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September 10,2023

Senator Emmer Lambastes SEC And Gary Gensler For Abusing Power

U.S. Senator Tom Emmer, a Minnesota Republican and U.S. House Majority Representative, has initiated a fresh effort to diminish the influence of the SEC within the crypto sector.

Emmer has therefore introduced an amendment as part of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2024. This amendment seeks to limit the allocation of resources by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for enforcing regulations on digital assets until comprehensive guidelines are established.

The goal behind this change is to prevent the SEC from utilizing taxpayer funds as a tool against the crypto industry, as stated by Emmer. He criticized SEC Chairman Gary Gensler for what he perceived as an abuse of authority to expand his influence at the expense of the American people.

Emmer also stressed the need for Congress to utilize various tools, including the appropriations process, to prevent Gensler from using additional taxpayer funds in this manner. Consequently, he intends to sponsor an appropriations amendment that places restrictions on the allocation of funds that the SEC may use to enforce digital asset regulations until clear and definitive rules are implemented.

Emmer is known for his strong advocacy of regulatory transparency and innovation in the crypto space. He has previously co-sponsored multiple bills with the aim of enhancing transparency and safeguarding consumers in the digital asset market, including the Blockchain Regulatory Clarity Act, the Securities Clarity Act, and the Removing Barriers to Innovation Act.

September 10,2023

Massive Phishing Scam Occurs As Vitalik Buterin Sees His X Account Get Hacked

On September 9th, 2023, cyber attackers directed their efforts towards the Twitter account of Vitalik Buterin, one of the co-founders of Ethereum. They employed a deceptive tactic, sharing a fraudulent ConsenSys link, which resulted in the theft of nearly $700,000.


Hackers Successfully Ensnare Unsuspecting Followers

Dmitry Buterin, the father of Vitalik, confirmed the security breach and noted that his son was actively working to regain control of the account. The deceptive post, which lured in many followers, contained a misleading link.

This link was accompanied by a message announcing the release of a commemorative NFT by ConsenSys, celebrating the introduction of the latest Ethereum feature, Proto-Danksharding. Consequently, users were enticed to click on the link in anticipation of receiving a free NFT, only to fall into a trap.

What made matters worse was the apparent authenticity of the message, as it appeared to originate via a verified account. Tragically, those who fell for the ruse and clicked on the link ended up losing their valuable NFTs. In any case, many called the security of the social media platform into question following the incident.


Additional Security Needed

The hackers executed their scheme in a simple yet effective manner, as the deceitful link granted them access to the wallets of unsuspecting followers, resulting in significant NFT asset losses. In particular, Ethereum developer BookyPooBah suffered the loss of two notable CryptoPunks, namely 3983 and 1751, along with other NFTs such as Milady 4755, Meebit 9965, and Meridian 918.

On-chain analyst ZachXBT estimated the total value of the stolen assets at approximately $691,000. More importantly, this incident highlights a growing concern surrounding the surge in phishing scams on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, which has witnessed a troubling increase throughout the year.

Prominent figures in the cryptocurrency community, including ZachXBT and even Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, have voiced their mounting concerns about the proliferation of these cybercrimes. They emphasize that wrongdoers frequently deploy verified bots and strategically target influential accounts to disseminate their fraudulent links. During a previous incident in July, hackers infiltrated the accounts of notable individuals, including Uniswap founder Hayden Adams and the blockchain network Aptos. In a separate case, it was reported that one crypto enthusiast suffered a staggering loss of $24 million due to a similar phishing scheme.

In response to this alarming trend, Zhao called on the online community to exercise caution and suggested that additional features must be implemented as soon as possible, such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and separate login IDs besides handles or emails. He pointed out that he had faced multiple instances of his Twitter account being locked due to hackers attempting to brute-force it by repeatedly trying different passwords.

September 08,2023

Inaugural Spot Ethereum ETF Filed For By ARK Invest

ARK Invest and 21Shares have submitted a request for regulatory authorization regarding an ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund) designed to directly hold Ether (ETH). This petition was recently disclosed in a submission to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The Ark 21Shares Ethereum ETF represents the inaugural endeavor to introduce such a fund in the United States, one that directly invests in ETH, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

The custody of assets for this ETF would be entrusted to the Coinbase Custody Trust Company. Upon the release of this news, Ether and Bitcoin (BTC) initially experienced price surges, but these gains were short-lived, with both cryptocurrencies subsequently returning to their pre-filing levels.

This submission follows a series of applications for a highly sought-after Bitcoin ETF, including a collaborative effort by Ark and 21Shares. Last week, the SEC postponed its decision on all these applications.

Furthermore, this development precedes the anticipated SEC approval of the initial futures-based Ether ETF. The impending decision by the regulatory agency on this matter is projected to be reached on or before mid-October.

Going forward, the industry is likely to advocate for more crypto ETFs, drawing inspiration from the recent legal victory secured by trust issuer Grayscale against the SEC.

In any case, a spot Ether ETF is expected to be a prominent contender, primarily due to its structural similarities to BTC, involving actively traded futures and spot markets on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), a pivotal regulated platform for institutional investors.

September 06,2023

MetaMask Simplifies Buying Capabilities Even Further

MetaMask wallet users can now reportedly convert their ETH holdings into fiat currency with a simple button press. Supported fiat currencies currently include US dollars, Euros, and British Pounds Sterling.

At the outset, this cash-out option is available for ETH on the Ethereum mainnet, with MetaMask having intentions to expand to other layer-2 networks and assets in the future. The specific layer-2 networks and tokens they plan to support and the timeline for this expansion were not disclosed.

Users in the US, the UK, and certain parts of Europe can now transfer the proceeds from their ETH sale to a linked PayPal account or bank account. MetaMask is collaborating with four known crypto-fiat off-ramps, namely MoonPay, Transak, Sardine, and Banxa. These services will provide real-time quotes for users interested in selling ether.

Moreover, once a user selects their preferred provider, they will be directed to the website of the provider, where they will need to establish a connection with their bank account. After the transaction is confirmed within the corresponding MetaMask wallet, funds will become available in the linked account within a few days.

MetaMask has been steadily expanding its platform over recent months. One of its recent additions is a swaps feature that consolidates token prices various decentralized exchanges, enabling users to trade tokens seamlessly. However, MetaMask is not exclusively targeting retail customers lately. In March, it launched a new platform catering to companies and institutions interested in staking on Ethereum after the Merge.

September 05,2023

BitGo And Hana Bank Partner Up To Introduce Digital Asset Services

KEB Hana Bank, one of the major financial institutions in South Korea with a total asset portfolio valued at $448 billion, unveiled plans during Korea Blockchain Week in Seoul to introduce digital asset custody services starting in the latter part of 2024.

This initiative will involve a collaboration with BitGo Trust Company, a reputable provider of digital asset custody solutions. The forthcoming digital asset custody services would also rely on the blockchain security technology provided by BitGo. However, specific details about the services offered under this partnership were not disclosed.

In a joint press release issued by Hana Bank and BitGo, it was emphasized that this partnership is anticipated to serve as a significant milestone in elevating the standards of the domestic digital asset market to an international level while encouraging greater participation by institutional investors.

Hana Bank is ranked among the top 5 banking institutions in the country, and it reported a net profit of over $2.4 billion USD in the previous year. BitGo, a digital asset custodian with a global presence spanning across 50 countries, cited the local regulatory environment as a primary reason for expanding its operations in South Korea.

Additionally, the company intends to establish an office in South Korea in the latter half of 2024, following the acquisition of necessary licenses in compliance with local regulations. BitGo also recently concluded a Series C funding round, securing $100 million in investment and achieving a valuation of $1.75 billion.

Furthermore, in July, the Financial Services Commission of South Korea announced its intention to amend electronic securities laws to incorporate blockchain powered security tokens within its regulatory framework.

September 03,2023

BRICS Countries Drastically Reduce US Treasuries Holdings

China recently saw its US treasury holdings drop to $835.4 billion in June 2023, marking a substantial decrease of approximately $103.4 billion within just a year. Despite this reduction, China remains one of the largest creditors to the United States, with Japan holding the top position at $1.105 trillion.

In other news, the BRICS nations are also reportedly considering Bitcoin as a possible alternative in order to stop relying on the US Dollar for international exports and trading purposes.


A New Era

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, a new member of BRICS, decreased its US debt holdings by $11.1 billion during the same period, going to $108.1 billion. These declines in US bond holdings by these BRICS nations reflect their growing opposition to the dominance of the US Dollar on the global stage.

Ziad Daoud, the Chief Emerging Markets Economist for Bloomberg, suggests that Saudi Arabia deciding to shift towards riskier assets may impact the stance which the Federal Reserve takes regarding interest rates, both domestically and globally. Higher risks for Saudi Arabia could lead to potential losses, and globally, the reallocation of Saudi wealth might result in increased US interest rates.


Challenging The Dominance Of The US

It is worth noting that besides China and Saudi Arabia, the latter of which is also quickly becoming a global crypto hub, other nations have been increasing their holdings. India, for instance, acquired $26.6 billion worth of US debt securities between June 2022 and June 2023. Additionally, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Brazil added $25.1 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively, to their US treasury holdings over the same 12-month period.

BRICS was originally known as BRIC when it was founded in 2006, with Brazil, Russia, India, and China as its founding members. South Africa joined the group in 2010, making it BRICS. The member countries came together with the common goal of enhancing cooperation and dialogue among emerging economies, particularly those with significant global influence.

In summary, BRICS exists to promote cooperation and collaboration among major emerging economies, leveraging their collective strength to influence global economic and political matters. It serves as a platform for dialogue and cooperation in an increasingly multipolar world, challenging the traditional dominance of Western powers, particularly the United States.

September 02,2023

CYBER Experiences Massive Price Increase, But There Is A Catch

Traders are paying hefty fees, reaching up to an annualized rate of 2,000%, to acquire the relatively lesser known CYBER tokens, as their value has surged by over 100% on select exchanges in the past week. Investors are taking on this cost to trade on margin, but they face the risk of sudden market downturns.

Most of these surges in the market are brief and occur in an overall pessimistic environment. Even when Bitcoin (BTC) is not making significant moves, one can still find a plethora of niche token pumps in the crypto world.

For instance, consider the CYBER token associated with the Web3 social network CyberConnect, boasting a market capitalization of $113 million. Over the past week, its value has more than doubled, marking one of the most substantial spikes in an otherwise stable market. Trading volumes have surged accordingly, with approximately $225 million worth of these tokens changing hands in 24 hours.

CyberConnect facilitates the development of blockchain-based applications related to digital identity, content, and social connections. It offers features like CyberGraph, a smart contract for recording user content and social connections, and CyberID, an ERC-721 token that serves as a unique handle for user accounts within the CyberConnect ecosystem.

Traders are eager to participate in the aforementioned surge, willing to pay over 2,000% in annualized fees to trade these tokens on margin. However, it is worth noting that CyberConnect could become the latest fleeting trend in the crypto world. Similar projects like, which enables notable individuals to create chat groups gated by tokens, initially gained popularity but later saw a staggering 95% drop in revenue within just over three weeks.

The majority of CYBER trades are also occurring on Binance, accounting for 74% of the total CYBER trading volume. UpBit, a Korean exchange, follows with $70 million worth of these tokens traded.

Still, there is considerable concern that altcoins such as these could continue to dominate the headlines over mainstays like Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH), providing more ammunition for regulators to implement stringent policies on this industry when the seemingly inevitable price decrease occurs.

September 01,2023

Approximately $1 billion Was Lost In 2023 Via Cybersecurity Incidents

In August 2023, the breakdown of losses in the crypto sector included approximately $26 million from exit scams, $6.4 million from flash loan attacks, and $13.5 million from exploits, resulting in a total monthly loss exceeding $45 million.

Notable incidents that contributed to these losses included the Zunami Protocol attack, causing $2.2 million in damages the Exactly Protocol exploit, resulting in $7.3 million in losses, and the recent PEPE withdrawal incident, which accounted for $13.2 million in damages.

Throughout the year, CertiK reported cumulative losses of over $997 million due to exploits, hacks, and scams. These losses can be further categorized into approximately $261 million attributed to flash loan attacks, over $137 million related to exit scams, and more than $596 million linked to exploits.

Although the losses in August remained substantial, they were notably lower than the losses recorded in the preceding month of July 2023. During July, Web3 data outlet De.Fi reported total losses of approximately $486 million, with the Multichain exploit alone contributing a significant portion of $231 million to this total.

In July, Multichain officially ceased its operations on July 14th, citing reasons such as insufficient funding for ongoing operations and a lack of alternative sources of information, as the CEO had reportedly been detained by Chinese authorities and was uncontactable.

In any case, experts agree that for the crypto community and industry to keep growing and become more reputable, these hacks and digital exploits must be prevented at all costs going forward.

August 30,2023

Grayscale Triumphs Over The SEC As Push For BTC ETF Continues

History has been made as Grayscale, the popular cryptocurrency asset manager, has emerged successful in its legal dispute against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The U.S. District of Columbia Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Grayscale, overturning the lawsuit initiated by the SEC and potentially moving the company closer to achieving the status of a Bitcoin Spot Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).

This decision deals a significant setback to the attempts made by the SEC to hinder Grayscale and its progress in establishing a Bitcoin Spot ETF. Although the verdict does not directly transform the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a Spot ETF, it undoubtedly signifies a pivotal milestone toward that objective.

Unsurprisingly, Bitcoin experienced a notable upswing, slightly above its 200-day Moving Average (MA). Initial concerns were raised that the MA might obstruct recovery from recent setbacks. However, in view of the recent progress regarding Grayscale, BTC effortlessly crossed the $27,000 threshold and briefly reached $27,500.

Additionally, this victory for Grayscale against U.S. regulatory entities signifies a notable accomplishment for the overall cryptocurrency market, which has been contending with a continuous crackdown by regulatory bodies. The result therefore establishes a positive precedent that could restore confidence in the market and reverse the recent pattern of liquidity outflows.

August 29,2023

Genesis And DCG Agree On Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Plan

Genesis and its parent company, Digital Currency Group (DCG), have preliminarily agreed on a Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan aimed at alleviating financial pressures for both entities.

According to a recent court filing, this plan could potentially offer unsecured creditors the opportunity to recover anywhere between 70% to 90% in USD and 65% to 90% in terms of digital assets, contingent upon market fluctuations.

Upon receiving court authorization, DCG is anticipated to inject over a billion dollars in new debt facilities into the struggling cryptocurrency lender, thus aiding its financial situation. In return, DCG would obtain specific financial concessions by Genesis and its creditors.

Within this arrangement, DCG hopes to settle its current debts, which encompass roughly $630 million in unsecured loans set to mature by May 2023 and a $1.1 billion promissory note expiring in 2032.

For the venture capital firm, this agreement offers a vital relief, given its struggles with liquidity problems that compelled it to sell assets at considerably reduced prices. Last year, its investment division, Grayscale, temporarily halted redemptions for its primary Bitcoin Trust, resulting in a noticeable decline in share value.

Genesis encountered bankruptcy filing in January after halting customer withdrawals in November, attributing the decision to the collapse of the FTX exchange and unfavorable market conditions.

While the agreement still confronts obstacles such as approval by the bankruptcy court and the backing of various creditors, if sanctioned, it represents a significant advancement in the overall restructuring process for the company.

August 27,2023

Crypto Community Lambastes Sweeping Tax Proposal

The recently revealed tax plan for crypto gains in the United States faced criticism by the crypto community right after its release. The objections came particularly via individuals connected to decentralized operations categorized as brokers.

The prompt backlash by the crypto sector demonstrates that the new approach by the U.S. Treasury Department for managing taxes related to digital assets will encounter challenges as it goes through a prolonged phase of public comments and hearings.


A Flawed Plan

X, formerly known as Twitter, swiftly filled with grievances regarding the extent of the aforementioned plan, mainly focusing on how the tax reporting requirements might encompass decentralized crypto activities that are seen as unfeasible to conform with.

Miller Whitehouse-Levine, the CEO of a lobbying group for DeFi, expressed on the social media platform that the proposal is overly broad in its current iteration. He highlighted sections that could encompass a wide range of entities, such as self-hosted wallets. He noted that although the proposal acknowledges that users of self-hosted wallets carry out their own transfers, it still attempts to hold third parties accountable for these transfers.

Another individual on the platform pointed out that wallet providers like Metamask, decentralized exchanges like Uniswap, and any smart contract utilizing a multisignature security setup might fall under the obligations of the reporting requirements. This would necessitate these entities to establish new know-your-customer regulations for their users.


Room For Improvement

Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, conveyed in a statement that while he appreciated the inclusion of the effective date and specific exemptions, he found the proposed rulemaking deficient in various other aspects. He highlighted that after the passing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, lawmakers emphasized that any proposed rule should be precise and limited in scope, which he believed this proposal failed to achieve.

Kristin Smith, CEO of the Blockchain Association, stated shortly after the release of the proposal that the crypto ecosystem differs significantly when compared to traditional assets, implying that regulations must be adapted accordingly to avoid affecting ecosystem participants without a feasible way to comply. She acknowledged that the forthcoming regulations could offer clarity for numerous crypto investors to accurately fulfill tax requirements, ultimately removing a substantial barrier to participating in digital assets.

Smith mentioned that, if executed correctly, these regulations could equip everyday crypto users with the necessary guidance to adhere to tax laws. The industry has until October 30th, 2023, to voice their concerns to the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service, followed by public hearings on November 7th and 8th. The drafters of the proposal included sections in the comprehensive document that invite input by the crypto industry.

One immediate positive aspect however is the general exclusion of crypto mining operations, alleviating concerns that arose when the 2021 infrastructure law established tax regulations.

August 26,2023

Millions Lost As Magnate Finance Initiates Rug Pull

Magnate Finance, a popular lending company operating on the Ethereum Layer 2 network Base, appears to have conducted an exit scam, absconding with approximately $6.4 million.

Security firm PeckShield labeled this event as a rug pull, a phrase denoting crypto developers deceitfully vanishing with the deposited funds of the users. The investigation conducted by PeckShield revealed that Magnate Finance manipulated the price oracle used by the lending platform to drain all user deposits.

Since then, the Magnate Finance team has completely wiped out its online presence, erasing social media accounts on platforms like X and Telegram, and rendering the official website inaccessible. The exit scam was exposed following a warning issues by on-chain analyst ZachXBT after they raised concerns about the potential for an exit scam involving Magnate Finance on Base.

This suspicion emerged via the discovery that the deployer address for Magnate Finance was directly linked to a previous exit scam related to a project called Solfire, which had defrauded $4.8 million.

August has been a troublesome month for Base, as this incident marks the second rug pull observed within the month. Earlier in August, SwirlLend similarly disappeared with $460,000 in an exit scam on Base, with additional funds being stolen on Linea as well.