Crypto Fund Firm Fintonia Group Receives Virtual-asset License in Dubai

Singapore-based crypto fund firm Fintonia Group has received a provisional virtual-asset license from the Dubai authority.

The company plans to expand its operations in the UAE and expand its team in Dubai, hoping to establish a foothold in the emerging UAE market. The latest license allows the company to offer crypto products and services to institutional clients in Dubai.

Fintonia Group is an entrepreneurial financial services firm, providing funds management, wealth management and merchant banking solutions to institutional clients and entrepreneurs.

The firm currently offers collateral-backed loans and two institutional-grade bitcoin funds to investors in Singapore.

Fintonia Group founder Adrian Chng said: “Dubai is making significant strides towards establishing itself as a virtual assets hub and creating a conducive license environment for the industry’s growth and we are very pleased to be part of this rapid growth.”

Just a few days ago, Cryptocurrency platform OKX (formerly known as OKEx) received a provisional virtual-asset license from the Dubai authority. The exchange plans to set up a regional hub in the city.

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Bitcoin Faces Major Resistance at 200-Week Moving Average

Bitcoin’s consolidation in the lower $20K level continues as the leading cryptocurrency has lacked significant momentum to breach this zone.

Rekt Capital believes the top cryptocurrency should surge past the 200-week moving average (WMA), given that it’s emerging as a significant resistance area.

The crypto trader stated:

“BTC still remains below the 200-week MA resistance. Until that level breaks, it’s technically premature to assume this is now a sustained relief rally.”

Market analyst Michael van de Poppe shared similar sentiments and said:

“Brief touch of the 200-week MA for Bitcoin. Clear rejection too, and no breakout for now. Expecting a bit more consolidation before we break upwards and once we do break the 200-Week MA, acceleration towards $28-30K is expected.”

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Source: TradingView/MichaelvandePoppe

As a major indicator that shows the long-term changes in the direction of an asset, the 200-week moving average currently sits at around the $23K to $24K level in the Bitcoin market.

This explains why on-chain analyst Ali Martinez believes BTC faces significant resistance at the $23.2K zone. He explained:

“Bitcoin overcame all major supply barriers it was facing. The only considerable resistance $BTC has yet to break through to continue advancing further sits at $23,260, where nearly 108,000 addresses are holding over 100,000 BTC.”

The leading cryptocurrency was down by 1.8% in the last 24 hours to hit $21,862 during intraday trading, according to CoinMarketCap.

Therefore, Bitcoin’s present ranging market has been fuelled by tightened macroeconomic factors by different governments to fight runaway inflation. 

For instance, the Federal Reserve (Fed) increased the interest rate by 75 basis points (bps), the highest since 1994.

As a result, green monthly candles have been elusive in the BTC market because they were last seen in March. Rekt Capital pointed out:

“BTC hasn’t experienced a green monthly candle since March 2022. The downtrend has emotionally deprived investors to the point where they’ve become desensitized to the downside and hypersensitive to any upside.”

Nevertheless, long-term hodlers are not showing signs of throwing in the towel because they are not selling, Blockchain.News reported. 

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Ethereum Hits a Monthly High above $1,500, Merging Events Continues Engulfing the Market

Ethereum (ETH) returned to levels last seen in June based on renewed momentum following those upcoming potential merging events. 

Market insight provider Santiment explained:

Ethereum’s return above $1,500 for the first time since June 12th appears to be happening as the crowd has little belief in this rebound. Despite this, the average ETH return of 30-day traders has ballooned to +28%, the highest since August 2021.”

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Source: Santiment

The 30-day return for Ethereum traders also hit an 11-month high, suggesting that the renewed momentum has driven their profits to levels last seen in August 2021.

Furthermore, ETH supply in profit also soared by 56%. On-chain insight provider Glassnode stated:

“Over the last month, almost 7.8% of circulating supply of ETH has transacted on-chain and changed hands. The total ETH supply in profit has now increased to 56%, after hitting lows of 41% prior to the current price rally.”

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Source: Glassnode

The second-largest cryptocurrency was up by 3.8% to hit $1,511 during intraday trading, according to CoinMarketCap

During a recent developers’ call, September 19 emerged as the most probable date for the merge.

Therefore, these upcoming events have been making airwaves, triggering a bullish momentum in the Ethereum market because the merge is anticipated to be the biggest software upgrade in the ecosystem.

The merge is expected to transform the Ethereum network to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism from the current proof-of-work (PoS) framework, which has been elusive for a few years.

The PoS algorithm will enable the confirmation of blocks in a more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly way because validators will stake Ether instead of solving a cryptographic puzzle. 

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Ethereum Hits a Monthly High above $1,500 as Merge News Continues Engulfing the Market

Ethereum (ETH) returned to levels last seen in June based on renewed momentum following those upcoming potential merging events. 

Market insight provider Santiment explained:

Ethereum’s return above $1,500 for the first time since June 12th appears to be happening as the crowd has little belief in this rebound. Despite this, the average ETH return of 30-day traders has ballooned to +28%, the highest since August 2021.”

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Source: Santiment

The 30-day return for Ethereum traders also hit an 11-month high, suggesting that the renewed momentum has driven their profits to levels last seen in August 2021.

Furthermore, ETH supply in profit also soared by 56%. On-chain insight provider Glassnode stated:

“Over the last month, almost 7.8% of circulating supply of ETH has transacted on-chain and changed hands. The total ETH supply in profit has now increased to 56%, after hitting lows of 41% prior to the current price rally.”

Image

Source: Glassnode

The second-largest cryptocurrency was up by 3.8% to hit $1,511 during intraday trading, according to CoinMarketCap

During a recent developers’ call, September 19 emerged as the most probable date for the merge.

Therefore, these upcoming events have been making airwaves, triggering a bullish momentum in the Ethereum market because the merge is anticipated to be the biggest software upgrade in the ecosystem.

The merge is expected to transform the Ethereum network to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism from the current proof-of-work (PoS) framework, which has been elusive for a few years.

The PoS algorithm will enable the confirmation of blocks in a more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly way because validators will stake Ether instead of solving a cryptographic puzzle. 

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Celsius Discloses Alternative Repayment to Creditors on Bankruptcy Hearing

Celsius disclosed alternative options to their clients in terms of debt settlement. The crypto lender intended to ask their creditors either accept a long crypto bet or recover capital at a ‘discount’ in this financial loophole.

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The Chapter 11 court hearing opened on Monday, Celsius made a promise not to force customers to accept any repayment in US dollars or any other fiat currency.

As the market is concerned about how the crypto lender platform settles a repayment to their creditors amid the warry of insolvency. 

The crypto lender’s lawyer for the hearing, Patrick Nash, made a statement to Glenn saying that bitcoin mining could provide a gateway to repay customers whose assets were frozen prior to the firm’s bankruptcy filing.

“In a world where the crypto market rebounds, the mining business has the potential to be quite valuable,” Nash said.

During the hearing, Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn approved $1.5 million in customs and duties on imported bitcoin mining rigs for Celsius.

Celsius Network stated that bitcoin mining is the key to the cryptocurrency lender’s restructuring efforts as it received approval from a U.S. bankruptcy judge to spend $3.7 million in construction costs at a new bitcoin mining facility.

In its efforts to tackle bankruptcy and repay customers, Celsius also said – via a slide presentation posted on the firm’s bankruptcy website – that options might be provided “at the customers’ election, to recover either cash at a discount or remain ‘long’ crypto.”

The option to repay customers with less than they are owed in cash or ask them to remain as long-term crypto holders may sit in the hands of the crypto lender if it uses its bankruptcy case.

On behalf of Celsius, Nash said that some users may choose to receive cash recoveries but that a “substantial majority” will wish to ride out the crypto winter by remaining “long crypto.”

However, Bloomberg reported that Celsius’ terms of service state that digital assets owned by users are “unsettled” and “not guaranteed” in the event of insolvency – meaning that those owners may be treated as unsecured creditors.

According to a report Blockchain.News, the crypto lender, suspended all withdrawals and transfers around a month ago, citing unfavourable market situations as the crypto market plunged, cutting off access to savings for individual investors.

Celsius left 1.7 million customers unable to redeem their assets by freezing withdrawals and transfers, which has prompted state securities regulators in New Jersey, Texas and Washington to investigate the decision.

According to Reuters, Celsius had about 23,000 outstanding loans to retail borrowers as of July 13. It added that the loans totalled $411 million backed by collateral with a market value of $765.5 million in digital assets.

Celsius officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 13 at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. However, a $1.19 billion deficit was listed on the company’s balance sheet the next day.

Celsius had positioned itself in the market by promising more than 18% in interest to peoples’ holdings who deposit their digital coins. In turn, the crypto lender lent those coins out, Bloomberg reported.

However, the crypto lenders’ business model came under scrutiny following a sharp crypto market sell-off spurred by the collapse of major tokens terraUSD and luna in May.

The embattled crypto lender’s hope now hangs on its mining effort to help repair relationships with customers.

The company’s troubles do not end with its new bitcoin mining initiative, as a group of equity investors have previewed a possible fight for control over the bitcoin operations. One of the investors’ lawyers, Dennis Dunne, has made an argument saying that the mined bitcoin should be the property of the UK subsidiary which helped in the operation instead of them being distributed for the benefit of all Celsius creditors.

More is yet to unfold as the crypto winter wages on and multiple crypto firms have either filed for bankruptcy or laid off employees.

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Catheon Gaming Named Top Blockchain Firm in APAC Region

Catheon Gaming, an Australian-based blockchain gaming and entertainment company, has been named as one of the leading emerging giants in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, according to the latest joint first report by KPMG and HSBC.

On Monday, July 18, KPMG & HSBC published their joint report entitled ‘Emerging Giants in Asia Pacific,’ which took a look into a comprehensive analysis of new economy businesses (such as fintech, biotech, software as a service (SAAS), etc.,) across the region, which they consider are making a lasting impact on the global business landscape now and over the next decade.

KPMG and HSBC’s joint report ranked Catheon Gaming as one of the top 10 emerging giants in Asia Pacific, the No. 1 emerging giant in the blockchain sector in the region, and the No. 1 emerging giant in Hong Kong.

William Wu, Founder & Co-CEO of Catheon Gaming, talked about the development and said: “We are honoured to be selected by KPMG & HSBC as one of the 10 leading Emerging Giants in Asia Pacific. We are humbled that our efforts are being recognized, and we are proud to contribute to the growth of the region, which has given rise to some of the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking companies in the gaming and blockchain space. We have a firm belief that gaming will be the key driver in accelerating blockchain mass adoption, and we will continue our relentless drive to achieve this vision”.

The result came after KPMG & HSBC studied 6,472 technology-focused startups with valuations up to US$500 million in 12 key markets (Mainland China, India, Japan, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong (SAR), Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Thailand) in Asia to identify the top 100 firms most likely to emerge as potential unicorns.

Consideration for these lists was based on estimated valuations and venture capital obtained as well as KPMG and HSBS analysis on the future growth potential of such firms.

From this larger pool of companies, the report identified the leading 10 emerging giant companies for each of these 12 markets as well as the overall leading 100 emerging giants in Asia pacific. And out of that, Catheon Gaming was ranked as No.8 out of 100 emerging giants in the APAC region.

 

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Exchange Buenbit Rolls Out Crypto Loan Products in Argentina

Buenbit, an Argentina-based crypto exchange with operations in Mexico and Peru, announced on Monday that it has launched a local currency loan product that uses cryptocurrency as collateral.

In Argentina, customers will use MakerDAO’s stablecoin, DAI, as collateral and withdraw up to one million nuARS, a stablecoin tied to the Argentine peso, the firm said.

nuARS, a stablecoin developed by Num Finance, operates on Binance’s blockchain.

Federico Ogue, Buenbit’s CEO, described the crypto loan product as the first of this nature in Latin America. Ogue further commented: “It is a model that emerged abroad but with loans in U.S. dollars, but it does not work for Latin Americans. Who wants to borrow U.S. dollars in the region? Too much risk.”

Buenbit said customers can borrow for loans provided they collateralized 80% of the requested amount and added that the DAI will be locked into the platform yielding returns.

Users will be able to use nuARS to buy other cryptocurrencies on the Buenbit platform, withdraw or spend them via the prepaid card offered by the exchange, the firm stated.

Buenbit said that it plans to launch a similar loan product in Peru through a partnership with Num Finance. This will come through once Num Finance launches nuPEN and nuMXN, two stablecoins tied to the Peruvian and Mexican currencies.

Apart from the crypto loan product, Buenbit disclosed that it is in talks with investors to raise a new funding round in the third quarter of 2022. Ogue said the funding would be smaller than the $11 million Series A that the company raised in July 2021.

“This is a smaller round so as not to commit to a scenario of uncertainty. We will wait to do a bigger round next year with a clearer picture,” Ogue explained.

Buenbit also plans to expand its presence in Gibraltar once it obtains an exchange license in three months, following an 18-month process. Bitso, a crypto exchange based in Mexico, holds a similar license.

Tech Firms Impacted by Inflation Crisis

In May, Buenbit laid off about 80 employees of its workforce – 45% of its staff because of the current economic challenges that are impacting the tech industry. During that time, Ogue clarified that the layoffs were not linked with the collapse of UST and LUNA.

Buenbit also suspended its plans to expand into new countries, including Chile and Colombia, due to the “global overhaul” of the tech industry.

In May, Latin American crypto exchange Bitso also laid off 80 employees. The crypto business is currently witnessing turbulent times triggered by the ongoing crypto winter that has forced many tech firms to shut down operations and put a freeze on hiring.

Crypto markets are struggling to thrive after a series of economic events set in like the Luna Terra crash, higher interest rates by Feds coupled with regulatory uncertainty and investors pulling away from the markets.

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Argentina’s Buenbit Rolls Out Crypto Loan Products

Buenbit, an Argentina-based crypto exchange with operations in Mexico and Peru, announced on Monday that it has launched a local currency loan product that uses cryptocurrency as collateral.

In Argentina, customers will use MakerDAO’s stablecoin, DAI, as collateral and withdraw up to one million nuARS, a stablecoin tied to the Argentine peso, the firm said.

nuARS, a stablecoin developed by Num Finance, operates on Binance’s blockchain.

Federico Ogue, Buenbit’s CEO, described the crypto loan product as the first of this nature in Latin America. Ogue further commented: “It is a model that emerged abroad but with loans in U.S. dollars, but it does not work for Latin Americans. Who wants to borrow U.S. dollars in the region? Too much risk.”

Buenbit said customers can borrow for loans provided they collateralized 80% of the requested amount and added that the DAI will be locked into the platform yielding returns.

Users will be able to use nuARS to buy other cryptocurrencies on the Buenbit platform, withdraw or spend them via the prepaid card offered by the exchange, the firm stated.

Buenbit said that it plans to launch a similar loan product in Peru through a partnership with Num Finance. This will come through once Num Finance launches nuPEN and nuMXN, two stablecoins tied to the Peruvian and Mexican currencies.

Apart from the crypto loan product, Buenbit disclosed that it is in talks with investors to raise a new funding round in the third quarter of 2022. Ogue said the funding would be smaller than the $11 million Series A that the company raised in July 2021.

“This is a smaller round so as not to commit to a scenario of uncertainty. We will wait to do a bigger round next year with a clearer picture,” Ogue explained.

Buenbit also plans to expand its presence in Gibraltar once it obtains an exchange license in three months, following an 18-month process. Bitso, a crypto exchange based in Mexico, holds a similar license.

Tech Firms Impacted by Inflation Crisis

In May, Buenbit laid off about 80 employees of its workforce – 45% of its staff because of the current economic challenges that are impacting the tech industry. During that time, Ogue clarified that the layoffs were not linked with the collapse of UST and LUNA.

Buenbit also suspended its plans to expand into new countries, including Chile and Colombia, due to the “global overhaul” of the tech industry.

In May, Latin American crypto exchange Bitso also laid off 80 employees. The crypto business is currently witnessing turbulent times triggered by the ongoing crypto winter that has forced many tech firms to shut down operations and put a freeze on hiring.

Crypto markets are struggling to thrive after a series of economic events set in like the Luna Terra crash, higher interest rates by Feds coupled with regulatory uncertainty and investors pulling away from the markets.

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Crypto Miner Marathon Secures 200MW Energy Capacity from Applied Blockchain

Bitcoin miner Marathon Digital Holdings has announced the completion of a deal with Ethereum and altcoin mining company Applied Blockchain to secure at least 200 megawatts of energy capacity.

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The deal with the hosting provider comes with an option to extend the energy capacity to 270 megawatts. The announcement added that the company would release about 66,000 previously purchased miners, which represents a hash rate of 9.2 exahash per second (EH/s) across two hosting facilities.

The deal adds additional 42 megawatts of hosting capacity that the bitcoin miner has already secured with Compute North on July 5, as well as 12 megawatts from a number of other providers, The Block reported.

Fred Thiel, Marathon’s chairman and CEO, said, “we believe we have now secured enough hosting capacity to support our target of achieving approximately 23.3 exahashes per second of computing power for Bitcoin mining in 2023.”

Although the deal has been settled, Applied Blockchain’s facilities are still under construction. The Block reported that miner installation will begin in the fourth quarter of 2022 and finish around mid-year 2023.

According to Applied Blockchain chairman and CEO Wes Cummins, “demand for our hosting services remains robust despite the volatility in the cryptocurrency markets, giving us continued confidence in the growth potential of our business for fiscal 2023 and beyond.”

Applied Blockchain currently hosts two facilities. The one in Texas will supply Marathon with 90 megawatts, while the one in North Dakota will provide 110 megawatts.

According to The Block, In June, bitcoin mining production from Marathon fell by about 47.8% after a storm broke down most of their mining fleet offline. 

However, the bitcoin mining company’s stock was up by 21.39% on Monday, prior to their announcement, The Block added.

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Gemini Executes Second Round of Layoffs: TechCrunch

Crypto exchange Gemini has made the second round of layoffs seven weeks after the crypto exchange cut about 10% of its workforce, citing “turbulent market conditions.”

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A source in connection with TechCrunch told the publication that the layoffs were being executed due to “extreme cost-cutting.” The publication also added that there might be more layoffs in the coming future.

TechCrunch reported that although employees were not aware of the extent of the layoffs, the same source noted in Gemini’s companywide Slack channel that there was a reduction of 7% or 68 members.

Previously, a document which was shared around Gemini’s office and an anonymous professional network, Blind, on July 14 highlighted a plan that would trim the workforce to around 800 – or a 15% decrease from the 950 employees at the time – TechCrunch reported citing the source.

In June, the crypto exchange executed its first layoff since its inception in 2014, with 10% of its workforce being slashed as the founders cited a “crypto winter”.

Layoffs in the crypto industry are turning into a trend as prior to Gemini. Last week, popular non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea cut its employee headcount by about 20%. OpenSea, one of the largest marketplaces for NFTs, suggested that about 57 people will be laid off as it said it now has 230 employees.

While other top crypto firms such as Crypto.com, BlockFi and Coinbase are other victims of the crypto winter and have had to reduce the scale of staff recently.

According to a report from Blockchain.News, crypto exchange Crypto.com and lending platform BlockFi also announced in early June plans to cut over 400 jobs globally due to the pressure from challenging market conditions.

Crypto.com had said it would reduce its workforce by 5%, which is about 260 employees, while BlockFi announced a 20% layoff of its workforce, which is around 170 people.

Meanwhile, U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase reduced staff by 18% in mid-June, and the firm’s shares fell to nearly 79% throughout this year.

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 27,370.33 1.79%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,656.64 0.71%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 65.82 0.42%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 232.10 7.55%