Crypto News Headlines (09-Sep-2022)

In France, suspected criminals could have their crypto assets frozen under a new law presented by the country’s government Wednesday.

President Emmanuel Macron’s government wants to join the U.K. in handing the police greater power to freeze assets that could otherwise escape their clutches and be laundered away.

“Too often, criminals convert the fruits of their wrongdoing into crypto-assets, which can be more easily dispersed and therefore concealed,” said a report annexed to the government’s draft law.

The measures, which largely repeat those first tabled in March, would extend the rules that already apply to conventional bank account holdings – when authorized by a public prosecutor or investigating judge – to crypto assets.

While much of the bill is dedicated to online crime – such as requiring ransomware payments to be reported to the authorities – it covers a range of other issues under France’s Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin’s purview, like creating 200 new rural police squads and modernizing the handling of domestic violence cases. June elections saw President Emmanuel Macron re-elected, and Darmanin keeping his job in the cabinet.

The growing use of cryptocurrency across borders and industries comes with increasing abuse, new forms of crime, and money laundering, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) has concluded after a recent gathering with crypto experts, financial investigators, regulators, and representatives of business.

The 6th Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies was recently held at the agency’s headquarters in the Netherlands. The two-day event was supported by the Basel Institute on Governance through the joint Working Group on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies and meant to boost collaboration among participating parties in investigating and prosecuting crypto-related crimes.

Speakers also noted that when employing the right tools, blockchain technologies can “offer an unprecedented opportunity to investigate organized crime and money laundering networks and to recover stolen funds,” Europol said in a press release. It emphasized that increasing understanding and capacity in the crypto sphere is vital to tackling crime and the laundering of illicit money.

Bitcoin (BTC) surged 8.26% early Friday to breach the psychological $20,000 level and lead the broader crypto market’s recovery.

The industry’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap plummeted as low as $18,644 on Wednesday and was mostly trading between $19,200 and $19,300 yesterday.

Today’s breakout, however, pushed the price of Bitcoin to $20,808 by press time, a level not seen since August 26, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

The bullish price action also helped to propel the cumulative market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies back above the $1 trillion mark, with Bitcoin currently dominating 38.5% of the market.

Ethereum (ETH) has meanwhile surged 5.2% over the past 24 hours and is currently changing hands at $1,706, per CoinMarketCap.

The Merge, an event where the ETH mainnet will merge with the Beacon Chain and adopt the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) method as consensus, has entered the countdown. This comes after The White House Office of Science and Technology report was a response to President Joe’s Biden’s executive order. The order illuminated the challenges and opportunities of crypto assets in relation to energy and climate change issues in the United States.

White House Key Recommendations

White House Office of Science and Technology report was a response to President Joe’s Biden’s executive order. The order illuminated the challenges and opportunities of crypto assets in relation to energy and climate change issues in the United States.

White House Key Recommendations

Key among the recommendations made by the team is for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Energy (DOE), and other federal agencies to initiate a collective procedure with different states and the crypto firms. The aim is to grow active, evidence-based environmental performance standards for the responsible design, development, and use of environmentally responsible crypto-asset technologies.

According to the White House report, “The Administration should explore executive actions, and Congress might consider legislation, to limit or eliminate the use of high energy intensity consensus mechanisms for crypto-asset mining. DOE and EPA should provide technical assistance to state public utility commissions, environmental protection agencies, and the crypto asset industry to build capacity to minimize emissions, noise, water impacts, and negative economic impacts of crypto-asset mining; and to mitigate environmental injustices to overburdened communities.”

Crypto degens have wasted no time after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, flooding the crypto market with more than 40 new Queen-related meme tokens, and hundreds of new nonfungible tokens (NFTs) in the same vein.

New tokens launched on decentralized exchanges on the BNB Smart Chain and Ethereum over the past 24 hours include names such as Queen Elizabeth Inu, Save the Queen, Queen, QueenDoge, London Bridge is Down and Rip Queen Elizabeth.

According to data from Dex Screener, the Queen Elizabeth Inu token on BSC-based PancakeSwap has since had the biggest price value gain over the past 24 hours, with an eye-watering 28,506% pump to $0.00008000 at the time of writing.

Its $391,000 worth of 24-hour trade volume pales in comparison to the Elizabeth token, however, which has seen $2.7 million worth of trade volume in just under 12 hours. The asset has also had a meteoric pump of 8,442% to sit at $0.059931.

Major cryptocurrencies bounced early Friday as traditional market investors shrugged off Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s pro-liquidity tightening stance.

Bitcoin (BTC), the leading cryptocurrency by market value, jumped 8.6% to $20,997 and ether (ETH), the native token of Ethereum’s blockchain, scheduled to undergo a major technological upgrade next week, rose 4% to $1,705, according to CoinDesk data.

Perhaps risk assets, including cryptocurrencies, drew strength from sliding inflation expectations and prospects of renewed monetary easing next year.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares except Japan jumped 0.3%. The futures tied to the S&P 500 rose 0.3%, hinting at an extension of a two-day rally, while the European stock futures signaled a positive open. The dollar index dropped 0.7% to 108.80, signaling continued weakness in the greenback.

At a think tank conference Thursday, Powell said, “we need to act right now – forthrightly, strongly,” reiterating his commitment to fighting inflation with rapid-fire interest rate hikes. This year, the so-called policy tightening has roiled risk assets, including cryptocurrencies.

Anatoly Aksakov, head of the Financial Market Committee at the State Duma, considers it necessary to provide cross-border settlements in cryptocurrency with a regulatory framework. The lower house of Russian parliament is expected to review crypto-related draft legislation this fall, including a new bill “On Digital Currency,” and Aksakov has been an active participant in these efforts.

The influential member of the lower house of Russian parliament issued the call after earlier this week the Russian finance ministry and central bank agreed that for the country “it is impossible to do without cross-border settlements in cryptocurrency,” in the current circumstances. Russia has been facing mounting Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.

Quoted by the business daily Kommersant and the RIA Novosti news agency, Aksakov emphasized that determining the legal boundaries for the use of cryptocurrencies in cross-border settlements is an important task. He also marked as a high priority the need to ensure that those who enter this market are identified by authorities.

A Florida man pleaded guilty in federal district court on Thursday to participating in a cryptocurrency-based Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of approximately $100 million, the Department of Justice announced today.

The department says Joshua David Nicholas of Stuart, Florida—population 16,000—acted for nearly two years as the so-called “head trader” of EmpiresX, a cryptocurrency investment platform that promised investors daily profits of one percent thanks to the combined abilities of a state-of-the-art “trading bot” and Nicholas’ manual trading acumen. In reality, the bot did not exist.

Nicholas, along with EmpiresX co-founders Emerson Sousa Pires and Flavio Mendes Goncalves, took the majority of investors’ funds and leased a Lamborghini, bought numerous items from Tiffany & Co., and made payments on a second home.

Nirmala Sitharaman, finance minister of India discussed the significance of crypto regulation with the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva.

India has long focussed on the need for regulation along with global coordination with a mutually agreed approach to this issue.

Sitharaman also mentioned that the IMF should take lead in terms of ensuring proper regulation in this sector.

IMF managing director, Kristalian Georgieva and India’s FM has had a discussion regarding a wide variety of issues which included India’s incoming G20 presidency and IMF’s support.

India continues to hold a bright spot in the global economy although there is global geopolitical uncertainty as mentioned by the IMF MD.

India has also introduced a 30 per cent tax on crypto assets effective April 1. Along with that, India has also imposed a 1 per cent tax deducted at source (TDS) on crypto.

This TDS will have to be paid on transactions above Rs 10,000 (USD 125 approximately) and this shall be applicable in the hands of those receiving from July 1.

James Dewar, founding partner of Bridge2Bitcoin, and MSW, a business developer for CoinCorner, took to the streets of Reading in a marathon mission of merchant adoption. In just six hours, they spoke to 63 shops, cafés and restaurants, hoping to persuade them to accept BTC.

Armed with flyers, sales experience and oodles of enthusiasm for the world’s largest cryptocurrency, the Bitcoiners detailed the data and their experiences interacting with the general public. Of the 63 merchants they spoke to, around 50% were a straight rejection, and 10 of the 30 were “worth a follow-up,” Dewar told Cointelegraph. Three businesses were onboarded on the spot or quickly afterward. Dewar continues:

“It’s a 3% hit rate within two weeks, from my point of view from a standing start is pretty good if you think about the adoption curve.”

Indeed, while 3 out of 63 merchants may seem trivial, it’s representative of where the world is in terms of Bitcoin adoption.