Crypto News Headlines (30-Mar-2023)

The South Korean crypto trading mania has seemingly returned fueled by the surge in XRP tokens.

Trading volumes for XRP spiked to billions of dollars on UpBit, Bithumb and Korbit, three of Korea’s top exchanges by volume, on the back of the token’s 26% rise in the past week.

In the past 24 hours, XRP trading made up 37% of all volume on Bithumb, 18% of volume on UpBit, and a staggering 50% of all volume on Korbit, data from CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap shows. These volumes were against the U.S. dollar on UpBit, and against the Korean won on Bithumb and Korbit.

Cryptocurrencies do not “bring anything useful for society,” according to a high-ranking representative of Nvidia, the leading manufacturer of graphics processing units (GPUs). The executive expressed this opinion despite his company selling quantities of video cards to the industry.

Other uses of their processing power, such as those associated with artificial intelligence (AI) applications like the Chatgpt chatbot, are more worthwhile than mining crypto, Nvidia’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Kagan told the Guardian.

The U.S. tech firm, which is also a major supplier of AI hardware and software, hasn’t been too keen on the crypto market. Two years ago, it tried to restrict the ability to use its GPUs to mint ether (ETH), the second largest cryptocurrency, which was popular among miners at the time.

A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill earlier this month that seeks to bolster the federal government’s powers in fighting perceived foreign technology threats. And some in the digital assets industry are warning it could possibly spell disaster for crypto.

The bill entitled the RESTRICT Act—which stands for Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology—has garnered the support of 21 lawmakers who’ve co-sponsored the bill as well as the White House, which has urged Congress “to act quickly to send it to the president’s desk.”

According to The Giving Block’s 2023 annual report titled “Crypto Philanthropy Data, Trends & Predictions,” all-time crypto donations in the platform surpassed $125 million in 2022. Based on the data available, the crypto charity project predicted that it could surpass $1 billion in August 2027, reach $5 billion in June 2031 and exceed the $10 billion mark in November 2032.

Data collected by the crypto charity platform The Giving Block shows that donations in the form of cryptocurrencies are set to go over $10 billion within the next decade.

In addition to the platform’s data on crypto donations, The Giving Block also based its predictions on its analysis of potential Bitcoin’s BTC tickers down $28,670 price trajectory. The platform predicted that BTC may reach $100,000 on September 2026 and reach $250,000 on October 2029.

Mercado Libre, Latin America’s largest e-commerce company by market value, has enabled crypto trading in Chile via its digital wallet, Mercado Pago.

Users of Mercado Pago in Chile can now trade bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) with a minimum amount of 50 Chilean pesos (equivalent to about 6 cents), Mercado Libre’s fintech vertical director, Osvaldo Gimenez, said in a LinkedIn post.

Mercado Pago is offering the trading feature in partnership with Latin American crypto company Ripio. The company previously enabled crypto trading in Brazil in December 2021 and started the same service in Mexico last year.

According to Gimenez, more than 2 million users have traded crypto on Mercado Pago in Brazil since December 2021, while more than 150,000 did so in the first month after the launch of that feature in Mexico.

Bitcoin (BTC) could see wild price swings heading into the weekend as options contracts worth billions of dollars tied to the cryptocurrency are set to expire on Friday.

At press time, the quarterly expiry on dominant crypto options exchange Deribit comprised 81,052 call options worth $2.24 billion and 60,261 put options worth $1.73 billion, according to data from Amberdata. Deribit, which accounts for almost 80% of the global crypto options activity, will settle the quarterly options at 08:30 UTC on Friday. On Deribit, one options contract represents 1 BTC.

“There is massive quarterly options expiry tomorrow,” said Dick Lo, CEO and co-founder of TDX Strategies. “The street is potentially short gamma on the top side. That plus thin liquidity could lead to big chops in both directions.”

Bybit, one of the world’s leading global crypto exchanges, has partnered with Innovation Growth Hub to launch a blockchain education and training program targeting African youths. The training program is expected to help young people learn and understand the fundamentals of blockchain, as well as how this creates new opportunities.

According to a local report, experts in the blockchain field are expected to lead or oversee the interactive discussions and online lectures. An unnamed spokesperson for Bybit is quoted in the report highlighting the importance of the training program.

“Our goal is to give young people the knowledge and skills they need to understand and engage with blockchain technology. Hence, we will work together with Innovation Growth Hub to create a unique learning experience for participants,” the spokesperson said.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler today said that rules for the cryptocurrency market already exist—but that the industry is still “rife with noncompliance.”

The SEC boss testified at the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Wednesday and reiterated his point that the vast majority of coins and tokens in the crypto space are securities.

Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA) asked the chairman today if the SEC has “any plans to issue a rule to clarify how securities laws apply to digital assets,” echoing a common refrain from the crypto industry that has for years called for “regulatory clarity.” Gensler, in typical form, stuck to his guns that the rules for crypto could not be any clearer..

As Hong Kong is again opening up to the crypto market, local investors are launching a $100 million fund to finance the digital industry. The new fund, ProDigital Future, will aim at early-stage Web3 companies oriented at the regional market.

According to a Bloomberg report from March 30, ProDigital Future has finished its half-year fundraising period with about $30 million in its pockets. However, it plans to raise $100 million by the end of 2023.

The fund is led by Ben Ng, a partner at Hong Kong-based equity firm SAIF Partners, and Curt Shi, a long-time tech investor from China. At this point, Sunwah Kingsway Capital Holdings and Golin International Group have already hopped in to support the fund.

On Wednesday, Australian opposition senator Andrew Bragg introduced a new bill to the country’s parliament to implement a licensing regime for crypto exchanges.

If passed, the bill would require Australian crypto exchanges to obtain a license to operate legally, bringing them in line with other financial service providers in the country who are also subject to licensing requirements.

Bragg introduced the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023 as a private senator’s bill, which aims to protect consumers and encourage investment in digital assets by introducing regulatory measures.

The bill also includes provisions for regulating stablecoins and custody obligations. While Australian ministers typically introduce new regulatory changes, the Parliamentary Education Office notes that individual members of parliament can also introduce private members’ or private senators’ bills.