Mt. Gox Bitcoin repayment: The day that never comes

Mt. Gox’s infamous 2014 security breach — that lost 850,000 Bitcoin (BTC) of investors’ funds — resulted in its users embarking on a seemingly never-ending, decade-long pursuit of closure via funds reimbursement.

Over the years, Mt. Gox has backtracked on its numerous plans to reimburse the funds that the crypto exchange had barred its users from withdrawing — effective from Feb 25, 2014.

Latest notice concerning the change of repayment deadlines. Source:

However, with Mt. Gox postponing its repayment deadlines by one more year, from Oct. 31, 2023, to Oct. 31, 2024, the wait for redressal extends into the 11th year for Mt. Gox investors.

Mt. Gox 2014: The year of the largest Bitcoin hack – (Avg. BTC price $420)

Days after Mt. Gox lost 850,000 BTC in the February 2014 breach, leaked documents revealed that the crypto exchange became insolvent. It read:

“The cold storage has been wiped out due to a leak in the hot wallet. The reality is that MtGox can go bankrupt at any moment, and certainly deserves to as a company.”

It was generally assumed that the fall of Mt. Gox would mean the end for Bitcoin, considering that the exchange was managed 70% of the total circulating Bitcoin at the time. Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo District Court, Japan after losing nearly $500,000 in value.

The exchange was soon hit by numerous lawsuits as investors feared the possibility of Mt. Gox’s intention to return investors’ funds. The sentiment of mistrust grew over the year as Mt. Gox revealed no plans for reimbursement while deleting its website and social media presence.

Mt. Gox 2015: Back and forth with Tokyo court (Avg. BTC price $260)

Amid its ongoing bankruptcy proceedings in Tokyo District Court, Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès was arrested without charge for 23 days by the Japanese police for allegedly manipulating the computer system to inflate his account. Authorities found it hard to link criminals to crypto crimes due to the lack of regulations around cryptocurrencies.

On April 22, 2015, Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, instructed users to file a claim for their missing Bitcoin via mail or a form that could be accessed with a Mt Gox login and password.

It was believed that Mt. Gox would return around 20% of the users’ funds considering the fall in Bitcoin’s market price.

Mt. Gox 2016: Investors go through the claim process (Avg. BTC price $620)

Mt. Gox revealed that only $91 million in assets were slated to be distributed to claimants. However, not all investors came to terms with Mt. Gox’s alleged plans to reimburse a small portion of funds. As a result, the total claims for reimbursement reached $2.4 trillion even though the loss was around $500,000.

This was also the year when the idea of storing cryptocurrencies in cold wallets got much-needed attention from the crypto community.

After being arrested twice in 2015 under the allegations of embezzlement of $3 million of customers money, Karpelès was released from jail on July 13, 2016, after paying a bail bond of nearly $100,000.

Mt. Gox 2017: Legal struggles and introduction of Karpeles coin (Avg. BTC price $5,000)

Discussions around funds reimbursement were overshadowed by the legal proceedings against former Mt. Gox CEO Karpelès’ involvement in funds embezzlement.

During the trial, Karpelès admitted to operating a so-called ‘Willy Bot’ (obligation exchange). The bot earned its name from Mt. Gox traders concerned about the manipulation of the exchange’s volumes at its peak.

On Nov. 28, 2017, Karpelès introduced his plans to conduct an initial coin offering (ICO) to raise $245 million to “revive” Mt. Gox. However, Karpeles discarded the decision after learning about the legal hurdles around launching an ICO campaign.

Mt. Gox 2018: A slow year for creditors (Avg. BTC price $7,000)

Following a strong price recovery over the past year, on August 1, 2018, Mt. Gox revised its basic policy for preparing a rehabilitation plan. It read:

“Mt. Gox is not capable of returning all BTC deposited by creditors. Accordingly, we consider that all assets of Mt. Gox should be distributed to creditors and not to shareholders.”

At the time, the exchange believed that most of the assets, including approximately 166,000 BTC and 168,000 of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and other derivatives currently held by Mt. Gox, should be paid to creditors at the time of the first payment.

Despite the ongoing discussion, a resolution was never reached that could satisfy legal and creditors’ requirements.

Mt. Gox 2019: Plan extensions and delays (Avg. BTC price $8,000)

The anticipation for the Mt. Gox was at peak as a rehabilitation plan was seemingly underway.

Mt. Gox extends deadlines for rehabilitation plans. Source: Mt. Gox

However, Mt. Gox requested the Tokyo court to extend the deadline for the submission of the rehabilitation plan. On Oct. 25, 2019, the Tokyo District Court issued an order to extend the deadline for a rehabilitation plan from October 28, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

Mt. Gox 2020: Plan extensions and delays (Avg. BTC price $11,000)

Going against the 5-year long trend of delaying reimbursements to users, in early 2020, New York-based private equity firm Fortress offered to buy out creditor claims from Mt. Gox. had the deal gone through, eligible creditors would have received $1,293 for every bitcoin they owned on the exchange’s wallet.

By March, Mt. Gox issued yet another draft rehabilitation plan, which revealed its plans to liquidate cryptocurrencies other than BTC and BCH. However, investors were made to wait much longer after the Tokyo court approved Mt. Gox’s yet another request for an extension citing “matters that require closer examination.”

The court heeded the motion, thereby postponing the Mt Gox Bitcoin settlement date to October 15, 2020, which was later pushed further into the next year.

Mt. Gox 2021: Bitcoin bull run creates hopium (Avg. BTC price $37,000)

On Oct 20, 2021, Mt. Gox creditors approved a rehabilitation plan to compensate them for billions in lost Bitcoin. According to Mt. Gox trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi, roughly 99% of the creditors affected by the collapse sided with the latest reimbursement plans.

With Bitcoin reaching an all-time high of $69,000, it was popularly believed that the value held in Mt. Gox’s Bitcoin stash could suffice to reimburse complete losses for the investors.

Amid positive investor sentiment, users awaited further instructions as they waited for the approved plans to unfold.

Mt. Gox 2022: Registrations for reimbursement contiues (Avg. BTC price $42,000)

The enthusiasm from 2021 seeped into this year as investors lined up to provide details for registering repayment methods.

Mt. Gox shares Repayment method plans. Source: Mt. Gox

It was also rumored that the release of 150,000 BTC could create a ‘black swan’ event for the Bitcoin ecosystem. The Mt. Gox creditors were given until January 2023 to register and select a repayment method as part of the plan by which they will be compensated for their losses.

Related: Mt. Gox repayment date looming: Is Bitcoin in trouble?

Mt. Gox 2023: The day that never comes (Avg. BTC price $27,000)

The deadlines for reimbursement registrations got pushed into the future twice in 2023. However, on April 7, Mt. Gox trustee Kobayashi stated that the deadline for creditors to provide their repayment information — clarification of payee and payment type — has passed.

To the creditor’s disappointment, Mt. Gox changed repayment deadline to October 2024.

Mt. Gox has not yet responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment about its commitment to reimburse users’ funds. In a Sept. 21 letter, Kobayashi wrote that, with the permission of the Tokyo District Court, he had extended the deadline for the base repayment, the early lump-sum repayment and the intermediate repayment.

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Kansas adjourns crypto bill targeting political donations to January 2024

A Kansas bill that aimed to limit and prohibit cryptocurrency donations in political campaigns has been adjourned to January 2024. 

Lawmakers in the Kansas House of Representatives introduced the bill — HB 2167 — on Jan. 25, 2023. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the bill sought to enforce a $100 limit on all political donations in the state’s primary or general election. The bill also required politicians to “immediately convert” the crypto donations to U.S. dollars — with no scope of expenditures or HODLing the funds.

Kansas crypto bill HB 2167 has been adjourned until Jan 8, 2024. Source:

Soon after the bill was introduced and referred to the House Committee on Elections, a committee report was shared on Feb. 22, 2023 “recommending bill be passed” accompanied by certain amendments.

However, the bill was stricken from the calendar after failure to comply with the state’s Rule 1507 (Disposition of Bills Subject to Certain Deadlines), which subjects certain bills to strict deadlines. The title of the bill HB 2167 read:

“Amending the campaign finance act to regulate and limit the use of cryptocurrency and to prohibit the use of any political funds collected by a candidate or candidate committee for a candidate for federal office.”

Targeting Bitcoin (BTC) political donations in particular, the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission said in 2017 that cryptocurrency contributions were “too secretive.” Californian authorities too had banned crypto political donations back in 2018, but later backtracked on the decision in July 2022.

Related: KC Fed tracks healthy growth of crypto ATM industry despite predatory operators

Nine United States Senators joined in to support Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Senator Warren’s official senate webpage named Democratic Party Senators Gary Peters, Dick Durbin, Tina Smith, Jeanne Shaheen, Bob Casey, Richard Blumenthal, Michael Bennet and Catherine Cortez Masto, along with independent Senator Angus King, as those who joined the bipartisan coalition supporting the bill.

“Our expanding coalition shows that Congress is ready to take action – our bipartisan bill is the toughest proposal on the table cracking down on crypto’s illicit use and giving regulators more tools in their toolbox,” Warren added while welcoming the new bill supporters.

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Indian state governments spur blockchain adoption in public administration

Ever since Bitcoin (BTC) popularized blockchain technology worldwide, the tech has found its way into myriad processes, from finance to public administration.

What started as a flex statement for early adopters has now become a way of revamping legacy systems and improving immutability, transparency and decentralization.

Despite its proven real-world use cases, most government agencies continue to take a cautious approach to adopting and infusing blockchain into their paper-based processes, given its predominant link to the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

However, a change of heart is underway as emerging economies see blockchain as a rare opportunity to establish a trust-based system for society.

While still reluctant to legitimize cryptocurrencies fully, India has generally accepted blockchain technology.

Numerous initiatives by local and state governments in India — ranging from data management systems to verifiable certificate issuances — currently use blockchain technology at their core.

India’s expedited blockchain adoption is supported by an active developer and startup community, which builds custom solutions to tackle specific use cases.

Cointelegraph’s pursuit to decipher India’s affinity for blockchain led to a conversation with Ankur Rakhi Sinha, the co-founder and CEO of Airchains, a Web3 startup focused on a middleware software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Ankur explained India’s massive appetite for blockchain and how elected leaders have been driving the change.

Cointelegraph: What is the primary driver behind India’s blockchain adoption spree?

Ankur Rakhi Sinha: The driving force behind India’s blockchain adoption is the multitude of benefits it offers to enterprises and institutions. Within their ecosystems, organizations recognize the immense benefits of incorporating blockchain technology. It addresses various challenges at different levels, such as enhancing transparency, traceability and establishing trust.

These factors contribute to the growing interest and widespread adoption of blockchain within India.

India is one of the fastest-growing blockchain markets globally, with over 56% of Indian businesses reporting an inclination toward adopting blockchain technology. With a developer base of a whopping 10 million, the Indian talent pool has been recognized globally by leading Web3 firms with the aim of fostering Web3 innovation and growth.

CT: In your discussions with the government agencies, are there any talks of crypto adoption?

ARS: No, currently, regulatory clearances surrounding cryptocurrency adoption are still uncertain. However, government agencies are actively exploring various avenues and seeking improved regulations. They are open to the idea and are diligently working toward creating a conducive environment for cryptocurrency adoption.

CT: Can you share any data and/or use cases that show improvements from older systems?

ARS: Yes, our recent collaboration with the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) showcases the real-life adoption of blockchain. With a vast expanse of 27,000 acres of land and a staggering 50,000 NFTs [nonfungible tokens] representing one million ownerships, the NKDA’s adoption of NFTs for land mutation [the transfer of property titles] has revolutionized the traditional approach, and these initiatives demonstrate the growing recognition and commitment to harnessing the potential of blockchain to drive innovation and efficiency across various sectors.

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CT: Is India betting big on blockchain? Are there any government initiatives that help drive this cause?

ARS: Yes, India is definitely betting big on blockchain. Various government agencies and bodies within India are actively seeking to collaborate with blockchain solutions. While there is yet to be a high-level blockchain initiative from the government of India thus far, there is a strong demand from government entities that Airchains is actively addressing. One of the profound use cases of blockchain adoption includes the remarkable first-ever NFT-based land mutation in India.

Additionally, in January 2020, NITI Aayog’s two-part report titled “Blockchain: The India Strategy” made it apparent that while regulations regarding cryptocurrencies and other digital assets are under consideration, the government is significantly aware of the promise of core blockchain technology to transform various systems. 

Several Indian government bodies are supportive of blockchain technology adoption and have collaborated with Airchains to incorporate novel blockchain-based systems ensuring accountability and security. The Raigarh District Authority has collaborated with us to create a blockchain-based tree plantation monitoring system for the betterment of CSR [corporate social responsibility] initiatives, whereas the Firozabad Police Department worked with us to create a blockchain complaint management system to prevent tampering of reports.

CT: What type of understanding do Indian officials have about blockchain and associated tech?

ARS: Indian government agencies, state governments and bureaucrats possess a profound understanding of blockchain and Web3 technologies. They are well-versed in the latest developments and trends within the blockchain space, including liquidity, private chains and zero-knowledge rollups. […] Their comprehension of blockchain extends beyond surface-level knowledge, as many officials have in-depth insights into how the technology functions. While some officials contemplate how blockchain should ideally operate, others are actively exploring ways to leverage this technology to address their unique challenges.

CT: What is the role of blockchain in India’s overall growth?

ARS: Blockchain technology is poised to play a huge role in India’s future growth, propelling the nation to a prominent position on the global stage. The increasing number of developers, enterprises and institutional use cases emerging in India underscores the significant growth potential of blockchain in the country. As blockchain adoption continues to expand, it is expected to drive innovation, foster economic development and create new opportunities across various sectors.

Another key push to India’s growth has been the entry of various global Web3 players into the Indian developer market. India is home to 450+ Web3 startups and has received over $1.5 billion in investments between 2021 and 2022, according to a 2022 NASSCOM Indian Web3 Landscape Analysis report.

Additionally, the report also highlighted that 11% of global Web3 talent is in India, making it third worldwide. Blockchain in India has the potential to contribute significantly due to the vast developer talent and the active Web3 community present in the country.

CT: We have seen numerous instances of state-wide blockchain implementations over the past three years. Are there any nationwide implementations of blockchain in India or any such plans for the future?

ARS: Yes, there have been significant discussions at various levels regarding nationwide blockchain implementations in India. For instance, organizations such as the National Payments Corporation of India and the Unified Payments Interface are exploring the potential of blockchain technology and conducting tests. Public sector banks are also actively experimenting with blockchain to determine how they can harness its capabilities.

These initiatives indicate a strong likelihood of nationwide blockchain use cases emerging in the near future. Airchains recently executed a state-wise use case with NKDA, and we are currently working on multiple state-level use cases that have the potential to impact the nation as a whole.

CT: How do you convince a government body to accept a new system?

ARS: Government […] bodies are actively interested in adopting blockchain solutions to address their specific challenges. However, they emphasize the importance of operating within regulatory frameworks. Demonstrating transparency, efficiency and improved outcomes is key to gaining government support in the development journey.

CT: Which countries are ahead of India when it comes to wide-scale blockchain adoption? What measures must a country take to expedite blockchain adoption?

ARS: There are several countries in Central America that are actively pursuing wide-scale blockchain adoption within their ecosystems. India, being a large nation, is actively striving to accelerate the adoption of blockchain technology through numerous use cases. The country has established itself as a center of excellence in blockchain, with multiple agencies exploring various applications.

To expedite progress, implementing clear regulations is crucial. This includes defining guidelines for blockchain implementation and determining permissible use cases, which will facilitate faster execution and broader adoption.

CT: Can home-grown blockchain technology be used in off-shore use cases?

ARS: Many projects originating from India, such as Polygon and various layer-1 and layer-2 solutions, have gained global recognition. Airchains has also successfully collaborated with government agencies globally, including in Central America and Europe. Currently, there are several offshore projects in the pipeline for Airchains, scheduled to be completed within the next six to seven months. Utilizing home-grown blockchain technology for offshore use cases is indeed a goal being pursued.

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CT: How does funding work? What are your investors looking for?

ARS: Investors primarily seek scalability and feasibility in blockchain adoption, among other key factors. Funding in the blockchain space typically involves investors who believe in the potential of the technology and its ability to bring about transformative changes.

CT: What is your advice to fellow blockchain entrepreneurs in India?

ARS: My advice […] is to focus on building a wide range of use cases and driving blockchain adoption to a higher scale. By creating innovative solutions and demonstrating the real-world benefits of blockchain technology, we can accelerate its adoption and drive positive change in various industries.

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UK House of Lords passes bill to seize stolen crypto

A bill that aims to expand the United Kindom (UK) authorities’ ability to target illicit cryptocurrency usage has been pushed to the final stages for approval by the House of Lords. 

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill was introduced in September 2022, primarily aimed at tackling crypto-related financial crimes. Over the past year, the bill made its way from the House of Commons to the House of Lords, which now resides in the final stages of approval.

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill progress. Source:

During the review, the House of Lords agreed on certain amendments to clarify its intent of targeting monetary proceeds from fraud or other financial crimes. In addition, the bill also aims to set provisions for corporate transparency and overseas business registrations.

At the final stage, the UK Parliament will either decide to accept the proposed amendments or recommend changes to the bill. Following the approval, the bill will be signed into law through royal assent, a method by which a monarch formally approves an act of the legislature.

Related: Weak competition in AI race could hurt consumers — UK watchdog

UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), recently revealed its willingness to work with crypto companies to develop a much-awaited regulatory framework for the industry.

Speaking at the London’s City Week conference, FCA Executive Director Sarah Pritchard said:

“Let’s work together, to shape our rules and regulations to benefit markets, consumers and firms as crypto goes from niche to mainstream.”

Pritchard noted the FCA’s responsibilities are limited to making sure that crypto firms that operate in the U.K. comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) legislation.

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Crypto influencer arrested in Hong Kong for JPEX association

A Hong Kong-based social media influencer has been reportedly arrested after investigations around the liquidity crisis of the crypto exchange JPEX traced back their involvement.

Hong Kong police reportedly arrested crypto influencer Joseph Lam (Lin Zuo), who goes by the username ‘jolamchok’ on Instagram, for his association with JPEX, according to a South China Morning Post report. In addition, the report suggests that the police raided his office and seized boxes of evidence, including a plastic bag containing banknotes.

According to a local report, the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong recently issued a statement blaming JPEX for actively promoting the platform’s services and products to the Hong Kong public through online celebrities and over-the-counter money changers.

Another unconfirmed report suggests that Lin Zuo presented “schemes” to a chat group created for cryptocurrency investment. One of the alleged victims, Miss Chen, reportedly was convinced to invest $12,800 (100,000 Hong Kong dollars) in crypto.

However, Joseph Lam did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment confirming or denying the accusations. According to the report:

“He (Lin Zuo) from time to time claimed in the group that people kept looking for him to “pay money”, threatened that “the amount of money on these two days is five times the usual”.”

On Sept. 17, the influencer shared a news article claiming he “was not hit in the JPEX incident” as he posted a caption saying “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Lin Zuo shared a news article claiming that he was not impacted by JPEX investigations. Source: Instagram

The development preceded Zuo’s visit to the police along with his lawyers to provide necessary information.

Lin Zuo visited Hong Kong police in relation to JPEX investigation. Source: Instagram

JPEX blamed regulators and “third-party market makers” for a liquidity crisis that has seen the platform hike withdrawal fees and suspend certain operations. “We promise to recover liquidity from third-party market makers as soon as possible and gradually adjust the withdrawal fees back to normal levels,” JPEX said in a statement, noting the details will be announced after negotiations conclude.

Related: Binance CEO brushes off negativity, assures firm has ‘no liquidity issues’

A recent report from crypto exchange Bitfinex revealed that the capital outflows in the crypto industry reached $55 billion in August.

Aggregate market realized value net position change. Source: Glassnode/Bitfinex

With about $55 billion being drained from the crypto markets over the past month, capital outflows did not just affect Bitcoin (BTC) but also impacted Ether (ETH) and stablecoin liquidity.

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Hong Kong retains top crypto-ready position for two consecutive years

Hong Kong was crowned the best-prepared jurisdiction for widespread cryptocurrency adoption in 2023, retaining its crypto-readiness prowess for the second year in a row. 

A study factoring in the existence and reach of crypto — via ATMs, businesses, accessibility and legality — revealed stiff competition among the 2022 leaders as Hong Kong, the United States and Switzerland held on to the top three positions.

The most crypto-ready place in the world. Source:

While Hong Kong grabbed the top spot with a crypto readiness score (CRS) of 8.36, the United States fell down a spot to third place after recording a fall of 6.5% in its CRS score — from 7.7 in 2022 to 7.25 in 2023. On the contrary, Switzerland’s CRS score jumped over 9% — from 7.5 to 8.18 — to rank 2nd worldwide.

As previously explained by Cointelegraph, factors such as crypto ATM installations, pro-crypto regulations, startup culture and a fair tax regime contribute to a country’s CRS. Slovenia, Canada and Australia managed to squeeze into the top 10 in 2023, as shown below.

Five new countries make the top 10 in 2023 including Slovenia, Canada and Australia. Source:

When it comes to the masses, the Dutch showed the most interest in crypto per person. The United States is home to the largest network of Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs, however, Hong Kong has the most crypto ATMs per square foot given its significantly smaller land mass.

Estonia, Singapore and Switzerland are among the busiest hubs for crypto and blockchain companies. One of the primary drivers that can make or break mass crypto adoption is taxes. There are 12 countries that impose a 0% tax on crypto for individuals — including Germany, Panama, and Portugal among others — who remain well-positioned to climb up the ranks in the coming years.

Countries with 0% crypto tax. Source:

In the US, New York became the most crypto-ready US state after recording CRS of 9.80 owing to numerous crypto-related legislation and a huge number of crypto and blockchain businesses in operation.

Related: US ‘the only country’ crypto startups should avoid, says Ripple CEO

India leads the global crypto adoption in 2023, a recent Chainalysis report revealed. Other lower middle-income (LMI) nations, including Nigeria and Thailand, bagged the second and third spot in the report.

The 2023 global crypto adoption index top 20. Source: Chainalysis

In addition to leading grassroots adoption, India has also become the second-largest crypto market by raw estimated transaction volume globally, ahead of other major economies.

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Bitcoin miner mulls refunding 20 BTC reward to Paxos

A Bitcoin (BTC) miner who mistakenly received 20 BTC — worth over $500,000 — from crypto exchange Paxos for settling a 0.008 BTC ($200) transaction is now reconsidering their decision to return the jackpot to its rightful owner.

On Sept. 13, Paxos revealed to Cointelegraph that it overpaid the BTC network fee on Sept. 10, to a miner who goes by the pseudonym Chun. While confirming that the event did not impact the traders’ funds, the platform admitted that a system bug resulted in the disbursement of 20 BTC in mining rewards on one transaction.

While Chun initially agreed to refund the reward, he decided to reconsider his decision and reached out to the crypto community for advice.

Chun’s unwillingness to return the funds to Paxos stems from him being “annoyed” that “the person claiming it (the funds) kept saying EST instead of EDT/UTC.”

Bitcoin miner Chun asks crypto community for opinion on return of Paxos funds. Source: X 

Adding to Chun’s dilemma, the crypto community on X (formerly Twitter) shared mixed opinions — each supported by solid reasonings. However, most people believe Chun has no obligation to return the 20 BTC reward and agree that instead, it should be distributed among the Bitcoin mining community.

Related: Marathon’s Bitcoin mining rate fell 9% in August

Depending on one’s physical location, Bitcoin mining business can have a varied profit margin. A recent report from CoinGecko showed that only 65 countries are profitable for solo Bitcoin miners, based solely on household electricity costs.

The most unprofitable countries to mine 1 BTC. Source: CoinGecko

Based on the data shown above, mining 1 BTC in Lebanon is 783x cheaper than Italy, where it costs $208,560 to produce 1 Bitcoin.

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Coinbase to integrate Bitcoin Lightning network: CEO Brian Armstrong

Crypto exchange Coinbase has confirmed its decision to integrate layer 2 payment protocol Lightning Network as users seek faster and cheaper Bitcoin (BTC) transactions. 

Lighting Network (LN) was created to help solve Bitcoin’s scalability problem and to compete against newer cryptocurrency projects that promised comparatively faster and cheaper transactions. 

Up until recently, major crypto exchanges, including Coinbase and Binance, revealed no intent to adopt the layer 2 solution as many community members argued that NL integration offered fewer incentives for exchanges’ income.

Countering the predominant narrative, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong confirmed the exchange’s decision to integrate Lightning Network. He added:

“Bitcoin is the most important asset in crypto and we’re excited to do our part to enable faster/cheaper Bitcoin transactions. Will take some time to integrate so please be patient.”

The decision comes a month after Viktor Bunin, Protocol Specialist at Coinbase, started investigating the feasibility of LN integration. During this timeline, MicroStrategy founder Michael Saylor and Square CEO Jack Dorsey publicly questioned Armstrong’s position on LN.

Following Armstrong’s announcement, the crypto community celebrated the decision as Coinbase’s LN integration will allow more users to witness affordable and efficient Bitcoin microtransactions.

Related: Bitcoin Lightning Network is growing, but 3 major challenges remain

On July 17, Binance announced the completion of Bitcoin LN integration for BTC withdrawals and deposits.

Binance users who choose to withdraw or deposit Bitcoin are now able to select “LIGHTNING” as an option. Other options include BNB Smart Chain (BEP-20), Bitcoin, BNB Beacon Chain (BEP2), BTC (SegWit), and Ethereum ERC-20.

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CFTC Commissioner plans to modernize investor protection with technology

CFTC Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero recommended regulators modernize its protection measures using technological advances as she warned that failure to do so would have a negative impact on American investors.

Romero, speaking at the North American Securities Administrators Association’s annual meeting in San Diego, California, said that the government’s inability to keep pace with technology would affect the most vulnerable investors. She added:

“As regulators are making policy decisions on next-generation technology, it is critical that we have a foundational understanding of the technology, and its implications for finance and law.”

Spearheading this effort to amp up investor protections and guardrails, Romero appointed technology experts in FinTech, responsible artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency, blockchain, and cybersecurity into the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee (TAC).

The CFTC Commissioner revealed that the TAC experts are tasked with identifying ways to instill Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-money Laundering (AML) processes into decentralized finance and crypto investment avenues.

The TAC is also tasked with promoting responsible artificial intelligence (AI) development. According to Romero:

“Federal regulators are just getting started when it comes to AI. A good place to start is governance in making important decisions that impact investors and markets.”

Federal crypto investigations have shifted away from primarily backtracking trade activities to monitoring social media platforms such as X (formerly Twitter), Reddit and Facebook. However, Romero recommended the use of tools to aid such investigations:

“Tracing funds, tracing crypto, using the blockchain, using link analysis, using social media, and data analytic tools should all be in a regulators’ tool kit.”

The statements (tweets/posts) one shares on social media platforms “can be strong evidence of intent,” Romero added. The same platforms can be used by regulators to issue warnings about scams and protect investors.

To minimize the damages caused by financial fraud, Romero proposed the formation of the National Financial Fraud Registry — a centralized record of all crimes and fines related to financial fraud. The registry would help investors background check for any ongoing investigations or fines for fraud imposed on the companies. Romero first proposed the creation of this registry in December 2019:

“Once established, each federal agency would register its convictions, sentencings, civil fines and resolved enforcement actions. State and local agencies could join to achieve a true national fraud registry.”

Romero believes that such a one-stop-shop platform could help investors deter financial frauds. On an end note, the CFTC Commissioner stated that together, federal and state officials can improve investors’ safety.

Related: CFTC commissioner calls for crypto regulatory pilot program

In April, Romero urged crypto companies to verify the digital identity of users, as she believed that reducing anonymity in crypto could ease managing the associated risks. She added:

“It is possible for all crypto companies to distance themselves from mixers and anonymity-enhanced technology, while still appropriately providing financial privacy for customers.”

Romero encouraged the verification of digital identity, urging exchanges as well as decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms to verify the digital identity of users.

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G20 nations reaffirm responsible use and development of AI technology

As India handed over the G20 Presidency to Brazil, the member nations have committed to harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) technology in a responsible manner in addition to planning for a future involving crypto assets and central bank digital currencies (CBDC).

The G20 leader’s declaration document highlighted technology’s role in bridging digital divides globally. In doing so, it acknowledged G20’s interest in curating policies and regulations for cryptocurrencies and the potential of CBDCs in cross-border payments.

Group of 20 member nations overview. Source: G20

The members of the G20 — which include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union — see AI as a tool for prosperity and expansion of the global digital economy.

“It is our endeavor to leverage AI for the public good by solving challenges in a responsible, inclusive and human-centric manner, while protecting people’s rights and safety.”

However, to ensure the responsible use and development of AI, the G20 member nations recommended addressing existing concerns around data protection, biases, appropriate human oversight, and ethics to name a few. The G20 nations’ AI “for good and for all” commitment read:

“To unlock the full potential of AI, equitably share its benefits and mitigate risks, we will work together to promote international cooperation and further discussions on international governance for AI.”

In addition, the members reaffirmed their commitment to G20 AI Principles, drafted in 2019, which details global policies and cooperation around building “trustworthy AI.” The G20 also agreed on taking a “pro-innovation regulatory/governance approach” that can help reap the maximum benefits of AI while potentially mitigating any associated risks.

The drive to build responsible AI will also aim to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN) to further peace and prosperity around the world.

Related: G20 moves forward with international crypto framework

India’s Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman confirmed that G20 members are working toward establishing a global crypto framework.

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaking about establishing global crypto regulations. Source: Global Fintech Fest

During the summit, Sitharaman highlighted the need for global cooperation to help regulate cryptocurrencies worldwide.

“In an interconnected world, financial technology transcends borders, therefore making cross-border partnerships absolutely crucial,” she concluded.

Singapore regulatory sandbox lacks qualified crypto payment providers

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has said that no businesses have qualified to participate in the FinTech Regulatory Sandbox framework as cryptocurrency payment providers. 

Responding to a letter criticizing the Singaporean government’s lack of public consultation and oversight on crypto adoption published in the Financial Times, MAS clarified that the country does not have a “crypto sandbox,” but rather a sandbox that supports a broad range of FinTech experimentation.

The letter criticised Singapore for “unwisely” allowing crypto companies access to Singapore’s FAST (Fast and Secure Transfers) interbank payment system, an electronic funds transfer system that enables customers of the participating entities to transfer Singapore Dollar funds from one entity to another in Singapore.

Singapore’s FAST (Fast and Secure Transfers) overview. Source:

However, the MAS clarified that all businesses with a valid bank account can access the FAST system, which includes crypto businesses, stating that “Payments through FAST are in fiat currencies, not cryptocurrencies.”

The regulator then stated that the rising malware scam cases in Singapore have got nothing to do with cryptocurrencies, claiming that on the contrary, such scams are more prevalent in the fiat economy:

“These scams entail fraudsters taking control of customers’ mobile devices and effecting unauthorized transfers through the banking system in fiat currencies.”

In its fight against money laundering, Singapore provides operational licenses to crypto businesses that can showcase robust Anti-Money Laundering (AML) controls.

“As these measures are progressively implemented from the end of this year onwards, Singapore will have one of the strictest regulatory regimes in the world governing retail access to cryptocurrencies.”

In this regard, the MAS recently consulted the public on a suite of regulatory measures to mitigate the risks posed by cryptocurrencies to retail customers.

Related: Coinbase signals EU, Canada, Brazil, Singapore and Australia as priorities

Former MAS chair, Tharman Shanmugaratnam — who has historically considered crypto as risky investments — won Singapore’s presidential race.

The president-elect reportedly once called crypto assets “highly volatile” and “highly risky as investment products” in 2021 warnings to Singapore-based users in his role as MAS chair.

Magazine: NFT collapse and monster egos feature in new Murakami exhibition

US Treasury, IRS propose cryptocurrency regulations for brokers

Two federal agencies of the United States — the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) — have released a set of cryptocurrency regulations proposal detailing brokers’ reporting requirement.

The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration revealed that the proposal around crypto regulations for brokers was released on Aug. 29, as it explained:

“The proposed rules would require digital asset brokers, including trading platforms, payment processors, and certain hosted wallet providers, to report gross proceeds for all sales or exchanges of digital assets starting on January 1, 2025.”

Brokers — referred to as “digital asset middlemen” in the regulatory proposal — will also be subject to providing information on gains and losses incurred during the sale of crypto assets. However, this requirement will kick in on or after Jan. 1, 2026.

Gross proceeds and basis reporting by brokers and determination of amount realized and basis for digital asset transactions. Source: Federal Register

According to a related document shared over the Federal Register, the proposed regulations are expected to deliver “higher levels of taxpayer compliance” as the IRS would get greater clarity on the income earned by taxpayers.

The Treasury Department and the IRS have invited small businesses in the U.S. to share how the regulations would impact them, which will be supported by a public hearing scheduled for Nov. 7, 2023.

Once signed into law, the regulations will require all brokers in the U.S. to file information returns with the IRS using the new Form 1099-DA and to provide payee statements to customers.

Related: US GAO explores blockchain for SBA’s small business programs oversight

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), a Congressional watchdog agency, released a 77-page report highlighting the need for stricter regulations around cryptocurrencies.

The report identified the spot markets for nonsecurity crypto assets as the center of a regulatory gap and stated:

“By designating a federal regulator to provide comprehensive federal oversight of spot markets for nonsecurity crypto assets, Congress could mitigate financial stability risks and better ensure that users of the platforms receive protections.”

On the other hand, traditional assets in that category enjoy robust regulation, the report noted.

Magazine: NFT collapse and monster egos feature in new Murakami exhibition

India G20 confirms ‘active discussions’ around global crypto framework

Under India’s G20 presidency, active discussions around establishing a global framework for cryptocurrencies are underway, India’s minister of finance Nirmala Sitharaman has said. 

On Aug. 28, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushed for global collaboration on formulating crypto regulations among G20 (Group of 20) member states, which include 19 countries and the European Union. Modi believes that emerging technologies — like cryptocurrencies — that have global impact should be accompanied by regulations and framework that is adhered to globally.

Sitharaman confirmed that the G20 members are working toward this vision of establishing global crypto framework during the Global Fintech Fest on Sept 5.

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on establishing global crypto regulations. Source: Global Fintech Fest

During the summit, Sitharaman said crypto was a “threat as well as an opportunity.” She highlighted the need for global co-operation to build a responsible financial ecosystem that can effectively help regulate cryptocurrencies worldwide. “Global co-operation is absolutely critical,” she added.

“In an inter-connected world, financial technology transcends broders, therefore, making cross-border partnerships absolutely crucial.”

Ever since India took over the G20 presidency in Q4 2022, the country consistently highlighted the need for global collaboration when it comes to financial security and stability. However, the finance minister confirmed that G20 members are together working on the the highly anticipated crypto regulations.

“India’s (G20) presidency has laid out issues related to regulating or understanding that there should be a framework for handling issues related to crypto assets. Active discussions are happening, content-rich papers from institutions like IMF, FSB, OECD are all being discussed on various issues.”

Sitharaman also confirmed that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) have submitted their synthesis papers on cryptocurrency.

Related: India makes suggestions for G20 crypto roadmap

India’s rising interest in blockchain and crypto becomes more evident after the National Payments Corporation Of India’s (NPCI) recent job posting. NPCI, an initiative led by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and 247 Indian banking companies, is looking to hire a head of blockchain.

NPCI’s job posting for a head of blockchain. Source: LinkedIn

The ideal candidate will be a seasoned technologist with at least six years of experience in developing and implementing blockchain, who will be primarily tasked with identifying “avenues wherever blockchain-driven solutions can be used.”

Magazine: How to protect your crypto in a volatile market: Bitcoin OGs and experts weigh in

MetaMask scammers take over government websites to target crypto investors

Crypto scams targeting MetaMask users are using government-owned website URLs to con victims and access their crypto wallet holdings.

Ethereum-based crypto wallet MetaMask has been a long-standing target for scammers — which involves redirecting unwary users to fabricated websites that request access to the MetaMask wallets. Cointelegraph’s investigation on the matter found numerous government-owned websites being used to perpetrate this exact scam.

Official government websites from India, Nigeria, Egypt, Colombia, Brazil, Vietnam and other jurisdictions have been found redirecting to fake MetaMask websites, as shown below.

MetaMask scammers use government websites to steal from crypto users. Source: Cointelegraph (via Google)

Cointelegraph altered MetaMask about the ongoing scams and has not yet heard back from them at the time of writing.

Once a user clicks on any of the rogue links placed within the government website URLs, they are redirected to a fake URL, instead of the original URL “”. Once accessed, Microsoft’s built-in security — Microsoft Defender — warns users about a possible phishing attempt.

Microsoft’s warning against the MetaMask phishing websites. Source: Cointelegraph

If a user decides to ignore the warning, they are then greeted by a website that closely resembles the official MetaMask website. The fake websites will eventually ask the users to link their MetaMask wallets to access various services on the platform.

Comparison between the original and fake MetaMask websites. Source: Cointelegraph

The above screenshot shows the similarity between the real and fake MetaMask websites, which is one of the main reasons investors fall for such common scams. Linking MetaMask wallets on such websites gives scammers complete control over the assets held over those particular MetaMask wallets.

Related: Scam alert: MetaMask warns users of deceptive March 31 airdrop rumors

In April, MetaMask denied claims of an exploit that potentially drained over 5,000 Ether (ETH).

The wallet provider said the 5,000 ETH was stolen “from various addresses across 11 blockchains,” reaffirming the claim that funds were hacked from MetaMask “is incorrect.”

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Wallet Guard co-founder Ohm Shah said the MetaMask team has been “researching tirelessly,” and there is “no solid answer to how this has happened.”

Magazine: How to protect your crypto in a volatile market: Bitcoin OGs and experts weigh in

Indian central bank-backed NPCI begins blockchain recruitment

The National Payments Corporation Of India (NPCI), an initiative led by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and 247 Indian banking companies, is on the look out for a seasoned blockchain technologist to head and investigate opportunities for blockchain in current-day payment systems.

NPCI owns and operates the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), India’s home-grown instant payment system that facilitates inter-bank peer-to-peer and person-to-merchant transactions. A recent LinkedIn job posting confirmed NPCI’s ongoing drive to hire a head of blockchain.

National Payments Corporation of India’s job posting for head of blockchain. Source: LinkedIn

The ideal candidate will be a seasoned technologist with at least 6 years of experience in developing and implementing blockchain, who will be primarily tasked with identifying “avenues wherever blockchain-driven solutions can be used.”

The senior leadership profile also demands an in-depth technical understanding of multiple blockchain platforms and previous experience working on at least two pilot blockchain projects. UPI’s success in fortifying the Indian payments landscape has garnered interest from other jurisdictions.

Singapore, Malaysia, UAE, France, BENELUX countries, Nepal and the UK have adopted the UPI payments system in varying degrees. Infusing blockchain elements in UPI can potentially expose the technology to millions of users in an instant, thus reaffirming the capability of the underlying tech that has continued to power Bitcoin (BTC) for nearly 14 years.

The NPCI job application raked up over 200 applicants at the time of writing. NPCI’s blockchain hiring drive is expected to increase in the near future once viable blockchain use cases are unearthed.

Related: Amid crypto winter, central banks rethink in-house digital currencies

In August, the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) set out to hire four senior investigators for its Complex Financial Crime Team to work on crypto-related crimes.

Job posting for digital assets investigators. Source: National Crime Agency

The investigators will be tasked with pursuing high-end crypto fraud, money laundering and other blockchain-based crime carried out by organized crime groups.

The U.K. has been working to establish an investigative team focusing on illicit crypto activities. On Jan. 4, the NCA launched its digital assets team, signaling an increased focus on crypto assets.

Magazine: How to protect your crypto in a volatile market: Bitcoin OGs and experts weigh in

Oprah and The Rock collect crypto donations for Maui wildfires victims

The crypto community joins in to support the Maui community as a relief fund championed by A-list celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson accepts donations in cryptocurrencies.

In early August 2023, a series of wildfires broke out on the island of Maui, Hawaii, causing massive property and personal losses as more than 2,500 acres were burned down. The Rock and Oprah launched the People’s Fund of Maui to provide direct financial support to those affected by the calamity.

In the tweet, The Rock confirmed that 100% of the donations will go to the victims, adding that:

“Every adult resident who lives in the affected area and was displaced by the wildfires in Lahaina and Kula is eligible to receive $1200 per month to help them through this period of recovery.”

The People’s Fund of Maui accepts donations in the form of numerous fiat and cryptocurrencies. In addition to accepting fiat donations from all around the world, the fund will also accept donations in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Doge (DOGE) among a plethora of other alternatives.

Crypto donation drive for Maui wildfires. Source:

As explained by Oprah, the intention behind handing over the donations directly to the survivors is to allow them to make decisions for their path to normalcy. “People being able to have their own agency, being able to make decisions for themselves — about what they need and what their family needs — that is our goal,” she added.

Related: Ukrainian Children of Heroes need your help: Donate with crypto

Running parallel to the supportive efforts of A-list celebrities, many relief efforts strive to help out the wildfire victims.

All Hands and Hearts, a disaster relief organization, has been collecting cryptocurrency and fiat donations to assist local Maui residents in the wake of the fires.

“Cryptocurrency donations as any other type of donations are helping to provide essential support after the devastating wildfires,” said Olga Ruggiero, chief of organizational integration and events at All Hands and Hearts. “The crypto industry continues to band together with communities around the world in need.”

Magazine: How to protect your crypto in a volatile market: Bitcoin OGs and experts weigh in

Binance scouts art for Pierre Gasly’s F1 helmet at Abu Dhabi GP

The winner of a new art competition hosted by Binance will see their design featured on the helmet of the racing driver Pierre Gasly from the Alpine Formula One team during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, slated for Nov. 26, 2023.

Crypto exchange Binance announced a helmet design competition to shortlist the winning art, which will be used as the helmet artwork of Gasly, who was the winner of the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.

Gasly described the collaboration with Binance as an opportunity “to engage with both the F1 and crypto communities in a creative and innovative way.” Participants need not be Binance users, opening up the floor to non-crypto F1 fans as well. The last date for submitting helmet designs is on Sept. 8 and the winner will be declared by Sept. 15.

According to the crypto exchange, helmet designs that reflect Binance’s values and innovative ethos while engaging the motorsport community stand the greatest chance of winning the contest. Gasly stated:

“I can’t wait to show off the winning design that will showcase our shared innovative spirit that will accompany me in the race at the prestigious Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”

The winner will also receive a replica helmet personally signed by Gasly. Binance has also partnered with other influential celebrities such as soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo and leading football clubs to help improve fan engagement.

Related: Binance excludes Banco de Venezuela from P2P payments

Amid massive regulatory hurdles that grip Binance, the crypto exchange continues to collaborate with A-list celebrities to maintain relevance among crypto investors.

On Aug. 21, Binance revealed a partnership with legendary singer The Weekend, to facilitate a Web3-powered concert tour — After Hours Til Dawn.

Fans in Australia will be offered two nonfungible tokens (NFTs) — Souvenir NFTs and Tour NFTs — that would allow for new avenues of engagement with The Weekend. As part of the deal, Binance committed to donating $2 million to The Weeknd’s XO Humanitarian Fund.

Magazine: How to protect your crypto in a volatile market: Bitcoin OGs and experts weigh in

Jamaican taxi drivers bullish on accepting Jam-Dex CBDC

Bus and taxi operators in Jamaica are eager to use the country’s in-house central bank digital currency (CBDC)Jam-Dex — as locals seek operational efficiencies and reduced costs and security risks.

The Central Bank of Jamacia launched Jam-Dex, short for Jamaican Digital Exchange, in 2022, which was supported by an airdrop event to expedite its widespread adoption. More recently, Aldo Antonio, co-founder and acting executive chairman of the National Transporters Alliance Group (NTAG) revealed his efforts to spread Jam-Dex adoption among the transport community.

According to a local report from Jamaica Observer, Antonio sees a lower curiosity in CBDCs among bus and taxi drivers — primarily due to a sluggish adoption rate among vendors and consumers. Regardless, Antonio remains optimistic:

“I see Jam-Dex as something that would be significantly transformative for the public transportation sector and needs to be embraced.”

In order to make Jam-Dex feasible, Antonio believes Jamaica needs more customers willing to use the CBDC. Failure to attract customers will discourage merchants and eventually result in the total abandonment of digital currency.

According to Antonio, food and transportation are the two main verticals that can increase the day-to-day Jam-Dex usage. He added:

“If we can get them (Jamaicans) moving and paying for transportation using Jam-Dex on a daily basis, it increases the rate at which we can get the digital currency into people’s hands.”

Moreover, CBDC’s widespread adoption eradicates the drivers’ concerns related to carrying cash or giving back the exact change. Jamaica is currently working toward enabling the CBDC services on mobile phones of the general public. “With that happening and training happening, then the sector could be in a position by January, if not before, to be able to accept Jam-Dex-type payments,” Antonio concluded.

An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 transport owners reside in Jamaica, who can help expand Jam-Dex’s reach beyond the existing 10,000 vendors with 200,000 people that use the CBDC through the digital wallet Lynk.

Related: Crypto Twitter is not happy with the name and logo of Jamaica’s CBDC

While Jamaica banks on taxi drivers to expedite its CBDC adoption, Japanese auto-maker Nissan ramped up its Web3 efforts.

In Q1 2023, Nissan filed four new Web3-related trademarks filed in the United States. In addition, its Japan unit is experimenting with auto sales in the metaverse. The filings to the USPTO reveal Nissan’s plans to create virtual clothes, cars, headgear, trading cards, toys, tickets and a nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace for trading and minting NFTs.

Magazine: Recursive inscriptions: Bitcoin ‘supercomputer’ and BTC DeFi coming soon

dYdX to unlock 6.52M tokens worth $14M for community treasury, rewards

Decentralized exchange (DEX) platform dYdX will unlock $14.02 million worth of DYDX (DYDX) tokens dedicated to the community treasury and rewards for traders and liquidity providers.

On Aug. 29, dYdX will release 6.52 million in-house tokens, representing 3.76% of the DYDX circulating supply. Out of the lot, 2.49 million DYDX tokens — worth $5.36 million — will be allocated to the community treasury. The treasury funds contributor grants, community initiatives and liquidity mining among other programs.

Upcoming dYdX unlock event. Source:

The remaining 4.03 DYDX tokens will be split between liquidity provider rewards (1.15 million tokens worth $2.47 million) and trading rewards (2.88 million tokens worth $6.18 million).

Full funds allocation for dYdX. Source:

dYdX conducted an identical unlock event on Aug. 1 with the same allocation of funds. Data on dYdX’s full allocation from TokenUnlocks suggests that investors hold the highest allocation at 27.7%, followed by trading rewards and community treasury at 20.2% and 16.2% respectively.

Total unlock progress for dYdX. Source:

DYDX comes with a maximum supply of 1 billion tokens and has over 75% of the tokens locked, as shown above.

Related: dYdX exchange launches testnet for ‘fully decentralized’ version 4

dYdX founder Antonio Juliano recently recommended crypto entrepreneurs to explore markets outside the United States.

Juliano emphasized that crypto startups could scale faster overseas in friendlier markets:

“Crypto builders should just give up serving US customers for now and try to re-enter in 5-10 years. It’s not really worth the hassle/compromises. Most of the market is overseas anyways. Innovate there, find PMF [product market fit], then come back with more leverage.”

As the U.S. government continues to drag its heels on establishing crypto regulation, Juliano suggested that the crypto sector needs to grow further to have more sway over U.S. policy.

Magazine: Recursive inscriptions: Bitcoin ‘supercomputer’ and BTC DeFi coming soon

Tether maintains $3.3B in liquidity cushion: USDT transparency report

Stablecoin issuer Tether maintains a liquidity cushion of nearly $3.3 billion to provide stability to the Tether ecosystem and garner trust among shareholders. 

Tether’s reserves report as of Aug. 24 reveals a combined surplus in shareholder capital cushion of $3.29 billion — spread over 15 blockchain ecosystems. Apart from Algorand and Polygon, Tether has reserved authority to issue USDT (USDT) tokens in the millions.

Tether (USDT) current balances as of Aug. 24. Source: Tether

Out of the lot, the Solana ecosystem leads in terms of the value pre-authorized for issuance, currently standing at $1.57 billion, with Ethereum and Tron taking up the next two slots with pre-authorization of $617 million and $353 million respectively.

Tether has not yet responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment about the importance of issuance preauthorization when it comes to ensuring transparency and trust among the masses.

Tether balances across all Tether tokens (USDT, EURT, CNHT and MXNT). Source: Tether

The total assets under Tether stand at $86.1 billion with total liabilities amounting to $82.8 billion — thus confirming a reserve backing of over 100%.

The other non-US dollar stablecoins that fall under Tether’s umbrella — XAUT, EURT, MXNT and CNHT — do not enjoy the same liquidity cushion as USDT. As per the report, none of the other Tether-issued stablecoins have balances to cushion and maintain a 1-1 peg in times of crisis.

In totality, Tether’s transparency report contradicts the ongoing concerns related to its liquidity and backing of assets. In Oct. 2021, Tether was fined $41 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for sharing “untrue” statements about its reserve holdings. However, authorities have not flagged any recent Tether transparency reports issued ever since over the past two years.

Related: Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino says Bitcoin mining needs better analytical tools

Tether recently discontinued its Bitcoin (BTC) version of USDT, known as Bitcoin OmniLayer.

While no new Tether tokens will be issued on the Bitcoin Omni Layer, Kusama or Bitcoin Cash going forward, redemptions will remain available for at least an year from the time of announcement.

The OmniLayer team “faced challenges due to the lack of popular tokens and the availability of USDT on other blockchains,” which led exchanges to use other transport layers instead of Omni. Tether claimed that it would consider reissuing the Omni Layer version if usage of Omni picks up.

Magazine: Recursive inscriptions: Bitcoin ‘supercomputer’ and BTC DeFi coming soon

UK considers blanket ban on crypto investment cold calls

As the United Kingdom prepares for a ban on finance-related cold calls, the UK Treasury issued a consultation and call for evidence to gauge a full picture of the impact on businesses, or the costs associated with introducing and implementing the ban.

On May 3, the UK government announced an ambitious fraud strategy, which would involve adding 400 new jobs to update its approach to intelligence-led policing. As Cointelegraph previously reported, the National Crime Agency estimates that fraud costs the country approximately $8.7 billion (£7 billion) annually.

“The government will not tolerate this behavior,” said Andrew Griffith, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury while criticizing the rising cold calls for financial services and products that often target the most vulnerable members of society.

HM Treasury’s case study on crypto cold call scam. Source:

HM Treasury highlighted numerous instances where cold calls were responsible for investors’ losses, out of which one involved cryptocurrencies, as shown above. While the UK government previously implemented various prohibitions and restrictions on cold calling, scammers often find loopholes in the system to bypass the law.

HM Treasury intends to impose a blanket ban on finance cold calls. Source:

With the intention to impose a blanket ban on financial cold calls, the Treasury put forth 19 questions to stakeholders — as a measure to ensure maximum impact on scammers and minimum impact on businesses that often rely on cold calling prospects. The consultation closes on Sept. 27, 2023.

Related: UK Treasury plans to exclude derivatives and ‘unbacked’ tokens from regulatory sandbox

The UK government recently rejected the appeal to consider and regulate cryptocurrencies as gambling.

“HM Treasury and the FCA [Financial Conduct Authority] will work with the industry to ensure crypto firms are made fully aware of the standards required for approval at the FSMA gateway. Further communications will be provided in due course to ensure standards for approval are clearly available to crypto firms operating in the UK.“

The government response noted that such an approach has the potential to completely counter the globally agreed recommendations from international organizations and standard-setting bodies.

Magazine: Recursive inscriptions: Bitcoin ‘supercomputer’ and BTC DeFi coming soon

CBDCs seen offering faster settlements by 87% global securities firms: Citi survey

Discussions around ways to shorten local settlement cycles within the next five years have got most securities firms eyeing local central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)

CitiBank’s latest edition of the Securities Services Evolution whitepaper highlighted India’s recent move to T+1 settlements, which ensures all trade-related settlements conclude within 24 hours of a transaction. As the United States and Canada, among other leading economies, step up efforts to transition to T+1 settlement cycles, the CitiBank survey gauges the importance of distributed ledger technology (DLT), CBDCs and stablecoins in expediting this transition.

Global economies transitioning to faster settlement times. Source: Citibank

87% of the 483 survey respondents and 12 financial markets infrastructures (FMIs) see CBDCs as a viable option for shorter settlement cycles by 2026. The support for CBDCs saw a near 21% increase from securities firms when compared to the previous year.

Expected form of digital money to be used to support securities settlements. Source: Citibank

The year-on-year growing support for digital cash is supported by domestic pilots and cross-border initiatives. The Citibank report read:

“Recent crossborder multi-bank experiments are now providing detailed insights into how central bank funding can be operationalized in a digital context, both internally and across entire markets.”

However, over the next years, some of the major roadblocks to widespread adoption of digital assets include regulatory uncertainties, limited knowledge, backward compatibility with traditional financial systems and blockchain interoperabilities, among others, as listed below.

Top impediment to the widespread use of digital assets in the next three years. Source: Citibank

Out of the various financial institutions, institutional investors, banks and asset managers have the greatest ability to scale and deliver market-wide solutions, a crucial determinant to the widespread adoption of CBDCs, stablecoins and other centrally governable financial instruments.

In the coming five years, by 2028, financial aspirations will move beyond T+1, envisions Citibank’s report. Some anticipated changes will include the mainstreaming of DLTs, shorter settlement cycles, digital cash-focused funding mechanisms and removal of core banking systems.

Related: Canadians have ‘weak incentives’ to use a CBDC: Bank of Canada

Just a month after India pitched the idea of conducting cross-border payments using its CBDC to 18 central banks, the Reserve Bank of Australia completed its in-house CBDC pilot.

The Australian central bank believes that a CBDC may support financial innovation in areas such as debt securities markets, could promote innovation in emerging private digital money sectors and enhance resilience and inclusion within the wider digital economy.

Magazine: Should we ban ransomware payments? It’s an attractive but dangerous idea

Nomura, CoinShares, Ledger joint venture Komainu wins Dubai crypto license

Komainu, a joint venture between leading Nomura, and crypto firms CoinShares and Ledger, received a full operating license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA). 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has opened its door to crypto innovations, supported by federal grants and pro-crypto regulations that aim to nurture entrepreneurs. Attaining a VARA license in Dubai is a three-step process — which requires crypto exchanges to qualify for provisional approval, followed by a minimal viable product (MVP) license, and finally a full market product (FMP) license.

Komainu attained the final step in VARA’s licensing process nearly 10 months after securing its MVP license in November 2022. Some of the other prominent crypto exchanges that have gained similar operational status include Binance, Bybit, Laser Digital Middle East FZE, BitOasis (suspended), OKX,, FTX (revoked) and Huobi.

Komainu’s Head of Strategy, Sebastian Widmann, stressed the importance of a desirable regulatory status for growth in business. Komainu has not yet responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment at the time of writing.

Komainu is also regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), where it remains headquartered. VARA’s licensing allows Komainu to offer its full suite of custody services, including institutional staking and collateral management via its collateral management service, Komainu Connect.

Related: Binance eyes United Arab Emirates as ‘focal point’ for future operations

Dubai recently decided to heavily subsidize commercial licenses to artificial intelligence (AI) and Web3 businesses.

DIFC’s newly-launched Innovation One building has physical offices and co-working spaces for registered AI and Web3 enterprises. Source:

The Dubai AI and Web 3.0 Campus — an aspiring tech hub — announced the decision to subsidize the licenses for companies willing to set up a base in the city. The licenses will be issued by Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as the city eyes an influx of global talent and diversified investors.

Axie Infinity’s play-to-earn ‘scheme’ alarms Phillippine National Police

The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP ACG) scrutinized some of the models used by cryptocurrency games, warning Filipino citizens against the various schemes used to extort money from the gaming community.

While warning against the risks of cryptocurrency gaming schemes, the Phillippine police highlighted the play-to-earn model used by Axie Infinity, a Pokemon-inspired play-to-earn metaverse game created on the Ethereum blockchain.

A player needs to purchase at least Axie characters to start playing the game, which PNP believes forces users to shell out $300 before they can start earning. On the other hand, the police department sided with the traditional gaming industry, which averages up to $100 per user.

Nine different Axie character-type to buy from. Source: Cointelegraph

Playing crypto games can be riskier than investing in cryptocurrencies, according to the Filipino ACG, considering the ease with which gamers can lose their digital tokens and nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

Two tokens can be purchased on Axie Infinity. Source: Cointelegraph

From sending tokens to an unsupported wallet address to market volatility and online scammers, the crypto gaming community is under constant threat of losing their investments. The warning read:

“Just because a game’s underlying blockchain is secure does not mean its engine or marketplace is secure.”

The recommendation from the PNP ACG resonates with the best practices tied to crypto investments. Users are advised to conduct thorough research on ecosystems and founders — do your own research (DYOR) — before investing in cryptocurrencies and being cautious when interacting with unknown individuals and phishing links.

Related: The Philippines delays publishing crypto framework

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) of the Philippines recently got into a partnership with the Blockchain Council of the Philippines (BCP) to expedite Web3 adoption in the region.

BCP’s Donald Lim with participants of an event called The Launch Mixer. Source: BCP

“We have seen the rise of innovative blockchain in startups, the success of blockchain-based business solutions and the birth of the initiative that makes blockchain for public good,” said DICT Director Emmy Lou Versoza-Delfin during the announcement.

Dubai lures AI, Web3 enterprises with 90% subsidized commercial licenses

Dubai has started offering commercial licenses to artificial intelligence (AI) and Web3 businesses at a 90% subsidy as it works to create the largest cluster of new-age tech companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. 

The Dubai AI and Web 3.0 Campus — an aspiring tech hub — announced the decision to subsidize the licenses for companies willing to set up a base in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The licenses will be issued by Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as the city eyes an influx of global talent and diversified investors.

DIFC’s newly-launched Innovation One building — physical offices and co-working spaces for registered AI and Web3 enterprises. Source:

DIFC Innovation Hub CEO Mohammad Alblooshi shared:

“We are confident that by granting these licenses, we will attract more global talent and investment to the region and create a culture of collaboration and innovation.”

The campus comes equipped with technologies that complement the crowd it hopes to attract, which includes AI lab facilities and training programs, supporting hardware and accelerator programs.

Dubai’s AI and Web3 license application form. Source: 

Enterprises interested in signing up for subsidized commercial licenses will be required to fill up a form. Further investigation from Cointelegraph revealed that the sign-up form did not acknowledge the form submission and redirected the users to the home page at the time of writing.

Related: Binance to offer crypto broker-dealer services in Dubai with new license

In addition to attracting talent, Dubai has also given out operational licenses to crypto exchanges. Earlier in August, Nomura’s crypto arm Laser Digital Middle East FZE obtained an operating license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA).

The new virtual asset service provider (VASP) license would allow Laser Digital to offer broker-dealer and virtual asset management and investment services in the emirate.

PayPal to roll out Cryptocurrencies Hub for select users

Payments giant PayPal, soon after launching the dollar-backed stablecoin PayPal USD (PYUSD), updated its terms and conditions to introduce Cryptocurrencies Hub — a feature that allows users to hold and interact with Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies in their PayPal account.

The latest PayPal terms and conditions detail the prerequisites for crypto users interested in using the platform for cryptocurrencies. The Cryptocurrencies Hub is key for PayPal to reinvent itself as a crypto-inclusive platform. According to the company, the service will allow for the sale and purchase of cryptocurrencies. In addition, it will facilitate the payment for purchases via PayPal using the money stored after the sale of cryptocurrencies.

PayPal Cryptocurrenies Hub as explained in terms and conditions. Source: PayPal

The Cryptocurrencies Hub will also be crucial to convert between PYUSD and other crypto assets. PayPal further clarified:

“Any balance in your Cryptocurrencies Hub represents your ownership of the amount of each Crypto Asset shown. You will not hold the digital Crypto Assets themselves in your Crypto Asset balance.”

However, not all PayPal users will get to explore the new feature as the company will decide its access from person to person. For starters, to be eligible for Cryptocurrencies Hub, a PayPal user must have “a personal PayPal account and a Balance Account in good standing.” In addition, PayPal will also verify the required identifying information — which includes name, physical address, date of birth, and taxpayer identification number — provided by the users:

“You can only use your Cryptocurrencies Hub as part of your Balance Account by accessing it through your personal PayPal account. If you are a Hawaii resident, we will not allow you to establish a Cryptocurrencies Hub at this time.”

Upon rollout of the feature, Cryptocurrencies Hub will be directly linked to the users’ PayPal account and can be accessed using the existing credentials.

Related: PayPal’s crypto holdings increased by 56% in Q1 2023 to nearly $1B

The launch of PayPal USD divided the crypto community as contradicting speculations around its impact on crypto took center stage.

While many envision PYUSD to fast-track Ether’s (ETH) mainstream adoption, it could also spell trouble for decentralization and personal control of assets, warns the community. Several smart contract auditors highlighted that PYUSD’s smart contract contains “freezefunds” and “wipefrozenfunds” functions, which they claim are textbook examples of centralization attack vectors in Solidity contracts.

Canadian crypto ownership declined amid tight regulations, falling prices

The Bank of Canada (BOC) reported a decline in the ownership of Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies in the country last year as neither market conditions nor regulations sided in the favor of Canadian crypto investors, according to a BOC study published last week.

The annual Bitcoin Omnibus Survey (BTCOS) conducted by the Canadian central bank showed a relapse from the massive crypto adoption witnessed in 2021.

Bitcoin awareness and ownership in Canada, 2016 to 2022. Source: Bank of Canada

The above graph shows that — halfway into 2022 — Bitcoin ownership in Canada declined to 9% by August. Although BTC adoption saw a slight uptick to 10% by the end of the year. However, the drop in Bitcoin ownership does not imply that investors were spreading out their investments into other cryptocurrencies. The report read:

“Investors did not appear to shift out of Bitcoin and into other cryptoassets, as we observe decreased ownership of altcoins.”

The biggest motivation for Canadians interested in Bitcoin is an investment — as showcased by the choice of over one-third of the 4,996 respondents in the BOC survey.

Percentage of Canadians who own Bitcoin, 2016 to 2022. Source: Bank of Canada

Most Canadians acquired their crypto holdings through mobile and web apps. Bitcoin and crypto mining became the third-most-popular method of accumulating tokens for the second consecutive year.

When it comes to the altcoin ecosystem, Dogecoin (DOGE) was the most sought-after crypto investment considering the Elon Musk-induced hype and its history of randomly skyrocketing in price. Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) were some of the other popular altcoins for Canadians.

Related: Parliamentary report recommends Canada recognize, strategize about blockchain industry

According to the BOC, the research is relevant for monitoring the two conditions that could warrant the issuance of an in-house central bank digital currency (CBDC): “if Canadians almost or do stop using cash, or if Canadians widely adopt and use private cryptocurrencies for payments.”

BOC highlighted that ecosystem collapses, along with regulatory hurdles and price depreciation contributed to the decline in crypto ownership. However, considering the government’s intent to provide regulatory clarity combined with a stable market, the crypto ownership in the region is expected to pick up as well.

Magazine: Deposit risk: What do crypto exchanges really do with your money?

BlackBerry reveals top crypto-focused malware amid rising cyberthreats

In the process of stopping over 1.5 million cyberattacks between March to May, the cybersecurity arm of the defunct smartphone goliath BlackBerry identified malware families that actively try to hijack computers to mine or steal cryptocurrencies.

The three industries most affected by cyberattacks are finance, healthcare and government, according to the BlackBerry report. A commodity malware named RedLine is one of the long-standing financial threats — tasked with harvesting information including cryptocurrency and banking information.

The three industries with the highest distribution of stopped cyberattacks and stopped unique/different samples during this period. Source: BlackBerry

Clop ransomware — a variant of the CryptoMix ransomware family — was a common threat that specifically targeted banking and financial institutions. This malware was responsible for the data breach of fintech banking platform Hatch Bank.

When it comes to Blackberry’s list of the most prevalent malware families, SmokeLoader, RaccoonStealer (also known as RecordBreaker) and Vidar top the charts. SmokeLoader is one of the oldest rogue financial tools from 2011, which has primarily been used by Russian-based threat actors to load crypto miners among other malware.

RaccoonStealer has been used to steal cryptocurrency wallet data and is being reportedly sold across the dark web. Vidar also is being widely used to harvest cryptocurrency wallets.

Linux was the biggest target out of all operating systems, and BlackBerry advised organizations to apply security patches regularly. Hackers target Linux to hijack and use computer resources for mining cryptocurrencies. A new strain of infostealer named Atomic macOS (AMOS) targets macOS users, primarily used to collect credentials from keychains, browsers, and crypto-wallets among others.

Related: SEC adopts cyberattack disclosure rules, listed crypto firms included

OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT and Dall-e, recently announced a $1 million cybersecurity grant program to enhance and measure the impact of AI-driven cybersecurity technologies.

OpenAI cybersecurity grant program. Source: OpenAI

“Our aim is to foster the advancement of AI-driven cybersecurity capabilities for defenders through grants and additional assistance,” stated OpenAI, in its official announcement.

Magazine: Deposit risk: What do crypto exchanges really do with your money?

Bitcoin Lightning on Coinbase agenda, Brian Armstrong tells Jack Dorsey

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, confirmed that the crypto exchange is “looking into” adding the Bitcoin (BTC) Lighting network in its quest to spread crypto payments adoption across the globe.

On July 28, Armstrong addressed the crypto community on Twitter (rebranded to X), highlighting the potential of cryptocurrencies to improve global payments infrastructure. He further suggested:

“This will take lots of work from all of us, Coinbase included, getting layer 2’s integrated, better on-ramps, simpler UX/onboarding, etc.”

Armstrong’s vision for global crypto payments was questioned by long-standing Bitcoin supports — including MicroStrategy founder Michael Saylor and Square CEO Jack Dorsey — given no mention of Bitcoin in the post, as shown below.

The Lightning Network aims to make Bitcoin transactions faster and cheaper by allowing users to create off-chain transaction channels. While Saylor simply recommended integrating Bitcoin Lightning on Coinbase, Dorsey questioned “what “crypto” is a better money transmission protocol (than Bitcoin) and why?” After 5 days of silence, Armstrong responded to Dorsey, stating:

“Not sure why you think we’re ignoring Bitcoin – we’ve onboarded more people to Bitcoin than probably any company in the world.”

Armstrong confirmed that Coinbase was looking into adding support for Bitcoin Lightning while reassuring his support for Bitcoin payments. Dorsey acknowledged Coinbase’s role in spreading Bitcoin adoption and agreed to partner with Armstrong in putting resources into Bitcoin and layer 2 technologies, adding:

“We want an open protocol for money transmission for the internet that’s not controlled by a single individual, company, or government.”

The open discussion between the two crypto entrepreneurs concluded with both pledging to be on the same team.

Related: Lightning Labs releases tools letting AI transact and hold Bitcoin

On July 17, Binance completed the integration of Bitcoin Lightning Network within a month of sharing its intention to do so.

Screenshot showing users can select “LIGHTNING” as an option when depositing Bitcoin. Source: Binance

Binance has joined Bitfinex, River Financial, OKX, Kraken and CoinCorner as the other prominent exchanges to have embraced the Lightning Network.

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Twitter Community Notes hits 44 countries as Elon Musk seeks ‘truth’ for X

Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk’s Twitter (rebranded to X) added contributors from 18 new countries to ensure the accuracy of the information being shared on the platform. As a result, Community Notes — the information watchdog on X — now has contributors from 44 countries in total.

Ever since Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, the entrepreneur claims he has envisioned transforming the platform into an everything app, which involved eradicating misinformation and preventing scam accounts from operating openly. Following Twitter’s rebranding to X, Musk expedited the transformational drive given the aggressive efforts made by Threads and TikTok clones to dominate the text-based social media realm.

Contributors from 44 countries are tasked with vetting the information being shared on posts that draw greater attention and are subject to being picked up by mainstream media. As part of the rebranding effort, the X app refrains from addressing itself as a social media platform and instead positions itself for “breaking news, entertainment, sports, politics and everything in between.”

X’s (previously Twitter) app description on Google Play store. Source: Google Play

“This platform aspires to be the best (or least bad) source of truth on the Internet,” said Musk when discussing the fact-checking system — Community Notes — on July 22.

Related: TikTok launches text posts feature to rival Twitter and Threads

Moreover, the entrepreneur made a user-centric decision by backtracking on his decision to permanently change the X user interface to a dark theme.

While X continues its aggressive attempts to reinvent itself, its biggest competition — Threads — introduced a new feature to resemble the original Twitter.

Adam Mosseri’s explanation for the introduction of rate limits on Threads. Source: Threads

Following its launch on July 5, Threads witnessed a record-breaking uptake of new users, surpassing 100 million users within five days. Unfortunately for Mark Zuckerberg, the engagement seems rather short-lived.

Magazine: ‘Elegant and ass-backward’: Jameson Lopp’s first impression of Bitcoin