Bitcoin Trades Sideways IMF Sees Growing Crypto – phulwariya

Bitcoin Trades Sideways IMF Sees Growing Crypto – phulwariya

Bitcoin and other major cryptos were mostly flat on Tuesday, even as investors maintained their worrying watch ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s scheduled statements on Friday about the central bank’s direction on monetary policy.

Bitcoin was recently trading at around $21,200, up from about 24 hours ago. The largest crypto by market cap has lost nearly 10% over the past week, amid a widespread crypto sell-off that has brought the total capitalization of the digital asset below $1 trillion.

Ether was changing hands Tuesday and recently at around $1,600, roughly flat from the same time in a day. The second largest crypto by market cap has fallen about 12% during the past seven days. Many of them mixed other major cryptos after spending a good part of the day in the green.

AVAX and DOT were up more than a percentage point recently. But EOS and YGG are down more than 6% and 4%, respectively. EOS’s decline follows a week-long surge after the EOS Network Foundation (ENF) announced last week that Antelope would be used as the underlying protocol for the EOSIO-based blockchain.

Nevertheless, as Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong outlined in a CNBC interview, the mood in the industry remains at its best. “We’ve been in a down cycle, but that’s not unusual for us,” Armstrong said. “It coincides with the broader macro environment coming down. We all expect it to be 12-18 months and a good recovery. You have to plan for it to be long.”

equities are flat

Shares traded sideways, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq, S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 0.1%, 0.2% and 0.5%, respectively, amid tepid trading. Equity markets also await Powell’s cues at the annual Jackson Hole, Wyoming, economic symposium.

Is the Fed still concerned enough about inflation, but comfortable with the pace of the current economic slowdown, to maintain its aggressive monetary course of 75-basis point rate hikes? Or will it slack off and announce a more moderate 50-point hike? Investors’ expectations have fluctuated back and forth in the past few days.

Celsius’ challenges returned at least part of the crypto industry headlines as it sued crypto custodian Prime Trust in an effort to recoup $17 million in crypto the bankrupt lender alleged to its former business partner. . Filed in federal bankruptcy court, the 54-page lawsuit stems from a dispute over assets belonging to Celsius’s produce product customers in Washington and New York.

Meanwhile, debate continued about the Ethereum merge that would move the blockchain platform’s protocol from proof-of-work to a faster, more environmentally friendly proof-of-stake. Some observers believe that the change will have little effect on crypto pricing, despite Ether’s dramatic gains earlier this month.

But Katie Talati, head of research at crypto asset manager Arka, was cautiously optimistic, highlighting energy efficiency and other improvements as a result of The Merge in comments to CoinDesk TV’s First Mover program. “From a technical point of view, this is as advanced and important as it gets,” Talati said, adding, “We’re going to potentially emit a lot less of Ethereum, but still benefit like the potential for anyone who has that staking.” A validator or node on the network to earn a share of the yield.”

He continued that Ethereum is “really hard to price in general because it acts like a currency,” and that Arka will be monitoring data about yields after combining it with other information “for the better.” Valuation is expected (Ethereum).”

Biggest Gainers

AssetTickerReturnsDACS Sector
TerraLUNA+4.8%Smart Contract Platform
AvalancheAVAX+1.8%Smart Contract Platform
PolkadotDOT+1.5%Smart Contract Platform

Biggest Losers

AssetTickerReturnsDACS Sector
DecentralandMANA−1.9%Entertainment
DogecoinDOGE−1.4%Currency
CosmosATOM−1.3%Smart Contract Platform

Insights

IMF sees rising crypto-Asian stock correlation and is concerned

by James Rubin

Are Cryptocurrency Prices Related to Asian Equity Markets?

In a recent blog post, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) highlighted the growing interrelationship between crypto and stocks traded on regional exchanges, reiterating its concerns that crypto can increase financial instability, even if it is environmental. Profit and lead to greater financial inclusion.

The IMF entry comes as many crypto observers see less correlation between digital and more traditional assets, although others believe the two are linked, particularly crypto and tech stocks. However, the latter group has focused largely on the relationship between major US equity markets and crypto globally.

Measured in tone, the post coincides with IMF positions that often seem unfriendly to crypto, with Argentina earlier this year “discouraging” the use of cryptocurrencies as a condition of a $45 billion loan from the IMF. had agreed to.

Growth of Crypto in Asia

Given the growing popularity of crypto in Asia among consumers and institutional investors, Washington D.C. The organization said that “while the financial sector appears to be untouched by these sharp movements, it may not in future boom-bust cycles.”

“The infection can spread through individual or institutional investors who may hold both crypto and traditional financial assets or liabilities,” the IMF said. “Large losses on crypto could prompt these investors to rebalance their portfolios, potentially leading to financial-market volatility or even defaulting on traditional liabilities.”

The IMF saw a sharp increase in the correlation between the returns and volatility of Asian equity markets, and bitcoin and ether, since 2020. It said the return correlation between bitcoin and the Indian stock markets had risen “10x since the pandemic” and the volatility correlation had climbed threefold.

“Key drivers of the growing interconnectedness of crypto and equity markets in Asia may include increasing acceptance of crypto-related platforms and investment vehicles in the stock market and over-the-counter markets, or crypto adoption more generally by retail and institutional. investors in Asia,” the IMF said.

Based on the methodology that the IMF highlighted in a paper earlier this year, the organization noted that “crypto-equity volatility spillovers in India, Vietnam and Thailand” as “crypto-equity correlations in Asia increase” There was a sharp increase” which could have been a shock. financial markets.

The IMF noted increasing efforts across the sector to regulate crypto that has resulted in increased adoption and called for intensifying efforts to build on these initiatives. Those efforts will include “filling in the data gap that prevents domestic and international regulators from fully understanding the ownership and use of crypto and its intersection with the traditional financial sector,” and for financial institutions to “protect retail investors.” Clear guidelines for

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India Has Around 115 Million Crypto Investors, Number May Rise Post Legal Clarity: KuCoin

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Indian government’s restrictive approach towards the crypto sector has hindered, but not been able to entirely fail its expansion in the tech-friendly sub-continent. In a new report, KuCoin crypto exchange has claimed that India currently has over 115 million crypto investors, making for 15 percent of its massive population. Majority Indian crypto investors are aged between 18 to 60. At this point, India does not allow the use of crypto assets as payment alternatives. Trading, purchase, or sale of crypto assets however, is permitted in India under a tax regime that went live earlier this year.

The Indian crypto market is expected to reach the valuation of $241 million (roughly Rs. 1,924 crore) by 2030, KuCoin said in its report titled The Cryptoverse Report India.

Another 10 percent of Indian adults are crypto-curious consumers who are planning to invest in crypto in the coming six months, the report claimed, while addressing certain concerns that Indians have expressed around experimenting with cryptocurrencies.

“A lack of sufficient knowledge of the crypto market is reflected by 41 percent of respondents who state that they are not sure which types of crypto investment products to choose, 37 percent have difficulty managing the risk of their portfolios, and 27 percent have trouble predicting the market directions and values of crypto. Meanwhile, 21 percent are not clear about how crypto works,” the report added.

Another key factor that is keeping people from investing in crypto is regulatory uncertainty prevailing in the country, as well as fears of losing their funds to hack attacks.

“33 percent report that government regulation is a concern when considering investing in crypto. The safety of investing in crypto is also a concern for many, as 26 percent worry about hackers being a threat, and 23 percent fear that they may not get their money back in case of security incidents,” the report noted.

Out of the 2042 Indian adults surveyed by KuCoin, 56 percent investors believe crypto is the future of finance and 54 percent believe they will rope-in higher returns on long-term investments.

Among young Indians, 24 percent investors are dabbling in the sector owing to the crypto hype.

Unfortunately, India did not make it to the list of countries, that have taken crypto-friendly measures to contribute to the growth of this nascent industry.

In the latest ‘Worldwide Crypto Readiness Report’, Forex Suggest claimed that Hong Kong, followed by the US and Switzerland are the world’s top three most crypto-ready nations, respectively.

Indian crypto traders are struggling to see profits after paying a 30 percent tax on transactions of virtual digital assets. This rule went live in April.

Starting July, Indians have also begun to see one percent tax deductions on each crypto transaction. This essentially means that one percent TDS is being levied on every purchase and deposit of crypto assets, thus increasing the pressure on investors.


Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article. 

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Australia to Stocktake Crypto Holdings Ahead of Regulation – Regulation Bitcoin News

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Australia intends to do a virtual stocktake of cryptocurrency assets held by its citizens, the new executive power in Canberra announced this week. The move is viewed as an indication that the center-left government plans to regulate the country’s crypto space.

Treasury Embarks on ‘Token Mapping’ to Underpin Crypto Regulation in Australia

As part of efforts to adopt rules for the cryptocurrency sector, Australia’s Treasurer Jim Chalmers unveiled on Monday that his department is preparing to conduct “token mapping,” Reuters reported quoting his statement.

The initiative will aim to catalog the various types and uses of digital currencies owned within the country and is seen as a step toward identifying which crypto assets would need to be regulated and how to do that.

Australia will be the first country to stocktake crypto holdings, Chalmers pointed out, and elaborated further:

With the increasingly widespread proliferation of crypto assets, to the extent that crypto advertisements can be seen plastered all over big sporting events, we need to make sure customers engaging with crypto are adequately informed and protected.

The announcement comes after years of deliberation on how to regulate decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Calls to finally do so have increased in the past couple of years when stimulus payments during the pandemic and home-office working contributed to a spike in crypto investments.

A Senate inquiry carried out under the previous conservative government recommended last year the adoption of wide-ranging regulations to protect cryptocurrency owners. However, the election this past May resulted in a new center-left cabinet.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) also insisted recently that the increased popularity of cryptocurrencies makes a “strong case for regulation.” The watchdog cited a survey, according to which 44% of the country’s retail investors held crypto in late 2021.

While refraining from providing specific details on any upcoming rules, Jim Chalmers described the token mapping as “the first step in a reform agenda.” His comments follow a decision by the Australian Taxation Office announced earlier this year to focus on capital gains from crypto assets as one of several priority areas where the authority thinks more efforts are needed to ensure correct reporting.

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Australia, australian, Bitcoin, Crypto, crypto assets, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Government, Regulation, Regulations, rules, stocktake, token mapping, Treasurer

Do you expect Australia to soon introduce comprehensive regulations for its cryptocurrency sector? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.




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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


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Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann to Launch Digital Wallet That Stores Crypto: Report

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Flow, a real estate company founded by former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann, has plans to launch a digital wallet that can store cryptocurrencies. Flow, which scored a $350 million (roughly Rs. 2,793 crore) investment from Andreessen Horowitz aka a16z very recently, plans to launch a digital wallet that can hold crypto assets — as well as currencies, including the US dollar. The company’s real estate management software will also function on the wallet although many other features of the wallet are yet to be revealed.

The planned digital wallet, which also will store fiat currencies such as the US dollar, cannot be used to pay rent for apartments managed by the real estate startup, Flow spokesperson Davidson Goldin said to Forbes. The wallet can be used for outside transactions and that a rewards program could include crypto, the spokesman said.

Neumann received a $350 million (roughly Rs. 2,793 crore) investment from a16z for his real estate management software venture, The New York Times first reported this on Monday, but only a few details of the deal were revealed. Neumann left WeWork in 2019, a company he co-founded in 2008, following pressure from investors.

After he left WeWork, Neumann was known for buying properties in secondary markets like Nashville, Tennessee, and Norwalk, Connecticut, while also investing in property management software company Alfred, according to Forbes.

Neumann subsequently founded Flowcarbon, which surfaced earlier this year, aiming to issue cryptocurrencies backed by carbon credits. However, as per a Wall Street Journal report, the crypto market downturn dampened that ambition, with CEO Dana Gibber saying it would “wait for markets to stabilise” to launch a token.

By the look of it, Flowcarbon and Flow aren’t related in any way except for sharing a co-founder. Interestingly though, a16z’s blog does call Flow, Neumann’s “first venture since WeWork.”

There is also the unrelated blockchain project from Dapper Labs which already uses a token with the ticker FLOW, the price of which briefly spiked due to confusion over the name.


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Value Locked in Defi Loses $5.7 Billion in 5 Days, Smart Contract Tokens Shed 7.8% in 24 Hours – Defi Bitcoin News

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The total value locked (TVL) in decentralized finance (defi) has slid 8.53% over the last five days since August 14, 2022. At the time, the TVL was $67.87 billion but today, the value locked in defi is approximately $62.08 billion. Moreover, the top smart contract platform tokens by market valuation today are worth $372 billion, but overall the dozens of smart contract crypto assets have lost 7.8% in value during the last 24 hours.

Smart Contract Token Economy Slides Lower, Total Value Locked in Defi Loses 8.53% Since August 14

On August 19, 2022, the top smart contract tokens like ethereum (ETH), binance coin (BNB), cardano (ADA), solana (SOL), polkadot (DOT), and avalanche (AVAX) are all down in value against the U.S. dollar. There are dozens of smart contract tokens and collectively they are all worth $347 billion, down 7.8% according to today’s market data.

Ethereum leads the pack with the largest market capitalization as ETH now commands 19.2% of the crypto economy’s $1.14 trillion in value. Out of the entire lot of smart contract coins worth $347 billion, ETH’s $208 billion market cap represents 59.94% of the top smart contract tokens by valuation.

Value Locked in Defi Loses $5.7 Billion in 5 Days, Smart Contract Tokens Shed 7.8% in 24 Hours

At the same time, the smart contract crypto economy equates to roughly 32.12% of the crypto economy’s $1.08 trillion valuation. While the top smart contract tokens’ market performances have been lackluster, the value locked in defi has been the same. Today there’s $62.08 billion in value locked into the numerous defi protocols in existence and defillama.com stats detail the protocol Makerdao dominates by 13.45%.

Value Locked in Defi Loses $5.7 Billion in 5 Days, Smart Contract Tokens Shed 7.8% in 24 Hours

Data shows that the defi protocol Makerdao’s TVL on August 19, is around $8.35 billion. Following Makerdao’s TVL, today’s top defi protocols by TVL include Lido ($7.62B), Aave ($6.91B), Curve Finance ($5.98B), Uniswap ($5.88B), Convex Finance ($4.32B), and Justlend ($3.27B). In terms of the blockchain with the largest TVL metric, Ethereum is still the reigning champ with $36.31 billion or 59.04% of the TVL in defi.

Ethereum is followed by Tron, Binance Smart Chain, Polygon, Avalanche, Solana, Cronos, Arbitrum, Optimism, and Fantom, respectively. In comparison to Ethereum, the second-largest blockchain by defi TVL metrics, Tron, commands $5.63 billion or 9.15% of the $62.08 billion locked in defi protocols today.

While the tenth-largest blockchain by defi TVL data, Fantom, has around $588 million or 0.96% of the TVL in defi, Justlend is the largest defi protocol on the Tron network as it dominates by 58.14% of the network’s $5.63 billion locked in defi, or $3.27 billion in USD value. Binance Smart Chain’s largest defi protocol is Pancakeswap, Polygon’s is MM Finance, Avalanche’s largest is Aave, and Solana’s is Marinade Finance.

With Ethereum being the top defi chain, the network’s top collateralized debt position (CDP) protocol is Makerdao, the biggest liquid staking application is Lido, and Uniswap rules the roost in terms of Ethereum decentralized exchange (dex) platforms. Aave is Ethereum’s largest lending application, the WBTC bridge has the most value locked, and Convex Finance is Ethereum’s top yield protocol in terms of TVL.

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Aave, Binance Smart Chain, convex finance, Cross-chain Bridges, Curve, decentralized finance, decentralized finance protocols, DeFi, Defi metrics, defi records, defi stats, ether, Ethereum, Ethereum (ETH), Instadapp, Justlend, Lido, makerdao, Marinade Finance, Market Dominance, MM Finance, Pancakeswap, Smart Contract, smart contract platform coin, tron, TVL

What do you think about this week’s decentralized finance market action and the value locked in these protocols? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,700 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.




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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


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Suspected Tornado Cash Crypto Mixer Developer Detained by Dutch Authorities: Details

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Dutch authorities on Friday said they had arrested a 29-year-old man believed to be a developer for the crypto mixing service Tornado Cash, which the United States put on its sanctions list this week. The US sanctions announced on Monday followed allegations that Tornado Cash was helping conceal billions in capital flows, including for North Korean hackers.

By mixing cryptocurrencies, the online service makes it possible to conceal the origin or destination of digital payments, increasing their anonymity.

Tornado Cash is one of the largest crypto blenders identified as problematic by the US Treasury.

The Dutch public prosecutor’s office for serious fraud, environmental crime and asset confiscation (FIOD) said Tornado was suspected of having laundered more than $7 billion (roughly Rs. 55,700 crore) worth of virtual currency since it was created in 2019.

Tornado Cash did not reply to a request for comment.

The FIOD said the man, who was not identified, was arrested in Amsterdam on Wednesday. He is believed to have helped facilitate criminal transactions, including “funds stolen through hacks by a group believed to be associated with North Korea.” He faces money laundering charges.

In June the Financial Advanced Cyber Team division of the FIOD started an criminal investigation into Tornado Cash, the statement said. It found Tornado Cash had been used to conceal large-scale criminal money flows, including from (online) thefts of cryptocurrencies.

Further arrests have not been ruled out, prosecutors said.

On Monday, The US Treasury sanctioned zero-knowledge proof-based private transaction protocol Tornado Cash for its complicity in a crypto laundering case.

The digital currency mixing service has allegedly been used to launder more than $7 billion (roughly Rs. 55,700 crore) worth of virtual currency since its creation in 2019, the Treasury said in announcing the enforcement action. That includes the more than $455 million (roughly Rs. 3,618 crore) stolen by the Lazarus Group, a state-sponsored hacker collective with ties to North Korea.

Monday’s move froze any US assets of the crypto mixer and generally bars Americans from dealing with it.


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President of Central Bank of Brazil Disagrees With ‘Heavy Hand’ Regulations for Cryptocurrencies – Regulation Bitcoin News

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The president of the Central Bank of Brazil, Roberto Campos Neto, has defended the use of more moderate regulations in the crypto environment. Campos Neto stated that while regulation is indeed necessary, it has to be done in a way that doesn’t stop innovation. He also explained his goal is to connect the digital with the regulated world.

Central Bank of Brazil President Criticizes Harsh Approach to Crypto Regulation

Central banks of several nations around the world are starting to establish their stances when it comes to cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). At “The regulation of cryptocurrencies in Brazil and in the world,” a debate event, the president of the Central Bank of Brazil, Roberto Campos Neto, presented his thoughts about cryptocurrency regulation.

According to Campos Neto, regulation of these instruments should be made in a way that allows for innovation and growth of investments in cryptocurrencies. He stated:

In general, central bankers want to regulate with a heavy hand. I understand, but I don’t agree. Maybe it’s a mistake to regulate like that … We shouldn’t leave behind the technological advances that will come with this.

Furthermore, Campos Neto detailed that one of his goals is to integrate the digital and the regulatory world, in a different way from what other central banks are doing.


Similar Opinions

The president of the Brazilian Securities and Values Commission (CVM), João Pedro Nascimento, also stated he had similar ideas, saying that regulation should not stifle the growth of the crypto market. He declared:

Banning a revolution is not something we will do.

Nascimento had previously declared there is a natural demand for cryptocurrency regulation as a consequence of the evolution of the technology. The CVM has proposed an advisory opinion regarding crypto and its treatment, that is under review, to be used before a crypto-centric law is sanctioned.

The legislative process for approving a cryptocurrency bill is quite advanced in the country. A cryptocurrency-centric bill, that would help to bring clarity to the crypto markets and virtual asset service providers, is currently waiting to be discussed by the deputy chamber in September. However, due to the proximity of the general ballot to elect the president, vice-president, and members of Congress, this discussion might be delayed again.

What do you think about the opinion of the president of the Central Bank of Brazil regarding crypto regulation? Tell us in the comments section below.

Sergio Goschenko

Sergio is a cryptocurrency journalist based in Venezuela. He describes himself as late to the game, entering the cryptosphere when the price rise happened during December 2017. Having a computer engineering background, living in Venezuela, and being impacted by the cryptocurrency boom at a social level, he offers a different point of view about crypto success and how it helps the unbanked and underserved.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


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Ripple Shows Interest in Troubled Crypto Lender Celsius’ Assets, May Acquire It

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Ripple Labs could be interested in buying the assets of embattled crypto lender Celsius Network. A Ripple spokesperson told a news agency that the company is “interested in learning about Celsius and its assets, and whether any could be relevant to our business.” The spokesperson went on to say that Ripple is “actively looking” for opportunities to carry out mergers and acquisitions that will “strategically scale the company.” That said, the spokesperson did not clarify whether Ripple would consider acquiring Celsius in its entirety.

As per a Reuters report, Ripple’s lawyers submitted three filings to participate in Celsius’ bankruptcy proceedings on August 5. However, those filings do not indicate why Ripple has become involved in the case or whether its involvement is related to its acquisition plans. Reuters says that Ripple is not a major creditor of Celsius.

It is also unclear whether Celsius would accept such a deal. Crypto lender Nexo proposed a similar deal to Celsius in June which was rejected.

Celsius initially froze its users’ assets in June citing “extreme market conditions,” followed by a handful of other crypto firms like Voyager and CoinFLEX. It then hastily paid down its outstanding debts on various DeFi loans, reclaimed its collateral, and filed for bankruptcy a month later.

The filings revealed that the lending firm’s assets included cash, cryptocurrency, the company’s Celsius (CEL) tokens, and various digital assets within its custody accounts, loans, and Bitcoin mining business. However, when weighed against the firm’s liabilities, the company still logged a $1.19 billion (roughly Rs. 9,455 crore) deficit on its balance sheet, and the odds of the company’s creditors getting any of their money back look grim.

Celsius is also not the only insolvent company that has received such offers. Last month, FTX proposed a joint plan that would see it acquire Voyager Digital’s assets and digital asset loans while compensating Voyager’s users. It was quickly rejected by Voyager, despite the ongoing relationship between the two firms.

Meanwhile, other companies have been more receptive. Nexo offered to acquire Vauld in early July, and the two firms signed a contract to explore the possibility over a 60-day period.


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Hackers Flocking to RenBridge to Launder Stolen Crypto Funds, $540 Million Washed So Far

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At a time when blockchain bridges have been struggling to safeguard their operations from hackers, one such bridge has become a tool-of-favour for crypto criminals. As per blockchain analytics provider Elliptic, hackers have been flocking to RenBridge to wash the funds they have obtained via hacks and scams. In the last two years, over $540 million (roughly Rs. 4,290 crore) have reportedly been laundered by RenBridge. The platform is a decentralised application (dApp) that allows the minting of real BTC, ZEC, and BCH on Ethereum as an ERC20 token (renBTC, renZEC, renBCH).

“Crypto assets stolen from exchanges and decentralised finance (DeFi) services worth at least $267.2 million (2,122 crore) have been laundered through RenBridge over the past two years. RenBridge is also an important facilitator for Russia-linked ransomware gangs, with over $153 million (roughly Rs. 1,215 crore) in ransom payments laundered through the service to date,” Elliptic said in its blog post.

Earlier this month, Nomad, a cross-chain bridge lost $200 million (roughly Rs. 1,570 crore) in a protocol exploit.

In its report, Elliptic has noted that $2.4 million (roughly Rs. 20 crore) in crypto assets stolen from Nomad have also been sent through RenBridge.

Decentralised cross-chain bridges such as RenBridge provide an unregulated alternative to exchanges for transferring value between blockchains and hence pose a challenge.

Transactions on these cross-chain bridges are processed by a network of thousands of pseudonymous validators known as “Darknodes”.

Malicious actors exploit these bridges by depositing their tokens from one chain to the bridge and then receiving the equivalent of a parallel token in another chain.

Back in July, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had published a special report, highlighting the rising number of cases showing misuse of DeFi tools such as cross-chain bridges.

The FATF is the global standard setter for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures.

In its report, the body has said that illicit activities involving cross-chain bridges will become an area of increasing regulatory focus as 2022 steps into its second-half.


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Police Tactics Are Chilling India’s Crypto Winter: Andy Mukherjee

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If success has many fathers, then a crypto exchange in the eye of a money-laundering storm has become an orphan.

After Indian law enforcement froze $8 million (roughly Rs. 63 crore) in WazirX assets, Binance Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao denied owning the country’s largest crypto exchange. Binance’s November 2019 blog post, which had announced the takeover, now comes with a postscript: “The ‘acquisition’ described in this blog was limited to an agreement to purchase certain assets and intellectual property of WazirX. Binance did not purchase any equity (and does not own any equity) in Zanmai Labs, the entity operating WazirX and established by the original founders.”

One of those founders, however, disputes this version of the deal. Nischal Shetty, now based in Dubai according to media reports, contends that Binance indeed controls WazirX — it owns the domain name and could shut down the platform. The only thing that isn’t under the thumb of the world’s largest crypto exchange is Zanmai, Shetty argues. “Naturally, if Binance desires control of Zanmai, they can acquire shares,” he tweeted. So why doesn’t it, if as Shetty claims, it was interested in doing so as late as February?

CZ, as the Binance CEO is popularly known, won’t be so foolish as to walk into the lair of India’s dreaded Enforcement Directorate to stake a claim on Zanmai. Certainly not after the ED’s August 5 press release that alleges Zanmai owns WazirX — and that the crypto exchange was used to launder money by predatory Chinese loan apps. (In a press release, Zanmai said it co-operates the platform with Binance and is in the position of any other intermediary “whose platform may have been misused.”)

The dodgy apps rented the balance sheets of Indian nonbank lenders and vanished with their illegal profits. “The maximum amount of funds were diverted to WazirX exchange and the crypto assets so purchased have been diverted to unknown foreign wallets,” the directorate said, adding that Zanmai officials “are giving contradictory and ambiguous answers to evade oversight by Indian regulatory agencies.”

What oversight? The Reserve Bank of India, the banking regulator, hates crypto. In 2018, the RBI instructed banks not to entertain customers who dealt in virtual currencies. Exchanges like WazirX, then a fledgling startup, survived the draconian diktat by restricting themselves to facilitating person-to-person transfers. In 2020, the industry heaved a sigh of relief when India’s Supreme Court held the RBI’s ban to be unconstitutional. However, all that has happened since then is that authorities have started taxing crypto trading, without bothering to regulate it.

The “crypto winter” brought on by the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin may have convinced the RBI that its dismissive stance was the right one. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das termed cryptocurrencies as a “clear danger” in Singapore last month. His host nation — a far smaller economy — has also taken a few knocks in this year’s turmoil, most recently with the payment freeze at crypto lender Hodlnaut, which had an in-principle nod to obtain a license under Singapore’s Payments Services Act. The approval has been rescinded, but limited spillover into the local financial system means that the monetary authority doesn’t see crypto as a systemic risk. It’s not something the city-state is going to outlaw.

India could also have said that if people are going to play with hazardous tokens anyway, let’s make sure they don’t hurt themselves or others. By showing scant interest in regulating digital assets, the RBI has left the industry in a bad place. Thanks to a recent Indian Supreme Court ruling, the enforcement directorate has nearly unlimited powers for carrying out arrests and raids, attaching property and recording self-incriminating statements. Bail is near impossible, and the burden of proving innocence is on the accused. A couple more scandals, and the ED may achieve the shutdown the RBI has long wished for: The considerable talent India has in this area will flee to more welcoming jurisdictions like Dubai.

If a comparison with a global financial centre like Singapore is not very helpful, maybe India should look to Thailand for inspiration. There, the existing digital regulations are being tweaked to actively create a role for the central bank in safeguarding investors at licensed entities like Zipmex (Thailand) Limited, a cryptocurrency exchange that briefly suspended coin withdrawals. All that the RBI wants, meanwhile, is a blanket ban on crypto because “it is not possible to regulate something that one cannot define.”

Lame excuses like that have led to the present bizarre situation where nobody is coming forward to claim parentage of India’s largest crypto bourse. That’s just what you get by letting jail risk do the job of adult supervision. The enforcement authority in its press release took WazirX to task for its alleged lack of due diligence: “No physical address verification is done,” it said. “There is no check on the source of funds of their clients.” If this picture of a lawless terrain is true, then a big part of blame goes to the RBI’s dangerous disinterest. Letting the enforcement directorate add its own chilling effect to the crypto winter will make the industry shrivel and die.

© 2022 Bloomberg LP


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