Crypto News Headlines (19-Jul-2022)

Buenbit, an Argentina-based crypto exchange with operations in Mexico and Peru, launched a local currency loan product Monday that uses crypto as collateral.

Users of the platform will be able to use MakerDAO’s stablecoin, DAI, as collateral and withdraw up to one million nuARS, a stablecoin tied to the Argentine peso, the company said in a statement. At the current exchange rate, the maximum amount is equivalent to $3,333.

Federico Ogue, Buenbit’s CEO, told CoinDesk the product is the first of its kind in Latin America.

“It is a model that emerged abroad but with loans in U.S. dollars, but it does not work for Latin Americans. Who wants to borrow U.S. dollars in the region? Too much risk,” Ogue said.

Users can borrow for loans as long as they collateralize 80% of the requested amount, the company stated, adding that the DAI will be locked into the platform yielding returns.

Read more: Argentines Take Refuge in Stablecoins After Economy Minister Resignation

The nuARS stablecoin, which operates on Binance’s blockchain, was developed by Num Finance, a firm that also plans to launch nuPEN and nuMXN, two stablecoins tied to the Peruvian and Mexican currencies, respectively.

In Peru, Buenbit plans to launch loans in partnership with Num Finance “shortly,” the company said.

The Dubai digital asset regulator, the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), recently granted the Seychelles-based crypto trading platform OKX a “provisional virtual assets license to provide services to qualified investors in the UAE.”

According to a statement released by OKX, this license “allows it to extend certain exchange products and services to pre-qualified investors and financial service providers.” Remarking on the VARA’s decision to grant the provisional license, OKX general manager for Dubai, Lennix Lai said:

The MENA region is one of the fastest-growing markets for our industry, and we are very excited to be at the heart of this thriving ecosystem. OKX looks forward to contributing meaningfully to the free exchange of ideas that is going to be so important to the development of this space while innovating for the future in a regulated framework.

In the statement, OKX said it is committed to helping build the necessary infrastructure as well as its team in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). OKX added that it will also participate in the VARA regulatory ecosystem “by facilitating research and knowledge sharing with the goal of making Dubai a leading hub for the global virtual assets industry.”

Paraguay’s legislature has approved a bill that creates a tax and regulatory framework for crypto mining in the South American country. The senate bill regulates businesses undertaking mining activities in the Bitcoin-friendly nation.

The proposal stems from legislation drafted last year by Congressman Carlos Rejala and Senator Fernando Silva Facetti, which also aimed to regulate cryptocurrency mining and trading. It now needs to be approved by President Mario Abdo Benitez before becoming law.

This time, the legislation calls for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC) to oversee crypto industry service providers.

The text of the bill has not been published yet, but the Congress of Paraguay’s website says that mining will need to be authorized by the MIC and that the National Electricity Administration will be in charge of energy supply.

Aiming to reach its targeted hashrate guidance of 23.3 exahash per second (EH/s) in 2023, Marathon Digital (MARA) – one of the largest bitcoin miners – has signed about 254 megawatts (MW) of new hosting deals.

The miner had previously said it expected to have 23.3 EH/s hashrate capacity installed by early 2022, but continued delays in Texas and ongoing maintenance issues at the company’s Hardin, Montana facility had raised doubts about reaching that guidance.

“With these new arrangements, we believe we have now secured enough hosting capacity to support our target of achieving approximately 23.3 exahashes per second of computing power for Bitcoin mining in 2023,” Fred Thiel, Marathon’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement on Monday.

Among the deals, Marathon signed a roughly 200MW agreement with hosting company Applied Blockchain (APLD). Applied will supply Marathon with 90MW of hosting capacity at its Texas location and at least 110MW at a second facility in North Dakota, allowing for a total of about 66,000 miners representing approximately 9.2 EH/s, according to the statement. The deal will mark the largest agreement for the hosting company, which went public in April last year.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a public warning about fraudulent cryptocurrency apps, which have swindled U.S. investors out of an estimated $42.7 million so far.

According to an advisory published on July 18 by the securities and intelligence agency, cybercriminals have created apps using the same logos and identifying information as legitimate crypto companies to defraud investors. The FBI noted that 244 people had already fallen victim to these fake apps.

One case saw cyber criminals convincing victims to download an app that used the same logo as an actual U.S. financial institution, encouraging them to deposit cryptocurrency into wallets purportedly related to their accounts.

When victims attempted to withdraw from the app, they would be asked to pay taxes on their withdrawals. However, this was just another ruse to part more funds from victims, as even if they made the payments, the withdrawals would continue to be unavailable.

“There was a woman that arrived in a bathrobe.”

Alexander Shmelev was describing a refugee who drove 30 hours to Pristaniste, the shelter in Budva, Montenegro, he opened on March 5, about two weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The woman lived 2,445 kilometers (1,500 miles) away in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, Shmelev said. “When the shelling started, she just grabbed her son, jumped in a car and drove all the way to us.”

The shelter consists of three multifamily homes where around 78 refugees from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus can get some rest and decide what they want to do next: either move to a different country or become legal residents in Montenegro and stay longer.

Since Shmelev and his wife Svetlana, both well-known Russian activists and educators, opened the shelter, the project has been in constant need of funding. The new charity project initially did not have a bank account in Montenegro, so the Shmelevs decided to start a cryptocurrency fundraiser.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) voiced her concerns about cryptocurrency investing in an interview with Yahoo Finance Live last week after several crypto firms filed for bankruptcy protection.

Calling on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to act, she emphasized:

Congress needs to act, but the SEC has a responsibility to use its authorities to put guardrails in place and crack down on crypto actors that break the rules.

“I’ve been ringing the alarm bell on crypto and the need for stronger rules to protect consumers and financial stability,” the senator added.

Last week, crypto lender Celsius Network filed for bankruptcy protection after freezing withdrawals. A week prior, another crypto lender, Voyager Digital, filed for bankruptcy protection. The company cited contagion in crypto markets and bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital‘s loan default as the reasons.

Three Arrows Capital (3AC) owes a whopping $3.5 billion to 27 different companies—including, Voyager Digital, and lender Genesis Global Trading—according to court documents.

The details come from affidavits describing details of the bankruptcy and liquidation of the crypto hedge fund. They were filed July 7 and made public Monday by Teneo, the firm hired to oversee 3AC’s liquidation.

3AC failed to repay loans and missed multiple margin calls with lenders, according to the filings, meaning that its investment accounts fell below required levels and were not topped up.

Of that $3.5 billion total, Genesis—a company under Digital Currency Group—lent 3AC the most. It passed the now-insolvent firm $2.36 billion in a loan that was under-collateralized and had a margin requirement of 80%, according to the court documents.

Bitcoin spiked to yet another monthly high of almost $23,000 before getting stopped there. While most alts are calmer on a daily scale as well, ETH jumped to just over $1,600 hours ago. NEAR and ETC are among the best performers now.

Bitcoin Touched $23K

Ever since the price drop on July 13 to below $19,000, propelled by the record-setting US inflation numbers, bitcoin has been on a roll.

The asset bounced off that weekly low and reclaimed $20,000 in the next few days. Unlike the previous two weekends, this time, BTC actually gained quite a bit of value and was close to $22,000 as Sunday came to an end.

Monday started with a brief retracement below $21,000, but the cryptocurrency reversed its trajectory shortly after and jumped above $22,500 to mark a fresh monthly high.

At a time when the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols have seen a significant outflow of funds from the market, maintaining liquidity has become even more challenging. Liquidity plays a central role in the DeFi ecosystem, and many protocols over time have come up with various new solutions to keep liquidity pools brimming. The latest trend in the liquidity market is focused on cross-chain solutions.

Many experts believe cross-chain solutions are the future of DeFi, and Symbiosis Finance, a liquidity protocol, has come up with its own stablecoin-based cross-chain liquidity solution. The liquidity protocol uses stablecoins to ensure liquidity providers (LPs) don’t incur any impermanent loss.

Nick Avramov, the co-founder of Symbiosis told Cointelegraph that they have secured initial liquidity from the likes of Binance Labs,, Amber and a few more and hoping to gain some more LPs once they hit a transaction volume of about $100 million.