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Kazakhstan ready to legalize crypto as Russians flock to the country

A major bank in Kazakhstan has completed its first purchase of crypto for fiat and the president is ready to approve exchange activities.

Kazakhstan is ready to legalize a mechanism for converting cryptocurrencies to cash if there is demand, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, per local news agency Informburo on Sept. 28.

Speaking at the international forum Digital Bridge 2022, Tokayev emphasized that Kazakhstan aims to become an international leader in the field of digital technology, cryptocurrency ecosystem and regulated mining. He noted that the government of Kazakhstan has drafted amendments in national law to pilot a mechanism for converting crypto at the Astana International Financial Centre.

“We are ready to go further. If this financial instrument shows its further relevance and security, it will certainly receive full legal recognition,” Tokayev stated.

The country’s president reportedly visited a joint booth of the major local lender Eurasian Bank and the Intebix crypto exchange at the Digital Bridge 2022 event.

According to local reports, the Eurasian Bank and Intebix announced that they jointly completed the bank’s first regulated crypto purchase for fiat. The precedent has marked a major milestone in Kazakhstan’s crypto adoption, allowing the Kazakh people to legally buy crypto for the national currency tenge.

Other companies in the pilot crypto projects include crypto exchanges like ATAIX as well as Kazakhstan's largest bank, Halyk Bank and Altyn Bank.

The news comes as thousands of Russians enter Kazakhstan just a week after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of reservists to fight in Ukraine. On Sept. 21, Halyk Bank suspended the use of Russia’s Mir payment cards amid sanctions warnings by the United States Treasury Department.

​​Kazakhstan is not the only country that has emerged as a popular destination for Russians leaving the country and has been working to boost crypto adoption. Neighboring Georgia has also been moving to introduce new crypto regulations in order to become a global crypto hub.

Related: Russian officials approve use of crypto for cross-border payments

While countries like Georgia and Kazakhstan appear to welcome crypto alongside Russians fleeing mobilization, Europe has been growing increasingly concerned about Russians turning to crypto to access their money. After restricting Russian payments to European crypto wallets to 10,000 euros in April, the European Union now also reportedly plans to ban Russian nationals and entities from holding any assets in EU crypto wallets.

As previously reported, Russia has been largely relying on foreign crypto infrastructure to conduct cryptocurrency operations. The Bank of Russia has repeatedly argued that the country should not legalize any local crypto exchanges.

Ethereum Merge was ‘executed flawlessly,’ says Starkware co-founder

Ethereum Merge was ‘executed flawlessly,’ says Starkware co-founder

Starkware co-founder Eli Ben-Sasson told Cointelegraph that none of the things that people feared about the Merge happened, and everything happened as it should.

As the dust settled over the Ethereum network’s highly-anticipated transition to proof-of-stake (PoS), Eli Ben-Sasson, the co-founder of Starkware, gave his thoughts on its execution and potential for the future.

Speaking to Cointelegraph’s Gareth Jenkinson at the Token2049 event, Ben-Sasson shared his thoughts on the current situation post-Merge and how it affects layer-2 projects like Starkware. In addition to that, the executive also gave his thoughts on the adoption and interest for layer-2 products and the crypto winter.

Looking back at the Ethereum Merge’s execution, Ben-Sasson rejoiced that the transition was flawless and said things happened as they should. The executive explained that:

“The most important thing is that it was executed flawlessly. Everything that was supposed to happen did happen. And none of the things that people were worried about did happen. And that's terrific news.”

Additionally, the executive also highlighted the importance of the new Ethereum network being better for the environment. “It reduces the carbon footprint. That's the big thing, and it also bodes very well for the potential of future improvements,” he said. 

According to Ben-Sasson, the Merge also makes Ethereum a better settlement layer and a more friendly platform for layer-2 solutions. The executive highlighted that this is a very important development for their products at Starkware as they could then offer scaling, compression of computation and other improvements that their technology can deliver.

Related: China GPU prices drop to new lows after the Ethereum Merge

Apart from the Ethereum Merge, Ben-Sasson also shared that most of the adoption and interest in Starkware solutions are with projects that were also successful in the layer-1 Ethereum. This includes nonfungible tokens (NFTs), blockchain gaming and decentralized finance (DeFi). In addition to that, the executive shared his expectations for the future. He said that:

“I expect that at some point, the ability to run much more massive computation with very low gas footprint will lead to completely new and unforeseen applications that are going to be far more important.”

With everything that’s happening, the executive also shared his belief that despite many people describing the crypto and blockchain space’s current situation as a crypto winter, their team feels different. “We feel it as spring towards the balmy summer,” he said. 

Kazakhstan ready to legalize crypto as Russians flock to the country

Bitcoin price skirts $19.3K amid fear over ‘mother of all rug pulls’

Volatility has yet to make an appearance on hourly timeframes as the clock ticks down to the September close.

Bitcoin (BTC) traders lay in wait for fresh volatility on Sept. 29 as BTC/USD cooled near $19,000.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Volatility absent a day before the monthly close

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView charted a calm overnight phase for the largest cryptocurrency, which hit intraday highs above $19,600 the day prior.

Those 6% gains were a welcome relief after heavy losses earlier in the week, but it no clear direction, market participants were still uncertain over how Bitcoin would handle the September monthly close.

“Can certainly build a case for local support holding in this range, at least until the monthly and quarterly close on Friday, unless, of course, we get the mother of all rug pulls,” on-chain analytics resource Material Indicators summarized.

Material Indicators referenced order book data which suggested that $18,000 could provide range support in the event of fresh market weakness.

More broadly, however, popular trading account Doctor Profit argued that rangebound behavior was still the trend on BTC/USD, this in place for multiple months.

“Interesting, $BTC usually moves between 30-50 days in a sideway movement before a leg down. For the first time within two years, BTC decides to move more than 108 days in a sideway movement,” it wrote on the day:

“This is how accumulation cycle looks like.”
BTC price action annotated chart. Source: Doctor Profit/ Twitter

Dollar back on the up after brief retracement

Macro triggers remained firmly on the radar in crypto circles the day after the Bank of England enacted a major policy shift, bringing back quantitative easing (QE) by buying long-term government bonds — a move to be worth $65 billion.

Related: Bitcoin 'great detox' could trigger a BTC price drop to $12K: Research

Grimly familiar to those who remember the birth of Bitcoin, the intervention was viewed by many as a point of no return in the current inflationary environment.

For veteran investor Stanley Druckenmiller, while the time was not right to own risk-on assets such as crypto, the writing was on the wall.

“I don’t own Bitcoin... I — it’s tough for me to own anything like that with central banks tightening,” he told CNBC host Joe Kernen in an interview on Sept. 28:

“But yeah, I still think — if the Bank of England, what they did is followed by stuff like that by other central banks in the next two or three years, if things get really bad… I could see cryptocurrency having a big role in a Renaissance because people just aren’t going to trust the central banks.”

His words caught the attention of Arthur Hayes, the former CEO of derivatives giant, BitMEX, who earlier this year predicted a “doom loop” taking hold of the world’s major fiat currencies.

The euro, he claimed this month, had already commenced its doom loop.

Elsewhere on the day, the U.S. dollar index (DXY) was recouping recent losses after hitting its latest two-decade highs.

U.S. dollar index (DXY) 1-hour candle chart. Source: TradingView

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

Kazakhstan ready to legalize crypto as Russians flock to the country

APR vs. APY: What’s the difference?

The key difference between APY and APR is compound interest. Before investing, compare their potential returns.

APR vs. APY: Which is better?

The APY provides a clear idea of an account’s earning potential. The APR shows what will be owed. Both are calculated over a single year, which provides a more accurate picture than calculating the interest rate alone.

Because the APR is calculated at an annual rate, it can be more advantageous for borrowers seeking the best rates, instead of investing in crypto assets and hoping for a return.

However, because the APY is based on an annualized rate that includes compounding earnings, it's more beneficial for investing crypto assets—it provides a more accurate representation of what will be earned when money is invested and compound interest kicks in.

Understanding whether profits or payments are based on an APR or an APY is crucial when investing or borrowing. Given the nature of the crypto market, returns are often high compared to the traditional finance sector but so, too, are the risks. 

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APY vs. APR: Key differences

Both the APY and the APR are used to calculate interest for crypto investments and loans. However, they are not the same. 

The annual percentage yield refers to the amount of interest earned over a year, while the annual percentage rate is the amount that needs to be paid as interest. When comparing the APR and APY returns, considering that all other factors such as the principal amount, interest rate and period of investment are the same, the key difference is the compound interest

It represents the total return, including the amount earned on the interest and principal investment. Because the APR does not account for compound interest, the APY always yields a larger sum.

Crypto investors can fund liquidity pools on exchanges, keep crypto in savings accounts, stake their coins or invest in yield farms. The difference between the APY and the APR is crucial to understanding where money is best invested. Practically speaking, APRs are advantageous to borrowers. However, individuals wishing to invest funds should consider APY rates to maximize their profits.

Given that more DeFi tools and cryptocurrencies use APRs, investors have to do manual compounding, where they have to reinvest their gains, either daily or weekly, to get a more significant compound interest.

How is the APY calculated?

The compound interest can be set to daily, weekly, monthly, annually or continually. 

Calculating the APY is a bit more complex than the APR since interest is added to the principal, and then the interest on that total is calculated, considering the number of periods the amount is adjusted.

Compounding frequency vs. Number of periods in APY

To calculate the APY, you can use the following formula:

Formula to calculate APY

For example, an investment of 1,000 coins is made at a compound interest of 10% and daily compounding. The following calculation indicates that a total of 1,105 will be collected after one year. In the following year, it should be 1,221. The earnings increase the longer it is held and at higher interest rates.

Every time the computation is updated, the interest should be added to the sum comprising the initial investment and the accrued interest profits. But what does a 10% APY mean in crypto?

Most cryptocurrency projects offer only 1% APY, but some offer 7% on flexible accounts, such as Phemex for Tether (USDT). In the case of fixed saving accounts, they can go as high as 10%. There are also DeFi platforms like PancakeSwap (CAKE) and SushiSwap (SUSHI), which are said to offer very high APYs of over 100% to investors.

What is APY in crypto?

The APY, short for Annual Percentage Yield, is a way to measure how much money can be earned on an interest-bearing account in a year. In crypto, the APY is the rate of return made on an investment. 

Unlike the APR, which only considers ordinary interest, the APY includes compound interest. Compound interest is the amount earned on the interest and the principal investment. This is why the APY is more profitable than the APR.

Investors can earn an APY by staking their coins and using yield farming to supply liquidity to liquidity pools. They can also earn an APY from holding their coins in savings accounts. 

Investors can use crypto exchanges, crypto wallets or DeFi protocols to start earning an APY on their Bitcoin. Interest is often paid in the same cryptocurrency invested; however, there are instances where a different currency is paid.

How to calculate APR

Here’s how to calculate the total final amount based on APR:

Formula to calculate APR

Following the earlier example, this would go as follows:

An example illustrating APR calculation

The calculation changes if the investment is retained for a shorter period. For example, holding for three months is equivalent to a quarter of a year (0.25), which means the calculation will be:

An example illustrating APR calculation in the case of three-month holding period

Holding for three months will earn only 1.06 Ether on top of the initial investment. Another formula to calculate APR is:

An alternative formula to calculate APR

So, what does a 10% APR mean in crypto?

A 10% APR means 10% is earned on the initial investment after a year. 

Using the above calculations, an investment of 10,000 coins at a 10% APR will accrue 1,000 coins in interest after a year.

What is APR in crypto?

In cryptocurrency, the APR is the percentage investors can expect to earn as interest on their investment, for lending their crypto or making it available for loans. It considers other fees a borrower needs to pay but does not include compound interest.

Essentially, the APR is the ordinary interest rate applied to the principal amount of an investment or loan. Since the APR is an annualized rate, prorated interest will be charged if an investment or loan is held for a shorter period. For instance, a six-month investment with a 5% APR will yield only 2.5% of the principal amount.

The APR is very straightforward. Take, for example, an investment of 1.0 Ether (ETH) in a lending pool on a decentralized finance (DeFi) network. If the expressed APR is 24%, then 0.24 Ether should be earned on top of the initial investment if it is locked in the pool for exactly one year. As a result, the investment should now total 1.24 Ether, made up of the 1.0 Ether principal and the accrued 0.24 Ether in interest (based on 24 % APR).

What is APR in general?

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the APR or annual percentage rate is the amount paid to borrow money. It’s also known as a credit card interest rate and is generated yearly. 

For instance, if the APR is 5%, a $100 investment will provide a $5 return a year later. In contrast, if $100 is borrowed at the same interest rate, the initial $100 loan plus $5 in interest must be repaid after a year.

Understanding APR provides an overview of how much will be owed when borrowing money or how much an investor will get paid. In the context of credit cards, APR is typically not charged when the card is used, but the balance is paid each month by the due date. However, if there is an outstanding balance and the due date passes, the interest is added at the end of each billing period.

Kazakhstan ready to legalize crypto as Russians flock to the country

WSJ: Terraform Labs claims case against Do Kwon is ‘highly politicized’

A spokesperson for the company behind Terra said it believes prosecutors heeled to public pressure and expanded the definition of a security after its associated cryptocurrencies collapsed.

Terraform Labs, the company behind the development of the Terra (LUNA) blockchain said South Korea’s case against its co-founder Do Kwon has become political, alleging prosecutors expanded the definition of a security in response to public pressure.

“We believe that this case has become highly politicized, and that the actions of the Korean prosecutors demonstrate unfairness and a failure to uphold basic rights guaranteed under Korean law,” a Terraform Labs spokesman said to The Wall Street Journal on Sept. 28.

South Korean prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Kwon on Sept. 14 for violations of the countries capital markets laws, but Terraform Labs laid out a defense arguing Terra (now known as Terra Luna Classic (LUNC)) isn’t legally a security, meaning it isn’t covered by capital markets laws.

The spokesman alleged prosecutors of expanding the definition of a security due to intense public pressure from the collapse of Terra and its connected algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD (UST), now known as TerraClassicUSD (USTC).

“We believe, as do most in industry, that Luna Classic is not, and has never been, a security, despite any changes in interpretation that Korean financial officials may have recently adopted.”

The argument by Terraform Labs’ stems from the unclear regulatory status of cryptocurrencies and the companies who create and issue them.

Currently, capital market and electronic securities' systems in the country don’t include a legal definition of non-standardized securities issued through a blockchain.

Related: South Korea's financial watchdog wants to 'quickly' review crypto legislation

The country is moving to regulate the space with its financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) preparing guidelines for security tokens by the end of 2022.

A leaked government report in May further revealed South Korea’s plans to roll out a crypto framework by 2024.

Kwon’s whereabouts remain unknown and Terraform Labs did not comment on his location citing physical security risks, but Kwon says he’s not making an effort to hide even after a notice was sent to global authorities by Interpol.

Kazakhstan ready to legalize crypto as Russians flock to the country

Nexo ‘surprised’ by state regulators’ actions, says co-founder

Kalin Metodiev emphasized that Nexo has been navigating through conversations with regulators for the past couple of years to ensure compliance, and was surprised that this news was “thrown out there in public.”

Kalin Metodiev, the co-founder and managing partner of crypto lender Nexo stated his firm was “surprised” by the way in which eight state regulators publicly took action against it for securities violations.

Earlier this week the California Department of Financial Protection & Innovation (DFPI) filed a desist and refrain order against Nexo’s Earn Interest Product, claiming the company was offering a security product that had not been cleared by the government for sale in the form of an investment contract.

The DFPI also stated that it was joining regulators from seven other states in taking action against the company, including Kentucky, New York, Maryland, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Washington and Vermont.

Speaking with Cointelegraph at Token2049, Metodiev explained that Nexo was caught off guard with the latest regulatory push back, as it has been “trying to be responsible” by engaging in direct conversations with the regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) for quite some time.

“We were a little surprised by this news being thrown out there in public, you know, because this isn't a process that just started this week,” he said, adding that:

“We have worked with our legal advisors in the U.S. that we have used for the last couple of years to navigate us specifically through these waters in these conversations.”
Kalin Metodiev, the co-founder and managing partner of crypto lender Nexo

Metodiev said Nexo also communicated to the SEC earlier this year that it was “voluntarily” discontinuing services for new U.S. customers, suggesting the firm was working in good faith and aiming to be compliant with local regulations.

The product has not been available to new users in the United States since Feb. 19, and existing U.S. account holders were unable to make new deposits into their accounts.

“The event that made us make the decision was actually the SEC ruling against BlockFi in February. The moment we saw that we established contact with the SEC, and we communicated that we're voluntarily discontinuing, taking money from U.S. customers. And we haven't been working with new customers for our interest generating product.”

Ultimately this hasn’t put Nexo off over providing services in the U.S. however, as the firm will continue to remain in conversations with regulators over its crypto offerings.

Metodiev also highlighted that the company is looking at U.S. expansion through other avenues, pointing to Nexo acquiring a stake in Hulett Bancorp this week, a holding company that owns the federally chartered Summit National Bank.

Nexo has also been out on the look out for crypto company acquisitions, with Metodiev noting that the firm has had discussions with a lot of liquidity troubled firms in the bear market, even the likes of Voyager Digital and Celsius.

Related: FTX reportedly considers bailing out Celsius via asset bid

While he stated discussions had been going well with various firms, he didn’t provide any concrete details on any deals that could be in the works. Metodiev suggested it had been priced out of a Voyager deal, as its $1.4 billion asset valuation that FTX snapped it up for, became too high for Nexo.

“If the opportunity becomes too rich for us, as I mentioned, our risk management, kicks in and we say, you know, we're not sure that we can break even on this. We want to help the people and the platform, but at the same time, it needs to be a normal business assessment for us,” he said.

Kazakhstan ready to legalize crypto as Russians flock to the country

UAE Ministry of Economy opens up new headquarters in the Metaverse

The UAE Ministry of Economy continues its push into the Metaverse with the announcement of a "third address" located in a virtual world.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Economy has announced a new headquarters located where anyone in the world can visit — the Metaverse. 

According to Gulf News, the announcement was made on Sept. 28 by UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri during the Dubai Metaverse Assembly, with the minister stating “this is not a proof of concept, this is our third address” before giving a live tour of the virtual headquarters.

The headquarters will feature a multiple story building, each serving a different purpose. Visitors will be able to take a ticket, which will prompt a “customer happiness center employee” to join the Metaverse and interact with the visitor.

Footage from the Dubai Metaverse Assembly. Source: Gulf News

The new headquarters will complement the ministry’s two existing offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, allowing the ministry to make digital services a bigger part of its operations following directives to do so from UAE leadership.

Related: From the valley to oasis: Swiss and Dubai crypto associations team up

Visitors to the virtual headquarters will be able to sign legally binding documents, which eliminates the need for signatories to visit one of their physical locations in order to provide their signatures.

The headquarters also contains an auditorium that can facilitate virtual conferences and other events and meeting rooms that allow users to share a screen.

The announcement follows Dubai’s government's Metaverse strategy revealed on Jul. 18, which aims to create virtual 40,000 jobs by 2030 and support the government’s vision of increasing the number of blockchain companies to five times the current number.

Kazakhstan ready to legalize crypto as Russians flock to the country

Institutional appetite continues to grow amid bear market — BitMEX CEO

Institutional appetite for Ethereum will grow now that the network is ESG compliant, according to the BitMEX boss.

In a recent interview, BitMEX chief executive Alexander Höptner shared his thoughts about institutional investors who, in his view, still have an appetite for crypto and Ethereum.

Speaking at the Token2049 conference in Singapore on Sept. 28, the crypto executive told Cointelegraph that there has not been a “single slowdown of institutional push into crypto” during this bear market.

He added that institutions and finance industry players typically use bear markets for innovation. There is a lot more pressure to deliver in a bull market, but bear markets offer the luxury of more time.

Höptner also commented that adoption for the finance industry has a long horizon which is why institutions will be buying and holding crypto assets while the opposite can currently be said for the retail sector.

When asked whether institutions or retail will end the bear market he said that retail is still pulling out whereas institutions are still making a push, before adding:

“I think that the institutions are making themselves ready now to provide the services and retail will come back and push it up again.”

The BitMEX boss is also convinced that institutions will start piling back into Ethereum now that it has switched to proof-of-stake and satisfies the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) concerns.

“Ethereum is the ideal protocol to build stuff on,” he commented before adding “this is the ideal public event to build financial products for ESG conformity,” in reference to the recently deployed Merge.

At the moment, ESG conformity is paramount, he said, adding that institutions “can offer products that are really for a wide audience once again while checking one of the boxes that they have for their compliance.”

Related: Three-quarters of institutions to use crypto in the three years: Ripple

The $3,000 figure was mentioned regarding ETH prices by year-end and Höptner sees this as a possibility especially now that the network is more environmentally friendly and big banks are using it. At the moment, ETH is trading up 3.8% over the past 24 hours at $1,336 so it has a long way to go in the next three months.

Last week, Cointelegraph reported that liquid staking products such as Lido’s stETH are more profitable and capital efficient than holding regular ETH. As such, they will increase in popularity while hodling ETH could become obsolete.

Kazakhstan ready to legalize crypto as Russians flock to the country

F1’s Daniel Ricciardo cruises into crypto at Token2049

Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo cruises into crypto as OKX performs a first-ever livery takeover of McLaren’s racing cars ahead of the Singapore and Japanese Grand Prix.

McLaren's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo sat down with Cointelegraph during the Token2049 conference in Singapore, discussing his recent involvement in crypto ahead of the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix.

Alongside OKX CMO Haider Rafique, the duo delved into a new partnership between McLaren Racing and the crypto exchange, exploring a variety of entertaining marketing moves between the two brands.

Ricciardo featured in a new OKX advert launched earlier this year standing alongside the McLaren MCL36 F1 racing car while his "spirit animal" honey badger sat in the cockpit of the vehicle. The tongue-in-cheek advert highlights the relatively unknown status of the cryptocurrency world, which continues to seek avenues to drive wider adoption of the space.

As the first point of order, Ricciardo admitted that he’d first explored the world of cryptocurrencies in 2021 and told Cointelegraph that friends had first piqued his curiosity.

“Last year I first got involved, I got my OKX wallet and it was really through a lot of curiosity. A lot of my friends were into it and then through the relationship with the team I got on board and I’m learning every day," he explained. 

Formula 1 drivers are known for their propensity to push the boundaries in various aspects of their life and Ricciardo joked that his foray into crypto accelerated fairly quickly. The 33-year-old said he was trying to increase his knowledge of the space and saw the value of diversification that cryptocurrency markets offer.

“I was actually starting to get pretty involved to a point where a few people on my team were like ‘alright you spending a bit too much time on here.’ It’s great and I am certainly curious in terms of diversification and trying to understand more about the space.”

OKX meanwhile has explored creative marketing efforts through the multi-year partnership with McLaren, announcing a livery takeover for the next two stops on the F1 calendar. Bold, orange OKX branding is front and center for the Singapore and Japan Grand Prix races and Ricciardo believes the efforts will draw more fans into the world of cryptocurrencies.

Ricciardo said the new livery in Singapore and Japan is about "fan engagement" and bringing them on board. 

"OKX is at the forefront, like we are with Formula 1, trying to innovate and be forward-thinking. It’s cool, I think this it’s the first time this has been done with a livery takeover," he said

Cointelegraph's Gareth Jenkinson alongside F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo and OKX CMO Haider Rafique at Token2049 in Singapore.

Rafique highlighted synergies between the cryptocurrency industry and Formula 1, with the "velocity of innovation" from the sport in parallel with the speed at which the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem has continued to develop:

“Ultimately the fun that we are all having comes from being creative together. Just with this livery the two design teams worked really closely together and we’re just so excited we got to work with the McLaren F1 team, with Daniel and now we have this amazing design that we’re excited for the world to see.”

Formula 1 marks its return to the Singapore street circuit for the first time since 2019. The build-up to the race has coincided with the Token2049 conference, with the street circuit slowly being pieced together until full road closures took effect on Sept. 29. 

Before Covid-19, Ricciardo had enjoyed success at the track and hopes to emulate his previous podium finishes in the city:

“It’s good to be back, 2019 was the last time and I’ve always loved street circuits and before it's all up you’re on the track trying to figure it all out because it does look different when it’s not all put together. I’m really happy to be back, I’ve had some podiums here in the past so let’s just say I am coming in hot.”

Formula 1 continues to attract marketing and advertising deals with the biggest firms in the world of cryptocurrencies. OKX was the latest cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform to pen a deal with a major team, signing up as the primary partner of McLaren in May 2022.

Kazakhstan ready to legalize crypto as Russians flock to the country

Circle Product VP: USDC chain expansion part of ‘multichain’ vision

Speaking with Cointelegraph, Circle’s vice president of Product Joao Reginatto emphasized that devs soon won’t care what blockchain they build on, as interoperability will be key.

USD Coin (USDC) issuers Circle have announced that it will soon roll out its stablecoin across five additional networks including Polkadot, Optimism, NEAR, Arbitrum and Cosmos.

The firm first dropped the news at the Converge22 event on Sept. 28, and noted that support for most of these blockchains will be rolled out by the end of 2023, while USDC on Cosmos will go live at the start of 2023.

In a Sept. 28 statement, Circle’s vice president of Product Joao Reginatto emphasized that the expansion of USDC will provide “greater liquidity and interoperability within the crypto economy,” especially for the commercial sector.

“Extending multi-chain support for USDC opens the door for institutions, exchanges, developers and more to innovate and have easier access to a trusted and stable digital dollar,” he said.

In a follow-up interview with Cointelegraph, Reginatto outlined that while Circle initially built USDC on Ethereum as move of the development and activity was happening there, it always had a vision that the future would be a “multichain world.”

As such, Circle is expanding USDC support under the premise of devs preferring interoperability over working with just one network:

“We knew already at the time that there were a lot of interesting things happening in other ecosystems, and we thought that over time developers and application builders; they are not going to be so much concerned about the Layer 1 or the Layer 2 infrastructure that they're using.”

“They will want interoperability, they will want flexibility to be able to port their solutions across ecosystems,” he added.

Reginatto did note however, while Circle is pushing ahead with expanding USDC support, given the current size of the stablecoin — with a market cap of $48.9 billion — the firm won’t just jump behind any network. He outlined that Circle conducts a lot of due diligence before it selects the next blockchain to work with.

“There's a lot of risks that we have now that we perhaps didn't have two or three years ago. So we take it with a lot of diligence. We have a team of folks across all the functions in the company kind of assessing all these ecosystems and prioritizing them over time.

Once the extra support is officially rolled out, USDC will be available on a total of 13 blockchains. In comparison, Circle’s main competitor Tether currently lists USDT support for eight networks on its website.

“Upon launch, developers will be able to use Circle APIs for fiat on/off-ramps to and from USDC in their products, as well as programmable wallets infrastructure,” Circle stated on Twitter.

Related: Circle CEO says blockchain industry is transitioning from dial-up to broadband phase

Commenting on the use cases for USDC and stablecoins in the current context of crypto, Reginatto highlighted key avenues such as marketplace payouts, remittances, and global settlements for financial institutions.

“There's no real good interoperability across all these banking systems and regional rails. Stablecoins have a really, really good value proposition for that.”

“Stripe utilizing USDC rails for marketplace payouts. Embedding that as part of their marketplace payouts products, just being able to reach people that their customers need to pay out, that with traditional rails they can't reach. So that there is clear concrete value that the substrate can deliver for those kinds of use cases,” he added.

Kazakhstan ready to legalize crypto as Russians flock to the country