The Ugly – July 29, 2022

The cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex officially filed for bankruptcy protection. Zipmex is one of several cryptocurrency exchanges that recently halted all trading and withdrawals on their platform due to fallout from Three Arrows Capital’s collapse. 

Maybe I should add a category called ‘The Evil’ for this one: on-chain analytics firm, Chainanalysis, identified over $2.2 million in crypto donations to pro-Russian military groups. $1.45 million came from Bitcoin (BTC.X), $590,000 in Ethereum ($ETH.X), and the remainder is a mix of TRON ($TRX.X), Litecoin ($LTC.X), and Dogecoin ($DOGE.X). 

$2.2 million is a lot of money, but it’s paltry compared to the estimated $200+ million Ukraine has received in cryptocurrency donations. 🤬

Axie Infinity’s ($AXS.X) public image can’t shake off controversy. Trung Nguyen, CEO and co-founder of Axie Infinity, was accused of insider trading before the announcement of the $600 million hack in March 2022. 

Bloomberg reports that Nguyen moved roughly 50,000 AXS off Axie Infinity’s bridge (Ronin) into a Binance account. The parent company of Axie Infinity, Sky Mavis, froze the 50,000 AXS, essentially locking them in the game. 

Nguyen and Sky Mavis vehemently deny the transfer was an attempt to sell any AXS before breaking news. Instead, they claim the move was to “… ensure that short-sellers, who track official Axie wallets, would not be able to front-run the news.” However, other wallets believed to be attached to Sky Mavis employees experienced large transactions, too. 

Nguyen took to Twitter last night:

We’ll keep you updated as this story develops. 😁

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Technically Speaking – September 19, 2022

There’s lots of FUD in all markets this week – a good chunk of it related to an anticipated rate hike of 0.75 basis points from the US Federal Reserve. And that FUD transfers into crypto too, which has already been beaten down this year. 

The choppiness will likely continue until the Fed data is finally dumped. Already the market has seen Bitcoin ($BTC.X) trade -by 3% today, only to recover almost all of those losses. Cardano ($ADA.X) traded almost -3.5% lower this morning and is now up +0.50%. Similar behavior exists across the crypto market. 

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ST Exclusive: VanEck CEO Talks Crypto

The Daily Rip and Litepaper had a fantastic opportunity to sit down with the CEO of one of the biggest names in ETFs: Jan van Eck. With the upcoming Merge for Ethereum ($ETH.X), Cardano’s ($ADA.X) Vasil hard fork, and the myriad of other events in the crypto space, there hasn’t been a lot of focus on the upcoming SEC decision over the fate of VanEck’s third spot Bitcoin ETF application.

The SEC has consistently rejected every spot ETF application. Why is that? And what is Bitcoin/crypto’s role in an overall investment portfolio anyway? We get into these questions and more in today’s exclusive chat with one of the biggest names on Wall Street.

Can you give us a brief intro on who you are and what VanEck is for those who are unfamiliar?

VanEck was founded in 1955, and our approach to investing is what I call ‘macro.’ It’s what international investors are very used to, which is looking at what’s happening worldwide. History as it reminds us that the world is radically changing all the time. As money managers, we try to offer funds that take advantage of the changes in the markets.

My father started the firm and is best known for creating the first gold fund in the United States in 1968, which led to our breakthrough. At the time, gold was pegged to around $35 an ounce and had been pegged against the dollar, not for just a couple of months but the entirety of US history—almost 200 years. 

He took his fund and almost all the assets and bought gold mining shares, thinking that that would change. And it did a couple of years later. So I think that’s the kind of perspective we bring to the market. 

Coming to Bitcoin in 2017, we had to determine: is Bitcoin ($BTC.X) going to be a real competitor to gold or not? We determined that it was. There was not much to read on Bitcoin back then unless you read the whitepaper or listened to some podcasts, but that was our conclusion. Since then, we’ve been saying that it should be considered a part of people’s portfolios. 

Speaking of Bitcoin, let’s get right into that discussion. What role do you see Bitcoin playing in a portfolio?

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Cardano Founder Hoskinson Slams Industry Bias

In a lengthy Twitter thread, Cardano’s ($ADA.X) founder and former Ethereum ($ETH.X) co-founder, Charles Hoskinson lambasted the crypto media industry and fanboy base as a whole. 

Hoskinson highlighted the media’s negative focus on Cardano’s three-month delay of the Vasil hard fork, yet gave a pass to Ethereum’s three-year delay of the Merge. He also lamented the ‘us vs. them’ mentality and that it does more to hurt the industry than help. 

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