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  • 🔥 CEX are leaving Hong Kong, what does that mean?

🔥 CEX are leaving Hong Kong, what does that mean?

Self custody stays forever 🔒️ Also, Trump-inspired coins pump!

GM, Ambirers!

Crypto continues to deliver, as always, and it kept things far from boring this week 🔥 

We've seen significant price movements, new all-time highs for some tokens, and a few dramatic dips that kept everyone on their toes.

Today we’re talking about:

  • 🇭🇰 Why are CEX leaving Hong Kong?

  • ⛓️ Vitalik regrets not switching to PoS earlier

  • 🍊 Trump-inspired coins pump after ex-president turns pro-crypto

  • 👨‍🦲 FriendTech dumps 30% after project reveals plans to leave Base network

But before diving in, let’s see how this week’s development affected our W3OF Degen Portfolio! It printed another 8% gain in one week 😎

Should we have just bought PEPE from the beginning, huh? We better be ready for the UpOnly season, so pop in to our Web3-On-Fire channel on Discord and propose your latest gems 💎 

The W3OF Degen Portfolio looking sleek in the Ambire Wallet Browser Extension

Now, let’s see what else happened in the Web3 world:

Why are CEX leaving Hong Kong?

The recent departure of Binance, OKX, and six other exchanges from Hong Kong has raised concerns in the community.

  • Previously, Hong Kong officials were saying they had plans for the city to become a famous crypto hub in the Asian market 🌏️ 

  • Unfortunately, these sudden withdrawals have created doubts about this plan.

Binance and OKX, one of the largest centralized exchanges globally, were seemingly excited about establishing new bases in Hong Kong. However, they recently withdrew their applications for a virtual asset trading platform license from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) 📜 

OKX, in particular, cited "careful consideration" of its business strategy. It will cease all trading services by June.

Other exchanges that have also withdrawn their licensing applications include subsidiaries of Gate.io and Huobi 🤔 

This may seem like a setback for Hong Kong's crypto ambitions by some, but it could be a sign of progress in regulators' efforts to clean up the city's crypto scene, as the old CEXs aren't known for being too clean.

A similar thing happened in Singapore previously, the licensing of crypto service providers caused over 100 out of 170 applicants to withdraw or be rejected by the end of the year.

In the UK, 71% of applications to the Financial Conduct Authority were also withdrawn.

This isn't all that surprising, but as much as exchanges might want the market to stay unregulated, we're living in the real world. Governments are always going to want to regulate things 👨‍⚖️ 

The only true solution for now is to keep your coins off these centralized exchanges. Small or big, they're all vulnerable to government, regulatory, and hacking pressure, and that's why DeFi will inevitably grow.

Vitalik regrets not switching to PoS earlier

Speaking at ETHBerlin, Vitalik Buterin expressed his regret over the delayed adoption of a simpler version of Proof of Stake (PoS) for Ethereum 👇️ 

Despite its mainstream success, some still think Ethereum remains misunderstood, unlike Bitcoin's straightforward narrative as digital gold 🤔 

  • Vitalik shared his reflections on Ethereum's design At ETHBerlin.

  • He was joined on stage by ETHBerlin organizers Afri Schoedon and Franziska Heintel, who asked Buterin how he would build Ethereum differently if he could start from scratch today.

He pointed out several things he would have done differently, including the development of EVM, smart contracts, and the switch to PoS, saying that Ethereum “should have switched to a crappier PoS” prototype as far back as 2018 🤯 

He also mentioned that despite its significant growth and adoption, Ethereum is still often seen as complex and confusing compared to Bitcoin.

Another regret Buterin mentioned was the use of 256-bit processing for EVM, which he believes was too inefficient and created unnecessary bloat on the blockchain. He also stated that early Ethereum developers should have focused on simplifying smart contracts to increase transparency.

Well, switch to PoS happened, while the full ETH2.0 upgrade technically did not, as we're yet to see the launch and implementation of sharding and other improvements, plus the transaction costs remain high and the network still faces scalability issues.

But still, Ethereum has made tremendous strides in terms of growth and adoption and it also solidified its position as the leading platform for creating DApps and smart contracts.

Since its inception, Ethereum has faced challenges and obstacles, but it has also pushed the boundaries of what is possible (first popular smart contracts and dapps) 🚀 

Despite its success, there is sure always room for improvement and reflection on past decisions. And that's good because it means that the Ethereum community is constantly striving to make the platform better 🥳 

Trump-inspired coins pump after ex-president turns pro-crypto

Trump has been a single mover of the crypto market as his bold political moves have continued to make headlines 🤨 

The former President's support for the industry inspired meme coins, leading to massive gains for those who keep tabs on new meme narratives.

  • One example, MAGA token, has increased by 170% in the last week and has seen a return on investment of over 500%.

  • A trader has made $2.7 million in just three days by trading MAGA. The trader initially spent $537,500 to buy 6 billion MAGA back in May and sold 1.5 billion for a profit of $744,000, and they still currently hold 4.5 billion MAGA, valued at $2.5 million 💰️ 

This sudden increase in meme coins can be attributed to Trump's recent pro-crypto statements and support for the industry. He has emphasized the need for the US to be a global leader in this growing sector and has promised to ensure that “the future of crypto and Bitcoin” will be “made in the USA”:

Trump's shift towards crypto is quite significant given that evidently he did not care in the slightest when he was still president. Since then, he made millions off his NFTs and started accepting crypto donations for his campaign.

So did Trump change his mind or is he doing this just to spite his successor? Given that over 30% of crypto owners plan to vote for a pro-crypto candidate, according to a recent survey, it seems like this move is strategic and calculated 🧠 

Regardless of the motive behind this, it's still good to see someone showing support for crypto in politics, and it's interesting to see that crypto has this much influence in the political landscape.

FriendTech dumps 30% after project reveals plans to leave Base network

Narratives in crypto constantly change, and investors are always on the lookout for any hint that a project may be shifting its strategy or direction 👇️ 

This is exactly what happened with Web3 social network Friend.Tech, as the native token of the project fell sharply after its co-founder expressed a desire to leave Base, the Ethereum Layer-2 network that currently hosts it.

  • The co-founder, who goes by the pseudonym Racer, made a public post on Twitter/X stating that the team is open to offers for a way to migrate Friend.Tech off of Base without causing major issues for users 🫠 

  • This sparked speculation and concern among investors who saw this as a potential sign of instability within the project.

According to Racer, the relationship between Friend.Tech and Base has been rocky since its launch, with misunderstandings and pushback from the Base community causing strain 😥 

In response, Jesse Pollak, who heads Base chain for Coinbase, offered a response acknowledging the issues faced by Friend.Tech's team:

It is unclear whether or not Friend.Tech will follow through with their plans to leave Base, but the community and the project’s native token have already reacted negatively.

Other worthy reads:

PayPal’s stablecoin is live on SOL:

New article on L2s by Vitalik:

A list of projects worth researching by Minty:

That's all for now, frens.

We'll meet in a week! And remember, the market conditions are temporary, but our commitment to building a better Web3 is here to stay. Thanks for joining us, and we look forward to seeing you back next week. Cheers!

Yours, The 🔥 Team

Brought to you by Ambire: The Only Web3 Wallet That You’ll Need