Crypto News Headlines (19-Jan-2023)

A notice on the U.S. Justice Department’s website about an oncoming crypto-related effort resulted in a steep sell-off on Wednesday, causing bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) to dip under newly-breached support levels before slightly recovering.

The U.S. Justice Department announced a major international cryptocurrency enforcement action at noon ET on Wednesday. That turned out to be a money laundering charge against Bitzlato, a little-known crypto exchange that is said to have illegally conducted $700 million in direct and indirect transfers in the last several years.

The time between the initial announcement and the actual news ended up being a hotbed for doomsayers.

Such sentiment was enough to trigger the steep fall. Bitcoin quickly tumbled some $1,000 to under $20,600 after touching a four-month high of about $21,550. Ether fell to $1,500 from over $1,600, with major tokens like XRP and cardano (ADA) following the brisk sliding.

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Tuesday that it has issued new rules on the “management of digital wallets for custody of digital assets and keys.” The new regulations went into effect on Jan. 16.

The Thai SEC explained that businesses that provide custody services for clients’ digital assets must:

Establish a digital wallet management system to accommodate efficient custody of digital assets and keys and ensure safety of clients’ assets.

They must also have a “policy and guidelines” in place for the management of “digital wallets and keys as well as communication to clarify such policy, action plans and procedures, work supervision, and internal control to ensure compliance with the policy,” the SEC noted.

National Australia Bank (NAB) will become the second of the country’s major financial institutions to launch a stablecoin, a top executive told the Australian Financial Review (AFR).

The coin, dubbed AUDN, will launch on the Ethereum and Algorand blockchains later this year.

Howard Silby, NAB’s chief innovation officer, told AFR the stablecoin would allow customers to settle transactions on the blockchain in real-time, using Australian dollars.

NAB will be the second of Australia’s big four banks to launch a stablecoin, after rival Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ) minted its own, dubbed A$DC, last year.

Bitcoin (BTC) has risen to $21,550 early Wednesday, surpassing the level at which it stood on Nov. 5 last year just prior to the collapse of crypto exchange FTX. According to CoinDesk data, the price of bitcoin is now at its highest since mid-September.

Behind today’s advance were this morning’s larger than expected decline in the Producer Price Index (PPI) for December combined with a bigger than forecast drop in December retail sales.

The PPI fell 0.5% in December, bringing the year-over-year rate down to 6.2% versus 7.3% previously. Market expectations had been for just 0.1% dip in December and a year-over-pace of 6.8%. The core PPI for December fell 0.1%, in line with forecasts, but the year-over-year rate fell to 5.5% versus expectations for 5.7%.

In an alert, blockchain security firm CertiK reported that the Raydium protocol exploiter had sent 1,774.5 Ether ETH tickers down $1,520 to the mixer. The amount is worth around $2.7 million at the time of writing.

While security teams from various exchanges continue to combat the efforts of hackers, funds continue to flow to the sanctioned cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash.

The attack on the Solana-based decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol occurred back on Dec. 16. According to the developers, the hackers took control of the exchange owner’s account and drained the liquidity provider funds consisting of various digital assets like USD Coin

USDC tickers down $1.00, Wrapped Solana (wSOL) and Raydium.

While it remains a brutal bear market in crypto, Nansen’s analysis of on-chain data highlights how risk-taking traders are participating in the new year’s pump – especially when it comes to SHIB.

Over the past seven days, the Shiba Inu token (SHIB) has been a favorite purchase among newly funded crypto wallets. SHIB was sent to over 12,000 fresh wallets, making it the most common non-stablecoin asset to appear in their balances, according to Nansen. Those wallets saw $56 million in SHIB inflows over that period.

These wallets aren’t necessarily controlled by first-time SHIB buyers; on the contrary, many may be pass-through wallets belonging to crypto-trading veterans. Regardless, SHIB showed up in far more of these new wallets than did other cryptos.

South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) is planning to develop crypto monitoring tools and regularly inspect the risks associated with crypto assets, FSS Governor Lee Bok-hyun reportedly revealed Monday at a conference on the interconnectedness between the crypto market and the traditional financial market. He was quoted by local media as saying:

The Financial Supervisory Service is planning various initiatives for the risk management of the virtual asset market this year.

Regarding the crypto monitoring tools, Lee explained that the supervisory authority currently lacks data to identify potential risks from crypto even though the interconnection between the crypto market and the traditional financial market is expected to increase.

To say dog-themed cryptocurrencies are popular is a bit of an understatement—in terms of just how prevalent they’ve become ever since Tesla founder Elon Musk first tweeted about Dogecoin in 2019.

The now-owner of Twitter famously said, “Dogecoin might be my fav cryptocurrency.” Years later, hundreds of dog-themed tokens are now vying for similar attention.

As one Reddit user recently pointed out, nearly all of the top 10 tokens under CoinGecko’s so-called meme section make some reference to man’s best friend, whether that’s coins like Dogelon Mars or Doge Killer.

While Dogecoin and Shiba Inu are undoubtedly leaders in this category, the recent rise and fall of Solana-based Bonk Inu (BONK) has captivated many crypto traders, accompanied by a line of BONK NFTs and kicking off a surge in the price of Solana itself.

Lawyers, accountants and other financial professionals should have stepped in to halt the fatal mistakes going on inside crypto firms such as FTX long before they imploded, said Christy Goldsmith Romero, a commissioner with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

At the risk of offending their crypto employers, Goldsmith Romero said the experienced hands – also including the investment firms backing these companies – “need to step up, and call for compliance, controls, and other governance, without allowing the promise of riches and the company’s marketing pitch to silence their objections to obvious deficiencies.”

Bitcoin BTC tickers down $20,737 climbed to a four-month high above $21,000 in the third week of January, embellishing trader’s hope. The market has seen the most substantial investor optimism since July due to the January BTC price rebound.

According to data from crypto analytics firm Santiment, the trading crowd sentiment has touched its highest in six months and second highest bullish sentiment in the past 14 months. The data indicates that traders are treating Bitcoin’s price rebound as a signal of a possible bigger breakout in the near future.

The term “crowd/investor sentiment” describes how investors generally feel about a specific asset or financial market. It refers to the mood of a market, or the psychology of its participants, as expressed by activity and changes in the price of the asset exchanged in that market.