In early September, the French NFT-based trading platform secured its first soccer league partnershicardano news on twitterp with La Liga in addition to having NFT collaborations with PSG, Liverpool and other top-tier soccer teams. Sorare also plans to diversify its NFT-based portfolio offerings to other fantasy sports.
Security and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler appeared in front of thhow does uniswap exchange worke Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs last week. During the hearing, we didn’t get much clarity on how Gensler wants to handle stablecoins beyond his opinion that many of them “might well be securities.”It was good to at least see some senators, such as Pat Toomey, willing to call Gensler out for inconsistencies and omissions in his argumentation. What was worrisome was seeing mostly Republicans on the stop-stifling-innovation side and mostly Democrats on the stricter-investor-protection side (despite all the laughs and memes that Senator Warren’s Ethereum fees spiel produced). Crypto becoming yet another partisan issue is a nightmare scenario — luckily, it does not seem to be that way outside of this particular Senate hearing yet.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which has historically been more lenient toward the corner of the crypto space that falls under its jurisdiction, will soon have a permanent chairman and two new commissioners. All three nominees — the acting chairman who spoke amply in favor of innovation, a legal scholar specializing in digital finance, and another with a strong enforcement background — seem to have the potential to be a force for good for crypto, but let’s not get too excited just yet.The rest of the world keeps supplying major policy developments for digital assets. Cuba recognized cryptocurrency and now allows its use as a remittance and investment vehicle. Over in El Salvador, President Nayib Bukele’s opponents made a political statement by setting a crypto kiosk ablaze. In South Korea, the majority party clashed with the finance minister over a controversial crypto tax code, attempting to postpone its implementation. Notice a common theme? All over the world, cryptocurrency-related issues are part of political agendas.In the increasingly competitive landscape of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, protocol innovation and the ability to solve the biggest problems facing the crypto community are necessary for any project that looks to have long-term success in the ecosystem.Recently, the emergence of layer-2 technology like Arbitrum, Optimism and a bridge to the Avalanche ecosystem is revolutionizing the way investors, builders and developers interact with various protocols because each facilitates fast, low-cost transactions that improve the fundamentals of the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem while also making it easier for retail-sized investors to capitalize on opportunities.According to data from Token Terminal, DeFi continues to be one of the fastest-growing sectors of the crypto economy as evidenced by increases in the total value locked (TVL) on protocols. Some of the biggest gains from last week occurred on cross-chain compatible networks and layer-two protocols that offer a lower fee environment.
Two of the top-6 projects on the list above, Trader Joe and Pangolin, are found in the Avalanche network which has seen significant inflows and an increase in TVL since the launch of an upgraded cross-chain bridge that allows Ethereum-based tokens and applications to migrate to the Avalanche ecosystem.Governance features have also been a positive factor in helping spark new growth for projects as both Alchemix Finance and Rari Capital have ongoing, or recently completed votes designed to improve their ecosystems and increase community involvement.In early September, the French NFT-based trading platform secured its first soccer league partnership with La Liga in addition to having NFT collaborations with PSG, Liverpool and other top-tier soccer teams. Sorare also plans to diversify its NFT-based portfolio offerings to other fantasy sports.
Existing investors and high-profile business angels participated in the funding, including Benchmark, Accel and Headline. New investors include Atomico, Bessemer Venture Partners, D1 Capital, Eurazeo, IVP and LionTree.In July, SoftBank had led a $532 million funding round for Sorare. However, Sorare CEO Nicolas Julia denied the funding claims, which was initially fueled by insider information.Related: NFL reportedly bans teams from crypto advertisements and NFT salesAlthough the football community has readily accepted the NFT marketplace, the United States National Football League (NFL) has recently barred teams and members from participating in NFTs or any other form of crypto-related partnerships.
An anonymous NFL member said that the new guidelines prohibit clubs from selling, promoting and advertising blockchain and digital assets in any form until further notice.In addition, mainstream fintechs such as Visa have described NFTs as a promising medium for fan engagement as the market registered $2.5 billion in sales during the first half of 2021.
The crypto markets and the U.S. equity markets sold off on Sept. 20 on fears that the collapse of Chinese property giant Evergrande could not only hurt China but also have wider implications in other markets.When the sentiment is bearish, traders dump positions that they perceive as risky in favor of safe-haven trades. This could be one of the reasons for the sharp fall in Bitcoin (BTC) and most major altcoins on Sept. 20.Data from Bybt shows that Bitcoin held in Binance wallets has surged by 29,717 Bitcoin in the past 30 days. History suggests that an increase in the Bitcoin balance on Binance has resulted in a drop in Bitcoin’s price.The Bitcoin balance on Binance rose from 99,700 BTC on April 20 to 347,590 BTC on June 26. During this period, Bitcoin’s price plunged from about $57,000 to roughly $30,000.
Now the question is, could the sell-off deepen or will lower levels attract aggressive buying from traders? Let’s analyze the charts of the top 10 cryptocurrencies to find out.Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has been celebrating the success of a recent initiative to fund municipal projects through the proceeds of a city-specific crypto protocol built atop the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain.On Sept. 13, Miami’s city commissioners voted to accept funds generated by a new cryptocurrency, MiamiCoin, which was launched in August by CityCoins. The coin is built on Stacks, an open-source network of decentralized apps and smart contracts that use the Bitcoin blockchain as a programmable base layer.Hard-coded into MiamiCoin’s protocol is the requirement that 30% of all coins mined are routed to a digital wallet designated for the city. Those funds will be earmarked for spending on projects such as projects to mitigate the risks of climate change, funding initiatives for underprivileged communities, and investing in crypto education for tech entrepreneurs.
Fox Business estimated last week that roughly $2,500 worth of Stacks (STX) at its then-value of $1.50 were being transferred into the city's wallet every 10 minutes. In an interview with Fox on Sept. 20, Mayor Suarez confirmed the ballpark figure, stating that mining proceeds generated over $2,000 every 10 minutes and "over 5 million USD over the last 30 days".In voting to accept the funds raised since August, the Miami City Commission did not vote to spend them–yet. Instead, it accepted the USD equivalent of the proceeds and will hold them in reserve for future municipal spending. Conversion into fiat currency ensures that the city does not custody cryptocurrency directly. In his Fox interview, Suarez said of the initiative:“It’s interesting because it’s not an involuntary tax, it’s not philanthropy, it’s something that is completely different and could revolutionize the way governments are funded in the future.”
He added, “It’s theoretically possible that the city could generate enough taxes through MiamiCoin so that our residents don’t have to pay one cent in tax.”Other metrics appear to indicate that Miami has been attracting more tech job postings over the summer, according to data shared by Antonio Delgado, the Vice President of Innovation and Technology Partnerships at Miami Dade College:
In line with Mayor Suarez’s numerous pro-crypto initiatives, a Miami-Dade County commissioner backed a resolution this spring aiming to allow residents to use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to pay local taxes. The mayor had proposed an official resolution that would see Bitcoin become an acceptable payment instrument in various parts of the city's administration in February. The commission agreed to study the proposal's feasibility, rather than to take immediate steps to implement it.Decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Vee Finance reported $35 million losses in the latest exploit, just a few days after launching the mainnet on the Avalanche network.After pausing services due to suspicious activity on Sept. 20, Vee Finance confirmed that its platform was under an attack resulting in a loss of 8,804 Ether (ETH) and around 214 Bitcoin (BTC). The total amount is worth more than $35 million at the time of writing.According to the official incident announcement, the suspected attacker has collected stolen assets on one address after exploiting the VEE Finance trade contract address. In order to prevent further losses, the VEE Finance team suspended the platform’s contracts alongside deposits and borrow function.Vee Finance did not elaborate on the specifics and possible causes behind the latest exploit at the time of publication. “The VEE team is actively working to further clarify the incident and will continue to try to contact the attacker to recover the assets. We are taking and handling this incident seriously and will do our best to protect the interests of VEE Finance users,” the announcement noted.Vee Finance is a DeFi lending platform focused on supporting multiple mining mechanisms including liquidity mining, transaction mining, and leveraged mining. The platform officially launched its mainnet on Avalanche on Sept. 14 alongside a liquidity mining launch. After integrating Chainlink price feeds as an oracle network solution, Vee Finance broke $300 million in total value locked on its platform on Sept. 19.
Related: Latest DeFi hack targeting BSC sees $12.7M in Bitcoin stolen from pNetworkThe latest incident comes amid the increasing number of exploits targeting the Avalanche, a DeFi-focused blockchain protocol launched in September 2020. Last week, the Avalanche-based DeFi application Zabu Finance was reportedly exploited for $3.2 million, causing the value of Zabu tokens plummet to zero.
Avalanche’s native token, AVAX, has been hitting new all-time highs recently, with its price surpassing $75 on Sept. 18, according to data from CoinMarketCap. At the time of writing, AVAX is trading at $61.79, down about 3% over the past 24 hours, but still up around 12% over the past seven days.Bitcoin miner are accumulating as the network hash rate continues to recover according to on-chain analytics provider Glassnode.
In its Sept. 20 Week on Chain report, glassnode has stated that miner BTC balances are increasing, with wallets associated with miners having stockpiled 14,000 BTC worth roughly $600 million over the past six and a half months.The report also noted that the bull markets of 2020 and 2021 have seen miners hold onto a larger portion of their rewards than in previous market cycles. Miners usually sell BTC to cover their expenses including electricity bills and hardware.
The trend of miner accumulation continued as the Bitcoin network’s hash rate recovered this past quarter.Amid speculation regarding a wholesale Chinese miner exodus, Glasnnode reported that Bitcoin’s hashing power had slumped 51% to a local low of 90 Exahashes in late June according to Glassnode.Network hashing power has recovered 52% from to tag 137 Exahashes according to a seven-day moving average. Hash rate recovery indicates that most mining operations have now relocated and are up and running again.However, Bitcoin hash rate is currently sitting 34% below its all-time high of 184 Exahashes from May.
Related: Four North American Bitcoin miners that could benefit from the East-West shiftDespite the expanding mining treasuries and hash rate recovery, shares in publicly traded mining firms have pulled back as the broader financial markets retrace amid fears that Chinese property giant Evergrande may soon default on its loans.
Riot Blockchain, which has been spending big on building a new data center in Texas and expanding its hashing capacity this year, has suffered a 2.4% slide in the price of its stock since the start of trading Sept. 20.Competitors Marathon and Hive Blockchain are both down by a more modest 1.5% since Monday morning, while shares in Hut 8 stocks have fallen by 5.4% over the same period - rounding off the performance for each of the “Big Four” North American mining firms.
However, mining stocks have outperformed Bitcoin for the week so far, with BTC tumbling more than 10% to trade at $42,730 at the time of writing, according to CoinGecko.Retail-trading platform Robinhood is reportedly testing a long-awaited digital wallet feature that enables users to send and receive crypto-assets such as Bitcoin (BTC).
Bloomberg reported the rumor on Sept. 21, with the publication claiming to have seen screenshots of a withdrawal interface in a beta version of the wallet feature in Robinhood’s IOS app.While details are sparse, Bloomberg also claims to have seen a waitlist where users will be able to sign up for the new digital asset wallet. “The app also has code referring to cryptocurrency transfers,” the report added.Robinhood users are currently only able to buy crypto with US dollars and trade digital assets on the platform, as the app does not support crypto deposits and withdrawals.Robinhood’s crypto traders have long badgered the company to introduce deposit and withdrawal functionality for digital assets, with the calls having grown this year as fiery-eyed Dogecoin fanatics converged on the platform.
In an Aug. 19 quarterly earnings call, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev announced that the firm was finally exploring introducing a crypto wallet."I know there's been a ton of enthusiasm from the crypto community and the Dogecoin community in particular in getting access to wallets," Tenev stated, emphasizing the firm’s excitement to launch the new feature.
Robinhood first launched Bitcoin and Ethereum trading services in 2018 for customers in five U.S. states. Robinhood has since expanded its altcoin support and currently allows traders based in all but four U.S. states to access its crypto features.Crypto services have become a significant part of Robinhood’s revenue in 2021, with its Q2 report showing that around 41% of its $565 million revenue was from crypto trading. By contrast, the firm generated $5 million from crypto trading for the entirety of 2020.
Earlier this month, the firm expanded its crypto offerings by launching a recurring crypto investment feature allowing users to dollar cost average (DCA) into crypto positions.Robinhood is not alone in looking to expand its support for crypto, with an increasing number of mainstream firms announcing moves to enable digital asset payments.