News Headlines (9th JANUARY 2024)

The discount on the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), the world’s largest bitcoin (BTC) fund, has slipped to its lowest level since April 2021, ahead of an expected conversion to a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Data shows the discount fell to as low as 5.6% on Monday, reaching a level previously seen in June 2021. The fund has traded at a discount since February 2021 – reaching a high of nearly 50% in December 2022 – but expectations of an ETF approval and rising bitcoin sentiment have steadily narrowed the discount.

It closed Monday at $39. Each GBTC share holds $41.86 in bitcoin as of Tuesday. The trust has no built-in market mechanism to keep the GBTC share price trading close to the underlying value of the bitcoin – opening up discounts and premiums that traders can use as part of a trading strategy.

59 million tokens from former Evmos  EVMOS +0.07% co-founder Akash Koshla have been returned to the Evmos Foundation.

This return followed Evmos’ alleged statement in May 2023 that Khosla had attempted to sell large amounts of Evmos’ native token on the market — raising concerns about his departure at the time. His return of his allocated tokens is expected to realign token distribution with Evmos’ current team and contributors.

The return, including both vested and unvested tokens, amounts to 59.4 million ($7.6 million) in total. Near 32 million of these tokens belonged to Khosla and the rest unallocated team tokens.

Nigerian cryptocurrency industry stakeholders have commented on the approval of the cNGN stablecoin by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its potential rate of adoption in the country compared with the eNaira central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The Africa Stablecoin Consortium (ASC) — a collaboration of Nigerian banks and fintechs — announced the new stablecoin in December 2023. It aims to bring advantages to tokenholders and the Nigerian economy.

Cointelegraph spoke to stakeholders in the Nigerian cryptocurrency industry to get their opinions on the potential adoption rate for the cNGN. Nigerian crypto analyst Rume Ophi said the nation’s crypto community will appreciate the new stablecoin.

According to Foresight News, Sui reported that it processed over 10 million daily transaction blocks during a two-day period of increased inscription-driven activity. On December 22, 2023, the peak reached over 13.8 million transactions, with the highest transactions per second (TPS) rate nearing 6,000.

The surge in activity highlights the growing demand for inscription-driven services and the ability of Sui to handle large volumes of transactions efficiently. As the market for these services continues to expand, Sui’s performance demonstrates its potential to be a key player in the industry.

Reliable and easy-to-use crypto trackers are a must-have for all types of cryptocurrency traders. In particular for those who leverage high-frequency trading strategies, automated trading, or other short-term strategies. They cannot afford to miss a notification about a rapid price change: it might damage their “short” and “long” positions and cause painful liquidations. This is even more sensitive for those who trade with high leverage.

Midterm and long-term investors also rely on cryptocurrency trackers. These platforms can help that class of investors reassess their portfolios, identify promising assets, and manage risk. In addition, crypto trackers are used by a wide range of cryptocurrency enthusiasts as sources of data analytics and educational content.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission officials sent comments to a set of prospective issuers of bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) just hours after the companies filed documents detailing fees for their proposed products, an individual familiar with the comments said.

The issuers should file updated documents on Tuesday, the individual said. The comments addressed minor details in the amended S-1 forms rather than significant changes, and should not affect the timeline for a potential approval by the regulator. Issuers hoping to launch spot bitcoin ETFs in the U.S., including BlackRock, Grayscale and Fidelity, announced their expected fees in filings earlier Monday.

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler recently delivered a series of warnings through a Twitter thread, urging potential investors in crypto assets to be mindful of the risks and regulatory landscape.

In his thread, Gensler stated, “Those offering crypto asset investments/services may not be complying w/ applicable law, including federal securities laws.” He emphasized that investors in crypto asset securities might be deprived of key information and essential protections.

While Gensler’s thread did not explicitly address the pending Bitcoin ETF proposals, its timing raised eyebrows in the crypto community. This came just hours after major asset managers, including BlackRock, ARK 21Shares, VanEck, and others, filed amended S-1 forms, seen as a potential final move before SEC approval.

Cryptocurrency wallet firm imToken has responded to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) adding it to the Investor Alert List (IAL), which is used to warn investors against suspicious platforms.

ImToken took to X (formerly Twitter) on Jan. 9 to announce that it was blacklisted in Singapore because the company is “headquartered in Singapore” but has not applied for a financial business license there.

“We are currently actively communicating with MAS to clarify the distinctions in our business model to get imToken removed from the Investor Alert List,” the company said in a statement.

According to Blockworks, PayPal’s PYUSD stablecoin, which launched in August, has been struggling to gain traction in the competitive stablecoin sector. To boost its liquidity, the token’s issuer is exploring decentralized finance (DeFi) opportunities. Aave, a lending protocol, is conducting a community temperature check on the potential onboarding of PYUSD into its Ethereum pool, with the initial vote ending on January 11th. This follows PYUSD’s activation on the automated market maker Curve in late December.

PayPal’s entry into the stablecoin market was significant, as it became the first major financial institution to offer the price-pegged crypto instrument. However, with Tether and Circle’s stablecoin offerings already processing tens of billions of dollars per day, the question of PYUSD’s use remains. PayPal’s marketing language suggests the firm intends for the stablecoin to be used for payments and within the PayPal app, according to Clara Medalie, head of growth at DeFi research firm Kaiko.

The South Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC) is considering an amendment to its credit finance act that would ban the use of credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies. The Jan. 3 post on the FSC website states that this move is aimed at curbing the illegal outflow of domestic funds and speculative activities associated with buying crypto on foreign exchanges. The proposed change seeks to align the treatment of virtual assets with other prohibited payment methods, addressing concerns about money laundering and the encouragement of speculative behavior.

The FSC’s initiative comes as part of a broader effort to tighten regulations on the local cryptocurrency market, which has been under increased scrutiny. At the same time, South Korea is experiencing a surge in crypto, with two Korean exchanges Upbit and Bithumb contributing over 10% to the global trading volumes.