Crypto News Headlines (02-Mar-2023)

Dubai’s crypto industry is thrilled the jurisdiction has finally unveiled its crypto regulatory framework, giving locals a concrete licensing regime for digital asset issuers and service providers.

The framework comes after crypto markets went into a tailspin in 2022, prompting regulators everywhere to double down on setting up or enforcing safeguards, leaving companies and investors uncertain of crypto’s future.

Under Dubai’s new rules, all entities planning to offer one or more crypto-related services in the jurisdiction must seek the relevant authorization and licenses. The framework is accompanied by four compulsory rulebooks for service providers and seven activity-based rulebooks that set out requirements by the type of service offered – something Talal Tabbaa, founder of regional crypto exchange CoinMENA praised as being “elegantly designed.”

The amount of cryptocurrency transferred to addresses published by the Ukrainian government to raise money for defense and other purposes has reached nearly $70 million, blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis revealed on the first anniversary of the conflict in the Eastern European nation.

The authorities in Kiev started accepting donations in digital currencies soon after Russia launched its invasion in late February 2022. In March, Chainalysis said that more than $56 million worth of cryptocurrencies had been donated to the wallets of the Ukrainian government.

Other digital donations have been made to addresses posted by charity organizations raising funds for their humanitarian efforts. According to a recent report by blockchain analytics company Elliptic, Ukraine supporters have sent a total of over $212 million in cryptocurrency.

Australia drew one step closer Wednesday to potentially establishing a central bank digital currency (CBDC), as the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced an upcoming pilot phase for its digital version of the Australian dollar called the eAUD.

In a joint announcement with Australia’s Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre, the RBA says it invited a small number of companies to  help explore 14 use cases for the eAUD, asking firms like ANZ and Mastercard to participate in the program. The use cases range from facilitating offline payments to tokenized invoices for businesses, and even livestock auctions.

DENVER — The hosts of popular crypto podcast and newsletter Bankless are raising a $35 million venture capital fund to invest in seed-stage Web3 companies, sources told CoinDesk.

Show hosts David Hoffman and Ryan Sean Adams are to be general partners in the fund, said Charged Particles founder Ben Lakoff, also a GP. The trio comprise the fund’s investment committee, Lakoff said.

The fund, planned as a separate legal entity from the Bankless podcast, will nonetheless share its brand and likely enjoy the clout of one of the better-known content platforms in crypto media. One venture capital source said the combo of platform and investing arm would mean “incredible deal flow” for the nascent VC.

The cryptocurrency phishing scammer behind some of the most high-profile and high-value Web3 thefts claims to have packed up shop, saying it was “time to move on to something better.”

The scammer with the pseudonym Monkey Drainer posted to their Telegram channel on March 1 that they “will be shutting down immediately” and all “files, servers and devices” related to the drainer “will be destroyed immediately” and it “will not return.”

The scammer even gave advice to budding “young cyber criminals” saying they shouldn’t “lose themselves in the pursuit of easy money” and only those “with the highest level of dedication” should operate a “large scale cybercrime” outfit.

Bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) appear poised to continue trading in their current narrow ranges as many indicators flash neutral.

The two largest cryptocurrencies by market cap have seen volatilities lessen over the past seven days while momentum for both has fallen during the past 14 days.

The breather for both assets is unsurprising given their 43% and 38% year-to-date price increases. Those gains seemed outsized given the brewing uncertainties about crypto regulation, inflation and the economy.

The recent interview of SEC chair Gary Gensler may have negative implications for the U.S. securities regulator, as he has been accused of publicly discussing his prejudgment of the outcome. News recently reported on Gensler expressing his opinions during an interview with New York Magazine’s Intelligencer reporter Ankush Khardori. During the interview, the SEC chairman explained why he views the majority of digital assets, other than bitcoin (BTC), in the current crypto economy as securities.

On February 27, 2023, Ripple’s chief legal officer, Stuart Alderoty, tweeted about Gensler’s public statements following the interview. Ripple is currently in a legal dispute with the SEC to determine whether XRP tokens are securities or not. Alderoty’s tweet read, “Crypto lawyer PSA: Chair Gensler has once again declared that all cryptocurrencies except BTC are unregistered securities. He must now recuse himself from voting on any enforcement case that raises that issue, as he has already prejudged the outcome. Antoniu v. SEC (8th Cir. 1989).”

Silvergate Capital Corporation, the parent company of Silvergate Bank, delayed its annual 10-K report filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, telling the agency it “needs additional time” to allow an independent accounting firm to complete certain audit procedures.

In the filing, Silvergate also cited “a number of circumstances” that will “negatively impact” the timing of the 10-K report.

These include the sale of additional investment securities “beyond what was previously anticipated and disclosed in the company’s earnings release,” as well as the sale of additional debt securities in January and February 2023, from which Silvergate “expects to record further losses.”

CryptoQuant, a community-based data analysis platform for cryptocurrencies, claims that there will be a low ETH selling pressure even after the upcoming Ethereum Shanghai upgrade. In a report posted on its website, the comprehensive data analysis platform outlines why traders would be reluctant to sell their ETH tokens even when the opportunity arises.

— (@cryptoquant_com) March 2, 2023

According to CryptoQuant, the two primary factors they base their analysis upon are the profit quotient of all the staked ETH and the ROI status of the largest staking pool’s depositors. The analysis platform explained that both categories of stakers are at a loss and would be unmotivated to sell their ETH holding under the current conditions.

Around 20% of banks have exposure to crypto assets, a Bank for International Settlements (BIS) report released Feb. 28 found. The majority of those banks are in the Western Hemisphere.

According to the report — which is based on data from the first half of 2022 — 17 Group 1 banks reported approximately 2.9 billion euros in crypto-asset prudential exposure and 1 billion euros in crypto assets under custody. A Group 1 bank is one that has Tier 1 capital of more than 3 billion euros and is internationally active. Tier 1 capital is a bank’s equity capital and disclosed reserves.