Crypto News Headlines (15-Aug-2022)

European digital bank Revolut has been granted authorization by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CYSEC) allowing it to offer crypto services across the European Economic Area (EEA).

The $33 billion-valued Revolut became the first entity to be awarded crypto-asset service provider (CASP) from CYSEC, it said on Aug. 12.

The authorization will enable Revolut to offer crypto services to its 17 million customers in the EEA out of a new crypto-asset hub in Cyprus. Revolut said its choice was down to the sophisticated regulatory regime of the island country which has also attracted the likes of, eToro and Bitpanda.

Besides USDT, USDC, DAI, and a couple of others, a number of stablecoins have had an awful year in terms of holding their U.S. dollar value. The depegging of terra usd (UST), now known as USTC, caused the entire Terra ecosystem to implode and more than $40 billion evaporated from the crypto economy. Following that event, stablecoins like Waves’ neutrino usd (USDN), Abracadabra’s magic internet money (MIM), and Tron’s USDD slipped below the $1 mark.

While Terra’s USTC never regained the $1 peg, USDN, MIM, and USDD are all swapping for $0.99 per coin on August 14, 2022. However, on the same day, the Polkadot-based stablecoin alpaca USD (AUSD) lost its peg. Data from shows an all-time low of around $0.006383 per unit was recorded on Sunday. While writing this post at 3:15 p.m. (EST), AUSD’s price had bounced back to the $0.95 range, but then it quickly slipped to $0.01165 in a matter of no time at all.

Bitcoin passed the $25,000 level late on Saturday night for the first time since June 13. By Sunday morning it had lost steam and fallen back to $24,510 on CoinMarketCap at the time of writing, a sign that $25,000 is likely to remain a key resistance level for the largest cryptocurrency for the time being.

Bitcoin is up just 5.85% in the past week, while No. 2 Ethereum is up 16% in that time on anticipation of the network’s upcoming merge to a proof-of-stake model.

Bitcoin’s bump may be partly thanks to cooling inflation: the key economic indicator remained unchanged last month as the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes appeared to be countering rising prices.

Per Bloomberg, Bitcoin hit $25,000 before pairing gains briefly at 4 a:m. New York time on Sunday. It rose from $24,882 to $25,000, a figure last seen early June, and is now trading at $24,685.

Bitcoin recorded the biggest monthly drop since 2011 in June when it slumped over 37.3% and was valued at $19,925 as at the end of the month. It has since then regained a bit of its value and tested $25,000 for the first time since then today.

Although down 46.5% from its previous high, Bitcoin continues to dominate the charts, but its dominance has reduced to just about 40% as opposed to more than 50% a few months back.

It’s unclear if this price will take off and head to reclaim $30k as some experts have called the current spike in crypto a mere hype spurred by Ethereum’s Merge scheduled to go live next month.

India’s Directorate of Enforcement (ED) announced Friday that it has frozen the financial accounts of Bengaluru-based financial services company Yellow Tune Technologies, some of which were held by Flipvolt crypto exchange, the Indian branch of Singaporean Vauld. The move is linked to an ongoing investigation into money laundering by China-linked instant loan companies. This is the second time this week the agency has taken action in the crypto sphere in connection with that case. 

The financial watchdog announced it was freezing Yellow Tune’s bank balances, payment gateway balances and balances in the Flipvolt cryptocurrency exchange for a total of 3.7 billion rupees, or $46.4 million after determining that the company was a shell entity incorporated by two Chinese nationals using pseudonyms. According to newspaper accounts, the ED spent three days searching premises associated with Yellow Tunes.

Meme tokens shiba inu (SHIB) and dogecoin (DOGE) gained over 15% in the past 24 hours as risk-on behavior returned to crypto markets.

The rally came as ether (ETH) broke the $2,000 level on Sunday night ahead of the network’s Merge event expected in September. Bitcoin (BTC) rose to over $25,000 for the first time since June.

SHIB rose as much as 30%, while DOGE gained 15%, before a price reversal in European morning hours as investors took profits. DOGE entered the top ten cryptocurrencies by market capitalization with a total valuation of just over $10 billion, ahead of Polkadot’s DOT tokens.

U.K.-based tire retreading firm Vaculug has announced it will accept two leading cryptocurrencies, bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) as a means of payment for tires and related services. The company claims it’s the first in the industry to do that.

In a press release, Vaculug also revealed it intends to sign fixed price contracts in ‘crypto per kilometer’ and ‘crypto per vehicle’ formats, if customers would like to fix or link them to the prices of the two supported cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain is not the future but the now, says Vaculug’s IT manager Jason Humphries. “We believe that all companies will have to accept cryptocurrencies in the near future and we are proud to be the first retreader to do so,” he commented.

Despite recent setbacks affecting UST and other algorithmic stablecoins, interest in these Ethereum (ETH) has slipped by 5% in the last 24 hours, and is currently trading at around $1,900, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

The latest price action comes just 48 hours after Ethereum, the industry’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, topped $2,000 for the first time since May.

ETH managed to stay close to that mark over the weekend, hitting $2,022 on Sunday, before today’s sharp price decline.

Despite a significant drop over the last 24 hours, Ethereum is still up over 7% in the past week, making it the best-performing coin of the week among the ten largest cryptocurrencies over that time span.

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

Earlier today, Polkadot DeFi’s hub Acala had its stablecoin aUSD, exploited for about 1.2 billion aUSD. It has since addressed the issue on its Twitter account explaining that the problem had been identified to be a misconfiguration of the IBTC/aUSD liquidity pool launched earlier today.

No repetition of UST Hack

The hack had thrown crypto twitter community into a frenzy earlier today with many speculating a replay of the UST scenario that occurred a few months back. It however seems it’s nothing remotely similar to the collapse of the algorithmic stablecoin as it is over-collateralized.

Acala explained in its statement on Twitter that the erroneously minted aUSD which immediately depegged the stablecoin to less than 70% of its original value remains on its parachain and from the statement, it seems the situation will be salvaged in no time.

Founder and managing partner of Skybridge Capital, Anthony Scaramucci, has an optimistic outlook for the future of crypto markets, advising investors to “see through the current environment” and “stay patient and stay long term.”

In an interview with CNBC, the hedge fund manager spoke about his belief that several recent developments in the crypto space could spark “a lot more commercial activity.”

In particular, he highlighted the ever-improving Lightning Network, the two-layer payment protocol layered on top of Bitcoin, BlackRock’s partnership with Coinbase, and their subsequent establishment of a Bitcoin (BTC) private trust fund as positive signs for the future:

“Finally, CEO Larry Fink is seeing institutional demand for digital assets. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be setting up those products, and he wouldn’t be teaming up with Coinbase.”