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Eqonex closing exchange; Guo’s fork plans

Welcome to The Daily Forkast – August 16, 2022 – presented by Joel Flynn. Coming up on today’s show: Eqonex to focus on asset management and custody. Chandler Guo – a man on a mission.  Total value locked taking a knock. We’ll have more on those stories — and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and […]

U.S. Treasury overstepping authority in Tornado Cash sanction, says advocacy group Coin Center

The U.S. Treasury may have overstepped its legal authority by sanctioning cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash, said crypto advocacy group Coin Center. See related article: Circle freezes smart contract addresses linked to blacklisted Tornado Cash Fast facts See related article: Ronin hack proceeds seen headed to Tornado Cash

Crypto lender Hodlnaut seeks judicial management for protection against creditors

Singapore-based cryptocurrency lender Hodlnaut has filed an application with the Singapore High Court to be placed under judicial management, which could provide the company “the breathing space to focus our efforts on the recovery plan to rehabilitate the company,” Hodlnaut said on Tuesday. See related article: Crypto lender Hodlnaut halts withdrawals, ends token swap feature […]

Binance receives in-principal approval to operate in Kazakhstan

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has received in-principal approval to operate a digital asset trading facility and provide custody services in Kazakhstan from the Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA), the company announced on Monday. See related article: Crypto mining’s Great Migration continues — out of Kazakhstan Fast facts Binance is still required to complete […]

Bitcoin should be higher?; Memecoins on a tear

Bitcoin and Ethereum

Australia’s Holon Global got ahead of BlackRock with funds shrugging off crypto winter

Australia’s retirement fund industry, the world’s fifth largest at US$2.3 trillion, is one future target for investment funds offering cryptocurrencies.

Privacy protocol Monero completes upgrade to make transactions more private

Monero completed its hard fork for a network upgrade on Saturday in an attempt to add more privacy to transactions on the protocol. See related article: Ransomware attacks are growing in sophistication. What can stop them? Fast facts Monero Sunday said that the network is “now more private and efficient with ringsize 16, Bulletproofs+, and […]

Polkadot-based stablecoin Acala Dollar depegs after a breach

Stablecoin Acala Dollar (aUSD) lost its parity with the U.S. dollar following a breach over the weekend, but its price has since begun to bounce back. See related article: Axie Infinity blockchain Ronin hacked for over $600M Fast facts Cryptocurrency analyst @Alice und Bob tweeted that the depeg was caused by US$1.2 billion of aUSD mistakenly […]

Markets: Bitcoin little changed, Ether dips below $2,000, Memecoins surge

Bitcoin flirted with US$25,000 over the weekend while Ethereum broke through the US$2,000 barrier before both lost steam in early trading in Asia on Monday. Leading “memecoin” tokens Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu token (SHIB) jumped, with DOGE re-entering the crypto top 10 by market cap. See related article: Markets: Bitcoin dips, Ether little changed; […]

Huobi looks to sell stake that values exchange at US$3 bln, Bloomberg reports

Leon Li, the founder of China cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, is seeking to sell a 60% stake in the company that would value the business at US$3 billion, according to a Bloomberg News report that cited people familiar with the matter. See related article: Sam Bankman-Fried’s Voyager debt emerges; Celsius reshuffles board Fast facts See related […]

BlackRock backflips on Bitcoin as latest institution to see promise in crypto

Something of a sea change? Financial institutions that once turned up their noses at cryptocurrencies are now figuring out ways to get access for their clients.

India authorities block crypto exchange Bitbns’ bank account

Indian crypto exchange Bitbns said on Thursday that withdrawals in Indian rupees (INR) have been delayed as law enforcement officers have blocked its bank account.  See related article: India authorities freeze Vauld exchange’s assets worth $46.5 mln Fast facts “If a cybercrime case is raised for say even an amount of 10,000 Indian rupees (US$125), […]

Bitcoin miner Hut 8 shares gain on revenue, outlook – despite Q2 profit slump

Crypto mining slump? Canada-based company booked 31% revenue growth on year, expanded Bitcoin holdings, and plans to ramp up mining capacity this year. Other crypto miners seem to be following suit.

No ‘conclusive evidence’ that US$6 mln Solana hack caused by loophole: Slope

Solana-based wallet Slope said on Thursday there is no “conclusive evidence” to connect its mobile wallet’s loophole with Solana’s recent breach, although 1,400 wallets connected to the loophole were drained. See related article: Seed-phrase leak from crypto wallet Slope prompts Solana hack Fast facts See related article: Solana blames Slope for exploit

India authorities freeze Vauld exchange’s assets worth $46.5 mln

India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED), the country’s economic crime unit, on Thursday froze 3.70 billion rupees (US$46.5 million) in assets at the struggling cryptocurrency exchange Vauld, local media reported citing unnamed sources. See related article: India crypto traders try to dodge fallout from WazirX woes, spat with Binance Fast facts The move comes days after the […]

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether retreat as investors digest inflation, Blackrock developments

Bitcoin fell back in Asia trading after setting a two-month high of US$24,822 overnight following news BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, had launched its own Bitcoin fund. Ethereum followed a similar track, but held some of its gains after hitting a six-week high of US$1,927. Both crypto and equity markets had risen earlier […]

Indian authorities probe alleged $125 mln money laundering cases involving crypto, report says

India’s Enforcement Directorate is investigating at least 10 cryptocurrency exchanges for alleged money laundering, according to The Economic Times

Simping in Web3 to follow the DAO of Irene

Can blockchain technology help starstruck little guys profit from being superfans of popular e-girls? Joel Stein joins Irene Zhao’s IreneDAO to find out.

Limit crypto expansion in developing countries, urges U.N. agency

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has urged limits on cryptocurrencies across developing nations, in a series of policy briefs released on Wednesday. See related article: IMF says crypto crash hasn’t quite harmed broader financial system Fast facts The UNCTAD, part of the UN Secretariat, said cryptocurrencies could curb the effectiveness of […]

Klaytn chief says reducing ‘human elements’ can prevent hacks

After high-profile cyberattacks on decentralized apps, the blockchain industry is in a hurry to ramp up security. Sam Sangmin Seo, head of Klaytn, tells Forkast that minimizing human error may be the key.

Binance to support Ethereum’s PoS Merge, evaluate new forked tokens

Binance will support Ethereum’s “Merge,” expected in September, and will evaluate if it would list any newly forked tokens, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume said on Wednesday. See related article: USDC, Tether announce support for Ethereum proof-of-stake Fast facts Binance said it is closely monitoring the development of the merge, which could […]

Despite the bear market, enterprise blockchain has nothing to fear

Crypto’s volatility may be top of mind right now, but blockchain’s practical uses will be the industry’s future, writes Johannes Schweifer of CoreLedger.

Binance-WazirX spat heats up as investors yank funds from Indian exchange

Top blockchain and crypto news: Binance spurns WazirX amid India probe. BlackRock bets on Coinbase. Crypto influencers in China’s crosshairs.

WazirX issues warning; Stablecoin giants back Merge

WazirX users head for exits amid a dispute between Binance. Meanwhile, Circle and Tether announce support for the new ETH P-O-S.

India crypto traders try to dodge fallout from WazirX woes, spat with Binance

What’s a crypto trader to do when the government freezes exchange assets, sparking a war of words between supposedly ‘merged’ exchanges?

India’s WazirX says it has no-tolerance policy on illegal activities

Zanmai Labs Private Limited, the firm operating Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, said Tuesday it has a no-tolerance policy towards any “illegal activities”. Users agree to use the exchange in accordance with applicable laws, the company said in a statement. See related article: Tax authorities recover US$9M from India’s biggest crypto exchanges Fast facts WazirX, one […]

Vitalik Buterin says he used Tornado Cash to donate to Ukraine

Amid debate over the U.S. Treasury Department’s banning of the crypto mixer, the Ethereum cofounder said he used the service to protect recipients.

Iran pays US$10 mln import order with crypto for 1st time: report

Iran has made the country’s first cryptocurrency payment with a US$10 million import order this week, which could be an option for the country to bypass broad trade embargoes, according to a media report. See related article: Crypto exchange Kraken reportedly under investigation for Iran sanctions breach Fast facts See related article: Is cryptocurrency a […]

Reddit teams up with FTX to innovate community points

Reddit has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange FTX to integrate the social network’s Community Points feature with FTX Pay to allow Reddit users to buy Ether on the app. See related article: Instagram expands NFT platform to 100 countries Fast facts FTX Tuesday said the partnership enables Reddit users to purchase the second-largest crypto by market […]

Naver’s Zepeto metaverse starts blockchain initiative with Solana

South Korean metaverse platform Zepeto has teamed with Solana and Web 3.0 developer Jump Crypto to construct ZepetoX, a cryptocurrency-based metaverse project, according to a press release. See related article: HYBE, Softbank invest big in Zepeto metaverse creator Naver Z Fast facts ZepetoX aims to establish a 3D open-world platform where creators and users can […]

Thailand’s central bank to get more power in crypto regulation overhaul: report

Thailand’s central bank will receive more power as the South-East Asian nation steps up regulation of digital assets, said Thai Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith. See related article: Thailand bans Bitcoin and crypto payments Fast facts Thailand plans to tighten its supervision of platforms and exchanges that offer trading in cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, Bloomberg […]

Digital dollar push; Tornado Cash blacklisted

Welcome to The Daily Forkast – August 9, 2022 – presented by Angie Lau. Coming up on today’s show: US lawmakers aim to push Fed on digital dollar. Circle freezes smart contract addresses linked to blacklisted Tornado Cash. Also, Hodlnaut freezes withdrawals, swaps and deposits. Zipmex to release specific amounts of Bitcoin and Ether. And […]

India’s WazirX to delist EasyFi

Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX will delist and cease trading on all trading pairs for EasyFi (EZ) on Aug. 11. It will continue to support withdrawals of these tokens from WazirX until Nov. 12.  See related article: Binance to stop off-chain transfers with India’s WazirX Fast facts WazirX periodically reviews each digital asset it lists and […]

Markets: Bitcoin loses steam, Ether continues run higher in late Asia trading

Bitcoin fell back in late afternoon trading on Tuesday in Asia, losing steam after a run up of more than 4% in the past seven days. Ethereum continued its rally amid the buzz around the so-called “merge” when it shifts from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, gaining more than 12% week-on-week. Polkadot and Solana fell back after […]

Issue tokens later for growth, not for initial fundraising, advises Binance chief Changpeng Zhao

Web3 companies should issue tokens to accelerate growth, not to gather initial funds, said Binance founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Changpeng “CZ” Zhao at a fireside chat at Korea Blockchain Week 2022 on Tuesday.  See related article: Binance spent over US$1B on compliance, founder Changpeng Zhao says Fast facts “When people come into Web3 […]

Binance to stop off-chain transfers with India’s WazirX

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance will remove the off-chain fund transfer channel between India’s WazirX and itself beginning Aug. 11, following recent regulatory action taken against Zanmai Labs Private Limited, the entity operating WazirX. See related article:  Only the big fish will survive as India cracks the whip on crypto: Binance-backed WazirX Fast facts Users will […]

China shuts 13,000 social media accounts for promoting crypto investment

China has shut down nearly 13,000 accounts advocating cryptocurrency investments on popular Chinese social media platforms this year, deleted 51,000 related posts and closed 105 websites offering crypto-related information, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced on Tuesday. See related article: Tencent to cut domestic NFT marketplace team, look overseas: report Fast facts See related […]

Chainalysis says $2 bln stolen in cross-chain bridge hacks this year, more expected

Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis says cross-chain bridges that allow transfer of assets between independent blockchains are among the highest risk protocols in the blockchain industry for scams and bad actors. Chainalysis in a new report estimates that US$2 billion worth of cryptocurrency has been stolen from cross-chain bridges across 13 attacks so far this year, […]

Crypto.com enters South Korea market with two local startup acquisitions

Cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com has forayed into South Korea with two acquisitions — payment service provider PnLink Co. and virtual asset service provider OK-BIT Co., the company said.  See related article: Crypto.com, K-pop agency Fantagio enter joint NFT venture Fast facts The Singapore-based company also said it secured registration under South Korea’s electronic financial transaction act […]

Circle freezes smart contract addresses linked to blacklisted Tornado Cash

Circle Internet Financial Ltd., the issuer of the USDC stablecoin, froze over 75,000 USDC in funds linked to 81 sanctioned addresses at the cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash on Monday, according to data from crypto aggregator Dune Analytics. See related article: Bad actors in North Korea, Russia send record-high funds to crypto mixers Fast facts The […]

Why crypto remains niche and far from the mainstream

The crypto world is plagued by products that are hard to use and have little utility, writes Roman Kashcheev of Quantfury. What can turn things around?

Investigating ‘The Hackening’; Crypto market inflows up

Why are cross-chain bridges so attractive for hackers? Also, we take a deeper dive into how the market reacts to it.

Business as usual at India’s WazirX as Binance distances itself

Indian crypto exchange WazirX said its operations are being conducted as usual, even after Binance denied owning equity in Zanmai Labs, the entity operating WazirX. The spat over ownership — Binance had reportedly acquired WazirX in 2019 — surfaced after Indian authorities reportedly froze US$8 million in WazirX assets, alleging possible violation of foreign exchange laws. […]

Why Singapore may be the ideal place for companies to rebuild post-crypto winter

Singapore is growing its digital assets industry while reducing risks, and its clear regulations allow firms to better plan for the future, writes Desmond Yong of DTC.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ethereum rise in broad gains; Solana jumps; BNB adds to surge

Bitcoin and Ethereum rose in broad-based gains in cryptocurrencies that drove all other tokens higher in the top 10 list by market capitalization in afternoon trading in Asia on Monday. See related article: Bitcoin, Ethereum edge up; BNB rises; Avalanche adds to gains on partnerships Fast facts Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, added 3.3% in […]

Bitget offers ‘protection fund’ to users as emergency insurance

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitget says it has launched a US$200 million “protection fund” to act as an “emergency insurance reserve” to protect user funds when their losses are not a consequence of their own actions or behavior on the platform.  See related article: How the crypto winter is laying groundwork for Web3 to reach its […]

Polygon cofounder says bear market is an opportunity for blockchain builders

The current bear market is an opportunity for blockchain developers to focus on building while there is no “noise,” Polygon cofounder Sandeep Nailwal said during a panel at Korea Blockchain Week 2022 on Monday. See related article: MATIC crypto skyrockets as Polygon joins Disney accelerator Fast facts “In the bear market, the best part is […]

Welcome to Web3, (hopefully) not a bigger monster than its version 2 sibling

How does a centralized internet browser plan for a decentralized future? Reinvention, and finding a receptive audience. First stop, Southeast Asia.

North Korea’s Lazarus Group allegedly targets deBridge

DeBridge cofounder Alex Smirnov on Saturday alleged their team found evidence that North Korean state-backed Lazarus Group was attempting to attack the cross-chain protocol, warning that the group’s attack could broadly target Web3 teams. See related article: After Nomad and Solana, ZB.com gets hacked for US$4.8 mln Fast facts See related article: Why blockchain bridges […]

‘The Merge’ can make crypto payments mainstream again: Vitalik Buterin

Once we have scaling technology […] it actually becomes possible to really try to make crypto payments more mainstream again,” Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin said during his keynote speech at the Korea Blockchain Week 2022 conference on Monday. See related article: Prominent Chinese ETH miner plans proof-of-work fork amid The Merge Fast facts “Cryptocurrency payments […]

Blockchain is needed for metaverse interoperability: Klaytn

Sam Sangmin Seo, the head of South Korea’s Klaytn Foundation, says blockchain technology plays a crucial part in metaverse technology because it provides interoperability between different metaverses. See related article: Kakao’s Klaytn partners with OpenSea for NFT expansion in Asia Fast facts “Blockchain can provide means to implement virtual economy in the metaverse,” Seo said.  […]

Affairs of the art: Why NFT creators have fallen for Tezos

Tezos has become a leading art blockchain, even in China, where NFTs are barely tolerated. Its regional chief, Katherine Ng, explains its success

Coinbase-Blackrock deal, India’s blockchain outlook

Coinbase and Blackrock partner up to provide institutional crypto access. Meanwhile, Instagram expands NFT platform.

New US bill to give CFTC oversight of cryptocurrencies may speed up crypto legislation in other markets   

The U.S. bill to bring cryptocurrencies under the oversight of the Commodities Futures and Trading Commission is likely to hasten legislation of such digital assets around the world.

Binance partners Mastercard to launch card in Argentina for bill payment, everyday purchases

Binance has partnered Mastercard to introduce a Binance card in Argentina for making purchases and paying bills with cryptocurrencies.  See related article: Philippines’ SEC warns public not to invest with Binance Fast facts The product is currently in a beta phase and will be widely available in the coming weeks, Binance said. The card is […]

Riot Blockchain earns millions in credits by cutting energy use during Texas heat wave

American Bitcoin mining firm Riot Blockchain earned an estimated US$9.5 million in power credits in July as it reduced energy consumption and mined fewer Bitcoins. See related article: Bitcoin miners in Texas halt operations amid heat wave Fast facts Riot produced 318 Bitcoins in July this year, about 28% less than July last year, thereby […]

BlackRock, Coinbase partner to extend crypto trading to institutional investors

Investment management firm BlackRock Inc. has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. to provide institutional clients with access to crypto trading and custody services. See related article: Coinbase, biggest US crypto exchange, cuts workforce by 18% Fast facts BlackRock is extending the use of its Aladdin asset management software suite to its institutional clients […]

What NFT.NYC missed that Coachella got right

2022’s marquee NFT event in America’s biggest city failed to capitalize on its namesake technology, while an iconic music festival in the California desert understood the possibilities, writes Mirwan Suwarso of Mola TV.

S.Korea’s Bithumb links system with Samsung Securities, mobile apps

South Korea’s leading digital asset exchange Bithumb is linking its system with mobile applications from three major domestic financial institutions — Samsung Securities, NH Nonghyup and KB Kookmin Bank, Bithumb announced Thursday. See related article: Scarred by Terra-LUNA, South Korea moves ahead with digital asset reform Fast facts Bithumb users can now check up-to-date crypto […]

Revolut starts crypto service in Singapore

Revolut has started offering cryptocurrency services to users in Singapore, the global fintech firm said on Thursday. See related article: How a market slump may be helping Singapore’s stance against retail crypto Fast facts Revolut will levy transaction fees of 2.5% and 1.5% on standard and premium plans, the company said in its statement. Customers […]

US crypto bill pile up; Philippines Binance warning

US Senate proposes the CFTC takes responsibility of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Meanwhile, Philippine authorities warn against Binance

Blockchain in India got off on wrong foot, says former finance chief 

India’s government doesn’t like cryptocurrencies and has made that clear in statements and with heavy taxes on the asset class, but what does that say about blockchain adoption?

India questions Binance-backed WazirX on foreign exchange violations

India’s Directorate of Enforcement (ED), responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime, is investigating two cases against crypto exchange WazirX under the Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 (FEMA), reported local media. See related article: Only the big fish will survive as India cracks the whip on crypto: Binance-backed WazirX Fast facts Zanmai […]

Seed-phrase leak from crypto wallet Slope prompts Solana hack

The massive Solana wallet hack had occurred after centralized servers stored unencrypted seed phrases sent by Slope Wallet’s mobile app, making them visible to anyone with access to the server, showed a preliminary finding from blockchain audit firm OtterSec. See related article: Solana blames Slope for exploit Fast facts See related article: After Nomad and […]

Philippines’ SEC warns public not to invest with Binance

The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has cautioned the public not to invest with Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, in response to think tank Infrawatch PH’s request to ban Binance in the Philippines. See related article: Philippines think tank calls for ban on Binance Fast facts In a letter responding […]
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Singapore-based Bitcoin miner scales back Kazakhstan project

Concerns over power supply and cost uncertainties have prompted Singapore-based Bitcoin miner SAI.TECH (SAI) to terminate the remainder of its expansion plans in Kazakhstan, the Nasdaq-listed company said in a statement. See related article:  Bitcoin rig maker Canaan to deploy self-mining soon in US, executive says Fast facts SAI has terminated the second phase of […]

S.Korea’s Hashed plans new VC fund round after losing US$3.6B in Terra LUNA

Kim Seo-joon, head of South Korean blockchain venture capital (VC) fund Hashed, said in an interview with Bloomberg he lost most of his LUNA investments during the crash in May but is planning a third VC fund in the first half of 2023. See related article: Scarred by Terra-LUNA, South Korea moves ahead with digital […]

Solana blames Slope for exploit

The massive Solana wallet exploit that began on Wednesday Hong Kong time is believed to be related to the Slope mobile wallet app, while there is no evidence to show the blockchain’s code was compromised, Solana said. See related article:  Bitcoin, Ethereum little changed; Solana still lower after network hack Fast facts See related article: […]

Binance cofounder Yi He to head US$7.5B VC arm Binance Labs

Binance has named cofounder Yi He as the new head of its incubator and venture capital (VC) arm Binance Labs, as the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume works to invest in “projects with the tenacity to thrive in tough market conditions.” See related article: Calling a spade a spade holds Binance’s lesser known […]

Filecoin on a tear as cautious optimism returns to crypto markets

Top blockchain and crypto news: Filecoin leads in market uptick. CryptoPunks in new glow as Tiffany jewelry. Chinese firms flock to Singapore.

Nomad’s US$200 million hack; Saylor steps down

Nomad loses US$200 million after over 300 suspected of participating in the hack. Meanwhile, Michael Saylor moves from CEO to Chairman of Microstrategy.

Chinese mining rig maker Canaan says global expansion on track despite ‘crypto winter’

Beijing’s drive to stamp out crypto mining and the slump in crypto prices are headwinds that Canaan says it knows how to deal with, adding that the crypto winter may be shorter than expected.