Crypto News Headlines (09-Mar-2023)

The digital assets industry is in the middle of a banking crisis with the collapse of crypto-friendly Silvergate Bank, and hasn’t been spared.

The Singapore-headquartered exchange is only now able to provide Euro-denominated banking services to users in the European Economic Area (EEA), having previously lost the ability to accept USD deposits because of issues with its banking partners.

For any crypto exchange, maintaining adequate fiat off-ramps is key to ensuring liquidity and impacts the ability for digital asset prices to rise. Market analysts attributed a 10% correction in bitcoin prices in January to Binance halting USD transfers.

Britain’s top financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), announced Wednesday that it has taken further action against unregistered crypto ATMs in East London in collaboration with the Metropolitan Police, the largest police force in the U.K.

The announcement followed a series of raids the FCA conducted in collaboration with the West Yorkshire Police on several sites suspected of hosting unregistered crypto ATMs around Leeds.

According to the regulator:

The FCA has used its powers to inspect several sites in East London suspected of hosting illegally operating crypto ATMs, as it continues its crackdown on the illicit sector.

Investors are still feeling bearish when it comes to Bitcoin. But why? And for how long will it last?

The narrative that has taken shape over the last two years is that as a “risk-on” asset, Bitcoin follows U.S. equities—which have plummeted in value since the Federal Reserve started aggressively hiking interest rates last year.

And that’s still true. But there are other factors at play: Investors are in a state of limbo as a tough regulatory crackdown and the collapse of major crypto-friendly bank Silvergate has them either selling or sitting still, according to the experts who spoke with Decrypt.

Amid the United States regulators increasingly scrutinizing stablecoins, the community continues to pitch new ideas of stablecoins independent from the U.S. dollar.

Arthur Hayes, co-founder and former CEO of BitMEX cryptocurrency exchange, has proposed creating a new stablecoin with a value pegged to the sum of $1 worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and one inverse perpetual swap of BTC against USD. He outlined the idea of the potential Satoshi Nakamoto Dollar (NUSD), or NakaDollar, in a blog post titled “Dust on Crust” on March 8.

Unlike major reserve-backed USD stablecoins like Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC), the proposed NakaDollar will not depend on any USD reserves but will rely solely upon derivatives exchanges that list liquid inverse perpetual swaps, Hayes said.

According to United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a new draft of the bipartisan crypto bill pioneered by herself and Senator Cynthia Lummis will be released to the new Congress after being deferred in 2022.

In a March 8 Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Senator Gillibrand asked CFTC chair Rostin Behnam for his opinion on the crypto bill she had previously drafted with Senator Lummis aimed at creating a regulatory framework for the crypto industry. According to Gillibrand, the next draft of the bill will be available in mid-April.

Bitcoin traders are taking a breather and considering their next steps as the market digests the collapse of Silvergate Bank, which culminated in its “voluntary liquidation” Wednesday U.S. time.

CryptoQuant data shows that transfer volume, denominated in BTC, is down 35% over the last 24 hours. At the same time, the total number of transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain has dropped by 17% during this same time period, and the number of active addresses has fallen by 10%.

For the month of March, bitcoin trading volume has come in at an average of around $25 billion, according to data from CoinGecko, versus around $36 billion for the month of February.

Fraudsters have been sending emails to Russian residents claiming to be writing on behalf of a regulatory body about the upcoming launch of “the Russian state cryptocurrency,” the Tass news agency reported, quoting Kaspersky Lab.

“With such messages, attackers lure users to resources where they risk losing money,” the cybersecurity firm explained. Several thousands of these letters had been sent by the end of February, the anti-virus provider revealed.

The fraudulent emails claim that Russia is preparing to introduce a state-issued crypto and encourage recipients to follow a link to the website of the investment program for the coin. The site also presents a project purportedly developed by Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, the most popular messenger in the crypto community.

The United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) continued its crackdown on illegal Bitcoin automated teller machines (ATMs) this week, announcing it had inspected several sites in East London suspected of hosting unregistered machines.

As per an announcement by the FCA on March 8, the financial regulator stated that it had investigated several sites in the East London area alongside the Metropolitan Police, and would continue to “identify and disrupt” unregistered crypto ATM businesses in the UK.

Selling pressure on bitcoin (BTC) contributed to a broader market drop as tokens of some of the largest blockchains fell as much as 6% in Asian morning hours on Thursday.

Bitcoin dipped under $22,000 during European hours on Wednesday, even as broader traditional markets remained relatively unchanged. Ether (ETH) shed over 2%. Among other large-caps, solana (SOL) and matic (MATIC) fell 6% in the past 24 hours, while Uniswap’s UNI and Avalanche’s AVAX fell 4% in the same period.

Artificial intelligence-focused tokens The Graph (GRT) and SingularityAI (AGIX) fell as much as 8%, paring gains from a month-long rise. Curve ecosystem tokens curve (CRV) and convex (CVX) fell 7%, while gaming-focused ImmutableX (IMX) dropped over 12%.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s upcoming budget proposal has a few surprises for crypto traders and investors, including a proposed doubling of capital gains for certain investors and a crackdown on crypto wash sales.

The Biden administration is set to release its fiscal 2024 budget plan on March 9, which is reportedly aimed at reducing the deficit by almost $3 trillion over the next decade. It also includes changes to crypto tax treatment with the aim of raising around $24 billion, according to newsreports.

One of these proposals includes an end to a strategy in which a crypto trader sells assets at a loss for tax purposes, known as tax-loss harvesting, before repurchasing them immediately after, according to The Wall Street Journal.