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G7, EU Working on Russia’s Crypto Isolation, Shareholders vs. ConsenSys + More News

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Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

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Regulation news

  • Finance ministers from the G7 and EU are working on preventing Russia from using cryptoassets to circumvent sanctions, Bloomberg reported, citing German Finance Minister Christian Lindner. In an interview with Welt TV today, he said that “it’s about maximally isolating Russia at all levels” and having a “maximum ability to sanction — and that also includes crypto assets,” Bloomberg. No further details were given. (Learn  more: Crypto Exchanges Soon Could Be Forced to Block Russian Users – Kraken CEO)
  • A draft of European regulation, Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) that was first proposed by the European Commission in September 2020, has been revised to remove language that proposed a ban on mining-based cryptoassets; this was first reported by BTC Echo and then confirmed by Stefan Berger, a member of the European Parliament. However, Berger also added in his tweet that the final decision has not yet been made and that the vote will show where the majority lies.
  • Digital asset dealer SFOX said that the US state of Wyoming has approved its application for a trust charter, making it “the first crypto firm” approved as a Wyoming trust, they said. The charter will allow SFOX to offer a full range of investment services to private clients and advisers, including its digital asset platform that lets investors invest in crypto.

Legal news

  • A group of thirty-five former employees representing more than 50% of all known shareholders of Ethereum (ETH) project ConsenSys AG (CAG) filed a request for a special audit to investigate “serious irregularities at CAG.” They claim that in 2020, fundamental intellectual property and subsidiaries were illegally transferred from CAG into a new entity, ConsenSys Software Incorporated (CSI), in exchange for 10% ownership of CSI and an offset of a USD 39m loan by founder Joseph Lubin.
  • The EOS Network Foundation (ENF) said it is requesting the EOS community’s support in evidence collection for the lawsuit against the EOS creator Block.one. They are asking for more information from the community members related to their personal or business experiences with Block.one, EOS, or EOS VC.
  • US judge Beth Bloom struck down a motion by attorneys for Ira Kleiman, the brother of Craig Wright’s deceased collaborator, Dave Kleiman, for a new trial against Wright, citing the violation of a court order to not discuss Kleiman’s troubled relationship with his brother.

Economics news

  • Consumer prices in the Euro area have grown to 5.8% from a year ago in February, up from 5.1% the previous month and more than the 5.6% median economist estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

Investments news

  • Digital Currency Group (DCG), the parent company of digital currency investment fund Grayscale Investments, announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program by DCG of up to USD 30m worth of shares of Grayscale Litecoin Trust, up to USD 10m each of Grayscale Horizen Trust, and Grayscale Zcash Trust, and up to an aggregate total of USD 200m worth of shares of any of the other six publicly quoted Grayscale products.
  • Binance acquired an unspecified stake in fintech company MX Global, the latter said. The investment will allow it to build brand awareness, hire more talent, and develop new features within Malaysia’s regulatory framework, they added.
  • Payment technology provider Shift4 bought the crypto donation marketplace The Giving Block for an upfront payment of USD 54m and potential payment of up to USD 246m, which consists of 75% stock and 25% cash. Shift4 also acquired the e-commerce services provider Finaro, the company said.
  • Crypto tax software startup CryptoTaxCalculator raised AUD 4m (USD 2.91m) to help crypto investors streamline their tax affairs with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), per the Sydney Morning Herald. The software collects data from hundreds of major crypto exchanges, blockchains, and decentralized finance (DeFi) services and generates a report compatible with a range of different tax jurisdictions.
  • DeFi protocol builder AdaSwap raised USD 2.6m in a round of funding led by iAngels. AdaSwap will use the funding to deliver on its goal of building a decentralized exchange on Cardano (ADA), they said.

NFTs and gaming news

  • NFT gaming platform Axie Infinity has announced that their Marketplace fee will be raised to 5.25%, where the Community Treasury will receive 4.25%, while 1% will be shared with the creator. On the other hand, transactions that don’t have a creator will see the entirety of the fee go to the Community Treasury.
  • Decentralized gaming virtual world The Sandbox partnered with talent incubator Cube Entertainment to spread K-Culture (Korean culture content) globally with operating virtual space and developing digital assets. This partnership focuses on the detailed collaboration for business expansion regarding metaverse and NFT, which began with the establishment of ‘AniCube’, a new joint venture between Animoca Brands which is the parent company of The Sandbox and Cube Entertainment.
  • Social networking platform Parler announced the launch of DeepRedSky, their new NFT marketplace. Their inaugural NFT collection will be called the CryptoTRUMP club featuring 250 NFT pictures of former US President Donald Trump, part of a more extensive collection of 10,000 pieces to be released.

Mining news

  • Bitcoin (BTC) self-mining company Marathon Digital announced that its Q4 2021 revenue increased 2,180% year-over-year to USD 60.3m. Additionally, its fiscal year revenue came up to USD 150.5m from USD 4.4m in the fiscal year 2020 for an increase of 3,353%, while they mined BTC 1,098 during Q4 2021, a 599% increase from Q4 2020.

Adoption news

  • The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) launched the Cambridge Digital Assets Programme (CDAP), a research initiative in collaboration with 16 banks, public sector agencies, and private organizations to shed light on the rapid digitization of assets and value transfer systems. Over an initial period of two years, the CCAF will work with public and private organizations to research the opportunities and risks presented by the digital asset ecosystem, they said.

Career news

  • The open-source, public blockchain Provenance Blockchain Foundation appointed veteran Citigroup executive Morgan McKenney as its new CEO. McKenney had been with Citi for 18 years, most recently as the chief operating officer of the lender’s global consumer banking division.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks, and individuals should seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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dYdX Founder Advises Crypto Industry to Abandon US Customers, Deeming Market Effort Unrewarding

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Proof-of-Work

The founder of the decentralized exchange, dYdX, asserts that individuals involved in cryptocurrency development should direct their efforts toward international markets beyond the United States for the upcoming five to ten years.

Antonio Juliano conveys to his audience of 49,400 on the social media platform X that the prevailing regulatory uncertainty within the United States does not merit the associated challenges or concessions.

Juliano contends that it would be more prudent for cryptocurrency developers to establish their products in alternative countries and subsequently re-enter the United States from a position of strength.

“Cryptocurrency developers would be well-advised to temporarily discontinue catering to the US market and instead seek re-entry in a span of 5-10 years. The complications and compromises involved do not warrant the endeavor. Moreover, a substantial portion of the market exists overseas. It is recommended to innovate in those regions, ascertain product-market fit, and then return with greater bargaining power…

The paramount objective shared among all stakeholders is to secure a significantly more potent product-market fit for cryptocurrency. The pursuit of a robust product-market fit does not necessitate flawless distribution. A multitude of substantial overseas markets present avenues for experimentation.”

Juliano articulates that advocating for more amiable cryptocurrency regulations demands time, although the process could be expedited if developers manage to introduce products that elicit consumer demand.

“However, this perspective does not undermine the importance of efforts to influence US cryptocurrency policy. On the contrary, such endeavors are absolutely vital. Given the protracted timeframe required (in anticipation of re-entry), and considering that much of the world takes cues from the United States, it becomes evident that our progress in shaping policies hinges upon achieving global-scale product usage.”

The dYdX founder proceeds to emphasize that, with time, American citizens will come to realize that cryptocurrency is inherently aligned with US values and principles.

“The tenets of cryptocurrency closely align with American values. What concept could be more quintessentially American and reflective of capitalist ideals than a financial system conceived for the people, driven by the people, and answerable to the people? This, indeed, constitutes the very essence of our endeavor.”

Read Also: Bloomberg Analyst Mike McGlone Predicts Bitcoin Vulnerability in Economic Downturn

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks, and individuals should seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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Bloomberg Analyst Mike McGlone Predicts Bitcoin Vulnerability in Economic Downturn

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Bloomberg Intelligence’s senior macro strategist, Mike McGlone, is conveying a pessimistic outlook for Bitcoin (BTC) in the immediate future.

During a recent interview on Kitco News, McGlone underscored that Bitcoin is currently displaying bearish signals even amidst the ascent of other high-risk assets.

“In the event of a downturn, adhering to a rule prevalent in bear markets, resources across the board could witness a reduction in value, and Bitcoin will not be an exception.

A crucial observation is the necessity for Bitcoin to exhibit divergent strength at a certain juncture, akin to the behavior of treasury bonds and gold in a deflationary economic environment. Regrettably, this pattern has not materialized.

After attaining its peak towards the conclusion of Q1, reaching approximately $31,000, driven by optimism and the influence of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Bitcoin subsequently retraced to $25,000 or approximately $26,000. Presently, it is manifesting divergent weakness in contrast to the concurrent upsurge in the stock market.”

According to McGlone’s analysis, the ongoing “economic reset” implies a continuation of Bitcoin’s recent downward trend, although he anticipates that the premier cryptocurrency will ultimately attain a six-figure valuation.

“While I believe that Bitcoin will eventually achieve a valuation of $100,000, the onset of a global economic reset, as I anticipate, characterized by a standard deflationary recession leading to a decline in the housing and stock markets, analogous to the conditions of 2008—though arguably exacerbated due to the ongoing removal of liquidity from the system—Bitcoin’s role as an influential precursor comes to the forefront.

This underscores my point that Bitcoin has recently been taking on the role of a harbinger of trends. Its value ascended briefly to around $31,000, only to subsequently trend downwards. From my perspective, it serves as a leading indicator for a majority of high-risk assets.”

As of the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading at $26,079.

Read Also: Carbon Footprint of Proof-of-Work vs. Proof-of-Stake: A Comparative Analysis of Blockchain Consensus Mechanisms

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks, and individuals should seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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Lead Developer Announces Imminent Public Reopening of Shibarium

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Shiba Inu’s (SHIB) Latest Layer-2 Scaling Solution Nears Public Relaunch Following Recent Technical Challenges

Shytoshi Kusama, the enigmatic lead developer behind the SHIB project, has shared in a recent blog post that significant progress has been made in addressing the technical setbacks that temporarily halted the operation of Shibarium, SHIB’s new layer-2 scaling solution. The initial release of Shibarium encountered network issues that prompted its temporary closure. However, Kusama assured the community that diligent testing and parameter adjustments have led to notable improvements.

Kusama elaborated, stating, “After extensive testing and parameter refinements aimed at achieving a ‘ready’ status, Shibarium has undergone enhancements and optimization. While still undergoing testing, it is now successfully producing blocks.” Additionally, to prevent a recurrence of the past network overload, Kusama revealed the implementation of a new monitoring system and supplementary fail-safe measures. These include rate limiting at the RPC (remote procedure call) level and an automated server reset mechanism in the event of another surge in traffic.

With these advancements in place, the team is on the verge of reopening Shibarium to the public. As part of this progression, more network validators will be integrated into the ecosystem on August 23rd. Kusama emphasized the significance of this step, remarking, “Tomorrow, additional validators will become operational, expanding the options available for staking BONE. This will allow for a distribution of rewards earned through their roles within our community. As testing concludes, we will once again prepare for public utilization.”

Shibarium’s previous technical difficulties were attributed to an overwhelming influx of users and transactions during its initial launch. As of the current writing, SHIB is trading at $0.00000798, marking a 0.4% increase over the past 24 hours.

Read Also: Sam Bankman-Fried, Co-Founder of FTX, Files for Temporary Release from Incarceration

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks, and individuals should seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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Sam Bankman-Fried, Co-Founder of FTX, Files for Temporary Release from Incarceration

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Sam Bankman-Fried

FTX’s co-founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, is currently seeking a temporary release from incarceration. The purpose behind this endeavor is to engage in collaborative strategizing with his legal representatives within the confines of the federal courthouse situated in Manhattan.

In a formal letter dispatched to US District Judge Lewis Kaplan on a Friday, Bankman-Fried’s legal team expounded that their client’s capacity to effectively scrutinize the extensive legal documents pertaining to his case has been significantly curtailed during his time spent incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn.

Christian Everdell, the attorney representing Bankman-Fried, divulged that the government recently disseminated a voluminous three-quarters of a million pages of Slack communications. These were originally due several months prior. Expressing the urgency of the situation, Everdell articulated, “Only last week did the government furnish an aggregate of approximately seven hundred and fifty thousand pages of Slack communications that were originally stipulated for release months ago. Given the current timeline, it is a futile endeavor for Mr. Bankman-Fried to endeavor to review these materials.”

He underlined the pivotal necessity for Bankman-Fried to collaborate meticulously with his legal team, emphasizing his dire need to avail himself of an internet-enabled laptop within the courthouse premises. Such a resource would undoubtedly expedite the process of comprehensive document review, an imperative undertaking in light of his impending fraud trial scheduled for the forthcoming October.

In riposte to Bankman-Fried’s plea for reprieve, the prosecuting body voiced apprehensions regarding his adherence to the prerequisites concerning his planned defense strategy. Notably, they underscored that Bankman-Fried is yet to furnish the complete gamut of essential information regarding the counsel upon which he predicated his actions.

The prosecutors proffered caution that unless Bankman-Fried promptly discloses the minutiae regarding the counsel he received and the provenance thereof, any attempt to interject such a defense during the trial should be summarily proscribed.

Although the prosecutors extended an offer to facilitate the transfer of documents onto hard drives for Bankman-Fried’s perusal within the MDC premises, a viable laptop-based solution was deemed unattainable. Initially, the notion of relocating Bankman-Fried to a more compact, upstate correctional facility where he could access an internet-enabled laptop was contemplated by the prosecutors. However, this proposal was met with resistance from prison officials.

Regarded for its starkly onerous conditions, the Metropolitan Detention Center has cultivated a notorious reputation among its inmate population.

Bankman-Fried’s Incarceration Stemming from Unsanctioned Internet Utilization

As documented, Judge Kaplan sanctioned the re-imprisonment of the beleaguered cryptocurrency luminary, citing alleged instances of witness tampering.

In that juncture, Judge Kaplan pronounced that a strong prima facie case existed indicating that the accused had endeavored to tamper with witnesses on no fewer than two separate occasions.

The decision was additionally influenced by Bankman-Fried’s unsanctioned use of the Internet while released on bail under the guardianship of his parents at their abode located in California.

Judge Kaplan discerned that Bankman-Fried had indulged in excessive communication with various individuals via electronic correspondence, even resorting to the utilization of a virtual private network.

Concurrently, the disgraced progenitor of FTX is simultaneously grappling with novel allegations brought forth by the Department of Justice (DOJ). These allegations encompass the misappropriation of customer deposits, including the purported embezzlement of said funds.

An indictment filed on the most recent Monday delineates that Bankman-Fried stands accused of diverting and embezzling customer deposits from the FTX platform. The illicitly obtained funds were purportedly channeled towards political campaign contributions, collectively amassing a substantial sum exceeding one hundred million dollars, in advance of the 2022 US midterm elections.

The indictment further posits that despite Bankman-Fried’s intimate knowledge of FTX’s fiscal insufficiencies, he continued to channel the purloined funds into personal investments, acquisitions, and political campaign contributions.

Read Also: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Nearing Appeal in Ripple Lawsuit's XRP Decision

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks, and individuals should seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Nearing Appeal in Ripple Lawsuit’s XRP Decision

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is taking significant steps towards pursuing an appeal in their recent legal battle against Ripple, indicating a potential shift in the course of the lawsuit.

James K. Filan, an experienced defense attorney specializing in crypto-related legal matters, has shed light on the latest developments. District Judge Analisa Torres has initiated a structured process for considering the SEC’s request to present an interlocutory appeal—a move that would allow the SEC to contest certain aspects of the ongoing case.

It’s important to note that this preliminary step does not guarantee the authorization of an interlocutory appeal; rather, it signifies that the SEC has been given the opportunity to formally request such an appeal.

Judge Torres has outlined the timeline for this process in her official order. The SEC is expected to file their motion for the appeal by August 18th. Subsequently, Ripple is given until September 1st to submit their opposition papers. If the SEC deems it necessary, they have until September 8th to file a reply.

The news of these developments had an immediate impact on the cryptocurrency market. Following the announcement of the judge’s order, the value of XRP experienced a sharp decline. The price, which had been trading at approximately $0.571, dropped to around $0.499 at the time of writing. This decrease of over 12% aligns with the broader trends observed across the cryptocurrency landscape.

The legal clash between the SEC and Ripple began when the regulatory agency filed a lawsuit against the San Francisco-based payments company in late 2020. The SEC alleged that Ripple had engaged in the sale of XRP without registering it as a security.

In a significant turn of events last month, Judge Torres issued a ruling that had mixed implications for both parties. She determined that Ripple’s automated programmatic sales of XRP, which occurred on the open market, could not be classified as securities offerings—a pivotal point of disagreement between the SEC and Ripple.

However, the judge did uphold a key aspect of the SEC’s argument. She agreed with the agency’s assertion that Ripple’s direct sales of XRP to institutional buyers indeed amounted to a securities offering, reinforcing the complexity of the case.

As the legal battle continues to unfold, the spotlight remains on the actions and responses of the SEC and Ripple, and how their ongoing dispute could shape the future regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

Read Also: Helium (HNT), a cryptocurrency project built on the Solana blockchain, introduces its new mobile phone plan.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks, and individuals should seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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