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February 2023

FTX Donations Clawback

The new leadership at FTX are threatening charitable and political organizations with lawsuits if they don’t return donated funds. Will this benefit ordinary depositors?

Sam Bankman-Fried banned from using VPNs while on bail: Bloomberg

Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder of the now-bankrupt FTX exchange, has been banned from using virtual private networks (VPNs) while out on bail, as the judge cited similar concerns to the co-founder’s use of encrypted messaging apps, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. See related article: Bankrupt FTX threatens legal action to claw back donations to politicians, charities […]

Paxos ordered to stop minting Binance stablecoin as SEC mulls legal action

Top blockchain and crypto news: Paxos halts BUSD issuance. Kraken faces disclosure charges. Beijing backs new blockchain research center.

Chinese NFT marketplace Jingtan eases asset transfer restrictions

Jingtan, one of China’s major NFT marketplace, has relaxed its rules on NFT transfer between users.

Singapore’s DBS Digital Exchange’s Bitcoin trade volume grows 80% in 2022

DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx), one of Asia’s first bank-backed digital exchanges, has reported a year-on-year increase of 80% in Bitcoin traded in financial year 2022, while the number of Bitcoin custodized with the bank doubled from 2021. 

Binance CEO says more non-USD stablecoins may emerge

The intensifying regulatory oversight in the U.S. is highlighting the increasing need for non-U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoins in the cryptocurrency industry, Binance Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao said on Tuesday.  See related article: Be careful what you wish for? Regulators pick up pace in the crypto industry crackdown Fast facts See related article: SEC may make […]

Crypto Clampdown Begins

As financial regulators around the world continue to crackdown on stablecoins, some are asking if they are overreaching their jurisdiction.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether drop; BNB biggest loser in top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin and Ether dropped in Tuesday afternoon trade in Asia, along with all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Binance’s native token BNB led the day’s decline across the top 10 cryptos.

Why the crypto sector needs radical transparency in the post-FTX world

Self-custody is cumbersome and carries risks of seed phrases getting lost, but how can we ensure if a third-party custodian can be trusted?

Markets: Bitcoin rises amid market jitters as Paxos stablecoin issuer next regulator target after Kraken clampdown

Bitcoin was the only top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrency to gain in Tuesday morning trading in Asia in a market unsettled by regulators in the U.S. targeting digital asset companies.

Singapore’s DBS bank plans to apply for crypto license in HK: report

Singapore’s DBS Group plans to apply for a license to offer crypto to Hong Kong customers as the city pushes to become a hub for digital assets.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether prices extend losses; Dogecoin sole gainer among top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin continued to trade below US$22,000 in Monday afternoon trading in Asia. All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies dropped except Dogecoin.

Paxos ordered to stop issuing Binance USD stablecoin: report

Paxos Trust Company has been ordered by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to stop issuing the U.S. dollar-pegged Binance USD (BUSD) stablecoin

China’s international blockchain BSN Spartan gets new push in Middle East, Africa

Red Date Technology, the developer of China’s state-backed blockchain infrastructure Blockchain-based Service Network, has partnered Dubai-based Singularity Innovations to offer blockchain infrastructure services in the Middle East and Africa, as the Chinese blockchain network continues to go global.

Coinbase CEO says he will “happily defend” crypto staking service against claim it’s a securities product

CEO Brian Armstrong said that the company will defend its staking services in court against claims that they need to be classified as securities.

Digital Currency Group plans restructuring to pay creditors of bankrupt Genesis unit

Digital Currency Group (DCG), the parent firm of failed crypto broker Genesis Global Capital, plans to transfer equity in another unit, Genesis Global Trading, to Genesis Global Holdco and eventually sell both companies to raise capital to pay back creditors.

Securities and Exchange Commission may sue BUSD stablecoin issuer Paxos, WSJ reports

The U.S. SEC may sue the Paxos Trust Company for allegedly violating investor protection laws in its issue of the Binance USD (BUSD) stablecoin.

Huobi to expand in Hong Kong as it bets on China

Huobi Global plans to expand its operations in Hong Kong, anticipating that Mainland China will soon follow the city’s recent pro-crypto shift, says Justin Sun.

Stablecoin issuer Paxos probed by New York regulator

Paxos Trust, the issuer of Binance’s BUSD stablecoin, is reportedly being investigated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

A house divided? SEC Commissioner Peirce attacks agency’s fines against Kraken exchange

Hester Peirce said using enforcement action to dictate law in an emerging industry is the act of a “lazy” regulator, after the SEC fined the U.S.-based Kraken crypto exchange for failing to register staking programs.

Lessons from FTX: crypto investment risks and how to avoid them

The recent spate of crypto exchanges freezing customer accounts should be a wake-up call to investors everywhere. What can you do to better protect yourself?

Markets: Bitcoin slumps in broad sell off amid SEC charges against Kraken, regulation worries

Bitcoin sank below US$22,000 on Thursday morning in Asia after the U.S. SEC slapped a fine on the Kraken exchange, sparking concerns that regulators are set to take a tougher line on crypto trading.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong says SEC has ‘terrible’ idea to ban crypto staking for U.S. retail customers

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is considering a ban on cryptocurrency staking for retail customers in the country, said Brian Armstrong, the chief executive of Coinbase Global Inc.

Robinhood aims to buy-back its shares seized by Department of Justice in FTX failure

Robinhood Markets Inc., the U.S.-based financial services company, aims to purchase the 55 million of its shares that FTX-linked Emergent Fidelity Technologies bought in May 2022, according to its earnings report released Wednesday.

Alameda wallets activate, transfer millions in FTT tokens 

Wallets linked to Alameda Research became active over the past week, transferring millions worth of FTX’s native token, FTT, according to Arkham Intelligence. 

Binance makes Korea comeback with GOPAX acquisition

Top blockchain and crypto news: GOPAX deal sees Binance return to South Korea. Inflation fight spooks crypto markets. Chinese liquor giant gives cheers to NFTs.

South Korea prosecutors say Serbia ready to help fraud investigation into Terra’s Do Kwon

Prosecutors flew to Serbia earlier this month as part of an investigation into Terraform Labs chief Do Kwon, who faces fraud accusations related to the US$40 billion collapse of his Terra-Luna cryptocurrency project in May last year.

DCG to sell Grayscale holdings at a discount to pay creditors: report

Digital Currency Group has started to sell shares of its cryptocurrency funds at a significant discount, according to a Tuesday report from the Financial Times.

Gemini agrees to put US$100 mln to Earn asset recovery efforts

Gemini has agreed to put up US$100 million to the asset recovery of Earn users as part of bankrupt crypto lender Genesis Capital’s in-principle agreement with parent firm DCG and other creditors.

Markets: Bitcoin rises as Polygon gains most in top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin prices gained in Tuesday afternoon trading in Asia while Ethereum dropped with most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

JPMorgan report shows institutional trader interest shifting to AI from blockchain after crypto slump

Nearly three out of four institutional traders surveyed “have no plans to trade crypto,” while most see Artificial Intelligence as the next big disrupter.

NFTs inspired by K-drama Crash Landing on You coming from Crypto.com, Studio Dragon

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has partnered with Korean drama distributor Studio Dragon to issue NFTs inspired by popular Korean drama series, including the hit Crash Landing on You, the exchange said on Monday.

Binance suspends international U.S. dollar transfers, CEO indicates issues with banks

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, will suspend all deposits and withdrawals of U.S. dollars at its international exchanges from Feb. 8.

Control Your Crypto

As new technologies emerge, could there be a shift in crypto storage methods?

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.