Crypto News Headlines (26-Jul-2023)

Decentralized finance (DeFi) credit marketplace Credix Finance has opened a new private credit lending pool using the layer 1 blockchain Solana, the firm said Wednesday.

Lenders can capture near 11% annual yield investing in insurance-protected private credit to Colombian farmers backed by receivables, said Credix, which believes the pool could swell to $150 million over the next months based on capital demand in the country.

The new offering comes as DeFi and traditional finance are becoming increasingly intertwined, with crypto native firms working with legacy financial institutions to bring old-school instruments such as private credit and bonds – often referred to as real-world assets (RWAs) – to the blockchain. The tokenization of RWAs could disrupt finance by making capital markets more efficient, transparent and accessible, and could be a $4 trillion-$16 trillion market by 2030, a Boston Consulting Group report said.

Binance Holdings, the operator of the world’s largest crypto trading platform, Chief Executive Changpeng Zhao and former Chief Compliance Officer Samuel Lim intend to seek the dismissal of a complaint by the U.S. CFTC against the exchange, according to a court filing on Monday quoted by Reuters and Bloomberg.

In March of this year, the CFTC sued Binance for alleged violations of U.S. trading and derivatives rules. At the time, the regulator said that at least since July 2019, the exchange had offered and executed commodity derivatives transactions on behalf of U.S. persons.

The lawsuit argued that Binance should have registered with the U.S. agency and noted that the company continued to violate the CFTC’s regulations for years. The regulator accused CZ and his company of operating an “illegal” exchange and having a “sham” compliance program. The exchange is due to submit its response to the CFTC complaint on July 27.

South Korea is taking steps to tackle the uptick in criminal activities linked to crypto by launching a specialized investigations unit.

The multi-agency joint virtual asset crime investigation unit aims to safeguard the interests of investors while the country awaits comprehensive regulations for the industry.

The Joint Investigation Centre for Crypto Crimes, operating from the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office, will consist of 30 investigators drawn from several government agencies and bodies, including the prosecution, the Financial Supervisory Service, the National Tax Service, and the Korea Customs Service.

According to Decrypt, a consortium of companies, including Polygon Labs and digital asset platform Fireblocks, is receiving support from Milano Hub, a research center backed by Italy’s central bank, in a bid to develop an ecosystem called the “Institutional DeFi for Security Token” that aims to enable traditional financial institutions to engage more in the DeFi space while minimizing the risks faced by retail investors.

Cetif Advisory, a research consultancy supporting banks, insurance companies, and other traditional finance institutions with digitization solutions, announced that it would be receiving developmental support from Milano Hub for this project. Imanuel Baharier, General Manager of Cetif Advisory, emphasized the importance of creating a “safe and open operating environment” for institutional players, incorporating traditional rails around know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) processes that these firms are familiar with.

Binance has withdrawn its cryptocurrency custody license application in Germany. The exchange confirmed its withdrawal to Cointelegraph on July 26, nearly a month after reports of rejections from The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).

On June 29, BaFin reportedly rejected the crypto exchange’s custody license. However, at the time, it was unclear whether the regulator officially denied Binance’s application or if it verbally informed the company. However, Binance has now confirmed that it has formally withdrawn its license application.

A spokesperson from Binance told Cointelegraph that it intends to re-apply for a license in Germany, with changes to its application reflecting the changes in the regulatory environment:

“Binance confirms that it has proactively withdrawn its BaFin application. The situation, both in the global market and regulation, has changed significantly. Binance still intends to apply for appropriate licensing in Germany, but it is essential that our submission accurately reflects these changes.“

The SEC-registered robo-adviser will offer several crypto sector investment solutions, in addition an offering that follows all of the sectors tracked by CDI.

Hedgehog, an SEC-registered robo-advisor for crypto-focused investors, will soon let users invest in automated sectors based on indices offered by CoinDesk Indices (CDI).

Users can invest in one of several digital asset sectors tracked by CDI’s indices, including computing, culture and entertainment, currency, decentralized finance (DeFi) and smart contract platform. Hedgehog will also offer The CoinDesk Market Select Index (CMIS), a single automated investing solution providing exposure to all the sectors CDI tracks.

CoinDesk Indices is a part of CoinDesk.

Specifically, the SEC alleged in its complaint that Ripple sold more than 14.6 billion XRP, valued at more than $1.38 billion from 2013 through 2020, without filing a registration statement. According to the complaint these sales constituted a violation of Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act). Further, the SEC alleged that Ripple sold XRP as an investment contract, which is a security under the SEC’s jurisdiction according to the Securities Act (15 U.S.C § 77b(a)(1)). The SEC alleged Ripple conducted three types of unregistered securities offerings: (1) programmatic sales on digital asset exchanges for which it received $757 million; (2) institutional sales under written contracts for which is received $728 million; and (3) other distributions under written contracts for which it recorded $609 million in “consideration other than cash.”

Singapore’s High Court has deemed crypto as property in a case involving crypto exchange Bybit and a contractor. A court judgement published Tuesday declared crypto assets are property capable of being held on trust.

Judge Philip Jeyaretnam also ruled crypto assets were things in action; an intangible property type, like a cash balance at a bank or money due on a bond. Specific to the case, the court determined USDT is property capable of being held on trust. However, the judge did not see the need to restrict this to USDT. “Like any other thing in action, USDT is capable of being held on trust,” Judge Jeyaretnam said.

In making his ruling Jevaretnam cited the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) consultation paper on proposed amendments to the payment services from early July. He stated the MAS proposals showed “it is possible in practice to identify and segregate such digital assets.” This supported his view that “it should be legally possible to hold crypto assets on trust.”

Reported by Coindesk, Singapore’s High Court has recognised crypto as a property capable of being held on trust, in a case involving Seychelles-based exchange Bybit and a contractor, according to a court judgement published on Tuesday.

Bybit brought a case against Ho Kai Xin, claiming that in breach of her employment contract, she abused her position to transfer over 4.2 million USDT to addresses owned and controlled by her. Ho also transferred a quantity of fiat currency to her own bank account.

“Like any other thing in action, USDT is capable of being held on trust,” Judge Philip Jeyaretnam, who presided over the case, said.

The controversial crypto project Worldcoin was launched for the public on July 24, making way for customers to scan their iris at designated locations in 20 countries and receive 25 Worlcoins (WLD) the native token of the project.

The project debuted on the back of 2 million pre-signups but the interest seems to have faded after the actual launch. On that first day, users seemed keen, with Hong Kong seeing the highest number of signups.  The city offered three designated spots called Orbs, where users; irises are scanned and they’re offered a “world ID.”

According to a report published by South China Morning Post, the three designated locations in Hong Kong each saw about 200 signups on the first day, making it the highest number of signups across the 20 countries included in the launch.