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Fintech CEO: SEC’s Peirce Talks Regulatory Expectations and Raises Custody Questions

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In a recent interview, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce talked about whether or not a single regulator would be a solution for the industry. A notable advocate for the SEC providing a regulatory framework, she balked at the idea of a one-stop shop, preferring a framework built from conversation with the industry. She further noted that NFTs were gathering interest from the SEC.

“I think that her commentary on NFTs begs the question: will the SEC be looking harder at the digital assets custody sector? Right now, it is still maturing, but there are already some major security concerns. As the SEC begins to look at the best way to move forward with digital assets in 2022, I think they’re going to have to deal with the looming custody issues,” said 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.

Fireblocks, which is among the best known custody providers, found itself embroiled in a lawsuit with StakeHound, which alleges the custody company lost roughly $70MM of Ethereum, after the key vanished. As a result, StakeHound could not access over 38,000 ETH.

“Custody, moving forward, is going to be a major concern, and a lot of folks aren’t talking about it yet. But, I was way ahead of the curve when talking about the need for regulation to stop money laundering and malfeasance from bad actors, such as hackers, too. Right now, it is the time to take a hard look at the situation within the custody arena,” opined Gardner.

“What we’ve done… is we’ve brought one-off enforcement actions… I’m just hopeful that we set our minds to work at building something that makes sense in terms of regulatory clarity, instead of always just falling back on enforcement,” Peirce said in the interview. In another segment, she continued to say, “Given the breadth of the NFT landscape, certain pieces of it might fall within our jurisdiction… people need to be thinking about potential places where NFTs might run into the securities regulatory regime.”

“I think that what she says about the NFT landscape can certainly also be said of the custody landscape. Right now, there is a lot of room for improvement in the security mechanism. With digital assets, custody isn’t simply an administrative function. There’s more to it, particularly as it relates to ensuring that assets are safe from malfeasance and chicanery, whether by solo hackers or rogue nation states wishing to do harm to the financial system,” said Gardner.

Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Modulus has provided its exchange solution to some of the industry’s most profitable digital asset exchanges, including a well-known multi-billion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable institutions, with a client list which includes NASA, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.

“The industry, as a whole, needs competent leadership out of the regulatory bodies which are tasked with overseeing them. And, the best way to do that, is like the commissioner says — inviting the industry in, working with them to create a commonsense rulebook. It also should be done in a comprehensive way, an encompassing look at all pieces of digital assets. From stablecoins to custody and beyond,” said Gardner.

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Cryptocurrency

Shiba Inu Coin Burn: Bigger Entertainment Adds 10 Licensed Games To Burn More Shiba

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Bigger Entertainment a crypto entertainment company and a strong supporter of the SHIB community has added 10 licensed games on its website to aid more burning of Shiba Inu coin. Data on the websites showed that a total of 1,020,508,035 SHIB has been burned so far.

This announcement was made through the official handle of Steven Cooper, the CEO of Bigger Entertainment. 

The 10 licensed games on the Bigger Entertainment website are; Harvest Honours, Fireboy and Watergirl, Zombie Last Castle, Bubble Game 3, Garden, Tales, Solitaire, Bon Voyage, Bingo, and Black Jack.

Responding to a Twitter user question on why the need for multiple burning games, Steven Cooper said, “people like having options. That would be like us saying there can only be our playlists and our music, no other styles. We need a variety of things that are burning. No need to switch if you like Bricks Buster. This is just to add some variety and more options.”

Travis Johnson, the developer of the mobile game app, Bricks Buster congratulated Bigger Entertainment on their new Shiba burning venture.

Bigger Entertainment said funds generated from Ads revenue and in-game purchases will be used to burn Shiba Inu coin. The company plans to add new games to its collection every week.

“All of Our Licensed games uses Ad revenue and in-game purchases to Burn”

Data from Shibburn showed that 109,824,657 SHIB has been burnt in the last 24 hours, a 39.62 percent increase in SHIB burn rate. Data further revealed that 410,301,220,762,891 SHIB has been burnt from the initial supply.

At press time, SHIB is 4.90 percent down in the last 24 hours, trading at $0.00002887.

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Merchant Use of Bitcoin As Payment Method Dropped by 27 Percent in 2021 – Bitpay

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Bitpay one of the leading crypto payment service provider reported a decline in Bitcoin’s dominance in crypto payment methods in 2021. According to Bitpay, merchant use of Bitcoin has dropped by 27 percent from 92 percent recorded in 2020 to about 65 percent in 2021.

Bitpay revealed that merchants are increasing the use of other cryptocurrencies to process their payments on its platform. Ethereum now accounted for 15 percent of the total transactions, stablecoins accounted for 13 percent while two leading meme coins, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu coin with Litecoin accounted for 3 percent of total transactions in 2021.

The decline in the use of Bitcoin was partly due to the rise and acceptance of stablecoins for cross-border payment, likewise, unlike bitcoin where the price is not stable, the value of stablecoins is steady irrespective of the market trend.

Despite the volatility in the crypto market in the last quarter of 2021, Bitcoin price rose by 57.64 percent from $29,374.15 it traded on 1st of January, 2021 to $46,306.45 it closed on 31st of December 2021. However, the volatility did not deter investors from holding on to the Bitcoin in their wallets.

BitPay founded in 2011, processes an average of 66,000 transactions per month and $1 billion in annual transactions with over 80 employees. Chief Executive Officer Stephen Pair said the company’s overall 2021 payment volumes rose 57 percent year over year.

Pair Said, “our business ebbs and flows to some degree with the price, when the price goes down, people tend to spend less, we have not experienced as much of a decline in volume with this recent pullback. It’s probably just a reflection of more and more companies that need to use this as a tool to conduct payments.

As merchants begin to accept crypto payments, more companies are also stepping in, indicating the growing adoption of crypto in the payment industry. Last week, Investors King reported that PayPal was planning to launch its own stablecoin called PayPal Coin.

Pair said, “PayPal getting into this space has been great for our business because it causes companies to start asking the question of should they accept crypto payments”.

Bitcoin is 37.87 percent down from its All-Time High of $68,789.63 traded on the 10th of November 2021. At press time Bitcoin is down by 1.25 percent trading at $42,566.12

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The Fed’s Failure on Inflation is Bullish for Bitcoin: Nigel Green

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The U.S. Federal Reserve’s failure on inflation will help drive the price of Bitcoin skywards, predicts the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organizations.

The assessment from deVere Group’s Nigel Green, a high-profile crypto advocate, comes as the U.S. consumer price index jumped 7% in 2021, the largest 12-month gain since June 1982. The widely followed inflation index increased 0.5% from November, exceeding forecasts.

He notes: “Last year, the Federal Reserve said that inflation in 2021 would be at 1.8%.

“However, U.S. prices soared last year by the highest level in nearly four decades, draining the purchasing power of American households.

“Inflation is everywhere, and it could be around for longer than anyone would like.

“So, why didn’t the Fed – the central bank of the world’s largest economy – not see what was coming?

“Could they seriously not see how supply chain bottlenecks and a shortage of qualified workers would drive up prices and erode people’s and firms’ spending power?”

He continues: “Surely, this must be the biggest miscalculation in the history of the U.S. central bank.

“It shows how the traditional fiat system, of which it is a key component as it is charged with maintaining price stability, is dangerously out of step with reality.

“I believe this will fuel the demand – and therefore the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”

Why is this so?

With Bitcoin’s fixed supply of 21 million, and institutional investors increasingly moving off the sidelines and into the crypto market, it’s going to continue to outpace gold as a safe haven for capital, says Nigel Green.

“Money flows to where it gets its best treatment, and with treasuries yielding negative in real terms, moving capital into the Fed is a clear liability for investors.

“In addition, in this current inflationary period, Bitcoin has outperformed gold which, until now, has always been almost universally hailed as the ultimate inflation hedge.”

Bitcoin is often referred to as ‘digital gold’ because like the precious metal it is a medium of exchange, a unit of account, non-sovereign, decentralized, scarce, and a store of value.

“Yet, the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is superior to gold as a medium of exchange or form of payment,” says Nigel Green.

“Unlike gold, it is a fixed unit of account and easily divisible and transportable. Gold is not easily immediately divisible, and there are potential issues with purity and verification. Whereas Bitcoin is easily traced on blockchain technology and this is going to be a considerable advantage, especially in cross-border transactions.”

He concludes: “The Fed has lost control on prices and investors are looking for safe havens to protect their purchasing power.

“Bitcoin is primed to provide the inflation shield so many are now seeking, especially as our lives and the global economy is increasingly run on tech and digital solutions, and this megatrend is only set to become more dominant moving forward.”

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