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Hotbit Exchange DOWN After Authorities Freeze Funds - Company Says: Ex-Employee's Actions Elsewhere Triggered the Investigation, They Are NOT Involved, will soon be CLEARED...

Hotbit down

As a user myself, Hotbit is a fairly good exchange... when it's up.

But I would by lying if I said this wasn't getting annoying. For the second time now it appears users will be locked out for a potential extended period of time, possibly lasting weeks, or months.

Last time (see our coverage here) hackers gained access to their servers, but not access to withdraw any user funds.  It seems like this angered them, so they decided to destroy everything they did have access to - which was basically the entire exchange system.  They were down for weeks.

This time time it wasn't a security breach, but a much wilder explanation:

"The reason is that a former Hotbit management employee who left Hotbit in April this year was involved in a project last year(which was against Hotbit's internal principles and of which Hotbit was unknown) that law enforcement authorities now think is suspected of violating criminal laws. So, a number of Hotbit senior managers have been subpoenaed by law enforcement since the end of July and are assisting in the investigation. Furthermore, law enforcement has frozen some funds of Hotbit, which has prevented Hotbit from running normally.

Hotbit and the rest employees of Hotbit's management are not involved in the project and have no knowledge of the illegal information involved in the project. However, we are still actively cooperating with the law enforcement authorities in their investigations and are continuously communicating with them through our lawyers and applying for the release of the frozen assets. The assets of all users are safe on Hotbit."

As far as when users can access their funds, Hotbit clearly does not know, only saying "Hotbit will resume normal service as soon as the assets are unfrozen" whenever that may be. 

Funds are safe...

Last time I was ready to hear it was all another exit scam and that my funds were gone for good, then the site came back and everything was still in my wallet. So, with fingers crossed, I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt this time. 

According to Hotbit "All user’s assets and data on Hotbit are secure and correct" and they shared this link for more details on how user funds will be handled.  

There is mention of a 'compensation plan' for users, but no details on what that would be based on. 

Those with staked assets and investment product deposits will supposedly continue to earn like normal during this downtime. 

Users with concerns are invited to contact them here.

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Author: Adam Lee
Asia News Desk Breaking Crypto News

CoinBase Posts $1.1 Billion Second Quarter 2022 Loss - Coinbase COO Explains What This Means For the Company...

 Coinbase posted a $1.1 billion second-quarter loss and lower-than-expected revenue as the largest US cryptocurrency exchange was battered by tumbling digital-asset prices. Shares slid on the news after the close. In this video Coinbase President and COO Emilie Choi speaks to Bloomberg.

Video courtesy of Bloomberg

Two Crypto 'Mixing' Sites Sanctioned - Now ILLEGAL For US Citizens to Access after They Allegedly Laundered Millions for North Korean Hackers...

By dividing a user's deposit into a random number of parts and distributing those pieces to other users, a cryptocurrency "mixer" essentially muddles up the transactions of individuals who make deposits to them. In exchange, you receive the same amount back (less fees) from other anonymous users.

Tracking stolen cryptocurrency becomes difficult since it may rapidly change hands from one person to dozens when 'mixed'.

Tornado.Cash joins Blender.io on the list of mixer websites that are now forbidden for US citizens to access after being sanctioned by the US Treasury today.

The US Treasury estimates that since Tornado's inception in 2019, more than $7 billion in virtual currency has been laundered on the platform.

However, it's the $455 million from the "Lazarus Gang," a hacker group supported by the North Korean government, is what officials find most upsetting.

The sanctions also covered 44 wallets, making it prohibited to receive or send money to any those addresses.

Tornado Cash made an effort to abide by the rules, but ultimately failed.

In attempts to comply with the US government but still function for it's users, Tornado Cash implemented improvements like a screening tool to stop money from travelling between it and bitcoin wallets that officials say are tied to illegal activity.

Despite that, the Lazarus Group and other hackers were still able to transmit money to Tornado Cash for money laundering, according to a law enforcement investigation of open cryptocurrency transactions, the official added.

“Despite public assurances otherwise, Tornado Cash has repeatedly failed to impose effective controls designed to stop it from laundering funds for malicious cyber actors on a regular basis and without basic measures to address its risks,”
Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement. “Treasury will continue to aggressively pursue actions against mixers that launder virtual currency for criminals and those who assist them.”

Treasury officials added that they hope this motivates the private sector and partner nations to help in regulating illegal use of crypto.

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Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk 
Breaking Crypto News

It's Time To Acknowledge Facebook May Soon be a MAJOR Player in the NFT World - Have They Learned From Past Mistakes?

 Facebook Instagram NFTs

Meta has been working since the beginning of the year to immerse itself in NFTs, the beta testing began in the United States with a group of content creators last May, and then opened to the public in some countries in June.

Since opening, Brazil leads the list of countries with the largest number of users with NFTs, followed by Mexico, and Argentina in third place, according to Statista.

With this new step, a total of 100 countries now have access to the NFT features...

The plan will eventually end with all 251 million users able to participate.

As part of the launch, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared an NFT version of this childhood photo on Instagram..

lil zukk

"In honor of expanding digital collectible NFTs to 100 more countries on Instagram, I'm sharing my old and soon to be NFT Little League baseball card."

The next step is to make the platform fully compatible with the rest of the crypto/nft world...

This means supporting popular wallets people are already using - MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Coinbase Wallet, and Dapper Wallet support is coming soon. Meta has stated that there are no fees associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible on Instagram.

All NFT's minted on the platform will end up on the Ethereum or Polygon blockchain, and they will be adding Flow and Solana soon.

Did We Underestimate Mark Zuckerberg?

To be fair, the crypto world has valid reasons to be skeptical anytime Facebook starts hyping up their plans for the future.

"Disaster" sums up Facebook's first venture into crypto with a coin called 'Libra'. Behind that coin was an aggressive plan that would bring together powerful organizations and companies from around the world of traditional and corporate finance, with the goal of basically taking over the crypto world in one giant leap.

This alliance of companies and organizations that would govern the coin was called the Libra Association, but their plans were so aggressive that governments began fearing that their influence could end up going beyond crypto, reaching their currencies too.

At the time, Governments Around the World Were Focusing on Facebook...

It wasn't long until politicians in virtually every country where people used Facebook were sharing concern, or complete disapproval.

The most common argument Facebook owning a popular online marketplace, holding the power to choose who can buy or sell there, and issuing their own money would give Facebook more power than any private company should have - governments don't like it when people try to do THEIR job.

US Senators summoned Facebook executives to Washington, DC where they questioned their intent and long term goals with Libra Coin - it ended with politicians from both major parties swearing they'd never allow Facebook's vision to become reality.

The Trump administration said they were "uncomfortable" with the whole thing, and in a rare moment, Democrats agreed, with one Democratic senator labeling Facebook "delusional" for ever thinking it could happen.

But Does Zuckerberg take 'no' for an answer? No.

Of course, Zuckerberg couldn't help but to take one last shot at making it happen.  This time they would avoid making headlines, hoping to quietly glide through required regulatory processes in the countries they wanted to operate in.

So first, they changed the project's name to 'Diem Coin', which would be managed by the 'Diem Foundation'.  But instead of the fresh start they hoped this would bring them, they quickly learned that the name change didn't fool anyone, people were actually paying attention, and politicians were still telling them "no."

While they never got to use it, they did create a blockchain protocol of their own, a custom wallet and various other tools and assets, they were ready to go big - in the end, they managed to sell everything they built to a company called Silverware for $200 million according to the Wall Street Journal.

The news about the sell, from 8 months ago, is still the most recent update on the website for Diem Coin. 

Fast Forward To Today - Facebook Hasn't Made the Same Mistakes Twice...

None of the chaos we saw with Libra/Diem has been present in Facebook's expansion into NFTs. From their first announcement to recent launch it remained generally free of controversy. 

Now it's starting to look like Zuckerberg may have built a legitimate platform, focusing on becoming part of the NFT world, not plotting to overtake it.

There's potential for Facebook to become a major player in the NFT market - do you agree? Tweet us your thoughts @TheCryptoPress and we may add them to this article!

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Author: Ross Davis
Silicon Valley Newsroom
GCP | Breaking Crypto News



NFTs.com is Now the Most EXPENSIVE Crypto URL Ever - the INSANE PRICE + Possible Plans of the SECRET 'UNNAMED' BUYER...

NFTs.com

While sales of NFTs have slowed, they're far from dead.  The amount of NFT based transactions still happening in the current down market is proving to investors and businesses that NFTs are here to stay.  Platforms like Twitter and Instagram implementing them provides more evidence for this claim. 

What is almost completely gone is part of the NFT world, the stupid part where we saw this thing sell for $7 million. Most suspected this was a temporary phase that could only happen with something that was both new and exploding in popularity - they were right.

But many are still saying the NFT world still has huge room for growth, and there may be some truth here.

The argument that NFT's have just begun revolve around virtual reality (aka the Metaverse) as any object in a virtual world can become your tradeable and sellable property if turned in to an NFT. 

Brands like Nike believe the people wearing their shoes in the real world may want to be seen wearing them in the virtual world as well - same goes for those who line up outside of shoe stores in the middle of the night to be among the first there when it opens, and pay 2 to 3 times more for a 'limited edition' sneaker.

Sneakers that they don't need to buy the materials to make, pay for the labor to assemble, or ship from one location to another to sell - this is the dream that has major brands drooling. 

This is the thinking behind valuing NFTs.com at the selling price of $15 million...

An 'undisclosed buyer' finalized the purchase through Domainer, a domain marketplace operated by GoDaddy, with Escrow.com facilitating the transfer of funds. 

“It was a pleasure working with all parties involved at NFTS.com, an incredible opportunity for the buyer to acquire one of the best possible .coms, if not the best, in the entire web space3,” said Matt Holden of Domainer

For some perspective, Crypto.com sold for $3 million less.

Buyer Most Likely a Company...

With a price-tag this large odds are a company is behind the purchase.

With brands like the NBA, NFL, Visa, Coca-Cola, Dolce & Gabanna, Tommy Hilfiger, EA Games, Ubisoft, Gamestop, Nike, Adidas and so many looking to make their mark in the NFT space, there's a lot of cash flowing behind the scenes. 

Chainalysis estimated institutional investors accounted for 33% of all NFT related transactions in their report on Web3 earlier this year.

Waiting For The Mystery Buyer to Show themselves...

Now the NFT industry is waiting to learn who the buyer was, until then, all they can do is speculate.

Will NFT marketplaces have some new competition?  Whoever the buyer is, they have the funds needed to be a potential threat.

Could a single clothing or gaming company have snatched it up to use as a place to feature their NFTs exclusively?

Or, this could come to the most anticlimactic, but very possible ending of them all - someone from the domain industry who believes they can sit on for awhile and make a few million selling it again - perhaps just waiting for the market to recover from this most recent downturn. In other words... just HODLing it.

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Author: Ross Davis
Silicon Valley Newsroom
GCP | Breaking Crypto News

Michael Saylor steps down as CEO of MicroStrategy...

There's a shakeup at MicroStrategy as major Bitcoin bull Michael Saylor steps down.

His investments into Bitcoin are still likely to pay off big down the road, but he's being blamed for the losses on paper now.  Is this a sign those who will take his place don't understand this?

Will the person who takes his spot make the huge mistake of selling off their crypto?

Video courtesy of Yahoo News

Billionaire Investor Says Crypto Has His Attention - The "Big Way" He May Invest, and the Coin He Would Buy First...

Carl Icahn

Billionare investor Carl Icahn is "not an investor yet" when it comes to crypto - but it has his attention.  

He is the founder and controlling shareholder of Icahn Enterprises, with $27.7 billion in assets.  He is also credited with creating the "Activist Investorinvestment strategy, which is now used by hedge funds around the world.  The strategy is basically that when a hedge fund owns 10% or more of a company, they can use the threat of selling their stock to pressure a company to change policy they disagree with.

Not Looking To 'Dabble' In Crypto...

He's not talking about getting his feet wet, he's someone who dives in.

 Icahn says
 he'd enter the market in "A big way for us, you know, a billion dollars, billion and a half dollars, something like that." refusing to be any more specific on the amount, he added "I'm not going to say exactly."

He Gets It..

Ichan says he disagrees with what he hears crypto's critics saying, saying he sees the value of some crypto assets clearer than the dollar, stating "The only value of the dollar really is because you can use it to pay taxes."

What Could He Buy?

He's done his homework, clearly, which makes me think his plan to invest isn't all talk. 

Bitcoin, in his opinion, is only practical as a store of value, whereas Ether can be used as a store of value and as a payment item - so he prefers Ethereum.

He elaborated, saying, "Ethereum is the underlying blockchain. So, Ethereum has two things you can use as a payment system or you can use the store of value." So, you need Ethereum, the blockchain, to assure you that you have something. You never had that before where you can buy a cryptocurrency and you can say, 'I’m safe' because you have the blockchain makes it very safe for you. I’m oversimplifying. " While not quite as clear as his other statements, I think I get where he was trying to go. He's saying that whether it be a token that uses the Ethereum blockchain, or an NFT, the ledger is a trustworthy tool to give an accurate account of your assets on that blockchain.

A Flood of Institutional Money Incoming?

Icahn is among other heavyweights such as Ray Dalio, Stanley Druckenmiller, and Paul Tudor Jones, all of whom have expressed recent interest in expanding their investments into the crypto market.

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Author: Oliver Redding
Seattle Newsdesk  / Breaking Crypto News


US Senate Wants to Know Why Google and Apple REPEATEDLY FAILED to Stop Crypto-Stealing FAKE Apps in their App Stores...

Crypto scam apps

Sherrod Brown, chairman of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, has asked Apple and Google CEOs Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai to explain why bitcoin (BTC) scams are so prevalent on their platforms.

Brown is requesting information regarding the processes that Google and Apple employ to approve the programs that they provide in their app stores, as many have turned out to be bogus apps meant to steal cryptocurrency from users. Brown further notes that once a scam has been identified, users who downloaded it do not receive notifications of illicit activities.

There have also been several instances of Google search results including 'sponsored results' that were actually decoy phishing sites; this is something we first heard about years ago and continue to hear about every few months.

Brown cites a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report that warns about the growth of fake mobile applications. Scammers have used this method to steal $42 million worth of cryptocurrencies over the past few months. The letter, posted on the official US Senate website reads:

“According to the FBI, in one case, cybercriminals defrauded at least two dozen investors by creating a mobile app that used the name and logo of a real trading platform. Investors downloaded the app and deposited cryptocurrencies into wallets. Ultimately, the app was fake and the victims of the scam were unable to withdraw funds from their accounts.”

In Apple's case, where their App Store is literally the only way to install any app to the iPad or iPhone, they defend this monopoly saying it's actually beneficial to the consumer, because they can screen and deny any potentially malicious apps.

Experts recommend always downloading crypto-related software from official websites. Take the time to read user ratings and comments when on Google Play or the App Store, especially for products with a low download volume.

The executives have until August 10 to respond, but it is unclear what consequences corporations may face if they do not comply with Senate inquiries.

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Author: Justin Derbek
New York News Desk
Breaking Crypto News


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The SURPRISING Oil-Rich Middle Eastern Country That Declared: Bitcoin Mining Allowed, If Powered By 100% Renewable Energy...

Iran Bitcoin Mining

In an unexpected move from a country that makes most of it's money from oil exports, Iran, which has a love-hate relationship with Bitcoin mining, once again allows mining farms to function normally - provided that it is supplied from renewable sources.

Since December of last year, Bitcoin mining has been prohibited in the country. Due to its seasons of extreme heat or cold, they needed to increase the amount of available power on energy grid, forcing crypto miners to shut down was among their first moves to do so.

Midway through the previous year, mining farms were granted permits on the condition that they utilize on-site generators to at least lower the energy taken from public power system. But a few weeks later, access to public electricity was again prohibited.

Now, the Iranian government has lifted the ban, with the stipulation that electricity must be provided only from renewable sources.

 Typically, miners love the chance to switch to renewables, as electricity generated from renewable sources is less expensive than electricity generated from traditional fuels. As a result, Bitcoin mining farms can reduce their production costs and boost their profitability by utilizing renewable energy.

This is not limited to renewable energy that miners produce themselves through technologies like solar; they can can also buy from power companies as long as they're purchasing energy generated renewably.

We expect an increase in hashpower coming from the country whose government is still on a list of countries with which most western governments don't do business with, because of ties to terrorist groups.

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Author: Adam Lee 
Asia News Desk Breaking Crypto News

Bitcoin's Gains TWICE As Strong as S&P500 and NASDAQ...

Bitcoin news

Both the stock and cryptocurrency markets are reacting to today's news that US Federal Reserve will increase interest rates by 0.75%.  The measure is aimed at controlling inflation, which remains at its highest levels since the early 1980s, and is seen as evidence that the maintains flexibility and hasn't felt the need to implement more drastic measures, at least yet.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell pointed out that there are recent indicators that both consumption and production have decreased, but added that the unemployment rate has remained low and that job growth in the first half indicates that we are not in a recession. 

Bitcoin and Stocks on The Rise, But Bitcoin is Outpacing Both Major Indexes...

Following the news Nasdaq gained about 4%, the S&P 500 gained around 2.5%, and Bitcoin surpassed both easily with gains of over 8% at the time of publishing.

CoinBase among stocks to outperform market average...

The company needed a good day following a 21% loss yesterday, today they gained half of that back. 

It's been hell-week for Coinbase - first came news that SEC is closely monitoring Coinbase's operations to determine if the exchange has allowed its users to trade tokens that could be considered unregistered securities. Coinbase denied that it lists securities for trading and stated on its blog that it reviews "every digital asset before it is made available on our exchange, a process that the SEC itself has reviewed."

Then ARK Investments, managed by Cathie Wood, dumped $658 million worth of Coinbase shares, removing it entirely from their portfolio.

They end the day at $58.49 - still, the overall picture isn't great when taking in to account that they launched April 2021 at $400. 

But remember - a return of the crypto bull market and setting a new Bitcoin all time high could send Coinbase back to the $300-$400 range shockingly fast, as their holdings triple in value and increased trading activity would once again have them making millions in exchange fees.

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Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk 
Breaking Crypto News

MetaBlaze Building A Multi-Layered Metaverse: Prepares to Launch Its Highly Anticipated MetaGoblin NFT collection on OpenSea NFT Marketplace

In a move that is set to bring sustainable digitized art and creativity into the blockchain-based virtual world, MetaBlaze is preparing to launch its high-quality, character based MetaGoblin NFT Collection on OpenSea. The collection features traditional fantasy-themed Goblins-propelled into the Metaverse.


MetaBlaze®, a new Blockchain Gaming Company, is gearing up for the official launch of its intricately detailed, utility-packed MetaGoblin NFT collection set to list on the OpenSea NFT Marketplace in the coming weeks. The NFT project is inspired by in-game mystical creatures from a Player-versus-Player, Play-to-Earn game currently in development by the blockchain gaming firm, MetaBlaze.


Following the OpenSea listing, MetaGoblin NFTs will also be listed on uber-popular rarity ranking websites such as Rarity Tools, a trusted platform that provides users convenient means to check the rarity rankings of NFTs. MetaBlaze is excited to offer such a unique and innovative project to the NFT space and looks forward to seeing MetaGoblins take flight in the coming weeks.

MetaGoblins are one-of-a-kind digital beings that exist on the Ethereum blockchain. Each MetaGoblin NFT has distinct characteristics, making it a truly unique collectible. The collection brings a total supply of 10,000 NFTs, with 398 hand-created, 3D traits.


MetaGoblin NFTs are the first playable characters in the MetaBlaze Metaverse – an immersive, utility-driven, rewards-generating, strategy-based gaming platform. These MetaGoblins (and other MetaBlaze Series NFTs) can be used to participate in unique Play-to-Earn games, contests, competitions, and more. Each MetaGoblin is unique – not just in appearance and story, but in its underlying meta-data attributes. If you're looking for a captivating tale that unveils the origin of the MetaGoblins, check out the intro video shared on the official MetaBlaze YouTube channel.


NFTs Need More Sustainability & MetaBlaze Is Bringing It.

MetaBlaze is on a mission to create more value in the NFT world by building a robust ecosystem around the MetaGoblin NFTs. With a focus on sustainability and scalability, MetaGoblin NFTs integrate within MetaBlaze's Web 3 ecosystem, including gaming, staking, and rewards. MetaBlaze brings a unique gaming model with sound in-game economics built around solid fundamentals.

MetaBlaze is paving the way for sustainable growth in the NFT space by creating a diverse ecosystem built around sound fundamentals. In addition to MetaGoblin NFTs, MetaBlaze (MBLZ) tokens will be minted and used as the native currency within the multi-layered ecosystem. MBLZ will also power the staking and rewards mechanisms, providing users an additional layer of utility.

MetaGoblin NFT Mint on OpenSea NFT Marketplace

The MetaGoblins are coming to the world's largest NFT Marketplace, OpenSea. An official date is expected to be announced within the next two weeks. In preparation for their big debut, MetaBlaze is giving early access to the NFTs before the official OpenSea listing, allowing users to acquire a MetaGoblin NFT before anyone else. All fees related to NFT minting will be paid for by MetaBlaze, and the NFTs will be airdropped to rightful owners on the official release day. To learn more or buy a MetaGoblin NFT during the ongoing presale, visit https://MetaGoblin.io.

MetaBlaze is a Web 3 company using $MBLZ to power its multi-layered Metaverse. Built on the Binance Smart Chain, MetaBlaze merges popular elements of GameFi and DeFi to create a synergistic, and sustainable ecosystem.

CONTACT:
Michelle German
info@metablazetoken.com

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Information Provided via Press Release
The Global Crypto Press Association | Crypto Press Release Distribution


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