Japanese prime minister says gov’t investment in digital transformation will include Metaverse, NFTs

According to Fumio Kishida, the government of Japan’s investment in digital transformation included issuing NFTs to local authorities using digital solutions.

Fumio Kishida, the prime minister of Japan since 2021, has said the government will be making efforts to promote Web3 services, including those dealing with nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, and the Metaverse.

In an Oct. 3 speech before Japan’s National Diet, Kishida said the government’s investment in the country’s digital transformation already included issuing NFTs to local authorities using digital technology to solve challenges in their respective jurisdictions. He also hinted at digitizing national identity cards. In addition, the prime minister said the cabinet would “promote efforts to expand the use of Web 3.0 services that utilize the metaverse and NFTs.”

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addressing Japan’s National Diet on Oct. 3. Source: 日テレNEWS

Kishida said Japan’s technological investments would extend to developing and producing semiconductors as part of a joint effort with the United States and work on reform regulations related to the technology sector. The current prime minister, who took office in October 2021, followed former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who suggested he was in favor of taxing Bitcoin (BTC) transactions in Japan.

Related: Japan’s crypto self-regulation ‘experiment’ not working

During Kishida’s time in office, crypto users in Japan have seen a number of developments in the space, from Mt. Gox moving forward on repayment procedures after years of legal delays to the reintroduction of crypto ATMs in the country. In August, two of the country’s crypto advocacy groups, the Japan Crypto-Asset Business Association and the Japan Crypto-Asset Exchange Association, called for a 20% separate tax on crypto earnings for individual investors — many currently face a crypto tax rate of up to 55%.


XRP price could rally by 50% based off comments from a former SEC director

XRP investors are hopeful that a potential court victory against the SEC could send the altcoin price at least 50% higher.

XRP is hoping that the token could see a massive price rally in 2022 based off the fingers-crossed assumption that Ripple will win its long-running legal battle against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Hinman documents to save XRP bulls?

On Sept. 29, the district court judge in the case, Judge Analisa Torres, ordered the commission to release the documents penned by William Hinman, the former director of the corporation finance division at the SEC. 

Hinman may have written about Ether (ETH), the native token of the Ethereum blockchain, not being a security in the concealed documents, believes Ripple. That is primarily because Hinman had proclaimed the same in his speech at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in June 2018.

#XRPCommunity #SECGov v. #Ripple #XRP 1/4 Some thoughts on the next steps in the quest for the Hinman documents. The SEC has a number of procedural cards they can play to try to further delay complying with the order to produce the Hinman documents.

— James K. Filan 118k (beware of imposters) (@FilanLaw) September 30, 2022

Ripple’s defense could use Hinman’s writing as evidence that its blockchain’s native token, XRP, should not be treated as a security, which is the opposite of what the SEC claimed in the lawsuit filed in December 2020.

XRP has since been ousted from many regulated crypto exchanges, including Coinbase and Bitstamp. As a result, it is now among the only top cryptocurrencies that have neither reclaimed nor established a record high during the 2020–2021 crypto market boom, reflecting caution from investors.

Some might argue, that from the vantage point of technical analysis, XRP price remains undervalued compared to other top-ranking cryptocurrencies. And a Ripple win might change that, given the token rallied 20% in a day after Judge Torres’s order.

$XRP is on a mission to save the markets

— Teddy (@TeddyCleps) September 30, 2022

Ripple going to go full send mode $XRP

— Johnny (@CryptoGodJohn) September 29, 2022

Related: CFTC commissioner proposes office focused on retail crypto investors

Resistance and confluence

From a technical standpoint, XRP is one breakout away from posting a 50% price rally.

Notably, the token now tests a resistance confluence of one multi-year descending trendline resistance, a flipped support bar and a Fibonacci line — all pivoting near $0.57. A Ripple win could help XRP break decisively above this confluence.

XRP/USD weekly price chart. Source: TradingView

Such a breakout could have XRP eye a run-up toward the next Fib line near $0.72, up over 50% from Oct. ‘s price. Conversely, a pullback could crash XRP to its previous support level of $0.31, down 35% from the current price levels.

“$XRP is basically a court case play,” noted independent market analyst DonAlt, adding:

“If they win the whole case $XRP giga pumps. if they lose it’ll be a nice -50% candle. Also, an $XRP loss would make other cryptos more vulnerable to attack, so you better cheer them on.”

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.


A Strange Study on the Before and After Effects of Alien Implants and their Removal

Within the realm of UFO research, surely one of the most bizarre little corners is that of what are usually called “alien implants.” These are shards of metal or other material that have been placed under the skin or within the flesh of those who claim to have been abducted by aliens for purposes unknown. It is a fringe area to be sure, even within ufology, but there have been researchers out there who have taken it to a whole new level of weird. 


Scientist Proposes Mathematical Proof that Life Exists on Other Planets

While we wait for concrete, verifiable evidence of the existence of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations, we must be content with determining the probability of such intelligent beings and the chances that we have or will encounter them. These types of mathematical exercises have given us the Drake equation, named for the recently passed Frank Drake, whose formula to estimate the number of active, intelligent civilizations in just the Milky Way galaxy is dependent on variables that are difficult to determine precisely and thus generates an approximation rather than an exact number. The Fermi paradox — in which Enrico Fermi looks at the probability of life forming easily on other planets and asks, if it is so easy, “Where are they?” – was a mathematical exercise among his fellow physicists.


Soviet Submarine in 1984 Collided With Two Underwater UFOs

Submarine captain 1st rank Alexei Korzhev, who repeatedly encountered unidentified underwater objects, spoke about an incident that occurred in 1984.

It should be noted that he is far from the only one who broke the silence and conveyed to the public the amazing details of the events taking place in the sea.

Being on combat duty, the submarine followed a strictly planned course. There should not have been any more submarines in this area, however, two mysterious objects were clearly visible on the radar.

Alexei Korzhev

The signalman immediately pointed to them, as the speed of their movement significantly exceeded the allowable speed limits of the submarine.

Unidentified underwater objects developed speeds of up to 300 kilometers (186.411 miles) per hour, instantly changed direction, quickly rose into the upper water layers and also rapidly descended to the depths.

Captain Alexey Korzhev decided to rise to the surface in order to better examine the mysterious escort.

Three people came out onto the bridge – the captain himself and two officers. In front of them, a domed object literally flew out of the water.

Its size did not exceed 5 meters, however, the physical data simply did not fit in his head. The command of the submarine came to the conclusion that in front of them is a device that does not belong to people. It’s something else. More developed.

The UFO began to emit a greenish light. Rays were directed in four directions from it. The captain ordered to quickly take cover in the submarine and begin diving into the water.

The UFO descended behind them and directed one of the beams at the submarine. The equipment inside the submarine turned off. All participants in the events heard a sound resembling the work of a cutter.

Some of those inside the submarine were very frightened that a mysterious object was trying to sink the submarine.

Alexey Korzhev admits that he did not know what to do at that moment. All equipment was turned off. Depth – about 160 meters. But a few minutes later it was all over. The UFO swam at high speed into the depths.

According to the captain of the submarine, their apparatus was probably scanned and identified by representatives of another civilization.

It would be possible to attribute everything to the wild fantasy of a retired submarine captain, but his colleagues, both domestic and foreign, confirm the presence of unidentified underwater objects with personal experience.

So, Vladimir Azhazhi published a whole book dedicated to the cases of observations of various sailors and submariners of UFOs in the sea and ocean.

Whatever USOs (unidentified submerged object) are — figments of the imagination, mechanical malfunctions, secret government craft, or even the work of extraterrestrials—there’s a long history of sightings.

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What remains in the NFT market now that the dust has settled?

From profile pictures to celebrity endorsements, NFT space has changed a lot since the market boom in 2021.

Over the last two years, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have emerged as one of the most active and noticeable aspects of Web3.

The data stored on blockchains by NFTs may be connected with files that include various forms of media, such as photographs, videos and audio. In certain instances, it can even be related to physical items. The owner of an NFT will often have ownership rights over the data, material or item connected with the token, and these tokens are typically purchased and traded on specialized markets. The rise of NFTs was meteoric in 2021, but it hasn’t been very steady since then, and it seems to have fallen sharply in 2022

Why NFTs exploded in popularity in 2021

In 2021, two of the most active markets for NFTs were collectible art projects and the video game industry. NFTs have ushered in a new era of video gaming, which has resulted in the proliferation of new types of games, such as blockchain-based play-to-earn games that provide players with in-game benefits. Users now have the opportunity to own in-game assets for the first time and make a possible profit from such assets by trading them on NFT platforms like OpenSea.

Axie Infinity, a game that included both NFTs and its own native cryptocurrency, became the most popular crypto game overall. Axie’s NFT market reached a milestone of $1 billion in total trading volume. In addition, the game accounted for two-thirds of blockchain-game NFT transactions in 2021, according to a report covered by Cointelegraph in March this year.

The gaming industry can help to bring NFTs into the mainstream due to their massive popularity. Pavel Bains, executive producer of Mixmob — a card strategy racing game — told Cointelegraph:

“NFTs within crypto gaming are a massive tool, probably one of the top three driving forces in crypto mainstream adoption. Right now, the biggest roadblock we’re facing is that the games aren’t very fun to play. Some will say, ‘Oh, the onboarding experience is bad… Using a crypto wallet isn’t ideal. You need to abstract it away.’ I don’t believe that. Kids will go through pain to get what they want if it’s fun.”

Fear of missing out also seemed to play a major role, with the massive success of picture-for-proof collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) soaring from a mint price of $300 to up to $3.4 million for a rare golden ape.

No matter what it is, there are usually two types of adopters: those who see the potential in a trend and are willing to stick with it and those who join in because everyone else is doing it. NFTs are no different.

How NFTs have fared in 2022

NFT sales stayed fairly strong in the first half of 2022, with crypto users spending $2.7 billion on minting NFTs during that period. However, despite a strong start to the year, there have been some negatives within the NFT space.

Earlier this year, the floor prices for BAYC dropped below $100,000, only to recover, with the cheapest Bored Ape recently selling for 73 Ether (ETH) ($125,000) on OpenSea.

Recent: Music NFTs a powerful tool to transform an audience into a community

This year also saw users losing their Bored Apes due to user error. “Fat finger” errors have led to Bored Apes worth hundreds of thousands being sold for far less. For example, Ape #835 sold for 115 Dai on March 28 this year, with Ape #6462 selling for 200 USD Coin (USDC) on May 15.

Ape #6462 was purchased for 200.0 USDC

— boredapebot (@boredapebot) May 15, 2022

In September, daily NFT trading volume on OpenSea was down nearly 99% from its May 1 peak of $405.75 million, with a daily volume of $10.29 million at publishing time. When it comes to individual collections, BAYC currently has a daily trading volume of only $400,000, according to DappRadar. According to the decentralized application explorer, CryptoPunks has no trading volume as of 7:20 a.m. UTC Oct. 3.

Due to current market conditions, one can expect to see fluctuations in the value of NFT projects, according to experts. Yaroslav Shakula, CEO of Yard Hub — a framework for NFT, Web3 and blockchain entrepreneurial ideas — told Cointelegraph:

“NFTs have surely been affected by the bear market but, in many cases, less severely than classic crypto and altcoins. What will happen next depends on the global political and macroeconomic situation. All tech stocks and risky assets are now tanking against the U.S. dollar, so in a short- and mid-term period, one might expect fluctuations in NFT prices as well.”

Despite these low volumes, NFTs continue to enjoy significant visibility.

Many people may have noticed a dramatic increase in the amount of people’s profile pictures on Instagram and Twitter that include a monkey, bear or other NFT image.

In January this year, Twitter announced that users would be able to officially use NFTs as their profile pictures via Twitter Blue. The premium, subscription-based version of Twitter allows users to connect their wallets and post a hexagon-shaped profile picture once an NFT is connected. Meta quickly followed Twitter’s lead and implemented a similar feature for Instagram and Facebook.

Celebrities continue to be involved in the NFT space, with Snoop Dogg recently collaborating with Mobland, a mafia-themed metaverse, to create digital weed farm NFTs. The weed farms were developed as a part of NFT 3.0, the third generation of NFTs.

The future of NFTs 

Not only do some industry professionals feel that the NFT market will continue to exist, but they also anticipate that it will continue to expand and play an increasingly crucial role in the digital economy. According to a report covered by Cointelegraph, the NFT market could be worth $231 billion by 2030. This is due to continued adoption within the video game, music, art and digital collectible industries.

Shakula is bullish on NFTs for the long-term, telling Cointelegraph, “In the long-term, NFTs definitely look good — I’m sure they have a big future. This technology opens many new opportunities, even for classic businesses and common users. They can be used for tokenizing assets and providing them to employees as perks and benefits.”

Experts also believe that our lives will become more virtual in the coming years. It’s possible that in the near future, people will be able to carry out their daily activities within a virtual space, using virtual assets. Essentially, this will represent the creation of a metaverse in which everything is transformed into an NFT token. Although it is unknown how this will coexist with our physical life in the “real world,” the revolution is already well on its way to being realized.

Recent: Terra could leave a similar regulatory legacy to that of Facebook’s Libra

Some experts believe that NFTs will soon reach mainstream status. Jack Vinijtrongjit, CEO of AAG — a Web3 development firm — told Cointelegraph, “NFTs are evolving from just being a collectible and speculative tool to real world use cases, such as identity and customer relationship management. We can already see companies like Starbucks using it as a replacement for their membership card and universities issuing NFTs for a diploma. I believe we are about to see NFTs moving from niche to mainstream as the result.”

The reaction of the video game industry to the introduction of NFTs has been the subject of much conjecture. Although some businesses are currently delivering digital assets as a part of blockchain games like Ember Sword, the widespread adoption of this technology has not yet occurred in the gaming community, leading many specialists to wonder how or even whether they will take off in the mainstream gaming industry.


Bitcoin Lightning Network capacity strikes 5,000 BTC

The growth in Bitcoin added to the layer-2 Lightning Network has electrified over the past year, hitting 4,000 Bitcoin less than four months ago.

Bear markets are for building out capacity on the layer-2 Lightning Network. Despite macroeconomic headwinds and sluggish price action, the Lightning Network, the layer-2 payments solution fo Bitcoin (BTC), continues to flourish.

The Bitcoin Lightning Network reached a milestone capacity of 5,000 BTC ($96 million). In effect, more and more Bitcoin is being introduced to Lightning Network payment channels worldwide, as Bitcoiners continue to support the growth of the network.

Bitcoin Lightning Network capacity. Source: Look into Bitcoin

The Lightning Network allows users to send Bitcoin (or satoshis, the smallest amount of a Bitcoin) to send or receive money faster and with lower fees. The more capacity on the network, the more liquidity is on hand. As a result, users can experience faster payment speeds and potentially larger transaction volumes. 

First created in 2018, the Lighting Network has come under fire recently. Bitcoin influencers such as Udi Wertheimer have discussed the network’s “failure,” claiming that no one uses the network. Nonetheless, the network hit 4,000 BTC capacity in June and over the past four years, it has become a reliable payment network and is popular in El Salvador, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar:

Nourou, of Bitcoin Senegal, explains why the LN is so important. He told Cointelegraph, “In Senegal, we have an economy of 50 FCFA. That is to say that the Senegalese of the working and proletarian class, who represent the majority of the population, buy, for their breakfast, 50 FCFA (0.07€) of milk, sugar, coffee, water, and many other basic products.”

“Microtransactions are our economic reality. For Bitcoin to become the standard in the years to come, and in our economies, the lightning network would have to have enough capacity to support these microtransactions.”

Nicolas Burtey, CEO at Galoy, was one of the first to celebrate the 5,000 Bitcoin achievement. Burtey told Cointelegraph that the adoption of Bitcoin in El Salvador was the tipping point for the Lightning Network. This is where all metrics really started to take off.” He joked, “The bill should have actually been called the Lightning Law!”

— Nicolas Burtey ⚡️⚡️ (@nicolasburtey) October 3, 2022

Burtey continued, explaining that while the 5,000 BTC metric is important, “Payment velocity per channel is growing at an even faster rate. It’s a more meaningful metric, but only node operators can see it, so it’s not so prominent in the media.”

The Lightning Network, once a space for hobbyist Bitcoin enthusiasts, now appeals to large corporations. MicroStrategy is now hiring for a Bitcoin Lightning Software engineer. MicroStrategy is the largest holder of Bitcoin among publicly traded companies, with 130,000 BTC on its balance sheet

Related: Raise a glass to Satoshi’s Place: the challenge of running Bitcoin businesses

Elsewhere, Strike, a Bitcoin Lightning company headed by Jack Mallers, raised $80 million to “revolutionize payments” for merchants. Mallers and Strike spearheaded El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption plans in 2021.

For Nourou, who’s hosting Dakar Bitcoin Days in December, the first major Bitcoin conference in Senegal, the 5,000 BTC milestone is monumental:  “An increase in BTCs blocked in the network and the number of channels opened in parallel is a further step towards the democratization of Bitcoin transactions in the world.”


Binance signs MoU with Kazakhstan to fight financial crime

Binance claimed that its compliance infrastructure is among the best in the world which has helped them gain regulatory approval even in countries where they were deemed illegal until last year.

Global cryptocurrency exchange Binance has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Financial Monitoring Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan as a part of its global law enforcement training program.

The program, which involves officials from regulatory and law enforcement organizations worldwide, aims to strengthen industry cooperation with national and international law enforcement in the fight against financial crime and cybercrime.

The program further aims to identify and block digital assets obtained illegally and used to launder criminal proceeds and finance terrorism.

Kazakhstan has emerged as one of the leading crypto nations for Bitcoin (BTC) mining and in recent times, the Central Asian nation is also developing favorable crypto regulations such as allowing crypto exchanges to open bank accounts, and even looking to legalize crypto use more broadly. Binance obtained an in-principle approval to operate in Kazakhstan earlier in August this year.

The Binance law enforcement training program has previously been conducted in Israel, Canada, Brazil, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Norway. The program was officially launched on Sept. 26, but the company’s investigations team has been holding workshops for law enforcement for the past year.

Related: Binance signs MOU with Kazakhstan to further crypto adoption and regulation

In the absence of any robust crypto regulatory framework among the majority of the countries, the expansion of crypto exchanges like Binance in these jurisdictions comes with its own challenges. Thus, with the help of the training program, Binance hopes to raise awareness among law enforcement agencies and officials to develop cooperation at a global level.

The crypto exchange’s focus on compliance and regulations comes after facing several warnings and investigations from financial regulators around the globe. However, the exchange has managed to improve and even returned to several jurisdictions such as Italy and France where it was deemed illegal to operate.

Binance attributed its recent regulatory approvals in France, Italy and Spain to the compliance measures it has undertaken recently.


Kim Kardashian pays SEC $1.26 million to settle EthereumMax charge

The United States SEC charged the American celebrity and influencer for promoting a cryptocurrency asset security without disclosing payments received to her followers.

American socialite Kim Kardashian will pay $1.26 million in penalties for her involvement in the promotion of a cryptocurrency scheme called EthereumMax (EMAX).

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission announced the charges against Kardashian on October 3 for ‘touting on social media a crypto asset security offered and sold by EthereumMax’ without disclosing the payment received for her promotional involvement.

Kardashian has agreed to settle the charges and pay $1.26 million in penalties, disgorgement and interest and is set to cooperate with further investigations by the SEC into the EthereumMax project.

The announcement noted that Kardashian had failed to disclose a $250,000 payment she had received to publish a post on her Instagram profile promoting EMAX tokens with a link to the project’s website.

The order by the SEC finds that Kardashian violated the anti-touting provision of federal securities laws. This has been the case with other prominent cryptocurrency securities violations involving the SEC in the past.

Kardashian neither admitted or denied the SEC’s findings but agreed to settle the charges. This was broken down into $260,000 in disgorgement as well as a $1 million penalty. Kardashian has also agreed to not promote any cryptocurrency assets until 2025.

Today @SECGov, we charged Kim Kardashian for unlawfully touting a crypto security.

This case is a reminder that, when celebrities / influencers endorse investment opps, including crypto asset securities, it doesn’t mean those investment products are right for all investors.

— Gary Gensler (@GaryGensler) October 3, 2022

SEC chairman Gary Gensler also used the order to inform the general public to do their due diligence when investing in cryptocurrency assets, while reminding celebrities and influencers of their obligation to disclose payments relating to promotions of securities.

“This case is a reminder that, when celebrities or influencers endorse investment opportunities, including crypto asset securities, it doesn’t mean that those investment products are right for all investors. We encourage investors to consider an investment’s potential risks and opportunities in light of their own financial goals.”

Kardashian’s legal team also filed a motion to set aside a class-action complaint aimed at the businesswoman and other American celebrities in August 2022. Kardashian and a handful of other prominent American social media influencers were served with a class-action complaint in January 2022 over claims they misled investors through the social media promotion EthereumMax.

Kardashian posted Instagram stories promoting the project in June 2021, with the likes of boxing great Floyd Mayweather also embroiled in the lawsuit after promoting the Ethereum-based token in the build-up to a celebrity boxing bout against YouTuber Logan Paul during the same period.

Fans could purchase pay-per-view tickets with the token, which surged after the promotion by Kardashian and other influencers. The value of EthereumMax dropped significantly afterward, leaving many out of pocket.

The original court filing that listed Kardashian, Mayweather and eight others claimed that company executives had collaborated with celebrity promoters to make misleading statements about the token and their control of the majority of tokens. Steve Gentile and Giovanni Perone were listed as co-founders of the project.


UFO appeared minutes before DART collided with Dimorphos

A mysterious unidentified flying object making strange movements in the background of the asteroid Dimorphos a few minutes before the impact was captured by a NASA camera.

The first part of the mission was successful. According to plans, the main probe collided with Dimorphos, the smallest of the asteroids in the Didymos system.

DART sent back images every second as it approached the surface of the asteroid it was about to collide with.

Ufologist Snakedos believes that the object seen near the asteroid Dimorphos may not be what it looks like. At least for now, there is no hard evidence that this is a spacecraft, as the images are blurry and of poor quality. However, the object may be of extraterrestrial origin.

If it was an extraterrestrial flying object, it might have been observing human progress in space.

As the spacecraft gets closer to Dimorphos, you can see in the video how something (UFO ?) in the form of a black shadow passes over the asteroid.

Recent images clearly showed regoliths, rocks, and sand rising from the asteroid’s surface. And the last frame, highlighted in red, indicated a loss of connection.

The DART team is currently determining the degree of change in Dimorphos’ orbit to test the impact of the collision on its orbit. However, neither NASA nor the European Space Agency (ESA) have made any statements about the strange object that appeared just minutes before the impact with Dimorphos.

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