“Bitcoin balance on exchanges continues its macro decline, reaching 12.6% of the Circulating Supply (2.4M BTC). Exchange balances have now seen a macro outflow of over 4.6% of the circulating supply since the March 2020 ATH.”
Bitcoin leaving exchanges is bullish because it signifies a holding culture, given that coins are transferred to digital wallets and cold storage for future purposes other than holding.
This might be a reason triggering BTC’s upward push. The leading cryptocurrency was up by 4.18% in the last 24 hours to hit $24,482 during intraday trading, according to CoinMarketCap.
The price surge has also boosted Bitcoin’s chances of breaking the 200-Week Moving Average (WMA). Crypto analyst Rekt Capital pointed out:
“BTC is very close to performing a Weekly Close above the 200-week MA. Technically, it looks like BTC is doing well to reclaim the 200-week MA as support.”
The 200 WMA shows the long-term trend of an asset and plays an instrumental role in showing whether the market is bullish or bearish.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin has been enjoying above-average buying volume, given that it has been able to drift away from the psychological price of $20K. Rekt Capital pointed out:
“BTC is enjoying above-average buy-side volume for the first time since January/February of this year when BTC performed relief rallies before further downside.”
Bloomberg analyst Mike McGlone recently stated that it seems Bitcoin was getting ready to return to winning ways, given that its volatility against the Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM) had reached historic lows.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), an independent federal agency insuring deposits in U.S. banks in the event of bank failures, on Friday told American commercial banks to ensure that any crypto firms they partner with do not overstate the reach of deposit insurance.
The financial regulator is concerned that consumers may be confused about how safe their funds are when placed in cryptocurrencies, particularly in cases where crypto companies offer a mix of uninsured crypto products alongside insured bank deposit products.
In a statement on Friday, the FDIC advisory said: “Inaccurate representations about deposit insurance by non-banks, including crypto companies, may confuse the non-bank’s customers and cause those customers to mistakenly believe they are protected against any type of loss.”
Specifically, the FDIC told banks to ensure that they make it clear to the public that deposit insurance only covers insured banks in case of collapse. The agency stated that insurance protection does not cover failures of any non-bank partners, which can include crypto custodians, exchanges, and wallet providers.
The FDIC urged banks dealing with crypto firms that they should make their customers know which of their funds will be insured by the government in the event of a collapse, and which have no protection.
Voyager has stated that it is federally insured on its website, mobile app, and social media accounts.
Voyager’s website on Friday stated: “Your USD is held by our banking partner, Metropolitan Commercial Bank, which is FDIC insured, so the cash you hold with Voyager is protected.” The website claimed deposits are “FDIC insured on USD $250,000.”
On Thursday, the FDIC and the Federal Reserve issued a joint letter to Voyager, demanding the crypto broker to scrub such claims from its website and social media, and to write a confirmation note by Monday that they have done so.
Early this month, the FDIC was probing how bankrupt crypto broker Voyager was marketing itself to customers.
FDIC officials identified that Voyager is violating the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, which prohibits anyone from implying that deposits are insured when they are not.
Voyager Digital has a bank account with Metropolitan Commercial Bank of New York. The FDIC pointed out that while the bank account is insured, customers opening and using accounts on the Voyager Digital platform are not insured.
The FDIC is a government agency responsible for giving insurance protection to the public’s bank accounts — such as checking, savings and CDs — in case of unforeseen losses.
Having an FDIC insured account means that anyone who has at least $250,000 deposited into a bank would have their funds reimbursed in case the bank collapses unexpectedly.
However, speculative investments such as cryptocurrencies and stocks, are normally not FDIC insured. Such assets are not insured by the FDIC because they do not qualify as financial deposits and carry a certain amount of risk that investors opt in to bear. That is according to the regulator.
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has chosen to ride in the waves of digital innovation and blockchain technology.
In a press release, the academic institution announced its intention to establish the world’s first physical-digital twin campuses in the Metaverse.
This, the university believes, would enhance the teaching and learning experience. Therefore, the students will now take classes, interact with peers, and attend the open days and other events on a virtual campus.
With the use of visualization tools, cameras, virtual reality (VR) headsets, sensors, and extended-reality classrooms, students in both Hong Kong and Guangzhou can take their classes at the same time, and in the same place. The campuses will be part of the MetaHKUST, an extended-reality classroom project co-led by Wang Yang and Pan Hui, both professors at HKUST.
Wang Yang is the Project Lead of MetaHKUST while Pan Hui is the director of the Center for Metaverse and Computational Creativity. The HKUST’s sudden advancement into the Web3.0 space is scheduled to officially take off in September. Specifically, one of the university’s students is likely to have his graduation ceremony in the Web3.0 space in December.
HKUST Leads in Academic Innovation
Special teaching and learning aids like VR headsets, XR classrooms, and sensors will be installed for the initial testing stage. Thereafter, members of the University, both staff and student will be onboarded in a crowdsourced scanning of the physical campuses. The purpose of this is to provide the needed images for the design of the virtual twin campuses.
The completion of this project will open HKUST to a broader network in the Metaverse. HKUST members will be permitted to come up with contents of their own. They could develop their own avatars, and design non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other tokens or virtual artworks for the virtual world.
HKUST prides itself as an academic institution that is always the first to inculcate innovative teaching and learning processes. It was amongst the first universities to introduce interdisciplinary teaching and electronic learning (e-learning), although many universities had been integrating blockchain in some form over the years.
Based on the University’s website post;
“MetaHKUST is yet another major initiative of HKUST to facilitate immersive learning and connect students and research activities across different geographical locations.”
The retrenchment process will run across its various departments and geographic locations. This is all in a bid to reduce its running cost and focus its funds on its core business after the distribution of the CoinFLEX Composites.
The CoinFLEX Composite is inclusive of rvUSD, equity, and FLEX Coin. The exchange has been working on these CoinFLEX Composites for a while now. The process involved several lawyers and a significant creditor’s group putting up strategies for their distributions. The plans are yet to be perfected but will be in the near term.
After the distribution of these Composites, it is suspected that the business might not run smoothly for a lack of funds. Therefore, the need to become a leaner business staffing-wise. It’s quite unfortunate but necessary for the exchange to let go of a significant number of its employees. Estimated, the cut will reduce CoinFLEX’s cost base by almost 50-60%.
Key members of CoinFLEX’s staff will be retained on its team. The remaining staff will focus their research and outputs on products and technology. The firm will fix structures in place to monitor its cost and scaling process to ensure efficiency. CoinFLEX wishes to be prepared with the right workforce and economy size, in readiness for an acquisition or partnership with any entity.
The updated details of the CoinFLEX Composite distribution will be published next week. So far, its delay is associated with significant legal and accounting procedures which need to be completed.
CoinFLEX Introduces New Token
In the thickness of the crypto winter, CoinFLEX had to halt withdrawals on its platform. Although there were suspicions that it was not only due to the extreme market conditions but also from issues involving a counterparty. Soon after, the withdrawal suspension, CoinFLEX revealed its plan to raise funds by issuing a new token.
The new token “Recovery Value USD” (rvUSD) which is one of the CoinFLEX Composite offers a 20% annual percentage rate (APR). Ultimately, this is a strategy to offset the $47 million debt owed by a high-profile investor known as Bitcoin (BTC) Jesus.
CoinFLEX plans to keep working to remain afloat in the current crypto economy.
It was discovered that a handful of pro-Russian groups have been bypassing sanctions placed on Russia by several organizations and utilizing crypto donations for financing terrorism.
The war in Ukraine broke out about five months ago and forced the closure of several enterprises in both countries. It caused the disconnection of both Ukraine and Russia from global activities. The crypto ecosystem also did not spare the concerned parties. The manufacturer of hardware wallet Trevor, Satoshi Labs suspended the distribution of its wallet to Ukraine and Russia.
The plan was to force the sitting president of Russia, Vladimir Putin to put an end to the war. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange was also forced to limit its offerings to Russia standing together with the European Union’s sanction on the country.
Financial service providers, Mastercard and Visa also withdrew their services from Russia, limiting strategies for the nation to fulfill key monetary obligations. Although there were concerns that Russia will still employ the use of crypto to evade all sanctions. With this report by Chainalysis, it appears to be that the suspicions were right all along.
About 54 pro-Russia organizations were discovered to have benefited from the crypto donations made by unidentified entities. Cryptocurrencies worth about $2.2 million were traced down to the pro-Russian militias and volunteer groups. A huge percentage of the crypto was Bitcoin (BTC) worth over $1.45 million, next was Ethereum (ETH) of $590,000.
Litecoin, a Tron-based USDT stablecoin, Tether, and Dogecoin (DOGE) were the other cryptos that made up the donated funds. Based on Chainalysis research, the Russians make use of cryptocurrency mixers to block the source of the funds. Therefore, the authorities may not be able to nab the perpetrators of this act as there is no clear path directing the crimes to them.
So far, 5 organizations have received over $100,000, 17 others received over $10,000 and the larger part of the involved organizations collected about $1,000 all in cryptocurrencies.
Honduras has entered the cryptocurrency trend after launching “Bitcoin Valley” in Santa Lucia meant to spur more opportunities in the digital asset space, according to Reuters.
As a result, the tourist town of Santa Lucia has shifted to a Bitcoin city because business owners are adopting crypto payments to boost tourism.
Cesar Andino, the manager of Los Robles shopping square, pointed out:
“It will open more opportunities and attract more people who want to use this currency.”
Santa Lucia is strategically located because it is just 20 minutes from the nation’s capital Tegucugalpa.
The “Bitcoin Valley” project was jointly developed by Santa Lucia’s municipality, the Technological University of Honduras, the Guatemalan cryptocurrency exchange consortium Coincaex, and the Blockchain Honduras organization.
Therefore, the initiative will initially target 60 businesses to be trained about cryptocurrencies and how to use them as marketing tools for their services and products. The project is expected to be rolled out to more enterprises in Santa Lucia and nearby areas.
Ruben Carbajal Velazquez, a professor at the Technological University, welcomed the “Bitcoin Valley” concept and said:
“Santa Lucia’s community will be educated to use and manage cryptocurrencies, implementing them in different businesses in the region and generating crypto-tourism.”
Since El Salvador accepted Bitcoin as legal tender in September last year, crypto interest in Latin America has soared.
For instance, a recent study by Mastercard disclosed that more than 50% of consumers in Latin America were participating in crypto transactions. The payments giant pointed out:
“51% of consumers in the region have already made a transaction with crypto assets, and more than a third say they have made a payment for an everyday purchase with stablecoin.”
Therefore, Latin Americans see cutting-edge technologies like crypto as an ideal payment option.
Schwab Asset Management, the asset management arm of The Charles Schwab Corporation, an US multinational financial services company based in California, on Friday, announced the launch of its first crypto-related exchange-traded fund (ETF) called the Schwab Crypto Thematic ETF (NYSE Arca: STCE).
The giant asset manager said that the crypto ETF will be listed on New York Stock Exchange Arca as from 4th August.
According to the report, the ETF will trade under the ticker STCE and is designed to track Schwab’s Crypto Thematic Index.
The Schwab’s EFT will not directly invest in or track digital assets, rather it is designed to provide investors with exposure to firms that are investing in or trading cryptocurrency or other digital assets.
David Botset, Managing Director, Head of Equity Product Management and Innovation at Schwab Asset Management, talked about the development: “For investors who are interested in cryptocurrency exposures, there is a whole ecosystem to consider as more companies seek to derive revenue from crypto directly and indirectly. The Schwab Crypto Thematic ETF seeks to provide access to the growing global crypto ecosystem along with the benefits of transparency and low cost that investors and advisors expect from Schwab ETFs.”
As one of the largest providers of ETFs in the United States, Schwab Asset Management has more than a decade of experience managing ETFs and a robust capital markets team that plays a crucial role to ensure the Schwab ETFs function efficiently.
Schwab also has a wide history in indexing. The financial institution launched its first proprietary index, the Schwab 1000 Index®, in 1991.
Why Crypto ETFs Continued Rising
Cryptocurrencies have continued to uphold their reputation despite volatility in recent months. So far, crypto users have more investment options than ever before as the list of cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs) continues to expand.
FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in the Bahamas, announced on Friday that it has received a full regulatory approval to operate its exchange and clearing house in Dubai, a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
With the approval, the Bahamas-based company said it will begin offering regulated crypto derivatives products and trading services to institutional investors in Dubai as well as operating a nonfungible token marketplace and providing custodial services to retail users in the UAE.
Balsam Danhach, head of FTX Middle East and North Africa, talked about the development and said: “Our license expands to retail customers as well, however, it will be a gradual scale up to ensure that we approach the retail market within the guidelines set by the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (Dubai’s sector regulator).”
The exchange stated that the services would be provided by FTX Exchange FZE, a subsidiary of FTX’s division for Europe and the Middle East.
In March this year, FTX obtained a partial license in Dubai, in which it mentioned it would develop a regional headquarter in the city.
Danhach did not say whether FTX plans to expand and get licenses in other Gulf (Arabian) countries in the Middle East region.
UAE Becoming A Regional Destination
The development by FTX happens when an increasing number of crypto firms are expanding their footprints in Dubai.
On 11th March, Dubai introduced virtual assets license (VAL) for crypto-businesses. The VAL Law led to the establishment of the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), which is responsible for supervising the legal framework for businesses related to digital assets, including crypto assets, virtual assets, and non-fungible tokens (NFT).
VAL and VARA are milestones, and reflect Dubai’s vision to become one of the jurisdictions of choice for groups, investors, and entrepreneurs in crypto-businesses and blockchain technology.
As a result, many crypto firms have been rushing to establish their shops in Dubai after the city began to offer virtual asset licenses, making the Gulf state the latest jurisdiction seeking to become a hub for the global crypto industry.
In late March, exchange Bybit announced plans to relocate its global headquarters from Singapore to Dubai after it obtained an in-principle approval to operate a range of digital asset businesses in the city. That happened the same day that Crypto.com said it would create a regional hub office there.
The two exchanges joined major industry players FTX and Binance in establishing a foothold in the city.