Twitter Nearly Close a deal selling to Elon Musk, Will Memecoins Soar?

Negotiations between Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc., and Twitter’s eleven-member board were in high gear on April 25. Musk eyes purchasing the social media giant and making it private.

Musk has already floated a $46.5 billion offer as he seeks to gain full ownership after he recently attained a 9.2% ownership stake of Twitter. Per the announcement:

“The two sides were discussing details including a timeline to close any potential deal and any fees that would be paid if an agreement were signed.”

The turning point arose after Musk offered $54.20 per share, making the Twitter board members seriously consider his bid. 

According to Real-Time Billionaires by Forbes, with a net worth of $269.7 billion, Elon Musk is the world’s richest man. 

Musk has at least 83 million followers on Twitter, and his quest to own the social media giant is driven by the urge to “transform” the firm into a “platform for free speech around the globe.”

How will this development affect the crypto market?

As a strong advocate of Dogecoin (DOGE) and other Shiba Inu-themed memecoins, Musk’s crypto influence has gone unnoticed as his tweets often make prices soar. He had previously opined that Dogecoin was the people’s crypto. 

After Musk became the largest Twitter shareholder, DOGE surged by 16.33% in just 24 hours.  

The Tesla CEO has also influenced leading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) based on some of his actions.

For example, after unexpectedly changing his Twitter bio to #bitcoin in January 2021, Bitcoin’s price rose by 18.75%, from $32,000 to $38,000 in a couple of hours, whereas market capitalization surged by $111 billion.

Therefore, according to past data, Elon’s Twitter ownership might jumpstart prices in the crypto market. 

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SkyBridge Capital’s Crypto Pivot Looks to Triple its Assets

Hedge fund SkyBridge founder Anthony Scaramucci said he plans to shift the pace of SkyBridge Capital’s investment to virtual digital assets, according to Bloomberg.

SkyBridge is a global multi-asset class alternative investments firm, specializing in hedge fund solutions and opportunistic investment vehicles.

According to Scaramucci, nearly half of SkyBridge Capital’s $3.5 billion in assets under management is currently invested in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the Algorand protocol, and Ethereum or related projects.

SkyBridge predicts that cryptocurrencies can help companies triple their assets to $10 billion, with digital assets accounting for the vast majority.

Anthony Scaramucci said in an interview that:

“We feel so strongly about this opportunity that we’ve adapted and repositioned the firm to eventually be a leading cryptocurrency asset manager and adviser.”

The hedge fund, founded by former White House Communications Direction Scaramucci, has a Bitcoin Fund, which demands a buy-in of at least $50,000. The Bitcoin Fund grew rapidly to a size of $370 million within weeks of its launch in December 2020.

The SkyBridge executives claimed that holding Bitcoin is far less risky nowadays than it was a few years ago when regulations and infrastructure were still underdeveloped.

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Crypto Lending Platform SALT Works with Cion Digital, Launching Crypto Lending Service for Auto Dealers

Crypto lending platform SALT has partnered with Cion Digital to launch crypto lending-as-a-service for over 5,000 U.S. auto dealerships.

SALT was founded in 2016 and introduced asset-backed lending to the cryptocurrency market, offering digital asset holders a new level of diversity.

The partnership marks the launch of SALT’s embedded crypto lending service, enabling faster deployment of crypto financing solutions for financial service providers and fintech platforms.

Justin English, CEO of SALT, said that his team has been moving towards an embedded model of direct-to-consumer lending from the beginning, hoping to enable both large neo-banks and traditional financial institutions. In addition, it is expected that to adapt to the expanding cryptocurrency market early and digitally transform the platform.

Fred Brothers, co-founder of Cion Digital, said that:

“Cion Digital is excited to partner with SALT to offer our extensive network of dealers the ability to turn on this exciting new point-of-sale financing option, which is often a lower-cost loan than traditional financing options. With almost half of Millennials now owning crypto, we are working together to increase dealer capabilities for this fast-growing market of buyers who want more financing and payment options at the dealership.”

Cion Digital’s proprietary Blockchain Orchestration Platform allows institutions to build innovative finance solutions quickly and seamlessly connect their legacy systems with the complex and ever-changing world of decentralised finance.

Cion Digital has built a cryptocurrency dealership platform that connects car dealers and lenders with car buyers, providing access to cryptocurrency payments and loans.

SALT said it would cooperate with more enterprise platforms in the future.

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Compass Mining to Sold $30m Worth of Assets in Russia to Fend Off Sanctions

Compass Mining, an American cryptocurrency mining firm, is looking for buyers for its gears stranded in Russia in a bid to avoid being sanctioned by the United States Department of Treasury. (15).jpg

According to a Bloomberg report, citing Compass Mining’s Chief Executive Officer, Whit Gibbs, the mining facility it operates in Siberia hosts about 12 megawatts of capacity.

Compass Mining hosts a data centre that houses mining machines for its diverse clients worldwide. Each of its clients has an average of 5 devices that it is managing for them. The price tag on the pieces of mining equipment in the Russian region is pegged at $30 million, and Gibbs is hoping that he would recover most of the value of the assets, which will then be redistributed to the owners.

The company is searching for buyers in Russia, seeing it will not be able to ship out the mining gears per the broad sanctions, which also affect the global supply chain connecting Russia. According to the Bloomberg report, the urgency to sell off the assets became necessary when the Treasury Department sanctioned BitRiver, a Switzerland-based crypto mining firm, for its operations in Russia.

While the Treasury’s sanctions have been criticised by BitRiver’s CEO, Igor Runets, who believes the sanctions are unfortunate and are an attempt to “change the global balance of power in favour of American companies,” Gibbs will not want to be a scapegoat for other American outfits to learn from.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has stirred a lot of negative reactions for the former nation, which has remained adamant concerning calling off the ongoing war. From financial companies like Mastercard and Visa to crypto mining pools like FlexPool, the caution being taken by Compass Mining will prevent it from falling into the crosshairs with the Feds, a move that is necessary to power its future growth plans.

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American Premium Water Corporation Acquires Crypto Mining Company CloudX

American Premium Water Corporation announced the acquisition of cryptocurrency mining and staking company CloudXchange DataCentre Inc. (“CloudX”) for $45.6 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, seller CloudX committed its wholly-owned subsidiary CloudX SG, which is primarily focused on cryptocurrency mining, to generate earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of at least $1.5 million over a 12-month period (“ EBITDA”), if this target is not met, any shortfalls of up to $1.5 million are guaranteed to be covered by the seller.

APW CEO Ryan Fishoff described the acquisition as a sign of the company’s entry into the crypto mining space and believes the CloudX acquisition will have a transformative impact on the company.

He added that:

“This acquisition is designed to provide APW with a stable and growing revenue stream, and position the Company for long-term growth and profitability. The acquisition of CloudX will be transformative for the Company as APW embarks on a new business strategy that is designed to enhance shareholder’s value.”

Mining is often the process that governs the verification of transactions and the addition of blocks to a blockchain.

American Premium Water Corporation (OTC:HIPH), founded in 1998, is a diversified consumer products company focused on brands that utilize cutting-edge bioscience technology.

The Company focuses on businesses in the health, beauty and biotech sectors. It said it will have the opportunity to change its current name to “American Premium Mining Corporation.”

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CertiK Raises $60m In New Funding in Two Weeks

CertiK, a web3 and blockchain security company based in New York, announced on Friday that it raised an additional $60 million just two weeks after it raised $88 million in a Series B3 funding round. The latest funding gives CertiK a valuation of $2 billion.

The new round is an extension of the Series B3 seed funding as there was demand from investors. Ronghui Gu, the CertiK co-founder, talked about the development and said: “Series B3 is oversubscribed. Considering the enthusiasm of investors, we managed to facilitate this extension.”

SoftBank Vision Fund and CertiK’s existing investor Tiger Global are the only two backers who participated in the extension round. The extension was SoftBank’s first investment in CertiK.

CertiK mentioned that it intends to use the latest funding to expand its team and product offerings. The company’s current headcount is about 200, and it has various open positions, including in its engineering and business development roles.

CertiK’s valuation has doubled in just three months because of an increase in cryptocurrency hacks that have led to increased demand for security infrastructure by blockchain firms and other financial institutions.

Just within this year, over $1 billion in cryptocurrency has been lost as a result of major DeFi hacks, including the Ronin Network and Wormhole. The attacks have happened even after projects have been audited by companies such as CertiK.

Gu defended the auditing review exercise by stating: “An audit by CertiK is not a ‘certificate’ or an ‘endorsement’ that a project is safe from hacks. It is just a report of vulnerability findings with recommendations.

The executive further elaborated: “CertiK or any other auditor provides audit scope around a particular contract, meaning the audit relates to a particular contract or version of code of a project. Projects can fork their code, update their code or decline to remediate issues in their code after an audit is complete. This results in a persistent or new risk, which in some cases results in a hack.”

Detecting And Preventing Crypto Attacks

CertiK raised $88 million in its Series B3 funding round early this month. The firm planned to use the funds to develop new products and “a one-stop security platform for the entire web3 world.”

The move by the firm comes as the demand for blockchain security has risen as the cryptocurrency industry faces extensive losses of funds due to exploits and fraud.

Founded in 2018 and based in New York, CertiK’s mission is to secure the web3 world. The firm is a major provider of blockchain security services. It leverages best-in-class AI technology to protect and monitor blockchain protocols and smart contracts.

To date, CertiK has protected more than $300 billion worth of crypto assets for 2,500 enterprise clients through its fraud investigation and auditing services, including other offerings. The company’s revenue increased 12x, and profits rose 3,000 times in 2021.



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Hong Kong’s Regal Hotels Announces Entry into Metaverse with Project MetaGreen

Hong Kong’s Regal Hotels Group has announced its entrance into the metaverse with project MetaGreen, scheduled for completion by October 2022. - 2022-04-25T172446.959.jpg

Regal Hotels has said that MetaGreen is a project to build an environmental, social and governance (ESG) themed plot of “LAND” in Animoca Brands’ subsidiary, The Sandbox – a decentralised gaming virtual world.

Regal Hotels has purchased a group of individual lands merged into a larger parcel or “estate” LAND NFT to create MetaGreen. It will be the first green city metropolis ecosystem where people can harness blockchain, tokenisation, GameFi, play-to-earn and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The Sandbox announced in January that it has created Mega-City – a cultural hub – following a successful partnership with multiple Hong Kong partners from various sectors. 

It said that the partners joined The Sandbox’s virtual real estate by acquiring LAND NFTs similar to the one secured by Regal Hotels in the open metaverse.

Prominent partners include Hong Kong tycoon Adrian Cheng, alternative investing leader Sun Hung Kai & Co, professional services firm PwC Hong Kong, blockchain-related investment and asset management company TIMES CAPITAL and other local investors.

“Web3 and metaverse technologies will not only disrupt every facet of our daily lives but also empower socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable impact in the world. Accelerating the transition to carbon net-zero, MetaGreen is a collaborative ecosystem of like-minded partners co-creating a progressive green movement to inspire decarbonisation and behavioural changes in the consumer and business communities,” Poman Lo, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of the Regal Hotels Group, said.

More details regarding MetaGreen’s pioneering decarbonise-to-earn model will be released in the coming months. Regal hotels also has plans to invite additional ecosystem partners to join its initiative.

Last week, Animoca Brands entered a joint venture with Planet Hollywood Group.

Blockchain.News reported that MetaHollywood aims to become the largest online community within a Hollywood-themed metaverse created as a joint venture by Animoca Brands and the Planet Hollywood Group.

Animoca Brands commented on the partnership and said that “the MetaHollywood joint venture will transform the awe-inspiring Hollywood experience into a Web3 metaverse that benefits and reaches more supporters, studios, and creators globally within a virtual environment.”

The MetaHollywood joint venture will help create, own, interact, distribute, and share digital collectables, movies, clips, and other assets as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

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Silk Road Founder Agrees to Use Seized Bitcoin Worth $3 Bn to Clear off $183m debt to US government

According to a court filing first reported by Wired media outlets, about $3 billion worth of seized Bitcoin in connection to an unnamed Silk Road hacker will be used to absolve Ross Ulbricht of his $183 million debt to the US government.

Ulbricht is the founder of the now-defunct online illegal drug marketplace ‘the Silk Road,’ which used Bitcoin to facilitate the sale of several illegal items like drugs, weapons, and other illegal items.

The Silk Road marketplace is commonly recognized as the first dark web marketplace, which started its operations in 2011. In 2014, the FBI seized the marketplace and arrested its founder Ross William Ulbricht (a.k.a. Dread Pirate Roberts). But before the FBI shut down the site in 2015, the marketplace was hacked by someone who made off with 69,370 BTC.

After the site was shuttered down in 2015, the authorities convicted Ulbricht for a range of crimes, including computer hacking and sentenced him to life in prison without parole. As a result, Ulbricht was ordered to pay $183 million in restitution related to Silk Road’s total sales.

In November 2020, the government seized the hacker’s 69,370 BTC. In 2021, the Justice Department made a deal with Ulbricht which saw him forfeit any claim he might have to the funds. In exchange, the department will use the recovered Bitcoins to pay his restitution when the cryptocurrency is auctioned. Currently, there is no set date on when the auction for the seized Bitcoin will take place.

Silk Road’s Moral Complexity

Silk Road was known as the place to go to broker murder-for-hire, child pornography, illegal drugs, and malware – such as keyloggers, password stealers, and remote access tools. The marketplace used Bitcoin as its currency and Tor for anonymity.

Silk Road had more than 100,000 buyers and was able to launder hundreds of millions of dollars derived from illicit transactions. At the time of its takedown, Silk Road had almost 13,000 listings for controlled substances and many more listings offering illegal services, such as murder for hire, computer hacking and others, which translated into commissions of 600,000 Bitcoin and sales of 9.5 million Bitcoin.

Although Silk Road used blockchain to obscure the money trail and discourage tracking, the US government authorities used a third-party Bitcoin attribution firm and were eventually able to trace the allegedly stolen funds to Bitcoin addresses owned by hackers.

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New York Lawmakers to Make Rug Pulls in Crypto a Crime

The State of New York may soon make a move to christen “Rug Pulls” in the digital currency ecosystem as an offence, which could come as a bill, dubbed Senate Bill S8839 when it is passed into law.


The Bill was introduced by Senator Kevin Thomas and alongside an accompanying Assembly Bill A8820 filed at the State’s Assembly by Clyde Vanel seeks to “create the crime of virtual token fraud,” and introduce appropriate penalties for the instituted crimes.

The evolution of cryptocurrencies has introduced a lot of non-traditional crimes of which rug pulls are now a prominent one associated with Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). This kind of scam involves the main developers behind a project abandoning them before the promises made to their community are fulfilled at all. 

Defining the Context of Rug Pulls

Per the text of the Bill sponsored by Senator Kevin,




With the two Bills now forwarded to both Chamber’s Codes Committee, a 30-day grace period will be scheduled for the new laws to be implemented if passed into law.

Rug pulls are not uncommon in the digital currency world. While many are not documented, a related one was recorded with the SushiSwap decentralized Exchange initially developed by a developer known as Chef Nomi. Back in September 2020, Nomi abandoned the project when he converted his SUSHI tokens to Ethereum. 

Consequently, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried took over the project and revived it, but not after the token had suffered a massive plunge.

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a16Z to Establishe Crypto Research Lab

Wallet Street Venture Capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz (a16Z), announced establishing its own crypto research lab to conduct blockchain-related academic research. (13).jpg

Led by Tim Roughgarden, adjunct professor of computer science at both Stanford and Columbia, and Dan Boneh, professor of computer science and electrical engineering at Stanford, the lab will combine academic theory and practice to address the environmental problems currently caused by the crypto industry as a whole Discuss and experiment with corresponding solutions.

Andreessen Horowitz said that:

“The crypto and Web3 sector has emerged as a new frontier in technology, and it has matured into an independent field of knowledge that brings together elements of computer science, economics, finance, and the humanities.”

a16Z has rallied investors for a $4.5 billion dual fund targeted at making strategic investments in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

While the a16Z’s plans have not been made public yet, the company is well known for a related fundraiser in the ecosystem. The company pulled $2.2 billion from investors back in June last year to create the Crypto Fund III, the largest at the time.

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