24% American Households Purchased NFTs or Crypto, Study Shows

Cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are emerging as some of the sought-after assets by households and sports fans on American soil, according to a poll by the Seton Hall University. 

Per the report:

“While the concepts of cryptocurrency and NFT may still be foreign to many Americans, 24 percent of households in the U.S. have owned either or both.”

The demographics were even higher for avid sports fans at 57%, whereas the rest of the sports fans acknowledged owning these financial assets at 34%. The poll added:

“When asked specifically if their holdings were cryptocurrency and/or NFTs, survey participants indicated stronger engagement with crypto. Of those who hold and/or sold either, 62 percent specified crypto only, while 31 percent specified NFTs only. Seven percent said both.”

Those aged 18 to 34 years had a higher participation rate in crypto and NFT trading at 42%. 

NFTs can become a game-changer in the sporting arena as an ideal source of revenue, according to Seton Hall Marketing Professor and Poll Methodologist Daniel Ladik.

He pointed out:

“If managed effectively, NFTs could become a major source of revenue as well as a new avenue of fan connection for sports brands. In a digital age, interactive assets like NFTs can drive a sense of holder equity and belonging – key attributes for brand success.”

The poll noted that sports fans got inclined toward NFTs based on some of the benefits accrued, like getting discounts when a team scored and upgrading a ticket.

Charles Grantham, the Director of the Center for Sport Management at Seton Hall’s Stillman School of Business, acknowledged:

“The numbers would seem to indicate that NFTs represent fertile ground for leagues to enhance the fan experience.” 

Nevertheless, Grantham commented that more had to be done in the NFT space and said:

“But, perhaps because teams and leagues don’t fully understand the nature and potential of NFTs and perks like a digital VIP card, that ground has yet to be sown effectively by major sports organizations in the United States.”

Americans have shown their interest in the crypto space based on past research. For instance, Americans presented a stronger desire than Canadians for cryptocurrencies, according to a recent Ipsos survey. 

Furthermore, a FitRated study showed that 81% of Americans would be motivated to exercise if they got crypto rewards, Blockchain.News reported. 

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Nigeria Takes the Highest Bitcoin Optimism Levels at 60%, Survey Reads

Since knowledge feeds optimism and participation, Nigeria emerged as the top nation with the highest rates of optimism about Bitcoin’s future at 60%, according to a study by Jack Dorsey-owned Block, Inc.

Other nations with high Bitcoin (BTC) optimism levels are India, Vietnam, Argentina, and South Africa, recording 58%, 56%, 55%, and 52%, respectively. 


Source: Block, Inc.

Regarding crypto awareness, Bitcoin was twice as known at 88% compared to Ethereum at 43%. Dogecoin (DOGE) was third at 31%. Per the report:

“Awareness of Bitcoin is higher than that of any other cryptocurrency globally — by far — with 88% of adults surveyed having heard of Bitcoin specifically.”

In terms of age groups, millennials and baby boomers led the pack with the highest BTC awareness levels. The study noted:

“Globally, millennials and baby boomers, in particular, have the highest levels of Bitcoin awareness at 92.5% and 89.2%, but all age cohorts have relatively high awareness.”

Most respondents acknowledged that BTC was a stepping stone towards a more equitable economy. 

On the other hand, the lack of Bitcoin knowledge was the biggest stumbling block to purchasing it. Per the report:

“41% of those who say they have fair to expert levels of cryptocurrency knowledge say they are very likely to purchase Bitcoin in the next 12 months, compared with just 7.9% of those with limited to no knowledge of the topic.”

Block, Inc., formerly Square, surveyed in conjunction with Wakefield Research between January 10 and 28 and interviewed more than 9,500 adults aged 18 and above in the three regions. 4,360 were from Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA), 2,860 from Asia-Pacific (APAC), and 2,375 from the Americas.

Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Nigeria takes the lion’s share of Bitcoin optimism, given that 35% of Nigerians had entered the crypto space in a span of 6 months, according to a recent study by crypto exchange KuCoin. 

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Indonesian Crypto Exchange Pintu Raises $113m with Backing from Investors

Indonesia’s Pintu was backed by several investors who helped the cryptocurrency exchange raise $113 million in a Series B funding round, The Block reported.

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Pintu plans to utilise the new fund in expanding its services within Indonesia by offering new products and services such as NFTS and DeFi.

“We need to cement our position in the market. I think pretty much that’s where our focus is going into,” said Soetoyo.

In this round of funding, investors included Pantera Capital, Lightspeed India Partners, Intudo Ventures and Northstar Group. However, the lead investor in this round wanted to remain anonymous, Pintu’s founder and CEO Jeth Soetoyo told The Block.

Launched in April 2020, Pintu has already become one of the top three Indonesian crypto exchanges with more than four million users, according to Soetoyo. However, the company has hesitated to publicly disclose its trading volumes.

The new round of funding has taken Pintu’s total funding to date to over $150 million. Pintu’s previous funding last August saw the company raise $35 million in an extended Series A funding round.

Even though Soetoyo declined to comment on the firm’s valuation with the latest round, Dealroom estimates Pintu was valued at up to $210 million at the time of its extended Series A round.

Pintu has successfully raised that amount even though crypto trading volume is experiencing bearish market sentiment. Soetoyo has credited the firm’s success to starting the investment round early this year and closing it after Terra’s collapse.

According to The Block, Soetoyo further added that investors felt comfortable backing the funding round since some of them understood Pintu’s position in the market.

In terms of competition, Pintu’s local rivals include Indodax and Tokocrypto.

According to data from the Indonesian Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (Bappepti), Indonesia has more than 12 million crypto traders compared to 7 million equity traders.

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Bitcoin Needs Upward Catalyst to Exit the Current Range as Scepticism Mounts, Says Expert

The retracement to the $29K zone has jeopardized the much-anticipated Bitcoin (BTC) recovery as scepticism engulfs the market. 

After hitting the $31.5K area, the leading cryptocurrency was down by 5.47% in the last 24 hours to hit $29,510 during intraday trading, according to CoinMarketCap.

Collin Howe and Adam Farthing of crypto liquidity platform B2C2 commented:

“Without a catalyst to the upside, current sentiment is likely to keep prices rangebound, with some clear and immediate risk of a break lower.”

The retracement might have been sparked by the significant resistance between the $31,400 and $32,500 levels. Data analytic firm IntoTheBlock explained:

“On the resistance side, it appears that there isn’t significant selling pressure above $32.5K BTC is currently sitting at a key level, as 371K addresses previously bought 220K BTC between $31.4K and $32.5K, breaking above this level could lead BTC towards $36K.”

Mike McGlone, a senior commodity strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence, recently acknowledged that the $30K zone was emerging as an inflexion point in the Bitcoin market. However, the Federal Reserve’s continued interest rate hike might be the primary stumbling block to BTC’s price surge.  

Bitcoin is still not out of the woods yet

Bitcoin has remained rangebound between the $28K and $32K zone for a couple of months in the face of the Fed’s interest rate hike and the algorithmic UST stablecoin crash, which saw nearly $60 billion wiped off the crypto market.

As a result, crypto insight provider Santiment believes scepticism about Bitcoin bouncing continues to mount. 


Source: Santiment

According to a market analyst under the pseudonym Tajo Crypto, BTC is still not out of the woods because the bear market is playing out. The analyst pointed out:

“Bitcoin went from $31K yesterday to $29K today, so the whole market also corrected, including Ether that went from $1,929 yesterday down to $1,729 today. The overall cryptocurrency market cap has also dropped drastically due to the market correction. Still in a bear market.”

Previous analysis shows that prolonged periods of consolidation are often followed by either a bull or a bear run. Therefore, it still takes time for Bitcoin to further develop in the short term. 

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Crypto Miner Hut 8 Launches New Facility in Ontario, Bitcoin Mining Production Remains Robust

On Monday, Hut 8 Mining Corp, a Bitcoin mining company, published its Bitcoin (“BTC”) production and miner installation updates for May 2022.

Based on the latest report by Hut 8 Mining Corp, the cryptocurrency mining business is a good investment. It is evident that most miners look solidly profitable. 

Hut 8 improved its Bitcoin holdings in the period that ended May 31. Last week on Thursday, the mining firm announced that it started operations in its third mining facility at its North Bay site in Ontario, Canada. In late May, the company began testing its North Bay facility and started operating on 15 MW of power on June 2, adding approximately 400 PH/s to its operating capacity.

According to the report, Hut 8 mined 309 Bitcoins in May, hitting an average production rate of 10 Bitcoin per day. The firm decided to hold on to all of its self-mined Bitcoins in line with its long-standing HODL strategy.

As of May 31, Hut 8 said that it has a total of 7,078 BTC held on its balance sheet and installed an operating capacity of 2.64 exahash per second. Its Ethereum mining constituted about 14% of its total production, the company mentioned.

According to the company’s statement, since power costs continued to fluctuate throughout the month, the firm had to limit consumption at its facility at Drumheller (a town in Canada) as the spot price for power spiked.

Hut 8 said it is continuing to add miners and increase its power supply throughout June and expects that the North Bay mine will have a significant impact on its production results going forward.

Jaime Leverton, CEO of Hut 8, talked about the development and said: “We are thrilled that our most powerful and efficient machines are now mining Bitcoin at our North Bay site. Over the next several weeks, our team will continue installing and bringing miners online in real-time, complementing production at our facilities in Medicine Hat and Drumheller.”

Investors Seeing Compelling Opportunities in Miners

The latest development by Hut 8 is a testimony that crypto mining companies are providing a compelling investment alternative compared with other forms of direct and indirect exposure to cryptocurrencies.

Mining is still highly profitable and gross margins remain super healthy despite the sharp decline in crypto prices and an increasing network hashrate.

Major Bitcoin mining firms such as Marathon Digital, Hut 8, Bitfarms, Hut 8, Argo Blockchain, and Bit Digital have continued to build cost leadership and production scale, which provide better investment opportunities than volatile cryptocurrencies.

They have become a popular way in which many investors seek to invest indirectly in the underlying asset.

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IRA Financial Trust Files Lawsuit against Gemini for $36m Crypto Hack

IRA Financial Trust (IRA), a major platform for self-directed retirement and pension accounts, announced on Monday that it has filed a lawsuit against Gemini crypto exchange for its alleged role in the breach of customers’ retirement accounts.

The institution has been providing its customers with exposure to cryptocurrency via integration with the Gemini exchange. In February, $36 million worth of cryptocurrencies – $21 million of Bitcoin and $15 million in Ethereum – were stolen through a hack in Gemini’s custody belonging to IRA’s customers’ retirement accounts.

Customers who lost their funds in the IRA Financial Trust-Gemini financial security breach have been eager to know the whereabouts of their funds.

Since the incident happened, IRA Financial has been working to find solutions for its affected clients. In its lawsuit announced on Monday, the firm alleged that Gemini’s systems were responsible for the hack.

IRA Financial claimed that the Gemini crypto exchange platform did not have proper safeguards in place to protect customer crypto funds. The lawsuit also stated that Gemini failed to freeze accounts within a sufficient timeframe immediately after the incident, allowing the criminals to continue withdrawing funds from customers’ accounts on the Gemini platform after the IRA notified Gemini.

The lawsuit further alleged that Gemini lacked transparency with its cybersecurity protocol and highlighted that the Gemini crypto exchange platform relied on a “faulty” API, which “included a single point of failure.”

Scammers Targeting Personal Investment Apps

Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are tax-advantaged savings instruments for U.S. workers, who can deduct their contributions from their income. While IRAs don’t allow crypto investments, they normally allow for investments in mutual funds, bonds, and stocks.

That’s how IRA Financial came in and started providing customers with an easy way to make retirement investments in cryptocurrency via its app, which it has linked to Gemini.

The recent financial security breach has triggered anxiety among investors. IRA Financial Trust, a platform offering self-directed retirement accounts with cryptocurrency investments, was hacked on February 8 this year.

 The stolen funds were laundered through a “mixer” service known as a tornado, which helps keep crypto transactions anonymous.

While the hack indeed happened, Gemini distanced itself from the incident. Gemini clarified through its statement that they were not breached, though IRA Financial Trust’s accounts are serviced via the Gemini platform.

Gemini defended itself, stating that it does not manage the security of IRA Financial’s systems. The two security systems are independent of each other.

Both Gemini and IRA Financial are facing a class-action lawsuit from customers impacted by the breach.

The missing funds raise financial security concerns for investors regarding Bitcoin and crypto investments. Investors are urged to take caution against crypto investment scams and avoid fraudsters looking to capitalize on the latest investment trends.

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Vietnam Blockchain Association Signs Strategic Partnership with Binance To Drive Blockchain Innovation

The Vietnam Blockchain Association and Binance crypto exchange co-announced on Monday for establishing a strategic partnership. 

Through this strategic partnership, The Vietnam Blockchain Association and Binance will collaborate in the exchange of research and application of Blockchain technology and human Resource training in Vietnam.

The Blockchain application is set to further build more resilient and prosperous lives for Vietnamese users through greater access to financial, business, and technology services.

Two parties will also leverage each other’s network and expertise to advance the development of blockchain technology in Vietnam and build a bridge with other major tech firms around the world.

Mr. Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance exchange, talked about the collaboration and said: “And today, along with the active activities of the Vietnam Blockchain Association, I pledge that Binance will always comply with Vietnamese laws and put users in focus.”

Mr. Phan Duc Trung, Vice President of the Vietnam Blockchain Association, also commented on the development and said that he hopes that the partnership between Binance and the association will bring value to the business community in Vietnam. He further stated that the collaboration will assist in developing a workforce mastering high technology and contributing policy advice to the government’s management agencies.

Trung further said: “In its role, the Association connects and gathers the Blockchain community in the country and a bridge to bring Vietnamese products to the world and attract more international resources to Vietnam. The Association also promotes personnel training and attracts international investment into Vietnam.

High Demands for Blockchain

The Vietnam Blockchain Association, a government entity which launched last month, aims to promote the nation’s digital economy, develop relationships with blockchain firms and communities around the globe and create favourable conditions for local users to share experiences and resources to research, test, apply, and trade blockchain technology in accordance with Vietnamese law.

In recent years, Vietnam has seen the rapid development of Blockchain technology. The number of enterprises, researchers, and engineers seeking to use technology for work has continued to rise. As a result, the need for connection, collaboration, sharing, and support has also continued to increase. This explains the reason why the government formed an official organization with a complete legal entity on May 17 to spearhead the expansion of the Vietnamese Blockchain community.

Vietnam has been a leader in crypto usage for the previous few years. Despite the country’s lack of legal framework for owning, trading, and using crypto coins, the adoption rate of such virtual currencies among its population has been among the highest worldwide (ranked 10th in terms of crypto adoption worldwide). The majority of Vietnamese investors, especially younger ones, are aware of and have expressed positive sentiments towards cryptos as a potential investment.

The Vietnamese government has not banned crypto trading and allows local consumers to hold them as assets. In March, the government announced plans to spearhead research for the implementation of a legal framework governing digital assets.

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Proposal for ApeCoin to Move Away from Ethereum Favoured by APE Whales

It has been a few months of reckoning for members of the ApeCoin community as transactions are often subjected to high gas fees as the project is built atop the Ethereum network.

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Yuga Labs, the startup behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) brand, has proposed to move ApeCoin away from Ethereum to its own blockchain, a proposal that holders of the APE are currently contesting.

According to an ongoing community voting hosted on Snapshot, ApeCoin DAO wants a reversed decision from what Yuga Labs proposed. Per current voting statistics, many APE whales are against the proposals of ApeCoin DAO to remain on Ethereum for the time being.

The voting commenced on June 3 and is poised to end on June 9 and thus far, those in favour of moving away from Ethereum have overwhelmed those who want to stay. With APE tokens being used as the yardstick for the voting, the statistics showed a total of 1.4 million APE tokens are in support of moving the community to a new blockchain, while 1.1 million APE tokens are in favour of staying.

There are still a few more days for the vote to pass, and it can significantly determine the flow of future products from Yuga Labs or when the Otherside metaverse will become fully operational. 

Despite the fact that the Ethereum blockchain presents many challenges for users, many protocols still favour it in part for the legacy it has built and the imminent future for the protocol. From its current Proof-of-Work (PoW) network, the Ethereum Foundation is now in the final stages of its switch to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, which will happen sometime in August.

The rationale behind the ApeCoin DAO proposal to maintain the Ethereum blockchain is perhaps hinged on the benefits that the new protocol dubbed Ethereum 2.0 will herald in the near future.

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Animoca Brands Releases Key Unaudited Financial Report, Portfolio investments Worth Over $1.5Bn

Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands has released the company’s key unaudited financial and business highlights for the last three months of 2021 and the first four months of 2022.

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According to the report, the blockchain gaming specialist ended bookings and other income of A$213 million (approximately US$148 million) on December 31, 2021, for three months. While A$827 million (approximately US$573 million) was closed on April 30, 2022, for four months.

Bookings include token sales, non-fungible token (NFT) sales and non-blockchain activities. The report added that other income includes gains/losses of investments and digital assets holdings.

The results include contributions from the company’s key business units, including The Sandbox, GAMEE, nWay, Blowfish Studios, Grease Monkey Games, REVV Motorsport, TOWER, Quidd, Lympo, and Forj (formerly Bondly), in addition to blockchain service revenue arising from portfolio investments and partnerships.

As of April 30, Animoca Brands’ portfolio investments were valued at over A$2.2 billion (approx. US$1.5 billion) across over 340 investments. While, the company also had a cash balance of A$141 million (approx. US$98 million) and digital assets holdings of A$304 million (approx. US$211 million) in the form of USDC, USDT, BUSD, ETH and BTC.

Another key financial highlight as of April 30, was that other digital assets holdings of the company included third-party tokens of A$952 million (approx. US$659 million). The company’s digital assets reserves were at A$6.1 billion (approximately US$4.2 billion), which includes the Animoca Brands tokens SAND, QUIDD, PRIMATE, REVV, TOWER, GMEE, and others.

According to the financial report, the company successfully acquired Grease Monkey Games, Darewise, Eden Games, Notre Game and Be Media. Through these purchases, the company aims to strengthen and expand gaming and Web3 capabilities.

Animoca Brands’ also set up new ventures such as AniCube with Cube Entertainment, MetaHollywood with Planet Hollywood and OneFootball Labs with OneFootball.

One of the company’s major partnerships has been the Otherside project with Yuga Labs. The project aims to build the metaverse game of the Bored Apes Yacht Club (BAYC). 

The company also partnered with ApeCoin DAO to launch ApeCoin (APE).

In terms of tokens, Animoca Brands launched the play-to-earn PRIMATE Token for their mobile game Benji Bananas, connected to the ApeCoin ecosystem.

The blockchain gaming company was also successful in expanding business to Japan through their strategic subsidiary Animoca Brands Japan with a seed round of US$10 million.

Recently, Animoca Brands subsidiary Lympo also launched the SPORT token to replace the Lympo utility token LMT.

According to Blockchain.News, 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. 

Also, in a recent development, the company, along with Blowfish Studios, announced the closure of one of the most anticipated AAA blockchain games.

According to Blockchain.News, the Planet Private Sale for Phantom Galaxies sold 7,734 Planets and Asteroids (“Planets”) for a total of US$19.3 million.

Holders of the Planets – which are NFTs – will gain in-game real estate and utility along with a regular emission of the native cryptocurrency of Phantom Galaxies, Blockchain.News added.

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PancakeSwap’s Native Token Once Surged by Nearly 10% after Binance Labs Sets Foot in Ecosystem

After Binance Labs, the incubation and venture capital arm of crypto exchange Binance made a strategic investment in PancakeSwap, the network’s utility and governance token, CAKE, which has once soared by nearly 10%.

As the leading decentralized exchange (DEX) built on BNB Chain, PancakeSwap’s daily active users have reached at least 400,000 since its launch in September 2020.

CAKE was up by 5.3% to hit $4.62 before dropping over 2.5%, hitting $4.35 during the Asia trading section, with its 24-hour trading volume clocking $159 million, according to CoinMarketCap

The investment made by Binance Labs is meant to open the doors to the next wave of blockchain adoption like Web3 exploration by providing enterprise solutions, marketing and community support, and technology development.

Bill Qian, the head of Binance Labs, pointed out:

“PancakeSwap has been leading the development and mass adoption of BNB Chain. Given that PancakeSwap is the most widely used dApp and the DeFi project with the highest TVL on BNB Chain, we have and will continue to provide strong support for the project.” 

Unlike most other decentralized exchanges, PancakeSwap harnesses the BNB Chain, which uses a next-generation consensus mechanism known as Proof of Staked Authority (PoSA) to enhance efficiency levels. 

Therefore, PancakeSwap represents a turning point for decentralized finance (DeFi) on BNB Chain since it paves the way for many DeFi solutions, including yield farms, synthetics, and wrapped asset swaps.  

PancakeSwap’s AMM model

Using an automated market maker (AMM) model, PancakeSwap enables the swapping of BEP-20 tokens and permits users to trade against a liquidity pool. 

BNB Chain is a decentralized public blockchain network launched by Binance. It has played an instrumental role in powering the decentralized application (dApp) sector. For instance, it hosts more than 1,300 active dApps in different areas like non-fungible token (NFT), Metaverse, blockchain games, and DeFi.

As a result, BNB Chain has carried out at least 3 billion transactions undertaken by 163 million unique addresses since its inception in 2020. 

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