News Headlines (8th December 2023)

There’s a debate raging among Bitcoin users and developers over whether to filter out transactions in NFT-like “inscriptions” minted using the Ordinals project, since they’re not a core financial use in keeping with many advocates’ vision for the original blockchain.

But over at the auction house Sotheby’s, some of the images are considered high art: In an online auction that started this week, two low-resolution cartoon characters and a pixelated avocado are already fetching bids in the 10s of thousands of dollars each.

The three digital images come from the BitcoinShrooms collection of Ordinals inscriptions, by the pseudonymous artist Shroomtoshi, according to the Sotheby’s website.*o1qlxf*_up*MQ..*_ga*MzEwODI4MjQxLjE3MDIwMzc3NDQ.*_ga_VM3STRYVN8*MTcwMjAzNzc0My4xLjEuMTcwMjAzNzc1OS4wLjAuMA..

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has called for the country’s Bank Secrecy Act to be updated to address the “threat” of crypto.

“What we need to do is we need to update it again because there’s a new threat out there. It’s crypto,” Warren told CNBC Squawk Box, claiming that cryptocurrency is used for terrorist financing and drug trafficking.

She added that North Korea has used crypto to “pay for about half of its nuclear weapons programme,” reiterating a claim she made at a Senate banking committee hearing earlier this week. “We can’t allow that to continue,” she said.

In 2023, Kazakhstan’s Financial Monitoring Agency (FMA) blocked access to almost a thousand crypto exchanges serving the country’s citizens without proper registration.

According to a Dec. 7 press release published on the government’s website, the FMA denied access to 980 illegal platforms in 2023. It also launched nine investigations into “illegal exchange operations” and money laundering. This information was revealed by the chairman of the FMA, Ruslan Ostroumov, during the meeting of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering in China.

The chief executive officer of global investment bank JPMorgan Chase shared his view about crypto and bitcoin on Wednesday during the Senate Banking Committee’s annual Wall Street oversight hearing.

Responding to U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s question about why cryptocurrencies are an attractive tool for criminals, Dimon stated:

I’ve always been deeply opposed to crypto, bitcoin, etc. You pointed out the true use case for it is criminals, drug traffickers, anti-money laundering, tax avoidance.

ccording to Foresight News, Nigerian decentralized mobile internet sharing and monetization project DePIN, WiCrypt, has announced that it has received $150,000 in funding from Microsoft. This investment will be used to expand its DePIN development chain collaborations. WiCrypt has recently launched its first WiFi hotspot on the decentralized physical infrastructure blockchain Peaq, allowing users to share their idle WiFi bandwidth with others to mine WiCrypt network tokens (WNT).

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators including Mitt Romney (R-UT) introduced legislation that expands sanctions to foreign entities supporting all U.S.-designated terrorist groups, including through crypto transactions, giving law enforcement an additional toolkit to tackle terror financing.

“The Terrorist Financing Prevention Act of 2023, introduced by the Senators, aims to prevent Foreign Terrorist Organizations and their financial enablers, including those using digital assets, from accessing U.S. financial institutions, imposing sanctions and strict regulations to counteract these activities,” the bill reads.

The proposed act broadens current sanctions, initially focused on Hezbollah, to include all U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations and their supporting foreign entities.*bs5cbu*_up*MQ..*_ga*MzEwODI4MjQxLjE3MDIwMzc3NDQ.*_ga_VM3STRYVN8*MTcwMjAzNzc0My4xLjEuMTcwMjAzNzc1OS4wLjAuMA..

With Ordinals inscription sales setting daily records, the controversial but buzzy tagalong on the Bitcoin blockchain hit another milestone Thursday. Ordinals inscription number eight from the Honey Badger collection sold for 10.4 BTC on Thursday on Magic Eden, the NFT marketplace said on Twitter.

According to Magic Eden, Honey Badger is a collection of 10K Ordinal Inscriptions ranging from 8 to 1029518.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance’s unit in Abu Dhabi has pulled an application with the Emirate’s financial regulator, a move it claims was unrelated to the firm’s November settlement with authorities in the United States.

In a statement to Cointelegraph on Dec. 7, a Binance spokesperson said the exchange had chosen not to move forward with an application with Abu Dhabi’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority following an assessment of its “global licensing needs.” The agreement, withdrawn by BV Investment Management in November, would have allowed Binance to manage a collective investment fund.

The government of Brazil will discuss digital currencies and the possible benefits of implementing them for financial transactions as part of the Group of the Twenty (G20). Having assumed the G20 presidency on December 1, Brazil will leverage its position to advance the digital agenda and assess how the twenty largest economies could adapt their regulatory frameworks to take advantage of digital currencies.

At a recent event, Roberto Campos Neto, president of the Central Bank of Brazil, explained Brazil will touch on this subject in the group. According to Valor Economico, he stated:

Digital currencies can greatly reduce the costs of international transactions. The G20 will work to improve the settlement and governance of international transfers.

According to Foresight News, Sui Network has stated that it has no association with the ‘Sui Mermaid’ or ‘Mermaid’ project, which has been falsely claiming a connection with the Sui Foundation on various public forums. Sui Network has demanded that Mermaid cease using the Sui brand assets to promote their platform and immediately stop claiming any legitimate business relationship with the Sui Foundation to the public or elsewhere.