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LUNA, UST Meltdown Forces VanEck and 21Shares to Suspend Trading of 2 Terra ETPs

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LUNA, UST Meltdown Forces VanEck and 21Shares to Suspend Trading of 2 Terra ETPs

Summary:

  • The downward spiral by Terra (LUNA) and TerraUSD (UST) has resulted in VanEck and 21Shares suspending the trading of two Terra-based exchange-traded products
  • The two affected products are 21Shares’ Terra ETP (ticker LUNA: SW)  and VanEck’s Terra ETN (ticker VLNA: GR)
  • Both companies have stated that they are monitoring the situation with LUNA and UST to determine the next course of action

The crypto market meltdown surrounding the depegging of UST to as low as $0.1331 from $1, and the subsequent crash of LUNA to $0.00001675 from $80 almost a week ago, has spilled over to Wall Street as the trading of two Terra-based ETPs has been suspended until further notice.

According to a report by Bloomberg, ‘the creation and redemption of shares of two Terra exchange-traded products issued by VanEck and 21Shares were suspended on Friday’ due to the meltdowns of LUNA and UST in the last week. The two products affected are 21Shares’ Terra ETP and VanEck’s Terra ETN.

21Shares and VanEck Will Continue Monitoring the Situation Surrounding LUNA and UST

Hany Rashwan, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of 21Shares added that the company was monitoring the ever-evolving situation surrounding LUNA and UST. He said.

We will continue to closely monitor this fast-evolving situation on the underlying [assets]. The Luna network is currently operating intermittently and inconsistently producing blocks and cannot operate normally. Therefore transactions can still be performed but in a disrupted environment.

Similarly, representatives at VanEck gave the following reasons why trading of the Terra ETN was halted.

During the past days Luna has lost most of its value as a result of the efforts to defend the UST peg to the dollar. The low value of Luna caused issues and risks for the Terra network which trigger the decision by Terra Validators to halt the network. At this point it is unclear when (and if) the network will be restarted.

VanEck is unable to conduct transactions in Luna through the Terra network. Therefore, it is technically not possible to accept creations and redemption for VanEck Terra ETN. VanEck will continue to provide updates as necessary.

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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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