- EU’s Crypto Activism Gets Mixed Reception at Paris Blockchain Week
The crypto sector is still reeling from a string of votes in the European Parliament that some warned could prove regulatory overkill, attendees at the Paris Blockchain Week Summit discovered Wednesday.
Recent EU plans to curb the energy footprint of proof-of-work technology – which some feared could amount to a bitcoin ban – failed to get through the European Parliament when voted on in March. But a second, also controversial, anti-money laundering measure did pass and could now become law if governments also sign up.
Under a planned expansion of existing banking measures known as the travel rule, parties facilitating crypto transactions would have to identify participants. EU lawmakers want that to apply even for the smallest payments or those made to unhosted wallets, where the asset is held by a private individual rather than a regulated exchange.
Proponents, including lead lawmaker Assita Kanko, have argued the travel rule will help cut crime, and have previously told CoinDesk it could be a spur for innovation in a sector that prides itself on creativity.
- South Korea Begins to Fulfill President Elect’s Pledge to Bolster the NFT Ecosystem
The South Korean government appeared to fulfill president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s campaign pledge after the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced on April 12 that it will adopt an NFT copyright policy. This copyright policy is expected to help South Korea deal with the scourge of fake NFTs as well as to support the metaverse ecosystem.
According to a report by Ajunews, Yoon Suk-yeol had during his election campaign promised to “nurture a new concept digital asset market through NFT activation.” In addition, the incoming president had said he would revitalize the token economy once he was elected.
Indeed, following the April 12 announcement, South Korea’s government — via the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism — unveiled an order for “metaverse/NFT-related copyright issues research service.” At the same time, the ministry is presently preparing for what the report called “the selection of a company and the formal contract process.”
- Bank of Canada Using Quantum Computing to Simulate Crypto Adoption Scenarios
The Bank of Canada has become the first G7 country to turn to quantum computing to simulate scenarios where cryptocurrency and fiat currency can coexist.
This week, the startup leading Canada’s research hit a milestone: Their model can evaluate more than 1 octillion possible scenarios in 30 minutes. An octillion is a 10 followed by 30 thirty zeros.
That means Metaverse Computing has completed their proof-of-concept, which combines blockchain data from stablecoin Tether (USDT), whose tokens are pegged to the U.S. dollar, and public data from up to 10 major financial institutions. They also consulted with experts from two major Canadian banks to come up with realistic parameters.
Multiverse chose Tether for its model because the stablecoin, founded in 2014, had endured a variety of market scenarios in its eight years worth of blockchain data.
- Tether plans to reduce holdings of commercial debt in USDT reserves
Tether’s chief technology officer, Paolo Ardoino, said the company will reduce its commercial debt holdings, speaking to CNBC on April 13 at the Paris Blockchain Week Summit.
The world’s largest stablecoin is currently backed by a mixed bag of commercial debt holdings, cash, and cryptocurrencies, but it has yet to produce a full official audit of its reserves.
“Over time we will keep reducing the commercial paper, we aren’t finished yet with the reduction,” he stated.
Tether CTO @paoloardoino tells me the company plans to reduce the amount of commercial paper in its reserves for $USDT as questions over the backing of the stablecoin continue. Important conversation @PBWSummit as this industry continues to develop pic.twitter.com/nwAuz3w4Ks
- Skynet EGLD Capital Fund Raises $40 Million to Invest in the Elrond Ecosystem
A document shared with CryptoPotato revealed that “Skynet EGLD Capital” secured over $40 million in a recent fundraiser, intending to employ the proceeds to boost the growth of the Elrond Network ecosystem.
The investment was led by top venture capital firms such as Spark Digital Capital, Woodstock, Morningstar Ventures, and Verko. Leading cryptocurrency companies like Binance Institutional, KuCoin, Huobi Group, and Bitmart also joined the funding round.
The $40+ million funds were raised in less than 14 days. Some of the proceeds have already been deployed in different Elrond projects such as Itheum and Maiar Exchange products.
Jordy Fiene – Founding Partner at “Skynet ELGD Capital” – said his entity had been a “strong supporter” of Elrond and its technology.
“The network is rapidly maturing, and new waves of builders are joining the ecosystem at an unprecedented pace. This is the perfect time to double down on our commitment and support Elrond’s journey,” the executive added.
- Elon Musk Offers to Buy Twitter for $41.3B
Elon Musk, the CEO of electric-car maker Tesla (TSLA), offered to buy social media company Twitter (TWTR) for $41.3 billion in cash.
“I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced. My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” Musk said in a statement.
Twitter shares surged more than 12% in pre-market trading following Musk’s statement.
Musk took a 9.2% stake in Twitter for an estimated $2.89 billion earlier this month, quickly followed by an announcement that he would be joining the company’s board of directors. However, CEO Parag Agrawal said a few days later that a board position was no longer on the cards.
Owing to the Tesla CEO’s well-known interest in cryptocurrency, such activity his announcements often make ripples in the crypto world. Meme-based crypto dogecoin enjoyed an 11% spike following the news of Musk’s Twitter investment.
Twitter has also established itself as a crypto-friendly platform over recent months, adding the ability to send tips in bitcoin last September with the facility extended to ether in February.
- Crypto Exchange With Belarusian Roots Halts Operations for Russian Users
Crypto trading platform Currency.com has announced its decision to halt operations for residents of the Russian Federation over Moscow’s military aggression against neighboring Ukraine. The move comes after, earlier, the Belarus-born exchange stopped opening new accounts for Russian users.
In a statement released by the platform late Tuesday, the chief executive of the company’s Ukrainian division, Vitaly Kedyk, said that the Russian invasion has brought violence and disorder to the people of Ukraine and added:
We condemn the Russian aggression in the strongest possible terms. We stand with Ukraine and everyone who denounces this terrible war. In these circumstances, we can no longer continue to serve our clients from Russia.
Customers from other countries and regions will not be impacted by the decision. Currency.com emphasized it will continue to provide services to its global client base through its international network. The exchange maintains offices in New York, London, Gibraltar, Vilnius, and Warsaw.
- Terra buys another $100 Million worth of BTC
Terra seems nowhere near concerned regarding the ongoing crypto dip. Instead, it topped up its bitcoin reserves with an additional purchase of $100 million worth of the asset.
Earlier this year, Do Kwon – Founder and CEO of Terraform Labs – revealed the company’s intentions to introduce a stablecoin (UST), which will be backed by bitcoin reserves worth in total of $10 billion instead of fiat currency.
The top executive asserted that the protocol will accumulate the significant amount of assets in time. Shortly after, Terra went on its buying spree. The first two transactions happened in March – both for approximately 1,500 BTC.
Shortly after, the project purchased 2,943 BTC in a single transaction, worth around $140 million at the moment of the settlement.
The protocol continued to amass more bitcoin in April. At the beginning of the month, it bought $230 million in BTC. A few days later, the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) pool purchased an additional $176 worth of the primary cryptocurrency.
Over the last several days, bitcoin’s price went on a downtrend. Moreover, it tumbled below $40,000, dropping to its lowest level since March, but that has not deterred Terra.
Earlier on April 13, Do Kwon disclosed that Luna Foundation Guard purchased $100 million worth of bitcoin for its UST reserves.
- Japanese Gaming Giant Bandai Namco Establishes $25M Fund for Web 3, Metaverse Start-ups
According to the report, the startup investment fund, dubbed “Bandai Namco Entertainment 021 Fund,” will focus on blockchain companies in Japan as well as overseas in a bid to accelerate the adoption of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and encryption technology.
The focus will also be intensifying the decision-making process on laying the foundation of an IP (Intellectual property) Metaverse and the development of a new entertainment system.
The latest investment fund also targets entertainment-related products and service providers engaged in VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), AI (artificial intelligence), etc.
Meanwhile, the gaming giant has been actively forming collaborations with several start-ups across different businesses and sectors to advance the growth of Web 3 and the metaverse ecosystem.
Strengthening its Footing Metaverse
The development comes two weeks after Bandai Namco announced its $130-million metaverse initiative that will be based on its Gundam IP. This is a part of the company’s plans to develop a metaverse for each IP as a new framework for connecting with fans.
The gaming giant intends to allow customers access to a myriad of entertainment on an IP axis while leveraging its “distinctive strengths to merge physical products and venues with digital elements in this IP Metaverse.
The release also stated,
“The new mid-term plan will introduce a new means of connecting fans to entertainment properties by building a metaverse for each IP under Bandai Namco Group’s portfolio, which is also utilized as a key part of the company’s IP based strategies.
Development will begin with the creation of the “GUNDAM Metaverse” where it will become a platform of opportunities for GUNDAM fans worldwide to come together to converse and connect in a variety of categories.”
- The auction for an NFT of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet—listed at $48 million—closed with a high bid of just $280
The cryptocurrency entrepreneur who bought an non-fungible token (NFT) of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet was hoping to sell it for $48 million, more than 16 times the $2.9 million he paid for it.
But after an auction that lasted a week, the highest bid offered was a mere $280.
Sina Estavi, founder of two Malaysia-based cryptocurrency companies, bought the NFT from Dorsey last March. The Twitter founder claimed he would use the proceeds of his sale towards COVID-19 relief efforts in Africa.
At the time, Estavi said his purchase price was a bargain. “Years later,” he predicted “people will realize the true value of this tweet, like the Mona Lisa painting.”
One year later, that prediction is not panning out. On April 6, Estavi listed the token on NFT marketplace OpenSea for $48 million. On Twitter, he promised to donate 50% of the proceeds to GiveDirectly, a charity that allows donors to give money directly to people living in poverty.
Investor interest was tepid. When the auction “closed” on Wednesday, Coindesk reported that only seven bids had been entered for the token, with the highest coming in at $280.
More bids have come in since then. Yet the highest offer—$6,200 as of publication time—is still significantly below what Estavi paid for the NFT, let alone what he hoped to earn through the auction.