Crypto News Headlines (19-Oct-2022)

Bitcoin (BTC) was supposedly due for a recovery rally in the seasonally bullish month of October. So far, however, the bounce has remained elusive, as sophisticated investors continue to park money into the U.S. dollar (USD).

Bank of America’s (BofA) global fund manager survey published on Tuesday revealed that the “long dollar” – taking a bullish exposure in the greenback – was the preferred trade for October, with 64% of respondents calling it the most crowded bet. The investment banking giant polled 371 fund managers overseeing $1.1 trillion in assets during the week ended July 13.

The greenback has consistently been the most sought-after asset since July, thanks to Federal Reserve’s (Fed) ongoing efforts to control inflation with unusually large interest rate hikes that have lifted the benchmark interest rate by 300 basis points in six months. The Fed tightening has roiled risk assets, including cryptocurrencies and sent the dollar higher.

Mairead McGuinness, the European Commission’s commissioner for financial services, talked about cryptocurrency regulation in an interview with the Financial Times, published Tuesday.

Referencing the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) bill that will provide a regulatory framework for crypto across countries in the European Union, she stressed that any regulation imposed on the crypto industry would need to be global in order to work. The commissioner elaborated:

We do need to see other players also legislating … perhaps differently, but with the same objective . . . We need to look at global regulation of crypto.

McGuinness urged U.S. lawmakers “to draw up sweeping new rules to govern the crypto industry,” the publication described, adding that she warned digital assets could pose a threat to financial stability if left to grow unregulated.

Berlin-based neobank Nuri has officially closed down the shop, citing “insuperable” challenges, which kept the firm from raising new funds or finding an acquirer.

Formerly known as Bitwala, Nuri filed for insolvency in August this year after letting go of 20% of its workforce as the firm struggled with the rout in cryptocurrency prices.

According to Nuri, the firm has worked “very closely” with its insolvency administrators on a restructuring plan since then, trying to find a potential acquirer.

“Unfortunately, we have not been able to find investors to continue our mission and have asked our customers to withdraw their funds by 18/12/2022 the latest, so the business can be terminated and liquidated,” CEO Kristina Walcker-Mayer wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

The crypto wallet, BitKeep, has recently been attacked by hackers. Asia’s most popular cryptocurrency wallet is BitKeep Wallet.

According to a tweet from PeckShield, a blockchain security and data analytics company, the amount disclosed exceeded $1 million.

BitKeep has, however, quickly informed all its users about the unfortunate hack. It also mentioned that the development team is working hard to locate and contain the reach of the hacker.

The hackers have drained the wallet and exploited the swap feature.

PeckShield was the first to bring this hack to attention and also reached out to the users through Tweets, asking them to follow a series of steps which would ensure the safety of the users.

German crypto bank Nuri has told its 500,000 users to withdraw funds from their accounts as the firm prepares to shut down and liquidate the business, marking it as another victim of the 2022 bear market.

Nuri first reported liquidity issues in August, after announcing that it had filed for insolvency amid the economic strains of crypto winter. It said at the time that business would continue as usual, as it worked on a restructuring plan and securing a buyout. However, an acquisition has failed to materialize.

In an Oct. 18 blog post, Nuri CEO Kristina Mayer noted that despite the company’s best efforts, it is unable to maintain its operations moving forward.

JPMorgan (JPM) has appointed Aaron Iovine as its head of crypto regulatory policy, a newly created role, according to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday.

The U.S. investment banking giant wishes to expand its digital asset regulatory scope given the volatile conditions in the market in recent months with a downturn in cryptocurrencies’ values and several firms becoming insolvent.

Iovine himself used to work for one of these, spending eight months as head of policy and regulatory affairs for crypto lender Celsius, which filed for bankruptcy protection in July. Iovine held this role from February to September this year according to his LinkedIn page.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is well known for his disdain for cryptocurrency, most recently referring to crypto tokens as “decentralized Ponzis”. He did however praise blockchain technology, noting its certain “real” aspects, using JPMorgan’s Onyx platform for wholesale payments as an example.

The European Union plans to introduce a label for energy efficiency in efforts to counter the growing electricity consumption in data centers such as those mining cryptocurrencies. According to Bloomberg, the EU will also urge member states to target crypto miners’ energy usage as it seeks to navigate the winter with far less Russian gas and other energy than before the sanctions imposed over the war in Ukraine.

Quoting a draft proposal, the report revealed that the EU’s executive arm wants to work with international partners to adopt a grading measure that will encourage more environmentally friendly crypto systems, such as the proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol as opposed to the energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) mechanism employed by Bitcoin.

“Just as their use has grown significantly, the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies has more,” the European Commission notes in an Action Plan. “In harnessing the use of cryptocurrencies and other blockchain technologies in energy markets and trading, care must be taken to use only the most energy efficient versions of the technology,” the Commission emphasizes.

Three people associated with notorious OneCoin founder Ruja Ignatova have appeared in a German court facing charges over their alleged roles in a multibillion-dollar fraud operation.

The associates of the famous “Cryptoqueen” fugitive businesswoman are accused of money laundering, fraud, and banking crimes, Bloomberg reported.

One man, a Munich lawyer who worked for Ignatova, is alleged to have transferred €20 million ($19.7 million) via the Cayman Islands on her behalf to buy two apartments in London.

The other two defendants are a husband and wife, who are accused of handling €320 million ($314.72 million) worth of OneCoin customers’ money.

On the heels of a Bitcoin (BTC) run up to a daily local high of almost $19,600, the audience started spamming social media with phrases like “bullish,” “buying,” and “purchased,” according to the crypto market intelligence and social metrics platform.

The market has had its biggest increase in market optimism in two months. The observation highlighted that the market quickly responded in contrast to the attitude of the crowd by dropping prices in both the cryptocurrency and equity markets until the euphoria subsided.

#Equities and #crypto showed some bounce potential today, and the crowd began to really spam words on social media like #bullish, #buying, and #bought. As per usual, prices then dropped and moved in the direction of the crowd’s least expectation.

BNY Mellon CEO Robin Vince says “client demand” was the “tipping point” that ultimately led to the bank’s launch of institutional-focused crypto services last week.

BNY Mellon, America’s oldest bank, became the first large bank in the country to offer custody of institutional clients’ Ether (ETH tickers down $1,295) and Bitcoin (BTC tickers down $19,165) on Oct. 11.

In an Oct. 17 conference call following the release of its third quarter earnings, Vince pointed to a survey commissioned by the bank this year, which found that 91% of large institutional asset managers, asset owners and hedge funds were interested in investing in some type of tokenized asset within the next few years.

“About 40% of them already hold crypto in their portfolios. About 75% of them are actively investing or exploring investing in digital assets,” he said, adding:

“And so what we heard from our clients is they want institutional grade solutions in the space.”