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Banking Giant HSBC Buys Virtual Land in Sandbox

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Banking Giant HSBC Buys Virtual Land in Sandbox
  • HSBC bank announced its new partnership with the Sandbox to explore the Metaverse domain.
  • The partnership will enable the bank to purchase a plot of LAND in the Sandbox metaverse. 
  • The partnership intends to establish connections with sports, esports, and gaming enthusiasts across the world.

British banking giant HSBC has entered into a strategic partnership with The Sandbox, enabling the bank to get involved in Metaverse-related activities. 

As per the official announcement, HSBC bank will be purchasing a plot of LAND in The Sandbox Metaverse which will be developed further to connect gaming and sports enthusiasts. 

HSBC Bank Explores The Metaverse

The official announcement issued by The Sandbox describes the said partnership as a “host of opportunities for virtual communities across the world to engage with global financial services providers and sports communities in The Sandbox metaverse.”

As part of the agreement, HSBC will be acquiring a plot of LAND, a virtual real estate in the Sandbox metaverse, which will be later developed to connect and form connections with gaming communities across the world. 

“The groundbreaking partnership between The Sandbox and HSBC will see the global financial services provider acquire a plot of LAND, virtual real estate in The Sandbox metaverse, which will be developed to engage and connect with sports, esports, and gaming enthusiasts.” The press release further adds

The concept of the Metaverse and Web 3.0 is steadily gaining momentum as several tech giants are actively exploring the area to broaden their firm’s service portfolio. Recently Microsoft’s investment in MetaMask’s Consensys has been accredited by many as a move that directs the firm to explore the emerging Web3 technology. Similarly, Meta, formerly Facebook, was recently rebranded by its CEO Mark Zuckerberg to spearhead the Metaverse related activities. Moreover, the global metaverse market is estimated to grow from $45.4bn in 2019 to a staggering $1.5tn in 2030, adding more fuel to the concept that exhibits great potential in the long run. 

Speaking about HSBC’s partnership with the Sandbox, Suresh Balaji, Chief Marketing Officer, Asia-Pacific, HSBC stated:

“The metaverse is how people will experience Web3, the next generation of the Internet — using immersive technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and extended reality…Through our partnership with The Sandbox, we are making our foray into the metaverse, allowing us to create innovative brand experiences for new and existing customers. We’re excited to be working with our sports partners, brand ambassadors, and Animoca Brands to co-create experiences that are educational, inclusive, and accessible.”

Furthermore, Sebastian Borget, COO and Co-Founder of The Sandbox also reiterated similar sentiments stating that they are pleased to have HSBC on board with their vision ” to embrace the culture of Web3, connecting with users through entertainment, gaming, and user-generated content.”

The Sandbox has solidified itself as one of the leading Metaverse entities by establishing business relations with famous industry experts and organizations including Gucci, Warner Music, Ubisoft, Adidas, Deadmau5, Atari, and CryptoKitties. The brand recently made headlines when it announced its partnership with South Korea’s entertainment company Cube to introduce kpop content in the Sandbox Metaverse. 

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Ethereum

Litecoin Under Scrutiny By S. Korean Exchanges of Upbit, Bithumb After it Introduces Privacy Through MimbleWimble

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Litecoin Under Scrutiny By S. Korean Exchanges of Upbit, Bithumb After it Introduces Privacy Through MimbleWimble

Quick take:

  • Litecoin’s MimbleWimble privacy protocol has resulted in some South Korean exchanges issuing warnings about LTC.
  • Upbit and Bithumb have advised crypto users of the risks associated with the privacy upgrade.
  • Both exchanges cited South Korea’s Act on the Reporting and Use of Specific Financial Transaction Information.

Bitcoin’s little brother, commonly known as Litecoin (LTC), has captured the attention of South Korean exchanges after the implementation of the highly anticipated MimbleWimble upgrade.

The two popular South Korean crypto exchanges of, Bithumb and Upbit, have each released statements warning their user-base of the risks associated with the privacy-centric upgrade. Litecoin’s new upgrade introduces features that block transactional information.

Both exchanges cited the country’s Act on the Reporting and Use of Specific Financial Transaction Information as a basis for the respective notifications. In particular, the Act requires all crypto exchanges in South Korea to implement know-your-customer (KYC) procedures and anti-money laundering (AML) processes.

Upbit and Bithumb Have Delisted Privacy Coins Before

To note is that South Korean exchanges have had a history of delisting cryptocurrencies that are focused on privacy, such as Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), and ZCash (ZEC). The recent warning of Litecoin for similar reasons could hint at a potential delisting of LTC by both exchanges in the near future.

Such a possibility was explored by the team at WuBlockchain, who stated the following:

South Korean exchanges such as Upbit issued a warning that the MimbleWimble Extension Blocks (MWEB) conducted by the LTC Foundation made the LTC transfer records unrecognizable. This warning may develop into the delisting of LTC in the future.

Litecoin Recaptures $70 Support But Remains in Bear Territory

Concerning price, Litecoin is now trading at $72 after recapturing the crucial $70 support level. However, Bitcoin’s little brother is still trading in bear territory below the 50-day (white), 100-day (yellow), and 200-day (green) moving averages, as seen in the chart below.

Litecoin Under Scrutiny By S. Korean Exchanges of Upbit, Bithumb After it Introduces Privacy Through MimbleWimble 12

Also, from the chart, it can be observed that the daily MFI, RSI, and MACD are all pointing towards renewed buying of Litecoin (LTC), which could lead to a push towards $80. But, Litecoin’s fate in the crypto markets is tied to that of Bitcoin, which is connected to the traditional markets currently under the influence of the mood set by the US Federal Reserve, increasing interest rates to tame inflation.

Consequently, caution is advised when trading Litecoin, more so with the warnings issued by Bithumb and Upbit.

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Bitcoin Miners in China Defy Crypto Mining Ban, Now Ranked 2nd in BTC Hashrate

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Bitcoin Miners in China Defy Crypto Mining Ban, Now Ranked 2nd in BTC Hashrate

Summary:

  • Bitcoin miners based in China now control 21.1% of BTC’s hashrate.
  • China is now ranked second in Bitcoin’s hashrate, hinting at the existence of covert mining facilities.
  • This is despite China’s government reiterating in May 2021 its ban on Bitcoin mining and crypto trading.
  • Due to the ban, the dominance of Bitcoin miners based in China had dropped from almost 50% in May 2021 to 9% in July 2021.

China has once again reemerged as a significant contributor to the Bitcoin (BTC) network despite the country’s government reissuing a blanket ban on crypto mining back in May 2021. According to data from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Index, Bitcoin miners based in China are now ranked second in terms of the total hashrate of the BTC network.

The United States is Now at the Top in terms of Bitcoin Hashrate.

The chart below, courtesy of the hashrate tracking website by Cambridge, shows China (yellow) slowly recovering its hashrate beginning mid-2021 and after the reissuance of the mining ban. Also, from the chart, it can be observed that the United States (pink) has slowly grown over the years to now provide a majority of Bitcoin’s hashrate.

Bitcoin Miners in China Defy Crypto Mining Ban, Now Ranked 2nd in BTC Hashrate 11
Bitcoin Hashrate as of May 2022. Source, CCAF.io/cbeci/mining_map

China Now Controls 21% of Bitcoin’s Hashrate

In terms of percentage, China now controls 21.1% of the global Bitcoin hashrate, with the United States at 37.8%. The chart below, also courtesy of the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Index website, highlights how China’s hashrate dominance (yellow) has fluctuated over the years.

Bitcoin Miners in China Defy Crypto Mining Ban, Now Ranked 2nd in BTC Hashrate 12
China (yellow) now has a 21.1% share of Bitcoin’s hashrate. Source, CCAF.io/cbeci/mining_map

The chart shows that China controlled almost 50% of Bitcoin’s hashrate before its government reissued a complete ban on Bitcoin and crypto mining back in May 2021. By July and August of the same year, China’s hashrate dominance had plummeted to 9.4%. However, the chart hints that Bitcoin miners started fresh operations by September of last year, resulting in China now controlling 21.1% of Bitcoin’s hashrate.

The Resurgence of Hashrate Points Towards Covert Bitcoin Mining Facilities in China

As to why China is now ranked second in Bitcoin hashrate, a recent report by Bloomberg concluded that the country has seen a sudden surge in BTC mining through ‘covert mining operations.’

China FUD Banning Bitcoin Mining Might be Around the Corner

To note is that China has banned Bitcoin and crypto mining on numerous occasions over the years, with the most notable being January 2018 and May 2021. The resurgence of Bitcoin mining activities in China could thus hint at another ban around the corner that might result in panic selling in the crypto markets, as was the case after the last two bans by the Chinese government.

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Legendary Hall of Famer Magic Johnson to Release NFTs in Partnership with NBA Top Shot

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Legendary Hall of Famer Magic Johnson to Release NFTs in Partnership with NBA Top Shot

Quick take:

  • Earvin Magic Johnson is set to release his very first NFTs in partnership with NBA Top Spot.
  • The NFTs with be in the form of an Anthology set reserved for iconic plays from NBA legends.
  • Magic Johnson’s NFTs will be available on June 7th and contain rare and spectacular moments of his career.
  • The NFTs will be in 1,600 packs, each retailing for $399.

The Legendary NBA Hall of Famer, Earvin Magic Johnson, has announced via Twitter that he intends to launch his first NFT collection in partnership with NBA Top Spot.

I’m really excited to partner with @nbatopshot to release my first NFTs and bring some of my favorite Moments from my career to fans everywhere. Fans get to see just a few of my favorite plays from my career! https://t.co/5hGKT6BwiJ pic.twitter.com/7egr3xBZsv

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 23, 2022

Magic Johnson’s NFTs Will be in the form of an Anthology

Magic Johnson is a five-time NBA champion, a three-time finals MVP, a three-time NBA MVP, a twelve-time NBA All-star, and a member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team. His NFTs, in collaboration with NBA Top Shot, will be in the form of an Anthology set ‘reserved for iconic plays from NBA legends.’

The NFT collection will drop on June 7th and contain rare and legendary Magic Johnson moments.

A total of 1,600 anthology packs will be issued, and each will retail at $399. Within each pack will be one of four Magic Johnson moments that took place in seasons when he won the NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers. Each Anthology pack will contain ‘a single guaranteed Magic Johnson Moment NFT in either the Legendary or Rare tier.’

The NFTs will Feature 4 Magic Johnson Moments.

The four Magic Johnson moments to be featured in the NFT collection are as follows:

  • Never Fear, E.J. Is Here: during game six of the 1980 NBA finals, Magic Johnson was started at center against the Philadelphia 76ers despite being a rookie. Magic went on to post 42 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals. His performance during the game will be memorialized with a fearless and-one layup against the 76ers.
  • Now You See it, Now You Don’t: in the 1984 – 85 season, one of Magic Johnson’s assists during the victory over the Phoenix Suns will be immortalized in the NFTs. Magic’s assist ‘starts with the 6’9 guard grabbing a rebound, leading the transition fast break, deceiving a duo of defenders with a dynamic handle and dishing a dime for an emphatic slam.’
  • Hocus Pocus Pass: Magic Johnson’s rare assist moment in the 133 – 115 victory against the San Antonio Spurs will also be turned into an NFT. During the game in the 1987 – 88 Championship season, Magic conjured an assist that was ‘more special and mind-bending than a head fake and ball fake combo.’
  • Game. Set. Magic: In the 1986 – 87 finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, Magic Johnson denied the Celtics a victory by ‘[catching] an inbounds pass along the baseline and instantly turns into a running, one-footed leaping bank shot over a double team that bounces off the glass right through the net and beats the buzzer for the surprise 115-114 victory.’

[Feature image courtesy of Magic Johnson on Twitter]

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