Apple’s New Guidelines Permit NFTs But There’s a Caveat

American multinational tech giant, Apple Inc, the owner of the App Store, one of the largest application hosting platforms in the world has updated its guidelines to include an accommodation for its hosted apps to integrate Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).


While this may come as very big news considering the exposure the new allowance will grant to developers and apps to integrate NFTs, Apple’s guidelines come with some form of limitations. The updated guideline reads;

“Apps may use in-app purchase to sell and sell services related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), such as minting, listing, and transferring. Apps may allow users to view their own NFTs, provided that NFT ownership does not unlock features or functionality within the app. Apps may allow users to browse NFT collections owned by others, provided that the apps may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase.”

The update can be said to be positive and negative as the functionalities are generally limited which may not augur well for developers to maximize the traffic generated from the app.

NFTs as an offshoot of blockchain technology is going mainstream and the number of tech giants, particularly those in the social media space, supporting its growth has continued to grow over the past year. While Reddit has launched its own NFT collection, Twitter started permitting NFT owners to feature NFTs as their profile pictures earlier in the year.

While these moves help publicize the potential inherent in the technology, Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook launched support for NFTs across some of its applications including Instagram. 

With most of these applications running on the App Store, the new Apple allowance will notably help advance their embrace, and developers can count this as a win, despite the limitations applicable.

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Unregistered Crypto Asset Manager BPS Sued by Aussie Regulator

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has brought civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court against BPS Financial Pty Ltd, one of the asset management firms operating in the country.


According to a press release shared by the regulator, BPS Financial made a number of false and misleading statements about Qoin Financial tokens which it allegedly distribute to 79,000 investors.


As noted by ASIC, BPS Financial marketed the Qoin token by promising that those who hold the coin can exchange them for other financial assets including the Australian Dollar on independent exchanges. While BPS also alleges that the Qoin token can be used to purchase goods and pay for services from merchants it is in partnership with, it claimed that the wallet and crypto product of the Qoin token were regulated by relevant authorities.


The Aussie regulator came to find out that none of the claims of the company are true and that is contrary to the claims, the products were not licensed, and neither were token holders able to liquidate their holdings as promised on independent brokerage firms.


“We allege that, despite what BPS represented in its marketing, Qoin merchant numbers have been declining, and that there have been periods of time where it was not possible to exchange Qoin tokens through independent exchanges,” said ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court, “ASIC is particularly concerned about the alleged misrepresentation that the Qoin Facility is regulated in Australia, as we believe the more than 79,000 individuals and entities who have been issued with the Qoin Facility may have believed that it was compliant with financial services laws when ASIC considers it was not.”

Effectively, ASIC is seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, injunctions, and adverse publicity orders from the Court. The regulator has been playing a more active role in the industry and recently halted 3 crypto funds belonging to Holon Investments in a bid to protect consumers.

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Oasys Gaming Protocol Unveils Plans for Mainnet Launch in Three Phases

Oasys, an emerging EVM-Compatible gaming protocol is set to debut its mainnet and has unveiled three major phases the launch process will pass through. 


Per the announcement it shared via its blog post, the first step in the Oasys launch has kicked off today, October 25, and will see all of its initial validators resume taking the operation of all nodes and ensuring the Layer-1 protocol or the Hub-Layer functions effectively.


As Oasys revealed, it has spent the better part of the past few months inking strategic partnerships with important players spread across both the traditional and Web3.0-based ecosystems. At launch, it said it has as many as 21 validators including industry heavyweights such as Square Enix, SEGA, Ubisoft, ConsenSys, and tofuNFT amongst others.


The second phase of its push is set to commence on November 8 and the focus this time is on the integration of the Layer-2 protocol or the Verse-Layer on top of the Hub-Layer. The third phase will be ushered in on November 22 and amongst all else, it is focused on building a gaming or dashboard interface that gamers can interact with.


“The blockchain gaming ecosystem has grown rapidly over the past few years, reflecting an increasing appreciation of the value that projects such as Oasys have brought to the wider industry,” said Daiki Moriyama, Director, Oasys, “However, now is not the time to reflect on past accomplishments, but focus on the exciting possibilities of the future. The Mainnet launch is a significant step forward in creating a fully-functional, public-led gaming blockchain that will transform the gaming future and give extensive value to players and game developers alike.”

Oasys said the mainnet launch will come ahead of its token launch and that a part of its preparation includes a comprehensive audit of its codes by Quantstamp, a security audit firm that lists the likes of Solana and Cardano as its clients. The extensive audit is necessary considering the growing worry around DeFi exploitations, as well as bridges linked to gaming outfits.

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Listed DeFi Company AQRU unveils Crypto-collateralized Lending Service

AQRU plc, a decentralized finance (DeFi) company based in the UK, on Tuesday, announced the launch of BlockLender, a start-up providing cryptocurrency-collateralized lending services to users.

According to the report, BlockLender is set to provide digital asset-holders with the opportunity to use their cryptocurrency as collateral to access affordable instant loans.

As per the report, BlockLender operates differently from other firms in the industry in the sense that it does not fund its loans through users’ deposits, but rather invests users’ collateral in smart contracts with well-developed DeFi protocols to generate returns that are used as collateral to fund the underlying loan. This approach enables the firm to keep the interest rate low while limiting the risks for customers, the report said.

Philip Blows, CEO of AQRU and Managing Director of BlockLender, admitted that although crypto-backed loans enable consumers to use their digital assets to transact daily purchases, several providers have taken high levels of risk with users’ funds without their customers’ knowledge.

The CEO said the establishment of BlockLender is part of AQRU’s commitment to providing users with access to services in the cryptocurrency industry that effectively manage customers’ risk and provide them with transparent information on how their assets are being managed.

The above development comes when most consumers globally face difficulty to borrow funds from traditional banks at a time of extremely high-interest rates and persistent inflation. As a result, many regions including the UK have turned to cryptocurrency to gain access to needed credit.

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic-induced inflation hit, and that triggered Central Banks to hike interest rates, with further increases in 2021 and 2022.

As a result, traditional banks’ lending rates grew exponentially, which led to the growth of crypto digital asset platforms that provide up to 50% lower rates and zero maintenance fees.

As the adoption of digital assets grew across the globe, users had to sell their cryptocurrencies to spend on their daily lives. The launch of credit offering services is poised to help people grow their businesses or projects without selling their crypto.

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BitMEX CEO Alexander Hoptner Resigns From the Trading Platform

Alexander Höptner, the Chief Executive Officer that was drafted to bail out the BitMEX exchange when Arthur Hayes was under investigation by the United States market regulators has announced, with immediate effect, his resignation from the exchange. 


First reported by The Block, the exchange’s leadership has been handed over to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Stephan Lutz, a veteran who joined the exchange as a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and took up the CFO role in May 2021.

“Stephan Lutz has been appointed as Interim CEO of BitMex after Alexander Höptner has left our business with immediate effect,” a BitMex spokesperson said in a statement, “Stephan will continue to serve as our CFO, a role he has held since May 2021.”

Höptner took over as CEO back in January 2021 at a time when the exchange needed enough stability and a break from the legal onslaught that was launched by US regulators over its derivatives products. Drawing on his experiences with Börse Stuttgart, Deutsche Börse AG, and led Euwax AG, Höptner committed to changing the primary focus of the exchange from derivatives to other products.

This push paid off under his watch as BitMEX launched its spot trading outfit back in May. With so many big shoes to step into, Lutz has also expressed optimism to help drive the trading platform’s growth, and with his more than a year of experience, he can be considered a suitable fit for the role.

“Together with the rest of the management team and our talented staff members, I will make sure that BitMex continues to deliver great, innovative crypto trading products and a secure and stable trading environment for our clients,” Lutz said in the emailed statement. “We want to thank Alexander for his support to the business during his tenure and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Exchanges have continued to lose their top executives as outfits including Kraken, FTX, and NYDIG have seen the exodus of the top this crypto winter.

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ShareRing Rolls Out Skinny ID for Frictionless Blockchain-Based Digital Identity Solutions

ShareRing, a blockchain-based ecosystem providing digital identity solutions, has launched Skinny ID, aimed at offering a seamless and frictionless onboarding process. 


Per the announcement:

“Introducing Skinny ID, ShareRing’s simplified sign-up process that removes friction on the onboarding journey and allows users to explore the ShareRing ecosystem without having to provide any government IDs.”

Being a user-focused blockchain platform, ShareRing enables the issuance, storage, verification, and sharing of personal information and key documents. The report noted:

“Previously, ShareRing’s initial onboarding journey added friction to users who were stepping into ShareRing for the first time, which went against our mission to enable frictionless access. It was a more extensive sign-up process that asked for at least one piece of government ID followed by a selfie scan using our face match technology.” 

ShareRing’s blockchain-powered platform also enables financial institutions to undertake processes more efficiently and faster based on its electronic know-your-customer (eKYC) product, which presents users with the flexibility to give data-sharing consent.

ShareRing recently integrated the eKYC process with near-field communication (NFC) technology to make it more reliable and secure, Blockchain.News reported. 

Previously, ShareRing launched a new website with blockchain-enabled digital identities to usher in the Web3 era to tackle the challenge of the loss of autonomy on personal data experienced in Web2. 

Given that the lack of the ability to manage digital identity and footprint in Web2 has been one the primary stumbling blocks to safeguarding privacy and ownership of data, ShareRing intended to solve this challenge with the blockchain-enabled website.

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Celsius Gets Green Light from Bankruptcy Judge for Bidding Plans

Celsius Network has received a green light from a federal bankruptcy judge for the crypto lender’s bidding procedure plans.

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The next step will include setting up a motion schedule to see the platform’s assets sold by the end of the year.

On October 21, Celsius announced through Twitter, “at today’s hearing, we made progress on important issues, including bidding procedures for a potential sale of Celsius assets, cash management, and appointing a fee examiner to monitor professional fees. Our next hearing is currently scheduled for November 1.”

However, Celsius can still apply for a standalone proposal to reorganize. But the procedures lay out the steps for selling the platform’s assets.

The company also has plans to request bids for the retail asset business. They include the earn accounts and coin balances, the retail and institutional lending portfolio, its swap services, the staking platform, the payment feature, the decentralized finance arm and any crypto assets it’s still holding.

Other assets, including the mining business, are also under plans for soliciting bids.

The order has provided Celsius with access to choose a horse bidder, set the date and deadlines for a possible sale, and set up a layout for the sale. Ultimately, these steps will direct the lender to enter a sale order that the court and creditors would have to approve.

The deadline for final bids has been set up for December 12, and if necessary, an auction would be slated for December 15, according to Chief Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn.

Following that, a winner will be selected, and a sale hearing for any objections or discussion on the sale order will follow on December 22.

However, Celsius’ stockholders dealt a blow as Glenn ruled against their motion to form an official committee of equity holders. The stockholders were seeking to stake a claim to the company’s most valuable assets, according to Bloomberg.

The decision indicates that the holders of Celsius’ equity will not get financial support for the case but instead will have to pay for their own lawyers and advisers during the bankruptcy.

Among the stakeholders are top venture capital firm WestCap Management LLC and pension fund Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ).

The ongoing argument for months has been for the entitlement to the value from Celsius’ mining business, along with the loan book. The company’s stockholders believe that they are entitled to those assets rather than the customers because of Celsius’s corporate structure, which the customers have already denied.

According to Glenn’s decision, the stockholders have not met the legal standards required for their advisers’ bills to be paid by Celsius.

Celsius has already incurred more than $3 million in legal fees, according to a recent filing report.

The bankruptcy proceedings, which have been costly for Celsius Network, are an understatement. Per the filing, law firm Kirkland and Ellis is charging the company $2.6 million in fees for representing it in its bankruptcy proceedings from July 13 to July 31. 

Akin Gump also charged the company $750,000 in fees for its services between July 13 and August 31.

These massive legal fees give a peak into the costs incurred by crypto companies that have gone bankrupt, including Voyager Digital, Babel Finance, Vauld Group, and Zipmex. While the industry is filled with these bankruptcy cases, Celsius Network stands out as it was the first firm to halt withdrawals on its platform.

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92% High-Net-Worth Individuals in SG & HK Are Interested in Digital Assets: KPMG

To learn crypto perspectives from family offices (FOs) and high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in Singapore and Hong Kong, KPMG China and Aspen Digital conducted a study dubbed “Investing in Digital Assets” and discovered that growing interest among this group.

Per the report:

“Despite the volatility in the digital asset market in the past two years, FOs and HNWIs are keen to invest in the sector. The survey found that 92 percent of respondents were interested in digital assets, with 58 percent of FOs and HNWIs already investing and 34 percent planning to do so.”

The growing crypto interest among FOs and HNWIs in Singapore and Hong Kong was being driven by portfolio diversification and high return prospects. 

Confidence in digital assets was also being spurred by heightened participation by mainstream institutional investors. 

“Family offices and high-net-worth individuals in Hong Kong and Singapore have embraced this new asset class, with more than 90 percent of our survey respondents already investing in the space or planning to do so,” according to the study.

Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) dominated the group’s investment portfolio. Furthermore, growing interest in decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) was also noted. 

Direct equity investment emerged as the primary source of funding for crypto service providers. Matthew Lam, Aspen Digital’s head of research, pointed out:

“We have observed that family offices/HNWIs prefer direct equity investments, while crypto-focused venture capital firms favour equity plus token warrant approach to invest in digital asset service providers.”

Nevertheless, respondents cited inaccurate valuation and the changing global regulatory environment as the biggest hurdles to crypto investment. 

For instance, all virtual asset service providers (VASPs) in Hong Kong will be required to apply for an operational license by March 2024. Moreover, Singapore is also eyeing to broaden its crypto regulation scope. 

Meanwhile, Hong Kong recently showed its intention to legalize crypto trading after launching several legal initiatives related to emerging technologies in the cryptocurrency industry, Blockchain.News reported. 

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69 % Female Crypto Investors in U.S. Adopt Holding Strategy, Survey Shows

Female Americans continue to be resilient as cryptocurrency owners, despite the broad market turmoil being experienced, according to a survey by global crypto financial services company BlockFi. 

Through the latest edition of the Real Talk survey, BlockFi suggested that female crypto investors on American soil had a long-term outlook because they had adopted the buy-and-hold strategy. Per the report:

“When asked specifically what best describes their crypto investment style, the majority of female crypto owners (69%) said they hold crypto and remain hold-only.”

Flori Marquez, BlockFi’s founder and COO, added:

“The crypto landscape and the number of players look completely different than it did six months ago when we last issued this survey and yet the faith in the crypto markets and its potential as a long-term investment strategy remains. This resiliency is extremely promising.”

On the other hand, interest in this asset class has also not significantly decreased among female Americans. BlockFi noted:

“More than one in five women (22%) still intend to buy crypto in the next 12 months, down slightly from 28% the year prior.”

Some of the reasons why female investors in America are attracted to cryptocurrencies is because they believe it’s an inflationary hedge. Per the survey:

“When asked, one in five women believe crypto to be a good hedge against inflation. Even more, 20% of Gen Z women noted Bitcoin as the best long-term investment when presented with a list of options including individual stocks and real estate.”

Nevertheless, the study revealed a generational gap because one in ten women on American soil chose crypto as their first investment. 

Meanwhile, an Ipsos survey showed that the intention of investing in cryptocurrencies or using them as a payment option was higher among Americans compared to Canadians, Blockchain.News reported. 

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Ark Invest’s Wood Turned $100,000 Investment in Bitcoin to $7M

Cathie Wood said she currently owns over $7 million worth of bitcoin, which she purchased on the advice of Reagan-era economist Arthur Laffer while it was trading at $250.

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The ARK Investment Management CEO shared the information last week in a podcast interview called What Bitcoin Did with Peter McCormack. She added that she had invested $100,000 in bitcoin, which is now worth over $7 million.

Although Wood did not reveal the year, she purchased the cryptocurrency, the amount it was trading at when she bought it suggests that it was sometime in 2015.

She also went on to add that she has not sold any of that initial investment.

Laffer was Wood’s teacher at the University of Southern California, who had asked her to take an interest in Bitcoin.

Laffer advised her that Bitcoin was a rules-based monetary system and he was looking for it “ever since we went off the gold standard.”

When asked by Wood, how big Bitcoin could be, Laffer replied, saying: “how big is the US monetary base?” Around that year, the Bitcoin market cap was around $6 billion, and the US monetary base was $4.5 trillion.

When calculated on the current price of about $19,250, Wood has made a whooping profit of over $7.6 million on her $1000,000 investment.

However, she has not been able to find the same level of success with her firm – which she co-founded – as they have been unable to use ARK funds besides investing in securities until recently.

ARK Investment Management focuses on innovative and disruptive investments. The company’s value rose during the 2020 stock market boom, with its investments in unprofitable technology firms paying off lucratively, which attracted a huge amount of funds to its exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Although ETFs are limited to investing in securities, Ark began exploring ways to invest in bitcoin through products like the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and has eventually added them to several funds.

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