Crypto News Headlines (21-Dec-2022)

Traditional market investors looking for hints of a potential bearish-to-bullish trend change in U.S. stocks should keep a close eye on bitcoin.

The leading cryptocurrency by market value tends to lead major stock market bottoms by at least six weeks, analysis of past data by Delphi Digital shows.

“History shows that, on average, BTC has topped ~48 days and bottomed ~10 days before the SPX [S&P 500],” Delphi’s strategists, led by Kevin Kelly, wrote in a 2023 preview sent to clients on Wednesday. “Over the past five years, all major price reversals in BTC have preceded those in major equity indices.”

It shows bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in general, are looked upon by investors as more risky assets than stocks. As Brookings Institutions’ Eswar Prasad noted last year, bitcoin has become a speculative investment.

BC Hydro, a state-owned electric utility provider in the Canadian province of British Columbia, has paused new electricity connection requests from cryptocurrency miners for 18 months “to support the province’s climate action and economic goals.”

“Cryptocurrency mining consumes massive amounts of electricity to run and cool banks of high-powered computers 24/7/365, while creating very few jobs in the local economy,” Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Josie Osborne said in a media release Wednesday.

The suspension would target cryptocurrency miners who have yet to connect to the grid and those that were in the early stages of getting hooked up.

As Bitcoin (BTC) adoption continues to sow seeds around the world, more and more people are choosing to accept the original cryptocurrency as payment for their goods and services. For individuals, that means accepting BTC as their salary.

A Florida-based Bitcoin advocate called SVN (not his real name) took his entire salary in BTC for the past year. Cointelegraph reached out to him to understand why he did it and if there are certain advantages to earning the world’s most recognizable cryptocurrency.

SVN explained that when the bank froze one of his accounts, he turned “to Bitcoin as a solution to keep my life going while the issue got resolved.”

The transactions of “designated crypto assets” entered into from the tax year 2022 to 2023 onwards will be qualified for the Investment Manager Exemption in the United Kingdom. Certain legislation was announced by the U.K. government back in April and is now executed by the Commissioners for His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

On Dec. 20, the HMRC published its legislation to define “designated crypto assets” and include them in the list of investment transactions that qualify for the Investment Manager Exemption.

The regulation, coming into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, doesn’t contain a positive definition of “designated crypto assets.” However, citing section 2 of the Investment Transactions(Tax) Regulations from 2014, it refers in particular to the class of “investment transactions.” Thus, the transaction for the provision of services in the period while the crypto asset is held by the non-U.K. resident won’t be counted.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is heightening the scrutiny of the work audit firms do for cryptocurrency companies, a senior official of the regulator told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

“We’re warning investors to be very wary of some of the claims that are being made by crypto companies,” said Paul Munter, SEC’s acting chief accountant in an interview with the journal.

The SEC did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the report.

The development comes as the implosion of FTX has rippled across the industry, hobbling liquidity at firms with exposure to what was once one of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges, and has prompted investigations by regulators in several countries.

Crypto ally U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) used one of his final days in office to send a last legislative message on regulating stablecoins.

The final stretch of the waning Congress hasn’t produced any crypto surprises, and the industry’s lobbyists have been standing down, but Toomey decided to introduce a bill as a guide for next year’s lawmakers who’ll be under pressure to do something about digital assets.

“I hope this framework lays the groundwork for my colleagues to pass legislation next year safeguarding customer funds without inhibiting innovation,” the retiring senator said in a statement that will likely be among his last as the final dozen days of the session wind to a close.

Two of Sam Bankman-Fried’s closest former allies have flipped on him.

Attorneys with the Southern District of New York announced Wednesday night that it had filed charges against FTX co-founder Gary Wang and the ex-CEO of Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison, securing their cooperation in their investigation into the spectacular collapse of FTX.

Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission separately announced that it was also charging the pair “for their roles in a multiyear scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX,” and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (FTC) announced that it had amended its fraud complaint, noting that Ellison and Wang “do not contest their liability” for engaging in fraud.

The native token of Popsicle Finance, a decentralized finance (DeFi) market-making and yield-earning protocol, is surging as the controversial yet prolific blockchain developer Daniele Sestagalli said he was returning to the project.

Popsicle’s ICE token’s price jumped some 220% in the last 24 hours, according to cryptocurrency price tracker CoinGecko. The token currently is trading at 36 U.S. cents, only two days after hitting an all-time low of 9 cents.

Popsicle was part of a loose conglomerate of DeFi projects known as “Frog Nation” that were helmed by Sestagalli as recently as January, including, whose stablecoin was partly collateralized by the collapsed FTX exchange’s FTT token, and the since-failed Wonderland, a fork of OlympusDAO.

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has ordered crypto lending platform MyConstant to cease offering a number of its crypto-related products over alleged state securities law violations.

The DFPI stated in a press release on Dec. 21 that it has ordered MyConstant to “desist and refrain” from offering its peer-to-peer loan brokering service and interest-bearing crypto asset accounts, which it says are in violation of the California Securities Law and California Consumer Financial Protection Law.

The DPFI alleged that MyConstant’s offering and selling of its peer-to-peer lending service called “Loan Matching Service” violates one of the state’s financial codes.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is stepping up scrutiny of the work that audit firms are doing for cryptocurrency companies, concerned that investors may be getting a false sense of reassurance from the firms’ reports, a senior official at the regulator said.

“We’re warning investors to be very wary of some of the claims that are being made by crypto companies,” Paul Munter, the SEC’s acting chief accountant, said in an interview.

Increased scrutiny has led at least one audit firm to drop crypto clients, in some cases soon after producing reports on the companies’ assets and liabilities. Crypto companies are eager to get the blessing of an auditor to reassure their skittish clients.