Crypto News Headlines (26-Jan-2023)

In its latest earnings report released Wednesday, Tesla revealed it had neither bought nor sold any Bitcoin in the final quarter of 2022.

The electric car manufacturer, however, reported $34 million in impairment charges as the value of its Bitcoin holdings declined to $184 million from $218 million in Q3 2022.

In the world of accounting, an impairment charge is the reduction of an asset’s value below its carrying amount or the acquisition cost of an asset. In the context of Tesla’s Bitcoin holdings, this means that while the company still holds the same amount of BTC in its balance sheet, the market value of the stash has dropped compared to the previous quarter.

Bitcoin traded just under $20,000 at the end of September 2022, before falling below $16,000 by the end of the year, according to CoinGecko.

https://decrypt.co/120044/tesla-reports-34m-impairment-charge-bitcoin-holdings-q4-2022

U.K.’s financial services minister Andrew Griffith on Wednesday pledged a greater engagement with the crypto sector, as he plans new post-Brexit laws.

Last April Rishi Sunak – then finance minister, now prime minister – said he wanted to make the country a crypto hub, but a consultation on how to govern the financial technology is now overdue.

“My undertaking is to have six roundtables with the sector with a variety of sector participants during 2023,” Griffith, from Sunak’s Conservative Party, told lawmakers at Wednesday’s parliamentary debate on regulating crypto.

“We’ll bring forward timely, sensible and balanced regulation in order to allow the safe use of this technology,” while ensuring regulatory clarity and facilitating financial-technology investment, Griffith added.

https://www.binance.com/en/news/flash/7377806

Crypto exchange Coinbase has been fined 3,325,000 euros ($3.6 million) by the Dutch central bank for offering crypto services to customers in the country without registration.

Dutch law requires crypto providers to register under anti-money laundering and terrorist financing norms.

“The base amount [of the fine] has been increased due to the severity and degree of culpability of the non-compliance,” the Dutch central bank said, adding that it had also taken account of the scale of Coinbase’s Dutch customer base and the competitive advantage it had gained by not paying supervisory fees.

Coinbase, which has until March 2 to object to the administrative fine, told CoinDesk it disagreed with the enforcement order and is “carefully considering the objections and appeals process.”

https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2023/01/26/coinbase-fined-36m-by-dutch-regulator-for-failure-to-register/

A spokesperson for USD Coin (USDC) issuer Circle has denied reports that it blames the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over its failed $9 billion plan to go public in December.

The stablecoin issuer representative was responding to a Jan. 25 Financial Times article that characterized Circle as having “blamed” the securities regulator for its “derailed” listing by dragging its feet on the approval of a merger agreement

However, a Circle spokesperson clarified to Cointelegraph that was not the case and that it doesn’t hold any blame over the SEC for the termination of its merger agreement.

“Circle has not and does not blame the SEC for anything related to the mutual termination of our SPAC merger agreement with Concord, and any statements to the contrary are inaccurate.”

https://cointelegraph.com/news/circle-denies-blaming-sec-for-shuttered-9b-plan-to-go-public

The Financial Monitoring Agency (FMA) of the Republic of Kazakhstan has dismantled a group involved in the illegal exchange of cryptocurrencies. Its members organized the trading through several websites such as kzobmen.com, 1wm.kz, kazobmen.ru, wm007.kz, and kz-exchange.com.

As part of the operation in Kostanay region, searches were carried out at six locations, in which items incriminating the operators of the platforms were seized, the watchdog said in a press release. Its employees confiscated a number of laptops, cell phones, and flash memory sticks, as well as banking and accounting documents.

The authority alleged that the organizers of the online exchangers had received “especially large-scale” income from their business undertaking, without specifying the amount. It also did not reveal how many persons were in the group or their identities.

https://news.bitcoin.com/several-crypto-exchange-websites-taken-down-in-kazakhstan/

The European Union continues to push hard for clear regulations for the Bitcoin and crypto industry. After the final vote on the European Union’s draft legislation to regulate cryptocurrencies, the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA), was postponed until April 2023 due to technical difficulties, the European Parliament yesterday approved new banking regulations.

As Reuters reports, the Economic Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on Tuesday approved a bill to implement the final stage of the post-financial crisis global bank capital rules (Basel-III) starting in January 2025. It stipulates that volatile cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin will be considered the riskiest investment.

In doing so, the European Union is following the Bank of International Settlement (BIS), which essentially divides cryptos into two distinct groups. Group 1 represents tokenized assets and stablecoins with approved stabilization mechanisms, while it is questionable whether Tether or USDC meets the requirements.

https://www.binance.com/en/news/flash/7377550

An Arizona State Senator has introduced a bill to make Bitcoin legal tender in The Grand Canyon State.

Wendy Rogers, a Republican and enthusiastic supporter of former President Donald Trump, yesterday put forward a proposal to amend the definition of legal tender in the state’s statutes to include the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.

The bill was introduced as one of a bundle of changes suggested by the State Senator, which included another bill preventing local authorities from taxing the use of blockchain technology.

“Breaking: #Bitcoin is the best performing asset in the world this year according to data from Goldman Sachs.”

https://decrypt.co/120045/right-wing-arizona-senator-pushes-recognize-bitcoin-legal-tender

Decentralized crypto exchange Mango Markets sued its exploiter Avraham Eisenberg for $47 million in damages according to a United States District Court for the Southern District of New York filing on Wednesday.

Decentralized finance trader Eisenberg had, “through fraud and deception,” taken and converted approximately $114 million from Mango Markets. He later returned $67 million but “retained” the remainder, the filing said. Mango Markets now wants the remaining $47 million back in damages.

Charges have been piling up for Eisenberg. Last week the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Eisenberg for draining the money from Mango Markets. Prior to that the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission charged him for this exploitation and the lawsuit said he had violated federal commodities law by using a “manipulative or deceptive device” to affect the price of the MNGO token through swaps, and that he engaged in “manipulation of a swap.” Before that he faced similar charges from the Department of Justice.

https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2023/01/26/crypto-exchange-mango-markets-sues-exploiter-for-47m-in-damages/

A hacker dubbed the “Blockchain Bandit” has finally woken from a six-year slumber and has started to move their ill-gotten gains.

According to Chainalysis, around $90 million in crypto pilfered from the attacker’s long-running string of “programmatic theft” since 2016 has started moving over the past week.

This included 51,000 Ether ETH tickers down $1,604 and 470 Bitcoin BTC tickers down $22,978  — worth a total of around $90 million — leaving the bandit’s address for a new one. Chainalysis noted:

“We suspect that the bandit is moving their funds given the recent jump in prices.”

https://cointelegraph.com/news/blockchain-bandit-reawakens-90m-in-stolen-crypto-seen-shifting

The Central African Republic (CAR) leader, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, recently revealed that his country has set up a committee that is expected to draft a bill on the use of cryptocurrencies. The committee, which is comprised of 15 experts drawn from various government ministries, is expected to create a legal framework that helps the CAR achieve its goal of becoming a globally recognized blockchain technology-embracing country.

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.

— Faustin-Arhange Touadéra (@FA_Touadera) January 20, 2023

In an update issued via Twitter, President Touadéra, whose country became the first African state to adopt bitcoin, also shared a communique outlining his country’s vision as well as the various government ministries that have seconded experts to the committee.

https://news.bitcoin.com/central-african-republic-sets-up-committee-tasked-with-drafting-crypto-bill/