Crypto News Headlines (29-SEP-2023)

Police in Hong Kong and Macau have arrested four further people in a probe linked to the JPEX crypto exchange, the South China Morning Post reported Friday.

The arrest of people who the police say are “relatively close to core” of the scandal brings the total number of detentions to 18, and a number of other fugitives are still being tracked, the report said, adding that one suspect was allegedly found destroying documents with paper shredders and bleach in an apartment bathtub.

Funds were frozen on the JPEX platform after Hong Kong’s Securities and Future Commission accused it of operating without a license a few weeks ago, and the regulator has now said it will publish details of license applicants in response to the case.

The CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (Nasdaq: COIN), Brian Armstrong, publicly criticized JPMorgan’s British retail bank, Chase UK, on Wednesday for changing its policy to block all crypto-related payments. The Coinbase executive wrote on social media platform X:

Totally inappropriate behavior from Chase UK (this is their UK bank only is my understanding) … UK crypto holders should close their Chase accounts if this is how they’re going to be treated.

Armstrong also alerted British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Member of Parliament Andrew Griffith on X to address Chase’s anti-crypto policy shift. “It appears Chase UK does not respect your policy goals,” the Coinbase chief wrote.

Graphics card manufacturer NVIDIA saw its two French headquarters, located in Paris and Nice, raided on Tuesday by the Competition Authority, France’s antitrust watchdog.

The regulator announced that it had conducted “an unexpected visit and seizure operation at a company suspected of implementing anti-competitive practices in the graphics card sector.”

Reports from local media Challenges later indicated that the company in question was NVIDIA, indicating that the operation was authorized by the liberty and detention judge (JLD) and aimed to gather evidence within the context of suspicions of “anti-competitive practices.”

According to CryptoPotato, behavior analytics platform Santiment estimates that Bitcoin sharks and whales, defined as addresses holding between 10 to 10,000 BTC, now own over 66% of the circulating supply of the primary cryptocurrency. This is the highest level recorded in 2023 so far, with these investors being particularly active after BlackRock filed to launch a spot BTC ETF in the United States.

Santiment revealed that the latest purchasing efforts displayed by Bitcoin sharks and whales started on September 28 when the cryptocurrency market showed signs of serious revival. The price of the leading digital asset is up 2.5% in the past 24 hours, while the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Ether (ETH), has charted gains of approximately 4%. The platform also estimated that Tether sharks and whales have accumulated ‘buying power’ and currently hold 15.03B total coins, which is a six-week high.

A new bill in the United States aims to require cryptocurrency service providers to report all blockchain transactions to a government repository.

On Sept. 28, U.S. Representative Don Beyer introduced the “Off-Chain Digital Commodity Transaction Reporting Act,” requiring trading platforms to report all transactions to a repository registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The new legislation aims to protect cryptocurrency investors from disputes, manipulation or fraud potentially stemming from transactions occurring off-chain or transactions that take place beyond the blockchain network. Unlike on-chain transactions, off-chain crypto transactions are not instantly logged on a blockchain but are processed through secondary layers, thus creating some difficulties in being tracked.

“While this outcome is different from what was originally planned, we’ll continue to support them and hope to work together in the future,” said Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse.

Ripple said it won’t go forward with its outright acquisition of Nevada-based chartered trust company Fortress Trust.

“A few weeks ago, we signed a letter of intent to acquire Fortress Trust – we’ve since made the decision not to move forward with an outright acquisition, though Ripple will remain an investor,” Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse said on social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

Ripple said on Sept. 8 that it intended to buy Fortress for an undisclosed amount. At the time, a person with knowledge of the matter said the price tag was less than the $250 million Ripple paid for custody firm Metaco in May.

The Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) granted Coinbase International Exchange, the company’s new non-U.S. exchange, a license last week to extend its futures trading services to retail investors across the world, except residents in the U.S. With the approval, Coinbase is poised to expand its derivatives services to more customers globally through its Coinbase Advanced platform in the coming weeks.

“As the most trusted and safest name in crypto, Coinbase will operate with maximum transparency, employ a robust risk framework, and meet the high-bar regulatory and compliance standards of the BMA,” the Coinbase announcement said.

The company sees regulatory approval as an opportunity to further its mission of updating the global financial system by providing users around the world with more access to regulated derivatives. The announcement discloses that Coinbase will follow rigorous risk management and compliance standards set by Bermuda regulators.

It’s been a heady Friday morning for the crypto market.

Bitcoin (BTC) experienced a 2.4% gain in the past 24 hours, pushing its price above $27,000.

Ethereum (ETH) also saw a 3.3% increase, reclaiming support above $1,650.

A Bitfinex analyst told Decrypt that several factors contributed to this bullish price spike, including news of the Ethereum futures ETF, a 2% rise in the S&P 500 index, and approximately $80 million in short liquidations within the last 24 hours.

On Thursday, VanEck announced the upcoming launch of an Ethereum futures ETF, fueling bullish sentiments in the market.

According to Foresight News, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has published several lists of virtual asset trading platforms on its website. These lists include:

1) ‘Licensed Virtual Asset Trading Platform List’: This list contains the names of virtual asset trading platform operators that have been officially licensed by the SFC.

2) ‘Virtual Asset Trading Platform Applicant List’: This list includes the names of virtual asset trading platform operators who have applied for a license but have not yet been approved by the SFC.

3) ‘List of applicants whose license applications have been returned, rejected, or withdrawn’: This list features the names of virtual asset trading platform applicants who have been removed from the ‘Virtual Asset Trading Platform Applicant List’ due to their license applications being returned, rejected, or withdrawn.

4) ‘List of closed virtual asset trading platforms’: This list provides the names of virtual asset trading platform operators that are required to close their businesses within a specified period according to relevant regulations.

5) ‘List of virtual asset trading platforms deemed to be licensed’: This list contains the names of virtual asset trading platform operators that are considered to be licensed as of June 1, 2024.

Despite its roots embedded in Bitcoin BTC $26,761 lending, lending platform Ledn has announced the launch of an Ether ETH $1,662 yield offering following user requests for a shielded alternative to manually staking Ether.

The Cayman Islands firm has added an ETH offering to its Growth Accounts products, which currently offers users ring-fenced facilities to earn interest on Bitcoin and USD Coin USDC $1.00 deposits.

An announcement shared with Cointelegraph highlighted user calls for a means to earn interest from ETH holdings without having to manually stake and manage Ether through liquid staking pools.

The lending firm also notes that its Growth Accounts are specifically ring-fenced from Ledn’s other products and services. Deposited ETH is only exposed to the counterparty that generates yield off the staked amount, which means that user deposits will remain unaffected if Ledn were to go bankrupt.