Crypto News Headlines (21-Jun-2022)

Austrian cryptocurrency exchange Bitpanda is expanding to Spain, after registering as a virtual currency exchange and digital asset custody service provider in the country.

The company was officially entered into the Bank of Spain’s registry for crypto firms on June 16, according to the bank’s official website, and Bitpanda announced the news on Tuesday.

Bank of Spain opened its registry for crypto service providers back in October 2021, and Spanish crypto exchange Bit2Me became the first company to be added to the registry in February this year.

The European Union (EU) is planning to set up a license that would allow crypto firms regulated in one EU country to operate in others under its upcoming Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) bill. The MiCA framework is in the final stage of the EU’s legislative process.

But Bipanda, which had a valuation of around $4.1 billion as of August 2021, is not waiting around for the EU license to kick in, successfully registering in virtual asset service provider registries in both Italy and Sweden earlier this year. It registered with French securities regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) in 2020.

USDD has been trading for lower than a U.S. dollar for over a week and on Sunday, USDD tapped an all-time low at $0.928 per unit. The following day on Monday, the stablecoin has been exchanging hands for $0.966 at the time of writing, and it saw a 24-hour low at $0.943. USDD is the ninth-largest stablecoin by market capitalization, with approximately $696.28 million on Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. (ET). The stablecoin has seen roughly $83 million in global trade volume and the top USDD exchanges on Monday include Kucoin, Huobi Global, Poloniex, and Pancakeswap version two (V2).

The Tron DAO Reserve account on Twitter has been announcing numerous crypto asset purchases to safeguard the crypto ecosystem. On Monday, the Tron DAO Reserve revealed it added ten million USDC to “safeguard the overall blockchain industry and crypto market.” The Tron DAO Reserve web portal indicates that the stablecoin is overcollateralized by 324.35% at the time of writing at 7:20 p.m. (ET). At that time, the website shows there is 1.080 billion USDC in the reserve, 140,013,886 tether (USDT), 14,040.6 bitcoin (BTC), and 10,874,566,176 tron (TRX).

Gamers rejoice! While crypto investors look for the bottom to the ongoing meltdown, the cost of graphics cards has steadily decreased amid the ongoing crypto market crash.

“GPU prices dropped 15% in May, and we’ve seen similar 10-15% drops each month for the past several months,” PC news and review website Tom’s Hardware reported on Wednesday. “We saw the best graphics cards come back into stock (at retail) as GPU mining profitability has plummeted—and that was before Bitcoin and Ethereum crashed again.”

A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a specialized computer chip designed to accelerate graphics rendering. GPUs can simultaneously process many data streams, quickly rendering images and videos, making them useful for gaming. Because of their specialized processing power, GPUs are also a sought-after resource for crypto mining.

Tether’s CTO Paolo Ardoino on Monday said Tether (USDT) has survived short selling and redemptions amid the crypto market crash. Moreover, Paolo Ardoino believes Tether has always been more transparent about its reserves. Tether reserves are validated quarterly by accounting firm MHA.

In fact, Tether is planning to undergo a full audit of its reserves. However, the Big Four accounting firms remain unavailable due to the lack of regulatory definitions around stablecoins.

Tether Reserves To Undergo Full Audit, Says CTO

Tether had provided information about its reserves over the last two years, and it will provide more information if regulators demand, said Paolo Ardoino in an interview with Euromoney.

“We wish that regulators would provide clarity on what is owed to be disclosed. If we disclose a [hypothetical] 10, it’s unfair that other stablecoins disclose a five.”

Cloudflare, a significant infrastructure provider for the internet, recently experienced widespread problems, leaving many crypto exchanges down.

The content delivery network (CDN) confirmed via an update posted on Tuesday that it is experiencing issues with its services and network, and a fix is currently being implemented. However, the firm has yet to provide information regarding what went wrong, causing services across the world to come to a halt.

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX tweeted that its platform and other sites will be difficult to access for many people, claiming that the exchange is now in “post-only” mode. Crypto exchanges Bitfinex and OKEx also tweeted about the issue, with the latter asking if there is a Web3 alternative in the future.

Bitcoin (BTC) continued the second day of gains on Tuesday to hold over the $21,000 level in European hours in early signs of recovery. The surge came even as traditional financial firms Morgan Stanley(MS) and Goldman Sachs (GS) stated in client notes that recession risks were “not fully priced in.”

“The bear market will not be over until recession arrives or the risk of one is extinguished,” Morgan Stanley said in its note. Meanwhile, Goldman analysts said stock traders were pricing in a mild recession, “leaving them exposed to a further deterioration in expectations,” as per Bloomberg.

Some analysts like FxPro’s Alex Kuptsikevich said bitcoin managed to hold above the $20,000 round level on Monday amid weak trading activity due to the U.S. holiday. Bitcoin ended up “attracting enough speculative demand” to fuel movement in the past two days, he added.

More global payment companies are taking an interest in mixing conventional fiat payments with more advanced solutions like cryptocurrencies. Visa, one of the leading payments companies, announced last week that it launched its first crypto-enabled cards in Latam, with the idea of enabling more people to use cryptocurrencies through its payments network.

The company partnered with several startups in Latam, including Lemon Cash and Satoshi Tango in Argentina, and other startups including, Alterbank, and Zro Bank in Brazil. The functions that these new cards will feature include paying with crypto, purchasing crypto via Visa-enabled crypto outlets, and also receiving purchase cash back in bitcoin.

About the intention of Visa, Romina Seltzer, senior vice president of products and innovation for Visa Latin America and the Caribbean, stated:

The crypto ecosystem continues to gain momentum in the region with increased investment, more consumer adoption, and more crypto-enabled use cases, and we will continue to build on our strong strategy to build the future of crypto and payments for our customers, partners and consumers.

Magic Eden, an NFT marketplace that currently commands the vast majority of the Solana market, is gearing up for expansion. Today, the startup announced that it has raised $130 million in Series B funding with plans to expand beyond the Solana ecosystem.

The Series B values Magic Eden—which was founded last September—at $1.6 billion. That makes it the latest crypto “unicorn” with a valuation of $1 billion or more. Electric Capital and Greylock co-led the round, with new investor Lightspeed Venture Partners also participating alongside previous investors Paradigm and Sequoia Capital.

Magic Eden is only three months removed from its last fundraise announcement: a $27 million Series A round revealed in March. Jack Lu, CEO and co-founder of Magic Eden, told Decrypt that the startup didn’t plan to raise money again so quickly, but said that its rising market share and increasing NFT gaming presence convinced him to build up a war chest.

Bitpanda, an Austrian cryptocurrency exchange that was valued at $4.1 billion last summer, has received registration as a digital currency exchange and digital asset custody service provider in Spain. 

The company’s name appeared in the Bank of Spain’s registry for crypto enterprises on Thursday. The registry itself opened in October 2021. At the moment, it includes 15 companies. Speaking to Cointelegraph, Bitpanda’s representative specified that the company has been de-facto operating in the country since 2014. 

Spain marks the sixth European country in which the Vienna-based company has obtained a license. In December 2020, it registered with the Financial Markets Authority of France, while in May and June 2022, it became the first foreign crypto provider with registration in Sweden and one of the first to get the Italian virtual asset services provider (VASP) license.

In the company’s announcement, Bitpanda co-founder and co-CEO Eric Demuth pledged its commitment to providing a safe environment for trading amid the market crisis:

“As recent market developments have shown, where you buy your digital assets matters and we are going to always be prioritizing the safety of our community, as we are working relentlessly to build the best and the safest investment platform in Europe and beyond.”

Crypto markets saw a brief rally in the past 24 hours, adding some 9.7% to market capitalization after a difficult weekend that saw prices of several coins plunge as much as 15%.

Bitcoin fell to as low as $18,000 in a move that sent the asset below its 2017 highs, with investors locking in a record amount of losses as per on-chain data. Ether dropped to $929.

In the past 24 hours, however, Solana’s SOL and ether (ETH) led gains among the top ten coins by market capitalization with a 9% bump, while Cardano’s ADA and Polkadot’s DOT rose 7%. Bitcoin saw rejection at $21,000 after a brief recovery.

Outside of the top ten, Avalanche’s AVAX jumped 14%, Polygon’s MATIC added 12% and ApeCoin’s APE rose 16%.