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Crypto NFT Today: The Latest News in Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and NFTs: Aug. 10-16, 2022

Welcome to another edition of Crypto NFT Today! If you enjoy cryptocurrency, NFTs, and riding emotional rollercoasters, this is the place to be.

Are you ready for the crunch? Let’s get started.

Zipmex to Begin Releasing Bitcoin and Ethereum to Users’ Wallets

After weeks of withholding customers’ crypto, exchange platform Zipmex announced it will begin releasing coins to users’ wallets. 

Zipmex will release ether to users on Aug. 11, with bitcoin following a week later, after blocking customers from taking direct custody of their coins last month.

The exchange has been gradually releasing coins to users’ wallets since last week. Solana, cardano, and XRP tokens were the first to be available after it suspended all withdrawals July 20.

The decision to enact a moratorium on transactions came after the firm lost $100 million related to crypto lender Babel Finance. In mid-June, Babel froze withdrawals due to turmoil in the crypto market. This contagion also led to a flurry of defaults among over-leveraged firms like Three Arrows Capital and Celsius Network.

Are NFTs Back?

Investors are flocking to NFTs once again following the announcement Wednesday that US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates once again — a move that is in line with what the market was expecting.

At its last two policy meetings, the Fed raised benchmark borrowing rates by 0.75 percentage point, the largest increase since 1994.

Floor prices for some of the most popular NFT collections including Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Otherdeed for Otherside, and CryptoPunks have risen by over 17% in the last two weeks. 

As prices rose, trading volume also began to tick higher. For the Mutant Ape Yacht Club collection, volume was up a strong 139% for the past day to $1.17 million. Meanwhile, Bored Ape Yacht Club saw its volume rise by 6% to $889,040, and Otherdeed rose by 14% to $777,630, according to Cryptonews. 

El Salvador Doubles Down on Bitcoin Bet

El Salvador finance minister, Alejandro Zelaya, announced he does not foresee the country defaulting on its $800 million debt. Zelaya and Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele have hedged their bets on Bitcoin in the last few years, making the cryptocurrency its national currency. 

Analysts at JP Morgan, Bloomberg, and others in the financial sector believe the likelihood of El Salvador defaulting on its bond payments is the second-highest in the Latin America region, behind only Venezuela.

President Nayib Bukele took to Twitter to reassure citizens of the government’s plan to use crypto to avoid a default. He also took the opportunity to hit back at the New York Times, which recently ran an article suggesting the gambit is not paying off.

“His bet appears to be backfiring, highlighting the gap between the utopian promises of cryptocurrency’s proponents and economic realities,” the article states. 

Bukele pointed to the fact that crypto exchange Bitfinex announced it will donate 36 bitcoin and $600,000 worth of tether (USDT) to help small businesses and communities in the country. 

“I can go to the regional debt market or I can issue a three-year local bond in Central America. The truth is, USD 800 million in a [national] budget of USD 7,000 million is a marginal amount. It is small,” Zelaya stated in the newspaper El Diario de Hoy. 

World Blockchain Summit is Going Bullish in a Bear Market

The 20th edition of World Blockchain Summit Singapore 2022 registered more than 1,300 global blockchain, crypto and Web3 industry participants under one roof to inspire and stimulate business opportunities through mutually beneficial collaborations across the Asia Pacific region.

The summit featured an address by chief guest and Republic of Indonesia’s minister of trade Jerry Sambuaga along with industry heavyweights such as Illia Polosukhin, Jan Camenisch, Mance Harmon and Hassan Ahmed.

During his address, Sambuaga spoke of the booming market in Indonesia and the wider South-East Asian market, noting, “Crypto asset trading in Indonesia can be one of the government’s strategies to accelerate and develop Indonesia’s digital economy by 2030.”

He also added, “We saw the potential in crypto in that we could use it as a potential commodity for exports. By December 2020, the transaction volume of crypto assets in Indonesia alone increased to 64.9 trillion rupiah, equivalent to $4.2 billion, and in December 2021, it reached 859.4 trillion rupiah [$57.33 billion].”

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By I&T Today

By I&T Today

Innovation & Tech Today features a wide variety of writers on tech, science, business, sustainability, and culture. Have an idea? Send it to submit@innotechtoday.com

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