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Bi-weekly crypto round-up for July 2022 (Part 1)

Tough days still lay ahead as crypto markets continue to tumble.

Bitcoin is not dead, but the crypto space continues looking grim amid bankruptcy headlines and downward charts. Here’s a quick round-up of the headlines made in the last 2 weeks.

Quick take

  • Voyager Digital has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedures
  • Binance has extended its zero-fee Bitcoin trading globally
  • South Korea and the US have agreed to share investigation data on the collapse of LUNA and UST
  • G20 watchdog to propose first global crypto rules in October
  • Indian crypto trading volumes slump following hefty taxes
  • Emerging tech startup Nothing partners with Polygon for Web3 integration on its first smartphone

Key events

We’ve handpicked some of the most relevant emerging stories in the crypto space to help you stay ahead of the curve.
India crypto trading tax

Government announcements and regulations

  • 1 July: El Salvador purchased another 80 BTC at $19,000 each, according to a tweet by President Nayib Bukele
  • 4 July: Government-backed Sango crypto hub initiative goes live in the Central African Republic
  • 5 July: Trading volume on India’s crypto exchanges slumps following hefty taxes
  • 8 July: US Treasury published a fact sheet outlining the “framework” for international crypto regulation
  • 11 July: Hong Kong to implement a licensing regime for virtual asset services providers (VASP) through AML law
  • 12 July: G20’s watchdog, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) will propose the first global crypto rules in October, highlighting the need to regulate the “speculative” sector
Steve Ehrlich

Defaults, exploits and lawsuit

  • 1 July: CFTC filed charges against South African firm Mirror Trading International and its CEO, Cornelius Johannes Steynberg for defrauding investors out of $1.7 billion
  • 1 July: Argentina’s tax authority recovers over $800M from over 1,000 cryptocurrency wallets linked to delinquent taxpayers
  • 2 July: Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in a bid to protect its US assets while a liquidation is carried out in the British Virgin Islands
  • 5 July: Crypto lender Nexo offers to acquire embattled rival Vauld
  • 6 July: Crypto broker Voyager Digital has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
  • 7 July: South Korea and the US have agreed to share investigation data on ongoing crypto cases, including the collapse of UST and LUNA
Exchanges

DeFi, CeFi and digital banks

  • 2 July: Coinbase, Blockchain.com and Kraken are still hiring for hundreds of roles despite mass crypto layoffs
  • 4 July: Celsius Network reportedly laid off 25% of its workforce as it battles financial crisis
  • 4 July: Crypto lender Vauld suspends trading, withdrawals and deposits. It also eyes potential restructuring amid a multi-trillion dollar digital asset rout
  • 6 July: Celsius Network repays $183 million worth of debt to DeFi protocol Maker to free up its BTC collateral
  • 7 July: Binance extends zero-fee Bitcoin trading worldwide
  • 7 July: Huobi tech subsidiary, HBIT, obtains US money transfer licence
  • 8 July: Binance secures Virtual Asset Services Provider (VASP) registration for its Spanish subsidiary by the Bank of Spain
  • 10 July: Russia’s top lending bank, Sberbank, obtains a Digital Financial Assets (DFAs) licence and has completed its first DFA transaction worth around 1 billion rubles ($16 million)
Gucci x SuperRare Drop 2

NFTs, GameFi and metaverses

  • 4 July: Warba, a Kuwait-based Islamic bank enters the metaverse with 2 sites, one in Decentraland and one in the Sandbox
  • 6 July: Ethereum Name Service (ENS) saw a +216% spike over the weekend with 108,000 newly registered ENS domains
  • 6 July: TikTok’s ex-head of gaming Jason Fung starts Meta0, a startup working on blockchain integrations for game developers
  • 7 July: Reddit is launching a new NFT-based avatar marketplace
  • 7 July: Blockchain startup Bitmark ramps up its NFT token initiatives, raising $5.6 million following the launch of its Autonomy NFT wallet
  • 7 July: SHIB plans to expand its ecosystem with a decentralised stablecoin, a metaverse reward token and a collectible card game
  • 8 July: Gaming VC firm Konvoy launches a new $150 million fund and eyes blockchain-based games
  • 8 July: Reddit is launching new blockchain-backed “Collectible Avatars” that will be built on Polygon
  • 8 July: SuperRare and Gucci launched the second collection of their “Next 100 Years of Gucci” project
  • 12 July: Both GameStop’s and LimeWire’s NFT marketplaces are now officially live
Payments

Crypto payments

  • 4 July: Uber Eats’ BitPay integration allows users to pay for their food with Shiba Inu, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash etc
  • 4 July: Visa launches exclusive “no-limit” Bitcoin card in the United Arab Emirates
  • 5 July: Spritz Finance launches Direct Wallet Pay, allowing customers to directly pay their bills with USDC straight from crypto wallets
  • 7 July: Elon Musk’s Boring Company will accept Dogecoin as payment for rides on its Las Vegas transit system Loop
Mining

Mining

  • 4 July: The US’s second-largest electric power company, Duke Energy, is reportedly exploring Bitcoin mining
  • 5 July: Intel ships “ultra-low-voltage energy-efficient” Blockscale ASIC chips to selected Bitcoin mining companies
  • 7 July: Riot Blockchain announces plans to move mining rigs from its New York data facility to Texas
  • 12 July: Mining companies in Texas put a pause on operations to avoid blackouts as the state expects a heat wave

Images: Getty Images

Top crypto news

Beleaguered crypto broker Voyager Digital files for bankruptcy

6 July 2022

Voyager

Image: Finder

Crypto lender Voyager Digital filed for bankruptcy late Tuesday (5 July), becoming the second high-profile crypto firm to do so after Singapore-based Three Arrows Capital entered liquidation, which failed to pay back its $650 million loan to the former.

According to its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the crypto lender estimated that it had over 100,000 creditors and somewhere between $1 and $10 billion in assets. It also recorded the same range for its liabilities. With the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, all civil litigation matters will be put on hold, allowing Voyager to prepare turnaround plans while remaining operational.

“Customers with crypto in their account(s) will receive, in exchange, a combination of the crypto in their account(s), proceeds from the 3AC recovery, common shares in the newly reorganised company, and Voyager tokens,” said Stephen Ehrlich, CEO of Voyager in a tweet.

Read more


Nothing x Polygon: The Nothing Phone (1) is finally here

12 July 2022

Nothing Phone 1

Image: Nothing

London tech startup Nothing has partnered with low-cost Ethereum-scaling solution Polygon for its first smartphone drop – the Nothing Phone (1) in a move to bring Web3 tech to a potentially vast mobile audience.

This Nothing Phone (1), which launched on 12 July, includes a wide array of Web3 functionality such as secure payments and crypto storage, access to decentralised applications (dapps) on the Polygon network and will utilise a proof-based blockchain identity system that’s set to roll out in phases this year.

According to a Polygon blog post announcing the collaboration, “the goal is to make all of Nothing’s phone products and other ecosystem devices future-ready by supporting sustainable and secure access to Web 3 applications.”

Beyond its industrial aesthetics and stylish glyph interface, the Nothing Phone (1) also boasts a list of impressive specs. The device features a 6.55-inch OLED screen made of Gorilla Glass 5 as well as 2 cameras on the rear (one of which is the flagship 50MP Sony IMX766 1/1.56″ sensor with f/1.88 aperture). It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 778G Plus processor.

Read more


G20 watchdog to step up global crypto regulation in October

12 July 2022

G20 crypto regulation

Image: Getty Images

Recent turmoil in the crypto markets has certainly accelerated the need for global regulations in this highly volatile space.

This has prompted the Financial Stability Board (FSB), a group of treasury officials and central bankers from the Group of 20 economies (G20) to propose a set of “robust” global crypto rules in October.

According to a statement from the FSB, “crypto-assets, including so-called stablecoins, are fast-evolving. The recent turmoil in crypto-asset markets highlights their intrinsic volatility, structural vulnerabilities and the issue of their increasing interconnectedness with the traditional financial system.”

Currently, most countries require crypto firms to have anti-money laundering controls. But with the upcoming regulations, FSB members will commit to applying these principles in their own jurisdictions.

Read more


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