crypto news

Would you like fries with that? Fast-food chains are serving up NFTs

The past few months have seen an explosive uptake of nonfungible tokens (NFT) as crypto artists, gaming enthusiasts, musicians, celebrities and now fast food chains deploy the technology in various ways.

Fast food giants such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell are taking to NFTs because of their capacity to enable gamified promotions and distribution of their products and services. 

Here is a quick look at emerging NFT adoption in the fast-food sector. 

Taco Bell

Taco Bell is a popular fast food brand in the United States thanks to its Mexican-style products. In a March 2021 marketing campaign, Taco Bell launched a new NFT collection emerging as the first among fast-food chains to offer collectible tokens.

Taco Bell NFTs (Taco Art) comprise artistic illustrations of its fast-food offerings, with some buyers paying upward of 10 Ether (ETH) for one Taco Bell NFT. According to tweets from the restaurant chain, earnings generated from the sale were donated to charity. 

Burger King

Not one to be left behind, Burger King announced its entry into the NFT space with the release of a range of digital collectibles under a marketing campaign dubbed “Keep It Real Meals.”

Every Burger King customer will be able to scan the QR code that comes with their meal to receive one of three collectible game pieces. Once a player receives all three, they will receive a fourth token that could be a reward of a digital collectible, a year’s supply of burgers or a call with one of the campaign’s celebrity spokespeople. 

McDonald’s

Despite China’s ban on nearly everything crypto-related, McDonald’s China branch will release a set of 188 NFTs to its employees and customers as part of a giveaway celebration of the franchise’s 31st anniversary.

The NFTs consist of three-dimensional artistic designs of McDonald’s China’s new office headquarters in a project titled “Big Mac Rubik’s Cube,” and they were built in partnership with digital asset creation agency Cocafe. 

Pizza Hut

The Canadian subsidiary of Pizza Hut, a fast-food chain famous for its all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, released an NFT project called “1 Byte Favourites,” which are digital NFT images of pizza slices. 

In a March 17 announcement, the company said it would issue NFT images of a slice of pizza every other week. Each slice and NFT image would come with a different recipe, and interested buyers will have access to the NFTs on Rarible. 

Pizza Hut Canada chief marketing officer Daniel Meymen said that the NFT campaign was “an opportunity to give fans another way to get their hands on their favorite Pizza Hut recipes, even if it’s virtual.”

The new marketing medium for big brands

Like every other popular trend online, marketers have hopped onto the NFT bandwagon to get a piece of the pie and grab people’s attention by using the novel technology.

Fast food brands and other consumer good brands are quickly discovering that selling their products with the NFT badge and other digital collectible jargon as part of their campaign is a winning strategy.

Even in cases where the collectibles are not limited or rare, the masses have continued to buy NFTs at exorbitantly high prices. The jury is still out on whether this is the future of brand marketing or just hype that will soon die down.

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DAOs will be the future of online communities in five years

Online communities, those that share a common interest on the internet, can range from social networks, grassroots organizations and customer communities. We, as a society, are naturally communal, so it makes sense to engage in ideas and interests with others online. Whether we build relationships with people directly or indirectly, communities are built. However, how we do so differs.

In 2006, web expert Jakob Nielsen proposed a 90-9-1 rule based on participation inequality in social media and online communities. According to Nielsen, in most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers, i.e., those who observe, but don’t contribute, nine percent of users contribute a little and only one percent account for the most contributions.

But as the influence of online communities continues, their nature is beginning to change. The previous era was dominated by a user, customer and creator relationship. Now, though, we’re starting to see online communities taking ownership of what they want to share.

Related: Crypto social governance will lead to online freedom

The ownership and creator economy

With COVID-19 forcing many of us to work from home and socially distance ourselves from loved ones, digital connectivity has played an important role in how we stay connected. For many, this has resulted in a greater reliance on online communities. According to research by Facebook, in conjunction with The Governance Lab at New York University, 77% of respondents indicated that the most important group they’re part of operates online.

Today, we live in a world where content is readily created and shared. This creator economy, which builds on human creativity, intellectual property and technology, is a concept that continues to grow. And after a year of lockdowns, now more than ever is a time to appreciate the creator economy. As governments seek to rebuild their economies in the wake of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, creative economies will play an important role. So much so that figures from Deloitte suggest that this sector could grow by 40% by 2030, adding more than eight million jobs.

The next logical step moves away from this sharing economy toward that of an ownership economy. Jesse Walden, the founder of Variant Fund, calls the ownership economy something that is “not only built, operated, and funded by individual users, but owned by users too.” An example of the creator economy and the ownership economy coming together is seen through nonfungible tokens (NFTs). NFTs are enabling creators to deliver a more intimate connection with their followers while removing issues associated with middlemen. By doing so, and thanks to the blockchain, creators have full ownership of their work and have free rein to copyright their creations while ensuring their authenticity. Delivering a golden opportunity for creators, NFTs are establishing creative ownership.

Related: Bull or bear market, creators are diving headfirst into crypto

And it’s the advent of crypto and decentralized finance (DeFi) that is helping to take online communities to the next level. As the sector uses assets that are shared by all shareholders, creating something that aligns with their interests, crypto and DeFi are a natural fit. Empowered by frictionless finance, the ownership economy enables novel approaches for real-world communities to leverage digital tools to create, capture and exchange value more effectively in virtuous cycles.

The ownership economy has been pioneered by Bitcoin (BTC). Arriving in 2009, Bitcoin proposed a new avenue of economic wealth while using technology on a computer. By doing so, anyone with an internet connection was incentivized while mining for newly minted Bitcoin, thus helping to secure the network while claiming ownership in the network itself.

Since then, the crypto market has grown exponentially and with it, online communities are being seen through new tooling and incentive design which comprises the trend known today as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).

DAO online communities

A DAO is essentially a programmable organization of people that form around a shared mission and fosters an emergent online community. They jointly control a crypto multi-signature wallet, ensuring that its objectives — decided by DAO members — are met. The governance of DAOs and their operations are written in smart contracts, consisting of automated if-then statements, making them transparent and auditable.

What’s great about DAOs and their role in online communities is that the way they interact with each other is a wide-open surface area and there is much work being done in the space. Anyone can take part in a DAO regardless of where they are. All that’s required is the staking of funds, which creates a great building block for interacting with a community. DAOs are not walled gardens and therefore their participants have intrinsic and extrinsic incentives to collaborate with other DAO communities to bolster each other’s capabilities while sharing in the ownership and direction of each project. With no central party standing in the way, everyone is given a right to have a say about how something is or should be done.

Related: Airdrops, DAOs, token issuance and public domains are the next frontier for NFTs

DAOs and DAO2DAO collaborations are still very much “a crypto thing,” but real power for positive change lies in them when the methodologies, ownership models and tools created from this movement touch real-world communities, large and small.

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.

Michael O’Rourke is the co-founder and CEO of Pocket Network. Michael is a self-taught iOS and Solidity developer. He was also on the ground level of Tampa Bay’s Bitcoin/crypto meetup and consultancy, Blockspaces, with a focus on teaching developers Solidity. He graduated from the University of South Florida.

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Bitcoin decides fate of $60K as weekly close keeps BTC traders on their toes

Bitcoin (BTC) is lining up a crucial weekly support test on Oct. 23 after impulsive sellers moved large amounts of BTC to major exchange Binance.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

BTC dices with $60,000

BTC/USD is keeping traders nervous into Saturday, data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows, deciding on the fate of $60,000 support.

The level had proven the first major area of buyer interest overnight after old all-time highs at $64,900 failed to prop up the market.

While analysts remain bullish on longer timeframes, the comedown is creating an interesting close to the current weekly candle.

For Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe, however, called the correction «fine» and maintained his prognosis of a macro price top of as much as $300,000.

Elsewhere, a popular theory revolves around a structured flushing out of overleveraged traders, these having pushed up funding rates to classic unsustainable levels during the run to $67,100 all-time highs.

Front-running the United States’ first Bitcoin ETF is likewise still a major topic of debate, as noted by popular Twitter account BitBit.

Binance reserves shoot higher

While exchange balances broadly continue to trend lower, meanwhile, Binance has seen a dramatic uptick in its reserves in recent days.

Related: Price analysis 10/22: BTC, ETH, BNB, ADA, XRP, SOL, DOT, DOGE, LUNA, UNI

According to data from statistics resource Bybt, these increased by over 50,000 BTC to near 400,000 BTC as of Friday.

Bitcoin balance on Binance. Source: Bybt

Exchange reserve upticks tend to signify a desire to sell or have BTC available to sell at short notice.

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Texas Ethics Commission seeks pro-crypto rule for political contributions

The proposal was filed with the Texas Secretary of State, which sought to address and clarify the reporting requirements of political contributions made with cryptocurrencies. According to the filing:

“The new rule permits candidates, officeholders, and political committees to accept cryptocurrency. It does not distinguish between any types of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin.”

If approved, cryptocurrency donations and contributions will need to be reported as in-kind contributions or as investments, not currency. According to the Commission, this move “mirrors the way the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) treat cryptocurrency contributions.”

The proposal clarifies that political and governmental campaigns will not be able to permitted to spend cryptocurrencies directly and will require to liquidate cryptocurrencies before spending the proceeds. However, the Commission mentioned:

“The rule would not require filers to liquidate their cryptocurrency holdings within any particular timeframe.”

In addition, the proposal plans to counter the high volatility of cryptocurrencies by directing filers to report the value of any accepted cryptocurrency as the fair market value at the time of receipt.

The legality of every crypto contribution will be determined by an affirmation that the contributor is not a foreign national. According to the filing, the new rule is proposed under Texas Government Code §571.062, which authorizes the Commission to adopt rules to administer Title 15 of the Election Code.

Related: Cryptocurrencies now recognized under commercial law in Texas

The state of Texas recently approved two house bills that promote cryptocurrency blockchain adoption.

According to a Cointelegraph report, Texas House Bills 1576 and 4474 were signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott that allows the establishment of a blockchain working group and amends the state’s Uniform Commercial Code to recognize cryptocurrencies under commercial law.

The Texas Ethics Commission proposed a new rule that permits government officials and politicians to accept Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency contributions. 

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CoinMarketCap hack reportedly leaks 3.1 million user email addresses

CoinMarketCap, a price-tracking website for cryptocurrencies, has reportedly fallen victim to a hack that leaked 3.1 million user email addresses. 

The information came into light after the hacked email addresses were found to be traded and sold online on various hacking forums, and revealed by Have I Been Pwned, a website dedicated to tracking hacks and compromised online accounts.

CoinMarketCap, a subsidiary of Binance cryptocurrency exchange, confirmed that the list of leaked user accounts matched its userbase:

“CoinMarketCap has become aware that batches of data have shown up online purporting to be a list of user accounts. While the data lists we have seen are only email addresses, we have found a correlation with our subscriber base.”

While confirming the leak of 3.1 million (3,117,548) user email addresses on Oct. 12, the company has assured that the hackers did not gain access to any of the account passwords. “We have not found any evidence of a data leak from our own servers — we are actively investigating this issue and will update our subscribers as soon as we have any new information,” CoinMarketCap spokesperson said.

Despite the confirmation, CoinMarketCap is yet to identify the exact cause of the hack.

CoinMarkatCap did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

Related: Hackers exploit MFA flaw to steal from 6,000 Coinbase customers — Report

A recent hack on the Coinbase crypto exchange resulted in the compromise of 6,000 user accounts.

The attack was a result of exploiting the exchange’s multi-factor authentication (MFA) system, which suggests that the hackers had access to the user’s email addresses. According to Coinbase, the attackers identified a vulnerability in the account recovery process:

“In this incident, for customers who use SMS texts for two-factor authentication, the third party took advantage of a flaw in Coinbase’s SMS Account Recovery process in order to receive an SMS two-factor authentication token and gain access to your account.”

While the value of stolen assets is yet to be revealed by Coinbase, the incident was complimented by thousands of formal complaints from the account holders against the company.

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Australian Senators pushing for country to become the next crypto hub

Top-down governmental responses to innovation have always been questioned by entrepreneurs. Right now in crypto land as institutional investment flows steadily in and decentralized finance (DeFi) use cases and products have continued to flourish over the past 18 months, many crypto companies are begging for further regulatory clarity.

The original Australian Senate Select Committee on FinTech and RegTech, chaired by Senator Andrew Bragg, was established in 2019 to strengthen the regulatory environment for fintechs and regtechs in Australia. It would quickly become known as the Bragg Inquiry and is now largely focused on crypto. Generally not regarded for its regulatory progress, Australia’s quick pivot to researching and proposing helpful rules for the crypto industry has surprised many.

Judging by the report’s heavy quoting of stakeholders, the Australian government’s October 2021 Senate inquiry final report into digital assets has attempted to truly listen to the vast concerns and aspirations of the bustling Australian crypto industry, with almost 18% of Australia’s population owning crypto. The inquiry released its final report after six months of hearings and submissions on the topic. This timely report has received widespread industry applause.

Generating a response

Notable recommendations include proposals for tax reform and a possible new corporate entity to be able to register decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) in Australia. The recommendations present an opportunity to attract jobs, investment and innovation to Australia and to retain talent.

The outcome is perhaps not surprising, given that Bragg is making his mark as a “Crypto Bro.” He participated in a July “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit and met with crypto stakeholders. He conducted another in September, where he proclaimed:

“I am very keen on the democratic mandate of crypto — I think it has created an asset class that anyone can access.”

He seems to understand the space well, as the final report suggests Australia create DAOs as a new legal corporate vehicle. An acknowledgment that is trying not to subsume these new technologies into existing legal frameworks is contrary to Australia’s common law legal system built on precedent and legislation. On Reddit, Bragg had tipped his hat to progressive legislation in the United States state of Wyoming: “The point here is regulatory arbitrage. We want the innovation to be legitimised through a non-stifling regulatory approach. Do you think the Wyoming DAOs are a good idea?”

So, has crypto gotten too big for the government to ignore? The report suggests the committee, composed of six members from the major political parties and an independent senator, and not just Bragg, is willing to explore new ideas and genuinely support Australia’s place as a home for crypto innovation.

The summation of the report is that Australia might legislate an encouraging regulatory regime for ambitious concepts such as DAOs and that crypto custodial services can now be conducted in Australia. Does this provide an example for less crypto-friendly countries to follow? After all, Australia has been long known for dangerous wildlife and, rarely if ever, for innovative regulation.

It could be argued that with this move, Australia is looking to position itself as a location with favorable laws, hoping to attract more business. “Jurisdictions that provide competitive policy for decentralized technology will attract talent and investment in this space,” noted Kelsie Nabben, a Blockchain Australia board member and Cointelegraph contributor. Wyoming made DAOs a corporate entity a year ago and is now celebrated in crypto circles globally.

The industry welcomed the report but there are concerns that few in the government understand the industry well enough to adequately debate and pass the legislation. Chloe White, CEO of Genesis Block, is well known in crypto circles, having been the Australian government’s former “ambassador for blockchain.” She told Cointelegraph that the government will need to ramp up its efforts in order to follow through on execution:

“The reforms proposed by the Senate mark a turning point. However, the government will struggle to meet the Senate’s ambitious deadline — of 12 months to legislation — if it does not liaise closely with industry experts to earn a more thorough understanding of digital assets.”

The final report — if implemented — would offer much regulatory clarity for the crypto industry. Here are some of the key recommendations that were included:

DAOs a company law vehicle

Investor Telegram groups have paid considerable attention to the Australian inquiry. Notably, investors are greatly excited by the recommendation for the government to establish a new DAO company structure into corporate law. Legal personality for DAOs and limited liability for members would open the floodgates of innovation.

This Senate’s final report itself noted: “Legal liability for members (i.e. token holders) for these organisations is currently unclear, and this regulatory uncertainty is preventing the establishment of projects of significant scale in Australia.” In other words, institutional investment could now flow to major DAO-based projects.

“This is a big one. If legislated, these will be the most significant reform to corporate law in two decades,” RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub researcher Aaron Lane noted in a press release, adding: “Providing DAO members with the option of a limited liability company structure will encourage talent and investment in Australia.”

Stop de-banking of crypto exchanges

The committee first recommended establishing a new market licensing regime for crypto exchanges since the major Australian banks have long been accused by Australian regulators and the Senate Inquiry of the anti-competitive removal of remittance payments for crypto exchanges or “de-banking,” despite being registered with the financial services watchdog Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, or AUSTRAC. Large centralized crypto exchanges such as Independent Reserve supported the idea in their Senate submissions to the inquiry.

Further, the proposal recommended establishing “bespoke” custody or depository regime for crypto assets. Crypto asset custody under the remit of Australian regulators would act as a risk minimizer for local investors and encourage custodial businesses to be set up in Australia.

A “token mapping” exercise aimed at appropriately characterizing different crypto assets and determining if they are considered financial products that require some crypto exchanges to register for an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) is also proposed. This would be welcomed by many, particularly those seeking institutional investment. Australia is also particularly well-known for long established custody rules from a highly professional superannuation industry as a reference point.

One key change is to institute a new recourse for under-banked customers, which would allow customers to appeal to the banks’ decisions. Common access could also be granted to the New Payments Platform, an industry-wide payments platform for Australia, national infrastructure for fast, flexible and data rich payments in Australia controlled by a group of major banks.

This move would reduce the reliance on payments systems on the major banks since the crypto exchange industry in Australia is believed to be built on a house of cards without direct banking. Many crypto exchanges rely on two to three fintechs to bank with the Australian banking system. If those fintechs were de-banked, then the crypto exchange industry is plausibly at risk of collapse in Australia.

Rejecting the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) Travel Rule.

Furthermore, the inquiry rejected the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) “Travel Rule.” FATF is the international body that sets standards for Anti-Money Laundering. The Travel Rule means that in transactions involving virtual assets, ordering institutions must obtain and hold Know Your Customer (KYC) information for both the sender and the receiver. FATF currently has an extremely broad working definition regarding virtual assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs).

The key point is that FATF considers VASPs very broadly when it comes to the purposes of the Travel Rule. Decentralized exchanges (DEXs), certain decentralized application (DApp) owners and operators, crypto escrow services and certain nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are all considered VASPs. This, is of course, unworkable for DeFi projects which are open access to anyone with a crypto wallet and do not require verification.

If crypto exchanges were overregulated under the wide FATF Travel Rule approach, this would likely stop Australia from becoming a hub of DeFi innovation. The Travel Rule is far too expansive in its description of VASPs, making enforcement very difficult for products such as high-frequency automated trading.

While this would hinder experimentation in the crypto industry, it would also send some decentralized exchanges and protocols permanently underground, as they would seek to avoid any compliance. To date, no government seems to want to enforce the Travel Rule. Perhaps everyone is waiting for the U.S. to lead on the issue.

Clearing up the DeFi tax nightmare

The evolution of DeFi has made the tax treatment of cryptocurrencies increasingly problematic for the industry. While Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are currently considered capital gains tax assets and eligible for capital gains tax upon the sale, DeFi’s liquid speed presents a new problem for tax considerations. Examples include minting and staking, along with the tax status of crypto to crypto exchanges, liquidity provider tokens and wrapped coins, which remain unclear for tax purposes.

The Bragg Inquiry recommended that capital gains tax should only be applied “when there is a clearly definable capital gain or loss” when a trade occurs. However, the threshold for triggering taxation has yet to be declared.

Also, a 10% tax discount was proposed for businesses that sourced their own renewable energy to mine cryptocurrencies and could serve as a nice touch to attract talent to Australia.

Mostly positive response?

Many were surprised by the support from Australia’s crypto industry. CEO at BTC Markets, Caroline Bowler, praised the recommendations saying Senator Bragg’s report not only meets our expectations of a proportionate, responsive policy change but also surpasses it in many ways: “For an industry that is moving at such a rapid pace, these pragmatic recommendations are going to give a massive leg up in putting Australia on the global fintech map.”

Tim Lea, a crypto policy activist in Sydney and the CEO of fractional funding platform, Fractonium, told Cointelegraph:

“The report is supremely intensive. If the key recommendations are taken up, it has the potential to position Australia so strongly in the global markets as a jurisdiction with a workable regulatory framework that provides Australian innovators with the clarity, certainty and flexibility to aggressively seize global market share.”

The order of the recommendations is notable and suggests that the government understood which policy levers to pull first.

Fred Pucci, a long time crypto advocate and investor, told Cointelegraph that the report reads “a bit like playing music. It makes artistic choices at every step.” DeFi, which is hard to regulate if at all, was not explicitly mentioned in recommendation one, which concerns the establishment of a market licensing regime for digital currency exchanges.

In recommendation two, custody is advised as important for investor protections but, again, no mention of DeFi or “upstairs markets,” an old term in equity for off-market trades being permitted but less transparent.

Meanwhile, “DAOs are the future and a key part of DeFi and this says that Australia wants to create a legal environment for experimentation in Recommendation 4” states Pucci. It is interesting that DAOs are considered to be ahead of the Anti-Money Laundering reform recommendations. In short, crypto exchanges are supported front-and-center first in the recommendations, but the regulation is not over-reaching. This reflects the policy messaging throughout the 143 page report.

Devil in the details

The report is mostly aspirational for now, but some regulatory patience may play in Australia’s favor. This area could be finalized as these proposed laws settle in the future, giving Australia time to follow other jurisdictions. The token mapping delay is sensible because tokens and assets are hard to define, as every country now knows.

Related: Crypto breaks Wall Street’s ETF barrier: A watershed moment or stopgap?

Senator Bragg said he believed the recommendations struck the right balance between encouraging innovation and protecting consumers, and that he wanted the proposals legislated within 12 months.

He also suggested that his aim was to challenge other crypto-friendly jurisdictions, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. “What we’ve tried to do is not use old hooks for new coats. This is a detailed report with an agenda for Australian leadership in digital assets,” he said:

“We want to be an economy which is dynamic, we don’t want to be captured by the old vested interests of yesteryear.”

Some are still reticent, recalling Australia’s regulatory track record for innovation. “This is an 8.5/10” said Pucci, “but it’s probably not going to get much better than this at the implementation stage. It still has to go through the Treasury and the rest of the political system.”

On Oct. 20, the Australian Senate Committee delivered a groundbreaking report calling for a complete overhaul of crypto legislation and licensing in the country. But, will it achieve its aim of transforming Australia into an international blockchain hub and providing a model for other countries to follow? 

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Bitcoin price consolidation leans toward ‘another leg higher’

On Oct. 22 Bitcoin (BTC) price entered what some traders predict to be a «consolidation phase» as investors lock in profits following a non-stop run-up in price that began on Oct. 1 and saw BTC increase 55% in just three weeks. 

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that a wave of midday selling on Friday dropped the price of Bitcoin from support at $63,300 down to the $60,000 level.

BTC/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

Here’s what market analysts are saying about Bitcoin’s current price action for the short-term.

“Bitcoin could be ready for another leg higher”

The current price action is seen as a welcome development for crypto market intelligence firm Decentrader, which suggested that “Bitcoin is likely to progress higher through Q4 of 2021” thanks in large part to the launch of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) and the Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy fund (BTF).

In response to concerns that the top is in for BTC, Decentrader pointed to the history of new all-time highs and highlighted the fact that “there are zero instances of Bitcoin breaking significant previous all-time highs and failing to continue higher.”

According to the firm’s analysis, the current Bitcoin fractal pattern suggests “that the next major stop higher for Bitcoin would be $72,000 if momentum can be maintained, after which the 1.618 extensions suggests around $88,000 would prove to be a target of interest.»

The spike in derivatives funding seen over the past couple of days has now “reset towards more balanced levels” with open interest remaining in line with the uptrend, which Decentrader suggested helps to reduce the risk of correcting lower.

As to analysts, “A weekend push higher is likely to be met with initial resistance at $65,000, which is the 61.8% retracement from $66,800 and the value area high of the range.”

Decentrader said:

“Price is at a critical pivot point at the time of writing – any corrections towards $50,000 we consider buying opportunities and price appreciation into low funding coupled with increasing open interest suggesting Bitcoin could be ready for another leg higher.”

BTC is on track to trade like gold

One of the popular comparisons being made by financial analysts is how the release of a Bitcoin ETF compares to the release of the first gold ETF.

According to Bloomberg Intelligence, “strong inflows for the new ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF show pent-up demand and quantitative traders targeting arbitrage opportunities, which are likely to narrow spreads and pressure volatility.”

Bitcoin futures vs. Gold futures. Source: Bloomberg Intelligence

Bloomberg Intelligence said:

“We see BTC on track to trade like gold.”

Related: Analysts hold their $250K Bitcoin price target even as BTC falls below $60K

Short term pullback between $56,000 and $59,000

Insight into what may come next for BTC in the short term was provided by Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe, who posted the following chart outlining the lower area of support to keep an eye on for a good re-entry point.

BTC/USD 2-hour chart. Source: Twitter

According to van de Poppe, the $64,000 zone was “a crucial level” for the price to break above, which it failed to do, and “so a corrective move is taking place.”

Poppe said:

“Overall, looking at $56,000 to 59,000 as a good spot to buy.”

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.518 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 45.5%.

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

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NFT studio Mojito completes $20M seed round with help from Sotheby’s

NFT development studio Mojito announced Friday that they have raised $20M in seed funding from a number of investors, including internationally known auction house Sotheby’s.

According to an announcement published in Forbes, Sotheby’s auction house in partnership with Future Perfect Ventures, Creative Artists Agency and NEA’s Connect Ventures, contributed to the round at Mojito’s estimated value of $100 Million.

The Delaware-based start-up indicated that it will use this new injection of capital to grow and develop its engineering teams, make a better version of its current NFT platform, and further develop its NFT trading and investment platforms.

The NFT market has seen its total monthly sales drop from early September, though numbers have held at between $1.8 and $2.1 Billion for the last month according to nonfungible.com. The NFT market’s total monthly sales hit an all-time high of $3.7 Billion on Sept. 4 after a steady rise in late July. $31 million of the current total NFT market sales comes from the sale of art-based assets.

Digital art marketplaces such as OpenSea achieved prominence during this timeas well, reportedly hosting 98 percent of the market’s transactions through August of 2021.

Art dealers and museums have taken notice, and are beginning to follow suit as they follow the money apparent in this new market. Both Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses have had a number of successful NFT auctions in the past year. Christie’s was the first of the two to host a global auction of an NFT.

Mojito previously aided Sotheby’s in the development of its new digital NFT marketplace, known as Metaverse.

Businessman and TV personality Kevin O’Leary, a one-time vocal opponent to cryptocurrency-based investments, recently stated his belief that the NFT market would become bigger than Bitcoin during an interview on the Pomp podcast.

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Altcoin Roundup: Holding Bitcoin? Here’s how to put it to work in DeFi

The long-awaited day finally came on Oct. 19 as the first Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) went live on the New York Stock Exchange, thrusting the crypto asset into the limelight across mainstream news outlets and alternative media alike. 

Despite the fact that the ETF in question will hold no actual Bitcoin and is instead a futures-based instrument, investors and pundits across the ecosystem have largely hailed its launch as proof that Bitcoin has hit the big leagues and will soon surpass the coveted $100,000 price target.

Many investors either don’t have access or will choose not to interact with the newly launched EFT, but holders can still use a variety of strategies to earn a yield on their BTC holdings.

Here’s a look at some strategies BTC holders can use to earn a yield.

DeFi meets BTC in BadgerDAO

BadgerDAO is an open-source protocol built on the Ethereum network that has the specific goal of building products and the required infrastructure needed to simplify the integration of Bitcoin into decentralized finance (DeFi).

Currently, BadgerDAO has the most extensive list of BTC paired pools where investors can provide liquidity.

BadgerDAO Bitcoin yield offerings. Source: BadgerDAO

As seen in the image above from the BadgerDAO dashboard, there are different offerings from the simple staking of Wrapped BTC (wBTC), which can earn a yield ranging from 1.22% to 27.98% depending on the terms of the lockup, to the staking in more complex liquidity provider (LP) strategies like the renBTC/wBTC/sBTC pool, which offers a yield ranging from 7.07% to 45.37%.

It is important to note that there are risks involved with wrapping BTC and RenVM because a user must relinquish control of the original BTC in order to obtain either wBTC or renBTC, violating the crypto code of “not your keys, not your crypto.”

For LP tokens that pair BTC with other cryptocurrencies such as Ether (ETH), BADGER or stablecoins like Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC), holders must also consider the possibility of suffering an impermanent loss if the price of Bitcoin increases by a significant amount compared to the other token it is paired with.

Trader Joe

Trader Joe is the largest decentralized trading platform by total value locked (TVL) on the Avalanche network, according to data from Defi Llama, with $2.18 billion worth of assets currently on the protocol.

Bitcoin-related pools on Trader Joe. Source: Trader Joe

Using wBTC on the Avalanche Network requires another layer of wrapping that produces wBTC.e, which can then be traded on the network or used to provide liquidity.

At the time of writing, Trader Joe is offering a yield on three LP tokens, including a return of 26.223% for the wBTC.e/AVAX pair, 16% for the wBTC.e/USDC.e pair, and 11.9% for the wBTC.e/USDT.e pair. All rewards are paid out in the protocol’s native JOE token.

Raydium

Raydium is the top-ranked DeFi protocol on the Solana network, according to data from Defi Llama, and currently boasts a TVL of $1.77 billion.

Users who wish to use their BTC on Solana have the option of pairing it with USDC, USDT, Serum (SRM) and a wrapped form of Solana known as mSOL.

Bitcoin-related pools on Raydium. Source: Raydium

The yields offered range from 5.16% to a high of 14.27%, with all rewards paid out in the platform’s native RAY token.

PancakeSwap

PancakeSwap is the No. 1 ranked protocol by TVL on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) with data from Defi Llama showing that $5.39 billion worth of tokens is currently locked on the protocol.

In order to utilize Bitcoin on the BSC, it must first be wrapped to become BTCB, which can then transact on the network.

Bitcoin-related pools on PancakeSwap. Source: PancakeSwap

At present, PancakeSwap is offering a 5.44% return for the BTCB/ETH pair, a 15.82% return for the BTCB/BUSD pair (Binance’s stablecoin, Binance USD) and 20.79% for the BTCB/BNB pair. All rewards are paid out in the protocol’s native CAKE token.

Related: Valkyrie Bitcoin futures-linked ETF launches on Nasdaq, with share prices dropping 3% in first hour

Decentralized Bitcoin futures

DYdX is a decentralized perpetual futures trading platform that made waves back in September when it airdropped thousands of dollars worth of its native DYDX governance token to early adopters of the platform.

Similar to the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, trades made on the dYdX protocol do not settle in actual Bitcoin but instead in a USD stablecoin, so BTC stakers may not be too interested in the protocol if directly increasing Bitcoin holdings is the only goal.

However, as opposed to trading a government-regulated futures product that is only available when the traditional markets are open, dYdX offers the decentralized, 24/7 trading environment that the crypto faithful have grown to love.

Want more information about trading and investing in crypto markets?

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

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Price analysis 10/22: BTC, ETH, BNB, ADA, XRP, SOL, DOT, DOGE, LUNA, UNI

Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) have both witnessed aggressive profit-booking after hitting their respective new all-time high. This suggests that traders who had bought on rumors of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund booked profits following the successful launch of the ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO).

The bulls tried to stage a recovery in Bitcoin after the launch of the second BTC futures-linked ETF by digital asset manager Valkyrie on Oct. 22 but met with strong selling pressure at higher levels. The selling has pulled the greed level on the Crypto Fear and Greed Index from 84 on Oct. 21 to 75 on Oct. 22.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

JPMorgan Chase strategists said in a note that BITO was “unlikely to trigger a new phase of significantly more fresh capital entering Bitcoin” and the hype in the product may wane after a week. The strategists pointed out that capital was shifting away from gold ETFs into Bitcoin funds since September and that “supports a bullish outlook for Bitcoin into year-end.”

Could Bitcoin and Ether witness a deep correction and what are the critical support levels to watch out for? Let’s study the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to find out.

BTC/USDT

Bitcoin made a new all-time high at $67,000 on Oct. 20 but the bulls could not sustain the breakout as bears pulled the price back below the breakout level at $64,854 on Oct. 21. This suggests that sellers are attempting to trap the aggressive bulls.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bears tried to start a recovery today but the long wick on the day’s candlestick shows that traders are selling on minor rallies. The strong support to watch on the downside is the 20-day exponential moving average ($57,778).

If the price rebounds off this support, it will suggest that sentiment remains positive and traders are buying on dips. That will increase the possibility of a break above the overhead resistance zone between $64,854 and $67,000. The pair could then rally to $75,000.

On the other hand, if the price breaks below the 20-day EMA, the selling may accelerate and the BTC/USDT pair could drop to the 50-day simple moving average ($50,496).

ETH/USDT

Ether broke and closed above the overhead resistance at $4,027.88 on Oct. 20. That was followed by another sharp up-move on Oct. 21 which pushed the price to $4,375, just above the previous all-time high at $4,372.72.

ETH/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

However, the long wick and the negative close on Oct. 21 show that traders may have sold aggressively near the all-time high. The bears are attempting to sustain the price below the breakout level at $4,027.88.

The upsloping 20-day EMA ($3,712) and the relative strength index (RSI) in the positive zone suggest that bulls remain in command. If the price bounces off the current level, the bulls will make one more attempt to thrust the ETH/USDT pair to a new all-time high.

A break and close below the neckline of the inverse head and shoulders (H&S) pattern could signal the possible start of a deeper correction to $3,200.

BNB/USDT

Binance Coin (BNB) turned down from $505.90, which shows that bears are defending the overhead resistance at $518.90. The altcoin could not drop to the 20-day EMA ($455), which is expected to act as a strong support.

BNB/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the price bounces off the 20-day EMA, the BNB/USDT pair could make one more attempt to clear the overhead hurdle at $518.90. If they manage to do that, the pair could rally toward the pattern target at $554.

The rising 20-day EMA and the RSI in the positive zone indicate that bulls have the upper hand. This advantage could shift in favor of the bears if the price turns down and slips below the moving averages. The selling could intensify further on a break below $392.20.

ADA/USDT

Cardano (ADA) broke above the 20-day EMA ($2.18) on Oct. 21 but the bulls could not push the price above the resistance line of the symmetrical triangle pattern. This indicates that bears are vigorously defending this level.

ADA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The sellers are currently trying to sink the price below the support line of the triangle. If they succeed, it will suggest that the equilibrium between the bulls and the bears has resolved to the downside.

The ADA/USDT pair could then slide to the strong support at $1.87. A break and close below this level could result in panic selling. The break and close above the triangle will be the first indication that bulls are back in the game. The pair may then rally to $2.47 and pick up momentum above this resistance.

XRP/USDT

XRP returned from the downtrend line on Oct. 21, indicating that bears are defending this level aggressively. On the downside, the bulls are attempting to sustain the price above the moving averages.

XRP/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the price rebounds off the current level, the bulls will again try to push the XRP/USDT pair above the downtrend line. If they manage to do that, the pair could rally to $1.41. A break and close above this resistance could push the price to $1.66.

The flat moving averages and the RSI near the midpoint suggest the pair may remain range-bound for a few days. A break and close below $1 will clear the path for a possible drop to the strong support at $0.85.

SOL/USDT

Solana (SOL) broke and closed above the overhead resistance zone between $171.47 and $177.79 on Oct. 21. This completed a bullish ascending triangle pattern, which has a target objective at $226.94.

SOL/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bears may pose a stiff challenge at the current all-time high at $216 but the strong momentum of the past three days shows that bulls are aggressively buying at higher levels. A break and close above $216 will signal the resumption of the uptrend.

Conversely, if the SOL/USDT pair turns down from $216, a retest of $177.79 is possible. If the price rebounds off this level, it will indicate that bulls continue to buy on dips. The bulls will then again try to resume the uptrend.

A break and close below $171.47 will signal that the bullish momentum has possibly weakened.

DOT/USDT

Polkadot (DOT) broke above the immediate resistance at $44.78 on Oct. 20, indicating the possible resumption of the up-move. The bears tried to trap the aggressive bulls by pulling the price toward the breakout level at $39.02 on Oct. 21 but buyers had other plans.

DOT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The upsloping 20-day EMA ($38.88) and the RSI near the overbought zone suggest that bulls have the upper hand. If buyers sustain the price above $45, the DOT/USDT pair could retest the all-time high at $49.78.

This level may act as a stiff hurdle but if bulls do not give up much ground, the pair could extend the up-move to $53.90. The bears will have to pull the price below the breakout level at $38.77 to turn the advantage in their favor. The pair could then decline to the 50-day SMA ($34.07).

Related: PayPal logs its largest Bitcoin volume since May BTC price crash

DOGE/USDT

Dogecoin (DOGE) continues to face stiff resistance at the downtrend line, indicating that bears are defending this level aggressively. A minor positive is that bulls have not allowed the price to break and sustain below the 20-day EMA ($0.23).

DOGE/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If bulls fail to push and sustain the price above the downtrend line, the likelihood of a break below the 20-day EMA will increase. That could pull the price to the strong support zone at $0.21 to $0.19. The bulls are expected to defend this zone vigorously.

A strong rebound off this support zone will point to a possible range-bound action between $0.19 and $0.27 for a few days. The trend will tilt in favor of the bulls if the DOGE/USDT pair rises and closes above $0.27. The pair could thereafter rise to $0.32 and then to $0.35.

LUNA/USDT

Terra protocol’s LUNA token rallied close to the overhead resistance at $45.01 on Oct. 20 where bears attempted to stall the up-move. The price turned down from the overhead resistance but the bulls defended the breakout level at $39.75 on Oct. 21. This shows that the sentiment has turned positive and traders are buying on dips.

LUNA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If bulls thrust and sustain the price above $45.01, the LUNA/USDT pair could retest the all-time high at $49.54. This level may again act as an obstacle but if bulls arrest the next decline above $45.01, the prospects of a new all-time high increase. The pair could then rally to $60.57.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the current level or the overhead resistance and breaks below the 20-day EMA ($39.18), the decline could extend to $34.86. The selling could intensify below $32.50.

UNI/USDT

Uniswap (UNI) broke and closed above the neckline of the inverse H&S pattern on Oct. 20 but the bulls could not build on this advantage. The bears pulled the price back below the neckline on Oct. 21.

UNI/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

However, a minor positive is that bulls did not allow the price to slip below the 20-day EMA ($25.46). This shows that buyers are accumulating on every minor dip. If bulls drive the price above $28, the UNI/USDT pair could jump to $31.41.

This level may again act as a stiff resistance but if bulls overcome this barrier, the pair could rally to the pattern target at $36.98. Conversely, a break below the moving averages could pull the price down to the strong support at $22. The short-term trend will turn negative if this support is breached.

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

Market data is provided by HitBTC exchange.

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Reddit may be preparing to launch its own NFT platform

Social media platform Reddit appears to be hiring workers to support the design, build, and maintenance of a nonfungible token platform.

According to a Greenhouse job posting, Reddit is looking for a senior backend engineer for a platform responsible for “millions of users to create, buy, sell and use NFT-backed digital goods.” The position requires at least five years of experience in backend development as well as the ability “to design and implement complex distributed systems operating under high load.”

“If there is one thing we’ve noticed with NFTs, they too have an incredible power to create a sense of participation and belonging,” said the job posting.

“With every new NFT project, a vibrant community of owners pops up with it. Fans of today’s biggest creators and brands are now flocking to buy digital goods directly from them — to support them, to gain exclusive access, and to feel a greater sense of connection with them. Over time, we believe this will only grow, and NFTs will play a central role in how fans support their favorite creators and communities.”

Reddit has acted as a medium bringing together crypto users for years, with the platform’s subreddits largely responsible for pumping prices of tokens including Dogecoin (DOGE). Users can also earn the platform’s Community Points — digital currency-like tokens in the form of Moons or Bricks — by posting certain content to earn rewards.

Related: Twitter and TikTok embrace NFTs: Mainstream adoption incoming?

While some crypto exchanges have been slowly launching their own NFT marketplaces, social media platforms have also been working to support the technology, if not create a competitor to OpenSea. Social media giant Facebook hinted its Novi wallet would likely support NFTs, and Twitter revealed in September it was working towards allowing users to display an NFT as their profile picture.

“The NFT movement has only just begun,” said Reddit.

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Altcoins breakout even as Bitcoin price falls to $60,000

Today Bitcoin price and Ether (ETH) price pulled back to lower support levels after an exciting week that saw BTC soar to a new all-time high after the successful launch of two exchange-traded funds. 

While much of the focus has been on BTC and Ether, multiple altcoins have racked up notable gains on as some traders appear be preparing for a possible altseason run.

Top 7 coins with the highest 24-hour price change. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the biggest gainers over the past 24-hours were THORChain (RUNE), Moonriver (MOVR) and OKB (OKB).

THORChain resumes trading on the Ethereum network

THORChain is a decentralized liquidity protocol that offers cross-chain asses to different blockchain networks and lets users retain full custody of their assets while transacting between networks.

According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, market conditions for RUNE have been favorable for some time.

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. RUNE price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for RUNE has been elevated in the green zone for the majority of the past week and reached a high of 74 on Oct. 18, around 19 hours before its price increased 60% over the next two days.

The renewed momentum for RUNE comes following the resumption of trading on the Ethereum network, which had been halted since the protocol suffered an $8 million hack back in July of 2021.

Moonriver expands its ecosystem

Moonriver is one of the newly launched Kusama parachain protocols that is an Ethereum-compatible smart-contract platform that provides a permanently incentivized canary network.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView show that after hitting a low of $234 on Oct. 19, the price of MOVR has surged 75% to an intraday high at $410 on Oct. 22 as its 24-hour trading volume climbed above $59 million.

MOVR/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The rally seen in the price of MOVR comes as the project has established new partnerships across the cryptocurrency ecosystem, including a collaboration with The Graph protocol and an integration with SushiSwap.

Related: Valkyrie Bitcoin futures-linked ETF launches on Nasdaq, with share prices dropping 3% in first hour

OKEx launches a meme-coin campaign

OKB is the native token of the Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange OKEx and it functions as the utility token for the OKEx ecosystem.

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

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

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for OKB began to rise into the green on Oct. 21 and reached a high of 76, around nine hours before its price increased 25% over the next day.

According to the NewsQuakes™ service from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, the rally in OKB came after the exchange enabled one-click staking for USD Coin (USDC) which offers a return of 20% as well as the launch of a meme-coin campaign where users can compete to have their favorite meme coins listed on the exchange.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.51 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 45.5%.

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

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Analysts hold their $250K Bitcoin price target even as BTC falls below $60K

Bitcoin (BTC) briefly fell below $60,000 on Oct. 22 as a correction after all-time highs deepened concerns about the market’s strength.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Trader eyes $56,000 minimum BTC buy-in

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD hitting lows of $59,930 on Bitstamp, down another 6% on the day.

A rebound took the pair back above the $60,000 mark, but caution remained the name of the game as the week 

«Was watching that $64K zone as a crucial level to break and the market has failed, so a corrective move is taking place,» Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe summarized about the situation.

«Overall; looking at $56-59K as a good spot to buy Bitcoin.»

The previous all-time high at $64,900 turned out to provide little by way of new support, instead becoming more of a repeat resistance zone as bulls had little luck securing their newly-won gains.

Optimism, as is customary, came only from those adopting a longer-term perspective. Among them was popular Twitter analyst TechDev, who stressed that 2021 was still conforming to historical bull market trends.

«Final BTC impulse has ALWAYS been 5 degrees steeper than the run-up to the mid-cycle peak,» he noted alongside a comparative chart.

«Holding true so far. If it continues, and the 228K-250K window is hit (2 most historically reliable fib-based targets)… It would happen end of Jan. Will be interesting to watch.»

BTC/USD annotated chart. Source: TechDev/ Twitter

Ethereum tests traders’ resolve

Bitcoin thus relinquished the limelight to altcoins on shorter timeframes, the top twenty cryptocurrencies by market cap being led by Solana (SOL), up 13% in 24 hours.

Related: Bulls fight to keep Ethereum price above $4K ahead of Friday’s $435M options expiry

Ether (ETH), fresh from a failed attempt to crack new all-time highs, dropped below $4,000 after a brief rebound.

ETH/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Bitcoin’s market cap share stood at 45.7%, reflecting the relative strength of alt markets toward the weekend.

The October «worst case scenario,» as Cointelegraph previously reported, meanwhile demands a $63,000 monthly close for BTC/USD.

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Polygon pays $2M bounty on bug which could have compromised $850M in user funds

White hat hacker Gerhard Wagner has earned $2 million after reporting a solution to a potentially costly “double-spend” bug on the Polygon network.

In an Oct. 21 blog post from Immunefi, a security service that helps facilitate bug reports in decentralized finance projects, Polygon network’s Plasma Bridge was at risk of having $850 million removed by a knowledgeable hacker. According to the project, the vulnerability would have allowed attackers to exit their burn transaction from the bridge up to 223 times, quickly turning an amount like $4,500 into $1 million profi.

Immunefi reported the double-spend exploit worked by first depositing Ether (ETH) through the Plasma Bridge and starting the withdrawal process after the transaction was confirmed. A hacker could then wait a week and resubmit the same withdrawals with the exception of «a modified first byte of the branch mask.» Provided the hacker was able to begin with $3.8 million, they could have potentially depleted all $850 funds from the bridge’s deposit manager at the time.

Polygon agreed to pay its maximum amount for a bug bounty report — $2 million — following Wagner’s initial report on Oct. 5. According to the platform, the bug has already been deployed on the mainnet after testing, Wagner has received the funds, claimed to be “the highest bounty ever paid out in history,” and no user funds were lost with the exploit.

Wagner speculated on his Medium page that the bug might be due to “using someone else’s code and not having a 100% understanding of what it does.” He added the solution was “not very elegant” but did fix the double-spend exploit.

Related: White hat hacker paid DeFi’s largest reported bounty fee

Before this latest $2 million payout, the largest bounty for a white hat hacker had gone towards programmer Alexander Schlindwein, who in September discovered a vulnerability in Belt Finance’s protocol and was awarded $1.05 million. However, the U.S. Department of State may topple that record if a hacker is able pass on information on terrorist suspects, extremists and state-sponsored hackers — the government said it would be offering rewards of up to $10 million.

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Hilbert Group forms COIN360 JV with Cointelegraph and Chiron Partners

Sweden-based Hilbert Group AB, United States-based Cointelegraph and Asia-based investment group Chiron Partners will join forces to launch a new business of COIN360. Under this joint leadership, COIN360 will expand its product suite to become a full-service market data provider covering the full spectrum of digital assets — including decentralized finance (DeFi), nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and security token offerings — for both institutional and retail traders.

Under the new arrangement, COIN360, the crypto market data provider with 4 million monthly visits known for its iconic heatmap, will become a joint venture of the three parties.

Hilbert Group AB, which will list on Nasdaq First North on Oct. 27, is now the majority owner of COIN360, with 60% of the shares.

“Given the large volume of monthly visitors, COIN360.com has the potential for significant revenue, not least from advertisements and SaaS,” said Niclas Sandström, co-founder and CEO of Hilbert Group. “From this basis, the aim is to develop COIN360 into the world’s leading website for potential investors in cryptocurrencies.”

The investment in COIN360 will enable Hilbert Group — which employs a highly data-driven, mathematical approach to cryptocurrency trading — to rapidly build up another business area: the sale of information and data in the crypto field.

Sandström added: “In the crypto segment, Hilbert Group is aiming to build up an offering similar to the one currently provided by Bloomberg in the traditional asset classes. We believe that we can establish profitable sales of data and analysis services relatively quickly. Those who want to achieve long-term success in cryptocurrency trading must have access to reliable data and quality analyses. We believe that such a sufficiently high-quality service is currently lacking, but we plan on filling this gap in the market.”

Sean Hung, CEO of Chiron Partners, said: “We are delighted to partner with Hilbert Group to further grow COIN360. With the partnership, we aim to build a professional, trusted and reliable market data service offering for all digital asset players. Combining both Hilbert Group’s and our expertise and network, we believe it will definitely accelerate the growth of COIN360 to become one of the most trusted digital asset data providers.”

Jay Cassano, CEO of Cointelegraph, said: “COIN360’s heatmap is one of the most iconic fixtures on every crypto trader’s desk. From a brand perspective, this is a natural partnership for Cointelegraph, with our similarly recognizable and beloved art style. I look forward to helping develop COIN360’s data offerings so that we can best inform our readers.”

About COIN360

COIN360 is a cryptocurrency and crypto exchange live data aggregator. COIN360 delivers vital market data in a visually engaging manner. Whether you are a professional or novice trader, media outlet, or just crypto curious, COIN360 offers indispensable tools to stay updated on the latest cryptocurrency market movements.

Hilbert Group is a crypto investment and data analysis firm. Hilbert Group was founded in late 2018 by PhDs in theoretical physics as well as investment banking and hedge fund professionals. The firm is involved in four verticals: asset management, proprietary trading, venture capital investing, and data and analytics. Hilbert Group applies rigorous risk management, quantitative analysis and algorithmic methods to the fast-growing crypto space. With proprietary volatility-harvesting trading strategies, Hilbert Group thrives in the highly volatile environment offered by the crypto market.

Chiron Partners is a leading Asian investment group that focuses on high-growth investment opportunities globally, with expertise in blockchain and late-stage technology companies. In addition to capital, the group strives to support its portfolio companies with its network of talent, investors and marketing resources in order to drive growth and returns.

Cointelegraph is the world’s largest independent digital media outlet covering a wide range of news on blockchain technology, crypto assets and emerging technological trends. Since 2013, Cointelegraph has delivered the most accurate, up-to-date news from both the decentralized and centralized worlds.

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Crypto platform Rally commits $12M to third-party developers

Crypto-social platform Rally has earmarked $12 million for external developers to improve the functionality of the ecosystem, potentially setting the stage for new innovations that would benefit creators. 

The grants program will be distributed through RLY tokens, the native cryptocurrency of the Rally ecosystem, the company announced Friday. A community-elected developer council controls $5 million worth of RLY, giving it considerable sway over which types of bounties and rewards get distributed.

Prior to establishing the new program, Rally awarded third-party developer grants to Bonfire, MintGate and David Young, the creator of the PLAY coin, which is built on Rally.

Rally enables creators and artists to launch their own cryptocurrency and establish independent communities directly on the platform. When asked about what types of third-party development work the company would like to support, Rally vice president Stephanie Pereira said, “we are focused on what would benefit creators the most right now.” The first three recipients have added value in numerous ways, such as developing an airdrop protocol, integrating social tokens into web-based games and developing customized widgets.

Pereira singled out social tokens and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as two areas requiring more development work in the future. She explained:

“Social tokens and NFTs are still relatively in their infancy stage, but as more creators lean in and experiment, we’re seeing the need for countless new products and eager to partner with more developers.”

Related: Crypto social governance will lead to online freedom

The NFT market has exploded in popularity over the past year, becoming one of blockchain’s most popular use cases. NFT sales reached a whopping $10.7 billion in the third quarter, shattering all previous records, according to data from DappRadar.

Activity around social tokens is also on the rise. As Cointelegraph recently reported, social token infrastructure provider Roll recently concluded a $10 million Series A investment round with backing from IOSG Ventures, Huobi Ventures and others.

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Crypto breaks Wall Street’s ETF barrier: A watershed moment or stopgap?

But others, like Arca CEO Rayne Steinberg, had “mixed feelings” about the events. While pleased that a much-awaited crypto investment vehicle finally received regulatory approval — ending eight years of futility on the part of U.S. fund issuers — he had some misgivings about the product that finally met the approval of the SEC, specifically the fact that it was futures-based and didn’t track the price of Bitcoin (BTC) directly.

“We do not think a futures ETF is a good way to get Bitcoin exposure,” he said in a blog, adding, “Futures based ETFs work for short term trading, but have massive tracking error issues over long periods, which is what most investors are looking for when it comes to Bitcoin exposure.”

Markus Hammer, an attorney and principal at Hammer Execution consulting firm, agreed with some others that the event was a milestone yet cautioned, “It is only one milestone with quite a journey ahead,” further informing Cointelegraph, “As an investor, if you want to go long in crypto — and many do — you prefer a fund that tracks ‘physical’ Bitcoin and not a derivative of it.”

The ProShares ETF is a bet on BTC’s future price movements. That is, “the product ultimately deviates from the BTC price itself, next to the fact that ProShares as the issuer is just another intermediary and thus counterparty risk to the investor.”

Futures-based vs. physical ETF — Does it matter?

Many institutional investors will probably wait for a physical Bitcoin ETF — tied to the spot market, not the derivatives market — that tracks the actual price of the cryptocurrency, Campbell Harvey, professor of international business at Duke University, told Cointelegraph. The BTC futures market is relatively small, he explained, “and the buying pressure in the futures will lead to a negative ‘roll return,’” meaning that:

“You are paying a premium to buy the futures each time you ‘roll over’ to the next contract. It is far more direct to buy the physical, but the SEC has given no indication they are willing to allow that.”

In an interview with CNBC shortly after the Oct. 19 launch, SEC Chair Gary Gensler suggested why the agency had permitted only this indirect path to the crypto space: “What you have here is a product that’s been overseen for four years by a U.S. federal regulator, the CFTC, and that has been wrapped in something that is within our jurisdiction [i.e., the SEC] by the Investment Company Act of 1940, so we have some ability to bring it inside of investor protection.”

In other words, the new product will have two layers of regulatory protection — the CFTC and the SEC — against potential hackers, manipulators and fraudsters.

Whatever its pedigree, the ProShares fund obviously resonated with investors — by the end of its second day of trading, it had reached $1 billion in assets under management, the earliest any ETF has reached that mark.

“This is the first American ETF that is designed to track Bitcoin, and that certainly means something,” Jeff Dorman, chief investment officer of Arca, told Cointelegraph, “but it definitely isn’t the product that the market wanted nor is it one that financial advisors feel comfortable selling, so it will likely lead to less adoption than a physical-backed ETF would have.”

Some, including Harvey, saw significance in the fact that Invesco, a leading ETF provider, announced on Monday that it was abandoning its bid to issue a BTC futures ETF — at least for the time being — and focus instead on “pursuing a physically backed, digital asset ETF,” an Invesco spokesperson told Bloomberg.

Will pension funds rush in?

Asked about pension funds, a cautious but huge subgroup within the institutional investor firmament, Dorman told Cointelegraph, “Pension funds have been doing their due diligence for years” with regard to crypto, but it is unlikely that a Bitcoin futures ETF “moves the needle” much with this investor class. “But if the ETF leads to larger market caps and increased liquidity, then the sheer growth in size of the market will make it easier for pensions to invest comfortably.”

“ProShares’ Bitcoin Futures ETF surely raises the profile of Bitcoin in the institutional investment community,” Ben Caselin, head of research and strategy at cryptocurrency exchange AAX, told Cointelegraph, and it might make it easier for pension funds to gain crypto exposure. “However, there would have to be a wider variety of different Bitcoin ETFs, including physically backed for larger players to enter the market on the back of an ETF,” said Caselin.

Related: Crypto and pension funds: Like oil and water, or maybe not?

Nigel Green, CEO of financial solutions company deVere Group, said in an emailed statement to subscribers that the ProShares futures-based ETF would “inevitably bring in a growing number and broader range of active market participants, including those using pension funds, and retirement and brokerage accounts,” but Dorman, for his part, stated that “ETFs aren’t really designed for institutional investors — it is more of a retail product.”

Any institutional investors that want exposure to Bitcoin would already have different ways to get this exposure, Dorman explained, “so this won’t change much. I do believe we’ll see more institutional adoption of all digital assets, but it’s likely that institutional adoption of Bitcoin will be less than that of other digital assets that can be more easily understood and valued. We’re already seeing new onramps gain traction — NFTs, gaming, DeFi.”

Will it attract individual users?

What about retail investors — will a futures-based Bitcoin ETF be attractive, or is it too technical?

“There are plenty of retail stock traders using trading apps who are not comfortable buying Bitcoin on the spot market, let alone withdrawing such funds into a private wallet,” Caselin said, adding, “In some jurisdictions, retail traders may not be allowed to trade on centralized crypto exchanges. ETFs open up new avenues to gain exposure to Bitcoin’s price action.”

On the other hand, the ProShares ETF’s “separately priced, complex underlying derivatives” might arguably add “an additional layer of complexity for those who have been wanting to easily and safely buy Bitcoin,” John Iadeluca, CEO of Banz Capital, told Cointelegraph, while Harvey added that “retail investors can easily get exposure to crypto by using existing brokers like Coinbase or Robinhood. They can bypass the ETF and avoid the futures.”

Still, “An ETF is a traditional financial product that can be publicly traded on the exchange like a stock,” noted Hammer. “This will certainly make it somewhat appealing to an unsophisticated retail customer to participate in crypto via their existing trading account and the familiar (centralized) banking system.” They don’t have to deal with hot/cold storage decisions, crypto exchanges, fraud, taxation issues, and the like. “Convenience does the magic here.”

Is an Ether ETF in the cards?

Bitcoin is not the only star in the crypto galaxy, of course. In fact, its dominance has been ebbing some over the past year, and there is even talk about an eventual BTC-ETH “flippening” in which Ether (ETH) surpasses Bitcoin in total market value. It bears asking: How far away is an SEC-approved Ether ETF?

“Given that Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world, the possibility for an Ethereum ETF is high,” Jay Hao, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange OKEx, told Cointelegraph, “but it still needs time to mature.”

“Ethereum has a track record of following Bitcoin in terms of price action and attention,” said Caselin. “However, unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum would not be suitable as legal tender. Also, Ethereum is still in its experimental phase, and while the project has done exceptionally well, there are still questions around what the transition to proof-of-stake [consensus protocol] will look like.” For now:

“Ethereum is more about the platform than it is about the asset. I don’t see an Ethereum ETF on the horizon anytime soon until the space has matured more.”

Iadeluca disagrees. “I think the approval of an Ethereum futures ETF is much more likely now” particularly since Ethereum-based investment products have closely followed the institutional product developments of Bitcoin within the mainstream markets. “However, this may take some time.”

A critical turning point?

All in all, where do the week’s events figure on the crypto historical-significance scale? Was this, indeed, a “watershed” moment where everything changed?

“This is no doubt a significant milestone for the continuous development of the crypto industry,” Hao told Cointelegraph. More attention and participation from institutional investors can only help mainstream acceptance. “As the adoption rate of Bitcoin and crypto grows, the industry will continue to flourish.”

Harvey, however, warned about succumbing to hype. “Overall, the entire space is held back by the regulatory uncertainty, and additional guidance is necessary,” he told Cointelegraph, while Hammer added that “what the market is looking for is a physical ETF rather than a crypto futures ETF.” He also agreed the market still lacks regulatory clarity:

“As long as no uniform crypto taxonomy is defined, the responsibilities between the supervisory authorities are not clearly assigned, and there is no legislative framework that regulates crypto in general, and especially DeFi and stablecoins, then nothing is gained.”

ProShares’ breaking of the ETF barrier remains a “bittersweet” moment for Dorman. On one hand, it’s “great to see another milestone achieved,” but it’s also disappointing because “it is yet another flawed product with high fees and significant tracking error that trades exclusively on a handpicked exchange by the SEC.”

By the same token, one doesn’t want to lose sight of the forest because of the trees. This week’s events could arguably be viewed as a sort of test — “to see if mainstream investors are ready to include cryptocurrencies in their portfolios alongside other assets such as stocks and bonds,” said Green. “And it appears, judging by the reaction, that they are.”

A lot of excitement radiated out of New York this week with the launch of the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) sanctioned by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) had a stunning debut on the New York Stock Exchange as the second-most heavily traded opening-day fund on record, with some calling it “a watershed moment for the crypto industry.” 

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Valkyrie Bitcoin futures-linked ETF launches on Nasdaq, with share prices dropping 3% in first hour

The second Bitcoin (BTC) futures-linked exchange-traded fund in the United States began trading on the Nasdaq, opening at a price of $25.52 per share.

According to the Nasdaq, digital asset manager Valkyrie’s Bitcoin Strategy ETF, the second exchange-traded fund allowing U.S. investors direct exposure to cryptocurrency futures, opened at a price of $25.52 per share of BTF before dropping 3.3% to reach $24.66 at the time of publication. The exchange-traded fund is aimed at tracking the value of BTC futures listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, or CME.

«This Bitcoin Strategy ETF is a major leap forward for this asset class,» said Valkyrie CEO Leah Wald. «It enables investors to participate in the digital asset markets through a regulated, transparent product that trades on a trusted, reliable exchange and can be bought and sold as easily as any other investment currently available.»

The crypto fund on a major stock exchange is the second to launch this week following ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF opening for trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 19. In less than a week, the fund has reached more than $1 billion in assets under management in addition to approaching the limit on the number of futures contracts allowed under the CME.

The Securities and Exchange Commission first accepted the registration request for Valkyrie’s ETF on Oct. 15 shortly after doing the same for shares of ProShares’. The regulatory body still has several crypto ETF applications under consideration, and has only approved ones with exposure linked to BTC futures.

Related: Cointelegraph Consulting: ETFs listed — What’s next for Bitcoin?

According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, the price of Bitcoin rose above $63,000 for the first time in months following shares of ProShares’ ETF opening for trading on Oct. 19, later reaching an all-time high price approaching $67,000. Today, the price dipped more than 3% following markets opening, dropping from $63,449 to as low as $61,437.

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PayPal logs its largest Bitcoin volume since May BTC price crash

Bitcoin (BTC) trading volumes on global payment service provider PayPal reached $145.60 million on Wednesday, just as the benchmark crypto rallied toward its record high near $67,000.

The latest spike in volumes came out to be the highest since the May 19 Bitcoin price crash from around $43,500 to as low as $30,000. On the day, some $304 million worth of BTCs changed hands, almost double the volumes logged on Wednesday.

Bitcoin PayPal volumes. Source: ByBt.com

Nonetheless, in both instances, it was unclear if the volumes were due to the increase in purchasing during the Bitcoin price rally or because of selloffs near the newly-achieved highs. Whatever may be the reason, the PayPal readings reflected a rise in retail activity this Wednesday, further attested by a spike in internet queries for the keyword “Bitcoin.”

Bitcoin interest on internet peaked on Wednesday. Source: Google Trends

Retail boom?

Notably, PayPal allows users to start investing in Bitcoin by putting as little as $1. As a result, the payment service firm has emerged as a viable platform for retail investors, a move seen by the industry as a cue for wider crypto adoption.

Interestingly, since PayPal’s push into the crypto sector, the sum count of unique addresses holding at least one dollar worth of BTC has surged from 26.83 million on Nov. 20, 2020, to 33.89 million at press time. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the count was 34.12 million, an all-time high.

BTC addresses with balance greater than $1. Source: CoinMetrics, Messari 

Alexander Vasiliev, co-founder/CCO of crypto payment service Mercuryo, saw PayPal’s foray into the crypto industry as a sign of retail boom. He expected Bitcoin to end the fourth and final quarter of 2021 in profits as everyday traders look for safety nets against a persistently rising inflation.

Related: Bitcoin extends correction as Ethereum sees ‘picture perfect rejection’ at all-time highs

«The increased buying pressure from PayPal users and its corresponding impact on the price of Bitcoin may stir a notable up-shoot this fourth quarter and as the year runs to an end,» Vasiliev told Cointelegraph, adding:

«The company has millions of customers and a massive buy-up of BTC can effectively push Bitcoin to new highs […] With the ATH at $67k, we may see a worse case price hit of $80,000 by year-end and a best-case scenario of $100,000.»

PayPal has around 392 million active users worldwide, but its crypto services are available only in the U.S. and the U.K. Meanwhile, the company is also eyeing an entry into the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector, signaling expansion outside the Bitcoin sector.

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

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New proposal aims to raise Binance Coin value by burning BSC fees

Amid the ongoing rally of Binance’s native token, Binance Coin (BNB), the developers of Binance Smart Chain (BSC) have proposed more measures to maintain the token’s deflationary model and improve its intrinsic value.

According to a new Binance Evolution Protocol, BEP-95, BSC developers are considering introducing a real-time burning mechanism for a portion of gas fees to reduce BNB supply and drive BNB value higher by increasing the demand. According to the BEP, BNB holders will decide how to dispatch the BSC gas reward.

Releasing the proposal on Friday, BSC developers noted that the new BEP might decrease the total amount of BNB that validators and delegators obtain from staking. The burning mechanism will be enabled by introducing governable parameters for two system smart contracts for collecting gas fees.

Created by Binance in 2017, BNB is a deflationary token by design, meaning that Binance burns a percentage of the BNB supply every three months to maintain the token’s value. Binance will stop burning BNB once 50% of the initial supply has been burnt and only 100,000,000 BNB remain.

The latest BNB token burn took place on Oct. 18, with Binance burning 1,335,888 BNB ($640 million) in its 17th quarterly burn.

The proposal comes amid BNB seeing a major rally recently, with the token breaking above $500 on Oct. 20. At the time of writing, BNB is the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). The token is trading at $495, up around 44% over the past 30 days. BNB’s all-time high was recorded in May 2021, with the token surging to as high as $686, according to CoinGecko.

Related: Ethereum miners are hoarding a record $70B in ETH following EIP-1559 activation

In August, the latest BIP is similar to a new transaction fee mechanism implemented for Ethereum’s London upgrade. According to Etherchain, the current average ETH burn rate amounts to 3.76 ETH or $15,448 per minute.

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