Sat. Jul 2nd, 2022

The cryptocurrency market has continued to bleed for the second straight day. Bitcoin has been steadily declining, hitting a six-month low. It is currently trading around $35,500, down 6.28% on the day. Ether and other altcoins have also bled, erasing some of the gains from recent rallies. The crash was attributed to global stock selling and a looming crypto ban in Russia.

Here are other top cryptocurrency headlines you may have missed this week:

Singapore's top financial regulator is prosecuting cryptocurrency ATM operators

Cryptocurrency ATM operators in Singapore were ordered on Monday to cease operations in accordance with recently released guidelines.

The “request” issued prohibits crypto shops from borrowing services from physical crypto ATMs. Singapore has five crypto machines spread across its malls, two of which were confirmed inactive on Tuesday following the order, according to a Bloomberg report.

This represents the latest effort by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to regulate the cryptocurrency sector. The MAS argued that providing locals with contacts to digital assets via ATMs encourages impulsive crypto trading and prompts trading decisions without considering the risks involved.

Twitter is making a big leap and bringing verifiable NFT profile pictures to your timeline

Jack Dorsey's pure Bitcoin philosophy appears to have been turned on its head after the feature's launch. On Thursday, Twitter announced that it is targeting an NFT profile picture verification feature for Twitter Blue users.

In a move that saw the tech giant become one of the first social media platforms to integrate NFTs into its app, Twitter Blue subscribers on iOS devices will now be able to share their crypto wallets with to connect to their Twitter profiles and thereby display their NFTs.

While several users are already using NFTs on their profiles, Twitter will now add verifiability to show authentication and true ownership of the digital art. In addition, the profile pictures would have a different shape, adopting a fancy hexagonal structure, different from the usual circular profile pictures of the platform.

However, Twitter hasn't made it clear how it intends to deal with right-clickers who might download the NFT profile pictures, stamp them into digital collectibles, and use them as their own NFT profile pictures.

The social network also stated that the new NFT feature is still under active development and it remains unclear whether it will be made available to the general community on the platform.

Just like DeFi, Ethereum is losing out to competing ecosystems in NFTs, JPMorgan warns

In a recent note sent to clients, JPMorgan posited that Ethereum is steadily losing market share to smaller networks like Solana. Solana has consistently outperformed Ethereum in NFT volume share since August 2021, which is the time when the NFT scene started to see a big upswing.

A team of analysts at the investment bank explained that Ethereum has been plagued by congestion issues and high gas fees, unsuitable factors for users looking to mint NFTs. Competing ecosystems like Solana, Wax, and Tezos are drawing the migrating users into their circles.

Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, who led the research team, explained that Ethereum's market dominance in this space has dropped by 15% in a year. At the beginning of 2021, ecosystem dominance was 90%, now 80%.

Panigirtzoglou also stated that if this trend appeared more “sustainable” throughout the year, we could see a greater impact on Ethereum's valuation resulting from this market shift.

This could be a cause for concern as JPMorgan theorized that Ethereum's market share is far more valuable in NFTs than in DeFi. The reason for this is that NFTs are the “ fastest growing universe in the crypto ecosystem”.

MicroStrategy will “hodl” its $5 billion bitcoin stash, CEO says

MicroStrategy Chief Executive Michael Saylor said his firm will not sell bitcoin in its portfolio, only buy and hold it.

Saylor's comments come at a time when crypto market sentiment is bearish and digital assets are barely looking up. The CEO claimed that even when the BTC market dropped as much as 40% below the $40,000 support, he did not panic.

Saylor also claimed that he takes "great comfort" in Bitcoin given the rising inflation rates exhibited by fiat money . He argued that by hodling Bitcoin, his firm has built a pretty good position against an inflationary environment.

He already predicted late last year that he expects Bitcoin to hit $600,000 and eventually $6 million in the future. However, his firm belief in bitcoin isn't paying off right now, as shares of MicroStrategy have fallen 16% over the past year even as bitcoin is up 35% over the same period.

Intel plans to release more efficient ASIC miners, snags Ohio-based startup as first major customer

California-based chipmaker Intel is reportedly planning to release an ultra-low and power-efficient ASIC miner at the ISSCC conference scheduled for late next month.

Tom's Hardware , which first published the story, suggested that the upcoming project would be a Bitcoin-specific ASIC to align with the patent for an optimized SHA-256 datapath that Intel applied for in 2018IC. It would also be important since Bitcoin uses the hashcash SHA-256 cryptographic hash algorithm.

In an interview late last year, Intel's systems and graphics architect, Raja Koduri, indicated that the company was interested in the project. He said the tech maker is working on hardware optimized to solve the high cost and high power consumption constraints of blockchain validation.

Intel's planned Bonanza Mine mining chip also surfaced in a later report, this time by Fox Business.

The announcement reported that Ohio-based mining startup GRIID has reached an agreement with the chipmaker to become the first recipient of BZM2 ASIC miners. According to an S-4 filing by GRIID, delivery of the bitcoin mining equipment will begin later this year. Also, the startup would have a " significant stake " in Intel's future pool of miners.

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