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Ripple’s XRP sales increased almost 50% in Q2 vs Q1

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Ripple’s XRP sales increased almost 50% in Q2 vs Q1

Ripple’s XRP sales increased almost 50% in Q2 vs Q1 Shiraz Jagati · 4 hours ago · 1 min read

The company’s recently released Q2 market report suggests that the spike emanated as a result of increasing demand for its On-Demand Liquidity service.

1 min read

Updated: August 1, 2022 at 5:59 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Crypto payments infrastructure provider Ripple revealed in its second-quarter earnings report on July 28 that it saw a significant increase in the demand for its associated XRP token.

Ripple continues to grow

Ripple has been able to make major strides when it comes to increasing the utility of its XRP ledger and On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service.

The U.S.-based crypto fintech firm noted that year-to-date (YTD) volumes associated with its ODL module have increased 9x year over year, thanks, in large part, to the various partnerships the company has entered into recently. For example, Ripple signed a multi-year agreement with Lithuanian money transfer provider FINCI with the goal of delivering instant and cost-effective retail remittances within Eastern Europe.

The growth of Ripple’s ODL module has resulted in the sale of the platform’s associated cryptocurrency XRP also increasing by 50%. The firm sold about $409M worth of XRP during Q2, adding to the $273.3 million it cut from its holdings the quarter prior to that.

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That said, trade volumes have reduced by 22% quarter-to-quarter to an average daily volume of $862.6M, with this metric previously standing at $1.1B. The author of the report noted:

“XRP price and volume declined due to broader macroeconomic cues and idiosyncratic developments affecting the crypto market recently.” 

Ripple commits $100M to carbon markets

Ripple recently said that it will commit $100M to help spur carbon removal activities on a global scale by investing in climate-focused fintech companies as well as other companies associated with this space.

The money will also be used to support new functionality and the development of tools that can help enable carbon credit tokenization as core NFTs on the XRP Ledger.

Lastly, during Q2 2022, the Ripple Foundation doled out $3M worth of funding to 36 awardees as part of its XRPL Grants program.

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Coinbase reports $1.10B loss in Q2 as assets on exchange slump

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Coinbase reports $1.10B loss in Q2 as assets on exchange slump

Coinbase reports $1.10B loss in Q2 as assets on exchange slump Liam ‘Akiba’ Wright · 2 hours ago · 3 min read

Coinbase reported the biggest loss ever in Q2, losing more than $1B over the past 3 months. Assets held on the exchange also fell to just $96 million.

3 min read

Updated: August 9, 2022 at 11:14 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Coinbase Global’s second-quarter results show that the crypto exchange recorded a net loss of $1.10 billion during the period. This compares to a loss of $430 million in the first quarter and a net income of $1.61 billion in the second quarter of 2021.

Net revenue for Q2 came in at $803 million, down from $1.17 billion in Q1 and $2.03 billion in Q2 2021, according to the Aug.  9 shareholder letter.

The value of crypto assets on the exchange fell to just $96 billion in Q2 from $256 billion in Q1. A year ago, in Q2 2021, the assets on the exchange totaled $180 billion.

Source: SEC filing

Coinbase also pointed to four major crypto asset price cycles the space has seen since 2010, noting in the below graph that from the most recent peak in November 2021 to the lows in June 2022, Bitcoin market capitalization has declined 74%.

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Source: SEC Filing

The company said:

Each prior cycle has lasted anywhere from two to four years and resulted in the crypto market capitalization significantly increasing compared to the preceding cycle. Each prior cycle brought in new market participants, developers, and products that further advanced the cryptoeconomy. These cycles are evident by viewing Bitcoin prices over time on a logarithmic scale. Prior peak-to-trough declines have been 84%, 85%, and 94% historically, although these prior declines did not coincide with a broader macro downturn.

In the shareholder letter, the company compared recent data to 2020, as it believes “the best way to evaluate Coinbase through these early years of this nascent industry, is through the same lens we evaluate crypto — over a price cycle.”

From 2020 to 2022, verified users have tripled, monthly volume is up 6x, and assets on the platform have increased 4x.

Coinbase stated that “down markets are not as bad as they may seem.” It continued, “it can feel scary and near-term financials can be heavily impacted,” but it will “emerge stronger than ever before.”

While the figures may appear bearish for the US-based exchange, many in the crypto industry would agree with Coinbase’s sentiment that “crypto markets are cyclical.” While several exchanges such as Celsius and Voyager have filed for Bankruptcy this quarter, Coinbase remains bullish on its future outlook.

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The company’s monthly transacting users (MTU) only dropped 2% versus Q1.

“Despite continued market softness, we were pleased to serve 9.0 million MTUs in Q2, a decrease of 0.2 million or 2% compared to Q1.”

Coinbase noted that Bitcoin trading volume and transactional revenue both rose 7% and 6%, respectively, in Q2 vs Q1. The total volume of retail transactions fell to $46 billion from $74 billion in Q1. Institutional trading volume also fell to $171 billion in Q2 from $235 in Q1.

Further, regarding institutional engagement, Coinbase notes,

“On the institutional side, with all of the market volatility it can be easy to lose sight that both new and existing clients continued to use our platform as they embrace crypto as a new asset class.”

Coinbase states that three themes underpin its decline in trading volume;

  1. Core U.S. retail customers were less active but have not left the platform
  2. A “large amount of trading volume” took place on off-shore exchanges that can list crypto derivatives with which Coinbase does not have “product parity with.”
  3. Coinbase did not have “exposure to the significant trading volumes related to the liquidation events of $LUNA.”

While Coinbase claimed it did not have significant exposure to $LUNA and that it was an “unsupported asset,” it did list the wrapped version of the token, wLUNA; something omitted from the Shareholder letter.

The exchange also noted that it did not have any counterparty exposure to Three Arrows Capital, Celsius, and Voyager.

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Adjusting to market conditions

Coinbase also said it taking steps to cut costs in the face of “challenging crypto market conditions.”

These steps include limiting its hiring for backfills and certain positions and cutting back on paid media and incentives. The company already reduced its workforce by 18% in June.

The company is also optimizing infrastructure and professional services expenses as well as investing in teams in lower-cost regions.

The company added:

“On the expense side, we are rigorously managing our expense levels and will continue to do so. On the product side, we are executing a ‘pause, maintain, and prioritize’ approach to ensure we are focused on the highest priority opportunities”

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Istanbul Blockchain Week founder Erhan Korhaliller discusses why Turkey is one of the hottest places for crypto

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Istanbul Blockchain Week founder Erhan Korhaliller discusses why Turkey is one of the hottest places for crypto

CryptoSlate had the opportunity to sit down with Erhan Korhaliller, Founder & CEO of EAK Digital, the web3 communications and events agency behind some of the industry’s most creative IRL events, as he puts plans together for the much anticipated Istanbul Blockchain Week.

Why is the Turkish market so hot for crypto?

Turkey has been fighting high inflation and interest rates for some time now, a long time before it started seeping into the international market. The official inflation rate of Turkey currently sits at 78.6% for the month of June; this has led Turkish people to look for alternative assets in which to preserve and expand their wealth.

Turkey also has a very successful mobile gaming market; in a recent report, it was stated that 79% of adults in Turkey play games, so people are used to swapping in and out of tokens and coins, and I suspect Turkey will play a key role in the upcoming surge of web3 gaming that we are going to see in the next few years.

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What sectors of the web3 industry are particularly hot in Turkey right now?

Turkey has a huge amount of retail traders; this has led to many of the major exchanges building a Turkish presence, including Binance, Huobi and FTX, and more. In my discussions with exchanges, I have been told regularly that Turkey is in the top 2/3 markets for trading on their platforms. In addition to the international exchanges, there are big national exchanges currently posting huge volumes, such as BTC Turk and Paribu. 

Turkey has always been a huge market for mobile gaming, and there continues to be an extremely large gaming community in Turkey that are ripe to be onboarded into web3. We plan to enable that at Istanbul Blockchain Week at our W3E championships, the world’s first Web3 gaming championships.

What inspired you to organise Istanbul Blockchain Week?

Other than my Turkish heritage, as the founder of EAK Digital, a web3 creative communications agency since 2017, we have partnered with many events as their PR partner as well as worked with high-profile clients such as Binance, XX Network, Theta Network, Neo, etc., as our agency grew our network grew with it. In 2019, I decided to explore the Turkish web3 events landscape and I was very disappointed at what I found.

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There were no major events taking place in Turkey and the events I could find had questionable speakers and characters in the space typically known of shilling and questionable projects. In addition to this, the Turkish economy was struggling whilst adoption in the country was exploding. This inspired me to launch Istanbul Blockchain Week, the premier web3 event in Eurasia,  in which we invite real builders, educators, thought leaders and top business people both in Turkey and internationally to launch an event that Turkey can be truly proud of.

What is the current regulation for crypto in Turkey?

In Turkey, it is illegal to use crypto as a form of payment however it is not illegal to trade cryptocurrencies. Aside from this, they’re hasn’t been clear regulation guidelines set by the government. President Erdoğan said the legislation regarding crypto assets is ready for the parliament, with no clear date as to when this would come into practice. We are hopeful for regulations that allow for the space for innovation and growth to continue in the crypto asset space in Turkey.

What might surprise some people is that President Erdogan, after meeting with Tesla company CEO Elon Musk, announced that TOGG, the domestic car brand of Turkey, will cooperate with the Avalanche blockchain. He also stated that Turkey should be one of the leading countries in the Metaverse universe in January of this year.

What are the key highlight events of the Istanbul blockchain week?

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The week kicks off with a 1 day NFT Day dedicated to all things NFT/Metaverse and gaming, this will be a highly curated lineup of leaders of the NFT space within Turkey and Internationally. We then move into the main event of the week, IstanBlock, which is a two-day event that will feature Turkish government speakers, large multinational companies, and of course, web3 heavyweight thought leaders.

Following the main event, we are extremely excited to be launching the W3E Championships, the world’s first Web3 gaming championship. We have a dedicated 600-seat E-Sports arena in Istanbul for the finals of the championship, which includes some of the top games in web3. Gamers must enter the qualifying tournaments for the championships taking place in August and September before the finalists descend to Istanbul for one final epic showdown.

Who are some of the headline names planning to speak at Istanbul Blockchain Week?

At this year’s Istanbul Blockchain Week, we are focusing on a number of different areas in the industry split across the different events. You can expect a whole host of speakers from leaders in web3 alongside mainstream web2 brands that are breaking into web3. Its been fascinating to watch the likes of Tiffanys and Adidas recently expand into web3 and we want to host events that facilitate such partnerships.

In addition, at IstanBlock, the flagship event of Istanbul Blockchain Week, attendees can expect leading figures in web3 and legendary figures like David Chaum, a legendary cryptographer and pioneer alongside top venture capital funds and institutions. We will also have a strong NFT/Gaming/Metaverse presence at NFT Day and the Web3Esports Championships with speakers expected who have worked on some of the biggest games AAA+ games to join the conversation.

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Why should people attend Istanbul Blockchain week?

Istanbul Blockchain Week represents the best opportunity for the international community to enter the rampant Turkish crypto community, and build relationships with traders, influencers, thought leaders, government, and large multi-national firms looking for partners to break into web3.

At Istanbul Blockchain Week, we have a range of events that are suitable too many different profiles of attendees. Whether you are an NFT enthusiast, a major business/bank pivoting to web3, or an avid gamer, there is something for you.

 Istanbul is an iconic historic city and the excitement for web3 is palpable, you only have to spend half a day in Istanbul to see how large it is here. Seemingly wherever you look there is a reference to crypto from advertising in the airport, local trams, and buses to physical exchange shops outside the famous Grand Bazaar.

The Turkish people are some of the most devoted and excited about web3 and cryptocurrency and the event is a major opportunity for projects who want to reach a new receptive audience or meet their existing Turkish community.

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Portuguese banks shut accounts of crypto exchanges

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Portuguese banks shut accounts of crypto exchanges

Portuguese banks shut accounts of crypto exchanges Oluwapelumi Adejumo · 14 hours ago · 2 min read

One of the banks said said it has the duty of notifying authorities about any “suspicious transactions,” which may lead to the closure and termination of some relationships.

2 min read

Updated: August 4, 2022 at 3:44 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Banks in Portugal are closing the accounts of crypto exchanges in what seems to be a u-turn in the country’s pro-crypto policies, Bloomberg News reported on August 3.

One of the biggest exchanges in the country, CriptoLoja, saw its accounts with two banks, Banco Santander and Banco Comercial Portugues, closed last week.

Before that, other smaller banks in the country had closed the exchange’s accounts without explaining the decision.

Bloomberg reported that Banco Commercial said it has the duty of notifying authorities about any “suspicious transactions,” which may lead to the closure and termination of some relationships.

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But CriptoLoja’s CEO Pedro Borges claimed that the firm’s operation had followed “all the compliance and reporting procedures,” making the closure of accounts suspicious.

Borges revealed that the firm has relied on its account outside Portugal to run the exchange.

CriptoLoja is the first licensed crypto exchange in Portugal.

Other exchanges suffer a similar fate

Two other licensed crypto exchanges in the country have experienced a similar fate to CriptoLoja.

Mind the Coin had all its accounts in the country shut earlier this year and has been unable to open new ones since then.

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The exchange’s founder Pedro Guimaraes said:

While there is no official explanation, some banks just tell us they don’t want to work with crypto companies.

The chief product officer of Luso Digital Assets, Ricardo Filipe, also confirmed that some of the company’s bank accounts had been closed.

State banks like Caixa Geral de Depositos were also reported to have closed down crypto exchange accounts.

What does the account closure mean?

Closure of crypto-related accounts is nothing new in countries with hostile crypto policies.

Several crypto-related accounts have been shut down in countries like Nigeria without reason.

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The development, however, is strange considering Portugal has marketed itself as a crypto-friendly nation in the past.

Meanwhile, reports have revealed that the Portuguese Minister of Finance Fernando Medina said crypto assets would soon be subject to taxation in the country –negating its previous zero taxation policy on capital gains.

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