Cryptocurrency has been one of the most talked about and rapidly growing industries of the past decade, with Bitcoin leading the charge. However, as the world continues to move towards decentralization, there is another cryptocurrency that is starting to make waves in the industry: Ethereum.
Ethereum is a decentralized platform that allows for the creation and execution of smart contracts, which are self-executing agreements with the terms of the agreement directly written into lines of code. This new way of doing things has the potential to change the way that we interact with money, contracts, and even the internet as a whole.
One of the biggest benefits of Ethereum is its ability to eliminate intermediaries, such as banks, lawyers, and government agencies. Smart contracts allow individuals to transact directly with one another without the need for a middleman, making transactions faster, more efficient, and less expensive.
Ethereum is also flexible and can be used for a wide range of applications beyond just financial transactions. For example, it can be used to create decentralized applications (dApps) that run on a decentralized network. This makes it possible to build anything from social networks to games to marketplaces, all without having to rely on a central authority.
Another advantage of Ethereum is its strong community of developers who are constantly working to improve the platform and create new and innovative applications. This ensures that the platform will continue to grow and evolve over time, making it a smart investment for anyone looking to get involved in cryptocurrency.
One of the key factors that set Ethereum apart from other cryptocurrencies is its focus on decentralization. Unlike Bitcoin, which was designed primarily as a form of digital currency, Ethereum was created with the goal of building a decentralized platform for the creation and execution of smart contracts. This focus on decentralization means that Ethereum has the potential to change the world in ways that we can’t even imagine yet.
After the Ethereum 2.0 release, it is getting more attention from the crypto enthusiasts and it clearly looks like that it is going to revolutionize the world of cryptocurrency and beyond. With its focus on decentralization, flexible applications, and strong community of developers, Ethereum is a smart investment for anyone looking to get involved in the world of cryptocurrency. So, if you’re looking for a cryptocurrency that has the potential to change the world, look no further than Ethereum to invest in 2023 Bull Run.
The unstable cryptocurrency market was shaken by the demise of FTX; it lost billions in value and fell below $1 trillion.
The fallout from FTX’s abrupt slide and collapse will probably affect cryptocurrencies for a very long time to come and hurt other markets as well. Sam Bankman-Fried is accused in a class-action lawsuit filed on November 16 in a federal court in Florida of developing a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme intended to take advantage of uneducated investors from all over the nation. Steph Curry, Shaquille O’Neal, Shohei Ohtani, Naomi Osaka, Larry David, and Kevin O’Leary are among the other famous people included in the case as people who allegedly assisted Bankman-Fried in carrying out the scheme.
The FTX bankruptcy has an effect on Genesis Global Capital, the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, and BlockFi, a platform for crypto financing with substantial exposure to FTX. Due to FTX’s bankruptcy on November 16, the lending division of cryptocurrency investment bank Genesis halted redemptions and new loans. Following the information, Genesis, a lending partner in Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, announced delays in withdrawals from its Earn product. BlockFi, a cryptocurrency lending company with substantial exposure to FTX, stopped allowing withdrawals and declared bankruptcy on November 28.
On November 18, the Bahamas Securities Commission assumed authority of the bitcoin holdings of the defunct exchange FTX. The U.S. House Financial Services Committee announced that it will hold a hearing on the FTX collapse in December 2022.
As part of the most recent development in the FTX affair, Reuters reported on December 6 that Bankman-Fried had retained white-collar defense lawyer Mark S. Cohen. In the sex trafficking trial that resulted in Ghislaine Maxwell’s conviction on many counts, Cohen, a former assistant US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, represented her on behalf of Cohen & Gresser. Additionally, Caroline Ellison, who oversaw the trading company Alameda Research, has retained the legal services of Washington-based Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.
Few rules that could avoid FTX’s demise
The FTX failure has made it clear that a sizable portion of the digital asset market thrives in regulatory grey areas and jurisdictional gaps, which makes the need for new rules and regulations even more pressing. Nevertheless, a lot of experts concur that despite being mainly outside of US jurisdiction due to its offshore location, FTX might have avoided failure if only certain tried-and-true guidelines had been followed. According to Carla Reyes, an associate professor of law at the SMU Dedman School of Law, FTX is a centralized corporation like any other corporate business. It wasn’t a case of the regulations not being in place. It was an instance where they disobeyed them. Five topics have come to light as being essential for Congress and regulators to concentrate on in interviews with securities professionals and remarks from politicians and regulators.
1. Commingling of Assets
The inability to secure consumer assets lies at the heart of a series of crypto mishaps. The most severe example may be FTX, which used client cash to lend to its sister business, the hedge fund Alameda Research, to support dangerous investments.
In order to guarantee that customer assets are walled off in the event that a brokerage business collapses, the US Securities and Exchange Commission already has a consumer protection provision. The business has resisted filing with the government, arguing that tokens are not securities subject to the agency’s regulations, therefore crypto client accounts are not protected.
Gary Gensler, the hated chairman of the SEC, disagrees with crypto fans. The same was true of Jay Clayton, his predecessor during the Trump administration. Both would use a criterion from a 1946 ruling by the US Supreme Court, which said that an asset falls under the SEC’s purview when investors contribute funds to a business with the goal of benefitting from the leadership of the organization. Almost all tokens are now considered securities by the SEC.
According to James Cox, a professor specializing in business and securities law at Duke University School of Law, establishing that the majority of cryptocurrencies are securities is arguably the most significant action Congress could take.
Additionally, mixing client money is prohibited by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which currently regulates some crypto derivatives. But rather than commodities, its regulations apply to swaps and futures. Despite the fact that the majority of experts believe that Bitcoin is a commodity and not a security, no federal regulator currently controls crypto commodities, necessitating a congressional remedy to safeguard investors.
2. Separate Business Lines
To the disadvantage of their clients, several cryptocurrency businesses have provided a wide range of products and services that obscure the distinctions. The most notable example is cryptocurrency exchanges. The platforms carry out a wide range of tasks, including market-making, trading, custody, and securities lending. The arrangement, according to critics like Gensler, is fraught with problems. Contrarily, conventional financial institutions that offer many services normally register each of their distinct business lines with the relevant regulators. That also has to be done for crypto, according to experts.
3. More Disclosure
The foundation of financial regulation in US markets is risk disclosure. In crypto, however, disclosures are practically nonexistent. There are hardly any details available on the dozens of FTX offices outside the US. The American division, FTX US, is more understood, but there are still a lot of unknowns because it was a closely held private firm.
Existing SEC regulations for investment advisors and securities issuers would lessen the opaqueness of cryptocurrency, but Congress may need to strengthen them. In order to determine if programmers may, for example, influence token pricing, SMU’s Reyes adds, “I’d like to know more about the code that produced the tokens.”
Congress has been urged by a few state securities authorities to tighten disclosure rules for businesses valued at $700 million or more. While not crypto-focused, such a measure could have given investors a peek inside the crypto giants. Another option would be to treat crypto platforms like stock exchanges, which have their own registration and reporting requirements.
4. Advertising Standards
Although unrelated to cryptocurrencies, such a policy may have allowed investors to see inside the industry’s titans. The treatment of cryptocurrency platforms similar to stock exchanges, which are subject to different registration and reporting requirements, is one alternative.
Crypto companies like FTX have prospered by luring throngs of commoners through glitzy advertisements, frequently including well-known celebrities like Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and actor Matt Damon. Over 112 million people watched the Super Bowl in February when FTX and other cryptocurrency businesses broadcast advertisements.
Individuals cannot promote stocks without revealing payment information thanks to SEC regulations. The organization has utilized its power to punish celebrities for promoting cryptocurrency, including Kim Kardashian.
However, whether or not the token is regarded as security will affect these activities. The Federal Trade Commission, which regulates false or deceptive advertising, might also take enforcement action.
5. Corporate Governance
One of FTX’s most startling flaws was the complete absence of corporate governance. The person in charge of FTX at the moment, John Ray III, gave the Delaware court in charge of the firm’s bankruptcy proceedings the advice not to believe any of its financial statements. He said that most FTX organizations never conducted board meetings.
Last month, Erica Williams, the head of the US accounting watchdog, issued a warning that the US cannot inspect the audits of privately held crypto firms like FTX. Williams is essentially telling investors to exercise caution and ask more questions of crypto vendors. And they should be on high alert if they don’t receive satisfactory responses.
Decentralized solutions are gradually removing control from Big Tech companies and returning it to developers and users.
Marc Andreessen’s seminal 2011 essay, “Why Software Is Eating the World,” was well-regarded even at the time it was written and has since shown to be even more prescient than it seemed. Andreessen stated that every firm was now ostensibly a software company, whether the company wanted it or not, at the beginning of a decade in which software would prove invaluable to almost every facet of modern life.
His ideas eventually applied to businesses that either hadn’t fully defined their markets or didn’t even exist yet but would go on to generate billions in market share, including Uber, Lyft, TikTok/ByteDance, Robinhood, and Coinbase, to name a few. He adapted his argument to many of the market leaders at the time. Software was probably going to be a crucial component in becoming a unicorn in the twenty-first century.
The rise of actual cloud computing and cloud giants, an industry in which Andreessen himself had been a pioneer at a time when many within and outside computers were scoffing at the notion, was the covert force behind this entire transformation of modern economies and life.
But making so many aspects of life so simple came at a high price.
They had stopped scoffing entirely by the second decade of the twenty-first century. Global spending on cloud computing increased by more than quintupling in the 2010s, going from $77 billion to $411 billion. The computer in our pockets relied on it to make everything available at the touch of a button.
As with anything else, the mobile-powered software revolution had trade-offs even if it made life as simple as pressing a button. Software has taken over the globe, making very few, very huge cloud hosting firms the dominant force. Currently, 65% of the market for cloud hosting is dominated by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
By using cloud hosting, this established a monopoly of sorts. For instance, hosts can remove services from clouds when using cloud hosting, like Amazon did with the infamous social media service Parler. The Apple App Store likewise prohibited Parler from using it.
Whether or not you concur with a service like Parler doesn’t matter when it comes to the bigger issue at hand. The episode proved that, in the post-software world, it just takes two corporations—Amazon and Apple—to totally shut down a service, effectively forcing it out of existence.
What happens if a developer or service violates a less serious Amazon policy or term of service? The internet has been forced into a corner where it can no longer fully function as a marketplace for open ideas and growth, especially if that development is in some way seen as a threat by businesses like Amazon and Microsoft.
Creating a new world is possible with Apple nodes.
Newer blockchain protocols have the potential to “break” data in a world where software and oligopolistic firms have taken over, just as Bitcoin “broke” money and allowed people to think about the exchange of value in new ways. Web3 and the initiatives it will spawn promise to fundamentally alter how information lives and is transmitted via the internet in a transparent and self-sufficient manner. Ecosystems that prioritise decentralisation and community promise to return control to creators and users. This will make it possible to create a common framework that supports best practises and economies of scale and can compete with the biggest centralised internet corporations. Ecosystems that prioritise decentralisation and the community offer to return control to programmers and, by extension, the users of their decentralised applications (DApps) and software.
Latin American women are becoming more interested in Web3, as groups try to encourage involvement by providing instructional materials and grants.
Despite the weak market in cryptocurrencies, interest in Web3 is still rising. According to a recent McKinsey report, Web3 received venture capital investments totalling more than $18 billion in the first half of 2022. According to Cointelegraph Research’s findings, Web3 was the area of the blockchain that caught venture capitalists’ attention the most during the second quarter of this year.
Although noticeable, a dearth of diversity has emerged in the Web3 industry. For instance, it was discovered that just 16% of those who create nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are women. Women are showing interest in owning digital assets, notwithstanding the limited number. As a result, according to industry experts, women are finding it difficult to enter the field of Web3, especially those from underrepresented regions like Latin America.
Encouraging Latina Women to Join WBE3
According to Sandy Carter, senior vice president and channel chief of Unstoppable Domains, a distributor of NFT domain names and a digital identity platform, women in Brazil, Columbia, and numerous other Spanish-speaking nations, including Spain, are increasingly interested in Web3 material.
She spoke about her organization-, Unstoppable Women of Web3 which is a diversity and education organisation that focuses on developing talent to level the playing field in Web3 and was created by Unstoppable Domains on March 8, 2022. After that, more Latinas contacted her asking for Web3 content in various languages.
Carter stated that Unstoppable Domains just established a target to onboard 5 million Latin American women into Web3 by 2030 in order to satisfy these requirements. Carter stated that this effort is being launched in collaboration with the Spanish-language cryptocurrency education portal CryptoConexión and the women-led developer DAO H.E.R. DAO LATAM, which promotes diversity.
According to her The first step in creating a more inclusive Web3 is education. To assist in the development of Spanish-language teaching materials about Web3, her organisation has teamed with women from 25 various organisations. Additionally, they are providing five million Latinas with free NFT domains valued at over $25 million as a method to assist them to create and maintain their digital identity and opening doors to the market.
The fact that women who are natives of or have Latin American ancestry continue to be underrepresented in the tech sector, in Carter’s opinion, makes initiatives like this all the more crucial. In order to put this into perspective, data from the online digital community Built In revealed that women of Latin American heritage only hold 2% of computing-related employment in the United States. The same is true for Latin America, where women are notably underrepresented in fields related to science, technology, engineering, and math, per an IDB study.
Founder of CryptoConexión, Monica Talan has an initiative called “WAGMI LatAm,” where their mission is to ensure access to Web3 content in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, the motivation is to make that organization must take an education-first approach that incorporates different languages to bridge the Web3 diversity gap.
Furthermore, Laura Navarro Muoz, the governor of H.E.R. DAO LATAM, informed Cointelegraph that the group supports Latin American women in their migration to Web3 by offering travel grants for conferences and hackathons.
Organizations like CryptoConexión and H.E.R. DAO LATAM have already begun to have an influence. After receiving a scholarship from H.E.R. DAO LATAM to attend a cryptocurrency event, Bricia Gabriela Guzmán Chávez, community manager at Web3Equity, a Web3 platform promoting gender equality, told Cointelegraph that she landed her first job in the industry.
Guzmán Chávez claims that H.E.R. DAO LATAM also founded the “Hacker Mom Scholar” scholarship programme after ETH Mexico, which allowed her to attend Devcon VI with her three kids. She is currently working full-time remotely on Web3 projects, and any opportunity that these projects give her to attend Web3 events is a chance to enhance the quality of her life, according to Guzmán Chávez.
Talan added that given the demand for Web3 in the area, particularly in countries like Mexico, it is crucial for Latin American women to participate in the industry.
Mexico was the second-largest beneficiary of remittances in the world last year, according to data from the World Bank. Due to this, a lot of Web3 businesses are opening offices in Mexico to facilitate cryptocurrency transfers. The company requires information on the applications of cryptocurrency remittances. If there are more women producing these goods, then it can be assumed that the goal can be accomplished more effectively, according to Talan.
Women in Latin America face challenges when seeking jobs in the Web3 sector
While it’s noteworthy that groups are working to increase the number of Latin American women working in the Web3 sector, obstacles including hiring restrictions and lack of access to technology could make adoption more difficult. For instance, statistics from Crypto Jobs List showed that compared to the last bull market in February 2022, there are around 30%-40% fewer job listings and people engaged in the sector.
On the other hand, Web3 is opening up more remote employment options, which might promote a diverse workforce. Web3 is assisting people, wherever they may be, in obtaining high-paying jobs. Since all they require are the necessary abilities, education comes first, Navarro Muoz noted.
Web3 researcher Diana Carolyn Olvera Gómez told Cointelegraph that H.E.R. DAO LATAM gave her the chance to take part in her first hackathon. She was also given Spanish-language teaching materials by the group. Olvera Gómez responded by revealing that she contributes remotely to Coinmiles, a Bitcoin rewards network, and Web3Montréal, a Canadian nonprofit organisation specialising in Web3.
However, Olvera Gómez pointed out that for many women living in areas like Latin America, access to technology, such as Web3 efforts, might be challenging. However, she thinks that as more women participate, a domino effect would increase their involvement.
According to Carter, women-focused Web3 networks offer a chance to address the gender gap in the workplace and there is a demand among women who want to engage in Web3, but the next problem is to provide the appropriate instructional content: Even if the market is in a bear market, now is the time to build. There is still a lot of passion and energy in the area. Just exactly what education can be to folks who are interested in knowing more?
The Russia-Ukraine crisis has put crypto to the test in a real-world conflict where sanctions and imaginative blockchain financing methods exist.
The battle, now in its ninth month, has shown a slew of blockchain benefits, such as the ability to fund humanitarian efforts. It has also demonstrated how much control national governments have over crypto networks.
According to Vadym Synegin, co-founder of IT and crypto solutions business Tecor, cryptocurrencies offer a distinct benefit in situations when there is an elevated danger of money transfer interruptions due to the centralization of traditional systems.
“With most markets governed by centralized authority figures who can readily bow under political tensions, crypto markets remain more or less decentralized, meaning that their operating efficiencies during times of crisis are further increased,” he said.
So, what else has the Russia-Ukraine Crisis revealed about cryptocurrency?
Donations of Cryptocurrency for Humanitarian Purposes
The Russia-Ukraine conflict has demonstrated that bitcoins can be used to support military operations. Notably, the Ukrainian government began taking bitcoin donations at the start of the year to broaden donor inclusion, which resulted in the establishment of the Crypto Fund of Ukraine.
The fund, which was established in collaboration with Kuna, FTX, and Everstake to support Ukraine’s humanitarian aid and military projects, is currently managed by the Ministry of Digital Transformation. So far, the scheme has helped the Ukrainian government earn more than $100 million in cryptocurrency donations.
Nonetheless, some pro-Ukraine crypto fundraising organizations have turned to novel crypto instruments such as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) to generate donations for the country.
The UkraineDAO, one of the most visible, was established in February with the sole objective of giving financial assistance to the Ukrainian military. Russian critic Nadya Tolokonnikova, a founding member of the Pussy Riot female protest organization, is one of the project’s co-founders. PleasrDAO and Trippy Labs, a generative NFT studio, are also founder members of UkraineDAO. So far, the effort has raised more than $8 million.
Among the UkraineDAO’s most remarkable achievements were the recent selling of a nonfungible token (NFT) of the Ukrainian flag for slightly over $6 million in Ether (ETH). It is now one of the top 20 most costly NFTs of all time.
Kayla Kroot, the co-founder of the Koii Network, spoke with Cointelegraph about the present use of cryptocurrency in the Ukraine crisis. Her organization is working on new blockchain models, such as Web3.
According to the executive, cryptocurrencies have allowed citizens caught up in the conflict to keep their money during these tough times:
“Cryptocurrency was created to assist worldwide citizens in maintaining control of their money.”
Kroot also highlighted an increase in the use of digital currency by humanitarian organizations operating in the country. “Organizations like World Central Kitchen ran crowdsourcing campaigns”, In WCK’s situation, this meant accepting ETH donations. These funds were distributed with fewer limits and control, allowing money to reach those who needed it the most quickly she noted.
Ukrainian Government has received Millions of Dollars in Direct Cryptocurrency Donations.
The European Commission issued sweeping sanctions against Russian crypto custodial accounts controlled by European firms and exchanges in October. Additionally, EU blockchain companies were barred from offering crypto custody services to Russian enterprises.
In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, new legislation was enacted to prevent Russia from circumventing sanctions.
Previously, Russian crypto wallets and accounts had a trade and deposit limit of up to 10,000 euros.
Recent EU crypto legislation has compelled some big exchanges with European operations, like Binance and Coinbase, to restrict services to Russian individuals and businesses to avoid a regulatory battle.
Other regulated cryptocurrency exchanges, like Kraken, Crypto.com, and Blockchain.com, have also stopped selling cryptocurrency services to Russian citizens as a result.
The war between Russia and Ukraine has highlighted the usage of cryptocurrency in communal effort situations for the common good. While the Ukrainian government has received millions of dollars in direct crypto donations, some digital currency fundraising efforts have been thwarted by scammers looking to benefit from the conflict.
More crypto benefits and drawbacks are expected to emerge when use cases evolve in more diversified situations.