News Headlines (22nd December 2023)

Solana’s SOL neared $100 early Friday as ongoing hype for the blockchain’s speedy transactions, cheap fees and a lottery of meme coin issuances extended into its third week.

Metrics show Solana has possibly been the strongest draw among on-chain traders, with trading volumes and network fees crossing those of Ethereum – which is usually the highest – on a seven-day rolling basis.

Value locked on Solana applications grew in tandem, rising to $1.3 billion worth of tokens from the $400 million mark in November to reach levels previously seen in July 2022.

Approximately $1.4 billion worth of assets—digital and otherwise—have been frozen by Teneo, the firm handling the liquidation of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.

The freeze stops 3AC co-founders Su Zhu and Kyle Davies, along with Davies’ wife, Kelly Chen, from accessing the funds in question.

“The worldwide freezing order has been sought in connection with claims that are being pursued by the liquidators that allege, amongst other things, that the Founders should be held responsible for causing 3AC’s position to deteriorate by an amount that is equivalent to the value of the freezing orders sought,” Teneo told Decrypt in a statement.

The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador has reportedly approved a migration law granting expedited citizenship to foreigners who make Bitcoin $43,582 donations toward government social and economic development programs.

The reform was passed by the country’s legislature on Dec. 21 with support from the Nayib Bukele’s New Ideas party, according to a Reuters report.

The law is expected to come into force in the coming days.

Bukele temporarily stepped down as the country’s leader to campaign for the upcoming presidential election on Feb. 4, 2024. He spearheaded El Salvador’s Bitcoin revolution when he made the cryptocurrency legal tender in September 2021.

According to Foresight News, Offchain Labs has published a report on the sequencer outage that occurred on December 15th, causing transaction failures and abnormally high gas prices for users during the event. The interruption was triggered by a backlog due to a large number of inscriptions being minted. The Offchain Labs team, representing the Arbitrum Foundation, led the investigation and resolution of the issue.

The backlog was exacerbated by problems with consensus clients and monitoring methods, making it difficult for batch posters to keep up. Currently, a new version has been deployed to the Arbitrum One sequencer, and normal functionality has been restored.

Under the latest guidance VCEs with prior approvals for coin-listing policies must receive NYDFS approval for both their coin-listing and coin-delisting policies before self-certifying any coins. Once NYDFS approves both policies, VCEs may self-certify coins for New York-based activities. However, without NYDFS-approved listing policies, VCEs will almost always be restricted to listing coins on the NYDFS Greenlist, barring specific NYDFS approvals. Additionally, the NYDFS retains discretionary authority to require VCEs to delist coins or restrict access for New Yorkers to non-Greenlist coins.

In a joint statement, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said the virtual asset environment has changed since 2018, when the SFC formulated a “professional-investors only” regulatory approach.

Hong Kong has been loosening its approach to crypto this year, and the regulators’ opinion on retail exposure to digital assets has shifted. In October, the SFC updated its rule book to allow a broader range of investors to engage in spot-crypto and ETF investing. Then, last month, SFC Chief Executive Officer Julia Leung said the regulator was moving toward allowing retail amidinvestors to buy spot crypto ETFs and would “welcome proposals using innovative technology that boosts efficiency and customer experience” provided any risks were addressed.

Solana (SOL) continues to soar in value—even while other major coins and tokens lie flat or dip slightly.

SOL is now up 12% in 24 hours and is trading above $89, according to CoinGecko. Yesterday, the asset flipped XRP to become the fifth biggest cryptocurrency by market cap. And in the past week, SOL has risen by almost 25%.

The renewed investor interest in SOL and its ecosystem—praised and used by developers and major companies like Visa and Shopify—has led to tokens that run on its blockchain blowing up in value. Meme coins that run on Solana’s blockchain in particular are doing well.

n a survey titled Tackling Crypto Crime, conducted by TRM Labs with over 300 U.S. and international law enforcement professionals, 90% of respondents believe their organizations offer crypto training, but 99% call for this to be increased.

According to the survey, 93% of respondents were from U.S. law enforcement, with a majority from federal agencies and the rest from state, county, and local agencies. 40% of their investigations involved crypto, and they anticipate it to reach 51% by 2027. Despite expectations of increased crypto studies, most law enforcement professionals feel unprepared for this future.

According to Coincu, cryptocurrency miner Core Scientific is expected to exit bankruptcy in January 2024 after reaching a global settlement with key stakeholders. The Austin-based company secured preliminary agreements with major parties, facilitating a consensual reorganization plan and hastening its exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Core Scientific is poised to emerge from bankruptcy in mid-to-late January, following a challenging period marked by the drop in Bitcoin prices and escalating energy costs for mining.

Last year, Core Scientific’s bankruptcy, exacerbated by debt owed by Celsius Network, a major client in the US cryptocurrency loan industry, had significant ripple effects on the market. Core Scientific CEO Adam Sullivan revealed that a preliminary agreement with key stakeholders, including the Ad Hoc Noteholders Group, Unsecured Creditors Committee, Equity Committee, and B.

Over the past year, Bitcoin inscriptions have surged in popularity due to the advent of Ordinals, significantly impacting the Bitcoin blockchain. This controversial method has led to a sharp increase in transaction costs and a congested mempool, reigniting debates reminiscent of 2017’s block size war.

The phenomenon has now extended to Ethereum and other EVM-compatible chains. Despite the initial skepticism about introducing inscriptions on smart contract-capable blockchains, the demand for EVM inscriptions has been so high that it caused a service outage on Arbitrum on Dec. 15, 2023.