Crypto News Headlines (23-Mar-2023)

Bitcoin gradually moved to just under $28,000 on Thursday as traders digested the quarter-point interest rate raise Wednesday by U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), in line with expectations.

The decision reinforced the Federal Reserve’s concerns that inflation remains problematic, and that it remains “strongly committed to returning inflation to our 2% objective.”

Bitcoin slid under $27,000 immediately after FOMC as traders took profits on a 20% gain over a seven-day rolling period. However, traders of bitcoin-tracked futures took on over $150 million in losses amid the volatility, with billions in open interest – or the number of unsettled contracts – effectively getting washed out.

Mike McGlone, a senior commodity strategist for Bloomberg Intelligence (BI), the research arm of Bloomberg, explained on Twitter Tuesday that a supercycle may be happening in bitcoin. He tweeted:

Looking for a super cycle? Bitcoin outperforms commodities with declining risk — Bitcoin beating gold, the top-performing old-guard commodity in 2023 to March 20, by almost 10x may be indicative of a super cycle happening in the crypto.

Bitcoin ‘Supercycle’ May Be Happening, Says Commodity Strategist Mike McGlone

The strategist explained that a benefit bitcoin (BTC) has over most commodities is its “nascent stage of low and rising adoption vs. diminishing supply.”

News of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s action against Coinbase, the number one cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, spread like wildfire through the crypto community, prompting an existential debate over what it could mean for cryptocurrency in the United States.

“It should be crystal clear by now that the Biden Administration wants all crypto—even the legit parts of it—run out of the U.S.,” tweeted Custodia Bank founder and CEO Caitlin Long. “See also yesterday’s White House economic report, which dunked on all financial innovation while espousing the “stability” of traditional banks.”

French lawmakers have proposed a ban on the promotion of certain financial products and services by electronic means, including crypto assets, in order to protect consumers from potential risks.

The proposed amendment is to Bill no. 790 aimed at combating scams and excesses by influencers on social networks. The amendment also proposes placing a ban on advertising health products, gambling, and video games using similar mechanisms.

The proposal reviewed by the Economic Affairs Committee targets commercial influencers who promote financial products and services that present a risk to consumers, such as investments in digital assets or fungible and non-fungible intangible property.

Australia-based crypto exchange Independent Reserve is looking at opportunities to set up shop in Hong Kong as the city continues efforts to become a cryptocurrency hub.

Set to take effect in June, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) released a proposed licensing regime for cryptocurrency exchanges on Feb. 20 in line with its ambitions to become Asia’s next crypto hub.

Independent Reserve co-founder and CEO Adrian Przelozny told Cointelegraph the “friendly” licensing regime makes Hong Kong a worthy destination to set up a new base, something his firm is now strongly considering.

“Right now, it is looking very interesting […] The recent announcement by the regulators in Hong Kong does make Hong Kong look like a friendly jurisdiction.”

The Tron network’s native TRX token dropped 13%, per CoinDesk data, from 6.7 cents to 5.8 cents after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced charges against Justin Sun and three of his companies including Tron Foundation and BitTorrent.

With a total supply of 91.15 billion, Tron’s market capitalization currently stands at $5.47 billion. In the past 24 hours, trading volume for TRX sits at roughly $421 million, as of press time.

The SEC is charging the Tron network founder with the offering and sale of unregistered crypto asset securities, as well as fraudulently manipulating TRX’s secondary market through extensive wash trading.

Consensys, one of the leading Web3 firms, has said users of the Metamask wallet in Nigeria can now directly purchase crypto assets within the mobile app. To help it make this possible, Consensys partnered with the Web3 infrastructure company Moonpay. The addition of this feature allows users from the country to purchase crypto assets without having to set up accounts with centralized crypto exchanges.

In a March 21 joint statement, Consensys said the decision to enable direct purchases had been prompted by the very high number of declined or blocked transactions when the method of payment is a credit or debit card. However, using this recently added feature, Metamask users can now use instant bank transfers to purchase crypto within the mobile app and the portfolio dapp (decentralized application).

Tron is the network behind the 15th biggest cryptocurrency by market cap: its native token, TRX. Tron is working to be the foundation behind the decentralized Internet. Using its blockchain is low cost and high speed.

But users can also use stablecoins on its network. “You can now buy, swap, and make P2P trades with Tether USDT (TRC20),” Telegram’s announcement said, referencing that “You can also directly send USDT to your friends with no transaction fees.”

Telegram introduced crypto to its app back in 2018, when it launched its Telegram Open Network (TON). The project was abandoned in 2020 by Telegram after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said the initial coin offering for the project was illegal.

Bitcoin custodian and licensed private bank Xapo Bank has partnered with financial technology company Circle to integrate USD Coin (USDC) payment rails as an alternative to SWIFT. Payment rails refer to the infrastructure and technology used to facilitate the movement of funds between parties in a financial transaction. Payment rails come in many forms, including traditional bank wires, credit card networks, and blockchain-based platforms.

We are pleased to be the first bank in the world to fully integrate with USDC, enabling our members to send and receive USDC from their US Dollar accounts, no fees charged.

Cybersecurity services provider Kaspersky has released a report on risks associated with cryptocurrency use. The report titled “Crypto Threats 2023” focused on the United States and uncovered some surprisingly poor user security habits.

Kaspersky surveyed 2,000 American adults in October 2022 and found that 24% of respondents overall owned cryptocurrency or digital assets. Ownership ranged from 36% in the 25–44 age category to 10% among those aged 55 or older.

A third of the crypto owners surveyed reported having crypto stolen, and an equal portion reported being victims of scams. Identity theft, theft of payment details and loss of account access led the list of scam consequences.