Crypto News Headlines (06-Dec-2022)

There is plenty of fear in the crypto market since Sam Bankman Fried’s digital assets exchange, FTX, went bust, so much so that digital assets have decoupled from the risk revival in traditional markets.

Yet bitcoin’s (BTC) dominance rate or the top cryptocurrency’s share in the total crypto market has held steady at around 40%, contradicting its record of rising sharply during times of stress.

According to observers, the stagnant dominance rate represents several developments, including an exodus of investors from the market.

Bitcoin’s difficulty retarget has dropped, which makes it a bit easier for bitcoin miners to find a block than it was during the two weeks prior. The difficulty change occurred around 8:50:29 p.m. (ET), at block height 766,080 and it was the largest reduction this year. The difficulty reduction was larger than the prior record that was recorded at block height 745,920. At that time on July 21, 2022, the network’s difficulty dropped by 5.01% and the difficulty was around 27.69 trillion.

Prior to the 7.32% reduction down to 34.24 trillion, the network’s difficulty rating was at a lifetime high of 36.95 trillion. Satoshi created the difficulty retarget to change periodically or every 2,016 blocks so the average time to mine a block remains constant at around 10 minutes. Statistics show prior to block height 766,080, the average block time was around 10:48 minutes, which meant a notable difficulty reduction was predicted to happen prior to the change.

The FTX dominoes continue to tumble, as Nexus Mutual revealed roughly $3 million in losses due—via a long string of contiguous events—to the exchange’s collapse last month.

The crypto insurance protocol announced that it expects “to take a loss of around 2,461 Ethereum” (roughly $3 million) due to Orthogonal Trading defaulting on its loans. The two projects were both borrowing from M11 Credit’s Wrapped Ethereum (WETH) lending pool built on Maple Finance.

Maple Finance is a lending platform that lets firms like M11 Credit allocate capital and spin up their very own lending facility.

The Cable reported when Nigeria begins collecting taxes on cryptocurrency transactions, it would join neighboring African countries such as South Africa and Kenya in doing so. The report also names Australia, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States as countries that tax digital asset transactions.

Ahmed stated that taxing such transactions fits with the Nigerian government’s larger goal of generating more revenue from e-commerce transactions.

“For instance, under the Tax Equity pillar, all sectors of the economy would be brought into the tax net including Capital Gains Tax from digital assets, cable undertakings, lottery and gaming business,” the statement quoted Ahmed as saying.

Despite the Conservative Party’s rhetorical embracement of crypto under the new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the upcoming regulatory framework will reportedly tighten scrutiny over the industry. The legislation updates will broaden the powers of the financial regulator and probably limit foreign companies’ operations in the United Kingdom.

According to a Financial Times report, the FTX collapse has influenced the course of the regulatory regime in the U.K. Reportedly, the Treasury is finalizing a package of guidelines that will enable the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to monitor the operations and advertising of crypto companies in the country. There also would be restrictions on selling crypto on the U.K. market from abroad.

The Built With Bitcoin Foundation (BWB), a non-profit organization seeking to provide “humanitarian support, powered by Bitcoin,” has built a technology center in Kumasi, Ghana.

The aptly named “Bitcoin Technology Center” (BTC) will focus on finance and technology education, and aims to “foster a safe environment to learn.” The center’s official unveiling takes place Thursday, on the heels of the African Bitcoin Conference, which is being hosted a few hours away in Accra. BWB is hoping to educate and train at least 400 residents within the first year of operation, according to a press release provided to CoinDesk.

The center’s location is no coincidence. Kumasi is home to one of Ghana’s largest and most prestigious universities – Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) – ranked 2019’s “best university in Ghana and West Africa” by media firm U.S. News & World Report. BWB hopes the region’s reputation for stellar technology-focused education translates into high interest in the Bitcoin Technology Center’s programs.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor T. Rabi Sankar talked about cryptocurrency and central bank digital currency (CBDC) Friday at an event organized by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).

“We saw an environment where private currencies were evolving. We realized that this poses a threat to investors, systems, and the economy. We also realized that private currencies have shown that digitalizing currency can possibly benefit,” the RBI official said. “The way to deal with it was to provide a digital currency.”

Referring to non-government-issued cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ether, as “private” cryptocurrencies, the deputy governor opined:

If there is anything that a private cryptocurrency can do, we should be able to create a product that will do that without the associated risks in a safer format in fiat money backed by the government and issued by the central bank. This is essentially what we are doing in the CBDC experiments.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating several unnamed crypto firms over deceptive or misleading crypto advertising, according to a Bloomberg report.

“We are investigating several firms for possible misconduct concerning digital assets,” the FTC spokeswoman Juliana Gruenwald Henderson said in a statement.

Henderson declined to share further information about which firms are the subject of the probe or what had prompted the Commission to launch investigations.

Nexo, one of the leading crypto lending institutions in the digital finance industry, announced it has decided to halt its services in the U.S. after regulators “dropped the ball” in dialogues meant to give blockchain businesses a clear path moving forward, Reuters and other news outlets reported Tuesday.

The Swiss crypto lender founded in 2018 has expressed what could only be described as its disappointments after participating in a series of talks with state and federal regulators for 18 long months that now apparently was heading nowhere.

On December 5, the company said:

“Today we are announcing the regrettable but necessary decision that Nexo will be phasing out its products and services in the United States in a gradual and orderly fashion over the coming months.”

The crypto community appears to be having a ball with ChatGPT, a recently launched Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot created by research company OpenAI — using it for a multitude of applications including a trading bot, a crypto blog, and even an original song.

The bot is a language interface tool that OpenAI says can interact “in a conversational way” and can be used to answer questions or assist in making almost anything it’s prompted to create, with some limitations.

A user on Twitter posted their interaction with ChatGPT showing that from a simple prompt the tool created a basic trading bot using Pine Script, a programming language used for the financial software TradingView.