February 07,2024

Janet Yellen In Hot Water As Congress Questions Recent Decisions

US Congress members have openly challenged the call made by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen regarding increased oversight of cryptocurrencies, emphasizing the limitations of the Howey Test in safeguarding crypto consumers in a recent letter addressed to her.

The correspondence, endorsed by House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry, House Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn Thompson, along with Rep. French Hill and Rep. Dusty Johnson, requests detailed elucidation by Yellen on shaping the regulatory framework regarding digital assets, following her recent pronouncement.

 

Clarity Is Needed

Congress seeks clarification on the role of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Notably, they have voiced concerns regarding the efficacy of the Howey Test, utilized to ascertain the classification of a transaction as an investment contract and hence a security. Congress is questioning whether the Howey Test provides adequate consumer protection.

The lawmakers have contended that according to SEC Chairman Gensler, the vast majority of crypto tokens likely meet the investment contract test. However, the final investment contract analysis is backward-looking, determined by a court after the transaction has concluded. How does this reactive legal authority ensure sufficient customer protection, especially in the absence of comprehensive legislation, the lawmakers asked.

Moreover, Congress has underscored that the current regulatory framework does not encompass a significant portion of the crypto-asset ecosystem, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. They have inquired of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) whether these cryptocurrencies are regarded as securities. Led by Yellen, the FSOC convenes key financial regulators to oversee potential risks and uphold the stability of the financial.

 

Addressing Concerns

Congress members have additionally raised concerns about regulatory gaps in spot markets for digital assets not classified as securities. They are querying whether the Commodity Futures Trading Commission should extend its jurisdiction to include these spot markets, considering its existing authority over certain aspects of non-security digital asset transactions.

In any case, Congress anticipates Yellen to respond to these concerns by February 20th. Yellen has also been actively advocating for stricter regulations post the collapse of FTX. During a recent testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, she cautioned about the risks associated with crypto platforms and stablecoins, urging Congress to enact stringent regulations for the crypto industry.

 

February 07,2024

Solana Once Again Experiences A Network Outage

Solana (SOL) experienced its first network outage of 2024 during the early New York trading session on February 6th. The blackout on its mainnet network, which is still in beta, had a significant impact on leveraged traders and other users. The network remained offline amid a request for validators to install the new software update before rebooting the system. Following a 5-hour disruption, the Solana network is now operational again.

Solana engineers are investigating the outage and have opted for a new release of validator software to address the issue that halted the cluster. At the time of the initial report, the network was still inactive, with a request for validators to install the new software update before restarting the network. This led to a temporary halt in block progression and validation on the network.

 

Damage Control

The network delay led various exchanges and services reliant on SOL to suspend operations. Allegedly, the outage affected SOL and tokens within its broader ecosystem, such as Jupiter (JUP) and BONK. Some exchanges, like CoinEx, notified users of SOL service suspensions due to network issues. The network instability also impacted the price of SOL before stabilizing a few minutes later. Notably, the price hit $92.88 before a slight rebound following assurance of resolving the network issues.

During the same network blackout period, leveraged SOL traders, particularly those with long positions, faced significant liquidation. According to Coinglass data, $1.36 million worth of long positions were liquidated within the first hour of the network outage.

 

Unresolved Network Issues

Despite the network outage, the aforementioned price rebound represented notable stability during the first network outage for Solana in 2024. Previous downtimes have impacted sentiment, influencing price movements. However, the recurrence of these network issues is concerning. Since its launch in March 2020, Solana has experienced multiple outages, prompting core developers and engineers to restart it several times.

Additionally, Solana gained prominence due to high traction via its native token, SOL, and the promise of faster and cheaper transactions compared to Ethereum. Despite being hailed as an Ethereum killer, frequent network outages have forced many to rethink their opinions as to whether Solana can remain as a serious competitor alongside Cardano, Polygon, and others.

 

February 06,2024

Haru Invest Executives Arrested And Detained By South Korean Prosecutors

South Korean prosecutors recently announced the arrest and detention of three Haru Invest crypto yield platform executives, including both co-CEOs. The prosecutors in Seoul accused them of misappropriating approximately 1.1 trillion Korean Won (approximately $825 million) in cryptocurrencies through about 16,000 users, according to the Seoul Southern District Prosecutor Office.

 

What Happened

Haru allegedly directed most client deposits through a single individual, falsely promoting that the funds were managed using risk-free distributed investment techniques. The platform reportedly enticed users with an Earn Plus product offering up to a 12% yield.

Investigations into Haru and crypto lender Delio began after both companies suddenly halted withdrawals on June 14th, 2023. Delio attributed the suspension to the abrupt stop of deposits and withdrawals at Haru Invest earlier that day, with which Delio had previously collaborated. Simultaneously, Haru filed a criminal complaint against the consignment operator on the same day, accusing it of deceiving the company with false reports, resulting in a loss of over $260 million during the infamous FTX collapse.

 

Damage Control

Last month, South Korean prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for an individual named Bang, who is a majority shareholder in B&S Holdings. Admittedly, Bang is not the full name of the individual in question as this information remains undisclosed due to privacy rules in South Korea.

Nevertheless, the prosecutor stated in a press release that they will thoroughly identify the true nature of the alleged crime through any and all means via a comprehensive investigation, while also doing the best to recover damages and return criminal proceeds.

 

February 06,2024

GoDaddy Partners Up With ENS To Connect Web Domains Via Blockchain

Ethereum Name Service (ENS) and domain registrar GoDaddy have joined forces, enabling users to connect their domain names to ENS without incurring extra expenses or requiring technical expertise. This partnership aims to unite the traditional DNS protocol, utilized by conventional websites, with blockchain-based names.

 

A Significant Partnership

The integration of DNS and ENS will grant more than 20 million GoDaddy users access to ENS blockchain infrastructure benefits, including the ability to receive cryptocurrency payments. ENS, a widely used crypto naming protocol, allows users to link human-readable names, like bob.eth, to intricate Ethereum addresses, resembling the functionality of DNS in website URLs.

GoDaddy highlighted that this collaboration enables users to link their domains to ENS-compatible crypto wallets, simplifying the receipt of crypto payments. According to Nick Johnson, the founder of ENS, merging ENS names with GoDaddy domains will streamline user interaction with web domains, combining the familiarity of DNS with the potential of blockchain technology.

 

Understanding ENS

ENS is a decentralized domain name system built on the Ethereum blockchain. It serves as a naming system for Ethereum addresses, allowing users to associate human-readable names with complex Ethereum addresses. Instead of using a long and intricate string of characters to represent a wallet address, users can create and utilize more user-friendly names under the .eth top-level domain.

ENS operates similarly to traditional DNS used on the Internet. In the case of ENS, it links Ethereum addresses to easily readable names, making it more convenient for users to send and receive cryptocurrency. Users can register and manage domain names through the ENS system, and these names can be used for various purposes, such as receiving payments in cryptocurrency. The decentralized nature of ENS means that users have more control over their domain names, and the system is not controlled by any central authority.

To overcome previous obstacles such as high gas fees, the collaboration introduces new smart contracts for a fee-free DNS-to-ENS domain linking process, enhancing the transition experience. ENS continues its efforts to integrate with the traditional web, including ongoing initiatives like supporting (.box) domains that function similarly to standard internet domains.

 

February 06,2024

Coin Metrics Integrates Network Data Metrics on TradingView

BOSTON (February 6, 2024) Coin Metrics, the leading provider of crypto financial intelligence, is pleased to announce that its community data product suite has been successfully integrated into TradingView, offering TradingView users a comprehensive cryptoasset analytics experience.

TradingView, a charting and analysis platform serving more than 50 million traders and investors, now offers Coin Metrics Network Data Pro data for digital asset trade information.

"We are delighted to bring Coin Metrics robust crypto network data to TradingView users," said Tim Rice, co-founding CEO of Coin Metrics. "This relationship reflects our ongoing commitment to provide the highest quality data to the crypto community. We believe that by seamlessly integrating our network data products with TradingView, we can offer traders and investors an unparalleled analytics experience so they are empowered to make informed decisions in the evolving digital asset space."

As part of this dynamic collaboration, Coin Metrics will source TradingView user feedback to ensure continuous improvement and alignment with trader needs and TradingView will continue to explore Coin Metrics data use cases to make data increasingly accessible and understandable.

"At TradingView, we consider Coin Metrics more than just a data source" said Pierce Crosby, General Manager at TradingView. "Coin Metics is a team of highly specialized digital asset analysts and engineers, which is strategically important for us to have as a partner when it comes to sourcing new markets and building new digital asset use cases. We are happy to make such data more readily available to our global user base"

Coin Metrics data is relied on by many top financial services institutions, who have shown an increased interest in digital assets and have a need for trustworthy digital asset data to drive their decision-making as market participants. CM Network Data Pro is a data feed of insightful, aggregate network data metrics for all top cryptoassets.

ABOUT COIN METRICS:

Coin Metrics is the leading provider of crypto financial intelligence, offering network data, market data, indexes and network risk solutions to the most prestigious institutions touching cryptoassets. Established in 2017, Coin Metrics is committed to building the crypto economy on a foundation of truth, providing authentic and accurate data with the highest standards of clarity and precision. Coin Metrics puts unparalleled insight and accuracy into crypto data and analytics so that companies can accelerate value creation and minimize risk. For more information, visit www.coinmetrics.io.

ABOUT TRADINGVIEW:
TradingView is the world's most popular network of traders and investors. Powered by real-time data and market-leading charting and analysis software, more than 50 million people use TradingView to follow global assets, find trading ideas, chat with others, spot trends, and place trades directly with their favorite brokers. Visit www.tradingview.com or downloading the free TradingView mobile apps for iOS and Android. For your website or business, visit www.tradingview.com/widgets.

February 06,2024

Crypto Fundraising January 30 - February 5

On behalf of the Web3 community, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the companies that announced their success in fundraising between 30th January-5th February 2024. We are thrilled to see such tremendous support from all involved. Well done! 


Squid (Switzerland): Dive into the future of financial technology as Squid secured $4M in Series A funding, led by Polychain. Squid allows any token to be swapped between blockchains, and unlocks access to apps across chains in a single click.
Use Squid to build seamless user experiences that tap into cross-chain liquidity and scale to reach anyone with a crypto wallet, no matter what chain they're on.


BlokID (United States): BlokID pioneers advanced, blockchain-powered solutions for digital advertising. Their technology enhances attribution accuracy and upholds user privacy. The US-based startup has secured $1.25M in Seed funding from AppWorks to revolutionize identity verification.


Portal (United States): Breaking barriers! Portal, based in the United States, raised an impressive $34M in Seed funding, setting the stage for innovative breakthroughs.


Nebeus (United Kingdom): Nebeus takes a giant leap forward with $270M in Debt Financing, fueling their mission to redefine financial landscapes in the United Kingdom.
After several years of operating in the P2P space, Nebeus pivoted in its business model and shifted from P2P lending to centralized crypto-backed lending, with the mission to help people bring their crypto to traditional finance.


Plater Network: Plater Network is an independent enterprise and privately held company with a noble objective of building the decentralized technology of information flow and data transferring software.
The entire network will be based on the blockchain technology, which increases the number of benefits for users. Plater Network secured a $2M Grant to advance their endeavors.


Infrared Finance (Canada): Infrared Finance simplies Proof of Liquidity and serves as the main portal to the Berachain ecosystem. The company raised $2.5M in Seed funding led by Synergis Capital.


Gevulot announced a $6M Seed round with Variant. Explore the potential of this rising star in the tech and ZK Proofs landscape.


Cube Group, Inc. (United States): Cube Group secured $12M in Series A funding from 6th Man Ventures. Witness the evolution of this innovative venture in the tech space!


Gateway opens new doors with $23K in Funding Round. This is an NFT powered gaming and learning platform where users can play, go on adventures, and even partake in P2P. They can then earn rewards in NFTs and trade their rare items.


Exciting times ahead! Follow CryptoWeekly for regular updates about Web3 funding deals.

February 05,2024

Ripple Will Utilize XRP To Expand Cross Border Payment Services

Ripple, a key participant in real-time gross settlement systems, has revealed intentions to expand its Ripple Payments offerings throughout the United States, according to Senior Director W. Oliver Segovia.

 

Going Global

With most of its business conducted internationally, Ripple aims to utilize its global standing to enhance services in the U.S. market. The upcoming product updates are expected to capitalize on the pre-existing expertise of Ripple in blockchain technology and payments, presenting streamlined solutions for cross-border transactions within the U.S.

To kick off this initiative, Ripple will organize a gathering at its recently established headquarters in San Francisco. The event will include a panel discussion led by Brendan Berry and Pegah Soltani, product heads, moderated by U.S. Managing Director Joanie Xie. Chief Technology Officer David Schwartz will also contribute to a discussion regarding the Ripple blockchain as well as its payments outlook for 2024.

 

Keeping Up With The Times

In line with its expansion strategy, Ripple is actively recruiting in various global locations, including Bangalore, San Francisco, Toronto, and London. Ripple Payments is a service utilizing XRP as a bridge currency, offering advantages such as rapid transaction settlements within seconds, cost-effectiveness compared to conventional methods, transaction transparency through a public ledger, and security through a consensus mechanism.

Moreover, despite maintaining a relatively subdued presence in the U.S. for the past three years, Ripple plans to introduce fresh updates to its products driven by its money transmitter licenses (MTLs), encompassing a significant number of states.

As of the time of this writing, XRP is trading at around $0.5, according to CoinGecko.

 

February 05,2024

Cardano Experiences Substantial Progress And Processes Over 4 Million Transactions

Cardano, recognized for its research-oriented approach and environmentally friendly Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus, is witnessing substantial growth. The surge in transaction volumes, a diverse array of project launches, and active development within its ecosystem signify this expansion.

In December and January, Cardano processed over 4 million transactions, demonstrating a noteworthy uptick in on-chain activity. This development aligns with the overall goal of evolving into a scalable and sustainable blockchain for real-world applications.

 

Steady Progress

Beyond transaction processing, Cardano is attracting developers and projects. In the last two months, eight new projects debuted on Cardano, and an additional 17 are presently in development. This brings the total to 157 projects already launched and 1,320 in progress, indicating a vibrant and varied ecosystem.

The technological progress of Cardano is propelling its growth. The number of token policies on the platform also surged, resulting in the creation of 480,000 new native tokens. Furthermore, Plutus scripts, facilitating smart contracts on Cardano, experienced substantial growth, with both V1 and V2 scripts witnessing significant increases.

Project Catalyst, the community-driven funding initiative of Cardano, is similarly fostering engagement and innovation. In the second week of voting for Fund11, almost 5,000 wallets cast over 150,000 votes across 920 proposals seeking community funding. This active participation underscores the robust community support for Cardano.

 

Still A Ways To Go

Cardano, designed by Charles Hoskinson as a peer-reviewed blockchain, stands out with its Ouroboros PoS system. In contrast to Bitcoin, Cardano can execute transactions with a significantly smaller environmental footprint, thanks to its energy-efficient methodology.

Reflecting the positive sentiment, ADA saw a price increase of 1.3% in 24 hours and 7.4% in a week. While the report presents an optimistic outlook, it is essential to recognize the broader context. Cardano faces competition by established players like Ethereum and emerging blockchains. Regulatory uncertainty regarding cryptocurrencies remains a factor, and despite being touted as energy-efficient, the environmental impact of Cardano compared to other blockchains is still a subject of debate.

February 05,2024

Crypto Fundraising January 30th - February 5th

On behalf of the Web3 community, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the companies that announced their success in fundraising between 30th January-5th February 2024. We are thrilled to see such tremendous support from all involved.


Dive into the future of financial technology as Squid secured $4M in Series A funding, led by Polychain. Squid allows any token to be swapped between blockchains, and unlocks access to apps across chains in a single click.
Use Squid to build seamless user experiences that tap into cross-chain liquidity and scale to reach anyone with a crypto wallet, no matter what chain they're on.


BlokID pioneers advanced, blockchain-powered solutions for digital advertising. Their technology enhances attribution accuracy and upholds user privacy. The US-based startup has secured $1.25M in Seed funding from AppWorks to revolutionize identity verification.


Breaking barriers! Portal, based in the United States, raised an impressive $34M in Seed funding, setting the stage for innovative breakthroughs.


Nebeus takes a giant leap forward with $270M in Debt Financing, fueling their mission to redefine financial landscapes in the United Kingdom.
After several years of operating in the P2P space, Nebeus pivoted in its business model and shifted from P2P lending to centralized crypto-backed lending, with the mission to help people bring their crypto to traditional finance.


Plater Network is an independent enterprise and privately held company with a noble objective of building the decentralized technology of information flow and data transferring software.
The entire network will be based on the blockchain technology, which increases the number of benefits for users. Plater Network secured a $2M Grant to advance their endeavors.


Infrared Finance simplies Proof of Liquidity and serves as the main portal to the Berachain ecosystem. The company raised $2.5M in Seed funding led by Synergis Capital.


Gevulot announced a $6M Seed round with Variant. Explore the potential of this rising star in the tech and ZK Proofs landscape.


Cube Group secured $12M in Series A funding from 6th Man Ventures. Witness the evolution of this innovative venture in the tech space.


Gateway opens new doors with $23K in Funding Round. This is an NFT powered gaming and learning platform where users can play, go on adventures, and even partake in P2P. They can then earn rewards in NFTs and trade their rare items.

 

February 04,2024

Bitcoin Balances Out As Interest Rates Keep Rising

Following recent heightened volatility, BTC has stabilized around the $43,000 threshold. Most altcoins exhibit an unusually calm daily trend, except for ICP and TIA, both showcasing noteworthy gains. Infact, ICP and TIA rank among the leading performers within the largest 36 digital assets.

2023 posed challenges for cryptocurrency prices and the overall market, but it also saw the emergence of various narratives and catalysts for crypto projects. Some experienced rapid, overnight increases in total value locked (TVL), while others grew more organically.

Bulls Intervene

BTC encountered a significant decline in the weeks after the approval and launch of numerous spot ETFs in the United States. It reached a low point at $38,500 last Thursday. Subsequently, the bulls intervened, preventing further declines. Instead, BTC initiated an upward trajectory, surpassing the coveted $40,000 level over the weekend. The start of the business week witnessed even more impressive movements, with BTC exceeding $43,000 on multiple occasions, reaching $43,750.

However, it failed to sustain beyond that point, experiencing a subsequent rejection that led to a dip to $42,000 on Wednesday and Thursday. Despite this setback, BTC rebounded once again, stabilizing at its current level around $43,000. Its market capitalization also rose to $845 billion, maintaining dominance over altcoins at just over 50% on CoinMarketCap. Despite their usual volatility, altcoins like ETH, XRP, ADA, AVAX, and LINK have shown marginal gains. Conversely, BNB, DOGE, TRX, DOT, and TON are slightly in the negative.

Losses Continue

Capital, research, and development efforts are actively invested in new technologies and features that hold the potential for significant improvements in decentralized finance. Incora, an aerospace parts supplier, is currently facing resistance by bond investors. This situation underscores why high-yield debt investors have suffered substantial losses in this credit cycle.

Notably, money managers, including JPMorgan Chase and affiliates of BlackRock Inc., seek to reverse a rescue financing undertaken by Incora in 2022. This financing left them and other investors in a disadvantaged position. In recent years, companies facing financial challenges have increasingly sought emergency funding through a select group of money managers, adversely affecting their other creditors in the process.

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers noted that the enduring strength of the economy, despite the vigorous Federal Reserve tightening, makes it more likely that neutral interest rates have risen. He emphasized the resilience of the economy and suggested that arguments in favor of higher neutral rates due to fiscal deficits and decreased sensitivity to borrowing costs are becoming evident.

February 03,2024

Passwords And Other Sensitive Binance Data Leaked On GitHub

A set of sensitive material linked to the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, comprising code and internal passwords, was allegedly disclosed on GitHub, where it remained accessible to the public for several months.

As per 404 Media, the shared content by the account named Termf encompassed code, infrastructure diagrams, internal passwords, and other technical details. Some of the code available on the platform was purportedly associated with various security measures which have been implemented by the exchange, encompassing passwords and multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Binance Takes Action

The disclosed data also supposedly included passwords for systems labeled as prod, likely indicating their use on the live site rather than in development or demonstration environments. The leaked information on GitHub was reportedly taken down following a copyright request by Binance last week, validating that the content contained code owned by the exchange.

Perhaps most alarming though, the leaked material had been accessible for viewing since at least January 5th, when 404 Media notified the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world about what happened.

Damage Control

In its copyright takedown request, Binance asserted that the leaked internal code poses significant risk to Binance and causes severe financial harm to both Binance and its users. A spokesperson for Binance acknowledged awareness of the leak, stating that their security team had assessed this claim and confirmed that it does not resemble what is currently in production.

The spokesperson reassured users that their data and assets remained secure on the platform, emphasizing that the leaked information presented negligible risk to the security of our users, their assets, or our platform. As of the time of this writing, BNB is trading around the $300 mark.

February 02,2024

BTC Miners On Notice As US Government Considers Energy Data Disclosure

On January 31st, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced the commencement of a temporary survey to gather data on electricity consumption through identified crypto-mining companies operating in the country.

The proposed expedited survey, named Cryptocurrency Mining Facilities, received approval as an emergency collection of data requested by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on January 26th. Commencing next week, the EIA will collect data via a selection of commercial crypto-miners, mandating miners to provide details about their energy consumption. The agency will also seek public input on the collection of energy use data by crypto miners.

Growing Demand

As outlined by the OMB, the gathering of energy data aims to establish a foundational overview of the crypto mining companies in the sample, quantify the rate of change in crypto mining activity among the companies in the sample, identify electricity sources for US crypto miners in the sample, and finally identify regions in the United States with concentrated crypto mining activity based on the companies in the sample.

Glenn McGrath, an electricity expert at the EIA, believes that there is a significant source of demand which is worthy of additional research based on quantification, adding that until experts can substantiate growing activity with better data, there will just be more questions to answer.

Potential Upsurge In BTC Mining Activity

According to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2022, crypto mining comprised 0.4% of the global annual electricity consumption, consuming about 110TWh. In 2023, this figure rose to 130TWh, with Bitcoin contributing 120TWh to the total.

The report predicts a 40% increase in electricity consumption through crypto mining in 2026, reaching 160 TWh. The United States emerged as the largest mining hub globally after China banned crypto mining operations in 2021. McGrath acknowledged that the EIA has received requests via various sectors to begin to quantify cryptocurrency mining energy use going forward.

In a memo by the EIA requesting emergency approval of the project, the agency explained that the 50% surge in the price of BTC in the last three months increases the likelihood of public harm, as the higher price reward will incentivize more crypto mining activity, subsequently increasing electricity consumption.

However, the Bitcoin community and independent institutions like the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) have raised substantial doubts about similar data and conclusions via other governments and BTC critics.








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