Fed Begins to Taper QE- US Central Bank Removes $351 Billion in Liquidity via Reverse Repos

After pumping extreme amounts of liquidity into markets, the U.S. Federal Reserve seems to be tapering back monetary easing policy via reverse repos (RRP). Following this week’s published minutes report from the Fed’s April monetary policy meeting, it seemed as though members of the central bank were prepared to discuss rolling back large-scale Treasury and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) purchases. This week, during a three-day period, the U.S. central bank removed $351 billion in liquidity according to reports. Fed Removes $351 Billion in Liquidity from Market via Overnight RRP Operations Last…

Read More

‘I Can Tell You He’s a Great Guy’

WELLINGTON, Ohio—“Max Miller,” said Donald Trump. “You know Max?” The former president stood behind the microphone at the lectern at one of the most recent of his trademark rallies late last month at the county fairgrounds here and told the thousands who had gathered to support him to also support Miller—the staunch former aide Trump eagerly tapped to try to unseat Anthony Gonzalez, one of the 10 Republican members of the House of Representatives who voted to impeach Trump, in the intensifying bellwether of the GOP primary in Ohio’s 16th…

Read More

‘America is not racist’ becomes a GOP 2024 mantra

Democrats made structural racism a centerpiece of the 2020 presidential primary. Now the Republican rebuttal is emerging as an early plank of the 2024 GOP contest: America is not a racist country. The mantra, used by nearly all of the Republican contenders, is unavoidable in the earliest stages of the GOP’s nominating campaign. At the annual Family Leadership Summit in Iowa this month, all three potential presidential prospects on stage — former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem — took…

Read More

Can Rob Portman seal the big bipartisan deal?

If you called central casting for a senator to cut a bipartisan infrastructure deal, you’d get Rob Portman. The Ohio Republican, a former White House budget chief with two terms under his belt as well as the ear of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, is an ideal bridge between his party’s two wings. Portman acquitted then-President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial but later backed an independent commission on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. And a looming retirement from Congress frees Portman from the political burden of facing voters next…

Read More

Nigerian Central Bank Stops Forex Sales to Bureaus de Change — Operators Accused of Feeding Black Market

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently announced the abrupt end to sales and outsourcing of foreign exchange to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators after accusing them of failing to stick to their core mandate. Instead of providing forex to retail users, BDCs are believed to be supplying the scarce resource to so-called “illegal” dealers. BDC Operators Accused of Fueling Parallel Market Activity The illegal dealers, in turn, avail the foreign exchange to clients at parallel market exchange rates. For instance, while the CBN insists that the naira’s exchange rate…

Read More

Iran Raises Alarm Over Potential Influx of Miners From China

With the government in Beijing cracking down on their operations, Chinese miners have been on the lookout for other jurisdictions. Providing low-cost energy, Iran has emerged as a prospective destination. However, the country’s state-owned power utility has expressed concerns over a possible influx of miners and illegal imports of mining hardware from China. Tavanir Warns About Flood of Chinese Miners and Equipment Into Iran The Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company, Tavanir, has issued a warning regarding the entry of Chinese cryptocurrency miners into Iran amid China’s ongoing crackdown…

Read More

Unique Addresses Tethered to Ethereum Defi Apps Climb Past 3 Million

The number of users or unique addresses leveraging decentralized finance (defi) protocols via Ethereum has risen past 3 million according to recent statistics. A vast majority of these unique addresses use the defi protocol Uniswap, as 2.4 million users have been recorded since December 2018. Ethereum Defi Applications See Unique Addresses Surpass 3 Million According to statistics from Dune Analytics, the number of users or unique ethereum addresses utilizing defi has jumped past the 3 million threshold this week. At the time of writing, data shows there are 3,092,000 unique…

Read More

Kenyan Farmers Pivot to Cryptocurrency as Popularity of Community Currencies Grows

The growth and popularity of community inclusion cryptocurrencies in Kenya continues to soar with the country’s rural farmers being the latest group to embrace the financial technology. As one report reveals, some farmers in Kenya’s countryside are now accepting cryptocurrency as payment while others are using the same to buy important supplies. Use of Sarafu Cryptocurrency Helps Farmers Save Money According to a report from media outlet VOA, one of the reasons this alternative monetary system has become popular is because it allows users to preserve their fiat currency savings.…

Read More

Trump-backed candidate loses in Texas special election

Voters in North Texas delivered an upset Tuesday, picking GOP state Rep. Jake Ellzey to fill a vacant House seat over a candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Ellzey beat fellow Republican Susan Wright, the widow of former Rep. Ron Wright, 53 percent to 47 percent, when the Associated Press called the low-turnout, Republican-vs.-Republican runoff. Though Ellzey was better funded, Wright leaned heavily on her backing from the former president, who often plays kingmaker in Republican primaries. Trump crashed into the race during the first round of voting in…

Read More

IMF Warns Against Adopting Crypto Assets Like Bitcoin as Legal Tender

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned against adopting cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, as legal tender. Noting numerous risks and costs involved, the IMF does not see crypto assets catching on as a national currency. IMF Warns of Risks in Adopting Cryptocurrencies as National Currency The International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a blog post on Monday discussing the topic of cryptocurrencies as legal tender. The post titled “Cryptoassets as National Currency? A Step Too Far” was authored by Tobias Adrian, the financial counselor and director of the IMF’s Monetary and Capital…

Read More

‘Tiger of the House’ claws his way through infrastructure talks

House Transportation Committee Chair Peter DeFazio is on the verge of getting rolled. And he’s not going quietly. After a 34-year congressional career devoted to transportation and environment issues, the Oregon Democrat could soon be forced to watch his life’s work shunted to the side if Senate negotiators secure a deal this week on a massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure package — largely without House input. In a fiery tirade to fellow Democrats during a closed-door meeting Tuesday, DeFazio called the bill “crap.” He blasted the White House and Sens. Rob…

Read More

Senator Warren Urges Treasury Secretary Yellen to Urgently Adopt Policy to Mitigate Cryptocurrencies’ Risks

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has asked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to “act with urgency” and adopt an appropriate policy to address the risks posed by cryptocurrencies. “The longer that the United States waits to adapt the proper regulatory regime for these assets, the more likely they will become so intertwined in our financial system that there could be potentially serious consequences if this market comes under stress.” Senator Warren Wants Quick Regulatory Response to Crypto Risks U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Monday outlining…

Read More

Mastercard Launches Global Program to Help Cryptocurrency Startups Scale Their Innovations

Payments giant Mastercard has launched a new, global program for cryptocurrency startups. Seven crypto companies have already joined the program. Together with Mastercard, they will work to “expand and accelerate innovation around digital asset technology and make it safer and easier for people and institutions to buy, spend and hold cryptocurrencies and digital assets.” Mastercard’s New Crypto Program Mastercard announced Tuesday “a new Start Path global startup engagement program dedicated to supporting fast-growing digital assets, blockchain and cryptocurrency companies.” Seven startups have already joined the program. They will work with…

Read More

CDC wants vaccinated Americans to wear masks indoors in Covid hot spots

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Tuesday that Americans wear masks indoors again, particularly in crowded indoor settings. The new indoor mask recommendations apply to vaccinated and unvaccinated people who live in areas where the CDC has classified Covid-19 transmission as “high” or “substantial,” a health official said — a category that includes much of the South as well as western states like Arizona and Wyoming. The announcement marks a sharp change in policy for the nation’s leading health agency. In May, the CDC said vaccinated Americans no…

Read More

Biden: Vaccine mandate for all federal employees is ‘under consideration’

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that a Covid vaccine mandate for all federal employees is “under consideration right now.” “If you’re not vaccinated, you’re not nearly as smart as I thought you were,” Biden told reporters at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, where he addressed the intelligence community in the afternoon. The federal government is the nation’s largest employer. A blanket mandate could affect at least 4 million federal employees, a number that includes civilian workers and members of both the U.S. military and the U.S. Postal…

Read More

Tension over bipartisan infrastructure talks spills into party meetings

Both Republican and Democratic Senate lunches turned into venting sessions Tuesday afternoon, as rank-and-file senators used the parties’ private gatherings to complain about the bipartisan infrastructure negotiations, according to multiple sources familiar with the meetings. Many senators are losing patience with the bipartisan infrastructure talks, and their grievances underscore the difficulties negotiators have in sealing a final product. During the Democratic lunch, committee chairs raised concerns about how the legislation is coming together and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer responded to the complaints, according to an attendee and a source…

Read More

‘A medieval battle’: Officers reveal horrors they faced defending Capitol on Jan. 6

Four police officers who defended the Capitol from a Jan. 6 riot by Donald Trump supporters spoke out Tuesday during the first hearing of the select committee investigating the attack, sharing harrowing details of their physical and mental trauma. As the riot fades from public memory amid a new wave of Republican revisionism, select panel members aimed to cast the hearing — the first time Congress has heard publicly from law enforcement on the front lines of the response to Jan. 6 — as a vivid reminder of what happened.…

Read More

Cheney and Kinzinger call out GOP leaders at first Capitol riot hearing

The two House Republicans participating in the Democratic-led investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol attack issued pointed rejoinders to their party’s leadership, defending their own conservative credibility, during the select panel’s first hearing on Tuesday. An emotional Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois spent much of his questioning time criticizing fellow Republicans who “have treated this as just another partisan fight.” While he didn’t mention House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy by name, the GOP leader has chastised Kinzinger and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming for serving on the panel, calling them…

Read More

Fireblocks Custody Company Raises $310 Million, Reaches $2 Billion Valuation

Fireblocks, a blockchain infrastructure firm, raised $310 million in its most recent funding round, reaching a valuation of $2 billion. The company, which specializes in the custody of digital assets, is interested in bringing traditional assets to the blockchain realm. Fireblocks expects this trend of digitalization to keep growing in the recent future. Fireblocks Raises $310 Million in Series D Funding Round Fireblocks, a custody and blockchain infrastructure company, raised $310 million in its Series D funding round. The new investment took the valuation of the company to $2.2 billion,…

Read More

The NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers to Collaborate With Blockchain Firm Socios.com

Following the announcement from the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Boston Celtics, the Cleveland Cavaliers has officially partnered with the blockchain firm Socios.com. The partnership is aimed at increasing the Socios brand and awareness via the Cavaliers’ global asset platform. Socios Partners With the Cavs On July 26, Socios.com and the NBA team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, revealed a new partnership. The Socios company is a blockchain project that allows fans to become “superfans” by letting them influence “club-specific decisions, trade digital items, and access VIP experiences.” Socios says that currently the…

Read More

Biden wants Putin to behave. So why not go after his money?

If the United States really wants Russia to stop ransomware attacks and other hostile activities, Garry Kasparov has a solution ripped from his days as a chess grandmaster: Go after the king. Russia President Vladimir Putin is thought to be worth tens of billions of dollars, Kasparov notes. Researchers have pieced together his alleged assets by examining everything from Putin’s luxury watches to a palace he’s said to frequent to unusual money trails that lead to his inner circle. That secret wealth makes Putin uniquely vulnerable to U.S. sanctions, Kasparov…

Read More

‘You need some gunslingers’: Russian dissidents say Biden’s too soft on Putin

If the United States really wants Russia to stop ransomware attacks and other hostile activities, Garry Kasparov has a solution ripped from his days as a chess grandmaster: Go after the king. Russia President Vladimir Putin is thought to be worth tens of billions of dollars, Kasparov notes. Researchers have pieced together his alleged assets by examining everything from Putin’s luxury watches to a palace he’s said to frequent to unusual money trails that lead to his inner circle. That secret wealth makes Putin uniquely vulnerable to U.S. sanctions, Kasparov…

Read More

‘A very dangerous precedent’: Democrats take aim at Biden’s Somalia airstrikes

Top Democratic lawmakers took aim this week at the Biden administration’s recent airstrikes in Somalia, disputing the legal rationale for the operations and arguing that it undercuts the president’s stated desire to replace outdated war authorizations. The Pentagon justified the strikes, which targeted al Qaeda affiliates in the war-torn country, by invoking the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the terrorist groups that attacked the U.S. on 9/11. Democrats, who have long maintained that the 2001 authorization is irrelevant 20 years after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, said…

Read More

Troops to stay put in Syria even as Biden seeks to end America’s ‘forever wars’

The Biden administration is pulling all American troops out of Afghanistan and formally transitioning to an advisory role in Iraq. But the U.S. military operation in Syria has seen no changes — and officials expect hundreds of troops to remain in the country for the foreseeable future. Roughly 900 U.S. troops, including a number of Green Berets, will remain in Syria to continue supporting and advising the Syrian Democratic Forces fighting the Islamic State — the same role they have played since the American-led intervention in 2014, according to a…

Read More

Stacks AMM Revealed, Native Bitcoin Swaps Executed With Proof-of-Transfer Protocol

According to a recent report, the first trust-less swap between the Bitcoin blockchain and Stacks protocol has been executed. The co-founder of the Stacks protocol, Muneeb Ali tweeted about the native bitcoin swap and said the progress is a big deal. Trust-less Native Bitcoin Swap Executed With an NFT Called ‘Boombox’ On July 23, a trust-less swap using the Stacks protocol and the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain was settled onchain. The swap dubbed the “Catamaran Swap between BTC and STX” was discussed on the Reddit forum r/stacks. “The first trustless swap…

Read More

Goldman Sachs Files Defi ETF Application

Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest banking institutions in the world, has filed an application to offer an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) linked to the performance of decentralized finance (defi) companies. The instrument, if approved, would help institutions and retail investors gain exposure to defi assets with the help of a regulated bank like Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs Proposes Defi ETF Goldman Sachs, one of leading commercial banks in the world, has introduced an application to the SEC to offer a defi-linked ETF. The defined ETF is called “Goldman Sachs…

Read More

Brazilian Burger King Customers Can Now Purchase Meat-Flavored Dog Biscuits With Dogecoin

According to regional reports, the Burger King franchise in Brazil has introduced a new type of food specifically made for canines called the “Dogeppr.” The new product is a dog biscuit that canine owners can purchase for their pets and the company is accepting dogecoin crypto payments for Dogeppr purchases. Burger King Brazil Introduces the Dogeppr — Company Accepts Dogecoin for Meat-Flavored Biscuits At a number of select locations, the Burger King franchise in Brazil has announced that the firm is accepting dogecoin (DOGE) payments for a new dog biscuit…

Read More

Democrats kick off Jan. 6 probe with emotional video and testimony

The first hearing of the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack began Tuesday with emotional video of rioters assaulting police officers who were defending the Capitol from an onslaught by Donald Trump supporters. As the riot fades from public memory amid a new wave of Republican revisionism, panel members aimed to cast the hearing — the first time Congress has heard publicly from law enforcement on the front lines of the response to Jan. 6 — as a vivid reminder of what happened. “Some people are trying to…

Read More

DOJ: Former Trump officials can testify about Jan. 6 Capitol attack

The Justice Department will not move to block former Trump administration officials from testifying in investigations related to the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol, according to a letter reviewed by POLITICO. The letter, which explains the Biden Justice Department’s position on the matter, indicates that former top aides who witnessed the chaotic final days of Donald Trump’s presidency have DOJ’s blessing to participate in the House’s select committee probe, which is holding its first public hearing on Tuesday morning with the police officers who were assaulted by rioters on…

Read More

Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Parameter Set to Increase for the First Time in 8 Weeks

Bitcoin’s hashrate has slowly crept back up between 85 exahash per second (EH/s) to 125 EH/s on July 14. The increase in hashpower has made it so the next mining difficulty change will increase for the first time in eight weeks. The four consecutive difficulty drops turned out to be the largest slide in Bitcoin’s lifetime, and that’s seemingly coming to an end in four days. Bitcoin’s Hashrate Moves Northbound The price of bitcoin (BTC) dropped for a few consecutive weeks, and during the same time frame, China’s crackdown on…

Read More