Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
Conservative presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol has officially been elected as the South Korea’s new president, after beating his more politically progressive opponent Lee Jae-myung by a margin of less than 1%. Both candidates had maintained pro-crypto stances throughout their respective campaigns, even releasing campaign-related NFTs — a far cry from former president Moon Jae-in’s 2021 crackdown on crypto exchanges. Incidentally, South Korean blockchain ICON’s native token ICX has seen a 60% rise in the past day. Yoon has also promised to introduce legislation that would see victims of crypto fraud repaid.
US President Joe Biden signed an executive order yesterday instructing the government to study the risks and benefits of crypto in order to develop relevant policy recommendations. The measures will focus on consumer and investor protection, financial stability, illicit activity, US competitiveness on a global stage, financial inclusion and responsible innovation. The Biden administration also wants regulators to crack down on illegal crypto activity and participate in international collaboration. Biden further mentioned the need to make crypto innovation more environmentally “responsible”, and encouraged R&D with regards to a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC). Following the announcement, BTC prices rose above $42,000.
According to the UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the country is getting closer to “issuing a regulatory and supervisory framework related to virtual assets issued for investment purposes”. The framework will also address the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing linked to “virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASPs)”, and make it possible for licensed exchanges to “apply for a license for virtual assets exchange, subject to the approval” of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). However, this rule excludes applicants from two financial free zones, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
The Avalanche Foundation has announced Multiverse, a new incentives program to support subnet use. The program will provide a fund of up to $290 million (approximately 4 million AVAX) to allow developers to create native subnets in the Avalanche ecosystem, prioritizing the onboarding of blockchain-enabled gaming, NFTs, and DeFi. Blockchain-based game DeFi Kingdoms will be the first, bringing a new token called CRYSTAL to appchain, its own subnet, and receiving incentives of up to $15 million in AVAX and CRYSTAL. Additionally, Ava Labs, another core Avalanche company, will partner with DeFi protocols Aave, Golden Tree Asset Management, Wintermute, Jump Crypto, Valkyrie and Securitize to produce a common subnet covering native KYC functions. The Multiverse program will be split into six phases to accommodate more participants in future.
American snack brand Slim Jim is entering the metaverse with plans to launch NFTs and its own virtual environment, according to recent trademarks filed under ‘Slim Jim’, ‘Meataverse’ and ‘Long Boi Gang’. The company’s plans include “services featuring virtual goods, virtual food products and NFTs”, as well as “a metaverse for people to browse, accumulate, buy, sell and trade virtual food products”. Slim Jim has been flirting with crypto since last year — parodying Facebook’s Meta rebranding, Slim Jim renamed its Twitter to MEATA last Oct, after having posted DOGE memes en route to its victory in Adweek’s March Madness-themed brand competition. Sean Connolly, CEO of Slim Jim’s parent company Conagra Brands, had said during an investor call in April, “You should be on the lookout for additional crypto-themed activations in the future”.
Show me the money
According to data from Huobi Global, BTC continued declining overnight after surging above $42,000 during the day. Similarly ETH continued to fall after reaching 2,760; daily charts show signs of a downward trend for both BTC and ETH. In terms of contracts, Huobi Futures data show stable open interest (OI) in both BTC and ETH futures, with a slight decrease in volume amid a relatively inactive contract market.