Crypto News Headlines (04-Feb-2022)

Cryptocurrency exchange Luno is weighing up the regulatory regimes in the 50 U.S. states ahead of a planned rollout over the course of this year, the company’s general manager for Africa, Marius Reitz said in an interview with Bloomberg.

“It is more complex than launching in an individual market because of the different states and different regulations within each of these states, so there’s lots of moving parts,” Reitz said.

The London-based exchange is one of Africa’s largest and has 9 million customers worldwide. It also has offices in Singapore, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Lagos and Sydney.

Luno was founded in 2013, initially based in Singapore before relocating to London. In 2020, it was acquired entirely by blockchain investment firm Digital Currency Group, which is also the parent company of CoinDesk.

It’s tax time. That means a headache for digital asset owners as the Internal Revenue Service grows more aggressive about collecting on crypto profits—but there is small silver lining.

Starting this year, crypto diehards can receive their refunds in the form of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies thanks to a new arrangement between Coinbase and TurboTax.

As Dealbook reports, TurboTax users can ask to direct any refund they are owed from the IRS or state governments directly into their Coinbase account and have it converted to crypto.

The news comes a week after Coinbase announced the launch of a free tax center that makes it easier to calculate and report crypto profits. As part of that announcement, Coinbase also offered its customers discounts on TurboTax software. (Note the IRS also provides free tax filing software).

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai power producer Gulf Energy Development Pcl expects to finalise a joint venture (JV) with the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, in the second quarter this year, a senior executive told Reuters in an interview.

“Once we conclude talks with Binance on business model and shareholder agreements, a JV will be formed, which will apply for the license with regulators,” Gulf chief financial officer Yupapin Wangviwat said.

She expects the JV to take about six months to obtain the license for trading and then other features would follow.

Cryptocurrency trading has exploded in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy with transactions reaching 251 billion baht ($7.57 billion) in November, prompting authorities to introduce regulation.

The Gulf-Binance crypto exchange would have to comply with regulations, said Yupapin.

Last year Thailand’s securities watchdog filed a criminal complaint against Binance for operating without a digital asset license.

The move into crypto comes from its owner and CEO Sarath Ratanavadi’s plans to expand into digital infrastructure, which took shape last year when it increased its ownership of InTouch Holdings Pcl to 42% in a 48 billion baht deal.

InTouch owns the country’s the country’s largest mobile operator, AIS.

India’s proposed tax rate on income from virtual assets is steep, but it signals that the government recognizes the country’s cryptocurrency industry, the head of a top crypto exchange told CNBC.

In the Feb. 1 annual budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman noted in her speech the “phenomenal increase in transactions in virtual digital assets.” She proposed a 30% tax on any income from the transfer of digital assets and said no deductions would be allowed. Losses incurred from such transactions could not be set off against any other income.

Furthermore, India planned to impose a 1% tax deducted at source, or TDS, on payments related to the transfer of digital assets.

Ashish Singhal, founder and CEO of CoinSwitch, told CNBC on Thursday that the 30% levy was a bit much. He said, however, it was still an overall positive move as it removes some of the ambiguity around the Indian government’s stance on crypto seen in recent months.

Trust Machines—launched by Stacks founder Muneeb Ali and a Princeton University Computer Science professor JP Singh—has raised $150 million to build an ecosystem of applications designed to “unlock the potential of Bitcoin” for Web3.

Bitcoin is still largely seen as strictly a speculative investment, while advancements in DeFi, NFT trading, and the decentralized management of online communities through DAOs are happening on competing blockchain networks such as Ethereum. Yet Bitcoin is the still largest and most popular cryptocurrency around, and should its blockchain become host to the more cutting-edge aspects of crypto, it could be game changer.

Bitcoin rose as much as 3.4% to $38,221, while Ether rallied as much as 7.1% to $2,850. Both tokens jumped in Asia’s afternoon after trading sideways for the last few days.

The big cryptocurrencies have been largely trapped in a range over the past couple of weeks. Their struggle to break out came as growth stocks and other riskier assets faltered amid investor concern about the impact of imminent Fed rate hikes and a trend toward tighter monetary policy globally.

 “Although there were concerns about accelerating monetary policy, there is now a sense among many capital markets that a 50 basis point rate hike is priced in given recent movements in equity markets,” said Hayden Hughes, chief executive officer at Alpha Impact, a trading social media platform. He also cited the restoration of $320 million from the recent Wormhole hack and oversold technical levels for bolstering the mood.

The range-bound trading in recent weeks has offered some relief for crypto bulls who see it as a sign that the sharp selloff that began in November may be mostly over. The Nasdaq 100 Index, by comparison, tumbled 4.2% Thursday on dismal results from Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc.

Major peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin (BTC) platform Paxful is working to help Salvadorans better use BTC as the cryptocurrency became legal tender in El Salvador last year.

Paxful on Wednesday announced the launch of “La Casa Del Bitcoin,” a new educational and training center in El Salvador to enable free learning opportunities related to BTC.

As part of the effort, Paxful will hold educational workshops and talks focused on Bitcoin and financial inclusion in the country. The center will focus on growing the awareness around the benefits of buying and selling BTC as a means of exchange for the local community to further drive the next wave of Bitcoin mass adoption.

“The center is open to everyone that wants to learn about Bitcoin and everyone who wants to teach about Bitcoin. In addition, each week will consist of special courses, which will be available to access online,” a spokesperson for Paxful told Cointelegraph. The company’s goal is to close the gap in education and language when it comes to learning about Bitcoin, the representative added.

Miami, FL, Feb. 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Safuu provides a decentralized financial asset which rewards users with a sustainable fixed compound interest model through use of its unique proprietary SAP protocol.

Investors across the globe are chasing low-risk-high-yield returns in a booming wave within the technology sector of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and noting that cryptocurrency in general is opening up new possibilities across the whole financial industry.

DeFi has caused a stir amongst the savviest of investors, with most agreeing that it has offered up some of the richest opportunities in a revolution of sorts and that cryptocurrency has made more millionaires over the past decade than ever seen before.

By far DeFi is showing favor to becoming the easiest and agreed upon way to make your money work for you in an environment where cryptocurrency holders can lock or stake their tokens and receive high interest rates that most thought were unachievable. The tools that DeFi companies use to create these high returns are financial algorithms and token staking strategies called protocols which are made up of Smart-Contracts.

Galaxy Digital, the cryptocurrency investment management firm owned by financier Michael Novogratz, has launched an ESG program focused on employing responsible environmental practices in bitcoin mining.

The financial technology manager said it will actively seek to improve its environmental and carbon footprint. Galaxy Digital’s initiative is an extension of the company’s recent commitment to achieving an 80% sustainable power mix in the energy it uses to mine bitcoin and comes amid conversations in the industry around the environmental toll of broader cryptocurrency adoption.

Bitcoin, a heavy consumer of energy and producer of carbon dioxide, has been deemed an ecologically “dirty” currency by experts for its enormous consumption of electricity and resulting carbon footprint. According to recent data from Statista, a single bitcoin transaction consumes 2,264.93 kWh (kilowatt-hours). By comparison, 100,000 Visa transactions utilize 148.63 kWh.

Wormhole, a popular cross-chain crypto bridge between Solana, Ethereum, Avalanche, and others, has restored its missing funds after a hacker yesterday managed to siphon $320 million in Wrapped Ethereum (wETH) out of the protocol.

wETH in Wormhole is a cryptocurrency pegged to the price of Ethereum but interoperable with other networks. To create wETH, users must first stake Ethereum.

The Wormhole team announced on Twitter today that “All funds have been restored and Wormhole is back up.” In a follow-up tweet, they said they fixed the vulnerability shortly after midnight UTC, and “all wETH are backed up 1:1” as of 13:08 UTC.

Jump Trading Group, which has a stake in Wormhole’s development, took credit for replacing the 120,000 in ETHereum taken.