Crypto News Headlines (12-Aug-2022)

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao “CZ” said on Friday that the exchange has frozen or recovered $450,000, which was stolen from DeFi protocol Curve.Finance earlier this week.

On Tuesday, hackers stole nearly $570,000 from Curve.Finance, after which the protocol developers said that they had identified and fixed the source of the issue.

Curve.Finance is a major player in the DeFi ecosystem due to its CRV token rewards emissions, which serve as a source of income for several other protocols.

The exchange is now working with law enforcement to return funds to impacted users, according to CZ’s tweet.

On Wednesday, Genesis Digital Assets revealed it has acquired 708 MW of capacity as the firm’s U.S. expansion continues. Presently, Genesis mines bitcoin in four locations in Texas, three locations in South Carolina, and one location in North Carolina. During the first half of 2022, Genesis secured the 708 MW from the Texas, South Carolina, and North Carolina regions.

The company said the expansion will create 130 full-time jobs and roughly 495 construction jobs for the local communities. “Every day, we are given a chance to create meaningful and lasting relationships by creating job opportunities for the local communities in which we operate,” Genesis’ global head of human resources Lydia Nyarko explained during the announcement on Wednesday. “Remaining intentional and impactful is incredibly important to GDA as we expand our candidate placement.” The Genesis Digital Assets executive added:

Witnessing our organization grow has been incredibly fulfilling. Bitcoin mining offers access to an exciting career path with lots of potential to grow as the industry becomes larger and larger in the years ahead.

Data shows the crypto futures market has observed more than $500 million in liquidations as Bitcoin has surged above the $24.5k mark.

Crypto Futures Market Has Seen A Flush Of $510 Million In Last 24 Hours

In case anyone is unaware of what a “liquidation” is, it’s best to get a brief understanding of how margin trading on derivatives exchanges works.

When an investor opens a crypto futures trading contract, they have to first put forth some initial collateral, called the margin (which could be both in USD or in a coin like Bitcoin).

Against this margin, holders can choose to take on “leverage,” which is a loan amount often many times the initial position.

The benefit of this leverage is that if the price of the asset the contract is for ends up moving in the direction the user bet on, the profits are as many times more as the leverage.

Major American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase saw its long-term issuer credit rating downgraded from BB+ to BB status by rating agency S&P Global following its latest earnings report this year.

The agency confirmed the downgrade in a note on Aug. 11, pointing toward Coinbase’s weaker performance in the second quarter of 2022 as a driving factor. Intensified competitive risk in the cryptocurrency exchange sector was also highlighted, with Coinbase losing market share to competitors this year.

“The negative outlook reflects uncertainties about the duration of the crypto market downturn and the company’s ability to operate efficiently by managing operating expenses prudently.”

The downgrade also reflected the potential for ‘further market share deterioration’ driven by the competitive landscape and regulatory risk. The rating agency noted that total trading volume at Coinbase declined 30% quarter on quarter, while total cryptocurrency spot trading volume across all venues declined only 3%, leading to a lower market share.

In the governance channel of MakerDAO’s official Discord, Rune expressed concerns over the US Treasury Department’s latest sanctions against privacy protocol Tornado Cash. “It is a lot more serious than I first thought,” he said.

“I think we should seriously consider preparing to depeg from USD,” he continued, adding that such a transition is “almost inevitable” and should only be done with large preparation. 

One way to do this could involve a so-called “uprooting” or “yolo USDC into ETH approach,” in his words.

On Tuesday, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire said that Circle (the issuer of USDC) were forced to comply with the Treasury Department’s sanctions against Tornado Cash due to Bank Secrecy Act requirements. As such, it used its authority to freeze USDC in all sanctioned addresses, and related entities.

The founder of crypto exchange Huobi Global, Leon Li, is in talks to sell a majority stake in the company in a transaction that would value the firm at $3 billion or more, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

Li is looking to sell almost 60% of the firm, and has held preliminary talks with Tron founder Justin Sun and FTX, the crypto exchange founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

In a tweet, Sun denied any involvement.

Seychelles-based Huobi is one of the largest crypto exchanges, with a daily trade volume of over $1 billion, according to CoinGecko.

If concluded, the deal would be one of the biggest ever in the crypto industry. The downturn in the crypto market has forced many of the biggest firms to cut costs and jobs, however this could be the first instance of a majority stake sale by one of the bigger crypto firms.

Bitcoin (BTC) prices fell marginally lower on Friday, as crypto bulls retreated following strong gains during yesterday’s session.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency dropped to an intraday low of $23,828.59 in today’s session, which comes after a high of $24,822.63 the day prior.

Today’s decline came as BTC was unable to sustain a move above its resistance level of $24,600, with bears seemingly reentering at this point.

Looking at the chart, today’s decline coincided with the 14-day relative strength index (RSI) failing to break out of its own ceiling.

This resistance was at the 60.32 level, which last suffered a marginal break on July 19, however a full move above this point hasn’t occurred in over four months.

It seems as though this is the last obstacle in the way preventing bitcoin from surging to and beyond $25,000.

Aave GHO Stablecoin: Stablecoins have become a big part of the cryptocurrency and decentralized finance industry. Julia Magas breaks down this latest offering.

Despite recent setbacks affecting UST and other algorithmic stablecoins, interest in these products remains fairly high. Aave, a leading DeFi protocol, will introduce a fully collateralized pegged currency on the Ethereum blockchain.

Aave: A New Stablecoin

The Aave community, in the form of Aave Companies, has put together a new proposal to introduce support for a different digital asset. More specifically, that new asset would be a stablecoin, dubbed GHO, to help improve various key features of Aave’s lending platforms. Holders of Aave’s AAVE token were able to respond to this proposal and offer comments, support, concerns, and criticisms. Interestingly, 99% of the community seemed in favor of this idea, which is a tad surprising.

Major Brazilian payment application PicPay is moving into cryptocurrencies by integrating a crypto exchange service allowing users to buy Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

The firm officially announced on Wednesday that PicPay clients can now buy, sell and store two major cryptocurrencies, BTC or ETH, directly on its app. PicPay pointed out that its choice was due to the real use cases provided by these digital assets, including security and many other benefits. The firm stated:

“Blockchain technology, which is behind coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum, is already used in the real estate sector, the insurance industry and even the art market, through non-fungible tokens.”

The new crypto feature is enabled through a partnership with the major crypto company Paxos and allows customers to use Paxos-issued United States dollar-backed stablecoin USDP. Acting as a broker and custodian, Paxos is known for cooperating with some of the world’s biggest traditional financial firms like PayPal and Venmo.

India’s Enforcement Directorate is conducting an investigation against ten cryptocurrency exchanges allegedly involved in laundering more than 1 billion rupees, equivalent to more than $125 million in digital currency.

According to The Economics Times, the exchanges (which have not yet been identified) were used by several companies accused of money laundering to make cryptocurrency purchases of more than 100 million rupees that were then sent to other international wallets, mostly linked to mainland China.