Crypto News Headlines (15-Dec-2022)

Messaging app Telegram recently unveiled a new privacy-boosting feature, lighting a fire under Toncoin (TON), the native token of the decentralized layer one blockchain The Open Network, formerly known as Telegram Open Network.

On Dec. 6, Telegram announced that users can purchase an anonymous number on the Telegram founder’s Fragment blockchain by paying Toncoin. Users can then utilize the unknown number to sign up for Telegram, bypassing the need to use a SIM card to apply for the service as previously required. Other end-to-end messaging applications like Signal and WhatsApp still require users to use their own mobile numbers.

TON has rallied 30% from $1.84 to $2.4 since the official announcement, with prices reaching as high as $2.8 at one point. Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency by market value, has gained a meager 4.5% during the same period, CoinDesk data show.

On Nov. 26, 2022, a newly created forum account called “Onesignature” shocked the crypto community when the unknown individual signed a message associated with block 1,018. Onesignature’s message contained a new BTC address created in 2022, and the unknown person also signed the new address as well proving the user’s existence.

Onesignature’s signature chain posted to on Nov. 26, 2022.

The signed message, according to’s Verification Tool and an Electrum wallet, is an authentic signature tied to the 2009 address “1NChf” or block 1,018. Block 1,018 and the bitcoin address 1NChf are both linked to the first BTC transaction that saw 10 BTC sent from Satoshi Nakamoto to Hal Finney and a great deal of BTC blocks associated with Finney.

Paradigm, the crypto VC firm known for an eclectic range of investments that included collapsed crypto exchange FTX, is cutting its employees’ salaries by 15%, citing dismal market conditions.

“Post FTX’s collapse, it is clear the contagion is deep and wide and like many of our clients and peers, we are not immune,” the company said in a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday. “Salary cuts reduce the need for layoffs seen across the ecosystem and have a lesser impact on org momentum.”

The firm has invested heavily across the crypto ecosystem, financing Ethereum scaling project Optimism, Solana-based NFT marketplace Magic Eden, as well as Coinbase and Cosmos.

Mark Branson – President of Germany’s financial market regulator BaFin – reportedly urged global authorities to cooperate and impose appropriate laws on the cryptocurrency industry.

Such rules could grant additional customer protection and prevent the usage of the asset class in illegal activities, he claimed.

‘Now is the Time’

According to Branson, the current supervision of the cryptocurrency sector is not strict enough to keep bad actors away. “Just let the industry grow as a playground for grownups” has been the wrong move, he suggested.

He believes all countries’ governments should join hands and form a comprehensive regulatory framework as soon as possible:

“Now is the time for serious cryptocurrency regulation. The most important point is that it doesn’t need just a European solution. It needs a worldwide solution.”

Following the global trend of tightening the crypto regulation in the aftermath of recent market failures, France may reassess its eased regime of licensing for digital asset providers. That would challenge the nation’s efforts to present itself as one of the most pro-crypto countries in Europe.

According to the Financial Times, Hervé Maurey, a member of the French Senate’s finance commission, proposed an amendment to eliminate a clause enabling crypto companies to operate without a full license until 2026. The current regime preserves this possibility even after the Markets in-Crypto Assets (MiCA) coming into law in 2024.

Maurey’s amendment will end the option to operate without stringent checks as it will oblige companies to obtain a license from the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) from October 2023. In his words, the FTX collapse was a game-changer in that regard:

“This led a number of players within the French system to consider that things needed to be supervised more tightly.”

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised interest rates by 50 basis points (0.5 percentage point) as it continues to slow the economy and moderate price increases.

The decision brings the federal funds target range to 4.25%-4.5%, the highest level in 15 years. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has signaled that the terminal rate – the peak rate for the current hiking cycle, expected sometime next year – will likely be over 5%.

Bitcoin (BTC) has dropped by 2.5% since the 2 p.m. ET (19:00 UTC) decision, to around $17,740.

Wednesday’s rate hike by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Fed’s monetary policy panel, signals a slowdown in the pace of hikes by the Fed, which for the past four consecutive meetings has raised rates in 75 basis point increments.

Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary shared why he thinks crypto exchange FTX collapsed in a congressional hearing, titled “Crypto Crash: Why the FTX Bubble Burst and the Harm to Consumers,” before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on Wednesday.

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) asked O’Leary, “Why do you believe FTX failed?”

Mr. Wonderful replied, “I have an opinion. I don’t have the records.” He proceeded to convey what former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) told him after the Shark Tank star noticed that funds disappeared from his FTX accounts. O’Leary told Congress:

After my accounts were stripped of all of their assets and all of the accounting and trade information, I couldn’t get answers from any of the executives in the firm, so I simply called Sam Bankman-Fried and said, ‘Where is the money, Sam?’

The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday announced that the agency had filed charges against nine individuals for operating two crypto Ponzi schemes, IcomTech and Forcount, also known as Weltsys.

“With these two indictments, this office is sending a message to all cryptocurrency scammers: We are coming for you,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “Stealing is stealing, even when dressed up in the jargon of cryptocurrency.”

According to the DOJ, IcomTech and Forcount were both purported cryptocurrency mining and trading companies that promised investors profits in exchange for purchasing cryptocurrency-related investment products. Victims invested using cash, checks, wire transfers, and actual cryptocurrency.

Investment bank B Riley, one of bitcoin miner Core Scientific’s (CORZ) top lenders, has proposed a new $72 million financing plan so that the struggling company can avoid bankruptcy.

“In our opinion, the vast majority of Core Scientific’s issues are self-imposed and can be corrected in conjunction with an open, transparent discussion and ongoing participation with its creditors and equity holders,” B Riley said in a statement. The investment bank, which has an outstanding loan of $42 million with Core, said that its proposed new financing will be “on favorable terms, providing more than two years of runway for the company to achieve profitability.”

B Riley said it is prepared to fund the first $40 million of the new financing immediately, with “zero contingencies.” The remainder of the financing is contingent on all principal payments to equipment lenders being suspended at bitcoin prices of $18,500 and below. Above that threshold, however, free cash flow from operations will be distributed to equipment lenders.

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has cautioned the crypto community about self-custody, suggesting that 99% of people choosing to take possession of their crypto will likely lose it one way or another.

CZ has been been a supporter of self-custody for years, referring to it as a “fundamental human right,” but has always urged users to “do it right.” He published a “CZ’s Tips” on self-storing crypto in February 2020.

During a Binance-run Twitter Spaces on Dec. 14, the Binance CEO continued to urge caution for those using self-custody wallets, arguing that more often than not, security keys are not stored securely, backed up or properly encrypted:

“For most people, for 99% of people today, asking them to hold crypto on their own, they will end up losing it.”