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February 2023

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether extend losses: Solana, Polygon biggest losers

Bitcoin and Ethereum prices dropped in afternoon trading on Monday in Asia, along with all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Bitcoin continued trading under US$23,000, while Solana and Polygon led losses. 

Bankrupt FTX threatens legal action to claw back donations to politicians, charities

The move marks a shift in tone from December when recipients of FTX donations were requested to “voluntarily” return the funds.

What is CeDeFi, and why it is the future of finance

CeDeFi offers the benefits of CeFi and DeFi without their shortcomings, writes Alexander Tkachenko of VNX. Here’s how it works.

Binance tells Indian crypto exchange WazirX to remove funds from its platform as feud escalates

Binance has stopped providing wallet services to Indian crypto exchange WazirX, asking it to withdraw any remaining assets held in Binance wallets by Feb. 3.

Binance re-enters S. Korea through GOPAX equity purchase: report

Binance has returned to South Korea after a two-year break by acquiring a majority stake in the local cryptocurrency exchange GOPAX, Bloomberg reported Friday.

India working with IMF, FSB on crypto regulations, says economic affairs secretary

India, the current holder of the G20 presidency, has been working with the IMF and the Financial Stability Board FSB to develop a regulatory approach for cryptocurrencies.

NFT’s Bitcoin Future

Could there be a shift in Ethereum’s monopoly of the NFT world as new technologies arise?

Crypto exchange PayBito begins to integrate ChatGPT into its platform

Cryptocurrency exchange PayBito announced its plans to integrate ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot developed by research firm OpenAI, on Friday.

Silvergate probed by US prosecutors over FTX, Alameda accounts: Bloomberg

U.S. prosecutors are investigating California-based cryptocurrency bank Silvergate Capital Corp. for how it handled accounts tied to now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX and its brokerage arm Alameda Research, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Markets: Bitcoin dips to US$23,500, Ether inches up, other top 10 crypto mixed

Bitcoin and Ether traded mostly little changed Friday morning after a strong run up in the week, with other top 10 cryptocurrencies prices mixed.

India’s largest retailer Reliance starts CBDCs sales

Indian retail giant Reliance Retail announced on Thursday that it has started accepting digital rupee payments to become the largest Indian firm to adopt the nation’s CBDC.

India’s Budget Disappoints

India’s position on digital assets remains status quo as the country’s parliamentary budget hearing leads to disappointment in the crypto sector.

Meta’s metaverse division Reality Labs posts wider loss of $13.7 billion in 2022

Meta Platforms Inc., the former Facebook, said losses at its Reality Labs division developing virtual reality technologies widened last year, but the company’s Q4 earnings beat expectations and it projected overall stronger growth into 2023, according to its earnings report released Wednesday.

South Korea arrests head of Bithumb crypto exchange for alleged embezzlement

A South Korean court approved the prosecutor’s request to issue an arrest warrant for Kang Jong-hyun for alleged embezzlement.

Bankrupt FTX held US$1.4B in cash at the end of 2022

Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX.com had around US$1.4 billion in cash reserves at the end of 2022, according to a financial update released Tuesday.

Cardano’s Djed stablecoin locks US$10 mln in reserves on its first day

Djed, a Cardano-based algorithmic stablecoin, has collected over US$10 million in its reserves within the first 24 hours since it was launched on Wednesday.

Islamic Crypto Finance

Islamic finance has seen growth in a time where most of the world’s economy has suffered losses. How could its integration into crypto help the industry?

Digital yuan sales during Lunar New Year up from last year, online retailers say

Digital yuan sales at online retail platforms in China have surged during the Lunar New Year holidays fueled by local governments’ red packet coupons.

Bitcoin mining fund soars as BTC powers into 2023

Top blockchain and crypto news: BTC mining ETF outperforms. SBF under pressure as accusations mount. ‘China’s Instagram’ embraces NFTs.

January 2023

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.

Alameda Research sues Voyager Digital for US$445.8 mln 

Alameda Research has sued bankrupt digital assets lender Voyager Digital to reclaim US$445.8 million worth in loan payments before FTX filed for its own bankruptcy.

Crypto’s Biggest Concern

There’s always the possibility of a bigger scam or a bigger hack this year than the ones we saw in 2022. So what can the crypto industry do to survive 2023?

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.

A crypto regulatory storm front is coming in 2023. Are we ready for it?

Laws to prevent another FTX blowup, crackdowns on crypto tax cheats, and a ruling on Ripple are likely imminent. A bull’s eye is also on DeFi, writes Gergo Varga of SEON.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s family members are not cooperating with FTX attorneys, court documents claim

Sam Bankman-Fried’s mother and brother are not cooperating with the FTX legal team’s investigations into the Bahamans-based exchange’s bankruptcy and misappropriation of customer funds

Bankrupt BlockFi asks court to approve bonuses to keep staff

BlockFi said it needed bonus payments to keep employees from fleeing the company. But creditors argue the plan is excessive when compared to other crypto bankruptcies.

Weekly Market Wrap: Bitcoin rebounds above $23,000. Can it maintain momentum?

Bitcoin this week broke through the US$23,000 price ceiling for the first time since Aug. 2022. Can the benchmark cryptocurrency maintain its momentum? Industry commentators share their views with Forkast on what the market is telling investors and the signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve on interest rates.

More bad news for South Korea’s Bithumb exchange with “Kimchi coin” manipulation allegations

Prosecutors raided the Bithumb crypto exchange on Thursday on allegations of price manipulation and fraudulent transactions in local tokens,

Coinbase fined US$3.6 mln by Dutch central bank

The Dutch central bank (DNB) has fined U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase €3.3 million (US$3.6 million) for failing to obtain correct registrations

Blockchain as Enabler

The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting has come to an end. What key takeaways were there for the crypto industry?

Apple, New York Times, Hong Kong Government listed among FTX creditors

Lawyers for the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, FTX.com, filed a document with a list of its institutional creditors on Thursday, which included major technology firms, publications and government bodies.  

World Economic Forum’s digital asset head expects real-world blockchain adoption in 2023

Cryptocurrencies post the Terra-Luna, FTX failures were a debated topic at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos in the week through Jan. 20, with some authorities calling for a doubling down on regulations. Others had a more nuanced view.
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DCG-owned Luno exchange to axe 35% of its staff

Cryptocurrency exchange Luno, the London-based trading platform owned by venture capital firm Digital Currency Group (DCG), will let go of 35% of its global workforce

Bankrupt BlockFi’s financials show US$1.2 bln exposure to FTX, Alameda: report

Bankrupt BlockFi reportedly had over US$1.2 billion of assets tied to FTX.com and its sister trading firm Alameda Research

Will Genesis meet its maker amid creditors closing in?

Top blockchain and crypto news: Genesis bankruptcy begins. FTX chief ponders a reboot. China’s CBDC gets a smart-contract upgrade.

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

Regulators should not legitimize ‘purely speculative’ crypto activity: Singapore’s monetary authority chief

Regulators should not legitimize “purely speculative” activity in crypto markets following the collapse of FTX, said Monetary Authority of Singapore Chairmen.

Bankrupt crypto lender Genesis ‘optimistic’ about resolving creditor dispute: Reuters

Genesis Global Capital’s lawyers are confident about resolving their disputes with creditors this week, with the goal of emerging from Chapter 11 in May.

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