Crypto News Headlines (04-March-2022)

Manchester City is bulking up on the crypto craze.

On Friday, the reigning Premier League champions announced a multi-year agreement naming OKX it’s official cryptocurrency exchange partner. The deal, which is OKX’s first foray into the sports world, will cover Manchester City’s men’s and women’s teams as well as its esports operations. It will include a presence inside of both Manchester City venues, the 55,000-seat Etihad Stadium and the 7,000-person capacity Academy Stadium, as well as collaboration on future projects. 

Financial terms were not disclosed, but a source tells Forbes that the deal with the club, the world’s sixth-most valuable soccer team at $4 billion, is in the multimillion-dollar range annually. It’s the latest in a string of crypto endorsements that have poured money into sports as the industry seeks to establish a presence with mainstream audiences.

Ukraine’s government announced on Thursday that it cancelled its plan of a crypto airdrop for receiving donations towards its fight against last week’s Russian invasion. The authorities have instead stated that they will sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to raise funds to support its armed forces.

Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister, informed the public on Thursday that the nation has made the decision to cancel an airdrop for crypto donations that was announced on Tuesday and instead now plans to raise more funds through the sale of NFTs.

“After careful consideration, we decided to cancel airdrop. Instead, we will announce NFTs to support Ukrainian Armed Forces soon. We DO NOT HAVE any plans to issue any fungible tokens.” Fedorov announced on his Twitter account.

The total market capitalization of the crypto industry has fallen by almost 4% amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. 

Bitcoin also dropped by almost 4% over the past 24 hours, falling from roughly $44,000 yesterday to $41,100 early this morning. The leading cryptocurrency has since recovered some and is currently trading at jsut over $41,600, according to data pulled from CoinGecko.

Ethereum is down over 5% after nearly crossing the psychologically important $3,000 mark on Thursday afternoon. Since then, the smart contracts platform has steadily shed points through the night and into this morning. It is now trading hands at $2,740.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced Thursday that it has initiated more than 300 probes against unregistered crypto companies in the previous six months, “many of which may be scams.” The country’s financial watchdog is conducting an additional 50 investigations into legally operating crypto firms. These investigations include criminal probes.

FCA reports that from April to September of 2021, British citizens voiced 16,400 scams involving cryptocurrencies to the agency. According to the regulatory authority, “more assertive supervision and enforcement action” will be used, as would “being tougher with firms who want to operate” in the United Kingdom, among other things.

The watchdog launched consultations in January for “high-risk investments, including crypto assets,” the watchdog launched consultations in January. On March 23, the group will be taking comments and suggestions.

The first platform to connect brands with metaverse builders raises $2.5 million and is now live on Polygon 

Austin, TX.  Next week at SXSW 2022, SandStorm, the world’s largest weekly metaverse event, will debut its live platform and NFT marketplace on Polygon and Ethereum, which will connect the world’s leading brands with the top builders in the metaverse.  The project will enable brands that have little or no metaverse presence to search hundreds of verified builders, explore what’s possible for their business, and establish their virtual footprint in Web3. In addition, SandStorm also offers a white glove service to bring brands into the metaverse and build experiences for them within The Sandbox and other metaverses.

Zignaly, a Singapore-based social investment platform, announced on Thursday that it has raised $50 million in investment funding from GEM Global Yield LLC SCS (GGY), a Luxembourg-based alternative investment group focused on emerging markets across the world.

Zignaly said that it plans to use the funding to accelerate its global expansion. The company stated that it will use the capital to expand its presence into Southeast Asia, West Asia, Turkey, India, South America, and Europe. Besides that, Zignaly mentioned that it intends to use part of the funding to hire new staff for its deeptech and product development teams as well as hiring a new chief marketing officer.

Schwab Asset Management is preparing to offer its first in-house crypto product to its 33 million clients: the “Schwab Crypto Economy ETF” – a vehicle that tracks equities engaged in the world of digital assets.

An incomplete prospectus filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Charles Schwab’s exchange-traded fund (ETF) would invest in “stocks that are included in the Schwab Crypto Economy Index.” Miners, exchanges, blockchain developers and other crypto companies will comprise that yet-to-be-formed index, the filing said.

In short, the planned ETF would offer Schwab’s massive client base tailored (and non-controversial from a regulatory standpoint) exposure to the crypto economy, though not to any coins.

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has led to massive changes across the financial ecosystem. One thing that is playing a big role amidst the crisis is ‘cryptocurrency’. In the past week, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have lost value and gained them back in a matter of days. However, despite the price swings, most of the altcoins are in a ‘life or death’ situation. Bitcoin killers that emerged out of the blue after ‘cryptocurrencies’ became a buzzword are now looking for a last resort where they take shelter to sustain the geopolitical blows.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a ‘military operation’ a few days back, Bitcoin went to as low as US$35,082.66 and Ethereum fell to US$2,350.25. All other major altcoins also faced the blow. However, the geopolitical situation took a different turn when Russia started using digital tokens as a tool to evade US sanctions. On the other hand, Ukraine, the befallen country from the Russian invasion, is collecting funds in form of Bitcoin and Ethereum to support its citizens. According to reports, the Ukrainian government is using cryptocurrency crowdfunding to provide basic services to its people. These major happenings have changed the tailwind of many digital tokens. However, despite the ongoing price swings and uncertainty, altcoins are emerging as the biggest losers. Many potential Bitcoin killers are now performing under questionable circumstances.

WAVES token more than doubled in value this week, after Binance said it would begin accepting the coin as collateral on its loans platform. The token is now trading at a three-month high of $20.5.

The token’s trading volumes jumped more than 200% this week, after Binance said it would accept the token. WAVES has outpaced the broader cryptocurrency market by a wide margin, with the latter trading about 7% up for the week, data from Coinmarketcap shows.

Binance also approved MATIC, SLP and THETA as collateral assets.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD reaching lows of $40,800 on Bitstamp Friday after a major options expiry event.

Overnight performance, initially showing a recovery, had been stymied by worries over a nuclear power plant fire in Ukraine.

Stocks futures fell on the news, the severity of which was subsequently questioned.

In Germany, the DAX index hit a one-year low on the daily open, with the S&P 500 yet to commence trading.

“From recent high, index has lost 17%, way more than S&P 500,” markets commentator Holger Zschaepitz noted.

“Investors are turning their backs on Europe as the risk of stagflation increases. This means that Europe“s comeback has failed yet again.”

In Europe, the spotlight was also on commodities with gas prices again touching new highs on March 3. So, too, was inflation.