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May 2023

Montenegro prosecutors appeal court ruling to allow bail for Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon

Montenegro prosecutors have filed an appeal against a local court decision to approve bail for the detained Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon.

Conflux Network, China Telecom unveil blockchain-based SIM card

Conflux Network and China Telecom on Tuesday unveiled their first blockchain-based SIM card, which will be piloted in Hong Kong.

Ripple Labs acquires digital asset custody provider Metaco for US$250 mln

San Francisco-based Ripple Labs, a technology and financial services firm built around the XRP cryptocurrency, said it will acquire Metaco, a Swiss-based tokenization and digital asset custody provider, for US$250 million. 

Crypto and NFT Market Update – May 17th

Welcome to The Daily Forkast, May 17, 2023, presented by Jeff Cheung for the latest in the crypto markets. Ripple’s victory over the SEC in court has jumped XRP prices as Litecoin continues its bullish run overnight. The NFT markets are also looking good as the Forkast 500 index and the ETH composite are both […]

XRP lawsuit: Judge denies SEC motion to seal documents in win for Ripple

A U.S. federal judge has denied a motion by the SEC to seal internal documents related to a speech given by the SEC’s former director on whether cryptocurrencies are securities.

XRP gains as SEC motion denied; NFT index down; US investors anticipate debt ceiling deal

Bitcoin prices fell on Wednesday morning in Asia but remained above the US$27,000 line. Ether gained but still posted a weekly drop. XRP led gainers among other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies.

SEC in no rush to respond to Coinbase calls for regulatory clarity

As part of the ongoing legal dispute between the two, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it would not be hurried into a response to Coinbase demands.

South Korea raids firms Upbit, Bithumb, Kakao over local lawmaker’s crypto scandal

South Korean prosecutors have raided Upbit, Bithumb and the crypto wallet unit of Kakao, as part of their investigation into lawmaker Kim Nam-kuk.

Tokenization is changing the world, from finance to art

Fractionalizing assets on the blockchain opens up investment opportunities for the public and the capital market’s access to liquidity, writes Bob Ras. Here’s what’s holding it back.

Bank of Korea and financial regulator in turf war over who supervises crypto industry

Bank of Korea, the central bank, seems uncomfortable with the Financial Services Commission, the country’s regulator, having the mandate over the cryptocurrency industry. The bank is pushing for more say, arguing crypto can influence the stability of the overall financial market and that involves the central bank.

Binance exits Canada amid increased regulation in North America

Regulatory hurdles have once again hit Binance in North America, with the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange announcing on Friday that it would cease operations in Canada due to tightened crypto rules.

Memecoin frenzy fuels network congestion; China makes a surprise crypto move

Welcome to Forkast IQ, presented by Megha Chaddah, where we look beyond the headlines to get you insights that power smarter decisions. Coming up on today’s show:

Binance.US may reduce founder Changpeng Zhao’s ownership stake: The Information

Binance.US is reportedly exploring ways to cut founder Changpeng Zhao’s ownership stake in the company, The Information reported on Thursday, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

Terraform’s Do Kwon pleads not guilty to passport forgery; lawyers propose US$437,000 bail

Terraform Labs chief Do Kwon denied charges of attempting to travel with fake travel documents during a court hearing Thursday in Montenegro.

Animoca Brands says it holds US$3.4 bln in assets

Animoca Brands revealed US$2.7 billion in off-balance sheet token reserves in its latest unaudited financial update.

Bitcoin network buckles under weight of BRC-20’s runaway success

Top blockchain and crypto news: Memecoin fever strains BTC network. Binance slams brakes on Bitcoin withdrawals. Chinese court allows crypto for repaying debt.

Bitcoin congestion issues continue amid BRC-20 memecoin, Ordinals surge

Bitcoin network faces heightened congestion with over 5 million inscriptions, exacerbating block space demand as BRC-20 tokens achieve a market cap milestone of $1 billion, contributing to increased activity on the network.

Japan looks to regain its place in the cryptocurrency world pecking order

The three-day NexTech Week trade show kicked off Wednesday in Tokyo, celebrating all things technology, including blockchain and Artificial Intelligence.

South Korea sets May 26 trial date for Terraform Labs co-founder Daniel Shin, others

Terraform Labs co-founder Shin Hyun-seung and seven others will face trial on May 26 on charges of fraud related to the Terra-Luna crypto collapse.

Hong Kong will have ‘tight’ crypto regulation, says HKMA chief Eddie Yue

Cryptocurrency firms moving to Hong Kong should expect tight regulations as part of the city-state’s new regulatory regime, said Eddie Yue.

South Korea freezes US$176 mln of Terraform CEO Do Kwon’s domestic assets

A South Korean court has approved prosecutors’ request to freeze assets and properties worth 233.3 billion Korean won that belong to Kwon.

Hong Kong’s OSL Asset Management wins license to offer blockchain, AI, Web3 investment products

Hong Kong-based OSL Asset Management Ltd said it won a local license to offer investment products in blockchain, Web3 and AI companies.

Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Moody’s, others to join new financial industry blockchain

Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Deloitte, Moody’s and other institutions are partnering with Digital Asset for the launch of the Canton blockchain.

Bitcoin transaction fees surge, El Salvador users suffer consequences

Skyrocketing activity has led to a surge in average Bitcoin transaction fees — which rose to US$31.15 as of March 8 — exerting increasing pressure on users in low- and middle- income economies including Bitcoin-reliant communities in El Salvador, the first country to implement mass adoption of the digital currency.

Crypto and NFT Market Update – May 8th

Welcome to The Daily Forkast, May 8, 2023, presented by Jeff Cheung for the latest in the crypto markets. Binance halted Bitcoin withdrawals twice today as a result of an influx of pending transactions and sky-rocketing fees. The Ethereum Foundation sold US$30 million worth of Ethereum to Kraken as well, leading to slight dips in […]

India not against blockchain tech, but cryptocurrency should be monitored, says FM

India is not against the blockchain technology, but currencies have to be monitored by either the government or the central bank, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday. 

Prosecutor says Terra-Luna fugitive Do Kwon should face trial in South Korea: WSJ

The prosecutor leading Korea’s investigation into the Terra-Luna project said its founder Do Kwon should be extradited to Seoul to face trial.

Binance resumes Bitcoin withdrawals after halting transactions twice in 12 hours

Binance resumed withdrawals of Bitcoin around Monday noon in Hong Kong after temporarily halting the service twice within 12 hours due to what the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange said was a “large volume of pending transactions.”

Pepe, Floki to list on Binance exchange

PEPE and FLOKI, the two top trending memecoins that saw the biggest gains on Friday, will be listed on Binance at 12 a.m. Hong Kong time Saturday

Israel confiscates suspicious Binance accounts allegedly linked to Islamic State: Reuters

Binance says it works closely with law enforcement to freeze funds and the news agency’s report left out “critical facts.”

What JPMorgan’s First Republic takeover means for the crypto industry

Top blockchain and crypto news: JPMorgan swoops as another bank falls. NFT market rivalry heats up. Bitget seeks Hong Kong exchange license.

Crypto miner Bitdeer expands to Bhutan, partners state-owned investment arm

Singapore-headquartered cryptocurrency miner Bitdeer Technologies is planning to expand its mining operations to Bhutan and raise up to US$500 million for a fund through a new partnership with the Himalayan kingdom’s state-owned investment company Druk Holding and Investments.

Coinbase opens Bermuda-based crypto derivatives exchange amid conflict with U.S. regulators

Coinbase, the publicly listed largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S., opened its offshore derivatives exchange in Bermuda on Tuesday.

Trading, talent and tech leveling up in NFTs

NFT prices and trading volume are dropping but this could be an indicator of a maturing market.

Bitcoin inscriptions: Are Ordinals a boon or a drag on the network?

Now that the Bitcoin Ordinals genie is out of the bottle, a debate is raging about whether they’re good for the original blockchain and their long-term consequences.

Temasek denies investment in algorithmic crypto developer Array

Temasek, Singapore’s state-owned investment firm, has denied that it had invested in Array, an algorithmic cryptocurrency developer.

Bitcoin, Ether drop; BNB, Polkadot biggest losers in top 10 cryptos; U.S. stock futures weaken

Bitcoin dropped 2.09% in Tuesday afternoon trade in Asia while Ether lost 0.81%. BNB fell 2.93% and Polkadot declined 2.66%.
and

Securities or not, crypto in the US needs new regulations and clearer guidance

CFTC and SEC disagree over whether cryptocurrencies are securities, and two big lawsuits clouding the industry’s future invoke laws that long predate the digital era.
and

Bitcoin up on bank jitters, price forecasts; Ether dips, U.S. equity futures flat

Bitcoin edged up on Monday morning in Asia to hold above US$29,000. Ether fell below US$1,900. Most other top 10 non-stablecoin tokens traded lower except BNB.

April 2023

NFTs run out of steam as Cryptos clock weekly gains

Welcome to The Daily Forkast – April 28, 2023 – presented by Megha Chaddah. The crypto markets end the week on a strong note after a difficult start, with most of the major cryptocurrencies trading in the green once again. The NFT markets had a tougher time today though, as most of the Forkast Indexes […]

Binance says it built 700-member compliance team to handle crypto crime, legal enquiries

Binance said it has more than 700 employees in its compliance team, which includes 170 staff working to combat crypto fraud.

Polygon developers get access to Google Cloud’s node service

Google Cloud has announced that its node hosting service, the Blockchain Node Engine, will be available for developers on the Polygon blockchain. 

Coinbase sues SEC in bid for clarity on crypto rules

Top blockchain and crypto news: Coinbase in court to force SEC’s hand. PEPE surge lifts memecoin mood. China paves CBDC path with payroll.

Crypto bounces back after rumor mill scare

Welcome to The Daily Forkast – April 27, 2023 – presented by Jeff Cheung. The crypto markets suffered from a minor heart attack earlier today when unsubstantiated rumors surfaced, claiming Mt Gox and US Government wallets had allegedly moved large amounts of Bitcoin.

Investment bank H.C. Wainwright says ‘crypto winter over,’ rates Coinbase a ‘buy’

New York-based investment bank H.C. Wainwright has initiated a “buy” rating on publicly traded Coinbase Global Inc., the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S., saying the company is poised to benefit from growth in the global digital asset economy as the so-called “crypto winter” of falling prices is over.

Meta’s Zuckerberg says he is keeping focus on metaverse development despite losses

Meta Platforms Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said the social media giant is not moving away from its metaverse focus despite reporting repeated losses in the billions of dollars at its division dedicated to developing the virtual reality online world. 

Bitcoin, Ether rebound after early morning fall; U.S. equity futures gain on Meta outlook

Bitcoin rose above US$29,000 on Thursday morning in Asia, rebounding from an earlier drop. Ether gained. Other top 10 non-stablecoin tokens traded mixed.

Crypto market recovers as earnings calls continue to show positives

Welcome to The Daily Forkast – April 26, 2023 – presented by Jeff Cheung. Most major cryptocurrencies are back in the green as earnings reports from tech giants like Microsoft and Alphabet are showing positive results, outperforming analyst expectations.

Binance.US cites ‘hostile’ regulator, yanks US$1.3 billion deal to buy Voyager Digital

Binance.US, a cryptocurrency exchange set up by Binance chief Changpeng Zhao to serve U.S. clients, has pulled out of a US$1.3 billion deal to buy bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital, the company said Tuesday, citing a lack of clear regulations in the country for the crypto industry.

Bitcoin bounces back to US$28,000, Ether gains; U.S. equity futures up on tech earnings

Bitcoin rose in Wednesday morning trading in Asia to reclaim the US$28,000 mark, with Ether and all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies moving higher.

Crypto sell off continues; Coinbase asks SEC for answers

Welcome to The Daily Forkast – April 25, 2023 – presented by Jeff Cheung. In an unexpected twist of events, Coinbase is suing the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission after receiving a Wells notice from them just last month. The crypto markets haven’t reacted to this news well, and after a rough start to […]

South Korea indicts Terra co-founder Daniel Shin; Shin rejects accusations

South Korean prosecutors on Tuesday indicted Terraform Labs co-founder Daniel Shin for alleged fraudulent transactions related to the collapse of the Terra-Luna crypto project.

CoinShares says weekly investment in Ethereum-linked products rebounds after hard fork

Ethereum-linked digital asset investment products saw inflows of around US$17 million in the week ending April 21, up from US$300,000 in the previous week, appearing to show investor confidence following the blockchain’s milestone upgrade, Coinshares report shows.

Coinbase ups the ante with SEC, asking court to require crypto clarity from regulator

Coinbase sued the U.S. SEC on Monday, asking that a court require the regulator to publicly respond to the Coinbase July 2022 petition asking for clearer crypto regulation guidelines. 

Terraform Labs Kwon to get Montenegro court hearing May 11 on passport forgery charges

Kwon Do-hyeong will have a court hearing on May 11 in Montenegro on charges of allegedly attempting to travel using a false passport.

Do Kwon: The Rise & Fall

Do Kwon has been charged by Montenegrin authorities for attempting to travel with forged documents as the US and South Korea race to extradite him.

Bitcoin’s mempool congestion eases after millionth Ordinals inscription

Mempool congestion issues subsided after the Bitcoin network surpassed 1 million Ordinals inscriptions.

Bitcoin falls to near US$28,000, Ether flat, U.S. equities slide on rate hike worries

Bitcoin fell to near US$28,000 on Friday morning in Asia, with Ether trading flat and most other top 10 non-stablecoin tokens losing steam.

From billionaire to Montenegro jail: The rapid rise and fall of Terra chief Do Kwon

South Korea’s Do Kwon went from a poster boy of digital finance as a co-founder of the US$40 billion Singapore-based Terraform Labs to a fugitive on Interpol’s wanted list, all in a matter of several rollercoaster years. He’s now in a Montenegro jail where he may face more time in detention as the U.S. and South Korea demand his extradition to face a long list of charges, including securities fraud – allegations he has repeatedly denied. The following is a timeline of how we got here.

Crypto miner Bitdeer falls 35% since Nasdaq debut, reports net loss in 2022

Shares of Singapore-based cryptocurrency miner Bitdeer have slid more than 35% since their Nasdaq debut on April 14, and were trading at US$6.41 at closing on Wednesday.

Bitcoin hovers under US$29,500 level; Dogecoin gains

Welcome to The Daily Forkast – April 18, 2023 – presented by Megha Chaddah. Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies slipped in early morning Asia time. Meanwhile, Dogecoin shrugged off the overall down market, gaining almost 3% as sentiment around the memecoin got a lift after Twitter – led by Dogecoin fan Elon Musk – officially […]

Ethereum inflows slow following Shanghai upgrade, exchanges see Ether influx

CoinShares data showed Ethereum-linked products saw little investment interest with inflows of around US$300,000 in the week ending April 14, accounting for a tiny portion of the total US$114 million weekly inflow into digital assets and despite the blockchain’s milestone upgrade last week.

Bitcoin dips under US$30,000; Ether takes a breather; Binance, Solana lead gainers

Bitcoin dipped below US$30,000 in early Monday morning trading in Asia. Ether stalled after strong gains that followed last week’s blockchain upgrade.

Bitcoin rises to near US$31,000, Ether leads gains across top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin continued its rally to near the US$31,000 mark in Friday afternoon trading in Asia. All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptos gained, led by Ethereum.

Kraken to withdraw US$1.17 bln of staked Ether in line with SEC ruling, settlement

As part of its February settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S.-based Kraken crypto exchange has submitted the largest Ether withdrawal request since Wednesday’s upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain. The SEC ordered Kraken to shut down what it called unregistered staking programs.

Can crypto wallets be both accessible and hacker-proof?

Securing keys is an issue that has bedeviled the crypto world, as the $600M Ronin and $300M Wormhole heists have painfully shown. Is there a better way?

Cardano NFTs slump as users trade top-tier projects in favor of newer ones

Cardano NFT ecosystem sees a significant decline as users sell off top-tier projects for newer ones, according to Forkast CAR NFT Composite.

Musk’s Twitter partners with eToro to offer crypto and stocks to users

Twitter users will soon have access to stocks and cryptocurrency through a new partnership with eToro, a trading platform. 

Binance chief says unclear crypto regulation ‘the worst’

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said regulators need to come up with clear crypto regulations and should understand that the crypto industry is different from the traditional financial industry.

Hong Kong’s ZA Bank starts offering crypto-fiat conversion services: Bloomberg

ZA Bank, the largest virtual bank in Hong Kong, has started offering cryptocurrency conversion services through licensed crypto exchanges.

Bankrupt FTX recovers US$7.3 billion in assets, considers resurrection of operations

The failed FTX cryptocurrency exchange has recovered around US$7.3 billion in assets and is considering the option of restarting its business.

Bitcoin fluctuates at US$30,000; Ether gains; Litecoin, XRP drop; U.S. equities fall on recession concern

Bitcoin dipped but held above US$30,000 in Thursday morning trading in Asia that saw mixed performances among the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies.