41% of Surveyed Crypto Investors are Newbies
41% of Surveyed Crypto Investors are Newbies 101
Source: AdobeStock/Pormezz

As many as 41.4% of cryptocurrency investors are crypto newbies, and 60% of them declare they have invested between USD 2,500 and USD 5,000 in crypto, according to the results of a recent survey by alternative investment firm Invictus Capital.

“Today’s investor resembles a 35-year-old German engineer named Günther. He derives his crypto investing information from YouTube, because he values learning how to generate high returns on his investment more than the idealism of cutting out the middleman,” the company said in the survey’s summary.

They are referring to the finding that the country with the highest percentage of surveyed alternative investors was Germany, at 14.1%, followed by the US and Spain, with 7.7% and 6.8%, respectively. The UK and Turkey were ranked fourth, both at 4.8%.

Furthermore, the survey indicates crypto investing is dominated by those aged 31-45, with 41.8%, while respondents aged 25 and below represent 25.1% of the total. Investors aged 25 to 30 hold a 22.9% share, while those aged 45 and above represent only 10.2% of the total.

The survey collected answers from some 3,473 respondents spread across a total of 60 countries. Ofir Sever, a PR spokesperson for Invictus Capital, told Cryptonews.com that the survey’s focus was to determine the modern investor profile, media consumption habits, crypto investing sources, as well as investing habits. The survey was carried out online last February and March, and it targeted investors.

Data was sourced from respondents with access to high-speed Internet, with a significant share of responses from the European Union’s member states and Asian countries, according to the spokesperson. Mobile users provided 94% of the responses, with desktop and tablet users generating a further 5.5% and 0.5%, respectively.

The average sum invested in crypto is reported to be USD 2,500 – USD 5,000, with 60% of those surveyed marking this option. 40% also reported investing USD 100 – USD 2,500, while more than 30% of the respondents have also made investments under USD 100.

With regards to the respondents’ professional profiles, engineers lead the way, at 12.5%, followed by tradesmen and lawyers, both at 9.6%, and finance professionals with 8.6%. Among the listed professions, IT is at the bottom of the list, with 1.6%.

The survey’s summary further stated that:

  • 68% said high returns remain a motivation;
  • 54% see crypto investing as a method to future proof their money;
  • 25% invest to mitigate dealing with middle men;
  • 50% noted high fees on exchanges, quality, and volume on exchanges as the biggest challenges they faced.

And speaking of exchanges, 69% of surveyed investors listed Binance as their exchange of choice, followed by Coinbase with 42.6%, and Kraken with 13%.

74% of the surveyed individuals chose YouTube as their preferred social channel.

Meanwhile, almost 40% percent of respondents said that they invest on a weekly basis, 34.3% said they invest monthly, and 7.7% said they invest once a year, Invictus Capital concluded.

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Learn more:

9% of Surveyed US Teens Claim to Have Traded in Crypto

50% of Inexperienced Investors to Hold Bitcoin Less Than a Year – Survey

18% of Asked Americans Bought Crypto, Most Know Only Bitcoin – Survey

Young Investors Drive Increased Aussie Bitcoin & Crypto Investments

Investors Still Prefer Stocks To Bitcoin, But BTC Wins Over Gold – Survey

More Professionals Trust Crypto Than Want To Get Paid In It – Survey

Crypto is Here to Stay, But There is a Twist, Survey Shows

SnackMagic picks up $15M to expand from build-your-own snack boxes into a wider gifting marketplace

The office shut-down at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year spurred huge investment in digital transformation and a wave of tech companies helping with that, but there were some distinct losers in the shift, too — specifically those whose business models were predicated on serving the very offices that disappeared overnight. Today, one of the companies that had to make an immediate pivot to keep itself afloat is announcing a round of funding, after finding itself not just growing at a clip, but making a profit, as well.

SnackMagic, a build-your-own snack box service, has raised $15 million in a Series A round of funding led by Craft Ventures, with Luxor Capital also participating.

(Both investors have an interesting track record in the food-on-demand space: Most recently, Luxor co-led a $528 million round in Glovo in Spain, while Craft backs/has backed the likes of Cloud Kitchens, Postmates and many more).

The funding comes on the back of a strong year for the company, which hit a $20 million revenue run rate in eight months and turned profitable in December 2020.

Founder and CEO Shaunak Amin said in an interview that the plan will be to use the funding both to continue growing SnackMagic’s existing business, as well as extend into other kinds of gifting categories. Currently, you can ship snacks anywhere in the world, but the customizable boxes — recipients are gifted an amount that they can spend, and they choose what they want in the box themselves from SnackMagic’s menu, or one that a business has created and branded as a subset of that — are only available in locations in North America, serviced by SnackMagic’s primary warehouse. Other locations are given options of pre-packed boxes of snacks right now, but the plan is to slowly extend its pick-and-mix model to more geographies, starting with the U.K.

Alongside this, the company plans to continue widening the categories of items that people can gift each other beyond chocolates, chips, hot sauces and other fun food items, into areas like alcohol, meal kits, and non-food items. There’s also scope for expanding to more use cases into areas like corporate gifting, marketing and consumer services, and analytics coming out of its sales.

Amin calls the data that SnackMagic is amassing about customer interest in different brands and products “the hidden gem” of the platform.

“It’s one of the most interesting things,” he said. Brands that want to add their items to the wider pool of products — which today numbers between 700 and 800 items — also get access to a dashboard where they monitor what’s selling, how much stock is left of their own items, and so on. “One thing that is very opaque [in the CPG world] is good data.”

For many of the bigger companies that lack their own direct sales channels, it’s a significantly richer data set than what they typically get from selling items in the average brick and mortar store, or from a bigger online retailer like Amazon. “All these bigger brands like Pepsi and Kellogg not only want to know this about their own products more but also about the brands they are trying to buy,” Amin said. Several of them, he added, have approached his company to partner and invest, so I guess we should watch this space.

SnackMagic’s success comes from a somewhat unintended, unlikely beginning, and it’s a testament to the power of compelling, yet extensible technology that can be scaled and repurposed if necessary. In its case, there is personalization technology, logistics management, product inventory and accounting, and lots of data analytics involved.

The company started out as Stadium, a lunch delivery service in New York City that was leveraging the fact that when co-workers ordered lunch or dinner together for the office — say around a team-building event or a late-night working session, or just for a regular work day — oftentimes they found that people all hankered for different things to eat.

In many cases, people typically make separate orders for the different items, but that also means if you are ordering to all eat together, things would not arrive at the same time; if it’s being expensed, it’s more complicated on that front too; and if you’re thinking about carbon footprints, it might also mean a lot less efficiency on that front too.

Stadium’s solution was a platform that provided access to multiple restaurants’ menus, and people could pick from all of them for a single order. The business had been operating for six years and was really starting to take off.

“We were quite well known in the city, and we had plans to expand, and we were on track for March 2020 being our best month ever,” Amin said. Then, Covid-19 hit. “There was no one left in the office,” he said. Revenue disappeared overnight, since the idea of delivering many items to one place instantly stopped being a need.

Amin said that they took a look at the platform they had built to pick many options (and many different costs, and the accounting that came with that) and thought about how to use that for a different end. It turned out that even with people working remotely, companies wanted to give props to their workers, either just to say hello and thanks, or around a specific team event, in the form of food and treats — all the more so since the supply of snacks you typically come across in so many office canteens and kitchens were no longer there for workers to tap.

It’s interesting, but perhaps also unsurprising, that one of the by-products of our new way of working has been the rise of more services that cater (no pun intended) to people working in more decentralised ways, and that companies exploring how to improve rewarding people in those environments are also seeing a bump.

Just yesterday, we wrote about a company called Alyce raising $30 million for its corporate gifting platform that is also based on personalization — using AI to help understand the interests of the recipient to make better choices of items that a person might want to receive.

Alyce is taking a somewhat different approach to SnackMagic: it’s not holding any products itself, and there is no warehouse but rather a platform that links up buyers with those providing products. And Alyce’s initial audience is different, too: instead of internal employees (the first, but not final, focus for SnackMagic) it is targeting corporate gifting, or presents that sales and marketing people might send to prospects or current clients as a please and thank you gesture.

But you can also see how and where the two might meet in the middle — and compete not just with each other, but the many other online retailers, Amazon and otherwise, plus the consumer goods companies themselves looking for ways of diversifying business by extending beyond the B2C channel.

“We don’t worry about Amazon. We just get better,” Amin said when I asked him about whether he worried that SnackMagic was too easy to replicate. “It might be tough anyway,” he added, since “others might have the snacks but picking and packing and doing individual customization is very different from regular e-commerce. It’s really more like scalable gifting.”

Investors are impressed with the quick turnaround and identification of a market opportunity, and how it quickly retooled its tech to make it fit for purpose.

“SnackMagic’s immediate success was due to an excellent combination of timing, innovative thinking and world-class execution,” said Bryan Rosenblatt, principal investor at Craft Ventures, in a statement. “As companies embrace the future of a flexible workplace, SnackMagic is not just a snack box delivery platform but a company culture builder.”

Top 7 small cap altcoins with huge potential, says analyst George Tung

In the recent video, crypto KOL George Tung from CryptosRUs discussed 7 altcoins under $150M in market cap that he believes are poised to explode.

top-7-small-cap-altcoins-with-huge-potential-says-analyst-george-tung

Rally (RLY)

Rally (RLY) is the first altcoin on the list, a decentralized network for creators to monetize and align themselves with their community. As a community-owned network, the community is in charge of making the decisions for how the network evolves, not the Rally team itself.

“This is a brilliant idea! It’s a very easy way for creators to basically launch a token and interact and engage with their fans”, the trader says.

Moreover, excitingly, Rally recently launched a cryptocurrency dubbed Creator Coin that will help influencers, content creators, and streamers run their own virtual economies. The analyst also cites the news that Grammy-winning artist Portugal.The Man has also joined as a coin partner.

“All these entities have big followings and they’re adopting Rally”.

Terra Virtua (TVK)

Next on the list is Terra Virtua (TVK). Terra Virtua is a cross-platform non-fungible token (NFT) ecosystem that offers a curated marketplace for NFT creators and collectors to interact. The Terra Virtua Kolect platform spans web, PC, and mobile AR/VR environments.

“Terra Virtua has launched a line of Godzilla vs. Kong NFT collectibles created in collaboration with film production giant Warner Bros. — among the first-ever NFT drops to coincide with the release of a major film”, Tung says.

He further adds that if there is anything more than places Terra Virtua uniquely in the NFT and blockchain space, it is the partnerships the project has bagged over the last 3 years, including Paramount Pictures, Legendary Entertainment, and more in the space.

Revv (REVV)

Next on Tung’s radar is Revv (REVV). REVV is designed to leverage the blockchain assets concept of interoperability, wherein a token can be utilised across multiple connected products.

“Revv is specifically created for games. Having one utility token for multiple game titles offers various benefits to players and game publishers and will encourage players to explore the other games that are part of this connected ecosystem, and has the additional potential benefit that any content or tokens could increase in utility as the larger token ecosystem expands”.

Tung also shares his bullish view on the coin that given the current strong fundamental grounds, the coin will pump to the moon really soon.

Nuls (NULS)

Nuls (NULS) is the next potential low market cap altcoin on the video.

NULS is an open-source, enterprise-grade, adaptive blockchain platform that offers fast-track business solutions for developers. Featuring microservices, smart contracts, cross-chain interoperability, and instant chain-building, NULS sets a new industry standard in streamlining blockchain adoption.

“The coin has been finally climbing, crawling up and they’re finally above 100 million, 127 million to be exact, and you know what, hopefully, they could continue to momentum and gain and go back to their previous highs”, Tung says.

Frontier (FRONT)

Next on the list is Frontier (FRONT), a chain-agnostic DeFi aggregation layer.

“To date, the coin has added support for DeFi on Ethereum, Binance Chain, BandChain, Kava, and Harmony. Via StaFi Protocol, they also enter into the Polkadot ecosystem, and will put vigorous efforts towards Serum”, he says.

EasyFi (EASY)

The sixth altcoin is EasyFi (EASY), a universal layer 2 lending protocol built for DeFi focused on scalability, composability, and adoption.

Tung points out that the one of the most interesting features is that the network design is ethereum compatible and blockchain agnostic that facilitates the expeditious settlement of assets over different blockchain networks while retaining custody with the asset owner’s network.

Bepro (BEPRO)

Lastly, the crypto KOL lists out Bepro (BEPRO), a utility token that enables token holders to setup applications on BEPRO, participate in the network, and earn token rewards by providing value.

The trader says that BEPRO Network Staking on Kucoin has been increased recently as the previous hardcap of 330M BEPRO has been increased to 430M BEPRO.

He also comments that although this is still an early coin, looking at the technology, communities and its partnerships, he believes that this coin would soon begin its rally.

[Chainlink] How the Chainlink Network Goes Beyond Data Delivery

How the Chainlink Network Goes Beyond Data Delivery

Oracles are commonly thought of as blockchain middleware that enable smart contracts to access external data—yet oracle networks, as they exist within Chainlink’s model, are much more than data delivery mechanisms. Through a wide-range of off-chain computational abilities, Chainlink’s decentralized oracle networks are providing blockchains with decentralized services that go far beyond securely fetching external data.

From Chainlink’s widely adopted Data Feeds, an extensive collection of on-chain price oracles for DeFi smart contracts, to Chainlink VRF, which generates a verifiable source of randomness for dynamic NFTs, to Chainlink’s highly customizable external adapters, the Chainlink Network is supporting a rapidly-expanding array of key oracle functions that are enhancing the capabilities of smart contracts across numerous blockchains and layer-2 networks.

In his recent presentation at the 2021 ETHDenver Hackathon, Chainlink Co-founder Sergey Nazarov emphasized the expansive functionality of decentralized oracle networks and how Chainlink-powered off-chain computations service a wide variety of smart contract use cases, from DeFi to parametric insurance to blockchain-based gaming.  The following is an excerpt of Sergey’s talk highlighting a key takeaway that the Chainlink Network goes far beyond data delivery to power new features and applications for the fast-growing blockchain economy.


Chainlink is not just about data—it is about an oracle network—and oracle networks are responsible for everything that blockchains are not responsible for. An oracle network is not just about delivering data. It is about providing all the tools and services needed by a contract. Smart contracts run on blockchain platforms are hyper-secure and hyper-reliable, but they are low on feature-richness for security reasons. Oracles extend the capabilities of blockchains by offering decentralized services like off-chain computation.

Centralized systems have completely lost people’s trust in many cases and will continue to lose people’s trust in almost all cases. Centralized services from social media to communications to the financial system are being viewed even by the average person as unreliable. People no longer want to create long-term relationships with these institutions.

How the Chainlink Network Goes Beyond Data Delivery
Chainlink offers a wide-range of off-chain computation and decentralized services.

I think the middle ground between highly centralized, feature-rich systems and highly trust-minimized but low-feature blockchain systems is an oracle network. An oracle network sits between every use case and all of the blockchains that those use cases run on, providing blockchains with all the other services they need. All of the other services a blockchain needs are a huge universe of inputs that may start at providing different types of data but quickly moves on to trust-minimized computations that, generally speaking, blockchains usually don’t do and probably won’t do at scale. Oracle networks will expand to do trust-minimized computation, in addition to providing data, and the combination of these will enable a much wider realm of products to be built.

The middle ground between highly centralized, feature-rich systems and highly trust-minimized but low-feature blockchain systems is an oracle network.

The first thing that is becoming very popular in the blockchain gaming community is Chainlink’s Verifiable Random Function (VRF). VRF is working for many different blockchain games that already use it in production, and it’s going live on multiple blockchains. Anyone can easily use it on Ethereum to provide random inputs to games. Beyond that, we are finalizing some of our plans around Chainlink Keepers and the ability to maintain a smart contract’s proper operation through a Chainlink Network. This is important, once again, because even DevOps and maintenance of contracts are responsibilities of oracle networks, as these operations need to be trust-minimized. Even beyond that, I think developers can think about, “How do I use the expanded computational capabilities of Chainlink’s adapters to compute more and more advanced things in a trust minimized-way that doesn’t require me to disclose things to blockchains?”

The realm of services the Chainlink Network offers will continue to grow, so if you’re a developer and you want to build cutting-edge, truly world-changing applications, Chainlink is  fundamentally here to help you. The Chainlink Network is here to help the world’s developers make trust-minimized decentralized applications that will be the new way that society interacts around various information. To me, it’s apparent that is where society is headed because of the systemic and continued failure of trust relationships with centralized institutions like social media, other communication systems, and financial systems. Fundamentally, our goal is to accelerate the transition to a truly decentralized and fair economic system.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has expanded the trials of their CBDC to the Hainan Province from April 12 to April 25
the-peoples-bank-of-china-pboc-has-expanded-the-trials-of-their-cbdc-to-the-hainan-province-from-april-12-to-april-25

It is reported that from April 12 to April 25, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) will expand the CBDC trial to Hainan province. This was the first event in an attempt to normalize cryptocurrencies across China. Now the People’s Bank of China has also conducted the test in other provinces.

Hainan Province announces its first-ever CBDC event in an attempt to normalize the digital currency across China

The Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DC/EP) is a fiat currency designed to replace a system of reserve money. Currently in the testing process, but CBDC is still gradually being adopted in China.

Members of the Sanya municipal government, including their employees, businesses, and permanent residents, will be the main participants of this trial. The trial will raise awareness for the digital yuan, foster secure transactions with wide accessibility. Additionally, participants in this trial will receive a 15% discount for every 100 yuan spent on the island.

While CBDC trials continued across China, cities like Chengdu and Beijing have shown promising success. The second batch of trials was announced in Shanghai, Trường Sa, Qingdao, Xi’an, and Dalian.

Currently, the digital yuan is in beta in China. It is being piloted as a retail CBDC. In the future, though, the central bank aims to be able to interact with other countries. The PBOC and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority are currently testing the digital yuan for cross-border use.

Besides, PBOC has included the affiliated banks of digital payments giants, AliPay and WePay, in their trials to increase adoption. Due to this partnership, users with WeBank and MyBank accounts can now access their money using PBOC apps running CBDC. AliPay and WePay together dominate more than 93% of the digital payments market in China.

There are currently 573.6 million users for digital payment platforms in China. This number is expected to increase to 618 million by 2025 showing huge potential for a shopping mall in this market.

[Bitstamp] Sameer Dubey joins Bitstamp as Chief Operating Officer

We’re excited to be welcoming another trusted leader from the world of finance to Bitstamp. Sameer Dubey has joined our team as our new Chief Operating Officer.

Sameer brings global leadership in fintech and traditional banking to Bitstamp, where he is taking charge of expanding our operational capabilities as we scale across our global businesses. He is joining us following stints with leading banks such as N26 and Barclays Bank.

At the German neobank N26, Sameer served as the Head of Operations for UK. Prior to N26, he spent over a decade in executive roles at Barclays on their Payments and Cash Management Product team. At Barclays, he also helped the major UK bank take its early steps into the world of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. We recently sat down with Sameer to ask him a few questions about why he chose Bitstamp and how he sees the journey forward.

You’ve built an impressive career at both traditional institutions and neobanks. What convinced you to shift your focus to crypto?

I’ve been engaged with the world of crypto for quite a while. At Barclays, I was one of the founding members of what we called the Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Council, and from that point, I started to see that, in the world of finance, this is probably the most fundamental shift that’s happened for hundreds of years. I saw myself playing a part in this world, so it was more a question of “when” than “if”. I was also familiar with Bitstamp, having been a customer for about four years. So, when the opportunity arose, I knew it would be a good fit.

How do you see the cryptocurrency industry evolving over the next few years?

I think that in a few years, we won’t really be talking about a cryptocurrency industry anymore. It will be another part of finance and innovative crypto businesses will be considered fintechs similarly to how N26 is perceived today. A lot of the groundwork for crypto to fully integrate into finance has already been laid in terms of the market infrastructure and the regulatory frameworks. Now, the trust from traditional players is starting to build up and cryptocurrencies, both as investable assets and as technological innovations, are getting a chance to prove what they can do on the biggest stage.

What part do you see Bitstamp playing in crypto’s evolution?

Bitstamp, from its inception, has been a cornerstone of the crypto industry – I expect us to continue playing that role. Additionally, as crypto merges with finance, the part we play is going to take on new meaning. Part of what makes this space so exciting is that we really can’t know where we’ll be in, let’s say, 10 years. From my perspective right now, I see Bitstamp continuing to provide best-in-class exchange services based on excellent trading technology and outstanding operations. We’re certainly going to build out that core with new assets and trading options, alongside launching brand new services like staking to build out a wider platform. The expertise we’re bringing in now, with leaders joining Bitstamp from various sectors of finance, will be essential on that journey and I’m excited about exploring the future with this team.

At Bitstamp, we’re continuing to bring in top talent and ramp up our global presence. To join Sameer and the rest of our team across Europe, US and Asia, visit our careers page .

Spain Seeks Public Comments on Potential Cryptocurrency Regulations

Cryptocurrency regulations across different countries continue to be a hot topic, and Spain is the latest to join in. The nation’s watchdog has asked industry participants, investors, and consumers for their opinion, and they have until April 16th to respond.

Spain’s Regulator Looks for Crypto Legislation

According to a report from La Informacion, The National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), Spain’s watchdog overseeing the securities markets, has initiated the first steps of nationwide crypto regulations.

The process has started by sending emails to representatives of the cryptocurrency industry, investors, and customers. They have less than two weeks to prepare statements with their comments on the proposals and send them back to the agency.

The coverage outlined that the potential regulations could affect almost all areas of the cryptocurrency industry. However, the legislation could exempt some professional activities, assets that are exclusively used as means of payment, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Interestingly, the US also hinted at new rules regarding NFTs recently, but they seemed significantly more strict. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may implement taxes on NFT purchases made with profits of digital assets, as CryptoPotatoreported recently.

Apart from the aforementioned potential regulations on crypto assets, Spain has also explored developing a central bank digital currency. The country’s central bank said in late 2020 that releasing a CBDC is among the priorities in the next three years.

Regulations in Other Countries

The exponential growth of the entire crypto space in the past year or so has caught the attention of global regulators. Consequently, numerous countries have started looking into inserting legislative frameworks.

Spain’s northern neighbor, France, called for a new and robust approach towards crypto regulations in February this year. The chairman of the nation’s financial regulatory body (AMF) believes that the current legal structures are insufficient when it comes down to new asset classes such as digital currencies.

Continuing north on the map and Britain’s Finance Minister, John Glen, urged the country to firstly focus on regulating stablecoins rather than the entire market, while the FCA has repeatedly issued warnings.

In some countries, such as South Korea, the implemented regulations have caused troubles for some of the firms operating within their borders. The East Asian nation introduced new AML legislation last month, and several cryptocurrency exchanges announced closing doors for their respective South Korean branches in response.

Hedge Fund Giant Invests In Bitcoin Trust, JPMorgan’s CEO On Crypto Regulation + More News
Hedge Fund Giant Invests In Bitcoin Trust, JPMorgan's CEO On Crypto Regulation + More News 101
Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan. Source: a video screenshot

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Investments news

  • USD 48bn hedge fund giant Millennium Management invested in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), TheStreet reported, citing two undisclosed sources familiar with the matter. “While the price premium GBTC long traded at against bitcoin collapsed recently, it’s unclear if New York-based Millennium booked any losses on the crowded trade,” the report added, without providing any numbers about the investment.

Regulation news

  • Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, placed the legal and regulatory status of cryptocurrencies on a list of “serious emerging issues that need to be dealt with – and rather quickly.” Per a letter to shareholders, others such issues include the growth of shadow banking, the proper and improper use of financial data, the risk that cybersecurity poses to the system, the proper and ethical use of AI, the effective regulation of payment systems, disclosures in private markets, and effective regulations around market structure and transparency.
  • A collective of Russian crypto and blockchain players has launched a bid to convince politicians not to pass restrictive a new set of crypto laws, per Izvestia. The new campaign has been masterminded by the pro-business pressure group Investment Russia, the law firm the Digital Rights Center and the public organization RosKomSvoboda, a body that claims to support open self-regulatory networks and protection of digital rights of Internet users. The campaign addresses the country’s finance ministry, Duma financial chiefs, tax bodies and the Central Bank. A manifesto calls for amendments to draft laws that the parties say “will have an extremely negative impact on the Russian crypto industry” if they are adopted.

NFTs news

  • Latvian airline airBalticsaid that it will become the world’s first airline to issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The airline will issue limited collector NFTs showcasing an individual Airbus A220-300 with its registration and a piece of art of the Kuldiga city to promote tourism and Latvia in the world. Starting with Kuldīga, the cities and towns which were voted as the people’s favorites will one by one be represented on the digital art pieces issued by airBaltic. The initial drop of the first airBaltic limited NFT will be announced later in April.
  • The seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady is launching an NFT platform called Autograph this spring, CNN reported, citing a representative for Brady. The platform “will bring together some of the biggest names in sports, entertainment, fashion, and pop culture to work with creators to develop unique digital collectibles,” it added.

Exchanges news

  • Blockchain technology company Ebang International Holdings Inc.announced the official launch of its crypto exchange for qualified investors to register and trade on. This launch will “not only expand the revenue sources from our cryptocurrency business but also optimize the development of our blockchain industry chain,” said the company Chairman and CEO Dong Hu.
  • bitFlyer has gotten their third president in two years. The new president is Goldman Sachs alum Kuniyoshi Hayashi, who replaced the outgoing President Kimihiro Mine on March 30, they said.
  • ShapeShift announced support for simultaneously connecting multiple wallets. Per an emailed announcement, users can switch between KeepKey, Trezor, Ledger, Portis, and ShapeShift mobile wallets on the ShapeShift web platform, without needing to reconnect. Support for additional wallets is coming soon, they said.
  • South African crypto exchange iCE3said they “will not return to operation” and that they “have been advised to initiate liquidation proceedings.” “All withdrawals from the platform have been disabled, and we have processed the withdrawals which have already been submitted via the form today, manually. We currently have no withdrawal requests pending for any currencies other than BTC and LTC,” they said.
  • Coinme, a US-based cryptocurrency cash exchange, announced its entrance into Florida with the launch of over 300 bitcoin-enabled Coinstar kiosks located at select Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Mas, Harveys, and other grocery outlets across the state.
  • The Miami HEATsaid it has entered into a long-term partnership with crypto derivatives exchange FTX.us, making this platform “The Official and Exclusive Cryptocurrency Exchange Partner of the Miami HEAT.” This deal works in tandem with the recent announcement that, starting with the 2021-22 NBA season, the home of the Miami HEAT will be known as “FTX Arena.”

Mining news

  • Chinese online lottery company 500.com has acquired Bee Computing, a Hong Kong-registered maker of Bitcoin mining machines, in a USD 100m deal, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 500.com will pay Bee Computing USD 35m in stock by the end of the second quarter and send the other USD 65m worth of stock after the company has produced a certain number of 7nm ASIC bitcoin mining machines, as well as made higher performance bitcoin, ethereum (ETH), and litecoin mining machines.

Crypto adoption news

  • A new deal with the Valencia-based crypto exchange Criptan will allow Spanish travelers to make claims for airline-related delays and other incidents – and receive crypto rather than fiat as compensation. Per El Mundo Financiero, the exchange has teamed up with the Wings to Claim platform. The parties will allow travelers to make claims from travel agencies or airlines in situations whereby customers experience delays of three hours or more, lose baggage, if their flights are canceled or overbooked, or if they miss a connecting flight.

Blockchain news

  • Daegu, one of the largest cities in South Korea, has introduced a blockchain-powered ID authentication system for users of its online and offline public services. Per the Daegu Shinmun, the new platform makes use of a smartphone app that allows users to reserve city-operated facilities, make use of city-funded electric scooters and borrow library books using blockchain-based innovations. In a separate development, Law Issue reported that the electricity provider Nambu Power will also make use of blockchain-powered ID solutions on its renewable energy certificates platform.

Legal news

  • Michael Hlady pled guilty before a US Chief District Court Judge to conspiring to extort a startup company for millions of dollars in ethereum. When sentenced, Hlady faces up to 20 years in prison, as well as a fine, said the US Department of Justice. The startup was a mobile-based business that issued cryptocurrency as loyalty rewards for generating user traffic to its clients’ products. Hlady and his co-conspirator Steven Nerayoff issued threats to the company executives that included destruction of the company if they did not agree to demands for additional funds and tokens, claims the press release. As a result of this threat, the startup transferred ETH 10,000 to Nerayoff. He has entered a plea of not guilty to extortion charges and is awaiting trial.
Is Regulation the Silver Bullet for Financial Malpractice? / What is Financial Regulation and Does it Matter to DeFi?

The text below is an advertorial article that was not written by Cryptonews.com journalists.

cryptonews

In traditional finance, financial regulation is intended to provide protection, safety and stability for institutions and consumers alike. Organisations such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK are tasked with policing the conduct of banks, asset managers and other financial organizations to ensure that strict rules are followed and punishments applied when those rules are broken.

DeFi and cryptocurrency more widely has fallen outside the remit of regulation since Bitcoin was first launched in 2009. For more than a decade digital asset holders and service providers have largely been able to go about their business unfettered by the same rules and regulations that fall on the shoulders of JP Morgan Chase, for example; not least because the rules that are set for traditional financial institutions are extremely difficult to apply to digital assets.

Regulation across TradFi, CeFi and DeFi

As anyone who has ever applied for a credit card, bank loan or mortgage will know, the long-arm of financial regulation places a significant emphasis on data collection and suitability assessment. This requires collecting and storing vaults of customer information, running complex individual credit risk checks and ensuring detailed custody, anti-money laundering and transaction regulations are followed – and while this is achievable for JP Morgan, it is less so for many cryptocurrency organizations.

In the world of CeFi, or centralized finance, we are seeing moves in this direction, with Coinbase – one of the largest CeFi exchanges – in regular discussions with the SEC as it seeks to list on the US stock market. However, in the world of DeFi, regulation is anathema to much of what the ecosystem stands for. Built largely on a decentralized, permissionless system of autonomous smart contracts, many protocols do not have the central management required to carry out regulation. Moreover, many DeFi applications don’t ask users for their information (or “KYC”), which is a key attraction for many DeFi users.

Regulation and the regulated

Governments and public-sector bodies often cite seven specific areas as being major goals of financial regulation: investor protection, consumer protection, financial stability, market efficiency, competition, the prevention of financial crime, and fairness. For end users, investor and consumer protection are the most important and refer to the way in which financial organizations should market investment products and communicate with their customers. Rules in these areas generally call for transparency (especially around potential risks of products and investments) and clear, open communication with customers.

This is, few would dispute, a highly laudable facet of regulation that should protect vulnerable customers. In practice, however, it frequently doesn’t. Aside from the sort of systemic failings the world witnessed in 2008/09, leading to USD 321 billion in fines dished out to major banks such as Barclays for LIBOR rigging, regulation often fails to keep out bad actors. In the UK, the “mini-bond” space has been a hotbed for fraud, with more than 11,000 people losing GBP 236 million in 2019 to a company claiming to offer property-backed savings accounts. These savers – largely inexperienced older people – suffered heavy losses and the scandal led to a widespread overhaul of a space with hundreds of similar cases.

Best practice should span all sectors

Despite its failings, however, regulation is important: many schemes such as the UK’s Financial Compensation Scheme (a fund paid for by banks that will reimburse savers in the event a regulated institution collapses) provide genuine protection for consumers, as do imperatives for clear, transparent disclosure about products and services and treating customers fairly. Most importantly, however, the onorousnes of regulation can also help to keep out some of the worst actors who may not have the conviction or capacity to comply with regulation.

As such, YIELD App seeks to emulate the key tenets of prudential regulation across its entire platform and customer service proposition. We provide clear and consistent public information including a product disclosure statement that details our structure, practices and principles and clearly states the risks associated with digital assets. On our site we also host a comprehensive set of FAQ’s along with a 24-hour customer helpdesk to ensure we can answer any customer queries quickly and accurately. YIELD App also seeks to mirror important system-level financial regulation, including well capitalized treasuries and the prevention of financial crime through level 1 KYC. We have also partnered with Merkle Sciences for chain analysis to ensure we comply with the FATF red flag rules and to adhere to our internal KYC/AML policies.

While DeFi is operating independently today, as one of the fastest growing areas in cryptocurrency DeFi is likely to fall under the scrutiny of regulators in the future: indeed, ita seems impossible that a market of 40 Billion USD that is expanding by the multi-millions every day would not. Therefore, it is essential that any organization truly serious about its long-term future as a DeFi service provider operates under the best practices already established in traditional finance. As highlighted above, regulation itself is no guarantee: it is only as strong as those that implement and comply with it, and you don’t have to be regulated to do so.