News about the crypto space, blockchain technology and finance are becoming increasingly important in reporting. What’s Next for Global Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)? How do banks and other companies operate in the crypto space? Keeping track of things is getting harder. But no worries! We at the “Bitcoin, Fiat & Rock’n’Roll” podcast do this for you and summarize the most important news about cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency as well as blockchain technology every month.
Crypto lender Genesis files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy:
Genesis owes its 50 largest creditors more than $3.5 billion. Since FTX’s bankruptcy in November 2022, Genesis has suspended customer withdrawals. This also affected nearly 350,000 customers of the harvest product “Get” offered by Vinklevoss crypto exchange Gemini, for which Genesis allegedly exchanged nearly $900 million. The Vinkleboss brothers have already announced that they are suing the CEO of the parent company Digital Currency Group (DCG) amid and fear that their investors are being left without services.
KCrypto companies Genesis and Gemini are being sued by the SEC for selling unregistered securities:
According to the SEC, as part of the Get product, Genesis loaned Gemini users’ secret money and sent a portion of the profits to Gemini, which then deducted a referral fee (sometimes more than 4%) and returned the remaining profits to its users. The income plan met the SEC’s definition because it contained an investment agreement and a promissory note. The startup should have registered the product as a collateral offering.
US arrests co-founder of crypto exchange Bitzlato:
According to prosecutors, more than $700 million in cash was sold through crypto exchanges, originating from the operations of the “Hydra Market” – a Russian online marketplace for drugs, stolen financial information, fake identity documents and services of money laundering. Hydra was shut down by US and German law enforcement agencies in April 2022. In addition, according to the US Attorney’s Office, more than $15 million in revenue from ransomware attacks flowed through Bitzlato.
Binance Transferred 346M US Dollars to Arrested Crypto Exchange Bitzlato:
Crypto giant Binance processed nearly $346 million in bitcoins for digital currency exchange Bitzlato. Binance is said to be the only crypto exchange among Bitzlato’s major partners. Between 2018 and the end of 2022, about $175 million worth of bitcoin was transferred from Bitzlato to Binance. About $90 million of total transfers took place after August 2021, when Binance announced it would require users to provide KYC credentials.
Binance Receives Initial Approval for $1B Voyager Offering:
Binance wants a crypto lender that went bankrupt in July Voyager Digital after the failure of FTX, which itself went bankrupt. Now a New York court has given preliminary approval that Voyager’s assets can be sold to Binance.US for around $1 billion. However, the final approval is still pending. Even the SEC was involved in the takeover in early January and expressed concern.
In the case of Sam Bankman-Fried, he pleaded guilty to all charges against him – a total of 8 – declared innocent. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 115 years in prison. The trial is scheduled to begin in early October and could last several weeks. The co-founder of FTX and the head of Alameda Research had already met declared guilty and wanting to work with the public prosecutor’s office and appear as witnesses in the case. SBF gambled just a few months before the collapse of its FTX platform USD 1 billion in investment in Genesis Digital AssetsBitcoin miner in Kazakhstan, which was not a good investment due to the current price pressure.
A wave of rapid layoffs through CeFi companies:
Various CeFi companies around the world are cutting headcount by ~10-40% in response to ongoing economic headwinds and unforeseen industry events. Among other things, it is affected Crypto.com (20%), Coinbase (20%), Agreement (11%), beginning (30%) and Silvergate (40%). Although companies were gaining a lot of users in the summer of crypto, the combination of negative economic development, the growth of expectations and the recent collapse of FTX has led to the decision to reduce the population of each.
Crypto & DeFi
Coinbase Insider Trader Receives 10 Month Jail Sentence:
Former Coinbase manager Nikhil Wahi has been sentenced to 10 months in prison. He had used his insider knowledge and made $900,000 buying coins just before they were listed on Coinbase.
Chainalysis publishes 2023 Crypto Crime Report:
The use of cryptocurrencies for illegal transactions reached an all-time high of $20 billion last year. However, in general, the number of illegal transactions at 0.24% is much lower than, for example, 2019 (1.90%).
Coinbase accepts payments of $100 million:
After the New York Department of Financial Services revealed compliance program issues at Coinbase, the second largest crypto exchange has now reached a settlement with the New York regulator: a $50 million fine and a $50 million investment in new monitoring, KYC and compliance procedures.
TradFi & Corporates
HSBC reserves the trademarks for Metaverse’s digital currency and products:
HSBC has filed two crypto-related trademark applications for its name and logo with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). These trademark trials point to the bank’s plans for a variety of digital currency products and services, including those related to the Metaverse and NFTs.
JPMorgan has ambitious institutional DeFi plans:
JPMorgan’s overall goal is to bring tokenized assets to DeFi. For example, marking US Treasuries or shares of a money market fund means they can be used as collateral in DeFi stocks.
N26 is launching crypto trading in five new markets:
Founded in Austria late last year, N26 Crypto now also allows customers in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal and Ireland to buy and sell nearly 200 cryptocurrencies through the N26 app.
Solaris and Huobi Partner for Crypto Visa Debit Card Issuance:
The card enables Huobi users to use digital assets at PoS points of sale around the world. Solaris will provide all end-to-end processing and delivery capabilities. The Visa-approved program will be available to new and existing customers residing in the European Economic Area from Q2 2023.
Circle and Blackrock want to turn USDC into an indirect CBDC:
Blackrock recently began controlling a large portion of Circle’s USDC stablecoin reserve. Now the asset manager has been trying to get an account in the Federal Reserve’s reverse repo facility program. This would give Blackrock’s USDC wallet direct access to central bank reserves, making USDC an indirect CBDC.
National Australia Bank issues stablecoin:
National Australia Bank is one of the fourth largest banks in Australia and the second bank Down Under after the ANZ Group to issue a stablecoin. The stablecoin, called AUDN, is scheduled to go public in mid-2023 and will be offered on Ethereum and Algorand.
Payments FinTech Monei Gets Green Light for Euro Stablecoin Trials:
Monei came out of the Spanish central bank’s digital wallet program and has now received permission to test the euro currency called ERM with selected Spanish citizens.
Iran and Russia working on gold-backed stablecoin:
The purpose of the joint Iranian-Russian project is to provide a stablecoin that is backed by gold and should be used primarily for cross-border payments.
The European Union postponed the MiCAR vote until April:
The EU Parliament’s final vote on the “Market in Crypto Asset Regulation” (MiCAR) and money transfer regulation (“Transport Regulation”) has been postponed until April. The delay is due to technical issues and difficulties in translating the nearly 400-page document into the 24 official EU languages.
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Metaverse & Web3 & NFTs
The South Korean city of Seoul launches the Metaverse platform for residents and tourists:
Metaverse Seoul, available on Google Play and Apple Store, allows users to play games, chat, hold meetings, get advice on starting and running a business, visit popular tourist spots in Seoul, ask questions at the 120 Contact Dasan call center city and download administrative documents such as resident registration certificates.
China launches national digital asset exchange:
China is driven by the realization that digital products will be essential to the development of the metaverse, whether avatars, clothing, art or museum pieces. In addition to the “Innovation” working group, there is a “Metaverse” working group, which includes local governments and state-owned companies.
Fidelity organizes the Metaverse marketplace for financial services:
Fidelity has indicated that it can offer a range of investment services in the virtual world, including mutual funds, pension funds, investment management and financial planning.
NFT market OpenSea confirms ban on Cuban artists:
OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, has announced that it is banning digital artists from all US-sanctioned countries. The ban came to light last week after NFTcuba.ART, a Cuban project, tweeted that OpenSea had disabled its profile on the market.
The development of the digital euro is gaining momentum:
The ECB publishes a Slidedeck as inventory on the digital euro project that provides the rationale and current developments surrounding the establishment of a European retail CBDC. ECB Board Member Fabio Panetta also holds speech in the EU Parliament on the current situation and makes it clear that the digital euro should not be regulated. EU finance ministers have similar requirements to theirs Eurogroup statement to the digital euro.
The Boston Fed and MIT are completing a research project on the feasibility of a retail CBDC:
A joint research project by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the technical feasibility of a possible digital central bank currency has been completed. The project aimed to better understand the possibilities and limitations of different technologies that can be used to manage and distribute CBDC. The transaction processor was developed as open source research software under the name OpenCBDC and is now available for use by central banks anywhere in the world.
The E-Yuan app enables payments when mobile phones are offline or out of charge:
After enabling the “Tap to Pay” feature in the app, users can limit the number and value of digital yuan payments that can be made through their smartphone when the battery is dead or there is no internet connection.
The Central Bank of Turkey conducts the first trials of CBDC:
In the first quarter of 2023, the Central Bank of Turkey will continue its small-scale experiments with technology players, eventually involving banks and other technology service providers.