New York Could Allow State Agencies to Accept Cryptocurrency Payments

• New York State Assembly member Clyde Vanel has introduced a bill to allow state agencies to accept cryptocurrency, including bitcoin, ether, litecoin, and bitcoin cash as payment.
• The bill would allow crypto to be used as „a means of payment of fines, civil penalties, rent, rates, taxes, fees, charges,“ and more.
• The legislation defines cryptocurrency as „any form of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank“.

This week, U.S. state of New York saw the introduction of a new bill that would allow state agencies to accept cryptocurrency payments, including bitcoin, ether, litecoin, and bitcoin cash. The bill was proposed by New York State Assembly member Clyde Vanel and has been referred to the New York State Assembly Committee on Government Operations.

The legislation seeks to amend New York’s state finance law and add “cryptocurrency as a form of payment.” Specifically, the bill would authorize state agencies to enter into agreements with individuals or entities to accept cryptocurrency “as a means of payment of fines, civil penalties, rent, rates, taxes, fees, charges, revenue, financial obligations or other amounts, including penalties, special assessments and interest, owed to state agencies.”

The bill defines cryptocurrency as “any form of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank including but not limited to, bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, and bitcoin cash.”

The potential introduction of cryptocurrency as a form of payment for state agencies in New York is a welcome development for supporters of digital assets. It is a sign of growing acceptance and use of cryptocurrencies, with more and more governments beginning to recognize the potential of blockchain-based digital currencies. This could lead to further acceptance of crypto throughout the world and increased usage for a variety of transactions.

At the same time, the potential introduction of cryptocurrency in New York is also likely to be met with some opposition from those who are concerned about the risks associated with digital assets, including their volatility and potential for criminal activity. As such, it remains to be seen whether the bill will be passed and cryptocurrency will be accepted as a form of payment in New York. Nevertheless, the introduction of the bill is a positive step in the right direction and a sign of growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies.

Crypto Markets Surge: ADA Hits 11-Week High, XMR Nears Resistance Level

• Cardano (ADA) raced to an 11-week high on Thursday, as markets reacted to data showing that gross domestic product in the U.S. rose by 2.9%.
• Monero (XMR) also surged earlier in the day, as it edged closer to a key resistance level.
• The relative strength index (RSI) will need to move past the 74.00 point in order for ADA jump over the $0.3875 hurdle, while the RSI for XMR needs to surpass the 65.00 point in order to take XMR back above the $180.00 level.

Cryptocurrency markets have been on the rise this week as traders respond to data showing strong economic growth in the United States. On Thursday, Cardano (ADA) and Monero (XMR) both surged, with ADA reaching an 11-week high and XMR edging closer to a key resistance level.

Cardano (ADA) was the biggest mover of the day, with prices rising as much as 5% earlier in the day before settling at $0.3774. This marks the token’s strongest point since November 8, when prices were above $0.4100. The surge was in response to data showing that gross domestic product in the U.S. rose by 2.9%, and traders are hopeful that the token will continue to move higher. However, traders will need to watch the 14-day relative strength index (RSI), which is currently tracking at 69.22 and will need to move past the 74.00 point in order for ADA to jump over the $0.3875 hurdle.

Monero (XMR) also saw a surge on Thursday, with prices moving to an intraday high of $178.15. This comes less than a day after falling to a low of $169.84. The surge brought XMR closer to its long-term resistance level at $180.00, which was last broken on Sunday. In order for bulls to take XMR back above the $180.00 level, price strength will first need to surpass the 65.00 point in the relative strength index (RSI).

Overall, both ADA and XMR had strong days on Thursday as cryptocurrency traders reacted to positive economic data out of the U.S. While there is still some resistance to overcome in order for these tokens to push higher, the current momentum could be enough to get them over the hump. Traders will be watching to see if the tokens can make these critical breakouts and sustain the gains.

Crypto Markets See Red Wave as Bitcoin & Ethereum Prices Plunge

• Bitcoin (BTC) fell below the $23,000 level on Wednesday, as a red wave swept through cryptocurrency markets.
• Ethereum (ETH) also shifted on Wednesday, with prices falling below a recent support point at $1,600.
• The 14-day relative strength index (RSI) for both Bitcoin and Ethereum dropped to their lowest levels since last Thursday.

Cryptocurrency markets experienced a major shift in sentiment on Wednesday, as a red wave swept through the market. Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) both dropped significantly, with Bitcoin falling below the $23,000 level and Ethereum dropping below $1,600.

The sell-off came after days of uncertainty in the markets, with bulls driving prices higher and higher over the last few weeks. However, bears eventually re-emerged on Wednesday, and the market experienced a significant downturn. As a result, Bitcoin hit an intraday low of $22,406.08, which was its weakest point since Sunday, and Ethereum slipped to a bottom of $1,530.80.

The 14-day relative strength index (RSI) for both Bitcoin and Ethereum also dropped significantly. Bitcoin’s RSI fell to 79.93, which was its lowest point since last Thursday, whereas Ethereum’s RSI fell to 61.07, which was its lowest point since January 8.

Despite the downturn, Bitcoin and Ethereum have since rebounded somewhat, with Bitcoin currently trading at $22,614.62 and Ethereum trading at $1,568.39. Whether or not the bulls will return is yet to be seen, but it is clear that the market sentiment has shifted significantly.

Quicknode Raises $60M in Series B Funding to Accelerate Blockchain Adoption

• Quicknode, a Web3 infrastructure firm, raised $60 million in a Series B funding round, bringing its post-valuation to $800 million.
• The funding was led by 10T Holdings, with QED, Tiger Global, Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six, and Protocol Labs also participating.
• The funds will be used to further fuel blockchain adoption, streamline the Web2 to Web3 movement at scale, and develop Web3 offerings for the Quicknode marketplace.

Web3 infrastructure firm Quicknode recently announced that it has raised $60 million in a Series B funding round, bringing the company’s post-valuation to $800 million. The round was led by 10T Holdings, with QED, Tiger Global, Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six, and Protocol Labs also participating.

This latest round of funding will be used to further accelerate blockchain adoption, streamlining the Web2 to Web3 movement at scale. Quicknode plans to make new hires, as well as develop Web3 offerings for the Quicknode marketplace. Despite the crypto winter, the company has seen remarkable growth over the past year, with its revenue growing more than 300%.

„At Quicknode, we firmly believe in Web3 as the future of the Internet,“ said Alex Nabutovs, CEO of Quicknode. „This latest round will be used to accelerate the company’s global expansion and further empower the builders laying the groundwork for a decentralized, globally-connected future.“

The company has previously raised $35 million in a Series A round of funding in Oct. 2021, led by Tiger Global with Seven Seven Six, Soma Capital, Arrington XRP Capital, Crossbeam, and Anthony Pompliano also participating.

Quicknode claims to handle „billions of blockchain calls daily with 2X faster response time than competitors,“ such as Kaleido, Alchemy, Blockcypher, Velas, and Infura. The company aims to make blockchain technology more accessible to developers and businesses, allowing them to take advantage of the potential of the technology.

Nabutovs went on to say, „We are thrilled to have such an amazing group of investors join us. They bring invaluable expertise and resources that will help Quicknode continue to grow and scale, and we are looking forward to working with them to build a more resilient and connected world.“

With the new funding, Quicknode aims to further fuel blockchain adoption and expand its global reach. The company hopes to streamline the Web2 to Web3 movement at scale, allowing developers and businesses to take full advantage of the technology.

The company also plans to develop Web3 offerings for the Quicknode marketplace, allowing developers to access the tools and resources they need to build on the blockchain. It is clear that Quicknode is determined to make blockchain technology more accessible to the world, and this new round of funding could be the key to achieving that goal.

NYDFS Releases Guidance to Protect Crypto Customer Funds

• The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has issued guidance to custodial structures to protect customers‘ money if a crypto firm goes bankrupt.
• The guidance emphasizes the need for businesses to not commingle customer funds and for customer funds to be segregated with separate accounting.
• The guidance provides a summary of four policies and standards that virtual currency entities should adhere to, including segregation of and separate accounting for customer virtual currency, the VCE custodian’s limited interest in and use of customer virtual currency, sub-custody arrangements, and customer disclosure.

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has recently released guidance on custodial structures to help protect customers‘ money if a crypto firm goes bankrupt. This guidance was issued following the collapse of FTX and the allegations that had been directed at its co-founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, and top deputies.

The guidance was issued by Adrienne Harris, the superintendent of the NYDFS, and she stressed the importance of businesses not commingling customer funds, and that customer funds should instead be segregated with separate accounting. Harris further provided a summary of four policies and standards that virtual currency entities (VCEs) should adhere to.

The first policy is the requirement for VCEs to segregate and separately account for customer virtual currency. This means that customer assets must be kept separate from the corporate assets of the VCE custodian and any affiliated entities, both onchain and on the VCE custodian’s internal ledger accounts.

The second policy is that the VCE custodian should have a limited interest in and use of customer virtual currency. This means that the VCE custodian should not use customer virtual currency for any purpose other than safeguarding it on behalf of the customer.

The third policy is that sub-custody arrangements should be considered. This means that VCEs should consider engaging in sub-custody arrangements with third-party custodians. This will help protect customers in the event of a bankruptcy or other insolvency event.

The fourth policy is that customers must be adequately disclosed to. This means that customers must be provided with information about the risks associated with custody of virtual currency and the policies and procedures that the VCE custodian has in place to protect customer assets.

In conclusion, the NYDFS guidance provides a clear framework for VCEs to follow in order to protect customer assets and preserve trust. The guidance emphasizes the need for customer funds to be segregated with separate accounting, and for VCE custodians to have limited interest in and use of customer virtual currency. Additionally, the guidance encourages VCEs to consider engaging in sub-custody arrangements with third-party custodians, and to provide customers with adequate disclosure.

Proof-of-Reserves: SEC Monitoring Major Exchanges to Ensure Crypto Security

• Binance, the largest crypto exchange by trade volume, manages $66 billion in crypto assets.
• Exchanges are releasing proof-of-reserve lists to provide insight into the large sums of cryptocurrency they hold in custody.
• The SEC is closely monitoring proof-of-reserves.

The crypto industry has seen a lot of upheaval in recent months, and the incident involving Alameda Research’s balance sheet and FTX’s subsequent bankruptcy filing have prompted many major crypto exchanges to publish proof-of-reserves and lists of known addresses. This is to provide users with the ability to verify the solvency of the trading platforms. Binance, the largest crypto exchange by trade volume, manages $66 billion in crypto assets, which is more than 6% of the entire cryptocurrency economy’s net value of $1 trillion.

Proof-of-reserve lists provide transparency into the cryptocurrency holdings of major exchanges. These lists can show the current balance of an exchange’s crypto assets, as well as the percentage of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization that the exchange holds. While these lists are not always reliable, they do provide some insight into the large sums of cryptocurrency held in custody by major exchanges.

However, there has been criticism from crypto industry members over specific types of proof-of-reserves lists and how they are audited. Paul Munter, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) acting chief accountant, recently stated that the SEC is closely monitoring proof-of-reserves. This is to ensure that the cryptocurrency holdings reported by exchanges are accurate.

At the same time, users should remain vigilant when it comes to verifying the solvency of an exchange. Many exchanges have implemented various security measures, such as two-factor authentication, to help protect users‘ funds. Additionally, users should always research an exchange before depositing any funds and make sure to read the terms and conditions of the platform they are using. By doing this, users can ensure that their funds are secure and that they are using a reliable exchange.

Nothing Outlaws Crypto in India, Government Official Clarifies

• An Indian government official has clarified that there is currently nothing that outlaws crypto in India, as long as legal procedures are followed.
• The country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has stressed that cryptocurrency does not have any underlying value.
• The Indian government has not yet established a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency, however, crypto income is already taxed at 30% and a 1% tax deducted at source (TDS) is levied on crypto transactions.

Cryptocurrency has been a hot topic of discussion in India in recent weeks, with some speculating that the country may be on the verge of outlawing the digital asset. However, an Indian government official has clarified that there is currently nothing that outlaws crypto in India, as long as legal procedures are followed.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who currently serves as both India’s Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, made the remarks Thursday at an event in Bengaluru. He stated that „there is nothing today that outlaws crypto as long as you follow the legal process.“

The Indian government has yet to establish a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency, however, crypto income is already taxed at 30% and a 1% tax deducted at source (TDS) is levied on crypto transactions. Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently said the government plans to discuss crypto regulations with the G20 countries and the government has also revealed that it is launching a crypto awareness campaign.

Meanwhile, India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has recommended a complete ban on cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said last week that „Cryptocurrency does not have any underlying value.“ The central bank has also enforced a ban on banks providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges and traders.

Despite the RBI’s stance, the Indian government has clarified that crypto is not illegal in India, as long as legal procedures are followed. As the government deliberates crypto regulations, it remains to be seen how these developments will affect the crypto industry in India.

Invest in Gaming with Spacewalkers – Pioneering Blockchain Technology

• Spacewalkers is a Polish game development studio that was founded in 2020.
• They have released their first game, Interregnum Chronicles: Signal, on Steam and have a portfolio of upcoming games.
• Investors are now able to invest in the projects through Spacewalkers’ use of blockchain technology.

Spacewalkers is a revolutionary game development studio that has revolutionized the way investors can participate in the profits of their projects. Founded in 2020, the Polish studio is made up of experienced professionals who have been in the game industry for decades. Working in studios such as Flying Wild Hog and Techland, the team has a proven track record of delivering on their promises.

The first release of Spacewalkers was Interregnum Chronicles: Signal, a game released on the Steam platform. This gave the developers insight into the logistics and certification involved in game production, as well as experience in game release, promotion, and connecting with players. The project was completed and released within six months, proving Spacewalkers’ reliability.

As the studio’s portfolio of games grows, so does the opportunity for investors to get involved. Through the use of blockchain technology, anyone is able to invest in Spacewalkers’ projects and reap the rewards of their success. By tokenizing the projects, the investors can benefit from the growth of the gaming industry.

Spacewalkers’ mission is to provide a safe and transparent investment opportunity for anyone interested in the gaming industry. This allows the investors to have more control over their investments, as they are able to monitor the progress of the projects and see the returns they can expect.

With the rise of blockchain technology, Spacewalkers is pioneering a new way for investors to get involved in the gaming industry. By providing a secure and transparent investment platform, the team is giving people the opportunity to take part in the profits of their projects. With the continued success of the studio, investors can look forward to a bright future with Spacewalkers.

Tron and Osprey Offer $1B Investment to DCG Amid SEC Charges

• The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has recently filed charges against the crypto exchange Gemini and the digital currency lender Genesis.
• Following these charges, Tron founder Justin Sun has offered to invest up to $1 billion in DCG assets depending on their evaluation of the situation.
• The crypto investment manager Osprey has published an open letter to Barry Silbert of Digital Currency Group in an attempt to take over the management of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently filed charges against the crypto exchange Gemini and the digital currency lender Genesis Global Capital, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group (DCG). The regulator claims that the two organizations took part in an “unregistered offering” by providing investors the opportunity to loan crypto assets in exchange “for Genesis’ promise to pay interest.” In response to the charges, Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss wrote two letters denying the accusations, and Barry Silbert, the CEO of DCG, wrote a shareholder letter.

Following the SEC’s charges, Tron founder Justin Sun has offered to invest up to $1 billion in DCG assets depending on their evaluation of the situation. Sun has stated that he believes his investment could help the company and its subsidiaries weather the storm of the SEC’s charges and remain a strong competitor in the digital asset industry.

In addition, the crypto investment manager Osprey has published an open letter to Barry Silbert of Digital Currency Group in an attempt to take over the management of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). Osprey believes that it is “the best-positioned third party to manage GBTC at this point”, and proposes to take over the Trust’s management in order to “bring the highest standards of corporate governance and best practices to GBTC.” Osprey has stated that it is confident that it can bring “significant value” to the Trust, and is willing to “enter into a discussion to this end.”

It is yet to be seen how DCG and Grayscale will respond to the offers from Tron and Osprey. With the SEC’s charges still looming and the crypto industry in a state of flux, it is likely that the DCG and Grayscale will have to make some tough decisions in the near future.

Chivo Wallet: Identity Theft, Money Laundering, and Tech Issues Plague El Salvador’s Crypto

• A Chivo wallet programmer opened up about the different issues the El Salvadoran cryptocurrency wallet faced during its early stages.
• These issues included ID theft, money laundering, and technical problems.
• A legal dispute between Accruvia and Athena Bitcoin is currently in progress to address the alleged fraud.

El Salvador’s flagship cryptocurrency wallet, Chivo, has been marred with problems since its inception. The wallet, which was created by the government to introduce the use of bitcoin as legal tender, has had to face various issues such as identity theft, money laundering and tech issues.

Recently, Shaun Overton, a developer that was reportedly part of the Chivo Wallet team, revealed details about the different issues the wallet had to face. Overton alleges he was hired to help in the handling of the issues.

One of the major issues was the lack of proper KYC (know your customer) procedures. This allowed anyone to check in with a Salvadoran IP address and a Salvadoran ID document. However, this led to a series of ID thefts that resulted in a wave of fraud. According to Overton, “We never established the exact amount of fraud, but we estimated that 10 to 20 percent of registered users were fraudulent.”

El Faro, a local news site, estimates the amount that was fraudulently withdrawn to be more than $10 million. This has resulted in a legal dispute between Accruvia, a software developer, and Athena Bitcoin, the company in charge of developing and operating Chivo Wallet. The dispute was introduced by Cristosal in November 2020.

Though the issues have been addressed and the wallet was replaced by Alphapoint in February, Overton’s story sheds light on the importance of proper security measures and regulation in the cryptocurrency world. This is especially important in a place like El Salvador, where the government is trying to introduce the use of bitcoin as legal tender. It is essential that such issues are addressed and resolved before they become a major source of concern.