DeFi

Cosmos-Based DeFi Protocol Quasar Raises $5.4M

In the wake of the multibillion-dollar FTX crypto exchange’s demise, the potential of decentralized financial systems has once again come under scrutiny. Despite efforts to solve the issue of fragmentation across different blockchains, decentralized finance (DeFi) is still in its early stages of development.

With a $70 million valuation, Shima Capital led a $5.4 million investment round for Quasar Finance, a decentralized asset management protocol that employs the Inter Blockchain Communication (IBC) technology published by the Cosmos blockchain ecosystem. To facilitate token and data transfers between chains, the protocol enables users to construct and join vaults.

Additional Investments: 

In addition to CIB and Osmosis’s co-founder Sunny Aggarwal, the round featured investments from Polychain Capital, Blockchain Capital, HASH Capital, and CIB.

According to a press statement given to CoinDesk, the funds would be used for “product development and scaling out the team.”

What’s More? 

Quasar intends to provide structured investment solutions for DeFi customers, and they will begin with an automatic rebalancing index of the Cosmos network that allows for the streaming of assets. On February 10, following several months of internal testing, Quasar will launch its public testnet.

Quasar’s innovative approach to creating an approachable DeFi experience while still adhering to industry best practices around security and usability standards set forth by leading blockchain projects like Cosmos Network itself has been validated by a recent investment from Pantera Capital, making it an attractive proposition not only for institutional investors but also for individual users who are interested in exploring the new possibilities offered by this rapidly evolving space. With this team’s dedication to developing novel solutions, the future may bring about a dramatic shift in the way people engage with digital assets.

Quasar Overview:

Quasar is a decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol developed on top of the Cosmos Network, an open-source blockchain project meant to allow multiple blockchains within a single ecosystem to communicate with one another. The platform provides users with access to a variety of financial services, including lending, borrowing, asset management, and tokenization, all through a single unified interface powered by smart contracts operating on Cosmos’ Tendermint consensus engine. It also offers liquidity mining opportunities via staking rewards paid out in QSR tokens, which can then be used to access additional features such as yield farming or trading against other cryptocurrencies listed on exchanges linked via IBC cross-chain bridges with the Ethereum or Binance Smart Chain networks.

Australia Becomes the Fourth-Largest Crypto ATM Hub after Overtaking El Salvador

At the start of 2023, 219 Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs were dispersed across Australia. At the same time, there were 68 cryptocurrency ATMs in the Melbourne and Sydney metropolitan areas (61 ATMs). Hence, banks in Australia are increasingly outfitting their ATMs to accept Bitcoin (BTC).

According to CoinATMRadar, 113 new bitcoin ATMs have been installed around Australia in the previous three months. In fact, in December alone, this country built 49 ATMs.

Australia Overtaking El Salvador with More Bitcoin ATMs:

El Salvador, the first country that legalized Bitcoin, has now fallen another rank in total crypto ATM installations, with Australia reporting 216 ATMs as we approach 2023, according to Cointelegraph.

According to Cointelegraph, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has decided to install more than 200 bitcoin ATMs nationwide to make Bitcoin legal tender. El Salvador was the third-largest hub for bitcoin ATMs in September 2021, behind the United States and Canada. Still, in 2022, Spain and Australia surpassed El Salvador’s ATM density.

Other Countries Take on Crypto ATMs:

After rapidly constructing 215 cryptocurrency ATMs in October 2022, Spain jumped to third place. So now, there are 226 Bitcoin ATMs in operation around the country, and this trend seems to continue.

Moreover, according to data compiled by Cointelegraph, Spain’s 215 cryptocurrency ATMs make it the third most prolific country for this payment method globally. Despite this, Spain has maintained its installation pace and has 226 crypto ATMs available to the public as of this writing

Likewise, Australia’s progress in the following months meant that El Salvador’s brief reign as the fourth-largest center for crypto ATMs was short-lived.

To promote the use of its own central bank digital currency (CBDC), the eNaira, the government of Nigeria limited weekly ATM cash withdrawals to $225 (100,000 nairas).

Currently, 0.5% of all Bitcoin ATMs are located in El Salvador, with 0.6% each in Spain and Australia. Canada, however, remains the industry leader, with 2,558 ATMs accounting for 6.6% of the global Bitcoin ATM market. Contrarily, America is home to 81% of all Bitcoin ATMs.

Conclusion:

By the beginning of 2023, 38,602 ATMs were operating globally, with 6,071 installed in 2022. This increase in crypto ATMs internationally reflects the global expansion and adoption of the installation and use of BTC and Crypto ATMs – a growth approach for Crypto that was long awaited!

Creta Unveiled Its Web3 Gaming Ecosystem

Creta, a Web3 entertainment firm that creates and publishes video games and a suite of Web3 gaming technologies, has announced the upcoming blockchain game Kingdom Under Fire: The Rise. Creta also shows progress in developing its Web3 ecosystem, which includes a one-stop gaming platform, the metaverse, and the blockchain gaming community service Super Club.

This news was made public during Creta Summit 2022 in Tokyo, Japan, attended by people interested in video games and blockchain technology worldwide. 

Kingdom Under Fire Gameplay Footage: 

The Rise revved the engine of the Summit, revealing the game’s aesthetics and giving players their first glance at the NFT avatar system, just one of the many uses for the game’s non-fungible tokens. As Creta’s Chief Creative Officer Ray Nakazato explained, “certain characters and things earned during gaming will be transformed into NFTs and can be exchanged or bought.” This is only one example of how they will use blockchain technology in KUF. However, typical in-game item classes will be excluded from such transactions to prevent the game economy from devaluation and maintain a nuanced balance. Seasonal play is planned, with data clearing at the end of each season and the option for players to carry over their NFTs into the next.

Creta’s revelation of other blockchain games they have been working on is a cherry on top. Tokyo War Hana and Sakura, Fortress, and Warhands are the names of future releases, but little else is known about their genres or specifications.

What’s More?

The event also revealed metaverse, gaming platform, and blockchain community service Super Club developments. KUF and other Creta gaming titans will be introduced and played on the custom gaming platform comparable to Web2 platforms. For added pleasure and NFTs use, the metaverse layer will offer enhanced social and economic aspects. Super Club will let gamers learn about blockchain gaming and develop a community to relax and exchange game experiences.

Creta expanded on land’s use as a purchased NFT when the metaverse switch button turned green. The private metaverse will have parcel placement places for decoration, player-versus-player combat, and shared pleasures like hunting, driving, and fishing.

18th-century Taiwan temple sells NFTs To boost the popularity

Did you know that popular among young people, NFTs were introduced at a temple about 100 miles south of Taiwan dedicated to the sea goddess Mazu? The Dajia Jenn Lann Temple in Taichung has found a novel application for the emerging non-fungible tokens (NFT) technology, which has seen explosive growth in popularity and adoption over the past few years. 

NFTs Attracting More Followers to the Temple:

Every year, the temple organizes a 300-kilometer pilgrimage in honour of the sea goddess, and the region’s economy is primarily dependent on tourism revenue. The “Mazu economy” is powered by donations and the sale of temple-related merchandise.

But where do NFTs fit in such a historical and traditional pilgrimage? Since the temple was constructed in the 18th century during the Qing dynasty, its release of NFTs has caused quite a stir among its devotees. In fact, media outlets have claimed that NFT serves as a “priority pass” for visitors. Many people make the annual pilgrimage to pay their respects to Mazu, a mythical sea goddess revered as the protector of seafarers. The widespread use of digital tokens has only boosted the temple’s standing.

The Sales It Generated:

The NFTs, says Mingkun Cheng, deputy chairman of the board of the Dajia Jenn Lann Temple, have already increased the number of pilgrims. The growing number of pilgrims is estimated to bring in over 5 billion Taiwanese dollars ($163 million). Since its inception in August 2021, more than 2800 tokens have been traded at a market price of around $18,800.

The rise of NFTs coincided with the global fascination with cryptocurrencies, but a drop in the market may cause the temple to diversify its latest attractions.

Dajia Jenn Lann Temple Background:

The Dajia Jenn Lann Temple is also referred to as the Zhenlan Temple or the Mazu Temple. This temple is devoted to the Chinese Goddess Mazu, considered the Goddess of the Sea, as well as the Patron Deity of Fishermen, Sailors, and other Professions Associated with the Sea or Ocean. The temple may be found in Taiwan’s Taichung City, specifically in the Dajia District. In 1730, the eighth year of the Yongzheng Era of the Qing Dynasty, it was first established as a little temple. In addition, it is famous for being the beginning point of the Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage, an annual festival honouring the Goddess of the sea.

Australia Preparing to Establish a Crypto Regulatory Framework in 2023

Australia intends to implement a regulatory framework to control the activities of digital asset service providers by 2023. These plans come as each region continues to take bitcoin legislation more seriously.

A section of the framework will cover concerns such as licensing, custody, regulation, and establishing which digital assets are subject to financial services legislation. It would also take into account legislation about client protection.

The Announcement:

The Australian government, led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, has declared its intention to issue a consultation document in the first quarter of the following year.

According to Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones and Treasurer Jim Chalmers, this consultation paper will focus on streamlining which digital assets should be managed by law. This consultation paper is available here. When a final decision is reached, the regulation will be enacted into law once this consultation is completed.

According to the joint media release, the publication of a consultation document in early 2023 will be the next step in the government’s ongoing “token mapping” work. This publication will inform what digital assets should and should not be regulated by financial services law, as well as the development of appropriate custody and licensing settings to protect consumers. 

Development of Australia’s Financial Service Infrastructure: 

In addition to amending cryptocurrency regulation, the Australian government is considering upgrading and modernizing financial services and payments legislation.

The Albanese government is working on a “strategic plan,” and a framework for Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), which will involve industries, customers, regulators, and other business leaders. BNPL is an abbreviation for Buy Now Pay Later.

Furthermore, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is pressing for stricter regulation of cryptocurrencies throughout Africa, notably in countries like Nigeria, which has a thriving crypto sector despite periodic setbacks.

Notably, the number of companies that have filed bankruptcy this year, including Voyager Digital, Celsius Network, and Three Arrows Capital (3AC), and the most recent collapse of FTX Derivatives Exchange, has prompted authorities in many regions to tighten compliance standards. The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has stated that it plans to submit recommendations on cryptocurrency regulation in 2023.