Crypto News Headlines (11-May-2023)

A group of developers have deployed Uniswap’s smart contracts onto the Bitcoin network to capitalize on the rise of BRC-20 tokens and develop the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.

Called Trustless Market, the protocol has racked up daily volumes of $500,000, attracted over 2,000 users, and lets liquidity providers earn a 2% cut on all swaps conducted on the network.

CoinDesk – UnknownDeFi on Bitcoin is seeing steady, albeit muted, growth. (Trustless Markets)

Although most of these tokens are meme coins, instead of tokens that may be used in a sophisticated DeFi application built on Bitcoin, it still counts as a start.

Enterprises minting digital currencies outside the law in Iran have stolen 1.8 billion kilowatt hours (KWh) of electricity, according to a spokesperson for the electric power industry, quoted by the English-language Iranian daily Financial Tribune and the Bargh News portal.

“About 8,200 unauthorized centers for cryptocurrency mining have been identified and closed in the past three years, in which more than 246,000 active miners were using 680 megawatts (MW) of energy,” said Mostafa Rajabi-Mashhadi. It’s estimated that another 1,200 MW of power capacity is still being occupied by illegal miners in the country, he added.

The crypto bro stereotype comes from the unfortunate truth that the crypto industry isn’t quite as diverse as it could be.

Ripple’s managing director Sendi Young wants to fix that.

“Crypto bros are certainly a problem,” Young said at the Financial Times’s Crypto and Digital Assets Summit. “You look at a lot of people coming [to] crypto are either from tech or finance or everything in between. And those historically have diversity challenges.”

As a direct response to this issue, Ripple is deploying several strategies to increase diversity and representation within the company.

“There are loads of ways to do it. Obviously, it’s not one magic bullet,” Young said. “We look at diverse slate, for example, in the recruitment process. To make sure there is representation of, at least, two underrepresented groups in every single role”

Central banks should veto large stablecoins if they have fears they could upend monetary policy, the chair of the European Banking Authority (EBA) has said, citing fears that the use of permissionless blockchains could prove financially unsound.

EBA Chairperson José Manuel Campa will in the coming months be setting out the detailed rules to implement the European Union’s Markets in Crypto Assets regulation (MiCA), a landmark framework that will require stablecoin issuers to gain a license and hold suitable reserves.

“Central banks should have the power to veto the widespread introduction of so-called stablecoins” if they affect public policy goals, including financial stability or monetary policy, Campa said at an event hosted by think tank OMFIF on Thursday. Campa’s agency will also be responsible for directly supervising major issuers under MiCA.

A crypto user who purchased a luxury car with Bitcoin BTC $27,425 faces 18 months in prison and a $3.7 million fine in Morocco, which still considers the use of crypto as an illegal act.

A recent report by Euronews stated the Casablanca Court of Appeal had upheld the conviction of Thomas Clausi, a 21-year-old French citizen, on charges of fraud and illegal use of cryptocurrency.

According to Clausi’s lawyer, Mohamed Aghanaj, the court confirmed the verdict last week. This decision indicates that the Moroccan judicial system is taking a strong stance against cryptocurrency use in the country.

Cryptocurrency derivatives trading volume on centralized exchanges fell in April, but spot trading volume declined even more, pushing the derivatives market share up to a new all-time high.

According to CCData, the market share of crypto derivatives trading rose to a record 77.6% even as absolute derivatives trading volume slid 23.3% to $2.15 trillion. Pushing the market share higher was a 40.2% tumble in spot volume to $621 billion.

Spiking derivatives market share – now higher for three consecutive months – highlights the speculative nature of the crypto market amid uncertainties around the possibility of pause on rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, suggested CCData.

A total of 389 authorizations issued by the Estonian government to virtual-asset service providers are no longer valid, the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) announced this week. As of May 1, 2023, there were 100 active authorizations, the bureau said on Monday.

Estonia attracted hundreds of crypto firms with its business-friendly climate before it decided to stiffen rules for the industry with amendments to the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act that came into force in March 2022. These include higher capital requirements for wallet, exchange, and custody platforms.

New crypto rules in the UK mean crypto firms looking to lure in retail will have to tighten up, said the country’s financial regulator.

“We will bite on firms marketing to UK consumers,” Executive Director of Supervision, Policy, and Competition, Markets at the FCA Sarah Pritchard said. “We will be on the lookout for firms that are not abiding by those rules. And if necessary, we will seek to take enforcement action.”

The legislation will require the marketing materials to express that there is “high risk” involved in the investment. Pritchard wants the public to be investing in crypto assets with “their eyes open.”

The abrupt exit of Jane Street and Jump Trading, two influential cryptocurrency market makers, has the potential to disrupt the fragile flow of liquidity across the industry, an analyst at Kaiko told CoinDesk.

Jane Street and Jump will stop their crypto trading activity in the U.S. following a regulatory clampdown that spawned out of FTX’s collapse in November. Jump’s crypto division will continue to expand globally while Jane Street will scale back on its growth plans.

“The news is not necessarily surprising given recent developments,” Kaiko analyst Riyad Carey told CoinDesk. “What’s concerning is that liquidity has still not recovered from Alameda’s collapse, and a slowdown with two of the biggest surviving market makers could weigh on liquidity even further. It’s a bit surprising how slow the industry has been to fill Alameda’s shoes.”

Crypto exchange Binance has acknowledged that a crackdown on cryptocurrencies has made conducting business in the United States challenging. It is now looking to be regulated in the United Kingdom.

During the Financial Times’ Crypto and Digital Assets Summit, Patrick Hillmann, Binance’s chief strategy officer, said that the past six months have been quite confusing in the United States. He added that the recent actions taken by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against rival exchange Coinbase for allegedly violating securities laws are an indication of how “the U.S. right now is in this strange place.“

While Hillmann acknowledged the “very confusing” environment in the U.S., he expressed the company’s commitment to doing “everything we possibly can” to be regulated in the United Kingdom.