December 17,2023

Tether Will Work Alongside Regulatory Bodies To Combat USDT Misuse

Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino is actively engaged in addressing the inappropriate use of the USDT stablecoin for unlawful purposes and reinforcing the credibility of the cryptocurrency sector. Following the introduction of a novel policy for freezing wallets, specifically targeting individuals on the SDN list which led to the freezing of more than 200 wallets, the stablecoin provider aims to escalate its efforts.

Cooperating with the law

In a recent communication with US lawmakers, the new CEO outlined his vision for preventing the exploitation of the USDT stablecoin, involving collaboration with law enforcement heavyweights such as the Secret Service and the FBI.

On December 15th, Tether expressed its unwavering commitment to combating the illicit utilization of its stablecoins in letters addressed to members of the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, as well as the US House Financial Services Committee.

Underlining its dedication to establishing a sustainable and robust infrastructure, Tether committed to full cooperation with law enforcement in the fight against terrorist financing and other illicit activities. In the communication, Paolo elaborated on the recent endeavors to combat criminal activities. This included highlighting the success of its new wallet-freezing policy, which enabled law enforcement to restrict access to over 200 wallets, resulting in the freezing of over 3.5 million USDT.

Binance and Tether still in trouble

The stablecoin issuer emphasized its collaboration with the US Department of Justice, the US Secret Service, and the FBI as a concrete illustration of its partnership with law enforcement agencies, disclosing its involvement in freezing the aforementioned wallets. The move comes in response to US Senators urging the Department of Justice to scrutinize the stablecoin issuer.

In a letter dated October 26th, Senator Cynthia Lummis and Representative French Hill urged the DOJ to make a charging decision on Binance and promptly conclude investigations into the alleged involvement by Tether concerning various illicit activities.

The legislators alleged that Binance and Tether provided material support and resources for crypto-funded terrorism, violating applicable sanctions laws and the Bank Secrecy Act. They also claimed that the stablecoin issuers neglected proper screenings despite being aware of extremist groups utilizing stablecoins for terrorism and illicit activities.

The significance of Tether cooperating with law enforcement in combating the misuse of its stablecoins is crucial for the long term positive trajectory of the cryptocurrency industry. However, it also raises concerns about potential unwarranted centralization.

December 16,2023

SEC Gets Sued By Coinbase After Rejecting Petition For Clearer Regulations

Coinbase has taken legal action against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This move follows the recent refusal by the SEC of the request put forth by Coinbase for more precise regulations regarding cryptocurrencies. The initiation of this lawsuit signals a notable escalation in the ongoing conflict between the crypto industry and regulatory bodies, emphasizing the intricate and often contentious landscape of cryptocurrency regulation in the United States.

Growing tensions

Coinbase Chief Legal Officer, Paul Grewal, revealed the commencement of the lawsuit via a post on X, expressing the resolve by the exchange to contest what it views as capricious decision-making by the SEC. The lawsuit also reflects a broader dissatisfaction within the crypto sector concerning the absence of specific regulations tailored to the distinctive features of digital assets.

The legal action also asserts that the rejection of the petition breaches the Administrative Procedure Act and constitutes an abuse of discretion. This legal maneuver underscores the increasing impatience among crypto companies when it comes to the SEC and its perceived hindrance to innovation alongside the creation of an uncertain business environment in the United States.

A convoluted regulatory environment

The SEC has thus far not provided a statement regarding the latest lawsuit, but the dispute may nevertheless establish a precedent for the regulation of digital assets, influencing the future trajectory of the crypto industry.

The legal action against the SEC mirrors the increasing assertiveness adopted by the burgeoning crypto sector in seeking transparent and equitable regulatory treatment. As the legal proceedings unfold, stakeholders, regulators, and investors will closely monitor the case, recognizing its potential implications for the future of cryptocurrency in the United States and beyond.

The resolution of this case may very well either facilitate further innovation and expansion in the sector or deepen the challenges and uncertainties that have persistently affected the crypto industry up till now.

December 15,2023

Ledger Suffers Supply Chain Attack Leading To Huge Losses

In a notable security incident, unidentified malicious actors targeted Ledger, a widely-used hardware wallet provider, with the intention of exploiting their LedgerConnect kit. The attack was initially reported by Blockaid, a platform dedicated to safeguarding Web3 users. Over $480,000 worth of assets were reportedly pilfered before Ledger rectified the vulnerability.

Another hack

The assault, focused on Ledger Connector, took place on December 14th. The attackers successfully inserted a wallet-draining payload into the NPM package. Once the payload spread, assailants took control of the front end of various applications, such as Sushi, Hey, and Zapper, causing disruptions and allegedly absconding with assets valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The attack did not specifically target any particular decentralized application or blockchain, like Solana or Ethereum, rather, the hackers sought to exploit all protocols whose users utilized the LedgerConnect kit for asset management or transfers. To comprehend the execution of the hack, the hackers specifically directed their efforts toward the Ledger NPM. This connector plays a crucial role in facilitating secure online connection and management of assets for typically off-chain Ledger wallet clients.

Time for damage control

NPM, in addition to providing a gateway to wallets, also serves as an interface. Through this interface, developers can integrate Ledger hardware wallets into applications, enabling Ledger users to securely participate in NFTs, DeFi, and other activities. Given that this attack aimed at exploiting a vital Ledger infrastructure capable of affecting all protocols irrespective of blockchain, analysts now categorize it as a supply chain attack. In DeFi protocol supply chain attacks, hackers target trusted service providers, primarily wallet providers or exchanges, to pilfer funds.

Responding to the incident, Ledger acknowledged that a script infected with malware was uploaded to the NPM register at 9:44 AM UTC. However, Ledger promptly took action, stating that they deleted the malicious file and replaced it with a genuine version approximately four hours after the malicious upload, around 1:35 PM UTC.

December 15,2023

Cardano Leads The Altcoin Charge As USD Looks To Bounce Back

This week, Cardano (ADA) experienced the most significant surge among larger-cap altcoins, gaining over 10% in value overnight. Also, after a brief period of moving south and trading in the vicinity of or below the $41,000 mark, Bitcoin (BTC) bulls reemerged, propelling the asset beyond $43,000. As of the time of this writing, BTC is trading at just over $42,600.

Altcoins, according to information provided by CoinGecko, are also displaying positive momentum, with ADA standing out prominently, followed by DOT, SHIB, AVAX, and SOL. The total crypto market cap surged by over $60 billion at one point, yet it currently remains below $1.6 trillion.

BTC regains momentum

Following its peak at $44,700, BTC faced a less favorable outlook. It retraced to $44,000 over the weekend and experienced a significant drop on Monday, falling below $41,000. The situation worsened on Tuesday, dipping to $40,200. However, bulls defended that level, pushing BTC to around $42,000. After a failed attempt to reclaim this level on Tuesday, the asset surged once more yesterday evening, surpassing $42,000 and even reaching $43,000.

Moreover, while most alternative coins were in decline, the market managed to take a positive turn. As previously mentioned, ADA leads the way among larger-cap altcoins, with a daily surge of over 12%, currently trading close to $0.65. Solana, Polkadot, and Shiba Inu are following suit. Avalanche, Ethereum, Ripple, Dogecoin, Chainlink, and Polygon also recorded gains of up to 4%. Further gains were also evident in BONK, Helium, WOO Network, and Injective.

Other markets

Asian stocks saw advancement, boosted by the Chinese Central Bank injecting $112 billion into the financial system. Treasuries experienced a slight decrease, while the MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index rose 1%, reaching its highest point since early August, with Hong Kong stocks rallying 3%. US equity futures inched higher, and the Nasdaq 100 declined after a more than 50% surge in 2023.

Elsewhere, contrary to consensus, some major money managers, including Fidelity International and HSBC Holdings, anticipate a stronger dollar next year. Some experts argue that a global economic slowdown will lead traders to favor USD going forward as it is still the global reserve currency.

However, some analysts are becoming increasingly skeptical about the sustainability of US consumer spending into the next year. Despite American shoppers displaying surprising resilience amid persistent inflation and elevated borrowing costs, sell-side analysts have reduced profit projections for the consumer discretionary sector over the past 12 weeks.

December 14,2023

Script Error Results In Yearn Finance Suffering Massive Losses&nbsp

Yearn Finance, a key player in the yield-farming sector, recently disclosed a significant flaw in its multi-signature script that caused an unintended transfer and subsequent swap of a substantial part of its treasury, resulting in an estimated loss of $1.4 million.

During what was termed as a routine fee token conversion for the treasury, a faulty script erroneously exchanged 3,794,894 lp-yCRVv2 tokens for 779,958 yvDAI tokens. The mistake originated through sending the entire treasury balance of lp-yCRVv2, comprising both Position of Liquidity and fees, to a trading multisig.

This transfer exceeded the intended fees portion. The flawed script, lacking proper output checks and containing a logical flaw, failed to restrict the trade size, leading to significant price slippage and massive losses.

Market impact and subsequent measures

The unexpected trade caused notable market disruptions, with the price swiftly correcting back to normal levels. Yearn Finance urged users who benefitted via this price movement to return a reasonable amount to the main multisig wallet. Prior to any such returns, the losses constitute approximately 2% of the entire treasury.

In response to the incident, Yearn Finance outlined various corrective measures. The team intends to segregate funds into dedicated manager contracts, improve the readability of output messages in trading scripts, and enforce stricter price impact thresholds. These actions aim to bolster the protocol against similar mishaps in the future.

Security challenges context

This is not the first time that Yearn Finance has faced a security challenge. Earlier this year, an exploit targeting an early version of the protocol, known as iEarn, resulted in losses of $11.6 million, as reported by PeckShield, a blockchain security firm. Additionally, in February, another exploit led to the theft of $11 million in cryptocurrencies.

While not directly impacting user funds, the most recent incident highlights the ongoing security and operational challenges in the decentralized finance space. The proactive response and commitment shown by Yearn Finance to enhancing its systems showcase both resilience and adaptability in addressing these challenges.

December 14,2023

Invesco and Galaxy Ethereum ETF Delayed By SEC

In September, Invesco entered the cryptocurrency ETF competition by introducing the Invesco Galaxy Ethereum ETF in collaboration with Galaxy Digital Funds. Notably, this particular ETF was designed to directly hold Ethereum as opposed to Bitcoin.

Regarding delays, Invesco, like other asset managers, received news by the United States SEC about a delay in its application. The SEC also granted a 45 day extension for the decision on the application put forth by Grayscale for a spot ETF, pushing the expected verdict to the new deadline of January 25th, 2024.

Invesco going all in

Invesco is a significant contender for a spot ETF for Ethereum, adding a dynamic twist to the landscape. Previously, Invesco and Galaxy had jointly submitted an application for a physically backed Bitcoin ETF but later withdrew it.

Invesco clarified that, while they have decided not to pursue a Bitcoin futures ETF in the immediate future, they remain committed to working with Galaxy Digital to provide investors with a comprehensive range of products related to this transformative asset class, including exploring a physically backed digital asset ETF.

SEC taking its time

Similarly, the SEC has sought public feedback on the proposed rule change by Fidelity for a similar product, with the asset manager awaiting what the regulator will decide. In fact, the entire crypto industry is eagerly awaiting what the SEC will choose to do regarding spot Bitcoin ETF applications by BlackRock, Fidelity, WisdomTree, and various other companies.

With just four weeks left in the short approval window, optimism remains high among crypto proponents that the SEC will rule favorably, potentially marking the first approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF in the United States.

December 13,2023

Everything You Should Know about Artificial Intelligence Trading

Artificial Intelligence has brought improvements to various industries. One industry that has benefited from this tool is the trading industry. AI-powered trading tools are the best tools for traders and investors. They are offering data-driven strategies, automation, and predictive analytics. Before you start using these platforms, you should know everything about it.

  • The Role of AI in Trading

Artificial Intelligence trading tools like quantum ai use advanced algorithms to analyze historical data and predict future market movements. These predictions can range from short-term price fluctuations to long-term trends. By using machine learning techniques, the tool can reveal patterns and relationships. Some of these patterns sometimes need to be more complex to discern. Artificial Intelligence trading tools help manage risk through monitoring and decision-making. They can analyze different amounts of news, social media, and other data sources to gauge market sentiment. The tools can execute trades on behalf of traders automatically. 

  • Benefits of AI Trading Tools

Artificial Intelligence trading tools can process and analyze many datasets, making them more efficient and accurate. They can identify market opportunities and assess risks at a speed and scale that humans cannot match. Your emotions can always lead to irrational trading decisions. Artificial Intelligence tools do not succumb to these emotions. This will help you because you will stick to your strategies and avoid actions that can lead to losses. The device also enables you to backtest your strategy on historical data. This can be important for the optimization of trading algorithms. They can operate 24/7, continuously monitoring markets and executing trades. This ensures that you take advantage of all opportunities under various market conditions.

  • Consideration

The effectiveness of Artificial Intelligence trading tools relies on the quality of data they are trained on. Only accurate data can lead to correct predictions or trading decisions. Therefore, you need to be cautious about the data sources used by AI tools. Note that their models can be prone to overfitting. This mainly occurs when they perform well on historical data but fail in live trading. Such challenges can be due to an inability to adapt to changing market conditions. In this case, you should conduct the best model selection, and parameter tuning is essential to mitigate this risk. The use of Artificial Intelligence in trading is subject to regulatory oversight. You must ensure that their AI tools comply with financial regulations in their jurisdiction if they operate in a professional or institutional capacity.

  • Innovations

The introduction of quantum computing in the industry could enhance AI trading tools. They work by solving complex optimization problems more efficiently. This technology could revolutionize risk assessment and portfolio management. As AI algorithms become more advanced, there is a growing need for transparency and interpretability. The development of explainable Artificial Intelligence models will help you understand why AI systems make confident decisions.

Note that Artificial Intelligence like quantum ai is not limited to retail trading. It is increasingly integrated into institutional finance, including asset management, risk assessment, and investment analysis. This trend is likely to continue, reshaping the finance industry. They have found a strong foundation in cryptocurrency trading. With this, they offer unique strategies according to the nature of digital assets. The intersection of Artificial Intelligence and blockchain technology will provide the best opportunities for you. These are the few things you should keep in mind about Artificial Intelligence.

December 13,2023

Senator Warren Introduces New Bill To Try And Crack Down On Crypto

Senator Elizabeth Warren is advocating for a legislative measure that many view as detrimental to the American public. Known for her criticism of both cryptocurrency and many major banks, she has presented a bill, termed the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, aimed at addressing the alleged involvement of crypto in illicit financial activities.

Still a ways to go

On December 11th, five Democratic lawmakers, including three via the Senate Banking Committee which were Senators Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Laphonza Butler (D-CA), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), joined as co-sponsors. This committee holds considerable influence in shaping laws regulating a major economic sector in the United States, making their support significant.

Despite this, the aforementioned bill faces considerable obstacles to passing due to typical challenges in US governance, such as partisan politics, internal conflicts, and legislative gridlock. While this may be beneficial for the crypto industry, whose leaders have expressed strong opposition to the bill, it is also advantageous for the general public. Still, the proposed anti-money laundering act, despite its well-intentioned origins, raises concerns due to attached conditions.

The future is uncertain

It is worth noting that the bill put forth by Senator Warren, in its current form at least, is unlikely to gain approval for various reasons, including constitutional concerns raised by industry lobbyists. The legislation could be deemed unconstitutional. Additionally, US legislators, following the FTX and Terra incidents, are focused on implementing genuine regulatory reforms in the crypto space.

The bill, however, narrowly concentrates on surveillance issues, neglecting broader concerns in blockchain that contributed to events like the FTX fiasco. This narrow focus raises questions about the value of the bill and the time allocation factor of several lawmakers, considering other pressing matters.

In any case, the timing of the bill is noteworthy. Similar to another concerning congressional proposal, it appears to seek unconstitutional expansion of surveillance over various components of popular digital technologies.

December 13,2023

Crypto Securities Violations Land Richard Heart In Hot Water

The US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has accused Richard Heart of conducting unregistered securities offerings through his Hex, PulseChain, and PulseX blockchains. Initial reports suggested that Heart evaded the legal complaint, but a recent filing by the SEC confirmed that he was ultimately served in Finland.

Despite filing the initial court complaint in July, serving Heart with legal documents proved challenging amid rumors that he intentionally avoided contact with the securities agency. However, the SEC provided an update on December 11th, stating that Heart was served under Finnish law and the rules governing civil and commercial matters under the Hague Convention on October 31st through Substitute Service.

Understanding the case

Substitute service involves delivering the defendant a copy of the complaint where personal service is not possible. This could involve leaving a copy of the complaint at the property of the defendant or via email, allowing the legal process to continue even if the defendant deliberately avoids personal service.

An SEC exhibit supporting the December 11th filing outlined multiple unsuccessful attempts to deliver personal service, including leaving a contact request form on two occasions and receiving no response to phone and text messages. Under substitute service, the court documents were left at a nearby police station, with Heart informed of the location of the documents.

With the court papers considered served, the case against Heart can move forward. The SEC alleges that Heart committed fraud by marketing Hex, PulseChain, and PulseX as profit-generating investments without proper disclosures or securities registration, raising over $1 billion through the offerings.

Caution must be exercised

The complaint includes various issues, such as Hex being touted as capable of providing investors with a 10,000x return on their investment, the use of investor funds to create fake volume, and the misappropriation of $12 million for luxury items like expensive watches and cars. The SEC is seeking disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil penalties, and permanent injunctions against Heart and his companies, preventing further violations of securities laws.

This case holds significance as even if founders believe their crypto projects are not securities and are fully decentralized, the economic realities determining investor profit may still categorize them as securities under US law.

December 12,2023

Japan And Saudi Arabia Will Work Together To Promote Digital Asset Industry

SBI Holdings, the primary cryptocurrency finance group of Japan, and Saudi Aramco, the second largest company in the entire world, have recently disclosed a strategic collaboration. The partnership aims to delve into mutual investment in their respective digital asset portfolios and the development of semiconductor facilities in both countries.

Covering all bases

The collaboration will reportedly concentrate on three primary domains, namely collective investment in the digital asset sector, backing Japanese startups in the digital asset arena seeking to broaden their presence in Saudi Arabia, and finally diverse investment initiatives in the semiconductor sector, encompassing the establishment of manufacturing plants in both nations.

In connection with this initiative, SBI intends to establish SBI Middle East in Riyadh to facilitate the entry of Japanese digital asset startups into the Saudi Arabian market. This step aligns with ongoing endeavors of SBI in the Middle East, such as the establishment of an investment fund in partnership with local entities.

A paradigm shift

In the semiconductor area, SBI presently possesses Power Crystal Manufacturing Co. (PSMC), a Taiwanese manufacturing company, and also plans to set up a facility in Miyagi Prefecture for its Japanese manufacturing operations. The company has indicated the potential expansion of its collaboration with Aramco, contingent on mutual agreement.

In any case, the aforementioned deal has the potential to be one of the biggest of its kind, as it involves two genuine heavyweights in the world of investment and finance. Time will tell how the deal will play out, as both Japan and Saudi Arabia look to become global financial hubs going forward.

December 12,2023

Blockchain Technology To Be Used By China To Verify Identities

China has recently introduced RealDID, a blockchain-based initiative aimed at verifying the identities of its 1.4 billion citizens. The move comes amid global apprehensions and heightened security and regulatory measures by the United States. 

Tightening security measures

Utilizing DID addresses and private keys, the service ensures the segregation of business data and personal details. In contrast to various social media platforms in China, which mandate real names for content creators with substantial followings, RealDID stands as the inaugural national-level real-name decentralized identity system in the world, according to the BSN (Blockchain Service Network).

BSN China, managed by the National Information Center, China Mobile, and China UnionPay, oversees domestic operations, while BSN Global handles international functions separately. Concurrently, a bipartisan U.S. bill proposes a new policy which could disallow federal officials to employ China-manufactured blockchains, such as iFinex, citing potential national security threats.

Issues still persist

Spearheaded by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security in collaboration with the Blockchain Service Network, RealDID enables users to register and access websites without disclosing personal information.

Still, despite the Chinese Institute of Forensic Science no longer being a part of the trade sanctions lists by the United States, which were designed to combat fentanyl trafficking, human rights concerns persist. In response to a circular by the National Narcotics Control Commission regarding the risks associated with foreign law enforcement, China has cautioned its chemical manufacturers against producing fentanyl precursors.

December 12,2023

Crypto Fundraising December 5 - 11

On behalf of the Web3 community, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the companies that announced their success in fundraising between 5th December and 11th December 2023. We are thrilled to see such tremendous support from all involved. Well done! 

Ten (Obscuro) raised $7.5M - Ten is excited to announce that they have raised $7.5 million to complete their mission of bringing Encryption to Ethereum.

Endless Clouds raised $2.5M - Endless Clouds successfully raised more than $2.5 million in its latest funding announcement. This investment round draws support from influential entities and individuals across the gaming and blockchain sectors.

$FLOKI raised $1.25M - FLOKI is the people's cryptocurrency and utility token of the Floki Ecosystem. What started as a meme has developed into an industry-leading utility project.

Shadow raised $9M - Crypto data platform startup Shadow, which says it can reduce development costs on Ethereum, has raised $9 million in a seed round led by Paradigm.

Curvance raised $3.6M - DeFi platform Curvance has raised $3.6 million in a seed funding round from over 20 DAOs and developers, including Offchain Labs.

Pyth Network of the "strategic fundraising round" announced this week, some of the largest players in the crypto industry.

Carv raised $4M - Carv, a self-sovereign identity (SSI) oracle and data-sharing protocol with its first flagship AI-powered gaming superapp, secured strategic funding earlier this year from HashKey Capital and a $100B Global Big Tech.

QANplatform (QANX) raised $15M - QANplatform, the quantum-resistant hybrid blockchain platform enables developers and enterprises to rapidly build software applications like DApps.

SYMMIO raised $11M - SYMMIO is thrilled to announce that they have closed a $1.1M OTC round. The round was led by 0x_Messi, with participation from a veteran group of investors.

Theta Token raised $100M - Theta Labs&lsquo video streaming solution, which is powered by blockchain technology, and which has announced that its token presale has reached $12 million.

Sona raised $6.9M - Alongside the launch news, the company also announced its $6.9 million seed funding round from Polychain Capital, Haun Ventures and Rogue Capital.

Versatus (VRRB Labs) raised $3.7M - Versatus (formerly VRRB Labs) has raised $2.3 million in seed funding at a valuation of $50 million.

CyberTitans raised an undisclosed amount - A multiplayer strategy game with crazy mechanics where you lead your Titans against the world.

MAP Protocol raised an undisclosed amount - MAP Protocol has announced receiving strategic investments from Waterdrip Capital and DWF Labs.

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