NFT Trading Volumes Tanked After Silicon Valley Bank Collapse: Report
• The day after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took control of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), NFT trading volumes tanked to their lowest point since November 2021, according to DappRadar.
• Single NFT trades totaled 33,112 on that day, the lowest daily tally so far this year. Trading volume overall has fallen 51% since early March, with sales declining about 16%.
• Despite the decline in volumes, projects from NFT issuer Yuga Labs still experienced price stability and even slight recovery soon afterward.
Collapse of SVB Tanked NFT Trading Volumes
The day after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took control of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the number of active NFT traders dropped to its lowest point since November 2021, according to a report by DappRadar. Single NFT trades totaled 33,112 on that day – the lowest daily tally so far this year – while trading volume overall has fallen 51%, with sales declining about 16%.
Yuga Labs Projects Seemed Unaffected by SVB Collapse
Despite the dip in overall volumes, projects from NFT issuer Yuga Labs still experienced price stability and even slight recovery soon afterward. This includes Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks collections which maintained their floor prices despite the downturn in market activity following SVB’s collapse.
Animoca Brands Co-Founder Weighs In On Market Outlook
Animoca Brands co-founder and Executive Chairman Yat Siu reacts to this report and discussed his outlook for the NFT market and its broader state within Web3. He also provided insights into Animoca’s backing of Nuqtah – Saudi Arabia’s first ever marketplace platform for non-fungible tokens – which is launching later this month on March 31st.
Nuqtah – Saudi Arabia’s First Marketplace Platform For Non-Fungible Tokens
Animoca Brands recently announced their backing of Nuqtah – Saudi Arabia’s first ever marketplace platform for non-fungible tokens – set to launch later this month on March 31st. The platform will allow users from across the Middle East region to purchase or trade a wide variety of digital assets such as blockchain art or collectibles using cryptocurrency payments via an integrated wallet system for added security.
Outlook for Web3 & The Future Of The NFT Market
Looking ahead at what lies ahead for Web3 and especially within the non-fungible token space, Siu predicted that “we will see more liquidity entering these markets over time as more people adopt DeFi products like stablecoins.“ He further emphasized that “we need more retail investors entering these markets so that they can drive up demand and bring more value into these networks.“
Blockchain.com Suspends Asset Management Arm Amid Crypto Winter
• Blockchain.com is suspending operations of its recently launched asset management arm due to the prolonged crypto winter.
• The business was launched just 11 months ago in an effort to attract institutional investors.
• In January, the firm said it was letting go 28% of its workforce due to the challenges the crypto ecosystem faced in 2022.
Blockchain.com Suspending Asset Management Arm
Crypto financial services company Blockchain.com is suspending operations of its recently launched asset management arm, citing the prolonged crypto winter as the reason for its decision, according to a Bloomberg report.
Reason For Suspension
Blockchain.com Asset Management, or BCAM, was started in April 2022 in an effort to attract institutional investors. Shortly after this launch, however, the crypto industry hit a rough patch with asset prices falling rapidly following the bankruptcy of crypto lender Celsius Network and continuing with other prominent crypto firms facing similar difficulties.
Effects Of Crypto Winter
The prolonged downturn has had serious repercussions for Blockchain.com and other companies operating within the space: In January, Blockchain.com said it was letting go 28% of its workforce due to these challenges in 2022.
Statement From Blockchain
A spokesperson from Blockchain stated that “with crypto winter now approaching the one year mark we made the business decision to pause operating this institutional product“.
The prolonged downturn has certainly taken its toll on many businesses operating within the cryptocurrency space – Blockchain’s suspension of their asset management arm being one example of this effect..
Binance’s Custody Arm Ceffu Applies for Singapore License: Report
• Binance’s Custody Arm Ceffu is applying for a Capital Markets Service license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore to offer custodial services.
• The application comes after Binance withdrew from Singapore and canceled its Digital Payments Token license in December 2021.
• Earlier this month, Binance rebranded its custody arm to Ceffu, which is a reference to SAFU (Secure Asset Fund for Users), its insurance policy.
Binance Applies for Singapore License
Binance’s custody arm Ceffu has applied for a Capital Markets Service license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to provide custodial services in the country. This comes after Binance withdrew from Singapore and canceled its Digital Payments Token license in December 2021.
Rebranding of Custody Arm
Earlier this month, Binance rebranded its custody arm to Ceffu as a reference to SAFU (Secure Asset Fund for Users), its insurance policy. As a custodian, Ceffu would only deal with institutional investors and high net-worth individuals, not retail clients.
Similar Licenses Granted By MAS
Hong Kong-based custodian Hex Trust received a similar license in Singapore in September 2021. In October Coinbase received a Digital Payments Token license from MAS.
Why Did Binance Withdraw From Singapore?
Binance withdrew from Singapore because it had already invested in a regulated exchange in the country, making applying for another license „redundant“. A spokesperson from Binance didn’t respond when asked by CoinDesk about their plans regarding the application of the License.
Binance’s custody unit is attempting to get licensed by MAS through their newly rebranded entity Ceffu as they look to expand their services across different jurisdictions and target institutional investors and high net-worth individuals with their custodial services.
BUIDL Week: It’s Time to Rebuild Trust in Crypto
• Marc Andreessen called for innovators and dreamers to „BUIDL“ in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Ezra Klein criticized America’s political gridlock, arguing that it was preventing meaningful progress.
• Despite the difficult times we are facing, there is still room for innovation and improvement.
It’s Time to BUIDL
Marc Andreessen, co-creator of Mosaic and venture capitalist, published a call to action in April 2020 urging innovators and dreamers to “Build” in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite criticism from some quarters, even skeptics agreed that little was getting built in America due to decades of political stagnation and misspent investments.
America’s Political Gridlock
Ezra Klein argued that America’s inability to act was causing hardship for many people due to a lack of progress on public infrastructure projects. He attributed this failure largely to what political scientist Francis Fukuyama termed a “vetocracy” – an entrenched system of gridlock created by vested interests blocking meaningful change from happening.
Room for Improvement
Despite the difficulties brought about by the pandemic, there is still potential for technological advancement and innovation during these trying times. President Joe Biden has made “Build Back Better” one of his key campaign promises, suggesting investment into green energy sources as well as medical infrastructure upgrades so that citizens can better respond if faced with another pandemic or similar circumstances in future.
Crypto Industry Must Rebuild Trust
The crypto industry was hit particularly hard by the collapse of FTX earlier this year, leaving investors wondering if their funds were safe from nefarious actors or other external risks associated with digital assets. As such, it has become even more important for crypto companies to rebuild consumer trust by stressing transparency, security protocols and data privacy policies so that customers know their money is safe when dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges or other blockchain-based service providers.
It’s Time To BUIDL Week
CoinDesk is launching „BUIDL Week“ – an event taking place April 26-28th 2021 – which will bring together leaders across all areas of Web3 technology and crypto who share Andreesen’s goal: building something new and meaningful out of challenging circumstances. Participants will discuss how best to use blockchain technologies not only as a tool for economic development but also as a platform through which social issues can be addressed collaboratively on global scales like never before seen before.
Grayscale’s GBTC Discount Reaches Record Highs: 47% Off NAV
• Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) has seen its discount to net asset value (NAV) reach near record highs.
• The discount has been widening since news of Digital Currency Group’s exposure to disgraced crypto exchange FTX was reported.
• Bitcoin’s price surge and increasing regulation have forced Grayscale to decouple GBTC from the price of bitcoin, undermining its value.
Grayscale’s GBTC Discount Widens
Shares of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), the world’s largest publicly traded bitcoin fund, have seen its discount to net asset value (NAV) reach near-record highs. The discount has been widening since news of Digital Currency Group’s exposure to disgraced crypto exchange FTX was reported last week.
Bitcoin Price Surge Affecting GBTC Value
Bitcoin was up 40% in January, but has since retreated slightly, losing 9% for the month to date. This surge in bitcoin prices combined with increasing regulation have forced Grayscale to decouple GBTC from the price of bitcoin, which may have undermined its value.
Lowest NAV Since December 2022
The shares are currently trading at a 47% discount to NAV, the widest discount since late December 2022 when the discount hit a record 49%. Shares of GBTC have not traded at a premium since March 2021 according to data from TradeBlock.
Grayscale Fighting on „Many Fronts“
Sheraz Ahmed, managing partner at Storm Partners noted that “Grayscale is fighting a battle on many fronts with some of the most influential minds in crypto” but expects “the bitcoin trust to find calmer waters“. He added that “nobody saw the disaster of FTX before it was too late” and warned that “the fall of Grayscale could have a similar impact“.
As people turn their attention towards cryptocurrency investment vehicles such as GBTC, it is important they understand potential risks associated with them including regulatory issues and market volatility. Despite these risks being real however, many investors still view crypto investments as attractive long-term opportunities due their potential for high returns.
Nigeria’s Bitcoin Premiums: Stability of the Dollar, Not Crypto, Drives Demand
• Nigerians are paying a premium for the stability of the U.S. dollar, not bitcoin, according to an analyst
• Bitcoin premiums in Nigeria were attributed to cash withdrawal limits placed by the Nigerian government on its citizens
• The inflated bitcoin prices may not reflect a heightened demand for the asset but a continued demand for the U.S. dollar as the country’s local currency suffers
What is Bitcoin Premiums?
Nigeria’s bitcoin premiums – where the cryptocurrency was listed on local trading platforms for 60% above market prices – made headlines this week. Although the news was celebrated by the bitcoin community on social media, the inflated bitcoin prices may not reflect a heightened demand for the asset but a continued demand for the U.S. dollar as the country’s local currency suffers.
Why Is It Happening?
It all started when a number of media outlets drew attention to the high premiums, which they attributed to cash withdrawal limits placed by the Nigerian government on its citizens as it worked on swapping old bank notes for new ones. But if bitcoin demand went up as a result of this cash jam in Nigeria, then why did premiums stay constant?
What Caused The Premiums?
Conor Ryder, research analyst at digital asset data provider Kaiko looked into why this happened and found that „the premium didn’t substantially increase at all“ as a result of ATM limit order being imposed in early December last year. He believes that instead of reflecting an increased interest in buying crypto assets, these premiums reveal more about discrepancies between official and unofficial U.S. dollar exchange rates in Nigeria with traders favouring US dollars over other assets due to its stability and global acceptance.
Are Bitcoin Premiums A New Phenomenon In Nigeria?
No, Nigeria’s bitcoin premiums are not actually new and have been around since before December 2020 when ATM withdrawal limits were imposed in an effort to control currency devaluation problems plaguing Nigeria’s economy today yet still failing to make much difference due to their limited scope and reach within this vast nation state regionally divided both culturally and economically across its 36 states .
Conclusion: To conclude this analysis into whether or not Nigerian’s increasing demand for Bitcoins is real or just another symptom of their growing distrust towards their own currency it appears that while some individuals have shown interest in purchasing crypto assets as an alternative form of investment most Nigerians are simply paying higher premiums due more so out of necessity than choice; favoring US dollars over other forms of payment given its greater liquidity and global acceptance especially during times when their own domestic currencies fail them economically speaking
U.S. House Subcommittee on Digital Assets Sets Stablecoin Regulation as Its First Priority
• Rep. French Hill, the chair of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion, has announced that stablecoin regulation is the subcommittee’s first priority.
• Rep. Hill believes that the subcommittee’s draft on stablecoins should serve as a model for how it will approach digital asset regulation moving forward.
• Rep. Hill also wants the subcommittee to pursue a privacy statute that is important to digital asset industry and consumer privacy.
The U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on digital assets, financial technology and inclusion has recently been formed under the chairmanship of Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.). The subcommittee has now declared that stablecoin regulation is its first priority.
Rep. Hill believes that the subcommittee’s draft on stablecoins should serve as a model for how it will approach digital asset regulation moving forward. He also expressed his intention to pursue a privacy statute that is important to digital asset industry and consumer privacy.
He noted that the subcommittee wants to bring clarity to which agency, the SEC or the CFTC, should seek explicit oversight of digital assets. He stated that sorting through the issue is the primary task of the subcommittee.
The subcommittee also plans to focus on other important issues such as the establishment of uniform standards for digital assets, the adoption of uniform digital asset transfer regulations, and the development of best practices for data security.
Rep. Hill further noted that the subcommittee will also take into consideration the emerging trends in the digital asset industry and the potential of blockchain technology. He believes that the subcommittee has the potential to help move the industry forward and shape the future of digital assets.
The subcommittee will also work towards bringing together stakeholders from the public and private sector, as well as industry experts, to discuss the issues surrounding digital assets. Rep. Hill believes that this process of collaboration and dialogue is essential for the growth of the sector.
Overall, the subcommittee’s goal is to ensure that the digital asset sector can continue to grow and develop without sacrificing security or consumer protection. The subcommittee plans to take a measured, thoughtful approach when it comes to developing regulations, while also taking into account the unique needs of digital asset market participants.
Luno Exchange Launches with New CTO, FCA Partnership
1. Timothy Stranex, co-founder and chief technology officer of cryptocurrency exchange Luno, departed in December after 10 years with the company.
2. Simon Ince has replaced Stranex as CTO, having joined Luno almost two years ago as vice president of engineering.
3. Luno, which is owned by Digital Currency Group (DCG), is headquartered in London and has offices in Singapore, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Lagos, and Sydney.
Cryptocurrency exchange Luno has experienced a major change in its senior team, with co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) Timothy Stranex leaving the company in December. Stranex had been with Luno for 10 years, having founded the company in 2011 with Carel van Wyk, Pieter Heyns and current CEO Marcus Swanepoel.
Stranex’s departure has been filled by Simon Ince, who joined Luno almost two years ago as its vice president of engineering. He will now take up the mantle of CTO, overseeing the company’s engineering, product and design teams.
Luno, which is owned by Digital Currency Group (DCG), is headquartered in London and has offices in Singapore, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Lagos, and Sydney. It has over 10 million customers worldwide, and is continuing to expand its international presence.
The firm recently announced a partnership with the United Kingdom’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to launch a cryptocurrency-focused sandbox environment. This will allow the company to test its products in a controlled environment with the FCA’s guidance and oversight.
Luno also recently launched its own Luno Exchange, allowing customers to buy, sell and store digital assets. The platform supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Binance Coin, as well as the stablecoin BUSD.
Commenting on the recent changes, Swanepoel said: “Tim has been a great friend and colleague for many years and we’re sad to see him leave. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours. We’d also like to thank Simon for all he has done to help Luno get to where it is today, and we look forward to seeing where he takes us in the future.”
The changes come as Luno continues to make strides in the cryptocurrency exchange space. With the FCA’s support, the company is looking to further expand its presence in the UK and across the world in the years to come.
Stablecoin Holders Can Now Invest in Bonds & Treasurys with Ondo Finance
• Ondo Finance has launched three products designed to allow stablecoin holders globally to invest directly in bonds and U.S. Treasurys.
• These regulated products are expected to attract more than $100 billion in stablecoins that may not be earning yields for their holders.
• The funds deposited on Ondo will be invested in exchange-traded funds offered by BlackRock and Pimco, with Coinbase Custody and Coinbase Prime handling conversions between stablecoins and fiat.
Decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Ondo Finance has announced the launch of three new products that aim to provide stablecoin holders with an opportunity to invest directly in bonds and U.S. Treasurys. It is estimated that these regulated products could attract more than $100 billion in stablecoins that may not be earning yields for their holders.
The three products launched by Ondo Finance are the OUSG fund, the OSTB fund, and the OYHG fund. The OUSG fund is an investment in short-term government Treasurys, with an expected yield of 4.2% per annum. The OSTB fund is a short-term bond fund, with an expected yield of 5.45% per annum. Lastly, the OYHG fund is a high-yield corporate bond fund, with an expected yield of 8% per annum. All of these funds have a fee of 0.15% and are designed to allow investors to take advantage of the higher yields associated with bonds and Treasurys.
To ensure that investors’ funds are secure, Ondo Finance has partnered with Coinbase Custody, Coinbase Prime, BlackRock, and Pimco. Coinbase Custody will custody any stablecoins that the fund holds, while Coinbase Prime will handle the conversions between stablecoins and fiat. The funds deposited on Ondo will further be invested in relevant exchange-traded funds managed by BlackRock and Pimco.
With the launch of these three funds, Ondo Finance is aiming to provide a more secure and profitable option for stablecoin holders who are looking for higher yields than those offered by traditional savings accounts and money market accounts. Moreover, these funds are regulated and offer higher yields than other investment options such as stocks and bonds, making them an attractive option for investors.
For these funds to be successful, they need to be reliable and secure. Fortunately, Ondo Finance has taken the necessary steps to ensure that these funds are secure and reliable. This includes partnering with Coinbase Custody and Coinbase Prime, two of the most trusted names in the crypto industry. Additionally, the funds are managed by BlackRock and Pimco, two of the most respected investment firms in the world.
Overall, the launch of these three products is an important step forward in the evolution of DeFi, as it provides stablecoin holders with an opportunity to invest in bonds and U.S. Treasurys and earn higher yields than what is offered by traditional savings accounts and money market accounts. With the added security and reliability provided by Coinbase Custody and Coinbase Prime, and the expertise of BlackRock and Pimco, it is likely that these funds will be successful.
FTX Recovers Over $5 Billion in Assets After Bankruptcy Filing
• FTX has recovered over $5 billion in assets since filing for bankruptcy last year.
• Bankruptcy attorney announced the news during a hearing Wednesday.
• This total does not include another $425 million in crypto held by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas.
The cryptocurrency exchange FTX has made a major recovery since filing for bankruptcy last year. During a hearing Wednesday, a bankruptcy attorney announced that FTX has managed to recover more than $5 billion in assets. This news substantially raises the total FTX claims it holds, although it is still short of what customers are owed in total.
The recovered assets include a variety of different types of assets, such as cryptocurrency and fiat currency. However, the total does not include another $425 million in crypto held by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas. According to the attorney, FTX has been working closely with the commission to recover these assets.
It’s unclear how FTX plans to use the recovered funds. However, some speculate that the funds will be used to pay back customers who were affected by the bankruptcy. FTX has yet to make any formal statement about how the funds will be used.
The news of FTX’s recovery comes as a surprise to many in the crypto community, who had feared that FTX’s bankruptcy would leave many customers out of pocket. It remains to be seen if the recovered funds will be enough to adequately compensate customers who have been affected.
In the meantime, FTX is continuing to work to recover more assets and to make sure that customers are properly compensated. For many customers, the news of FTX’s recovery is a welcome sign that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.