Upbit Announces Next LUNA2 Airdrop for LUNC Holders

Upbit, the South Korean-based cryptocurrency exchange, has detailed its plans for the forthcoming LUNA2 airdrop targeting LUNC holders. LUNC, previously known as LUNA, underwent a rebranding and its holders are now on the cusp of receiving LUNA2 tokens.

Snapshot Insights

The LUNA2 airdrop is slated to kick off in the next 24 hours.

A staggered distribution approach has been adopted, with 70% of the airdrop tokens to be rolled out over a span of 24 months.

Two pivotal snapshots were captured to determine the airdrop’s distribution:

  1. First snapshot: 2022-05-07, 22:59:37 (SGT) at block height 7,544,910. Exchange rate: 1 LUNC = 1.034735071 LUNA2.

  2. Second snapshot: 2022-05-27, 00:38:08 (SGT) at block height 7,790,000. Exchange rate: 1 LUNC = 0.000015307927 LUNA2.

A bonus provision is in place: LUNC holders with a balance exceeding 10,000 at the first snapshot’s time will be entitled to an extra 30% of the initial airdrop during the second phase.

Caveats to Consider

Upbit’s endorsement of the airdrop doesn’t equate to a trading green light for LUNA2 on their platform.

UNA2 airdrop quantities will be truncated to a maximum of 8 decimal places.

Monthly LUNA2 airdrop quantities are subject to change, contingent on the vesting release strategy, a decision resting with the token’s governing foundation.

The Upbit team signed off the announcement, reiterating their commitment to their user base.

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Magnate Finance Deployer Gained $16.7M in Rug Pulls and MAG Down Over 90%

The deployer associated with Magnate Finance, a project on the Coinbase’s BASE platform, has been linked to a series of rug pulls totaling an estimated $16.7M.

Beosin Alert, a trusted entity in the Web3 space known for its real-time risk alerts, revealed that this deployer was not only behind the recent $6.4M exit scam of Magnate Finance but also had connections to other significant scams, including Solfire’s $4.8M scam on January 23, 2022, and Kokomo Finance’s $5.5M scam on March 27, 2023.

ZachXBT had earlier issued a community alert about Magnate Finance’s potential exit scam. He highlighted that the deployer’s address was directly linked to the Solfire $4.8M exit scam.

As the time progressed, ZachXBT updated the community with the news that Magnate Finance’s website had gone offline and its Telegram group was deleted. He also pointed out on-chain ties linking Magnate Finance to the Kokomo Finance exit scam.

PeckShieldAlert, another vigilant entity in the crypto space, confirmed the exit scam by noting a sharp drop in the Total Value Locked (TVL) of Magnate Finance on #Base by approximately $6.4M. The developer reportedly altered the provider of the price oracle and subsequently removed all assets.

On-chain data further underscores the gravity of the situation, indicating a precipitous drop of over 90% in the price of Magnate Finance’s protocol token MAG, now trading at a meager $0.0008238.

Magnate Finance once claimed to be the pioneering Metaverse-based Lending Protocol operating on Base and Arbitrum. At its essence, the platform has adopted a dynamic interest rate model, aiming to create more capital-efficient risk management pools. This design allows a diverse range of collateral types, including crypto tokens, stablecoins, synthetic assets, NFTs, and even traditional assets like account receivables, invoices, and mortgages, to be utilized safely. The protocol also boasts a reward system built on a meticulously crafted token economy, which they believe facilitates continuous incentive distribution to stimulate demand. Magnate Finance’s future vision includes the capability of their protocol to accept any valuable asset for lending purposes.

These events serve as a stark reminder of the inherent risks in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector, emphasizing the importance of due diligence and caution for investors.

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Prime Core Faces $8M Loss Amid TerraUSD’s Collapse

Prime Core Technologies, the parent entity of crypto custodian Prime Trust, disclosed a financial setback of $8 million, largely attributed to investments in the algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD (USTC). The announcement, stemming from an August 24 filing with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, unveiled that these losses were partitioned into $6 million from client funds and $2 million from treasury coffers.

These financial difficulties come in the wake of TerraUSD’s nosedive in May 2022, an event that many market analysts pinpoint as a significant catalyst for the widespread cryptocurrency market downturn last year. Renowned firms, including FTX, Three Arrows, BlockFi, and Voyager Digital, were not spared from the market turbulence, with many either shuttering their operations or initiating bankruptcy filings.

Prime Core Technologies’ decision to channel investments into TerraUSD proved costly, exacerbating its pre-existing monetary challenges. On 15 August 2023, the company officially entered bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S., citing liabilities hovering between $100 million to $500 million and a creditor count ranging from 25,000 to 50,000. This move was further precipitated by a Nevada court’s intervention, which mandated the appointment of a receiver for Prime Trust to mitigate potential threats to users and the nascent cryptocurrency sector.

Additional records also highlight the company’s aggressive spending patterns in the latter part of 2022. Specifically, October and November reported steep net losses of $7.4 million and $8.4 million, in that order. The precise implications of these outflows are still being examined, but the interplay between the company’s financial choices and market variances undeniably influenced its present financial state.

Furthermore, Prime Trust’s recent filings brought to light its acquisition of Ethereum (ETH) assets, valued at approximately $76.4 million. The strategic intent and outcomes of this purchase are yet to be fully comprehended.

The unfolding scenario underscores the volatile nature of the cryptocurrency realm and the inherent risks businesses face when navigating this digital frontier. As Prime Core Technologies grapples with its financial challenges, the broader industry watches keenly, hoping to glean lessons for future endeavors.

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Arthur Hayes: The Federal Reserve is Doomed to Fail

In the realm of financial analysis, few voices resonate as loudly as Arthur Hayes. His recent article, titled “Kite or Board,” has generated substantial buzz in financial circles. Hayes meticulously evaluates the U.S. Federal Reserve, forecasting significant challenges that could jeopardize its future operations. Simultaneously, he highlights Bitcoin’s rising prominence as an alternative in the financial domain.

The Federal Reserve’s Autonomy

Hayes sheds light on the Federal Reserve’s unique position, emphasizing its ability to make decisions that might not always require direct public validation. This degree of autonomy grants the Fed considerable power. However, as Hayes points out, such unchecked authority might sometimes lead to decisions that don’t align with the broader public interest.

Understanding Inflation Tax

The concept of the “inflation tax” is meticulously dissected by Hayes. Inflation, often an abstract concept for many, serves as a silent tax eroding public wealth. Hayes suggests that the majority, especially those unfamiliar with high inflation periods, might overlook this. Such an oversight can make inflationary strategies particularly appealing for policymakers.

Potential Policy Changes

Hayes delves into potential policy shifts that could address inflation. Specifically, he discusses the idea of eliminating interest on reserves and mandating a substantial proportion of deposits to be held as reserves. Such a policy, Hayes postulates, could significantly curb inflationary pressures. The math behind this assertion, as Hayes suggests, is detailed in his article, offering readers an in-depth understanding of the mechanics.

Banks in Transition

With policy shifts, the banking sector’s response becomes pivotal. The banks, guardians of traditional finance, could find themselves at a crossroads. Hayes touches upon this, hinting at the protective measures banks might adopt in light of policies that could potentially impact their profitability.

Bitcoin’s Ascendancy

The crux of Hayes’ argument revolves around Bitcoin’s potential role in this financial tableau. As traditional structures like the Federal Reserve grapple with challenges, Bitcoin, with its decentralized nature, finite supply, and global acceptance, emerges as a promising alternative. Hayes suggests that Bitcoin, free from the shackles of centralized decision-making and inflationary tendencies, could offer a transparent and viable financial system alternative.

The Impending Shift

Central to Hayes’ analysis is his forthright assertion: “I want to show readers how the Fed is doomed to fail, and how the more they try to right the ship using Volkernomics.” This sentiment underscores a significant shift in the global financial paradigm. As the Federal Reserve grapples with its challenges, Hayes believes its potential missteps could pave the way for alternative financial instruments like Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency, in Hayes’ view, is poised to redefine how transactions are conducted and how value is stored, potentially filling the void left by the Fed’s challenges.

Arthur Hayes’ insights present a comprehensive view of the challenges facing the Federal Reserve and the burgeoning role Bitcoin could play in the future. His analysis, rooted in observation and critical evaluation, offers a perspective that resonates with both crypto enthusiasts and traditional finance observers.

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Hong Kong Monetary Authority Emphasizes AI and DLT in Fintech Roadmap

With the release of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s (HKMA) most recent Fintech Promotion Roadmap today, on 25 August 2023, the financial environment in Hong Kong is poised to be more attractive. This thorough manual presents a strategic outlook for the next year with the goal of promoting fintech adoption across the region’s diversified financial services industry.

The Roadmap accentuates pivotal fintech business sectors, primarily Wealthtech, Insurtech, and Greentech. Furthermore, it brings to the forefront two revolutionary technology paradigms: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), the underlying technology of blockchain. The drafting of this Roadmap was not an isolated endeavor. The HKMA joined forces with the Securities and Futures Commission, the Insurance Authority, and a spectrum of stakeholders from various financial sectors to ensure a holistic representation.

Delving deeper into the Roadmap, the initiatives of the HKMA are not limited to merely advocating fintech’s potential. Instead, there’s a distinct shift towards a hands-on approach, facilitating financial institutions in their journey to translate fintech theories into tangible solutions. Over the ensuing 12 months, the HKMA has earmarked a slew of activities:

  1. Fintech Knowledge Hub: Aimed to be a reservoir of fintech expertise, this hub will feature a directory, categorizing fintech service providers and financial institutions. This endeavor seeks to centralize resources, rendering them easily accessible for all fintech stakeholders.
  2. Events and Dialogues: With a commitment to nurturing a symbiotic relationship between financial institutions and fintech service providers, the HKMA envisions regular showcase events and roundtable discussions. These platforms will not only foster collaboration but will also be crucibles for innovation.
  3. Skill Development: Recognizing the importance of continuous learning in a rapidly evolving domain, the HKMA will orchestrate interactive seminars and training sessions. These sessions, tailored to address specific fintech niches, are poised to become knowledge transfer hubs, catalyzing cross-sectoral information exchange.
  4. Content Creation: To ensure that the intricacies of fintech adoption are well-understood, the HKMA has plans to curate and disseminate educational content. This will span use-case videos to research reports, providing a 360-degree view of the fintech adoption spectrum.

Offering insights into the motivation behind this initiative, Mr. Arthur Yuen, Deputy Chief Executive of the HKMA, was quoted saying, “The unveiling of this Roadmap is not just a milestone for the banking sector, but a beacon for the entire financial services industry. The underpinning philosophy of our Roadmap is collaboration. We’re looking beyond banking, casting a wide net to encompass sectors like insurance, wealth management, and capital market activities. Through synergies with other financial regulators and continuous engagement with stakeholders, our vision is a resilient, inclusive fintech ecosystem for Hong Kong.”

This initiative is not an isolated one. It dovetails perfectly with the overarching “Fintech 2025” strategy of the HKMA. This strategy germinated the “All banks go Fintech” initiative in 2021, a clarion call for banks to embrace digitalization. A subsequent Tech Baseline Assessment in June 2022 crystallized the growth trajectories in Wealthtech, Insurtech, Greentech, AI, and DLT. These insights were instrumental in sculpting the current Roadmap.

For those keen on delving into the granular details of the Roadmap and to understand the breadth of initiatives by the HKMA, the recently unveiled report is a treasure trove of information.

As Hong Kong stands at the cusp of a fintech revolution, the Roadmap by the HKMA is set to be its compass, guiding stakeholders through the labyrinth of fintech adoption, ensuring that Hong Kong retains its position as a global fintech center.

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Tether’s Plan B Collaborates with FC Lugano to accelerate Bitcoin Adoption

On 24 August 2023, Plan ₿, an initiative co-founded by Tether and the City of Lugano with the aim of leveraging bitcoin technology to transform the city’s financial infrastructure, has announced its official sponsorship of FC Lugano. This historic Swiss football club, established in 1908, is the sole top-tier club in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. With Swiss Championship wins in 1938, 1941, and 1949, and Swiss Cup victories in 1931, 1968, 1993, and 2022, FC Lugano has been a significant player in the Credit Suisse Super League since 2015 and has made its mark in Swiss football history.

This collaboration signifies a notable stride in enhancing cryptocurrency representation and deepening connections with the Lugano community. “Tether, as a part of Plan ₿, is excited to join hands with FC Lugano in a journey that combines the passion of football with the innovation of cryptocurrency,” remarked Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether. “This collaboration not only underscores our commitment to the vibrant Lugano community but also signifies our belief in the power of crypto to drive positive change locally and globally.”

Tether, the issuer of USDT, a pioneer in stablecoin technology, seeks to revolutionize the global financial landscape. As the creator of the industry’s most transparent and liquid stablecoin, Tether focuses on bridging the gap between traditional finance and the potential of decentralized finance. Their innovative spirit is evident in this partnership, which goes beyond conventional sponsorship.

In the foreseeable future, fans will have the option to purchase tickets, merchandise, food, and beverages within the stadium using Bitcoin, Tether USD ₮, and LVGA. This move aligns with Tether and the City of Lugano’s objective to promote cryptocurrency adoption in the region, collaborating closely with the local municipality to further these initiatives. The sponsorship will also feature front-of-shirt branding during international competitions, amplifying the global visibility of Lugano’s Plan ₿.

Martin Blaser, CEO of F.C. Lugano SA, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We are thrilled to welcome Lugano’s Plan ₿ as an official sponsor of FC Lugano. What began with an advertising presence at the 2022 Swiss Cup final in Bern will continue over the next two years in an attractive and innovative manner for both parties.”

Lugano’s Plan ₿, marked by a Memorandum of Understanding signed in March 2022, aims to integrate blockchain and Bitcoin throughout the city, impacting various facets of daily life for Lugano residents. This includes everything from small transactions with local merchants to larger endeavors like annual tax payments.

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API3 Unveils Enhanced Data Feed Service to Bolster TVL on Polygon zkEVM

API3, a pioneering blockchain oracle provider championing the shift from conventional third-party oracle networks to first-party oracle solutions, has rolled out its managed data feed service. This service is designed to support the growth of Total Value Locked (TVL) on Polygon zkEVM, an initiative by Polygon Labs, a leader in developing Ethereum scaling solutions for Polygon protocols.

This development comes in the wake of Polygon zkEVM’s launch earlier this year, which aimed to harness the capabilities of zero-knowledge proofs while ensuring EVM equivalence. Since April 2023, API3 has been at the forefront, offering first-party oracle services to Polygon zkEVM. The recent unveiling of managed dAPIs on the API3 Market now empowers builders with access to multi-source, decentralized data feeds (dAPIs) delivered by first-party oracle nodes, complete with native-chain aggregation.

The DeFi landscape, with lending protocols and perpetual DEXs at its core, hinges on real-time market data. This data necessitates on-chain integration via an oracle. A significant portion of DeFi applications, representing tens of billions in TVL, predominantly rely on push-type oracles. However, existing blockchain oracles often come with high fees and limited source transparency, sometimes introducing vulnerabilities.

Addressing these challenges, API3 has crafted a novel push oracle solution centered around first-party architecture. This innovation facilitates DeFi protocols, currently using push oracles on other EVM chains, to seamlessly transition to Polygon zkEVM. The move is poised to accelerate the adoption and scaling of DeFi, potentially reaching the next billion users.

API3’s groundbreaking push oracle is constructed around the Airnode first-party oracle node. This design eliminates the need for intermediaries, paving the way for a safer and more efficient method to bring real-time market data on-chain. With features like native-chain aggregation and multi-source data feeds, developers can tap into more dependable data, minimizing downtime and enhancing data accuracy.

In a departure from traditional oracle designs that involve third-party node operators, API3’s first-party push oracle sources data directly from the origin. These oracle nodes, managed by the data providers themselves, ensure that cryptographically signed data is integrated onto the blockchain. This approach offers unparalleled data source transparency, setting a new industry benchmark.

Prominent DeFi platforms like Aave, Compound, and various DEXs have historically depended on push oracles. But API3’s innovative push oracle is set to redefine the playing field. This model harmonizes the interests of data providers, networks, and dApps. The introduction of API3’s managed dAPIs heralds a new industry standard, granting direct access to a diverse range of real-world data, encompassing crypto, forex, equities, and commodities.

The DeFi ecosystem is already benefiting from the DAO-managed oracle service of API3. Platforms like QuickSwap Perps and Dovish, a perpetual swap protocol, are leveraging dAPIs for precise pricing. MantisSwap, a DEX focusing on stable assets trading, employs dAPIs to bolster their protection mechanism against stablecoin depegging, highlighting the enhanced security features of dAPIs for DeFi applications.

Tropykus, a lending and borrowing dApp that branched out from AAVE V2, utilized self-funded dAPIs for a swift launch on Polygon zkEVM. With dAPIs requiring minimal alterations to tried-and-tested code, developers gain a competitive edge, potentially enabling rapid deployment on emerging networks.

API3’s collaboration with Polygon zkEVM underscores the pivotal role oracles play in scaling Ethereum. The upcoming generation of blockchain oracles promises heightened security and transparency through first-party oracle solutions. API3 DAO remains enthusiastic about exploring the vast potential of decentralized finance as the capabilities of smart contracts come to fruition.

Jack Melnick, Head of DeFi BD at Polygon Labs, remarked, “It’s very exciting to see API3 deploying on Polygon zkEVM, enhancing the DeFi ecosystem with an innovative push oracle solution. The integration of managed dAPIs with Polygon’s scalable infrastructure marks a significant step towards a more transparent and secure future for decentralized finance.”

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