Crypto News Headlines (02-Sep-2022)

2TM – the holding company for Brazil’s largest crypto exchange by valuation, Mercado Bitcoin – laid off 15% of its workforce, or about 100 employees on Thursday.

“The economic adversity continues,” said the company in a statement. It’s the second round of job cuts this summer for 2TM, which in June let go of more than 80 workers.

Speaking with CoinDesk, the company also took note of “unbalanced competition” in which foreign crypto exchanges are not following the same reporting and know-your-customer (KYC) standards as domestic players.

“The competitive environment remains deteriorated and unfair, lacking the approval of the legal framework for crypto-activities, as players following the law are penalized by companies that ignore local rules,” said 2TM.

The President of Paraguay, Mario Abdo, has exerted an executive veto on the recently approved cryptocurrency bill, after more than a year of discussions in the Paraguayan Congress. The project, which was introduced in July 2021, aims to clarify the rules by which cryptocurrency mining operators and other virtual asset service providers must abide on Paraguayan soil.

The proposed bill established that cryptocurrency miners should pay a power fee 15% higher than what is paid by other similar industries. However, Adbo’s veto order establishes that this activity is “characterized by its high consumption of electrical energy, with intensive use of capital and little use of labor.” The executive order presents a bleak picture of the activity in Paraguay, predicting that if there is significant growth in this industry, the country might be pushed to import energy at some time in the future.

This action might slow the growth of the cryptocurrency and bitcoin mining industry in the country. Some companies had already been examining a possible entrance into the country since the Chinese mining veto that occurred last year.

The funding rates for Bitcoin and Ethereum, the leading cryptocurrencies by market cap, remain negative for derivative traders, suggesting a potential short-term bull signal. 

The Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate hikes and plans for future tightening of policy have placed increased pressure on markets across the globe. This past Friday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated his intent to counter inflation with higher interest rates in the near future. Markets reacted sharply to inflation news in May and have continued to slowly make new lows amid a summer of economic turmoil.

The Merge, an event where the ETH mainnet will merge with the Beacon Chain and adopt the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) method as consensus, has entered the countdown. This comes after the Ethereum Foundation confirmed that the event should take place between the 10th and 20th of September.

The merger, awaited for years by network enthusiasts, has positively impacted the price of the second largest cryptocurrency in the world. Since the Ethereum 2.0 date was announced on July 15th, the network’s native token has surged 70% according to TradingView, despite undergoing a price correction in recent weeks.

However, this uptrend could quickly reverse due to movements made by the whales. Data from analytics firm Santiment shows that major Ethereum cold wallets have reduced their ETH holdings by 11% in recent months. They have done this by moving their cryptocurrencies to exchange addresses.

Cryptocurrency exchange has reportedly dropped out of a half-billion-dollar sponsorship deal with the Union of European Football Associations Champions League.

According to a Wednesday report from SportBusiness, pulled out of a $495-million agreement with the Union of European Football Associations, or UEFA, which was close to being signed due to its legal team citing regulatory concerns with the exchange’s licenses in the United Kingdom, France and Italy. Had the deal gone through,’s branding would have been present for the UEFA Champions League for five seasons at a cost of roughly $100 million per season, ending in 2027.

The sports news outlet reported that had stepped in as a potential sponsor after the Champions League dropped Russian state-owned energy firm Gazprom in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Following Russia’s actions, many parts of Europe announced plans to become independent from the country’s supply of oil and gas in an effort to refrain from helpin its economy during the war.

Tougher rules governing crypto advertising in Thailand came into effect on Thursday, according to an official notice from the country’s securities regulator.

The new restrictions prohibit the inclusion of false or exaggerated information about crypto companies, such as inflated user numbers, and include a requirement to add clear risk warnings about investing in crypto .

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) amended existing regulations after noting that many ads lacked warnings about risks associated with cryptocurrencies and that some showed only “positive information.”

The new regulations apply to all new crypto ads that market to local users. Existing advertisements must be revised within 30 days of the publication of the notice, according to the SEC.

Thailand is pushing forward with its work on a central bank digital currency, while local regulators are closely watching the crypto sector. The country’s largest crypto exchange, Bitkub, is under the SEC’s microscope for allegedly flouting local securities law.

The Australian Supreme Court of Victoria released a default judgment Friday in a case where crypto exchange accidentally transferred more than AUD$10.47 million ($7.26 million) to a customer’s account on May 20, 2021.

The crypto firm made claims against eight defendants, including Thevamanogari Manivel, the customer whose account received the AUD$10.47 million in error. The court document shows that in May last year:

Instead of refunding $100 [Australian dollars] as intended, $10,474,143 was erroneously transferred … to Manivel after an account number was accidentally entered into the payment amount field.

“Extraordinarily, the plaintiffs allegedly did not realize this significant error until some 7 months later, in late December 2021,” the court document adds.

The Ethereum Name Service reported its third highest month of revenue in August, with 2.17 ENS domain names created on the service.

In a tweet announcing the latest milestone, ENS Domains said it added 2,744 ETH (around $4.3 million) in revenue and 34,000 new Ethereum accounts using at least one ENS name to its books in August. The firm also claims it generated more than 99% of the domain sales volume on OpenSea.

The Ethereum Name Service or ENS manages the issuance and renewal of .eth domain names built on Ethereum. ENS domains can be linked to one’s cryptocurrency wallet, meaning that instead of providing a sender with a long Ethereum address, users can give their .eth domain name to receive a transaction.

ENS domains can also be sold as non-fungible tokens, better known as NFTs, cryptographically unique tokens linked to digital and physical content, showing proof of ownership.

Billionaire businessman David Rubenstein said he is bullish on the crypto assets industry. Despite regulatory pressures, he predicted that some of the blockchain companies would be successful in future. He also shed some light on the Congress’ view of crypto and its position to regulate the industry. Although some companies have been hurt by the recent decline in prices, the industry is here to stay, he explained.

The businessman was earlier a sceptic of crypto but is now supporting the emerging industry.

David Rubenstein Crypto Prediction

The billionaire investor said things that go against conventional wisdom would success the most. It is the generation of young people that are driving the crypto industry growth, he added. Rubenstein drew a comparison with the personal computers boom in 2000s to the crypto industry.

“I am bullish on crypto in the sense that greatest fortunes are made when people go against conventional wisdom. But right now crypto is beaten down. But I have invested personally in the companies that surround the industry, not just crypto itself. But companies at that serve the industry.”

  1. Celsius files to reopen withdrawals for a minority of customers

Celsius has motioned for $50 million worth of the total $225 million held in the Custody Program and Withhold Accounts to be released to owners.

Beleaguered crypto lender Celsius Network has filed a motion with the United States Bankruptcy Court yesterday to allow customers with digital assets held in certain accounts to be withdrawn. 

There’s a catch, however, as the motion will only apply to Custody and Withold Accounts and for custodied assets worth $7,575 or less in value.

Celsius has structured their Custody and Withhold Accounts, which essentially serve as storage wallets, in a way that still enables users to maintain legal ownership of cryptocurrency.

This ownership, however, is not extended to assets held in accounts that offer annual crypto earnings or borrowing services (Earn and Borrow accounts).