Crypto News Headlines (20-Mar-2023)

Singapore-based crypto platform has received its minimal viable product (MVP) Preparatory License from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), the firm announced on Monday.

The MVP license involves a three-stage process of a provisional permit, a preparatory license and an operating license. is in the second stage of the process.

“Once licensed to be operational, will be able to extend its approved suite of duly regulated virtual assets activities spanning a range of crypto exchange services (spot and derivatives), brokerage, margin/leverage trading, and OTC offerings around settlements for institutional investors,” the announcement said.

Joselit Ramirez, the top authority on cryptocurrency policies in Venezuela, has been removed from his position by none other than the President of the Republic, Nicolas Maduro. Ramirez has since been arrested, according to Venezuelan media, under investigation for participating in a scheme to steal from Venezuela’s oil operations.

According to an Official Gazette published by the Venezuelan government on March 17, his removal affects not only Ramirez but also a significant portion of the institution’s management staff, as it calls for a comprehensive restructuring of the National Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities (SUNACRIP).

Ordinal inscriptions have surpassed the 500,000 mark, and at the time of writing, there are approximately 522,243 inscriptions on the Bitcoin blockchain. Essentially, the technology behind Ordinal inscriptions allows people to embed all types of arbitrary data into the blockchain. Inscriptions include data such as text, images, audio, video, and applications.

The number of Ordinal inscriptions surpassed the 500,000 range on March 17, 2023, according to data hosted on Dune Analytics. Statistics show that 31.1% of inscriptions are in PNG format, or a total of 162,615 PNG-based inscriptions. Approximately 14% of Ordinal inscriptions are in WEBP format, and roughly 7% are in JPEG format.

More than 80 virtual asset-related firms across Mainland China and foreign nations have expressed interest in establishing a presence in Hong Kong, amid efforts from the city to become a leading hub for Web3.

Hui noted that since the Hong Kong government released its policy statement on Virtual Asset’s Development in October 2022, over 80 virtual asset-related companies have expressed interest in “establishing their presence in Hong Kong,” as of the end of February 2023.

He added that 23 crypto firms have already indicated that “they planned to establish their presence” in the thriving city. The firms included virtual asset (VA) exchanges, blockchain infrastructure firms and blockchain network security firms.

Non-crypto related deposits held by former Signature Bank (now Signature Bridge Bank) will be assumed by Flagstar Bank, N.A., a subsidiary of New York Community Bancorp, as of Monday under a purchase and assumption agreement, the FDIC said in a press release on Sunday U.S. time.

Signature Bridge Bank depositors — other than depositors related to the digital banking business — will automatically become depositors of Flagstar, and will continue to be insured by the FDIC up the insurance limit.

Flagstar Bank’s bid did not include $4 billion of deposits related to the former Signature Bank’s digital banking business. The FDIC will provide these deposits directly to customers whose accounts are associated with the digital banking business, according to the press release.

An analysis of the rising inflation and concurrent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank proved that more than 186 banks in the U.S. are at risk of a similar shutdown if depositors decide to withdraw all funds.

The trade association for the Australian banking industry — the Australian Banking Association (ABA) — launched a cost of living inquiry to closely study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, global supply chain constraints, geopolitical tensions and more on Australians.

An analysis of the rising inflation and concurrent collapse of three major traditional banks — Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Silvergate Bank and Signature Bank — recently proved that more than 186 banks in the U.S. are at risk of a similar shutdown if depositors decide to withdraw all funds. The ABA’s inquiry aims to identify ways to ease the cost of living in Australia and the Government’s fiscal policy response.

Crypto wireless network Helium’s native HNT token dropped by more than 23% on news Friday that Binance plans to delist it from its exchange. The world’s biggest crypto exchange Binance said in an announcement that effective March 23, users would not be able to trade the token.

HNT was trading as low as $1.52 at one point Friday, according to CoinGecko. It has since risen to $1.60—still a 17% drop in value over the past 24 hours.

Earlier this week, Binance.US—a sister company that is run independently from Binance and caters to American customers—also said it would delist HNT.

Cryptocurrency and Web3 projects are making inroads into mainstream software products. According to reports coming from Albacore, a software researcher, Microsoft is currently developing a native wallet that would as part of its own web browser, Edge. The new feature, called “crypto wallet,” would allow the users to transact and store Ethereum and Ethereum-based tokens in a non-custodial way.

In the screenshots available, Microsoft confirms the status of the project, warning the testers about the dangers of using their funds in this wallet. It stated:

As a tester, you will use your own funds. In the event of loss of funds, Microsoft will not reimburse any loss. This is a confidential project and no details should be shared externally.

Another major hack rocked the decentralized finance (DeFi) market last week in March. The attack on DeFi protocol Euler Finance drained a massive $197 million making it the biggest DeFi hack in 2023 so far.

While tracking the details of the movement of hacked funds, it turns out that the hack could be linked to North Korea. Among the series of transfers made by the hacker, one transaction of 100 ETH involves the movement of funds to an address linked to North Korean actors.

Chainalysis, the blockchain investigating platform identified that 100 ETH from Euler’s stolen funds have been moved to an address flagged in a previous hack having links to North Korea.

Bitcoin ATM manufacturer General Bytes has shuttered its cloud services after discovering a “security vulnerability” that allowed an attacker to access users’ hot wallets and gain sensitive information, such as passwords and private keys.

The company is based in Prague and according to its website has sold over 15,000 Bitcoin

BTC tickers down $28,233 ATMs to purchasers in over 149 countries all over the world.

In a March 18 patch release bulletin, the ATM manufacturer issued a warning explaining that a hacker has been able to remotely upload and run a Java application via the master service interface into its terminals aimed at stealing user information and sending funds from hot wallets.