Crypto News Headlines (01-Jun-2022)

A group of tech experts and academics wrote to U.S. lawmakers criticizing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in the first concerted attempt to counter lobbying by the crypto industry, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

The 26 signatories include Harvard lecturer Bruce Schneier, former Microsoft engineer Miguel de Icaza and principal engineer at Google Cloud, Kelsey Hightower, the FT said.

“We urge you to resist pressure from digital asset industry financiers, lobbyists, and boosters to create a regulatory safe haven for these risky, flawed, and unproven digital financial instruments,” the letter says, according to the report.

The letter is addressed to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as well as leading senators Patrick Toomey (R-PA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), who have both been supportive of the crypto industry.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s top securities markets regulator, has warned that soaring inflation may drive retail investors into cryptocurrencies, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

The regulator has also called for a formal legal framework to govern the crypto industry across all EU countries.

ESMA Chair Verena Ross said in an interview last week:

With inflation rising, investors will look to find investments which are able to try to compensate for inflation and bring greater returns, which might lead to greater risk taking.

“That is something we are monitoring very closely,” she emphasized.

Optimism, a popular layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum, today launched the anticipated airdrop of its new OP governance token, rewarding early users of the project and other select Ethereum users by sending free tokens to nearly 249,000 eligible wallets.

The airdrop was first revealed in April, when Optimism announced plans to launch a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) alongside the OP token, which holders can use to vote within the community. The DAO plans to use revenue from Optimism transaction fees to fund grants designed for “public goods,” such as open-source software.

Optimism is providing tokens to wallets that used the network before June 23, 2021, with additional tokens offered to repeat users, those who participated in DAO governance on Ethereum, people who have donated to public goods funding platform Gitcoin, and others. Future airdrops are planned.

Binance in February announced the merge of BSC and BNB Beacon Chain (previously known as Binance Chain) to form the Build N’ Build (BNB) Chain – which was branded as more decentralized and with higher scaling capabilities.

BNB Chain put out its technical roadmap on Tuesday regarding its developments in cross-chain interoperability, decentralization, governance and mechanism, and more.

Decentralization and Open Source Applications

According to the official Twitter thread, the number of monthly users on the BNB Chain has reached 2 million, twice as much as Ethereum has for now. The post highlights that the upcoming developments will focus on making the layer-one blockchain more decentralized, bringing open-source applications into its Beacon Chain, and nearly doubling up its number of validators via the BEP-131 proposal.

The concept of cryptocurrency inheritance continues to rapidly evolve as the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry spawns more ways to make a “crypto will.”

The Israeli crypto software provider Kirobo is moving to tackle a major void in the DeFi industry by providing crypto investors with an opportunity to pass private keys or transfer funds according to their last will.

The firm announced on May 31 the launch of an inheritance feature on its decentralized crypto wallet Liquid Vault, allowing users to designate crypto wallets to inherit their funds.

The new solution enables generation and execution of an automated last will and testament without the need for lawyers, government authorities, or any other centralized entity. Instead, users just need to select up to eight beneficiaries and choose a date for distributing the assets to the designated wallets.

The round saw participation from a group of investors including Blue Node Capital, Nabais Capital, and Loopring, the Ethereum Layer 2 scaling solution project, and a number of private investors.

Tritum disclosed that it will use the new funds to continue accelerating the expansion of the throughput and size of each of its existing operating businesses. Its current operating businesses include Blocktane, a global crypto exchange with a huge presence including fiat onramps in Brazil, as well as Vesi, a high-frequency proprietary trader and liquidity provider.

On the other hand, Tritum said that Vesi has connectivity to over 30 exchanges and is specialized in market making on order book driven DEX and CEX exchanges, including contracted market making for exchanges and issuers seeking competitive liquidity.

The firm also stated that it will use the new funding to expand its presence into data, insights, and trading product issuance based on its own indices and strategies.

Liminal, a company that boasts of a first-of-its kind wallet architecture focusing on the safe custody of digital assets, has raised $4.7 million in its seed funding round.

Elevation Capital, a venture capital firm providing early-stage capital for startups in India, led the funding round.

Prominent Indian exchange CoinDCX participated in the funding, as did marquee angel investors such as Andreas Antonopoulos, Balaji Srinivasan, Sandeep Nailwal, Jaynti Kanani and Ajeet Khurana. Other investors included LD Capital, Woodstock, Nexus Ventures, Hashed, Cadenza Ventures, Vauld, Better Capital and Sparrow Capital.

Liminal was founded by Mahin Gupta, who is also one of three co-founders of Zeb Pay, a prominent Indian crypto exchange.

Belarus-born Dmitry Vasiliev, former CEO of Wex, once the largest crypto trading platform in the former-Soviet space, has been detained at Franjo Tudjman Airport in the Croatian capital on Wednesday, May 25, the Jutarnji List reported.

According to the daily, the authorities in Zagreb have acted on a red warrant issued by Interpol on a request from Kazakhstan. Vasiliev, who resides in the Russian Federation, is wanted in the Central Asian country for defrauding an investor of $20,000.

Kazakhstan’s law enforcement has been seeking Vasiliev’s extradition for some time, but the crime he is accused of there is relatively minor compared to other suspected offenses. Wex went bankrupt in 2018 and according to estimates by a group of users, the total losses exceed $400 million.

Bitcoin and Ethereum, the top two cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, saw a 5% jump in price in the last 24 hours as the crypto market struggles to recover from the spectacular crash following the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin, with Bitcoin briefly reclaiming $32,000 before falling again.

Currently, Bitcoin is trading at $31,790 per coin, up by $1,090 in the last 24 hours. Today marks a three-week high for Bitcoin; the last time Bitcoin was over $32,000 was March 11, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

The price of Ethereum has seen its price fall below $2,000 several times since May 21. Currently, Ethereum is trading at $1,942, up by $20.50 according to CoinMarketCap.

Billionaire Elon Musk and Dogecoin (DOGE) co-founder Jackson Palmer are locked in battle on social media over Palmer’s claim that he could remove Twitter bots with a simple Python script.

Australian Palmer said in an interview that his script was capable of automatically tweeting replies to scam tweets as a way of indicating that users should beware of the danger. He told news outlet Crikey on Monday that Musk had reached out to get the script but claimed the billionaire’s technical knowledge was so deficient that he didn’t know how to run it:

“Elon reached out to me to get hold of that script and it became apparent very quickly that he didn’t understand coding as well as he made out.”