The Crypto Council for Innovation Announces First-Ever Leadership Team

On Thursday, the Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI), a global alliance of crypto industry organizations, announced its first executive team to strengthen its leadership role and guide its work in policy advocacy and raising awareness of the benefits of digital currency. - 2022-04-08T142331.208.jpg

The council made five appointments who are set to join the existing executive director Sheila Warren.

The association hired Former Senator Cory Gardner to serve as CCI’s chief strategist of political affairs; Amanda Russo, a global communications expert who formerly worked with the World Economic Forum, to serve as the council’s new director of communications; and Annie Dizon, formerly of the nonprofit TechSoup, as CCI’s director of operations.

The council appointed three executives to join the current CEO, Sheila Warren, in executing CCI’s efforts toward educating regulators, policymakers, and people around the globe about the transformational promise of cryptocurrency.

Meanwhile, the association also hired former Algorand Foundation CEO Sean Lee to advise the council on its Asia-Pacific expansion. The council also appointed Katherine Wu, a venture partner at Archetype, as its first research fellow.

In a statement, Sheila Warren, the group’s CEO, talked about the development and said: “The combined leadership and global experience of our new team members will fortify CCI’s expertise in a crucial moment, both within our organization and across the crypto industry worldwide.”

Promoting Innovation behind Crypto

Sheila Warren left working for the World Economic Forum and joined the CCI as executive director in January.

Later in February, the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange became a new Crypto Council for Innovation member. Gemini joined the list of other crypto-friendly firms to encourage policymakers to draft a robust regulatory structure.

The council is backed by several crypto exchanges and crypto investment firms. Some of the top-tier firms in the list include Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase exchange, Jack Dorsey-owned Block (earlier Square), Fidelity Digital Assets, Paradigm, Ribbit Capital, etc.

Established in April 2021 as a joint effort by Coinbase and Block, the CCI strives to build interactions with regulatory organizations and government authorities, highlighting the potential of cryptocurrencies.

Last July, the council organized a virtual gathering called ‘The ₿ Word’ to discuss Bitcoin adoption in the sector. The event became a huge success with speeches from global personalities such as Elon Musk of Tesla and Jack Dorsey.

The Crypto Council for Innovation is a global alliance of crypto industry leaders that works to demonstrate the transformational promise of crypto assets and communicate their benefits to policymakers, regulators, and people worldwide.


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Bitcoin Becomes Legal Tender in Honduran Special Economic Zone

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have become legal tender in a special economic zone on an island on Honduras’ Caribbean coast, officials said. - 2022-04-08T113315.581.jpg

The tourist-centric island – named “Honduras Prospera” – was established in 2020 to uplift investment. It has administrative, fiscal and budgetary autonomy.

“Prospera’s flexible regulatory framework enables crypto-innovation and the use of Bitcoin by residents, businesses, and governments,” Honduras Prospera said in a statement.

According to Reuters, the economic zone will also allow municipalities, local governments and global firms to issue bitcoin bonds from the area’s jurisdiction.

Honduras Prospera covers parts of the picturesque Roatan island as well as the city of La Ceiba on Honduras’ Atlantic Coast.

Meanwhile, neighbouring country El Salvador adopted bitcoin as legal tender in September last year. In doing so, El Salvador became the first country to do so even though the roll-out was bumpy and people were sceptical about it.

However, Honduras’ Central Bank does not vouch for crypto transactions. The bank said in a March statement that “any transaction carried out with this type of virtual asset falls under the responsibility and risk of the person carrying it out.”

In August last year, Honduras received its first crypto ATM.

Blockchain.News reported that TGU Consulting Group, a firm based in Honduras, installed the first Bitcoin ATM in an office tower in Tegucigalpa, the city and capital of Honduras.

The report added that the crypto ATM, locally dubbed “la bitcoinera,” allows users to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum using “Honduran lempira,” the local currency of Honduras. Crypto users will have to scan official identification and input personal data such as phone numbers to buy cryptocurrencies through the ATM.

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Goldman Sachs Joins Investors to Fund CertiK as it Tops $2B Valuation

New York-based blockchain security startup CertiK has finally confirmed to raise $88 million from investors, led by Tiger Global, Advent International, with participation from Goldman Sachs and existing investors such as Sequoia and Lightspeed Venture Partners.


Dubbed its Series B3 round, the company said the funding was oversubscribed and it comes off as its fourth financing round to date bringing the total capital raised to $230 million. Following the latest raise, the startup’s valuation has now topped $2 billion.

Considering the security demands in the digital currency ecosystem, as many as 3,200 blockchains and enterprise clients utilize CertiK’s solutions to safeguard their platform. Thus far, the company has helped these clients secure as much as $300 billion, a role that investors have acknowledged over and again.

“CertiK is a mission-critical blockchain cybersecurity platform in a massive market and has already become a clear leader in the industry with a high-quality product that provides all-round security for blockchain, smart contracts, and Web3,” said Steve Ward, Managing Director at Insight Partners. “We look forward to partnering with CertiK’s best in class founding team, complete with a team of leading crypto security thought leaders as they continue to grow and Scale-Up.”

Despite the latest economic downturn experienced in the digital currency ecosystem, CertiK has continued to grow its revenue which surged 12x in 2021, and profits growing more than 3000x. As detailed by the firm, it will continue to develop all of its security solutions, including Skynet, LeaderBoard, and Know-Your-Customer (KYC)- a mandatory process of identifying and verifying the client’s identity when opening an account and periodically over time, in a bid to meet the expectations of its broad-based clients.

“Given increasing trends in rug-pulls, we now see KYC playing an important role in Web3 security,” said CertiK Founder and CEO, Ronghui Gu. “KYC, together with Smart contract auditing and 24/7 monitoring of threats, will further strengthen our offer around end-to-end Web3 security services.”

Other security outfits like ConsenSys have also pulled funds from investors in recent times, the latest of which is $450 million raised by the firm to push its valuation to $7 billion.

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Metaverse Gaming Firm MetaBlaze to Conduct Second Round of ICO on April 20

MetaBlaze, a metaverse and blockchain-driven gaming company, will conduct its second ICO round on April 20 at 9 AM EST. - 2022-04-08T111302.865.jpg

An ICO refers to companies sold their virtual currency to the public for the first time, usually before it is listed on any public exchange. Therefore, it is generally considered to be one of the best moments to buy cryptocurrencies.

MetaBlaze said that by buying MetaBlaze (MBLZ) tokens at a lower price, buyers can also get a 5% token reward.

MetaBlaze is a GameFi x DeFi utility token designed for all aspects of web3 technology with a primary focus on its gaming Metaverse.

At the same time, MetaBlaze will also release high-quality MetaGoblin NFTs for various utilities in this round. This series of Non-funfigible tokens is based on characters from the upcoming Play-to-Earn (P2E) game.

As reported by blockchain.News Thursday, Meta is planning to introduce virtual tokens and cryptocurrencies, aiming to use these digital assets for rewarding creators and lending and other financial services.

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CashApp Accepts Users to Invest their Earnings in Bitcoin

CashApp, one of the world’s most popular payment applications, has announced integrating a new feature that will allow its users to convert their paycheck to Bitcoin (BTC) automatically.


While it is a traditional fintech outfit operated by Jack Dorsey’s Block Inc, CashApp comes off as one of the first mainstream payment apps to support Bitcoin since 2018.

The ‘Paycheck-to-Bitcoin’ feature integration comes as the platform’s way of re-energizing its support for BTC across the board.

“We believe that bitcoin is the world’s best digital, sound money period,” said Miles Suter, Crypto Product Lead at CashApp. “We believe that Bitcoin is for the people and that in America, Cash App is the financial app for the people.”

While this new feature is billed to come in handy to every of the app’s users, Suter also confirmed that the platform has also launched an integration with the Lightning Network, a provision that will easily let its users receive Lightning Network transactions, a provision that compliments earlier allowance CashApp introduced back in January that lets its users receive payments via the Lightning Network.

“To make Bitcoin even more universally accessible, we’re announcing Lightning receives,” said Suter. “In the coming months, you’ll be able to receive bitcoin over the Lightning Network with no block confirmations needed.”

Cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin, are going mainstream, and top payment firms are actively exploring avenues to offer their users more value in this regard. Beyond CashApp, PayPal is also broadening its support for Bitcoin and has provided a way for its users to buy a limited range of digital currencies, including Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC) respectively.

While PayPal launched its crypto trading services relatively later than CashApp, it has since extended the service to the United Kingdom in an aggressive push under CEO Dan Schulman.

Beyond these top fintech outfits, other notable payment companies, including PayPal-owned Venmo, also extend their capabilities to bring Bitcoin payments to their users. With the traction recorded in the fintech space thus far, Bitcoin payment integration will be a trend that will span into the foreseeable future.

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Bullish Weekly Opening Turned Sour as Bitcoin Recorded Price Reversals

A bearish turn has engulfed the broader digital currency ecosystem, with Bitcoin (BTC) leading the losses among the top digital currencies.


For what was expected to be a very fruitful week, BTC journeyed into the last official trading day for the week with major sell-offs as investors ditched bullish fundamentals for quick gains.

The BTC Price chart, as seen below, spells a bearish turn across the board.


Source: CoinMarketCap

Massive Buyups Failed to Impressive Bulls

Typically, growth in on-chain transactions in the Bitcoin network is expected to ignite a positive move in the Bitcoin ecosystem. This week, a number of significant transactions have been initiated revolving around Bitcoin, including the acquisition of 4,167 units of the premier coin by MicroStrategy incorporated. The buyup is indicative of a relentless acquisition that is currently characterizing the institutional investment scene.

Besides this, another big-ticket transaction was recorded by an address that is notably recognized as the largest non-exchange whale with over 120,000 Bitcoin units. Without singling out an investor, analysts from CryptoQuant shared an observation bordering on the digital currency, which antagonizes its current performance.

“We can see a slight increase in BTC exchange reserve during 7 days, but top 69 large whales buy the dip, even today buy more than 6,000 BTC (Net),” the analysts said.

Despite the ongoing accumulation, bears have continued to gain control of the market, and the coin has slipped by more than 5.36% in the past week to $43,425.51, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Hopes For Revival

Despite the obvious bearish price action in the face of positive transaction records, Bitcoin has relatively maintained very strong support at the $42,500 support level. Analysts are of the opinion that the current selloff is being perpetrated by retail investors, all of whose actions will still be subsumed by the ongoing whale activities.

While Bitcoin may have a concerning bearish outlook as of the time of writing, the coin has the needed push to regain its lost valuation and retest its monthly high of $48,086.84 in the mid to long term.

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US SEC Approves Third Bitcoin Futures ETF Application from Teucrium

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved America’s third functional Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) product that tracks the futures price of the world’s largest crypto asset.


Per the approval contained in a filing published on the commission’s website on Wednesday, the new fund grants permission to both the applying firm, Teucrium, and the NYSE Arca Exchange to issue the shares to US investors.

The approval adds Teucrium to the list of other issuers, including ProShares and VanEck, both of whom received their go-ahead to list Bitcoin-futures-based ETFs last year. A Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund is a regulated way for investors to access the nascent asset class, with the security backing of regulated financial assets.

The clamour for these products in the United States dates back many years, and former heads of the SEC, including former chairman Jay Clayton, refused to grant mainstream investor’s utmost request for a BTC ETF product. The emergence of Gary Gensler arguably changed the narrative as he approved the first Bitcoin-linked ETF, but one which tracks the futures performance of the digital asset.

While American investors have embraced these products based on the performance of the first Bitcoin Futures-linked ETFs, the demand for an exact spot ETF has all the more increased, with many positing that if the SEC could approve a BTC futures ETF, then it should be able to approve the spot applications from various fund managers that have applied thus far.

Thus far, the SEC does not seem to align with this school of thought, often arguing that the trading platforms that the spot ETFs are meant to trade on are not fit to combat price manipulation and other inconsistencies attributable to the volatile digital currency industry.

Per its unfavourable stance, a number of applications have been rejected, with the latest being the filing from the partnership between 21Shares and Ark Invest. Others like VanEck and ProShares have had to even withdraw their spot ETF applications for Ethereum after receiving rejections for their Bitcoin versions.

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 37,693.10 0.43%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 2,049.77 0.92%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 69.31 1.17%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 221.18 0.83%