Crypto Expert Nouriel Roubini Develops Tokenized Assets, Aiming at Replacing USD

Crypto-basher economist Nouriel Roubini is developing a tokenised asset designed to counter the volatility of the U.S. dollar due to inflation, climate change, and more.

According to Bloomberg’s report, Roubini is developing a tokenised U.S. dollar backed by a physical asset in partnership with the Dubai-based firm Atlas Capital Team he co-founded.

Rubini says:

“We recognized that America’s dollar reserve currency could be at risk and are working to create a new instrument that’s effectively a more resilient dollar,”

The launch token will be issued later this year. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies, which are usually not backed by any asset, the token is backed by U.S. real estate, primarily in the form of a REIT.

A real estate investment trust, also known as a real estate trust, real estate trust; is an investment vehicle similar to a closed-end mutual fund, but the investment object is real estate. Mainly through the securitisation of real estate and the fundraising of many investors, ordinary investors without huge capital can participate in the real estate market with a lower threshold and obtain the profits brought by real estate market transactions, rents and appreciation.

Therefore, REITs are less affected by short-term US Treasuries, gold and climate change.

Roubini, who has publicly denounced Bitcoin, Ethereum and blockchain technology for years, sees the product as an opportunity to provide value to people who have no access to the dollar and whose national currencies are devalued.

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Analysts Suggest Crypto Price plunge Could be Start of New Market Trend

After experiencing a great plunge in the crypto market, major tokens such as Bitcoin has been rebounded slightly.

Bitcoin has experienced a plunge below $30,000, a move that breached a symbolic price threshold. However, the flagship cryptocurrency later recovered from some of those losses, trading at $30,864.31 as of 07:17 am. ET, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Analysts have tried to explain what is happening in the capital markets. They have generally indicated that the plunge in prices could be the beginning of a new market trend, as Bitcoin’s valuation has fallen to its lowest level since November 2021.

Darshan Bathija, the CEO of Singapore-based crypto exchange Vauld, also said on Monday that: “In light of fears of rising inflation, most investors have taken a risk-off approach—selling stocks and cryptos alike in order to cut down risk.”

Meanwhile, Michael Novogratz, the billionaire crypto investor and the founder and CEO of Galaxy Digital Holdings investment management firm, warned that he expects things to get worse before they get better.

Novogratz stated some important revelations during Galaxy’s first-quarter earnings call on Monday: “Crypto probably trades correlated to the Nasdaq until we hit a new equilibrium. My instinct is there’s some more damage to be done, and that will trade in a very choppy, volatile and difficult market for at least the next few quarters before people are getting some sense that we’re at equilibrium.”

The dip marks the fifth consecutive day for Bitcoin witnessing a downtrend, a decline that has sent its price less than half of what it was at its all-time high of $69,000 in November.

Previously, July 2021 was the last time Bitcoin fell below $30,000 when the digital coin traded at $29,839.80.

Overall, major cryptocurrencies have also seen a significant drop from their positions in the last 24 hours and several coins crashed below support levels. Binance (BNB) has witnessed a huge plunge, 12.78% down; Solana token fell significantly by 14.77%; Ethereum was 7.06% down in the last 24 hours, trading at around $2,317.

The price decline comes amid the recent sell-off that has affected much of the cryptocurrency market and equities. In the last 24 hours, the global crypto market cap is drastically down by 9.83%. Also, the three most majorly followed stock indexes in the U.S. – the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite – fell to their lowest level since 2020.

On Thursday, the Federal Reserve stated that it would raise interest rates by half a percentage point —the largest increase since 2000—to battle inflation. US Stocks have been on a steady decline since the announcement.

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NEAR Foundation Sets Up a Regional Hub in Kenya, Boosting Blockchain Innovation in Africa

To trigger talent development, education, and blockchain innovation on African soil, NEAR Foundation, has launched a regional hub in Kenya in collaboration with Sankore, an African-focused blockchain community.

As a Swiss non-profit in charge of the NEAR protocol, the NEAR Foundation sees the hub as a stepping stone towards more blockchain growth in Africa.

Marieke Flament, the CEO of NEAR Foundation, noted:

“We are excited by the potential avenues throughout Africa for blockchain solutions, which come from innovation in development, education and talent. This hub represents a unique opportunity to partner with local talent not only for the opportunities that we know exist today but also for the opportunities yet to be created in the future.”

The hub will consist of an incubation program, events, a Sankore Bounty ecosystem, and an academy. It seeks to bring together Africa’s most talented blockchain developers and support from international investors. 

Kevin Imani, Sankore’s founder, pointed out:

“We are thrilled to be working with NEAR to educate and nurture talented individuals to become world-class blockchain developers.”

With Kenya being ranked fifth in 2021’s Global Crypto Adoption Index, NEAR saw the nation as ideal for setting up the hub.

Imani added:

“Our dream is to lead the way in blockchain innovations in providing solutions to Africa’s biggest problems. The NEAR Protocol allows tomorrow’s brightest developers to build custom solutions with scalability, security, and transparency and this hub is the next step in turning our shared vision into reality.”

The African continent continues to gain more limelight in the crypto/blockchain space. 

For instance, leading crypto exchange Binance is bridging the financial Gap in Francophone Africa by offering blockchain education, Blockchain.News reported. 

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Nous Launches World’s 1st Decentralised Hedge Fund

Blockchain start-up Nous Systems has announced the launch of the world’s first decentralised hedge fund built on blockchain technology. - 2022-05-10T151520.112.jpg

The decentralised investment platform Nous Fund is now live on the Polygon Network.

Investors will be able to mint their own non-fungible contracts through Nous Fund, while also participating directly in Nous’ on-chain decentralised asset management vehicle.

The Nous ecosystem has also integrated Chainlink Keepers to facilitate the automation of smart contracts and Chainlink Price Feeds, which will simplify management processes. Furthermore, it will also help in the decentralisation of the platform and reduce the reliability of third parties.

Kristijan Zivcec, CTO of Nous Systems, released a statement saying “blockchain technology enables us for the first time to create a decentralised asset management platform which doesn’t discriminate against any individual. This next generation of asset-management technology is characterised by its ability to ensure secure, reliable, and cost-efficient transactions.”

Nous stated that although there has been a relatively small use of smart contracts, an increase in investors’ trust in blockchain technology will replace conventional legal agreements with hybrid smart contracts. Following this, it believes that investors will start to use the Nous Fund to demonstrate its utility in the financial sector.

Nous Fund offers traditional financial services and accessibility to anyone with as little as US$100 to invest as it uses hybrid non-fungible smart contracts.

The Nous Fund multiple Chainlink services on the Polygon mainnet will allow Nous to create investment contracts using ETH, MATIC, USDC, and USDT with low minting fees of $0.03. 

Tom Stuart, CEO of Nous Systems, released a statement saying “in the past, asset management has been far too exclusive, accessible primarily only to those with significant wealth, and so the launch of Nous Fund represents the beginning of a new era of financial services for the 99%, attainable for anyone with as little as $100.”

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Bitcoin Hits a 10-Month Low of $29K, Fed’s Tightened Monetary Policy Triggers Risk-Off Approach

Bitcoin (BTC) dropped to the $29K level, a scenario not seen since July last year, as more liquidation continues engulfing the market.

Even though the leading cryptocurrency had briefly dropped to $29,892, it had gained momentum to hit $32,327 during intraday trading, according to CoinMarketCap.

Darshan Bathija, the CEO of Singapore-based crypto exchange Vauld, opined that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike might be causing a risk-off outlook in the Bitcoin market. He added:

“In light of fears of rising inflation, most investors have taken a risk-off approach — selling stocks and cryptos alike in order to cut down risk.”

Similar sentiments were shared by JoeDiPasquale, the CEO of crypto hedge fund manager BitBull Capital. He pointed out:

“The monetary policy tightening is causing investors to reduce their exposure to risk assets and BTC’s current correlation to the S&P 500 has led it to also drop today.”

Why is the crypto market becoming strongly correlated with stocks?

As more institutional investors continue jumping on the crypto bandwagon, the correlation between cryptocurrencies and stocks becomes stronger. 

Both stock and crypto prices are plunging, as evidenced by the Nasdaq index dropping by 4.2%. 

Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at forex exchange company Oanda, believes the drop in crypto prices is based on the sell-off witnessed in tech stocks. Therefore, stability in the Bitcoin market will occur when investors stop panic selling and the bloodbath on Wall Street ends.

Moya added:

“Bitcoin’s long-term fundamentals are intact, but a recovery to record highs will take a very long time. Bitcoin will begin to stabilize when the carnage on Wall Street finishes, and many investors are still in panic-selling mode right now.”

Therefore, the consensus is that dips are usually followed by bullish momentum. 

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Irreverent Labs Raises $40m in Funding, Led by a16z

Seattle-based startup Irreverent Labs has once again raised $40 million in funding led by Silicon Valley heavyweight investment firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).

Irreverent Labs is building games and entertainment in which all the characters are AI-powered NPCs.

The financing will lead to the development of a blockchain-based fighting game called MechaFightClub, which pits chicken-style fighting games against each other.

The platform will integrate emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and NFTs to run on the Solana blockchain, allowing players to trade fighter jets called “mechanical robots” and play “cruelty-free” fighting games at any time.

The game is Play-to-earn (P2E) mode or GameFi. P2E is a popular business model that exists in the blockchain gaming world that integrates Web3 and blockchain, which corresponds to the F2P (Free to Play) model commonly seen in the real world of the gaming industry.

Players can use their blockchain currency, gold nuggets, to make in-game purchases or withdraw them for use on the wider Solana blockchain.

Investors including Solana Ventures, the venture capital arm of Solana Labs; Michael Ovitz, founder of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), participated in this round of financing. Rahul Sood, co-founder of Irreverent Labs said that:

“Gamers will soon realize that having ownership of the characters within the game and building a relationship with that character over time is actually a really good thing,”

Irreverent Labs has raised a total of $5M in funding over 1 round. The seed round was raised on Oct 29, 2021. a16z also contributed to emerging blockchain startup Irreverent Labs which raised a record $25.2 billion last year, up 713% year-over-year.

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The Bank of Tanzania to Introduce CBDC, Strengthening Domestic Payment System

The Bank of Tanzania is actively introducing a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to strengthen the domestic payment system. - 2021-11-29T165041.632.jpg

Bank of Tanzania Governor Florence Luoga said in an interview on Monday in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam that Tanzania plans to follow in Nigeria’s footsteps and launch its own national digital currency.

He said that:

“It’s important for us to provide a central bank digital currency as a safe alternative because many people are being affected by cryptocurrency speculators.”

He stressed that banks cannot ignore technological advancements in money. To ensure that our country is not left behind by the adoption of central bank digital currencies, the Bank of Tanzania has begun preparations to build its own CBDC.

If the country is successful, it will be one of the countries currently exploring the launch of a CBDC.

The move was inspired by Nigeria’s launch of its own CBDC last October. Nigeria is the only country in Africa that has launched a CBDC.

Roga said Tanzania has sent its officials to countries with more experience with CBDCs, including Nigeria, to learn from them.

“We cannot ignore central bank digital currencies,” Luoga said. “Almost worldwide, central bank governors are in training right now and holding discussions on how to bring it about.”

So far, the Bank of Tanzania is still preparing for the digital currency but declined to say exactly when the CBDC will be launched.

Countries which are interested in seeking to launch their own CBDC have more than doubled so far, with countries such as China, the Bahamas, Central African Republic, Kenya and Zambia launching, piloting or researching their own national digital currencies.

Last June, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan called for the necessary preparations for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

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Galaxy Digital Loses $111.7m in Q1 as Crypto Markets Plunge

A diversified financial services firm dedicated to the digital asset, Galaxy Digital (GLXY), announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March, with a significant financial loss.

The company recorded a net loss of $111.7 million due to unrealised losses in digital assets and investments in its trading and investing businesses.

In the same period, in 2021, it generated a profit of $858.2 million.

Last week, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 50 basis points, the largest rate increase in 20 years. There has been a sell-off panic in both the cryptocurrency and stock markets.

But CEO Michael Novogratz said during Galaxy’s earnings call on Monday that he wasn’t nervous or panicked, noting that cryptocurrencies are now serving as a tech game savings driver.

The company currently manages about $2.7 billion in assets, down 5 % from the previous quarter, according to financial data.

In May, the company announced its $1.2 billion acquisition of BitGo, which will help transform such exchanges.

BitGo, an independently regulated digital asset custodian, will provide Galaxy with a critical piece of infrastructure, making it a one-stop crypto-shop for institutional investors. BitGo will provide a cross-selling opportunity for Galaxy, which has a combined customer base of 700 institutions.

A few days ago, Galaxy Digital also partnered with CI Global Asset Management (“CI GAM”), a major Canadian asset management firm, to launch ETFs focused on blockchain technology and Metaverse.

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Deutsche Börse Taps SEBA Bank as the New Issuer of Crypto ETNs

Deutsche Börse and SEBA Bank have formed a collaboration that has seen the digital asset bank start issuing four crypto products tradable on the electronic trading platform Xetra and via the Börse Frankfurt stock exchange for the first time.

Xetra is a trading technology platform operated by Börse Frankfurt, both owned by the Deutsche Börse Group, a German capital market company offering a marketplace organised for trading shares and other securities.

SEBA Bank announced on Monday that it has listed the four Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) at Börse Frankfurt, a major stock exchange that connects European economies to global capital markets.

SEBA Bank’s newly listed ETNs are designed to give investors an easy way to access the performance of the crypto such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polkadot, and other cryptocurrencies. Such ETNs also track the performance of the multi-coin SEBA Crypto Asset Select Index (SEBAX), a dynamic, risk-optimized digital assets market index with broad market exposure to the crypto-asset market that comprises cryptos like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Litecoin, Cardano, Polkadot, and Avalanche.

SEBA Bank stated that the ETNs are physically collateralised by the respective underlying cryptos and are available to investors in the two trading currencies Euro and US dollar.

With the listing of the new products from SEBA Bank, Deutsche Börse is expanding further its range of centrally cleared crypto exchange-traded notes (ETNs) on Xetra. The crypto ETNs trading on its flagship electronic trading platform Xetra is 81 products from eleven providers on 20 individual cryptocurrencies and seven crypto indices.

With an average monthly order book turnover of about €900 million on Xetra, Deutsche Börse has become a market leader in trading crypto ETNs in Europe.

Responding to Consumer Demands

SEBA was launched in 2018 as a crypto bank that provides cryptocurrency trading and custody to institutional clients. The firm obtained a Swiss banking license from FINMA in 2019.

Based in Zug, Switzerland, SEBA Bank continues to offer a seamless, secure, and easy-to-use bridge between digital and traditional assets. The company’s banking services allow clients to secure, trade and manage cryptos, digital assets, and conventional securities all in one place.

In October last year, SEBA Bank introduced a product that allows institutional clients to earn a yield on their crypto holdings. SEBA Earn enables institutions to generate income from proof-of-stake protocols such as Polkadot, Tezos and Cardano. The platform also allows customers to lend Bitcoin and Ether through the bank.

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Over 3.4m Sweatcoin Crypto Wallets Created since Launch of SWEAT Token in April

Sweatcoin has seen the creation of over 3.4 million crypto wallets via its mobile application since the announcement of the SWEAT crypto token by the company on April 12. - 2022-05-10T114934.342.jpg

The total number represents an allocation of over 860 million sweatcoins and they will be matched with SWEAT at the token generation event in July this year.

The concept behind Sweatcoin’s new move-to-earn crypto token is to allow users to mine the token by tracking their steps on their smartphones.

According to the London-based tech company, the idea behind the token is to launch a global currency based on the value of steps and movement and the cryptocurrency will be minted purely by steps.

The Sweatcoin app is witnessing massive growth. Between May 1st and 4th, it saw over 7 million new users, taking the total number of sweatcoin users to above 76 million worldwide. It also witnessed a growth rate of over 22% in one month.

In Brazil, Sweatcoin became the #1 app overall in the App Store and Google Play less than two months from launch.

The app also saw a total worth of $71 million value exchanged in the in-app marketplace in Q1 2022 alone.

Oleg Fomenko, Co-founder of Sweatcoin, said in a statement that Sweatcoin has “seen around 100,000 people sign up every day since our launch. This is already one of the biggest onramps into crypto ever with more and more people buying into the move-to-earn concept and signing up so they can get their SWEAT when the token generation event comes.”

Blockchain.News reported that Sweatcoin’s design is primarily to incentivise people’s health. It is a pioneering idea to empower people to improve their health and get paid for it.

Currently, Sweatcoin is the only mobile application available in the market that pays people to walk. According to the company’s report, Sweatcoin’s 60 million users walk an average of 20% more after downloading the app.

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 26,564.12 0.02%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,592.45 0.15%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 64.51 0.21%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 208.79 0.57%