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Crypto Exchange Luno Says South Africa’s Crypto Trading Dominated by Young People

Crypto Exchange Luno Says South Africa's Crypto Trading Dominated by Young People

Luno, one of Africa’s pioneering crypto exchanges, has revealed that South Africa’s cryptocurrency trading is largely dominated by young people with those under the age of 29 accounting for 40% of transactions. The exchange, which claims to have added nearly a million new South African customers in 2020, also reveals that “around 65% of Luno’s users are male and about 35% female.” These figures compare favourably with the industry average of 70% male to 30% female.

Rising Retail Demand

In addition to achieving a 300% year-on-year growth, Luno reports seeing the number of active users surging by 167% during the same period while “the number of app installs increased 119%.” Meanwhile, a report quotes Marcus Swanepoel, CEO and cofounder of Luno attributing the increase in transactions volumes to rising retail demand for cryptos. Swanepoel explained:

While a lot of the attention has been around institutional adoption, retail adoption has been growing at an arguably even more frantic pace. In 2021, we expect to continue this exponential growth, on track to reaching our goal of one billion customers by 2030.

Between January 2019 and 2020, Luno, which was acquired in September 2020 by Digital Currency Group, says it “recorded $8.3 billion (R121 billion) in transactions worldwide.” Further, Luno says it “processed nearly $3 billion in volumes in South Africa last year, and was already above this number at the end of March.”

South Africans Curious About Cryptos

Meanwhile, the same report also quotes the exchange’s general manager, Marius Reitz, stating that “South Africans are definitely curious about crypto.” To support this assessment, Reitz points to Google bitcoin search trends data. According to this data, South Africa is ranked fourth globally and on the African continent, the country is placed second behind Nigeria.

In addition, to the Google Trends data, Luno also makes reference to the Global Web Index data which shows that “an estimated 15% of South Africans have invested in bitcoin.” With this figure, which is the second-highest in the world, South Africa ranks ahead of countries like the U.S. and Japan.

Do you think South African crypto transactions volumes will surge again in 2021? You can share your views in the comments section below.

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TeraBlock Launches an AI-powered Trade Automation in Partnership with Binance Cloud

Investing in the cryptocurrency industry remains a complex undertaking for most people.

It can be daunting to find the right market to invest in at the right time, primarily due to ongoing volatility. For that reason, TeraBlock’s developed a Machine Learning automated trading and investment management solution that can lower the barriers for those who want to enter the market in a frictionless manner.

Making Crypto Investing and Trading Easy

People who are not familiar with cryptocurrencies can find it difficult to invest in Bitcoin or other assets. There is a steep learning curve associated with this industry that turns away a lot of people. No one wants to research the aspects of this industry, compare the different markets, or find the right time to invest during volatile periods.

In traditional finance, investing in different currencies, assets, or markets is relatively straightforward. Gaining exposure to other sectors can be done through direct means, either with or without the help of external parties. It is a very simple process, yet such solutions are a bit hard to come by where cryptocurrencies are concerned.

In the current landscape, one can buy specific currencies regularly through dollar-cost averaging. Setting up this method for more than one currency becomes more complex than it needs to be. TeraBlock wants to change that narrative by combining innovative technologies with cryptocurrency investing.

Leveraging AI and ML For Automated Trading

It is not entirely uncommon to see artificial intelligence and/or machine learning in financial products and services these days. The financial sector has robo-advisors that help people automated their investments and manage their portfolios over time. In most cases, the AI or ML algorithm will even rebalance one’s portfolio depending on the current market conditions and overall risk appetite.

TeraBlock now wants to bring this same approach to the cryptocurrency industry. By using the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning, users can gain confidence in a new asset class without friction. That is an essential element when dealing with notoriously volatile markets, even on a good day. Seeing prices plunge or rise by over 5% in a day is far from uncommon in this industry.

More importantly, TeraBlock’s solution provides 100% automated portfolio management. Funds will be protected against volatility, and the algorithm strives to provide consistent growth over time. As the underpinning algorithm can learn and adapt, Terablock users should benefit from more successful trades over time.

It is equally important to note that TeraBlock offers a simple way to buy cryptocurrencies. With native support for credit and debit cards, buying Bitcoin and other supported assets will become a lot more straightforward. TeraBlock taps into Binance’s deep liquidity to provide competitive prices for those who want to buy or sell their cryptocurrency at any moment.

Different Indexes For Various Risk Appetite

As the cryptocurrency industry grows over time, it is essential to invest in the correct markets and assets. Rather than figuring out those opportunities on one’s own, TeraBlock provides direct exposure to four different indexes. They are based on market cap, recent performance, project overview, and statistical data. Every option has its own benefits and drawbacks, depending on the overall risk appetite.

As soon as a user opts for a specific index, the machine learning algorithm will buy the assets as directed by the user and continuously monitor the market. Should the market start to head in the wrong direction, the trading engine will exit that market pair until things normalize again. With the use of low-frequency trading, users will not see too many changes to their overall investment basket.

Closing Thoughts

Making cryptocurrencies more appealing is an essential part of the evolution of this industry. Slowly but surely, things appear to head in the right direction, but there is still lots of work to be done.

The platform offered by TeraBlock shows what the future may look like for crypto adoption. It is a solution that can appeal to both novice and advanced users alike.

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Crypto Market Analysis: 19th April 2021

Bitcoin prices slumped over the weekend, falling to a low of $50,000 on Sunday before rebounding, as a flash crash impacted leading cryptoassets.

Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP, as well as most other major altcoins, were all hit by a sudden flash crash early Sunday morning, sending prices down sharply.

Power outages in China, which consequently caused a huge drop in the bitcoin network hashrate, are being cited as a potential reason for the big pullback.

Prices have climbed off lows overnight, with bitcoin back above $56,000 this morning, and peers such as Cardano also recovering, although both are around 10% off all-time highs.

Ethereum hard fork sends price to record high

Ethereum surged above $2,500 a coin last week as its long-awaited Berlin hard fork went live.

The second-largest cryptoasset by market capitalisation introduced the hard fork to try to solve a significant issue for the network – high gas fees. Gas fees have shot up in the last 12 months, with users seeing transaction costs rocket from below 10 cents to a high of $40 in February of this year.

Currently, the average fee is close to $19, but this is far higher than the minimal fees charged by peers such as Cardano and Algorand.

The network’s hard fork has changed the algorithm that calculates gas fees, with the aim being to reduce costs that may otherwise push users on to other platforms.

Having surged to a new high, this weekend’s flash crash has seen the price fall back, leaving it trading around $2,250.

Coinbase lists on main market via IPO

Coinbase has completed its IPO in the US as the cryptoasset market continues to enter mainstream financial markets.

Ben Laidler, eToro’s global market analyst, said: “The Coinbase IPO is significant for a few reasons. Firstly, it reflects the institutionalisation and development of the crypto industry. “

“Secondly, it demonstrates how public markets are changing. We’ve seen a record number of US IPOs raising money through non-traditional approaches, such as direct listings and SPACs. “

“Lastly, it gives people a vehicle to gain exposure to the crypto market without having to invest in cryptoassets themselves. The stock can be included in pension funds and trackers that previously could not directly include cryptoassets, thereby further opening up the crypto market to an entirely new pool of capital.”

Binance coin completes biggest ever burn

The Binance platform has completed its 15th quarterly binance coin (BNB) token burn, destroying more than a million coins with a value of $5.8bn.

The burn comes after a mammoth rally for the coin, which has doubled in a month and climbed by some 3,492% in a year.

“This burn effectively took USD 595,314,380 worth of BNB out of circulation forever. With this recent burn, the total supply of BNB has officially decreased from 170,532,825 BNB to 169,432,937 BNB. This 15th quarterly BNB burn is the highest-ever in US dollar terms,” CEO Changpeng Zhao said.

NYSE launches “first trade” NFTs

The New York Stock Exchange has said it will launch “First Trade” NFTs which commemorate the true first trade of Spotify, Snowflake, Unity, DoorDash, Roblox and Coupang.

During a company’s public debut, the exchange processes over 350 billion order, quote and trade messages across its markets on its busiest days.

Each message is recorded on the exchange’s digital ledger, and it is these that the exchange plans to make public in the form of NFT’s, following similar moves by a variety of different businesses across the world of sports and entertainment.

NYSE President Stacey Cunningham said in a LinkedIn post: “Only one of those messages marks the NYSE First Trade: the exact moment a company became public, creating an opportunity for others to share in their success.”

“The NYSE First Trade NFT memorializes that unique moment in a company’s history.”

TIME Magazine partners with Greyscale

TIME Magazine’s President has announced the world-famous publication is partnering with Grayscale Investments to produce a video series on cryptoassets.

In yet another endorsement of the long-term potential of cryptoassets, TIME Magazine said it had partnered with Grayscale Investments to not only launch the educational video series, but also be paid in bitcoin, as well as committing to keep the cryptoasset on its balance sheet.

Founded in 1923, TIME Magazine has over 20 million subscribers worldwide, and is one of the most recognisable publications globally.

Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein tweeted on Monday that he was “thrilled” to be partnering with TIME magazine, adding that the deal to pay TIME in bitcoin was “a first for our media partnerships”.

Societe Generale issues first structured product security token

French investment banking giant Societe Generale (SocGen) has issued the first structured product as a security token, directly registered on the Tezos public blockchain.

SocGen, which launched the token via its Forge division, says the transaction demonstrates the legal, regulatory and operational feasibility of issuing more complex financial instruments on a public blockchain.

The drive behind the token is to use the increased efficiency and fluidity of financial transactions that blockchain can bring. SocGen said the new structured product benefited from an unprecedented capacity of product structuration, a shortened time-to-market, automated corporate actions, increased transparency, and speed in transactions and settlements.

The launch follows a covered bond security token issuance on Ethereum, settled in euros, in 2019, and a second such issuance settled in CBDC issued by Banque de France last year.

This is a marketing communication and should not be taken as investment advice, personal recommendation, or an offer of, or solicitation to buy or sell, any financial instruments. This material has been prepared without having regard to any particular investment objectives or financial situation, and has not been prepared in accordance with the legal and regulatory requirements to promote independent research. Any references to past performance of a financial instrument, index or a packaged investment product are not, and should not be taken as a reliable indicator of future results.

All contents within this report are for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. eToro makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared utilizing publicly-available information.

Cryptoassets are volatile instruments that can fluctuate widely in a very short timeframe and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading cryptoassets is unregulated and therefore is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. Your capital is at risk.

 

Image by WorldSpectrum from Pixabay
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South Korea aims to “pay special attention” to Bitcoin and crypto transactions

South Korea’s regulators have announced a new crackdown on crypto-related illegal activity amidst the ongoing digital assets trading boom, local news outlet Yonhap News Agency reported today.

“There is a need to pay special attention to the occurrence of illegal activities using virtual assets,” said Koo Yun-cheol, head of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, at a vice-ministerial meeting on Monday.

Per the report, the Financial Services Commission will focus on improving and strengthening surveillance over “virtual money” withdrawals conducted with the help of local financial institutions. The latter will be required to monitor and detect any signs of potential money laundering and report them to the Financial Intelligence Unit.

The regulators also plan to closely watch any illegal transfers of cryptocurrencies out of the country. Meanwhile, the state tax agency will focus on detecting any attempts at tax evasion via digital assets.

High demand for Bitcoin

As CryptoSlate previously reported, crypto trading is currently booming in South Korea as locals are even prepared to pay the so-called “Kimchi premium” to get their hands on digital assets. Per Yonhap, the price of Bitcoin recently exceeded $72,000 (80 million won) while the coin was trading at around $56,000 across the world.

This is because unlike equities, which are traded on a central exchange, crypto exchanges are decentralized and prices on the can vary. The “Kimchi premium” is one such example, relating to South Korea, where the price of an asset can differ drastically in some regions due to different market dynamics and supply/demand compared to other regions.

Meanwhile, data from markets tool CoinMarketCap shows 14 Korean crypto exchanges generate roughly $21.6 billion in trading volume daily, an amount greater than the country’s own stock market (just over $17 billion).

Last week, the Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol also reportedly warned the public about cryptos’ high volatility which, in turn, can potentially lead to financial instability when excessive amounts of cash are being pumped into digital assets.

The post South Korea aims to “pay special attention” to Bitcoin and crypto transactions appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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Société Générale Launches Blockchain-Based Structured Product

French financial services giant Société Générale has issued security tokens on Tezos’ public blockchain as part of its ongoing experimentation with cutting-edge fintech applications.

Latest Move Reflects Bank’s Efforts to Fold Cryptocurrency Operations Into Its Ecosystem

In its latest milestone in the blockchain arena, French multinational bank Société Générale has issued its very first structured product security token. The token, which represents €5 million of Euro Medium Term Notes (EMTN), represents the first move by the bank to tokenize assets. The insurance arm of the bank, Société Générale Assurances, fully subscribed to the security token offerings.

This latest development follows other work the bank has already undertaken through its regulated subsidiary Société Générale – Forge. Since it first tokenized a €100 million covered bond settled in Euros in 2019 on the Ethereum blockchain, the bank has also handled another covered bond worth €40 million for settlement in the Banque de France’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in 2020.

The security token, issued on Tezos’ open-source public blockchain, reflects the growing role of this disruptive technology framework, given its ability to make transactions more efficient and cost-effective. From the bank’s perspective, blockchain adds significant capacity for structuring assets with fewer intermediaries in addition to better speed and greater transparency.

Although blockchain technology still presents a challenging regulatory issue in the region given the absence of clear guidelines, the Société Générale has already been tapped by the European Central Bank to assist with digital bond issuance.

As part of its foray into the crypto ecosystem, the bank intends to leverage its experience in blockchain to effectively bridge the technology with legacy financial systems integrated with the SWIFT system. This initiative will also eventually grow to include crypto-asset structuring, issuance, exchange, and custody services for the bank’s institutional clients planned for launch in 2022.

Do you see advantages in having complex financial instruments on a public blockchain? Let us know in the comments section below.

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PARSIQ: Calling Data to Action Using Blockchain Technology

PARSIQ: Calling Data to Action Using Blockchain Technology

Over the past 13 years, the world has seen innovation at its finest. The creation of Bitcoin, the development of cryptocurrencies, the launch of blockchain projects, Decentralized Applications (Dapps), and far more. To gauge the financial evolution of blockchain one need only consider the price of Bitcoin in 2013 and compare it to today. In 2013, a single Bitcoin was worth $22. Today, Bitcoin is comfortably over $60,000, with analysts suggesting $100,000 is in sight. With the steady expansion of blockchain technology, the Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) revolution has begun. PARSIQ strives to pioneer the use cases of this BaaS revolution.

PARSIQ: An Overview

PARSIQ promotes BaaS through its next-gen monitoring and intelligence platform. Users can observe and utilize blockchain data for a number of use cases. These include:

  • Tracking digital assets in real-time
  • Notifications of Blockchain network activity
  • Gathering and processing on-chain data
  • Combining on-chain with off-chain data such as Risk Data/Market Data etc.

PARSIQ also enables multi-blockchain interoperability and the ability to create complex workflows between them. Easy-to-use, flexible, and scalable; PARSIQ removes the complexity from blockchain-specific workflows so that users can efficiently and comfortably transform blockchain data.

Moreover, PARSIQ provides integration with many high-profile blockchains such as Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Solana. With this wide range of blockchain platforms steadily increasing, the potential use cases for users only continues to increase.

The main business objective and vision of PARSIQ is to monitor and protect blockchain data. PARSIQ enables the creation of fully customizable complex monitoring solutions with the ability to integrate on-chain data with notification systems, effectively creating alerts for blockchain-based data events.

At the core of PARSIQ’s first day of formation, these two groupings pioneer the PARSIQ platform’s vision. These encompass the utilization of on-chain/off-chain data and workflow optimization as we will explore further below.

Keeping Up-to-Date Block by Block

One of the main use cases of PARSIQ is its ability to facilitate flexible and easy-to-use on-chain analysis. On-chain analysis provides a fundamental approach as opposed to a sentimental approach and can be used to identify historical trends. PARSIQ enables effective on-chain analysis via the use of its platform and many analysis tools.

Both small businesses and large enterprises can implement on-chain analysis using PARSIQ’s blockchain connection automation, fully customizable workflows, and versatile integration selection. Spanning on-chain data and off-chain apps, workflows can be augmented with conditional logic, aggregate, formatting of data, and far more to effectuate all analysis targets.

Taking PARSIQ’s Smart-Trigger automation into consideration, this process further develops next-gen on-chain analysis. Smart-Trigger receiving input events, processes each according to the user-specified logic, and produces intermediate/output events in correlation with User Data specifications.

When a user defines their monitoring targets in User Data, the Smart-Trigger can be programmed using ParsiQL language to process and consider all monitored information. In layman’s terms, using the Smart-Trigger process, users are able to amalgamate mass information quickly and effectively to conclude their on-chain analysis.

Smart-Trigger: Developing Upon Blockchain Oracle Interoperability

Blockchain oracles enable blockchain or smart contracts to interact with external data. This facilitates the on and off-chain pathway and lays the foundation for interoperability between blockchains.

Smart-Trigger contributes to the Blockchain technology space by directly improving upon this interoperability via its monitoring and data-gathering utilities. As with any smart contract or blockchain, an oracle is required to facilitate the transferral of information between it and the real world. How Smart-Trigger builds upon this process is by automating the movement of data across multiple blockchain integrations, all based upon user-specified requirements.

Unlike oracles, Smart-Triggers are flexible, easy-to-use, fully customizable, and can be tailored for any user’s needs. Using the logic chosen, the mass information gathered can be filtered, aggregated, and specified down to the minutest criteria. This process cuts time requirements, eliminates unnecessary information transferral, and develops upon the core of oracle interoperability.

An on-chain analysis tool of this caliber fits comfortably into the same league of analysis tools employed by businesses such as Chainalysis. Similarly, PARSIQ’s Smart-Trigger enables the same efficiency of risk management, blockchain data monitoring, and data-gathering.

Indeed, PARSIQ Smart-Triggers have the potential to bridge the gap between consumer apps and on/off-chain analysis using an approach that has never been trialed before.

Optimizing the Workspace Using PARSIQ

Another strong use case of PARSIQ is the efficient optimization of workflow applications. Used in conjunction with Smart Triggers, PARSIQ workflows can be fully customized, organized, and utilized to establish a solution that grows with the user.

A workflow facilitates a multi-action data transaction and automates responses to specified events using Smart-Triggers. An example could be as follows:

  • Smart-Trigger: A Bitcoin transaction – an address has received a new transaction.
  • Telegram Bot: user alerted via Telegram integration about the new transaction.
  • Data Risk Score: adds a risk score utilizing off-chain data.
  • Slack Alert: notification of the risk score is provided to the user compliance team on Slack.

This multi-step process of action and response is referred to as a workflow and can be completely customized to automate a chain of reactions based upon a Smart-Trigger event. Using the array of tools provided, users can customize their workflow to develop real value for their business.

With an easy drag & drop visual editor, The PARSIQ platform will allow users to easily structure their own business logic and input conditions with an easy-to-use user interface currently under construction. Deploying Smart-Triggers to achieve automation goals, users can specialize workflows tailored to their own business. This cuts time requirements, response times and allows more time for the development of more important business aspects.

When PARSIQ secures integration with Slack and Trello, both communication and task management could then be managed simultaneously via PARSIQ workflow optimization. This potential process would begin with a Smart-Trigger, which then automates the communication responses. Following this theoretical chain of automation, the automated Slack response to the Smart-Trigger would instigate a Trello response which would organize and update task management layouts.

The Subscription Model Re-evaluated

The PARSIQ subscription model, IQ Protocol, aims to provide a cheap and flexible method for on-chain subscription implementation – without sacrificing workflow quality/utility. Rather than staking to access PARSIQ’s IQ services, this new Decentralized Finance (DeFi) framework enables businesses to subscribe. This framework works to avoid token issuance pitfalls often encountered by other BaaS’s. To deliver this subscription model service, PARSIQ has introduced the notion of ‘Power Tokens’.

Power Tokens are not considered a form of payment, but instead, a measure of energy generation. The energy accumulated takes the role of being an accountable unit spent for service consumption (much like gas fees for Ethereum transactions). This token model proposed by PARSIQ sets the stage for collateral-less borrowing of Power Tokens which in turn ensures the loan side of the IQ Protocol is risk-free. PARSIQ’s innovation via the IQ Protocol opens up mainstream adoption of DeFi participation while nullifying the associated risks. Establishing tokenomics that are both sustainable and measurable over time, the IQ Protocol aims to utilize Power Tokens to revolutionize the future of BaaS.

PARSIQ Is the Future

Indeed, PARSIQ’s IQ Protocol is a determined attempt to bridge the worlds of DeFi and mainstream, one of the first such attempts seen in the space since its rise to popularity last summer. The proposition of an entirely new approach to obtaining utility from DeFi platforms in a subscription-like manner puts IQ in step with the traditional subscription model used in mainstream application development.

This results in a shallower learning curve for mainstream organizations looking to develop in the DeFi space, whilst also alleviating some of the concerns associated with holding often volatile tokens to gain access to DeFi platforms. In addition, PARSIQ’s integrations are a clear effort to lower the cost of development, as well as encourage an open and multi-platform approach to development. This gives potential developers more flexibility when it comes to choosing where to base in the DeFi space, as well as opening up the mainstream world to several DeFi-focussed platforms at the same time.

The future of DeFi depends on its integration with the mainstream world. PARSIQ embodies the move in that direction, with IQ being its defining step.

To learn more about PARSIQ and its vision for the future of DeFi today, visit their main page here. To learn more about IQ Protocol and how PARSIQ uses it to re-imagine DeFi, read the IQ blog post here.


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Dogecoin Holds Strong Against Weekend Flash Crash, What is Happening?

Markets tanked during the early hours of Sunday morning UTC, with Bitcoin dropping $10k in a matter of hours. While Dogecoin also suffered a dip, its fall was trivial compared to the rest of the market. By midday, DOGE had recovered and went on to post 12% gains by the end of the day.

Dogecoin daily chart

Source: DOGEUSD on TradingView.com

Numerous figures have come forward warning against Dogecoin’s lack of fundamentals. But as seen on Sunday, DOGE proved itself more resilient than “blue-chip” offerings. This begs the question, what is happening with Dogecoin?

Dogecoin Shows no Sign of Slowing Down

Dogecoin’s meteoric rise last week saw it spike to $0.47 on Friday before giving back some of those gains over the weekend. Although the total crypto market cap took a big hit, dropping from $2.2tr to bottom at $1.9tr by midday, the impact on DOGE was minimal.

Whereas the likes of Cardano and Polkadot suffered percentage losses in the mid-twenties and have yet to recover to pre-flash crash levels, Dogecoin is currently up 20% from the time of the dip.

Critics argue that DOGE is a joke coin that shouldn’t be taken seriously, citing issues such as the lack of development and infinite token supply. But at the same time, others have said its appeal lies in bringing fun to an otherwise serious industry.

Co-founder Billy Markus hopes his creation can act as the antithesis to the dark side of cryptocurrency. That is the greed, the scamming, and the FOMO mentality that pushed him out of the industry in 2015.

“Joy, kindness, learning, giving, empathy, fun, community, inspiration, creativity, generosity, silliness, absurdity. These types of things are what makes Dogecoin worthwhile to me. If the community embodies these things, that’s True Value.”

Whether you love it or hate it, a major component of DOGE’s appeal is its status detached from the crypto-norm.

DOGE as a Payment Method

As a reaction to DOGE-mania, IOG CEO Charles Hoskinson recently posted a video calling Dogecoin a “pet rock.” He attributes its rise to a combination of Elon Musk and clever whale manipulation. That being so, with nothing sound underpinning its price, he warned that retail investors would get hurt when things go pop.

The original use case for Dogecoin was as a tipping mechanism to show appreciation to content creators. However, thanks to billionaire Mark Cuban, it seems that DOGE has a new use case as a payment method.

The start of the month saw Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks announce it would accept DOGE as payment for merch and tickets. Cuban tweeted that the experiment has been a roaring success, selling $122k of merch. More interestingly, he said he would never sell the DOGE he earns.

The reasons for this are unclear. But Cuban did let slip that Dogecoin is a fun and engaging way to generate PR.