Crypto News Headlines (19-Sep-2022)

Australian politician Andrew Bragg wants to prepare the country for the widespread use of China’s central bank digital currency, the digital yuan, according to a draft digital assets bill introduced on Monday.

In his draft bill, Bragg – who is a senator for the Australian state of New South Wales and a member of the opposition – proposes strict reporting requirements for banks that could potentially make the digital yuan available for use in Australia.

China is currently running cross-border trials of a digital version of its sovereign currency. Lawmakers in major economies around the world are cautious of the implications of a widely used digital yuan. Earlier this year, nine Republican senators in the U.S. proposed a bill aimed at setting up rules and guidelines concerning the digital yuan.

The number of domains that are used to perpetrate cryptocurrency scams has multiplied during the first half of 2022. According to a report issued by Group-IB, a Singapore-based online security firm, the number of these domains, which are used as welcome pages for Youtube scam streams, has grown fivefold during the first half of this year. More than 2,000 of these domains were registered.

Most of these cryptocurrency scam sites use the names of famous cryptocurrency-linked personalities to attract their victims. Among them is the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, and famous soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, alongside other known cryptocurrency supporters like Michael Saylor and Elon Musk.

More than 60% of these domains are registered through Russian companies but are directed to Spanish and English talking communities of cryptocurrency investors, which are their main targets.

The sugar high of the Ethereum merge on Thursday led into a dour weekend of red for both the newly miner-free ETH and top crypto Bitcoin.

Ethereum is down from its pre-merge perch of $1,580 to $1,335 as of this writing, following a steep drop of 6% within hours of the merge and down 15% overall late Sunday.

Bitcoin, meanwhile, fell to $19,414 on Friday, and saw a brief rally take it above $20,000 on Saturday. The boost was shortlived, however, with the largest cryptocurrency by marketcap returning to its Friday lows as the weekend drew to a close.

Ethereum was down 22% for the week, and Bitcoin was down 10%. The declines echo a similarly down previous week in which overall economic metrics—ranging from the Consumer Price Index to traditional market indicators Nasdaq and the S&P 500—also fell.

As the bear market persists, Bitcoin (BTC) is currently down 70% from its all-time high, seen in November 2021. Amid these unfavourable conditions, BTC whales’ and miners’ distribution rates appear to have hit peak levels. This practice has a history of pumping in more sell pressure on investors in the market.

BTC whale movements at peak

According to an official CryptoQuant analysis of Bitcoin’s on-chain metrics, whale activity remains inauspicious at best. Per the analysis, BTC whale movements became more active before the break below the $20k support. The month of August witnessed some reawakening of dormant BTC coins. This trend spilt to September.

On August 11, CryptoQuant launched research on transactions involving 1k to 10k BTC, which had been dormant for over seven years. The research revealed that the assets could belong to early BTC adopters, or they may have been moved from the now defunct Cryptsy exchange before its hack.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the chief financial regulator in the United Kingdom, issued a warning to Bahama-based crypto exchange FTX, claiming it operates without authorization. The company joined a growing list of unregistered cryptocurrency-related businesses that continue to outweigh those signed up with the FCA.

A warning note, dated Sept. 16, claims that the firm “may be providing financial services or products in the UK without authorization.” Addressing the potential customers, the FCA notes that they won’t be able to get their money back or seek the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme “if things go wrong.”

By the end of August, the list of crypto companies registered with the FCA included 37 entities, with the becoming the latest to join it. Other firms that managed to go through the registration process in 2022 to achieve Money Laundering Regulations approval were eToro UK, DRW Global Markets LTD, Zodia Markets (UK) Limited, Uphold Europe Limited, Rubicon Digital UK Limited and Wintermute Trading LTD.

The crypto market has begun the week on a negative note, with leading coins bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) reaching multi-month lows. Traders said the market faces a shortage of bullish catalysts now that the Ethereum Merge is out of the way.

Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency by market value, slipped to $18,300, the lowest since June 19, according to CoinDesk data. Meanwhile, ether, the native token of Ethereum’s blockchain, which recently underwent a long-awaited and supposedly-bullish technological change called the Merge, slipped to a two-month low of $1,580. The total market capitalization fell to $858 billion, the lowest since mid-July.

“Bullish catalysts are currently quite limited for crypto and we could see ETH testing yearly lows in the coming months,” Matthew Dibb, COO and co-founder of Singapore-based Stack Funds, said while noting ether’s post-Merge “sell-the-fact action”. The Merge happened on Thursday.

Vietnam’s crypto miners have suffered heavy losses with their mining rigs now shut off after the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization switched to a more energy-efficient framework, VN Express noted in a report.

This week, Ethereum (ETH) changed its protocol from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) with an upgrade called “The Merge,” which was completed on Thursday. It significantly reduces the amount of energy burnt to validate transactions.

The migration to the new consensus mechanism means that powerful coin minting hardware is no longer needed to perform complex mathematical computations and this kind of equipment has become almost useless.

Bitcoin (BTC) continued its bearish price action over the weekend, with the leading cryptocurrency dropping to a new 3-month low of $18,390, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin now changes hands at around $18,440, down 8% over the past 24 hours, despite a 64% jump in daily trading volume.

BTC has lost over 17% of its value over the past week, and is down over 73% from its all-time high of $68,789.63 in November 2021.

The market capitalization of Bitcoin has more than halved, plummeting from $1.27 trillion last November to under $354 billion today. 

Yesterday, Bitcoin’s network difficulty reached an all-time high of 32.045t, according to data from

Network difficulty marks the computational challenge associated with mining a block. Greater difficulty requires high computational power and significantly affects miners’ profitability, driving the price of the coin lower.

The Financial Times is reporting that authorities in South Korea are said to be asking Interpol to issue a ‘red notice’ for Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon, as his current location is unknown.

A red notice is a request for law enforcement worldwide to locate and arrest the named individual and hold them until extradition proceedings can commence. If issued the notice would go out to member police forces in 195 countries worldwide.

Interpol did not respond to a request for comment from CoinDesk by press time.

On Saturday, the Singapore Police Force confirmed to the press that Kwon was no longer in the city-state as was believed earlier.

South Korean prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Do Kwon on Sept. 14 and then moved to invalidate his passport days later.

While Kwon is a South Korean national, it is not known if he holds a second or third nationality.

Australian Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg has released a new draft bill aimed at clamping down on digital asset exchanges, stablecoins, and China’s central bank digital currency, the e-Yuan.

In a statement on Sept. 18, Senator Bragg stated that “Australia must keep pace with the global race for regulation on digital assets” as “it is essential that the parliament drives law reform” on the matter.

The new draft bill, titled Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2022, calls for the introduction of licenses for digital asset exchanges, digital asset custody services, stablecoin issuers, as well as disclosure requirements for facilitators of the e-Yuan in Australia.