• German government has invested $1.2 million in Flying Sheep Studios, a metaverse game startup based in Cologne.
• The funds will be used to develop a free-to-play-anywhere game called Star Life which will include blockchain elements and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
• This is part of the federal budget allocation to support interactive experiences and grow the national metaverse industry.
German Government Invests in Metaverse Startup
The German government has allocated $1.2 million in funding for a metaverse game being developed by Flying Sheep Studios, based in Cologne. The company will use the funds for the development of an online role playing experience called Star Life, which will also include blockchain elements in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Funding From Federal Ministry
Flying Sheep Studios raised $1.2 million from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action to accelerate its progress on the project. Thomas Rössig, managing director of Flying Sheep Studios, expressed his gratitude for the investment stating that it demonstrates how federal budgets can be used to foster technical know-how made in Germany.
Star Life Overview
Star Life is a free-to-play anywhere game that focuses on cooperation and socialization between diverse users who are part of its virtual metaverse. It will also incorporate blockchain elements with NFTs that can be transported to other games or metaverses giving players more control over their items as well as monetization options.
Investment From South Korea
South Korea recently announced an investment of $51 million into local metaverse projects and private companies like Meta are now pivoting to put more funds into art related projects as well as video games within this space.
The investment from Germany shows how governments are taking responsibility when it comes to investing in these kinds of projects taking place within the metaverse industry and paving way for growth within this sector globally.
• Binance announced that it will cease processing transactions with Ukrainian hryvnia through two payment platforms at the end of March.
• This follows an earlier suspension of deposits and withdrawals using bank cards in the national currency of Ukraine.
• Cryptocurrencies have become a lifeline for many Ukrainians, providing funds for military and relief efforts.
Binance Suspends Transactions with Ukrainian Hryvnia
Crypto exchange Binance has announced that it will stop processing transactions with Ukrainian hryvnia through two payment platforms by the end of March. The move follows an earlier suspension of deposits and withdrawals using bank cards in the national currency of Ukraine.
Reason for Suspension
The measures are related to restrictions imposed by the National Bank of Ukraine, its representatives explained earlier in March. Besides Binance, a leading Ukrainian crypto exchange, Kuna, also acknowledged the interruptions. Its founder Michael Chobanian commented that these could be linked to efforts by the government in Kyiv against money laundering and tax evasion through online gambling sites.
Impact on Crypto Donations
Cryptocurrencies have provided a lifeline for many Ukrainians and their country amid an ongoing war with Russia. A recent blockchain intelligence report revealed that the invaded nation has raised over $212 million to fund its military and relief efforts through crypto donations which, according to Chobanian, will be affected by the government-imposed Hryvnia restrictions.
Options Available to Users
Binance informed Ukrainian traders that they can sell hryvnia in spot pairs or convert it to any asset free of commission. It further suggested that they use its peer-to-peer platform to exchange crypto and fiat money directly with other Binance users.
The suspension of transactions with Ukrainian hryvnia is part of a larger effort by the government in Kyiv against money laundering and tax evasion through online gambling sites. Despite this measure impacting crypto donations from Ukrainians, there are still options available on Binance’s platform for trading cryptos without having to use fiat currencies such as hryvnia or bank cards.
• Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) prices were largely unchanged in today’s session, as markets prepared for this afternoon’s testimony from Fed Chair Powell.
• BTC/USD fell to a low of $22,356.62 earlier in the day, while ETH/USD narrowly avoided a collision with a floor at $1,560.
• The head of the U.S. Federal Reserve will be speaking in front of the Senate Banking Committee later in the day.
Bitcoin and Ethereum Technical Analysis
Bitcoin Consolidates Ahead of Powell Testimony
Bitcoin (BTC) continued to trade sideways on Tuesday, as market uncertainty remained high ahead of Fed Chair Powell’s testimony. The 14-day relative strength index (RSI) was hovering above its own point of support at 42.00, with bulls targeting a ceiling at 49.00 should sentiment shift positively after the speech.
Ethereum Narrowly Avoids Collision with Support Point
Ethereum (ETH) was also largely unchanged in today’s session, with prices trading close to a recent support point at $1,560. Following a high of $1,579.46 to start the week, ETH/USD fell to an intraday low of $1,561.44 earlier in today’s session before climbing marginally higher as the day progressed. Momentum remains bearish overall however, as the 10-day (red) moving average continues to extend its crossover with its 25-day (red) counterpart.
Powell Testimony Could Impact Cryptocurrency Prices
Fed Chair Powell will be speaking in front of the Senate Banking Committee later today and many believe that he will give some forward guidance into the Federal Reserve’s current thinking and how aggressive they may be in their upcoming meeting. If Powell gives markets a reason to be optimistic then this could potentially have an impact on cryptocurrency prices going forward as investors could see it as an opportunity for further gains or losses depending on what is said during his speech.
Bitcoin and Ethereum Analysis Summary
Overall Bitcoin and Ethereum both remain largely unchanged in terms of price action despite this afternoon’s highly anticipated testimony from Fed Chair Powell which could impact their respective prices moving forward depending on what is said during his speech later today.. The 14-day RSI for BTC is currently tracking at 43 while ETH is tracking at 44 which indicates that both cryptocurrencies are still trading within relatively narrow ranges indicating there could be further price movements following Powell’s testimony so investors should remain vigilant over what happens next if they are looking for potential gains or losses depending on how bullish or bearish his speech turns out to be..
• Trezor, the manufacturer of crypto hardware wallets, has announced that it is taking control of its wallet chip production process by producing its own silicon chips.
• The new chip-making process enhances security significantly by eliminating third-party chipmakers and associated vulnerabilities. It also shortens lead times for mass production.
• The company is collaborating with Stmicroelectronics, a manufacturer of microcontrollers and semiconductor technologies, to create an open-source silicon chip called „TROPIC01“ for use in crypto hardware wallets.
Trezor Takes Control of Chip Production
Trezor, the manufacturer of crypto hardware wallets, has announced that it will take control of its wallet chip production process by producing its own silicon chips. This move enables the company to have more design freedom for future products and enhances device security while considerably shortening lead times for mass production.
The new chip-making process eliminates third-party chipmakers and associated vulnerabilities significantly enhancing security. By bypassing supply chain issues it also considerably reduces lead times making manufacturing more agile as the cryptocurrency market shows signs of recovery.
Collaboration with Stmicroelectronics
Trezor is collaborating with Stmicroelectronics, a manufacturer of microcontrollers and semiconductor technologies, to create an open-source silicon chip called „TROPIC01“ for use in crypto hardware wallets. The new chips developed by Trezor will be utilized in the Trezor Model T hardware wallet which is currently undergoing beta testing with select users.
Demand for Hardware Wallets
Hardware wallets have seen substantial demand since the collapse of FTX as crypto enthusiasts have transferred billions worth of crypto assets from centralized trading platforms to these secure devices. Several companies have also unveiled new models such as Ledger Stax created by Tony Fadell (creator of iPod), decentralized exchange aggregation service 1inch Network’s hardware wallet, and Coinkite’s Coldcard Q1 product.
The newly designed „chip wrapper“ developed by Trezor adds more design freedom for future products helping them sustain their leadership in the increasingly competitive hardware wallet space while enhancing security significantly through eliminating third-party chipset makers and associated vulnerabilities at the same time reducing lead times drastically.
• Yandex, the largest Russian search engine, has updated its currency converter, adding cryptocurrencies.
• The widget now shows the rates of these coins in a number of fiat currencies and users can view information about over 140 most popular cryptocurrencies.
• A law „On Digital Financial Assets“ entered into force in Russia in January, 2021 but the government is yet to properly regulate transactions with decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
Yandex Integrates Cryptocurrencies Into Currency Converter
Yandex, the largest Russian search engine, has updated its currency converter to include cryptocurrencies. This widget now shows rates for these coins in a number of fiat currencies and users can view information about over 140 most popular cryptocurrencies.
The software recognizes standard keywords and even slang or imprecise language when entering a query. The value of the coins and tokens of interest can be displayed in Russian rubles, U.S. dollars, euros, and other fiat currencies. More pairs will be added in the future as well as crypto-to-crypto pairs so users can track one cryptocurrency’s rate against another’s rate. Yandex sources market data from Coingecko which is one of the largest aggregation portals in the crypto space.
Popular Cryptos By Number Of Queries In 2022
According to Yandex’s own statistics, bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, dogecoin, and solana have been the most popular cryptos by number of search queries this year (2022). Global online platforms also support similar functions but access to some has been restricted for Russians such as Twitter’s feature allowing tracking cryptocurrency prices which was launched last December but blocked in Russia soon after due to its ban on certain websites within their country borders.
Regulation To Come In 2023
A law „On Digital Financial Assets“ entered into force back in January 2021 but there are still no regulations for transactions with decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin yet though this should happen by 2023 according to officials‘ statements regarding digital asset regulation plans within Russia’s borders. There is also a bill designed to legalize crypto mining that was submitted last November 2022 which aims to regulate exchange of said mined cryptocurrencies on trading platforms abroad or under special legal regimes done within Russia only .
The addition of cryptocurrency values into Yandex’s currency converter provides its users with an easier way to view their favorite cryptos‘ rates against various national currencies as well as other digital assets themselves if they choose to use it for that purpose too once available options are added later on down the line making it easier for them to make informed decisions regarding investing/spending time within this relatively new sector everyone should definitely keep an eye out for any changes coming soon!
• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that 50,000 users and 5,000 merchants are now using its central bank digital currency (CBDC).
• Currently, 770,000 digital rupee transactions have been processed by eight banks. Five more banks are set to join the pilot soon.
• India’s largest retailer Reliance Retail plans to accept payments in digital rupees with the help of three partner banks.
Digital Rupee Now Has 50,000 Users
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor T. Rabi Sankar has revealed that 50,000 users and 5,000 merchants are now using its central bank digital currency (CBDC). Digital rupee transactions are currently being processed by eight banks with five more set to join the pilot soon. The retail digital rupee pilot began on Dec. 1 last year in five cities but is gradually being expanded to nine more cities. About 770,000 digital rupee transactions have been conducted so far. Deputy Governor Sankar stressed that the RBI will move forward cautiously with the initiative to ensure all potential impacts are understood before any actions are taken.
Reliance Retail Accepting Payments in Digital Rupees
India’s largest retailer Reliance Retail recently announced plans to accept payments in digital rupees through ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and fintech Innoviti Technologies across its gourmet store line Freshpik nationwide. According to Atlantic Council’s CBDC tracker 114 countries representing over 95% of global GDP are currently exploring a central bank digital currency.
RBI Skeptical about Cryptocurrencies
Despite this progress in developing a CBDC for India’s economy, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has continued to recommend a complete ban on cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether citing risks they pose to financial systems and could cause another financial crisis if not banned outrightly. He also said these virtual assets do not have any underlying value either as an asset or commodity and would undermine the authority of RBI if allowed into circulation freely.
Current Status of Indian Crypto Regulations
At present Indian crypto regulations remain unclear as the Supreme Court overturned an RBI circular issued in 2018 which had ordered all banks not to provide services related to cryptocurrencies or their trading activities while allowing exchanges regulated by SEBI or other authorized bodies like RBI itself legal tender status . This decision effectively opened up banking facilities for cryptocurrency exchanges thus allowing them access to banking services after filing necessary KYC documents with their respective banks – something which was denied earlier due to lack of regulations around it . However , there is still no clear indication from government yet about how this nascent industry will be regulated going forward .
The Reserve Bank of India’s recent announcement regarding its CBDC reveals positive developments towards introducing a new form of payment system within the country . Nevertheless , uncertainty surrounding crypto regulations remains , while authorities continue recommending a complete ban on cryptocurrencies amid warnings they could cause another financial crisis if not controlled properly .
- Egyptian fintech MNT-Halan recently secured $400 million in funding, raising its valuation to over $1 billion.
- Chimera Abu Dhabi invested more than $200 million, giving them equity equivalent to 20% of the company.
- The remaining capital was secured via two securitized bond issuances.
MNT-Halan Secures Funding and Valuation Rises
Egyptian fintech MNT-Halan announced on Feb. 1 that it had raised over $340 million via debt and equity and it expects to raise an additional $60 million from leading international investors. The latest funding round sees MNT-Halan’s valuation rise to over $1 billion which reportedly makes it the country’s „only private billion-dollar company.“
Chimera Abu Dhabi Investment
Chimera Abu Dhabi, a private investment firm that oversees a portfolio consisting of listed and unlisted equities, invested more than $200 million. In return, Chimera Abu Dhabi was awarded equity equivalent to over 20% of the company. Seif Fikry, the investment firm’s CEO commented on their investment: „We are thrilled to be part of Egypt’s greatest fintech success story. MNT-Halan’s upward trajectory and momentum reflect the management team’s realization of its extraordinary vision to transform a high-touch business by seamlessly infusing an unparalleled proprietary tech platform while increasing product depth for its target customer segment.“
Securitized Bond Issuances
The statement revealed that the remaining $140 million capital was secured via two securitized bond issuances. Tasaheel Microfinance Company, one of the two MNT-Halan subsidiaries, has securitized $100 million of its loan book in the second issuance of its securitization program. Halan Consumer Finance has „securitized $40 million of its loan book in its first securitization since its start of operations in 2021.“
Valuation At the completion of this funding round, MNT-Halan’s valuation will subsequently rise to over $1 billion according to Techcrunch report which made them Egypt’s only private billion dollar company.
< h2 >Conclusion h 2 > With this new infusion of funds received by MNT – Halan , they have become Egypt’s only private billion dollar company making it a great success story .
• The Argentine peso has consistently lost value against the U.S. dollar throughout January, dropping by almost 12%.
• Analysts are concerned about inflation rates increasing sharply, with estimates reaching as high as 100% in 2021.
• Moves to stabilize the exchange rate, such as government debt purchases and injections of dollars into the market, have had limited success in containing the devaluation of the peso.
Decline of Argentine Peso
The Argentine peso has fallen steadily against the U.S. dollar this month, losing almost 12% since Jan. 1. The behavior of the exchange rate for the informal „blue“ dollar is raising fears about a possible surge in inflation rates this year that could reach 100%, similar to what happened in 2022.
In an effort to maintain stability, the government has injected dollars into the market to satisfy registered importers and announced a purchase operation of more than $1 billion of its own external debt. Despite these efforts, analysts remain worried about the balance of Argentina’s reserves after this disbursement, which would affect its ability to respond to economic issues going forward.
The continued depreciation ofthe Argentine peso is already having an impact on consumer prices. Private firms predict an inflation rate higher than 5% for January alone – significantly more than other countries like Brazil – raising concerns that it could continue escalating if further measures are not taken soon..
Criticism Against Government Action
María Castiglioni Cotter criticized recent government moves by stating they make no sense while facing a budget deficit and might actually worsen existing economic problems rather than solve them by reducing foreign currency available for imports and slowing down economic activity even further.
The devaluation of the Argentine peso continues to bring uncertainty regarding future inflation levels and overall economic performance for 2021 and beyond. While governments measures have been implemented so far, some analysts remain critical about their effectiveness or potential outcomes for Argentina’s economy going forward
• FTX Trading Ltd. and the bankruptcy case’s official creditors committee filed a motion to subpoena Sam Bankman-Fried, his parents, his brother, and a few of the former CEO’s top lieutenants for financial insight.
• The lawyers contend that specific insiders associated with Bankman-Fried’s dealings could provide much-needed insight into financial matters.
• Barbara Fried’s political action committee (PAC) Mind the Gap received funds from FTX according to the court filing.
FTX Trading Ltd. and the bankruptcy case’s official creditors committee have filed a motion in an attempt to gain insight into the financial dealings of FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried, his family, and his inner circle. The joint motion seeks to question Bankman-Fried, his brother Gabriel Bankman-Fried, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, his parents, as well as some of the former CEO’s top lieutenants. This includes FTX co-founder Gary Wang, ex-Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, the former chief operating officer Constance Wang, and the exchange’s former director of engineering Nishad Singh.
The current FTX CEO, John J. Ray III, told Congress that Joseph Bankman and „the family certainly received payments“ from FTX. This has led the lawyers to believe that these specific insiders could provide much-needed insight into financial matters. The filing alleges that Fried’s political action committee (PAC) Mind the Gap received funds from FTX. Barbara Fried, however, „has ignored the requests altogether,“ the joint motion discloses. Bankman allegedly gave tax advice to FTX investors and is believed to have substantial knowledge of the company’s financial dealings.
The lawyers are seeking to gain access to information on the nature and extent of Bankman-Fried’s assets, any entities he owns or controls, and any other transactions he has been involved in or had knowledge of. The creditors committee is trying to determine if Bankman-Fried has assets that can be used to satisfy some of the company’s outstanding debts.
The motion has been filed in an attempt to gain a better understanding of the company’s financial dealings and to ensure that all creditors are paid in full. With the help of Bankman-Fried’s family and inner circle, the attorneys will be able to better assess the company’s financial situation and come to a resolution that is in the best interest of all parties involved.
• Quicknode has raised $60 million in a Series B funding round led by 10T Holdings.
• The funds will be used to „further fuel blockchain adoption“ and „streamline the Web2 to Web3 movement at scale.“
• Quicknode has seen remarkable growth over the past year with its revenue growing more than 300%.
Quicknode, a web3 infrastructure firm, recently announced the successful completion of its Series B funding round, raising $60 million. This brings the company’s post-valuation to $800 million, and the capital injection will be used to further fuel blockchain adoption and expand globally. The round was led by 10T Holdings and other participating investors included QED, Tiger Global, Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six, and Protocol Labs.
Quicknode claims to handle „billions of blockchain calls daily with 2X faster response time than competitors.“ This is an impressive feat, especially considering the crypto winter that the industry has been experiencing. The company detailed that the funds will be used to „streamline the Web2 to Web3 movement at scale.“ This will be achieved by making new hires, developing Web3 offerings for the Quicknode marketplace, and expanding globally.
The company also revealed that it has seen remarkable growth over the past year with its revenue growing more than 300%. This is despite the market conditions and is a testament to the effectiveness of the firm’s offerings. Quicknode’s CEO and co-founder, Alex Nabutovs, said “At Quicknode, we firmly believe in Web3 as the future of the Internet. With this latest round, we are even better equipped to help developers, enterprises, and projects build and deploy their applications faster, better, and cheaper.”
This news is a positive sign for the blockchain industry, as it shows that investors are still positive about the space and are willing to commit to it. With Quicknode raising this amount of funds, it is likely that the firm will be able to further bridge the gap between web2 and web3, which will be a major step in furthering blockchain adoption.