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Biweekly crypto round-up for October 2022 (Part 2)

Bitcoin reclaimed $20K and Musk is now "Chief Twit". Seems like a bullish finale to the month.

Things are looking up for many cryptocurrencies in the second half of this month, so perhaps “Uptober” did live up to expectations — just a lot less wild compared to the last one. Also, Musk’s $44 billion Twitter takeover finally happened. Scroll down for your bi-weekly wrap-up of all things crypto!

Quick take

  • IRS 2022 tax guidelines place NFTs in the same tax regime as stablecoins and cryptocurrencies.
  • Interpol has reportedly set up a specialized unit to combat global virtual asset crimes in Singapore.
  • Fidelity plans to ramp up its crypto department by 25% with 100 new hires. The asset management titan has also started providing ETH custody and trading to its clients.
  • Meta’s metaverse division, Reality Labs unit, reports a $3.67 billion operating loss in the third quarter of 2022.
  • Aptos, a new layer 1 blockchain that promises increased scalability, reliability, security and usability has launched its mainnet.
  • Popular NFT project Azuki debuts open-source physically backed token (PBT) standard and raised an eye-popping $2.5 million from the auction of eight 24K gold-plated skateboards.

Key events

We’ve hand-picked some of the most relevant emerging stories in the crypto space to help you stay ahead of the curve.
Interpol

Government announcements and regulations

  • 17 Oct: Japan’s government greenlights cabinet’s decision to amend existing laws to tighten anti-money laundering measures for crypto.
  • 19 Oct: Israel’s government and Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) kick off live tests in preparation to launch its first digital state bond, which is projected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2023.
  • 19 Oct: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan unveils details for the country’s ‘e-Human’ project, a blockchain-powered digital hub offering services and tools for career, remote education, and talent acquisition.
  • 19 Oct: NFTs will fall under the same tax regime as stablecoins and cryptocurrencies in IRS 2022 tax guidelines.
  • 19 Oct: Japanese regulators announced plans to loosen crypto laws and make it easier for authorised exchanges to list virtual tokens.
  • 21 Oct: Interpol has reportedly set up a dedicated unit in Singapore to strengthen its crackdown on cryptocurrency-related crimes.
Crypto ATMs

Payments and wallets

  • 21 Oct: Top stablecoin issuer Tether has partnered with crypto services provider SmartPay to make Tether (USDT) available at 24,000 ATMs in Brazil starting Nov 3.
  • 26 Oct: Cash App users can now send and receive BTC via Lightning, Bitcoin’s primary layer-2 payments network.
  • 26 Oct: Crypto payment service provider Bitpay to support payments in MATIC and other ERC-20 tokens, including USDC, DAI, ETH and WBTC on the Polygon Network.
  • 27 Oct: Crypto exchange Blockchain.com partners with Visa to offer a free-to-use crypto debit card for US customers, which offers 1% of all purchases back in cryptocurrency.
  • 29 Oct: Payment giants Paypal, Western Union and Visa filed trademarks for a wide range of crypto services.
Crypto Fundings

Investments

  • 17 Oct: Web3 fashion and lifestyle platform YoloYolo raised $3.5 million in seed funding from backers that included ParaFi Capital, Mirana Ventures and Morningstar Ventures.
  • 18 Oct: Indian blockchain startup Shardeum obtained $18 million in seed funding from over 50 investors, including Jane Street, Struck Crypto and the Spartan Group.
  • 18 Oct: Canadian Web3 infrastructure firm ChainSafe has concluded an $18.75 million funding round as industry shifts attention to GameFi.
  • 18 Oct: Web3 Builders Inc, a new smart contract and NFT security startup, raised $7 million from prominent backers, including Road Capital and NFT marketplace OpenSea.
  • 20 Oct: Helius raised $3.1 million to help developers build faster and more affordably on the Solana blockchain.
  • 20 Oct: Celestia Labs secured $55 million in funding to construct a modular blockchain network.
  • 21 Oct: Stealthy crypto hedge fund Edge Capital Management raised $66.8 million across two DeFi-focused funds.
  • 26 Oct: A16z, the flagship crypto fund for VC firm Andreessen Horowitz has lost over 40% of its value in the first half of this year.
  • 27 Oct: Meta‘s metaverse division reports a $3.67 billion loss for the third quarter of 2022.
  • 27 Oct: Elon Musk completes Twitter acquisition. DOGE skyrocketed from 11 cents to 20 cents within 48 hours following the news.
Azuki Skateboard

NFTs, GameFi and metaverses

  • 17 Oct: Solana’s top NFT marketplace Magic Eden makes creator-set royalties optional for traders.
  • 18 Oct: Blue-chip NFT project Azuki launched Physical Backed Token (PBT) — an open-source token standard that ties a physical item to a digital token on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • 20 Oct: Newly launched Ethereum NFT marketplace Blur offers free airdrop for traders.
  • 20 Oct: Warner Bros teams up with blockchain company Eluvio to launch Ethereum-compatible ‘Lord of the Rings’ NFTs.
  • 20 Oct: NFT marketplace Rarible announced its platform upgrade alongside a new Web3 aggregation tool that showcases listings and pricing of other NFTs across various marketplaces.
  • 21 Oct: Multiple NFT projects are preparing to launch on Aptos, which may put the newest layer-1 blockchain’s scalability claims to the test.
  • 21 Oct: Play-and-earn NFT game Alien Worlds launches in-game DAOs to amplify competition among communities.
  • 24 Oct: Azuki ‘Proof of Skate’ auction amassed $2.5 million for eight 24K gold-plated physical skateboards authenticated by an embedded chip.
  • 26 Oct: Swiss-based crypto bank SEBA launches institutional custody service for blue-chip Ethereum NFTs, including Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks.
Changpeng Zhao

Digital banks and exchanges

  • 18 Oct: Binance announced plans to launch a cloud mining pool in November 2022.
  • 19 Oct: Berlin-based neobank Nuri filed for insolvency and warned clients to withdraw funds by 18 December.
  • 19 Oct: Argentinian cryptocurrency exchange Lemon partners with TravelX — a tokenized travel products marketplace – to allow NFT airline ticket purchases.
  • 19 Oct: Brazil’s largest digital lender Nubank plans to launch its own token — called Nucoin and built on the Polygon blockchain – in the first half of 2023 as part of a loyalty program for its 70 million users.
  • 20 Oct: Kraken bans Russian users from its platform in compliance with sanctions from the European Union.
  • 20 Oct: Europe’s top mobile bank N26 partners with Bitpanda to launch cryptocurrency trading.
  • 20 Oct: Binance receives Class 3 registration as a Crypto Asset Services Provider (CASP) in Cyprus.
  • 24 Oct: Fidelity, a $4.5 trillion asset manager, will provide ETH custody and trading to clients starting 28 October. The firm will also beef up its crypto unit with 100 new hires.
  • 24 Oct: FTX to provide a ‘one-time’ $6 million compensation to its users who fell victim to a phishing scam.
  • 27 Oct: Binance has launched Binance Oracle, a decentralised data feed network that connects real-world data to blockchain smart contracts, for its BNB Chain ecosystem.
Lazarus Group

Defaults, exploits and lawsuits

  • 17 Oct: Japan’s national police identified North Korea’s hacking group Lazarus responsible for several years’ worth of crypto attacks in Japan.
  • 18 Oct: Crypto exchange FTX US and its founder Sam Bankman-Fried are facing a legal probe by Texas regulator over securities allegations.
  • 19 Oct: Moola Market, a Celo-based DeFi lending and borrowing protocol, was drained over $10 million in a market manipulation attack.
  • 19 Oct: Notorious OneCoin founder ‘Cryptoqueen’ Ruja Ignatova and three others face charges in Germany over alleged roles in the multi-billion dollar fraud operation.
  • 20 Oct: Crypto exchange Coinbase backs Grayscale’s Bitcoin ETF lawsuit against the SEC, claiming that the US financial watchdog is failing to give spot market Bitcoin ETFs fair consideration.
  • 20 Oct: A Russian-Venezuelan network was charged by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) for using cryptocurrency to evade international sanctions.
  • 20 Oct: Turkish officials seized $40 million worth of crypto in illegal gambling sting.
  • 21 Oct: Argentina’s tax collection agency (AFIP) arrested 40 and took down an illegal crypto mining operation after 70 raids.
  • 22 Oct: State securities regulators from Texas, New Jersey, Kentucky, and Alabama filed cease-and-desist orders against metaverse casino Slotie NFT for alleged fraudulent sales of NFT.

Images: Getty Images

Top crypto news

Azuki debuts Physical Backed Token (PBT) and amassed $2.5 million from ‘Proof of Skate’ auction

24 October 2022

Azuki PBT

Image: Azuki

Here’s a thing about NFT projects: Some are mere PFPs (profile picture projects), some are still “building”, and many have faded into the abyss along with their roadmaps. But some take innovation up a few notches.

Chiru Labs, the team behind Azuki — a prominent NFT collection — has released yet another game-changer tech known as the Physical Backed Token (PBT). According to an official tweet from the team, the PBT is “an open source token standard tying a physical item to a digital token on the Ethereum blockchain.”

In the same Twitter thread, Azuki shared that the first implementation of the PBT will utilise the “BEAN Chip”, which is a physical cryptographic chip that automatically generates an asymmetric key pair that enables decentralised authentication and tracking of the full ownership lineage of the physical item.

Earlier this year, the Azuki team introduced an improved implementation of the IERC721 standard known as the ERC721A — which essentially supports minting multiple tokens for close to the cost of one. Today, the ERC721A is widely adopted by other NFT projects to minimise gas costs for minting.

Less than a week after announcing its experimental new concept, the anime-inspired NFT project raised $2.5 million ETH in sales volume from its “Proof-of-Skate” auction, where a fierce bidding war broke out for eight 24-karat gold-plated physical skateboards authenticated by an embedded chip using the new “scan-to-own” feature.

Read more


Let it sink in! Musk’s $44 billion Twitter acquisition deal completed

27 October 2022

Elon Musk Twitter

Image: Finder

It’s a done deal. Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, is now the official owner of Twitter, one of the world’s most influential social media platforms.

His first days at the helm of Twitter were nothing short of his usual antics.

A kitchen sink — “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!”

On Wednesday 26 October, just days before the deadline to complete his acquisition of the company, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO documented his entrance into Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters holding a porcelain sink, which was accompanied by a tweet “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!”

Firings — “The bird is freed”

When the $44 billion deal was sealed on Thursday 27 October, the heralded entrepreneur wasted no time remodeling the company. Musk promptly fired several of Twitter’s longtime top executives, CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde, and the firm’s general counsel Sean Edgett, accusing them of misleading him and investors over the number of fake accounts on the platform.

Privatization — “The de facto public town square”

Despite having no prior experience leading a social media service, Musk has not held back with his criticism of the network’s previous management over product decisions and content moderation.

In order to impose his unrealistic, but admirable vision to make online speech freer, the billionaire has now made Twitter a private company. This means that Twitter will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and its shares will no longer trade on public markets as of November 8.

Back in May, Musk also declared that he would restore former president Donald Trump’s Twitter account which was permanently suspended following the January 2021 Capitol Hill incident.

Read more


Best cryptocurrency exchanges in Hong Kong

Check out our reviews on a range of leading cryptocurrency exchanges in Hong Kong and around the world. Compare the features, fees and pros and cons of each crypto exchange and consider how they align with your investment goals and budget.

Cryptocurrency exchanges in Hong Kong

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