Crypto News Headlines (08-Aug-2022)

Real estate agents will have to alert money laundering authorities of any property sales paid for in crypto, the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said in a statement on Monday.

With companies such as Bybit, Kraken, Binance and seeking to set up in the emerging crypto hubs of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, some real estate developers in the country had announced they would start accepting payments in bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).

Now the government is looking to clamp down, to ensure that any real estate transactions must be reported to money-laundering watchdogs if they use virtual assets, or funds derived from virtual assets, for even a fraction of the home’s value.

The new rules will leave “little or no room for manipulation or illegal practices that could negatively impact the work environment and the economy and investment” in the real estate and legal sectors, UAE Minister for Economics Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri said in a statement.

Three bills have been introduced in Congress so far this year to make the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) the primary regulator for crypto spot markets.

Noting that there has been a longtime debate as to whether the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the CFTC should be the primary regulator of the crypto spot markets, Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association, told CNBC Thursday:

We now have three different bills — the one this week, the Lummis Gillibrand bill, and also the House bill, the Digital Commodity Exchange Act — that all say the CFTC is the place to go.

The “Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act of 2022” was introduced by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), John Boozman (R-AR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and John Thune (R-SD) last week. “Our bill will empower the CFTC with exclusive jurisdiction over the digital commodities spot market, which will lead to more safeguards for consumers, market integrity and innovation in the digital commodities space,” Senator Boozman commented.

Brazilian Central Bank Director, Fabio Araujo, praised Bitcoin’s properties and described it as a financial innovation using new technology.

According to Araujo, Bitcoin gave impetus to what is now known as Web3. Araujo also spoke about the changing state of digital money during an event and stated that his business aims to add smart functions to the currency.

Central banks worldwide grapple with the problem of cryptocurrencies and how to innovate to keep up with these technologies.

The director of the Brazilian Central Bank, Fabio Araujo, praised Bitcoin as a financial breakthrough that led to the Web3 movement and discussed how the digital reality currently being researched, the central bank digital currency (CBDC) could have programmable capabilities.

At an event sponsored by the Sao Paolo Business School, Araujo said:

“We started accelerating this in 2009 with the launch of Bitcoin with distributed database technology that facilitated the creation of Wweb3. The Bitcoin app brings a Proof of Work solution that is fundamental to Web3 services to the population.”

The crypto market crash in April saw most cryptocurrencies lose more than 60% of their valuation from the top, leading to an overall downturn in trading activity, investor interest and venture capital investment. A recent study has highlighted nations’ growing curiosity and interest in crypto after the April crash.

The research was based on Google Trends data of popular crypto search terms that often reflect increased interest in the crypto market. The search history of each nation was then compiled to give an overall search score. The countries at the top of the list appear to be most eager to buy the dip.

The CoinGecko research highlighted a significant rise in curiosity among Nigerians after the crypto market downturn in April. The Nigerian population searched the term “cryptocurrency,” “invest in crypto” and “buy crypto” the most among the 15 countries that were part of the research and had a total search score of 370.

Crypto lending platform Hodlnaut has halted withdrawals in an apparent liquidity crisis. The firm cited recent market conditions for the move and said that it needs to “focus on stabilising our liquidity and preserving assets.”

According to a statement today, the platform has also stopped token swaps and deposits. In light of this, it is working with Singapore law firm Damodara Ong LLC on a recovery plan.

“Halting withdrawals and token swaps was a necessary step for us to stabilise our liquidity, and give us the time to work closely with our legal advisors to come up with the best possible restructuring and recovery plan for our users,” said the platform.

According to Musk, Dogecoin transactions take 60 seconds to complete. Meanwhile, Bitcoin transactions take over 10 minutes before completion.

The billionaire believes Dogecoin is a better payment tool than the flagship currency, Bitcoin. Also, he said the Dogecoin community is more light-hearted and calm.

“To be honest, the major reason I’m backing Dogecoin is that it has dogs and memes. Also, it has a sense of fun. Although the token was a joke, I am surprised it has a larger transaction throughput capacity than Bitcoin,” Musk added.

Furthermore, he mentioned the meme coin’s inflationary factor. This factor allows the creation of over five billion tokens annually.

He believes this is helpful in the long run to make it a transactional currency. Besides, this is far higher than BTC’s maximum supply of only 21 million.

SEOUL, South Korea — Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin played down the impact of any hard forks on Ethereum after the network’s Merge event in September.

Speaking at the developer event ETHSeoul over the weekend, Buterin said “I don’t expect Ethereum to really be significantly harmed by another fork.”

The blockchain plans to switch to a proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism, an event known as The Merge, next month in a move developers say will make it cheaper, faster and environmentally friendly. The change from a proof-of-work (PoW) system will end an income stream for Ethereum miners, who are rewarded with ether (ETH) tokens for their efforts. Miners produced over $620 million worth of ether in July alone, data show. Tron founder Justin Sun has emerged as one of the most prominent investors supporting a hard fork to keep the money flowing.

Portugal’s monetary authority is currently evaluating requests submitted by 12 entities that intend to offer Portuguese clients services for virtual assets, Dinheiro Vivo unveiled. The crypto firms need a license from Banco de Portugal (BdP) to work in the country, still considered one of Europe’s most crypto-friendly jurisdictions.

Final decisions on the applications are expected by the end of the year. That’s unless the regulator asks the companies to provide additional information, in which case the deadline could be moved to 2023, the Portugal News English-language portal reported, quoting the business news outlet.

Among the applicants to enter the Portuguese crypto market is Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume. The digital currency trading platform has started to recruit talent in the country, having posted six vacancies on its Portuguese page, even though it’s still waiting for a green light from the BdP.

Celsius Network has withdrawn its motion to hire former CFO Rod Bolger back. The company had planned to hire him to help with the bankruptcy proceedings.

Lending platform Celsius has withdrawn its motion to hire former Chief Financial Officer Rod Bolger, according to a court filing in the Southern District of New York. The company had filed a motion to hire Bolger at the start of the month, saying that it had needed his expertise to help navigate the bankruptcy proceedings.

The withdrawal takes place right before the hearing for it that was scheduled on Aug. 8. Celsius had planned to hire Bolger back at a salary of $92,000 a month for a minimum period of six weeks. Bolger had resigned from the company, serving the eight weeks’ notice period. He was the former CFO of the Royal Bank of Canada and divisions of the Bank of America.

Investors had also taken issue with the decision to rehire Bolger. Attorneys for some investors filed an objection, saying Celsius offered “little detail” as to why his expertise was necessary. One attorney said that the decision “reflects a level of callous indifference to the customers of Celsius.”

There was once a time when Bitcoin (BTC) was the only crypto project that was not a scam, and advocating for only BTC made perfect sense. According to a Bitcoin Core contributor, however, this has not been true for a while, as he urged the community to drop the us-versus-them culture. 

In a Twitter thread, Matt Corallo, who contributed to the Bitcoin Core, pointed out to the community that at the moment, instead of BTC proponents advocating why Bitcoin is unique and remarkable, they are spending time attacking other projects.

According to Corallo, this situation is leading to what he described as a narrative war, where crypto projects bash each other. Corallo further explained that Bitcoiners coming after Ethereum for the upcoming Merge, saying that proof-of-stake (PoS) will not work, will, in turn, push Ethereum proponents to lobby with regulators against Bitcoin with the same environmental angle.