- Social media giant Twitter is now beta testing a Bitcoin (BTC) Lightning Network tipping service, according to multiple reports. Bitcoin is not yet available to select as a tip option for beta users, but code in the beta suggests that Twitter is in the process of rolling it out, per MacRumors. Developer Alessandro Paluzzi shared an image of what the service will look like. The tipping function will use the Lightning Network to make smaller bitcoin payments, and it will support custodial and non-custodial wallets. The addition of this option comes after CEO Jack Dorsey suggested its arrival in July. It’s still unclear when the Bitcoin feature will be officially released. The CEO further implied just today that they will also be searching for partners in Africa in relation to this project.
Def— jack⚡️ (@jack) September 1, 2021
- Three of South Korea’s “big four” crypto exchanges have announced that they will to co-launch a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Travel Rule implementation platform. The platform, named CODE (short for Connect Digital Exchanges), is the brainchild of Korbit, Bithumb and Coinone. Per the Segye Ilbo, the trio has backed the platform with a combined USD 778,000 worth of investment and hopes to implement the rule on their own platforms ahead of a government deadline next year. Conspicuously perhaps, Upbit, the remaining member of the “big four” is no longer involved in the project, despite initial plans to work together on CODE.
- An engineering team at Coinbase said it plans to integrate Polygon (MATIC)’s layer-two (L2) scaling solution for Ethereum (ETH) with the exchange platform. The goal is to explore similar scaling initiatives with L2s such as Optimism, Arbitrum, and Starkware over time.
- Japan’s GMO, the operator of the GMO Coin crypto exchange, is set to debut a new non-fungible token (NFT) platform and marketplace – a fact that will likely pit it against similar new products from major crypto and business rivals the Monex Group-run Coincheck, Rakuten and Line. In a press release, GMO stated that its new Adam by GMO platform was now in beta testing, and teased the release of a K-1 (mixed martial arts) tie-in.
- CryptoPunks, a popular non-fungible token (NFT) crypto project from Larva Labs, has signed with United Talent Agency (UTA) for representation across film, TV, video games, publishing, and licensing, according to Hollywood Reporter. UTA will also represent Meebits and Autoglyphs, two other crypto-art projects created by Larva Labs.
- Dapper Labs, the NFT firm behind CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot, has hired former Ticketmaster CIO Gui Karyo to lead the firm’s technical operations as CIO, as well as former PayPal alumna Amanda Schwartz who joins as vice-president of business operations and strategy. Karyo is tasked with scaling both the infrastructure and technical operations at Dapper Labs, while Schwartz is responsible for scaling the operations of the company through various growth strategies.
- Major producer of Bitcoin mining equipment Canaan said it has secured a purchase order from Bitcoin mining firm Genesis Digital Assets Limited for 20,000 of its Bitcoin mining machines. In conjunction with the order, Canaan has granted Genesis Digital Assets an option to purchase up to 180,000 additional mining machines.
- BabelFish, a stablecoin aggregator on Bitcoin-connected smart contract platform Rootstock (RSK), said it has completed a fundraise totaling USD 5.8m via a listing on decentralized bitcoin trading and lending platform Sovryn’s Origins launchpad. Funds raised will be used to enable BabelFish users to vote on protocol upgrades, reward the community for work completed, and conduct general research and development to sustainably increase assets under management (AUM) and integrations.
- Financial service platform Evrynet has confirmed that it concluded a USD 7m fundraiser for its decentralized finance app targeting institutional investors. The private investment round was led by Signum Capital, with participation from Petrock Capital, Ellipti Ventures, and others, while previous backers include HashKey Capital, Everest Ventures, Hanwha Investments and Securities, Seven Bank, and others.
- 23-year-old tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has been exploring where she can invest in the crypto space, Bloomberg reported. Osaka said in an interview, “I know that online, everything is getting bigger. I remember reading about Dogecoin … there’s going to be something new and interesting that’s going to pop up.” Osaka said the continuous stream of conversations around Dogecoin, especially on her Twitter feed, stoked her interest even before her agent approached her with the idea to invest. She also unveiled her own NFT last week.
- The mastermind behind the Chinese Blockchain Service Network (BSN) project has stated that the South Korean company MetaverseSociety will become the first BSN portal operator to be based in an overseas territory. Per the BSN Twitter account, a deal will see the portal launch in South Korea in November and “will empower [South] Korean developers to build and operate blockchain applications quickly and effectively.”
In Argentina, several businesses accept payments in BTC, DOGE, other cryptos
Imagine going on vacation and being able to pay both your Uber driver and Airbnb host with crypto. This sounds like a fantasy for many but is reportedly now a reality for users in Argentina.
Regional news publications announced that the crypto company Bitrefill was offering 138 prepaid cards in order to pay to different businesses. Some taking part in the initiative include Frávega, Lacoste, Dexter, Isadora, Cheeky, Airbnb, Uber, Movistar, Claro, and Personal.
Users can pay in six different cryptocurrencies, which are Bitcoin [BTC], Ether [ETH], Dogecoin [DOGE], Litecoin [LTC], Tether [USDT], and Dash [DASH]. However, in order to use the card, assets are first converted to dollars or euros, and then converted again to Argentine Pesos [ARS] to complete the transaction.
What does Bitrefill’s initiative reveal about the state of crypto adoption in Argentina? Data may hold the answer. The Blockchain LatAm Report 2021 by Sherlock Communications stated,
“…66% of respondents were most concerned with protecting their savings. This reflects recent inflation rates in the country: 36.1% in 2020 and 53.8% in 2019, the highest in 28 years.”
Furthermore, as people in Argentina are legally restricted from buying more than a small and taxable amount of U.S. dollars every month, the attraction of crypto is easy to understand. Adding to this, there are around 20 legal crypto exchanges in the country, and one of them – Ripio – hit a million users in 2020.
However, it’s worth noting that there is a tax of 15% on income gained from selling digital currencies. At the last count, there were 12 Bitcoin ATMs/tellers in Argentina. Out of these, 11 were located in Buenos Aires.
Not just a shopping spree…
Apart from crypto adoption, companies are also eyeing the country as a destination for Bitcoin mining. One major reason for this is the cheap cost of electricity in Argentina, with subsidies for the same.
In October, the Canada-based Bitfarms announced that it was constructing a 210 megawatt BTC mining farm in Argentina. More than 55,000 new mining rigs are expected to be on-site. According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Argentina’s share of the average monthly hashrate in August 2021 was 0.05%.
Hedge Fund Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones Says Gold Losing the Race Against Crypto As Inflation Hedge
Hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones says that crypto is currently his preferred way of hedging against inflation.
In a new interview with CNBC, Jones says that crypto has acted as a great hedge as of late and is winning the race against gold.
“Crypto has been a great hedge… I said then, I said now, I’ve got crypto in single digits in my portfolio. I have a small trading position in our fund. I do think we’re moving into an increasingly digitized world. Clearly, there’s a place for crypto, and clearly, it’s winning the race against gold at the moment. So yes, I would think that would also be a very good inflation hedge. It would be my preferred one over gold at the moment.”
The billionaire, who heads investment management firm Tudor Investment Corporation, says that while the new Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a regulated and legitimate product, he thinks a better investment is to own physical BTC.
“I think a better way to get in would be to actually own physical Bitcoin, to take the time to learn how to own it and carry it. I think the ETF will be fine. I think the fact that it’s SEC approved should give you great comfort.”
The investor says that embracing Bitcoin is part of the American character and that China’s refusal to do so may have economic consequences for the country in the future.
“I think crypto is here to stay. Look, this is the United States of America right? The reason we’re the most dominant economic power [in] the world is because we unleash our individual entrepreneurialism and creativity. And you’re seeing China do the exact opposite. That place is on, economically, a slow boat to the South Pole. As long as the US can continue to unchain our entrepreneurs, we’re going to always be in the dominant position.”
The Real Opportunity for Bitcoin and Crypto Will Come From This Group of Investors, Says Shark Tank Star Kevin O’Leary
Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary says that a group of investors could transform Bitcoin (BTC) and the crypto markets when they decide to allocate capital to the space.
In a new interview with Bitcoin bull Anthony Pompliano on The Best Business Show, the celebrity investor says that there will be a massive opportunity for crypto once sovereign funds in the Middle East invest in digital assets.ADVERTISEMENT
“The real opportunity is not with the family offices or hedge funds that operate out of the Middle East. The real money is in the actual sovereign funds in both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It’s billions and billions and billions of dollars.
They have not allocated to crypto yet. When that happens, you’ll see it reflected in the price of Bitcoin. There’s no question about it. They have such long-term views in those funds, and the funds are so large.”
O’Leary says that given the size and number of the funds, even a 1% allocation would have an impact on the markets.
“They generally abide by discipline and principles of risk diversification, so they may have a mandate, for example, that no stock represent more than 5% of the fund or no sector more than 20%. Those are diversification mandates that are used all around the world, and they do that there, too.
But when you’re dealing with a multi-billion dollar mandate, and some of these, they’re the largest pools of capital in the world. A 1% allocation is a tremendous amount of money.”
The investor says at the moment, Bitcoin is the only digital asset on the sovereign funds’ radar. He predicts that they could easily decide to allocate 1-3% just on BTC.
“I speak to those guys almost every day. They would immediately go to 1% to 3% on Bitcoin alone. Just Bitcoin, let alone Ethereum or any level-1 or level-2s on the chain. They haven’t even thought about that. They’re just thinking about Bitcoin and owning that as an asset. The amount of capital that will come into this market when the regulator approves Bitcoin as an asset or currency or a security, or whatever they’re going to regulate it as is going to be unbelievable.”