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December 29,2023

Another Data Breach Occurs As Canadian Crypto Exchange Gets Targeted

CatalX CTS Ltd., the operator overseeing the Canadian crypto trading platform Catalyx, recently disclosed a security breach resulting in the partial loss of crypto assets held on behalf of clients. The company suspects the involvement of an employee in the incident, prompting the Alberta Securities Commission to issue a cease trade order against the company and its CEO, Jae Ho Lee.

Damage control

In response to the security breach, CatalX has temporarily halted all withdrawals of crypto and fiat currencies through its platform, as well as suspended trading activities. This measure is aimed at containing potential further losses and safeguarding the interests of platform users. The company is actively investigating the matter and taking decisive action.

Canadian regulators swiftly responded to the Catalyx security breach, with the Alberta Securities Commission ordering the cessation of crypto contract trading and launching an investigation. CEO Jae Ho Lee agreed to the 15-day freeze order, set to expire on January 5th, 2024. CatalX is also conducting an internal investigation into the security breach and has enlisted Deloitte LLP for forensic and investigative support.

Stay tuned

The company has pledged to keep customers informed of significant findings or developments as the investigation progresses and anticipates providing updates upon the conclusion of the investigation. Users are advised to stay tuned for further communications regarding the resolution of the security breach and the resumption of normal trading and withdrawal activities.

The loss of crypto assets and the suspected employee involvement have triggered internal and regulatory investigations. CatalX is navigating this challenging situation by prioritizing transparency and collaboration with regulatory authorities to safeguard the interests of its clients.

The temporary freeze on trading activities is therefore a precautionary measure to prevent additional losses and ensure a comprehensive examination of the incident. As the investigation unfolds, stakeholders await further updates on the extent of the breach and the steps CatalX will take to enhance its security measures.

December 29,2023

Gensler Needs To Be Fired According To United States Congressman

If U.S. Congressman Warren Davidson gets his way, the volatile environment of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to undergo considerable change. Davidson has openly announced 2024 as the optimum time to fire Gary Gensler, the current SEC Chair, in a passionate plea for change. His audacious allegation is more than just a declaration of purpose, as it reflects growing dissatisfaction with the leadership of the SEC and its operational direction so far.

A time for change

Davidson has been a vociferous opponent of the SEC for a while now, particularly in its dealings with the emerging digital asset sector. The SEC has adopted what many regard as an overly tough and enforcement focused regulatory posture under Gensler.

This tactic has not only alienated major stakeholders in the cryptocurrency business, but it has also cast doubt on the overall regulatory effectiveness and impartiality of the SEC in general. Congressman Davidson has put his criticism into action by introducing the SEC Stabilization Act. If passed, this bill will drastically alter the SEC, potentially forcing Gensler out of his current job. 

A long way to go

The legislative proposal is more than just a criticism of Gensler, as it is a larger push for SEC change. The legislation aims to improve the accountability, openness, and responsiveness of the agency to the growing needs and dynamics of modern financial markets. By campaigning for the elimination of the accredited investor restriction, Davidson hopes to democratize investment opportunities, perhaps allowing a broader spectrum of investors to engage in profitable market deals.

The idea, while audacious and perhaps transformative, faces a difficult road ahead. To remove a sitting SEC Chair, significant political maneuvering and legislative impediments must be overcome. It takes not only the support of colleagues in the legislature, but also a persuasive case that can survive scrutiny by Congress and beyond.


December 28,2023

MicroStrategy Purchases Over 14K BTC With No Signs Of Slowing Down

MicroStrategy remains deeply committed to Bitcoin, as its Founder and Chairman Michael Saylor recently announced the acquisition of an additional 14,620 BTC, totaling $615.7 million. This latest purchase coincides with the upward surge in the value of Bitcoin, reaching heights exceeding $42,000.

Going all in

MicroStrategy initially entered the Bitcoin market in August 2020, initiating a substantial investment of $250 million in BTC. Since then, the company consistently augments its Bitcoin holdings, implementing a treasury reserve strategy that now boasts over 189,150 BTC valued at over $8.11 billion at the present moment.

According to Saylor, on December 27th, 2023, MicroStrategy disclosed that, between November 30th and December 26th of this year, it, along with its subsidiaries, procured around 14,620 BTC for roughly $615.7 million in cash, averaging about $42,110 per BTC, inclusive of fees and expenses. 

No stopping now

As of December 26th, MicroStrategy and its subsidiaries collectively possessed approximately 189,150 BTC, obtained at a total purchase price of about $5.895 billion and an average acquisition cost of approximately $31,168 per BTC, inclusive of fees and expenses.

With the impending fourth Bitcoin halving and potential early approval of the first spot Bitcoin ETF in the United States of America, MicroStrategy persists in its robust Bitcoin investment approach, showing no indications of slowing down.

December 27,2023

Nearly 10K Smart Contracts Were Added By Cardano In 2023

Integrating smart contract functionality into the Cardano (ADA) network has led to a substantial increase in growth metrics, positioning the network as a contender against established platforms such as Ethereum (ETH).

As of December 26th, the Plutus smart contracts platform on Cardano accommodated 14,302 smart contracts, combining both V1 and V2. This signifies a remarkable growth of over 200%, as per data sourced via Cardano Blockchain Insights. Notably, the surge in the smart contract count for Cardano corresponds with intensified efforts in network development aimed at enhancing overall functionality.

Cardano continues its development

Cardano reports that the team has focused on expanding script capacity through the introduction of the Plutus V2 Cost Model network upgrade. The continuous pursuit of improvement is evident in the year-end report, where the core technology team implemented an update to provide ample time for teams to adapt their components in preparation for the V9.0 release.

The Plutus team, dedicated to smart contracts, also achieved noteworthy improvements in the costs and sizes of most scripts. Concurrently, the scaling team, Hydra, unveiled version 0.14.0, reinforcing the resilience of the Hydra network.

In addition, the reports underscore key updates in network statistics, with the total transactions of ADA surpassing 80 million, and the total number of native tokens reaching 9.17 million. The reports also note active development, with over 1,300 projects in progress on the blockchain, and 153 projects already launched.

A serious contender

Analyzing the price of ADA, it is currently trading at $0.61, reflecting a 0.72% increase in the past 24 hours. This contrasts with a 0.49% loss over the past week but contributes to an impressive gain of 53.66% in the last month. Over the past year, ADA has experienced a notable surge, marking a remarkable increase of 134%, positioning the asset favorably against 65% of the top 100 cryptocurrencies in the same period.

Additionally, the current trading status indicates that the asset is positioned above the 200-day simple moving average, signaling a positive trend. Furthermore, the asset demonstrates positive performance relative to its token sale price, with 17 positive gains in the last 30 days.

December 27,2023

Trapped Bitcoin Finally Making Its Way Back To Creditors

Creditors of the now-defunct Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, are reportedly getting fiat repayments for their BTC holdings that had been inaccessible since February 2014. Mt. Gox is sending repayments in Japanese Yen to users through PayPal. Creditors who have been waiting for the return of their long-frozen assets for years are closely monitoring the unfolding situation.

A long time coming

This marks a significant development nearly ten years after the funds got stuck on the defunct exchange on February 24th, 2014. It is important to note that these reports have yet to be officially confirmed. One Reddit user, Free-end254, enthusiastically stated that he recently got paid and shared a screenshot of the PayPal payment receipt. Another user initially suspected a phishing scam but later found a legitimate payment in their PayPal account.

However, one user mentioned that only a portion of their 0.125 Bitcoin claim had been repaid, receiving 30,283 Yen, equivalent to $200 at the current exchange rate, and still awaiting an approximate payment of $748. Repayments to creditors are expected to occur in multiple installments, including the base repayment, early lump-sum repayment, and intermediate repayment. The first instances of these repayments became public on December 21st, when a pseudonymous Japanese user announced receiving their Mt. Gox claims via a bank transfer in Yen.

A developing story

This development follows an email by Nobuaki Kobayashi, the trustee overseeing the Mt. Gox estate. The email was sent to rehabilitation creditors on November 21st, notifying them of the commencement of repayments. The email also mentioned the intention of the trustee to start cash repayments in 2023 and continue the process into 2024. However, no specific timeline for repayments to individual rehabilitation creditors was provided.

Notably, on September 21st, the Mt. Gox trustee extended the repayment deadline to October 31st, 2024. Nevertheless, the trustee indicated that some repayments could be made as early as the end of this year for rehabilitation creditors who had already provided the necessary information.

December 26,2023

BoJ Governor Believes Japan Could Finally Modify Its Monetary Policy

Amidst a changing economic environment, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) is set to adjust its longstanding monetary policy, indicating a possible departure compared to the prolonged era of an extremely accommodative monetary approach. This shift, as suggested by BoJ Governor Kazuo Ueda, depends on the increasing likelihood of Japan achieving its elusive 2% inflation target on a sustainable basis.

As the BoJ embarks on this new course, the world observes with anticipation. The potential policy adjustment is not only of national significance but also serves as a test case for global economic strategies in a post-pandemic world. It entails a delicate balance between fostering growth and maintaining stability, a challenge that the BoJ appears ready to navigate with a forward-looking perspective.

Navigating economic uncertainties

As the Japanese economy gradually emerges via the challenges of low inflation and stagnant wage growth, the potential new direction taken by the Central Bank could signify a notable turning point. The recent statements by Ueda indicate a clear understanding of the intricate relationship between wages, prices, and economic stability. The current focus is on whether the upward trajectory in wages will persist into the coming year, potentially triggering additional increases in service prices.

The journey toward this policy adjustment presents challenges and uncertainties. While the economy is slowly shifting towards growth, with external demand offsetting domestic consumption weaknesses, the BoJ remains cautious. There is no predefined timeline for modifying pre-existing monetary policy, which is arguably the most accommodative among major economies. This caution arises due to the unpredictable nature of economic and market developments on both domestic and international fronts.

Policy and perception

The Japanese government anticipates a slight improvement in economic growth for the current fiscal year. This optimism is fueled by a recovery in sectors like inbound tourism and automobile manufacturing, previously impacted by global challenges such as chip shortages. Despite positive signs, the Central Bank maintains a vigilant stance, prepared to adjust policies in response to the evolving economic landscape.

Governor Ueda highlighted a fundamental shift in perspective at the BoJ. For years, the institution has stressed the importance of patience in maintaining its ultra-loose policy. Now, there is a growing acknowledgment that altering public perceptions regarding prices and wages is vital for economic revitalization. This new approach could lead to more effective labor allocation and, crucially, grant the BoJ the flexibility to significantly lower rates in the future to counter deflation.

Moreover, this cautious optimism aligns with the overall economic outlook, envisioning a gradual normalization of inflation rates and a steady increase in nominal GDP. However, achieving a sustainable and stable inflation target remains challenging, given the high uncertainties surrounding global and domestic economic conditions.

December 26,2023

SEC Announces Deadline For Final Changes To BTC ETF Applications

The seemingly numerous Bitcoin ETF proposals are currently under scrutiny by the SEC, which has established a deadline for final modifications. There are indications suggesting a potential approval of the ETFs in early January. With just a few days left until the new year, enthusiasm surrounding Bitcoin exchange-traded funds has reached unprecedented levels.

As such, the US Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting thorough reviews with applicants to ensure meticulous preparation before potentially endorsing one of the most groundbreaking financial instruments, poised to reshape the financial landscape indefinitely.

Deadline set by the SEC

Reports reveal that the SEC is gradually becoming more receptive to Bitcoin Spot ETF proposals and is anticipated to make a significant decision by January 10th, 2024. This date serves as the ultimate decision point for the SEC to either grant or reject the application for the inaugural Spot Bitcoin ETF.

In anticipation of the January decision, US SEC officials have engaged with representatives via at least seven applicant companies, including BlackRock, Grayscale Investments, and 21 Shares, all seeking to launch Bitcoin spot ETFs. The SEC has also reportedly directed at least two firms to submit conclusive adjustments by the end of this business week on December 29th, 2023.

A decision with massive implications

Applicants failing to meet the aforementioned deadline for final adjustments will not be considered for the initial wave of potential Bitcoin ETF approvals in early 2024. Also, despite the mounting signs of a potential spot ETF approval in early January, it is crucial to recognize that the SEC maintains the authority to outright reject proposals on the deadline. Until now, the regulatory body has postponed its decision, leaving the market in suspense regarding whether it will accept or decline the proposal.

A crucial aspect of the potential ETF approval is the firm insistence by the SEC that investments in these assets must be executed exclusively in cash. This cautious stance on crypto spot ETFs underscores the view adopted by the regulatory agency that crypto assets are not on par with traditional ones.

In any case, the forthcoming decision to greenlight the inaugural spot Bitcoin ETF could redefine the dynamics between traditional finance and the burgeoning digital asset sector, paving the way for the latter to finally enter the mainstream.

December 26,2023

Crypto Fundraising December 19 - 25

On behalf of the Web3 community, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the companies that announced their success in fundraising between 19th December and 25th December 2023. We are thrilled to see such tremendous support from all involved. Well done! 

Wynd Network raised $3.5M - Funding will be used to enhance Grass's technological infrastructure, expand its network of nodes, and refine its data verification process.

Fiat Republic raised $7M - The new capital will support its growth and expansion, as well as key initiatives including strategic recruitment, strengthening banking partnerships, and expansion into new territories. It will also improve the availability of banking and payment services for cryptocurrency platforms.

Fyde Treasury raised $3.2M - The injection of funds will propel Fyde's mission to confront the substantial challenges of overseeing multi-billion dollars of on-chain crypto treasury tokens.

Moove Protocol raised an undisclosed amount - MOOVE Protocol aims to become a fully decentralized ecosystem suitable for other projects to build and launch. It has already signed partnership contracts with 50+ collections to be added to the protocol and become available for their holders to create videos with.

FORMLESS raised $2.2M - The funding will drive formless commitment to advancing the SHARE Protocol, powering the next generation of products and experiences in a multiplayer digital economy.

Frame raised an undisclosed amount - Frame, an blockchain focused on NFTs, has concluded a funding round led by Electric Capital, a prominent venture capital firm. Other investors include Ray Chan, the founder of 9gag, Luca Netz, and 0xMaki, the former CEO of Sushiswap.

ALEX Labs raised $2.5M - The strategic round was backed by Trust Machines, Gossamer Capital and other investors. Alex raised a $5.8 million seed round in 2021, which was led by White Star Capital.

4EVERLAND Organization raised $2M - The raised capital will be utilized to further the development and construction of 4EVERLAND, as well as to drive global ecological growth and development.

Academic Labs raised an undisclosed amount - HTX Ventures, announces its investment in Academic Labs, a platform that utilizes AI and Web3 technology to improve the educational experience. This investment will help Academic Labs onboard new users to Web3.

Seamoon Protocol raised $2.3M - The goal of this funding round was to bring in top global companies, both domestic and international, as our strategic partners in anticipation of the global expansion essential to web3 businesses.

TRES Finance raised $11M - The Series A round brings TRES' total funds raised to $18.6 million, with Faction, New Form, Cyber Fund and Ambush Capital among its backers.

To stay updated with news about future Web3 Funding Rounds, Follow CryptoWeekly

December 25,2023

Foreigners Invited To El Salvador If They Can Bring BTC Into The Country

The El Salvador government warmly embraces foreigners interested in contributing Bitcoin (BTC) donations to support local development initiatives. In a surprising turn of events, a recent legislative vote on December 20th, 2023, was officially approved and is set to take effect shortly. Through the BTC donations, foreigners can gain access to accelerated citizenship in the country.

Moving to El Salvador

Various reports highlight that the law does not specify a minimum Bitcoin donation for expedited citizenship access. Despite this, the favorable stance adopted by El Salvador toward Bitcoin has already attracted an influx of foreign residents to the nation, particularly in beach communities. Notably, El Salvador has progressed towards issuing its volcano Bitcoin bonds, with the investment vehicle obtaining regulatory approval, paving the way for bond issuance.

Bitcoin is the answer

It was on December 12th, 2023, that the National Bitcoin Office (ONBTC) of El Salvador announced that the aforementioned Volcano Bond initiative had received regulatory approval by the Digital Assets Commission.

The adoption of Bitcoin by El Salvador has been a prominent topic in the cryptocurrency community. As a matter of fact, it had been reported earlier this year that approximately 70% of the population in El Salvador lacks access to a bank account. The integration of Bitcoin is seen as an initiative to address poverty while simultaneously assisting the unbanked citizens.

December 25,2023

Nearly 10K Signatures Collected To Counter Potential Crypto Ban In The US

A petition that opposes the suggested Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act in the United States has garnered considerable attention lately. Launched on by the Chamber of Digital Commerce (CDC), a prominent blockchain and digital asset trade association in the United States, the petition named Stop The Crypto Ban seeks to counteract the potential repercussions of the legislation introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren.

A need for change

The Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act has thus far secured backing by 19 United States senators, causing apprehension within the Chamber of Digital Commerce. They contend that, despite its intended purpose of combating money laundering, the act essentially functions as a crypto ban that could impede innovation, negatively impact job opportunities, and undermine the flourishing cryptocurrency sector.

Presently, the petition has amassed nearly 10,000 signatures via concerned citizens. Those signing pledge not to support any senator in future elections who endorses the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act in its current iteration.

While recognizing the necessity for regulation, the CDC emphasizes that the existing limitations of the bill could obstruct consumer access to a diverse range of financial tools and services offered by the digital asset ecosystem. They argue that this might impede financial inclusion and choice for consumers. The senators targeted in the petition are urged to reconsider their backing for the legislation and take into account the long-term implications on innovation, economic growth, and consumer freedom. The signatories call on these senators to play a pivotal role in shaping a future where digital assets are integrated into the economic framework in a manner that fosters innovation, protects consumers, and enhances the United States economy.

Innovation must not be stifled

This strategic maneuver by the CDC aims to influence the senators mentioned in the petition, such as Elizabeth Warren, Roger Marshall, Lindsey Graham, Joe Manchin, and others. While acknowledging the necessity of regulating the digital asset space for safety and integrity, the CDC expresses reservations about the present form of the legislation, asserting that it extends beyond required regulation and amounts to a prohibition on digital innovation.

The organization outlines diverse concerns, encompassing potential economic impacts, limitations on innovation, and matters related to security and privacy. Experts characterize the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act as a direct assault on the personal freedom and privacy of cryptocurrency users and developers. Since its introduction by Senator Warren in December of the preceding year, the bill has gained substantial support. The petition underscores the potential consequences of the legislation on innovation, economic growth, and consumer freedom.

December 24,2023

Türkiye May Become Crypto Friendly As Monetary Policy Committee Gets New Member

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently made a decision wherein Professor Fatma Ozkul, a distinguished expert in crypto assets and blockchain technology, has been designated as a member of the local Central Bank Monetary Policy Committee. This selection was officially confirmed on December 22nd, 2023.

Educational and professional background

Professor Ozkul, who has been a faculty member at the Istanbul Marmara University since 2012, brings a considerable wealth of expertise in accounting, finance, and auditing to her new position. Her academic pursuits extend to cutting-edge areas, particularly blockchain technology and digital assets. Notably, she authored a book on the accounting of crypto assets in 2022, demonstrating her commitment to comprehending the consequences of blockchain and crypto assets on the financial landscape.

It is worth mentioning that the decision to include Professor Ozkul in the Monetary Policy Committee is unlikely to alter the existing course of monetary policy. Her recent emphasis on blockchain, crypto assets, and their financial implications aligns with the local increasing interest in digital financial ecosystems.

A new approach towards crypto

The Turkish Central Bank has been actively exploring the crypto market, having introduced a digital Turkish Lira collaboration platform in 2021. Subsequent tests of digital Lira transactions in late 2022 marked a significant step toward embracing blockchain-based financial systems.

Moreover, the local economic landscape witnessed a gradual surge in crypto adoption, positioning Türkiye as the fourth-ranked nation globally in raw crypto transaction volumes. Between July 2022 and June 2023, the country recorded approximately $170 billion in crypto activity, following the United States, India, and the United Kingdom.

As crypto transactions gain momentum, Turkish authorities are reportedly contemplating regulatory measures for the crypto market. The focus is on licensing and taxation, with the goal of removing the country in the grey list of the FATF. Anticipated regulations are expected to establish specific licensing requirements, covering aspects like capital adequacy standards, digital security enhancements, custody services, and reserve verifications.

December 23,2023

Central Bank Of Nigeria Introduces Crypto Friendly Policies

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reportedly loosened its rules for banks facilitating crypto transactions. The new guidelines are designed to establish minimal standards and criteria for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) concerning banking relationships and the initiation of accounts in Nigeria.

Growing demand forces change in Nigeria

In a communication distributed to banks on December 22nd, the CBN acknowledged that the growing global demand and acceptance of crypto make it unreasonable to uphold the strict limitations imposed on financial institutions in 2021. The announcement highlighted that current trends globally have shown that there is a need to regulate the activities of VASPs which include cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

As such, the aforementioned guidelines aim to set forth minimum standards and prerequisites for establishing banking relationships and initiating accounts for VASPs in Nigeria. Furthermore, the new rules strive to guarantee robust risk management practices within the banking industry concerning the operations of licensed VASPs. However, financial institutions are still forbidden to possess, trade, or execute transactions in crypto using their own accounts.

Nigeria could become a financial powerhouse

Back in February 2021, the CBN imposed a ban on all regulated financial institutions when it came to providing services to crypto exchanges in the country. In more recent developments, the local blockchain industry has urged the federal government of Nigeria to implement regulations that would facilitate the widespread integration of the approved blockchain policy in the nation.

Obinna Iwuno, the President of the Stakeholders in Blockchain Association of Nigeria (SiBAN), emphasized the imperative need to establish a regulatory framework to expedite the infusion of blockchain technology into various sectors of the economy. Iwuno conveyed that Nigeria is fully prepared for complete adoption now, and the blockchain policy initiated by the government positions Nigeria as a pioneer in the African digital economy landscape if fully executed.