News Headlines (26th December 2023)

Crypto traders are increasingly looking to alternative cryptocurrencies as 2023 draws to a close.

The dollar value locked in the number of active futures contracts tied to bitcoin now accounts for 38% of the market-wide notional futures open interest of $30.45 billion. That’s the lowest in at least two years, according to data tracked by Coinalyze.

“Seems ‘all’ the money is going into alts now,” Coinalyze told CoinDesk, explaining the decline in BTC’s dominance by open interest in futures.

Bitcoin network computing power — or mining hash rate — reached a new all-time high on Christmas day, but has put putting more pressure on miners amid a slump in profitability.

On Dec. 25, Bitcoin’s hash rate reached an all-time high of 544 exahashes per second (EH/s), according to The data was confirmed by Bitinfocharts, which reported an average hash rate peak over the weekend.

It comes as network hash rates have more than doubled this year, climbing 130% since January.

According to Foresight News, Telcoin has released a security incident update on platform X, stating that the root cause of the issue is not with the Telcoin wallet code itself, but with the proxy implementation of wallets on Polygon. The main wallets affected are those that have never initiated a transaction. The company has deployed a fix to prevent further exploitation and plans to restore all wallet balances to their previous amounts (all affected assets) before reopening app services.

Previously, on-chain monitor MetaScout discovered a series of targeted attacks against Telcoin wallets. As a result of these attacks, the price of Telcoin (TEL) plummeted by 65%, causing a loss of approximately $1.2 million.

The Chinese government has cracked down on an underground bank that used crypto to provide yuan exchange services to Chinese nationals. According to a post published in Wechat by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), the Qingdao police managed to identify more than 1,000 accounts belonging to a Chinese national identified as Jin, that served as funneling accounts for the exchange business of 15.8 billion yuan ($2.2 billion).

The exchange business had a presence in 17 provinces of the country, with more than 20 million transactions related to this ring. The accounts were connected to Li, a textile worker who acted as a broker for the purchase and sale of virtual currencies. The report reinforced that managing and exchanging cryptocurrency is illegal in China.

In February 2021, the CBN imposed a ban on crypto trading activities, ordering a closure of related bank accounts. The ban was a follow-up to earlier warnings against the use of unregulated cryptocurrencies and the place of such assets in facilitating money laundering and financing terrorism. The central bank sought to mitigate risks and vulnerabilities that abounded in the absence of regulations and consumer protection measures.

The ban has disrupted Nigeria’s fast-growing crypto market for the past two years, as users have encountered difficulties buying and selling their assets.

However, the CBN has realized the need to regulate the activities of VASPs as current global trends show the mass recognition and adoption of crypto assets. To this effect, the central bank has issued guidelines to establish complaint relationships between banks and VASPs.

Almost 10 years after being hacked, the Mt. Gox crypto exchange appears to be starting to repay customers who lost 850,000 bitcoin (BTC) now valued around $36 billion.

Some participants in the mtgoxinsolvency subreddit group said they had received payouts in yen over Paypal. Others, who’d chosen to receive cash into bank accounts, said they had not seen any inflows.

The exchange, launched in 2010, was the world’s biggest when it was hacked in 2014. It was ultimately able to recover about 20% of the stolen funds. Earlier this year, it extended the deadline for repayments by 12 months until October 2024.

Google users were far more interested in looking up artificial intelligence (AI) than “Bitcoin” or “crypto” this year, according to data from Google Trends.

Since 2020, search interest for “Bitcoin” and, occasionally, “crypto” had managed to outpace searches for “AI,” however, Google’s data shows this started to flip around August 2022.

Searches for “AI” broke out around November 2022, the same month that OpenAI’s ChatGPT was launched, and has widened the gap from crypto-related search terms since.

According to Foresight News, Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the Russian State Duma Financial Market Committee, has stated that cryptocurrency legislation is expected to become law in the first half of 2024. He explained that the main participants involved in cryptocurrency mining and circulation in Russia’s sizable market are seeking regulation and are prepared to pay taxes. This development indicates a growing interest in establishing a legal framework for the cryptocurrency industry in the country.

The Japanese cabinet convened to approve the FY2018 tax reform, which includes a series of modifications to rules affecting companies in the cryptocurrency area. The reform included a change that removed the “unrealized gains” crypto tax that mandated companies to pay tribute based on the price change of crypto assets each fiscal year.

A change that eliminated this tax for companies’ self-issued cryptocurrencies had already been approved earlier this year, but with this modification, crypto companies can now hold crypto issued by third parties without paying the unrealized gains taxes.

Digital asset investment products resumed inflows after breaking the 11-week streak of positive cash flows. According to the findings by CoinShares’ Head of Research, James Butterfill, the net inflows totaled $103 million over the last week.

Bitcoin investment products, as usual, attracted the highest capital inflow. The digital asset manager revealed a net inflow of $87.6 million during the period. Short-bitcoin also experienced a minor inflow amounting to $0.3 million.

Ethereum investment products saw positive activity, recording a net inflow of $7.9 million, while Solana investment products attracted a net influx of $6 million.