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Monthly crypto round-up for June 2022

From hot to full-on market meltdown, this is a month that would rattle even the most confident crypto bulls.

Thought the TerraUSD implosion last month was bad? Here comes June, when Bitcoin (BTC) suffered its worst-ever monthly decline.

But as some firms struggle to keep their heads above water, others are learning how to dance in the rain – so it’s not all doom and gloom. Let us take a look at some of the biggest stories this month.

Quick take

  • Abra, a digital asset financial services company, announced the first crypto rewards card on the American Express network.
  • Mastercard is working with multiple Web3 firms, including Immutable X, Candy Digital and MoonPay, to facilitate non-fungible token (NFT) purchases.
  • Singapore’s central bank partners with JPMorgan Chase to lead a pilot program exploring the potential of decentralised finance (DeFi) after several crypto bigwigs depart for Dubai.
  • Binance launches a $500M fund to invest in Web3 startups despite market jitters and plummeting prices.
  • $10B crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) has been lined up for liquidation after being served a default notice from Voyager Digital.
  • The fourth annual NFT industry event NFT.NYC attracted over 15,000 attendees to its mix of panels, pop-up events and gallery showcases, which ran from 20 to 23 June.

Key events

We’ve handpicked some of the most relevant emerging stories in the crypto space to help you stay ahead of the curve.
Government announcements and regulator views

Crypto regulatory developments

  • 3 June: New York State Senate passed a 2-year moratorium on new proof-of-work (PoW) mining projects.
  • 3 June: Japan passed the first-ever stablecoin bill that enshrines investor protection.
  • 4 June: Turkey citizens flock towards digital assets to protect themselves against the falling value of national currency lira. The country’s inflation hits 23-year high of 73.5%.
  • 5 June: Bermuda aims to be the next digital asset hub as it sets to establish an extensive crypto regulatory framework.
  • 7 June: Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) probes Binance over the 2017 initial coin offering of its BNB token.
  • 9 June: The Central Bank of Jamaica has officially legalised the “Jam-Dex” central bank digital currency (CBDC) as legal tender.
  • 16 June: Wall Street regulator Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) plans to hire laid-off crypto employees.
  • 21 June: Romania announced plans to store government documents as NFTs on the Elrond blockchain.
  • 26 June: Central Bank of Russia accelerates schedule for digital ruble project, which is expected to be ready by the end of 2023.
  • 27 June: The government in Tehran aims to roll out the pilot version of Iran’s new digital currency crypto rial within the next 2 months.
Crypto fundings

Fundings and acquisitions

  • 1 June: Aptos Labs, the team that revives Facebook’s star-crossed Diem blockchain, revealed that PayPal Ventures was one of the investors in a $200M funding round confirmed in March.
  • 1 June: South Korea sets $177M budget to fund metaverse projects.
  • 2 June: GameStop reports $76.9M cash flow boost from the sale of IMX tokens it received as part of its partnership with Immutable in Q1.
  • 2 June: Binance launches $500M fund to invest in Web3 startups.
  • 3 June: Crypto intelligence platform Messari has won a $12.5M developer grant issued by The Graph Foundation.
  • 6 June: Augmented reality (AR) startup Jadu raised $36M in a recent series A round to develop AR NFT games.
  • 9 June: Trading firms Citadel Securities and Virtu Financial are building a cryptocurrency trading platform with retail brokerages Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab.
  • 10 June: Solana Ventures sets up a $100M fund dedicated to Web3 startups in South Korea.
  • 11 June: Payments company Circle signed a definitive agreement to acquire Taiwan-based CYBAVO, a digital asset infrastructure platform that focuses on custody and blockchain application development.
  • 26 June: Solana NFT marketplace Magic Eden raised $130M in a series B funding round.
Exchanges

DeFi, CeFi and digital banks

  • 1 June: The Monetary Authority of Singapore partners with JPMorgan Chase to lead a pilot program exploring DeFi’s potential.
  • 3 June: Crypto.com secured critical government approval for expansion into Dubai.
  • 3 June: Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX launches licensed crypto exchange service in Japan.
  • 4 June: Binance has obtained an operating licence in Idaho, with 46 US state approvals under its belt.
  • 8 June: Fintech company Circle integrates Polygon USDC on its payment platform.
  • 9 June: Global brokerage company BGC Partners expects to launch crypto exchange by the first quarter of 2023.
  • 11 June: Huobi Global launched Ivy Blocks, a multibillion-dollar blockchain and Web3 investment arm.
  • 14 June: BlockFi and Crypto.com to lay off hundreds of staff amid market meltdown.
  • 14 June: Binance briefly suspends BTC withdrawals for 3 hours, citing “stuck transaction causing a backlog”.
  • 15 June: Coinbase Global is laying off 18% of its employees as part of a cost-cutting plan.
  • 16 June: Binance, Kraken and Polygon to accelerate hiring despite market downturn.
  • 23 June: Crypto.com has received approval in principle from Singapore’s main financial regulator to offer a range of payment services under the city-state’s Payment Services Act (PSA).
  • 25 June: Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Bybit expands its operations to Argentina.
NYX NFT

NFTs and metaverses

  • 4 June: L’Oréal’s makeup brand NYX announced that it’s working on an NFT avatar collection in the metaverse game The Sandbox.
  • 8 June: Budweiser revealed a marketing and sponsorship deal with Zed Run, an NFT horse-racing game.
  • 9 June: Salesforce has released a closed pilot for NFT Cloud, an NFT minting and sales platform.
  • 10 June: Toy maker Mattel announces its partnership with OnChain Studios to launch the Cryptoys NFT platform on the Flow blockchain.
  • 14 June: Gala Games has partnered with Unity Technologies to develop the ambitious, all-immersive metaverse project VOXverse.
  • 17 June: Swiss luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer introduces a new feature allowing users to display NFTs on their smartwatches.
  • 18 June: Meta’s virtual fashion store to stock coveted luxury pieces from Balenciaga, Prada and Thom Browne.
  • 21 June: The Sandbox has partnered with Lionsgate Studios to form the first official movie collaboration in a virtual environment.
  • 23 June: Meta unveils metaverse monetisation tools for creators on Facebook and Instagram.
  • 23 June: eBay acquires leading NFT marketplace KnownOrigin in hopes of attracting a new wave of NFT creators and collectors.
  • 23 June: Rarible reduces its NFT marketplace fees by over 50% in light of bearish climate.
  • 26 June: French government to adopt NFT ticketing technology for major sporting events.
  • 27 June: The National Hockey League (NHL) announced a multi-year partnership deal with NFT platform Sweet to launch digital hockey collectibles.
Payments

Crypto payments

  • 3 June: Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) has begun accepting cryptocurrency payments in its US locations via Flexa, a digital payments platform.
  • 6 June: Leading shopping mall operator Majid Al Futtaim has partnered with Binance to accept cryptocurrencies at its malls and other properties.
  • 8 June: PayPal attains New York’s “conditional BitLicense” to offer crypto wallet.
  • 10 June: Blockchain firm Edge announced the launch of a confidential crypto Mastercard that charges zero fees and doesn’t collect Know Your Customer (KYC) data.
  • 10 June: Mastercard to allow NFT purchases with cards in multiple Web3 marketplaces.
  • 11 June: Luxury fashion retailer Farfetch partners with German crypto platform Lunu to accept crypto assets for payment.
  • 11 June: American Express teamed up with Abra to offer the network’s first crypto product, Abra Crypto Card, which allows cardholders to earn rewards in 100+ cryptocurrencies, with no annual or foreign transaction fees.
  • 12 June: FIVE Hotels and Resorts now accept payment for its services in Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  • 23 June: Hublot watches can now be purchased with crypto via the crypto payment platform BitPay.
Exploits

Defaults, exploits and lawsuits

  • 2 June: The US Department of Justice has charged former OpenSea head of product Nathaniel Chastain in first-ever NFT insider trading case.
  • 4 June: The US Federal Trade Commission reported that consumers have lost of over $1B in crypto-related fraud from January 2021 through March 2022.
  • 11 June: Ethereum-scaling solution Optimism lost approximately 20 million in OP governance tokens due to a bug exploit. However, the attacker returned 90% of the stolen tokens and kept the remaining 2 million as a bounty.
  • 24 June: Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital potentially defaulted on a Voyager Digital $665M loan. Voyager has set a repayment date and hopes to obtain some of the funds by the end of this month.
  • 27 June: The Horizon Bridge to the Harmony layer-1 blockchain has been exploited for $100M in altcoins which were swapped for Ether (ETH). Harmony Protocol offers a $1M bounty to the hacker to retrieve the stolen assets.
  • 28 June: Horizon Bridge hacker has begun to move into the Tornado Cash Ethererum mixer, with no intention of accepting the $1M bounty offered.
  • 28 June: Voyager Digital issues default notice to Three Arrows Capital for failing to repay its $665 million loan.

Images: Getty Images

Top crypto news

Celsius Network halts withdrawals and transfers as crypto winter deepens

13 June 2022

Celsius Network

Image: Finder

On 13 June, Celsius announced that it’s suspending all withdrawals and transfers indefinitely due to “extreme market conditions” and a need to “stabilise liquidity”, locking their users out of their money.

Mere hours following the announcement, Celsius’ native token, CEL, took a serious nose dive and lost 70% of its value in a single hour. By the next day, CEL was trading at over 40% down. Since then, Celsius is rumored to be insolvent and accelerated the continuing sell-off that plunged the crypto’s total market capitalisation to less than a trillion, a far cry from its all-time high of $3 trillion last November.

So what triggered the Celsius saga?

Liquidity troubles have been brewing at Celsius Network for about a year now. However, it looks like the particular straw that broke the camel’s back was due to the de-pegging of Lido’s Staked Ether (stETH), a token that represents ETH locked on the Ethereum 2.0 beacon chain and pegged to Ethereum’s ETH.

On DeFi platforms, stETH is often used as collateral to borrow ETH. But since stETH de-pegged twice this month, fears of defaults on DeFi projects like Celsius prompted a wave of redemptions and sparked a liquidity crisis. The unthinkable announcement was then made, much to the horror of its customers.

At the moment, the situation at Celsius is still uncertain but the protocol has hired banking giant Citigroup, law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and management consultants from Alvarez & Marsal to explore potential financing options.

What is Celsius Network?

Celsius Network is a regulated, SEC-compliant, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform that enables users to receive an attractive yield on deposited cryptocurrencies or to take out crypto-collateralised loans. The system is based on the Celsius Network’s native CEL token, which is used to take loans, provide rewards and make payments.

Read more


NFT.NYC 2022: Optimism runs high amid crypto winter

23 June 2022

NFT.NYC

Image: Finder

The crypto market has taken a serious nose dive. Digital art trading volume is nowhere close to its record high in January this year. But for the world’s largest gathering of NFT creators and collectors, there’s hardly any evidence of dampened enthusiasm.

Last week, over 15,000 attendees flocked to New York City for the fourth annual NFT.NYC. Packed with mixed panels, pop-up events and gallery showcases, the highly anticipated 3-day industry event proved that NFTs aren’t just about JPEGs but access to real-life events combining the best of Web3 and entertainment.

Among the 1,500 speakers at the conference were Jodee Rich (NFT.NYC co-founder), Devin Finzer (CEO and founder of OpenSea), Zack Yanger (senior vice president at SuperRare Labs) and Hayden Adams (CEO of UniSwap).

Aside from the main events, there were also satellite events and holders-only parties hosted by top NFT projects, including Azuki, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Doodles.

Read more


Top crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital plunges into liquidation

30 June 2022

Three Arrows Capital

Image: Finder

The harsh crypto winter has claimed its latest high-profile victim. Singapore-based Three Arrows Capital has formally entered liquidation.

A court in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), where the firm maintains its incorporation, issued the liquidation order on Monday 27 June. This comes shortly after digital asset brokerage Voyager Digital issued a default notice when 3AC failed to make required payments on a loan consisting of $350 million USDC and 15,250 BTC.

Co-founded in 2012 by former Credit Suisse traders Zhu Su and Kyle Davies, Three Arrows Capital was known for its prescient trading calls, bullish levered bets and for pushing the narrative of a “supercycle”. Based on data from blockchain analytics firm Nansen, the famous hedge fund once held $10 billion in blockchain assets back in March.

Last month, Three Arrows Capital lost approximately $200 million from the collapse of algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD and its sister coin, Luna. Along with plummeting prices and sharp sell-off, 3AC’s liquidity woes further intensified, leading to its demise.

Three Arrows Capital has yet to release an official statement in response to the situation.

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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