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January 2023

India’s CoinDCX exchange says crypto tax rules are reducing government revenue

India announces its full year budget on Feb. 1, the last before general elections in 2024, and the cryptocurrency and digital asset industry is lobbying the government for changes in tax rules, among others.

Binance says Signature Bank no longer supports crypto exchange transactions of under US$100,000

Signature Bank will not handle transactions of less than US$100,000 for crypto exchange customers starting in February, according to exchange giant Binance.

Binance Charity to fund over 30,000 Web3 scholarships in 2023

Binance Charity Fund, the philanthropic arm of the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance Global Inc., has announced it is funding 30,665 Web3 scholarships in 2023.

Genesis’s trading arm moving funds on blockchain, bankrupt units reveal extent of liabilities

According to on-chain data, the trading arm of bankrupt crypto lending firm Genesis is still moving funds around on the blockchain.

2023 Should be the Year of Web3 Security

Despite 2022’s turbulent impact on the crypto industry, Immunefi CEO Mitchell Amador believes this year could encourage better Web3 security.

Crypto lender Nexo to pay US$45 mln to settle U.S. SEC charges

Crypto lender Nexo Capital has agreed to pay US$45 million in a settlement with the SEC and the NASAA, over allegations of failing to register its lending product,

Indian Budget Ahead

India’s crypto tax laws have caused local trading volume to plummet and the industry is hoping for better news in the upcoming budget session.

Markets: Bitcoin dips below US$21,000

Bitcoin slipped below US$21,000 in Friday afternoon trade in Asia while prices of other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies were mixed. 

Binance among top Bitcoin receivers of Bitzlato’s illegal funds, FinCEN says

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury that combats financial crimes, has named Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, as one of the top three receiving counterparties of Bitzlato Ltd. 

FTX chief John Ray mulls resurrection of collapsed crypto exchange

FTX is exploring options to revive its bankrupt international cryptocurrency exchange, FTX.com, CEO John Ray told the Wall Street Journal.

Cardano expresses interest in buying CoinDesk from cash-strapped Digital Currency Group

Cardano co-founder Charles Hoskinson said he is considering acquiring CoinDesk, the media arm of the struggling Digital Currency Group.

Digital Currency Group’s crypto brokerage Genesis Global Capital files for bankruptcy

Crypto brokerage firm Genesis Global Capital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday in the Southern District of New York.

Former FTX U.S. CEO Sam Bankman-Fried rejects liquidators’ claim of recovered assets

Founder and former chief executive of FTX U.S., Sam Bankman-Fried, has rejected claims by the company’s current leadership made in a presentation on Tuesday that the team has only recovered US$181 million worth of funds from the exchange.

Singapore-based crypto unicorn Amber Group slashes Hong Kong workforce, SCMP reports

Singapore-based digital asset manager Amber Group has cut its Hong Kong staff by half to 40 to weather a slump in cryptocurrency prices and a cascade of bankruptcies in the industry.

DCG’s crypto lender Genesis may file for bankruptcy, according to Bloomberg report

Crypto brokerage firm Genesis Global Capital is preparing to file for bankruptcy as early as this week, Bloomberg reported.

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.

Genesis, Gemini face US charges over unregistered securities sales

Top blockchain and crypto news: SEC frowns on Genesis, Gemini. Solana soars. Will China tighten its embrace of WeChat Pay and Alipay to push its CBDC?

Silvergate reports US$1 billion loss, attributes to “crisis of confidence” in crypto sector

U.S.-based cryptocurrency bank Silvergate Capital Corp., which saw clients withdraw more than US$8 billion late last year, on Tuesday reported a US$1 billion loss for the fourth quarter of 2022, a slump it attributed to a “crisis of confidence” in the sector resulting from several large bankruptcies.

FTX says US$415 mln in crypto hacked since bankruptcy filing

Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX told creditors that it lost around US$415 million worth of cryptocurrencies to hacks since it filed for bankruptcy.

China NFT platforms expand into Hong Kong in face of compliance risks on mainland

Hong Kong’s new digital asset-friendly policies could set the city up as the home for secondary NFT marketplaces from China as trading of ‘digital collectibles’ remains a gray area on the mainland.

Davos kicks off

Climate action and Ukraine were key discussion points on the first day of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos.

Singapore court extends crypto lender Vauld’s creditor protection to Feb. 28

The Singapore High Court has extended the creditor protection period for crypto lender Vauld to Feb. 28, as the firm has yet to come up with a revival plan

CryptoSlam, Forkast.News merge to form Web3 data intelligence platform

Web3 media company Forkast.News and blockchain data analytics firm CryptoSlam are merging to establish Forkast Labs, a media intelligence platform for the digital economy that will combine on-chain data analytics and journalism.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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. 

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.

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.

Ripple Decision Soon?

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

Crypto exchange Huobi latest firm to slash staff: Reuters

Seychelles-based crypto exchange company Huobi plans to lay off about 20% of its staff, according to a Friday report from Reuters.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether slip; Cardano extends gains

Bitcoin and Ether dipped in Friday afternoon trading in Asia, with nearly all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies slipping. Dogecoin was the biggest loser, while Cardano’s ADA was the sole gainer in the top 10 cryptos.

SEC objects to Binance’s US$1 bln deal to buy Voyager Digital’s assets

The U.S. SEC has objected to Binance’s U.S. affiliate’s proposed US$1 billion purchase of bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital’s assets.

Animoca Brands slashes Web3 fund target to US$1B: Bloomberg

Animoca Brands Corp. has scaled down the target amount for its Web 3.0 and metaverse investment fund to US$1 billion.

Digital Currency Group shuts down wealth management unit: report

Cryptocurrency-focused conglomerate Digital Currency Group (DCG) is shutting down its wealth management unit called HQ, CoinDesk, a DCG-owned media outlet, reported on Friday.

Silvergate cuts 40% of staff after facing US$8.1B in withdrawals amid FTX collapse

Cryptocurrency bank Silvergate Capital has laid off 40% of its staff, or about 200 employees, after the collapse of FTX.com, which sparked mass withdrawals of around US$8.1 billion.

India’s Crypto Outlook

WazirX VP Rajagopal Menon sits down with Forkast to provide some insight as survival becomes a huge concern for crypto exchanges in India.

U.S. authorities to seize US$460 mln of Robinhood shares in FTX fraud case

U.S. prosecutors are moving to seize the US$460 million worth of Robinhood Markets Inc., shares linked to Sam Bankman-Fried, the former chief executive officer of Bahamas-based bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX.com

MoneyGram seeks to seal parts of its filings in the XRP lawsuit between Ripple, SEC

MoneyGram has requested the court to seal certain portions of summary judgment materials in Ripple Labs’ ongoing lawsuit against the SEC.

Blockchain in Davos

Welcome to The Daily Forkast – January 4, 2022 – presented by Angie Lau. As the bells rang in the new year, many said goodbye and good riddance to a year of headline grabbing failures in the blockchain space. From Ronin’s bridge hack, the collapse of Terra Luna, to the bankruptcy of FTX, 2022 was […]

Crypto payments firm Wyre reportedly shutting down amid market downturn

Cryptocurrency payments company Wyre is reportedly shutting down operations by the end of January, amid the broader crypto market downturn following the fall of FTX

Alameda Research transfers spark suspicions as SBF denies involvement

Top blockchain and crypto news: Where is Alameda Research’s money going? US tax loophole may give crypto investors a break. China’s blockchain momentum builds.

Ripple expects SEC ruling in first half, clearer global regulations for digital assets in 2023 

Ripple Labs Inc. expects a court decision in the first six-months of this year in the case filed against the company by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission. The SEC sued Ripple in December 2020 for allegedly selling US$1.3 billion in unregistered securities.

Binance declines comment on speculation it may buy South Korean crypto exchange GOPAX

Binance declined to comment on reports in local media that it is in late stage talks to acquire South Korean digital asset exchange GOPAX.

Sam Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty to fraud charges in FTX exchange collapse

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange that collapsed in November with billions of dollars in investor funds missing, pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud on Tuesday in New York.

Bahamas regulator denies FTX CEO’s claims over seized assets

The Securities Commission of The Bahamas has rejected “material misstatements” made by FTX’s newly-appointed CEO, John J. Ray III

Final Fantasy’s Square Enix stays committed to blockchain despite backlash

Yosuke Matsuda, the president of Square Enix, has reaffirmed the gaming company’s commitment to blockchain technology.

DCG’s Silbert, Gemini’s Winklevoss start Twitter spat over frozen funds, billion dollar loans

Barry Silbert, the CEO of Digital Currency Group rejected claims that the company borrowed US$1.6 billion from its Genesis Global Capital.

Happy birthday to Bitcoin! What will it become when it’s all grown up?

It takes a village to raise a child, and Bitcoin is no different — we must support its growth but also set firm boundaries, writes Justin d’Anethan of Amber Group.

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.

OKX’s OKB, OKT tokens surge at least 13% each after 85% quarter

OKB, the utility token of OKX, jumped by up to 15% during Asia trading hours on Monday. OKT, the native token of the OKX Chain, was up 13%.

December 2022

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried allegedly cashes out US$684,000, on-chain data show

On-chain data showed that Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the now-bankrupt FTX exchange, sent around 570 Ether worth US$684,000 to a Seychelles-based exchange and Ren Protocol’s Bitcoin bridge on Wednesday

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