Last week, Monte Python Star John Cleese took to Twitter to offer up his own NFT, an iPad drawing of the Brooklyn Bridge. The bidding started at $100, with a Buy-It-Now price of 69,346,250.50. Bidding has rose to well over $30,000.
“The irony that he’s selling the Brooklyn Bridge is lost on some, but the iconic actor’s message is one that we should really fully digest,” opined Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus, a US-based developer of ultra-high-performance trading and surveillance technology that powers global equities, derivatives, and digital asset exchanges.
In an interview, Cleese commented on the NFT craze, saying that “technology is changing and moving so quickly that we can’t even see we’re standing in quicksand as we stare at a bunch of pixelated JPEGs, wondering what they might sell for next.”
“The crazy thing about NFTs, and all blockchain-based technology is that we’re focusing on the shiny object in the room when, in fact, there’s so much value sitting right in front of us. Cryptocurrency has the ability to change the way that the world transacts its business, especially across borders and for the unbanked masses. The limits of blockchains are greater than we’re even considering. It could even help us stamp down malaria across sub-Saharan Africa,” Gardner noted.
A 2017 PricewaterhouseCoopers paper illustrated that the counterfeit pharmaceutical market is extensive, being over $150 billion annually. A 2015 study for The American Society for Microbiology showed that ~10% of all drugs in circulation are counterfeit. Anti-malaria treatments are among the most counterfeited. A 2017 WHO study estimated that “incremental deaths in SSA due to substandard and falsified antimalarials comprise approximately 2.1% to 4.9% of total malaria deaths, or approximately 3.8% to 8.9% of malaria deaths relating to cases seeking treatment.”
“Counterfeit pharmaceuticals could be a relic of the past,” said Gardner. “Using blockchain technologies to prove authenticity, especially if you combine that technology with artificial intelligence like we have, that creates a technological barrier to counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Health officials any place on the planet could verify the authenticity of medication — simply with a scan of their smartphone. That isn’t theoretical. That’s something that could save countless lives. But, instead of talking about how to combat malaria, the press wants to talk about selling Tweets or digital trading cards for hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars. Imagine if those investment dollars went into something credible?’
Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable exchanges, with a client list which includes NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.
“Obviously, we’ve been talking about Covid for the past year, and there’s no doubt that Covid is a public health emergency. However, it’s worth noting that, in 2020, Africa faced 2.4 million cases of Covid with just over 50,000 deaths. But, every year, malaria kills 400,000 people across the globe, with more than 90% of those deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. The crisis is real, and, if we could stop even 5% of those deaths by eliminating counterfeit pharmaceuticals, that’s something worth talking about,” said Gardner.
Cryptocurrency Traders Can Now Trade Stocks on Binance
Binance, a global cryptocurrency exchange platform, announced it will launch zero-commission, tradable stock tokens on its platform today, 12 April 2021.
The exchange firm said investors can now trade cryptocurrency and traditional stock markets, all from their Binance account.
It explained that each stock token on Binance will represent one share of equity stock, which is fully backed by shares stored in a depository portfolio of underlying securities, in cooperation with investment firm CM-Equity AG and asset tokenization platform Digital Asset AG.
Binance said “The first stock tokens on Binance will be of Tesla Inc., the largest automaker by market capitalization. Tesla stock tokens on Binance will have a minimum trade size of one-hundredth of a stock token, representing the same fraction of a Tesla share. Stock tokens are priced and settled in Binance USD (BUSD), a regulated stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar and issued by Paxos Trust Co.”
Advantages of Stock Tokens on Binance
Stock tokens make it easier for cryptocurrency traders using the Binance platform to access highly sought-after assets like stocks.
* Liquidity. Adding stock tokens to Binance makes it possible for investors to trade both crypto and traditional assets, straight from the world’s biggest crypto exchange by trading volume.
* Flexibility. We are making it possible for users to trade fractions of a unit of publicly tradable equities, turning them into more affordable units that have lower barriers of entry.
* Access to Traditional Stock Benefits. Holders of stock tokens qualify for capital returns on the underlying equity, including potential dividends and stock splits, as they would from holding traditional shares.
* Access to our Crypto Financial Suite. Aside from trading benefits, we also offer a wide-ranging suite of crypto financial services that augment your trading experience, from loans and savings products to liquidity pools and token launch platforms.
“Binance serves many users around the world and we are very pleased to be able to help them participate in the equity market. Stock tokens demonstrate how we can democratize value transfer more seamlessly, reduce friction and costs to accessibility, without compromising on compliance or security. Through connecting traditional and crypto markets, we are building another technological bridge for a more inclusive financial future,” said Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of Binance.
During the first quarter of 2021, Binance recorded a 346% growth in users, fueling a 260% growth in total trading volumes. As the total market value of cryptocurrencies shoots past $2 trillion, indicating accelerated crypto adoption, the launch of stock tokens opens up another avenue of growth for both Binance and its users.
Bitcoin Price Shoots Past $60K, Ether Hits New All-Time High in Early Saturday Trading
Bitcoin’s price neared its all-time high of $61,712 early Saturday while ether (ETH, -0.26%) set a new all-time high at $2,190.
According to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin price page, the leading cryptocurrency traded above $60,000 for the first time in nearly a month after spending weeks vacillating between $52,000 and the upper $50,000s. Bitcoin pulled back marginally after peaking around $60,900, though it remains above the psychological marker as of press time.
Bitcoin last hit an all-time high in mid-March, according to CoinGecko.
Meanwhile ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, came close to $2,200, just days after breaching $2,100 for the first time.
While it’s unclear if there’s a causation, the price action comes just days before leading U.S. exchange Coinbase begins trading on Nasdaq in one of the crypto industry’s most anticipated events. A sign of the maturing market, the listing will likely give Wall Street traders their most accessible bet yet on growth in the space.
Some institutional investors have wasted little time. Friday, Daniel Loeb, CEO of $17 billion hedge fund Third Point revealed he was a hodler in response to a CoinDesk report. He’s hardly alone: institutional funds have flooded the markets and have been deemed at least partly responsible for the 2020-2021 rally.
Bitcoin bulls were further bolstered on Friday by the idea that an exchange-traded fund (ETF) with exposure to the digital asset space might be approved in 2021, after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirmed it was reviewing ETF giant WisdomTree’s application.
The regulator previously began reviewing VanEck’s ETF application last month, and another six companies have filed initial registration forms declaring their own efforts to launch a regulated bitcoin (BTC, -0.99%) investment vehicle.
The broader digital asset space has seen tremendous froth over the past few months, with investors and industry participants trading heavily in decentralized finance tools, non-fungible tokens and altcoins like doge, which hit a peak of $0.08 in February, eight times its value a month earlier.
Cardano’s Coming of Age – Will it Hit Bitcoin and Ethereum?
Cardano’s recent full decentralization will fuel its appeal and price, better positioning it to take on rivals Bitcoin and Ethereum in the booming cryptocurrency market, predicts the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.
The bold prediction from deVere Group CEO and founder Nigel Green comes as Cardano (ADA) last week became a fully-fledged community-run network.
Mr Green says: “The price of Cardano has exploded over the last few months – up around 600% since the beginning of the year, recently making it the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation after Bitcoin and Ethereum.
“But now Cardano has come of age by becoming fully decentralized – meaning its parent company has handed control of the blockchain over to the community – we can expect it to attract more investors which will, of course, drive its price on an upward trajectory.”
He continues: “This milestone will help Cardano better position itself to challenge major rivals in the cryptoverse.
“Cardano is likely to be a challenger to Ethereum as not only can it be used as currency, but its blockchain – the tech on which it runs – can also be used to build smart contracts, protocols and decentralised applications. Plus, it is said to be significantly more scalable than Ethereum.”
Mr Green goes on to say: “It will also pose a challenge to the all-mighty Bitcoin. This is because those who invest in digital assets already or are planning to do so, know that one of the secrets of successful investing is diversification.
“Therefore, these investors will want their cryptocurrencies diversified too and this is ultimately likely to eat into Bitcoin’s market share.”
Earlier this year Cardano (ADA) was added to deVere Crypto, the cryptocurrency exchange app, to join other major digital currencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Bitcoin Cash, XRP and Dogecoin.
At the time, Nigel Green noted: “The addition underscores our commitment to continually reviewing and expanding our cryptocurrency offering in order to give users of the exchange access to the opportunities and rewards of digital currencies.”
The deVere CEO concludes: “This landmark moment in Cardano’s development journey will further galvanise its position as a rising star in the crypto market.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if some celebrity investors soon publicly express their support on social media for Cardano as they have recently done with other cryptocurrencies.”
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