Crypto News Headlines (10-Mar-2023)

India has added crypto to anti-money laundering rules, making crypto exchanges, NFT Crypto traders endured some $307 million of liquidations in the past 24 hours, data from Coinglass shows, as crypto markets tanked Thursday on news about crypto-friendly bank Silvergate Capital (SI) winding down operations.

Traders on Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, saw $104 million of losses, the most among exchanges, followed by $79 million of losses on OKX and $45 million on Huobi, per Coinglass.

Bitcoin (BTC) traders suffered the most losses, some $112 million, while ether (ETH) liquidations surpassed $73 million.

On-chain data points to massive liquidations from the bankrupt crypto exchange Voyager.

On March 9, the exchange reportedly liquidated $56 million in Ethereum (ETH), Voyager Token (VGT), Shiba Inu (SHIB), and Chainlink (LINK).

According to on-chain analytics firm Arkham Intelligence, Voyager has sold crypto assets worth $358.5 million in the last six weeks, selling their ERC-20 assets on Binance.US, Coinbase, and direct over-the-counter trades with market maker Wintermute.

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is preparing to hold a new public hearing on a potential ban on staking and lending services in the country.

Thailand’s SEC officially announced on March 8 that the authority is seeking public comments on a draft regulation prohibiting virtual asset service providers (VASPs) from providing or getting involved in any type of crypto staking and lending transactions.

According to the SEC’s policy, VASPs should not be allowed to deploy users’ deposits and provide lending services to prevent possible damage to investors in the case of services’ termination.

Several crypto investment funds have requested that projects in their portfolios withdraw funds from Silicon Valley Bank, the US commercial bank rumored to be experiencing liquidity issues after it was revealed that it had to borrow money debt to get more money, and simultaneously sell the stock investment at a loss. Mechanism Capital, Pantera Capital, Eden Block, and two additional firms that preferred to remain unnamed are among the investment funds that confirmed the aforesaid facts.

The announcement that Silicon Valley Bank was stranded in money sent the US stock market and the crypto world into a frenzy early on March 10. SIVB’s share price has decreased by 60% in the last week. SIVB’s stock fell another 60% on the trading day of March 9, wiping almost $80 billion in market value.

The project to issue a digital version of the Iranian national fiat, also referred to as the “crypto rial,” is entering its trial phase, the head of the payment systems supervision department of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) revealed this week.

Quoted by the Monetary and Banking Research Institute (MBRI) of the regulator, Mohammad Reza Mani Yekta said, without elaborating, that the pre-trial stage has ended with certain achievements. He was speaking during a conference devoted to electronic banking and payment systems.

The collapse of crypto bank Silvergate (SI) and the termination of the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN) pose a challenge for the crypto industry, JPMorgan (JPM) said in a research report Thursday.

Silvergate had operated as a gateway for more than 1,000 “institutional crypto market participants including major crypto exchanges, miners, stablecoin issuers, market makers and digital asset fund managers that have been using its network to transfer fiat currency between their Silvergate accounts and the accounts of other Silvergate customers,” analysts led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou wrote.

There’s more pain for Bitcoin (BTC) investors as the price of the leading cryptocurrency crashed below $20,000 on Friday.

At the time of this writing, Bitcoin is down 8.3% over the day, trading at $19,900 the level last seen on January 13, according to Coingecko.

Ethereum (ETH) is following a similar pattern as the price of the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency is down 9.8% in the past 24 hours, changing hands at the nearly two-month low of $1,383.

In a remarkable change in fortunes for the broader crypto market, which kicked off the year with some hefty gains, pushing Bitcoin close to $25,000, the latest downtrend also saw the wider market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies fall below $1 trillion for the first time since January 19.

A Twitter hashtag relating to a purported artificial intelligence crypto token called “CryptoGPT” has been trending on Twitter.

Alongside it, a number of very similar-looking Twitter accounts have also sprung up — some of which have been touting likely fake giveaways.

As of the time of writing, “Download CryptoGPT” was trending, with 6,185 tweets associated with it. GPT-4 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 4), an unreleased neural network created by OpenAI, was also trending with 4,683 tweets.

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has proposed an excise tax on cryptocurrency miners equal to 30 percent of the cost of the electricity they use, and plans to eliminate tax-deductible losses related to wash-trading of crypto tokens, according to a U.S. Department of the Treasury’s document published Thursday.

Fast facts

The Treasury Department said any company using computing resources — owned or borrowed — to mine digital assets will be subject to the 30% tax, which is expected to be introduced over three years in 10% annual stages starting from Dec. 31, 2023.

“The increase in energy consumption attributable to the growth of digital asset mining has negative environmental effects and can have environmental justice implications as well as increase energy prices for those that share an electricity grid,” the Treasury Department said.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday that six people behind Airbit Club, a crypto Ponzi scheme that purported to be a cryptocurrency mining and trading company, have pleaded guilty.

The six individuals are Airbit Club co-founders (Pablo Renato Rodriguez and Gutemberg Dos Santos), senior promoters (Karina Chairez, Cecilia Millan, and Jackie Aguilar), and an attorney who laundered Airbit Club’s fraud proceeds (Scott Hughes). According to the DOJ:

As part of their guilty pleas, the defendants collectively have been ordered to forfeit their fraudulent proceeds of Airbit Club, which include seized or restrained assets consisting of U.S. currency, bitcoin, and real estate currently valued at approximately $100 million.