Crypto News Headlines (01-Mar-2023)

Creditors of crypto exchange Mt. Gox are about to recover some of their funds following a 10-year liquidation process, but concerns that large amounts of bitcoin (BTC) will be released onto the market are overdone, UBS (UBS) said in a report Monday.

The “rehabilitation plan” gives creditors several options on how they are repaid and the timing of any repayment, the report said. The most important are whether to take an early lump sum or wait for more proceedings and further asset recoveries, and whether to receive the funds in fiat or crypto, the report added.

French lawmakers have approved a set of stricter rules for crypto companies, which now only need the approval of President Emmanuel Macron to be signed into law.

Members of the country’s National Assembly voted 109 to 71 to adopt a package of European Union laws, which include an amendment imposing tighter requirements on new players looking to get in on the French crypto market.

But the 60 companies which have opted for the simpler registration under the country’s existing two-tier system will not be affected and will have until Europe-wide regulations come into force.

A nationwide survey of 2,202 participants from the general population was conducted by Morning Consult from Feb. 10-14. “The data were weighted to be representative of U.S. adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region,” the market research firm described. “The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of the global financial system and how U.S. adults and cryptocurrency investors view the future of the crypto market and exchanges.”

Citing the survey results, the Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which commissioned the study, commented:

The vast majority of Americans want to see the financial system updated and they believe crypto can be a powerful part of the solution.

Robinhood Markets said it received an investigative subpoena from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in December. The agency’s move is part of a major crackdown against the digital asset industry after the dramatic collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire last year. The disgraced crypto mogul was recently hit by fresh criminal charges relating to political donations he made while running FTX.

According to its latest 10-K filing, the subpoena is in regard to the supported assets at its subsidiary Robinhood Crypto LLC, as well as its custody of cryptocurrencies and other platform operations.

The SEC previously maintained that the digital asset industry would not be spared by the pre-existing securities laws, thereby signaling that several tokens meet the definition of a security, a stance that the crypto industry vehemently opposed.

Crypto ATMs — one of the key infrastructure pillars for the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies — have seen a drastic reduction this year. In the first two months of 2023, the net cryptocurrency ATMs installed globally reduced by 412 machines.

Since 2014, the total number of crypto ATMs has maintained a steady upward trajectory while catering to millions of users worldwide for seamless crypto-fiat conversions. For over a year, between December 2020 and January 2022, more than 1,000 crypto and Bitcoin BTC tickers down $23,710.

ATMs were being installed every month. However, the bear market had an immediate impact on its growth.

September 2022 was the first time in history when total crypto ATMs saw a net decline. However, 2023 marked a new low by recording a decline in total crypto ATM installations for two consecutive months.

Deribit, the world’s largest crypto options exchange by volumes, will soon launch bitcoin (BTC) volatility futures, offering digital asset investors a simpler way than options to hedge against market volatility.

Futures tied to Deribit’s forward-looking bitcoin volatility index (DVOL) will be available to Deribit under the ticker BTCDVOL from the end of March, the exchange’s Chief Commercial Officer Luuk Strijers told CoinDesk on Wednesday.

DVOL, launched in early 2021, measures bitcoin’s 30-day implied volatility calculated using Deribit’s options order book. Implied volatility refers to the options market’s expectation for price turbulence over a specific period.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase revealed last week that it’s launching its own Ethereum layer-2 network, and investors may be warming up to the announcement despite a regulatory crackdown across the digital assets industry.

Coinbase’s stock price rose nearly 10% Tuesday to $64.83 per share, the largest daily gain since shares rose over 13% on Feb. 15. Since the company revealed the new network named Base before markets opened on Feb. 23, shares of Coinbase have climbed roughly 6% compared to a closing price of $61.18 the day before.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) has published a draft proposing to allow clients of non-banking institutions (NBMs) among its members to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. It intends to expand the list of authorized activities for such entities in order to add crypto trading.

NBMs provide brokerage, investment and advisory services, and operate as intermediaries. While they can process various transactions such as the transfer of funds, they are not permitted by law to accept direct deposits from customers or act as custodians.

Crypto industry layoffs appear to have slowed down significantly over the past month with an estimated 570 crypto employees dismissed in February, down from an estimated 2,850 in January.

Cointelegraph compiled the figures based on publicly reported layoffs and found job cuts were spread across at least 12 companies over the 28-day period, but noticeably lacked the triple-digit crypto exchange layoffs compiled in January, such as those from Coinbase, and Huobi.

Instead, staff cuts came in the double-digits for the most part — impacting blockchain analytics firms, blockchain and software development firms, and digital asset platforms among others.

According to a Reuters report published on Feb. 28, American payment processors Visa and Mastercard have delayed the launch of new partnerships with crypto firms due to high-profile bankruptcies in the industry that led to increased regulatory scrutiny. The move follows a period of warming relations between payment giants and crypto firms as the popularity of cryptocurrencies exploded, with Mastercard exploring payments in USD Coin

USDC tickers down $1.00 and Visa targeting stablecoin settlements weeks before today’s development.

Both Visa and Mastercard are said to be pushing back the launch of certain products and services related to crypto until market conditions and the regulatory environment improve. The delays are reportedly due to an uncertain regulatory crypto environment following the collapse and bankruptcies of digital asset custodial firms, such as Celsius, FTX, Three Arrows Capital, Voyager Digital and others, within the past year.