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Wisly Spotlight Series: Polkadot

As we head into November, we continue with the next edition of Wisly’s Spotlight Series where we explore one of the most electrifying altcoins on the market – Polkadot.  With such fantastic growth and incredible potential to improve, it’s clear why so many investors are choosing Polkadot to diversify their investment portfolios. Read on as we discover what makes Polkadot so attractive.

What is Polkadot?

what is polkadot wisly blog

Polkadot is an open-source sharding multi-chain platform that allows interoperability amongst many different blockchains. This is possible through the innovative use of cross-chain transfers of data or asset types. The aim of this interoperability is to create an entirely decentralised and private web where its users have complete control. Moreover, it aims to simplify the development of new applications, services and institutions.

Its native token is DOT and is considered a large-cap cryptocurrency with a market cap of more than $43 billion. It has a circulating supply of over 987 million DOT and a unit price of $44 flush at the time of writing. Polkadot was founded by the Web3 Foundation in Switzerland by Dr Gavin Wood, Robert Habermeier and Peter Czaban.

Polkadot has the ability to process multiple transactions across many different chains in parallel – thus improving its scalability. Its network is extremely flexible and highly adaptable and allows for information to be easily shared amongst users. Polkadot can be automatically upgraded without using a fork to remove bugs or implement new features. It operates on a nominated proof-of-stake mechanism for enhanced security.

Upcoming Polkadot projects

polkadot projects

The exciting thing about Polkadot is that there is continuous development on the network, with some fantastic projects underway.

STP Network (STPT)

With this project, the STP network introduces support for cross-chain asset tokenisation as well as new financial products across multiple blockchains – all without high bridging fees and substantial over collateralisation.

Shadows (DOWS)

Shadows acts as a financial hub that enables users to trade, lend and borrow derivative assets. Its native token – DOWS – serves as a rewards and utility asset, thus opening a plethora of opportunities.

Ternoa (CAPS)

Polkadot’s innovative technology powers Ternoa – an NFT –based decentralised data transmission blockchain that offers decentralised storage and extended owner privileges for NFTs, amongst others.

Celer Network (CELR)

Celer is a layer-2 scaling platform application that is looking at maximising opportunities on Polkadot and other blockchains. Its developers continue to set the standard when it comes to Celer’s layer-2 scaling and development.

Upcoming Parachain launch

parachain polkadot launch

The Polkadot ecosystem is buzzing as the 12th auction on Kusama commences this Saturday, 23 October 2021. Polkadot will certainly have a massive part to play in proceedings with its parachains. These parachains are advanced next-gen blockchains that form a diverse ecosystem of independent platforms that aim to improve the limitations of legacy networks.

With parachain auctions, Polkadot leases a slot on the relay chain for up to 96 weeks at a time. These parachain slots are assigned by an on-chain auction, and the winner of the auction locks up a bond in DOT for the duration of the lease.

Of the $80 million that flowed into cryptocurrency funds in the past week, $3.6 million was dedicated to Polkadot products. Moreover, CEO Gavin Wood recently announced that $774 million would be made available for a DeFi development fund – making Polkadot a top choice amongst institutions at the event.

Final thoughts

Polkadot is a highly reputable altcoin that has enjoyed incredible growth in 2021. Considering the many exciting projects on the horizon, there is plenty of potential and amazing opportunities to explore with Polkadot – making it a very attractive option for investors.

Considering the turbulence experienced by the crypto market throughout the year, Polkadot’s resilience in navigating such choppy waters indicates that it plans to be here for the long haul. With that being said, Polkadot is certainly an eye-catching option to explore when looking to diversify your crypto portfolio.

It is important to note that investing in Polkadot is a risky and highly speculative proposition. This article does not provide recommendations, advice or guidance regarding Polkadot investments but is rather our opinion on such activities. Investors must conduct their own research and engage in the services of qualified professionals before making any financial and/or cryptocurrency investment decisions. We do, however, recommend established platforms like Wisly to monitor and analyse your Polkadot and cryptocurrency investments. 

2021-10-22T14:32:31+00:00October 22, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Wisly Wednesday Industry News

It’s been another whirlwind week in the world of crypto, with some fascinating developments that are sure to raise a few eyebrows. Canadian city plans to generate heat using Bitcoin; Zimbabwe considers crypto adoption; Arizona real-estate now available for crypto purchase; and Crypto romance scam targets iPhone users.

Canadian city plans to generate heat using Bitcoin

The city of North Vancouver plans to be the first city in the world to be heated by Bitcoin – courtesy of a unique partnership from two big hitters in the industry. The city is exploring the idea of using Bitcoin mining to heat buildings – an innovative way to redirect excess heat created by computational efforts of Bitcoin mining operations. Considering the negative environmental impact caused by Bitcoin mining, authorities in the city have been exploring ways to make crypto mining more sustainable by recovering and repurposing waste heat generated from mining activities.

MintGreen – a Canadian cleantech crypto mining company – will partner with the Lonsdale Energy Corporation (LEC) to supply this excess Bitcoin heat to North Vancouver residents from 2022. The partnership was recently announced by MintGreen’s CEO, Colin Sullivan, and aims to address the issue of climate change and ways to mitigate it.

MintGreen’s digital boilers recover more than 96% of the electricity that it uses for Bitcoin mining in the form of heat energy – the very energy that it plans to redirect to sustainably heat communities and service industrial processes. It is anticipated that the recovered energy will heat 100 residential and commercial buildings that service over 150,000 people.

Through this initiative, an estimated 20,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases per megawatt will be prevented from entering the atmosphere – incredible! CEO of Lonsdale Energy Corporation – Karsten Veng – was ecstatic as he said, “Being partners with MintGreen on this project is very exciting for LEC, in that it’s an innovative and cost-competitive project, and it reinforces the journey LEC is on to support the city’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets.”

Wisly will keep you up to date on the very latest on this story.

Zimbabwe considers crypto adoption

Hot on the heels of El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption earlier this year, another developing nation is hoping to follow suit with something similar. Zimbabwe is looking into crypto adoption in the country amidst a crumbling economy. In a move that would see Bitcoin introduced legally, Zimbabwe’s finance minister – Mthuli Ncube – recently stated that it is impossible to ignore cryptocurrencies, with an estimated 30% of the country’s younger population said to be active crypto investors and traders.

According to recent reports, the finance minister has hinted that specific concessions may be offered to cryptocurrencies in an effort to promote their use amongst Zimbabweans. Authorities view cryptocurrencies as an investment asset as opposed to a currency, so the crypto adoption may operate differently in the Southern African country.

Ncube appeared optimistic as he said, “Our view is that we do not want it to be a currency. I want this to be an investment class. So through the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange platform, we will try to create crypto-based products there, which are ring-fenced within the offshore zone.”

He added that the government has already started the process to regulate crypto and was excited to reveal, “We have taken the first step already and created a sandbox, at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, where the idea and everything is being tested in a safe, regulated environment where it will then migrate to this safe Victoria Falls environment.”

Keep an eye on Wisly’s blog for the latest developments on this. 

Arizona real-estate now available for crypto

Two Arizona real-estate companies have recently announced that some of their properties are now available for purchase with cryptocurrencies. Both the Hudye Group and Russ Lyon Sotheby’s have made public their intention to sell four luxury condominiums in Scottsdale, Arizona – with cryptocurrencies as an option for purchase.

The four condos range in price from $1.6 million to $2 million and have been gathering a fair amount of interest since the announcement. Chairman of the Hudye Group – Ben Hudye – appeared in a buoyant mood as he said, “I think we’re breaking new ground. It’s extremely exciting and I can understand why people have been involved in it for as many years as they have.”

Johnathon De Young of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s backed Hudye Group’s chairman as he said, “Hudye realises Bitcoin, Ethereum and digital assets, in general, are becoming mainstream asset class.” There has been a growing interest in the property market from investors who want to purchase digital assets.

One such resident from Arizona, Ryan Nichols, recently bought a home in the region using Bitcoin. He admits that one of the reasons for buying his $2 million home with Bitcoin was to prove that cryptocurrency is a viable option. In Nichols’ opinion, he recommends more people start looking into purchasing property with their crypto.

Wisly will keep you posted on the very latest with this story.

Crypto romance scam targets iPhone users

A new crypto romance scam that targets iPhone users is said to have raked in millions of dollars, according to new research by cybersecurity firm Sophos. Cyber-criminals appear to be operating an international crypto-trading scam that targets lonely hearts with active profiles on popular dating apps, Bumble and Tinder.

While hackers initially targeted Asian iPhone users, their network of victims has expanded to iPhone users in the US and Europe. The scam – dubbed CryptoRom by Sophos researchers – is heavily reliant on social engineering at almost every stage. Sophos uncovered one Bitcoin wallet controlled by hackers that contained almost $1.4 million in cryptocurrencies – allegedly collected from the victims.

Senior threat researcher at Sophos – Jagadeesh Chandraiah – expressed concern as he explained, “First, the attackers post convincing fake profiles on legitimate dating sites. Once they’ve made contact with a target, the attackers suggest continuing the conversation on a messaging platform. They then try to persuade the target to install and invest in a fake cryptocurrency trading app. At first, the returns look very good but if the victim asks for their money back or tries to access the funds, they are refused and the money is lost.”

Besides stealing money, cyber-criminals could also gain access to the victims’ iPhones – leaving users in a very precarious position – giving hackers access to their personal information. Sophos recommends that iPhone users should only install apps from the Apple App Store. Furthermore, they caution users of being too trusting to strangers on online dating apps – especially in instances where there are financial offers that are too good to be true.

Wisly will keep you updated on the very latest with this story.

2021-10-21T10:19:46+00:00October 20, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

How is cryptocurrency different from fiat currency?

Cryptocurrencies have enjoyed exponential success after the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, hit the scene more than a decade ago. Since the advent of the pandemic, interest levels in crypto have soared to unprecedented levels, with many coins scaling to record highs in 2021.

This incredible boost in value coupled with a flurry of new investors across the globe has made many people ponder the future of fiat money. Although cryptocurrencies may not be ready to replace fiat currencies as the preferred means of exchange around the world, it is worth understanding how they differ from traditional money.

Cryptocurrencies are different from fiat currencies as they are not regulated by financial authorities or backed by governments. Due to its decentralised nature, it is thought to be less credible than fiat currencies. Moreover, it is inherently volatile as it is driven by the speculative nature of the trade. Unlike fiat currencies, no intermediaries are required to validate crypto transactions as all transactions are verified using a blockchain – making it highly secure.

What are stablecoins?

A stablecoin is a category of cryptocurrencies that provides price stability to investors as it is backed by a reserve. They are extremely popular amongst crypto circles as investors get the best of both worlds – highly secure and instant transaction processing coupled with stable valuations of fiat currencies that are free of any volatility. Stablecoins can be described as a bridge between crypto and fiat currencies as they maintain their speed, security and low transaction costs while offering unrivalled price stability.

Considering that the short-term volatility of the majority of cryptocurrencies renders them unsuitable for everyday use by the public, it remains unsustainable as a medium of monetary exchange – a stark contrast when compared to the stability of fiat currencies. Stablecoins have four distinct categories that are each based on their unique working mechanism.

Fiat-collateralised stablecoins

Fiat-collateralised stablecoins use a fiat-currency reserve as collateral, such as US Dollar, in order to issue cryptocurrencies of a suitable number. The most common fiat-collateralised stablecoins make use of US Dollar reserves that are maintained by independent custodians. Moreover, they are audited on a regular basis to ensure that they are adhering to the necessary compliance. Popular stablecoins under this category include Tether (USDT), TrustToken, GUSD Paxos and TrueUSD.

Crypto-collateralised stablecoins

With crypto-collateralised stablecoins, these are backed by other cryptocurrencies. While this may appear to be counterproductive when considering their inherent volatility, such stablecoins are over-collateralised. Essentially, a greater number of crypto tokens are maintained as a reserve for issuing a smaller number of stablecoins. They may also be monitored and audited more frequently to provide more stability of the price. Popular stablecoins under this category include MakerDAO’s DAI and Havven.

Asset-collateralised stablecoins

Asset-collateralised stablecoins work very similar to fiat-collateralised stablecoins except that they use physical assets, such as gold or silver, as collateral. Stablecoins under this category are linked to a specific amount of the commodity and kept securely in a known location. It is subject to frequent monitoring and audits to ensure that its price remains stable. Under this category, collateral can include commodities like oil as well. Popular stablecoins under this category include Basis and Carbon.

Algorithmic stablecoins

This type of stablecoin appears to be the most complex by nature as it uses algorithms and smart contracts to safeguard the coin’s price stability. It does so by automatically decreasing or increasing its supply by using market forces in an effort to sustain a level price. There is no reserve that stabilises the price but instead uses a working mechanism to provide stability.

Pros and cons of stablecoins

Like other types of cryptocurrencies, there are great benefits to using stablecoins. These include low transaction fees, highly secure transactions, price stability, an easier bridge from fiat to crypto use, and compliance with fiat-related regulatory processes.

It is also important to note some of the disadvantages of using stablecoins. These include third-party authorisations, mandatory external audits and monitoring, lower return on investments, and strict adherence to regulatory procedures. 

Final thoughts

Stablecoins have the potential to enhance the digital transformation of money by improving financial inclusion, lowering transaction fees, and enabling fast and secure cross-border transactions without inherent volatility.

While there is still some way to go before cryptocurrencies can be fully integrated into the mainstream, having stablecoins provides the perfect compromise between crypto and fiat currencies. Interestingly, it offers a glimpse of what the future of transacting could be like once cryptocurrencies become more widely accepted – truly exciting times indeed!

It is important to note that investing in cryptocurrencies is a risky and highly speculative proposition. This article does not provide recommendations, advice or guidance regarding cryptocurrencies investments but is rather our opinion on such activities. Investors must conduct their own research and engage in the services of qualified professionals before making any financial and/or cryptocurrency investment decisions. We do, however, recommend established platforms like Wisly to monitor and analyse your cryptocurrency investments.

2021-10-05T06:12:48+00:00October 1, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Wisly Wednesday Industry News

Another fascinating week has passed in the world of crypto with some tantalising developments that are sure to tickle the taste-buds of crypto enthusiasts. Twitter launches Bitcoin tipping payments; Dubai’s free zone opens for crypto trading; Binance blocks Singaporean users; and European theme park accepts Bitcoin for payment.

Twitter launches Bitcoin tipping payments

In rather exciting news for Twitter users, the social media giant has announced that it will now allow users to receive and send Bitcoin payments. This announcement comes as Twitter is actively taking strides to monetise its platform while also moving to authenticate its users’ nonfungible tokens (NFTs). In addition, Twitter is hoping that by allowing Bitcoin payments, they will attract more content creators – a creative way to monetise their presence on the platform.

While other platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and Patreon gives users’ veritable ways to monetize their content, Twitter’s format enables content to reach far larger audiences that remain relatively untapped much quicker. Moreover, it provides users with unique features such as retweeting and posting onto other user’s timelines – setting them apart from the competition.

Twitter users will now be able to tip their favourite tweeters with Bitcoin – the first-ever social media platform to support cryptocurrency as an option for payment. Users have the option of linking their Bitcoin onto a fixed spot within their profile page that is intended specifically for tips – making it trustworthy and easy for users to send payments.

Apple iOS users will have the first bite of the cherry with its release this week, while Android users will have to wait a few days extra before tipping their hat for BTC. Users will be able to link their Patreon, GoFundMe, Venmo, and Capp App accounts to use the feature. Twitter plans to use the payment application, Strike – built on the Bitcoin Lightning Network, to facilitate all payments.

Twitter users can accept Bitcoin on the platform by adding their Bitcoin address, while payments can be sent directly by copying and pasting the address into a Bitcoin wallet. Twitter’s statement read, We want everyone on Twitter to have access to pathways to get paid. Digital currencies that encourage more people to participate in the economy and help people send each other money across borders and with as little friction as possible.” Wisly will keep you posted on the latest developments.

Dubai’s free zone opens for crypto trading

In another fantastic development for the crypto industry, the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) has announced that it has reached an official agreement with the UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) to facilitate the regulation and trade of digital assets within the DWTCA free zone.

With this agreement, a framework is created that enables the DWTCA to issue the requisite licenses and approvals for crypto-related financial activities. Moreover, it gives the SCA an official capacity to supervise crypto-related activities like trading, licensing processes and issuance.

The agreement was finalised by the acting CEO of the SCA – Maryam Al Suwaidi, DWTCA director-general – Halel Saeed Al Marri, and an executive from the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. Al Suwaidi was particularly optimistic with the agreement when he said, “As Dubai continues its drive towards an innovation and digital-led economy, DWTCA is looking to support businesses underpinned by blockchain and cryptographic technologies.” Keep an eye on Wisly’s blog for the latest on this story.

Binance blocks Singaporean users

Binance, one of the world’s most popular crypto exchanges, has taken steps to block its Singaporean users from deposits and spot trading. The announcement was made on their website and advised users from Singapore that they would no longer have access to the main trading function on their platform.

As of Sunday, 26 September 2021, users from the Asian country will be unable to conduct fiat depositing and buying and trading of cryptocurrencies using fiat currencies and liquid swaps. The news came as a shock to many Singaporeans who were given very short notice of this decision.

In their statement, Binance advised the Singaporean clients that the restrictions will be imposed in respect of Regulated Payments Services as the company strengthens its commitment to comply with Singaporean financial regulators. All Singaporean traders have been advised to stop trading on Binance and to withdraw their fiat assets without delay. Additionally, all tokens that are owned will be returned back to users.

Binance has a history with Singaporean financial authorities and previously removed support for trading pairs in the Singapore Dollar (SGD) while also taking steps to close the SGD payment option on their platform. That led to Binance being removed from Google Play and the App Store for Singaporean users.

While the news comes as a low blow for crypto enthusiasts in the country, Binance is optimistic about finding a solution with financial regulators in the country in an effort to resume operations in Singapore in the future. Wisly will keep you informed on the very latest updates.

European theme park accepts Bitcoin for payment

European theme park enthusiasts are in for a treat as a Spanish theme park resort has announced that they will soon accept Bitcoin for payment. The iconic PortAventura World entertainment resort, considered one the largest resorts in Southern Europe, boasts six hotels and two theme parks while hosting over five million guests each year.

PortAventura World is exploring different software options to facilitate Bitcoin transactions and wants the process to be done securely and simply. Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has been touted as the payment scaling solution, although nothing has been confirmed by the theme park as yet. The theme park hopes that Bitcoin’s adoption and exposure will contribute towards its efforts to improve digitization and promote innovation while giving their guests more options and convenience.

Bitcoin users who visit the park can look forward to an amazing selection of rides and entertainment, including its famed Red Star – the fastest and tallest rollercoaster in Europe, with speeds topping 180km/h. The adoption of Bitcoin at the resort comes off the back of growing crypto interest in Europe with the five-star Chedi Andermatt hotel in Switzerland also recently announcing their acceptance of Bitcoin. Wisly will let you know as the European crypto wave expands.

2021-09-29T08:31:13+00:00September 29, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Wisly Spotlight Series: Solana

With October on the horizon, we roll along with the next instalment of Wisly’s Spotlight Series where we explore one of the most exciting cryptocurrencies on the market – Solana.  With such incredible growth since its inception and amazing potential to improve, there’s no wonder why so many investors are choosing to diversify their portfolios with Solana. Read on as we discover what makes Solana so special.

What is Solana?

Solana is a highly functional platform that provides decentralised finance (DeFi) solutions through its open-source project that relies on blockchain technology’s permissionless nature. It was officially launched in March 2020 and is designed to enable the easy creation and development of decentralised apps (DApps).

Its native token is SOL and is considered a large-cap cryptocurrency with a market cap of over $43 billion. It has a circulating supply of over 297 million SOL and a unit price of $145.49 at the time of writing. Solana’s project was started in 2017 by software engineer Anatoly Yakovenko and combined his expertise with a fellow software engineer, Greg Fitzgerald, to found a project called Solana Labs – the engine room for Solana.

Solana uses innovative techniques in an effort to improve scalability and set it apart from its competitors. It does this by combining a proof-of-history (PoH) consensus with an underlying proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus of the blockchain. Solana has a long-term goal of making decentralised finance accessible on a large scale.

What makes Solana different?

Using a proof-of-history consensus, Solana aims to offer more scalability of the protocol – in turn improving its usability. It has built a fantastic reputation on the crypto scene due to its rapid processing times and reduced validation times on both smart contract and transaction execution.

Solana has publicly committed not to increase its transaction fees and taxes unnecessarily and has designed the platform to constantly offer reduced transaction costs without compromising its fast processing capabilities and guaranteed scalability offering.

Solana’s network is secured through the unique combination of PoH and PoS consensus mechanisms. The PoH is the main component of the protocol and is largely responsible for transaction processing, recording successful operations, and the elapsed time between them. The PoS consensus complements the PoH consensus by monitoring all of the PoH’s processes and validates every sequence of blocks that the PoH creates. This combination is unique to the blockchain industry and is something that many investors are attracted to.

Solana holds an advantage over its competitors as it enables the blockchain to operate efficiently regardless of the amount of activity on the network. It also makes use of Cloudbreak – a distributed log that stops transaction history from eating up computer space. Amongst crypto circles, Solana’s platform has been dubbed the fastest in the world – although other cryptocurrencies may have something to say about that.

How Solana’s blockchain survived a blackout

With Solana’s exponential growth – particularly in 2021 – many investors have described it as an ideal alternative to the big hitters, Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, those feelings were quickly erased a few weeks back when Solana experienced a blackout of epic proportions. The uncertainty was unbearable for many investors who were unable to buy or sell SOL for almost 17 hours – leaving investors in a tailspin and Solana scrambling for a solution.

All of a sudden, Solana’s mantra that “transactions will never be stopped” came back to bite them. Working hard to resolve the issue, developers on the blockchain blamed a concept called “resource exhaustion” – something that arises when a massive growth in technology leads to bandwidth constraints.

Due to its popularity, the explosion of interest in Solana led to a breakdown of the network momentarily – something developers acknowledged as nobody is really sure how popular a new cryptocurrency will be. Perhaps it can be said that Solana became a victim of its own success. On the flip side, it bears testament to Solana’s potential as an ideal altcoin, and its effortless resolution of the issue has given investors increased confidence in its abilities.

Top 3 Projects using the Solana blockchain

Due to Solana’s innovative platform, it has started to host various projects that run on the blockchain and promise fairly high returns for investors in the medium to long term. We touch on the top 3 projects that are on Solana’s radar at the moment.

SolApe

SolApe is a serum-based Solana decentralised exchange (DEX) that was developed so that blockchain and crypto technology would be easily accessible. It aims to be an onboarding point for novices of the crypto domain where users can trade seamlessly.

1Sol

1Sol is a cross-chain DEX aggregator that operates on decentralised protocols on Solana’s platform. It allows for users to experience seamless, efficient and secure DeFi operations. It uses cross-chain transactions to advance its growth – mainly due to the high demand for aggregators.

Atomic

Atomic is a non-custodial crypto wallet that is intended to support SOL and SPL tokens that operate on Solana’s network. It offers users crypto on-ramp capabilities and innovative payment gateway features. No KYC or verification is required, and it employs solid encryption processes.

Final thoughts

Solana is a well-established cryptocurrency that has enjoyed amazing growth and is packed with potential – the perfect ingredients for investors who want to diversify their portfolios in the hope of a rewarding future. By quickly navigating over their recent blackout hurdle and showing fantastic market recovery, Solana has displayed a resilience that only the finest cryptocurrencies possess. The future certainly looks bright for Solana!

It is important to note that investing in Solana is a risky and highly speculative proposition. This article does not provide recommendations, advice or guidance regarding Solana investments but is rather our opinion on such activities. Investors must conduct their own research and engage in the services of qualified professionals before making any financial and/or cryptocurrency investment decisions. We do, however, recommend established platforms like Wisly to monitor and analyse your Solana and cryptocurrency investments.

2021-09-29T08:39:59+00:00September 24, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Wisly Wednesday Industry News

It’s been a thought-provoking week in the world of crypto with some exciting developments that’s sure to make for some stimulating conversations. Paypal completes UK crypto rollout; Binance under investigation amidst market manipulation scandal; Paraguay eyes Bitcoin adoption; and Hungary unveils statue of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Paypal completes UK crypto rollout

Global payment giant, PayPal, has finally completed the rollout of its crypto offering to its UK customers. The rollout started in August when the company announced its intentions to extend its crypto offering to UK-based clients. The rollout is now fully complete and is the first international expansion of its cryptocurrency service outside of the US.

PayPal’s UK customers can now buy, hold and sell four variations of cryptocurrencies. In a recent announcement on Twitter, the official PayPal account tweeted, “We are delighted to share that all eligible customers in the UK can now buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin from their PayPal accounts.”

PayPal explained that the crypto service in the UK is provided by PayPal Europe S.à r.l. et Cie – a credit institution that falls under the supervision of the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier, Luxembourg’s financial regulator. Noting details of the rollout, PayPal added, “You can buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency through PayPal’s cryptocurrency service, but you can’t use it to send cryptocurrency. Purchases and sales of cryptocurrency aren’t reversible and cannot be changed.”

Plans are in place for PayPal users to transfer crypto to third-party wallets in the future, although nothing concrete has been outlined. Wisly will keep you updated on the latest.

Binance US under investigation amidst market manipulation scandal

The world’s biggest crypto exchange, Binance, has come under scrutiny over possible market manipulation and insider trading. According to recent reports from Bloomberg, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has stepped up its investigation of Binance US for suspected market manipulation.

A recent Tweet from Bloomberg Crypto stated, “US authorities are examining possible insider trading and market manipulation at cryptocurrency exchange Binance.” While Binance has maintained its innocence and reiterated its strong stance against misconduct, regulatory authorities in the US have decided to intensify their probe regarding the crypto exchange’s role in allowing insider trading and market manipulation.

A statement released by Binance affirmed that the crypto exchange does not tolerate insider trading and follows a strict code in order to curb such misconduct that can be harmful to clients of the exchange, as well as damaging its own reputation. However, anonymous Binance insiders have chipped in and revealed that the probe is being made confidential, and the security team of Binance is careful not to allow illegal deals from occurring with any malefactors being held totally responsible for their actions. Wisly will get you up to speed with the very latest.

Paraguay eyes Bitcoin adoption

Hot off the heels of El Salvador’s exciting adoption of Bitcoin as official tender in the country, near neighbours Paraguay are eyeing up a similar deal in the country. That’s if Paraguayan congressman, Carlitos Rejala, has his way on the matter. Rejala has been a strong advocate of Bitcoin in the country and stated his intentions to legalise Bitcoin in the country a few months ago.

His latest social media activity shed some light on the matter as he voiced his support for Bitcoin through a tweet, “If we run for the presidency in 2023, #Bitcoin is official currency!” Recent efforts to legalise Bitcoin in the country pointed towards crypto regulation as opposed to adoption, as outlined in a translated clause of Article 14 of the proposed bill, “The Virtual Assets trading entities must inform the acquirer of the trading conditions with Virtual Assets, expressly notifying that the virtual assets are not recognized as legal tender, therefore, they are not backed by the Central Bank of Paraguay.”

The confident congressman has been bullish on his stance, however, and wants to make Bitcoin legal tender in Paraguay – should he come into power. The national currency, the Paraguay Guarani (PYG), has struggled against inflation for almost 80 years and Rejala wants to explore new avenues to stimulate its economy. Bitfarm Ltd, a Bitcoin mining company, recently signed a long-term lease to secure green hydroelectric power for Bitcoin mining activities – a powerful hint of what the future holds. Keep an eye on Wisly for the latest developments.

Hungary unveils statue of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto

Hungary has unveiled a statue in honour of anonymous Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. This initiative aims to create awareness for cryptocurrencies in the country. While Nakamoto’s legacy has continued to gain traction across the globe, the Bitcoin hype hasn’t really taken off in Hungary.

The imposing bronze statue of Nakamoto was erected in Budapest and sits atop a stone plinth with his name engraved on it. Not to be outdone by Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala outfit, the statue has a featureless face wrapped in a bronze hoodie that has the Bitcoin logo engraved on it. Astonishingly, the face is heavily polished to represent a mirror that shows the reflection of the viewers – a well-thought-out idea that reminds viewers that they play just as important a role in Bitcoin as Nakamoto did.

Gergely Réka and Tamás Gilly – the sculptors of the statue – said that the reflective face is meant to capture the mantra of “We are all Satoshi”. Nakamoto’s statue sits amongst statues of other global icons such as Steve Jobs. This certainly is great news for Hungary and its citizens as it offers a unique attraction and reminder, while crypto enthusiasts have something new to mark down on their bucket list – a visit to the crypto creator!

2021-09-22T13:45:48+00:00September 22, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

New frontier for Bitcoin mining

For as long as we can remember, China has been the crypto playground for Bitcoin miners accounting for a staggering 70% of bitcoin mining activities globally. This figure is even more mind-boggling when considering that the Chinese government has never warmed to cryptocurrencies and their development within its borders.

With crypto mining activities enjoying exponential growth in the country, Chinese authorities have employed heavy-handed tactics to crack down on local cryptocurrency mining farms. With such swift action from government authorities, Bitcoin miners have either gathered or abandoned their equipment and fled to greener pastures to continue their activities.

Why has China cracked down on Bitcoin mining?

Like all other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is known to be highly volatile, and its price reflects speculation on its future value – making it a risky investment for crypto enthusiasts. While Chinese authorities have an extensive list of reasons for cracking down on crypto activities in the country, the one most central to their decision is that Bitcoin’s wild price swings severely threaten China’s economic and financial stability.

With such a large proportion of Bitcoin miners and investors in the country, it comes as no surprise that Chinese authorities have taken such a hard stance so swiftly. Government officials are of the opinion that cryptocurrencies disrupt economic order and have forcefully stemmed the flow of the crypto wave in the country. Additionally, Bitcoin mining requires a lot of energy and miners draw these resources from shared supply lines to the detriment of Chinese citizens and businesses.

For Bitcoin miners, every minute that their computers are off translates to a loss of money. Time really is of the essence, so finding a new home for these Bitcoin refugees is critical.  In an effort to continue their activities, Bitcoin miners have sought refuge in nearby countries such as Kazakhstan, Iran, Russia, and Malaysia, where crypto mining activities are permitted under certain conditions. A brighter destination has since dawned, and Bitcoin miners now appear to be shifting the crypto bandwagon to North America.

Why are miners flocking to North America?

An interesting recent study by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance revealed that the US’s share of the global hash rate has shot up four-fold to almost 17% – the second-largest behind China for cryptocurrency mining. With top-grade power infrastructure and regulatory stability, both the US and Canada are seen as ideal locations for Bitcoin mining.

Moreover, these wealthy North American neighbours offer an entrepreneurial culture, an educated workforce, and legal protection for businesses – very appealing reasons for Bitcoin miners to pitch up in their droves. These factors separate the US and Canada from the next tier of crypto mining countries discussed above, and such conducive crypto mining environments directly translate to more money.

Is North America ready to embrace crypto miners fleeing China?

While moving a crypto mining farm from one continent to another is not as straightforward as it sounds, it certainly is a step in the right direction. Bitcoin itself has no physical form – they are created, exist and can be transferred only online – but constructing a Bitcoin farm can take up to 18 months in a foreign country.

Bitcoin miners do need sufficient energy sources, connectivity and internet access, and the right equipment together with enterprise-level services that promote and support their activities, and adequate levels of transparency and trust – all of which can be found in North America.  Energy prices are relatively cheap in North America, with some regions giving Bitcoin miners the opportunity to sell unused electricity back to the grid – a win-win for all concerned.

Final thoughts

When considering this great migration to the promised land, not only will Bitcoin miners have access to a thriving crypto community in North America that is brimming with innovation, but North America will benefit from hosting industry specialists who actively contribute to the development of cryptocurrencies and their virtual environment.

With that being said, North America appears to be well-positioned to adopt an influx of expert crypto miners who will make invaluable contributions to a crypto ecosystem where interest levels are quickly growing with each waking hour – exciting times indeed!

It is important to note that investing in Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining activities is a risky and highly speculative proposition. This article does not provide recommendations, advice or guidance regarding cryptocurrency investments or mining but is rather our opinion on such activities. Investors must conduct their own research and engage in the services of qualified professionals before making any financial and/or cryptocurrency investment decisions. We do, however, recommend established platforms like Wisly to monitor and analyse your crypto investments.

2021-09-17T09:39:12+00:00September 17, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Wisly Wednesday Industry News

It’s been another exciting week in the crypto world with some thought-provoking developments that are sure to dominate talk amongst crypto circles. Walmart dismisses fake crypto announcement; South Korea closely monitoring crypto exchanges that are set to close; El Salvador imposes penalties on non-crypto businesses; and Magnum Real Estate to accept BTC for Manhattan properties.

Walmart dismisses fake crypto announcement

Walmart has dismissed reports that it would soon be accepting digital currency, Litecoin, after a recent announcement that caused Litecoin’s value to jump by more than 30%. In a press release on Monday soon after the US stock market had opened, Walmart appeared to announce that it would be accepting LTC – sending investors in a tailspin.

The fake press release was published on the communication service GlobeNewswire, which provides a platform for announcements to be disseminated. The news seemed authentic enough for the Litecoin Foundation’s Twitter account to throw its support behind the announcement. Walmart only got wind of the announcement when reporters contacted them for confirmation of the news.

While some news outlets had already published information gathered from the press release, Walmart was quick to pour water over the fire by releasing a statement confirming that the announcement was false and that there was no partnership with Litecoin. GlobeNewswire subsequently withdrew the illegitimate press release and reiterated that it had enhanced authentication steps to prevent such isolated events from reoccurring.

This appears to be a classic case of a pump and dump scheme where the perpetrators of the hoax would have made a healthy profit in no time. Incidents like this are likely to advocate for stricter regulation of the crypto industry that facilitates billions of dollars of unregulated trade – making pump and dump schemes all the more appealing for fraudsters. Wisly will keep you updated on the latest.

South Korea closely monitoring crypto exchanges that are set to close

The Korea Financial Intelligence Unit is closely monitoring all crypto exchanges that are on the verge of closing shop in the country. The unit falls under the umbrella of South Korea’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), which requires all crypto exchanges to register with them by 24 September 2021.

Crypto exchanges in the country that fail to register with the FSC must inform users by this Friday that they will no longer be in operation. In cooperation with the police and financial institutions, the FSC hopes to prevent unlicensed crypto exchanges from stealing funds from user accounts prior to the shutdown.

According to authorities – of the 63 crypto exchanges operating in South Korea, 24 have not applied for licenses, and users have been advised to withdraw their funds from their accounts or risk losing them. All crypto exchanges in South Korea are required to have certification for their information security management systems, and banks are instructed not to allow money transfers to uncertified exchanges. Keep an eye on Wisly for the latest developments.

El Salvador imposes penalties on non-crypto businesses

With El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption finally made official, there have been many changes to the previous financial system in the country, with authorities working hard to ensure that BTC usage reaches all parts of the country. In light of that, El Salvador plans to penalise those businesses that refuse to accept BTC payments from users.

Soon before Bitcoin became legal tender in the country, legal counsel to the Presidential House in El Salvador – Javier Agueta – stated that all businesses in the country are mandated to accept BTC payments from customers, a failure of which could see sanctions imposed. To make this possible, all El Salvadorian businesses are required to have a Bitcoin wallet to facilitate crypto transactions – although they have a choice of receiving the transaction in Bitcoin or US Dollars.

President Bukele chose to focus on the positives of his country’s BTC adoption by emphasising the importance of breaking from tradition and advancing technology. He optimistically remarked, Like all innovation, the process of Bitcoin in El Salvador has a learning curve. Every road to the future is like this and not everything will be achieved in a day, or in a month. But we must break the paradigms of the past. El Salvador has the right to advance towards the first world”.

Magnum Real Estate to accept BTC for Manhattan properties

 

In another ground-breaking deal for the US commercial market, New York-based Magnum Real Estate will soon be accepting Bitcoin for Manhattan retail property purchases. The properties in question are situated within a luxury residential project in Manhattan and are three ground-level shops that are valued at $29 million or about 640 Bitcoin on today’s prices.

Located on 385 First Avenue, the retail properties span an incredible 9,000 square feet of space, with buyers having access to immediate cash flow as the properties are currently occupied and generating income from existing businesses. The sale of these properties marks the first major income-generating asset to be offered for BTC purchase.

Managing partner of Magnum Real Estate, Ben Shaoul, couldn’t contain his excitement as he said, We are a pioneer in bitcoin transactions and see a path where many more transactions can be done using blockchain. I expect about two or three additional transactions in bitcoin this year for Magnum.”

2021-09-16T12:44:02+00:00September 15, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

SEC takes on DeFi

With the spotlight shining firmly on decentralised finance (DeFi) and crypto markets in recent times, it comes as no surprise that authorities and governments from across the globe have begun to scrutinise them more closely.  Reports have surfaced in the past week that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – a U.S security watchdog – has been investigating DeFi platforms and the parties associated with them.

DeFi platforms have enjoyed an exponential rise in prominence and popularity as they provide users with more independence and are free from central decision-making bodies to impose restrictions. In light of that, there appears to be a heightened regulatory interest from the SEC for DeFi platforms and the digital asset market.

Who is being investigated?

According to recent reports, Uniswap Labs – the developer of Uniswap, the largest decentralised crypto exchange – appears to be in the crosshairs of the SEC. Uniswap is an open network that operates on a peer-to-peer protocol where transactions don’t rely on a centralised system with intermediaries.

The SEC has previously stated that DeFi platforms aren’t immune from legal scrutiny, especially with digital asset trading bypassing many regulations together with the activities of marketing investment promoters who encourage users to trade on these DeFi platforms. With that being said, the SEC appears to have come good on their promise to scrutinise such entities with this investigation taking precedence.

Why is Uniswap Labs being probed?

Uniswap has consistently seen over US $10 billion in weekly trading volumes pass through its networks, making it a prime candidate for such an investigation from the authorities. The SEC is looking to gather details on how crypto investors make use of Uniswap and how the platform is being marketed.

In an address to Congress in August, SEC chair, Gary Gensler, appealed to lawmakers for the agency to be granted greater authority to monitor DeFi platforms that are not particularly well regulated. With this civil investigation, the SEC is probing investor protection concerns, whether the tokens on the platform are classified as securities, and the precise role of centralised parties on this decentralised platform.

Investigators are also said to be investigating money laundering activities and/or tracking the proceeds of crime that might be occurring on Uniswap. With such large volumes of trade passing through its network unregulated, financial watchdogs such as the SEC are looking for new ways to exert their authority over those responsible and curb unlawful activities from taking place.

Uniswap Labs have been fully compliant with the SEC’s investigation – with a representative stating that the company is “committed to complying with the laws and regulations governing our industry and to providing information to regulators that will assist them with any inquiry.” While clarity is still required on whether the investigation is purely for information gathering or if enforcement action will follow, it’s clear that the SEC plans to have a prominent role in its oversight of the crypto market and DeFi platforms going forward.

Who else is being investigated?

While Uniswap has grabbed the headlines in the SEC’s investigation, other unnamed DeFi platforms are also being closely watched. Gabriel Shapiro, General Counsel for Delphi Labs – another DeFi platform – has said that crypto-focused legal practitioners have been anticipating DeFi enforcement from regulatory bodies. Shapiro recently remarked, “Lawyers in the space have been aware and talking for about a month about how DeFi projects are starting to get letters from the SEC, inquiries from other regulators, and this is just it becoming more public.”

Final thoughts

The net certainly appears to be closing in on DeFi platforms that have long operated without regulations. Although these platforms are decentralised, the SEC will undoubtedly be looking at centralised parties that play significant roles in these operations. These centralised role players are salient to both decentralised finance platforms and decentralised crypto exchanges.

The manner in which the SEC proceeds with this investigation will provide a clear indication of how well DeFi platforms will perform in the future. While very few details about the investigation have filtered into the public domain, there is a feeling that as the investigation matures there will be stricter regulations for decentralised finance and its associated parties. As things stand, it appears that a new era of crypto enforcement has dawned!

2021-09-16T12:18:19+00:00September 10, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Wisly Wednesday Industry News

Another fascinating week has passed in the world of crypto with some tantalising news that’s sure to tickle the taste buds of crypto enthusiasts. El Salvador becomes the first country in history to adopt Bitcoin; NFL bans crypto sponsorship deals; Australian neo-bank partners with crypto exchange in ground-breaking deal; and the FCA slams Kim Kardashian for putting investors at risk.

El Salvador becomes the first country in history to adopt Bitcoin

El Salvador has become the first country in history to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender for use of all goods and services in the country, including taxes. This historic moment manifested on Tuesday, 7 September 2021, and is a culmination of remarkable efforts by President Nayib Bukele who has long advocated for the adoption of Bitcoin in the country.

Bukele has been firm in his belief that this day would come judging by his previous remarks where he explained the need to break the paradigms of the past and to move El Salvador towards the first world. El Salvador’s president aims to reduce and ultimately eliminate over $400 million that the country spends each year on commissions for remittances that are mostly paid to the US.

President Bukele announced on Monday that his government had concluded the purchase of 200 Bitcoins ahead of the formal adoption taking place. El Salvador now holds 400 Bitcoins which is estimated to be worth over $28 million at current trading levels.

All citizens will now be able to download an official government app, the Chivo Wallet, that gives each user $30 to promote its use. A buoyant Bukele tweeted, The process of #Bitcoin in El Salvador has a learning curve. Every step toward the future is like this, and we will not achieve everything in a day, nor in a month.” Former El Salvadorian resident and Bitcoin enthusiast, Gerson Martinez, couldn’t contain his excitement as he beamed, “It’s hard to describe the hope and joy it makes me feel that our country is the first domino to fall in this inevitable transition. What a time to be a Salvadoran.”

Despite pockets of protests against Bitcoin’s adoption in El Salvador, this news has certainly galvanised a country that hopes to attract new investments and boost their economy. Wisly will keep you updated on the very latest.

NFL bans crypto sponsorship deals

The National Football League (NFL) has banned sports teams and franchises under its umbrella from participating in sponsorship deals with crypto trading companies. The ban is widespread and includes NFT auctions although it stops short of sponsorships from those companies that have any connection with cryptocurrencies – investment advisory and fund management services – where its primary focus is on that company’s corporate brands rather than crypto.

Despite a growing number of sports teams across the globe collaborating with crypto entities to create non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and lucrative sponsorship packages, the NFL has expressed doubts in terms of its industry participation. In a recently released statement, the NFL said, ”Clubs are prohibited from selling, or otherwise allowing within club controlled media, advertisements for specific cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, other cryptocurrency sales or any other media category as it relates to blockchain, digital asset or as blockchain company, except as outlined in this policy.”

Sponsorship deals with crypto companies have created innovative ways for sports teams and players to earn extra revenue, while crypto companies find additional marketing opportunities and increased visibility. The NFL’s stance, however, is consistent with its views regarding income generation from taboo industries such as alcohol and gambling.

Considering the growing number of sports teams and franchises around the globe collaborating with crypto companies, there is always the possibility that the NFL will change its position in the future. Wisly will keep you posted on the latest developments.

Australian neo-bank partners with crypto exchange in ground-breaking deal

In a first-of-its-kind deal in Australia, neo-bank – Volt – has decided to partner with crypto exchange – BTC Markets (BTCM) – to offer banking capabilities to users of the popular crypto exchange. BTCM’s 325,000 Australian customers will benefit from access to a corporate cash management account with payment automation and real-time notifications courtesy of Volt.

BTCM plans to invite its users to open Volt bank accounts in the coming months so that they can participate in real-time trading. In terms of the Financial Claims Scheme in the country, all deposits in Volt accounts are insured to a maximum of AU$250,000 per account holder. This ground-breaking deal will help neo-banks in the country to forge a presence in the banking sector with its low-cost offers.

Volt hopes to break the monopoly of Australia’s Big 4 banks – Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp, New Zealand Banking Group, and National Australia Bank. Although the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has imposed stricter requirements for entities seeking banking licenses, this has not deterred neo-banks from competing with the big boys. Wisly will keep you updated on the very latest with this development.

UK financial watchdog slams Kim Kardashian for putting crypto investors at risk

Chair of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Charles Randall, has slammed Kim Kardashian for her recent Instagram post where she advertised for crypto token, Ethereum Max, to her 200 million followers. His remarks were made at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime this past Monday where he said that celebrities like Kardashian were putting retail investors at great risk by promoting obscure crypto tokens.

Randall elaborated on how celebrity influencers can trick investors towards cryptocurrencies that could very well turn out to be scams. Kardashian’s post is said to be a financial promotion with the single largest audience reach in history – astounding!

Randall was forthright in his comments as he said, “In line with Instagram’s rules, Kardashian disclosed that this was an ad but she didn’t have to disclose that Ethereum Max – not to be confused with Ethereum – was a speculative digital token created a month before by unknown developers – one of hundreds of such tokens that fill the crypto-exchanges.”

He continued, “Of course, I can’t say whether this particular token is a scam. But social media influencers are routinely paid by scammers to help them pump and dump new tokens on the back of pure speculation. Some influencers promote coins that turn out simply not to exist at all.”

The FCA chair was of the belief that regulators should have greater power over cryptocurrencies to curb disreputable cryptocurrency promotions and the associated risks of trading in unregulated digital tokens. He also affirmed that regulating cryptocurrencies would give digital assets more legitimacy in the eyes of investors while concluding that more rules are needed.

2021-09-16T12:19:38+00:00September 8, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments
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