Crypto News Headlines (17-Nov-2022)

Gemini, a crypto exchange and custodian founded by the Winklevoss brothers, has suffered a rush of withdrawals as crypto firms wrestle with the reverberations of the FTX-Alameda bankruptcy and subsequent contagion within the digital asset industry.

Data by blockchain intelligence platform Nansen shows that Gemini saw $485 million in net outflows in the past 24 hours, the largest among crypto exchanges. Outflows totaled $563 million, and were offset by only $78 million in inflows. In the past seven days, Gemini experienced a total of $682 million net outflows – the difference of $866 billion of inflows and $1.55 billion of inflows provided by Nansen – suggesting that most of the withdrawals have occurred on Wednesday.

Bitcoin (BTC) fell for a second straight day, as markets continued to react to the latest U.S. retail sales report.

Following the better than expected increase in consumer spending, BTC/USD slipped to a low of $16,430.11 earlier in today’s session.

The drop comes a day after the token was at a high of $16,726.44, but it now seems to be heading for a recent price floor.

Looking at the chart, this support point appears to be at the $16,200 level, which has been the last line of defense prior to the token moving below $16,000 in recent days.

A positive for long-term bulls is that the 10-day (red) moving average looks as though it has somewhat exhausted its downward momentum, with a shift in sentiment potentially in the cards.

Compute North, the bankrupt operator of crypto-mining data centers, has sold some of its assets to green Bitcoin mining business Crusoe Energy.

The sale of its container assets will generate just under $1.55 million for the Minnesota-based company, according to documents filed to bankruptcy court in the Southern District of Texas.

The sale represents just a small part of the $100 million to $500 million that Compute North estimated it could generate from its assets when it filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in September.

One way of measuring investors’ exodus from the crypto ecosystem is the shrinkage of the stablecoin market, JPMorgan said in a research report Wednesday.

Stablecoins, a type of cryptocurrency whose value is pegged to another asset such as the U.S. dollar, are the equivalent of cash in the crypto world and provide a bridge between fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies, the report said. The growth of the stablecoin market can be viewed as a proxy for the amount of money that has entered the digital assets sector, the report added.

The combined market cap of the largest stablecoins reached a peak of $186 billion in May, before the Terra/LUNA collapse, the note said. That compares with less than $30 billion at the start of 2021 and about $5 billion a year before that. Since May, the stablecoin universe has dropped by $41 billion, with just under half of the decline attributed to the demise of Terra.

Following the collapse of FTX and the bank run on crypto exchanges in general, self-custody Trust Wallet is gaining momentum. In one week, the company launched the long-anticipated browser extension and collaborated with Binance Pay and Coinbase Pay, whose users can now transfer their funds directly to a Trust Wallet account. 

On Nov. 14, Trust Wallet launched its browser extension, now available in Google Chrome and Opera browsers. The extension lets users store, send and receive crypto across all EVM chains and Solana. A network auto-detect function provides users with a seamless dApp experience without the need to manually add networks.

The extension also includes multi-wallet support, NFT support, fiat on-ramp providers, and non-EVM blockchain integrations, as well as hardware wallet support.

German banks have seen limited interest in handling crypto, the President of Germany’s financial regulator Bafin, said in an interview published Thursday, adding that financial innovation attracted “freeloaders and crooks.”

German is one of the first countries to require banks to hold a license to deal in crypto, but Mark Branson, who also sits on the board of the supervision arm at the European Central Bank (ECB), said it has only issued four licenses for crypto custody and 14 provisional permits.

“Overall, banks’ interest in offering crypto-asset trading to their customers still seems, to me, to be limited,” Branson said in an interview posted on the ECB website, saying that blockchain technology needs to move from being merely “promising” to being “effective and scaleable.”

The governments of Russia and Cuba are considering the use of Russian rubles and cryptocurrencies to facilitate bilateral cooperation against the backdrop of sanctions imposed on both nations. The news comes from a statement made by Boris Titov, commissioner for entrepreneurs’ rights under the Russian president, who visited Havana. Russia’s business ombudsman arrived in the Cuban capital during the 38th edition of the Havana International Fair.

“All of us, Cuba and Russia, are under sanctions, the dollar turnover is the main financial mechanism that exists in the world for mutual settlements, but today mechanisms are being developed at the level of national governments to change the situation,” Titov told the Tass news agency.

Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has shelved its seven-year-long project to ramp up the exchange’s CHESS clearing and settlement system using blockchain after an independent audit by Accenture reported issues.

ASX developed CHESS (Clearing House Electronic Subregister System) 25 years ago to process securities trading electronically.

According to ASX, the project incurred a pre-tax loss of roughly $170 million (~$255 million AUD), which the company has written off.

“On behalf of ASX, I apologize for the disruption experienced about the CHESS replacement project over several years,” said Damian Roche, ASX Chairman. “Today’s decision has been made by the ASX Limited and Clearing and Settlement Boards, and it has not been made lightly.”

In the latest development, El Salvador Nayib Bukele announced that they will resume their Bitcoin purchases once again. In his recent tweet, President Nayib Bukele wrote: ” We are buying one Bitcoin every day starting tomorrow”. However, he hasn’t suggested how long they will continue with this buying program. El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law came into effect last year on September 7, 2021. The country has acquired nearly $375 million worth of Bitcoins, however, has been sitting at more than $60 million in unrealized paper losses. President Nayib Bukele has been the biggest proponent of Bitcoin and believes that the crypto would be good for the country’s financial health. Furthermore, he has gone against all odds for their Bitcoin bet despite repetitive warnings from the IMF and the World Bank to withdraw from their Bitcoin bet. The last year’s BTC price decline has certainly been a deadly blow for El Salvador. The unfolding of the FTX episode over the last week has also put BTC under huge selling pressure. But it seems that President Nayib Bukele has amassed enough confidence to take a long-term bet on fresh Bitcoin purchases.

Months after the Ethereum Merge, when the network shifted to the more eco-friendly proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus, the Ethereum community is now shifting its focus to redress the network’s former proof-of-work (PoW) carbon emissions. 

At the COP 27 climate action event, Web3 firms, civil society leaders and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change announced the formation of the Ethereum Climate Platform, which aims to counteract the carbon footprint left by the Ethereum network since it launched in 2015.

Led by software company ConsenSys and climate-focused blockchain firm Allinfra, the founding members of the coalition include a number of organizations, such as Microsoft, Polygon, Aave, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, the Global Blockchain Business Council, Huobi and Laser Digital.