Top 10 cryptos mixed, SEC again delays decision on Ark Invest ETF filing

https://forkast.news/top-10-cryptos-mixed-sec-again-delays-ark-invest/

Bitcoin extended losses on Wednesday afternoon in Asia. Most top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies dropped, except Ether, BNB, and Tron. The U.S. SEC on Tuesday again delayed its decision on exchange-traded fund (ETF) application by 21Shares and Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management. 

See related article: JPMorgan’s U.K. bank Chase bans payments linked to crypto

Bitcoin extend losses

Bitcoin dropped 0.21% to US$26,221 in 24 hours to 4.05 p.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its weekly losses to 3.23%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has managed to stay above the US$26,000 support level for the past 14 days.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) again delayed a decision on whether to approve the first U.S. ETF on a filing from 21Shares and Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management. This is the third time the SEC has delayed its decision since ARK and 21Shares’ original filing in April. 

In a statement on Tuesday, the SEC said, “the Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the issues raised therein. Accordingly, the Commission designates January 10, 2024, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove the proposed rule change.” 

Seven firms — BlackRock, WisdomTree, Invesco Galaxy, Wise Origin, VanEck, Bitwise and Valkyrie Digital Assets — published ETF applications in the Federal Register on July 19. The SEC was scheduled to rule on all seven applications by Sept. 4. However, the regulator postponed by 45 days meaning the seven firms will now have to wait until mid-October for a decision. 

“This may put the hammer down for any hopes of an ETF approval this year? If they went on Ark/21 shares already, we may see delays on all the other filings today too? In reality my base case is that we will get the “delays” on the other filings tomorrow or sometime this week and the SEC is simply getting ahead of a likely federal government shutdown,” said James Seyffart, ETF analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. 

Ether rose 0.03% to US$1,590 but is down 2.68% over the last seven days.

Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies booked losses for the past 24 hours. The exceptions were Ether, BNB, and Tron. 

Toncoin was the biggest loser of the day, dropping 2.13% to US$2.10 in 24 hours and losing 16.32% on the week. 

BNB, the native token of largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance, led the winners. It gained 0.29% to US$212, but recorded a weekly loss of 1.60%. The rise in prices comes amid announcement that Binance is collaborating with Japan’s largest banking group Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation to issue fiat-pegged stablecoins in 2024.

Total crypto market capitalization dropped 0.16% to US$1.05 trillion, while market volume fell 11.78% to US$19,71 billion in the past 24 hours.

Bitcoin, Ether rise; BNB leads gains among top 10 cryptos

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-rise-bnb-leads-gains/

Bitcoin and Ether rose in Tuesday afternoon trade in Asia while other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed. BNB, the native token of world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, led gains. 

See related article: Hong Kong crypto network Mixin loses US$200 million in hack

Bitcoin still below US$26,500

Bitcoin gained 0.24% to US$26,260 in the past 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has lost 2.26% in the past seven days, as declines in global stock markets and a strong dollar exert pressure on risk assets.

Last week, Bitcoin saw minor outflows for the third consecutive week totalling US$6 million, according to European cryptocurrency investment firm CoinShares. 

Ether, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency, gained 0.43% to US$1,588 in the past 24 hours, but is down 2.97% on the week.

“Ethereum continues to suffer, with outflows for the sixth consecutive week totalling US$2.2 million. Multi-asset investment products have also suffered this year, seeing a small but steady trickle of outflows that now total US$32 million for the year so far,” CoinShares said in an emailed statement.

“It seems investors are becoming more discerning in the altcoin space though, with continued inflows into XRP and Solana totalling US$0.66 million and US$0.31 million respectively,” the report said.

Inflows into Europe last week totalled US$16 million, where investors see recent regulatory disappointment as an opportunity. While U.S. investors pulled out US$14 million, seemingly in a continued funk over recent events, CoinShares added.

BNB, the native token of world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, gained the most, rising 1.41% to US$212 in the past 24 hours, and although it lost 2.13% on the week. 

Binance Japan and Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation, the largest banking group in Japan, are collaborating on the issuance of fiat-pegged stablecoins. The partnership will use “Progmat Coin,” which is a platform led by Mitsubishi’s trust bank for stablecoin issuance and management. The platform, initially announced in February 2022, aims to support the issuance of yen-pegged stablecoins on public blockchains.  

Total crypto market capitalization rose 0.32% to US$1.05 trillion while market volume dropped 0.1% to US$22.25 billion in the last 24 hours. 

Bitcoin, Ether fall with Toncoin leading losses in top 10 cryptos

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-fall-toncoin-leads-losses/

Bitcoin continued to fall in Monday afternoon trade in Asia, along with Ether and all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptos, except Tron. Toncoin was the biggest loser. Global cryptocurrency markets weakened after the U.S. Federal Reserve at its September meeting indicated another interest rate hike by the end of the year, signaling that rates will remain higher for longer than anticipated. 

See related article: South Korean entertainment firm NHN to build blockchain games on Sui despite local ban

Tron only gainer among top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin lost 1.44% to US$26,182 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its weekly losses to 2%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency was hovering above US$26,500 over the weekend but lost the support level early Monday morning.

Ethereum also posted losses, dropping 0.69% to US$1,580 in the past 24 hours and 3.27% on the week. The world’s second largest cryptocurrency fell below the US$1,600 support level for the first time since Thursday.

EIP-4844, also known as the Ethereum Cancun Upgrade, is a proposed Ethereum upgrade that aims to improve the speed and cost-effectiveness of the Ethereum network.  

The average fee on the Ethereum blockchain dropped to around US$1.15 per transaction on Saturday, the lowest level since December 2022, according to blockchain intelligence firm Santiment.

“Ethereum generated US$17.9 million in fees last week, the lowest since Dec. 26. Fees have peaked out in May this year and are gradually declining, this continues to be a crucial development for Ether prices. With less than one week left in September, fees are (so far) 50% less than in August,” Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport, wrote on Monday. 

“We mostly worry about Ethereum as weak fundamentals plus a lack of hype around the EIP-4844 upgrade (which should come sometime in Q4 2023) could make the blockchain slowly obsolete. Holders do not have unlimited patience and these upgrades are not fast enough and are marginal,” Thielen added.

All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptos fell except Tron, which rose 0.41% to US$0.08434 in the past 24 hours, and gained 0.53% on the week.

Total crypto market capitalization dropped 1.05% to US$1.04 trillion, while market volume gained 51.52% to US$22.17 billion. 

U.S. SEC denied immediate access to Binance.US software

https://forkast.news/headlines/u-s-sec-denied-access-to-binance-software/

A U.S. federal judge has denied the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) immediate access to Binance.US’ software, in response to the regulator’s motion demanding more detailed information from Binance and greater availability of its executives for depositions.

See related article: JPEX crypto exchange shuts trading amid Hong Kong regulator probe

Fast facts

  • On Monday, Federal Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui said he was not “inclined to allow the inspection at this time.” He asked that the SEC come up with more specific requests, according to a Bloomberg report
  • Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, has been dealing with growing regulatory challenges in the U.S. this year. 
  • In June, the crypto exchange was sued by the SEC for allegedly breaching securities mandate.
  • The exchange earlier this month laid off one-third of its staff, or more than 100 employees. Brian Shroder, the chief executive of Binance U.S., also left the company.
  • Binance’s global head of product Mayur Kamat has also resigned from the company, according to Reuters.

See related article: India’s G20 presidency has failed to advance global crypto governance, ex-finance secretary says

JPEX crypto exchange shuts trading amid Hong Kong regulator probe

https://forkast.news/headlines/jpex-crypto-exchange-shuts-trading/

Dubai-based cryptocurrency exchange JPEX is shutting trading on its platform amid a probe by the Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission that said the firm was operating as an unlicensed entity, according to media reports

See related article: Hong Kong Web3 industry forms new associations to push crypto hub ambition

Fast facts

  • JPEX attributed blame to its “third-party market makers” for freezing funds and restricting liquidity, after news of investigations by Hong Kong authorities.
  • Meanwhile, Hong Kong police received at least 83 complaints about the exchange, according to a South China Morning Post report Monday.
  • Hong Kong police arrested influencer Joseph Lam Chok Monday in connection with cryptocurrency trading platform JPEX, according to media reports
  • Hong Kong has been welcoming investments from digital assets companies and has set out new rules for the industry as the city aims to become a global hub for digital assets. 
  • It allows licensed cryptocurrency trading platforms to offer services to retail investors while implementing measures to protect individual traders.

See related article: Hong Kong? Singapore? Tokyo? Seoul? Dubai? The race is on for the Web3 hub of Asia | Part 1

Most top 10 cryptos rise; Tron, Toncoin biggest gainers

https://forkast.news/most-top-10-cryptos-rise-tron-toncoin-biggest-gainers/

Bitcoin rose above US$26,500 on Friday afternoon in Asia. Ether and all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies gained, except BNB, the native token of world’s largest crypto exchange Binance. Tron and Toncoin led gains. 

See related article: Binance.US CEO calls it quits amid major layoffs

Crypto market extends gains

Bitcoin rose 0.87% to US$26,569 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, and gained 1.24% on the week, according to  CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency’s market capitalization gained 1.46% to US$519.22 billion, while volume dropped 8.81%.

“We may be on the verge of witnessing a significant price surge. I believe that Bitcoin could rise to US$28,660. With the continuous evolution of the cryptocurrency market, it’s not surprising that all eyes may turn toward Bitcoin’s ascent to the US$28,660 level,” said Rania Gule, market analyst at multi-asset brokerage firm XS.com.

“However, while Bitcoin’s price is showing signs of upward strength, the overall trend on the price chart remains bearish as long as the price remains below the resistance level of US$29,500. Unless this trend reverses, a significant upward movement for Bitcoin is unlikely,” Gule said in an emailed statement on Friday.

Ether, the second biggest cryptocurrency in the world, also gained 0.42% to US$1,627, but is still down 1.08% on the week.

Tron gained the most, rising 3.4% to US$0.08395 in the past 24 hours and 6.06% in the last seven days. This was followed by Toncoin that strengthened 3.1% to US$1.94 and went up 9.15% on the week.

The crypto market received a boost from news that Deutsche Bank — a German lender that had US$1.4 trillion in total assets at the end of 2022 — will launch custody services for cryptocurrencies and tokenized assets of institutional customers in a partnership with Swiss fintech firm Taurus, according to a Thursday press release.

“As the digital asset space is expected to encompass trillions of dollars of assets, it’s bound to be seen as one of the priorities for investors and corporations alike. As such, custodians must start adapting to support their clients,” Paul Maley, global head of securities services at Deutsche Bank, said in the announcement.

BNB, the native token of largest crypto exchange Binance, was the only one to post losses, dropping 0.03% to US$212 in the past 24 hours, bringing its weekly losses to 2.23%. Brian Shroder, the chief executive officer of Binance U.S., left the company as it laid off one-third of its staff, or over 100 employees. The downsizing is expected to provide Binance.US more than seven years of financial runway. Binance U.S. has also been dealing with growing regulatory pressures in the U.S. and was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly breaching securities mandate.

The total crypto market capitalization rose 0.76% to US$1.05 trillion while market volume dropped 4.18% to US$26.72 billion in the past 24 hours.

Solana leads winners in top 10 cryptos as Bitcoin, Ether extend gains

https://forkast.news/solana-leads-winners-in-top-10-cryptos/

Bitcoin gained in Thursday afternoon trade in Asia. Ether and all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies rose with Solana leading gains. Toncoin was the only token to post a loss in the past 24 hours. Overall market sentiment was positive despite the U.S. consumer price index (CPI), released Wednesday, showing that U.S. inflation rose in August.

See related article: FTX gets green light to sell US$3.4 billion in crypto assets

Crypto market on positive note

Bitcoin rose 1.78% to US$26,364 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, according to CoinMarketCap data. The largest cryptocurrency in the world gained 2.37% in the past seven days. 

Ether strengthened 2.3% to US$1,623 but slipped 0.73% on the week.

“These positive sentiments came amid more regulatory battles in the United States between regulatory bodies and those working in the field of cryptocurrencies and their various applications,” said Samer Hasn, market analyst at multi-asset brokerage firm XS.com.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) imposed a fine of US$1 million on the makers of Stoner Cats 2 non-fungible tokens (NFT) and its accompanying web series on charges of offering and selling unregistered securities as NFTs.

Stoner Cats 2 has accepted the regulator’s cease-and-desist order and agreed to the US$1 million civil penalty.

“A settlement to avoid a crushing SEC process without ‘admitting or denying’ anything is binding on no one. A cynic would call it a PR stunt. What matters is that when seriously challenged in court, the SEC continues to lose,” Stuart Alderoty, chief legal officer of Ripple, said on X (formerly Twitter). 

Ripple is also fighting its own battle against the SEC. In July, a summary judgment by Judge Torres ruled that Ripple’s XRP sales to institutional investors violated securities laws, but sales on public exchanges to retail investors did not. However, the SEC submitted a filing last Friday that pushed the court of the Southern District of New York to appeal its ruling on the agency’s lawsuit against Ripple Labs.

The SEC requested the court review its prior ruling by Judge Analisa Torres, which posed “knotty legal problems,” according to the filing.

Ripple’s XRP token gained 1.23% to US$0.4816, but weakened 3.72% in the past seven days. 

Solana was the day’s biggest gainer, rising 5.02% to US$18.81, but lost 3.86% on the week. Global payments giant Visa wrote in a Tuesday research report that Solana blockchain “has attributes like high transaction throughput and scalability at low cost that help make it a good candidate for payments and Visa’s stablecoin settlement pilot.” It announced a partnership with Solana on Sept. 5 to expand its USDC stablecoin settlement pilot to Solana’s blockchain.

The total crypto market capitalization rose 1.56% to 1.05 trillion while market volume dropped 12.87% to US$27.96 billion.

Bitcoin, Ether continue to slide; altcoins under pressure

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-slide-altcoins-under-pressure/

Bitcoin rose slightly on Tuesday afternoon in Asia but remained below the support level of US$26,000. Ether traded below US$1,600, with XRP leading losses across most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptos, as news of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX possibly selling its US$3.4 billion worth of crypto assets by the end of the year weighed on crypto markets. Investors are also looking forward to August inflation data from the U.S. due for release on Wednesday. 

See related article: Standard Chartered’s crypto custody arm Zodia launches in Singapore

Negative sentiment across crypto market

Bitcoin gained marginally by 0.05% to US$25,819 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its weekly gains to 0.40%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency remained below the support level of US$26,000 as negative market sentiment lingered. 

“The declines in cryptocurrencies came as negative sentiment continued to flow into the markets, in light of the state of anticipation of what might happen on the regulatory side of this market in the United States,” said Samer Hasn, market analyst at multi-asset brokerage firm XS.com.

The U.S. will release August inflation data on Wednesday. “The expectations are for a slight increase in year-on-year inflation, to 3.4% from 3.2% of July. However, the market does not expect any further increase in interest rates, pricing a 93% probability of no change in interest rates at the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting and also not predicting any further rate hike before the end of 2023,” said Matteo Greco, research analyst at the publicly listed digital asset and fintech investment firm Fineqia International. 

“The end of rate hikes, especially if combined with approval of a Bitcoin Spot ETF [exchange traded fund], could represent a major driver to bring new capital into the market and improve liquidity,” Greco said in an emailed statement on Monday. 

Ether, the world’s second biggest cryptocurrency, fell 1.97% to US$1,579 in the past 24 hours, and dropped 2.71% on the week. 

“The break of US$1,650 makes us extremely cautious about Ether, and we could even envision a scenario where prices drop lower into year-end,” Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport, said in an emailed report.  

“A decline below US$1,500 could bring back the idea that Ether could decline to US$1,000 — a level that would appear justified based on the revenue projection from the Ethereum ecosystem,” Thielen added.

Crypto market is also under pressure as FTX crypto exchange, which went into bankruptcy in November 2022, is likely to receive court approval on Wednesday to liquidate an estimated crypto holding of US$3.4 billion. The firm proposed to sell up to US$100 million in crypto assets per week, which could be extended to US$200 million.

According to Thielen, although sales might have a cap of US$200 million per week, it still implies that FTX creditors could sell every week. 

“It also indicates that crypto will see another US$3.4 billion in crypto-to-fiat off-ramping — a potential liquidity gap that might be hard to fill in the absence of Signature Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, and Silvergate Bank, which were responsible for at least, 50% of all the fiat-to-crypto on-ramping during the last few years,” Thielen pointed out.

Altcoins could be particularly impacted “due to unfavorable tokenomics that compel early investors in projects to make prudent financial and survival decisions, and liquidate positions, Thielen added.

FTX is not the only major player selling assets. Crypto venture capital (VC) funds are also under immense pressure to return funds to their investors. 

“While some crypto VC funds made 10-20x returns, several have had substantial drawdowns, leading investors to prefer cashing out — even if returns were materially higher. For example, Multicoin Capital lost 91% of its value in 2022,” Thielen said.

Total crypto market capitalization fell 0.62% to US$1.03 trillion while market volume rose 82.81% to US$37.73 billion in the past 24 hours. 

Bitcoin, Ether extend losses; G20 eyes global crypto regulation

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-extend-losses-g20-crypto-regulation/

Bitcoin was trading below US$26,000 on Monday afternoon in Asia, while Ether and all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies posted losses. The market is also under pressure after news that the collapsed FTX crypto exchange may soon liquidate its US$3.4 billion in crypto holdings. 

See related article: FTX sues LayerZero Labs to recover US$21 million

All top 10 cryptos drop

Bitcoin dropped 0.15% to US$25,811 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its weekly losses to 0.56%, according to CoinMarketCap data

“Currently, Bitcoin’s price is trading without a clear direction amidst cautious market sentiment. Bitcoin, which leads the entire crypto market, will be influenced by various technical factors in the absence of news and legal decisions related to the cryptocurrency market in the coming week,” Rania Gule, market analyst at multi-asset brokerage firm XS.com told Forkast.

“I believe that the crucial support level of US$24,995 will determine whether Bitcoin’s price goes up or down. A clear and strong break below this level would send Bitcoin toward the very important support level at US$24,000, which would indicate a clear bearish trend reversal. In the worst-case scenario, the selling momentum in this case could push the price down to around US$21,915, which is roughly the mid-March level,” Gule said.

Ether, the Ethereum blockchain’s native token, fell 0.78% to US$1,611 in the last 24 hours, and dropped 1.63% in the last seven days. 

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin’s account on X, formerly Twitter, was hacked on Sunday, resulting in losses for some of Buterin’s followers, according to blockchain investigator ZachXBT. Hackers posted links to a scam non-fungible token (NFT) project on Buterin’s Twitter page, advising users to connect their crypto wallets before withdrawing the funds.

“Ethereum price indicators continue to show signals of the ongoing bearish trend, supported by a breach of the trendline that took the price below the critical support level of US$1,687. This paves the way for a potential 27% drop in ETH price. I believe the price could reach a significant level of US$1,200, with intermediate support at US$1,366,” Gule of XS.com pointed out.

The crypto market is also facing downward pressure from the latest FTX news. The collapsed cryptocurrency exchange is likely to receive approval on Sept. 13 to start liquidating its crypto holdings, according to a tweet from blockchain analysts Whale Alert. After filing for bankruptcy in November last year, the exchange still holds an estimated US$3.4 billion worth of crypto assets.

John Stefanidis, chief executive of blockchain infrastructure foundation Balthazar DAO, said, “The recent dip in value of altcoins could be attributed to the anticipated authorisation of the liquidation of assets held by FTX. With a portfolio encompassing billions in cryptocurrency assets, a potential liquidation could significantly influence market values, notably affecting Solana, Aptos, Dogecoin, Matic, TON, and XRP.”

Toncoin was the biggest loser, declining 3.38% to US$1.70 in the past 24 hours, and losing 9.96% in the past seven days. 

Ripple’s XRP was the second biggest loser, dropping 2.91% to US$0.4857 on the day and 3.54% on the week. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) submitted a filing last Friday to push the court of the Southern District of New York to appeal its ruling on the agency’s lawsuit against Ripple Labs. The SEC requested the court to review its prior ruling by Judge Analisa Torres that posed “knotty legal problems,” according to the filing. In July, a summary judgment by Judge Torres ruled that Ripple’s XRP sales to institutional investors violated securities laws, but sales on public exchanges to retail investors did not.

Ripple Labs also announced that it will acquire Nevada-based crypto infrastructure startup Fortress Trust, giving Ripple a regulatory license in the state of Nevada. 

Elsewhere, the Group of 20 (G20) meeting under India’s presidency, said during the weekend that member countries will work together to develop a coordinated global regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, cross-border cooperation and information sharing. 

“Crypto assets and how regulation can be put in place – we contributed to a roadmap so [that] over the next month progress can be made in that area,” Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of International Monetary Fund said at the conclusion of G20 leaders summit in India’s capital New Delhi on Sunday. 

However, one of the key challenges facing the cryptocurrency industry globally is the delay in implementing these recommendations at a national level, according to Caroline Bowler, chief executive of Australian digital asset exchange BTC Markets.

“While international organizations are setting the framework for a harmonized regulatory environment, it is imperative that governments and regulatory authorities act promptly to translate these guidelines into actionable regulations. Delayed implementation could hinder the industry’s growth, create uncertainty, and potentially leave investors and consumers exposed to risks,” Bowler said in an emailed statement on Monday. 

Total crypto market capitalization dropped 0.54% to US$1.03 trillion, while market volume gained 36.82% to US$20.63 billion. 

India’s G20 presidency has failed to advance global crypto governance, ex-finance secretary says

https://forkast.news/indias-g20-presidency-failed-advance-crypto/

India’s progress on global cryptocurrency governance remains stagnant despite holding the Group of 20 (G20) presidency for nine months, former finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg told Forkast.

“The situation regarding global governance and regulation of cryptocurrencies and the other decentralized digital assets is practically at the same stage at which it was when India assumed the G20 presidency. So not much has happened and this is likely to be the case for quite some time,” said Garg. 

India commenced its G20 presidency in December 2022 and will pass the mantle to Brazil at the end of November 2023. Throughout its Presidency, several top government officials, including India’s finance minister and prime minister, have said several times that a common global regulatory framework needs to be put in place. 

The G20 discussions are significant since India has long viewed digital assets with suspicion. The Indian cryptocurrency and blockchain industry had been hoping the world’s biggest democracy would address the new asset class with clearer regulations, using the opportunity during its G20 presidency to work with other countries. 

Amitendu Palit, a senior research fellow at National University of Singapore’s Institute of South Asian Studies, pointed out the inherent limitations of the G20’s mandate.

“The G20 is not empowered to make binding regulations. It can, at best, provide policy suggestions and policy directions for global adoption. Regulations would have to be implemented by members themselves,” Palit told Forkast.

india gate new delhi india 2022 11 14 01 59 59 utc
The India Gate. Image: Envato Elements

In August, India’s crypto regulatory note proposed global crypto regulations, but crucial details remain vague, leaving crypto market participants in the world’s most populous nation in the lurch. Despite calls for a unified global framework from top Indian officials, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, tangible progress remains absent. 

Garg’s prognosis for India’s crypto roadmap is bleak, especially with the country’s G20 presidency nearing its conclusion. 

“The finance ministers, who were handling cryptocurrencies, already had its last meeting [in July] and there was no consensus on doing anything regarding governance of cryptocurrency,” Garg said. “The government has been taking measures which have diminished or hurt the industry. So I don’t think the government is favorably disposed towards [cryptocurrencies].”

India’s crypto tax policy, which includes a 30% flat tax on crypto earnings and a 1% tax deducted at source on substantial trades, coupled with penalties ranging from financial fines to potential imprisonment, has significantly impacted its crypto industry.

I don’t think blockchain can develop without a very positive regulatory structure and legal regime in respect of crypto and Web3

India’s former finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg

“We don’t expect any free rides from the government, but we expect the government to be a little bit more fair. And I think that will happen over a period of time. We could debate whether it is happening at a rapid pace. Things could be better, no doubt, but things could be a lot worse also,” Rajagopal Menon, vice president of Indian crypto exchange WazirX, told Forkast.

A study from Esya Centre, an Indian policy think tank, revealed that the prevailing tax regime might lead to a loss of about US$1.2 trillion in trade volume on domestic exchanges over the coming four years. Following the imposition of stringent tax measures in February 2022, approximately US$3.85 billion has already migrated to overseas platforms, as of October last year. 

Finance Minister Sitharaman has said that blockchain technology has its own uses and potential, and that India is not against the technology. She also sees 46% growth in blockchain technology use in the next few years, but cautioned that [crypto]currencies have to be monitored by either the government or the central bank.

“These statements that ‘blockchain is fine but cryptocurrency is not,’ these are contradictory terms. I don’t think blockchain can develop without a very positive regulatory structure and legal regime in respect of crypto and Web3,” Garg said.

“Imposing taxes and getting crypto under PMLA [Prevention of Money Laundering Act) are all baby steps towards regulation. Things are bound to improve in the long run,” WazirX’s Menon said.

“We’ve seen crypto companies blowing up, lawsuits, large exchanges under tremendous pressure. But what is new now is the determination of governments to regulate crypto. Earlier, they had more of a ‘ignore it – it’s not that important’ attitude. This is a major shift that the industry is witnessing,” Menon added.

Bitcoin below US$26,000, most other top 10 cryptos extend losses

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-below-us26000-most-top-10-cryptos-losses/

Bitcoin fell below US$26,000 in Friday afternoon trade in Asia, along with all other top 10 cryptocurrencies, except Toncoin and Tron. The Wednesday rally in crypto prices was short-lived after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) announcement on Thursday that it will delay seven spot Bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) applications until October. 

See related article: Uniswap securities violation charges dismissed by US court

Mounting pressure on SEC to approve an ETF?

Bitcoin lost 4.69% to US$25,977 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, but inched up 0.04% on the week following a Wednesday rally in prices on the back of a favorable U.S. court ruling for Grayscale Investments in its Bitcoin ETF case against the SEC.

Bitcoin prices fell along with other cryptocurrencies after the SEC said on Thursday it will delay seven spot Bitcoin exchange traded fund applications until October. Some of the world’s largest asset managers including BlackRock, are waiting for SEC’s approval for their ETF applications.

“With high-profile applicants, such as Blackrock, the pressure is building for the SEC to approve an ETF. We believe several Bitcoin ETFs would be approved at once, which could still bring Bitcoin prices materially higher into year-end,” said Markus Thielen, head of research & strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport, in an emailed note.

“While we estimated that the market was pricing in a 60% chance that Grayscale would receive the approval to convert their Bitcoin Trust into an ETF, those chances now appear even greater, at around 75%, and slowly edging closer to 100%,” Thielen added. 

According to Gracy Chen, managing director of crypto exchange Bitget, investors are maintaining a positive outlook on Bitcoin’s medium-term prospects ahead of Bitcoin halving – expected in April next year – and ETF approvals. “Grayscale’s victory against SEC has also instilled confidence that regulators listen to market players,” Chen told Forkast in an email.

“The last few weeks’ events have shown that investors need to quickly understand and digest the constant news flow and make decisions decisively. Buy and hold might no longer be the appropriate strategy for investors who want to generate the highest returns. Instead, investors must have one finger at the pulse of the crypto market and understand bottom-up analysis,” Thielen of Matrixport added.

Ether, world’s second largest cryptocurrency, fell 3.49% to US$1,645.63, bringing its weekly losses to 0.29%, according to CoinMarketCap data

Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptos posted losses, with Solana’s SOL leading the losers. It declined 4.77% to US$19.79, bringing its weekly losses to 3.77%. On Monday, Clockwork — a Solana-based automation network for smart contracts — shut down, with founder Nick Garfield said he saw “limited commercial upside” in the project.

“Altcoin prices will correlate with Bitcoin, but there are no strong indicators for significant growth in the near term. Moreover, specific issues in projects like Solana could further hinder their growth,” Chen of Bitget said.

TonCoin and Tron were the only gainers among top 10 cryptos. Toncoin, the native token of proof-of-stake blockchain TON, rose 2.07% to US$1.72% in the past 24 hours and 21.85% on the week. Tron gained 1.38% to US$0.07716 in 24 hours, and posted a weekly gain of 0.79%.

Total crypto market capitalization dropped 3.65% to US$1.05 trillion, while market volume rose 32.18% to US$38.08 billion. 

All top 10 cryptos fall except Dogecoin, as boost from Grayscale ETF ruling fades

https://forkast.news/all-top-10-cryptos-fall-except-dogecoin/

Bitcoin and Ether dropped on Thursday afternoon trade in Asia, along with all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies. Dogecoin was the only token to post gains. Prices of cryptocurrencies strengthened on Wednesday after a favorable verdict for Grayscale Investments in its ongoing legal dispute with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

See related article: How Worldcoin is undermining crypto’s original ethos

‘Cautious optimism

Bitcoin dropped 0.65% to US$27,258 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, but has gained 2.97% on the week. Bitcoin’s next halving event is expected to take place in April 2024, and is expected to half the number of new Bitcoin, increasing its scarcity, thereby pushing up prices. 

“Bitcoin’s behavior is not out of line with prior expectations, and it has historically lost support at the 20-week moving average in Q3 of every pre-halving year,” Rajagopal Menon, vice president of WazirX, India’s largest crypto exchange by volume, told Forkast.

Crypto market conditions are volatile and can be influenced by various factors, like regulatory news and macroeconomic shifts. 

“There is cautious optimism, tempered by historical data and the performance of certain technical markers. Traders are concerned about Bitcoin and altcoins holding their respective 20-week moving averages as well as how macroeconomic trends like S&P 500 performance could affect the market,” Menon said.

Ether, too, dropped 0.7% to US$1,705, but posted a weekly gain of 1.84%, according to CoinMarketCap data

All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptos fell in the past 24 hours, except Dogecoin, after a rally on Wednesday following a favorable U.S. court ruling for Grayscale Investments in its ongoing legal dispute with the SEC.

The Connecticut-based digital asset management firm filed a lawsuit against the SEC in June 2022 following the rejection of the company’s proposal to convert its GBTC Bitcoin fund into a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). A U.S. appeals court overturned the SEC’s refusal on Tuesday, opening up a potential avenue for approval. 

The ruling is seen as a beacon of hope for Grayscale and is expected to chart the course for other financial giants, such as BlackRock, Fidelity, Invesco and WisdomTree, who have filed their own ETF applications with the SEC and are waiting for an approval. However, the regulator delayed a decision on Ark Investment Management’s ETF application in early August and could do so again. 

“This judicial victory, which pushed Bitcoin to levels of US$28,000, will not mean the launch of the long-awaited spot Bitcoin ETF, with more legal procedures and delays that the SEC may take, but it may enhance hopes of the possibility of launching those ETFs that have been applied for by several major U.S. asset managers,” pointed out Samer Hasn, market analyst at multi-asset brokerage firm XS.com.

“The SEC has faced criticism for its perceived ‘regulation-by-enforcement’ approach to crypto; approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF would serve as a counter-narrative, showcasing their willingness to endorse suitable products,” European cryptocurrency investment firm CoinShares said in a blog post.  “No matter what happens, the Court’s decision has definitely put the SEC on the back foot and dramatically improved chances for the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF.”

Meanwhile, a U.S. court dismissed a class-action lawsuit against decentralized cryptocurrency exchange Uniswap Labs. The lawsuit was filed by a number of investors who claimed they lost money due to scam tokens.

While the dismissal of that lawsuit was based on the fact that these tokens, which are decentralized finance applications, are commodities and are not subject to the laws of securities regulation or exchanges, the judge also noted that Uniswap Labs is not responsible for damages caused by a third party, according to Hasn of XS.com. 

“What happened in the case against Uniswap Labs could be the first steps in clarifying the legal and regulatory environment for DeFi applications and could make investors’ concerns about sudden lawsuits and actions by regulators less and make them more predictable. On the other hand, this measure, and other similar possible measures, if taken in the future, may restrict investors’ confidence in these applications due to the inability to regulate them and enforce the law on them,” Hasn added. 

Among the top 10 cryptos, Toncoin, the native token of proof-of-stake blockchain TON, dropped 2.11% to US$1.69 in the past 24 hours, but posted a weekly gain of 18.04%. 

“Toncoin is the current flavour of the season,” Menon of WazirX said. 

“TON is intrinsically tied to the Telegram messaging app, which boasts 55 million daily active users and 550 million monthly active users. This provides a ready-made user base that could easily adopt Toncoin for a variety of applications. If even a fraction of Telegram’s user base adopts the TON wallet, the network could experience significant growth, much like WeChat Pay did in its ecosystem,” Menon explained.

Dogecoin was the only token to gain in the past 24 hours, rising 1.43% to US$0.0665, bringing its weekly gains to 4.33%. The gains come after long-time Dogecoin advocate Elon Musk, the chief of social media platform X (formerly Twitter), received a currency transmitter license from Rhode Island state regulators. The license will allow X to exchange, custody, and transfer digital currencies.  

“Altcoins generally follow Bitcoin’s lead, albeit with greater volatility. They appear to lose confidence earlier than Bitcoin, suggesting that if Bitcoin faces a downturn, altcoins could potentially suffer more. The market is presently cautious, which could put additional pressure on altcoins,” Menon added.

Total global crypto market capitalization dropped 0.67% to US$1.09 trillion, while crypto market volume fell 47.96% to US$28.81 billion in the past 24 hours.

India’s CoinSwitch crypto exchange fires 44 employees as trading volumes drop

https://forkast.news/headlines/indias-coinswitch-crypto-exchange-fires-44/

CoinSwitch, an Indian cryptocurrency exchange backed by Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital, has laid off 44 employees from its customer support team due to a drop in customer queries with falling trading volumes, business news site Moneycontrol reported on Monday. 

See related article: India crypto industry on ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as government ignores requests in Budget

Fast facts

  •  CoinSwitch said it is open to welcoming back the employees it fired if trading volumes were to return.
  • “Over the last year, many support team members have been absorbed into other functions based on the suitability of their skills for the other roles. We are extending all our support to the impacted employees,” CoinSwitch said in a statement. 
  • CoinSwitch hasn’t disclosed its exact employee count, but according to its LinkedIn page, it has 518 employees. 
  • Last week, CoinDCX, a crypto exchange known for being India’s first crypto unicorn, said it laid off 12% of its staff due to the impact of a prolonged bear market and local tax rules. CoinSwitch became India’s second crypto unicorn in October 2021 after a US$260 million Series C round. 
  • India, the world’s most populous nation, last year imposed a 30% flat tax on all crypto income and later added a 1% tax deducted at source (TDS) on crypto trades above 10,000 Indian rupees (US$121). 
  • According to research by Esya Centre, a technology policy think tank in India, the current cryptocurrency tax structure “may lead to a loss of approximately US$1.2 trillion of local exchange trade volume in the next four years”. 
  • Already, a cumulative trade volume of about US$3.852 billion moved from India’s centralized crypto exchanges to foreign exchanges between February and October 2022, after India introduced strict crypto tax rules on Feb. 1, the report said.  

See related article: The last 12 months the year to forget, says India’s WazirX crypto exchange  

Crypto market gets boost from favorable court ruling for Grayscale against U.S. SEC

https://forkast.news/crypto-market-boost-from-grayscale-court-ruling/

Bitcoin, Ether, and all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies gained in Wednesday afternoon trading in Asia, as traders celebrated digital currency asset manager Grayscale’s victory against U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The market boost follows last week’s largest outflows of digital asset investment products since March, in what has been an unusually low trading volume market. In the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the Forkast 500 NFT Index fell as traders gauged the latest SEC charges against an NFT project operated by media company Impact Theory for breaching securities laws. 

See related article: Hong Kong grants SEBA Bank in-principle approval for crypto trading

Beacon of hope

Bitcoin gained 5.54% to US$27,434 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its weekly gains to 5.32%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The largest cryptocurrency in the world had traded under US$27,000 since Aug. 18 as macroeconomic developments in the U.S. and China weigh on the crypto market. 

Ether, the world’s second biggest cryptocurrency, gained 4.31% to US$1,717 and posted a 4.45% gain on the week.

All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptos rose after a favorable verdict for Grayscale Investments in its ongoing legal dispute with the SEC.

The market boost follows last week’s record outflow of digital asset investment products – totaling US$168 million – the largest outflow since the U.S. regulatory crackdown on exchanges in March, according to a report by European cryptocurrency investment firm CoinShares. 

“This August’s outflows now total US$278 million in what has been an exceptionally low trading volume market, with investment products trading US$1.3 billion for the week, 16% below the year average. This negative sentiment we believe is due to the increasing acceptance that a spot-based ETF for Bitcoin in the U.S. is likely to take longer than many expect, with recent delays being announced by the SEC,” CoinShares said in an emailed report on Tuesday. 

Crypto markets picked up on Wednesday after the District of Columbia Court of Appeals overturned the SEC’s earlier refusal to allow the company’s Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, known by its ticker GBTC, to become an exchange-traded fund (ETF). Grayscale first sued the SEC in June, 2022. The digital asset manager said that the regulator failed to provide clear explanations for the rejection of its ETF application, violating the Administrative Procedure Act. The company added that the SEC’s refusal was inconsistent with its approach to other Bitcoin futures ETF applications.

“The market reaction to Grayscale winning the lawsuit against the SEC shows that the digital asset industry is held back due to a lack of regulatory framework,” Shivam Thakral, chief executive of Indian digital asset exchange BuyUcoin, said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

“The wave of positive developments has come as a fresh lease of life for the crypto industry which has been battling hostile regulations, dampened investor mood, and crypto winter. We are optimistic that Grayscale getting court approval for Bitcoin ETF will work as a template for similar financial products around the world,” Thakral said.

“Grayscale’s legal victory against the SEC marks a significant shift in digital assets,” Caroline Bowler, chief executive of Australian digital asset exchange BTC Markets, said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

“It’s important to clarify it is not a ruling in favor of converting its fund into a spot Bitcoin ETF, as some might have anticipated. Instead, the presiding judge granted Grayscale’s petition for review and simultaneously vacated the commission’s order. This development underscores the complexity of regulatory dynamics in the crypto space, where legal battles can shape the path of innovative financial instruments,” Bowler explained. 

The ruling is seen as a beacon of hope for Grayscale and is expected to chart the course for other financial giants, such as BlackRock and Fidelity, who have also filed spot Bitcoin ETF applications with the SEC and are waiting for an approval. 

“It’s excellent that the judge in the Grayscale vs SEC case was able to see the obvious correlation between Bitcoin futures and spot price,” Greg Moritz, chief operating officer at AltTab Capital, said in an emailed statement.

“Products like Grayscale’s holdings have converted to ETFs in other commodity markets, and it makes no sense to treat crypto differently. Rules for financial markets need to be based on data, not arbitrary and capricious sentiment toward a legitimate and growing asset class,” Moritz said.

Mahin Gupta, founder of Liminal, a wallet infrastructure and custody solutions platform, said he is particularly “excited” about the implications of this ruling for the custody industry. The approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF is expected to create a demand for custody solutions which is likely to boost the custody industry and help accelerate adoption of digital assets by institutional investors. 

“If approved, family offices and funds from around the world will have access to a regulated digital asset financial product to invest their wealth in a truly borderless and international asset class. I feel this is one of the most significant developments in the digital asset industry in the past decade,” Gupta said. 

However, “It’s also crucial to recognize that the price of Bitcoin is subject to extreme volatility and rapid changes regardless of individual news events,” pointed out Rania Gule, market analyst at multi-asset brokerage firm XS.com. 

“The impact of this news depends on various factors, including general economic conditions, developments in regulations related to cryptocurrency markets, and technical factors within the market,” Gule added.

Among the top 10 cryptos, Toncoin, the native token of proof-of-stake blockchain TON, led gains on Wednesday. It rose 15.13% in the past 24 hours to US$1.72 and posted a weekly gain of 23.74%. The Telegram messaging application introduced the TON blockchain in 2018 but severed ties in 2020 due to increasing regulatory pressure from the SEC. The blockchain said it has seen a 102% increase in developer involvement within the last year. 

In July, Telegram also launched its Wallet Pay service, which allows users to pay merchants directly on the app using crypto. The service supports Toncoin, Bitcoin and Tether stablecoin payments.

Memecoin Dogecoin rose 4.12% to US$0.06563 in the past 24 hours, and gained 2.68% in the past seven days. Long-time Dogecoin advocate Elon Musk, the chief of social media platform X (formerly Twitter), had much to cheer after Rhode Island’s state regulators granted X a currency transmitter license, which will allow X to exchange, custody, and transfer digital currencies.  

“The news of Elon Musk’s X obtaining a license to facilitate U.S. crypto payments amplifies the ongoing transformation of the crypto landscape. Endorsements from prominent figures like Musk lend credibility to the sector and hold implications for international markets…The impact is likely to fuel interest and confidence in cryptocurrencies,” said Bowler of BTC Markets.

Total crypto market capitalization rose 4.35% to US$1.09 trillion, while crypto market volume surged 130.25% to US$55.38 billion in the past 24 hours. 

Bitcoin, Ether gain; traders cautious as U.S. regulator goes after NFT firm

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-gain-traders-cautious-nft-firm/

Bitcoin and Ether gained marginally on Tuesday afternoon in Asia. Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies gained, except Solana and Tron, with Polkadot leading gains at almost 3%. The Forkast 500 non-fungible token (NFT) Index dropped as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Los Angeles-based media company Impact Theory for alleged breach of securities laws. 

See related article: Asia’s richest man bets on blockchain, CBDC

Most top 10 cryptos rise

Bitcoin gained 0.24% to US$25,984 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, which brought its weekly losses to 0.44%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency’s trading volume jumped 33.39% to US$11 billion as its market capitalization climbed 0.04% to US$505.24 billion in the past 24 hours.

“Any additional rate hikes, or concerted attempts by BRICS to reduce reliance on the U.S. dollar as reserve currency do certainly impact price movements, but the sustained importance of Bitcoin’s four-year cyclical growth pattern should not be dismissed, until proven otherwise,” Ben Caselin, vice president and chief strategy officer at crypto trading platform MaskEX, told Forkast on Tuesday. 

“Exactly where Bitcoin prices might go over the course of 2024 and 2025 depends on too many factors to make any sensible guess, but an attempt to break above US$36,000 before the end of 2023 wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. September, however, I would still approach as just another, perhaps final, accumulation month,” he added.

A report by U.S. banking giant JPMorgan Chase has forecast “limited downside” for the crypto market as losses slow. Analysts found a drop in the number of Bitcoin-linked futures contracts on exchanges that are yet to be settled — a sign that downward price movement is losing its momentum.

Ether, world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, gained 0.31% to US$1,646 in the past 24 hours, but posted a weekly loss of 1.24%.

However, most of the major cryptocurrencies continue to trade sideways amid the prevailing caution in the markets, Samer Hasn, market analyst at multi-asset brokerage firm XS.com, told Forkast on Tuesday. 

The continued state of caution in the cryptocurrency market is reflected in the decline in trading volumes to the lowest levels in years, Hasn said.

“I believe that this accumulation, in conjunction with the record decline in trading volumes, reflects the state of caution among investors as a result of the lack of clarity in the regulatory environment for the cryptocurrency market so far, especially in the United States with the ongoing court battles between regulators, led by the SEC, and cryptocurrency developers, exchanges, and others,” Hasn added.

Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptos gained in the past 24 hours, except Solana and Tron. Polkadot led gains, rising 2.97% to US$4.58, and gained 3.32% on the week. 

Total crypto market capitalization gained 0.33% to US$1.05 trillion, while market volume rose 27.29% to US$24.05 billion in the past 24 hours. 

Asia’s richest man bets on blockchain, CBDC

https://forkast.news/headlines/asias-richest-man-bets-on-blockchain-cbdc/

Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man from India, said on Monday that his Reliance Industries Ltd. is exploring blockchain-based platforms and central bank digital currencies (CBDC).

See related article: The Digital Rupee

Fast facts

  • “JFS (Jio Financial Services) will consolidate its payment infrastructure, with a ubiquitous offering for both consumers and merchants further driving digital adoption for India,” Ambani said on Monday at Reliance Industries’ annual shareholders’ meeting, the biggest annual event of India’s largest private-sector company. 
  • “JFS products will not just compete with current industry benchmarks but also explore pathbreaking features such as blockchain-based platforms and CBDC,” he said.
  • Ambani’s Reliance entered the digital financial products space with the incorporation of Jio Financial Services Limited (JFS) on July 25, a non-banking financial company registered with the Reserve Bank of India, the nation’s central bank. 
  • On July 26, JFS announced an agreement to form Jio BlackRock, a 50:50 joint venture with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, as a partner. JFS and BlackRock said they are targeting an initial investment of US$150 million each in the joint venture.
  • In February, Reliance Retail, the retail branch of Fortune Global 500 firm Reliance Industries, said that it has started accepting digital rupee payments to become the largest Indian firm to adopt the nation’s CBDC. Reliance Retail had partnered with ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and fintech firm Innoviti Technologies to launch in-store digital rupee payments.
  • India’s central bank rolled out retail CBDC pilot trials in 13 cities last December, after introducing its wholesale CBDC pilot last November. 
  • The share price of Jio Financial Services closed 0.28% lower on Monday on India’s Bombay Stock Exchange, while that of Reliance Industries dropped 1.11%. India’s benchmark stock index Sensex rose 0.17%.

See related article: India’s PM advocates global ethical framework for cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence

India’s PM advocates global ethical framework for cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence

https://forkast.news/headlines/india-global-ethical-framework-crypto-ai/

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized on Sunday the need for a global framework to regulate cryptocurrencies, ensuring the interest of all stakeholders. He further stated that a similar approach is essential for the governance of artificial intelligence (AI). 

See related article: India crypto industry on ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as government ignores requests in Budget

Fast facts

  • “With time, we have to face issues that we couldn’t even think of 10-15 years ago. For instance, cryptocurrency-related challenges,” Modi said while at the Business 20 (B20) summit in India. 
  • The B20, a part of the Group of 20 (G20) summit, serves as a platform for the international business community to present unified views. Currently, India holds the presidency of the G20. 
  • Modi also said that global business communities and governments need to come together to ensure that “ethical” AI is put in place.
  • “The world is showing a lot of excitement around AI. But even in this excitement we need to look at some ethical considerations,” Modi said. With skilling and re-skilling, concerns are being raised around algorithm bias and the way it can affect society, he added. 
  • The world’s most populous nation, known in the Web3 industry for its cautious stance on cryptocurrency trading, released a note suggesting a roadmap for a global crypto assets framework earlier this month. India’s proposal aligns with guidelines provided by the Financial Stability Board and the International Monetary Fund. 
  • India imposes a 30% flat tax on crypto income and a 1% tax deducted at source (TDS) on crypto trades above 10,000 Indian rupees (US$121). Furthermore, the country does not allow crypto traders to offset losses against profits. Penalties include an amount equivalent to TDS for non-deduction, a 15% annual interest for late payment, and a potential jail term of up to six months.  

See related article: India imposes money laundering regulations on crypto industry

Bitcoin dips below US$26,000, crypto faces downward pressure amid Fed’s rate hike signals

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-dips-below-us26000-crypto-faces-pressure/

Bitcoin fell with most of the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies in afternoon trading in Asia on Monday as traders remained cautious after Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said at the Jackson Hole Symposium on Friday that tight monetary policy is necessary until inflation slows down significantly.

See related article:DeFi revenue remains resilient despite Curve Finance hack

Bitcoin hungover post-Jackson Hole weekend

Bitcoin lost 0.44% to US$25,915 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its weekly losses to 0.36%. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency’s market capitalization fell 0.41% to US$504.7 billion as its trading volume rose 40.10% in the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap data.  

“The cryptocurrency market is witnessing a downward trend on Monday, with Bitcoin and most major alternative currencies trading in the red zone,” Rania Gule, market analyst at multi-asset brokerage firm XS.com, said in an emailed statement on Monday.

According to Gule, the drop in prices comes after Powell said in his keynote address at the Jackson Hole Symposium that the central bank is prepared to raise interest rates further, if necessary, adding that future decisions would be made with caution. 

“Bitcoin prices have been trading within a tight range between US$25,752 and US$26,282 over the past few days. Meanwhile, technical indicators are approaching the overbought zone on both the short and medium-term scales, suggesting a potential upward reversal for Bitcoin,” Gule said. 

“However, there won’t be a significant upward movement without a strong breach of the formidable resistance level at US$30,000 and a daily close above it. At the same time, the bearish sentiment still holds sway over Bitcoin and the digital currency market in the short term, with potential targets of US$25,500 and US$25,100, respectively,” Gule added.

Almost all top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies dropped in the past 24 hours, except Tron, which gained 0.11% to US$0.07732, and posted a 2.37% rise on the week.

BNB, the native token of world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, lost 0.32% to US$216, although it has gained 0.66% on the week. According to a Wall Street Journal report on Friday, Binance has removed sanctioned Russian banks from its peer-to-peer trading service, and has reportedly ceased processing transactions involving five blacklisted Russian banks. 

The total crypto market capitalization dropped 0.62% to US$1.04 trillion while market volume gained 27.69% to US$18.86 billion in the past 24 hours. 

Binance Card shuts down in Latin America, Middle East

https://forkast.news/headlines/binance-card-shuts-down-latin-america/

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, said on Thursday it will discontinue its crypto debit card for users in Latin America and the Middle East. from Sept. 21.

See related article: Binance denies Russia sanctions violation reported by WSJ

Fast facts

  • Binance Card is funded with crypto assets and used to pay for goods like traditional debit cards. Only 1% of its customers in Latin America and Middle East will be affected by the service halt, the exchange’s in a Twitter response via its customer support account.
  • “Binance accounts around the world are not affected. Where available, users can also shop with crypto and send crypto using Binance Pay, a contactless, borderless and secure cryptocurrency payment technology designed by Binance,” Binance said.
  • The development comes days after the exchange announced the launch of Binance Pay, its contactless payment service, in Brazil.
  • Meanwhile, Binance faces issues with payment partners. Earlier this month, London-based payment processor Checkout.com terminated its contract with Binance due to concerns over money-laundering and compliance. Binance in June said that Paysafe Payment Solutions, its euro banking partner, will stop offering its services from Sept. 25. 
  • Last week, Binance announced that it was shutting down its cryptocurrency payment service Binance Connect, a fiat-to-crypto payment infrastructure. 
  • Binance did not respond to Forkast’s request for comment.

See related article: Binance chief says unclear crypto regulation ‘the worst’

Blockchain tech in Thailand gets boost from new pro-crypto leader

https://forkast.news/headlines/blockchain-thailand-gets-boost-new-leader/

Blockchain technology in Thailand could soon receive a boost under new Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who had promised during his campaign to give 10,000 baht (US$300) through digital wallets to every Thai citizen aged 16 years and above.

See related article: Thailand mandates warnings on crypto ads

Fast facts

  • Srettha, a former businessman, had said the payout would be ready through digital wallets on Jan. 1, 2024, if he won the election. The initiative would cost about 500 billion baht (US$14.3 billion).
  • The digital money, valid for six months, can be spent within four kilometers of a recipient’s home and can be accessed using national ID cards, according to a Bangkok Post report.
  • Thailand’s new leader is also a founder of real estate firm Sansiri, which acquired a 15% stake in XSpring Capital, a local digital asset service provider. 
  • Sansiri also introduced SiriHub Token on XSpring, marking Thailand’s first initial coin offering of real estate-backed tokens.
  • Thailand has been actively regulating the cryptocurrency industry, with the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission announcing rules to ban crypto firms from providing custodial services that yield returns to depositors and lenders, covering both crypto lending and staking. 

See related article:  Thailand to offer tax breaks to firms issuing investment tokens

India’s CoinDCX exchange lays off 12% of staff

https://forkast.news/headlines/indias-coindcx-exchange-lays-off-staff/

CoinDCX, one of India’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, said on Tuesday it is laying off 12% of its staff due to the impact of a prolonged bear market and local tax rules. 

See related article: India imposes money laundering regulations on crypto industry

Fast facts

  • India, the world’s most populous nation, last year imposed a 30% flat tax on all crypto income and later added a 1% tax deducted at source (TDS) on crypto trades above 10,000 Indian rupees (US$120). This caused a capital flight as about US$3.85 billion moved from India’s centralized crypto exchanges to foreign exchanges between February and October 2022, to avoid the taxes, according to Indian think tank Esya Centre.
  • “Startups and businesses globally are going through challenging times due to tough macro conditions, more so in crypto because of the prolonged bear market and impact of TDS on domestic exchanges. These factors had a significant impact on our volumes and thus revenues,” CoinDCX said in a statement on Tuesday. 
  • Impacted employees will receive support packages consisting of severance pay equivalent to the full notice period, a month’s salary, variable pay and incentives dues, encashment of unutilized leaves, extension of health insurance and wellness benefits, the exchange said.
  • In a January interview with Forkast, Sumit Gupta, co-founder of CoinDCX, stated that the exchange boasts a robust balance sheet with strong cash reserves. He added that with these resources, the company could sustain itself for up to five years without any revenue.
  • CoinDCX was valued at US$2.15 billion after a US$135 million raise last April.
  • CoinDCX did not respond to Forkast’s request for comment. 

See related article: India not against blockchain tech, but cryptocurrency should be monitored, says FM

Tether stops USDT stablecoin mints on three blockchains

https://forkast.news/headlines/tether-stops-usdt-mints-three-blockchains/

Tether, the issuer of the world’s largest stablecoin USDT, announced on Thursday that it will discontinue support for its flagship stablecoin on three blockchains, Kusama, Bitcoin Cash SLP (Simple Ledger Protocol), and Omni Layer. 

See related article: Tether says USDT excess reserves reached US$3.3 billion in Q2

Fast facts

  • Tether said it stopped minting new USDT on these chains starting Aug. 17 but will continue redemptions for USDT-Omni, USDT-Kusama, and USDT-BCH-SLP for at least the next 12 months. 
  • Users can also swap USDT-Omni, USDT-Kusama, and USDT-BCH-SLP for other chains via platforms that support these assets, such as Bitfinex, Tether’s sister cryptocurrency exchange under the iFinex umbrella.
  • Omni, a software layer built on top of Bitcoin, has lacked popular tokens, causing many exchanges to favor alternative layers, Tether said in a statement on Thursday.  
  • Tether added that it is committed to leveraging Bitcoin technology by contributing to the development of RGB, a smart contracts protocol for the Bitcoin blockchain.
  • “Once USDT on RGB goes live, the world will witness USDT on another super-powerful and scalable Bitcoin layer,” Tether said.
  • With a market capitalization of US$82.84 billion, USDT is recognized as the world’s largest stablecoin. It has been trading off its dollar peg on secondary markets for the majority of Friday amid heightened market volatility, according to CoinMarketCap data
  • Tether has consistently asserted that users can always redeem one USDT token for one dollar, regardless of the stablecoin’s price in public markets. 

See related article: Is Tether unmoored — or just dandy?

XRP erases gains from Ripple’s partial victory as Bitcoin falls 10% in a week

https://forkast.news/xrp-erases-gains-ripple-bitcoin/

Bitcoin hovered around US$26,500 in Friday afternoon trade in Asia after hitting a two-month low of US$25,400 in the morning. The depreciation of the Chinese yuan and the bankruptcy of Chinese property giant Evergrande in the U.S. damaged investor sentiment for risk assets. All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization declined with XRP dropping the most as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) received approval to file an interlocutory appeal in its lawsuit against Ripple Labs. 

See related article: Will Singapore steady the stablecoin ship?

Bitcoin faces downward pressure

Bitcoin dropped 7.59% to US$26,413 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its weekly losses to 10.08%. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency’s market capitalization also dropped 6.80% to US$516.53 billion, according to CoinMarketCap data.

“The Bitcoin price has tumbled to around US$26,000 due to a mix of events. Two events really had the largest influence, which are Elon Musk’s SpaceX decreasing Bitcoin holding of US$373 million last year and the news of SEC now [allowed] an appeal to XRP ruling, fueling further anxiety for investors,” said Lucy Hu, senior trader at Hong Kong-headquartered digital asset management platform Metalpha.

“But we remain hopeful in the medium to long term as possible rate cuts will favor risky assets investment as well as approval of BTC spot exchange-traded funds in the U.S.,” Hu added.

In the U.S., many asset managers are awaiting SEC approval to launch several spot Bitcoin ETFs, including BlackRock. The SEC was expected to announce its decision on Ark Investment’s spot Bitcoin ETF application on Aug. 13 but the agency said it will solicit public comment on the ETF proposal, thereby pushing back the deadline.

“As the fiat-to-crypto on-ramp is heavily impaired, after dismantling the Silvergate Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, and Signature Bank trio in the U.S., crypto desperately needs to onboard many users that could provide fresh capital into the asset class,” Markus Thielen, head of crypto research at digital asset service platform Matrixport, wrote in an emailed note. The weakness in the Mainland China economy could impact Bitcoin investors, he added.

“A U.S.-listed Bitcoin ETF could be meaningful as it would also be associated with a significant market push that could benefit the asset class,” Thielen said, adding that since Bitcoin prices are breaking the 2023 uptrend, prices might fall back and re-test the US$25,000 support level associated with the BlackRock Bitcoin ETF filing. 

Ripple’s XRP posted the day’s biggest loss, dropping 14.02% to US$0.5065 in the last 24 hours, a 19.86% loss on the week. The drop in prices came after the SEC was granted permission to file an interlocutory appeal in its lawsuit against Ripple Labs. The SEC had sued Ripple in December 2020, alleging that the company was offering an unregistered security.

“The request for appeal (even if granted) doesn’t change the fact that XRP is not a security. That’s not up for debate/trial. But the SEC continues to claim that Chris and I acted recklessly in believing that XRP is not a security. That’s utter nonsense,” Brad Garlinghouse, the chief executive officer of Ripple Labs, tweeted on Thursday. 

The total crypto market capitalization dropped 6.30% to US$1.06 trillion, while crypto market volume jumped 96.63% to US$70.05 billion.

Wreck League NFT launch underwhelms

The indexes are proxy measures of the performance of the global NFT market. They are managed by CryptoSlam, a sister company of Forkast.News under the Forkast.Labs umbrella.

The main Forkast 500 NFT index dropped 0.68% to 2,433.55 in 24 hours to 6.10 p.m. in Hong Kong, and posted a 2.41% decline on the week. Forkast’s Ethereum, Solana and Polygon indexes all logged losses in the past 24 hours. 

Wreck League, an NFT video game backed by Hong Kong-based gaming company Animoca Brands, launched its NFT mint on early Friday in Asia but the collection has received poor response so far.

“Wreck League is underperforming tremendously, and so far has struggled to sell even one-third of its debut collection,” Yehudah Petscher, NFT strategist at Forkast Labs, said. “There will be an impact on the market, in the sense that this will not help the confidence of traders in other collections.”

At the same time, non-fungible token (NFT) sales volume rose 34.11% to US$20.46 million, according to data from CryptoSlam. NFT transactions dropped by over 13% while the number of buyers dipped by 20.67%.

Ethereum topped blockchains by NFT sales volume, gaining 81.08% to US$14.54 million in the past 24 hours. Solana and Polygon networks ranked second and third respectively.

By collections, the sales volume of Ethereum-based Bored Ape Yacht Club jumped 295.11% to US$2.05 million, while that of DeGods climbed 39.33% to US$1.51 million in the past 24 hours.

Bitcoin steady at US$28,500; Dogecoin leads market decline in Asia

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-steady-at-us28500-as-dogecoin-leads-decline/

Bitcoin prices hovered around US$28,500 on Thursday afternoon in Asia. Dogecoin led the drop in all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Despite growing institutional interest in digital currencies globally, the cryptocurrency market remains subdued. 

See related article: Shiba Inu’s Shibarium layer-2 solution off to a rocky start

ETF momentum can’t reverse Bitcoin’s slide

Bitcoin dipped 1.97% to US$28,584 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its weekly losses to 3.06%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency’s market cap fell 2.04% to US$555.2 billion as its trading volume increased 21.81% in the past 24 hours.

All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies were down with Dogecoin leading the losers.

“It’s almost refreshing to see volatility pick up in crypto markets,” said Justin d’Anethan, head of Asia-Pacific business development at Belgium-based crypto market maker Keyrock.

“While some might look for causes specific to crypto like the news of Binance delisting a series of trading pairs… or maybe Coinbase shares in a continuing downtrend, my suspicion is that the decline is macro driven. With bond prices down and rates up, investors will see most risk assets falling, as is certainly the case for equity indexes, gold and, yes, crypto,” he added.

The declines in cryptocurrency prices come despite their continued adoption at the institutional level in the United States, Europe and elsewhere in the world. 

On Wednesday, asset management firm Valkyrie filed an application with the SEC for an Ethereum futures exchange-traded fund (ETF), called the Valkyrie Ethereum Strategy ETF. Coinbase Global — the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. — announced on Wednesday that it has received approval from the National Futures Association to offer crypto futures to U.S. investors. 

These developments come in the same week that Europe’s first spot Bitcoin ETF was launched on Euronext Amsterdam under the name Jacobi FT Wilshere Bitcoin ETF. 

Many U.S. asset managers are still awaiting SEC approval to launch several spot Bitcoin ETF, including BlackRock. The SEC was expected to announce its decision on Ark Investment’s spot Bitcoin ETF application on Aug. 13 but the agency said it will solicit public comment on the ETF proposal, thereby pushing back the deadline.

“I believe that the growing momentum to launch more cryptocurrency-related financial products reflects the growing interest and confidence in the importance of this technology to institutional investors, whether as a payment settlement method or as a trustworthy investment asset,” Samer Hasn, market analyst at multi-asset broking firm XS.com, said in an emailed statement.

“However, the concerns of lawmakers and regulatory hurdles will continue to hinder the launch of more of these financial products, as the crisis of confidence continues between cryptocurrency developers, legislators, and law enforcement authorities around the world,” Hasn added.

The total crypto market capitalization fell 1.83% to US$1.14 trillion, while market volume rose 11.22% to US$35.66 billion. 

Small-cap NFTs fuel sales surge

The indexes are proxy measures of the performance of the global NFT market. They are managed by CryptoSlam, a sister company of Forkast.News under the Forkast.Labs umbrella.

The Forkast 500 NFT index dropped 0.63% to 2,454.32 in 24 hours to 6.30 p.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its weekly losses to 1.23%. Forkast’s Ethereum, Solana and Polygon indexes all logged losses in the past 24 hours. 

At the same time, NFT sales volume rose 4.42% to US$15.64 million, according to data from CryptoSlam. NFT transactions gained 10.77% while the number of buyers jumped 7%.

“Most metrics in the NFT market are up today, including sales volume, buyers and total transactions… The NFT space is in the midst of having a shift in its identity, moving to high volume, low dollar sales, and this is exactly what will eventually lead NFTs to mass adoption,” said Yehudah Petscher, NFT strategist at Forkast Labs. 

“Traders are very active right now, and if average sales prices had not fallen to a three-year low to just US$20, we would probably be seeing some massive sales figures today that mirror the bull market,” Petscher added. 

Ethereum-based DeGods topped CryptoSlam’s sales rankings among NFT collections across all blockchains, gaining 59.53% to US$1.51 million in the past 24 hours while its number of unique buyers surged nearly to 46%. 

DeGods recently launched its “Season 3” collection update, but received a poor response. 

“Holders are selling and driving down the price of the NFTs after the poor Season III launch, and a single collector named Machi has been on a buying and selling spree,” Petscher explained. Machi has bought 400 DeGods. 

“Two large NFT funds have reached out to Machi asking to buy 200 of his DeGods each in an attempt to bring some stability to the collection’s prices. This type of activity is very putting off for new traders who are trying to value NFTs, but can’t due to manipulation like this,” Petscher said.

Bitcoin extends losses as BNB falls after Binance closes payment service

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-extends-losses-as-bnb-falls/

Bitcoin prices fell on Wednesday afternoon trade in Asia, along with all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Notably, BNB, the native token of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance, added to its weekly drop after the company announced the closing of its cryptocurrency payment service Binance Connect. Investor concerns remained on edge following Fitch Ratings’ downgrade warning on Tuesday for dozens of major U.S. banks including JPMorgan. 

See related article: TradFi has its eyes on crypto, and here’s the real reason why: Opinion

Bitcoin dips; Binance faces heat

Bitcoin dropped 0.69% to US$29,160 in the 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its weekly losses to 2.18%, according to CoinMarketCap data. Bitcoin has been trading below US$30,000 since last Wednesday. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency’s trading volume gained 8.71%, but its market capitalization lost 0.84% to US$567.23 billion in the past 24 hours.

“Bitcoin’s earlier reputation as a highly volatile asset attracted traders who thrived on rapid price swings. With the decrease in volatility, such opportunities for substantial short-term gains have become less common,” said Nigel Green, founder and chief executive officer of financial management group deVere, in an emailed statement on Monday. 

“For investors who thrive on volatility, the calmer waters of the Bitcoin market can feel limiting. They must adapt their strategies to the new normal, focusing on longer-term trends and holding positions for extended periods,” Green added. 

BNB, the native token of the largest crypto exchange Binance, fell 1.92% to US$234.66, logging a 4.17% weekly decline. Binance said it will shut down its cryptocurrency payment service Binance Connect on Wednesday, due to “changing market and user needs.”

Binance filed a protective court order against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday, seeking to restrict the agency’s “overbroad” requests for information. The SEC sued Binance, its U.S. platform, and Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao in June for alleged breach of securities laws.

The total crypto market capitalization fell 1.31% to US$1.16 trillion, while market volume climbed 22.48% to US$32.08 billion. 

Bitcoin inches up; Dogecoin, Solana lead losses

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-inches-up-dogecoin-solana-lead-losses/

Bitcoin inched up in Monday afternoon trade in Asia and continued to hover around the US$29,000 mark. Ethereum and most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization were little changed, except Dogecoin and Solana. 

See related article: FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried jailed for witness interference

Bitcoin prices may struggle until Sept.

Bitcoin inched up 0.04% in the last 24 hours to US$29,393 at 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its weekly gains to 1.24%, according to CoinMarketCap data. At the same time, the world’s largest cryptocurrency’s market capitalization dropped 0.03% to US$571.67 billion.

“Bitcoin prices have been pinned at US$29,000 for three weeks, refusing to decline, despite the correction in some large-cap technology stocks – Apple, Nvidia, and Microsoft,” Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport, said in an emailed statement on Thursday. 

“Two significant catalysts are supporting Bitcoin and Ethereum prices into year-end: the potential SEC approval for a U.S.-listed physical Bitcoin ETF and Ethereum’s EIP-4844 upgrade, which is expected in Q4 2023,” Thielen added.

Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, dropped 0.02% to US$1,848 in the past 24 hours. 

Ethereum’s EIP-4844 upgrade, with the introduction of ‘blobs’ of data – a new transaction type – is expected to reduce transaction fees and increase transaction throughput. 

In June, BlackRock and a number of major U.S. financial institutions filed applications with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to create spot Bitcoin ETFs. The SEC was expected to announce its decision on Ark Investment’s spot Bitcoin ETF application on Aug. 13. However, the regulator said in a Friday filing that it will solicit public comment on the ETF proposal, effectively pushing back the deadline.

“More SEC responses will also be expected during the first week of September, when seven other Bitcoin ETF filings are required to receive a response from the SEC. The possibility is high that several Bitcoin ETFs would be approved in short order, igniting the next leg higher in Bitcoin prices as those ETF providers would spend considerable marketing expenses to draw in retail and institutional capital,” Thielen added.

However, Bitcoin prices could decline by September to as much as US$26,000 as the summer lull ends, Thielen cautioned, adding that this could be an attractive buying opportunity for the seasonal rally in the fourth quarter.

“Bitcoin prices would struggle until September before they start their ascent again. This is happening, and our inclination of being very cautious in managing our positions in the short term but we are eying another perfect buying opportunity to prepare for the year-end rally and the expectations for a strong 2024,” he added.

Bitcoin’s next halving event is expected in April 2024, when the amount of new Bitcoin issued is cut in half, increasing its scarcity and pushing up the token’s price.

Dogecoin led losers in the past 24 hours, followed by Solana, although both posted gains on the week. Dogecoin lost 1.90% to US$0.07491 in the last 24 hours but gained 0.32% on the week. At the same time, Solana dropped 1.44% to US$24.39 while gaining 5.59% in the past seven days. 

The total crypto market capitalization dropped 0.03% to US$1.17 trillion while market volume gained 47.04% to US$23.76 billion in the past 24 hours. 

Y00ts NFTs to migrate again — this time to Ethereum

https://forkast.news/headlines/y00ts-nfts-migrate-ethereum/

Y00ts, a non-fungible token (NFT) collection that has been the second most traded NFT collection on Polygon over the past week, announced that it will migrate to Ethereum, the world’s largest blockchain for NFTs. 

See related article: New NFT Project makes it big; XRP & BTC pull up crypto

Fast facts

  • Y00ts moved to Polygon from Solana earlier this year after reportedly receiving a US$3 million grant from Polygon to do so.  
  • “We’re returning 100% of the grant provided by Polygon. The funds will be re-deployed for NFT ecosystem growth to empower builders and creators. We still love Polygon. It’s just time to unite the DeGods & y00ts communities,” y00ts said in the Tweet
  • The migration date has not been disclosed as of Thursday, but y00ts said it will be announced “shortly.”
  • DeGods, an NFT project founded by y00ts creator Rohun Vora, also known as Frank DeGods, also announced the release of a Season III collection on Thursday. Like y00ts, DeGods was originally founded on Solana but moved to Ethereum soon after y00ts moved to Polygon. It ranks as the fourth most traded collection on Ethereum in the past week, CryptoSlam data shows.
  • “We tried our best to make it work but we just need to bring our two communities together. I would appreciate it if everyone remains respectful of all parties involved. It’s all love,” Vora said on Twitter.

  • Y00ts is the second major NFT collection to announce a migration away from Polygon in recent weeks. CyberKongz in late July said it is building a bridge to the Ronin blockchain for its Play and Kollect NFT game.
  • The Forkast 500 NFT index gained 1.22% to 2,491.47 in 24 hours to 8.45 p.m. in Hong Kong. Forkast’s Ethereum, Solana and Polygon indexes all logged gains in the last 24 hours, but are down on the week. Polygon rose 0.13% on the week. 
  • According to CryptoSlam data, NFT sales volume on Ethereum gained 2.15% to US$9.40 million over the last 24 hours, while that on Polygon dropped 55.98% to US$2.39 million. Over the same period, y00ts was the second most traded Polygon collection with its sales volume surging 411.12% to US$463,571.

See related article: Most of NFT industry working on recycled liquidity, says Forkast Labs’ co-founder

U.S. senators reintroduce crypto anti-money laundering bill

https://forkast.news/headlines/senators-reintroduce-anti-money-laundering/

Two U.S. senators have re-introduced the ‘‘Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2023’’ after months of delay, which puts greater emphasis on industry participants such as miners and validators. If the bill is passed, all crypto participants will be required to report transactions of over US$10,000.

See related article: Crypto’s aversion to anti-money laundering standards is only hurting itself

Fast facts

  • Senators Elizabeth Warren – a longtime advocate of stricter regulations on the industry – and Roger Marshall reintroduced their crypto anti-money laundering bill, this time with Senators Joe Manchin and Lindsey Graham as cosponsors.
  • The reintroduction comes after Warren and Marshall first introduced it in December, requiring that U.S. cryptocurrency businesses follow the same know-your-customer rules as banks to prevent money laundering.
  • The Chamber of Digital Commerce, in opposing the bill, pointed out that the proposal may hinder digital asset innovation in the U.S. because it imposes compliance burdens on industry participants.
  • “For example, digital asset validators and miners do not typically engage in activities that qualify them as financial institutions under the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) definition,” the Chamber of Digital Commerce said in a statement
  • “FinCEN’s regulations are designed to cover entities that engage in traditional financial activities, such as accepting deposits, issuing loans, or engaging in other types of lending or financial intermediation. Digital asset validators and miners are generally involved in the technical operation of blockchain networks and do not provide financial services to customers,” it added. 
  • It also said that registering as a financial institution would impose a significant compliance cost burden on the digital asset industry and firms may be forced to depart the U.S., resulting in a brain drain of talented developers and technical experts.
  • Elsewhere in Asia, Japan introduced anti-money laundering rules on cryptocurrency transactions earlier this year.  South Korea introduced FATF’s travel rule last year, while India in March this year took a significant step towards regulating the cryptocurrency industry by expanding the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to include digital assets.

See related article:  Binance says it complies with regulators following US anti-money laundering probe report

Bitcoin, Ether extend gains; top 10 cryptos mixed

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-extend-gains-top-10-cryptos-mixed/

Bitcoin, Ether gained in Friday afternoon trading in Asia, while all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies were mixed. Litecoin led the losers, followed by XRP. Tron gained the most, followed by Binance’s BNB. 

See related article: Coinbase launches bridge for layer-2 blockchain Base, sets mainet launch date

Bitcoin still around US$29,000

Bitcoin gained 0.58% to US$29,184 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its weekly gains to 0.19%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency’s market capitalization rose 0.39% in the last 24 hours to US$566.96 billion.

“Trading is all about attractive risk-reward opportunities, and the calmness that keeps Bitcoin pinned at US$29,000 will not last long. Traders can exploit the collapse in implied and realized volatility and buy cheap upside calls,” Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport, said in an emailed report on Thursday. 

“Our Greed & Fear index continues to trade lower, signaling that Bitcoin prices (and Ethereum) could continue to correct lower,” Thielen added.

Ether, the world’s second biggest cryptocurrency also gained 0.27% in the past 24 hours to US$1,835, although posted a loss of 1.22% on the week.

Most top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed on Friday afternoon. Litecoin led losses, dropping 3.47% to US$82.88, bringing its weekly losses to 8.85%. Litecoin’s third halving event earlier this week failed to boost prices given continued difficulties in broader markets. Litecoin’s latest halving event cut the network’s mining rewards from 12.5 Litecoins per blockchain minted to 6.25 Litecoins, which will reduce the supply of new Litecoins from miners.

XRP was the day’s second biggest loser, dropping 1.73% to US$0.6587. The token has fallen 6.75% in the past seven days, as the dispute between Ripple Labs and the U.S. SEC continues. 

In a summary judgment in July, New York Southern District Court Judge Analisa Torres ruled that Ripple’s programmatic sales of the XRP token on public exchanges do not constitute securities, but the verdict also said that Ripple’s XRP sales to institutional investors violated securities laws.

Ripple’s chief executive Brad Garlinghouse took to Twitter on Wednesday to criticize the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for using XRP’s transparency reports against the company as part of the lawsuit. 

“We began these reports to voluntarily provide updates given our XRP holdings. Sadly, they were used against us in the SEC lawsuit – however, we remain steadfast in our commitment to transparency but I suspect they’re going to look a bit different moving forward,” Garlinghouse said

Among gainers, Tron rose the most, climbing 1.28% to US$0.07742, although it declined 6.9% on the week. BNB, the native token of world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, was the second-biggest gainer in the past 24 hours, rising 1.09% to US$241.88, and posted a 0.48% gain on the week. 

The total crypto market capitalization rose 0.16% to US$1.16 trillion, while market volume dropped 12.74% to US$29.02 billion in the past 24 hours. 

Kenya suspends Worldcoin over security concerns

https://forkast.news/headlines/kenya-suspends-worldcoin/

The Republic of Kenya has suspended Worldcoin, a cryptocurrency project co-founded in 2019 by OpenAI chief Sam Altman, while the country’s security and data protection services look into the authenticity and legality of the project, the Ministry of the Interior and National Administration said on its Facebook page on Wednesday.

See related article: Is Worldcoin’s free crypto more than just a freebie?

Fast facts

  • “The government has suspended forthwith activities of ‘World Coin’ and any other entity that may be similarly engaging the people of Kenya until relevant public agencies certify the absence of any risks to the general public whatsoever,” the statement said. 
  • Worldcoin, where users are required to provide their iris scans to get a digital identification and free cryptocurrency in return, has faced criticism over privacy and security concerns.
  • The project is also unavailable in the U.S. due to regulatory restrictions, while Britain’s data regulator has said it will examine Worldcoin.
  • After launching its application in May 2022, Worldcoin reached a milestone of 2 million World ID sign-ups on July 13, 2023, and aims to increase the number of Orbs to 1,500 this summer and fall across some 35 cities in more than 20 countries.
  • The WLD token was trading at US$2.42 at 9.10 p.m. in Hong Kong, an increase of 3.73% in the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap data. Its market capitalization gained 5.21% to US$280.92 million, while its trading volume increased 17% in 24 hours. 

See related article: Tokenization could bring mass adoption to crypto — or trigger disaster: Opinion