Crypto News Headlines (10-Aug-2022)

Bitcoin miner Riot Blockchain (RIOT) delayed its quarter earnings report because it needs more time to calculate how much the cryptocurrency rout, the war in Ukraine and other macroeconomic issues have cut the value of its assets.

The delay was disclosed in a Tuesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, less than a week after the company said it planned to release the figures on Aug. 9. Riot’s rivals Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA), Cipher Mining (CIFR) and CleanSpark (CLSK) all reported their earnings this week as anticipated.

Riot became one of the industry’s biggest miners when it bought a gigantic facility in Rockdale, Texas, in May 2021. Bitcoin miners have seen their margins slashed as the price of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency has dropped, while energy prices, a major part of miners’ costs, have soared globally due to the war in Ukraine.

Amid intensified efforts to fight crypto-related fraud, Kazakhstan’s Financial Monitoring Agency has initiated a pre-trial investigation into a crypto mining business allegedly working as a financial pyramid scheme. It’s led by the watchdog’s department in the West Kazakhstan region, the FMA announced, quoted by Russian crypto media.

The people behind the Bincloud mining hotel were recruiting investors through the Whatsapp and Telegram messengers, convincing them to put money into the project offering mining equipment rental. As a reward, they were promised to get back 5 to 6% of the invested amount daily.

The fraudsters withheld 16% of the hotel users’ income, a press release detailed. Kazakhstan’s financial regulators are urging victims of the suspected Ponzi scheme to contact the regional departments of the Financial Monitoring Agency and report about their cases.

Stablecoin provider Circle announced its intentions to fully support Ethereum’s shift to a proof-of-stake (PoS) chain following the highly-anticipated merge event slated for September 19.

“We understand the responsibility we have for the Ethereum ecosystem and businesses, developers and end users that depend on USDC, and we intend to do the right thing,” read the announcement.

The firm’s stablecoin USDC is currently the second-largest stablecoin, commanding a market capitalization of $54.2 billion.

Per a report from Hash Rate Index, Bitcoin miners continued to sell their supply during July. These entities have been negatively impacted by the decline in the price of BTC, and an increase in their operation cost which has resulted in financial stress for their operations.

So far, the report claims that Bitcoin miners have produced 3,470 BTC versus 5,767 BTC sold. This behavior has contributed to BTC’s price 2022 downside price action and will continue to exercise pressure in the crypto market.

As seen below, the top public Bitcoin miners have been selling their BTCs as production lags. Very few miners have been able to sell as much as they produce or not sell at all.

The report claims that Core Scientific has been the biggest seller with 1,970 BTC dumped into the market versus 1,200 BTC produced. BitFarms and Argo follow with 1,600 BTC and around 900 BTC sold, respectively.

The report claims that U.S.-based Bitcoin miners have been particularly affected. Operations in this country have been impacted by a “series of heatwaves” which forced them to reduce their operations or halt them as a result of power curtailment, the deliberate reduction in power output to mitigate stress on the grid.

Struggling through decades of economic sanctions, Iran has placed its first international import order using $10 million worth of cryptocurrency, according to a senior government trade official.

News that the Islamic republic placed its first import order using crypto was shared by Iran’s Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine & Trade Alireza Peyman-Pak in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

While the official did not disclose any details about the cryptocurrency used or the imported goods involved, Peyman-Pak said that the $10 million order represents the first of many international trades to be settled with crypto, with plans to ramp this up over the next month, noting:

“By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widely used in foreign trade with target countries.”

Iran was, up until February this year, the most sanctioned country in the world. Iran gets most of its imports from China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), India, and Turkey, according to Trading Economics.

Shares of Coinbase Global (COIN) fell about 5% after the cryptocurrency exchange said trading volume dropped substantially during the second quarter.

Customer trading activity amounted to $217 billion during the period, down from $309 billion in the first quarter of this year, according to a shareholder letter released Tuesday. Coinbase’s overall revenue came in at $803 million, missing the average analyst estimate of $873.8 million, according to data compiled by FactSet.

Coinbase’s stock has plunged since its IPO last year as the crypto and equity market rout prompted a slowdown in retail trading, forcing the company to slash jobs and focus on controlling costs. Even amid the current crypto winter, though, Coinbase continues to press ahead toward its goal of being a one-stop shop for crypto trading. Last week, it announced a partnership that lets customers of BlackRock – the world’s largest asset manager, with $10 trillion – trade crypto through Coinbase.

Thailand is reportedly planning to amend its law on digital assets to tighten the oversight of the crypto sector, particularly trading platforms.

Thai Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith explained that the planned amendments to the country’s crypto regulations will “bring the central bank to be part of it,” Bloomberg reported Tuesday. He added that the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been asked to lead the regulatory overhaul. Under the current rules passed in 2018, the securities watchdog has the sole mandate to supervise the crypto industry.

The decision to overhaul crypto regulations followed the halting of withdrawals by Zipmex (Thailand) Ltd., a licensed cryptocurrency and digital token exchange in the country. Zipmex recently allowed some coins to be withdrawn but the company filed for a moratorium in Singapore.

Crypto derivatives exchange CoinFLEX is seeking a quick resolution to its latest legal troubles as it files for restructuring in a Seychelles court, according to Bloomberg.

The exchange, which intends to raise $84 million to pay off its debt, seeks approval from depositors and the court on its proposed plan to issue depositors with rvUSD tokens, equity, and a locked version of the platform’s native token FLEX coin.

Per the report, CoinFLEX informed customers of its restructuring process via email on Tuesday.

“We look forward to welcoming a new group of shareholders to CoinFLEX and are glad to be in a jurisdiction where we can quickly resolve this situation and return maximum value to depositors,” CoinFLEX CEO Mark Lamb told Bloomberg.

According to data from crypto market intelligence provider Messari, the average number of daily transactions on the Solana network has dropped by 17.6% to levels seen for the first time in over a year, signifying a decrease in the use of the net.

Additionally, due to declining network performance, Solana experienced a 44.4% decrease in revenue in the second quarter of 2022. Average transaction fees also decreased by 40.6%.

On the plus side, the NFT minting rate on the Solana network saw a dramatic increase. Daily new NFTs minted every month increased by 46.4% to over 7 million NFTs in the second quarter of 2022. This growth complements the notable increase seen from September 2021 to the following year.

The Solana network appears to have improved greatly due to the Mainnet Beta v1.10 series update, the first stages of which ran in late May.

Crypto exchange giant Coinbase has cited a “fast and furious” downturn of the crypto markets as the reasons behind a staggering $1.1 billion net loss in the second quarter of 2022, which also saw trading volume and transaction revenue tumbling.

It’s the second consecutive quarter of loss for the crypto company and the largest loss since its listing on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange (Nasdaq) in April 2021.

The results, which also missed analyst expectations, were shared in a Q2 2022 Shareholder Letter from Coinbase on Tuesday, stating:

“The current downturn came fast and furious, and we are seeing customer behavior mirror that of past down markets.”

Coinbase said that Q2 was a “tough quarter” with trading volume falling 30% and transaction revenue down 35% sequentially.

“Both metrics were influenced by a shift in customer and market activity, driven by macroeconomic and crypto credit factors alike,” it wrote.

Despite the drop in transaction revenue, Morningstar equity analyst Michael Miller told Reuters in a report that while “Coinbase did not see a mass migration off its platform […], its users are becoming more passive in their cryptocurrency investing.”