Cardano Elbows Ripple to Take 6th Position, Thanks to Heightened Development Activity

Cardano (ADA) has been scaling the heights because it is now the sixth-largest cryptocurrency after dethroning Ripple (XRP) with a market capitalization of $20.71 billion, according to CoinMarketCap

Cardano is going through the roof based on factors like increased development activity. Market insight provider Santiment explained:

“Cardano is one of many altcoins that have enjoyed a great start to the week. Development activity has hit AllTimeHigh levels, as ADA’s team worked on innovating while prices were suppressed.”


Source: Santiment

Cardano is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain, which is designed to be a scalable, sustainable, and flexible network for running smart contracts needed when developing decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and new crypto tokens.

Therefore, Cardano is one of the sought-after networks in the development arena based on the latest trend of flipping Ripple’s market capitalization of $20.14 billion.

Market analyst under the pseudonym Tajo Crypto pointed out:

“Cardano pumped more than 25%, so it flipped XRP to become the 6th largest crypto by market cap. Cardano is doing well with over 5 million assets minted from its network recently. Cardano is also getting ready for the Vasil upgrade in June. ADA is doing well.”

ADA was up by 18.66% in the last seven days to hit $0.6124 during intraday trading, according to CoinMarketCap. 

Therefore, Cardano seems not to be relenting in its quest to flip other cryptocurrencies. For instance, it elbowed Polkadot (DOT) from the seventh position in January 2021. As a result, it became the biggest proof-of-stake network. 

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Russia’s Central Bank Makes U Turn about Crypto Usage in International Payments

As a change of tune, Russia’s central bank is relieving its previous tough stance about cryptocurrencies by allowing their usage in international payments, as reported by Reuters.

The First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), Ksenia Yudaeva, noted:

“In principle, we do not object to the use of cryptocurrency in international transactions.”

Despite Yudaeva reiterating that the central bank still saw the wider usage of crypto in the nation as a financial threat, the latest revelation shows restrictions are being eased. 

He pointed out:

“We still believe that the active use of cryptocurrency within the country, especially within Russia’s financial infrastructure, creates great risks for citizens and users. We believe that in our country, those risks could be reasonably large.”

This announcement comes days after the nation’s finance ministry hinted that permitting cryptocurrency in international payments would assist the nation in countering Western sanctions based on its invasion of Ukraine. 

“The idea of using digital currencies in transactions for international settlements is being actively discussed,” Ivan Chebeskov, the head of the finance ministry’s financial policy department said.

The nation’s central bank had previously indicated that crypto transactions were unwelcome on Russian soil because it deemed them criminal. 

Earlier this year, the CBR went on the offensive by calling for a blanket ban on crypto-related activities, despite objections from various entities like the finance ministry. The ministry had argued that the blanket ban would violate the interest of citizens and consumers of crypto services. 

Therefore, the back and forth witnessed suggests that Russian officials are delving deeper into how to regulate the nation’s crypto market and digital currency usage. 

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UK Investment Firm Abrdn Acquires Online Crypto Broker Interactive Investor

Abrdn plc, a Scotland-based global investment company, announced on Tuesday that it has completed the acquisition of the online investment platform, Interactive Investor.

Abrdn, one of the largest asset management giants in Europe, finalized its purchase of Interactive Investor in a deal worth £1.49 billion.

The terms of the deal dictated that the Scottish investment giant entirely buy the UK’s second-largest investment platform, with approximately £59 billion in assets and over 400,000 customers.

According to the deal, Interactive Investor will continue operating as an independent business and independent brand.

Richard Wilson, the CEO of Interactive Brokers, will continue leading the online investment platform and will retain an executive committee management team with a newly appointed board.

Wilson talked about the development and said: “Today we join a company with a deep financial services history and a shared vision for the future. The opportunities that come with joining the Abrdn family are significant. We will be working with Abrdn’s talented team to harness their advice, wealth management and research capabilities for the benefit of our customers.”

Stephen Bird, Abrdn CEO, also stated: “The acquisition of interactive investor is a transformative deal for Abrdn’s personal vector and marks an important step forward in delivering our strategy for client-led growth.”

Interactive Investor is an online broker that enables customers to easily trade shares, mutual funds, money market funds, bonds, stocks, exchange-Traded Fund (ETFs), self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs), individual savings accounts (ISAs), and many more.

Interactive Brokers also allow customers to trade four cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, for one of the lowest commissions in the market. The platform lets users trade Bitcoin and Ethereum futures rather than owning cryptocurrencies directly. It currently only allows customers to trade crypto ETNs like XBT Provider Bitcoin Tracker EUR ETN and XBT Provider Bitcoin Tracker One ETN.

Abrdn’s long-term goal is to move Interactive Brokers more fully into its own platform to bring the online brokerage firm brand overseas.

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Entities Holding Less Than 100 BTC are the Best Survivors amid LUNA’s Liquidation

In a bid to salvage the LUNA and UST crash, the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) liquidated 80,081 BTC, but these coins were received with open arms by entities holding less than 10,000 Bitcoins.

Market insight provider Glassnode explained:

“During the LUNA triggered sell-off in early May, a total of 80,081 BTC were liquidated by the Luna Foundation Guard. Interestingly, the supply volume held by entities < 100 BTC has since increased by 80,724 BTC. This shows a transfer from LFG to <100 BTC holders.”


Source: Glassnode

When things started going haywire in the Terra network, the LFG decided to sell its Bitcoin reserves to try and stop the collapse of the LUNA and UST tokens earlier last month.

However, this decision came a little too late because the damage had already been done, according to Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ).

CZ had previously commented:

“The Terra team was slow in using their reserves to restore the peg. The entire incident may have been avoided if they had used their reserves when the de-peg was at 5%. After the value of the coins had already crashed by 99% (or $80 billion), they tried to use $3 billion to do the rescue. Of course, this didn’t work.”

Therefore, Glassnode statistics show that the Bitcoin reserves exchanged hands from the LFG to entities with less than 100 BTC.

Does the accumulation phase back?

The accumulation phase in the BTC seems to be back based on various indicators. Ki Young Ju, CryptoQuant CEO, pointed out:

“The last Bitcoin accumulation phase was in mid-2020, lasting for 6 months. As of May 2022,, it’s pretty obvious that BTC is in an accumulation phase for me. Institutions that drove the 2021 bull-run also bought in this $25-30K range.”

Market insight provider On-Chain College echoed similar sentiments and stated:

“Bitcoin has entered the heavy accumulation zone (white), which shows us that larger entities (or a large % of the network) are accumulating.”


Source: Glassnode

With accumulation being a bullish sign as more coins are bought, it remains to be seen how Bitcoin plays out. 

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Tritum Raises $1.1m Funding Round to Accelerate Institutional Digital Assets Adoption

Tritum Inc, a Toronto-based digital asset liquidity solutions provider, announced on Tuesday that it has raised $1.1 million in seed round financing.

The round saw participation from a group of investors including Blue Node Capital, Nabais Capital, and Loopring, the Ethereum Layer 2 scaling solution project, and a number of private investors.

Tritum disclosed that it will use the new funds to continue accelerating the expansion of the throughput and size of each of its existing operating businesses. Its current operating businesses include Blocktane, a global crypto exchange with a huge presence including fiat onramps in Brazil, as well as Vesi, a high-frequency proprietary trader and liquidity provider.

On the other hand, Tritum said that Vesi has connectivity to over 30 exchanges and is specialized in market making on order book driven DEX and CEX exchanges, including contracted market making for exchanges and issuers seeking competitive liquidity.

The firm also stated that it will use the new funding to expand its presence into data, insights, and trading product issuance based on its own indices and strategies.

The company provides technology which supports digital asset markets and infrastructure. It also mentioned that the firm has developed a “highly scalable” system that provides low-cost liquidity. While the firm targets cryptocurrency, it focuses on the digital asset sector in capital markets. So far, Tritum said that it has connected with more than 30 different trading venues.

Launched in 2019, Tritum was designed to offer high performance and top performing solutions for digital asset markets. Since then, the firm has been striving to be a leader in offering secure, reliable platforms capable of meeting any regulatory or market standards. As a result, Blocktane was the first exchange dedicated to serving Brazil, which included segregated third-party custody with insurance for hot and cold wallet client asset storage.

Besides expanding its industry-leading product line, Tritum also plans to leverage exciting initiatives in the near future through Vesi, Blocktane, including products in credit and custody, web3 data, and complex derivatives.

Since Tritum launched its digital asset token, Blocktanium (BKT), in June 2021, Blocktane crypto exchange has grown explosively, currently having over 250,000 users.

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Japan’s Akatsuki Raises $20m Fund for Investing in Web3 Projects

Japan’s Akatsuki announced that it has raised a $20 million fund for investing in web3 projects, according to The Block. - 2022-06-01T151803.884.jpg

In a press release, the Japanese entertainment and gaming firm said that the fund titled “Emoote” will focus on backing startups working on projects in GameFi, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse.

According to The Block, Akatsuki has been investing in crypto-adjacent projects. The company has funded more than 20 early-stage startups, including rapidly scaling move-to-earn startup STEPN

Tokyo-listed Akatsuki’s focus for the new $20 million investment fund is 50% in Asia and 40% in the United States while channelling the remainder of funds to other regions.

The firm added that the fund would also focus its efforts on collaborating with Japanese entertainment and media companies, The Block reported.

Akatsuki was first incorporated in 2010 and it obtained a global presence for co-developing the Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle with Bandai Namco Entertainment, which has earned over 350 million downloads worldwide as of May 1.

Prior to Emoote’s web3 project, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) launched a $600 million fund known as Games Fund One earlier in May.

According to Blockchain.News, a16z floated the $200 million fund believing it will help position it aright to tap enough market share in the more than $300 billion gaming industry.

The enormous funds will be used to support startups building a wide range of solutions in the space. These solutions border on infrastructure, supporting ecosystems for developers, and outfits developing games directly, Blockchain.News added.

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Animoca Brands Subsidiary Lympo Launches SPORT Token

Animoca Brands subsidiary Lympo launched the SPORT token to replace the Lympo utility token LMT. - 2022-06-01T124211.703.jpg

The SPORT token has been launched on the MEXC exchange (SPORT/USDT pair) and on the decentralized exchange Quickswap (SPORT/MATIC and other pairs). The SPORT token contract is bridged to Polygon Network and BNB Chain. 

The announcement also added that the replacement will reflect the extensive overhaul and enrichment of Lympo’s GameFi ecosystem.

The overhaul will include SPORT token integration into the upcoming basketball manager and spell chess games in cooperation with Magnus Carlsen – the best chess player in the world – and his team. 

The new token will also enable engagement in Lympo’s treasury management governed by decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) principles.

The new ERC-20 token was introduced following a security incident earlier in the year. It suffered a cyberattack that duly impacted its hot wallets, leading to a loss of approximately 165.2 million LMT tokens (worth around USD 16.5m before the hack), Blockchain.News.

Lympo is working on a GameFi product suite which will consist of officially licensed athletes’ non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Lympo’s existing products – Lympo NFT Minting and Lympo NFT Staking Platforms – will allow SPORT holders to earn credits, mint NFTs, and stake NFTs together with tokens.

It is aiming to launch its first game later this year. The basketball manager game will include a generative art NFT collection of fantasy and real basketball players as well as the possibility to utilize other Lympo NFTs to upgrade the gameplay.

The company is also developing a blockchain-powered chess-inspired game in collaboration with the Play Magnus Group’s Champions Chess Tour. The announcement added that the SPORT token will serve as a gateway to both of these games.

Lympo will also allocate 2.5% of SPORT’s total token supply and a part of proceeds from its NFT sales to its treasury. The announcement also added that the Lympo LMT tokens will change their utility and become an in-game play-to-earn currency. 

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UAE Mall Majid Al Futtaim Signs Strategic Partnership with Binance Exchange

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), an operator of malls, cinemas and leisure attractions across the Middle East, announced on Tuesday that the company has entered into a joint strategic partnership with the Binance cryptocurrency exchange.

Through the collaboration, Binance will enable the mall developer to harness the power of web3 technologies to create new opportunities for its businesses and benefit millions of its customers.

The two firms have agreed to cooperate on a number of blockchain projects, including listings of NFTs on Binance’s marketplace, the creation of a digital wallet infrastructure to hold digital assets from multiple platforms, as well as the integration of Binance Pay.

The partnership allows customers across the MENA region (a group of countries situated around the Middle East and North Africa) to purchase cryptocurrencies at the retail and leisure giant MAF’s various destinations.

Alain Bejjani, CEO at Majid Al Futtaim, talked about the development and said: “We are delighted to be partnering with global Web3 leader, Binance on the new frontiers of customer engagement and experience and look forward to working in tandem to evolve the third generation of web technology, develop strong capabilities and deliver innovation and world-class omnichannel experiences to our customers.”

Changpeng Zhao ‘CZ’, CEO and co-founder of Binance, also commented: “Majid Al Futtaim is one of the most prestigious businesses in the Middle East and has millions of customers every year. Integrating Web3 technologies will give its customers access to innovative new ways to engage with its brands and provide new ways to pay.”

Launched in 1992, Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC operates as a holding company. The firm owns and develops shopping malls, retail stores, entertainment hubs, and leisure establishments in the Middle East and North Africa through its subsidiaries, with operations in 13 countries. In 2016, the firm had $10.6 billion in revenues and $760 million in profits.

Majid Al Futtaim serves customers worldwide. The company currently owns and operates 29 shopping malls, 13 hotels, and four mixed-use communities across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia and serves as the exclusive franchisee for Carrefour in over 30 markets in the region with further developments underway.


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Singapore Regulator MAS is Exploring Use of Cases in Digital Assets

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has launched Project Guardian. This sandbox initiative is set to explore a number of defined use cases with respect to asset tokenisation on the blockchain


Project Guardian was floated in partnership with DBS Bank, JPMorgan Chase and Marketnote. Per the announcement, the MAS and its partners will “test the feasibility of applications in asset tokenisation and DeFi while managing risks to financial stability and integrity.” The project will explore use cases in 4 categories, including Open, interoperable networks, Trust anchors, Asset tokenisation, and Institutional grade DeFi protocols.

Within the context of its announcement, the MAS defined tokenisation as “the process of digitally representing assets or items of value through a smart contract on a blockchain. This allows high value financial and real economy assets to be fractionalised and exchanged over the internet on a peer-to-peer basis.”

Per its goals, the Singapore banking regulator seeks avenues whereby the emerging DeFi and smart contract governed finance services world will be brought under appropriate regulatory oversight in a bid to provide encompassing benefits to all industry participants.

“MAS is closely monitoring innovations and growth in the digital asset ecosystem and working through the potential opportunities and risks that come with new technologies – to consumers, investors and the financial system at large. Through practical experimentation with the financial industry and the broader ecosystem, we seek to sharpen our understanding of this rapidly transforming digital assets ecosystem. The learnings from Project Guardian will serve to inform policy markets on the regulatory guardrails that are needed to harness the benefits of DeFi while mitigating its risks,” said Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer MAS.

While it defined the 4 primary areas it wishes to focus its exploration on, the MAS said additional innovations can be shared by industry participants provided they align with the overall goal it aims to achieve, a move that is contrary to earlier attempts to tighten anything crypto business activities.

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