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Cryptocurrency Market News: Bitcoin Rises Again, New Stablecoins On The Block




Bitcoin (BTC) shook off last week’s jitters and briefly traded above $72,000 on Monday—an indication that the rally has far from stalled ahead of its fourth halving later this month.

Stablecoins were in focus last week with VanEck and Ripple Labs getting involved in new offerings. Also, a jury in New York found Terraform Labs and its founder, Do Kwon liable for civil fraud charges.

Bitcoin Rising Again, Closing The Gap With $73,000 High
What a wild ride it has been for bitcoin investors. After soaring past an all-time high of over $73,000, the cryptocurrency fell to trade close to $60,000 in the past month.

Bitcoin is currently trading at levels it saw at the beginning of last week, but had to find its way back after falling sharply to trade below $65,000 before gaining ground and ending last week in green.


Although the spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) saw strong outflows of $85.7 million on the first day of the month—largely due to more than $300 million in outflows from Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC)—flows rose reversed to end the week at $484.5 million of net inflows, according to Farside Investors.

The recent rise in the bitcoin price comes as the next halving event is expected to occur in less than two weeks. Notably, several recent reports indicated any potential effect of the halving on the bitcoin price could be overshadowed by the supply and demand dynamics of the spot bitcoin ETFs.

Additionally, Tether (UST), which is the issuer of the world’s largest and most popular stablecoin, added 8,888 bitcoin (currently worth around $640 million) to their reserves during the first quarter of the year. The company’s bitcoin address is now the seventh largest on the network in terms of holdings with more than $5 billion worth of bitcoin held in it, according to The Block.

VanEck and Ripple Involved in New Stablecoin Offerings
Speaking of stablecoins, there may be some new offerings on the block soon.
Fintech company Agora raised $12 million ahead of launching its stablecoin offering Agora digital dollar (AUSD), which will have reserves backing managed by VanEck.
While VanEck already operates a bitcoin ETF—VanEck Bitcoin Trust (HODL)—this new offering expands its bet on cryptocurrencies. For Agora, the product leverages VanEck’s investment expertise as well as familial ties. Agora founder Nick van Eck is the son of VanEck CEO Jan van Eck.

Ripple Labs, the company behind the XRP token (XRPUSD), also announced its venture into the stablecoin market with a U.S. dollar-backed digital currency aimed at enhancing the synergy between cryptocurrencies and conventional financial systems. This initiative is designed to inject more liquidity and foster increased adoption of the XRP Ledger, especially when it comes to decentralized finance (DeFi) applications. Ripple’s stablecoin offering will be backed by assets such as U.S. dollar reserves and short-term Treasury bills, and it will also be made available on Ethereum at launch.


Do Kwon and Terraform Labs Found Liable for Fraud
A New York jury took roughly two hours to decide that Terraform Labs and its founder, Do Kwon, were liable for defrauding investors in a civil lawsuit brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC alleged the company and Kwon had provided misleading assurances about the reliability of their algorithmic stablecoin UST, which was central to the Terra ecosystem’s dramatic $40 billion collapse in May 2022.
The SEC’s litigation pointed out Terraform Labs and Kwon had painted an overly optimistic picture of UST’s stability mechanism and the Terra blockchain’s functionalities to investors, especially its price stability which was artificially propped up by an unnamed, U.S.-based trading firm on at least one occasion.

This is the second big outcome of cryptocurrency fraud-related litigation in the past few weeks. Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who was also one of the darlings of the previous crypto market bubble, was sentenced to 25 years in prison on fraud-related criminal charges on March 28.
What to Expect in the Markets This Week
Precedent suggests a run up in bitcoin prices after the halving, but that’s no guarantee of performance this time around. However, one thing’s for certain. Investors need to buckle up and brace for volatility in the short-term even if there could be gain opportunities over time.

Investors use implied volatility to gauge market sentiment around prices in the future. For bitcoin options contracts with different expiration dates, that measure spiked higher over the past weekend, reversing course from earlier in the prior week, according to Kaiko research.

Implied volatility for “expiries in the next two weeks has increased the most, from 59% to 71% in the span of just two days. This suggests that expectations for near-term volatility are rising,” analysts at Kaiko wrote in a note Monday, blaming the uncertainty on bitcoin ETF demand.


Crypto market analysts will be tracking spot bitcoin ETF inflows closely this week, as the outflows from GBTC are expected to slow due to selling related to Genesis’s bankruptcy proceedings coming to an end, according to Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart.

March was by far the strongest month on record so far in terms of spot bitcoin ETF inflows, and the first week of April did not indicate the inflows are going to stop anytime soon, according to another Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas.

Another potential effect on the market this week will be the more than $2 billion in bitcoin related to a hack of long-defunct darknet marketplace Silk Road that was sent to Coinbase (COIN) by the U.S. government.
It’s unclear what’s happening with these funds, but it’s possible they could provide downward pressure on prices if the coins are sold.

Price action is also likely to liven up around the upcoming halving; however, it’s unclear if it could end up being a “sell the news” situation in the immediate aftermath of the event.



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New seed-stage VC fund from Finland secures €6 million in initial close for €30 million blockchain fund




Helsinki-based Equilibrium Ventures (EQV), a new seed-stage venture capital fund focused on the crypto sector, has successfully closed the first round of its €30 million fund, raising €6 million from limited partners (LPs). This milestone highlights growing interest in blockchain startups and a promising future for the European crypto ecosystem.

The fund is led by an experienced team of partners: Mika Honkasalo, Henrik Sundvik (formerly of Bain & Company), and Christopher Ahn (ex-Molten Ventures investor). Equilibrium Ventures aims to attract and support founders with deep technical expertise in blockchain technologies, covering areas such as zero-knowledge proofs and smart contracts, essential for developing advanced blockchain solutions.

Equilibrium Ventures has attracted a diverse group of backers, including strategic investors, family offices, and notable LPs like Sebastien Borget, co-founder of the metaverse platform The Sandbox. This support underscores the fund’s credibility and signals growing confidence in crypto investments despite recent market challenges.

Dedicated to crypto infrastructure, Equilibrium Ventures emphasizes rigorous technical due diligence and value addition for pre-seed and seed engineering firms. With a network of about 70 blockchain engineers, mainly based in Europe, the fund is well-positioned to help startups develop robust blockchain technologies.


The renewed interest in venture capital investment in blockchain, bolstered by evolving regulatory landscapes in the US and Europe, is expected to increase investor confidence in the crypto sector. Equilibrium Ventures, with its technical expertise and strategic support, is poised to become a significant player in Europe’s crypto venture scene.

Looking ahead, Equilibrium Ventures aims for a second close by the end of this summer, targeting 80% of the total fund. This progress indicates strong momentum and the potential for significant contributions to the European blockchain ecosystem.


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Riot Platforms Acquires 14% Stake in Bitfarms Ltd.




Riot Platforms, Inc. has announced its acquisition of a 14% stake in Bitfarms Ltd., as detailed in a recent press release by Riot Platforms. This move aligns with Riot’s strategy to influence corporate governance within Bitfarms.

Acquisition Details

On June 13, 2024, Riot Platforms purchased 1,432,063 common shares of Bitfarms Ltd., representing about 0.35% of Bitfarms’ issued and outstanding common shares. The shares were bought on the Nasdaq Stock Market and other open markets at an average price of approximately $2.70 per share, totaling $3,870,293.46.

Before this acquisition, Riot held 56,194,973 common shares of Bitfarms, equating to 13.65% ownership. With the new shares, Riot now holds 57,627,036 common shares, resulting in a 14% stake in Bitfarms.


Strategic Intentions

Riot Platforms intends to call a special meeting of Bitfarms’ shareholders to nominate several independent directors to the board, citing concerns over Bitfarms’ corporate governance. Riot seeks to influence Bitfarms’ strategic direction and enhance its governance standards.

Riot is continuously reviewing its investment in Bitfarms and may adjust its position based on factors such as market conditions and the company’s financial status. Potential actions include increasing or decreasing its stake, entering into hedging transactions, or proposing additional strategic measures.

Forward-Looking Statements

The press release includes forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties, reflecting Riot’s current expectations and assumptions. Riot cautions investors to consider these risks before making investment decisions.


Riot’s vision is to become the leading Bitcoin-driven infrastructure platform, focusing on a vertically integrated strategy with Bitcoin mining operations in Texas and electrical switchgear engineering in Colorado.


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Manta Foundation Unveils $50M EcoFund to Foster Blockchain Innovation




The Manta Foundation has launched its $50 million EcoFund to build a robust ecosystem for leading blockchain projects, as per Manta Network. This initiative demonstrates the foundation’s commitment to funding opportunities and developer support for innovative blockchain ventures.

Funding and Support Opportunities
Starting June 15th, the one-year EcoFund will offer significant financial support through its Ecosystem Grant Program, which provides early-stage projects with grants of up to $50,000. This initial funding is crucial for bringing innovative ideas to life.

Additionally, the EcoFund dedicates $35 million for direct investments in promising projects on the Manta Network. These strategic investments aim to foster high-growth ventures that align with Manta Network’s long-term objectives, promoting a collaborative and mutually beneficial environment.

Diverse Project Focus
The Manta Foundation supports a broad range of projects across sectors such as DeFi, Gaming, NFTs, and more. These initiatives are chosen for their potential to drive consumer adoption and significantly enhance the Manta Network ecosystem.


Applications for the EcoFund are accepted on a rolling basis, ensuring ongoing funding and support opportunities. The foundation prioritizes projects with robust business models and scalability, aiming to ensure the ecosystem’s financial health and sustainability.

Specialized Funding Categories

In addition to general grants, the EcoFund targets specific high-growth areas:

– AI/DePIN: Focused on using AI and Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks for sustainable solutions.
– Zero-Knowledge: Investments in zero-knowledge technology to boost privacy and security in the blockchain space.
– Memecoins: The Moon Mission Grant supports the development and growth of meme projects on Manta Pacific, fostering a vibrant memecoin culture.

Events and Hackathons
To further enrich the ecosystem, the Manta Foundation has allocated $5 million for online and offline events and hackathons. These events aim to attract new developers and users, fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration within the Manta Network community.



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