Crypto News Headlines (13-Dec-2022)

A general sense of unease about the health of Binance continued through the market during the Asian trading hours on Tuesday.

Part of the market’s anxiety over Binance likely came from reports that Tron’s Justin Sun withdrew a combined $50 million from Binance. Sun, however, looked to calm market fears by tweeting a link to Etherscan, showing that he had deposited $100 million USDC back into the exchange.

On-chain data shows withdrawals across all chains hit the $1.8 billion mark during the last 24 hours. Data from Nansen shows that Paxos and Huobi were the recipients of some of this inflow, with around $162 million of netflow between the two exchanges.

Bitcoin miners have been struggling this year as the price of bitcoin (BTC) has reduced profits for every mining participant worldwide. On Dec. 12, the publicly-listed Terawulf Inc., (Nasdaq: WULF) revealed the company has managed to raise $10 million in capital to repay debts.

“The company intends to use the aggregate net proceeds to repay the advance with Yorkville and simultaneously issue a notice to Yorkville to terminate the accompanying SEPA entered into on June 2, 2022, and for other general corporate purposes,” Terawulf’s press statement details.

Additionally, Terawulf has managed to restructure a deal with Bitmain in order to add 8,200 application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) bitcoin mining machines to the firm’s operations. “With the incremental delivery of 8,200 miners, the company is increasing its estimated Q1 2023 self-mining target to 44,450 owned miners deployed 5 [exahash per second] (EH/s) from its prior estimate of 36,250 owned miners (4.3 EH/s).”

After weeks of speculation, the U.S. Department of Justice has officially filed criminal charges against Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO and founder of FTX. Bankman-Fried was arrested on Monday in the Bahamas related to charges by U.S. officials.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams posted on Twitter that the indictment would be unsealed Tuesday morning. Citing a person with knowledge of the matter, the New York Times reports that prosecutors for the Southern District of New York have charged Bankman-Fried with wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy, and money laundering.

Cryptocurrency payments app MoonPay secured registration with the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), signifying compliance with local money laundering rules.

The company, which provides a programming interface that deals with procedures to identify customers and fight fraud, appears on the FCA’s register as of Dec. 9.

It joins the likes of crypto exchange Bitpanda, financial technology company Revolut and financial infrastructure provider Tullett Prebon in gaining a status that has seen many crypto companies fall by the wayside. Speaking to lawmakers on Wednesday, FCA officials said that only 5% of applications received under a recent temporary registration regime for the crypto sector were up to scratch.

Around 13% of the American population — or 43 million people — have held cryptocurrency at some point in their lives, new research from JPMorgan Chase has revealed.

According to a Dec. 13 report titled “The Dynamics and Demographics of U.S. Household Crypto-Asset Use,” this number has risen dramatically since before 2020, when the figure was only around 3%.

The latest data from JPMorgan comes from analyzing checking account transfers from a sample of over 5 million customers. It found that 600,000 customers in this sample group transferred cash to crypto accounts at some point during period from 2020 to 2022.

The study also noted that cryptocurrency holders typically made their first crypto purchases during spikes in crypto prices. During this time, the amount of cash being sent into crypto exchange accounts typically far outweigh the cash being removed. In other words, most people were holding onto their crypto during this time period.

U.S. prosecutors are considering criminal charges against crypto exchange Binance and individual executives, including founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao, Reuters reported, citing two people.

The Department of Justice has also discussed possible plea deals with Binance’s lawyers, the report added.

Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle began investigating Binance in 2018 after a spate of cases that saw criminals use Binance to transfer illicit funds, according to Reuters.

Other prosecutors believe that more evidence needs to be gathered before a criminal case can be filed, causing a split within the Department of Justice.

Cryptocurrency supporters have been worried that computer scientist Hal Finney’s Twitter account will get deleted. The reason people have been fretful about the deletion of Finney’s account is because Elon Musk said Twitter plans to delete 1.5 billion inactive accounts. “Twitter will soon start freeing the name space of 1.5 billion accounts,” Musk wrote on Dec. 9, 2022. “These are obvious account deletions with no tweets [and] no log-in for years,” Musk added.

One account that has not tweeted in years and has likely not logged in for years, unless a family member or friend still has access, is the early bitcoiner Hal Finney’s Twitter account — @halfin. Finney was a computer scientist who was well known for being one of the first people to run the Bitcoin software (besides Satoshi), and the recipient of the first BTC transaction sent on the network and confirmed at block height 170. After Musk’s statements about deleting accounts, a number of Twitter users tagged Musk in tweets begging him to preserve Finney’s Twitter account. One individual wrote:

Hal Finney’s Twitter account must be preserved @elonmusk. PLEASE DO NOT PURGE!

A California judge has ruled that the two founders behind Ooki DAO can be served in a regulator’s lawsuit against the project.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sued the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) back in September. But by implicating the entire group of pseudonymous token-holders in the protocol, the action faced potential problems in identifying a real defendant who could make their case in court.

Now judge William H. Orrick of the Northern District of California has ordered the CFTC to serve the litigation to Tom Bean and Kyle Kistner, founders of the bZeroX protocol that was Ooki DAO’s predecessor.

The ongoing crypto winter is not stopping the industry from pushing for global adoption and accessibility. A new partnership between CoinCorner and Bitnob opens a way for users across continents to perform cross-border transactions involving multiple fiat currencies.

Typically transfer of funds between Europe and Africa requires a third-party facilitator like Western Union, which rely on centralized entities. These transactions often have processing times of multiple parties prior to approval and are known for their expensive cuts. World Bank estimates that remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa went upwards of $40 billion yearly as of 2020 —with Nigeria receiving almost half of the sum alone.

Now, users can transfer funds via the Bitcoin (BTC) Lightning Network from the United Kingdom and Europe to select countries in Africa. The application, Send Globally, allows British pounds (GBP) or Euros (EUR) to be transferred to the local currencies of Nigeria (NGN), Kenya (KES) and Ghana (GHS).

Thailand joins the growing list of countries that are seeking to revise their crypto regulation in the aftermath of the FTX collapse. And, as most of these countries do, it intends to tighten the guidelines for the industry and focus on investor protection.

According to the report from the Bangkok Post published on Dec. 13, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is preparing more stringent regulations on digital assets “to mirror the global market.” To justify such a decision, the SEC representatives reportedly nodded on the failures of FTX, Three Arrows Capital, the TerraUSD, Celsius Network and the local exchange, Zipmex.

The regulators also raised their concern with the recent trends in crypto advertising, notably the use of “finfluencers” to deliver the message, which could have misled the audience into investment risks. They deemed the digital asset industry to be “vulnerable” and in need of oversight.