November 30, 2022

Crypto Roundup by DJKupo

CFTC Sues Gemini Over Bitcoin Futures Case From 2017 (CoinDesk)

“The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sued Gemini Trust Company LLC Thursday on allegations the crypto exchange’s staff misled the federal regulator during Gemini’s 2017 effort to launch trading of what would have been a landmark bitcoin (BTC) futures contract. In a 28-page civil suit, a copy of which was obtained by CoinDesk, the swaps regulator accused Gemini, which is owned by the Winklevoss twins, of providing misleading answers about how easily a bitcoin futures contract’s price could be manipulated during summertime meetings in 2017. CFTC said Gemini’s ‘false or misleading statements and omissions’ happened in in-person meetings.”


Coinbase Extends Hiring Freeze, Rescinds Some Accepted Offers (TechCrunch)

Coinbase Cryptocurrency Exchange Website : Illustration

“Coinbase announced today that it will extend its hiring freeze and revoke accepted offers from some candidates who haven’t started their roles yet. The third-largest crypto exchange by volume, Coinbase began to slow hiring two weeks ago, but this move is more drastic. “Adapting quickly and acting now will help us to successfully navigate this macro environment and emerge even stronger, enabling further healthy growth and innovation,” Chief People Officer L.J. Brock wrote in a company memo, shared publicly to Coinbase’s blog”.”


Japan Passes Stablecoin Bill That Enshrines Investor Protection (Bloomberg)

“Japan became one of the first major economies to introduce a legal framework around stablecoins, the cryptocurrencies thrust into the global spotlight by last month’s collapse of the TerraUSD token. Japan’s parliament passed a bill on Friday that clarified the legal status of stablecoins, defining them essentially as digital money. Stablecoins must be linked to the yen or another legal tender and guarantee holders the right to redeem them at face value, according to the new law.”


New York Senate Passes Moratorium on Proof-Of-Work Mining (The Block)

“The New York Senate this morning passed a bill that imposes a moratorium on new proof-of-work crypto mining operations in the state. The news means that all new proof-of-work mining operations that rely on carbon-based fuel to power their activities will face a two-year ban. According to the bill, the State of New York will complete a ‘comprehensive generic environmental impact’ of proof-of-work crypto mining operations.”


Alchemy Is Bringing Its Blockchain Node Infrastructure to Solana (The Block)

“Alchemy, the Ethereum-based node infrastructure provider, said Thursday it is expanding to the Solana blockchain. With this expansion, the firm will allow Solana developers to scale their blockchain infrastructure requirements. Currently, Alchemy offers a node API service for Ethereum and Polygon applications. Popular apps like 0x, Aave, dYdX, OpenSea, Nifty Gateway use Alchemy’s offering, called Supernode, to connect to blockchains, a process called Remote Procedure Call (RPC).”


Binance Labs Raises $500M Fund for Web 3, Blockchain Investments (CoinDesk)

“Binance Labs, the venture capital arm of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has raised $500 million to establish a fund that will invest in Web 3 and blockchain companies. DST Global Partners, Breyer Capital, Whampoa Group and other private equity funds all participated in the raise, according to a blog post on Wednesday. ‘The goal of the newly closed investment fund is to discover and support projects and founders with the potential to build and to lead Web 3 across DeFi, NFTs, gaming, Metaverse, social, and more,’ Binance CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao said.”


Former NFT Marketplace Employee Charged in Insider Trading Scheme (WSJ)

“The Justice Department charged a former employee of an NFT marketplace with fraud and money laundering in what prosecutors said was the first case to involve insider trading of the digital tokens. An indictment unsealed Wednesday in New York charged Nathaniel Chastain, a 31-year-old former product manager at the online marketplace OpenSea, with using inside information to profit on NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, that were to be featured on his employer’s home page. Mr. Chastain was arrested Wednesday morning and later pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in a Manhattan federal court. A federal magistrate judge set his release at a $100,000 bond and ordered him to surrender his passport and not to contact current or former OpenSea employees.”


Solana Blockchain Suffers New Network Outage (The Block)

“Solana is facing downtime after the production of new blocks on the network has ceased. According to data from Solana Beach block explorer, Solana’s validators have not processed new blocks for the last five hours, causing a total shutdown of all of its applications. A recent post from Solana Status said that the mainnet beta now needed a restart from validators. ‘Validator operators should prepare for a restart in mb-validators on Discord,’ the post read. As of press time, discussion toward a restart was ongoing in the validator Discord chat.”


South Korean Government to Form Digital Assets Committee in Response to Terra Collapse (CoinDesk)

CoinDesk - Unknown

“The South Korean government plans to form a committee specifically to oversee the digital assets market following the collapse of Terra, according to a report by news outlet NewsPim. The Digital Assets Committee, which could be launched this month, will provide criteria for the listing of coins by exchanges, introduce investor protections measures and monitor unfair trading.”


Chipotle Will Now Accept Cryptocurrency in Us Stores (The Block)

“Chipotle, the popular Mexican-style fast-food restaurant chain, will now accept cryptocurrency payments through Flexa, a digital payments platform. Flexa supports around 98 currencies, including BTC and ETH. Customers can use the app to pay for food items in any of the nearly 3000 Chipotle restaurants in the United States. To pay with Flexa, customers will need to download Gemini or SPEDN app, both of which store digital assets. Customers can then use the app and tap it in-store to make a payment.”


Optimism’s Governance Token Officially Goes Live (The Block)

“The governance token for the rollup-based Layer 2 network Optimism has gone live. The token is set to shift Optimism’s structure by fueling The Optimism Collective, a bicameral governance system for funding composed of Token House and Citizens’ House. The token will trade under the ticker OP and be distributed via airdrop to early users.”


Gary Vaynerchuk Files Trademark for ‘Vayner3’ NFT Consulting Arm (CoinDesk)

CoinDesk - Unknown

“Entrepreneur and non-fungible token (NFT) influencer Gary Vaynerchuk is launching his own NFT consulting arm, according to a May 25 trademark filing. The firm will offer ‘technical consulting in the field of non-fungible tokens, cryptocurrencies and other metaverse and Web 3 activities and assets,’ according to the filing. Filed under ‘Vayner3,’ the company would be just the latest project on Vaynerchuk’s growing list of NFT ventures, along with his VeeFriends NFT collection, VeeCon conference (which took place in Minneapolis two weeks ago) and ‘FlyFish Club’ NFT-gated restaurant.”


Ethereum’s Ropsten Test Network Ready for Merge ‘Dress Rehearsal’ (Decrypt)

Ethereum is the second-largest crypto asset by market cap. Image: Shutterstock

“Ropsten will be Ethereum’s first public test network to transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake(PoS) consensus mechanism as part of the blockchain’s ‘Merge’ event, expected August this year. Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko shared the news on Twitter last night: ‘Ethereum’s longest-lived PoW testnet is moving to Proof of Stake! A new beacon chain has been launched today, and The Merge is expected around June 8th on the network.’”


Singapore Regulator Announces Plans to Explore Blockchain Use Cases (The Block)

“The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced on Tuesday that it plans to research use cases for decentralized finance (DeFi) on public blockchains. Known as Project Guardian and including partners such as JPMorgan, Marketnote and DBS, the project will look to collaborate with the financial industry to examine the ‘economic potential and value-adding use cases of asset tokenization.’”


UK Moves to Boost Stablecoin Protections After Terra Collapse (Bloomberg)

“The UK government proposed additional safeguards to protect against the potential collapse of stablecoins, weeks after the implosion of one such instrument rocked cryptoasset markets. The government published a consultation paper on Tuesday that recommended amending existing legislation to address such risks, including giving the Bank of England additional powers to oversee the administration of failed stablecoin issuers of “systemic importance.”


Crypto Giant FTX Ready With Billions of Dollars for Acquisitions (Bloomberg)

Sam Bankman-Fried

“Fast-growing crypto exchange FTX is prepared to spend billions of dollars to buy stakes in other companies as it looks to grow the suite of products it offers customers, according to the firm’s chief executive officer. Billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, who’s also the firm’s co-founder, said on Friday that recent rounds of fundraising by FTX and its US entity — totaling more than $2 billion — could be used to bankroll the moves.”


Terra Gets Second Life as New Blockchain Goes Live With Luna 2.0 Airdrop (The Block)

“Terra’s new blockchain launched on mainnet today at 6 am UTC and is now generating blocks, according to Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon. The new chain aims to revive the Terra ecosystem after its UST algorithmic stablecoin imploded a couple weeks ago. The collapse of Terra’s tokens wiped out some $40 billion in market value.”


STEPN to Block Mainland China Users in Compliance With Regulators, SCMP Says (The Block/SCMP)

“Solana-based ‘move-to-earn’ game Stepn will block users in mainland China as required by the authorities there, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday. Stepn is an Australia-based company that offers a blockchain-based fitness app. It works by letting users buy NFTs that last for a certain amount of time. During this time, the user can exercise and earn the platform’s native GST tokens as rewards, The Block reported earlier this year.”


Korean Prosecutors Summon All Terraform Labs Staff in UST Collapse Probe: JTBC (The Block/JTBC)

“Prosecutors in South Korea have summoned all employees of Terraform Labs to investigate the collapse of TerraUSD, the stablecoin known by its UST ticker, according to a report from local television network JTBC on Saturday. Specifically, the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office’s joint financial and securities crime investigation team has summoned Terraform employees, JTBC reported, without citing any sources.”


A $90 Million DeFi Exploit on Terra Went Unnoticed for Seven Months (The Block)

“In October 2021, DeFi application Mirror Protocol succumbed to a $90 million exploit on the old Terra blockchain — and it went completely unnoticed until last week. Mirror protocol allowed users to take long or short positions on tech stocks using synthetic assets. It was built on Terra, which collapsed earlier this month after its main stablecoin lost its peg to the US dollar, dragging its sister token Luna down with it. (The blockchain has now been revived as Terra 2.0, while the original chain lives on as Terra Classic).”


Last Week’s Most Read Articles

Andreessen Horowitz Raises $4.5 Billion Crypto Fund, the Largest of Its Kind (Bloomberg)

UK Regulator to Consider Terra Coins’ Collapse in New Crypto Rules (CoinDesk)

Standard Crypto Raises New $500 Million Fund (The Block)

At Davos, Crypto Is No Longer on the Outside (CoinDesk)

Soona Amhaz’s Volt Debuts $50M Crypto Fund Backed by Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon (CoinDesk)

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