Crypto News Headlines (31-March-2022)

The former executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation, Bruce Fenton, is officially running for the Republican nomination for New Hampshire’s seat in the U.S. Senate. He’ll be starting his campaign with an injection of $5 million of personal bitcoin (BTC) wealth.

Fenton’s announcement Wednesday confirmed earlier reports the long-time crypto proponent and self-described libertarian was flirting with the idea of a Senate run.

Incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) is widely unpopular with her constituents, making her seat vulnerable to a Republican challenger – and Fenton wants to throw his hat into the ring. Fenton told CoinDesk on Wednesday his initial $5 million contribution would be a loan to the campaign but that he would “spend and raise whatever it takes.”

“I think that the money system in politics is broken and ready for disruption so I think we can spend very effectively and get a lot more for our dollars,” Fenton added.

As crypto becomes an increasingly hot topic on Capitol Hill, more federal lawmakers are aligning themselves with the crypto industry. Candidates that are seen as crypto-friendly have enjoyed support from crypto enthusiasts, an increasing number of whom are describing themselves as single-issue voters.

Fenton is a relative latecomer to the race, which means he faces a tougher fight in the primary election, which is slated for Sept. 13.

But despite the obstacles, Fenton told CoinDesk he felt compelled to try anyway.

Developers behind popular meme cryptocurrency Shiba Inu (SHIB) have unveiled details of their virtual reality project “SHIB: The Metaverse,” announcing 100,595 land plots, some of which will remain private.

Land plots will be released in phases. The introductory stage will unlock 36,431 plots, divided into four categories: Silver Fur, Gold Tail, Platinum Paw, and Diamond Teeth and priced between 0.2 ether (ETH) to 1 ETH.

The team has decided to use neutral cryptocurrency as a land pricing token to ensure there is no downside risk to Shiba native coins.

“Using our Ecosystem Tokens is a risk, as we would need to dump our own tokens price cashing them! And that’s far away from our plans,” developers said in the announcement published Wednesday.

Land buyers will be able to generate passive income, gather in-game resources, and generate rewards, which the team said it will reveal soon.

Landowners can rename their plot while using and burning the dog-themed SHIB token.

“We will be introducing the first special role that Shiba Inu $SHIB will play in the Metaverse,” the announcement said. “By welcoming a mechanic to burn $SHIB independently while renaming your land plot, furthermore, this should start soon after land events and public sale have ended.”

The rest of the SHIB ecosystem coins like LEASH and BONE will play a role as more phases are rolled out, developers said, adding that LEASH holders will be able to purchase lands in later stages.

The Metaverse will be developed in Shibarium, a layer-2 solution for SHIB.

SHIB token was flat-lined near 0.00002274 at press time. Developers hinted at a foray into the metaverse in early February.

The banking industry has changed dramatically by creating a self-service culture with the ATM. The ATM gave people a solution to put their funds to use. The most common cases included impromptu purchases, executing bank transfers, spending more money on recreational activities and withdrawing cash outside of banking hours. The result was an improved consumer experience that made a complex set of transactions more accessible.

Today, people have started to shift away from the cash economy towards the greater banking system looking towards credit and debit cards and similar offerings. Now, as the world shifts away from cash, new financial uses have arisen, many of which involve digital currencies. The only gap left to fill is the use of crypto for everyday uses, which lack the same instantaneity as the ATM.

Responding to this current gap in the market, Wanda Exchange, a company based out of Thailand, has made it their position to make crypto payments more commonplace with their crypto-cash solution, which is currently undergoing the patenting process in Asia, Europe and America. Any user can select an ATM to send crypto online through the team’s web app; the cash equivalent will then be made available at the selected cash pick-up point, a process designed to enhance the digital currency user’s comfort level.

As crypto goes, there are easier places to operate than India.

The country’s tax authority announced on Monday that it had seized Rs. 95.86 crore (US$12.6 million) from 11 crypto exchanges on allegations of tax evasion.

CoinDesk had reported in January that the country’s Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI), which oversees tax collection, had previously seized around Rs. 84 crore (about $11 million) in taxes and 1.1 crore ($145,000) in penalties. India’s Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary revised the amount to 95.86 crore ($12.6 million) in a statement.

The government said in January that it was investigating six exchanges, including India’s largest exchanges, WazirX, CoinDCX and BuyUCoin, as part of an anti-tax evasion initiative, but Chaudhary updated the number.

The announcement comes a week after the government passed a finance bill that included a whopping 30% capital gains tax on crypto transactions and a 1% tax deducted at source (TDS) and no offsetting losses. The vote ignored lobbying by industry advocates who had hoped to water down at least the source tax.

On Friday, April 1, crypto companies must begin paying the capital gains tax, with T1% tax deducted at the source as of July 1.

South Korea has the fourth-largest economy in Asia, and its citizens have embraced the new private digital assets sector with relish. According to an article in the Korea Herald, Koreans have invested 52.8 trillion won, or around a value of $43.6 billion.

The amount of value invested comes from the combined totals of all accounts at the five biggest S Korean exchanges, which comprise Upbit, Bithumb, Coineone, Korbit, and Gopax.

It appears that the S Korean banks are unhappy with the crypto monopoly enjoyed by the big 5 exchanges, leading the Korea Federation of Banks (KFB) to submit a draft of requests to be able to deal with cryptocurrencies, to the transition committee.

In the draft, is the banks’ concern that the crypto exchanges account for 90% of the cryptocurrency market share, and they are therefore asking for a licence to be able to enter the market. To match the top 5 exchanges, are the top 5 most notable banks in the KFB, which comprise KB Kookmin, Shinhan, Hana, Woori and NongHyup, as well as the online-only Kakao Bank and Kbank.

The following paragraph taken from the Korea Herald gives an idea of just how far the Korean exchanges have come in comparison with the major banks:

“Dunamu, operator of Upbit, posted a net income of 2.2 trillion won last year, with the figure growing 46-fold on-year. The news shocked onlookers, as it almost came neck-to-neck with Woori Financial Group, a major banking group here. Woori posted a net income of nearly 2.6 trillion won in the same period. Dunamu’s operating profit increased by 37 times on-year to nearly 3.3 trillion won in the cited period.”

Fabio Panetta, a member of the Executive Council of the European Central Bank (ECB), suggested an acceptance of the digital euro in brick-and-mortar stores and online entities to help promote the use of the fiat digital euro.

A digital euro needs to allow easy payments between people if it follows a trend of adoption like the fiat euro 20 years ago. A nominal survey showed in a statement released on Wednesday. And the masses are more receptive to the digital euro, which is widely accepted in various brick-and-mortar and online stores.

Panetta said:

“The introduction of euro banknotes made it possible for us to pay with physical euros anywhere in the euro area. So it is no surprise that people expect to be able to use the digital complement to banknotes wherever they can pay digitally or online.”

In April last year, The European Central Bank (ECB) has published its public consultation results, an initiative launched last year to evaluate Europeans’ stance regarding a central bank digital currency (CBDC) backed by the European Union.

The majority of the respondents, including private citizens and professionals, want a digital Euro, but only if it can be built with elements of privacy.

Fabio Panetta said the ECB would hold another round of focus groups on the digital euro by the end of 2022, adding that:

“We are getting a clearer picture of what citizens and merchants want, so we can finetune all the design features of a digital euro before any potential issuance. And co-legislators have a key role to play, for instance to enable greater privacy.”

Due to an influx in liquidity in decentralized protocols and applications (dApps), Cardano continues to soar in total value locked in March 2022.

Cardano has been an integral part of the blockchain technology space since its launch in 2017 by Charles Hoskinson. Although the project lacked use cases in the first four years of its existence, 2022 has seen Cardano reach new milestones. This comes at the back of the completion of the Alonzo Hard Fork upgrade in September 2021 which has seen more than seven dApps built on the protocol, per data retrieved from DeFiLlama.

According to Be[In]Crypto Research, Cardano TVL has gained 39,000% since the beginning of 2022. On Jan. 1, Cardano had a total value locked of $822,261, and this rallied to approximately $326 million on March 24, 2022.

Cardano is a blockchain protocol that was designed for visionaries, innovators, and change-makers. As the first peer-reviewed protocol, Cardano has the aim of building a sustainable future that will assist people to work in tandem with one another to help solve global problems with innovative solutions.

Aside from being a mainstay in the decentralized finance revolution brought forth by the possibilities of cryptography, Cardano has several use cases in agriculture, government, retail, education, healthcare, and finance.

An Arizona city is allowing residents to pay their utility bills in bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) in the latest example of municipal governments embracing cryptocurrencies.

Chandler, a Phoenix suburb, on Wednesday said that residents can pay in bitcoin, ether and litecoin (LTC) held in their PayPal (PYPL) accounts. But the city won’t ever touch those coins; its utility payments processor Invoice Cloud will sell it all for fiat, a press release said.

City Council member Mark Stewart said in a press release that it’s important to serve residents with the newest technology, such as crypto payments. But it was unclear at press time whether anyone in the city of 250,000 had begun using the option.

Chandler is not the first U.S. city to mesh crypto payments with utilities. Mercedes, Texas, voted to research the subject in November, months after Williston, North Dakota, brought its offering online. Both are orders of magnitude smaller than Chandler, a city of over 273,000.

Chandler’s choice of PayPal means that bill payers can’t use their self-custodied coins. PayPal’s crypto service is a closed loop that doesn’t let digital assets in or out.

PayPal and city officials did not respond to CoinDesk’s questions by press time.

Delta, an investment tracker app that allows users to keep tabs on their stock and crypto portfolios, is now entering the nonfungible token realm with its NFT explorer services.

The newly announced NFT tracker would allow users to track their NFT collections alongside their stocks and crypto holdings. With the new update, Delta users will be able to link their Web3 wallet to their native fund tracking account.

The NFT tracker services would start with Ethereum wallets only, however, the firm confirmed the scope for multi-chain wallet support by the end of 2022. The NFT tracker and explorer services would not only allow users to track their own NFT collection but also explore the 18 million NFT collections worldwide.

Nicolas Van Hoorde, CEO of Delta told Cointelegraph:

“Our goal is to help make our users’ lives easier by providing them with a complete overview of their investments. We are working on integrating more asset classes into the app and will share further details in due course. We are certainly very excited by the opportunities offered by Web3.”

Samsung announced its partnership with Nifty Gateway, a digital art auction platform, on the 30th of March. The platform offers an array of NFTs and digital artworks, with the partnership focusing on developing the world’s first Smart TV NFT platform. The move was teased earlier by Samsung, who had announced that its Smart TVs would support NFTs sometime in 2022.

In an official press release, Samsung stated that its intuitive platform has already added support for Nifty Gateway in all of its new models in the 2022 NEO QLED and QLED range. This makes Samsung’s TV lineup and Samsung the first TV maker that has integrated an NFT platform into its range of products.

Nifty Gateway announced a few details regarding the partnership, stating,

“Leveraging Samsung’s and Nifty Gateway’s technology, customers can seamlessly browse, display, and interact with NFTs from the comfort of their couch. In addition, customers will have access to more than 6,000 art pieces from emerging and top artists, including Beeple, Daniel Arsham, Pak, and more.”