Nvidia CEO: We’re “on the cusp of” a blockchain and NFT-enabled metaverse
One of the most powerful men in tech thinks that the metaverse — a term for a series of interlinked, persistent virtual worlds with self-contained economies — is just around the corner. One of the most exciting use cases for blockchain and NFTs, enthusiasts inspired by Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash have long been hoping for a VR/AR world with a crypto-powered internal market. Now, however, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang thinks the technology to make it happen is on our doorstep. Speaking at the virtual Computex conference, Huang said that he “believe(s) we’re right on the cusp of” the metaverse and spoke glowingly of its potential, according to a transcript of a Q&A session he had with reporters — going as far as to say that users will one day use metaverses to “simulate the future.”
Andrew Thurman 14:50
Mythical Games raises $75M to speed up NFT gaming
Los Angeles-based NFT games developer Mythical Games announced a $75 million Series B financing with new and existing investors. The company plans to use the fund to popularize ownership in games through playable nonfungible tokens (NFTs). The funding round was led by WestCap Group. Other participants include 01 Advisors, Gary Vaynerchuk’s VaynerFund, Galaxy Digital, Javelin Venture Partners, Alumni Ventures and Struck Capital. The game developer studio raised a total of $120 million so far. Mythical Games is working on blockchain-based games, specifically games that use playable NFTs. The company is led by its CEO John Linden, who was the president of Seismic Games until the studio was acquired by the gaming giant Niantic.
Erhan Kahraman 14:47
Bitcoin 2021 attendees’ positive COVID-19 tests are going viral
Some attendees of the Bitcoin 2021 event in Miami have tested positive for COVID-19 after returning home from the conference, leading to a wave of negative media coverage and social media speculation it could turn into a “super spreader event.” Bloomberg called Miami Bitcoin a “Covid hot spot” while Gizmodo reported the conference “may be the latest COVID-19 super spreader event.” Arcane Research chief investment officer Eric Wall was among those to contract the virus, tweeting on Thursday that he underwent a CT scan after suffering from a “high fever” and “chest pains,” with medical staff having suspected he may have a blood clot in his lungs. No blood clot was found, and Wall was discharged from the hospital and returned home.
Samuel Haig 14:29
Bitcoin Taproot upgrade finally locked-in, activation set for November
The Taproot upgrade has achieved the first significant milestone on the road to activation as 90% of the Bitcoin (BTC) mining hash rate signaled for the protocol improvement within the current difficulty epoch. Data from Taproot.watch, a webpage created by Bitcoin developer Hampus Sjöberg, shows the lock-in stage is now completed. All recognized mining pools signaled for the upgrade with Slush Pool being the first to do so. It is perhaps fitting that Slush Pool also mined block 687285 that sealed the Taproot lock-in.
Osato Avan-Nomayo 14:22
Jack Dorsey says he will integrate Lightning Network into Twitter or BlueSky
Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of social media network Twitter and founder and CEO of financial services company Square, has confirmed he is planning to integrate Bitcoin’s Lightning Network sidechain with at least one of his businesses. On Friday, Dorsey responded to a question from Twitter user Deyonté, who had requested that Dorsey integrate the Lightning Network into Twitter or BlueSky — the decentralized social network Twitter has devoted manpower to developing since 2019. In response, Dorsey responded, “Only a matter of time.”
Samuel Haig 13:49
Texas regulator allows state-chartered banks to hold Bitcoin
A Texas state regulator has officially affirmed that Texas state-chartered banks are allowed to store cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) for their customers. The Texas Department of Banking, a state regulatory agency chartering state banks and supervising financial services, issued a notice on Thursday stating that local banks are permitted to provide crypto services in the state. The agency noted that Texas banks “may provide customers with virtual currency custody services, so long as the bank has adequate protocols in place to effectively manage the risks and comply with applicable law.”
Helen Partz 13:47
IMF plans to meet with El Salvador’s president, potentially discussing move to adopt Bitcoin
The International Monetary Fund has said El Salvador’s recent decision to make Bitcoin legal tender in the country may raise legal and financial concerns. In a Thursday press briefing from the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, spokesperson Gerry Rice said the group was already in discussions with lawmakers in El Salvador over a loan to support the country’s economy, having approved emergency funds related to the pandemic last year. However, Rice said an IMF team would be meeting with president Nayib Bukele today and implied crypto would be a likely topic for discussion. “Adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender raises a number of macroeconomic, financial and legal issues that require very careful analysis,” said Rice. “We are following developments closely, and we’ll continue our consultations with the authorities.”
Turner Wright 13:42
Nexo in Miami: Crypto interest account giant talks DeFi, institutional adoption
While decentralized finance has stolen the show with big-number headlines over the past year — the closely-watched Total Value Locked (TVL) figure notably growing nearly 800%, rising from $20 billion at the start of 2021 to $157 billion at May peaks — centralized crypto financial services have likewise enjoyed explosive growth. According to Kalin Metodiev, CFA and co-founder at Nexo, the crypto savings account company has grown fourfold to $15 billion in AUM, expanded to 1.7 million clients, and has new features like asset swap functionality built into the platform coming down the pipe. Nexo and Cointelegraph only crossed paths briefly in Miami via a short conversation in the Nexo-sponsored Bitcoin Art Gallery — one of the highlights of the conference hall. However, we caught up with Metodiev for a written interview shortly after the madness ended to talk over key metrics climbing, the risks DeFi poses to Nexo’s model, and a path forward for institutional adoption.
Andrew Thurman 13:40
Multi-trillion asset manager State Street launches digital currency division
Multi-trillion dollar asset manager, State Street Corporation, has become the latest financial institution to announce the launch of a dedicated digital finance division. State Street, the second-oldest continually operating bank in the United States, announced the move on Thursday, June 10, highlighting the division’s focus on cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and tokenization. ”The financial industry is transforming to a digital economy, and we see digital assets as one of the most significant forces impacting our industry over the next five years,” asserted State Street CEO and chairman, Ron O’Hanley. He added:
Samuel Haig 13:37
DJ David Guetta puts luxury Miami pad up for sale, will accept 38 Bitcoin for it
Renowned French DJ David Guetta has put his luxury apartment on Miami Beach up for sale and will accept payments in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). The three-bedroom 2,528 square foot beachfront property is on the 37th floor of the luxury Setai Residences condominium complex and is on sale for $14 million, or around 37.69 BTC at today’s prices. The property boasts two master suites, a panoramic view of the Miami skyline, 24-hour hotel service and amenities, including three oceanfront swimming pools, a sauna and a spa, to name a few. The sale is being hosted by Freud Group, a real estate investment firm that caters to celebrities.
Brian Quarmby 13:35
Roubini and Taleb tell CoinGeek Conference data matters, not tokens
Economist Nouriel Roubini and former risk analyst Nassim Taleb took aim at crypto at the CoinGeek Conference this week, while the always controversial Craig Wright boasted that the Bitcoin SV blockchain was on track to hit billions of transactions a second. Taleb, the author of best-selling economic books Black Swan and Skin in the Game, was a controversial addition to the lineup of the CoinGeek Conference in Zurich and came under fire on social media for giving Bitcoin SV legitimacy. Roubini, meanwhile, offered a “greatest hits” version of his attacks against crypto, familiar from crypto conferences prior to the pandemic.
Joshua Mapperson 13:21
Shanghai Man: Bitcoin interest drops in China amid crackdown on social media and miners
This weekly roundup of news from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong attempts to curate the industry’s most important news, including influential projects, changes in the regulatory landscape, and enterprise blockchain integrations. This week, following a tumultuous few weeks of regulation, the Bitcoin world’s focus shifted to Miami and Latin America. Searches for Bitcoin on China’s most popular social media app WeChat stabilized between 1 million and 3 million per day, a stark difference from the peaks of over 10 million that were seen in late May. Baidu, China’s dominant search engine, restricted searches for exchanges Binance, Huobi and OKEx early in the week. Typically, large internet companies work under the watchful eye of government and party officials, making this move somewhat expected. Filtering out keywords isn’t always the most effective solution, as searches for “Binance App Download” still take users to the requested link. It’s worth pointing out that the government has limited authority in these cases since most of these big exchanges, particularly Binance, are registered in other countries and have a limited physical presence in China.
Ben Yorke 13:16
Bitcoin network's hashrate is136.05EH/s，mining difficulty is21.05T
According to data from BTC.com，bitcoin network's hashrate is136.05EH/s，mining difficulty is21.05T. Next Difficulty Estimated：(-5.76%)19.84T Date to Next Difficulty：0Days18Hours Unconfirmed Txs：1,873
Ethereum network's hashrate is 555,561.26 GH/s，mining difficulty is 7,483.71T
According to data from eth.btc.com，ethereum network's hashrate is555,561.26 GH/s，mining difficulty is7,483.71T. ETH's price ：$ 2,423.42 Avg Gas Price：8.00Gwei Pending Txs ：85323
Basketball star turned digital racehorse tycoon: Wilson Chandler on NFTs and the NBA
As Wilson Chandler tells it, despite being a NBA star with a decade-plus pro career and nearly $80 million in career earnings, the 6’8 combo forward still got his start in blockchain the same way scores of enthusiasts do: trading shitcoins. Chandler told Cointelegraph that he first heard about crypto from some “kids” he played Fortnite with in 2017. After growing fascinated by their stories of turning paltry sums into legitimate holdings, he eventually invited one out to his Chicago home for a crash-course on setting up wallets and using exchanges. From there, the record is all on-chain: per a look at his Etherscan address, his early investment strategy was little more than spray-and-pray.
Andrew Thurman 13:49
Hedge fund manager Alan Howard invests in two crypto startups
Billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard continues backing the cryptocurrency industry with fresh investment in two digital asset startups. The co-founder of major asset manager Brevan Howard led a $25-million extension raise for London-based crypto services firm Copper.co. The company announced Friday that the new investment follows a $50-million Series B funding round led by companies such as Dawn Capital and Target Global. The additional funding will be directed to further strengthen Copper’s expertise in enabling traditional financial firms to benefit from blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. The firm stressed that the additional funding shows the growing interest in crypto from the traditional finance sector.
Helen Partz 13:46
An NFT of the photo that inspired Dogecoin just sold for $4M
Dogecoin has seen significant attention in 2021 in tandem with its dramatic price rise. Capitalizing on this rise in attention, someone sold a non-fungible token (NFT) of the picture on which the Dogecoin (DOGE) cryptocurrency was based. “The original image that started it all,” read the description of the NFT, sold on very.auction. “This photo of the Shiba Inu ‘Kabosu’ was taken by her owner Atsuko Sato on February 13th, 2010,” the description explains, adding: The NFT was minted by a user named @kabosumama on May 31, according to the auction site. The first bid landed on June 8 from a user willing to pay 6.5 Ethereum (ETH) for the piece. Bidding escalated from there. The winning bid of 1,696.90 ETH — over $4M at time of publication — was wagered on June 11.
Benjamin Pirus 13:44
Sygnia CEO criticizes Elon Musk for alleged Bitcoin pump and dump
Magda Wierzycka, one of the richest women in South Africa and CEO of financial services company Sygnia, said Tesla CEO Elon Musk would likely have been investigated by authorities regarding recent allegations over his manipulation of crypto prices — if his target had been almost anything other than Bitcoin. In an interview with Bruce Whitfield at the Money Show this week, Wierzycka said Musk’s recent social media activity on the price of Bitcoin (BTC) should have made him the subject of investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, if Bitcoin were more of a traditional company. The SEC previously accused the Tesla CEO of fraud for issuing false and misleading tweets in 2018, and was rumored to be investigating him for his pro-Dogecoin (DOGE) tweets earlier this year. “The [Bitcoin] volatility we have seen is an unexpected function of what I would call market manipulation by Elon Musk,” said Wierzycka. “If that happens to a listed company, he would be investigated and severely sanctioned by [the] SEC.”
Turner Wright 13:42
Binance-owned Indian exchange WazirX investigated for alleged AML failings
The well-known Indian crypto exchange WazirX, which Binance acquired in 2019, is under investigation for alleged violations of India’s Foreign Exchange Act (FEMA). The probe was publicly announced in an official tweet today from India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED): ED has issued Show Cause Notice to WazirX Crypto-currency Exchange for contravention of FEMA, 1999 for transactions involving crypto-currencies worth Rs. 2790.74 Crore. In the Indian numbering system, one crore denotes 10 million. The 2,790 crore rupees in cryptocurrency transactions under investigation, then, are worth roughly $389 million. According to a report from the Times of India, ED has named the four-year-old exchange and its directors, Nischal Shetty and Hanuman Mhatre, in its show cause notice.
Marie Huillet 13:39
Nigeria’s central bank plans CBDC pilot launch before the end of 2021
Rakiya Mohammed, an IT specialist at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that the apex bank is making efforts to float a central bank digital currency in the country. According to a report by People’s Gazette, Mohammed made this known after the Bankers Committee meeting held in Abuja on Thursday, telling reporters: Back in May, CBN governor Godwin Emefiele had stated that digital currencies will “come to life” in Nigeria despite the current ban.
Osato Avan-Nomayo 13:37