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Ankr and Optimism Unite for Ethereum App Scaling

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  • Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) launches Project Guardian with 17 institutions to advance asset tokenization.
  • Five pilots under Project Guardian explore digital asset trades and cross-border solutions.
  • MAS develops GL1 and INM for seamless global trading of tokenized assets, collaborating internationally.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced Project Guardian, a large-scale asset tokenization initiative. This new project, involving 17 key financial institutions, aims to catalyze the institutional adoption of digital assets, thereby enhancing the efficiency of financial markets and unlocking new investment opportunities.

Expanding Asset Tokenization Initiatives

Under Project Guardian, MAS has set in motion five additional industry pilots, each exploring various aspects of asset tokenization within the capital markets value chain. These pilots encompass a range of activities, including efficient mechanisms for pricing and executing bilateral digital asset trades, real-time post-trade reporting, and analytics.

Key financial institutions Citi, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., and Fidelity International will spearhead efforts to test institutional-grade processes for digital asset trades. BNY Mellon and OCBC Bank will trial a cross-border FX payment solution to establish secure, interoperable payment solutions across different networks.

Furthermore, Ant Group’s pilot will focus on a treasury management solution to enhance global liquidity management, leveraging their global treasury center in Singapore. Franklin Templeton is investigating the issuance of a tokenized money market fund through a Variable Capital Company (VCC) structure, utilizing digital asset networks.

J.P. Morgan and Apollo are also collaborating to use digital assets to invest and manage discretionary portfolios and alternative assets, focusing on automated rebalancing and customization at scale.

Additionally, MAS is initiating a new funds workstream within Project Guardian, centered on the native issuance of VCC funds on digital asset networks. This move aims to address various challenges in tax, policy, and legal domains while increasing distribution channels for asset managers.

Read Also: Nocturne Launches On Mainnet, Bringing Private Accounts To Ethereum

Forging A Global Digital Infrastructure For Tokenized Markets

MAS is taking a step further by collaborating with international policymakers and financial institutions, including BNY Mellon, DBS, JP Morgan, and MUFG, to develop an open digital infrastructure named Global Layer One (GL1). This initiative is designed to host tokenized financial assets and applications, enabling seamless cross-border transactions and trading across global liquidity pools in compliance with regulatory standards.

In conjunction with this, MAS is also developing an Interlinked Network Model (INM), a framework for exchanging digital assets across independent networks. This innovative model allows for transactions between financial institutions without the necessity of a shared network, enhancing operational flexibility and market reach.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also joined Project Guardian’s policymaker group, which includes representatives from Japan, Switzerland, and the UK. Their participation brings an international perspective to the policies and legal issues surrounding cross-border platforms and the stability of the international monetary system.

Mr. Leong Sing Chiong, Deputy Managing Director (Markets and Development) at MAS, highlighted the successful demonstrations of Project Guardian’s industry pilots. According to him, these pilots have shown that tokenized financial assets like fixed income, foreign exchange, and asset management products can be effectively traded, distributed, and settled across borders. 

The establishment of GL1, he stated, will provide a foundational digital backbone to unite markets under principles of openness and accessibility. MAS invites additional policymakers and financial institutions to participate in the design phase of the GL1 initiative and contribute to its development.



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Cryptocurrency Market Update: Bitcoin Slips Below $70,000 Amidst High Liquidation

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In a swift turn of events, Bitcoin (BTC), the pioneering cryptocurrency, dropped below the $70,000 threshold early on Wednesday following a wave of investor sell-offs. Just a day prior, Bitcoin had crossed the $71,000 mark, but market sentiment swiftly shifted, dragging other major altcoins—including Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ripple (XRP), Solana (SOL), and Litecoin (LTC)—into the red zone.

According to CoinMarketCap data, the overall Market Fear & Greed Index stood at 75 (Greed) out of 100, indicating a mix of optimism and apprehension among traders. Notably, the Bittensor (TAO) token emerged as the top gainer with a remarkable 24-hour surge of over 7 percent, while dogwifhat (WIF) experienced the largest loss, plummeting nearly 16 percent.

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Update Bitcoin’s price tumbled to $69,089.01, marking a 24-hour dip of 3.05 percent, as reported by CoinMarketCap. On the Indian exchange WazirX, BTC was priced at Rs 60.93 lakh.

Other Major Cryptocurrencies Ethereum (ETH) saw a 24-hour loss of 4.81 percent, trading at $3,508.86, while Dogecoin (DOGE) registered a dip of 5.59 percent, currently priced at $0.1879. Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP) also experienced losses, with Solana (SOL) marking a 24-hour loss of 3.44 percent.

Top Gainers and Losers Bittensor (TAO) led the pack of gainers with a 7.30 percent surge, while dogwifhat (WIF) suffered the most significant loss, dropping by 15.58 percent.

Market Analysis and Expert Insights Experts weighed in on the market scenario, attributing Bitcoin’s downturn to heightened liquidations and cautious sentiment ahead of the upcoming US CPI data release. While Bitcoin’s immediate support rests at $67,700, resistance is expected at $70,400. Ethereum proponents face challenges amid hopes for an ETF approval, with the SEC providing limited updates on the matter.

Final Thoughts The cryptocurrency market remains highly dynamic, with prices fluctuating rapidly and investor sentiment playing a pivotal role. As the market navigates through volatility, it’s essential for investors to stay informed, exercise caution, and seek expert advice before making any investment decisions.

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Cryptocurrency: A Scapegoat for Foreign Policy Failures?

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Cryptocurrency has once again found itself at the center of a heated debate, this time regarding its alleged role in facilitating illicit activities and circumventing sanctions imposed by the United States. The Biden administration, in particular, has come under scrutiny for its handling of the issue, with some accusing it of using digital assets as a convenient scapegoat for broader foreign policy shortcomings.

In a recent hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo raised concerns about the misuse of cryptocurrencies by foreign adversaries such as Iran, Russia, North Korea, and militant groups like Hamas. Adeyemo’s remarks underscored a growing unease within the U.S. government regarding the potential national security implications of unregulated digital currencies.

However, voices from within the cryptocurrency industry and Congress have pushed back against the administration’s narrative. Faryar Shirzad, Chief Policy Officer at Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, pointed out that the prevalence of illicit activity in the crypto space is relatively low compared to traditional finance. Instead of demonizing cryptocurrencies, Shirzad argued, the focus should be on targeting bad actors operating offshore.

Senator Tim Scott, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, echoed these sentiments, accusing the Biden administration of using digital assets as a distraction from its failure to effectively combat financial flows to sanctioned entities. Scott’s criticism reflects broader skepticism among some lawmakers about the government’s approach to regulating cryptocurrencies.

One area of potential agreement between the Biden administration and the cryptocurrency industry is the need for clearer regulations governing stablecoins, a type of digital asset pegged to a fiat currency like the U.S. dollar. Both sides recognize the importance of addressing the potential risks associated with stablecoin issuance and usage, particularly in the context of national security and financial stability.

The debate over stablecoins has intensified following reports of their alleged role in facilitating illicit transactions, including those linked to Russia’s war effort in Ukraine. The Treasury Department has called for increased oversight of stablecoin issuers and transactions, while also advocating for legislation that would subject them to stricter regulatory standards.

Despite the contentious nature of the discussion, there are signs of bipartisan cooperation on certain aspects of cryptocurrency regulation. A bipartisan bill addressing stablecoin regulation passed the House Financial Services Committee last year, signaling a potential path forward for legislative action in this area.

As the debate over cryptocurrency regulation continues to unfold, it is clear that finding the right balance between innovation and security will be paramount. While concerns about illicit activity and national security must be addressed, policymakers must also recognize the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies in fostering financial inclusion and technological advancement.

Ultimately, the resolution of these issues will require thoughtful collaboration between government officials, industry stakeholders, and lawmakers to develop a regulatory framework that promotes innovation while safeguarding against misuse. Only through constructive dialogue and cooperation can we ensure that cryptocurrencies fulfill their potential as a force for positive change in the global economy.

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Bitcoin Resurgence: Why Wall Street Is Embracing the Crypto Revolution

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Andrew Pratt of Wiser Wealth Management in Marietta, Ga., finds little resistance as he proposes Bitcoin investments to his firm’s committee. With Bitcoin surging 140% in the past year and backed by giants like BlackRock, skepticism has waned. Pratt sees the potential to allocate a modest 1% of client portfolios to Bitcoin, acknowledging the limited downside risk compared to potential gains.

The debate over Bitcoin’s intrinsic value seems to have lost its relevance amidst its soaring market performance. Once dismissed, Bitcoin now boasts a market value of $1.3 trillion, driving the total crypto market to $2.5 trillion. Wall Street, once wary, now views cryptocurrency as an opportunity for profit rather than a speculative venture.

Despite lingering doubts about Bitcoin’s utility beyond speculation, Wall Street executives are increasingly supportive. BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, notably reversed his stance, endorsing Bitcoin’s long-term prospects and championing the iShares Bitcoin Trust, now one of the largest Bitcoin ETFs with nearly $18 billion in assets.

While skepticism persists about Bitcoin’s status as a real asset or currency, its growing acceptance on Wall Street underscores the evolving landscape of finance. As institutions embrace cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin’s journey from pariah to portfolio asset highlights the transformative power of digital assets in reshaping traditional investment strategies.

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