Crypto News Headlines (02-Aug-2023)

MicroStrategy (MSTR) posted an impairment charge of $24.1 million on its bitcoin (BTC) holdings in the second quarter, compared to $917.8 million in the year-ago quarter and an $18.9 million charge in Q1, according to its latest earnings report.

The company’s digital asset impairment reflects the decline in the price of bitcoin versus the price at which the bitcoin was acquired. Under current accounting rules, the value of digital assets such as cryptocurrencies must be recorded at their cost and then only adjusted if their value is impaired, or goes down. But if the price rises, that does not get reported unless an asset is sold.

Judge Jed S. Rakoff, a senior district judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), has disagreed with the approach taken by District Judge Analisa Torres in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) v. Ripple case concerning XRP.

Judge Rakoff’s disagreement arose as part of the case filed by the SEC against Terraform Labs and its co-founder Do Kwon. The securities regulator has asked the judge not to follow Judge Torres’s reasoning in the Ripple case, stating that the ruling was “wrongly decided.” The SEC also indicated that it plans to appeal the Ripple decision.

In a court order issued on Monday for the SEC v. Terraform Labs case, Judge Rakoff expressed:

The court rejects the approach recently adopted by another judge of this district in a similar case, SEC v. Ripple Labs Inc.

Coin Trust reports that Arbitrum has activated support for the eth_sendRawTransactionConditional endpoint on its One and Nova mainnets, following the successful approval of AIP-2. The new endpoint addresses bundled transaction issues, improving user experience by enabling users to designate acceptable ranges for block height and timestamps. This activation is part of a larger initiative to establish account abstraction standards within the Ethereum ecosystem and should improve the efficiency and security of Layer 2 (L2) transactions on Arbitrum. With the implementation now underway, users are expected to enjoy enhanced user experience, resulting in seamless and more dependable transactions on the platform.

KuCoin’s Bitcoin BTC $29,287 and Litecoin LTC $89.11 mining pools will be suspended from 16:00:00 on Aug. 15, 2023 (UTC) until further notice.

The exchange said the decision was “in line with KuCoin’s evolving business strategy” but didn’t elaborate further. It’s unclear if the decision is related to the upcoming Litecoin halving. KuCoin staff wrote:

“To ensure uninterrupted earnings during our temporary suspension, users who are involved in cryptocurrency mining, we recommend transitioning your BTC and LTC miners to alternative mining pools before 16:00:00 on August 15, 2023 (UTC).”

The exchange also warned users to back up and preserve their mining records and related data before Aug. 27.

ApeCoin, the Ethereum-based token set to power Yuga Labs’ ambitious Otherside metaverse game and other apps, slipped to an all-time low on Tuesday as the firm’s “blue chip” Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection faced renewed pressure as well.

Known for its link to the valuable Bored Ape profile pictures (PFPs), ApeCoin fell as low as $1.77 late Monday and into early Tuesday, according to CoinGecko. As of this writing, the token had rebounded to $1.84—but it was still down 1% over the past day and 9% during the last week.

The meteoric rise of Bored Apes Yacht Club NFTs in 2021 and 2022 established its 10,000 simian-centered collectibles as icons of Web3 for mainstream audiences. But as the market for PFPs falters more broadly, assets associated with Yuga Labs’ smash hit appear to be falling back to earth.

MicroStrategy, the software developer that’s amassed a giant bitcoin (BTC) stash in recent years, may raise up to $750 million by selling more stock and plans to use the proceeds to buy more bitcoin, among other things.

The announcement was made in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing late Tuesday. Bitcoin’s price rose noticeably in the aftermath, approaching $29,800 from around $29,200.

Chairman Michael Saylor has gotten MicroStrategy heavily involved with bitcoin, buying billions of dollars worth since the pandemic. And he’s raised money to do so the old-fashioned way: selling more of the publicly traded company’s equity and bonds. This adds to that strategy.

Crypto exchange Binance announced Monday that its Dubai subsidiary, Binance FZE, has been issued with an Operational Minimum Viable Product (MVP) license by Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA).

The license enables the platform to provide regulated services in and from Dubai such as exchange and broker-dealer services for crypto assets, initially limited to institutional and qualified retail investors, the company explained.

In a blog post, Binance pointed out it’s the first exchange to secure an MVP license, describing the development as a “milestone achievement” that affirms its “commitment to building a compliant exchange in collaboration with local regulators.”

Lightning Network, the popular layer-2 scaling solution for Bitcoin, is set to come to Coinbase, CEO Brian Armstrong said late on Tuesday.

Armstrong’s comments came in response to Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of financial services company Block Inc., who asked why the crypto exchange continues to ignore Bitcoin and Lightning.

“We’re looking into how to best add Lightning. It’s non-trivial, but I think worth doing. I’m all for payments taking off in Bitcoin,” wrote Armstrong.

The Lightning Network was designed to address the scalability issues of the Bitcoin network, enabling users to open payment channels between themselves to conduct off-chain transactions. These off-chain transactions are much faster and more cost-effective compared to traditional on-chain Bitcoin transactions.

According to CoinDesk, Joel Dietz, a prominent figure in the crypto industry, has filed a lawsuit against blockchain software company ConsenSys, accusing it of stealing the idea for the in-browser crypto wallet MetaMask. Dietz alleges that he developed the intellectual property for MetaMask through his Vapor project in 2014, and claims that Aaron Davis, whom he hired in 2015 to code Vapor, conspired with ConsenSys to exclude Dietz from its history and seize his share of profits.

ConsenSys has denied the allegations, asserting that MetaMask was founded by Aaron Davis and Dan Finlay in 2016. Dietz also alleges that Ethereum insiders conducted an “elaborate internal rug pull” by failing to compensate him for his contributions, despite Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin’s request for his assistance. The outcome of the lawsuit could have significant implications for the parties involved and the broader crypto industry.

Gaming retail company GameStop has announced it will remove its digital wallets from the market starting in November, citing “regulatory uncertainty of the crypto space.”

In a notice posted to its website, GameStop said iOS and Chrome Extension wallets will no longer be available starting on Nov. 1, advising users to ensure they have access to their secret passphrases by Oct. 1. The wallets, launched in May 2022, allow users to manage cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens, or NFTs.

GameStop, once known primarily for its brick-and-mortar retail stores offering trade-ins of used consoles and games, became the center of media attention in January 2021 when a group of retail investors from Reddit caused hedge fund managers to lose billions on short positions. The firm has since launched its own NFT marketplace and announced plans to use digital assets and Web3 applications as avenues for growth.