StarkWare partners with Chainlink

An impending agreement between the blockchain scaling technology firm StarkWare and Chainlink Labs will result in the addition of Oracle services, data feeds, and price feeds to the StarkNet ecosystem. This relationship will be established in the near future.

Because of the relationship, StarkWare will take part in Chainlink’s Scale programme, and the price feeds for StarkNet’s testnet will come from Chainlink. In addition, StarkNet tokens will be used to fund some operating expenditures for Chainlink oracle nodes. This access to Chainlink oracle services and data feeds will be provided to Starket developers via the usage of StarkNet tokens.

Chainlink is a decentralised oracle network that enables smart contracts to access off-chain data sources, application programming interfaces (APIs), and payment systems in a secure manner. It makes it possible for smart contracts to interact with data and events that take place in the real world, which in turn makes it possible for them to be triggered by data that originates from outside sources.

The network makes use of decentralised nodes, which are entrusted with the responsibility of delivering smart contracts with data that can be relied on and is secure. In exchange, these nodes are rewarded with payments in Chainlink’s native LINK currency. The data that is supplied to smart contracts by node operators has been checked and calculated by those node operators before being submitted to smart contracts. This verifies that the information is accurate and may be relied upon.

According to a statement that was released by StarWare, an economically feasible framework has been built between StarkNet and Chainlink. It is also hoped that the integration would provide developers working on StarkNet with the basic infrastructure needed to build “highly performant, more sophisticated, and secure smart contract applications.”

Oracles are an important part of the system, and their value can be seen in a wide range of applications because to the flexibility they provide. Knowledge about the current value of assets or NFTs is required for a significant number of applications. Oracles are often compared to extensive toolkits due to their breadth of functionality.


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Hodlnaut Seeks to Sell Business

According to recent reports, the struggling bitcoin lending company Hodlnaut is collaborating with a number of prospective buyers in an effort to sell its business as well as its other assets.

According to a story published by Bloomberg on February 6, a number of parties interested in acquiring Hodlnaut and its claims against the defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX have shown interest in doing so.

After Hodlnaut filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors, the company’s temporary judicial managers began receiving various acquisition offers for the company’s crypto business that is situated in Singapore. The report indicates, with reference to an affidavit, that the possible investors and the judicial managers are now in the process of signing non-disclosure agreements with one another.

According to what was allegedly stated in the affidavit, as of December 9, 2022, Hodlnaut Group owed a total of $160.3 million, which represented 62% of the company’s outstanding debt, to various businesses and organisations such as the Algorand Foundation, Samtrade Custodian, S.A.M. Fintech, and Jean-Marc Tremeaux.

According to information that was previously divulged, Hodlnaut’s FTX accounts had a total of 1,001 FTX (FTT) tokens, 514 Bitcoin (BTC), 1,395 Ether (ETH), 280,348 USD Coin (USDC) tokens, and so on. According to reports, the business has digital assets worth more than 18 million dollars listed on centralised exchanges such as FTX, Deribit, Binance, OKX, and Tokenize.

Hodlnaut, which had been a significant cryptocurrency lending platform in the past, was forced to cease operations in 2022 as a result of a shortage of liquidity brought on by a big bear market. Following the suspension of withdrawals in August, Hodlnaut successfully petitioned a Singapore court for protection from creditors, which enabled the company to reorganise itself while being overseen by the court. In their capacity as temporary judicial managers, the court chose Ee Meng Yen Angela and Aaron Loh Cheng Lee of EY Corporate Advisors.

The announcement comes several weeks after Hodlnaut’s creditors voted against a proposed restructuring plan and petitioned for the platform’s assets to be sold off in liquidation. Instead, it was stated that the creditors demanded a rapid liquidation and distribution of the assets that were still in existence among the creditors in order to maximise the value that was still there.

Users are able to deposit bitcoin, which is then loaned out to borrowers in exchange for monthly interest payments via Hodlnaut, one of the numerous organisations that specialises in providing services related to crypto lending. A number of crypto lending platforms, including Celsius Network, BlockFi, Genesis, and Vauld, have had operational difficulties as a result of the cryptocurrency winter of 2022. There are a lot of industry leaders who are of the opinion that crypto financing may still thrive despite the bear market; however, certain requirements must first be satisfied.


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The Bitcoin price surge has led to a market FOMO among small BTC addresses

Fear of missing out (FOMO) was prevalent in the market during the second week of January as a result of the rise in price of Bitcoin (BTC) over $20,000, particularly among holders of a modest amount of BTC.

After January 13, there was a large increase in the number of Bitcoin addresses that held 0.1 Bitcoin or less.

Since the price of bitcoin spiked on January 13, a total of 39.8 million new Bitcoin addresses have been created, according to data that was recently provided by the cryptocurrency analytics company Santiment.

In 2023, a regrowing investor confidence may be inferred from the growth in the number of Bitcoin addresses holding just tiny sums. The construction of new addresses has been increasing at a faster pace as of 2023, despite the fact that the growth of such tiny addresses was very constrained and halted dramatically when the FTX collapsed in November 2022.

The latest surge of Bitcoin addresses for amounts less than one bitcoin is the greatest it has been since November 2022, when BTC reached its cycle low of about $16,000. As a result of the price drop, smaller dealers were able to purchase Bitcoin at a more favourable price. The present increase may be due to a rising optimistic feeling in the market, where, in addition to Bitcoin, other altcoins have also hit multimonth highs, while the total crypto market rose over 30%. This is the market where the majority of the altcoins have outperformed Bitcoin.

In the first week of February, the positive momentum that Bitcoin had been riding into the month continued, as the cryptocurrency reached a new high of over $24,000. However, the $24,000 barrier proved to be too much for the market to maintain, and at the time this article was written, the price was trading about $23,000. According to the opinions of market analysts, February may not be as positive as January was.

In light of the uncertainty surrounding the potential impact of forthcoming macroeconomic data from the United States on market mood, market professionals have issued a warning that the recent upward trend in crypto and stocks may reverse course this month. They ascribed the size of the likely future downward trend to the Federal Reserve’s rises in interest rates, which have been taking place recently.


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South Korea Establishes Guidance for Regulating Digital Assets as Securities

South Korea has issued guidelines that specify the categories of digital assets that will be treated as securities in the nation and subject to the country’s securities regulations.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) noted in a press statement that digital assets that fulfil the criteria provided forth in the country’s Capital Markets Legislation would be recognised as securities. These qualities may be found in the act itself.

According to the legislation, securities are considered to be forms of investments in the financial market in which the purchaser does not need to make any extra payments after the first investment. In addition, the FSC presented several examples of the kind of digital assets that are most likely going to be categorised as securities. According to the Financial Stability Commission (FSC), this may include tokens that offer investors with a return, grant holders rights to dividends or residual assets, or give holders a stake in the operations of the firm.

Under the provisions of the country’s Capital Markets Law, virtual currencies that meet the criteria for classification as securities tokens will be subject to regulation. In the meanwhile, new rules will control digital assets that do not have the characteristics of securities and will apply to such digital assets.

Token issuers and brokers, such as cryptocurrency exchanges, will be responsible for determining whether cryptocurrencies will be categorised as securities based on the legislation, as stated by the FSC. Additionally, the regulatory body emphasised that a case-by-case analysis will be performed.

The financial authority also underlined that the new guideline is part of preparations for the legalisation, issuance, and distribution of security tokens inside the nation. This was mentioned in the previous sentence.

The cryptocurrency ecosystem has seen significant participation from South Korea. The city of Busan announced its intentions to create a decentralised digital commodities market on January 19th. Officials from the government have said that this year would mark the beginning of the platform’s activities.

In addition to this, the Ministry of Justice of the nation has plans to implement a monitoring system for cryptocurrency. The government of South Korea announced on the 29th of January that it will implement a monitoring system in an attempt to prevent efforts to launder money and to reclaim cash that are tied to illegal activity.


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Binance Launches Tax Reporting Tool to Help Users Comply with Local regulations

Because the tax season is just around the horizon for many nations, businesses in the cryptocurrency sector will need to be ready to assist their customers in complying with the requirements that are in place in those countries.

The cryptocurrency exchange Binance made the announcement on February 6 that it would be developing a tax reporting tool to assist customers in keeping track of their cryptocurrency transactions for the purposes of filing tax returns.

According to the statement, Binance Tax provides its customers with the ability to receive a tax summary report that details any profits or losses that have taken place in their Binance account during the course of the year. This includes contributions made in cryptocurrency, spot transactions, and fork prizes that are based on blockchain technology.

According to the corporation, this decision was made in response to an increasing number of enquiries received from consumers concerning their respective tax responsibilities.

Currently, France and Canada are participating in the pilot programme for Binance Tax, which will later this year be rolled out to more worldwide areas inside the Binance ecosystem.

At the moment, it can only be used to access data that is stored on platforms owned and operated by Binance; however, the company has said that it intends to grow and eventually interface with other platforms used in the sector.

This follows the announcement made by Binance one month ago on its involvement in an association to ensure compliance with worldwide sanctions.

Over the course of the last year, global authorities have increased the pressure they apply to the cryptocurrency business. This is especially true in the wake of the FTX crisis, which rattled the market.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand recently made an announcement that it intends to tighten up regulations for the cryptocurrency business with a primary emphasis on the safety of investors. Exchanges in inquiries have been targeted for investigation by regulators in both South Korea and the Netherlands for alleged non-compliance with local rules.

The cryptocurrency industry has also caught the attention of regulators in the United States. Compliance issues led to a settlement that needed to be reached between the bitcoin exchange Kraken and the Office of Foreign Assets Control within the Treasury Department.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission issued a call for companies in December 2022, requesting that they report their exposure to crypto bankruptcy and risks. In the meanwhile, the head of a House committee on crypto innovation has presented a measure that would let businesses can apply to government agencies for what is called a “enforceable compliance agreement.”


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Binance-native blockchain BNB Chain continued to show steady activity growth

According to new study, the native Binance blockchain known as BNB Chain continues to demonstrate consistent rise in activity during the fourth quarter of 2018, despite the larger bear market in the cryptocurrency industry.

James Trautman, a researcher for Messari, stated on February 5 that the Binance network has proceeded with a “aggressive plan to deploy financial and human resources throughout its ecosystem” in a paper titled “State of BNB Chain Q4 2022,” which was released on February 5.

The study said that because of these continual improvements and innovations, the average number of daily active addresses and transactions “bucked a decreasing trend and climbed by 30 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.”

Bear markets are often characterised by low levels of on-chain activity; yet, this is an ideal moment for teams to continue working on the construction and development of their goods.

Although 2022 was a turbulent year for the cryptocurrency sector, Trautman said that BNB Chain “played true to its Build N’ Build moniker with network improvements and ecosystem development that demonstrated remarkable strength through Q4.”

Since the middle of August, BscScan says that the number of daily transactions on BNB Chain has remained relatively unchanged at about 3 million. On the other hand, this year has witnessed a surge in the volume of daily BEP-20 token transfers, which reached just over 5 million on February 5 after a 66% increase from the previous year.

According to BscScan, the number of unique BNB Smart Chain addresses has just surpassed the previous record high of 250 million. The number of average new unique addresses added each day increased by 41.3% year on year.

Messari believes that the adoption of a number of ecosystem protocols, such as the Web3 onboarding protocol Hooked, a spike of DeFi activity on Venus Protocol, and increasing NFT activity on the OpenSea marketplace, are responsible for the expansion.

According to DeFiLlama, the total value of BNB Chain DeFi has climbed by 25% since the beginning of the year to reach $6.62 billion. This information is presented in the context of the previous sentence.

“BNB Chain was successful in implementing a growth plan, which paved the way for major advances toward acceptance. According to Trautman, it made a number of modifications to its basic functionality, merged with key partners, and expanded into DeFi, NFTs, GameFi, and other areas.

The decline in financial performance came about despite the fact that the number of active users increased. It was noticed that the average transaction fees went down, which led to a fall in the amount of money generated.


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CBDC Activity Subsidizes Consumption During Lunar New Year

Over the course of the Lunar New Year holiday, the Chinese central bank distributed an amount of its digital currency (CBDC) worth millions of dollars around the nation in an effort to encourage more people to use it.

A story that was published on February 6 in the Global Times, an English-language subsidiary of the state-run newspaper People’s Daily, said that over the Christmas season, about 200 “events” for the e-CNY were launched across the nation.

The government attempted to “encourage consumption” through these events, which marked the first time it had done so since the COVID-19 limitations had been recently loosened.

According to reports, many localities together dispersed CBDC worth more than 180 million yuan ($26.5 million) via various schemes including subsidies and consumption coupons.

According to one example provided by the source, the local government in Shenzhen distributed e-CNY worth more than 100 million yuan ($14.7 million), which was done in order to aid the catering business in the city.

According to a story published in China Daily on February 1st, the city of Hangzhou gave each citizen an e-CNY certificate worth 80 yuan (about $12). The entire cost of the gift to the city was close to 4 million yuan, which is equivalent to $590,000.

It turned out that a number of these projects were quite well received by the locals.

According to a story published by the Global Times, which cited information obtained from the e-commerce site Meituan, the e-CNY that the municipal government of Hangzhou distributed to its citizens as part of the New Year’s festivities were used up in only nine seconds.

Over the course of the last several months, the government has implemented a number of additional goals and features designed to increase the number of people using the CBDC.

On February 1st, top governing party leaders in the city of Suzhou established a provisional key performance indicator by the end of 2023 of having 2 trillion yuan worth of e-CNY transactions in the city. This equates to around $300 billion in current U.S. dollars.

The objective is lofty taking into consideration that the total value of all e-CNY transactions has barely surpassed 100 billion yuan ($14 billion) as of October, two years after the introduction of the CBDC.

The e-CNY wallet software added the capability to send “red packets,” also known as hongbao in China, in late December of the previous year in an effort to entice new users. These “red packets” include money and are traditionally given as gifts during the holiday season.

An upgrade was released for the wallet app at the beginning of January, enabling users to make contactless payments using their Android phones. These payments may be made even if the user’s device is not connected to the internet or has power.

During the month of December, a former official from the Chinese central bank said that the outcomes of the e-CNY experiments were “not ideal,” and that “use has been minimal, very inactive.”


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Rehab Centers Add Services for Crypto Trading Addicts

A high-end rehabilitation facility in Spain has lately begun offering treatment for an addiction to cryptocurrency trading, which is a relatively fresh kind of addiction.

The institution, named “The Balance,” is a Switzerland-founded wellness centre, with its main location situated on the Spanish island of Mallorca along with subsidiaries in London and Zurich.

While it has long treated addictions such as alcohol, narcotics and mental health, it just started providing therapies geared towards fighting crypto trading addiction, according to a report from the BBC.

The Feb. 5 article indicated that one of the center’s customers sought out so that he could “wean off crypto” after apparently pouring in $200,000 worth of transactions per week.

The treatment requires a stay of four weeks and consists of various therapies, massages, and yoga sessions. The bill might be upward of $75,000.

In another area of the globe, Castle Craig Hospital — a Scottish-based addiction rehabilitation clinic treating high-adrenaline crypto traders since 2018 — has seen over 100 clients come in with “dangerous” cryptocurrency issues.

Diamond Rehabilitation, a wellness facility situated in Thailand that began operations in 2019, is one of the establishments in Asia that has launched services devoted to the rehabilitation and treatment of bitcoin addiction.

The business claims it addresses recovery via the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Psychodynamic Theory (PT), as part of its comprehensive, multi-stage strategy to assist traders conquer their addiction.

It is claimed that the ecstatic highs and shattering lows of the fast-paced, 24 hours a day, seven days a week arena of cryptocurrency trading have brought about a genuine need for rehabilitation clinics that provide assistance for those who are addicted to trading.

According to an article published by Family Addiction Specialist and based on statistics regarding gambling disorders, it is estimated that approximately one percent of cryptocurrency traders will develop a severe pathological addiction, while ten percent will experience other problems in addition to a loss of financial capital.

According to a Family Addiction Specialist, one of the symptoms of this addiction is a persistent need to check the prices online, especially in the middle of the night.


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Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz voted against a Uniswap proposal

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), a venture capital company, allegedly engaged in a vote that was cast against a final proposal to instal Uniswap v3 on the BNB Chain by making use of the Wormhole bridge, as stated by the Uniswap DAO forum. This information was taken from the forum where it was posted.

On February 2, 0xPlasma Labs submitted a governance request on behalf of the Uniswap Community asking for permission to deploy the most current version of Uniswap on the BNB Chain. This request was made by 0xPlasma Labs. During the preliminary vote on the proposal, there were 20 million votes cast in favour of it, which is equivalent to 80.28 percent of the total, and 4.9 million votes were against it (19.72 percent of the total). On February 5th, the venture capital business used its 15 million UNI holding to cast a vote against the resolution. This action was taken in opposition to the move. The motion that was made was in direct opposition to the action that was executed.

Although there had been a total of 23.4 million votes cast previous to the publishing of this article, just 3% of all UNI tokens had engaged in the voting process at that point in time. This was despite the fact that there had been a total of 23.4 million votes cast. According to the schedule, the final day that voters will be able to cast their votes will be on February 10th. This day marks the end of the voting period.

The disagreement stems from the fact that a cross-chain bridge wasn’t properly planned for before the deployment was carried out, which is the primary source of the problem. The Wormhole bridge is used inside the framework of the proposal, and a16z offers support for the incorporation of LayerZero as the interoperability protocol. In the paragraphs that follow, consideration will be given to each of these facets in more depth.


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