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2022-05-20 10:44:44 ​​Billionaire Investor and Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz Addresses the Terra LUNA and UST Fallout

On May 18, the billionaire investor and crypto proponent Mike Novogratz published a post about the recent Terra blockchain fallout. Novogratz and his firm Galaxy Digital were big believers in the Terra project, and the investor even got a LUNA-centric tattoo on his arm. Despite the recent events and losses, the crypto economy felt this past week, Novogratz stressed that he still firmly believes the “crypto revolution is here to stay.”

Just recently, reported LUNA and UST’s implosion and the big name backers that invested in Terraform Labs. One of the investors mentioned in our report was the billionaire investor and crypto proponent Mike Novogratz. For quite some time, Novogratz and his firm Galaxy Digital were big believers in the Terra ecosystem. On January 26, 2021, Bloomberg quoted Novogratz and the investor called the Terra blockchain project one of “the canaries in the coal mines of what else is going to happen.”

Novogratz also got a LUNA-themed tattoo and said he was “officially a Lunatic.” After the UST de-pegging incident and the entire Terra ecosystem getting obliterated, Novogratz was not as talkative as he usually is on Twitter. On Wednesday, May 18, Novogratz tweeted for the first time since May 8, 2022. “After much thought, it’s time to talk about last week and, more importantly, the weeks ahead,” Novogratz said. In addition to the tweet, Novogratz left a link to a blog post that discusses the Terra fiasco in detail.

“There is no good news in what happened in markets or to the Terra ecosystem,” the investor detailed in his blog post. “In Luna and UST alone, $40bn of market value was destroyed in a very short amount of time. Both large and small investors saw profits and wealth vanish. The collapse dented confidence in crypto and decentralized finance. Whenever money is lost in such an abrupt fashion, people want answers. I am going to try to add some insights to the ongoing discussion.”

Novogratz then got into Galaxy’s principal investments in LUNA starting in Q4 2020, and how the team noticed that the project had “more than 1.8m users and was a top 5 finance app in South Korea that we considered had significant growth potential.” Galaxy was “intrigued” by the Terra ecosystem, and thought of it as “an example of crypto finding a real-world use case.” Then the investor noted that the global macro backdrop did a number on many risk assets this year, and he believes the “macro backdrop put pressure on Luna and the reserves held to back UST.” Novogratz added:

UST’s growth had exploded from the 18% yield offered in the Anchor protocol, which eventually overwhelmed other uses of the Terra blockchain. The downward pressure on reserve assets coupled with UST withdrawals, triggered a stress scenario akin to a ‘run on the bank.’ The reserves weren’t enough to prevent UST’s collapse.

Novogratz said that the LUNA and UST incident shined a light on some core tenets of investing which include diversification, taking profits along the way, risk management, and an understanding of investing under a macro framework. The billionaire investor said that Galaxy Digital kept to these core tenets when it came to its investments in LUNA.

“Reading the stories of retail investors who lost their savings in one investment is heart- wrenching,” Novogratz’s blog post explains. “A core tenet in the crypto belief system is equal access to markets. But it’s important that less experienced market participants only risk what they are comfortable losing. I’ve often said people should allocate 1%-5% of their assets to the space.”

The Galaxy Digital founder concluded by noting that he’s still a firm believer in the crypto space but that does not mean the bottom is in and the market will be going straight up after this. “It will take restructuring, a redemption cycle, consolidation, and renewed confidence in crypto. Crypto moves in cycles, and we just witnessed a big one,” Novogratz added.
35.7K views07:44
2022-05-15 14:28:05 ​​Bitcoin gains superior to stocks in the long term, economist says.

Crypto is more volatile than stocks and thus is associated with higher risks, but it also offers better return opportunities, industry executives agree.

The recent crashes in stock and cryptocurrency markets have provided yet another chance to observe the better return opportunities of crypto versus stocks, according to several industry executives.

This week, the crypto market saw one of its biggest sell-offs ever, with the total market capitalization plummeting more than 30% from $1.8 trillion on May 4 to as low as $1.2 trillion on Thursday. Bitcoin (BTC), the biggest digital asset by market capitalization, tumbled below $27,000 for the first time since late 2020, losing 30% of value over the same period.

But the market instability has not been exclusive to crypto. The stock market has also seen one of its worst moments since 2020, with the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite dropping more than 12% over the period, dipping below 12,000 points.

Tech giants like Apple and Microsoft both saw their market cap decline by about 13%, while Tesla’s market cap tanked 23% from $986 billion to $754 billion.

Cryptocurrency markets are more volatile than stocks and thus are associated with higher risks, but they also offer bigger opportunities, ANB Investments CEO Jaime Baeza told Cointelegraph.

“Over the long term and without getting too much into detail, I believe crypto as a whole provides better risk-return opportunities,” Baeza said.

Huobi Group chief financial officer Lily Zhang expressed similar remarks, stating that the volatility of crypto means that there are “more opportunities to make substantial gains with cryptocurrency.”

“It is important to note that we are in the midst of a new Fed rate hike cycle and both cryptocurrencies and tech stocks may be subject to sudden capital outflows, leaving them susceptible to deep corrections,” Zhang noted.

According to Ryan Shea, a crypto economist at fintech startup Trakxio, crypto has a higher beta to market sentiment than stock markets. When investors become more reluctant to take risks, the market experiences relatively larger price declines, but it also means relatively larger price gains when risk appetite improves.
39.9K views11:28
2022-05-12 10:50:14 ​​Talos raises $105M to become the latest crypto unicorn valued at $1.3B.

PayPal-backed crypto firm Talos has raised fresh funding from companies like Ken Fox’s private equity firm Stripes, BNY Mellon, Citi and others.

PayPal-backed cryptocurrency firm Talos is becoming the latest unicorn in the industry, reaching a $1.25 billion valuation following new funding.

Talos has raised $105 million in Series B funding round led by a major global growth equity firm, General Atlantic, according to an announcement released on May 10.

The funding will help Talos extend its institutional-grade digital asset platform as well as accelerate the firm’s expansion into the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.

The raise featured major firms in both the traditional finance and the crypto industry, including Ken Fox’s private equity firm Stripes, BNY Mellon, Citi, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, investment firms like DRW and SCB 10x, crypto trading platform Voyager and others.

“This investment is the latest example of BNY Mellon’s commitment to the future of digital assets,” BNY Mellon’s global FX head Jason Vitale said. He added that BNY Mellon is among new advisors on Talos’ Strategic Investor Forum working on building institutional solutions for the crypto market.

The funding round also involved existing investors from Talos’ $40 Series A round closed in May 2021, including Andreessen Horowitz, PayPal Ventures, Fidelity Investments, Castle Island Ventures, Illuminate, Notation Capital and Initialized Capital.

The funding is a major indicator of the growing institutional adoption, Talos co-founder and CEO Anton Katz said:

“This funding round represents a major inflection point for the industry. We’ve long heard that "the institutions are coming." The institutions are now here, and we’re extremely proud to be the digital asset trading platform of choice for leading institutions around the world.”

Founded in 2018, Talos is an institutional-grade infrastructure technology provider in the cryptocurrency industry, offering services for trading, settlement and others.

According to the company’s website, Talos’ partner base covers a wide number of firms in the crypto ecosystem, including multiple exchanges like Binance, Coinbase and FTX, as well as over-the-counter desks and FX platforms. Talos says its institutional trading volumes surged 20x times year-over-year by May 2022.
35.7K views07:50
2022-05-07 13:30:55 ​​Robinhood makes significant strides in crypto business in Q1 despite falling revenue.

The popular discount brokerage listed four trending tokens in Q1 2022.

On April 28, discount-brokerage platform Robinhood published its financial results for the first quarter of 2022. Year-over-year, the firm's net revenue declined by 43% to $299 million. Specifically, revenue from cryptocurrency trading fell by 39% to $54 million during the same period. This was partly due to a decrease in the interest in meme stocks as well as an ongoing cryptocurrency bear market that dominated much of the first three months of the year.

However, despite a decrease in sales, the company's net cumulative funded accounts rose by 27% year-over-year to 22.8 million. At the same time, total assets under custody increased 15% to $93.1 billion. Robinhood took several important steps in enhancing its crypto business. First, the firm rolled out crypto wallets to the approximately two million waitlisted customers in early April, with a full roll-out completed this week.

Then, in response to customer requests, Robinhood listed four new coins; Compound (COMP), Polygon (MATIC), Solana (SOL) and Shiba Inu (SHIB). Finally, Robinhood plans to integrate with layer-2 Bitcoin (BTC) payment protocol Lightning Network for faster transactions with lower fees. As told by Robinhood:

"Once fully integrated, we expect the service to help accelerate Robinhood's ability to serve Bitcoin remittances on a global scale — at virtually no cost — and will be important for international expansion."

This month, Robinhood signed an agreement to acquire Ziglu, a U.K.-based electronic money institution and crypto firm, as part of its roadmap. Robinhood plans to leverage Ziglu's team of financial services and crypto experts to help the company expand across the United Kingdom and Europe.
34.7K views10:30
2022-05-03 09:20:04 ​​​​Edward Snowden helped create Zcash

As it turned out, Edward Snowden played a very important role in the creation of the ZCash cryptocurrency (ZEC). The informant, who was granted asylum in Russia and has been living there since 2013 after the US accused him of espionage, was one of six members of the group that set up the Zcash setup.

His involvement was revealed in a video by Zcash Media, an organization that produces educational materials about the anonymous coin.

"I saw several trusted cryptographers working on it, and I thought it was a very interesting project," Snowden said in the video.

He also said that he used the pseudonym "John Dobbertin" to hide his identity.

In a recent message to one of the creators of Zcash, Zuko Wilcox, Snowden agreed to make his participation public. He pointed out that he had never been paid and had no stake in this project. Snowden is scheduled to speak at Consensus 2022 in June and may provide additional details.

Recall that Zcash has two types of transactions: regular and secure. Ordinary ones are visible in the public block chain, just as ordinary BTC transactions are visible in the Bitcoin chain. Protected transactions fall into "privacy pools", which can be imagined as black holes where they all merge together. Pools ensure that observers will not be able to find out where the coins came from and where they are going.

To configure the privacy settings of the original Sprout pool created in 2016 and the Sapling pool created two years later, a secret cryptographic key had to be generated for each of them. The key is essentially a very, very long number. The process of generating this number is called "reliable tuning", and the problem is that anyone who knows this secret key will be able to forge as many coins as they want.

Therefore, a group of programmers developed a multi-sided calculation known as "Ceremony". Thanks to this process, the secret key is not generated and stored by one person. Instead, it is shared among many people, each of whom contributes or is part of this very large number. Thus, no one person will have a copy of the entire number.

Snowden was one of the developers of the "Ceremony" procedure, which he said in an interview with Zcash Media. How much his recognition will have a positive impact on the cryptocurrency exchange rate will be clear in the near future.
35.6K views06:20
2022-04-30 06:33:28 ​​Gibraltar rolls out new virtual asset regulation to combat market abuse.

The document will require crypto companies to seek and prevent insider trading and market manipulation.

The British overseas territory of Gibraltar introduced a new regulatory package for distributed ledger technology (DLT) service providers. The document elaborates on the responsibilities of crypto businesses in regards to threats of market manipulation and insider trading.

On April 27, the government of Gibraltar published the 10th Regulatory Principle of the country's financial services regulation. The details are revealed in a Guidance Note, provided by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC), the chief finance regulator of the territory.

The regulation, crafted by a special working group that included both government officials and industry experts, sets operational guidelines for preventing market abuse. DLT providers are expected to monitor the movement of significant virtual asset holdings and the publication of information that could be aimed at generating false or misleading market signals and to investigate whether algorithmic-based systems are being used to generate deceptive data around transaction volumes.

The regulation also requires crypto companies to seek and prevent any insider trading activities and inform the public of any relevant information “as soon as possible.” Proposed trading standards also include putting in place measures to reduce the liquidity providers' and market makers' capacity to significantly alter asset prices.

Albert Isola, Gibraltar's minister for Digital and Financial Services, expressed his confidence that the introduced measures will help the jurisdiction maintain its already strong relationship with the crypto sector. Isola commented to Cointelegraph:

"The introduction of the 10th Principle, with a significant input from industry, will develop further our regulatory framework. It provides permissioned firms with clear guidance on the standards that are required of them as well as providing consumer and jurisdictional protection."
39.0K views03:33
2022-04-27 14:36:32 ​​SoftBank leads $60M CertiK raise as demand for Web3 security grows.

Web3 is generating a lot of opportunities for blockchain-native businesses, but it’s also creating serious security vulnerabilities.

Blockchain security firm CertiK has raised $60 million in funding from SoftBank Vision Fund II and Tiger Global, further cementing its unicorn status after raising a combined $290 million over nine months.

The raise comes at a time when the blockchain community is leading growth around Web3 application development and creating new use cases for virtual ecosystems, especially in gaming, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized finance (DeFi). “When development moves at breakneck speed, mistakes happen,” CertiK’s vice president of marketing Monier Jalal explained to Cointelegraph in a written statement. He continued:

“With current Web3 development, security most often is an afterthought — and this is the danger. Early-stage maturity around new infrastructure, e.g., cross-chain bridges or DeFi lending schemes, e.g. flash loans, are targets for hackers.”

Jalal said the “financial nature” of digital assets and DeFi protocols make their rewards much greater than anything we’ve seen in the Web2 era. “The magnitude of impact coupled with increasing trends around Web3 development and resulting hacks is what’s driving the demand for Web3 security,” he said.

Venture funds have placed a strong emphasis on blockchain security services. Earlier this month, CertiK raised $88 million in Series B3 funding, doubling its valuation to $2 billion, in a raise that was led by Insight Partners, Tiger Global and Advent International. In December 2021, the company raised $80 million in a Sequoia-led funding round.

Security vulnerabilities make for routine headlines in the crypto industry. In January, research from bug bounty service ImmuneFi revealed that DeFi hacks drained over $10.2 billion worth of funds in 2021 alone. Earlier this month, Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge was hacked for over $600 million after the attackers were able to gain access to the private keys of validator nodes.
36.8K viewsedited  11:36
2022-04-26 16:06:23 ​​Public blockchain Kadena launches $100M Web3 grant program.

Web3 development has become a top priority for the blockchain industry as infrastructure providers look to enable the new internet economy.

Proof-of-work (PoW) blockchain Kadena has launched a $100 million grant program to encourage Web3 development on its platform, potentially opening the door to more use cases for the layer-1 protocol.

The grant program is an extension of Kadena Eco, an initiative designed to grow the Kadena ecosystem through the development of gaming, metaverse, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi) and Web3 projects.

Stuart Popejoy, Kadena’s founder and CEO, said his firm will be deploying “treasury resources” to strengthen the long-term sustainability of the protocol.

Web3, which has become a sort of catch-all phrase for the next iteration of the blockchain-powered internet, has received considerable attention from venture capitalists. Cointelegraph recently reported on the launch of two Web3 developer funds from crypto exchanges KuCoin and CoinDCX valued at $100 million and $135 million, respectively.

Meanwhile, decentralized node providers are stepping up to provide the infrastructure needed to advance Web3 functionalities. However, the competition is steep as legacy Web2 providers, including Amazon Web Services, Azure and Infura, have emerged as the early infrastructure players in the Web3 economy.

To support Web3 development on its platform, Kadena offers scalable architecture and smart contracts backed by a PoW consensus mechanism called Chainweb. Theoretically, Chainweb supports high transaction throughput without having to deploy layer-2 scaling solutions.

Kadena’s native cryptocurrency, KDA, is ranked in the top 100 on CoinMarketCap with a total capitalization of roughly $925 million at the time of writing. KDA rallied sharply earlier this month following the launch of a new interoperability protocol and a Binance listing.
38.9K viewsedited  13:06
2022-04-12 02:49:10 ​​Leading centralized exchanges extend market share in 2022.

The “top-tier” exchanges, as ranked in a report by CryptoCompare, increased their market share to 96% in February 2022.

The top centralized cryptocurrency exchanges have reached all-time highs for market share this year as the trading volume in crypto consolidates onto the platforms of only a few trusted companies.

These named “top-tier” crypto exchanges have increased their market share from 89% in August 2021 to 96% in February 2022, according to data collected by United Kingdom analytics company CryptoCompare published on Monday.

The firm analyzed over 150 active centralized exchanges, ranking them on security, number of assets available, regulatory compliance, Know Your Customer checks and more, grading them from a top score of AA to a low of F, with “top tier” receiving a grade B or above.

A total of 78 exchanges received a “top tier” grade, with Coinbase, Gemini, Bitstamp and Binance as the only four to receive the highest AA grading.

The report revealed that top-tier exchanges traded a total of $1.5 trillion in February 2022 compared with $62 billion in the “lower-tier” exchanges. CryptoCompare claims that this metric shows “both retail and professional traders are moving to lower risk exchanges.”

Consolidation of exchanges has happened through both exchange closure and acquisitions from other, larger exchanges. Top crypto exchanges eyeing overseas expansion sometimes acquire already licensed smaller exchanges operating in the country of interest, as was the case with FTX’s acquisition of the Japanese Liquid Group exchange on February 2, 2022.

The firm reported that since June 2019, 54 exchanges have closed due to being uncompetitive in the market, which has caused further consolidation of users to top-ranking exchanges. Additionally, China’s crackdown on crypto saw six Chinese-based exchanges close, with the analysts adding:

“As we have seen, volumes have started to become concentrated amongst the top tier exchanges, and this is a trend which is bound to continue into the future. As the industry matures, we expect there to be an oligopoly of exchanges dominating trading volumes as their traction accelerates and smaller players are left behind.”
26.5K viewsedited  23:49
2022-02-13 19:39:24 ​​Shopify Bitcoin payments integration triggers legal questions from the community.

Attorney Kevin Thompson thinks that the event will make regulators frustrated, leading to the creation of reporting requirements for Shopify.

Following the announced integration of the payment app, Strike, with e-commerce platform Shopify to accept Bitcoin (BTC) through the Lightning Network, the crypto community raised concerns over the legal implications of the move.

Crypto researcher Matt Ahlborg believes that the event is a very significant development for BTC as it allows the offloading of BTC without the need to go through the Know Your Customer (KYC) process.

However, lawyer Kevin Thompson pointed out in a reply that the event is likely to make regulators frustrated. Being able to spend BTC without going through KYC enables users to dump BTC and avoid taxes, according to Thompson. He predicts that regulators may respond to the event by "creating reporting requirements for Shopify."

Glennhodl, a Twitter user, also thinks that the government may take steps to address the issue of offloading BTC in major stores without doing KYC. However, he notes that while regulators can try to fight it, they won't be able to really stop it.

David Hood suggests not taxing low-value transactions. In a tweet, he commended the recent development but also explained that more people would “take advantage” of the integration if there are no taxes on BTC purchases under $600.

Back in February, e-commerce giant eBay also hinted at the integration of crypto payments with its platform. In an interview, eBay CEO Jamie Iannone said that the company is eyeing different payment methods as they process billions of dollars in volume within their platform.

Meanwhile, the New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) recently launched a program that enables employees within participating companies to get paid in BTC. Through a Bitcoin Savings Plan, employees have the option to take a part of their pay in BTC without paying any transaction costs.
29.3K viewsedited  16:39