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And just like that, it's a wrap for TOKEN2049 this year. After a year of agonizing market gloom, the crypto industry questioned what state the two-day festival would be in.
On the whole, TOKEN2049 surprised attendees, almost over-delivering and beating last year's event in both size and presentation.
Day 1 proved to be an enjoyable first-impressions-experience for attendees, with a handful of companies capitalizing on the opportunity to make crucial announcements.
But, if day 1 was impressive, day 2 proved to be even more riveting. In a fireside chat between Balaji Srinivasan and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, we learned that the latter was not a Palau digital citizen, the demand for NFTs might be baking a resurgence as price discovery accelerates with low latency, and fiat on-ramps are needed to bring the next 100 million users to crypto. Crypto doesn't need 100% adoption though, CZ clarified. The Internet only has 60% and crypto is close to 5-10%
Meanwhile, the Winklevoss twins told Srinivasan that the West and Asia are trading places and that APAC is where the crypto industry is going to grow in the coming years. We've got more on what the twins have on their mind, as they spilled the beans in an exclusive with Blockhead - stay tuned.
Never afraid to speak his mind, Arthur Hayes also brashly said in a closed-door session 0n "Decentralized Future for the Real World" that if "Justin Bieber said to use zk on his phone everybody would be on it" but "we're a bunch of nerds talking about crypto in Singapore – nothing's fucking changing." He also expects a bull market until 2026 whilst governments continue to print more money, devaluing fiat's value every day. Once they stop, there'll be a massive crash.
OK, we hadn't really heard of JPEX before TOKEN2049 but now the cryptocurrency exchange is in the centre of our radar. On Day 1, JPEX was one of the countless crypto firms hosting a booth at TOKEN2049, shilling their products and luring unexpecting crypto folk with their ugly merch. On Day 2, their booth was stripped clean.
Why? On Wednesday (Day 1 of TOKEN2049), the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a warning about JPEX, accusing it of “suspicious features” and disseminating misleading information about its licenses. JPEX claimed on their website that its platform is “licensed and recognised” to facilitate the trading of virtual assets with several overseas regulators - a claim the SFC refutes.
“No entity in the JPEX group is licensed by the SFC or has applied to the SFC for a license to operate a VATP in Hong Kong,” it said.
Influencers, opinion leaders and OTC shops who worked with the exchange were advised by the SFC to “cease promoting JPEX and its related services and products."
The agency notified relevant influencers, opinion leaders and OTC shops and requested they “cease promoting JPEX and its related services and products”, it said.
A source close to Blockhead shared screenshots that allegedly show a user attempting to withdraw 1000 USDT on the exchange, only to face service fees of 999 USDT, resulting in a 1 USDT withdrawal.
Hong Kong police are now investigating the exchange for its "suspicious" activities. JPEX has since slammed the allegations as “unfair suppression," stating the regulator was “exerting undue pressure.”
The Blockhead team visited JPEX's barren booth at TOKEN2049. With a few T-shirts being scavenged by those passing by, and a deserted gachapon machine with stacks of coins aside it, the booth's post-apocalyptic vibe was something to marvel at.
Containing our excitement at the drama, Blockhead managed to liberate a business card left at JPEX's empty booth.
Terence Wong, we're coming for ya!
- Deutsche Bank Partners with Swiss Fintech Taurus for Crypto Custody: In a significant move signaling the growing institutional interest in the crypto sector, Deutsche Bank has announced a partnership with Swiss fintech firm Taurus to offer crypto custody services. This collaboration underscores the increasing momentum of major financial institutions venturing into the digital assets space. As the crypto ecosystem matures, industry experts anticipate that most prominent investment banks will establish dedicated crypto custody and trading desks in the near future.
- Genesis Halts Crypto Trading: The crypto trading firm has ceased all its cryptocurrency trading services, according to a spokesperson. The decision marks a significant shift for Genesis, though the reasons behind this move remain undisclosed. The crypto community awaits further details on the implications of this cessation and its potential impact on the broader market.
- OnFinality, Google Cloud to Boost Polkadot Parachain Development: OnFinality, a key infrastructure provider for blockchain networks, has partnered with Google Cloud. This collaboration aims to enhance node infrastructure and data analytics support for developers building on Polkadot's parachain. The partnership underscores the growing importance of robust infrastructure in the rapidly evolving decentralized tech space.
- Polygon Announces Q4 Timeline for Token Migration: The layer 2 – a scaling solution that runs alongside the Ethereum blockchain –has set its sights on Q4 for the migration of its MATIC token. The move is part of Polygon's broader strategy to enhance its ecosystem and ensure seamless integration with other blockchain networks.
- Meta's Horizon Launches Mobile Web Early Access: Horizon Worlds, Mark Zuckerberg's 3D avatar-based social platform, has unveiled early access to its mobile web platform. This launch marks a significant step in expanding the reach of metaverse expe iences to a broader audience, emphasizing the growing importance of mobile accessibility in the virtual world. A "small number" of people can now access Super Rumble through the Meta Quest app on Android, with iOS rolling out in the coming weeks. Early access is also available on any web browser at horizon.meta.com.