Crypto News Headlines (07-Jul-2023)

Anti-money laundering (AML) rules are not a panacea for dealing with tax cheats and criminals who try to cover their tracks with crypto—but they’re a logical place to start, according to a paper published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday.

The paper was authored by members of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department: Katherine Baer, Ruud de Mooij, Shafik Hebous, and Michael Keen. It includes a disclosure that the views expressed by its authors do not necessarily reflect the views of the IMF.

From a taxation perspective, the paper’s primary concern is that digital assets provide a new and potent way for criminals and the rich to conduct transactions undetected. And its authors recognize tens of billions of dollars in potential tax revenue are at stake, with no consensus across the globe on how the issue should be approached.

The president of the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN), Obinna Iwunna, has commented on the implementation of the Finance Act, 2023, which was signed into law on May 28. According to Iwunna, the successful execution of the law will be challenging due to its premature introduction.

The act introduces a series of tax reforms aimed at modernizing the country’s fiscal framework. Among its provisions was the introduction of a 10% tax on gains from the disposal of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.

In a Cointelegraph interview, Iwunna criticized implementing a 10% tax on cryptocurrencies in the current uncertain climate, likening it to putting the cart before the horse. He highlighted the ongoing issue with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) instructing commercial banks not to facilitate financial transactions involving cryptocurrencies.

Any U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approval of a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) will not be a game changer for crypto markets for a number of reasons, JPMorgan (JPM) said in a research report Thursday.

While the SEC has yet to approve such an ETF – despite receiving numerous applications – there is now more optimism the regulator will approve one because some of the previous concerns are assumed to have been addressed in recent filings, JPMorgan said.

“Spot bitcoin ETFs [have] existed for some time outside the U.S., in Canada and Europe, but have failed to attract large investor interest,” analysts led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou wrote.

Precisely 476 days ago, on March 17, 2022, the crypto asset APE was disseminated through an airdrop to Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and Bored Ape Kennel Club members. Throughout its existence, apecoin (APE) has exceeded a year; however, following its significant surge during its initial launch, APE’s value has tumbled to significant lows.

BAYC-Centric Apecoin Hits All-Time Low, Suffers 92% Decline From Last Year’s Peak

APE hit it’s all-time low 17 days ago when it reached $1.96 per coin, and since then, apecoin has declined more than 92% compared to its all-time high recorded on April 28, 2022. Over the last month, APE has forfeited 35.6% of its worth against the U.S. dollar. In the past year, the distribution of APE has become somewhat concentrated with the top ten wallets holding 22.61% of the supply.

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) — Canada’s chief financial authority — has confirmed its trust in the regulated futures market for crypto, which “promotes greater price discovery.” Apart from the United States, the Canadian market hosts several crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

On July 6, the CSA issued guidance to help fund managers comply with law requirements for investment funds holding crypto assets. A 15-page document defends the existence of crypto ETFs in Canada, emphasizing that ETFs possess the necessary tools to hedge against the price fluctuations of particular crypto assets.

The CSA named the markets for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) as providing the best public crypto asset funds support without compromising investor protection. It also lays restrictions on the proportion of “illiquid assets,” i.e., the assets in the funds that couldn’t be swiftly disposed of directly through the open market.

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao responded to recent media reports on several top executives leaving the company, calling them an attempt at spreading “FUD,” the industry’s colloquial acronym for fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

Fortune reported that General Counsel Hon Ng, Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Hillmann, and Senior Vice President of Compliance Steven Christie left their roles at Binance this week over CZ’s handling of the ongoing investigations against the exchange, which was initiated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for alleged attempts to deceive U.S. regulators.

Amid KuCoin exchange preparing to adopt mandatory Know Your Customer (KYC) checks, the company’s CEO argued that privacy is not the most important feature of Bitcoin

BTC $30,111.

“When it comes to the purpose of Bitcoin creation, I think privacy is just one of its features,” KuCoin CEO Johnny Lyu told Cointelegraph in an interview on July 4.

Instead of privacy, the core benefit of Bitcoin is a unit of exchange, which allows holders to hedge against recessions, Lyu said. The CEO mentioned that Bitcoin was created after the 2008 financial crisis, which was triggered by the United States subprime mortgage crisis. “These events led to the birth of Bitcoin,” Lyu noted.

Cross-chain router protocol Multichain has been exploited for nearly $130 million after an attacker siphoned capital out of numerous token bridges.

“The lockup assets on the Multichain MPC address have been moved to an unknown address abnormally,” Multichain wrote on Twitter. “The team is not sure what happened and is currently investigating. It is recommended that all users suspend the use of Multichain services and revoke all contract approvals related to Multichain.”

The unexpected outflows stripped Multichain’s Fantom bridge of nearly its entire holdings in wBTC, USDC, USDT and a handful of altcoins. Together, the assets were worth over $130 million. On-chain sleuths described the activity as highly unusual; Fantom Foundation CEO Michael Kong told CoinDesk he was “looking into it.”

Bitcoin cash (BCH) rallied back above $300.00 on Thursday, prior to the global crypto market moving to consolidate.

Following a low of $250.23 on Thursday, BCH/USD jumped to an intraday peak at $300.85 earlier in the day’s session.

As a result of the rally, price moved to its strongest point since the start of the week, and closer to a recent 15-month high.

Earlier gains have now been erased, with BCH falling to a current reading at $279.71 as of writing.

One of the catalysts for this is the fact that the relative strength index (RSI) moved closer to a ceiling at 73.00, after bouncing from a floor at 70.00.

The index is now tracking at 71.69, and will likely consolidate around this area for the remainder of the day.

The creation of nonfungible token inscriptions on the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain has led to over $210 million of trading volume for Bitcoin Ordinals, according to the latest quarterly report from DappRadar.

The data, which has been independently verified by Cointelegraph, shows that Bitcoin Ordinals’ booming popularity led to a sharp increase in trading volume through the second quarter of 2023.

Bitcoin Ordinal trading volume increased from $7.18 million in the first quarter of the year, before a significant increase in trading value left the total trading volume for the Bitcoin-based NFTs at $210.7 million. DappRadar pins the quarterly increase at 2834%.

The report also notes that all-time Bitcoin Ordinals trades amounted to over 550,000 in Q2, with some 150,000 unique traders contributing to the inflated trading volume midway through 2023.