World Vision Accepts Donations in Crypto in South Korea

World Vision has become the first NGO to accept virtual assets in South Korea as it announced that donation in cryptocurrencies has been enabled.


Per the official website of the NGO, the charitable institution has parented with the Giving Block, accepting over 70 kinds of cryptos for its donation, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and other ERC-20-based tokens.

All the transferred donations would be used for a unique charity project, helping underprivileged children globally.

Local media outlets reported earlier that the partnership enables the NGO to become the first charity institution to receive virtual assets as a donation.

To appreciate the kindness of donation, World Vision would issue sponsorship certificates in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in return. Donors would also have opportunities to win an exclusive NFT that the charity has minted in association with the South Korean footballing superstar Son Heung-min. Per the report, these NFTs will be minted on the Ethereum blockchain network.

“We have prepared a digital asset sponsorship site to ensure transparency and reliability in the execution of donations. We will take the lead in expanding the blockchain-based donation culture to help more vulnerable children,” said Cho Myung-hwan, Chairman of World Vision.

Taxpayers could be charged in terms of capital gain. The official website reads, “the IRS (Internal Revenue Service of the US) classifies cryptocurrencies as property, so crypto donations to 501(c)(3) charities receive the same tax treatment as stocks. Donating cryptocurrency is a non-taxable event, meaning you do not owe capital gains tax on the appreciated amount and can deduct it from your taxes.”

Previously, South Korea’s parliament postponed the proposal of imposing a 20% crypto tax for capital gain until 2025.

South Korea aims to develop crypto and Web3.0 ecosystem

The peninsula country is regarded as one of the crypto-friendly countries in Asia; crypto trading and custody have already been legalized in the country. 

Several flagship companies intended to establish a crypto-related exchange in the country. Samsung Securities, Mirae Asset Securities, and five other giant brokerage companies have applied for preliminary approval to operate an exchange within the first half of 2023.

President Yoon proposes developing the Digital Asset Basic Act (DABA), which he plans to introduce to lawmakers in 2023, aiming to provide a comprehensive regulation for the industry before introducing taxation.

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Circle CEO Allaire Supports Binance Stablecoin Decision

Jeremy Allaire, the co-founder and CEO of USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin issuer Circle, has responded to the Binance cryptocurrency exchange’s move to stop supporting USDC trading.

The Circle CEO said on Tuesday that Binance’s upcoming changes could help make USDC the standard stablecoin rail between centralized exchanges (CEXs) and decentralized Exchanges (DEXs).

Allaire thinks that the development is not only good for Binance but also an ultimate benefit to USDC utility and adoption.

USDC has a higher market cap than BUSD and also enjoys a greater volume and usage outside of Binance’s exchange.

However, Allaire believes the new change will help USDC become the market’s preferred stablecoin rail for moving funds between centralized and decentralized exchanges.

“I am very confident in the long game we have played and are playing w USDC, and with Circle’s role as a NEUTRAL market infrastructure player,” the CEO concluded.

Binance excluded Tether (USDT), the world’s largest stablecoin, from the consolidation plan. The stablecoin will remain tradeable at the exchange.

Allaire explained two reasons why USDT was excluded from Binance’s agenda. First, the CEO said the current USDT liquidity at Binance would have made a transition to BUSD too disruptive. And Secondly, he argued that USDT is “not even close” to qualifying as a cash-equivalent asset.

Allaire’s arguments seem to point out criticisms being levelled against Tether for holding unreliable reserve assets to back its stablecoins.

Allaire’s remarks followed Binance’s move on Monday to introduce “BUSD Auto-Conversion” that will auto-convert all of its customers’ existing funds held in stablecoins (USDC, USDP, and TUSD) into Binance USD (BUSD), beginning September 29, 2022.

Binance said the move will enhance liquidity and capital efficiency for users.

However, the decision raises some questions about possible monopolistic behaviour. Some users see Binance’s decision as aimed to increase the utility of its BUSD stablecoin but to cut into USDC trading volumes.

Beginning September 29, Binance will automatically convert users’ USD coin (USDC), Pax dollar (USDP), and trueUSD (TUSD) holdings into BUSD.

Binance will also suspend spot, future and margin trading with the above-mentioned stablecoins and close down all associated trading pairs.

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Stablecoin Protocol Frax Finance Launches Lending Market Fraxlend

Algorithmic stablecoin protocol Frax Finance has launched its own lending marketplace Fraxlend, where any user can lend and borrow using any token belonging to the Chainlink data feed without permission, according to The Block.

Frax Finance core developer Drake Evans recently disclosed two important use cases for Fraxlend on the Flywheelpod podcast.

First, Fraxlend will enable the protocol to mint new FRAX through a lending process; Fraxlend allows the Frax Finance protocol to directly lend FRAX and earn interest through existing money markets.

FRAX is a stablecoin pegged to $1. Frax is the first stablecoin protocol with a hybrid algorithm. Frax is open source, permissionless, and entirely on-chain — currently deployed on Ethereum (and possibly cross-chain in the future).

Second, Fraxlend will generate more cash flow for Frax Finance, which can be used for treasury shares and burning Frax Finance’s governance token, FXS.

Frax Finance founder Sam Kazemian said that:

“Fraxlend is one of the newest generations of lending protocols that will showcase new innovations in onchain debt origination. Some of these features have never been built before in any kind of lending system so we are extremely excited to finally bring these use cases to DeFi. “

Drake Evans also emphasized that Fraxlend, a newly launched lending marketplace, can create custom term sheets for over-the-counter debt structures, allowing on-chain transactions to be established on DAOs and completing transactions more transparently.

The code is currently published on Github.

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Crypto-related Investment Slowdown May Continue in H2, KPMG Predicts

Attributed to the so-called crypto winter during the first half year, the amount of investment in the crypto market has been dragged, attracting over $14 billion in H1, according to global audit and consultancy firm KPMG.

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The sentiment of “fear, uncertainty and doubt “(FUD) spread over the crypto space during the first half of the year, subject to unexpected geo-political events such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, fall of global investment in terms of crypto and blockchain-related items to $14.2 billion during H1 as of the end of June, a significant drop compared to last year. However, it still remains ahead of other years, the report published by KPMG reads.

In addition, the collapse of the Terra & Luna crypto ecosystem and the rising inflation globally following the interest rate hike from the US Fed were also attributed to the crypto market’s downturn.

Within over $14 billion investment, the largest deals of the investment in the industry came from venture capital funding, including a $1.1 billion raised by the Germany-based Trade Republic in June; a $550 million raise by US-based Fireblocks; a $500 million raise by Bahamas-based FTX, and a $450 million raise by ConsenSys, per the report.

Within less than three months before the end of 2022, Alexandre Stachtchenko, Director of blockchain & crypto assets at KPMG France, suggests the funding activities among crypto companies would go on. Still, the scale of size in terms of valuation would probably be trimmed down: 

Looking ahead, we are going to see some cryptos cutting their valuations and working to raise money because it’s their only option. They’d rather raise money and be capitalized at a lower valuation rather than not doing so and taking the risk of dying out,”

Amid the downturn in the crypto market, Stachtchenko believes a reshuffle could occur, referring to some crypto, which does not have clear and strong value propositions, that might be wiped out.

“That could actually be quite healthy from an ecosystem point of view because it’ll clear away some of the mess that was created in the euphoria of a bull market. The best companies will be the ones that survive.”

Heading into the second half of the year, the report suggests a global slowdown in crypto interest and investment-related activities would continue, especially retail firms offering coins, tokens and non-fungible tokens (NFT).

However, the subject of investment would be increasingly concentrated on infrastructures and blockchain applications in terms of financial market modernization.

Meanwhile, the stronger correlation between traditional market assets and crypto has also shifted the crypto dynamic, indicating that “the current macro-economic trend will likely be an important test for cryptos, especially Bitcoin, in terms of correlation with other assets.”

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NFT, Metaverse Trademark Applications for 2022 Has Surpassed 2021

The non-fungible token (NFT) and metaverse worlds are growing at a very fast pace and this is currently being shown through the trademarks that are being filed in the ecosystem.


According to US Trademark lawyer Mike Kondoudis, the Web3.0 and Metaverse trademark-related applications for this year have already surpassed the total recorded in 2021.

According to data he posted, as many as 4,200 US trademark applications were filed for metaverse, virtual, and web 3 goods and services within the first 8 months of this year. Additionally, the NFT-specific trademarks have already outpaced that of last year with crypto-hinged trademarks also hitting impressive figures.


The metaverse might be adjudged as a relatively new space, but a number of companies are betting big on the potential innovation they can usher in.


Many are actively throwing their hats in the ring with trademark applications. Should these trademarks be granted, the law will protect the unique innovation that is being pushed forward by these firms, a move that can grant a very unique competitive advantage in the next few years.


Amongst the companies pushing for these metaverse-linked advances is tech giant, Meta Platforms Inc. The company changed its name from Facebook Inc last year as it looks to change its overall outlook from a predominantly social media outfit to a metaverse-focused one.


The embrace of the metaverse by Meta Platforms has shown how much traditional or Web 2.0 companies are moving in serious tandem with technological advances in the Web 3.0 space.


Besides the trademark filings, investors are also getting ready for the future metaverse and Web 3.0 world through cash injections into protocols building infrastructure in the space.


Amongst the platforms being bankrolled includes Magic Eden and Playful Studios to mention a few. With bets being heightened across the board, consumers and prospective users are only waiting for the featured platforms to deliver on their promises.

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Digital Assets Should be Regulated as Part of Banking Industry: Ex-Regulator

Experts in the financial industry are advocating for digital currency innovation and activities to be subsumed into the banking industry, a move that will let regulators permit their overall growth.


At the Bank Policy Institute annual conference in New York on Tuesday, Gene Ludwig, an executive with Chain Bridge Partners, a regulatory advisory firm, believes crypto will thrive more if some of the solutions and services being offered are fronted by banking institutions.


“The federal government doesn’t want basically unregulated third parties basically creating their own currency,” he said, adding that rather than invest resources in Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), regulators, in general, need to “allow banks to play more aggressively in the crypto market.”


“If we’re going to allow crypto at all, the banking industry is the right place to do it, because it is regulated.”


Events in the digital currency ecosystem, especially in relation to hacks and the latest bankruptcies ushered in by the menacing crypto winter have made regulators frown at risky and mildly regulated assets like cryptocurrencies.


Experts believe that the stability that was enjoyed by the banking sector during the crypto onslaughts recorded in the crypto space in Q2 and Q3 is a testament to how reliable the space is over the nascent industry.


From what has been observed thus far, regulators may be more receptive to banks who are willing to sit and chart out a viable part when considering making a dive into the crypto space. 


“I think the coin argument is the most tricky and fraught with peril,” said Jeremiah Norton, managing member of Chain Bridge Partners, a regulatory advisory firm, adding that U.S. regulators are literally telling banks, “If you’re thinking about thinking about crypto, come to us first.”


“I don’t see a lot of running room for algorithmic players in the regulated space anytime soon,” Norton said.

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Franklin Templeton Floats Metaverse ETF for EU Investors

American multinational holding company and global investment firm Franklin Templeton has launched a metaverse-focused Exchange-Traded Product (ETP).


The ETP dubbed the Franklin Metaverse UCITS ETF will track the Solactive Global Metaverse Innovation Index GTR as it will seek to offer investors exposure to the burgeoning metaverse world.

Through the UCITS ETF, European investors will be able to gain exposure to companies with a vested interest in the metaverse world, or those planning to be involved. The new investment product is on track to be listed on the Deutsche Börse Xetra (XETRA) on September 7, and the Borsa Italiana and London Stock Exchange (LSE) on September 9, respectively.


The new fund will be headed and managed by the duo of Dina Ting, Head of Global Index Portfolio Management, and Lorenzo Crosato, ETF Portfolio Manager at Franklin Templeton.


“Society has already experienced three foundational changes in the way that technology operates and how it’s been delivered since the early 1970s. This exciting fourth wave is now emerging, enabled by blockchain technology,” Dina Ting said in a statement.


“Many big tech companies have already pivoted towards the metaverse for their next major area of development in the same way that many did at the inception of the internet. There appear to be tremendous real-world business opportunities for investment in this space considering that by 2030, the e-commerce market could grow between USD2.0–USD2.6 trillion.”


The Franklin Templeton metaverse ETP did not draft in companies that do not align themselves with the UN Global Compact Principles.


The company comes off as one of the major investment powerhouses that have offered investors an avenue to gain exposure to the metaverse world. Besides Franklin Templeton, ProShares, Fidelity Investments, Global X, ETC Europe, and Invesco are amongst the firms that have floated their own metaverse-linked ETPs in the past year.

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HIVE Blockchain Exploring GPU Mineable Coins Ahead of Ethereum Merge

Crypto mining firm HIVE Blockchain acknowledged the potential Ethereum “Merge” to the Proof of Stake mechanism on Tuesday in an update on its mining production for the month of August.

According to the current projections from the Ethereum Foundation (a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Ethereum and related technologies), Ethereum’s new consensus layer will upgrade to Bellatrix on September 6, 2022, with estimates that the merge to Proof of Stake system will happen between September 10 and September 20, 2022.

Speaking about the upcoming Ethereum merge, Vancouver-based HIVE said it has already started exploring mining other GPU mineable coins with its fleet of GPUs. The miner said it is implementing beta-testing this week, before the merge.

Hive said its technical team is implementing a strategy to optimize the hashrate economics of the 6.5 Terahash of Ethereum mining capacity (that the firm reached at end of August) in the event of Ethereum’s transition to the Proof of Stake mechanism, across various other GPU mineable coins.

HIVE sees a competitive landscape where the GPU miners with the most efficient equipment and lowest cost of electricity will prevail.

The firm said its Boden mining facility is one of the largest single-site Ethereum mines in the world. With power fixed at approximately $0.03 USD per KWHR within the facility, HIVE said it is well positioned to navigate the market ahead.

HIVE’s fleet of GPU’s comprises approximately 21.5 MW or 16% of the company’s global portfolio of 130 MW of green energy (hydro and geothermal) data centre capacity.

Of these 21.5 MW, approximately14.8 MW are comprised of legacy GPU cards, which have paid for themselves many times over since their installation, thus marking a successful venture in Ethereum mining.

HIVE said these legacy GPU cards comprise approximately 3.7 Terahash of the company’s Ethereum hashrate. According to the firm, these cards can be used for cloud computing and AI applications, as well as for engineering applications, including scientific modelling of fluid dynamics.

HIVE said it has a test pilot project for cloud computing at a Tier 3 data centre, where some of the A40 GPU cards are being applied to cloud computing.

The Ethereum ‘merge’ is coming and is about to cause crucial impacts on the crypto landscape, with miners considered to be one of the most affected groups.  

The merge will shift from Ethereum’s “proof of work” to a verification mechanism known as “proof of stake.”

With the change to PoS (the “proof of stake”), crypto miners who have sunk billions of dollars into computing equipment dedicated to the “proof of work” mechanism, will soon either be out of work or need to shift to other blockchains in order to make money through mining.  

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Crypto Investment Platform Bitpanda Launches Commodities Trading

Bitpanda announced Monday that it has added commodities trading to its investment platform to enable its users to trade oil, natural gas, aluminium, and wheat.

The new asset class is set to allow investors to benefit from short-term price movements of commodities such as oil, natural gas, aluminium, wheat, and more.

As per the announcement, users will now involve in commodities trading on the Bitpanda platform, 24/7, starting from as little as 1 Euro, alongside a range of digital assets like cryptocurrencies, crypto indices, stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), precious metals, among others.

Historically commodities have tended to move independently of stocks and bonds, thus making them a great way to diversify portfolios. They can also protect investors against inflation – when prices at grocery stores go up, commodity prices also go up.

Eric Demuth, co-founder and CEO of Bitpanda, talked about the development: “since we first started Bitpanda, our mission has always been to remove the barriers to entry and enable people to access financial markets in a simple and secure way. I’m excited we’ve been able to add commodities to the platform at a time when inflation is biting into people’s savings. Bitpanda customers can now bet against their gas bill and benefit from the short-term price movements of key commodities like oil, natural gas, corn, wheat and many more.”

According to the Austria-based cryptocurrency trading platform, users can buy, sell, or swap commodities just like any other digital asset on the platform.

The platform already offers digitized versions of precious metals like gold, platinum, and silver, as part of its portfolio on its trading platform.

Expanding Financial Access to Users

BitPanda allows retail investors to invest in various products, including cryptocurrency, stocks, and precious metals, among others.

The latest development is part of efforts by the company to continue expanding its investment platform.

In October last year, BitPanda appointed a former executive at JPMorgan, Joshua Barraclough, to lead a new division in the platform – BitPanda Pro, a platform targeting fulfilling the needs of experienced traders and institutional investors.  

In July this year, Bitpanda launched more than four crypto indices for investors, providing more options by helping them to diversify their portfolios.

The firm designed the launches to simplify investment in different crypto projects, such as the metaverse, decentralized finance (DeFi), smart contracts, and infrastructure through new automated crypto indices.

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3AC Withdraws $45m from Curve and Convex amid Bankruptcy

Three Arrows Capital (3AC) might have declared bankruptcy, but the firm is still conducting a number of robust transactions, according to insights derived from on-chain data. 


The company, which was also declared as a liquidated entity by a court in the British Virgin Islands, has unstaked a total of 20,945 staked ether (stETH), worth $33.3 million, from Curve Finance.

The transaction was discovered in part because the crypto analytics platform, Nansen, had already marked the wallet address used for the transaction as belonging to 3AC. Su Zhu ran the firm and also withdrew some funds, including 2,421 wrapped ether (3.98 million), 202.7 wrapped bitcoin ($4 million) and 4,051,367 USDT stablecoins from the Convex Finance protocol as well.

The wallet address attached to Three Arrows Capital that was used to initiate the transaction with Curve is also what is being used to keep hold of the unstaked $45 million. According to the balances in the Wallet at the time of writing, a total of $57.86 million.

Prior to its liquidation and subsequent bankruptcy, 3AC was a highly capitalized firm, serving as both a hedge fund as well as an active investment outfit in the broader Web3.0 ecosystem. The trading platform is known to be the prominent backer of key projects like Fireblocks and Terraform Labs.

The bet on Terraform Labs fueled its downfall, and the cataclysmic impact accounts for what has dragged many other crypto firms like Voyager Digital into the bankruptcy circle.

According to liquidation proceedings, it was discovered that the embattled crypto hedge fund owed as much as $3.5 billion to creditors, one of whom was

While Teneo Restructuring is in charge of the liquidation proceedings, some investors, particularly those with small stakes in the firm, can be adjudged as not having a visible edge in reclaiming their funds.

It is not immediately clear what the unstaked funds are meant for, as no comment or reference has been gleaned from 3AC or its representatives.

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