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Meme Coin Frenzy SHIB, Others Fueled By Dogecoin

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Shiba Inu has been the talk of the crypto-verse and mainstream media recently. It is a meme coin themed around the Shibu Inu dog, a Japanese dog breed that Dogecoin (DOGE) is also basing its image on.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, SHIB hit its all-time high of $0.0000388 on May 10 after it surged more than 2,500 percent from trading at $0.00001478 on May 7.

The token has now been listed on most of the major exchanges, such as Binance, Coinbase, FTX, OKEx and even Binance’s Indian counterpart, WazirX. It had also briefly broken into the top 20 cryptocurrencies list by market capitalization. Currently, it has dropped off in the rankings, with a market cap of just over $6 billion. Earlier on May 10, SHIB’s market capitalization hit an all-time high of over $13.5 billion.

SHIB was launched in August 2020, soon after Dogecoin’s hype on TikTok sent the coin to a two-year high. According to its “Woof Paper,” a total of 1 quadrillion tokens were minted, 50 percent of which was locked into Uniswap with the keys thrown away. The other half, however, was sent to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin’s wallet in an uninvited fashion.

The intention behind sending 50 percent of the tokens to Buterin was to ensure price stability since ideally, the demand-supply dynamic wouldn’t allow the price to swing rapidly since one entity owns a large portion of the circulating supply.

However, Buterin gave away over $1 billion worth of SHIB to a coronavirus charity in India known as the India Covid Relief Fund. This led to the price of the coin crashing by over 50 percent almost immediately as the market began to panic.

According to the coin’s woofpaper, it claims to be the “Dogecoin Killer,” citing the enormous supply of the token as a differentiating factor between the two. In fact, on May 10, the demand for Shiba Inu grew so much that Binance ran out of ETH addresses since the token is based on the Ethereum blockchain.

Johnny Lyu, CEO of KuCoin — a crypto exchange — spoke with Cointelegraph about the positives of such high demand from retail investors: “It can be considered as a way to quickly learn about blockchain and the cryptocurrency industry. It provides new users with a lower threshold compared to some mainstream cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.”

As the token is competing with DOGE, it’s important to assess how it’s performing relative to Dogecoin. At the time of writing, SHIB is trading in the $0.000016 range, amounting to around 10,000 percent of gains in the last 30 days in comparison to around 300 percent gains in the same 30 days for Dogecoin, which is currently changing hands at roughly $0.50. Speaking of Dogecoin’s use cases, Lyu further elaborated:

“Dogecoin has a unique cultural symbol along with abundant application cases. For example, SpaceX announced recently that it will launch the DOGE-1 moon mission, and the cost will be paid by Dogecoin. This will allow more people to learn about and use Dogecoin along with Musk’s preference for Dogecoin.”

DOGE crashed by more than 25 percent following Tesla CEO’s Saturday Night Live appearance where he dropped several references to the meme token. His appearance also led to the price of Tesla dropping 14 percent, thus losing nearly $20 billion in market value.

However, on May 14, Musk made an announcement that he would be working with the DOGE development team to “improve system transaction efficiency.” This news led to the rebound of the token’s price from $0.38 to trading in the $0.50 range as the community envisions further adoption by brands and firms as payment options available to retail investors.

Jake Wujastyk, chief market analyst at TrendSpider — a technical analysis software company — told Cointelegraph that the DOGE price drop before SNL was not a coincidence: “This flush in price to the mid-$0.30s was conveniently timed right before this announcement by Elon Musk.” He further added:

“Dogecoin moved down to the volume shelf around $0.35 earlier in the week (an area where people who originally had profits in the $0.40s+, were back to break even). This is exactly where technical traders should have expected a bounce as supply dried up in this area (due to a lack of profits held by those that held DOGE around $0.35 originally).”

While SHIB is currently the most talked-about dog-themed meme coin apart from DOGE, there are several other highly volatile and speculative dog meme tokens that are floating around in the crypto-verse, which were launched in the hope to replicate the performance of DOGE.

One of the other coins from the same development team as SHIB is called LEASH. This coin has a limited total supply of just 107,647 tokens. Due to this low supply and the hype around the project, the sister token of Shiba Inu has seen astronomical gains of 6,500,000 percent since the beginning of May.

Another such coin is Kishu Inu (KISHU), a token themed around Shiba Inu’s distant relative, the Kishu. The project’s white paper speaks of a farming decentralized application in the future similar to SHIB’s upcoming ShibaSwap marketplace where users can swap the token and even earn rewards through staking. The coin is currently changing hands at $0.00000001, posting over 4,000 percent gains in the last 14 days.

Another coin that is trying to capture the DOGE hype is Dogelon Mars (ELON), a coin based on Elon Musk and his love for space travel. Similar to SHIB’s tokenomics, upon minting, 50 percent of the supply was sent to Buterin’s wallet address, and the other 50 percent was locked on Uniswap in a liquidity pool with an Ether (ETH) pairing. ELON is currently trading at $0.00000070 and has posted over 220 percent gains in the last 14 days.

It doesn’t end there. There are many more projects that are trying to imitate the financial performance of Dogecoin — UnderDog (DOG), Doge Token (DOGET), DogeFi (DOGEFI), DogeSwap (DOGES), PAW Token and ShibaCorgi Token, to name a few. In fact, there is now even a CAT token, which was launched by Netflix show Tiger King star Carole Baskin.

Wujastyk further elaborated on the feasibility of these dog-themed meme tokens: “There are many coins popping up and simply riding the Dogecoin coattails. Most of these coins have no utility at all other than being a vehicle of speculation.” He further added: “These are mostly just coins riding the coattails of the current coin mania. Generally, this does not end well and many new traders will likely get burned.”

Since most of these dog-themed meme coins apart from DOGE are Ethereum-based ERC-20 standard tokens, the hype around them led to additional congestion on the Ethereum network and thus drove up the gas fees. Consequently, the price of dabbling into these coins has now increased substantially.

The blockchain is currently in the process of transitioning to Ethereum 2.0, which will see a proof-of-work consensus model replaced by a proof-of-stake consensus that aims to improve the scalability of the network and thus reduce gas fees for investors. But this process will take some time to conclude.

In the meantime, the general love for dogs and the desire to become quick millionaires like several DOGE investors are leading to meme coins flooding the market. But whether it is just a bubble or if there will be a paradigm shift in crypto due to these tokens remain to be seen. Most likely, Doge will pave the way for these coins and decide their future based on its own adoption and price action.

Disclaimer: The coins described above are highly volatile and speculative in nature. This article is not an endorsement of these coins. If you opt to trade any of these coins, do so at your own risk.

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Nigeria’s SEC to Enforce Weekly, Monthly Reports from Crypto Service Providers

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced a new regulatory framework requiring Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs) to submit weekly and monthly trading statistics.

This move is part of a broader effort to monitor and regulate Nigeria’s burgeoning crypto market, according to a document released by the SEC titled “A Framework on Accelerated Regulatory Incubation Program for the Onboarding of Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs) and other Digital Investments Service Providers (DISPs).”

The framework aims to bring more structure to the country’s crypto ecosystem by amending existing rules on digital asset issuance, offering platforms, exchanges, and custodians.

The SEC’s initiative is seen as a significant step toward enhancing oversight and ensuring compliance within the rapidly evolving digital asset space.

Accelerated Regulatory Incubation Program

The Accelerated Regulatory Incubation Program (ARIP) will provide a special window for onboarding VASPs. The SEC has outlined specific reporting requirements for participants in the ARIP, including:

  • Weekly and monthly trading statistics.
  • Quarterly financials.
  • Compliance reports demonstrating adherence to the SEC’s conditions.
  • Reports on key issues such as misconduct, fraud, or operational incidents.
  • Actions taken to address customer complaints and emergent risks.

A Growing Market

Nigeria boasts one of the largest peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto markets globally. According to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, crypto transactions in the country amounted to $56.7 billion between July 2022 and June 2023, averaging $1.09 billion weekly.

Industry and Regulatory Insights

Senator Ihenyen, lead partner and head of blockchain and virtual assets practice at Infusion Lawyers, emphasized the importance of regulating digital assets for economic and security reasons.

“Nigeria can no longer afford to keep pushing digital assets underground for obvious economic and security reasons,” Ihenyen said.

He noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) recognition of the SEC’s regulatory role marks a positive shift for the sector, with regulators now working together to ensure consumer protection and investor safety.

Comparisons have been drawn with regulatory practices in South Africa, where a similar approach has been adopted to meet Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing for digital assets.

“Execution is what will make the difference,” said an industry expert. “We’ve never been lacking in regulations.”

Government and Industry Reactions

Earlier in July, Wale Edun, Nigeria’s minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, urged the SEC to address the complexities of crypto regulation.

“The SEC board should be willing to accept the challenge of regulating these new areas, particularly crypto, as they are fast-moving complex areas,” Edun stated.

The Senate Committee on Capital Markets also emphasized the need for crypto regulation to ensure accountability and protect investors’ funds.

Osita Izunaso, chairman of the committee, pointed out, “The issue of cryptocurrency must be regulated because Nigerians are trading in crypto. Since Nigerians are trading in crypto, why are we not regulating it? Where is the money going if we don’t regulate activities in the crypto market?”

Compliance and Challenges

The new regulatory framework aims to facilitate the onboarding of entities willing to engage in virtual asset activities and enhance the SEC’s understanding of digital asset business models.

However, some industry insiders have raised concerns about the practicality of certain requirements, such as the need for a physical presence for crypto companies.

Chimezie Chuta, founder and coordinator of the Blockchain Nigeria User Group, highlighted the potential benefits of regulation for tax revenues.

However, others worry about over-regulation. “We are now like banks that are over-regulated. Between 2020 and now, we have had new regulations and changes to existing rules, but where has that taken us to?” questioned a Lagos-based crypto player.

As Nigeria’s crypto market continues to evolve, the SEC’s new regulatory framework represents a crucial step towards ensuring transparency, accountability, and consumer protection in the digital assets space.

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KuCoin Announces New 7.5% VAT on Transaction Fees for Nigerian Customers

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KuCoin has announced the implementation of a 7.5% Value-Added Tax (VAT) on transaction fees.

This new regulation will take effect on July 8th, 2024, impacting all users whose Know Your Customer (KYC) information is registered in Nigeria.

KuCoin, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange platforms, revealed this update in a statement addressed to its Nigerian users.

The tax will be applied exclusively to transaction fees, not the overall transaction amount.

For example, a user buying 1,000 USDT worth of Bitcoin will incur a fee of 1 USDT at the standard 0.1% fee rate.

The new VAT at 7.5% will apply to this fee, resulting in an additional charge of 0.075 USDT.

Consequently, the net amount available for the transaction will be 998.925 USDT.

KuCoin clarified that the VAT would cover all types of transactions on its platform. The move aligns with recent regulatory updates and demonstrates the company’s commitment to complying with local tax laws.

The announcement has garnered mixed reactions from the Nigerian cryptocurrency community. Some users express concern over the added cost to their transactions, while others recognize it as a necessary step towards greater regulatory compliance and legitimacy for cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria.

KuCoin encourages affected users to seek assistance through their Telegram group or by contacting the online support team for further guidance on the new tax regulations.

As Nigeria continues to evolve its regulatory framework for digital assets, this development underscores the importance for traders to stay informed about local laws and their potential impacts on trading activities.

The KuCoin team expressed their gratitude for users’ cooperation and understanding, reiterating their commitment to providing a secure and compliant trading environment.

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Bitcoin Eyes Gains with Seasonal July Boost After Slump

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After several months of declines and rangebound trading, Bitcoin (BTC) bulls have reason to cheer as the largest cryptocurrency is poised for a potential seasonal upswing this July.

Historical data and recent market movements suggest a positive outlook for Bitcoin, following a period marked by billions in sales, upcoming selling pressure, and outflows from exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Since April, Bitcoin has been trading within a narrow band of $59,000 to $74,000, weighed down by market dynamics and peak negative sentiment among retail traders.

However, July has historically been a bullish month for Bitcoin, and early indicators show a possible reversal of recent trends.

On the first day of July, U.S.-listed ETFs recorded nearly $130 million in inflows, their highest since early June.

This influx comes after a significant $900 million outflow in the previous month, signaling renewed investor confidence in the cryptocurrency.

“Bitcoin has a median return of 9.6% in July and tends to bounce back strongly, especially after a negative June,” said Singapore-based QCP Capital in a recent Telegram broadcast.

“Our options desk saw flows positioning for an upside move last Friday into the month-end, possibly in anticipation of the ETH spot ETF launch. Many signs point to a bullish July.”

Historical data supports this optimistic outlook. Over the past decade, Bitcoin has gained an average of more than 11% in July, with positive returns in seven out of the ten months.

A 2023 report by crypto fund Matrixport highlighted significant July returns in recent years, with gains of around 27% in 2019, 20% in 2020, and 24% in 2021.

Seasonality, the tendency of assets to experience regular and predictable changes that recur annually, appears to be a driving factor.

These seasonal cycles can be influenced by various factors, such as profit-taking around tax season in April and May, leading to drawdowns, and the generally bullish “Santa Claus” rally in December, which reflects increased demand.

As the cryptocurrency market enters July, Bitcoin traders and investors are optimistic about a potential rally. While the market remains cautious of underlying pressures, the historical trends and recent inflows suggest a favorable environment for Bitcoin’s resurgence.

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