Crypto News Headlines (25-Jan-2023)

The market leader for Solana-based liquid staking derivatives, Marinade Finance is dangling its governance token MNDE as a carrot to kickstart a crypto economy for its iteration of staked SOL.

On Tuesday, Marinade said it will hand out 160 million MNDE tokens to protocols and validators in exchange for them depositing up to 40 million SOL tokens into Marinade’s liquid staking solution, which at $144 million in total value locked (TVL) is Solana’s biggest DeFi protocol.

If all goes to plan, this “Open Door” could boost Marinade’s TVL sevenfold, Marinade developers told CoinDesk. They want to drive more users into Marinade’s mSOL token, the so-called “liquid staking derivative” token that accesses the value of depositors’ locked away SOL tokens while they generate yield from securing the Solana network.

French lawmakers have adopted a softened approach to crypto licensing in the country, giving operators more time to meet new Europe-wide standards.

Members of the National Assembly voted through an amendment proposed by centrist politician Daniel Labaronne last night, which will allow existing crypto firms to continue operating without a full license until the European Union’s landmark crypto regulations are brought into force.

France currently has a two-tier regime for crypto firms. All operators must register as crypto asset providers, but they do not have to gain a full license, a process that requires higher levels of disclosure. While around 60 providers have registered with the regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), none have opted for full authorization.

Don’t get us wrong, regulation is important. It’s like a flimsy umbrella on a sunny day – better than nothing, but not something you want to rely on during a monsoon. Just ask the folks at Gemini, who despite being the “most regulated” CEX out there, still managed to lose all of their “Earn” customer money. Talk about “earn-ing” a bad reputation! Ouch.

But let’s be real here, the crypto world is like the Wild West. And let’s be honest, the U.S. Government is like the sheriff who just got to town, trying to make sense of this new frontier. They’re like the Dad at a teenage party, trying to understand what’s going on, but ultimately just getting in the way.

One of the poorest countries – the Central African Republic (CAR) – formed a team of 15 agencies, whose responsibility will be to draft a “comprehensive” cryptocurrency bill.

The nation made the headlines last year, becoming the second after El Salvador to embrace bitcoin as a legal tender.

Another Crypto Step

Faustin-Archange Touadéra – President of the Central African Republic (CAR) – revealed that the government established a committee of 15 experts to design a pertinent cryptocurrency regulatory framework. The bill should encourage the development of the digital asset industry and potentially aid the hindered local economy.

15 experts #centrafricains issus de plusieurs ministères de mon gouvernement composent le comité chargé d’élaborer un nouveau projet de loi plus complet sur l’utilisation des crypto-monnaies et d’offrir à la RCA cette opportunité unique de développement économique & technologique

Bitcoin Cash BCH tickers down $129 advocate Roger Ver has sued by a unit of crypto lending firm Genesis over unsettled crypto options amounting to $20.8 million.

GGC International, a part of the bankrupt crypto lender, filed the suit against Ver in the New York State Supreme Court on Jan. 23, claiming that the BCH proponent has failed to settle crypto options transactions that expired back on Dec. 30.

Ver was given a total of 20 days to answer the summons. Should the BCH advocate fail to answer within that time frame, he will be obliged to pay the total amount by default. At the time of writing, the BCH proponent has not yet responded to the case.

Troubled Australian cryptocurrency exchange Digital Surge has been bailed out after creditors approved a long-term recovery plan, the company said in a statement shared with CoinDesk.

The Brisbane-based exchange is said to have held $33 million on FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange that collapsed in November, according to a report in The Guardian.

In December 2022, Digital Surge had passed into voluntary administration, a process in which the management hands over control to licensed insolvency practitioners who independently assess its financial situation. Melbourne-based investment firm KordaMentha was appointed as administrators. The step was taken days after FTX and FTX Australia had initiated similar processes.

There may be a new Celsius token on the horizon.

As part of the defunct crypto lender’s reorganization plans, Celsius is mulling the issuance of a new crypto token that would let the firm raise funds and repay its creditors, per a Bloomberg report.

In a court hearing on Tuesday, Celsius’ attorney Ross M. Kwasteniet told U.S. bankruptcy judge Martin Glenn that a properly licensed and publicly-traded company, such as a revived Celsius, would be able to raise more money for creditors as opposed to simply selling its limited assets at today’s prices.

According to Kwasteniet, offers for Celsius’ individual assets “have not been compelling.”

According to the latest code of practice released by South Africa’s Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB), crypto-related advertisements must clearly warn the public that investing in digital assets “may result in the loss of capital.” Furthermore, ARB’s latest code states that the overall wording of such adverts should not contradict this warning.

The new crypto asset advertising guidelines, which are reportedly the result of the collaborative effort between ARB and South African crypto exchanges, are seemingly intended to preclude scammers from targeting their victims via regulated media platforms. Commenting on the inclusion of crypto assets in the latest advertising code, Gail Schimmel, the CEO at ARB, reportedly said:

This is a wonderful example of an industry that sees the harm that could be done in its name and steps up to self-regulate the issues without being forced to do so by [the] government. This has been an exciting project and we know that it will result in better protection for vulnerable consumers.

The insolvency of Genesis Trading and the related uncertainty about the future of Digital Currency Group (DCG) and Grayscale have not really dampened the mood on the Bitcoin market in recent weeks. Genesis’ bankruptcy filing, which was announced last Thursday, seems to have already been priced in by investors.

Nevertheless, the risk of a worst-case scenario with the liquidation of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) with over 630,000 BTC has still not been eliminated. A crucial event in this context could be the lawsuit of Grayscale against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeking approval to convert GBTC into a spot ETF.

And possibly on the occasion of the Genesis bankruptcy, the Court of Appeals has moved up the scheduling of the oral argument between Grayscale and the SEC. According to a January 23 court order, the hearing date has been set for March 7 at 9:30 AM ET.

Despite the bear market and the record-low dynamics of new Bitcoin ATM installations around the world, Australia breaks into the top three nations globally by the number of crypto ATMs. It was only in the first days of January when the Aussies got to the fourth spot — since that time they installed 16 more machines.

According to Coinatmradar’s data, Australia now enjoys 234 crypto ATMs, which puts her in the third spot globally after the United States and Canada. In three weeks it outperformed Spain, which possesses 222 crypto ATMs.

It’s all about dynamics — Australia deployed 99 crypto ATMs, which is almost half of its total number, in only the last three months of 2022. And it doesn’t slow down. Since Jan.1, Australia has installed 16 new machines, while Spain has actually lost 4 and El Salvador, which holds the fifth global spot, hasn’t recorded a single new ATM.