Crypto News Headlines (26-Aug-2022)

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, has asked some digital asset firm to submit data about their business activity, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The central bank is set to make changes to its crypto regulation policies following the collapse of Singapore-based crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and Singapore-registered Terraforms Labs and Vauld.

Last month, MAS had asked some digital asset companies for their business related data, including top tokens owned, top lending and borrowing counterparties, amount loaned, and top tokens staked via decentralized finance protocols, according to the report.

MAS had said that it is looking to bring in stronger safeguards to protect the retail customer, and was consulting the public for a stablecoin regulation.

According to Finder’s crypto adoption trends report for August 2022, about four million people, or 10% of South Africans, are cryptocurrency holders. With this crypto ownership rate, South Africa is ranked eighteenth out of twenty-six countries for crypto adoption, the Finder’s report said.

Also, according to the report, South Africa’s crypto ownership rate of 10% is five percentage points lower than the global average of 15%. Regarding the cryptocurrencies held or owned by South Africans, the report said half of the respondents own bitcoin while the remaining half is split between three altcoins.

“As it stands, roughly 5% of those surveyed in South Africa say they own Bitcoin (BTC), with 2% saying they own Ethereum (ETH), 2% own Dogecoin (DOGE) and 1% own Cardano (ADA),” the report said.

VanEck, the New York-based asset management firm, is once again forced to wait for the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to rule on its latest Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application.

Van Eck, which has over $65 billion in assets under management, submitted its latest spot Bitcoin ETF application on June 24, with the previous deadline for the regulator’s decision expiring on August 27.

If approved, VanEck’s product would trade on the Cboe BZX Exchange.

In an August 24 filing, the SEC said it was extending the decision on VanEck’s application by another 45-day period, until October 11, when the regulator would “either approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove, the proposed rule change.”

Bitcoin’s price has failed to overcome the critical resistance level at $25,000 and has since retraced to where it currently trades at $21,500.

Since August 15th, the cryptocurrency has lost about 15% of its dollar value and has closed only four days in the green. Now, data suggests that there might be more pain to come, at least in the short term.

Data reveals that the miners have moved to reduce their reserves since August 8. An analyst from the popular resource CryptoQuant commented on the matter, saying:

The percentage change (%) in the positions of BTC miners indicates that miners have again moved to reduce their reserves since August 08,2022, and now their net balance is in the negative zone.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance will suspend deposits and withdrawals of Ether (ETH) and ERC-20 tokens during the blockchain’s transition to its proof-of-stake (PoS) Beacon chain in September.

The world’s largest exchange by transaction volume announced the move in a bid to provide stability during ‘The Merge’ which is touted to take place in mid-September 2022. Binance becomes the second major exchange to announce the suspension of ETH deposits and withdrawals, following Coinbase earlier in August 2022.

According to an announcement from Binance, the exchange is timing suspensions with two important upgrades that will facilitate Ethereum’s switch from proof-of-work (PoW) to PoS. The exchange noted that a new token could be created during a hard fork, necessitating steps to reduce trading risks and ensure the safety of user funds which could be affected by price volatility.

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex has appointed a restructuring firm to assist with a recovery plan after it was forced to halt withdrawals and file for protection from creditors in July.

Australian firm KordaMentha will work with the exchange’s solicitors, Morgan Lewis Stamford, on how best to reorganize the company and preserve assets, the exchange said in a statement on its website.

Zipmex is one of many crypto companies that withered as the market slid earlier this year. Bitcoin fell from $69,000 to $17,000 in six months, bankrupting lenders like Celsius Network and Voyager Digital while Singapore-based hedge fund Three Arrows Capital imploded. Zipmex loaned $48 million to Babel Finance, also a crypto lender, and $5 million to Celsius, none of which has been repaid.

The governor of the Indian central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Shaktikanta Das, warned about investing in cryptocurrency in an interview with ET Now earlier this week.

Noting that the RBI has cautioned investors on several occasions about the risks of investing in crypto, Das said: “I’m happy that we sounded those warning signals and I would like to believe that a large number of people would have taken a note of the warning signals and the concerns expressed by the Reserve Bank.” He added:

I would like to believe … that many people did not invest in crypto or sort of pulled out of crypto thanks to the cautions and concerns that emanated out of the Reserve Bank.

“Crypto, you know, we have said it earlier, it can create a lot of financial instability in terms of the ability of the central bank to determine monetary policy,” the RBI governor continued. “It will also have an adverse impact on our exchange rate, on capital flows, on banking sector stability.”

Holders of Ethereum Classic (ETC) are cautiously watching the mining activity of its blockchain, as the approaching merge of Ethereum (ETH) and its transition to the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism puts more attention on the six-year-old cryptocurrency.

The drastic jump in activity may signal a shift in focus for cryptocurrency miners. It could also reduce the risks of a so-called “51% attack” on ETC, which have been levied against the blockchain in the past.

The hash rate of the Ethereum Classic network—a measure of the computational power per second used when mining a cryptocurrency—hit an all time high on Thursday. According to data from crypto market intelligence firm Messari, the ETC hash rate was 42 terahashes, or 42 trillion hashes per second.

In June, Eminem and Snoop Dogg featured as Bored Apes in a new music video, which featured 2D animations of their BAYC NFTs.

According to the latest update, they are all set to bring their BAYC NFTs to MTV Video Music Awards to perform from Otherside, Yuga Labs’ future metaverse game.

Performing their song, “From the D to the LBC,” they will take the entertainment to heights.

Otherside is under development, and its release date is not confirmed yet.

The company has shared that the game is in Phase1, which means only the owners of Otherdeed land NFTs and a few selected developers are able to access the aspects of the MMORPG-based title.

How NFTs are making their way into mainstream culture is what the VMA performance shows. NFTs have turned into status symbols for the rich and popular people, with BAYC being the favorite of everyone be it restaurants or M&Ms.

As the crypto community tries to navigate the bear market and recover from the onslaught brought about by stablecoin incidents like the Terra crash, another algorithmic stablecoin shows signs of struggle as it falls below its dollar peg. 

Algorithmic stablecoin Neutrino Dollar (USDN) has deviated from the dollar once again, marking the fourth time that USDN struggled to maintain its dollar peg this year. The Waves-backed stablecoin is trading at $0.90 at the time of writing.

In April, USDN crashed to $0.78 as price manipulation accusations began to float. The stablecoin recovered within a few days after its first crash. However, in the following months, the digital asset once again showed signs of weakness. In May, it fell to $0.82 and dropped once more in June as it traded at around $0.93 per token.