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Coins Defying the Down Trend, Stablecoins Driving DeFi Adoption, Regulators Clamping Down

Dr. Ben Goertzel, Founder of SingularityNET, Speaking at a Singularity Event on the Future of Artificial Intelligence

  • Market Report: Cryptocurrencies Showing Different Movement this Week

  • Binance Obtains Major Interest in Korean GOPAX Crypto Exchange

  • Politicians Given Notice to Give Back Contributions from FTX Crypto Company or Face Litigation

  • NFL Experiences High Sponsorship Earnings Despite Crypto Downturn

Market Watch: Which Cryptocurrencies are Defying the Trend this Week

In the latest week, the cryptocurrency market saw a slowdown in momentum as Bitcoin fell to around $22,000. Despite this, some crypto tokens continue to outperform the market, including SingularityNET (AGIX), Render Token (RNDR), MAGIC (MAGIC), Shiba Inu (SHIB), and The Graph (GRT).

SingularityNET (AGIX) saw a 150% increase in its AGIX token, possibly due to growing interest in AI and its chatbot, ChatGPT. Render Token (RNDR) saw a 51% increase in price after the launch of a new tokenomics model and the Render Network Foundation. MAGIC (MAGIC) added around 50% in value, possibly due to persistent interest in the metaverse and blockchain-based gaming ecosystems. Shiba Inu (SHIB) rose by 23% due to an increase in the burn rate of the token and more transactions on the network. The Graph (GRT) saw a 48% increase in price due to positive growth in key metrics such as the number of active indexers, delegators, and curators.


Aave Founder Predicts Stablecoin Adoption to Drive DeFi Growth

Stani Kulechov, the founder of the decentralized finance protocol Aave, recently spoke at the StarkWare Sessions 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel. During a fireside chat with Cointelegraph’s managing editor Alex Cohen, Kulechov discussed the current state of DeFi and its future potential. He highlighted the improved visibility and precise quantification of risk in DeFi compared to traditional finance, and emphasized the role stablecoins and payments could play in onboarding regular people into the DeFi space.

However, Kulechov also acknowledged the challenges faced by stablecoins, such as the lack of value within the ecosystem and the collateralization of decentralized stablecoins. Despite these challenges, Kulechov expressed confidence in the longevity of DeFi and its ability to solve problems in the blockchain space, while also finding its way into non-financial applications.


South Korean Regulator Issues Guidance on Security Token Regulations

The Financial Services Commission of South Korea has set guidance on digital assets to be considered and regulated as securities. Digital assets that fit the characteristics of the country's Capital Markets Act will be treated as securities, including tokens that provide a stake in business operations, rights to dividends or residual assets, or profit to investors. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies that do not fit the descriptions of security tokens will be governed by upcoming regulations. The new guidance is a step towards legalizing, issuing, and distributing security tokens in the country, which is actively participating in the crypto ecosystem. Token issuers and brokers will evaluate which crypto will be classified as securities based on the regulations.


Binance Acquires Majority stake in Korean Crypto Exchange GOPAX

Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency trading platform, is making a return to South Korea after acquiring a majority stake in the local crypto exchange GOPAX. The acquisition will allow GOPAX customers to make withdrawals and interest payments, normalizing the Korean crypto trading platform. The capital from Binance came from the Industry Recovery Initiative, a co-investment project aimed at supporting companies negatively impacted by last year's events. Binance's CEO, Changpeng Zhao, hopes that the move will help rebuild the Korean crypto and blockchain industry. The acquisition is part of Binance's larger plan to expand its footprint in the East Asian market, following the acquisition of Sakura Exchange Bitcoin in Japan. Binance is committed to collaborating with South Korean regulators to support the local ecosystem.


Dingo Crypto Token Under Investigation for 99% Transaction Fee Scandal

Dingo Token (DINGO) has been flagged as a potential scam by cybersecurity firm Check Point Research (CPR). The research arm of the cybersecurity software firm discovered a smart contract function, "setTaxFeePercent," which can change the buy and sell fee of the contract by up to 99%, despite the project's whitepaper stating a maximum fee of 10% per transaction. CPR found at least 47 instances of the function being used to scam token investors and observed a case where a user spent $26.89 to purchase 427 million Dingo Tokens but only received 4.27 million, or $0.27 worth, of tokens. The Dingo Tokens website has "no real information about the owners of the project," and CPR advised crypto investors to only use known exchanges and tokens with a proven track record. Dingo Token was ranked 298th on CoinMarketCap with a market cap of $82,555,168 at the time of the report.


Politicians Told to Return Donations from Failed FTX Crypto Firm or Face Legal Action

Side-by-Side Portraits of Nancy Pelosi and Sam Bankman-Fried

Doomed crypto firm FTX has asked hundreds of politicians to return the political donations they received or face potential lawsuits. FTX made around $40 million in political donations during the 2022 election cycle and those who received them, mostly members of the Democratic party, include Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, and Mitt Romney. The company's new management is now seeking to repay its estimated 1 million creditors, and recipients of the donations, even if they have been passed on to third parties, will still be required to repay them.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former leader of FTX, has been accused of defrauding investors and using customer money to fund his lavish lifestyle, personal investments, and political donations. He has been arrested, extradited to the US, and faces life in jail if found guilty.


UK Authorities Announce Criminal Penalties for Unlawful Crypto Advertising by Companies

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced new regulations for promoting cryptocurrencies in the country. Firms must either follow one of four mandated routes for crypto promotions or face criminal punishment, including imprisonment for up to two years. The four routes include being authorized by an FCA-approved person, being registered with the FCA and complying with anti-money laundering regulations, promoting through a business that is already registered with the FCA, or being exempt from the Financial Promotion Order. The FCA considers crypto assets to be high-risk, pointing to the collapse of many centralized exchanges in late 2022. The new rules are part of a wider shift in the regulation of the UK crypto industry.


Elementus Triples in Valuation Despite Crypto Market Slowdown

Elementus, a blockchain data analytics firm, has raised $10 million in a Series A extension round, led by ParaFi Capital, valuing the company at $160 million. The funding will be used towards hiring and developing new products. Elementus offers blockchain compliance and data analytics solutions to government agencies, financial institutions, researchers, and investors, providing them with tools to investigate suspicious blockchain activity, identify risks and gain market insights. The round was also supported by Moonshots Capital, Spitfire Ventures, Colaco Investment Group, among others. Elementus' clients include unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy filings of Celsius Network and BlockFi. The new investment will allow Elementus to continue building advanced industrial-grade blockchain data solutions aimed at restoring trust and transparency to blockchain-based businesses.


Investors Watch for Federal Reserve Move as Crypto Market Mood Improves

According to CoinShares, investors are becoming more optimistic about the digital asset market, with $76 million flowing into crypto funds such as Grayscale, 3iQ, and 21 Shares over the last four consecutive weeks. The report indicates that there has been a "divisive change in investor sentiment from the beginning of 2023." The total investment assets under management have increased by 39% from last year, reaching $30.3 billion, with the primary focus being on Bitcoin. The change in investor sentiment is attributed to the softening monetary policy stance from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the weakening dollar. The market is eagerly awaiting the speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. U.S. equities and Bitcoin are currently down, with Bitcoin trading at $23,000.


NFL Defies Crypto Winter, Records High Sponsorship Revenue

The National Football League (NFL) has recorded a 4% increase in sponsorship revenue for the 2022 season, despite losing several big-name brands like Barclays, Bridgestone, Ford trucks, and Pizza Hut. The NFL's conservative approach to sponsorship, avoiding partnerships with cryptocurrency companies, has helped it avoid the same fate as the National Basketball Association, which suffered losses due to the near-collapse of the crypto market. The NFL's estimated sponsorship revenue reached $1.88 billion, making it the highest-earning US sports league. The NFL hopes to reach an annual revenue of $25 billion by 2027, with sponsorship making up 10% of its income. The league has 53 active league-level sponsors, with technology companies leading the list. The NFL is expected to attract a third of all Americans with its upcoming Super Bowl, featuring pop star Rihanna's halftime performance.


Visa Pushes for Stablecoin Settlement Adoption in Crypto Strategy

Visa, the global payment giant, is looking to incorporate blockchain technology into its platform to facilitate faster money transfers and settlements. During a presentation at the StarkWare Sessions 2023 conference, Visa's crypto division head, Cuy Sheffield, shared the company's vision for digital assets. He stated that Visa is investing in global settlements with digital assets and fiat currencies, seeking to build "muscle memory" for conversions between tokenized dollars and traditional dollars. Sheffield confirmed that the firm is exploring how to accept settlement payments with stablecoins, and move money more frequently than currently possible with the SWIFT system. Former CEO Al Kelly also stated that stablecoins and central bank digital currencies have the potential to play a meaningful role in the payments space and that Visa has several initiatives underway.

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