South Korea launches online metaverse replica of capital city Seoul to improve public services

S. Korea’s capital city opened the first stage of ‘Metaverse Seoul’ on Monday, which it claims is the first city-backed public metaverse in the world.

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.

China’s digital yuan used in securities trade for the first time

See related article: China digital currency transaction volume soars to nearly US$14B Soochow Securities, a Chinese securities firm, enabled e-CNY payments on its mobile application on Monday, marking the first use case of the central bank digital currency in securities market trade, according to state-backed finance outlet China Securities Journal. Fast facts See related article: […]

S. Korean court says NFT game items are speculative, adds on to P2E ban

A South Korean court ruled against the release of a blockchain P2E game last Friday after determining that in-game NFTs promote speculation.

North Korean hackers move 41,000 ETH stolen from Harmony Bridge attack

The Lazarus Group, a North Korean cybercrime organization, has transferred 41,000 Ether (US$63.9 million) stolen from the 2022 Harmony bridge hack onto cryptocurrency exchanges Binance, OKX and Huobi, according to blockchain data shared by Twitter sleuth ZachXBT.

Monex Group expresses interest in bidding in upcoming sale of FTX Japan: Bloomberg

Tokyo-based online brokerage Monex Group Inc. indicated it may join the bidding for the Japan subsidiary of the failed FTX cryptocurrency exchange.

Markets: Bitcoin holds above US$21,000 as crypto market cap briefly tops US$1 trillion

Bitcoin held above US$21,000 in Tuesday morning trading in Asia with the total cryptocurrency market capitalization also briefly breaching the US$1 trillion-dollar mark in the last 24 hours for the first time since mid-November.

It’s Ethereum forking time

Although investors fear the Shanghai upgrade brings selling pressure to Ethereum, Amber’s Justin D’Anethan shares why this can be a bull case for Ethereum.

China’s digital yuan needs WeChat, Alipay to boost adoption, experts say

The central bank rolled out a “red packet” feature for its digital currency, the e-CNY, for the Lunar New Year holiday but it will require help from the tech giants it has bashed to popularize the digital yuan.
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What does the future hold for digital assets in 2023?

NFTs, tokenization and blockchain-based cross-border payments will see big paradigm shifts, but their success will depend on regulation, investment and adoption, writes Stephen Richardson of Fireblocks.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether rises; Solana is biggest gainer among top 10

Bitcoin and Ether gained in Monday afternoon trading in Asia, along with all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin miners return from winter storms, difficulty at an all-time high

The Bitcoin mining difficulty level jumped 10.26% on Monday morning in Hong Kong, hitting an all-time high reading of 37.59 trillion, as several U.S-based miners came back online from recent winter storms that forced them to unplug, according to data from BTC.com. See related article: Bitcoin hashrate drops nearly 40% as deadly U.S. storm unplugs […]

CEO of South Korea’s V Global US$2 bln crypto pyramid scheme gets 25 years in prison

Lee Byung-gul, the CEO of V Global, will serve 25 years in prison after his conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court of Korea on Friday.

U.S. House of Representatives forms new cryptocurrency subcommittee

The U.S. House of Representatives has created a new congressional subcommittee focused on digital assets, as one of its first moves under the control of the Republican Party.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether little changed after weekend surge; Solana, XRP give back some gains

Bitcoin and Ether prices were little changed in Monday morning trading in Asia. Several of the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies took a breather after strong gains over the weekend on the back of signs inflation may have peaked in the U.S.

Crypto lender Hodlnaut’s creditors reject restructuring plan, prefer liquidation: report

Creditors of Singapore-based crypto lending and borrowing platform Hodlnaut have rejected a proposed restructuring plan and wish to liquidate the company.

Asset Segregation

FTX’s collapse has led to many thinking about how to safeguard their digital assets.

Alameda liquidators get liquidated while consolidating funds on DeFi lending platform Aave

Alameda Research liquidators were liquidated for US$72,000 from an on-chain position on decentralized finance (DeFi) lending platform Aave while trying to consolidate funds

Weekly Market Wrap: Bitcoin rebounds above US$18,000, Ether gains over 13%

Bitcoin rallied above the US$18,000 mark for the first time in nearly a month. Is this the start of a bull run or just another relief rally on the back of easing inflation pressure?

Why is it harder to arrest Terra-Luna founder Do Kwon than FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried?

South Korea’s attempts to extradite the founder of the collapsed Terra-Luna stablecoin will remain hamstrung while the courts in Seoul dispute the charges against him.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether trade higher; Solana biggest weekly gainer among top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin and Ether rose in Friday afternoon trading in Asia, along with all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies, after the U.S. posted a 6.5% year-on-year increase in the Consumer Price Index for December, which came in lower than inflation readings in previous months.

Crypto.com announces 20% cut in headcount, cites post-FTX market conditions

Crypto.com will lay off 20% of its workforce, its co-founder and chief executive officer Kris Marszalek said Friday in a Twitter post.

SEC in the U.S. charges Genesis, Gemini with selling unregistered securities

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday charged cryptocurrency lender Genesis Global Capital and crypto exchange Gemini Trust with offering and selling unregistered securities to retail investors.

Coinbase to cut jobs, shut down most of its cryptocurrency operations in Japan

Coinbase, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume, is cutting jobs and closing down most of its operations in Japan.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether prices jump as U.S. indicator shows inflation pressure is easing

Bitcoin and Ether prices jumped in Friday morning trading in Asia after the December U.S. Consumer Price Index released overnight rose 6.5%.

Bitcoin price rebounds as U.S. inflation cools

Bitcoin rebounded above US$18,000 on Friday as the U.S. consumer price index, rose 6.5% in December, matching expectations and continuing a downtrend from previous months.  

Nexo office in Bulgaria raided over fraud, money laundering suspicion

Cryptocurrency lender Nexo’s office in Bulgaria was raided by local authorities on Thursday over suspicion of money laundering, tax offenses, computer fraud and banking without a license.

Web3 Domains

Can blockchain-based websites give you personal domains to ensure

El Salvador establishes legal framework for all cryptocurrencies

El Salvador has passed landmark legislation that establishes a legal framework for all cryptocurrencies to build on the country’s “first-mover advantage.”

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether rise as investors await US inflation data; Polkadot gains

Bitcoin and Ether rose in Thursday afternoon trading in Asia, along with all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies, as investors anticipate signs of slower inflation in the upcoming Thursday release of the U.S. Consumer Price Index for December.

Shanghai Two Sessions: metaverse development requires stronger supervision

Shanghai Two Sessions’ delegate urges stronger supervision in the metaverse industry, as metaverse fever continues.

Binance obtains approval in Sweden to fuel Europe expansion

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has received regulatory approval from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority to operate as a financial institution to manage and trade in virtual currency, as part of the exchange’s continuing expansion in Europe.

Binance says it plans to expand hiring by as much as 30% in 2023 as rivals cut jobs

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, is planning to increase staff by as much as 30% this year.

FTX loses Miami Heat stadium sponsorship

National Basketball Association (NBA) team Miami Heat’s home arena will soon be renamed after a Florida judge ended the naming rights agreement between the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, FTX.com, and Miami-Dade County

Bankrupt FTX exchange has recovered US$5 bln worth of ‘liquid’ assets, lawyers say

The names of the crypto exchange’s 9 million customers and creditors will remain sealed from the public for at least three months.

How DeFi can overcome the stench of shitcoins and ponzinomics

DeFi Summer has cooled into Crypto Winter, but with a silver lining — investors are finally asking sensible questions like: ‘Where does the yield come from?’ writes Julian Koh of Ribbon Finance.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether continue run up ahead of U.S. inflation report; Avalanche surges

Bitcoin and Ether prices rose in Thursday morning trading in Asia along with most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies, continuing almost a week’s run of price gains on signs of slower inflation in the U.S.

CBDCs may drive more funds into DeFi protocols, says Immunefi’s Mitchell Amador

Immunefi founder Mitchell Amador believes the future security risks of CBDCs will highlight the benefits of DeFi.

Hong Kong crypto exchanges to follow same laws as traditional finance

Hong Kong has passed a new licensing regime on for crypto exchanges that will subject providers to the same legislation and rules as traditional finance.

India’s WazirX crypto exchange releases proof of reserves, says 90% of user assets in Binance wallets

Some 90% of user assets at WazirX, India’s largest crypto exchange by volume, are held in wallets at Binance while the remaining 10% are stored in hot and warm wallets, revealed WazirX’s proof of reserves that the company released on Wednesday.

Ripples’ ripple?

The battle for who gets to regulate cryptocurrencies continues as SEC v. Ripple Labs carry on larger implications for the crypto world.

Thai regulator probes Zipmex crypto exchange amid acquisition: report

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has written to cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex Thailand seeking clarification on whether it has been operating as a digital-asset fund manager without permission, according to a Bloomberg report. 

Binance U.S. gets court approval to buy Voyager Digital for US$20 mln

Binance’s U.S. wing has received court approval to buy Voyager Digital’s crypto platform for US$20 million, as part of Voyager’s plan to liquidate in bankruptcy.

Digital Currency Group in spotlight over suspicious fund transfers

Top blockchain and crypto news: DCG under investigation. Lido DAO surges as Ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade looms. Hong Kong burnishes crypto credentials.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether strengthen; XRP leads gains in top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin and Ethereum prices rose in Wednesday afternoon trading in Asia along with all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies, with XRP leading gains.

India’s CoinSwitch exchange to add non-crypto products amid punishing taxes on digital asset trading

Indian cryptocurrency exchanges faced a flurry of taxes on trading last year that saw volumes across most platforms drop as much as 90%, slashing income from trading fees. What’s a crypto exchange to do? Maybe sell mutual funds?

DCG writes to shareholders to detail finances amid US$900 mln Twitter feud with Winklevoss

Barry Silbert of the Digital Currency Group wrote to shareholders on Tuesday to explain loans from its subsidiary Genesis Global Capital.

Bitcoin named dirtiest crypto of 2022, tops major tokens in carbon emissions: Forex Suggest

A Bitcoin transaction produced close to a metric ton of carbon emissions, while XRP was the most energy-efficient among the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization last year.

Binance’s BUSD-peg stablecoin has not always been fully collateralized: report

Binance Global, the world’s largest crypto exchange, has acknowledged flaws in its systems that allowed its BNB Smart Chain-based BUSD stablecoin to be under-collateralized by up to US$1 billion on at least three occasions, according to a Wednesday report from Bloomberg.

MetaMask developer ConsenSys to slash 100 or more staffers: report

ConsenSys, the Ethereum software firm behind cryptocurrency wallet MetaMask, is reportedly planning to lay off at least 100 employees.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether follow U.S. equities higher on view inflation starting to ease despite hawkish Fed

Bitcoin and Ether prices rose in Wednesday morning trading in Asia along with most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies, continuing a strong start to the year on signs inflation is slowing in the U.S.

Coinbase to cut 20% of its remaining workforce

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S., will be letting go of about 950 employees, or about 20% of its current workforce, as part of “a further restructuring plan,” which is expected to be “substantially complete” by the second quarter of 2023. 

Microsoft mulls US$10 bln investment in ChatGPT’s OpenAI

Microsoft is reportedly in talks to place a US$10 billion bet in OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT

Stopping Scalpers

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour was met with a series of ticketing nightmares as scalpers tried to resell tickets for as high as US$22,000. But could NFTs have solved that problem?

India’s Decimal Point Analytics gets US$750,000 grant funding to develop tokenization solutions

India’s Decimal Point Analytics (DPA), a research and data analytics firm, has received grant funding of up to US$750,000 from The Hashgraph Association, a Switzerland-headquartered non-profit organization, to develop an asset tokenization platform on Hedera’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) network. 

Markets: Bitcoin slips, Cardano leads losses in top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin dropped in afternoon trading on Tuesday along with most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Ethereum rose further while Dogecoin led gains. 

Paycoin seeks reapproval after S.Korea suspends the payments token: report

PayProtocol, the South Korean issuer of payments-focused cryptocurrency Paycoin (PCI), will reapply for a local license to stay in business.

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.

Can human psychology help save blockchain gaming?

NFTs in gaming have drawn mixed reactions, including gamer backlash and vitriol. What can the sector do to better meet gamers’ innermost needs?

German government warns of ‘Godfather’ malware targeting banking, crypto apps

Germany said “Godfather” virus generates a fake copy of a banking or crypto app login screen to appropriate a user’s information and steal funds.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether rise with most of crypto market, Solana posts best start to the year for major token, BNB retreats amid Binance probe

Bitcoin and Ether gained in Tuesday trading in Asia along with most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies, helped by signs inflation pressure is easing in the U.S.

Crypto payments firm Wyre limits withdrawals as it mulls ‘strategic options’ amid market downturn

Wyre Payments, a San Francisco-based crypto payments firm, will implement withdrawal limits for user accounts, it said in a Twitter statement on Jan.7.

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.

Slumdog Millionaire composer A. R. Rahman tunes into metaverse

Indian music composer A. R. Rahman, who won Best Original Score at the Oscars for the movie Slumdog Millionaire, has launched the ‘Katraar’ metaverse platform to promote new music creations and other art forms.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether extend rise; Cardano leads gains in top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin, Ethereum extended gains in afternoon trade in Asia on Monday along with the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Cardano rose the most in the last 24 hours, followed by Polygon, BNB and Dogecoin.

Where is the stablecoin market heading in 2023?

FTX’s collapse triggered a stablecoin sell-off, but we will need them to survive the Crypto Winter, writes Vladimir Gorbunov of Choise.com.

Hong Kong pushes ahead with crypto hub plans as tech firms, startups show interest: financial secretary

Hong Kong will continue pushing ahead with the development of the Web 3.0 industry as it aims to become a regional hub for the nascent industry despite the series of collapses of crypto exchanges, said Paul Chan, the city’s financial secretary on Monday.

U.S. subpoenas hedge funds in Binance probe: report 

Federal prosecutors have issued subpoenas to several U.S. hedge funds that have dealt with the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance Global Inc.

US prosecutors, SEC probes Digital Currency Group: report

U.S. prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have started to investigate cryptocurrency-focused conglomerate Digital Currency Group (DCG), Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing unnamed sources.

Markets: Bitcoin back above US$17,000; Ether, crypto market extend weekend gains

Bitcoin and Ether rose in Monday morning trading in Asia, rising with the rest of the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, with Cardano and BNB changing the most.

Will crypto’s decentralized application layer boost mass adoption in 2023? 

ChainSafe’s Aidan Hyman believes that crypto’s fully decentralized application layer may finally be complete in 2023.

Ripple Decision Soon?

Ripple expects a SEC ruling on a two-year-old suit and what regulations it could bring about.