Crypto News Headlines (24-Jun-2022)

Cryptoys, a platform aiming to “reimagine what a toy actually is,” has raised $23 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Dapper Labs and multinational toy manufacturer Mattel (MAT).

The platform is the flagship product of non-fungible token (NFT) studio OnChain Studios and aims to bring NFTs to kids in the form of colorful characters. Cryptoys aims to combine these with gaming and apps within an interactive platform.

“We set out to reimagine what the concept of a “toy” actually is and how digital mediums can allow us to go beyond physical constraints to achieve new levels of play and interactivity,” OnChain CEO Will Weinraub said on Thursday.

The company recently secured a partnership with Mattel to transform some of its most storied characters into playable avatars, which can be sold as NFTs. Mattel is the manufacturer of such world-famous products as Barbie, Hot Wheels and Polly Pocket.

Cryptoys is built on Flow, the blockchain developed by Dapper Labs, which has seen its digital basketball collectible platform NBA Top Shot amass around $1 billion in sales.

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced Wednesday the outcome of enforcement actions against two foreign cryptocurrency trading platforms operating in its jurisdiction.

The first is Bybit, a crypto trading platform operated by Bybit Fintech Ltd., incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. The other is Kucoin, operated by Mek Global Ltd., incorporated in the Republic of Seychelles, and Phoenixfin Pte. Ltd., incorporated in Singapore.

“Bybit and Kucoin both operate unregistered crypto asset trading platforms and allowed Ontario investors to trade securities without a prospectus or any exemption from the prospectus requirements,” the Canadian regulator explained.

Regarding Kucoin, the announcement states:

The OSC successfully obtained orders permanently banning Kucoin from participating in Ontario’s capital markets and requiring Kucoin to pay an administrative penalty of CAD $2,000,000.

Retail investors will be able to trade crypto futures through Coinbase starting Monday, as the largest exchange in the U.S. by volume will offer them on its new Derivatives Exchange platform.

The move comes after Coinbase acquired FairX in January as part of its goal of offering crypto futures and options trading to its customers. FairX had been selling futures products and was already registered with the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), giving Coinbase a running start in the $3 trillion crypto derivatives market. Now Coinbase has rebranded FairX as the Coinbase Derivatives Exchange, and its “nano Bitcoin futures”—1/100th of a Bitcoin, marketed under the ticker BIT—is its first listed crypto derivatives product. “This is one step to creating a robust and regulated crypto derivatives market,” a Coinbase spokesperson told Decrypt.

Italian high-end luxury brand Gucci is venturing further into Web 3.

The Florence-based company is buying into its first decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) via a new partnership with non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, SuperRare.

Gucci has acquired $25,000 worth of RARE tokens to join the SuperRareDAO. With its buy-in, Gucci is launching the “Vault Art Space,” an exhibition that will include a selection of NFT artworks by 29 artists.

“We approached SuperRare for this knowing we could rely on our mutual effort to amplify the vision of this multifaceted group of artists,” Gucci Vault CEO Nicolas Oudinot told CoinDesk. “We were fascinated by SuperRare’s ability to provide [artists] with a platform to showcase their work in an innovative way, one that is built on a sense of community and that enhances interactions and decentralization as key tools to support both artists and collectors.”

The initiative comes as many luxury brands introduce NFTs and look for other ways to use blockchain technology. In February, Gucci dropped 10 NFTs through a collaboration with cult toy brand Superplastic.

Singapore’s financial regulator and the central bank have pledged to be “brutal and unrelentingly hard” on any “bad behavior” from the cryptocurrency industry.

The comments come from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)’s chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty, explaining in an interview that “if somebody has done a bad thing, we are brutal and unrelentingly hard.”

He also hit back at the rhetoric of certain crypto market participants who have criticized the regulator for not being friendly enough to crypto, and instead questioned the legitimacy of the market, saying:

“We have been called out by many cryptocurrencies for not being friendly, my response has been: Friendly for what? Friendly for a real economy or friendly for some unreal economy?”

Given bitcoin’s (BTC) widening use in an increasing number of areas and the exponential growth of wallet activity, the crypto is “technically oversold” at current levels, SkyBridge founder Anthony Scaramucci said Thursday in a speech at the Collision conference in Toronto.

Scaramucci said investors may look back and recognize bitcoin being a “very cheap asset that we can take advantage of because of certain people being over-levered in the system.”

He said he was initially skeptical about bitcoin, though discussions years ago around digitizing the U.S. dollar spurred his interest in blockchain technology.

Scaramucci was philosophical about recent crypto debacles, including the collapse of the terraUSD stablecoin (UST) and the luna token that supported it, and the liquidity problems afflicting crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital. “I’ve seen those mistakes made several times,” he said.

Governments are still trying to find the best approach to overseeing the $900-billion crypto asset market, which in many jurisdictions is only partially regulated, Euronews noted in a report on Wednesday. Officials have issued numerous warnings about the risks associated with cryptocurrency investments, including “manipulation of opaque crypto markets.”

Much more can be done in that regard, according to a statement by Urban Angehrn, CEO of Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma). Speaking during a conference in the Swiss city of Zurich, Angehrn further commented:

It would seem to me that a lot of trading in digital assets looks like the U.S. stock market in 1928, where all kinds of abuse, pump and dump, are now in fact frequently common.

Cristiano Ronaldo has entered a multi-year joint marketing agreement with crypto company Binance. As a part of the deal announced today, multiple Ronaldo NFT collections will be produced in each year of the deal and released exclusively on the Binance NFT marketplace.

“Together we’ll give you the opportunity to own an iconic piece of sports history,” Ronaldo wrote in an announcement post Thursday.

Ronaldo’s first NFTs for Binance are expected to go on sale later this year.  NFTs are blockchain-based tokens that show ownership over digital or physical assets.

“My relationship with the fans is very important to me, so the idea of bringing unprecedented experiences and access through this NFT platform is something that I wanted to be a part of,” Ronaldo said in a statement.

Solana network is getting its own mobile phone: “Saga” an Android handset by the blockchain’s key stakeholder Solana Labs.

The upcoming device – a modified handset with specialty crypto wallet functions and the “Solana Mobile Stack (SMS)” software development kit for Web3 programs – was announced Thursday in a New York City event. It will cost around $1,000 and begin delivery in early 2023.

The phone marks Solana’s biggest bet yet on mobile-focused growth. It will feature a Web3 dapp store, integrated “Solana Pay” to facilitate QR code-based on-chain payments, a mobile wallet adapter and a “seed vault” that will store private keys deep within the recesses of the phone.

“We live our lives on our mobile devices – except for Web3 because there hasn’t been a mobile-centric approach to private key management,” Solan co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko said in a press release. “The Solana Mobile Stack shows a new path forward on Solana that is open source, secure, optimized for web3, and easy to use.”

A former Chancellor of the United Kingdom has raised concerns the country is slipping behind its rivals in the European Union when it comes to the regulation of crypto.

Philip Hammond, who served as the U.K’s Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2016 to 2019 told Bloomberg that there has been a distinct lack of direction and cohesion when it comes to crypto policy.

“Particularly in the area of digital asset trading, I feel that the UK has missed a trick […] We are getting very close to the point where it will be too late. Other jurisdictions are racing ahead of us.”

“The problem is that there are no regulations, and nobody quite knows where they stand, right? It’s a bit of a wild-west, and has gained, frankly, a mixed reputation, particularly among policymakers and politicians and the public.”