Crypto News Headlines (02-Jun-2022)

One of the largest publicly traded bitcoin miners, Riot Blockchain, appointed Colin Yee, its current head of corporate and financial operations, as the new CFO, effective Aug. 15.

“We are pleased that Riot’s current operational momentum will continue unabated as Colin Yee steps in as our new CFO to help the company achieve and exceed its strategic goals,” Les said.

The change in CFO comes as the shares of the miner have fallen about 72% this year, inline with its peers Core Scientific and Marathon Digital. The bitcoin mining industry has been rocked by bitcoin’s declining price since last November.

On May 10, Riot reported its first quarter earnings where its revenue missed estimates but the miner maintained its hashrate guidance of 12.8 exahash per second (EH/s).

The current CFO Jeff McGonegal will retire from his position as CFO and move into a new role as senior advisor to Riot on the same day, according to a statement.

Fidelity Investments’ digital assets subsidiary, Fidelity Digital Assets, is expanding its services.

Founded in 2018, Fidelity Digital Assets currently employs about 200 people. The company is looking to fill 110 new positions to focus on assets beyond bitcoin, a spokesperson for Fidelity told Reuters Tuesday.

Tom Jessop, president of Fidelity Digital Assets, commented:

As the demand for digital assets continues to steadily grow and the marketplace evolves, we will continue to expand our hiring efforts.

According to Fidelity’s product manager, Terrence Dempsey, Fidelity Digital Assets has around 400 clients, including registered investment advisers, hedge funds, and asset managers.

So far, the company has only been offering institutional investors the ability to store and trade bitcoin.

Jessop explained that the new hires will help build out infrastructure to support custody and trading services for ether.

Blockchain platform Solana was down this afternoon for over four hours due to a bug that stopped blockchain production. The official Solana Status page and Twitter account reported the issue just before 1 p.m. ET today, with validators bringing the network back online via a restart around 5 p.m.

According to information from Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko and other developers on Twitter, the issue was due to a bug with the durable nonce feature of the blockchain. Yakovenko tweeted that the issue “caused part of the network to consider the block is invalid,” and that “no consensus could be formed” as a result.

Validators worked together to restart the Solana network with the durable nonce feature disabled, and Yakovenko added that the bug will be fixed in a future update. All told, the Solana Status page reports that the network was down for 4 hours and 10 minutes. As of this writing, some Solana RPC nodes are still coming back online.

The Ropsten testnet – created nearly five years ago and considered one of the best replicas for the Ethereum blockchain – mimics aspects of the ETH mainnet, making it a test model of what the Proof-of-Stake network may look like. For devs and validators, they can have a first glimpse into The Merge and what code-related problems they may encounter without affecting the mainnet.

According to Ethereum’s official blog post, the “Bellatrix” upgrade, scheduled for June 2, will pave the foundation for The Merge. A few days after this, a metric known as the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) that measures mining difficulty will be determined by miners to trigger the transition. Miners will then need to configure their nodes with the given value.

Ethereum developer Tim Beiko provided more details on the launch, stating that – in order to make The Merge happen – the Beacon Chain must launch the latest upgrade, and the TTD of the PoW side must be determined.

United States-based insurers are the most interested in cryptocurrency investment according to a Goldman Sachs global survey of 328 chief financial and chief investment officers regarding their firm’s asset allocations and portfolios.

The investment banking giant recently released its annual global insurance investment survey, which included responses regarding cryptocurrencies for the first time, finding that 11% of U.S. insurance firms indicated either an interest in investing or a current investment in crypto.

Speaking on the company’s Exchanges at Goldman Sachs podcast on Tuesday, Goldman Sachs global head of insurance asset management Mike Siegel said he was surprised to get any result:

“We surveyed for the first time on crypto, which I thought would get no respondents, but I was surprised. A good 6% of the industry respondents indicated that they’re either invested in crypto or considering investing in crypto.”

Cryptocurrency speculation is lumped in with other highly risky ventures in a series of new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) videos meant to educate potential investors by comparing some investment choices with a game show.

“Investing is not a game,” says the voiceover in each of the public service spots released by the SEC on Wednesday. The videos caution viewers to do research before making choices with their money.

In one spot the mock host invites contestants of “Investomania” to choose from a classic game show board of options that includes a range of dubious investments. The possible selections include one square labeled “crypto to the moon,” mixed among others such as “stock tips from your uncle,” “meme stocks” and “tulip bulbs.”

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, announced Tuesday that it has partnered with the financial services industry to launch Project Guardian. The central bank described Project Guardian as “a collaborative initiative with the financial industry that seeks to explore the economic potential and value-adding use cases of asset tokenization” and decentralized finance (defi).

Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s deputy prime minister and coordinating minister for economic policies, announced the commencement of Project Guardian Tuesday at the Asia Tech x Singapore Summit.

“The first industry pilot under Project Guardian will explore potential defi applications in wholesale funding markets,” the MAS detailed, adding:

The pilot, led by DBS Bank Ltd., JP Morgan, and Marketnode, involves the creation of a permissioned liquidity pool comprising tokenized bonds and deposits.

Bitcoin (BTC) fell over 5% over the last day to retreat back under $30,000, wiping off most of its recent gains.

The leading cryptocurrency gave investors a touch of hope at the start of the week after staging a mini-rally to first reclaim the $30,000 level on Monday before briefly surpassing $32,000 the following day.

It was the first time in three weeks that Bitcoin had traded at those levels; however, it failed to keep the upward momentum, plunging to an intraday low of $29,501 on Wednesday, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin was changing hands at $29,939, down 5% in the past 24 hours. The bearish action led to nearly $155 million in BTC positions, mostly longs, liquidated over the span, according to Coinglass.

Binance Labs, the venture capital and incubation arm of Binance, announces the closing of a new $500 million investment fund. The fund is supported by leading global institutional investors such as DST Global Partners, Breyer Capital, and Whampoa Group. Other major private equity funds, family offices, and corporations also subscribed to the fund as limited partners.

The new fund will invest in projects that can extend the use cases of cryptocurrencies and drive the adoption of Web3 and blockchain technologies.

Changpeng Zhao ‘CZ’, Founder and CEO of Binance, said: “In a Web3 environment, the connection between values, people, and economies is essential, and if these three elements come together to build an ecosystem, that will accelerate the mass adoption of the blockchain technology and crypto. The goal of the newly closed investment fund is to discover and support projects and founders with the potential to build and to lead Web3 across DeFi, NFTs, gaming, Metaverse, social, and more.”

The increase of crypto lobbyists recently sparked an effort from anti-crypto individuals in the tech space to urge regulators through a letter to resist the influence of blockchain advocates. In response, the crypto community criticized the move and laid out counterarguments against the contents of the letter.

Signed by 26 tech personalities, the letter sent to United States lawmakers described crypto assets as “risky, flawed, and unproven digital financial instruments.” It expressed disagreements about the potential of blockchain technology and has urged the regulators to create harsher regulations for cryptocurrencies.

The crypto community did not stay silent as many reacted and expressed their disagreements with the letter and its contents. Tech lawyer Preston Byrne also gave his take on the issue. In a blog post, Byrne dissected the letter and provided counterarguments to the claims made by its signatories.