News Headlines (25th MAR 2024)

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, was charged with tax evasion by Nigerian authorities as a weekslong standoff between the two parties intensified, local media outlets reported Monday, citing a statement from the country’s tax watchdog.

The charges, which also name two Binance executives detained by the government, were announced by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, one outlet reported. The exchange is being charged with four counts of tax evasion, including “non-payment of Value-Added Tax (VAT), Company Income Tax, failure to tax returns, and complicity in aiding customers to evade taxes through its platform.”

Bored Ape Yacht Club #9258, once owned by American comedian Kevin Hart, was traded for around 13.26 ether ($46,200) earlier today on Blur, a non-fungible token exchange, after changing hands multiple times over the weekend. It was sold at a significantly lower price than what Hart paid for it over two years ago, according to the platform’s trading page.

Hart purchased the Bored Ape, seen wearing a colorful propeller hat, in January 2022 for 79.5 ether, worth over $200,000 at the time, according to Blur data.

At the time of writing, the Bitcoin price is $66,964. Despite its 2.5% dip over the past week, BTC has still managed to surge 31% in the past month thanks to bullish momentum from traders.

There’s now less than a month left before the next Bitcoin halving, which will see the reward paid to miners cut from 6.25 to 3.125 BTC.  At the time of writing, it looks like it’ll occur on April 19, according to NiceHash. But the exact date changes all the time. That’s because halvings occur every 210,000 blocks and aren’t scheduled to happen on exact calendar days. And although new blocks tend to take 10 minutes to be processed, it varies.

Spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have taken center stage over the last few months as BlackRock’s bitcoin ETF (IBIT) continues to hit new ETF industry records. As BlackRock’s IBIT reaches new heights, crypto investment firm Grayscale’s GBTC product is struggling with redemptions  and could run out of bitcoin to sell in as early as 14 weeks time.

Based on the current rate of redemptions, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) could run out of bitcoin to sell in just 96 days, according to an analysis from blockchain analytics firm Arkham Intelligence. Those calculations were based on the 266,470 BTC that Grayscale transferred out of their wallets for redemptions since the closed-end fund was first converted into an ETF on Jan. 11.

The Indonesian college student who earned a million dollars selling nonfungible tokens (NFTs) of his selfies in 2022 has made a comeback, raising $1.8 million in a memecoin presale.

In January 2022, Sultan Gustaf Al Ghozali minted NFTs with photos of himself that he took every day for five years. The collection, called “Ghozali Everyday,” gained support from crypto community members, netting Ghozali, who was still a student, over $1 million.

When Ghozali graduated from college in 2023, he posted on X that he would finally stop taking selfies. He said he was lucky to have made money from the “stupidest idea” he came up with.

According to Foresight News, US regulators in Manhattan will hear the case against Terra and its co-founder Do Kwon on Monday. Do Kwon has been transferred to a foreigner ‘reception center’ in Montenegro since March 23, awaiting a final extradition decision, and will be absent from the trial.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accuses Do Kwon of misleading investors about the stability of TerraUSD in 2021. Federal prosecutors in New York also charge Do Kwon with fraud and are seeking to extradite him to the United States.

Previously ranked among the top five dollar-pegged cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, TUSD now finds itself in the eighth spot. Its supply has been consistently diminishing, with three-month statistics indicating a starting point of around 2.4 billion. As recently as March 19, the supply had fallen to 1.1 billion, leading to the current count of 612,455,467 TUSD as of March 23, 2024.

The distribution of TUSD is mainly on Ethereum, with roughly 389 million TUSD, and on the Tron blockchain, with about 189 million. Additionally, 2.98 million TUSD are circulating on Avalanche, while the BNB Chain hosts approximately 30.03 million. The decrease in TUSD’s supply comes on the heels of its challenges in maintaining U.S. dollar parity at the beginning of the year.

The cryptocurrency market remains fixated on spot bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) flows rather than fundamentals, as the recently approved products saw their first week of net outflows in two months, Coinbase (COIN) said in a research report on Friday.

Coinbase noted that net outflows amounted to $836 million between March 18 and March 21. Bitcoin slipped below $63,000 last week as the outflows sped up. It was recently trading at around $66,800.

There is little insight into what drove the surge in outflows from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which reached $1.83 billion in total over four days, the report said.

A majority of the European Parliament’s lead committees have scrapped a 1,000 euro ($1,080) limit on cryptocurrency payments from self-hosted crypto wallets as part of new anti-money laundering laws.

On March 19, the European Union’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee passed the Anti-Money Laundering Regulation (AMLR), which the European Council and Parliament provisionally agreed to in January.

An earlier proposal that saw businesses limited to 1,000 euros if using a self-hosted crypto wallet to transact was removed along with a provision that aimed to implement identity checks on self-hosted wallets receiving funds.

Binance will discontinue support for USDC — a prominent dollar-pegged stablecoin — deposits and withdrawals on the Tron blockchain on April 5.

Deposits of TRC20 USDC tokens will no longer be credited to Binance users’ accounts after 2:00 a.m UTC on the aforementioned date, the crypto exchange announced in an official blog post.

Because the change is specific only to USDC issued on the Tron blockchain, deposits and withdrawals of the stablecoin on other networks — such as Ethereum — will not be impacted.

USDC trading on Binance will also remain unaffected.