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Bitcoin, Ether extend gains as U.S. regulators take charge of banking industry turmoil

Bitcoin and Ether rose the most in the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization on Tuesday afternoon in Asia. Cryptocurrencies have been on a rebound since U.S. regulators took charge of the failures in the banking industry and moved to protect deposits across crypto-linked banks.
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The NFT sector is just getting started. Here’s what lies ahead

What began as novel collectibles and rampant speculation is maturing into real-world utility across a multitude of industries, writes Tom Chalmers of Banxa.

Most of NFT industry working on recycled liquidity, says Forkast Labs’ co-founder

NFT sales and market capitalization show rising investor activities, but recycled liquidity and wash trading may tell a different story, Forkast Labs co-CEO says.

Bank bust

Contagion, regulation worries grow after crypto bank’s demise

FTX’s Alameda sues Grayscale over crypto trusts

Alameda Research has filed a law suit against crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group and its asset management business Grayscale over trust investments.

What Web3 must do if it wants to attract 1 billion users

Web3 is growing more rapidly than the early internet, writes Ken Timsit of Cronos Labs. But to achieve mainstream success, the following issues must be addressed.

Weekly Market Wrap: Bulls fight to keep Bitcoin above US$22,300, as industry experts predict ‘crab walk’

With 69% of Bitcoin supply in profit, BTC is struggling to stay above the US$22,300 support level. A daily close below US$22,300 could see Bitcoin retest the US$21,450 support level. Industry experts share their end-of-March Bitcoin price predictions with Forkast.

Australia’s central bank identifies CBDC use cases as it prepares pilot launch

Australia has outlined potential use cases and providers for a central bank digital currency (CBDC), with a pilot program to be launched in the coming months.

Bitcoin’s price gains this year bring needed relief to cash-strapped crypto mining industry

Officials at Bitcoin mining companies say the rebound in prices so far this year for the world’s biggest cryptocurrency has thrown a lifeline to the industry after some miners sought protection from creditors last year amid the slump in the token’s price.

Taiwan must mandate a central authority to oversee crypto by May 16, says lawmaker

A Taiwanese lawmaker has reiterated that the cabinet will have to mandate an acting central authority to shape regulatory frameworks and development roadmap for the cryptocurrency industry by May 16, a move that would push Taiwan closer to adequate crypto regulation.

Trust in crypto is in shambles. How can we rebuild it?

Greater transparency and confidence in who you are transacting with could go a long way toward alleviating public mistrust, writes Travis Nelson of Quadrata.

Industry reacts: US cracks down on crypto, India calls for regulatory collaboration

The cryptocurrency industry this week reacted to the recent moves by U.S. authorities against Kraken and Paxos. Meanwhile, India has been calling for a collaborative approach to crypto regulations.

Japan’s Square Enix to launch Web3 game on Polygon blockchain, cites ‘sustainability’ benefits

Square Enix announced Wednesday that it will launch its first Web3 game Symbiogenesis on the Polygon blockchain.

Go ahead and ban staking. Crypto investors will just go elsewhere

The SEC’s latest heavy-handed approach toward crypto will leave investors less protected while benefitting dodgy offshore companies, writes Danny Talwar of Koinly.

Markets: Bitcoin breaches US$24,000 to highest price since August as short sellers liquidated

Bitcoin broke through the US$24,000 price ceiling for the first time in two weeks to reach its highest price since mid-August in Thursday morning trading in Asia, as investors liquidated almost US$70 million of mostly short-position bets.

Web3 isn’t just about money, it’s about equality and transparency, says Mysten Labs co-founder

Investors may view Web3 through the lens of financial opportunities and revenue, but that misses the point of trying to build a fairer and more transparent infrastructure, with content creators at the forefront, says Mysten Labs co-founder Evan Cheng
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Digital asset industry comes under fire at hearing by U.S. Senate on ‘Crypto Crash’

The cryptocurrency industry faced criticism during a Senate committee meeting on Tuesday entitled “Crypto Crash: Why Financial System Safeguards are Needed for Digital Assets.”

Truck industry as real-world crypto use case? How blockchain could replace system that leaves U.S. truckers out of pocket 

The current payment system relied on by truck drivers runs through third parties and adds costs to supply chains and consumers. Could blockchain tech provide an alternative, and would truckers trust it?

Be careful what you wish for? Regulators pick up pace in the crypto industry crackdown

Last year was memorable in the emerging world of digital assets for the sheer number of corporate failures. The industry itself has been asking for clearer legal guidelines to help development. Is that what’s happening now?
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Blockchain developers have taken a decentralized interest in cloud storage – will it shake up the industry?

Blockchain developers want a piece of the multi-billion dollar cloud computing pie. Do current heavyweights in the industry – Amazon, Google and Microsoft – have cause for concern?

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong says SEC has ‘terrible’ idea to ban crypto staking for U.S. retail customers

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is considering a ban on cryptocurrency staking for retail customers in the country, said Brian Armstrong, the chief executive of Coinbase Global Inc.

Robinhood aims to buy-back its shares seized by Department of Justice in FTX failure

Robinhood Markets Inc., the U.S.-based financial services company, aims to purchase the 55 million of its shares that FTX-linked Emergent Fidelity Technologies bought in May 2022, according to its earnings report released Wednesday.

India crypto industry on ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as government ignores requests in Budget

Cryptocurrency exchanges in India had lobbied the government to reduce taxes introduced last year, arguing the levies were backfiring by driving local investment offshore.

Celsius misled investors, spent customer funds, bankruptcy examiner claims

Celsius Network may have misled its investors and spent customer funds, an independent examiner said in a Tuesday court filing.

What we must learn from FTX so that history does not repeat itself

Tighter regulations are necessary but not enough. The industry also needs to address its issues with custody and transparency, writes Chen Zhuling of RockX.

Binance says it erroneously mixed customer funds with collateral for Binance-issued tokens

Binance Holdings Ltd., the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, acknowledged it mistakenly stored customer funds in the same wallet holding collateral for its Binance-pegged tokens, known as B-Tokens

National Australia Bank to launch AUDN stablecoin: report

National Australia Bank, one of the four major banks in the country, has created a stablecoin AUDN for cross-border transactions and carbon credit trading, according to an Australian Financial Review report. 

Why crypto crashes are just like Nascar collisions

Small details can make a big difference on performance, and one careless error can lead to calamity. How should those in crypto drivers’ seats navigate their path?

Coinbase asks Japan customers to withdraw holdings as it halts operations

Coinbase Global Inc., the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume, has asked customers in Japan to withdraw crypto and fiat holdings by Feb. 16, as it halts operations “to conduct a complete review” of its business in the country.

Thailand’s SEC issues new regulations for crypto custody services

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand issued new rules for cryptocurrency custody services on Tuesday.

Crypto’s data problem: Rebuilding trust in a trustless environment

Price is the wrong measure of Web3’s true value, writes Angie Lau, editor-in-chief of Forkast. To recover from Crypto Winter, we need metrics that are less prone to whims and manipulation.

Australian crypto exchange Swyftx to end interest yielding product, cites lack of regulation clarity

Australian crypto exchange Swyftx is ending its crypto-interest earning product Earn on Tuesday due to a “constantly changing regulatory landscape” in the country, according to a company announcement.

Trust and Compliance

Many crypto exchanges are implementing proof of reserves as trust and confidence are becoming two of the biggest watch words in the crypto space, but traditional institutions are also trying to bring the crypto sphere back to health.

Bitcoin mining difficulty drops 3.6% in latest adjustment

The Bitcoin mining difficulty level fell 3.59% on Tuesday morning in Asia, after some U.S. mining firms unplugged due to deadly winter storms over the holiday season on top of continued cash shortages mainly caused by low Bitcoin prices and high energy costs. 

Bitcoin ATM rush Down Under: Australia leapfrogs El Salvador, Poland

Australia had a total of 225 Bitcoin ATMs by the end of 2022 after installing around 150 machines in the final four months of the year, overtaking El Salvador and Poland to become home to the fourth-highest number of crypto ATMs in the world, according to data from CoinATMRadar.com.

How crypto custodians can help centralized exchanges win back public trust

In the post-FTX world, crypto exchanges must offer stronger protection for investors’ assets, writes Colin Brooks, chairman of the advisory board of Hex Trust.

Bahamas regulators hold US$3.5 bln of FTX assets, to be delivered to customers, creditors

The Securities Commission of the Bahamas is temporarily holding US$3.5 billion of digital assets seized from FTX Digital Markets

FTX customers file lawsuit for priority repayment

Former customers of FTX have filed a class action lawsuit against the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange and its top executives, including Sam Bankman-Fried, to seek priority rights to repayment before any non-customer creditors.  

Will FTX’s collapse decentralize the industry? 

While the collapse of FTX may invite more scrutiny for centralized exchanges, Binance’s Patrick Hillmann believes it could benefit the industry through more decentralization.

Will the crypto industry grow beyond speculation in 2023?

The FTX collapse was a pivotal point the cryptocurrency industry needed to grow beyond just a speculative asset class, Ledger’s Alex Zinder says.

To unwrap Web3’s promises, we must break the barriers to blockchain adoption

Despite blockchain’s potential, barriers to use still stand in the way, writes Andrew Vranjes of Blockdaemon. Solving security issues and reducing risk will be key.

US bill set to demand know-your-customer from crypto companies

Top blockchain and crypto news: US senators push for crypto KYC. SBF faces the music in US courts. Alibaba Cloud to launch blockchain node.

Bitcoin mining difficulty rises 3.27% in latest adjustment

The latest Bitcoin mining difficulty level rose 3.27%, as miners continue to face cash shortages due to low Bitcoin prices and high energy costs.

Web 3.0 firms must ‘keep costs low,’ improve efficiency to navigate downturns, says Rotten Tomatoes cofounder

Patrick Lee, who cofounded Rotten Tomatoes and PKO Investments, says the US$35 million investment company has slowed Web 3.0 investments significantly.

FTX Bahamas Co-CEO warned authorities on Nov. 9 of illegal customer asset transfers, documents show

Ryan Salame, the former co-CEO of FTX’s Bahamian entity tipped off the Securities Commission of the Bahamas about FTX violating its internal procedures in transferring customer funds to Alameda Research.

US Senator Elizabeth Warren submits crypto know-your-customer bill in wake of FTX collapse

As U.S. prosecutors line up charges against Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the collapsed FTX cryptocurrency exchange, Senator Elizabeth Warren is seeking to pass bipartisan regulation to rein in the “dark underbelly” of the crypto industry.

Sam Bankman-Fried in Bahamas police custody, faces criminal charges in U.S.

Top blockchain and crypto news: SBF denied bail, US extradition likely next. The Block chief quits over secret FTX loans. Hong Kong readies digital asset rules.

U.S. Justice Department mulls charging Binance over potential money laundering violations: report

Prosecutors at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are reportedly split on filing charges against Binance and its executives on possible money laundering and sanctions violations, as part of a long-running criminal investigation.

Coniferous crypto: What the industry must do to survive this winter

Crypto is weathering this year’s extreme turbulence so far. But its long-term health will require the sector’s urgent attention to regulation, education and security, writes Oliver Linch, CEO of Bittrex Global.

Majority of ‘wealthy’ South Koreans say no plan to invest in crypto, cite lack of trust

The majority (58.3%) of South Koreans with assets of 1 billion Korean won (US$760,000) said they don’t plan to invest in cryptocurrencies.

Australian crypto exchange Swyftx cuts 40% of jobs amid fallout from FTX collapse

Australian cryptocurrency exchange Swyftx cut 90 staff members — or 40% of its workforce — to prepare for a “worst-case scenario” in the market from the collapse of FTX.com.

Wemade in talks with Binance for custody of WEMIX cryptocurrency

Wemade Co. Ltd. said its in talks to have Binance Institutional Services take custody of its native cryptocurrency, WEMIX.

S.Korea requests warrant to bring Terra-Luna cofounder Daniel Shin into custody

A court in South Korea will review if prosecutors are allowed to arrest and bring Terraform cofounder Daniel Shin and seven others into custody, for charges including fraud.

CeFi must adopt DeFi’s transparency following FTX collapse, Justin Sun says

Justin Sun says CeFi must adopt DeFi’s transparency to regain public trust as 1inch Network cofounder Sergej Kunz sees crypto’s struggles as an opportunity for DeFi.
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Australian fintech firm launches new AUD stablecoin, AUDE

Australian blockchain fintech startup Ettle Pty Ltd. has completed the first transaction on its recently launched Australian dollar-pegged stablecoin, AUDE.

Hex Trust bags virtual asset license from Dubai

Digital asset custodian Hex Trust received the MVP license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority on Nov. 24.

Coinbase Custody holds 635,000 BTC on behalf of Grayscale that refuses to share proof of reserves

Coinbase Custody Trust, the institutional investment arm of Coinbase Global, holds 635,000 BTC on behalf of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, according to a note by Coinbase Custody CEO Aaron Schnarch. Digital investment firm Grayscale has also declined to share proof of reserves, citing security concerns.

Markets: Bitcoin, other crypto start week lower as FTX collapse continues rumble through the industry

Bitcoin and Ether both fell in Monday morning trading in Asia along with all of the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

Australia to revamp cryptocurrency rules after FTX collapse

The country is one of the first to say it will act to set up regulations to prevent a collapse similar to FTX, which filed for bankruptcy protection and froze the assets of hundreds of thousands of investors.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether fall as FTX implosion, job cuts in tech industry cloud outlook

Bitcoin and Ether prices fell in Thursday morning trading in Asia along with all other top 10 tokens by market capitalization, excluding stablecoins.

Binance gets Abu Dhabi regulator’s nod to offer crypto custody services

Binance, world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has obtained Financial Services Permission from Abu Dhabi’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), to provide custody to professional clients in and from the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the international financial center of the UAE’s capital.

FTX collapse ‘sad’ for crypto industry, but underlying technology still sound

Panelists at Forkast’s livestreamed event ‘Crypto Rising: How Top VCs Are Investing Out of Crypto Winter’ shared their thoughts on the future of the industry following FTX.

Binance says it will set up crypto recovery fund, industry standards group

Changpeng Zhao, founder and chief executive of Binance, tells the B20 Summit in Indonesia that the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange aims to help improve business and operation standards in the crypto industry.

Tron’s Justin Sun stresses ‘due diligence’ needed before considering FTX bailout

Tron founder Justin Sun’s plans to save FTX include debt, equity investments and a full takeover, he told BloombergTV on Friday, Asia time.

Industry reacts: FTX bankruptcy fears rise after Binance scraps rescue

There are not many white knight investors that are large enough to bail out the embattled crypto exchange, industry insiders say.
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FTX allegedly used customer assets in Alameda bailout: report

A portion of the bailout package worth at least US$4 billion that FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried sent to Alameda Research was allegedly comprised of customer funds. 

FTX debacle has crypto industry pointing finger at regulators in call for clear rules of the road

The FTX.com unraveling has prompted crypto industry leaders to demand clearer rules of the road for trading digital assets.

Binance the winner in FTX saga, set to gain more customers

Binance may have nixed the deal to bailout rival exchange FTX.com, but it could still gain a big chunk of FTX’s business as investors flee the platform.

Binance’s pending acquisition of FTX may attract attention of antitrust regulators

Binance chief executive officer Changpeng Zhao already runs the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange so just what are his ambitions?

Binance buys FTX: Updates on what it means for the crypto industry

The following is a running compilation of views and comments on Binance’s takeover of the FTX exchange amid speculation of solvency problems at FTX.

U.S. midterms: gridlock… and progress on crypto industry regulation?

In a period of toxic divide between the Democrats and Republicans, the need to figure out how to regulate the growing cryptocurrency industry is one of the few issues both parties seem to agree on.
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How sustainable is that fast-fashion minidress? Blockchain can help you find out

Fashion’s ‘greenwashing’ scandals could be a thing of the past if blockchain is used to hold companies accountable, writes Lars Rensing of Protokol.