Crypto News Headlines (25-Jul-2022)

U.K. bank Barclays (BARC) is among the investors in cryptocurrency custody firm Copper’s $2 billion funding round, according to a report by Sky News.

Barclays is expected to invest a sum in the “millions of dollars” range as part of the raise, Sky News reported on Sunday, citing sources. The funding round values Copper at $2 billion and is expected to close in the coming days.

Copper has chosen to become regulated in Switzerland, after it was unable to register with the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority.

Former Chancellor Philip Hammond serves as an advisor for Copper.

Barclays is one of the U.K.’s biggest banks with total assets of around $1.4 trillion as of 2021. Thus far the extent of its involvement in the crypto industry is its decision of July last year to block its customers from using their cards to make payments to Binance.

Neither Barclays or Copper immediately responded to CoinDesk’s request for comment.

The author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, has made several fresh predictions about the stock and bond markets. Rich Dad Poor Dad is a 1997 book co-authored by Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. It has been on the New York Times Best Seller List for over six years. More than 32 million copies of the book have been sold in over 51 languages across more than 109 countries.

The famous author tweeted Friday:

U.S. bond market crashes. Biggest bond crash since 1788 … Bond markets bigger than stock market. I am buying more gold, silver now, and waiting for bitcoin to go lower.

He also stressed that China’s real estate market is crashing, noting that there are “Over 90 million empty condos in China.”

In a follow-up tweet, the Rich Dad Poor Dad author explained:

Losers watching stock market. Real problem is in bond market. Bond market 40 times larger than stock market. Please pay attention to bonds, not stocks. Major crash to come.

Last month, Yuga Labs, the $4 billion company behind popular NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), generated headlines by suing a prominent artist for trademark infringement.

Now, the company may find itself on the other side of the courtroom.

Law firm Scott+Scott is currently organizing a class-action suit against Yuga Labs, according to an announcement from the firm late this week. The lawsuit will allege that Yuga falsely promoted Bored Ape NFTs and ApeCoin, the collection’s native Ethereum token, as securities with guaranteed returns but which in reality plummeted in value over the last three months.

The case’s plaintiffs have not yet filed an official complaint in a federal court. Scott+Scott is still in the preliminary stage of seeking plaintiffs who suffered losses in association with the purchase of Yuga-backed NFTs and tokens from April to June. The firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story.

Staying true to the “bear market is for building” motto, crypto exchange Bitfinex along with Tether (USDT) and Hypercore announced the launch of a fully encrypted platform, Holepunch, for building peer-to-peer applications. As part of the initiative, the trio launched Keet, an encrypted application capable of facilitating real-time audio and video calls, text chat and file sharing.

Partners aim to bestow control over data while breaking technology monopolies with Holepunch, according to the announcement. Tether and Bitfinex funded the development of the Holepunch platform. Paolo Ardoino, the chief technology officer of Tether and Bitfinex, will lead the new initiative as the chief strategy officer.

Speaking on behalf of Tether and Bitfinex, Ardoino highlighted the need to address the growing privacy concerns, stating:

“It [Tether and Bitfinex] believes that freedom of choice, communication and finances are the lifeblood of the future, and anything that will enhance those freedoms is worth amplifying.”

In a recent Twitter thread, Arcane Research analyst Vetle Lunde revealed how many Bitcoin institutional investors had sold since Terra’s carnage kicked in, thus tanking the whole crypto market. In his estimate, Tesla sold 29,060 BTC at an average price of $32,209 in May.

Forced Selling

In Lunde’s view, massive institutional blow-ups in the past two months started from Terra’s collapse on May 10th – when Do Kown sold over 80K BTC to defend the UST peg.

Since then, the contagion has spread quickly across the industry and deepened the selling pressure, leading to 236,237 BTC being sold by large institutions. Lunde noted that “the number does not account for other natural capitulation and hedging activity that usually occurs during crypto bear markets.”

Amidst markets going sour, publicly traded miners were pressured to offload their Bitcoin holdings, selling a total of 4,456 BTC in the month. In the meantime, Tesla sold 75% of its BTC holdings, which could be translated to 29,060 BTC, according to Lunde’s estimate. Tesla still holds 9,686 BTC – down from 43,053 by Feb.1st, 2021.

Bitcoin traded sideways on Sunday to fall below $22,400, well-off mid-week highs.

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was recently trading around $22,300, down a percentage point over the previous 24 hours. Bitcoin had reached a more than one-month high on Wednesday, cracking $24,000, and was still trading comfortably over $23,000 early Friday before investors revisited their anxieties over inflation and the economy to back away from riskier assets.

Ether, the second largest crypto by market cap, was trading at $1,560, also down slightly for the same period. Other cryptos were largely in the red, with YGG and AXS both off more than 7%. The crypto Fear & Greed Index has improved over the past two weeks, but remains in fear territory, reflecting deep concerns about conditions potentially affecting crypto.

In a move seemingly aimed at countering the Central African Republic (CAR)’s recent decision to embrace bitcoin, the head of the BCAS, Herve Ndoba, has reportedly urged the institution’s board to introduce a common digital currency for its six member states. The envisioned digital currency will ostensibly help modernize the region’s payment structure and promote financial inclusion.

According to a Bloomberg report, Ndoba’s call came just days after the BCAS concluded that the CAR’s law adopting bitcoin is “incompatible with the agreements and conventions governing the Central African Monetary Union and the Statutes of the Bank of Central African States.”

The six countries that are members of the CAMU include Cameroon, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, and the CAR.

Once, BitGo Cryptocurrency Exchange (an unauthorized channel aimed to lure customers of the genuine and legit crypto exchange named Bitgo, which didn’t respond to a chance for comment) played host to a vital membership of real-life humans, glorious in their aliveness. Members discussed trading strategies, unwittingly sent large sums of money to fake addresses, demanded urgently that moderators tell them why they had added them to the group—a kaleidoscope of charmingly dodgy retail action. No more.

These days, the “BitGo” Telegram group features almost entirely spam-spewing bots. The bots speak only to one another, in circular riddles and unintelligible non-sequiturs. One asks how everyone’s day is going; another responds by asking if anyone will marry her, ASAP; another thanks Jesus and Satoshi Nakamoto for the opportunity to invest with BitGo; another asks what time it is.

In the aftermath of the Thai cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex stopping withdrawals last week, local financial regulators are stepping in to look into potential losses by investors.

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is taking action to collect all necessary information from investors on how they have been affected by issues on Zipmex.

The regulator officially announced on July 25 that Zipmex customers can submit information via an online forum on the Thai SEC’s official website.

The SEC has received a number of complaints from people affected by Zipmex after the crypto exchange temporarily suspended withdrawals of the Thai baht and digital assets on July 20, the regulator said.

As pointed out by an analyst in a CryptoQuant post, miner capitulation has meant that the hashrate has gone down recently, resulting in the difficulty going down.

The “mining hashrate” is an indicator that measures the total amount of computing power connected to the Bitcoin blockchain.

The total hashrate can be thought of as a representation of the competition between the miners on the network. Higher values of the metric mean more mining rigs are connected to the network and hence there is more competition between the individual machines.

On the other hand, lower values of the indicator lead to lesser competition for everyone still connected to the network.