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Digital-only Cryptocurrency Artwork Predicted to Sell for $270,000+

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A digital artwork that only exists as a high-resolution file by British artist Adrian Chesterman, and which showcases the parallel between traditional money and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, is expected to surpass its reservation price of $160,000.

The Crypto Train, which is now in an online auction specializing in the hottest new investment trend, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), was viewed by several of its owners’ high profile clients before going live.

NFTs are digital collectibles that are encoded onto a blockchain – the same technology on which cryptocurrencies run – creating a unique digital watermark showing ownership and the digital rights to that collectible.

In recent months many major household name artists and musicians, as well as global sports franchises and fashion brands have launched their own NFTS.  In April, auction house Christie’s sold a digital-only artwork, and it became the third-most-expensive work ever sold by a living artist.

“Even before The Crypto Train went to auction, we received significant offers from serious crypto enthusiasts and Silicon Valley investors who are the ones who currently seem to most understand this exploding virtual investment trend,” says Stephen Howes, Director of Thomas Crown Art, a leading independent international art agency.

He continues: “They know – like most major global brands are just now only getting to know – that NFTs are an investment megatrend of the decade.

“This is the next stage in art history and they don’t want to miss out on the early adoption stage.  This is why they were expressing keen interest before the auction, probably hoping to bag themselves a bargain.

“This pre-auction interest suggests that the artwork will surpass its $160,000 reservation tag.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it were eventually sold for $270,000+, such is the demand.”

Howes adds: “But the interest is not only driven by investment potential. In its own right as a piece of art, it’s a fascinating piece which depicts the never-seen-before battle for dominance between traditional and cryptocurrencies in the increasingly digitalised global financial system.”

The Crypto Train

Of the digital artwork, internationally renowned artist Adrian Chesterman (London, 1955) says: “My mission was to create a visual metaphor which could bridge the historic distance between traditional monetary mechanisms, such as gold and coins, and the new virtual world of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

“I considered a locomotive to be the perfect vehicle to represent such a metaphysical journey, being as it is a land-based, fast-moving machine that relentlessly pushes in one direction…. forwards. A mechanical beast that is powerful, unstoppable, magnificent, man-made but inherently beautiful.”

He goes on to add: “Wealth and its material presentments, such as gold, coins, banknotes and crypto, are all functional solely by the consent of society.

“They have ‘value’ only by the fact we are all in agreement that they should have value as such.

“Therefore, cryptocurrency has the same effective value as any of the others, even gold which of course has no inherent value of its own. We imbued the monetary value upon it, same as banknotes, coins and crypto, by mutual consent.

“This is why the monetary representations contained within the image are semi-transparent and nebulous, here but not here, ethereal but real. For now, anyway.”

The Artist

Chesterman had his first exhibition of paintings at Liberty’s in Regent Street whilst still at the Royal College of Art London, progressing to exhibitions in the Pompidou Centre in Paris, amongst other major international galleries.

A multi-talented artist, he has worked on the publicity art for Spielberg’s Jurassic Park; the set for Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Sunset Boulevard; advertising commissions for Coca Cola; original designs for theme parks in the United Arab Emirates and China; Spiderman games for MGA in Los Angeles; illustrated innumerable book covers, notably for Jackie Collins, Jack Higgins and Dick Francis; and he has illustrated many music album covers including the acclaimed Bomber cover for Motörhead, The Meaning of Life album and book cover for the Monty Python team and the acclaimed The Road to Hell album cover for Chris Rea, amongst many other projects.

NFT skeptics

Of Chesterman’s The Crypto Train digital artwork, Stephen Howes recognizes that there are still many NFT skeptics.

He affirms: “Those who knock the idea of art solely in digital form would have been those people who knocked the potential of the internet in the 90s and who would have said Amazon as an online retailer ‘won’t catch on’ in the 2000s.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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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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