Crypto News Headlines (17-Oct-2022)

Payments giant Mastercard (MA) has partnered with crypto trading platform Paxos to offer a program that will help financial institutions offer cryptocurrency trading, CNBC reported on Monday.

Mastercard will handle the regulatory compliance and security for banks, according to the report. The payments firm had earlier started a service that allows issuers to assess the risk profile of crypto exchanges.

“There’s a lot of consumers out there that are really interested in this, and intrigued by crypto, but would feel a lot more confident if those services were offered by their financial institutions,” Mastercard’s chief digital officer, Jorn Lambert, told CNBC. “It’s a little scary to some people still.”

More and more municipalities are including crypto as part of their development and tax-collecting plans. This time is Curitiba, the capital of the state of Parana in Brazil, which is considering accepting payments in cryptocurrency for municipal taxes. The architect of this project is city councilor Noemia Rocha, who suggested the city should consider how this might be achieved with the help of third-party payment companies.

The proposal recognizes the acceptance of crypto in Brazil and pushes Curitiba, which is considered a tech hub in the country, to explore this possibility for its traits. About this view of the functionality of the proposal, Rocha stated:

Cryptocurrencies have become financial assets of immense popularity in the world economy and are already alternative forms to the ‘nationalization of currency’, as can be seen in the numerous operations carried out through the virtual environment.

Last Monday, Digihost (NASDAQ: DGHI), the Houston-based crypto mining outfit, received a deficiency notice from Nasdaq after its stock price traded below $1 for a prolonged period, violating the exchange’s listing compliance.

According to NASDAQ Listing Rule 5550 (a)(2), a deficiency notice is issued if a company’s stock trades below $1 for 30 consecutive days.

Digihost has been provided a 180-day compliance period until April 10, 2023. The stock must trade above $1 for ten consecutive business days before this period concludes.

“If the Company does not regain compliance with Rule 5550(a)(2) by April 10, 2023, the Company may be eligible for an additional 180 calendar day compliance period,” Digihost wrote in a filing with the SEC regarding its compliance failure with Nasdaq.

On August 23, 2022, DGHI slipped below $1 for the first time since its listing on the exchange on November 15, 2021, per data from Yahoo Finance.

As of this writing, DGHI has fallen from $4.6 in January this year to $0.71 today, marking a whopping 84% drop in its price.

According to a statement filed on Friday, the legal firm Kirkland & Ellis charged the crypto lender over $2.6 million in fees while representing Celsius in Chapter 11 proceedings between July 13 and July 31.

According to a comparable document, another legal representation, Akin Gump, charged over $750,000 for its services between July 13 and August 31. Celsius has already spent more than $3 million on legal bills.

Celsius filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July after suspending withdrawals and transfers in June due to volatile market circumstances. Since then, it has been going through a reorganization procedure and looking for methods to pay creditors.

Germany has become the most favorable crypto economy in the world in the third quarter of 2022, according to a new report. The United States, the joint top-rank holder from last quarter, fell six places to rank seventh on the top crypto economy.

The crypto economy rankings compiled by Coincub looked into various factors such as favorable crypto outlook, clear crypto tax rules, more transparent regulatory communications and more to rank countries.

Germany although not a tax haven, is considered one of the strongest all-around ‘traditional-tax’ crypto economies that reward long-term crypto holders. German law charges zero tax on crypto holdings of over a year.

Australia’s financial services and markets regulator suspended Sydney-based asset manager Holon Investments from offering or distributing three crypto funds to retail investors for 21 days, according to a press release.

The decision was taken by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) due to non-compliant target market determinations (TMD) by Holon Investments.

TMD is a document which describes the target customer for an investment product. ASIC said it is concerned that Holon has not appropriately considered the features and risks of the Funds in determining their target markets.

The regulator believes Holon’s crypto funds are not suited to the wide target market defined in their TMDs, which includes investors ranging from potentially medium, high or very high risk and return profile.

The suspension applies to Holon’s bitcoin, ethereum, and filecoin funds. All three funds are managed by the crypto exchange Gemini.

Russians have been losing interest in Telegram channels devoted to cryptocurrencies and tokens, according to a new research covering the period since the start of the war in Ukraine. Industry experts behind the study say that bitcoin’s lower valuation and financial restrictions increasingly limiting access to the crypto market are the key reasons.

Telegram Crypto Channels’ Audience Expected to Shrink Further Amid New EU Sanctions on Russia

Interest in crypto-related channels on the popular messenger Telegram has diminished in the past few months. Between late February and the end of September, their average daily audience decreased by 38%, according to Crypto Provider Agency (CPA), a company specializing in launching and developing Telegram platforms for the Russian-speaking market.

The firm’s researchers recently told the Russian news outlet RBC Crypto that general interest in digital currencies dropped sharply in early May, when the price of the leading crypto by market cap, bitcoin (BTC), fell from $39,000 to around $28,000 per coin. They were able to establish that after studying over 100 leading Telegram channels about cryptocurrencies.

North Korea’s state-sponsored cyber criminal group Lazarus has attacked Japanese crypto firms, according to a joint statement by Japan’s National Police and Financial Services Agencies.

The attacks were carried out using phishing and social engineering techniques, according to a report by Japan News.

Lazarus hackers allegedly reached out to target companies by pretending to be crypto company executives in emails and on social media. After establishing contact, the attackers then infected target companies’ internal systems with malware before making off with crypto.

Authorities named the suspect group in an advisory statement before making any arrests—a measure that has only been taken five times in Japan’s history.

Kevin O’Leary, the Canadian businessman and chairman of O’Shares Investments has a recent update regarding Bitcoin’s potential price movements. In a recent interview, O’Leary declares that the price actions of Bitcoin (BTC) may increase when the Stablecoin Transparency Act is enacted.

The billionaire indicated that the Stablecoin Transparency Act has a chance of being passed by the US Congress after the midterm elections on November 8.

Kevin O’Leary stated:

Even though it has nothing to do with bitcoin, that will be the first regulation passed by U.S. regulators, and I would argue you want to be long bitcoin going into that outcome. You’re going to see a lot of interest in institutional capital coming into stablecoins.

Australia’s chief financial market regulator has placed interim stop orders on three cryptocurrency-related funds set to be offered to retail investors, due to non-compliant target market determinations (TMDs).

In a media release dated Oct. 17 local time, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said it has placed interim stop orders on three of Australian asset manager Holon’s crypto funds, which separately aim to invest in Bitcoin (BTC tickers down $19,459), Ether (ETH tickers down $1,317) and FileCoin (FIL tickers down 5.19).

A target market determination is a document that describes who a product is appropriate for, based on likely needs, objectives, and financial situation as well as how the product can be distributed, according to Invest Smart.

In a statement to Cointelegraph, a spokesperson from ASIC said the TMDs were “too broad […] given the volatility and speculative nature of crypto markets.”