Crypto News Headlines (31-Mar-2023)

Crypto casino Rollbit says it hasn’t received any indication from authorities that its “operation are problematic,” however traders are not convinced and are selling the platform’s RLB token.

CoinGecko data shows that RLB is down 20% in the last 24 hours, or 37.5% over the last two weeks.

Crypto Twitter has noticed that Rollbit has removed information pertaining to its license from Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela, which is known to be an offshore hub for online gambling.

According to a Thursday report by Bloomberg, Ledger, the cryptocurrency hardware wallet maker, has revealed it raised €100 million ($109 million) from investors. The capital raise comes at a time when crypto companies have been going insolvent and laying off significant portions of their workers. Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier told Bloomberg’s Anna Irrera that the company will leverage the cash injection to expand distribution, production, and research and development.

Gauthier noted that in 2022, people became very aware that leaving money on centralized crypto platforms can be risky. The CEO also stressed that in the traditional finance world, people are having a hard time trusting financial institutions due to the recent bank collapses. “Suddenly people were like ‘wow, to leave crypto on an exchange is actually dangerous,’” Gauthier told Irrera. “And 2023 is even better for us because now you can’t even leave money at a Swiss bank.”

Citi says the industry is finally “approaching an inflection point” and that blockchain technology will soon see “billions of users and trillions of dollars in value.”

In its latest report “Money, Tokens, and Games: Blockchain’s Next Billion Users and Trillions in Value,” Citi analysts suggest that the next influx of crypto adoption will be powered primarily by the rise of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and the tokenization of real-world assets.

CBDCs are alternatives to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Based on current trials, CBDCs would be pegged to a fiat currency, be it the dollar or the pound, but exist digitally and be controlled by the issuing currency’s central bank, such as the Fed or the Central Bank of England.

Crypto custodian services provider BitGo released security features designed to protect owners of Bitcoin Ordinals Inscriptions, which allow people to inscribe text, images and even videos directly on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Bitcoin Ordinals was introduced at the end of January. Its newness means wallets cannot yet easily receive, send or store Ordinals Inscriptions. This puts potentially high-value inscriptions at risk of being accidentally transferred or sent to mining fees.

The tool introduced Thursday is intended to enable users to add Inscriptions tracking to any bitcoin hot wallet on BitGo.

With tracking enabled, any transaction received into the wallet will be checked for Inscriptions and frozen, if inscribed, to prevent the loss of valuable inscriptions, adding much needed security to Inscription storage.

The government of the United Kingdom has laid out plans to step up regulation of crypto assets in its efforts to respond to economic crime in the country.

In a policy paper released on March 30, the U.K. Treasury and Home Office said it planned to “robustly” regulate crypto to fight illicit use of digital assets. The focus on regulation was part of the government’s economic crime plan from 2023 to 2026, which also included pooling “the knowledge and abilities of law enforcement agencies” to review and strengthen how crypto assets involved in legal proceedings may be seized and stored.

“These steps will be in keeping with our ambition to make the U.K. an attractive destination for cryptoassets and cryptoasset innovation in the world,” said the plan. “Challenging as it is, effective cryptoasset regulation benefits everyone, including consumers and firms.”

Sushi Swap Head Chef Jared Grey is no longer feeling “inspired” after a wave of regulatory crackdowns on crypto exchanges, including the decentralized exchange (DEX) he manages, has put immense pressure on the crypto industry, according to comments he made during the protocol’s ask-me-anything call on Thursday.

Grey spoke candidly about his feelings toward U.S. regulators and the general state of his industry to three other speakers during the first few minutes of the hour-long public meeting before community members trickled into the Discord call, which CoinDesk attended.

More than $40 million was sent last year from wallets that were used to sponsor the Russian invasion of Ukraine to cryptocurrency exchanges, according to an analysis of such transactions conducted by Hapi Labs. The main purpose of these transfers was to launder the money, the Ukrainian startup claims in a post on Twitter published Tuesday.

While various amounts went to a number of crypto platforms, nearly 96% of the digital cash reached Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Researchers at the company, which provides blockchain tracking tools and data analysis software, believe this is an indication of failures in the anti-money laundering (AML) procedures.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, is no stranger to tussles with regulators around the world. But things now appear to be heating up, as investigations years in the making are now resulting in formal charges.

On Monday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sued Binance, alleging that the massive company violated trading and derivatives rules. 

The lawsuit claims that Binance, its CEO Changpeng Zhao, and other employees at the exchange solicited customers in the U.S. and “chose to ignore” rules designed to block Americans from using the service and trading unregistered crypto derivatives products.

Puppynet, the beta test network of Shibarium’s upgrade, has seen considerable activity since its launch just over a week ago with over 200,000 wallets now active. However, Rachel Lin, CEO of SynFutures, cautions that the associated financial impact is yet to be seen. Unification – the firm behind Shibarium – has announced plans to implement an all-in-one wallet solution that would enable two-way asset transfers, staking/delegating, and integration with Shibaswap. This could mean a positive near-term price spike for SHIB and Bone, the native tokens of the Shibarium network. But given the current global economic climate, any such movements are likely to be short-lived.

Testnets, such as Puppynet, are blockchain networks designed for testing and debugging purposes. Recently, developers of the Shiba Inu ecosystem have announced a new development: Shibarium – a layer 2 blockchain that seeks to reduce bottlenecks with scaling and data. By bundling multiple off-chain transactions into one layer 1 transaction, the data load and fees are significantly reduced. The primary focus of this new development will be on metaverse and gaming applications, such as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

Hardware wallet provider Ledger has raised 100 million euros ($109 million) in a Series C funding round extension, placing its valuation at 1.3 billion euros ($1.4 billion), in line with its previous funding in June 2021, Bloomberg reported on March 30. The funding is the first of three investment rounds. 

According to the report, a second closing is due in April, followed by a third funding to take place at a later date, given “high investor interest.” The capital will be used to expand the company’s distribution network, increase production, and develop new products.

Ledger’s new investors include VaynerFund, Cité Gestion SPV, True Global Ventures and Digital Finance Group. Previous investors include Morgan Creek, Cathay Innovation, Draper Dragon and Cap Horn, among others.