Author: Cointelegraph

US crackdown will push crypto’s ‘center of gravity’ to Hong Kong: Kaiko CEO

The U.S. government’s frosty approach to cryptocurrency regulation could ultimately see the industry’s “center of gravity” shift to Hong Kong, says Ambre Soubiran, the CEO of Paris-based institutional crypto market data provider Kaiko.

The U.S. has been at the forefront of the crypto sector for quite some time, however, with the government seemingly adopting a regulation by enforcement approach, there is a growing feeling by some that a significant amount of companies, developers and investors will soon flock elsewhere to work in friendlier environments.

Speaking with the Wall Street Journal on April 1, Soubiran suggested that the recent crackdown on crypto in the U.S. will inadvertently help Hong Kong in its goal of becoming a major crypto hub:

“The U.S. being more stringent these days than ever on crypto and Hong Kong…


FTX EU opens withdrawal, Elon Musk calls for AI halt, Binance…

Top Stories This Week

FTX EU launches withdrawal website to pay back European users

The European arm of FTX has launched a website to allow customers in Europe to submit withdrawal requests. It comes nearly five months after the global trading platform collapsed and went bankrupt in early November. Meanwhile, in the United States, lawyers for former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried have entered a not-guilty plea for five additional charges, including accusations of bribery in China. On bail since being turned over to U.S. custody from the Bahamas, Bankman-Fried is now prohibited from using any smartphone with internet access as part of a new court agreement.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak were signatories on an open letter signed by more than 2,600 tech industry leaders and researchers calling for a temporary halt on any further artificial intelligence (AI) development. The petition shared concerns that AI with human-competitive intelligence can pose serious hazards to society and mankind. It urged all AI firms to “immediately cease” developing AI systems that are more potent than GPT-4 for at least six months. Although supported…


Uniswap v3 code free to fork as BSL expires

Developers are now allowed to fork Uniswap v3 protocol as its Business Source License (BSL) expired on April 1, shows the protocol documentation. The expiration was a much-anticipated event within the DeFi ecosystem, as it enables developers to deploy their own decentralized exchange (DEX). 

The BSL is a type of license meant to last for a determinate period before becoming completely open source. In general, the purpose is to protect the author’s right to profit from their creations. Uniswap v3’s license was released in 2021 for a period of two years, preventing its code from commercial use. A new license called General Public License applies to the protocol now.

To fork the code, developers will be required an Additional Use Grant, a production exemption meant to accommodate both the needs of open-source and commercial developers.

Screenshot: Uniswap V3 core smart contracts repository on GitHub. Source: GitHub

Uniswap is a widely utilized decentralized exchange, considered the biggest automated market maker (AMM) in DeFi space, providing a platform where token creators, traders, and liquidity providers to swap tokens. Its token UNI (UNI) is a popular way for investors to gain…


Former Activision Blizzard executive joins Yuga Labs as CEO

Yuga Labs, the company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and CryptoPunks NFT collections, has a new CEO: Daniel Alegre. The executive resigned as president and chief operating officer of the gaming giant company Activision Blizzard to join the NFT startup on April 1. 

“Couldn’t be more excited for this next chapter,” he wrote on Twitter. Alegre was a key player in Activision Blizzard’s growth in the past years, overseeing popular gaming franchises like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Candy Crush.

The executive has been involved in the gaming, entertainment, and technology industries for many years. According to his LinkedIn profile, he worked for the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann for nearly six years before joining Google, where he served for more than 16 years in various leadership positions overseeing areas such as global shopping revenue, retail…


Latest court battle could alter crypto landscape in US

Regulatory trouble is nothing new for Binance, and on many occasions, in the past, it has managed to overcome or bypass such roadblocks and eventually work with regulators. 

However, when it comes to the United States, the exchange has found itself in the cross-hairs of multiple agencies.

A number of United States financial regulators have ongoing investigations against the crypto exchange. Some of these investigations date back to 2018, and now, one of the primary derivatives market regulators in the U.S. has filed a lawsuit in conjunction with its investigation that started in early 2021.

The U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission filed a lawsuit against Binance along with its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, and former chief compliance officer Samuel Lim on March 28.

The lawsuit alleges that Binance violated U.S. derivatives laws by offering its derivative trading services to U.S. customers without registering with appropriate market regulators. The CFTC accused Binance of prioritizing commercial success over regulatory compliance.

The lawsuit also made headlines because the CFTC has not only levied charges against the exchange but also against Zhao and Lim. The U.S. regulator has…


Do algorithmic stablecoins have a future as centralized coins are under scrutiny?

Binance’s native stablecoin — Binance USD (BUSD) — was the third-largest stablecoin pegged to the United States dollar, minted by blockchain infrastructure platform, the Paxos Trust Company, through a transfer of technology agreement between the two firms. 

However, on Feb. 13, the New York Department of Financial Services ordered Paxos to stop minting any new BUSD tokens.

The move came just days after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission issued a Wells notice alleging BUSD violates securities laws.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao even predicted that regulatory clampdowns would force several other crypto businesses to move away from dollar-pegged stablecoins in the near future, and look for alternative tokens pegged to the euro or Japanese yen.

Zhao’s comments came during a Twitter AMA (ask me anything) session where he said that although gold is a good backing option, most people’s assets are in fiat currencies. He admitted that the U.S. dollar’s dominance in international markets makes it a go-to fiat currency, which is one of the main reasons behind the popularity of dollar-pegged stablecoins. However, regulatory action against such assets might make way…


More than 3600 Bitcoin ATMs went offline to record largest monthly decline

Contradicting the growing global Bitcoin (BTC) adoption rate, physical ATMs dedicated to fiat-crypto conversions are on the decline. In March alone, 3,627 crypto ATMs were removed from the network, bringing down the total ATMs to 33,727.

In nearly a decade since the first Bitcoin ATM was launched on Oct. 29, 2013, the net change of cryptocurrency machines installed and removed monthly remained positive most times — implying that total crypto ATMs worldwide were steadily increasing. However, the trend is reversing, reveals Coin ATM Radar data.

Net change of cryptocurrency machines number installed and removed monthly. Source: Coin ATM Radar

As shown above, net crypto ATM installations declined for four months — September 2022 and the first three months of 2023. However, with 3,627 crypto ATMs going down last month makes March 2023 stand out as the month with the largest monthly decline.

Number of bitcoin machines installed over time. Source: Coin ATM Radar

The chart above shows the number of bitcoin machines installed over time, revealing the sudden drop in the total crypto ATMs. The significance of this reduction seems enormous, considering that the highest number of ATMs…


Terra co-founder Daniel Shin’s arrest denied by court, citing low flight risk

A local court in South Korea denied the prosecutor’s request to issue an arrest warrant for Terraform Labs co-founder Shin Hyun-Seong, also known as Daniel Shin. This was the second attempt made by South Korean authorities to reign in Shin following the recent arrest of Do Kwon — Terra’s other co-founder.

On March 23, Kwon was arrested at Podgorica airport in Montenegro while attempting to use fake documents to fly abroad. The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office took advantage of this situation and, on March 27, requested an arrest warrant for Shin, citing his involvement in cashing in illicit profits from Terra (LUNA) and TerraUSD (UST) sales.

However, the Seoul Southern District Court denied the request while citing unconfirmed allegations and the unlikeliness of Shin being a flight risk or destroying evidence, according to local media Yonhap.

Shin currently faces multiple fraud charges, specifically in relation to allegedly hiding risks associated with investing in the in-house tokens by Terraform Labs.

Related: South Korea to examine crypto staking services following the Kraken case

Following Kwon’s arrest in Montenegro, authorities from both the United States…


El Salvador removes all taxes related to tech innovation for economic growth

El Salvador, the first country to establish Bitcoin (BTC) as a legal tender, has decided to eliminate all taxes on technology innovations. The move runs parallel to establishing the National Bitcoin Office (ONBTC) of El Salvador, also known as “the Bitcoin office.“

When legalizing Bitcoin on Sept. 7, 2021, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele saw the technology as a means to counter hyperinflation and dependence on the U.S. dollar. Over the past 18 months, El Salvador restrategized Bitcoin investments and utilized capital gains in numerous instances to rebuild the nation.

Moving ahead with the strategy, Bukele believed in winding down tax requirements to expedite technological development. As promised, on April 1, Bukele officially sent a bill to Congress — effectively eliminating all income, property, and capital gains taxes on technology innovations “such as software programming, coding, apps and AI development, as well as computing and communications hardware manufacturing.”

Supporting this initiative is the establishment of the Bitcoin office, a regulatory body for conducting joint initiatives with Bitcoin entrepreneurs and companies. According to Asociación Bitcoin…


Elon Musk requests dismissal of $258B Dogecoin lawsuit: Report

Elon Musk and his lawyers reportedly requested a United States judge dismiss a $258 billion lawsuit filed by investors who alleged he operated a pyramid scheme to promote the cryptocurrency Dogecoin (DOGE).

According to an April 1 Reuters report, Elon Musk’s lawyers stated that the lawsuit against Musk — filed by Dogecoin investors in June 2022 — was a “fanciful work of fiction” in Manhattan’s federal court on March 31.

Musk’s lawyers explained that his support for Dogecoin on social media, including comments such as “Dogecoin Rulz” and “no highs, no lows, only Doge,” was “too vague” to warrant a fraud claim. The lawyers stated:

“There is nothing unlawful about tweeting words of support for, or funny pictures about, a legitimate cryptocurrency that continues to hold a market cap of nearly $10 billion.”

Musk’s lawyers referred to his Dogecoin statements as “innocuous and often silly tweets” to convince the judge to “throw out” the multibillion-dollar lawsuit.

Musk was accused of driving up Dogecoin’s price “more than 36,000% over two years and then letting it crash,” with it being alleged in the initial filing last year that he “used…


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