been the case in January of that year. This time, the on-chain metric spelled the bottom of the bear market that had begun previously in 2014, putting an end to the onslaught.

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If Woo is right and the on-chain metric continues the way it has historically, then bitcoin may very well have reached the bottom, suggesting that this is the end of the downtrend. However, there is no telling if this is actually the case given that bitcoin had recorded back-to-back bull rallies in 2021.

Bitcoin On The Charts

Bitcoin has lost almost 50% from its all-time high of $69k which it hit in November of last year. This has however not affected the profits of the majority of holders. The digital asset remains one with the highest volume of holders that remain in profit after the market crash.

Related Reading | El Salvador Chivo Bitcoin Wallet Relaunch To Serve 4 Million Users

According to data from IntoTheBlock, 60% of all bitcoin holders are still in profit at current prices. It is important to note that the cryptocurrency was subject to massive sell-offs when investors panicked that the downtrend will continue. Most however have still kept their highly profitable status, with only 35% of all holders currently losing at market prices.

Bitcoin price chart from

Bulls struggle to pull BTC up as bears take hold | Source: BTCUSD on

The majority are long-term holders and indicators point to investors still being very bullish on the digital asset despite the downtrend. With its current growth curve, it is expected that the cryptocurrency will see 1 billion holders in the next four years, making it a highly sought-after asset.

Featured image from Bitcoin News, chart from


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World Wildlife Fund’s NFT Sales Spark Controversy

Key Takeaways

  • The U.K. division of the WWF has begun to sell a series of non-fungible tokens themed around endangered species.
  • Over 300 people have purchased NFTs from the collection so far, producing a trading volume of $30,000.
  • However, critics argue that the WWF’s choice of blockchain supports the ecologically damaging practice of mining.

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The World Wildlife Fund’s U.K. arm began to sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) today to finance its conservation efforts. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the move has attracted criticism.

WWF Is Selling Endangered Species NFTs

As of Feb. 3, the WWF U.K. has begun to sell NFTs themed around 13 different endangered species. The conservation group’s official website shows that about 7,900 individual NFTs are on sale, equivalent to the total number of animals remaining among those species.

So far, at least 300 people have purchased NFTs from the series, according to statistics from the group’s OpenSea marketplace. This amounts to a trading volume of 11.6 ETH ($30,800).

Users who buy the NFTs will receive ownership of the digital media attached to each token. They will also receive an online meeting with a conservationist, discounts on merchandise from CyberKongz and World of Women, and other promotional benefits.

The series features artwork from the digital artists Ted Chin (TedsLittleDreams) and Yam Karkai.

Sale Attracts Immediate Backlash

The WWF chose to issue tokens on Polygon (MATIC), a second-layer network for Ethereum. The conservation group noted that Polygon uses little energy: “Each transaction has the equivalent carbon emissions of a glass of tap water,” it says.

Despite the organization’s decision to use a sustainable blockchain, the announcement saw immediate backlash.

Catherine Flick, a faculty member at De Montfort University, noted that Polygon is a second-layer protocol for Ethereum. As such, Polygon arguably supports the energy-intensive practice of crypto mining despite the fact that it uses very little energy itself.

Ethereum is currently moving to a Proof-of-Stake system, which will eliminate mining and reduce its energy consumption. At present, however, Ethereum uses 106 TWh of energy per year, comparable to the annual energy consumption of the Netherlands.

Other critics noted that the German division of WWF issued similar NFTs last November, which saw similar backlash. Nevertheless, that campaign has successfully raised $245,000 to date.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.

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GameStop Partners with Immutable X on NFT Initiative

Key Takeaways

  • GameStop has partnered with Immutable X to further develop its NFT marketplace.
  • Immutable and GameStop will create $100 million fund dedicated to support game developers.
  • GameStop is among several traditional video game companies exploring NFTs.

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Immutable has announced a new partnership with GameStop to power its NFT marketplace.

GameStop Leveraging Layer 2 Technology

Immutable has partnered with GameStop to develop its NFT marketplace.

Immutable is the developer of Immutable X, a Layer-2 protocol for NFTs on Ethereum that allows for faster, less computationally-intense transactions at zero gas costs. It is also the creator of well-known blockchain games such as Gods Unchained and Guild of Guardians.

Immutable X is built using StarkWare’s StarkEx zero-knowledge proof technology, which is capable of rolling up hundreds of thousands of transactions into a single Ethereum transaction.

The news comes not long after GameStop first announced its foray into the NFT world, confirming their plan to build a hub for trading in-game items such as avatars, outfits, and weapons. Immutable X will have a role in powering the development of GameStop’s NFT marketplace.

The team’s plan includes launching a token pool to support developers building gaming apps and creators making content in the GameStop NFT marketplace.

In an apparent attempt to outsource developer talent, GameStop is allowing NFT content creators to apply for grant consideration via a link published via its NFT website.

In recent weeks, some of the industry’s biggest publicly traded video game companies have launched or announced plans to sell NFTs, including Ubisoft Entertainment, Zynga Inc. and Square Enix Holdings.

The global video games market has been reported to have reached $138 billion during 2021 and GameStop’s valuation is close to $10 billion at the time of reporting.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and other cryptocurrencies.

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South Park destroys Matt Damon’s ad in season premiere

More than three months after its release, the ad from crypto exchange featuring Hollywood star Matt Damon was the subject of ridicule in the latest episode of the animated series South Park.

In the first episode of its 25th season titled “Pajama Day”, the creators of South Park took on people in the United States refusing to wear a mask and once again associated crypto investments with scams. Characters in the show attacked Damon’s appearance in an TV spot titled “fortune favors the brave”, showing the actor speaking about amid a digital landscape of historic figures.

“My dad said he listened to Matt Damon and lost all his money…” “Yes, everyone did! But they were brave in doing so!”

The criticism is likely related to cryptocurrencies losing more than $500 billion in combined market capitalization in January, with Bitcoin (BTC) falling from more than $42,000 to the $35,000s. According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, the BTC price is $36,373 at the time of publication, having fallen more than 40% since released the ad featuring Damon.

“We just have to be brave.” “But not too brave or else Matt Damon will come and take all our money.”

Many know South Park for its criticism of the United States government’s response to the 2008 financial crisis, popularized by the meme “aaaand… it’s gone” — referring to one of the characters immediately losing all his money after depositing it in a bank. The show has since gone on to jokingly predict crypto will become the only acceptable form of payment in the future, and nonfungible tokens have the power to destroy the world.

Initially released in October 2021, many in mainstream media seemed not to comment on the ad until it aired during a National Football League game on Jan. 2. Stephen Colbert, the host of CBS’ The Late Show, took aim at the TV spot on the same evening as South Park, comparing Damon’s endorsement of crypto to the accuracy of groundhog Punxsutawney Phil predicting six more weeks of winter.

“You never rely on groundhogs for advice, no matter how convincing they are when they pitch you crypto with Matt Damon,” said Colbert.

Parody of Matt Damon’s ad. Source: Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Related: ‘Crypto Critic’ — Hollywood insider has a message for celebrities who shill token projects

The first TV series to feature Bitcoin was the CBS drama The Good Wife in January 2012, but referencing crypto and blockchain in mainstream media has become somewhat more common as the space grows. Celebrities and others in entertainment including comedians Jim Jefferies and Bill Burr announced cryptocurrency investments in 2020, and reality star Kim Kardashian shilled the EthereumMax token to her Instagram followers the following year.