Crypto News Headlines (07-Nov-2022)

Digital currency exchange Coinmetro raised 7 million euros ($7 million) in a funding round that valued the business at 180 million euros, the company said Monday.

Coinmetro said it plans to use the capital to scale up its operations in the U.S., U.K. and Europe. It is also developing a series of passive income products to help customers deal with a period of high inflation and interest rates.

The interim funding round is a precursor to a Series A round planned for first-quarter 2023, the firm said. The funds were raised from three angel investors and over 100 existing shareholders.

Cryptocurrency miners in Québec may need to find new sources of energy if Hydro-Québec’s request to the lead distribution regulator Régie de l’énergie is approved. The request mentioned at the end of the electricity demand study is a “request to suspend the allocation of electricity to the blockchain industry.”

There’s a number of digital currency mining operations in Québec and in mid-September, reports had shown that Québec’s Mohawk Council of Kahnawake planned to petition Hydro-Québec for electricity dedicated to bitcoin mining. Hydro-Québec’s newsroom report says that while it has taken steps to increase capacity, there’s been a “significant increase” in demand from blockchain miners.

“In light of the significant increase in the anticipated demand for electricity and the tightening energy and capacity balances, Hydro-Québec filed a request with the Régie de l’énergie regarding suspension of the allocation process to the blockchain industry,” the report discloses.

UK bank Santander is set to block real-time payments to crypto exchanges next year.

According to an email to customers first reported by Reuters, the move is intended to protect consumers from scams.

Santander has not said when in 2023 the change will take effect. In the short term, the bank is going to enforce a more limited set of restrictions.

From November 15 onwards, payments to cryptocurrency exchanges using mobile and online banking will be limited to £1,000 per transaction with a total limit of £3,000 in any rolling 30-day period.

The new rules will not impact the ability of customers to make withdrawals.

Currently, 0.45% of all Ethereum is created through smart contracts, placing them behind staked Ethereum (0.57%) and exchange balances (0.17%).

An area perspective of some of the highest concentrations of the Ethereum supply is shown in the figure below. As a ratio of the circulating supply, supply locations are displayed from bottom to top. Yellow represents supply owned on exchanges, red represents supply held on smart contracts, and purple represents supply staked on the beacon chain.

Before The Merge, mining accounted for the majority of new ETH issuance. About 13,000 ETH has been generated daily due to the mining process. After removing mining from the network, the new supply decreased by about 99%. Only 3,000 ETH per day is generated from staking, with a daily burn of around 1,211 ETH at press time.

Over several years, social media influencers have earned a bad rep among regulators for shilling risky and unvetted tokens to millions of investors. Pursuing a crackdown on such scenarios, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reportedly issued a subpoena to influencers who were found promoting cryptocurrencies such as HEX, Pulsechain and PulseX.

Swedish researcher Eric Wall shared an official letter from the SEC dated Nov. 1, which was addressed to influencers. It read:

“We believe that you may possess documents and data that are relevant to an ongoing investigation being conducted by the staff of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.”

The letter was accompanied by a subpoena that was issued as part of the investigation, which demanded the influencers in question to produce the required documents by Nov. 15, 2022.

Stablecoin issuer Circle has announced that the Solana blockchain will add support for Euro Coin (EUROC), a regulated and reserve-backed stablecoin pegged to the value of the euro.

Circle, known for issuing the second-largest stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), said that the move to Solana will improve on-chain foreign exchange functionality.

Euro Coin was introduced in June on the Ethereum blockchain and is backed by a mixture of cash and European government debt. Adoption of the coin has been slow since, with a market cap of just $80 million. USDC, in contrast, has a market cap of $42 billion. The largest stablecoin, Tether’s USDT, has a market cap of $69 billion.

With its capital Beirut once called the “Paris of the Middle East,” before the civil war broke out in 1975, and known as an offshore banking destination rivaling Switzerland, after the conflict ended in 1990, in the past few years, Lebanon has been struggling to cope with a looming economic and financial crisis — among the planet’s worst, according to the World Bank.

The country plunged into the crisis in 2019 and its government defaulted on its sovereign debt in early 2020, just as the Covid pandemic was spreading around the globe. With losses of up to $70 billion at local banks, according to Goldman Sachs, inflation expected to reach 178% this year, as projected by Fitch, and close to 80% of the population living below the poverty line, estimated by the UN, cryptocurrency has started to sound like a source of salvation for some, CNBC notes in a report.

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said on Sunday that his cryptocurrency exchange is liquidating its holdings of FTT, the native token of rival exchange FTX.

Zhao referenced “recent revelations that have came to light,” but did not elaborate publicly nor respond to a request for clarification from Decrypt.

The decision follows weeks of criticism directed at FTX’s founder and Chief Executive Sam Bankman-Fried for regulatory proposals he put forth in a blog post which recommended restrictions regarding DeFi. He has since committed to revising his regulatory position.

Binance received the funds in FTT as part of its exit last year from an early equity position in FTX it had had since 2019. FTX had bought out Binance’s stake in the company through a $2.1 billion mix of FTT and BUSD–the stablecoin native to Binance’s exchange–according to a statement from Zhao.

Nova Labs, the company behind Helium Network and a new crypto-powered cellular service called Helium Mobile, said it would provide SIM cards and free trials to customers of Solana Labs’ new Saga phones.

The companies declined to disclose financial details on the plan, which comes after Helium Network community members voted in September to ditch its own blockchain and migrate over to the larger Solana blockchain.

Under the agreement, Saga phones sold in the U.S. will get a 30-day free subscription to Helium Mobile, according to a press release. Saga phones are Solana’s flagship Android device, tightly integrated with the Solana blockchain.

The Helium Network is a decentralized grid of wireless hotspots that aims to provide an alternative to hard-wired internet or mobile data service. The services are powered by cryptocurrencies; people who participate in the network receive rewards for doing so.

In the aftermath of the $28 million Deribit hack, the unknown exploiter is moving stolen funds using the decentralized cryptocurrency mixer, Tornado Cash.

The Deribit hot wallet hacker has transferred a total of 1,610 Ether ETH tickers down $1,581, or around $2.5 million, to Tornado Cash, according to data from the Ethereum block explorer Etherscan.

The funds were transferred in 17 transactions, with the first outgoing transaction occurring on Nov. 5 —just a few days after Deribit suffered the hack.

The amount of funds moved to Tornado Cash is just a fraction of all stolen ETH on the hacker’s address, as its balance amounts to 7,501 ETH ($11.8 million) at the time of writing. The hacker initially sent 9,080 ETH to the address on Nov. 2.

The blockchain analytics platform PeckShield initially reported on the outgoing Tornado Cash transactions on Nov. 5. At the time, the amount of funds leaving the hacker’s ETH wallet was just about $350,000.