Archive for  October 2022

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The U.S. Department of Justice has reopened its investigation into Tether for bank fraud. This is reported by Bloomberg, citing its sources.
Last year, the publication reported on a similar investigation. However, at the time, Tether called the news a clickbait.
Since then, the case has gone largely unnoticed.
According to Bloomberg, the Southern District of New York under U.S. Attorney Damian Williams is currently in charge of the investigation.
However, Tether again said that “Bloomberg is recycling old news that isn’t even true.”

Mining company Argo Blockchain said it risks ceasing operations due to lack of funding.
The company had planned to raise about $27 million through a common stock subscription.
“The company no longer believes that this subscription will be completed on the previously announced terms,” Argo said in a statement.
Argo said it is exploring other financing options and will continue to work to raise sufficient capital for at least the next 12 months.
“If Argo fails to complete any further financing, Argo will transform into negative cash flow in the near future and will have to reduce or cease operations,” the company concluded.
The company previously sold 3,843 brand new Bitmain S19J Pro miners for $5.6 million.
Also earlier this year, Argo Blockchain sold its bitcoin assets to reduce its debt to cryptocurrency investment firm Galaxy Digital.

Asset manager Apollo Global Management Inc began offering cryptocurrency storage services to its clients.
To do so, the company has partnered with digital asset platform Anchorage Digital.
Apollo currently manages $512.8 billion in assets.
In April, the company hired former JPMorgan executive Christine Moy as head of digital assets.

The Reserve Bank of India will begin testing the central bank’s wholesale digital currency (CBDC) on Nov. 1.
The bank said in a statement that the use of a wholesale digital rupee will help “regulate secondary market transactions with government securities” as it will reduce transaction costs.
Nine banks, State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Yes Bank, IDFC First Bank and HSBC were selected to participate in the pilot project.
The bank also said that the pilot launch of the retail version of the digital rupee is scheduled to take place within a month among a select group of users consisting of buyers and sellers.

Stablecoin HUSD lost parity with the dollar and fell to $0.28 after cryptocurrency exchange Huobi announced it was delisting the asset.
Although Huobi was not the issuer of HUSD, it has actively promoted the token since its launch in 2018.
HUSD currently has a market capitalization of only $63 million. In 2021, the coin had a capitalization of more than $1 billion.

Hong Kong’s Financial Services and Treasury Bureau issued a statement relaxing its policy on virtual assets. The statement said Hong Kong is “ready to engage” with global virtual asset service providers (VASPs) and invites them to the city to cooperate.
The Hong Kong Legislative Council is currently considering a new VASP licensing regime as part of proposed amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Act. The regime is set to take effect March 1 next year.

Regulators also said Hong Kong is open to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based on digital assets. Authorities have promised to strengthen investor protection and ensure that appropriate regulatory mechanisms are in place.
“The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has actively sought to establish a regime to authorize ETFs that provide access to underlying virtual assets with appropriate investment restrictions,” said SFC Deputy Director General Julia Lung.
Lung added that the underlying assets will initially be limited to bitcoin and Ethereum futures, which are traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
She also said SFC has changed its attitude toward tokenized securities. Tokenized securities now refer to existing financial instruments rather than complex products simply because they are issued on blockchain.

Hong Kong has also begun exploring pilot projects to issue NFTs, tokenize green bonds and launch the digital Hong Kong dollar (eHKD).

The Financial Technology Association of Thailand (TFA) and the Hungarian Blockchain Coalition have signed a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support blockchain implementation in their respective financial sectors. This was announced by the Hungarian Embassy in Bangkok.
The agreement will allow the two associations to “share experiences, best practices and explore areas potentially useful for direct cooperation.”
The Hungarian Blockchain Coalition was co-founded by the country’s Ministry of Innovation and Technology and the National Center for Data and Economic Knowledge in March 2022, while the Thai Financial Technology Association is a nonprofit organization founded in 2016 to help the local financial technology industry.

Cosmos developers will hold a community vote on a proposal aimed at introducing a new security model for the Cosmos Hub network’s central blockchain.
The vote is scheduled for Oct. 31.
According to the white paper, the update will also solve problems with the Cosmos Coin Issue Model (ATOM).
The first version of the document was published in September of this year. It proposed leveraging a redesigned hub mechanism focused on strengthening interoperability and security, along with key changes to ATOM tokenomics.
In the transition phase, 10 million ATOMs were to be issued in the first month, with the number to decrease over time, before reaching a steady state in 36 months.
Members of the Cosmos community raised concerns about the proposed token issuance model. It was authored by Cosmos Hub chief strategy officer Sam Hart. He stressed that generating a significant number of ATOMs would lead to lower inflation.
However, in the new version, the developers still suggested that only 4 million ATOMs should be issued.
According to Hart, this document “marks the transition to the next phase of Cosmos Hub’s development as a platform for infrastructure services, where ATOM will act as the primary collateral asset for the Cosmos Network.”

Bank of America has posted a vacancy for an expert on cryptopolitics and digital asset regulation.
“We are looking for a policy analysis and analytics manager who will identify emerging issues and assess the potential impact on the company, focusing on fintech, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency, steblecoin and blockchain,” the job posting says.
The candidate will be responsible for analyzing regulatory proposals, developing legislation, developing advocacy strategies and building coalitions in the industry.
The position also entails writing bill amendments and commentary for regulators.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes that the cryptoecosystem must evolve and conform to a regulatory policy that allows cryptoprojects to operate freely, rather than chasing institutional funds.
Buterin believes that regulation should ensure that cryptoprojects are internally independent, even if it hinders the mass adoption of digital assets.
“I’m actually kind of glad that a lot of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are delayed. The ecosystem needs time to mature before we get any more attention,” he added.
He also opined that the use of KYC in decentralized finance (DeFi) interfaces is detrimental to users, but does not secure them in any way.
Nevertheless, he stressed the need for KYC on crypto exchanges, which have become widespread.
“KYC on DeFi interfaces will annoy users, but will do nothing against hackers. Hackers are already writing their own code to interact with contracts,” Buterin said.
Buterin added that regulators can help the development of the market by imposing restrictions on the use of leverage and conducting audits of the code. The Ethereum creator also emphasized that requirements to clients should not be based on their capital, but on their knowledge of cryptocurrencies.
He also noted that regulation should be spelled out so that its requirements can be met with zero disclosure proof (ZKP).
“In addition, I would like to see regulations written in such a way that the requirements can be met to the maximum extent possible by ZKP. ZKP offers many new opportunities to meet the goals of the registration policy while preserving privacy, and we should take advantage of that!” he concluded.

Buterin’s opinion was also echoed by Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the FTX exchange.