Algorand Awards Flare 7-Figure Grant To Develop a Bitcoin Bridge

Key Insights:

  • Flare received the grant from the Algorand Foundation SupaGrant.
  • The bridge will offer greater security through consensus and risk mitigation.
  • Flare will also add Bitcoin as a FAsset, which can be leveraged to build dapps on Flare.

As the fear of DeFi hacks and exploits continues to grow, investors and developers alike are finding ways of being wary of protecting their assets and projects.

And building on the same DeFi chain Algorand has tapped just the right network to make that happen.

Algorand Gets a Touch of Flare

In a press release, the interoperability-focused Flare network announced that it had been awarded a 7-figure Algorand Foundation SupaGrant to develop a Bitcoin bridge into the Algorand ecosystem.

The reason behind this bridge is the constant threat that looms over the DeFi chains of being hacked. As it is just this year, two major crypto hacks left the investors with billions of dollars of their money stolen.

Earlier last month, Axie Infinifty’s Ronin bridge lost over $625 million, which became the biggest hack in the history of cryptocurrencies.

Thus, to avoid that, Flare is focusing on making sure that the new bridge is much more secure and that it will enable secure, trustless interoperability between ALGO and BTC, plus other non-smart contract tokens such as DOGE, LTC, XRP, and XLM.

Flare will achieve this by using the network’s Flare Time Series Oracle and the State Connector.

Commenting on this bridge, the Head of DeFi, Algorand Foundation, Daniel Oon, said,

“Our grant partnership with Flare will develop key DeFi infrastructure with a bridge to Bitcoin, opening up opportunities for further collaboration and innovation. We look forward to our partnership bringing value to our respective communities.”

Not only this, but the Flare network also announced that they would be bringing Bitcoin as a FAsset onto Flare. This way, developers could use this token as a means of developing Dapps by leveraging their FBTC.

Algorand on the Chart

While the bridge might open up new roads for the chain, its primary function as an investment vehicle isn’t doing that well at the moment. After falling consistently throughout the months, ALGO is now trading at $0.66 at a 14-month low.

Algorand’s price is currently at a 14 month low

ALGO might need more than this to recover the losses it has endured throughout 2022

Singapore Bank Set To Launch Tokenized Carbon Credits Before 2023

Key Insights:

  • OCBC and MVGX announced their new partnership today.
  • The companies will be incentivized with tokenized carbon credits to invest in climate action projects.
  • The CeFi and DeFi partnership continues to expand in 2022.

In an announcement today, the OCBC (Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.) Bank and the Metaverse Green Exchange (MVGX), earlier known as Cyberdyne Tech Exchange, joined hands to take action for the climate.

Crypto for the Climate

In a press release, the companies declared that they would be pushing out green financing solutions for companies in the hard-to-abate industries which are involved with steel, cement, and chemical production.

Since a lot of corporations are trying to find an easier way to achieve carbon neutrality for the year 2023, the partnership will open the doors to tokenized carbon credits.

These tokens will be supported by MVGX’s DLT (distributed ledger technology), which will enable said corporations to keep track of the carbon performance of the climate action projects they would invest in, in real-time.

Carbon credits have become an increasingly lucrative and effective method for companies to achieve carbon neutrality. Combining the efforts of CeFi and DeFi to produce the tokenized carbon credits will make it easier for companies to achieve this goal.

Commenting on the same, the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of MVGX, Bo Bai, said,

“Despite the best intentions, governments and businesses around the world have come to realize the limitations of the current systems for tracking and neutralizing carbon emissions. Thankfully, there is now a greater urgency to embrace new solutions that leverage technology to promote carbon reduction and finance green initiatives.”

Crypto Space Makes an Effort As Well

Within the crypto space, the environment has been a priority, and to protect the same, more and more options have been appearing to mitigate climate change.

Recently, as reported by FXEmpire, Algorand launched the first smart contract, which would automatically allocate a portion of every transaction fee in order to offset its carbon emissions.

The chain, which prides itself on being the first carbon-negative blockchain, is setting an example of the ingenious ways through which others in the crypto space can contribute to the environment.

Algorand To Launch First Carbon Emission Offsetting Smart Contract

Key Insights:

  • Algorand being a leader in the sustainability space, is continuing its efforts.
  • The new smart contract will allocate a portion of every transaction fee to offset carbon emissions.
  • On the charts, ALGO hasn’t been performing the best, though.

Being the first pure proof of stake blockchain, Algorand has dedicated itself to minimally impact the environment, which is a big issue when it comes to crypto.

Thus, to further that commitment, the blockchain has implemented a new smart contract that will tackle the problem of carbon emissions.

Algorand for the Environment

Algorand has been one of the leaders in the sustainable development space by making sure that the chain does not rely on the energy-intensive proof of work consensus system.

Using proof of stake, Algorand achieved the status of being carbon negative and is now continuing down that path with the new smart contract.

This protocol will automatically allocate a portion of every transaction fee in order to offset its carbon emissions.

This comes after the chain partnered with ClimateTrade last year, a leader in CO2 emissions transparency and traceability that uses blockchain technology to improve the efficiency of sustainability efforts for corporations.

Commenting on the smart contract, the Vice President of Engineering Research at Algorand, Naveed Ihsanullah, said,

“Climate change is among the most pressing issues the world faces today. Efficiency and a minimal energy consumption footprint simply must be table stakes for all enduring future technology. Algorand, a blockchain leader in this space, is seeing tremendous adoption from eco-conscious brands, creators, and developers, and we’re proud to take another step forward in our commitment to sustainability with the introduction of smart contracts permanently enforcing our carbon offsetting pledge.”

Algorand, although isn’t the only chain to be environmentally harmless, last year in December, Solana too achieved Carbon neutrality for 2021 thanks to carbon offsets. As Solana claimed, a single transaction used lesser energy than 2 Google searches by then.

Thus, as crypto becomes more mainstream, investors and developers are going to be looking for more environmentally sustainable options and might even move to them over higher energy-consuming options.

Algorand on the Charts

Even though it is doing well on the environmental front, the altcoin is failing to shatter ceilings when it comes to price action. Far away from a new all-time high, the cryptocurrency isn’t even close to marking a new local top at the moment, trading at $0.71.

Algorand is not even close to a new high anytime soon

It is much closer to losing its 14-month long-standing support of $0.684 than it is to recover investors’ losses. Guess the chain might need to save its investors more than it needs to save the environment if it intends to remain relevant in this quickly expanding world of crypto.

Crypto Exchange BTC Markets Partners with Mastercard for Payments

Key Insights:

  • Australian crypto exchange BTC Markets forms a partnership with Mastercard to support crypto card payments.
  • The partnership comes despite some jurisdictions raising concerns over card payments.
  • BTC follows in the footsteps of CoinJar, who partnered with Mastercard in 2021.

BTC Markets is an online crypto exchange with more than 325,000 Australian clients and AU$19bn in traded digital assets.

Focused on the Australian market, users can deposit and withdraw Aussie dollars without fees. Twenty-five tradeable pairs are on offer, with the platform supporting retail and institutional investors. In addition to traditional crypto trading, users may also stake supported cryptos for multiple time periods.

Coin listings include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Decentraland (MANA), The Sandbox (SAND), and Algorand (ALGO), among others.

BTC Markets Partners with Mastercard to Support Card Payments

This week, BTC Markets and Mastercard formed a partnership, enabling users to make payments into the exchange.

The partnership will allow customers to make direct debit, prepaid, or credit card payments into the crypto exchange. Previously, BTC Markets users could only make payments by bank transfer.

BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler said,

“As the cryptocurrency landscape continues to grow and evolve, customers are increasingly looking for faster and simpler ways to access cryptocurrency securely and efficiently. We are excited to be partnering with Mastercard who share our focus on stability and innovation and customer protection, and enable us to offer our clients with new ways to engage with this emerging digital asset class.”

Mastercard See Greater Collaboration with Crypto Platforms

In 2021, Mastercard launched crypto-linked credit cards across the Asia Pacific region. Mastercard formed partnerships with Amber Group and Bitkub of Thailand; and Australia’s CoinJar.

The partnership with Mastercard enables users to instantly convert crypto into fiat to spend anywhere that Mastercard is accepted worldwide.

According to the Mastercard announcement, the three exchanges were the first Asia-Pacific-based platforms to join Mastercard’s Crypto Card Program.

In January, Mastercard struck a payments deal with Coinbase to allow users to make purchases on the Coinbase NFT marketplace.

Coinbase is to launch its NFT marketplace soon. This month, Coinbase took to Twitter, announcing the imminent launch of the highly anticipated CoinbaseNFT.

Regulatory Oversight May Limit Mastercard’s Reach

Some jurisdictions are more crypto-friendly than others, which may limit the reach of Mastercard and others in the crypto world.

Last week, FX Empire reported the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) issuing an “enforcement notice ahead of an imminent crackdown on misleading and irresponsible crypto ads.”

As part of the enforcement notice, the ASA indicated that ads must not imply:

  • Cryptocurrencies are suitable for purchase on credit.
  • Cryptocurrencies are a good or secure way to invest savings or a pension.

In Australia, a crypto sector regulatory overhaul is imminent. Regulators may include similar measures to protect investors.

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies to Watch This Week – ADA, ALGO, VET, FIL, UNI

Key Insights:

  • BTC’s bullish momentum has pushed the crypto market cap above the $2 trillion mark. 
  • ADA, ALGO, VET, FIL, and UNI were a few coins that noted high daily and weekly gains at press time. 

With the global crypto market cap well above the $2 trillion mark noting a 4.07% increase in 24-hours, standing at $2.11 trillion, most cryptocurrencies noted a healthy uptick in price. 

Bitcoin has completed its second successive weekly gain and ended the weekend at the highest weekly closing price year-to-date. At press time, bitcoin traded at $46,897, noting close to a 15% rise in price over the week. 

The recent BTC gains fueled a larger market rally as most altcoins highlighted gains on their daily and weekly time frames. Of the top cryptocurrencies, Cardano (ADA), Algorand (ALGO), VeChain (VET), Uniswap (UNI), and  Filecoin (FIL) were some of the top gainers highlighting high daily and weekly gains.

To better understand what to expect from these coins, let’s look at their price movements as a new week begins.

Cardano (ADA)

Cardano’s sustained price uptrend since March 15 has led the coin to gain close to 50% price since then. ADA has sustained its uptrend above the critical level at $1 for the past few days. 

The continued price recovery highlights that traders who bought under the $1 level are not looking to take profits and expect the uptrend to continue. Notably, the $1.20 mark has acted as a significant resistance line, and a move above that level could further confirm ADA’s uptrend in the short term. 

FXempire, ADA, Crypto
ADA Price Action | Source: FXEmpire

ADA’s key moving averages have completed a bullish crossover. Daily RSI was in the overbought zone indicating that buyers dominated sellers in the market. If bulls can further push buying sentiment and sustain the price above the $1.20 support price can see another rally to the next key resistance at $1.60.

However, since RSI was in the overbought zone, if buyers’ bullish sentiment weakens, the same could send the altcoin back to the $1 range. Bulls are cautiously defending the $1.20 zone on a four-hour chart, which acts as resistance at press time. However, in the near term, if the price breaks below the 20-EMA a price pullback can be expected. 

Algorand (ALGO)

In March, ALGO has charted a parabolic recovery, recovering from the under $0.70 mark. At press time, the 29th ranked altcoin traded at $0.9574, noting 3.89% daily and 30.10% weekly gains.

Despite ALGO’s recent gains, the coin was down 70.28% from its all-time high price of $3.24 made in June 2019. Trading volumes for Algorand have maintained constant levels throughout March, which present that the recent gains were largely market-driven and not retail-driven.

However, the coin’s RSI on a one-day chart had finally entered the overbought zone presenting a rise in buyers. As buyers dominated sellers alongside decent price uptick, the larger market sentiment was bullish. 

The $0.996 mark can act as a strong resistance for the token in the near term, and a move above the same can ensure further gains. 

FXempire, Algorand, Crypto
ALGO Price Action | Source: FXEmpire

However, a fall under the $0.931 level can lead to further consolidation or losses for the altcoin. 

VeChain (VET)

VeChain, like many other top coins, has reversed its price losses of 2022, noting a close to 40% rise in the last two days. At press time, VET exchanges hands at $0.0774, presenting 15.83% daily and 57.44% weekly gains. 

The coin could witness further gains if VET’s price maintains above the key $0.0768 support/resistance mark. 

FXempire, VET, Crypto
VET Price Action | Source: FXEmpire

The coin’s RSI at the time of writing oscillated in the overbought zone, which presented a dominance of buyers in the market. Furthermore, VET saw one of its highest trade volumes since May 2021, which signified retail euphoria in the current rally. 

However, since the VET market looked overheated, a pullback from the $0.0960 mark, which acts as a key resistance, can weaken the bullish momentum. On the contrary, a move above the same can aid further bullish momentum in the coming week. 

Filecoin (FIL)

Filecoin’s price saw a clear downtrend in the past few months as FIL broke down below multiple resistances and retested them as support. 

However, in the last two weeks, its price climbed above the lower resistance at $18.9 and the next significant resistance levels at $20.9 and $22.00. 

FXempire, FIL, Crypto
FIL Price Action | Source: FXEmpire

At press time, FIL traded at $24.70, noting 27.59% daily and 38.83% weekly gains. Retail crowds supported Filecoin’s recent rally as the coin saw high trade volumes for two consecutive days. 

Its RSI reached the overbought zone for the first time since September 2021, highlighting a rise in buyers. The next crucial resistance for the coin lies at the $31.18 mark, but a push from bulls can convert that level to support, ensuring a bullish outcome for the token in the near term. 

However, a short-term price pullback can be expected if the coin fails to maintain the aforementioned resistance levels, primarily above the $23.46 mark. 

Uniswap (UNI)

UNI had recovered from the losses over the last two months, pulling its price up from the low of $7.52 seen in February-end. At press time, the Defi token traded at $11.44 noting a 7.06% rise in price over the last day and a 20.02% price uptick in the weekly time frame. 

The $8.27 level acted as strong support for the token throughout this year. The next key resistance for the coin lay at the $11.89 and $12.55 mark and a move above the same can push the coin for higher gains in the near term. 

FXempire, UNI, Crypto
UNI Price Action | Source: FXEmpire

RSI for UNI was in an uptrend since March 14 and was just under the overbought zone at press time. Nonetheless, a clear dominance of buyers in the market could be spotted for UNI.

However, since retail euphoria or high trade volumes were still missing, consolidation could be expected in the short term. 

Can Coinbase Adding Cardano Staking Rewards Further Aid Price Pump?

Key Insights:

  • Coinbase expands staking offerings to include Cardano.
  • The current estimated annual return for ADA staking on Coinbase is around 3.75% APY.
  • The recent price uptrend seen in ADA’s trajectory combines healthy technicals and ecosystem-centric upgrades. 

Top coins are re-tracing their way upward, with the larger market seemingly back on track to register a much-awaited recovery. Nonetheless, market-centric and ecosystem-based upgrades have acted as catalysts for the favorable price momentum apart from the more significant gains. 

One of the top show stoppers of this week has been Cardano (ADA) which finally managed to pull its price above the $1 mark after being under the price level for over a month. Positive market news has been key to ADA’s recent price jump, apart from the broader market recovery. 

Coinbase Adds Cardano Staking Rewards

The publicly-traded cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced on March 24 that it would offer staking for ADA, the native cryptocurrency of the Cardano blockchain.

This move aligns with Coinbase’s plans to continue scaling their staking portfolio in 2022.

A blog shared by the exchange highlighted that the current estimated annual return for Cardano staking on Coinbase is around 3.75% APY. Coinbase’s Senior Product Manager Rupmalini Sahu explained the decision by pointing out, 

“ADA is in the top 10 coins by market capitalization, and it has a flexible, sustainable, and scalable blockchain design. That design uses smart contracts, similar to Ethereum and Solana, to enable decentralized finance, NFTs, and other activities on the network.”

Notably, Coinbase has been on quite a listing spree since last year; the exchange also recently added ApeCoin (APE). Coinbase aims to increase its staking options, as Sahu highlights the exchange’s “plans to continue to scale its staking portfolio in 2022.”

Notably, ADA joins a list of coins for Coinbase provides staking services, including Algorand, Cosmos, Ethereum, and Tezos

ADA Finally Above $1

Cardano’s price has witnessed a significant boost after months of downtrend. A crucial development that fueled a bullish narrative among investors for ADA is Cardano’s network upgrade that increased Plutus’ per block script memory units to 62 million. 

Historically, Cardano’s network upgrades have had a bullish impact on altcoin’s price trajectory, fueling demand for ADA across exchanges. At press time, ADA traded at $1.11, noting a 14.66% daily and a 31.69% weekly rise in price. 

FXempire, ADA, Crypto, Cardano
ADA Price Action | Source: FXEmpire

Cardano’s recent price uptrend combines a technical bounce from oversold levels and a bullish long-term outlook considering the upcoming network upgrades. 

Santander Launches Commodity Token Collateralized Loans

Key Insights:

  • Santander rolls out Agrotoken-collateralized loans for Argentine farmers.
  • Farmers can also exchange Agrotokens for seeds, fuel, vehicles, machinery, and services.
  • Santander and Agrotoken plan to target Brazil and the U.S later this year.

Bank Santander is a Spanish multinational financial services company. The bank has a presence in all of the global financial centers.

This week, Santander launched loans collateralized with tokenized commodities.

Santander Commodity Token Collateralized Loans

In February, Santander offered Argentine farmers loans collateralized with tokenized commodities. Working with agricultural commodities token platform Agrotoken, the bank is targeting the agriculture sector with blockchain and digital assets.

According to the report, Agrotoken projects that Santander will issue loans collateralized with agricultural commodities tokens to 1,000 farmers within the next 6-months.

Tokenized agricultural commodities include corn, soybeans, and wheat.

Santander also reportedly plans to launch the product in Brazil and the U.S later this year. According to Statista, the U.S, Brazil, and Argentina are among the world’s top five largest corn producers.

Agrotoken Takes Agriculture Digital

Agrotoken provides a platform catering for the trading of grains. The platform converts grains into digital assets. Holders of Agrotoken converted digital assets can store or exchange tokens for inputs, and services, among others.

Electronically, holders can exchange Agrotokens for seeds, vehicles, machinery, fuel in addition to using them for collateralized loans.

The value of Agrotkens is linked to the price of gain. For farmers, 1 Agrotoken is equivalent to 1 ton of grain. Buyers and sellers send and receive Agrotokens via Agrotoken wallets.

Agrotoken is built on Ethereum (ETH), Polygon (MATIC), and Algorand (ALGO).

Santander Takes DeFi Model to Build Agriculture Loan Book

In the world of DeFi, crypto holders can obtain crypto-collateralized loans across DeFi platforms. As a result of crypto market volatility, crypto loans are over-collateralized.

In other words, borrowers can only receive a percentage of the total crypto value that they put down as collateral.

In the world of agriculture, commodity prices are also volatile. Agrotokens listed the corn, soybeans, and wheat tokens on Matba Rofex, used for trading futures and options contracts on agricultural products.

The listing on Matba Rofex enables Santander to offer Agrotoken-collateralized loans. However, it is unclear whether Santander applies any haircut to collateral placed with the bank.

Where Will Algorand’s Ties with Amazon Web Services Take ALGO?

Recently, amid the global crypto market’s choppy price action, cloud solutions provider Guardrail announced the availability of the Algorand Blockchain on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

This strategic move could push the narrative for the 29th ranked coin by market cap, but for now, price implications as the global crypto market consolidates aren’t visible.

Boosting the Algorand Blockchain

The release of the Algorand Blockchain on the AWS marketplace will allow users to deploy and operate nodes securely. Algorand arrived on AWS through Guardrails, a clouds solution provider that drives rapid cloud adoption in Small & Medium Business Enterprises (MSME).

The release marks the deployment of Algorand’s nodes on the AWS network. Notably, up to 1,000 Algorand nodes can be operated across 24 regions within 30 minutes with its arrival on AWS.

That said, Guardrail is set to boost the capacity of the Algorand blockchain for building applications in its network by acting as an alternative to API aggregators.

Furthermore, Algorand’s ecosystem continues to grow at a decent pace. Notably, the platform’s Algofi DEX also went live today, which is called the DeFi Hub of Algorand. The blockchain’s trajectory in the NFT space has also been adequate, and recently, Vesta Equity launched a real estate-backed NFT platform on Algorand.

While the platform seemed to progress on the ecosystem front, its price action was largely bearish, much like the top coins such as Cardano, XRP, and even Ethereum.

ALGO Price Still Down

Bitcoin’s volatile move over the last week has caused the global market cap to dip down to the $1.70 Trillion mark at press time. Alongside Bitcoin and Ethereum, most of the large-cap and mid-cap altcoins, too, were making lower price lows.

At press time, Algorand traded at $0.8014, noting 3.26% daily and 15.03% weekly losses. ALGO was currently sitting at the six-month low price level, down 75.33% from its all-time high price.

FXempire, ALGO, Crypto, Algorand
Source: FXEmpire

While ALGO trading at this low price level gives massive upside to the traders and investors in the mid-short term, it is to be noted that further downside could push the altcoin to the $0.65 level, which currently serves as the next significant support.

Binance Users Can Now Auto Invest Fantom Blockchain’s FTM

Binance users can now use the auto-invest feature for the native token of the Fantom blockchain, FTM. The exchange announced this early today, stating that the token has now joined the growing numbers of crypto assets with the auto-invest feature enabled. 

With the feature, users can automatically use a dollar-cost averaging strategy to invest their tokens.

Binance Adds Auto Invest Option to FTM

Auto invest is one of the newest features on Binance. Users can automate their crypto investments while also earning passively through it. The auto-invest option is available on the Binance app, and it enables users to manage how volatility will affect their investments.

Binance launched auto investment in November 2021 as part of its Binance Earn suite. At the time of the launch, the feature supported only Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the exchange native token, BNB

But since then, the crypto firm has added other crypto-assets like Solana, Polkadot, Cardano, Algorand, Terra, Litecoin, and others.

According to Binance, by the end of 2021, there were more than 100,000 auto-invest plans with a total trading volume above $10 million. This shows that many users are adopting the feature.

FTM Price Declines by 0.8% in 24 Hours

The Fantom blockchain is one of the few high-performance open-source platforms with smart contract capabilities. The network considers itself an improvement on other blockchain networks due to its novel consensus mechanism.

It was recently in the news for a new governance proposal seeking to reduce the amount of self-staked tokens needed to be a validator on the network. The platform is home to several decentralized applications and has a TVL of over $8 billion, according to data on DeFiLlama.

Thus, the addition of FTM is likely to help boost the token’s value in the long run. In the last 24 hours, FTM’s value has dropped by 0.8% and is currently trading for $2.06.

This continues the recent poor price performance that has seen it lose 8.5% of its value in the last seven days and around 30% over the previous 30 days.

Grayscale’s First Equity ETF Tracks Companies Building ‘Digital Economy’

Crypto asset manager Grayscale Investments, which has $38.2 billion in assets under management, began trading its first equity ETF.

GFOF ETF Is Listed on NYSE Arca

Announced Wednesday, the exchange-traded fund — the Grayscale Future of Finance ETF, will track the Bloomberg Grayscale Future of Finance Index. Trading under the ticker GFOF, the fund aims to invest in companies working for the advancement of the ‘digital economy.’

The index aims to track 22 companies associated with several crypto-linked equities as well as other financial institutions in the fintech space, the company announced in January.

The fund will be administered by the U.S. Bank and Foreside Fund Services will act as the Grayscale ETF’s distributor. The ETF is available on the NYSE Arca, starting today.

Dave LaValle, the firm’s global head of ETFs, calls the fund the “first step” in a  strategic expansion of Grayscale’s investment offerings.

“Through GFOF, investors now have the opportunity to receive exposure to the companies that are pivotal to the evolution of the global financial system,” LaValle said in a company release.

The Bloomberg Grayscale Future of Finance Index comprises asset managers, exchanges and brokerages, crypto mining companies and firms involved in energy management, to name a few.

Future of Finance Index Means Revenue Growth for Cryptos

The Bloomberg Intelligence strategists projected the securities within the index in order to drive growth within the space. The fund will also play a major role in revenue growth for digital assets in the near future.

Some of the companies under the Bloomberg Grayscale Future of Finance Index include Paypal (PYPL), Coinbase Global (COIN), Block Inc (SQ), Silvergate Capital (SI) among others, a January report stated.

Grayscale has diversified its offer to remain a leader in the smart money domain. The investment giant recently added 25 new digital assets to its “under consideration” list. This includes tokens for a number of DeFi, metaverse, and NFT projects, such as Algorand (ALGO), The Sandbox (SAND), Axie Infinity (AXS), and Enjin (ENJ).

This follows the company’s application to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in October 2021, asking to convert Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF, but regulators have delayed a decision on a spot Bitcoin proposal from Grayscale.

Grayscale Investments Includes 25 New Cryptos Under Its Radar

Grayscale Investments, which manages cryptocurrency investment funds and a subsidiary of the Digital Currency Group, has added 25 new digital assets to its “under consideration” list.

The crypto investment giant said Monday that the addition is a part of the “exploration” of the crypto sector. These “assets under consideration” include tokens for a number of DeFi, metaverse, and NFT projects.

Some of the digital assets include Algorand (ALGO) and Convex (CVX) for DeFi projects, The Sandbox (SAND), Axie Infinity (AXS), and Enjin (ENJ) for metaverse protocols.

Some of these assets would either join the range of single-asset products like Grayscale Bitcoin Trust or the Grayscale Ethereum Trust, or the multi-asset product Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund.

Grayscale views the addition of new digital assets as its “responsibility to introduce investors to the diversity in this space.”

“Assets under consideration lists some digital assets that are not currently included in a Grayscale investment product, but that has come to our attention as part of our exploration of this sector,” the company announcement noted.

Earlier this month, Grayscale rebalanced its DeFi fund quarterly, adding the Flexa’s amp (AMP) token and excluding Universal Market Access (UMA) and Bancor (BNT).

Assets Currently Active

Grayscale already lists an array of 23 cryptocurrencies under its “Grayscale’s Product Family.” This includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Solana, Cardano, among other digital assets.

Despite a more complicated market, Grayscale’s desire – to diversify its offer and remain a leader in the smart money segment – remains unchanged.

The asset manager has clearly indicated that the new addition of crypto assets are only hypotheses under study and that Grayscale will not integrate every asset under consideration into its product catalog.

“Grayscale may explore additional assets other than those included in the Assets Under Consideration table for inclusion in Grayscale Products. Similarly, assets could be included in the Grayscale Product family without first being listed on this table,” the firm added.

Grayscale Tiptoes Into Crypto Space

Grayscale Investments announced last week, its partnership with Bloomberg to launch a new crypto-based index dubbed – Bloomberg Grayscale Future of Finance Index (BGFOF).

The index aims to track 22 companies associated with several crypto-linked equities as well as other financial institutions in the fintech space.

Grayscale Investments applied to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in October, asking to convert GBTC into an ETF, but regulators have delayed a decision on a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal from Grayscale.

This followed a written letter from Grayscale to the SEC, saying that the regulator is “breaking the law”. In the letter, Grayscale lawyers argued that the SEC’s preference for BTC futures ETFs over a Bitcoin spot ETF seems to be “arbitrary and capricious.”

The Recently Launched LGBT Token Is Getting Attention

The Spanish project, launched a month ago, has already 10,000 interested users on their waiting list to be the first ones to buy the coin, according to its website. The project wants to have a “social, ethical, transparent, and transversal” payment method.

Although the team behind MariCoin says it’s the first-ever LGBT token, other coins have been around a while back like the “LGBT Token” and “PRIDE” launched in 2018 and 2021 respectively.

About MariCoin (MCOIN)

The project was founded in December 2021 by Juan Belmonte and Francisco Álvarez in Madrid, Spain and during New Years’ weekend, they launched a pilot program in 10 business sites in the LGBT neighborhood called Chueca in Madrid.

“The establishments that accept our coin will be listed on our map, which will work as an LGBTI guide for anyone visiting any city in the world,” Francisco Álvarez said.

According to its official website, MariCoin is built on the Algorand blockchain and is supported by the Venture Capital Borderless Capital. On their roadmap in Q1 this year they will launch their own wallet, MCOIN will be listed in some exchanges and later this year smart contracts will be enabled.

The project got so much attention that their waitlist is closed for the first ones who were interested in the project.

Some People in the Community Are Not Confident About the Project

The project is promising a lot of things, but some are not seeing clearly, starting with the name of the project that comes from a homophobic slur in Spanish.

Justin Ehrenhofer, who is involved in the crypto space, tweeted yesterday about thinking that MariCoin could be a scam because he commented that when you are joining the waitlist, which is a simple Google form, you have to enter how much money you want to invest.

This is not only happening on Twitter but also on Reddit are members claiming that the webpage lacks professionality and does not have any technical descriptions of how the coin is going to work.

Although 10,000 people have joined the waitlist, others are pretty cautious about the project of having red flags. Let’s hope MariCoin will not become the next scam project like the SQUID Game token.

Only time will tell if the team behind MariCoin can accomplish their objectives as they said.

DeFi Algorand Based Platform Tinyman Lost $3 Million During an Exploit

Some communities started the year with the right foot and others did not so much like in the Algorand ecosystem.

On January 1st the Decentralised Finance platform built on Algorand network Tinyman was attacked and approximately $3 million of assets were withdrawn from a pool without authorization, according to their official blog statement.

Today, two days after the attack, the official Tinyman Twitter account posted the following statement:

“We advise our users not to use Tinyman at the moment due to the problems we are experiencing. Low liquidity can also cause a loss of value in your funds. We’ll be stopping our swap func. on the interface soon. Please take this warning seriously as this is for our users protection”

About the exploit

According to their official blog statement, there was a lot of volatility in the first hours after the exploit, and certain Algorand Standard Assets (ASAs) were “drained” because of it. Tinyman’s team said that the attackers activated their wallet addresses and deposited a seed fund for the attack.

To continue with the attack, the hackers started targeting some pools, swapping some assets and minted Pool Tokens, allowing the attackers to get two of the same assets instead of two different ones because of an unknown bug in the exploit. This way the attackers were benefited because the “gobtc asset” was more valuable than Algorand’s native token ALGO.

Tinyman also revealed that the attackers swapped pools with stablecoins and withdrew those assets to other wallets and centralized exchanges. The team claimed that users affected by this attack will be reimbursed by the protocol.

DeFi Platforms Come With High Risk

In 2021, “DeFi” was one of the most trending words of the year in the crypto world, and it exists thanks to smart contracts.

In November 2021, the global crypto management risk company Elliptic published a research that revealed that $10.5 billion of assets were lost due to exploits or hacks in DeFi protocols in 2021.

“Decentralised apps are designed to be trustless in that they eliminate any third-party control of users’ funds, but you must still trust that the creators of the protocol have not made a coding or design mistake that could lead to a loss of funds.” said Tom Robinson, Chief Scientist at Elliptic.

The DeFi protocols are new to the space and are growing every day, in January 2021 there was $20 billion of Total Value Locked (TVL) and one year later there are approximately $250 billion, according to DeFi Llama data, increasing more than 10 times in one year.

As more money flows in the DeFi world, more criminals and attackers are tempted to hack the protocols because it’s something very new on crypto and there is no KYC and they are based on smart contracts. Smart contracts are made by human beings that can leave mistakes that attackers can take advantage of.

Let’s hope in the future the market will have more experience on the DeFi ecosystem and can learn about the mistakes of Tinyman protocol and maybe see a possible regulation within the DeFi world.

Algorand Rallies by 15% Following the Launch of DeFi Incentives

The decentralized finance space is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the cryptocurrency industry, with the total value locked increasing by more than $100 billion in 2021.

Algorand Launches DeFi Incentives

The Algorand Foundation launched an incentive program to boost the usage of decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols on its blockchain. The announcement has resulted in ALGO rallying by more than 15% over the past 24 hours.

Algorand is an open-source, permissionless, Pure Proof-of-Stake (PPoS) blockchain protocol designed to power the next generation of financial products. Per the team, Algorand ensures full participation, protection and speed within a truly decentralized network. Algorand is known for offering highly-customizable smart contracts (ASCs), Asset Tokenization (Algorand Standard Assets), and Atomic Transfers built directly in Layer-1.

The Algorand Foundation partnered with Algofi, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform, to launch a $3 million incentive program. Users who supply, borrow, and stake on the platform will be eligible to benefit from the initiative in the first quarter of next year.

Starting January, Algofi users will algorithmically earn ALGO tokens when they supply or borrow ALGO and stablecoins AlgoStable (STBL) and USD Coin (USDC). Furthermore, users that stake assets on Algofi will be rewarded with goBTC and goETH, representations of bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) on the Algorand network.

ALGO Could Rally Towards $2 Soon

ALGO has been rallying over the past 24 hours, and the coin’s price is currently up by more than 15%. At press time, ALGO is trading at $1.73 and could aim to break past the $2.0 psychological level if the rally continues.

ALGO’s MACD line could cross the neutral zone soon. Source: FXEMPIRE

The ALGO/USD daily chart shows that the cryptocurrency is bullish. ALGO just broke past its 50-day moving average of $1.644, the first time it is trading above that level in three weeks. The MACD line is still below the neutral zone but could enter the positive region if the rally continues. The RSI of 61 shows there is strong buying pressure on the cryptocurrency at the moment.

If the current market momentum persists, then ALGO could trade above the $2 mark for the first time since November.

Former Citi Top Trading Executive Launches Hivemind Capital

The cryptocurrency space has seen an influx of Wall Street talents in recent years as the industry continues to grow. An increasing number of institutional investors are entering the crypto space in a bid to fund some of the leading and exciting innovations in the sector.

Matt Zhang Launches a $1.5 Billion Crypto Fund

Matt Zhang, a former trading executive at Citi, announced the launch of his $1.5 billion cryptocurrency fund yesterday. The fund, named Hivemind Capital, is a multi-strategy venture designed to invest in the fast-growing cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem.

According to the press release, Hivemind will be headquartered in New York and will invest in crypto companies and trade digital assets. The fund will also enter the gaming space as nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and the metaverse will continue to grow in popularity and adoption.

Zhang pointed out that he created the fund because he believes blockchain technology is a paradigm shift, and the space is still in its early days. “Our mission is to provide start-to-finish capital and infrastructure solutions to visionary entrepreneurs and category-defining crypto projects,” said Matt Zhang, Founder and Managing Partner of Hivemind,” he added.

Hivemind said its first technology is Algorand, a proof-of-stake protocol designed to create infrastructure for the global financial sector. Algorand is one of the leading blockchain projects in the world, and its ALGO token is amongst the top 50 by market cap.

Zhang said, “We believe that Algorand is the preeminent blockchain protocol that allows institutional and corporate users to connect with the decentralized economy. With the explosive growth of the digital asset space, people tend to forget how early the crypto economy still is. We want to team up with partners who have the patience to build an enduring business.”

Hivemind said it is in talks with a number of other leading layer-1 networks and will announce partnerships over the coming months.

VC Funds are Entering the Crypto Space

The cryptocurrency market has seen numerous venture capital funds enter the space over the past few months. In June, Andreessen Horowitz launched Crypto Fund III, a $2.2-billion venture fund.

Paradigm also launched a $2.5 billion cryptocurrency fund earlier this month in a bid to invest in the crypto and metaverse space. The amount of capital cryptocurrency projects are attracting will keep increasing as the market grows bigger and adoption increases.