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Wolfies: The next generation of utility-packed NFTs is here!

Wolfies: The next generation of utility-packed NFTs is here!

Wolfies by SolStreet is an upcoming NFT collection on the Solana blockchain. The 5,555-piece collection has a range of perks, including front-row, utility-packed tickets to the protocol. SolStreet.finance is making asset management accessible, efficient, and decentralized.

Wolfies
Wolfies by SolStreet releases soon, with a large giveaway available.

What is The Wolfies NFT Collection All About?

The Wolfies are utility-based NFTs, giving holders ‘front-row’ access to the SolStreet.finance, an asset management protocol. The Wolfies distinctive aesthetic is thanks to their team of creative professionals. The collection has 14 traits, with an average of 13 different features per trait. Incredibly,  this means that there are up to 135 trillion complete Wolfie combinations possible.

Particularly, holders will receive several fantastic benefits. Namely, staking your Wolfie NFT earns you SolStreet’s token, $STRT. Additionally, Wolfies are the SolStreet community’s core focus. Next, users will be able to unlock performance minting. In short, this is SolStreet’s 50M $STRT rewards program, where tokens are allocated to the managers and investors of high-performing funds. Finally, holders can also earn fee discounts on protocol trading fees. 

Beyond this, Wolfies is a team of 11 builders, with prominent VC backing and fantastic experience. Plus, they built the community with their previous work long before the launch of the NFTs. Today it is a live, usable product following their year of building. Now, they have their iterative, progressive and constant improvement under the belt. You can learn more through the Wolfies litepaper on the SolStreet website.

Wolfies NFT comparison
Wolfies is different to a lot of other NFT collections.

Wolfies Launch

The Wolfies NFT collection will launch on August 3rd at 4.20 PM (UTC). The mint price will be 2.7 SOL (114 USD). Solana’s top marketplace, Magic Eden, will host the launch via their Launchpad system.  To explain, the project chose the Magic Eden route “to make this experience as seamless as possible”.

Whitelist Giveaway

In addition, the project is rewarding their early believers. The first 2,000 people to make it onto the whitelist will be in for the chance of winning a grand prize of 55.55 SOL (~2,300 USD). Then, one lucky winner will receive the jackpot.

Wolfies
A preview of a couple of the Wolfies NFTs.

What is SolStreet

To clarify, SolStreet is an asset management protocol working on the blockchain. In short, their goal is to build the perfect asset management protocol for talented traders and fund managers and investors. The SolStreet team has vast levels of experience and is backed by major VCs.


All investment/financial opinions expressed by NFTevening.com are not recommendations.

This article is educational material.

As always, make your own research prior to making any kind of investment.


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Nepal: Ex-Maoist Commander Reinstated as Finance Minister as Probe Finds No Evidence of Illegal Changes to Budget

Nepal: Ex-Maoist Commander Reinstated as Finance Minister as Probe Finds No Evidence of Illegal Changes to Budget

Last Updated: July 31, 2022, 22:49 IST

Kathmandu | Nepal

A general view of the Nepalese Parliament in Kathmandu. (Image: REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar)

A general view of the Nepalese Parliament in Kathmandu. (Image: REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar)

Details of reported tax rate changes have not been made public but local media said tweaks allegedly permitted by Janardan Sharma were aimed at favouring some businesses

Nepal has reinstated its finance minister, the president’s office announced on Sunday, after an internal investigation found no evidence to prove he was involved in making illegal changes to the budget.

Janardan Sharma resigned in early July after the speaker of parliament ordered investigations into allegations from opposition lawmakers that Sharma had allowed “unauthorised” changes in tax rates a day before presenting spending plans. Details of the reported tax rate changes have not been made public but local media reports said the tweaks allegedly permitted by Sharma, a former Maoist commander, were aimed at favouring some businesses.

Sharma has denied any wrongdoing. A presidential statement said Sharma was allowed to continue as finance minister on the recommendation of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who had run the finance ministry since July 6.

The Himalayan nation is experiencing its highest inflation in six years and foreign exchange reserves have been dwindling fast with soaring import costs for essential goods.

Lawmakers representing the main opposition party said the investigation was inadequate as details of phone calls by people allegedly allowed by Sharma to make last-minute tweaks in the tax rates were not examined.

“The investigation seems to be aimed at clearing him (Sharma) of any wrongdoing,” said Khagaraj Adhikari, an opposition lawmaker and member of the probe panel. “Sharma’s reappointment is not justified.”

Lakshman Lal Karna, who headed the multi-party probe panel, said the report was adopted by a majority of its members democratically. “They (the opposition) are free to keep their different views in a democracy,” Karna told Reuters.

Elections to Nepal’s federal parliament and provincial assemblies are expected to take place in a few months’ time.

Read all the Latest News and Breaking News here


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Kadija Dyer – Encouraging youth to know their history

Kadija Dyer – Encouraging youth to know their history

Features
 - JEFF K MAYERS
- JEFF K MAYERS

Kadija Dyer is a familiar face at the Maraval office of the Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad and Tobago (ESCTT), where she wears many headwraps.

She is the finance officer, team leader for public relations and communication, and is in charge of the youth education and development programme – the latter she considers one of her “babies.”

“I love working with young people. A lot of times they are misunderstood, but what I love about them is that they are very innovative. We just have to find ways to reach them.”

She told WMN part of her role in the youth education and development programme is to find ways to get young people interested and involved in the programmes offered by the committee, and to disseminate information, especially of a historical nature.

She said she was instrumental in the development of the National African History Quiz competition, now an annual event hosted by the committee. One of its objectives is to help the students, teachers and parents involved to learn about, understand, and appreciate the country’s African heritage.

The ESCTT also hosts an annual spoken word competition which encourages its young participants to use the spoken word as a tool for social and cultural development, and to help students develop their oratory and dramatic skills.

“Through these programmes I have children who participated running up to me now and telling me how much they enjoy the competitions, students who did not like history before going on to do it. Some even volunteer and want to be a part of the (Emancipation) village."

- JEFF K MAYERS

Dyer said she started working on the structure of the quiz competition when she was a student and working part-time at the ESCTT.

“I didn’t have as much time then, because I was focusing on my studies. But I did the research, and when I got a full-time job here, I decided it was time to do it.

"Incidentally, it was the same year the UN declared the year of 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent.”

Dyer, from Morvant, has an associate degree in tourism and hospitality management from the now defunct TT Hospitality and Tourism Institute, and a bachelor’s in tourism management from UWI, St Augustine. Both times she did her internship with the ESCTT – an organistion formed in 1992 as an umbrella body to strengthen Emancipation celebrations in TT.

“Working with the committee means a lot. It keeps me grounded and humble. As a young African woman, I know who I am, and my time here has allowed me to learn more about, appreciate and accept my culture,” the 35-year-old told WMN.

She said even while she was a student at Success Laventille Composite (now Success Laventille Secondary), she had been encouraged to get involved with the committee by poet, playwright, librarian and cultural activist Eintou Pearl Springer.

“People say a lot of things, but I am very proud to have been a student at Success Laventille...Back then I was the captain of the under-17 netball team under now-deceased coach David Williams…History was one of the subjects I did for CXC. Aunty Eintou suggested that I get involved.”

But even long before that she was made aware of her history as an African descendant.

“While growing up my parents always brought us to the Emancipation Village…When I studying and looked at the list of places for an internship, I chose to do it at the Emancipation Support Committee.”

- JEFF K MAYERS

Dyer is the mother of a ten-month old boy and runs a business – Bezaleel Designs – with her partner.

“I do customisation of clothing, signage and printing, and I also do events planning.”

She said even though she is involved in a lot of things, for her it’s all about time- and self-management, which she has “mastered over the years.”

“Besides, when you love what you do you don’t see it as work.”

But, she said, on Emancipation Day tomorrow, it will not be all about work, as she intends to trade in her regular duties to participate in the festivities, especially as she has not felt the invigoration of the in-person celebrations for two years.

“I have not walked the street processions since 2013, because I’m always with the team giving out breakfasts during the procession, or welcoming guests at the Queen’s Park Savannah for the awards ceremony.

"This year I told them I am not doing hospitality. I have to walk in the procession, with my baby.

"The ancestors usually send rain every Emancipation Day, so if it rains he (her son) will go in the car with my dad. I’m walking in honour of my mom, who died in 2020. She was my best friend…and my dad is my rock.”

- JEFF K MAYERS

She is really excited about getting all dressed up in full African regalia and taking part in the Emancipation Day events, beginning with the 4 am libation at All Stars panyard on Duke Street, Port of Spain, “where the riot started. Then to the treasury building for the street procession.”

This will be followed by the awards ceremony at the Savannah.

“Then, from 7 pm, we do the flambeau procession back to All Stars panyard.

"I’m really excited. I can’t wait to see everyone on Emancipation in their full regalia. We have been away from it for two years.”

And on the day after Emancipation Day, Dyer plans to bring the curtains down on the 2022 celebrations with a very special breakfast.

“I really love fish broth and plantains," she said with a smile. "I also love the beach, a good book and a good movie…I can’t wait for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. I will be there, dressed in my all-white African outfit.”


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DeFi Trends: Seven Things to Look Out for in the Sector

DeFi Trends: Seven Things to Look Out for in the Sector

DeFi Trends: Seven Things to Look Out for in the Sector

Decentralized finance (DeFi) is continuing to develop and evolve despite the broader crypto market decline. Here are seven trends to look out for going forward.

DeFi was once limited to protocols, such as Maker, which offered basic lending and borrowing. Today, there are hundreds of different platforms, all providing innovative ways to earn yields on digital assets.

Despite a 70% decline in crypto markets, DeFi has continued on this path of evolution. On July 26, DeFi researcher “@DefiIgnas” highlighted seven of the upcoming trends for the sector.

1/ What's next for #DeFi?🤔

I researched roadmaps of 25 major protocols to find out.

A lot is coming up: protocol-owned-stablecoins, new tokenomics, decentralization plans, The End Game for Maker and more.

These are the top 7 trends coming for DeFi 🧵

— Ignas | DeFi Research (@DefiIgnas) July 26, 2022

Researching Roadmaps

The researcher analyzed the roadmaps of the 25 major DeFi protocols to see what’s next in the pipeline.

Growth of protocol-owned-stablecoins

Stablecoins have been recently launched on NEAR, Tron, and Waves. Aave and Curve also have stablecoins planned, and this trend is set to continue.

Increased adoption of veTokenomics

Protocols will be launching vote-escrowed tokenomics (veTokenomics). In this model, tokens must be locked for a specific amount of time that incentivizes long-term participation. Yearn Finance, Synthetix, and PancakeSwap have ve tokens planned.

Focus on progressive decentralization

As projects establish financial sustainability, a community, and regulatory compliance, they will also seek to reduce their centralization. Furthermore, several DeFi projects like dYdX, Ren, The Graph, Lido, and Maker are already working towards this.

Launching new iteration protocols

Many DeFi protocols will completely overhaul how they work in order to keep up with markets and competition. Version 3s and 4s are in the pipeline for Compound, Synthetix, Yearn, and dYdX.

Future is multi-chain

DeFi protocols will need to interact with each other across multiple chains and networks. Compound, SushiSwap, and Ren are working on multi-chain strategies, the researcher noted.

The increasing influence of Uniswap V3

More protocols will integrate with Uniswap’s concentrated liquidity on version 3. For example, Kyber Network launched KyberSwap with similar features and multiple liquidity provider tiers.

Expanding token use cases

DeFi tokens will need to do more than staking, so advanced tokenomics are likely to be introduced. Chainlink, PancakeSwap, and Maker are planning upgrades to their tokens.

Variable DeFi Transparency

The researcher concluded that the transparency in which teams are building is very different. Yearn Finance, Maker, and Synthetix have very clear roadmaps, details on implementation, and great communication. However, Uniswap “is the most closed off,” the researcher said.

⬆️Moreover, for more cryptocurrency news, check out the Altcoin Buzz YouTube channel.

⬆️Above all, if you want to find the most undervalued gems, up-to-date research, and NFT buys with Altcoin Buzz Access. Join us for $99 per month now.


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Kraken Daily Market Report for July 30 2022

Kraken Daily Market Report for July 30 2022

Overview


  • Daily spot trading volume: $431.7 million, 30 day average spot: $565.5 million.
  • Total futures notional: $139.3 million.
  • The top five traded coins were, respectively, Bitcoin (↓0.6%), Ethereum (↓1.6%), Tether (↓0.01%), Solana (↑4.5%), USD Coin (↓0.01%).
  • Strong returns from Filecoin (↑34%), KeeperDAO (↑24%), and Harvest Finance (↑19%).

July 30, 2022 

 $431.7M traded across all markets today

 Crypto, EUR, USD, JPY, CAD, GBP, CHF, AUD 
BTC 

$23642.90 

↓0.6% 

$132.3M
ETH 

$1697.01 

↓1.6% 

$104.3M
USDT 

$1.00 

↓0.01% 

$76.3M
SOL 

$43.83 

↑4.5% 

$22.2M
USDC 

$1.00 

↓0.01% 

$12.6M
ADA 

$0.53 

↑0.7% 

$9.57M
XRP 

$0.39 

↑5.1% 

$8.7M
FIL 

$8.02 

↑34% 

$8.13M
DOT 

$8.20 

↑0.17% 

$6.89M
MATIC 

$0.93 

↓0.9% 

$6.48M
DOGE 

$0.07 

↑1.0% 

$5.78M
LTC 

$60.44 

↓0.6% 

$4.19M
BCH 

$145.25 

↓4.7% 

$3.37M
ETC 

$39.40 

↓2.9% 

$3.09M
MANA 

$1.01 

↑4.1% 

$2.36M
LINK 

$7.81 

↓1.0% 

$2.18M
SHIB 

$0.00001 

↑1.3% 

$2.11M
YFI 

$11759.30 

↑8.1% 

$2.11M
ATOM 

$10.69 

↓4.3% 

$1.99M
FLOW 

$1.92 

↑3.2% 

$1.79M
UNI 

$8.78 

↓3.7% 

$1.75M
AVAX 

$24.23 

↓1.1% 

$1.6M
XLM 

$0.12 

↑1.3% 

$1.54M
XTZ 

$1.82 

↑6.0% 

$1.44M
SAND 

$1.33 

↓0.3% 

$1.42M
KAVA 

$1.90 

↑0.6% 

$1.27M
XMR 

$155.85 

↓2.7% 

$1.17M
APE 

$6.69 

↑0.0% 

$1.11M
ALGO 

$0.34 

↑0.29% 

$1.11M
CRV 

$1.36 

↓5.8% 

$1.1M
WAVES 

$5.61 

↓1.0% 

$1.05M
TRX 

$0.07 

↓0.4% 

$1.0M
DAI 

$1.00 

↑0.01% 

$923K
MINA 

$0.79 

↑3.7% 

$897K
ICP 

$8.27 

↑1.8% 

$858K
AAVE 

$95.11 

↓1.2% 

$847K
GRT 

$0.13 

↑3.6% 

$824K
AXS 

$19.05 

↑3.3% 

$757K
GLMR 

$0.80 

↑2.9% 

$704K
KSM 

$63.12 

↓1.2% 

$687K
ENJ 

$0.63 

↑3.8% 

$682K
NANO 

$1.01 

↑1.7% 

$636K
GALA 

$0.06 

↑1.3% 

$602K
LRC 

$0.43 

↑2.2% 

$503K
SNX 

$3.65 

↓9.5% 

$453K
ICX 

$0.31 

↓0.9% 

$441K
ZEC 

$65.09 

↑2.2% 

$439K
EOS 

$1.31 

↑0.6% 

$409K
NEAR 

$4.36 

↓0.6% 

$408K
MLN 

$27.62 

↓2.5% 

$350K
EGLD 

$56.74 

↑0.8% 

$327K
LUNA 

$0.00010 

↓0.8% 

$306K
LPT 

$11.62 

↓8.4% 

$290K
BOND 

$8.29 

↓9.0% 

$286K
SUSHI 

$1.48 

↓1.5% 

$280K
BAT 

$0.41 

↑0.04% 

$274K
UST 

$0.035 

↓2.5% 

$272K
KEEP 

$0.18 

↑1.0% 

$260K
QTUM 

$4.32 

↓7.4% 

$252K
IMX 

$1.18 

↑8.9% 

$244K
LSK 

$1.14 

↑0.9% 

$236K
SC 

$0.004 

↓0.5% 

$232K
EWT 

$2.47 

↓2.8% 

$227K
LDO 

$2.35 

↓4.4% 

$225K
QNT 

$105.99 

↓1.4% 

$215K
COMP 

$58.00 

↑0.4% 

$208K
STORJ 

$0.68 

↑1.0% 

$204K
PERP 

$0.87 

↓5.4% 

$197K
MOVR 

$14.70 

↑3.7% 

$180K
CHZ 

$0.13 

↓2.6% 

$179K
OXT 

$0.12 

↓0.9% 

$177K
FTM 

$0.33 

↓0.19% 

$175K
LUNA2 

$1.86 

↓3.3% 

$166K
PAXG 

$1766.77 

↑0.0% 

$163K
OMG 

$2.25 

↓2.9% 

$159K
KNC 

$1.59 

↓1.8% 

$148K
SGB 

$0.026 

↓0.8% 

$132K
DYDX 

$2.33 

↓4.2% 

$125K
OCEAN 

$0.20 

↑2.7% 

$122K
DASH 

$50.41 

↓0.5% 

$113K
JASMY 

$0.010 

↑0.8% 

$111K
TVK 

$0.05 

↓2.3% 

$98.7K
GNO 

$161.64 

↓2.1% 

$98.5K
KP3R 

$151.80 

↓0.7% 

$94.6K
SBR 

$0.007 

↓19% 

$91.3K
FORTH 

$6.67 

↓8.6% 

$90.6K
ENS 

$14.70 

↓0.7% 

$80.2K
SCRT 

$1.11 

↓3.6% 

$78.2K
INJ 

$1.41 

↓1.3% 

$78.1K
ANT 

$1.97 

↓1.3% 

$75.0K
ZRX 

$0.35 

↑4.2% 

$69.3K
CTSI 

$0.17 

↓0.24% 

$69.1K
1INCH 

$0.77 

↓0.13% 

$69.1K
NYM 

$0.44 

↑18% 

$67.7K
BAND 

$1.77 

↑3.0% 

$67.2K
AUDIO 

$0.34 

↓1.1% 

$66.6K
GMT 

$0.98 

↓1.0% 

$65.0K
RUNE 

$2.63 

↓2.9% 

$64.3K
MKR 

$1119.00 

↓3.4% 

$64.2K
WBTC 

$24608.20 

↑3.6% 

$62.6K
BADGER 

$4.74 

↓8.4% 

$57.9K
GST 

$0.06 

↑8.8% 

$52.7K
BAL 

$6.35 

↑2.3% 

$51.7K
ATLAS 

$0.008 

↓0.12% 

$50.1K
KILT 

$0.45 

↑3.2% 

$46.8K
ALICE 

$2.81 

↓3.7% 

$46.8K
RNDR 

$0.59 

↓2.3% 

$46.4K
SRM 

$0.99 

↓1.8% 

$45.7K
FARM 

$60.16 

↑19% 

$41.0K
REN 

$0.15 

↓0.14% 

$40.8K
ASTR 

$0.045 

↓0.9% 

$40.7K
KIN 

$0.00001 

↑0.8% 

$37.3K
BNT 

$0.57 

↑0.7% 

$36.1K
OGN 

$0.22 

↑0.5% 

$35.8K
ARPA 

$0.040 

↓11% 

$34.1K
KINT 

$3.03 

↑0.9% 

$33.1K
UNFI 

$8.99 

↓21% 

$29.7K
ANKR 

$0.030 

↓0.8% 

$27.9K
ACA 

$0.28 

↓2.8% 

$26.7K
WOO 

$0.23 

↑13% 

$26.6K
ALCX 

$36.06 

↓1.3% 

$25.1K
MIR 

$0.21 

↓2.8% 

$25.0K
RAD 

$2.39 

↓7.8% 

$24.9K
BTT 

$0.00000 

↑1.7% 

$23.6K
LCX 

$0.06 

↑1.2% 

$21.0K
FXS 

$7.26 

↑5.8% 

$19.4K
DENT 

$0.001 

↑0.7% 

$19.1K
RBC 

$0.09 

↑12% 

$16.2K
PHA 

$0.13 

↑1.6% 

$16.1K
COTI 

$0.11 

↓0.7% 

$14.8K
INTR 

$0.07 

↓7.6% 

$14.1K
SUPER 

$0.17 

↓8.6% 

$13.9K
YGG 

$0.84 

↑0.8% 

$13.3K
REP 

$8.54 

↓1.5% 

$12.6K
RARI 

$3.24 

↓3.6% 

$12.5K
RAY 

$0.88 

↑0.6% 

$12.3K
BNC 

$0.23 

↓4.0% 

$12.2K
FIDA 

$0.51 

↓5.7% 

$11.3K
MSOL 

$46.04 

↑3.5% 

$11.3K
AKT 

$0.39 

↑1.3% 

$10.3K
CSM 

$0.014 

↑15% 

$10.3K
KEY 

$0.005 

↑3.2% 

$10.2K
REPV2 

$8.52 

↑0.6% 

$9.65K
POLIS 

$0.56 

↑2.8% 

$8.06K
GHST 

$1.33 

↓0.07% 

$7.97K
FET 

$0.09 

↑1.4% 

$7.11K
API3 

$1.93 

↑2.8% 

$6.86K
OXY 

$0.06 

↑0.8% 

$6.84K
AIR 

$0.025 

↓7.9% 

$6.61K
ROOK 

$40.00 

↑24% 

$6.46K
MASK 

$1.63 

↓1.9% 

$6.33K
STEP 

$0.042 

↓2.1% 

$6.19K
CVX 

$7.51 

↓3.6% 

$6.13K
TBTC 

$26048.40 

↑16% 

$6.09K
TLM 

$0.030 

↓13% 

$5.98K
ACH 

$0.015 

↑2.3% 

$5.89K
CHR 

$0.22 

↓2.0% 

$5.82K
SDN 

$0.33 

↓3.5% 

$5.23K
RARE 

$0.29 

↓0.4% 

$5.07K
GTC 

$2.86 

↓2.1% 

$4.52K
KAR 

$0.58 

↓4.4% 

$4.42K
AGLD 

$0.46 

↓5.8% 

$4.18K
MV 

$0.38 

↓5.0% 

$4.16K
BICO 

$0.59 

↓5.6% 

$4.13K
SAMO 

$0.012 

↑8.3% 

$3.95K
ADX 

$0.19 

↑4.0% 

$3.42K


$0.039 

↑4.5% 

$3.39K
CQT 

$0.13 

↓0.4% 

$3.22K
SPELL 

$0.001 

↓0.18% 

$2.87K
RLC 

$0.98 

↓2.8% 

$2.32K
CFG 

$0.30 

↑2.4% 

$2.19K
TOKE 

$1.80 

↑0.6% 

$2.1K
GARI 

$0.09 

↓1.4% 

$1.96K
MC 

$0.90 

↓0.22% 

$1.81K
TRIBE 

$0.16 

↓3.8% 

$1.7K
NMR 

$17.23 

↓0.9% 

$1.63K
REQ 

$0.14 

↑0.31% 

$1.55K
CVC 

$0.15 

↓6.1% 

$1.2K
TEER 

$0.65 

↓0.4% 

$1.17K
ORCA 

$1.00 

↓0.7% 

$1.12K
BIT 

$0.69 

↑0.8% 

$1.02K
FIS 

$0.44 

↑0.18% 

$0.94K
MXC 

$0.07 

↑2.6% 

$0.83K
MULTI 

$4.72 

↓1.5% 

$0.61K
PLA 

$0.39 

↓2.2% 

$0.55K
UMA 

$2.94 

↓4.3% 

$0.53K
PSTAKE 

$0.14 

↑5.3% 

$0.49K
IDEX 

$0.08 

↓4.3% 

$0.42K
POWR 

$0.27 

↓1.9% 

$0.37K
MNGO 

$0.05 

↓0.4% 

$0.16K





#####################. Trading Volume by Asset. ##########################################

Trading Volume by Asset


The figures below break down the trading volume of the largest, mid-size, and smallest assets. Cryptos are in purple, fiats are in blue. For each asset, the chart contains the daily trading volume in USD, and the percentage of the total trading volume. The percentages for fiats and cryptos are treated separately, so that they both add up to 100%.

Figure 1: Largest trading assets: trading volume (measured in USD) and its percentage of the total trading volume (July 30 2022)







Figure 2: Mid-size trading assets: (measured in USD) (July 30 2022)







###########. Daily Returns. #################################################

Daily Returns %


Figure 3: Returns over USD and XBT. Relative volume and return size is indicated by the size of the font. (July 30 2022)







###########. Disclaimer #################################################



The values generated in this report are from public market data distributed from Kraken WebSockets api. The total volumes and returns are calculated over the reporting day using UTC time.


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The Right Side of Crypto Regulation: Institutions Need to Avoid Thucydides’ Trap

The Right Side of Crypto Regulation: Institutions Need to Avoid Thucydides’ Trap

Source: AdobeStock / Роман Мартинюк

Anton Chashchin is a Managing Partner at the digital assets platform Bitfrost.io.

 __________

The days when cryptocurrencies were reserved for the underground are fast becoming history. But the power dynamics in finance are all too familiar.

As cryptocurrencies edge into the mainstream – with global adoption up 881% in June 2021 compared with the year prior – opinions in the institutional world remain split. While some financial leaders – like MicroStrategy – are adding to their crypto holdings, the general support for adoption among the rank and file continues to be overridden by scepticism. The recent crypto crash has only exacerbated this, with many institutions backing out of the market and furthering the cynicism.

Older institutions, in particular, feel compelled to defend the foundations of traditional finances against the more radical characteristics of the crypto movement: decentralization, anonymity, and, in their eyes, instability.

Facing a challenge to the status quo, institutions now find themselves at a historically precedented fork in the road: Thucydides’ trap. 

The Thucydides Trap is a political theory describing a scenario in which a rising power challenges the dominance of existing power. The dominant power, when threatened, becomes paranoid and is likely to respond with war.

Although the original applied to Sparta and Athens of ancient Greece, this applies to the relationship between the crypto industry and financial institutions.

That sentiment is encapsulated by the comments of the well-known opponent of cryptocurrencies and the embodiment of traditional finance, Warren Buffett, who said in an interview with CNBC, “Cryptocurrencies basically have no value, and they don’t produce anything. I don’t have any cryptocurrency and I never will.”

This paranoia has grown as institutions have come to realise that the world of cryptocurrencies can create not just competition for them, but even a significant threat. The cryptocurrency markets are constantly expanding, both in size and sophistication.

Some have accepted the rise of crypto as inevitable. 52% of financial institutions now own cryptocurrencies and many have recently launched crypto capabilities, including investment banking giants like JPMorgan, asset management stalwarts like BlackRock, and infrastructure payments pioneers like Visa, as well as established Fintechs like Revolut.

But for those financial institutions that are preparing for war, they need not fall into the trap. Institutions that can lay their ego aside and open themselves to the opportunities inherent in crypto will be able to leverage the rise of digital assets to fuel their own growth. 

However, to encourage a fruitful relationship between institutions and the crypto industry, four key changes must take place.

1) Bolster knowledge with third-party expertise

Cryptocurrencies are fundamentally new and evolving assets, meaning institutions can find it hard to keep up with the latest capabilities – particularly newer entrants. Many are asking a lot of the same questions: what is Bitcoin? What is blockchain? Is it safe? How can they get involved? 

In response to a general dearth of crypto knowledge and capabilities among institutional investors, Wall Street has been amassing an army of crypto experts, with thousands of new crypto jobs at top firms since 2018. 

But the demand for knowledge far outweighs the supply. 

There is a lot to learn, and it’s hard to find the right talent to support pilot projects. Not all institutional investors have time to train their staff in order to successfully branch into the space. 

What’s more, the current market downturn is forcing many crypto companies to lay off employees – with the largest US crypto exchange, Coinbase, letting go of 1,100 employees. Top bankers are optimistic that this round of cuts will widen the pool of crypto talent available, resulting in many returning to banking, a sector that remains desperate for tech talent.

Additionally, to supplement a human resources-focused approach, institutions can call on external support from a number of third-party companies, which have emerged as institutional demand for expertise has grown. 

Such companies can support firms in building crypto services and integrating crypto into their business. In choosing reliable partners and hiring experienced consultants, institutions can realise their crypto ambitions.  

2) A robust, globally coherent regulatory framework

Prevailing suspicions among institutional leaders are, at least in part, motivated by a necessity to protect the customer at all costs. The recent volatility in the market has heightened suspicions that cryptocurrencies are a scam, or a bubble that could burst, damaging their clients, business, and the wider economy. 

Considering each move in crypto follows extensive risk assessment, business planning, and board approval, these concerns stall adoption, and go some way to explaining why some firms have yet to take their first steps. 

In many ways, it’s a legitimate concern. Cryptocurrencies do come with their fair share of compliance headaches, coupled with a general lack of governance.

 International regulation ranges from supportive but nascent – as in the case of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – to actively condemnatory – as in the case of China, which has banned digital assets outright.

On top of this, the crypto ecosystem is fast-evolving, making it hard for regulators to keep up. For example, most markets are still yet to implement policies on Bitcoin and Ethereum, let alone more recent digital phenomena like Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and decentralised finance (DeFi). 

As traditional financial companies have both a responsibility to their clients and strict standards to uphold relating to investing and trading, they must remain compliant, which makes them nervous about volatile, undefined, and ungoverned assets like cryptocurrencies.

Although crypto may be perceived as a wild and unregulated asset – and perhaps even a dangerous one, given the recent crash in valuations – Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine has shown the opposite, providing vital financial services to Ukrainians.

Nevertheless, despite the volatility and fears around a “crypto winter”, a recent report showed that the investor interest in the sector has not frozen – suggesting that the momentum of mainstream digital asset adoption is set to continue.

As client engagement grows, and the adoption of crypto assets continues, major crypto exchanges and other players in the space are already cooperating with lawmakers on sanctions and other monitoring tools. 

This already indicates the beginning of the formation of a common regulatory framework that can no longer be denied.

Rather than responding to ambiguities by avoiding cryptocurrencies altogether, institutions should be taking the reins in advocating for stronger protections and more robust regulatory frameworks that will allow them to launch into digital assets more confidently.

3) Addressing environmental concerns

Finance companies have a growing list of voluntary and mandatory environmental standards to uphold in a landscape that is increasingly ESG-focused. Many institutions, therefore, cannot invest in areas or work with companies that are not environmentally friendly. 

This is problematic from a crypto perspective in light of recent revelations surrounding Bitcoin mining, found to use the same amount of energy as a small country. 

Research from the European asset manager Candrium in 2021 has made the case that cryptocurrencies more broadly have a long way to go to satisfy ESG criteria.

But this is only the start of the story. Recognizing the need to reduce the carbon footprint of the technology, the market has already begun investigating ways to reduce energy consumption by making upgrades to the network or through other means, such as offsetting carbon use as some crypto mining companies have done.

Strides have been taken by some blockchains, like Ethereum, which is migrating away from the notoriously energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) model. The transition to the proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism is set to make Ethereum’s carbon footprint over 17,000 more efficient than Bitcoin. 

While this should be championed, more needs to be done across the industry to offset crypto’s environmental impact.

In order to tip the balance of the ESG scale and allow for institutional involvement, greater investment as well as a regulator-led approach, is required in this space – and institutions can play a major role in driving this forward.

4) Greater awareness around crypto’s social benefits

While the environmental aspect is currently dominating conversations surrounding ESG, the social and governance aspects should not be forgotten, as they are areas where cryptocurrencies are superior to fiat money.

The fundamentally open source, borderless nature of the blockchain technology on which crypto is built means it has the potential to create more inclusive, democratic financial systems.

Institutions looking for a non-environmental leg up in the ESG space would do well to remember this. 

Time for a choice

Institutions have a choice to make: give in to the hubris of hegemons throughout history and push back against crypto, or form an alliance with the rising power. Many big financial firms have slowly come around, but there remains a level of Thucydidean paranoia.

As the market expands, and the solutions and surrounding regulatory ecosystems along with it, institutional confidence can and will rise.

By working with an established partner in the space, institutions can make the most of crypto’s new dawn and ensure they come down on the right side of history.

____


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Babel Finance lost $280 million of customer funds: report

Babel Finance lost $280 million of customer funds: report

Babel’s losses included 8,000 BTC and 56,000 ETH wiped out in unhedged proprietary trading positions, a proposal deck cited in a recent report detailed.

Babel Finance, an embattled crypto lender that froze customer withdrawals in June amid the crypto market crash, reportedly lost over $280 million of its customers’ funds in bad trading bets, The Block reported citing the crypto company’s restructuring proposal deck.

Per details in the proposal, the Babel Finance’s losses came via proprietary trading of 8,000 bitcoin (BTC) and 56,000 ether (ETH). The failed bets happened last month as the platform faced liquidation amid massive deleveraging across the crypto market.

The firm says in the deck that as BTC price plunged from $30,000 to $20,000, unhedged positions “chalked up significant losses, directly leading to forced liquidation of multiple Trading Accounts.” 

It’s these accounts that wiped out approximately 8k BTC and 56k ETH worth over $280 million in customer funds.

Capitulation and restructuring plans

Babel’s capitulation spiraled as its lending and trading units failed to meet margin calls – and no customer funds to continue honouring withdrawals.

Trouble hit not long after the financial services provider raised $80 million in its Series B financing round in May. The financing, secured at a valuation of $2 billion, saw investments from Jeneration Capital, BAI Capital, 10T, Circle Ventures and Dragonfly Capital among other investors.

The market downturn and the proprietary trading failure has Babel Finance trending alongside other troubled crypto firms like Voyager Digital and Celsius Network, which have both filed for bankruptcy. 

The collapse of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) and the contagion that followed only heightened the uncertainty.

As part of its restructuring plans, the Babel team is looking to convert $150 million of its largest creditors’ debt into convertible bonds. The lender also seeks to add to its survival kit $250 million to $300 million via convertible bonds, with further funds likely to come from a $200 million revolving credit facility.

The plan, per the proposal deck, is to ultimately incorporate Babel Finance’s major creditors as shareholders.


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Russia, Wagner mercenaries smuggling gold from Sudan to finance war -CNN

Russia, Wagner mercenaries smuggling gold from Sudan to finance war -CNN

Russia and Russian Wagner mercenaries are smuggling gold from Sudan to finance war efforts in Ukraine, a CNN report claimed on Friday.

Tons of gold, worth billions of dollars, are being smuggled out of the country, according to the local Mujo Press. Accounts of how much gold is missing vary, Mujo Press putting the amount at around 38.5 tons a year lost to smuggling in general.

In the last half year, at least 16 Russian smuggling flights have made the rounds out of the country — at least one manifest claiming to be transporting cookies, according to CNN. Some of the flights were destined for Latakia, Syria, where Russia has a major airbase.

Smuggling network

According to CNN, the lynchpin of the operation is a gold processing plant in al-Abaudiya owned by Meroe Gold. Wagner operative Alexander Sergeyevich Kuznetsov has allegedly been overseeing gold mining, processing and transit sites in Sudan over the last few years.

"Meroe Gold and its new false name (Al-Solag), both of which are fronts (Russian Wagner), are preparing to dispose of large quantities of gold, and by large, I mean large — By smuggling as possible and by selling them in the local market outside the banking system," asserted Sudanese blogger Hisham Ali on July 18.

A Sudanese protester carries their national flag as they march in a demonstration to mark the anniversary of a transitional power-sharing deal with demands for quicker political reforms in Khartoum, Sudan August 17, 2020 (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED NURELDIN ABDALLAH)

According to the US Treasury, Meroe Gold is a subsidiary of M Invest which is owned or controlled by Mikhail Potepkin and serves as a cover for the Wagner mercenary company. Yevgeniy Prigozhin was named as the head of the network. Prigozhin is alleged by the Treasury to be Wagner's financier.

CNN reported that M-Invest has been extracting resources while providing weapons and training to the Sudanese military and paramilitary groups. According to the CIA World Factbook, much of Sudan's weaponry is Russian or old Soviet gear.

Russia in Africa

Russia has been interfering in the Sudanese gold trade since at least 2014, CNN reported, after the invasion of Crimea.

Yevgeniy Prigozhin and his network are exploiting Sudan’s natural resources for personal gain and spreading malign influence around the globe,” said then Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin in 2020, when the US government undertook a series of sanctions that targeted the shell companies. “The United States remains committed to holding him and other bad actors accountable so Sudan and other countries can operate freely.”

The US has designated the Wagner mercenary company as a designated Russian Ministry of Defense proxy force. The group has seen extensive deployment in the Ukraine-Russia War.


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The Big Move: I want to refinance my mortgage, but I’m about to turn 70. Is it wise to refinance at my time of life?

The Big Move: I want to refinance my mortgage, but I’m about to turn 70. Is it wise to refinance at my time of life?

I hope you can help me figure this out. I am 69 years old and will turn 70 at the end of the month. I’ve been offered a cash out refinance loan and need to decide whether to take a 15- or 30-year loan. My monthly obligation would obviously be higher for the 15-year loan.

I may not — likely will not — live long enough to pay off either, or even conclude the 11 years remaining on my current mortgage, for that matter. I’m diabetic, let alone other infirmities. The mortgage lender knows my age, but the choice is mine.

Normally I guess one’s heirs would have to deal with it, based on the will, but I don’t have any heirs in my opinion. I’m single, have never been married and have no kids. My mother is deceased, and my father is 97 years old. He lives with a woman, but they chose not to marry.

My brother and I have been estranged since 1990. I don’t intend to bequeath him anything of value — he ripped me off big time when our mother died, besides the fact I don’t actually have anything of much value. I don’t wish to leave him a mess. He is 67 years old, and who knows if he’ll be living when I die. Then there’s my niece, his only child, whom I barely know. She’s never attempted to rectify that fact since becoming an adult. She’s 38 years old, is single and has no kids. I have 33 or more second cousins, but no relationship for almost 30 years with the few I ever met.

My hurt and resentment regarding my brother and niece shouldn’t negate my obligation to leave a will. They are my blood, after all, and I’m not emotionally attached to any nonprofit. I have close friends I met as early as 1954 to 1966, but no significant other.

Meanwhile, I owe around $33,000 on my current mortgage. I’m asking for a $30,000 cash out, which I intend to use for home improvement. The appraisal is waived, but the same size units in my condo have sold for between $285,000 and $315,000. I live in a suburb of Los Angeles. The current monthly payment is $458, including property taxes, with an interest rate of 5.25%. The new payment is $531 at 3.28%. Not a whopping difference considering what all the commercials say current refi rates are, but my debt-to-income ratio is no bueno.

‘When I die who gets stuck with the unpaid balance? Does the lender assume it?’

Currently my only “real” income is Social Security and $900 my dad sends me monthly from a trust account. I intend to go back to work next year because I’m bored out of my mind, but that has zero to do with the loan. The amortized 30-year loan payment will include closing costs, prepaid taxes, and over $17,000 in outstanding debt in addition to the remaining mortgage and cash out.

When I die, who gets stuck with the unpaid balance? Does the lender assume it? Doesn’t someone have to deal with whatever problem there might be, or receive the balance if it’s sold? Am I right that it’s irrelevant if I take a 15-year or 30-year loan as I might die before either is paid off?

Since the intended loan is considerably less than the home’s value, are there other types of problems that whoever my heir is would have to deal with? Of course, another earthquake could happen, but barring some unforeseen disaster, or my being in arrears in payments, who legally could be forced to handle any issues if I don’t leave a will?

Sincerely,

Refinancing Golden Girl

The Big Move’ is a MarketWatch column looking at the ins and outs of real estate, from navigating the search for a new home to applying for a mortgage.

Do you have a question about buying or selling a home? Do you want to know where your next move should be? Email Jacob Passy at TheBigMove@marketwatch.com.

Dear Refinancing,

I want to start by addressing your question about the length of the loan term, since I worry that you might be understating the difference between a 15-year loan and a 30-year loan.

You’re aware that the monthly payment is higher for a 15-year loan — that’s true. But it might be even higher than you realize (unless the lender spelled out the difference already.) For instance, for a $100,000, 30-year mortgage carrying an interest rate of 3%, the monthly payment would be roughly $422. If that same loan carried a 15-year term instead, the monthly payment would be around $691.

To underscore, the monthly payment on a 15-year mortgage is roughly 64% higher. Often, people are attracted to the shorter term on a 15-year loan because it saves them on interest in the long run. But for someone on a fixed income, that difference in the monthly payment can make a huge difference.

The monthly payment on a 15-year loan in around 64% larger than a 30-year loan.

As you said yourself, it’s not clear you’ll live long enough to see the loan paid off either way. So the long-term savings brought on by the shorter term wouldn’t be worth, most likely. You’re relying on your dad’s financial support now, but will that continue when he dies? If not, again, the higher monthly payment from a 15-year loan might suddenly become completely unaffordable.

For whoever gets the house when you die, it won’t make a difference whether the mortgage had a 15- or 30-year term when it comes to resolving the debt. Indeed, when we die, our housing-related debts still must be paid.

In your case, it sounds as though you either don’t have a will or have not specified who should inherit your assets upon your death. Most states follow a process to determine who is eligible for the inheritance, starting with spouses and children, followed by grandchildren. In cases where none of those individuals are around, then the state will consider other relatives, including siblings, nieces and nephews. The state may also inherit the property itself.

If you die without a will and the state does not determine a rightful heir to the property, then theoretically your mortgage lender or servicer would foreclose on the home to cover the loan. If an heir was identified, or you named one, most states have laws to protect their rights to the home. When you die, your heirs would inherit the home’s title, but not its mortgage. Mortgages often include a due-on-sale clause that requires the loan to be paid off if the home is sold — because that’s when the title transfers.

When the title transfer happens via an inheritance, laws typically protect the heir. They can assume the mortgage and continue making payments. In some cases, they can have the mortgage transferred into their name, or they can sell the home to pay off the loan and pocket the proceeds that are left afterward.

Feel free to think of more than just blood relatives when considering heirs.

If I may overstep just a bit, I would advise you to reconsider who is worthy of receiving your inheritance. By nature, most of us think of leaving our worldly possessions to blood relatives — but in my view, the definition of family is broader than that. Your brother brought you grief, and you say you have virtually no relationship with your niece.

It does sound as though you have many friends with whom you have rich relationships. Sure, they may not be romantic in nature, but I’m sure these friends bring joy and comfort to your life. These people are your chosen family, and they deserve every right and privilege that’s typically reserved for blood relations. Indeed, you can bequeath your possessions to a friend rather than a family member.

Perhaps your friends may not be interested in inheriting your condo, but I would talk to them to see what they would think of such a gift. Maybe they themselves have a child or other relative who could benefit from inheriting a home to live in (or the financial value of that property.)

You’ve worked hard to maintain your home, and you should feel comfortable knowing that it’s going to someone you care for after you pass away. Whoever you do identify as your heir, let them know of your plans. That way it won’t come as a shock upon your passing, and they can feel well equipped to handle the various tasks that come with an inheritance.

By emailing your questions, you agree to having them published anonymously on MarketWatch. By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story, or versions of it, in all media and platforms, including via third parties.


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