Crypto News Headlines (10-05-2022)

AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron stated that crypto along with several other digital payment methods recently accounted for 35% of its online payments.

The popular cinema chain has gradually been working on various crypto adoption plays after first rolling out online payment support for Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) in November.

Last month, it also added support for Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB) payments via the AMC Theatres mobile app.

Speaking as part of the firm’s 2022 Q1 earnings call on Monday, Aron emphasized that the firm’s plunge into crypto has not only been met with much “fanfare” but also opened up several payment rails that it had previously explored:

“The same IT programming that was required for us to accept cryptocurrency also enabled us to accept other payment types including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Paypal, Bitpay, and Venmo among others. Taken together, these various new payment options, impressively, recently represented about 35% of our total online payments.”

Crypto futures racked up more than $1 billion in liquidations in the past 24 hours amid weak market sentiment and major assets losing pivotal support levels.

Bitcoin (BTC) fell as much as 8% in the past 24 hours. Ether (ETH), BNB Chain’s BNB, and XRP saw similar losses. Terra’s LUNA fell 50% as its UST stablecoin lost its peg with U.S. dollar, while memecoin dogecoin (DOGE) fared relatively better than the market with just a 6% drop.

Bitcoin temporarily fell under $30,000 in early Asian hours, buoyed by a weak broader market. U.S. technology index Nasdaq ended Monday 4.29% lower, while Asian markets began Tuesday over 1% lower.

Such price action led to this year’s biggest liquidations losses so far. Data shows traders of bitcoin futures lost $346 million, ether futures lost $321 million, while LUNA futures $87 million – a higher-than-usual figure for traders of that asset.

A new report has found that restrictions imposed by Nigerian authorities on crypto trading may have contributed to the reduced foreign direct investment that goes to the fintech industry. The same restrictions, as well as the banning of Twitter, have also adversely affected young Nigerians who were earning money via crypto trading.

The report, which is titled Africa’s Urbanisation Dynamics 2022: The Economic Power of Africa’s Cities, was jointly published by the secretaries-general of the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations (UN).

“The restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions and the outright ban of Twitter in Nigeria have crippled foreign direct investment in the fin‑tech industry and negatively impacted millions of young Nigerians who earn a living from the sector,” the report concluded.

Terra’s UST, the third-largest stablecoin by market cap, dropped to $0.69 in Monday trading, an all-time low according to CoinMarketCap data, even after the Terra-supporting Luna Foundation Guard rushed a $1.5 billion loan to shore up the currency. On Coinbase, the listed price got as low as $0.65.

Terra is a blockchain network with its own dollar-based stablecoin, UST. Unlike USDC and Tether, which are ostensibly backed by cash and assets in the bank, the UST stablecoin is designed to hold 1:1 parity with the U.S. dollar via its algorithmic relationship with Terra’s native asset, LUNA. Minting LUNA requires burning UST and vice versa—and arbitrage opportunities are supposed to keep UST as close to $1 as possible.

So, when the price falls to, say, $0.99 as it did over the weekend, traders can swoop in to buy at a discount then sell at $1.00 and pocket the difference. Order is theoretically restored as the free market does all the work.

The government of El Salvador, which was the first country to make bitcoin legal tender last fall, has continued its bitcoin buying spree with the purchase of an additional 500 tokens for roughly $15.3 million, President Bukele tweeted on Monday.

According to Bukele, the average price El Salvador paid for each bitcoin was $30,744. The price of bitcoin has dropped almost 10% to $31,053 over the last 24 hours.

El Salvador just bought the dip! 🇸🇻500 coins at an average USD price of ~$30,744 🥳#Bitcoin

— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) May 9, 2022

The bitcoin purchase made on Monday appears to be the tenth and the largest made by El Salvador so far.

On Jan. 21, El Salvador made its last bitcoin purchase, acquiring 410 bitcoins at an average price of $36,585 per coin.

El Salvador now appears to hold around 2,301 bitcoins, currently worth just under $71 million.

El Salvador postponed its planned $1 billion bitcoin bond offering in March because of unfavorable market conditions, according to Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is moving ahead with plans to upgrade the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) to be used on a wider range of goods and services. It is also maintaining harsh crypto restrictions that cripple the country’s fintech sector.

The CBN branch controller Bariboloka Koyor spoke at a campaign aiming to “sensitize” businesses to the eNaira at a market in the country’s most populous city of Lagos on Monday, according to a report from Vanguard. Koyor stated:

“Starting from next week, there is going to be an upgrade on the eNaira speed wallet app that will allow you to do transactions such as paying for DSTV or electric bills or even paying for flight tickets.”

Koyor said the upgrade was launched to make onboarding easier, touting its wallet that had no charges and was faster than internet banking. He added that in the future, the eNaira will be the only way to receive financial assistance from the government, stressing the advantages of early adoption:

“This is a project that the CBN has rolled out to reach every Nigerian in terms of financial inclusion and in terms of efficiency, reliability, and safety of banking transactions so that we can do banking transactions very easily and safely and the people in Nigeria can enjoy the benefit of the eNaira.”

Crypto exchange KuCoin has raised a $150 million pre-Series B round at a valuation of $10 billion, the company confirmed to CoinDesk on Tuesday.

The round, which was led by Jump Crypto, also saw participation of multiple investment funds, including Circle Ventures, IDG Capital, and Matrix Partners.

“We are pleased to support the company as it continues to grow and expand its offerings in futures and margin trading, lending, staking, and passive yield generation to support the growth of Web 3.0 and the crypto markets,” said Tak Fujishima, Head of Asia at Jump Crypto, in a statement.

KuCoin would use the funds to expand its product offering, going beyond the current centralized trading services and increasing its presence in the broader Web 3 market, such as building out crypto wallets, and decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible token (NFT) platforms through its investment arms like KuCoin Labs and KuCoin Ventures.

“As the Web 3 industry is growing quickly, we are seeing a massive need for new solutions and talents,” CEO Johnny Lyu told CoinDesk in a Telegram message. “KuCoin is glad to contribute financial, technological and human resources to accelerate the research and adoption of Web 3.0 technologies.”

After having defacto dollarization, which the president of the country called an “escape valve” from the economic crisis that Venezuela had faced five years ago, now the country is seeking to establish its fiat currency, the bolivar, as an interesting choice for payments. A new tax called the IGTF, which seeks to tax transactions and payments made in dollars, foreign currency, and crypto at 3% in some instances, seems directed to aid in achieving this purpose.

However, this might not yet be the time for such adjustments, now that Venezuela is just exiting a period of hyperinflation that was also combined with the devaluation of its fiat currency, which had to be redenominated a pair of times. Asdrubal Oliveros, a national economist who manages Ecoanalitica, a consulting firm, declared:

It is a risky bet, with bad timing, because the recovery is very weak and the economy is still suffering from chronic inflation, not hyperinflation, but chronic inflation. It is very high to restore confidence in the currency from one day to the next.

Billionaire and owner of the Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban compared the current state of the crypto industry with the dot-com bubble of the early 2000s.

“Crypto is going through the lull that the internet went through,” Cuban tweeted on Monday.

According to Cuban, after the initial surge of multiple exciting blockchain applications in DeFi, NFT, and [play-to-earn] fields, “we saw the imitation phase as chains subsidized the movement of those apps to their chains.”

He compared the phenomenon to the times when the same over-hyped dot-com firms that offered similar services collapsed.

Cuban, whose net worth is estimated at about $4.7 billion, built his wealth in the 1990s with the sale of his computer consulting firm MicroSolutions. Another company he owned, an internet radio service called, was later acquired by Yahoo for $5.7 billion in stock before being discontinued.

Following four weeks of outflows, investors adding to their positions by taking advantage of the substantive price discounts were responsible for last week’s inflows, according to the latest CoinShares report. Inflows into North American investment products dominated last week, totaling $66 million, which were countered by $26 million in outflows from European products.

Despite this past week’s inflows, the report expressed some skepticism about whether the negative sentiment over the previous four weeks had run its course. It reasoned that recent investment product trading activity did not match that historically seen during extreme price weakness periods.

Coin flows

As usual Bitcoin-based investment products saw the largest share of flows, this past week amounting to $45 million. While these products experienced the most positive sentiment from investors recently, total assets under management for Bitcoin-based products have fallen to a level seen during a similar period of lower sentiment towards the beginning of the year.

But while Bitcoin-based products surged, Ethereum-based investment products continued its negative streak, with outflows amounting to $12.5 million. This brings total year-to-date outflows to $207 million, which represents 0.8% of AuM overall.