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Biweekly crypto round-up for December 2022 (Part 1)

Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested in the Bahamas. All eyes are now on Binance.

LATEST: Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao warned his staff to expect turbulent times ahead as the exchange faces mass withdrawals and intense manipulation rumours. Whether it’s fact or FUD, it definitely spells trouble for the crypto space.

Quick take

  • The UK pushed ahead with plans to transform the country into a global crypto hub by including digital assets in its financial services reform package.
  • Binance acquired Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC).
  • Tron’s Justin Sun deployed capital to re-establish USDD’s $1 peg.
  • Over $3 billion worth of crypto were withdrawn from Binance in 24 hours amid rumours of problems.
  • Animoca Brands to launch a billion-dollar fund to support metaverse-focused startups.
  • FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas.

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.
UK Crypto Hub

Government announcements and regulations

  • 1 Dec: Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner proposed a 2-tier crypto regulatory system for retail investors and high-net-worth individuals.
  • 1 Dec: TP ICAP, the world’s largest interdealer-broker, obtained a UK crypto licence.
  • 1 Dec: Italy planned to impose a 26% tax on capital gains from crypto trading.
  • 2 Dec: Several US politicians are returning donations they’ve received from disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
  • 2 Dec: Ukraine collaborated with international consultants such as Ernst & Young and the USAID to update its crypto framework.
  • 5 Dec: Pakistan signed new laws to ensure the timely issuance of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by 2025.
  • 8 Dec: Spain’s central bank intended to test wholesale CBDCs and is seeking collaboration proposals from financial institutions and tech providers.
  • 9 Dec: The UK pushed for more investment in crypto businesses by including digital assets in its financial services reform package.
  • 13 Dec: Canada to ban crypto firms from offering margin or leveraged trading to citizens.
  • 14 Dec: Australia to introduce a new crypto licensing regime in 2023 to modernise the country’s financial system.
PUNX

NFTs, GameFi and metaverses

  • 2 Dec: Magic Eden released a Solana NFT tool that allows creators to enforce royalties on their collections.
  • 2 Dec: Apple forced Coinbase Wallet iOS to disable its NFT transfer feature.
  • 2 Dec: Animoca Brands planned to launch a billion-dollar fund to support metaverse-focused startups.
  • 3 Dec: Coinbase paused production for Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT short film trilogy.
  • 5 Dec: TIMEX unveiled a line of 500 1-of-1 BAYC watches and matching NFTs.
  • 5 Dec: A Chinese court in Hangzhou ruled NFTs as virtual properties protected by law.
  • 7 Dec: Warner Music Group to release music NFTs through LGND, an upcoming Polygon-based marketplace.
  • 7 Dec: DJs Steve Aoki and 3LAU collaborated to form a supergroup via their CryptoPunks NFTs and will release new music under the name PUNX.
  • 8 Dec: Japanese financial group Sumitomo Mitsui partnered with digital asset firm HashPort to explore the practical uses of soulbound tokens (SBTs).
  • 10 Dec: Starbucks Odyssey, the coffee chain’s Polygon-based rewards platform, showed “unprecedented interest” and is now open to an initial group of beta testers.
TON Network

Investments

  • 1 Dec: Binance reentered the Japanese crypto market with Sakura Exchange BitCoin acquisition.
  • 1 Dec: BlackRock CEO Larry Fink revealed that the asset management titan invested $24 million in FTX before the exchange collapsed.
  • 1 Dec: The stewards of the TON network set up a $126 million “rescue fund” to support projects affected by the FTX fallout while enticing them to migrate to its ecosystem.
  • 1 Dec: Broker-dealer INX joined Binance in submitting a non-binding letter of intent to purchase distressed assets from Voyager.
  • 1 Dec: Web3 content delivery network Fleek obtained $25 million in a series A funding round led by crypto-focused venture capital (VC) firm Polychain Capital.
  • 2 Dec: Galaxy Digital won the bid to acquire GK8, a self-custody crypto firm in Celsius’s bankruptcy auction.
  • 2 Dec: Crypto exchange Zipmex secured creditor protection extension until April 2023 as it proceeds with a $100 million buyout offer from Thai VC fund V Ventures.
  • 5 Dec: Aave Companies acquired social metaverse developer Sonar and plans to integrate its Lens social media protocol into the gaming app.
  • 7 Dec: Gate.io pledged $100 million for an industry liquidity support fund to revive crypto and restore investor confidence.
  • 8 Dec: Pplpleasr’s blockchain-based film platform Shibuya raised $6.9 million to build the “A24 of Web3”.
  • 12 Dec: Crypto insurance firm Evertas raised $14 million in a series A funding round despite the bear market.
Sam Bankman-Fried arrest

Defaults, exploits and lawsuits

  • 1 Dec: “Head trader” from fraudulent crypto platform EmpiresX to face 4 years of prison over $100 million crypto Ponzi scheme.
  • 2 Dec: The High Court of the Republic of Singapore ordered defunct crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) and its co-founders to submit key financial documents within a week.
  • 2 Dec: Binance halted withdrawals amid a $5 million hack on Ankr. The DeFi protocol also announced that impacted users will be reimbursed.
  • 2 Dec: Korean prosecutors sought the arrest of Terra co-founder Daniel Shin and 7 other associates over the $105 million LUNA sale.
  • 3 Dec: 3AC liquidators seized $35.6 million in cash and requested clearance from a court to retrieve $30 million from the sale of the firm’s superyacht.
  • 4 Dec: Troubled crypto broker Genesis and its parent company Digital Currency Group (DCG) owed users of Gemini Earn $900 million.
  • 5 Dec: Orthogonal Trading received default notice for the $36 million of loans owed to Maple Finance.
  • 8 Dec: Bankruptcy judge ordered Celsius to return $44 million worth of crypto held in custodial accounts to its customers.
  • 8 Dec: A proposed class action lawsuit against the founders of the cryptocurrency EthereumMax and its celebrity endorsers including Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather Jr was dismissed.
  • 10 Dec: A class action lawsuit alleged that Yuga Labs conspired with a long list of celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Madonna, Steph Curry and Paris Hilton to shill BAYC NFTs.
  • 13 Dec: Chinese authorities arrested 63 people involved in a $1.7 billion crypto laundering scheme.
  • 13 Dec: FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas and faces 8 criminal charges.
BNB

Digital banks and exchanges

  • 1 Dec: Kraken cut 30% of its staff amid crypto winter.
  • 2 Dec: KuCoin faced scrutiny for offering shockingly high yields on its Earn product.
  • 2 Dec: The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) laid off 200 contractors as it shuttered its 7-year-long blockchain project, CHESS.
  • 5 Dec: Australian crypto exchange Swyftx to axe 35% of its workforce, citing dim sector outlook.
  • 6 Dec: Crypto lender Nexo will gradually phase out its products and services in the US after hitting a “dead end” with regulators.
  • 7 Dec: Binance US eliminated trading fees for Ethereum (ETH) spot market pairs.
  • 8 Dec: Centralised crypto exchange Bybit integrated decentralised exchange (DEX) ApeX Pro onto its platform to give users the option to trade on both types of exchanges in a single platform.
  • 9 Dec: Coinbase announced fee-free conversion from USDT to USDC.
  • 14 Dec: Binance faced over $3 billion in withdrawals within 24 hours amid alleged problems.
Blockchain

Blockchain and tokens

  • 1 Dec: Blockchain protocol Komodo debuted AtomicDEX Web, a 3-in-1 offering that features a wallet, cross-chain bridge and DEX.
  • 3 Dec: Avalanche partnered with Alibaba Cloud to power infrastructure services in Asia.
  • 5 Dec: USDC issuer Circle called off public listing plans.
  • 8 Dec: Ethereum developers target March 2023 for Shanghai hard fork that will enable users to withdraw their staked ETH and applicable rewards after the upgrade goes live.
  • 12 Dec: Tron‘s Justin Sun injected roughly $773,000 capital to re-establish USDD’s $1 peg.
  • 14 Dec: Algorand selected as the public blockchain to support digital guarantees platform in Italy.

Images: Getty Images


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