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Biweekly crypto round-up for January 2023 (Part 2)

Looks like the dust has settled from last year's market hellscape.

The crypto space is off to a good start in 2023 as prices for Bitcoin and top cryptocurrencies rallied and held steady. Scroll down for your biweekly wrap-up of all things crypto.

Quick take

  • The Ministry of Justice in South Korea plans to launch a “cryptocurrency tracking system” in the first half of 2023 to counter money laundering.
  • Crypto-focused asset manager HashKey Capital has raised $500 million to advance Web3 adoption.
  • Genesis, the lending arm of crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group (DCG), has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • Feds seized nearly $700 million worth of assets from FTX founder Bankman-Fried, including more than 55 million Robinhood shares.
  • The FBI has disrupted a prolific ransomware syndicate known as Hive, thwarting at least $130 million in cryptocurrency extortions.
  • Robinhood debuts its own wallet app to rival MetaMask, which will be gradually rolled out to over one million waitlisted users.

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.
Bank of Thailand

Government announcements and regulations

  • 16 Jan: Thailand’s central bank to permit the establishment of virtual banks by 2025.
  • 17 Jan: Thailand’s SEC releases regulations for virtual asset service providers (VASP) to better protect cryptocurrency investors.
  • 18 Jan: Spain’s central bank gives the green light for a pilot of EURM, a euro-linked token, as part of a sandbox initiative.
  • 19 Jan: The National Australia Bank announces plans to introduce a stablecoin, dubbed AUDN, on Ethereum and Algorand blockchains.
  • 19 Jan: The City of Busan plans to establish a decentralized digital commodities exchange, which is scheduled to begin operations this year.
  • 23 Jan: South Africa amends its advertising code to include new standards for cryptocurrency adverts.
  • 24 Jan: New York state regulators issue a warning to cryptocurrency companies against mishandling customer funds.
  • 24 Jan: EU legislators pave the way for stricter regulations for banks dealing in cryptocurrencies.
  • 25 Jan: The governor of Ireland’s central bank advocates for a prohibition on cryptocurrency advertisements aimed at young adults.
  • 29 Jan: South Korea plans to implement a cryptocurrency tracking system in the first half of 2023 to counter money laundering.
Mythical Games

NFTs, GameFi and metaverses

  • 18 Jan: National Geographic’s first NFT launch met with severe backlash and technical problems.
  • 18 Jan: Rarible has introduced a marketplace builder tool for NFT collections built on the Polygon network.
  • 18 Jan: Metahood has secured $3 million in funding to develop a platform for buying and selling virtual real estate.
  • 19 Jan: MatchBoxDAO launches the launch of MatchBox Arena, an esports experience for Web3 developers.
  • 20 Jan: L’Oréal’s NYX makeup brand to launch a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) and use Ethereum-based NFTs to ‘redefine beauty’ in the metaverse.
  • 23 Jan: Floor, a mobile NFT portfolio tracking app, has acquired digital assets analytics platform in order to speed up the growth of its token-gated app.
  • 25 Jan: Solana-based gaming platform Fractal has launched support for NFT-powered games built on Polygon.
  • 25 Jan: Web3 gaming studio Mythical Games has unveiled a new marketplace and acquired gaming asset platform DMarket to support the development of the product.
  • 26 Jan: Doodles, a popular Ethereum NFT collection, will release its next drop — Doodles 2 — on the Flow blockchain.
  • 26 Jan: Kevin Rose, the co-founder of Moonbirds creator Proof, has over $1 million worth of NFTs drained from his wallet.

Digital banks and exchanges

  • 18 Jan: Binance officially registers as a virtual asset service provider in Poland.
  • 18 Jan: Coinbase confirms decision to close its operations in Japan and requests users to withdraw any funds by February 16.
  • 19 Jan: Moonstone bank, an FTX-linked Washington state bank, will be withdrawing from the cryptocurrency industry.
  • 23 Jan: Binance reports that one of its fiat banking partners, Signature Bank has decided to stop handling SWIFT transactions under $100,000 for its cryptocurrency users.
Robinhood Wallet

Payments and wallets

  • 17 Jan: Solflare Wallet introduces a new feature to allow users to pay higher gas fees to push through Solana‘s network congestion.
  • 19 Jan: DeFi project 1inch Network launches its own multi-coin hardware wallet.
  • 20 Jan: Robinhood debuts its MetaMask wallet competitor, which will be progressively rolled out to one million of its waitlisted users.
Hashkey Capital


  • 17 Jan: Hong Kong-based crypto investment firm HashKey Capital raises $500 million to promote mass adoption in Web3.
  • 17 Jan: Africa-based web3 games publisher Carry1st secures $27 million in a funding round led by Bitkraft Ventures.
  • 17 Jan: Digital asset bank Silvergate records a net loss of $1 billion in the last quarter of 2022.
  • 18 Jan: Deal Box establishes a $125 million venture fund dedicated to blockchain and Web3 startups.
  • 18 Jan: Digital Currency Group suspends its quarterly dividends in order to preserve liquidity.
  • 19 Jan: Validator infrastructure developer SSV sets up a $50 million ecosystem fund to back Ethereum staking technology.
  • 21 Jan: Coinbase and Circle participated in a $5 million seed round for Architect, a new cryptocurrency venture led by the former president of FTX.US.
  • 25 Jan: Blockstream secures $125 million in funding to expand its mining operations despite a downturn in the industry.
  • 25 Jan: Blockchain developer QuickNode secures $60 million in funding, achieving an $800 million valuation.
  • 25 Jan: Injective, a Cosmos-based layer-1 blockchain focused on building financial applications, has unveiled a $150 million fund aimed at promoting DeFi and interoperable infrastructure.
  • 26 Jan: Web3 hardware startup Spatial Labs secures $10 million in funding.
  • 27 Jan: 88x Finance joins forces with Axelar Network to accelerate development for its cross-chain yield aggregation product.
  • 27 Jan: StoryCo raises $6 million to decentralize storytelling using Web3 technology.
Genesis Bankruptcy

Defaults, exploits and lawsuits

  • 16 Jan: A South Korean court has ordered Bithumb to compensate around $200,000 to investors for damages caused by a 1.5 hour outage that occurred in November 2017.
  • 18 Jan: $90 million in assets held by FTX US were transferred without authorization after bankruptcy.
  • 20 Jan: Nexo agrees to pay $22.5 million to the SEC — plus an additional $22.5 million to state regulators — and discontinue its cryptocurrency lending product.
  • 20 Jan: Genesis files for bankruptcy despite having $150 million in assets to tide through its restructuring process.
  • 21 Jan: The US prosecutors have seized nearly $700 million worth of assets associated with FTX and its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.
  • 23 Jan: Europol seized $19.5 million in assets from Bitzlato as part of its enforcement actions against the crypto exchange’s illicit activities.
  • 24 Jan: The FBI confirms that the Lazarus Group is responsible for the $100 million Harmony hack last June. The North Korean-linked cybercrime syndicate also laundered 41,000 of the stolen Ethereum earlier this month.
  • 25 Jan: Online fraudsters impersonate Ripple and Binance in an attempt to scam XRP holders with a fake staking program.
  • 26 Jan: Robinhood’s Twitter account was hacked to promote a fake token launch and NFT sale.
  • 26 Jan: The Dutch central bank has fined Coinbase €3.3 million for offering its service in the Netherlands without obtaining the correct registration previously.
  • 27 Jan: The FBI announced that it has successfully disrupted Hive network — a notorious ransomware group — and prevented over $130 million in cryptocurrency ransom.

Images: Getty Images

Top crypto news

South Korea to combat money laundering with new crypto tracking system.

29 January 2022

South Korea crypto tracking system

Image: Finder

As crypto-related crimes get increasingly sophisticated, so are the efforts to crackdown on these bad actors.
South Korean Ministry of Justice has unveiled plans to implement a third-party cryptocurrency tracking system in the first half of 2023, designed to combat money laundering schemes and recover funds associated with illicit activity.

According to local media outlet KHGames, the “Virtual Currency Tracking System” will be used to monitor transaction history, extract data related to transactions and ascertain the origin of funds before and after remittance.

At the same time, the South Korean government is working on a seperate initiative to develop their own standalone crypto monitoring and analysis system, which is slated to be deployed in the second half of 2023.

With the ultimate goal of fostering a safe trading environment for crypto investors, the South Korean authorities have also established an agreement with five largest regional crypto exchanges for their cooperation in criminal investigations last December.

Read more

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Check out our reviews on a range of leading cryptocurrency exchanges in Singapore 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.

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Stay in the know with our bite-sized crypto news

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

Note: All prices mentioned in this article are in US dollars (USD) unless otherwise stated.

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