Crypto News Headlines (29-Aug-2022)

AVAX dropped to the lowest since July 13 on Monday after a self-described “whistleblower” website accused Ava Labs, the company behind its parent smart contract blockchain Avalanche, paid lawyers to hurt competitors and keep regulators at bay.

On Friday, Crypto Leaks, a self-proclaimed whistleblower, published a report saying some years ago, New York-based Ava Labs focused on developing Avalanche’s ecosystem, and law firm Roche Freedman made a deal under which Freedman would collect confidential information of rival companies and trap them under class action lawsuits in return for massive amounts of AVAX tokens and Ava Labs corporate stock.

The report said:

“We can reveal that the pact directs Roche Freedman and their leader Kyle Roche, to: 1) use the American legal system – gangster style – to attack and harm crypto organizations and projects that might compete with Ava Labs or Avalanche in some way, 2) sue crypto industry actors generally with the aim of creating magnets for regulators such as the SEC and CFTC that distract them from the highly commercial nature of Ava Labs and the Avalanche blockchain, and 3) secretly pursue Emin Gün Sirer’s personal vendettas against individuals.”

Latam countries have become an attractive destiny for cryptocurrency exchanges and companies due to the relevance that crypto assets have reached in some countries. This is because of the economic problems that the region is facing, including high levels of inflation and devaluation. Bitbase, a Spain-based cryptocurrency ATM and store company, is preparing to launch operations in Venezuela later this year.

The conditions have made the country fertile ground for the growth of cryptocurrency usage. Bitbase is betting on this growth to continue, as it expects to open several stores in the country. About this, Enrique De Los Reyes, the manager of Bitbase in Venezuela, declared:

We are going very, very strong with landing in Venezuela this year. We continue with the hard work, which will soon bear fruit, with all the licenses we need to operate in Venezuela. And we want to give that image of the correct mass adoption (good use) of cryptocurrencies.

Several key cryptocurrencies fell dramatically Sunday evening as traditional markets dropped heading into a new trading week.

Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Cardano (ADA), Solana, and meme coin Dogecoin (DOGE) all saw values fall sharply within a two-hour window as the sun set on the U.S. East Coast, many logging drops of over 3% over the prior 24 hours.

Bitcoin fell to $19,617 on Sunday evening, below the last dip to $19,323 seen on July 13, according to CoinGecko. The decline continued a slide that began Friday, which brought brief hope of a recovery when BTC bumped briefly north to $21,743.

Regulators in Singapore are tightening their grip over crypto trading activities in the country. On Monday, August 29, the chief of Singapore’s central bank said that the city is considering new measures to make crypto trading even more difficult for retail investors.

In a seminar on Monday, Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said:

Adding frictions on retail access to cryptocurrencies is an area we are contemplating. These may include customer suitability tests and restricting the use of leverage and credit facilities for cryptocurrency trading.

He further noted that retail investors have been “irrationally oblivious” about the risks associated with crypto trading. Earlier this year in January, the MAS issued guidelines to limit crypto trading service providers from promoting their services to the public. This was a move to shield retail investors from the volatility in the crypto space.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse took to Twitter to deny recent explosive claims made by Crypto Leaks, an online publication focusing on corruption and fraud-related news in the crypto ecosystem.

Crypto Leaks published a report on Friday containing a series of short videos from an unknown source. The report claimed that Ava Labs formed a secret pact with the law firm to use the American legal system “gangster style” to “attack and harm crypto organizations.”

The same report also alleged that Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse funded a law firm to target competitor firms. The report claimed Roche, who founded Roche Freedman, was earlier working with Boies Schiller Flexner, a firm that was representing Ripple in its lawsuit against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Roche allegedly approached Garlinghouse to invest in a law firm that would target competitor crypto firms with lawsuits quite similar to what Ripple was facing at the time. And Kyle claimed that Garlinhouse agreed to his proposal.

“For whatever reasons Brad Garlinghouse invested in Kyle Roche and supported him on his current path, it certainly didn’t save him from the SEC.”

Amid Dubai moving forward with a new license program for cryptocurrency service providers, local regulators are introducing additional marketing and advertising rules for the industry.

Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), the city’s dedicated crypto regulator, reportedly announced new regulatory guidelines on marketing, advertising and promotions of virtual assets on Aug. 25.

In the rules, the VARA referred to all forms of outreach, communications and advertising, dissemination of information, building awareness, customer engagement, investor solicitation and others, the local news agency Gulf News reported.

The guidelines cover all virtual asset-related communications and entities publishing information on Dubai-based media websites, search platforms as well as online and offline publishing channels that target customers within the Dubai market.

Indian crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber CEO Ashish Singhal said Saturday “we are fully cooperating” with the Enforcement Directorate, two days after searches at five locations by the financial crimes agency.

Disclosing the news of the searches on Thursday, the Bangalore cell of India’s Enforcement Directorate told CoinDesk “Searches were conducted since we did not receive the desired cooperation from CoinSwitch Kuber.”.

Two days later, the CEO of the exchange took to Twitter, apparently seeking to clarify that the “engagement with the ED” is not about money laundering or India’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act. In its earlier report, CoinDesk said the searches were in connection with India’s Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). In his Twitter thread, Singhal did not state what the searches were related to.

CoinSwitch didn’t immediately respond to a request for further comment.

Financial pyramids and illegal forex dealers in Russia, many of which now specialize in offering crypto investment and settlement opportunities, are moving offline, the daily Izvestia reported quoting the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR).

For the first time in recent years, the organizers of such scams are opening offices where they try to convince potential victims to invest in virtual money or suggest services to bypass foreign sanctions and government restrictions. In-person contact is always more effective for that purpose, experts say.

They also warn that sharing information with dubious platforms often leads to loss of funds, either fiat or crypto. The trend of going offline indicates that scammers are preparing for a larger demand as Russians’ access to global financial assets has become extremely problematic, the report notes.

GammaX, a Singapore-based company building a new high-performance hybrid crypto derivatives exchange, announced the closure of a $4 million seed round, backed by the likes of StarkWare, the developer of zero-knowledge proof technology, and liquidity provider Dexterity Capital.

Other investors in the round include Alphanonce, Cobo, Genesis Trading, Kyber, Ledger Prime, Matrixport, Profluent, Uncorrelated, and 01Node, GammaX said in an announcement shared with Decrypt.

“Our mission is to create the world’s fastest, most complete, easiest to use, and most responsive exchange available to traders,” Defi Das, the anonymous co-founder of GammaX, said in a statement. “In order to achieve that, we are blending the best aspects of both centralized and decentralized exchanges.”

As rumors about an upcoming Bitcoin (BTC) dump float on Twitter, Mt. Gox creditors took to Twitter to say that these are all false, with one highlighting that the defunct exchange’s repayment system is still not live yet.

In a Twitter thread, Eric Wall introduced himself as a Mt. Gox creditor and confirmed that there would not be a 137,000 BTC dump, countering rumors floating around on social media. According to Wall, the exchange has not yet completed the infrastructure needed to commence the repayment.

In addition, Wall also said that at the moment, people are still unable to register where to send the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) payments. The creditor also believes that payments should occur in various installments, dismissing the fears that thousands of Bitcoin will be sold all at once, dumping the crypto’s price.

Wall also noted that the crypto exchange has not yet provided a timeline on when it will proceed with its repayment process. Following this, the creditor also argued that even if the BTC were released, he would rather buy than sell because of the current market conditions.