web3 gaming METAPIXEL Suspended Indefinitely

On October 10, 2023, Kate, a core member of the METAPIXEL team, announced via Twitter that the project has been “suspended indefinitely due to various circumstances.” Daniel and Nathan, other key figures in the project, echoed this sentiment in their own statements. All team members have ceased to represent METAPIXEL and will no longer be part of the project.

Kate expressed her emotional struggle with the decision, stating, “My heart feels heavy, as I had never dedicated myself so wholeheartedly to a project in my entire career.” Daniel and Nathan also shared their personal disappointments, emphasizing the “pinnacle” of their careers that METAPIXEL represented.

While the exact reasons for the suspension remain undisclosed, the team cited “recent shifts in both internal and external circumstances” as contributing factors. Daniel mentioned that these shifts have made it impossible for the GSU project, a subset of METAPIXEL, to continue its journey.

The METAPIXEL community has shown immense support for the departing team members. Community moderator Zesti thanked Kate for her dedication and expressed hope for future collaborations.

Although the METAPIXEL project has come to an abrupt end, team members are optimistic about future endeavors. Kate looks forward to “crossing paths” with the community again, while Daniel plans to take several months to reflect on his career and future directions.

The indefinite suspension of the METAPIXEL project marks a significant moment in the blockchain space, leaving questions about the future of the team and the technology they were developing. As the team members take time to regroup and plan their next steps, the community remains hopeful for what the future holds.

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Okcoin Halts U.S. Dollar Deposits After Signature Bank Shutdown

Okcoin, the U.S. affiliate of cryptocurrency exchange OKX, announced on March 13 that it had no exposure to defunct U.S. tech bank Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). However, Okcoin CEO Hong Fang stated that the platform’s U.S. dollar wire and ACH deposits had been “immediately paused” due to the regulatory intervention in Signature Bank, Okcoin’s primary partner for customer transactions in dollars.

On March 12, New York state regulators closed Signature Bank, a major financial institution for fiat-crypto on-ramping, citing a “systemic risk exception” in the wake of SVB’s collapse. In addition to suspending dollar deposits, Fang wrote that “over-the-counter services will be temporarily paused too,” including its quick buy and recurring buy functions. Okcoin also stated that the suspension extends to “crypto transactions by credit card” and “trading USD-crypto trading pairs.”

Fang reassured users that “all corporate and all customer funds are safe” and that “USD withdrawal not affected. The processing pace will be subject to bank operation.” All crypto deposit and withdrawal functions remain intact, including those of U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoins. Furthermore, the suspension appears limited to dollar deposits, as other fiat deposit methods, such as those made in euros, are unaffected.

Okcoin is working to find alternative channels and solutions in real-time, and the suspension is not expected to impact crypto transactions significantly. Fang emphasized the platform’s commitment to its users, stating, “If this weekend has told us anything, it’s the significance of the future that we are building. Our commitment to you hasn’t changed either.”

The crypto-friendly Signature Bank was a key partner for many crypto firms, including Coinbase, Celsius, and Paxos, which have since disclosed that they held balances in the bank. U.S. federal regulators have stated that Signature Bank depositors will receive their balances in full post-shutdown.

The shutdown of Signature Bank has raised concerns in the crypto community about the risks associated with fiat-crypto on-ramping and the importance of selecting reliable banking partners. While Okcoin has assured its users that their funds are safe, the incident highlights the need for greater transparency and accountability in the crypto industry.


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Vauld Suspends Withdrawals, Exploring Restructuring amid Market Downturn

Vauld, a crypto lending and exchange firm headquartered in Singapore, announced on Monday that it has suspended withdrawals, trading, and deposits on its platform, citing the current “financial challenges”.

Vauld admitted that it is witnessing financial woes amid the ongoing market downturn, which it said prompted customers to withdraw about $198 million since June 12.

Darshan Bathija, the founder and CEO of Vauld, said that the company is exploring restructuring options and so far, has engaged Kroll, a New York-based corporate investigation and risk consulting firm, for financial advisory services, and has hired Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP as legal advisors in India and Singapore respectively.

“We are confident that, with the advice of our financial and legal advisors, we will be able to reach a solution that will best protect the interests of Vauld’s customers and stakeholders,” said Bathijaand, adding that the firm will make specific arrangements for certain clients who need to meet their margin calls.

Vauld is a three-year-old crypto lending startup, which counts Peter Thiel-backed Valar Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, and Pantera Capital among its key backers. According to July last year, Vauld had raised a total of $27 million, from investors such as Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Coinbase, Pantera Capital, and Cadenza Capital.

Vauld has been offering lending services and serving as an exchange. The platform enables clients to earn what it describes as the “industry’s highest interest rates on major cryptocurrencies.” On its website, Vauld claims to offer 12.68% annual yields on staking several stablecoins, including USDC and BUSD and 6.7% on Bitcoin and Ethereum tokens. The platform allows customers to borrow against their tokens and facilitates many other trading services.

Crisis in Crypto Lending Landscape

The announcement regarding Vauld’s suspension of customer withdrawals and trading comes after the lender laid off its employees by 30% one week ago.

The job cut came as a surprise. On June 16, Bathija assured Vauld customers that the platform had no exposure to prominent lending platform Celsius Network and high-profile crypto hedge fund firms Three Arrows Capital.

In recent weeks, crypto veterans, including Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, have warned that many more DeFi platforms are in danger of collapsing amid the current market crash.

On 13th June, Crypto lending platform Celsius Network paused all withdrawals and transfers for customers as the firm faced insolvency and bankruptcy fears. Last Friday, Three Arrows Capital filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in New York after weeks of speculation that it was insolvent.

In addition, another major crypto lending platform, Maple Finance, recently halted customer withdrawals after facing liquidity-related issues.

Digital assets lending firm Genesis Trading is reportedly facing losses in the hundreds of millions after the company had significant exposure to financial woes facing Three Arrows Capital and crypto lending platform Babel Finance. BlockFi also experienced substantial losses related to its exposure to Three Arrows Capital.

Such lending firms normally collect crypto deposits from retail customers and invest them in the equivalent of the wholesale crypto market, including “decentralized finance (DeFi) sites that use blockchain technology to offer services such as loans, insurance, among others outside the traditional financial sector.

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Crypto Lending Platform Celsius Pauses all Withdrawals, Swap, and Transfers

Crypto Lending platform Celsius Network announced on Monday to pause all withdraws and transfers between accounts due to extreme market conditions.

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“In service of that commitment and to adhere to our risk management framework, we have activated a clause in our Terms of Use that will allow for this process to take place,” the official company blog reads.

The platform, one of the biggest crypto lenders, said customers can continue to accrue rewards during the pause in line, reiterating that the network is “taking necessary action for the benefit of our entire community in order to stabilize liquidity and operations while we take steps to preserve and protect assets,” the blog post added.

Reportedly, up to 50,000 Ethereum (ETH) and 3,500 Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) were being moved to an address located in FTX a few hours ago before the suspension, according to an alert citing King Data’s Etherscan. The transfer is worth around $63.64 million and $86.499 million respectively based on the current price.  

The announcement has come during one of the many bumpy weekends in the crypto market. Crypto space was suffering from multiple bearish events recently, including the collapse of LUNA and UST events.

According to the latest announcement, the Celsius token (CEL) once tumbled 60% within an hour, reaching the bottom at $0.1554. It is now trading at around $0.1883 during the Asia trading section.

Furious sentiments are being shared among investors, some customers are blaming Celsius for having no response to the request of withdrawing tokens and questioning its reserve if it might result in bankruptcy.

According to Blockworks, Celsius was valued at $3.35 billion when it closed its “oversubscribed” Series B financing to $750 million last November. The company had processed $8.2 billion worth of loans and had $11.8 billion in assets, its website showed.

In April, Blockchain.News reported that the Network has stopped paying interests to unaccredited investors, meaning new retail investors are not able to earn interests by joining its program.

The network remains full of uncertainty ahead in recovering its price and winning confidence among investors.

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Binance Exchange Halts Major Crypto Services in Singapore

Binance, the biggest exchange in the world, has announced that with effect from October 26, the trading platform users in Singapore will not be able to access the most basic functions of the Binance.com platform.

Per the announcement shared, the services include fiat deposit services, spot trading of cryptocurrencies, the purchase of cryptocurrencies through fiat channels, and liquid swap or the known Regulated Payments Services.

Amongst the trading platforms operating in Singapore, Binance has been at the centre of attraction for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in the past weeks. The market watchdog flagged the exchange for operating illegally, a move that forced Binance to halt payment services that feature the Singapore Dollar. The current action to suspend most of its benefits is geared at pacifying regulators while restoring trust to continue its business in the Asian nation.

Binance advises all traders to close all of their positions before the defined deadlined based on this premise.

“As the market leader, Binance constantly evaluates its product and service offerings. We will be restricting Singapore users regarding the Regulated Payments Services in line with our commitment to compliance. Users in Singapore are advised to cease all related trades, withdraw fiat assets and redeem tokens by Wednesday, 2021-10-26 04:00 AM UTC (Noon UTC+8) to avoid potential trading disputes,” the exchange’s announcement reads.

Binance struggles across several jurisdictions, including the Netherlands, South Africa, and Italy, appear compounding. However, Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao (CZ) has reiterated the trading platform’s primary determination is to comply with local regulations in the coming months. While the move to suspend its services in Singapore signifies a show of responsibility by the firm, talks are notably ongoing with authorities intending to restore its operations, according to several media reports.

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