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Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and Fintech News Headlines Update on 2023-05-12

While Atari’s classics captivated us with their simple yet addictive gameplay, and Tekken brought the realm of fighting games to life with its stunning visuals and intricate combat mechanics, blockchain games like Axie Infinity and Pegaxy introduced us to the concept of P2E gaming, where players can actually earn cryptocurrency by participating in the game.

Mirai Labs co-founder Corey Wilton has taken the hot seat on our newsletter this week. Pegaxy, the company’s Web3 game that was launched in 2021 and then succumbed to the pitfalls of the crypto and gaming world, is gearing up for a second attempt at success.

Despite its short-lived existence, Pegaxy raked in millions in transactions and generated over US$8 million in revenue for Mirai Labs.

With the bitter lessons learned, Wilton remains optimistic about the future of blockchain crypto gaming but acknowledges the necessity of integrating traditional mobile game design, which will help with broader distribution and revenue potential.

Pegaxy 2.0 – can a hybrid Web3 game succeed?

Pegaxy was launched during the P2E craze of 2021, but it quickly became plagued by server overload and skyrocketing prices of in-game non-fungible tokens. Wilton’s message urging players to exercise patience inadvertently backfired, leading to player exodus and a crash in NFT prices.

Undeterred by the setback, Wilton – who is now Mirai’s chief executive – is embarking on a new venture, shifting his focus to mobile gaming design and exploring the potential of in-game app purchases and advertising. NFTs are still a part of the game, but their ability to generate revenue is still an unanswered question.

Wilton is ready to rewrite the rules, proving that even in a virtual universe filled with glitches and “game overs,” a resilient player can press the “continue” button and respawn with style.

Bitcoin fee frenzy

In recent days, the Bitcoin network has experienced an unprecedented surge in transactions.

The true test of the network’s capacity occurred over the weekend, when a wave of Bitcoin-based memecoins overwhelmed the system. This led Binance, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, to halt Bitcoin withdrawals twice within a 12-hour period.

There were nearly 500,000 unconfirmed transactions waiting to be completed on the network at the time – an all-time high.

Amid this congestion, Bitcoin transaction fees surged to a two-year high and have shown no signs of slowing down. According to data from BitInfoCharts, the average cost of conducting a transaction on the Bitcoin network has reached an alarming US$31.14.

The last time fees were this high was in April 2021, when they briefly peaked at nearly US$63 before subsiding.

All this frenzy was caused by the new buzzword in crypto: BRC-20, or memecoins on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Crypto investors seem to be always on the hunt for the next big thing, and BRC-20 tokens have taken the spotlight in recent weeks.

BRC-20, short for “Bitcoin Request for Comment,” is a token standard designed for the creation of fungible tokens on the Bitcoin network. It serves as an experimental platform that leverages Ordinals, a protocol enabling individuals to mint NFT-like assets, known as inscriptions, on Bitcoin.

Some of these meme tokens have seen an increase in value of over 21,000%, making everyone want to get in on the action.

Centralized exchanges have started to list BRC-20 tokens, making them easier to trade. The first BRC-20 token, Ordi, made its debut on and on Monday. This development indicates a growing acceptance and adoption of the Ordi token within the mainstream cryptocurrency community.

With new investors entering crypto and the ease of creating a token, we can expect a flurry of new memecoins launching over the coming weeks.

While it’s exciting to see BRC-20 attracting engineers and investors, it’s also important to be cautious. Anyone including scammers, hackers, and grifters can create a token.

Some memecoins have garnered significant attention and generated substantial gains for early investors, but their long-term viability and utility are often questioned. Many memecoins lack fundamental value or practical use cases, relying solely on speculative trading and social media trends.

Mounting troubles at Bittrex

Bittrex, a Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange, made headlines with its recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

The company announced it has more than 100,000 creditors, while its liabilities and assets are estimated to be somewhere between US$500 million and US$1 billion.

The bankruptcy filing comes shortly after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) started legal action against Bittrex, alleging that it operated an illegal securities exchange.

The SEC’s complaint claimed that Bittrex acted as a broker-dealer, exchange, and clearing agency without proper registration. The regulatory body also accused the exchange of generating illicit revenue of at least US$1.3 billion between 2017 and 2022.

In March, Bittrex had already announced plans to shut down its US operations, citing the challenging regulatory and economic environment as the driving factor. The exchange reassured its US customers that their funds would remain secure during the winding-down process.

Although Bittrex is a relatively small player in the cryptocurrency market, its bankruptcy filing adds to the growing challenges faced by the industry. Regulators, led by the SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), have been ramping up efforts to crack down on non-compliant companies, particularly those involved in selling unregistered securities.


DEXTools is a price data analytics tool that assists traders in navigating decentralized networks.

The platform offers insights into different tokens, including rankings based on various data metrics and community rankings.

With real-time information and comprehensive graphs dating back to a token’s inception, users gain access to crucial data such as capitalization and transaction volume.

Additionally, DEXTools provides insights into buy and sell history of tokens, showcasing the wallets involved in these transactions. It also uses advanced algorithms that detect suspicious or fraudulent tokens. This feature adds an extra layer of security, allowing users to make informed decisions and mitigate potential risks.

DEXTools also offers market analysis tools that assist users in analyzing significant market movements. This functionality proves valuable in safeguarding assets during market crashes by enabling users to swap their holdings to stablecoins.

Similarly, when there’s an increase in capital inflows, users can utilize the platform’s market analysis tools to assess market movements, identify potential opportunities, and execute trades based on the users’ own strategies and preferences.

Token Sniffer

Token Sniffer offers real-time tracking, authentication, network analysis, application programming interface (API) security, and risk prevention for digital assets.

The platform also provides advanced token inspection and authentication features, allowing users to validate the legitimacy of their tokens. This is particularly important in the decentralized applications (DApps) and smart contract space, where the risk of fraudulent tokens is high.

With the token verifier and token safeguard functions, users can validate the legitimacy of tokens as the platform verifies their characteristics, metadata, and other relevant information. This helps users ensure that the tokens they interact with are genuine.

Token Sniffer also provides network analysis and blockchain forensics tools. These capabilities offer insights into blockchain activities and help users identify security threats, allowing them to take proactive measures to safeguard their investments.

Fraudulent tokens, malicious smart contracts, attempts of unauthorized access, and breaches in wallet addresses are some of the threats Token Sniffer helps identify and mitigate. These measures are built into the platform’s system.

Token Sniffer also offers API integration and security solutions for DApps.

The Sandbox taps Hex Trust for secure virtual land custody

Hex Trust, a Hong Kong-based digital asset custody platform, has partnered with Web3 gaming firm The Sandbox to provide custody services for assets such as its digital LAND in its metaverse.

With this partnership, LAND has been fully integrated into Hex’s flagship product, Hex Safe, which enables protection for NFTs, security tokens, and cryptocurrency in the virtual gaming world.

Tenity launches APAC’s first XRPL accelerator

Singapore-based Tenity has announced the launch of the XRPL Accelerator, the first XRP Ledger (XRPL) accelerator program in Asia Pacific. It aims to support early-stage startups developing blockchain and crypto tech on the XRPL.

The 12-week program starts in August 2023, concluding with a demo day event in November 2023. Participants also have the chance to take part in the Singapore FinTech Festival.

Animoca posts “strong” results

Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands said it remains “financially strong,” sitting on a cash and stablecoin balance of US$194 million.

The blockchain-powered gaming and VC firm said it has liquid digital assets of US$566 million, which includes reserves of Sand – the utility token used in The Sandbox platform.

Deloitte delves into blockchain

Deloitte, one of the big four accounting firms, has implemented blockchain technology to simplify and enhance verification processes for its customers.

The company uses the KILT Protocol, which helps businesses with digital identity and data to issue reusable digital credentials.

The protocol is operated on the Polkadot Parachain and lets Deloitte target the optimization of the firm’s know-your-customer and know-your-business verification procedures.

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