To Avoid a Global Recession the Fed Should Ease Interest Rate Hikes – UN Report

Caution should not be thrown to the wind when it comes to tightening fiscal and monetary policies because this could trigger a global recession, according to a UN agency report.

The Trade and Development Report 2022 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) highlighted:

“The world is headed towards a global recession and prolonged stagnation unless we quickly change the current policy course of monetary and fiscal tightening in advanced economies.”

The Federal Reserve (Fed) has been setting the ball rolling in terms of interest rate hikes, which have been detrimental to the crypto market as bears continue to bite. 


Since June this year, the Fed has adopted the strategy of increasing interest rates by 75 basis points (bps), a scenario last seen in 1994.


Market analyst Michael van de Poppe recently pointed out that the situation had become dire to the extent that the crypto market is positively skewed towards the decisions made at the federal open market committee (FOMC) meetings.


Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of crypto exchange FTX, also noted that despite the federal reserve being caught between a rock and a hard place, it was driving the current crypto downturn because both markets and people were scared.


Therefore, the interest rate hike trend has made UNCTAD concerned since tightened macroeconomic conditions affect the most vulnerable. Per the report:

“All regions will be affected, but alarm bells are ringing most for developing countries, many of which are edging closer to debt default.”

UNCTAD stated that raising interest rates sharply would make life harder for heavily indebted governments, households, and firms. Moreover, growth would be slashed altogether.


“There is still time to step back from the edge of recession. The current course of action is hurting the most vulnerable. This is a matter of policy choices and political will,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan added. 

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / / / /

Assets Belonging to Troubled Crypto Lender Celsius to go Under the Hammer

Celsius Network Ltd, a troubled and bankrupt crypto lender, has disclosed the auction dates for its assets.


Based on a filing with the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, the deadline for the final bid has been slated for October 17, but if need be it will be pushed to October 20. 


The filing added:

“A sale hearing will be held on Nov. 1 at 11 a.m. before Chief US Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn via Zoom.”

Celsius recently revealed that it was not planning to ask its debtors to pay their outstanding loans during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, Blockchain.News reported.


Founded in 2017, Celsius gave interest-bearing products to cryptocurrency owners who deposited their funds, with returns going as high as 18.6% annually. In turn, the firm would lend out cryptocurrencies to gain profits. 


The rain started beating the firm because it took more risk than it could handle, according to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report. Celsius had a total asset base of $19 billion, but its equity contribution was pegged at just $1 billion. 


The WSJ made the analogy that the company’s Asset-to-Equity ratio was more than double the average for all the North American banks in the S&P 1500 Composite index, which is close to 9:1.


Therefore, Celsius has been one of the significant crypto players that have gone down the drain amid this year’s market meltdown. Others include crypto lender Voyager Digital Ltd. and hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.


The native tokens of Terraform Labs, Luna, and UST stablecoin, have also crashed with the company’s founder Do Kwon still at large despite making claims that he is not in hiding.  

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

ARK Investment Launches Its First Crypto Managed Account for RIAs

Independent managed account provider Eaglebrook Advisors has announced a partnership with Ark Invest to develop the ARK Cryptocurrency Strategy and ARK Crypto Asset Strategy.

Cathie Wood’s investment firm ARK Investment is launching its first crypto Separately Managed Account (SMA) for Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs).

SMAs are portfolios created by financial advisors or investment firms for individual investors, and the partnership will allow ARK to expand its services beyond exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Cathie Wood, Founder, CEO, and Chief Investment Officer of ARK said:

“Through our partnership with Eaglebrook, we now can offer actively managed crypto strategies to the wealth management industry. The strategies will be separately managed accounts (SMAs) designed to meet the needs of financial advisors, wealth managers, and their clients by offering direct ownership, low minimums, and portfolio reporting integration among other benefits.

Advisors can differentiate themselves and add to a client’s diversification by adding this new asset class to their portfolios. Our partnership combines Eaglebrook’s best-in-class technology-driven investment platform with ARK’s established digital asset experience to deliver a differentiated, turnkey investment solution.”

The partnership will see both crypto strategies actively managed by Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest available to clients of registered investment advisors as separately managed accounts.

ARK and Eaglebrook are jointly developing the ARK Cryptocurrency Strategy and ARK Crypto Asset Strategy, where the Cryptocurrency Strategy primarily invests in Bitcoin and Ethereum, and Ark’s Crypto Asset Strategy is designed to invest in smart contract networks, DeFi and Web3, infrastructure and Top 10 – 20 coins related to scaling.

“It’s a game-changer for the industry and another sign of mainstream adoption,” said Roddy Chisholm, chief operating officer at Eaglebrook Advisors.

In early September, Ark Investment Management LLC, owned by Cathie Wood, expanded its research arm as it seeks deeper development in various fields, including blockchain and AI.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

Moonbirds DAO Prepares for Launch With $2.6M Seed from Kevin Rose’s Proof

Moonbirds, a popular non-fungible token (NFT) collection has announced plans to introduce its DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) community governance in early 2023.

The project’s founder and longtime internet entrepreneur Kevin Rose disclosed on Monday that the DAO structure is being created to “empower creatives that are building towards furthering the Moonbirds ecosystem, reputation, and lore.”

The Moonbirds DAO will allow owners of Moonbirds NFTs and the upcoming Moonbirds Mythics NFTs to join, participate, and submit voting on proposals to expand the ecosystem around the tokenized owl collectibles, Rose explained.

Proof, the private community behind the Moonbirds NFT collection, will seed the DAO with around $2.6 million worth of assets, including $2 million worth of Ether (ETH).

Proof, which was co-founded by Rose, will spend another $500,000 to buy Moonbirds NFTs on the market—an estimated 37 NFTs, based on the current floor price (or cheapest available NFT). Proof will also award the DAO with its own Moonbirds NFTs worth $100,000, according to the report.

Besides that, Proof will also grant 35% of the ongoing creator royalties from both Moonbirds and its spinoff Oddities collection to the DAO. The decentralized autonomous organization will launch with a “cold start” caveat that allows Proof veto any “rogue proposal.”

In August, Proof revealed the first official expansion of the Moonbirds collection, known as Moonbird Mythics, expected to launch in early 2023.

In August, Proof also raised $50 million in a Series A funding round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), and other participants such as Seven Seven Six, True Ventures, Collab+Currency, Flamingo DAO, SV Angel, and VaynerFund. Proof planned to use the fresh funding to launch its latest Moonbirds NFT collection and a social platform for NFT collectors.

In April, Moonbirds completely sold out its collection of 10,000 computer-generated pixel owl avatars within 48 hours of launch, making $281 million in sales at that time.

Moonbirds is a collection of non-fungible tokens that follows the ERC-721 standard on Ethereum’s blockchain ecosystem. The NFTs feature portraits of ‘owls’ (a group of mysterious birds), with exclusive characteristic elements that make each token a rare piece of investment.

The Ethereum-based Moonbirds NFT project offers a pool of opportunities for investors looking to reap profits from non-fungible tokens. According to OpenSea, Moonbirds is ranked at number seven in terms of total volume traded at approximately 169,000 Ether (ETH).

Despite the bear market, NFTs continue gaining popularity as investors from across the globe are actively participating in innovative projects. NFTs have taken a toll on investors, with global icons like Snoop Dog, Naomi Osaka, Jack Dorsey, and Tiger Woods, among others, placing their big bets on related projects.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

Binance Signs New MOU With Kazakhstan as it Looks to Fight Crimes

Binance exchange, arguably the largest trading platform by trading volume has signed its second Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kazakhstan.


As announced by the company, the latest partnership was inked with the republic’s Financial Monitoring Agency to advance the reach of its global enforcement training targeted at fighting both financial crimes and cybercrimes.


Binance officially launched the Global Law Enforcement Training program last week in an attempt to complement related trading of watchdogs around the world as it has been doing for the past year. Thus far, Binance has held its training for this program in Italy, France, Canada, Germany, Israel, Norway, and the United Kingdom.


The scope of the Kazakhstani partnership will be centered on identifying and blocking cryptocurrencies that were obtained illegally as proceeds of criminal activities which can also be used to finance terrorism.


Binance has played a more frontline position in the broader scheme of things as it concerns keeping the health and sanity of the entire digital currency ecosystem from bad actors. In Binance’s role as a key watchdog keeping oversight of bad actors, it has helped Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge recover as much as $5.8 million that the Lazarus Group attempted to launder through it earlier this year.


The MoU with the Kazakhstani Financial Monitoring Agency trails the similar one that was signed by Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao and the country’s President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev back in May of this year. 

The broad relationship Binance is building with regulators around the world is benefitting the exchange as it has regained the trust of many who once labeled it unfit to operate within their shores. From France to Italy, Spain, and even Kazakhstan, the trading behemoth has landed approvals to operate its business in these regions and it is looking to explore more partnerships in a bid to expand its broader regulatory reach.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / /

Tether Boosts US Treasury Holdings Behind USDT, Further Reducing Commercial Paper

Tether, the crypto firm behind USDT stablecoin, on Monday, announced that it has increased its holding of U.S. Treasuries to 58.1% of its total portfolio while reducing its commercial paper holding to less than $50 million. Tether Chief Technology Officer Paolo Ardoino revealed the matter via Twitter social media.

Mr. Ardoino disclosed that on September 30, Tether increased its U.S. Treasury bill holdings to now account for 58.1% of stablecoin issuer Tether’s reserves – that is an increase of 14% from the previous standing. As of June 30, the company’s U.S. Treasuries stood at 43.5% of its total portfolio.

In July, Tether clarified that it “holds no Chinese commercial paper” and said its total commercial paper exposure had been cut to $3.7 billion from $20.1 billion as of May this year. During that time, Tether said that it would completely rid itself of commercial paper backing for its U.S.-dollar stablecoin USDT by the end of the year, as part of a plan to reduce exposure to riskier assets.

Its statement came as a response to the ongoing FUD around Tether, with some reports alleging that Tether’s commercial paper portfolio was 85% backed by Chinese or Asian commercial papers. Tether refuted such reports, stating that such allegations were completely false.

Stablecoins were under increased scrutiny after the collapse of the TerraUSD token in May. Usually underpinned by reserves of assets such as the U.S. dollar, gold, and government debt, stablecoins are widely used in crypto trading. Tether’s reserves consist of commercial paper (short-term debt issued by companies) and U.S. Treasury bonds.

Since the fourth quarter of 2021, Tether has been committed to reducing its holdings of commercial debt in its reserves, as the crypto firm continues facing questions about what its digital currency is actually backed by.

There has been controversy over claims made by Tether and its reserves. Last year, Tether disclosed that it held some cash but also purchased a large amount of commercial paper, which is short-term corporate debt. This raised concerns given that Tether does not disclose which companies it holds commercial paper from, and where those entities are based.

Last year, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) fined Tether $41 million for “making untrue or misleading statements” that its USDT stablecoin was backed 100% by corresponding fiat currencies. Last month, a New York judge ordered Tether to provide evidence of the USDT backing of its reserves.

The crypto firm aims to cut its commercial paper holdings to zero, as part of efforts to address concerns about the quality of assets underpinning its stablecoin amid the crypto market meltdown. In July, Tether revealed it hired accountancy firm BDO Italia to certify its reserves and that it would aim to release monthly reports by the end of the year.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / /

Japan PM Says Govt’s Digital Transformation Investments Will Include Metaverse, NFTs

Fumio Kishida, the Prime Minister of Japan, on Monday announced the government’s efforts to promote Web3 services, including blockchain, NFT, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and the Metaverse.

The Prime Minister said Web3-related growth – including metaverse and NFT-related developments – is now part of the country’s growth strategy. He said the government is keen on creating a society where new services can easily be created.

On October 3, the Prime Minister delivered a speech before Japan’s National Diet (Japan’s bicameral parliament) where he said the government’s investment in the country’s digital transformation already embraces the issuance of NFTs to local authorities using digital technology to solve challenges in their respective jurisdictions.

Besides signaling the government’s plan to digitize national identity cards, Kishida said the cabinet will promote efforts to expand the use of Web 3.0 services that utilize the metaverse and NFTs.

Kishida said Japan’s technological investments would enhance the development and production of semiconductors as part of a joint effort with the US. He said that his government is working on reform regulations related to the technology sector – as well as making institutional reforms that aim at creating an environment that facilitates the creation of new services, including Web3-related infrastructure.

 Kishida also plans to create new markets and funnel investment into science and technology, innovation, startup investment, and the digital sphere.

The Prime Minister’s speech confirmed Japan’s commitment to ease stringent policy. In March, various stakeholders and opposition parties expressed concern that potential startup companies and talent from Japan have relocated overseas due to issues such as over-regulation and restrictive tax rules over the past few years.

Lobby groups have been calling for the government to relax corporate taxes as stringent taxations have influenced crypto firms to relocate to other countries like Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

In August, the Japanese government proposed a corporate-friendly crypto tax that would take effect from 2023. The Prime Minister’s plan of revamping the economy relies on spurring growth in Web3 firms as a key agenda.

The government’s effort to relax stiff regulations appears beginning to bear fruit. Late last month, the Binance exchange announced plans to seek reentry to the local market after failing to do so four years ago due to stringent measures.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / /

NYDIG has Raised $720 Million for its Institutional Bitcoin Fund

As of Oct. 3, New York-based digital investment group NYDIG said it has raised $720 million for its institutional bitcoin fund, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Only 59 investors contributed, with each contributing more than $12 million to the financing on average, suggesting these were wealthy individuals or companies.

The number is the largest since the peak of institutional investors in or around December 2020, when they bought about $1 billion worth of bitcoin each week.

According to the press release, NYDIG’s bitcoin balances “increased nearly 100% year over year, and revenue rose 130% in the second quarter.”

NYDIG stated that “While Bitcoin continues to trade lower during 2022, the company holds more Bitcoin than ever before.”

The filing emphasizes that the SEC has not necessarily reviewed the information in the filing while determining its accuracy and completeness.

NYDIG, in particular, is promoting cooperation among institutional investors. According to the firm’s forecast, the firm expects its assets under management (AUM) for institutional investors to exceed $25 billion, as many corporate buyers turn to the firm for their bitcoin investment needs.

It is reported that NYDIG is a subsidiary of Stone Ride Holdings and has a long-term cooperative relationship with traditional financial institutions.

According to a September SEC filing, Stone Ridge said it expects to liquidate the bitcoin futures fund next month, on Oct. 21, and from Nov. 3, shares in the fund will not be available for purchase. The advisor will reduce the Fund’s holdings to cash in preparation for the liquidation date. Proceeds from the liquidation of the fund are expected to be distributed to shareholders in the form of cash.

The liquidation proceeds are expected to be distributed promptly after the liquidation date to fully redeem each shareholder’s shares of the fund.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

Crypto Miner Merkle Increases Hash Rate 9x to 3.1EH/s in 8 Months

Bitcoin miner Merkle Standard has formed a joint venture with Bitmain, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin mining equipment manufacturers, to increase its total computing power, or hash rate, from about 0.3 EH/s to 3.1 exahash ( EH/s). With the partnership, the computing power is increased by 900%.

Merkle revealed that it has added 40 megawatts (MW) of mining capacity to its South Carolina facility, bringing its total mining capacity to 140 MW.

The company said that the machines that will be used are Bitmain’s latest mining rigs, the S19 XP Mining Bitcoin (BTC), or S19J Pro models, which are among the most energy-efficient bitcoin mining machines on the market.

The site has exclusive rights to an additional 50 megawatts of electricity, allowing the site to expand to 86 megawatts

The site, Merkle’s main mine in eastern Washington, currently has 100MW of online power generation and is expected to reach 225MW by the end of 2023, with a maximum expansion capacity of 500MW.

The Blue Ridge base in South Carolina is Merkle’s second facility, which the company said it expects to expand to 80MW of mining capacity by the end of 2024.

January 21, 2022: Merkle Standard, a sustainable digital asset mining platform, announced a purchase order for new mining machines from Bitmain Technologies Ltd. The executed purchase agreement is for 13,500 mining rigs from a leading ASIC mining manufacturer.

As Bitcoin’s value plummeted 45 percent in June, many mining companies have gone to great lengths to adjust their operations; some are buying mining equipment, others are suspending mine construction, and still, others are expanding projects.

In June, Bitfarms sold 1,500 bitcoins for about $62 million and used the proceeds to reduce debt.

In July, CleanSpark continued to expand its infrastructure by acquiring 1,061 Whatsminer M30S rigs at a deep discount.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / /

Kim Kardashian Charged $1.2M by the SEC For EthereumMax Promotion

American TV reality superstar, Kim Kardashian has been charged by the United States Securities Commission (SEC) for the promotion of EMAX Token, the native coin of the EthereumMax protocol. 


As contained in a press release issued by the commission, Kim did not disclose that she was paid the sum of $250,000 for the promotion which she posted on her Instagram handle. As described by the SEC, the posted promotion contained a link that lead visitors to a landing page where instructions on how to buy the token can be obtained.


Kim has neither admitted to nor denied she breached the anti-touting provision of the federal securities laws. However, she has agreed to pay the total sum of $1.26 million, including $260,000 as disgorgement to stand in for the payment she received for the promotions and pre-judgment interest, and a $1 million penalty.


“This case is a reminder that, when celebrities or influencers endorse investment opportunities, including crypto asset securities, it doesn’t mean that those investment products are right for all investors,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “We encourage investors to consider an investment’s potential risks and opportunities in light of their own financial goals.”


The regulator said it is mandatory that celebrities disclose whatever remuneration they were given and that the members of the public deserve to know. Per the sanctions levied on the celebrity, she has also agreed not to promote any crypto asset for the next three years. In addition, she has agreed to co-operate with the investigators as the case is still very much open.

The SEC is known to crack down on celebrities for promoting fraudulent crypto tokens. Back in June 2020, professional boxing legend, Floyd Mayweather was also indicted for the promotion of Centra Tech’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO) back in 2017.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / /
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 26,553.11 0.21%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,627.03 0.50%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 63.92 0.81%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 233.96 0.62%