KuCoin Expands Crypto Services with Decentralised, Self-Custodial Wallet Platform


Acting on the rising demand for expansive crypto-related services, KuCoin crypto exchange has decided to expand its service offerings in the sector. The Seychelles-based company has announced its crypto wallet platform, which is decentralised and self-custodial in nature. Named the KuCoin Wallet, the platform supports multi-chain aggregation that enables users to send, receive, and store BTC, ETH, USDT, USDC, and BNB among other cryptocurrency tokens. For now, the wallet is live on web browsers. Its mobile application is expected to be released soon as well.

The crypto exchange, established in 2017, will be adding special sections around decentralised finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFT), and GameFi sectors.

In a bid to purchase, store, and browse NFTs or digital collectibles — KuCoin Wallet will be integrated with Windvane NFT marketplace.

In addition, the wallet’s self-custodial feature audited by Hacken allows users to access full control of their assets, since they manage their own private keys.

“As the gateway to the Web3 network, crypto wallets are an important requirement for users to participate in the decentralised ecosystem and have developed far more than being a mere tool for storing digital assets,” Lyu noted.

Johnny Lyu, the CEO of KuCoin called the launch of this wallet service a ‘significant step’ in the country’s Web3 exploration. He also posted the announcement on Twitter.

KuCoin claims that its goal is to go beyond centralised trading services and give its services more Web3 flavours.

The launch of its wallet comes just days after the crypto exchange raised fresh capital of $150 million (roughly Rs. 1,158 crore) in a pre-Series B funding round.

A bunch of venture capital firms like Circle Ventures and Jump Crypto have pumped-in the recent capital influx for KuCoin, reinstating trust in the crypto exchange business.

The company had also secured $20 million (roughly Rs. 155 crore) in a Round A funding back in November 2018. It is listed as the fifth largest crypto exchange on the market as per CoinMarketCap.

In fact, last year KuCoin ‘merged’ reality with virtual reality (VR) to introduce its new metaverse office in a stunning virtual reality-based building called ‘Bloktopia’.


Bitcoin Mini-Rally Ends Falling Below $30,000 Territory as Altcoins Bear Sharp Losses


Bitcoin, following a strong start to the week has taken yet another dip as news of World Bank disapproving the Central African Republic’s (CAR) decision to adopt BTC as legal tender saw investor confidence dip yet again. The price of the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation fell by more than 5 percent through Wednesday with figures continuing to stick to red early into Thursday. In numerical terms, BTC is currently around the $29,800 (roughly Rs. 23 lakh) mark across global exchanges while Indian exchange CoinSwitch Kuber values Bitcoin at $31,685 (roughly Rs. 24.6 lakh), down by 4.48 percent in the past 24 hours.

On global exchanges like CoinMarketCap, Coinbase, and Binance the price of Bitcoin stands at $29,766 (roughly Rs. 23 lakh) down by 5.62 percent in value over the past 24 hours. As per CoinGecko data, BTC’s value still stands higher than where it stood last week, up 1.1 percent week-to-day.

While Bitcoin hasn’t quite been able to start June on a high, Ether has been struggling too. The second most popular cryptocurrency began the week well, but has lost steam quite quickly. At the time of publishing, Ether is valued at $1,923 (roughly Rs. 1.5 lakh) on CoinSwitch Kuber while values on global exchanges see the crypto’s value at $1,811 (roughly Rs. 1.4 lakh), where the cryptocurrency has fallen by 6.13 percent over the past 24 hours.

Ether’s sharp decline over the past 24 hours means that the cryptocurrency’s value has now fallen by 6.3 percent over last week’s value, as per CoinGecko data.

Gadgets 360’s cryptocurrency price tracker reveals a sorry state of affairs for altcoins too — as the global crypto market capitalisation fell by 5.04 percent in the last 24 hours. Solana, Polygon, Avalanche, Litecoin, Uniswap, and Chainlink all lost value in percentage figures above 5 percent, while Monero, and TRON were the only ones in the green.

Memecoins Shiba Inu and Dogecoin join the majority yet again, dropping quite a bit in value. Dogecoin is currently valued at $0.08 (roughly Rs. 7) after falling 4.43 percent in value over the last 24 hours, while, Shiba Inu is valued at $0.000012 (roughly Rs. 0.000900), down by 5.66 percent over the past day.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin and Ethereum miners saw a steep decline in revenue during the month of May as prices of both cryptocurrencies fell to new local lows. May proved to be one of the worst months for Bitcoin miners in 2022.

Following the Terra debacle, the South Korean government has decided to form a Digital Assets Committee, targeted to come out as early as this month, to oversee the digital assets market.

“Specific parameters of the committee include providing criteria for the listing of coins by exchanges, introducing investor protection measures and monitoring unfair trading. This is a welcome move for the industry in bringing greater regulatory clarity to the space. Not only is it a necessary step for digital assets to reach mainstream adoption, it also represents a great opportunity for the crypto industry to mature and truly flourish,” the research team at CoinDCX tells Gadgets 360.

Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.


Ethereum Update Set to Undergo Ropsten Testnet, Completion to Mark Readiness of ‘Merge’


The eco-friendly upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain is gearing up to undergo the Ropsten Beacon Chain testnet, one of the longest-existing proof-of-work (PoW) testnet. Basically, the Ropsten testnet is the most popular replica of the Ethereum network. It is capable of imitating the aspects of the ETH mainnet, making it a test model of what Ethereum’s upgraded PoS network may work like. The new Ethereum network is named the ‘The Merge’. This recode will cut Ethereum’s carbon emissions by a substantial amount.

“Client teams are now ready to run Ropsten – the oldest proof-of-work testnet – through The Merge. In preparation, a Ropsten Beacon Chain has been launched to provide consensus to the network. The Ropsten network, which is intended to be deprecated after The Merge, will run through the upgrade earlier in the development process than previous network upgrades,” said an official blog from Ethereum developers.

Tim Beiko, one of the developers of The Merge, shared the milestone announcement on Twitter. He revealed that The Merge is expected to go under this beacon chain testnet around June 8.

The release of The Merge is expected to be ready by August this month.

Before that happens, two more testnets will be run through Ethereum 2.0 in a bid to ensure appropriate transaction execution.

Meanwhile, back in April, The Merge developers successfully stress-tested the network using a so-called mainnet shadow fork.

At the time, another Ethereum developer Marius Van Der Wijden had called this a “huge success”.

The developers are running extensive tests on the Ethereum revamp because decentralised finance (DeFi) apps reportedly worth over $100 billion (roughly Rs. 7,61,110 crore) are supported on the blockchain, and cannot be put in jeopardy.

The PoS mining operations use randomly selected miners to validate transactions. This cuts its energy consumption requirement, reducing its carbon emission.

The developers are running extensive tests on the Ethereum revamp because decentralised finance (DeFi) apps reportedly worth over $100 billion (roughly Rs. 7,61,110 crore) are supported on the blockchain, and cannot be put in jeopardy.


Fidelity Says Will Double Down on Hiring for Crypto Units This Year

Fidelity Investments’ digital assets arm will double down on hiring this year as it looks to beef up its resources to serve clients who want to invest in crypto assets that trade round the clock.

Fidelity Digital Assets, which currently employs nearly 200 people, is looking to fill 110 new positions in client services, technology and operations that would also focus on assets beyond bitcoin, a company spokesperson told Reuters on Tuesday.

“As the demand for digital assets continues to steadily grow and the marketplace evolves, we will continue to expand our hiring efforts,” Tom Jessop, president of Fidelity Digital Assets, said.

Last month, Fidelity Investments became the first major retirement plan provider to allow individuals to allocate part of their savings in bitcoin through their 401(k) investment plans.

News of the hiring comes weeks after cryptocurrencies suffered a major pullback following the collapse of stablecoin terraUSD. Stablecoins are digital tokens pegged to the value of traditional assets.

Bitcoin was last trading at $31,594 (roughly Rs. 24,49,700), down more than half from its all-time high of $69,000 (roughly Rs. 53,50,000) in November.

The digital currency market rout hasn’t deterred private investments, with Hong Kong-based crypto lender and asset manager Babel Finance raising $80 million (roughly Rs. 620 crore) at a $2 billion (roughly Rs. 15,506 crore) valuation last week, while venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz raised $4.5 billion (roughly Rs. 34,890 crore) for its fourth cryptocurrency fund.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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South Korea to Invest Over $177 Million in Opening Firms, Jobs in Metaverse Sector

Metaverse projects coming to life in South Korea are to witness loads of support from the government there. The Asian tech hub is planning to invest over $177 million (roughly Rs. 1,372 crore) in supporting metaverse projects that will also trigger job opportunities in the sector. Lim Hyesook, minister of science, information and communication technologies in South Korea has reportedly made this announcement, forwarding the government’s belief on the potential of the metaverse industry.

Calling the metaverse an “uncharted digital continent with indefinite potential,” Hyesook said South Korea wants to participate in growing its national metaverse ecosystem, Bitcoin.com reported on June 1.

A 3D-iteration of Internet as we use today, the metaverse conceptualises a fully functional virtual universe, where people will be able to work, study, and socialise as digital avatars.

Research reports expect the market opportunity for the metaverse to reach $800 billion (roughly Rs. 59,58,719 crore) by 2024.

South Korea is one of the first nations in the world, to pour investments to grow the metaverse industry in its nation.

In February, Seoul’s Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning of South Korea allocated KRW 223.7 billion (roughly Rs. 1,400 crore) towards the development of a national metaverse project.

The government of South Korea plans to host creative activities, a metaverse developer contest, as well as a hackathon to select the best team to be part of this project.

Other elements of Web3, including cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) also make for significant parts of the metaverse.

While cryptocurrencies act as a mode of payment and rewards, engageable NFTs add life to the digital universe.

Meanwhile, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has announced plans of making Seoul the first South Korean city to enter the metaverse.

In November last year, the South Korean military had also reportedly announced that it would phase in metaverse applications to soldier training programmes by the 2030s.


UK Regulators to Bring Risk Management Laws In Case Stablecoin Projects Fail

The government of the UK has released a consultation paper outlining laws to mitigate risks associated with stablecoin projects that fail. The development comes after the recent crash of the Terra ecosystem. Now that UK has recognised stablecoins as a legitimate payment alternative, it aims to safeguard its citizens against financial risks that are generally associated with the crypto industry. As part of its plans, UK will be granting more control to the Bank of England (BoE) to handle the issuers of failed stablecoins.

“Since the initial commitment to regulate certain types of stablecoins, events in crypto asset markets have further highlighted the need for appropriate regulation to help mitigate consumer, market integrity, and financial stability risks,” UK’s Treasury said in an official post, released this week.

The rules will include amendments in UK’s Financial Market Infrastructure Special Administration Regime, also known as FMI SAR.

The FMI SAR will be upgrading its general framework for dealing with shaky stablecoin projects.

In case a stablecoin project threatens the country’s financial stability, the FMI SAR will be able to access the necessary insolvency arrangements.

“The failure of a systemic digital settlement asset (DSA) firm could have a wide range of financial stability as well as consumer protection impacts. This could be both in terms of continuity of services critical to the operation of the economy and access of individuals to their funds or assets. Further work will be required to consider whether it would be appropriate to put in place a bespoke legal framework for the failure of such firms and, if so, its design,” the post by UK’s Treasury added.

In April, UK added stablecoins to its financial ecosystem.

Stablecoins, like Tether and Binance USD are crypto assets, pegged to reserve assets like gold or fiat currencies, so even if the crypto market is down, they can still see gains due to the performance of its underlaying asset.

The British government had launched a consultation on crypto assets and stablecoins last year, the outcomes of which were announced at the Global Finance Summit by UK’s Economic Secretary, John Glen.

Amid the expanding crypto culture in the UK, its financial watchdogs have constantly expressed concerns about the economic instability that may seep in as an aftermath of UK’s mass exposure to cryptocurrency.


Binance Labs Adds $500 Million to Crypto Fund That Will Support Crypto, Web3 Projects

Binance Labs has closed a mega investment round with bagging $500 million (roughly Rs. 3,875 crore) for its Web3 focussed fund pool. A bunch of global institutional investors participated in this round, adding capital towards the future and progress of the Web3 industry. These include DST Global Partners, Breyer Capital, and Whampoa Group among other firms. The money will fund Web3 and crypto startups in their incubation and growth stages. The development comes at a time when the overall crypto industry is going through a slowed market movement.

Binance Global, the parent of Binance Labs, has established itself among the world’s biggest crypto exchanges since its launch in 2017.

Now, the platform wants to accelerate the use cases and adoption of Web3 elements including [cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), as well as the metaverse via this funding being collected by Binance Labs.

“The goal of the newly closed investment fund is to discover and support projects and founders with the potential to build and to lead Web3 across decentralised finance (DeFi), NFTs, gaming, metaverse, social, and more,” Binance CEO Chengpeng Zhao said in a blog post.

Since its foundation in 2018, Binance Labs has already funded several Web3 projects it deemed promising amid the present hypercompetitive industrial climate.

Its portfolio includes industry-leading projects such as 1inch, Audius, Axie Infinity, Dune Analytics, Elrond, Injective, Polygon, Optimism, The Sandbox, and STEPN.

Meanwhile, institutional investments in the Web3 and crypto sectors are known to blow back life into them, especially when risks of recession have been axing their growth rates.

Venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) recently pledged $600 million (roughly Rs. 4,661 crore) to accelerate research and development in the Web3 and NFT gaming industry. The name of this fund pool is ‘Games Fund One’ and it will focus on uplifting game studios, gaming infrastructures providers, as well as consumer applications.

Adding to the list of hefty investments, earlier this month, former Binance executives Ling Zhang and Wayne Fu put together a funding of $100 million (roughly Rs. 776 crore), in order to further the sectors of cryptocurrencies and the metaverse.

In May, Dapper Labs unveiled a $725 million (roughly Rs. 5,600 crore) ecosystem fund to invest in applications and growth for its layer-1 blockchain ecosystem named Flow. The Web3 player powers NBA Top Shot, the popular blockchain-based trading card platform.

Earlier this year, crypto venture capitalist Dragonfly Capital pledged $650 million (roughly Rs. 4,975 crore) in funding, betting on the crypto industry, marking its largest such fund yet.


Like Gig Economy, Crypto Gaming Is Sold With Promise of Convenience and Riches. In Practice It’s Deeply Exploitative

Video games are increasingly incorporating blockchains, the decentralised databases that underpin cryptocurrencies, as well as NFTs and other “digital assets”.

New games are emerging expressly to support blockchain technology, while traditional games are being updated to incorporate blockchains.

As of October 2021, “crypto gaming” accounted for more than half of the blockchain activity over that quarter. At the same time, a treasury inquiry has led to consumer groups calling for regulation in the crypto market.

Crypto evangelists say blockchains are the future of gaming, and crypto gaming is ushering in “Web3” – the so-called next iteration of the internet built on blockchain technology. How true are these promises? How video games use blockchains The advent of crypto gaming roughly coincides with the rise of the Ethereum blockchain, launched in 2015.

Ethereum emerged as a platform for building and hosting of decentralised apps (applications designed to run on a blockchain, rather than a singularly owned computer network), as well as ownership over digital assets within those apps.

Video games have a history of sophisticated virtual economies. Games such as World of Warcraft and EVE Online — where items are bought and sold for virtual currencies — became a popular test case for these Ethereum features.

The promise of ‘retaining value’ A common model in crypto games is to include two types of crypto tokens. One is a governance token, which generally allows players a say in the governance of a game, and in some instances a share in its revenue. The other is a utility token, which is used to perform certain actions within the game.

Game assets (such as a sword or an e-sports trading card) can also take the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with each unique token represented on the blockchain.

It’s common for NFTs and governance tokens to double as speculative assets that can be bought and sold across crypto or NFT exchanges. But it’s questionable whether they have any fundamental value. Many gaming tokens are at best volatile and at worst worthless.

Yet proponents of crypto gaming try to sell it as the future. Take crypto venture capitalist and Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, who says crypto gaming will allow players to “actually earn value” through accruing assets that have some value in traditional or “fiat” money.

In essence, he says people would no longer need to “waste time” gaming for leisure. Crypto gaming advocates often don’t understand why one might play games for no reason other than to have fun or unwind (or myriad other motivations).

In the crypto gaming vision, play becomes the act of seeking “valuable” tokens, and extending the game into a 24/7 market that pressures players to constantly seek profit. This marketisation of all activity is the very thing that has turned so many off of crypto gaming, and crypto more broadly.

The notion of retaining value is also framed in terms of developers and audiences being better remunerated for making and playing games. On game-distribution platforms such as Phantasma, developers deposit a given amount of the platform’s cryptocurrency in exchange for having their game hosted.

But it’s difficult to see how this differs from the current model, in which distributors charge a flat fee. In fact, hosting in exchange for cryptocurrency is arguably more problematic when you consider that token prices are subject to volatility.

Some people, including Web3 advocate Greg Isenberg, believe blockchain-enabled games might redistribute some of the revenue generated by game companies to players.

Players create value for these companies through practices such as “modding” (which refers to modifications, and other in-game activities), and even by contributing to a game’s culture.

Isenberg and others claim blockchains would provide a reliable record of players’ contributions, and therefore help set up a base for remuneration.

“Activision Blizzard sold for $70 billion (roughly Rs. 5,42,215 crore) today and the community is going to see $0 from this. Play-to-earn couldn’t come sooner,” Isenberg tweeted.

Playing to earn An increasingly common pitch from blockchain game projects is “if tokens are valuable, then play itself can become a form of work”. Players can “play to earn” (commonly referred to as “P2E”).

The best known example is Axie Infinity, a Pokémon-style game where playing yields tokens that (at least at some point) had a high monetary value.

In one podcast on P2E games (hosted by the venture capital fund Andreesen Horowitz, which has invested heavily in them), Gabby Dizon, the co-founder of a P2E gaming guild, claimed P2E was a “way to escape … economic hardship”.

Like the gig economy, P2E promises convenience, flexibility and prosperity at a time of widespread immiseration. Also, like the gig economy, it’s deeply exploitative in practice.

As recently reported, Axie and other companies like it have a setup in which players must buy an expensive NFT before they can even start playing and participating in the P2E model.

A popular business tactic among some wealthy investors is to lease out their Axies (which are linked to NFTs) and take a cut of any money made by players, many of whom are from developing countries such as the Philippines. The result? All but the best players end up earning below minimum wage.

Responses from industry Some traditional game developers have embraced blockchains. Last year, French gaming giant Ubisoft launched its own crypto gaming platform called Quartz.

Others have been reluctant. Big distributors including Valve have rejected blockchains, whereas Epic Games has embraced them under strict conditions.

Many indie game developers have pushed back, saying blockchains (and particularly NFTs) are scams that have a disastrous environmental impact, and which exacerbate the negative effects of capitalism.

A crash in the crypto market earlier this month has seen most crypto gaming tokens lose value. Yet this hasn’t deterred fervent investment.

More importantly, ups and downs in the crypto market don’t affect the fundamental problems in the value proposition of crypto gaming.

While blockchains and Web3 are viewed as an investment opportunity by large tech companies and investment funds, ordinary people continue to get scammed out of their money.

Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.


Binance Announces Crypto Awareness Tour in Africa as Adoption Numbers Spike in 2021

Major global crypto exchange Binance is launching the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Awareness Tour (BCAT) in Africa, a crypto awareness tour within a set location as crypto adoption continues to become a popular trend in the continent. The goal of the tour is to spread blockchain and cryptocurrency awareness as well as educate people across Africa. Besides, it is expected to facilitate the driving of real-world adoption, empowering millions of people across the continent to take to crypto in the process.

The campaign will start on June 4 from South Eastern, Nigeria. Then, it will move across Africa to countries such as Uganda, Ghana, Cameroon, etc. According to Binance’s post, the event will host as many as 5000 Africans.

Binance has been a sponsor of the Blockchain and Crypto Awareness Tour since 2019 when the program was first introduced. It was backed by CryptoTVPlus, a popular blockchain and cryptocurrency media house from Nigeria. At that time, the program was mainly targeting students. Students as a whole would be better positioned on how to make lasting impacts on their societies with the myriad opportunities the blockchain technology affords its enthusiasts.

In 2020, the BCAT took place online because of the coronavirus pandemic. So far, Binance claims the educative tours have reached over 60,000 people. Among other sponsors this year, major entrants include a global decentralised finance (DeFi) platform Xend Finance, decentralised esports and betting platform Sportrex, crypto wallet service Lead Wallet, and crypto payments provider BoundlessPay.

However, the edition of this year’s tour would lean heavily towards the popular play-to-earn economies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and the metaverse. Although Africa is still far behind when it comes to crypto being a contributor to the economy, users have been able to use the assets as a close substitute for the failed payments systems across the region.

In a survey published in late 2021 by Chainalysis, the major drivers of adoption across Africa have been peer-to-peer payments and savings among others. Like in major developing countries, Nigerians are looking at crypto as a means to escape several policies announced by the government and inflation. The awareness tour will also seek to establish a mutual space where crypto discussions will be carried out.


Dogecoin Co-Creator Calls Elon Musk a ‘Grifter’ Who Can’t Run Basic Code, Tesla CEO Hits Right Back

Australian co-creator of Dogecoin, Jackson Palmer has hit out at big-time DOGE fan Elon Musk in an interview, explicitly calling Musk a “grifter” who sells a vision of the future that he hopes to deliver one day. Palmer goes on to say that Musk doesn’t understand basic coding principles while alluding to an interaction the two had years ago when Palmer had apparently shared an excerpt of a python script he’d written that claimed to remove bots from Twitter. Musk hit back at Palmer on Twitter stating, “My kids wrote better code when they were 12.”

Speaking about his first interaction with the Tesla CEO in 2018, Palmer told news outlet Crikey that Musk was complaining about Twitter bots that were pushing cryptocurrency scams in the replies to his tweets. At the time, Palmer offered to share a snippet of code that would help fix the problem for him. Palmer said at the time, “Elon has the script… we had a good chat on how @jack and the Twitter team should definitely automate and fix this problem on their end though.”

Fast-forward to today and it’s certainly an even more relevant issue for Musk, who is in the process of buying Twitter — and would have the ability to actually make changes and attempt to fix such issues.

Palmer accounts in his interview that Musk had reached out to get hold of the script but claimed the billionaire’s technical knowledge was so deficient that he didn’t know how to run it.

“Elon reached out to me to get hold of that script and it became apparent very quickly that he didn’t understand coding as well as he made out.”

Adding to the fire, Palmer recounted a year ago calling the SpaceX founder a “grifter” who “sells a vision in hopes that he can one day deliver what he’s promising, but he doesn’t know that.”

Musk, clearly infuriated by Palmer’s comments, fired back on Tuesday on Twitter. He suggested Palmer’s code could not deliver on its promise of addressing the Twitter bot problem, adding “My kids wrote better code when they were 12.”

“You falsely claimed ur lame snippet of Python gets rid of bots. Ok buddy, then share it with the world …”

He challenged Palmer to make the script public, which would open it to greater scrutiny. Palmer took the opportunity to share the code, which he posted on GitHub four years ago.