Metaverse Will Bring About the “Construction of New Economies” – Animoca CEO

Yat Siu, the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Animoca Brands has shared his thoughts on what he believes the metaverse is metamorphosing into in the near future. 


Speaking at the Future Blockchain Summit, the veteran industry leader noted that the metaverse is not a central entity and is bound to stir the advent of new economies that will benefit its adopters.

In the explanation for his position about the highly talked-about marketplace, Siu said industries cannot be quantities based on a single metric, and that the collective performance of key offshoots of the ecosystem often comes together to make a whole.

“Metaverse to us is a whole economy. We don’t want to measure the future of these companies using PNL, we want to measure it in terms of GDP. Just like we can’t define Ethereum’s value by how much gas it generates but rather its utility as a whole, in the same way, the metaverse is an all-accomplishing picture. So, thematically, it’s a metaverse; but practically, itu2019s digital ownership.”

Siu faults the usurping role big tech companies like Google and Facebook have played in the evolution of the gaming industry thus far. According to him, the bigger portion of the more than $200 billion industry is controlled by big tech with little going to the game developers and almost nothing to players.

Per the model of Web3.0, Siu believes this anomaly will be corrected, creating an economy whereby everyone will be fairly compensated for their participation in the ecosystem.

“More than half of the value that is generated in the gaming industry goes to Apple, Facebook and Google. How much of that goes back to the gaming industry? Zero. This is the issue today, and it makes the ecosystem unhealthy.”

Yat Siu, whose company owns The Sandbox metaverse and has invested in hundreds of gaming protocols believes GameFi is one of the contending avenues by which users will be onboarded into the Web3.0 industry.

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FTX CEO Says His Brand is “Totally on Board With Regulation”

In his characteristic manner, Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of FTX Derivatives Exchange has reiterated again that his brand will be welcoming to regulations pushed by lawmakers to guide innovations in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. 


Speaking at the Bipartisan Policy Center, Bankman-Fried noted that there has been observable friction in how the industry and those responsible for introducing regulations interact. This impasse, according to Bankman-Fried has to end, and he noted that he is willing to provide the help needed to bring functional regulations into the industry as much as possible.

“We are totally on board with regulation. It has to happen. It’s healthy. It’s the right thing to do. And we’d love to be helpful any way we can,” Bankman-Fried said. “I think our industry has not always done a great job at saying that. Sometimes maybe that was the intention, but it’s come out more like ‘fuck you’ and that that wasn’t as constructive a way to engage.”

The role played by FTX.US and the global brand has drawn talks from policy makers, however, Bankman-Fried is driving a lot of lobbying efforts in Washington. Besides the sponsor of Political Action Committees (PACs), the crypto mogul has pitched a proposition for his company to be a standalone Clearinghouse in the US.

This move has made the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) highlight the fears in the proposition, including imminent risks to financial stability according to a report released earlier this year. 

Drawing on his previous appearances on Capitol Hill, if he has the opportunity to address the FSOC of which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is the Chair, Bankman-Fried said he will not take the combative approach of the industry.

“Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit,” He said. “I use stablecoins a lot as an example because I think it’s just the cleanest – it’s just like clearly a good thing which helps reduce risk, to do this without getting in the way of legitimate finance. It’s just good. Let’s do that.”

With the broader industry’s clamor for good regulation, several government agencies are already working out harmonizing modalities to make the wishes a reality.

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Blockchain Infrastructure Provider Tatum Secures $41.5M Funding

Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) provider, Tatum has landed $41.5 million in funding, receiving the needed capital backing to expand its business offerings.


Riding on its current track record in the industry, Tatum’s funding was led by Equity Partners with support from other renowned venture firms including Octopus Ventures, 3VC, Tensor Ventures, Depo Ventures, Leadblock Fund, Circle, and founders of Bitpanda.

The startup’s valuation was undisclosed, however, judging by the current adoption level of its offering, Tatum has undoubtedly carved a niche for itself in the blockchain world. The platform helps developers cut down the time, and complications and to shorten the time with which they develop and launch new blockchain applications.

The simplification solution provided by Tatum is currently being used by 90,000 clients and the firm said it gets an average of 7000 new clients per month.

“Blockchain has proven essential to the explosive growth and broad innovation of digital finance and Web 3.0,” said Jiri Kobelka, co-founder and chief executive officer, Tatum. “Tatum is the first company to squarely address the complexities, necessary technological expertise, and lengthy development times that blockchain applications require. We have revolutionized blockchain application creation by slashing development times from months or years of engineering time down to just days.”

With the new capital injection, Tatum said it will place additional focus on its marketing, educational focus, and the building of its community. The startup will also seek to build new capacities as it was able to complete its platform when it previously secured $8 million in funding from investors.

With more developers making their way into the Web3.0 ecosystem, the role being assumed by Tatum is becoming a major consideration for most innovators. In all, Tatum seeks to use the capital boost to keep being the go-to platform for both Fortune 500 companies and startups looking to make their way into the Web3.0 world.

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Valkyrie to Liquidate Bitcoin Balance Sheet ETF following Low Customer Demand

Valkyrie Funds LLC, a digital asset ETF issuer in the US, announced Tuesday that it would liquidate one of its exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that invests in innovative public companies with exposure to Bitcoin.

The digital assets manager said it would shut down the Valkyrie Balance Sheet Opportunities FUND (Nasdaq: VBB) at the end of this month and then be delisted from Nasdaq, where it has traded since December 2021.

Any investor who holds shares of the fund at liquidation will get a cash redemption equal to the net asset value (NAV) of their claims, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

Valkyrie termed the fund’s dissolution as the best course of action, stating that the move was part of an ongoing review of products to ensure the company best meets customer demands.

The firm said the action was taken after thoroughly consulting the company’s Board of Directors. They determined that discontinuing the fund was the best course of action for all those involved.

Customers never showed much interest in Valkyrie’s second ETF, where the largest positions are MicroStrategy (MSTR) and Tesla (TSLA), firms known for holding Bitcoin on their balance sheets. According to the report, net assets under the fund’s management are only about $570,000 as of now.

Investors may trade shares up until the end of the trading day on October 28. Valkyrie said it would satisfy expenses related to the liquidation, the distribution of cash proceeds, and brokerage expenses.

Last December, Valkyrie Balance Sheet Opportunities ETF aimed to invest primarily in companies that invest in, transact in, or have exposure to the Bitcoin asset class on their balance sheets or those that operate within the Bitcoin ecosystem. The fund is the second in a family of Valkyrie’s ETFs designed to enable investors to participate in the digital asset landscape.

The fund’s discontinuation happens when many investors are still interested in Bitcoin investments despite the market downturn. According to a recent survey, more than 80% of financial advisers in the US are being asked about cryptocurrencies, but many struggles to allocate clients effectively to this asset class. With many publicly traded companies in the US already holding Bitcoin and more corporations, entities, and countries increasingly entering the space, investing in these companies provides indirect exposure that many individuals are seeking.

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US Treasury Fines Bittrex Exchange $29m for Multi-Year Sanctions Violation

Washington-based cryptocurrency trading platform, Bittrex Has been fined the sum of $29 million by the United States Treasury Department through the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). 


The fone, tagged as the single largest levied by the OFAC on a digital currency trading platform, became necessary, considering Bittrex failed to implement adequate compliance programs, thus helping some of its users to evade established sanctions. 

According to the OFAC announcement, the trading platform “failed to prevent persons apparently located in the Crimea region of Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria from using its platform to engage in approximately $263,451,600.13 worth of virtual currency-related transactions between March 2014 and December 2017.”

The regulator noted that preventing these banned users would have been easy if the exchange prevented their registration based on their IP addresses at the point of registration. The FinCEN violation involved failure on the part of the trading platform to institute appropriate Anti-Money Laundering (AML) measures, thus creating a weak channel for the laundering of illicit financial proceeds.

“When virtual currency firms fail to implement effective sanctions compliance controls, including screening customers located in sanctioned jurisdictions, they can become a vehicle for illicit actors that threaten U.S national security,” said OFAC Director Andrea Gacki. “Virtual currency exchanges operating worldwide should understand both who—and where—their customers are. OFAC will continue to hold accountable firms, in the virtual currency industry and elsewhere, whose failure to implement appropriate controls leads to sanctions violations.”

The US Treasury has been more alive towards cryptocurrency service providers all year long, first coming into the limelight in May when it banned crypto mixer, and subsequently when it added Tornado Cash to its list. 

While the industry made no fuss about the Blender ban, that of Tornado Cash has been received with so many objections, all of which have spurred industry giants like Coinbase Global Inc to fund targeted lawsuits and advocacy stunts.

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Charles Hoskinson Officially Cut Ties with XRP Community

Barely a week after the news of the brawl with Ethereum Classic made the rounds, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson has publicly declared he is cutting ties with the XRP community.


According to the conversation gleaned from his tweet, Charles seems to have been the main figure behind a ton of trolls associated with the XRP community.

As an outspoken critic of many projects, it comes off as though many supporters of the XRP coin have been taking their pound of flesh on the legendary blockchain developer. Per his tweet, all of the trolling may be coming to an end.

“I think I’ve blocked most of the XRP trolls who continue to harass unprovoked. I’ve never seen a group so radically pick up a few words and run with it. Great job turning an ally into someone disgusted and totally checked out,” he said.

While many support Charles’ actions, a renowned XRP advocate, XRPcryptowolf, jumped into the conversation and advised Charles not to stereotype an entire community based on the behaviour of a selected few. However, Charles seems unperturbed in his stance, stating further;

“It isn’t a few trolls. It’s been an endless harassment campaign for days. I’m done with it. I want nothing more to do with XRP. The community has accomplished nothing but harming itself. Congratulations.” 

Actions and reactions are often tagged as balanced in what comes off as an open industry. Charles earlier confiscated the Twitter account that has served the Ethereum Classic community since 2016 and recently re-purposed it for the Ergo Community. The account has over 600k followers forcing the Ethereum Classic protocol to start building its community all over again. 

A number of industry observers were not cool with the events and how things played out, and for that reason, many may still be coming for Charles in ways he may not have envisaged.

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CNN Halts NFT Project, Seeking Avenue to Compensate Fans

The multinational media company, the Cable News Network (CNN) has announced that it will be terminating its active development and engagement of its Non-Fungible Token (NFT) project dubbed “Vault by CNN.”


Taking to its Twitter handle, the company said the halt in the project does not imply that the NFT collection already launched will cease to exist as it has defined clear modalities to manage the collection. On its part, the company said its active engagement and development of Vault by CNN will cease.

“The Vault team is honoured to have partnered with amazing journalists, producers, artists, photojournalists, and collectors from all over the world during our time together,” the company said in the shared Press Release on Twitter, “We learned a lot from our first foray into Web3, and we are excited to carry Vault’s concepts around community storytelling into future projects.”

With quite a number of deliverables left on its roadmap, which spans till the end of this year, so many collectors of the NFT have been feeling slighted and cheated, some are even calling the move a rug pull.

Understanding how its community felt about the move, Vault by CNN plans to compensate the most affected community members. According to a statement sent out by the Vault by CNN, collectors will receive partial refunds, which will be paid out through Flow (FLOW) tokens.

“The distribution will be either FLOW tokens or stablecoins deposited into each collector’s wallet. We are currently working out the details, but expect the distribution amount to be roughly 20% of the original mint price for each Vault NFT owned.” 

The potential incentive was confirmed by one of the core team members on Discord, identified as Jason.

Coming off as one of the media entities besides Marvel and Time Magazine with a vested interest in NFTs. Notably, with the abrupt end of the Vault by CNN project, many collectors may stay sceptical of related projects that may be coming from top media firms in the near future.

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Step Secures $300m Fund, Introduces Crypto Investment Platform for Young Adults

Digital banking service Step has secured $300 million in new debt funding round, which coincided with the company’s launch of a crypto investment platform aimed at minors and young adults – their key clientele.

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The banking platform’s funding round was led by Triplepoint Capital and Evolve Bank & Trust, the company said.

According to the company, minors and young adults can only use the new crypto investment platform with the consent of a parent or legal guardian to buy and sell bitcoin, with additional stocks and cryptocurrencies to join the platform soon.

Alongside the new platform, Step also introduced Money 101 – a financial literacy program – a six-lesson course that spans the banking sector to cryptocurrency investing.

According to The Block, with the funding secured, Step’s raise now totals $500 million, including debt and equity financing, from investors such as Crosslink Capital, Stripe, Coatue, General Catalyst, Triplepoint Capital, Charli D’Amelio, Stephen Curry, Justin Timberlake, Will Smith, The Chainsmokers, Alex Rodriguez, and others.

Step previously, in April 2021, closed a $100 million round of Series C funding after growing to more than 1.5 million users just six months after launch.

The round was led by General Catalyst, which came shortly after Step’s $50 million Series B.

Step is competing in a crowded market of mobile banking services aimed at a younger demographic, but it’s one of very few that targets teenagers ages 13 to 18. 

According to the company, Step’s app allows teens access to an FDIC-insured bank account without fees and a secured Visa card that helps them establish credit before they turn 18.

The app also offers Venmo-like functionality for sending money to friends.

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Crypto Firms Join Forces to Push for Stratum V2 Bitcoin Mining Upgrades

A group of crypto firms led by Bitcoin mining tech provider Braiins and the Block Inc’s subsidiary funding Bitcoin development called Spiral are promoting the adoption of Stratum V2 protocol.

The initiative sets to upgrade Stratum V1 (the current Bitcoin mining pool protocol) miners use to control how mining machines communicate with pool servers.

The upgrade from Stratum V1 would improve security for miners and for the network, help further decentralize the network, and make communication more efficient, a joint statement from Braiins and Spiral said.

Stratum’s second version (V2) promises to bring many improvements to the protocol, including censorship resistance and allowing miners to choose their own work rather than being assigned workloads by pools, as a result, would increase the Bitcoin network’s decentralization. The upgrade is a necessary step to support an increase in pooled mining and further growth in hashrate, the report elaborated.

The working group now focuses on building and sharing tools for all mining firms to rapidly and seamlessly upgrade to Stratum V2 protocol.

As per the announcement, the working group has released the first version of an open-source Stratum V2 reference implementation (SRI) for testing. The SRI will allow anyone to run the upgraded protocol or use it as a guide for their own implementation of Stratum V2, the report said.

The joint statement said that the working group plans to release a new “more robust” version of the SRI with more functionality in early November.

Crypto exchange BitMEX, crypto financial services firm Galaxy Digital, crypto mining and staking firm Foundry, and Bitcoin education program Summer of Bitcoin, are among the members of the working group who are giving support to Stratum V2’s key developers. Spiral and Braiins invited interested parties to participate in the group in their joint report released yesterday.

Miners “know the benefits of Stratum V2 very well,” but pushing the mining industry over the “remaining development and adoption hurdles” is a “big task,” Braiins co-founder Jan Capek said in the report.

The push for the Stratum V2 protocol comes at a time when mining difficulty has increased by 13.55 % to an all-time high. Blockchain.News reported the matter. As the individual activity becomes more difficult and competitive over time, Bitcoin mining has shifted to a pooled resource model that significantly reduces the volatility of payouts. Miners join pools, paying a service fee to the pool and obtaining a consistent share of block reward payouts relative to their hash provided.

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City of Niagara Falls Forces Blockfusion Bitcoin Miner to Shut Down Operations

Bitcoin miner Blockfusion has been ordered to shut down its operations due to violations of the local area’s zoning code.

Crypto mining firm Bit Digital hosts 17% of its machines at Blockfusion mining facility in Niagara Falls. On Tuesday, Bit Digital said it received a cease-and-desist order from the City of Niagara Falls in New York about issues revolving around mining activities in the facility.

The order calls for Blockfusion to halt all cryptocurrency mining or related operations at the facility until it complies with the city’s zoning ordinance (laws).

Bit Digital said it received the notice just four days after a moratorium on the industry was lifted on September 30. The company said it is preparing applications for new permits, which may take several months to process.

The City of Niagara Falls is the latest community to voice frustrations about crypto mining facilities. In July, residents raised concerns that cryptocurrency mining facilities have been disrupting their daily lives in terms of disturbing noises and issues associated with the quality of life and the environment, and demanded city leaders to take action.

The city currently hosts two different mining facilities, three miles apart. There is a mining facility on Buffalo Avenue owned by U.S. Bitcoin Corporation while the other one located at Frontier Avenue, which was bought by the company Blockfusion in 2019.

In December of 2021, after complaints began to pile up, the city imposed a 180-day moratorium on Bitcoin operations while trying to sort out ordinances, community complaints, and zoning issues. That moratorium was extended and recently expired on September 30.

The state of New York recently passed a similar measure. In June, the state passed a bill seeking to ban Bitcoin mining operations that run on carbon-based power sources. The New York bill calls for a two-year moratorium on certain cryptocurrency mining operations that use proof-of-work consensus mechanisms to validate blockchain transactions.

The bill is now on the desk of Governor Kathy Hochul, who could sign it into law or veto it. If the governor signs the bill, it would make New York the first state in the country to ban blockchain technology infrastructure.

According to industry observers, if the bill is signed into law, it could have a domino effect across the U.S., which is currently at the forefront of the global crypto-mining industry, accounting for 38% of the world’s miners.

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