will air campaign in support of Ukraine during Academy Awards will air campaign in support of Ukraine during Academy Awards

The platform will match many donations in crypto, fiat and nonfungible token purchases toward humanitarian help for Ukraine through March 31.

Cryptocurrency exchange plans to use its ad time during the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday to air a TV spot regarding the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

In a Wednesday announcement, CEO Kris Marszalek said the exchange had partnered with the International Committee of the Red Cross, or ICRC, to launch a campaign aimed at helping those suffering under war-torn conditions in Ukraine. The CEO did not specify what the campaign would entail, but the platform already allows donations in crypto, fiat and nonfungible token purchases to the humanitarian network Red Cross Red Crescent. The exchange will match up to $1 million in donations until March 31.

“The humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict in Ukraine continues to escalate, and I believe it’s our responsibility to support those in need,” said Marszalek. “Throughout this tragedy, the entire cryptocurrency community has come together to show the world who we are, our values and the importance of what we’re building.”

According to the ICRC, more than 3.6 million people have fled Ukraine as of March 24, which marked a month since Russian military forces invaded the country. Reports out of Ukraine suggest millions of people are facing food and water shortages, lack of medical care due to many hospitals being damaged or destroyed, and displacement after being forced to leave the eastern parts of the country.

Many private businesses are facilitating donations of digital assets including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) towards helping Ukrainians. In addition to Ukraine’s government accepting crypto donations directly through wallet addresses provided by the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the legislative body partnered with exchanges FTX and Kuna and staking platform Everstake to launch a donation website on March 14. Cointelegraph reported that as of March 9, many charities, relief organizations and government wallets had received roughly $108 million in crypto toward helping Ukraine.

Related: Every Bitcoin helps: Crypto-fueled relief aid for Ukraine

In addition to its efforts for Ukraine, announced on Tuesday it would be an official sponsor of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar scheduled to begin in November. The exchange has made a major marketing push in the last year, partnering with many sports organizations, including the Australia Football League, Formula 1 and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

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Axie Infinity (AXS) price reverses course with 50%+ gain ahead of Origin launch

Axie Infinity (AXS) price reverses course with 50%+ gain ahead of Origin launch

AXS and RON price are turning bullish as excitement builds for the launch of Axie Infinity: Origin.

Play-to-earn (P2E) gaming was one of the hottest sectors in the cryptocurrency market in 2021 and based off the recent moves of Yuga Labs and Bored Ape Yacht Club, the gaming industry could continue to be a winner in 2022.

Axie Infinity was the first game to really capture widespread attention and highlight the possibilities of what P2E had to offer and it is continuing to lead the way in 2022 as the protocol prepares for its next major launch.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the price of AXS increased 56.5% over the past ten days as an increase in its 24-hour trading volume has lifted AXS to a daily high of $69.82 on March 24.

AXS/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for AXS on March 14, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. AXS price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for AXS climbed into the green on March 14 and hit a high of 78 around 24 hours before the price began to increase 52.32% over the next nine days.

Three reasons for the climbing price of AXS include the upcoming launch of Axie Infinity: Origin, the steady increase of active users and AXS stakers and the rising popularity of the Ronin sidechain which enables Axie Infinity gameplay.

Axie Infinity: Origin

The most significant development underway helping to boost the forward outlook for AXS is the upcoming launch of Axie Infinity: Origin, which is expected to take place in the coming weeks.

According to a recent report from Delphi Digital, Origin is a “completely reimagined version of the popular Axie Battles game that everyone is familiar with.”

Origin will include new game mechanics designed to improve the overall player experience, such as free starter Axies to help attract new players to the game, a reimagined storyline that adds depth to the player experience and the addition of active cards for eye and ear body parts.

The update will also introduce new in-game items like runes and charms which will act as power-ups for Axies and require players to burn the platform’s native SLP token.

Active users and AXS stakers are on the rise

The rising price of AXS has also been given a boost by the steadily increasing Axie Infinity userbase which is now at an all-time high of 207,209 total users according to data from Dune Analytics.

Axie Infinity total user count. Source: Dune Analytics

While the pace of new users onboarding into the ecosystem has slowed along with activity in the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem, the increase is still significant and indicates ongoing adoption.

Non-gamers have also been incentivized to hold AXS with a current staking reward of 73% offered through the Axie Infinity platform.

AXS staking statistics. Source: Axie Infinity

As shown in the graphic above, nearly one-third of the circulating supply of AXS is currently staked on the protocol earning a total daily reward of 50,516 AXS.

Related: Blockchain gamers see playing NFT games as a potential full-time job, says new survey

Steady growth in the Ronin network

A third factor bringing added momentum to Axie Infinity is the growth taking place on the Ronin network, an Ethereum (ETH) sidechain that was built for Axie Infinity by Sky Mavis is to become the default NFT scaling solution for crypto gaming.

Axie Infinity is currently the only game running on Ronin but that hasn’t stopped the network from consistently ranking in the top 3 in terms of total value locked compared to other Ehtereum bridges, with nearly $3.4 billion in value currently locked on Ronin. 

Total value locked on Ethereum bridges. Source: Dune Analytics

That will soon change, however, as Ronin will soon see the introduction of third party developers which includes “over 1,000 applications from teams wanting to build on Ronin” according to Delphi Digital.

This has the potential to lead to an influx of new users to the Ronin ecosystem which could also benefit Axie Infinity as new users check out the top-performing project on the network.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Ethereum price breaks through $3K, but analysts warn that a retest is needed

Ethereum price breaks through $3K, but analysts warn that a retest is needed

ETH price finally pushed through the $3,000 barrier and while further upside is warranted, analysts believe that retest of lower levels will happen first.

The cryptocurrency market continues to forge ahead on March 23 despite facing headwinds on multiple fronts. At the moment, global conflict, rising inflation and widespread economic uncertainty are taking a toll on financial markets and helping to highlight the need for a diversified investmen portfolio. 

Altcoins have managed to gain some ground in recent days, led by Ethereum, the top smart contract platform, which managed to climb back to the major support and resistance zone at $3,000 where bulls are now battling for control.

ETH/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

Here’s a look at what several analysts in the market are saying about the path forward for Ether and whether or not further upside is expected in the short-term.

Upcoming test of $3,125

A general overview of the recent price action was provided by crypto analyst Michaël van de Poppe, who posted the following chart showing “Ethereum moving upward after holding crucial level.”

ETH/USD 2-hour chart. Source: Twitter

van de Poppe said,

“Seems to me that we’re going to test $3,125 next.”

But not all traders were so quick to look for a higher price target, including pseudonymous Twitter user ‘Chartpunk’, who posted the following chart highlighting the ten-day uptrend for Ethereum and warned against jumping into an overheated market.

ETH/USD 4-hour chart. Source: Twitter

Chartpunk said,

“Do not FOMO into the market. Should you want to join the trend, look for the retest of the entry zone on this chart.”

Based on the area highlighted in the chart, Charpunk is looking for re-entry around $2,975.

Sentiment is neutral until $3,287

A more measured approach to the current price action was offered by crypto trader and pseudonymous Twitter user ‘Mad Max Crypto’, who posted the following chart indicating a “Neutral bias till it flips the $3,287 mark.”

ETH/USDT 1-day chart. Source: Twitter

This outlook was largely echoed by cryptocurrency advisor and pseudonymous Twitter user ‘Altcoin Sherpa’, who posted the following chart highlighting the series of higher lows and higher highs made by Ether.

ETH/USD 1-day chart. Source: Twitter

Altcoin Sherpa said,

“I think that you can make an argument for breaking market structure to the upside on lower time frame charts but I’m personally waiting for the higher levels. Regardless, ETH2.0 fundamentals are going to be strong coming soon.”

Related: ETH price hits $3K as major crypto fund adds over $110M Ethereum to Lido’s staking pool

A possible pullback to $2,600

A final bit of analysis on the lower price levels to keep an eye on was touched on by crypto trader and pseudonymous Twitter user ‘Follis’, who posted the following chart suggesting the possibility of a pullback to $2,600.

ETH/USDT 8-hour chart. Source: Twitter

Follis said,

“Strong reaction from that sweep into supply, but most hourly time frames are bullish, and I expect more upside as long as we don’t close below $2,800. $2,600 area is interesting if we get a pullback, the 0.79 fib has worked well within this macro range.”

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.919 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 41.7%.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Read More (FET) gains 43% after $150M development fund and Cosmos IBC announcement (FET) gains 43% after $150M development fund and Cosmos IBC announcement

FET price could be eying new highs after fresh exchange listings, the launch of a $150 million development fund and plans to further integrate the protocol with the Cosmos ecosystem.

Development across the cryptocurrency ecosystem continues to move forward despite the day-to-day whipsaw price movements and this progress is furthering the public’s awareness of Web3 and the value of blockchain technology. 

One project that has been climbing the charts amid a marketing push to develop better brand recognition is, a protocol focused on building a token-based decentralized machine learning network capable of supporting the smart infrastructure being built around the digital economy.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the price of FET has climbed 43.13% over the past two days, rallying from a low of $0.322 on March 21 to an intraday high at $0.46 on March 23 as its 24-hour trading volume underwent a five-fold increase.

FET/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Three reasons for the building interest in are the launch of a $150 million development fund, plans to further integrate the project into the Cosmos ecosystem and the recent launch of a large-scale marketing campaign. launches a $150 million development fund

The biggest news to come out of the Fetch ecosystem was the March 22 launch of a $150 million ecosystem development fund, in conjunction with MEXC Global, Huobi and Bybit, that is aimed at attracting developers and established projects to the ecosystem.

Ecosystem development funds have become a popular theme across the cryptocurrency community as projects have found them to be a useful way of attracting new projects and users to their protocols in a field that is becoming increasingly crowded and difficult in which to gain traction.

Deeper integration with Cosmos

A second major development bridging increased attention to has been its ongoing integration with the Cosmos ecosystem and Interblockchain Communication Protocol.

Fetch officially joined the list of projects that were launching within the interoperability-focused Cosmos ecosystem in February and it is currently in the process of upgrading the chain to allow IBC transfers between supported networks.

Cosmos has been one of the most active and growing ecosystems over the past six months despite the weakness in the wider cryptocurrency market, which has the potential to benefit Fetch by bringing increased token liquidity and access to a greater pool of investors.

Related: launches NFT platform for AI-generated art

A renewed marketing push

The third factor helping to increase the awareness of Fetch has been an increased focus on marketing the project to the wider public, including a partnership with Formula 1 driver Alex Albon.

On top of this Formula 1 sponsorship, marketing for Fetch has also begun to appear in highly visible areas, including digital billboards in Times Square, New York, and subway and bus terminal advertisements. has also begun to recruit crypto influencers to help increase awareness and it has benefited from being listed on the Voyager app on March 18.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for FET on March 21, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. FET price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for FET hit a high of 80 on March 21, around one hour before the price increased 42.56% over the next two days.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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DEXs and KYC: A match made in hell or a real possibility?

DEXs and KYC: A match made in hell or a real possibility?

Decentralized exchanges must figure out how to up their Know Your Customer compliance before the regulation wave hits.

In his monthly crypto tech column, Israeli serial entrepreneur Ariel Shapira covers emerging technologies within the crypto, decentralized finance and blockchain space, as well as their roles in shaping the economy of the 21st century.

The White House came out with an executive order on regulating crypto recently. Across the sea, European legislators defeated a legislative push that could have spelled major trouble for proof-of-work networks. These developments should be ringing a bell that most crypto aficionados have long grown used to: Regulation is still very much on the agenda, and even though the blockchain community is now way more welcoming to compliance than it once was, this cannot go without at least a few ruffled feathers.

One of the things that will inevitably come up on the regulators’ target lists is Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols. As far as today’s ecosystem goes, these protocols are pretty much all over the place. Some platforms, usually the more centralized ones, handle KYC more or less the same way a traditional financial institution would, including at least an ID check-up. Others, however, work pretty much on a plug-and-play basis, meaning that as long as you have a crypto wallet, you are in business.

Related: European ‘MiCA’ regulation on digital assets: Where do we stand?

Decentralized exchanges, or DEXs, are pretty much the poster children for the latter approach. When using one, such as PancakeSwap on BNB Smart Chain or WingRiders on Cardano, you interact with the smart contracts powering their liquidity pools. In most cases, anyone can stake their tokens into the pool to earn a share from its accumulated transaction fees, and anyone can tap the pool to swap their tokens without much in terms of KYC. It’s a handy, fast and reliable way to move value between different token ecosystems that also allows liquidity providers to make a profit from enabling the service to keep running.

Compliance demand will be increasing

When delving into the blockchain space, regulators may find this approach a bit too laissez-faire. They may demand more KYC from such protocols, and such demands would probably draw the regular response: How on Earth do you expect an on-chain piece of code to be doing KYC?

At the very base level, this is indeed a tough question. “Code is law,” goes a popular crypto saying, so the capabilities of any decentralized application are inherently limited by its underlying code. Bringing KYC into those capabilities is a difficult challenge, both from technical and ideological perspectives. From the former, it means having to build an all-around digital KYC platform that would be able to handle the task on its own, without human involvement. From the latter, it means a step away from some of the core values and beliefs of the crypto world, which loves and cherishes its anonymity and privacy.

Some companies in the crypto space, such as Everest, are already implementing eKYC through traditional means. The company is also able to pseudonymously confirm the uniqueness and humanness of every user, which is important in our bot-ridden times. In the future, pseudonymity could very much become the rallying cry of KYC for blockchain. A system where a trusted third party can verify the client’s identity for compliance and issue a cryptographically-secured confirmation of the successful check-up that won’t reveal the client’s data itself could become a common ground for crypto purists and regulators. This token would enable exchanges, both centralized and decentralized alike, to verify the identity of the user without knowing anything about them.

Related: Want to weed out ransomware? Regulate crypto exchanges

Importantly, such a solution would also eliminate the need for exchanges to actually store their users’ private data. A centralized database with users’ personal details does not even have to include their banking information or private keys to be valuable for hackers, but if an exchange wants its proper KYC, it would have to create such a database. This creates a vicious cycle that exposes users to a tangible threat while also giving exchanges themselves the extra headache of having to manage and maintain these records.

Decentralized KYC compliance?

Another interesting way to handle the decentralized KYC conundrum is by letting AI take a stab at it. This would likely require a multi-layered solution, where the first model would process a scan of a document and pass on the output to one or more other models to complete the job. While complicated, it is not exactly unimaginable — at least as long as we don’t envision something like that deployed as part of a smart contract. An off-chain implementation, though, could still act as a trusted third-party KYC provider enabling exchanges to function in compliance with all the right rules.

In essence, like many other processes, KYC always follows a protocol. It includes an input — the documents, financial statements, and other information the counterparty may need to go through — and an output, an approval or a rejection. Many processes like this are prone to digitalization as they follow the same logic most computer algorithms do. Sure, it will be challenging to build a system versatile enough to attune itself to different KYC rules in different jurisdictions, but it is very much possible. And it’s not hard to imagine the traditional finance world, where KYC is a major liability, to see value in such a system as well, making for a potential market worth billions.

Related: Implementing the double-edged sword of KYC is a must for crypto exchanges

Improved KYC procedures could also spark a user-interface renaissance, where DEXs become much easier to use for average investors. One of the biggest pain points throughout the cryptosphere, but especially on the decentralized platforms that market themselves more toward crypto aficionados than newbies, is the complexity of use. Until the debut of Kirobo’s undo button, for example, crypto users had no way to even confirm they sent their crypto to the right address. With proper regulatory adherence comes an influx of more mainstream users, and they tend to require smoother mechanisms for buying and selling crypto.

The more innovative DEXs’ developer teams, who build their projects with KYC compliance in mind while still staying true to the values of decentralization, will surely come out on top — so they might as well start innovating now to prepare for the coming change of tides.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Ariel Shapira is a father, entrepreneur, speaker, cyclist and serves as founder and CEO of Social-Wisdom, a consulting agency working with Israeli startups and helping them to establish connections with international markets.
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Crypto and NFTs at F1: What are firms bringing to the races beyond sponsorships?

Crypto and NFTs at F1: What are firms bringing to the races beyond sponsorships?

Are crypto companies sponsoring F1 for the glitz and glamor, or will NFTs demonstrate important use cases behind these partnerships?

The cryptocurrency community has always put an emphasis on decentralization and globalization. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a number of crypto companies are sponsoring Formula 1 (F1) racing teams in an attempt to further connect with audiences across the world. 

Research by global analytics company Nielsen Sports found that Formula 1 has the potential to reach about one billion fans globally this year, with the 16–35 age group accounting for the biggest share. The appeal of F1 is clearly on the rise, and cryptocurrency companies are jumping on board to demonstrate their presence. To put this in perspective, there are 10 F1 teams for the 2022 season and crypto companies are currently sponsoring eight.


Crypto and F1: An ideal marketing match

Mark DiMassimo, founder and creative chief of DiGo — a New York-based marketing agency — told Cointelegraph that the interest crypto companies are taking in Formula 1 certainly makes sense from a marketing perspective. “You can argue that F1 is a natural extension from a sponsorship standpoint for crypto companies since both sectors are international, exciting and involve money,” he said.

To DiMassimo’s point, the F1 racing team, Red Bull Racing, recently entered a three-year partnership with Singapore-based crypto trading platform Bybit for $50 million per year. Prior to this, the cryptocurrency exchange announced a $100 million partnership with Formula 1 for its 2021 “Sprint Series.”

Igneus Terrenus, head of communications at Bybit, told Cointelegraph that the crypto exchange views sports sponsorships as a key part of its global marketing strategy to build brand awareness and sentiment in major markets. “We are also partners to some of the top e-sports teams in the world, but Formula 1 remains the most popular international racing series,” said Terrenus. He added that Formula 1 has a larger and more global following than almost every other sport:

“2021’s Abu Dhabi GP culminated in a dramatic nail-biting final-lap decider that saw Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen prevail over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton — this attracted an audience of 108 million. Whereas Super Bowl 2022 between the Rams and Bengals drew an audience of 101 million.”

Patrick Hillman, chief communications officer at Binance, told Cointelegraph that F1 is a sport the crypto industry gravitates toward, given its global presence and fan base. “Binance recently announced a partnership with the BWT Apline F1 Team. There are very few sports as global as F1,” he said.

Blockchain companies are also getting involved with Formula 1. In January 2022, Fantom Foundation, a layer-one blockchain platform, announced its sponsorship with the Italian Formula 1 racing team, Scuderia Alpha Tauri. Fantom CEO Michael Kong told Cointelegraph that this partnership is important for several reasons, with exposure being a primary benefit. “It puts a lot more eyeballs on Fantom since F1 is watched by hundreds of millions worldwide. “This has partly been responsible for user growth on the Fantom network,” he said.

F1 sponsorships expand as NFTs gain traction

But, while crypto companies may have initially been drawn to F1 sponsorships from a marketing perspective, the rise of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) is presenting new opportunities for organizations involved with Formula 1. For instance, a recent Deloitte Global study anticipated that in 2022 alone, sports NFTs will generate more than $2 billion in transactions — double the volume seen in 2021. 

Additionally, the study predicts that by the end of this year, roughly five million sports fans around the globe will own an NFT sports collectible. Given this, the majority of crypto and blockchain companies sponsoring Formula 1 racing teams have also launched NFTs to coincide with sponsorships.

On March 22, 2022, Fantom announced a sponsorship with the Brazilian-American Formula 1 racing drivers Pietro and Enzo Fittipaldi. According to Kong, the duo drivers will display Fantom imagery on their race suits and helmets throughout the F1 2022 season. In addition to the sponsorship agreement, the Fittipaldi Brothers will launch their first NFT series on the Fantom network. “Both Pietro and Enzo have demonstrated a strong interest in emerging technologies. These NFTs will deliver unprecedented access to fans, allowing them to engage with the popular athletes through a new medium,” Kong said.

“The return of a Fittipaldi Grand Prix Debut” NFT created by artist Rich. Source: Infinity NFT

Pietro Fittipaldi further told Cointelegraph that he and his brother decided to launch an NFT series with Fantom due to their involvement in the crypto world:

“We wanted to be able to share some of our most exclusive items with our fans and the people who support us through the NFT community. We have always been very active on the digital side of things. My brother and I won the first F1 virtual world championship, so to be able to do something else digitally through NFTs made a lot of sense.”

Fittipaldi explained that the NFTs will be designed by the Brazilian artist Rich, who is famous for his graffiti artwork. “These art pieces will then be digitized into unique NFTs that offer access to exclusive F1 championships, along with access to my indy 500 F1 helmet and virtual mini-world championship replica helmet,” said Fittipaldi.

“Virtual World champions 2021 NFT” created by artist Rich. Source: Infinity NFT

Kong added that NFT agency Infinity NFT will support the Fittipaldi Brothers sale by delivering four NFT categories for fans to choose from, each offering varying levels of direct engagement.

In addition to Fantom’s recent NFT launch, Terrenus said that Bybit will serve as the primary marketplace for the NFTs released by F1’s Oracle Red Bull Racing team. Bybit’s NFT marketplace was launched in January 2022, but Terrenus believes that it has already generated impressive support from the community.

Bybit will also issue fan tokens for the Oracle Red Bull Racing team, expected to launch next year. According to Terrenus, fan tokens will ensure that the community’s voice is amplified when it comes to the team’s decision-making processes.

F1 community learns about blockchain

While it’s notable that crypto companies are sponsoring F1 racing teams and drivers, some may question how the mainstream will receive these partnerships and NFTs. This is especially important to consider, given the fact that NFTs are still a new and sometimes unclear concept for non-crypto natives. For instance, recent research from the NFT Club found that although NFTs have increased in popularity since Dec. 2020, the most popular question of 2021 was “where to buy NFTs.” This demonstrates that there is still a large sector of individuals unfamiliar with the NFT space.

Kong noted that Fantom has had a positive experience collaborating with Alpha Taur, noting that the company was able to explain NFTs, their benefits and possibilities when Fantom worked with Alpha Tauri F1 driver Pierre Gasly on his NFT launch. “Hopefully, we’ve been able to further introduce them to blockchain technology,” Kong commented.

Fittipaldi added that he believes NFTs will be well received by non-crypto natives due to the utility behind the tokens. “A lot of times, people think NFTs are just about buying digital artwork, but behind these creations is access to exclusive F1 championships.” With this in mind, Fittipaldi shared that he and his brother plan to launch more NFT collections moving forward. “The whole idea behind this drop is for our community and fans to have something exclusive, which we plan to offer more of moving forward.”

Moreover, crypto sponsorships also seem to be resonating well with F1 team leaders. An article published this month on highlighted this notion, as the Formula 1 Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff stated that “it was fascinating to understand crypto exchanges,” in reference to FTX’s sponsorship with Mercedes. 

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El Salvador postpones Bitcoin bonds to September: Report

El Salvador postpones Bitcoin bonds to September: Report

Apart from delaying the issuance of Bitcoin bonds, the Salvadoran government has apparently slowed down the pace of buying new BTC as well.

The government of El Salvador has reportedly decided to postpone the issue of a Bitcoin (BTC)-backed bond due to the unfavorable market conditions fueled by the geopolitical crisis.

El Salvador’s “Volcano Bond” will not go live in March as the Salvadoran government expected previously, finance minister Alejandro Zelaya said in an interview with a local TV channel.

Zelaya claimed that the delay was due to the volatile prices of BTC fueled by the Russia-Ukraine crisis. He added that the government of El Salvador decided to wait for favorable conditions in the financial market, expecting September at the latest, stating:

“Now is not the time to issue the bond […] In May or June the market variants are a little different. At the latest in September. After September, if you go out to the international market, it is difficult to raise capital.”

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading at $42,236, up around 10% over the past 30 days, according to data from CoinGecko. The cryptocurrency has lost nearly 50% of value since the Salvadoran government initially announced plans for its Bitcoin bonds in November.

Bitcoin 180-day price chart. Source: CoinGecko

Zelaya hinted at a potential delay of El Salvador’s Bitcoin bond last week, citing the unstable political situation in the world as one of the biggest reasons for the postponement.

As previously reported, the $1 billion bond was originally scheduled for launch in mid-March. El Salvador congressman William Soriano took to Twitter in early February to declare that the Bitcoin bond was expected to go live by the second or the third week of March.

El Salvador president Nayib Bukele originally announced plans for the bond in November 2021. The bond is reportedly marketed with a 6.5% coupon and a Bitcoin dividend of 50% of the gain in the price of the cryptocurrency after five years. Half of the $1 billion expected proceeds from the issuance are set to go toward the construction of the “Bitcoin City,” a development dedicated to geothermal energy-powered Bitcoin mining using nearby volcanoes. The rest $500 million is set to be invested directly into Bitcoin.

Related: 14% of Salvadoran businesses have transacted in BTC: Chamber of Commerce

El Salvador’s delay of the Bitcoin bond launch comes amid the government apparently slowing down the pace of buying new BTC as well. Previously reporting consecutive Bitcoin purchases at least each month, the Salvadoran government has not announced a new buy since January 2022.

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Thailand SEC bans crypto payments, seeks disclosure of system failure from exchanges

Thailand SEC bans crypto payments, seeks disclosure of system failure from exchanges

Since Dec. 2021, the government of Thailand has been working on preparing a new regulatory framework by defining “red lines” for the crypto industry.

In an ongoing effort to carve out a regulated crypto market for the general public, the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a ban on the use of cryptocurrencies for payments. Parallelly, the Commission proposed a new rule that demands disclosure of service quality and IT usage information from crypto businesses including brokers, exchanges and dealers.

According to the notice issued by the Thai SEC, businesses in the region have been advised against accepting crypto payments from April 2022 after discussing its implications with the Bank of Thailand (BOT).

The joint study conducted by the BOT and SEC concluded that:

“[Crypto payments] may affect the stability of the financial system and overall economic system including risks to people and businesses.”

Some of these risks highlighted by the SEC include loss of value caused by price volatility, cyber theft, money laundering and personal data leakage. Once implemented, businesses in Thailand will be barred from — advertising accepting crypto payments and establishing systems, tools and wallets to facilitate crypto transactions. 

Businesses found in noncompliance with the new crypto laws will be subject to legal actions including temporary suspension or cancellation of the services:

“However, the BOT and the SEC, as well as other government agencies, recognize the benefits of technologies behind digital assets such as blockchain and value and support the use of technology to further innovation.”

Moreover, the Thai SEC proposal aims to further ensure investor security by gauging the quality of the services delivered by the crypto businesses. According to a rough translation, the SEC’s proposes digital asset operators to:

“Prepare and deliver [service quality and system capacity utilization reports] to the SEC office on a monthly basis within the 5th day of the following month.”

In addition to sending monthly reports to the Thai SEC, the proposal also directs crypto businesses to disclose the reports on their official website within the same timeline. 

A graph shared by the SEC further highlighted various complaints received over the past 12 months related to system failure, services that do not meet the desired conditions, shopping and others. Based on the data, Thai investors faced the highest problems related to shopping, which might be one of the main reasons for the crypto payments ban. 

As Cointelegraph previously reported back in Dec 2021, the government of Thailand confirmed working on preparing a new regulatory framework by defining “red lines” for the crypto industry.

Related: Thailand reportedly exempts 7% crypto tax for traders on authorized exchanges

In the first week of March, the finance ministry of Thailand had reportedly eased up crypto tax regulations in an effort to promote digital asset investments.

According to a Cointelegraph report on the matter, the new tax policy exempts crypto traders from the 7% value-added tax (VAT) when trading on authorized exchanges. In addition, the revised tax policy will also allow traders to offset their annual losses against gains for their crypto investment across multiple digital assets.

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Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Coincheck to Go Public on Nasdaq in $1.25 Billion Deal

Japanese Crypto Exchange Coincheck Plans to Go Public in US With $1.25 Billion Nasdaq ListingA major crypto exchange in Japan is going public in the U.S. in a $1.25 billion merger deal. Coincheck is regulated by the Financial Sevices Agency (FSA). It will be listed on Nasdaq under the symbol “CNCK.” Japanese Crypto Exchange Coincheck to List on Nasdaq Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck revealed Tuesday its plan to go […]
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Ireland’s central bank follows UK's example in warning of crypto advertisements

Ireland’s central bank follows UK’s example in warning of crypto advertisements

The central bank warned people to be mindful of “the risks of misleading advertisements, particularly on social media, where influencers are being paid to advertise crypto assets.”

The Central Bank of Ireland issued a warning to consumers about the risks around crypto investments in addition to “misleading” advertisements, including those pushed by influencers on social media.

In a Tuesday notice, Ireland’s central bank said the warning was part of a campaign organized by the European Supervisory Authorities, made up of the European Securities and Markets Authority, the European Banking Authority, and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority. The Central Bank of Ireland said that cryptocurrencies were “highly risky and speculative” for retail investors and warned people to be mindful of “the risks of misleading advertisements, particularly on social media, where influencers are being paid to advertise crypto assets.”

“In Ireland and across the EU we are seeing increasing levels of advertising and aggressive promotion of crypto asset investments,” said Derville Rowland, the central bank’s director general of financial conduct. “Before you buy crypto assets, you need to think about whether you can afford to lose all the money you invest […] People should also be aware that if things go wrong, you do not have the protections you would have if you invested in a regulated product.”

The central bank’s warning echoes that of global regulators and lawmakers cracking down on influencers peddling cryptocurrencies. In January, the Spanish government announced regulations for advertisements on crypto investments and services, which specifically included “products or services promoted via influencers.” The United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority has also repeatedly warned crypto firms or alleged violations for advertisements dealing in digital assets.

In the United States, celebrities and influencers were associated with many of the alleged initial coin offering scams from 2018. Kim Kardashian’s Instagram account posted a story shilling the ERC-20 token EthereumMax (EMAX) in June 2021, causing the price to spike before falling more than 99% and leaving many retail investors in the red. At least one American celebrity, actor Ben McKenzie, has used his platform to push back against these types of high-profile endorsements.

Related: Year of sponsorships: Celebrities who embraced crypto in 2021

Amid repeated warnings over crypto investments and advertisements, some firms have set up operations in Ireland. After opening the doors to its Dublin office in early 2021, crypto exchange Gemini received a license to provide electronic money services in the country. Binance established three subsidiaries in Ireland in September 2021, while crypto firms Ripple and Kraken chose the nation as the base to launch their European operations.

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