Singapore’s largest bank expanded crypto trading for accredited investors only, aligned with financial authorities’ views.
Singapore’s largest bank, DBS, has announced another move to expand its crypto services while remaining cautious in complying with the financial authorities’ view that crypto assets are not suitable for retail investors in the country.On Friday, the bank disclosed its decision to expand crypto trading services on its digital exchange (DDEx) to approximately 100,000 “wealth clients who are accredited investors.” Investors who are considered accredited must meet certain criteria regarding their income, net worth, qualifications and understanding of financial markets.Caroline Malcolm, head of international public policy and research at Chainalysis, noted: “Singapore has long indicated that it views most crypto assets as volatile and as a result, not well-suited to retail investors. At the same time though, it continues to indicate its support for DLT-based innovation, such as in the area of asset tokenization.” Previously, the DDEx was only available to corporate and institutional investors, family offices and DBS Private Bank and Treasures Private Client customers. DBS is also a trust anchor for the pilot Project Guardian in Singapore, a blockchain-based liquidity pool of tokenized bonds and deposits for borrowing and lending transactions. The move comes after dramatic months for the crypto space in the country that was once ranked as the most crypto-friendly in the world due to its positive legislative environment. In June, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)’s chief fintech officer, Sopnendu Mohanty, said in an interview that “if somebody has done a bad thing [in the cryptocurrency industry], we are brutal and unrelentingly hard.” Another chapter in the regulatory tightening came weeks later, as the authority sent detailed questionnaires to some applicants and holders of the MAS’ Digital Payment Token licenses, reportedly seeking “highly granular information” about business activities. The questions included top tokens owned and staked via DeFi protocols and aimed to intensify the spotlight on crypto firms amid upcoming regulations.The new framework responds to issues with liquidity and withdrawals that have occurred with firms in the country this year. During this crypto winter, Three Arrows Capital (3AC) went bankrupt after failing to meet margin calls in mid-June. “After recent events, from the Terra-Luna crash, to 3AC, and also the Hodlnaut exchange collapse, I expect we will see more such measures, aimed at further protecting consumers in the crypto asset market, in the future.”The updated regulatory approach does not seem sufficient to keep crypto firms out of the country. RRMine Global, a Filecoin service provider, recently announced that it has shut down business operations in mainland China and is relocating its headquarters to Singapore after Chinese restrictions narrowed operations for Web3 companies.Next week, Singapore will host Token2049, an industry conference that was held in Hong Kong before the pandemic. The event is expected to receive over 5,000 attendees, according to its organization.
The U.S. dollar has been the clear winner as investors seek shelter in the largest global economy, but could the British pound’s weakness be a positive for Bitcoin.
On Sept. 26, the British pound hit a record low against the U.S. dollar following the announcement of tax cuts and further debt increases to curb the impact of a possible economic recession. The volatility simply reflects investors’ doubts about the government’s capacity to withstand the growing costs of living across the region.The U.S. dollar has been the clear winner as investors seek shelter in the largest global economy, but the British pound’s weakness could be a net positive for Bitcoin. The GBP, or British pound, is the world’s oldest currency still in use and it has been in continuous use since its inception.Fiat currencies are a 52-year old experimentThe British pound, as we currently know, started its journey in 1971 after its convertibility with gold or theequivalent was effectively terminated. Since then, the currency issued by the Bank of England has not had a fixed valuation.Inflation has been the centerpiece of economic debates all throughout 2022 after central banks added liquidity to the markets over the previous two years to stimulate economies. As a result, in August 2022, the United Kingdom saw a 9.9% increase in consumer prices versus the previous year. On Sept. 22, the government announced an unprecedented tax cut, the highest since 1972, causing the British pound to reach an intraday low of $1.038 versus the U.S. dollar on Sept. 26. Analysts concluded that government bond issuance would increase to pay for the lesser tax, and interest rates would have to be aggressively increased. While the GBP’s loss of value is shocking, one must analyze exactly how important is the global currencies market, and how relevant is the British pound to cryptocurrencies. The first part is relatively easy to answer, but it depends on whether or bank deposits, savings and certificates of deposits are accounted for. If we stick to the base money definition, exclusively measuring circulating cash and deposits at the central bank, the pound sterling stood at GBP 1.05 trillion in June 2022.In U.S. dollar terms, the U.K. currency represents $1.11 trillion out of the global $28.2 trillion in fiat base money, or roughly 4%. On the other hand, the euro, the unified currency of the eurozone nations, leads the ranking with $6 trillion, closely followed by the U.S. dollar with $5.5 trillion. Hence, the significance of the GBP remains high, backed by the region’s $3.19 trillion gross domestic product in 2021, the fifth largest in the world.In October 1990, the British government decided to pair the GBP based on the Deutsche Mark because Germany was the leading economic force in the region. However, the country was forced to withdraw from the pairing in September 1992 after Britain’s lackluster financial performance made the exchange rate unsustainable. As a result, during “Black Wednesday,” the interest rates suddenly increased from 10% to 15%, and the GBP currency devalued by 25% overnight.Related: GBP follows euro; The pound-dollar rate hits all-time lowSupply caps and scarcity could give crypto a chance to shineVery few assets can compete with fiat money in terms of relevance. Gold has roughly $6 trillion in value, excluding jewelry and non-financial assets, is a definite contender. The tech giant, Apple, also leads the stock market valuation with a $2.45 trillion capitalization, followed by oil producer Saudi Aramco, which is at $2 trillion.Estimating the relevance of the British pound on cryptocurrencies is not simple, but according to data from Nomics, out of the global Bitcoin fiat trading, the U.S. dollar is the absolute leader with 89%, followed by 4% from the Japanese yen, 3% for the euro and 2% for the sterling. Consequently, the direct impact on Bitcoin trading seems relatively small, but the fact that the oldest fiat currency reached an all-time low against the U.S. dollar could be a game-changer for cryptocurrencies. According to Porkopolis Economics, the average issuance rate of the pound sterling since 1970 has been 11.2% per year. This figure directly compares to Bitcoin’s issuance of 900 coins daily or 1.7% yearly.Once the general population realizes their savings and investments are being devalued more aggressively by central bank stimulus measures, the benefits of a decentralized form of money could become clear. But, for now, the U.S. dollar has been the clear winner, reaching its highest level in over 20 years compared to other major global fiat currencies.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Michael Patryn was doxed earlier this year for being the co-founder behind the DeFi project Wonderland, which collapsed shortly after.
According to DeFi Llama, UwU Lend, a decentralized finance, or DeFi, protocol that acts as a money market on the Ethereum blockchain, has surpassed $50 million in total value locked (TVL). The non-custodial protocol was created by Michael Patryn, known by the pseudonym “Sifu,” who was the co-founder of defunct cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX.UwU Lend allows users to earn interest on deposits and pay interest to borrow funds on its platform. Outstanding loans on UwU lend are overcollateralized, with more collateral backing them than debt. A small amount of fees from each transaction goes into the UwU treasury. Borrowers do not have a repayment schedule and there is no limit on loan duration.The protocol also features its native token, UwU. The tokens can be used to participate in revenue share by staking in the liquidity provider pool. The max supply of UwU is 16 million, of which 50% are for community emissions, 25% are for investors and 25% for the team.Michael Patryn was previously known as Omar Dhanani before two name changes in 2003 and 2008. He has been convicted of various financial crimes in the United States. After founding QuadrigaCX with co-founder Gerald Cotten in 2013, Patryn left the firm in 2016, citing a disagreement with its listing processes. Cotten died in 2018 of Crohn’s disease and took the private keys to the firm’s crypto to his grave — leading to the permanent loss of over $145 million of customers’ funds. Earlier this year, DeFi detective zachxbt uncovered that Patryn was running DeFi protocol Wonderland as its co-founder and under the pseudonym Sifu. After heavy community backlash resulting from the dox, the beleaguered DeFi project wound down operations. The price of Wonderland tokens collapsed as a result. https://t.co/Rkin96Ccdbhttps://t.co/A9UQ22X2gH pic.twitter.com/hnvOPeLO16— 0xsifu (@0xSifu) September 21, 2022
It’s still all about the U.S. dollar this week as the monthly close and options expiry loom for Bitcoin.
Bitcoin (BTC) volatility edged higher during Sept. 26 as the Wall Street open avoided significant losses.BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingViewMonthly close tipped to shake up BTC priceData from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD circling $19,000 on the day, with hourly candles of 1.5%–2% not uncommon.The pair was expected to break out of its narrow trading range in the short term, having consolidated since Sept. 22.For Michaël van de Poppe, founder and CEO of trading firm Eight, a tap of the area at the top of the range should signal acontinuation higher.“Theory still stands for Bitcoin,” he told Twitter followers on the day. “Crucial area at $18.6K holds for support, which we’ve been testing multiple times. Another test of the $19.4K–19.5K area (which we’ll be doing soon) is, most likely, giving a breakout to the upside. I’m targeting $20K and $22.5K.”On-chain analytics resource Material Indicators agreed on volatility returning.“BTC is trading in a tight range. Volatility will increase as the week progresses toward the Monthly Close, which coincides with Monthly and Quarterly Options expiry,” it wrote in a Twitter thread on the current state of the market. “If bulls can manage a green M close above $20k, technical resistance is at the key MAs.”Eyeing a longer-term range, meanwhile, fellow trader and analyst Josh Rager suggested that an optimistic scenario could see BTC/USD echo its growth from the first half of 2019. “Uncertain if a bottom is in for Bitcoin but if $BTC price starts making its way back up to $24k+, I’ll certainly be paying attention,” he tweeted. “Not saying that history will repeat but April ’19 took most people by surprise.”Rager acknowledged that the macroeconomic environment this year was “different” from 2019.BTC/USD monthly returns chart (screenshot). Source: CoinglassDollar strength sees best ever yearOn the macro topic, United States equities stabilized at the Sept. 26 Wall Street open, helping highly-correlated crypto to avoid downside volatility. Related: ‘The bond market bubble has burst’ — 5 things to know in Bitcoin this weekThe S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index were down 0.35% and 0.65% on the day, respectively.The U.S. dollar index (DXY) nonetheless looked primed to attack its latest twenty-year highs, having retraced only modestly after reaching 114.52 — its highest since May that year.2022 has marked the best year ever for DXY, now up over 18% since Jan. 1.“The 52-week percent change (lower-bound) is +21.3%, the highest rate of change since Q2 2015,” Caleb Franzen, senior market analyst at Cubic Analytics, noted in part of a tweet on the day. U.S. dollar index (DXY) 1-month candle chart. Source: TradingView“The trend will stabilize & the RoC will normalize, but that doesn’t necessitate a decline in the $DXY.”The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.
The views of the NSA whistleblower, who has been in Russia since 2013, seemingly clash with those of President Vladimir Putin, who has often worked against promoting decentralization.
Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly granted citizenship to United States National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, who had been residing in the country since 2013.According to a Monday report from Reuters, Putin signed a decree effectively changing Snowden’s legal status in Russia from permanent resident to citizen. The NSA whistleblower has been in exile from the United States following his leak of thousands of classified documents to journalists but continued to speak on issues including national security in addition to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.While Putin has taken legislative action in Russia that seems to curtail the use of crypto — including banning the use of digital assets as payments in a July law — Snowden has frequently spoken on the benefits of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC). The whistleblower and now Russian citizen revealed in 2019 that he used BTC to pay for the servers from which he released the infamous documents of the NSA leak, and said in April he played a pivotal role in creating the privacy token Zcash (ZEC).Related: Bitcoin got stronger despite government crackdowns, says Edward Snowden“I don’t care if you’re in the United States, I don’t care if you’re in Germany, and I don’t care if you’re in Russia, I don’t care if you’re in China — it is a global trend where we see government doing more,” said Snowden in DeData Salon fireside chat from Sept. 23. “They have greater capability because of technology acting as a magnifier of pre-existing power. It allows them to increase their leverage, right? They’re leveraging their influence to try to sort of act and compete not just within their own borders but globally and now we have those levers starting to press on each other and it’s causing sort of problems and conflicts all over the world.”This story is developing and will be updated.
Most Cardano hard forks have preceded ADA price crashes, and Vasil looks no different.
Cardano’s (ADA) long-awaited Vasil update went live on Sept. 22, which promises to make its blockchain more scalable and cheaper than before. However, this has failed to bring bullish momentum to the ADA market.Sell-the-news hampers CardanoADA’s price has dropped by approximately 9.5% since the update and was changing hands for $0.43 on Sept. 26. The ADA/USD pair’s drop was accompanied by a rejection candlestick on its daily price chart, confirmed by a brief rally to $0.48 on the day of the fork and a sharp correction thereafter.ADA/USD daily price chart. Source: TradingViewADA bulls’ muted reaction to the successful Vasil update is similar to what transpired across the Ether (ETH) market after Ethereum’s Merge.In other words, a buy the rumor, sell the news event, resembling most of Cardano’s previous hard forks, which have a history of preceding ADA price crashes, as shown below.ADA/USD three-day price chart. Source: TradingViewIn addition, macro risks led by a very hawkish Federal Reserve also weighed down ADA’s bullish expectations post-Vasil. The U.S. central bank’s decision to raise its benchmark rates by another 0.75% came within 48 hours before the Cardano update. ADA fell alongside risk-on assets in response, given its consistent positive correlation with stocks throughout 2022.As of Sept. 26, the correlation coefficient between the Cardano token and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.83.ADA/USD and Nasdaq daily correlation coefficient. Source: TradingViewADA price eyes 40% crashMeanwhile, ADA’s technicals are painting a descending triangle pattern for a bearish outlook in the near term.Related: Charles Hoskinson and ETH dev get into a war of words post-Vasil upgradeTheoretically, a descending triangle in a downtrend acts as a bearish continuation signal, meaning it resolves after the price breaks below its support trendline decisively. In doing so, the price falls by as much as the maximum triangle height.ADA/USD three-day price chart featuring descending triangle breakdown setup. Source: TradingViewTherefore, a breakdown below ADA’s triangle support of $0.41 could have its price crash toward $0.25. In other words, a 40% price decline by the end of 2022.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Cardano’s Vasil hard fork seeks to enhance the platform’s transaction throughput speeds, DApp development capacity, security and general usability.
After several delays and some setbacks, Cardano’s long-awaited Vasil upgrade finally went live on Sept. 22. From the outside looking in, the hard fork is designed to help improve the ecosystem’s scalability and general transaction throughput capacity as well as advance Cardano’s decentralized applications (DApps) development capacity. To commemorate the event, an announcement was made by blockchain firm Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) — which currently oversees the design, building and maintenance of the Cardano platform — just minutes after the development.To obtain a more holistic overview of what the upgrade represents and its potential impact on Cardano (as well as the crypto ecosystem at large), Cointelegraph reached out to Shahaf Bar-Geffen, CEO of COTI, a protocol for creating decentralized payment networks and stablecoins. In his view:“The Vasil Upgrade heralds the dawn of a new era for the Cardano ecosystem and the decentralized finance space at large. The upgrade aims to improve the network’s scalability and enhance Cardano’s smart contract capabilities.”Bar-Geffen further noted that the hard fork will significantly improve the efficiency of Djed, an algorithmic stablecoin developed jointly by IOHK and the COTI Group, increasing the number of transactions carried out on the Djed platform and thus helping position Cardano as a prime contender for stablecoin transactions.A closer look at what Vasil has to offerBefore looking at the functional and operational benefits afforded by the Vasil hard fork, it would be best to understand what exactly a hard fork is. In its most basic sense, a hard fork is a network upgrade set in motion when those governing a blockchain platform decide to add or fix certain features to the ecosystem. In other words, when a hard fork takes place, the network splits into two versions that run separately, where one version follows existing features and rules while the other continues as an upgraded version of the network. Expounding her view on the technical aspects of the upgrade, Charmyn Ho, head of crypto insights for cryptocurrency exchange Bybit, told Cointelegraph that at the application layer, Cardano’s Vasil hard fork aims to bolster the network’s current smart contracts to curate a better experience for both users and developers alike, adding:“This will simultaneously lead to a more efficient building process with regard to applications on the chain. At the infrastructure level, the many upgrades that come with the Vasil hard fork will allow Cardano to increase its block size and TPS whilst maintaining its POS mechanism.”Ho further highlighted that the Vasil hard fork is aimed not just at improving the scalability of the chain and optimizing its existing features but also at bolstering the network’s stability and connectivity. “This is a huge and prominent step forward for Cardano as the upgrade is expected to reduce the network’s transaction costs while increasing transaction speeds,” she added. Recent: Ethereum post-Merge hard forks are here — Now what?Lastly, it is worth noting that Vasil is not Cardano’s first major network upgrade because a year or so ago, the project witnessed the launch of another hard fork called Alonzo, which was designed to allow users to devise DApps using smart contracts. The Alonzo upgrade, alongside many other developments, was Cardano’s way of providing users with an attractive alternative to Ethereum, another platform that allows for the seamless development of novel applications using smart contracts.Why is Vasil so important?Named after a prominent member of the Cardano community who passed away in 2021, Vasil St. Dabov, the upgrade will enhance the ecosystem’s transaction throughput, efficiency and block latency speeds. Furthermore, the hard fork will see the implementation of a technique called diffusion pipelining, which seeks to improve block propagation times while increasing the network’s transaction processing capabilities.The Vasil hard fork will introduce three key Cardano Improvement Proposals (CIPs), namely CIP-31, CIP-32 and CIP-33. In this regard, CIP-31 will spur the introduction of a new reference input mechanism that will allow DApps to access transactional output data without having to recreate it as before, making the entire process extremely streamlined and time-saving. At the same time, CIP-32 is designed to enhance Cardano’s native decentralization levels by introducing an on-chain data storage feature for network participants.CIP-33 will make transactions lighter by making changes to the system’s native programming script, allowing for faster processing as well as reduced fees. Lastly, another improvement called CIP-40 will be introduced as part of Vasil. It will introduce a new output transaction mechanism to help improve block transmission without full validation. Other updates include an enhancement of Cardano’s native smart contract programming language Plutus, which will now be more functionally advanced than its previous iteration. Not only that, Vasil will also improve the platform’s security by making it easier to interface with Cardano’s UTXO model (which has been built to resemble that of Bitcoin) while keeping its transaction load off-chain.Potential effects on ADAWhile the first round of the hard fork started on Sept. 22, the remaining upgrades are set to take effect on Sept 27. To this point, the second phase of the hard fork will look to redefine Plutus’ cost model, which has a direct effect on the processing power and memory fees required to govern Cardano’s native smart contracts.In addition to the Vasil upgrade, the Cardano team revealed that it has been working tirelessly on the development of its layer-2 scaling solution — the Hydra head protocol — which is capable of processing transactions from the Cardano blockchain while still making use of it as its core security and settlement layer. To this point, a recent update by the Cardano team revealed it had successfully addressed a known issue with Hydra’s node framework. As things stand, the protocol does not have a fixed release date. However, the IOHK team has hinted that the offering could make its way into the market sometime in late 2022 or the first quarter of 2023.Recent: El Salvador’s Bitcoin decision: Tracking adoption a year laterVasil was originally slated to go live earlier this year but faced numerous setbacks. Even though the upgrade is live now, the ecosystem continues to reel in from the impact of these delays. For example, since the start of 2020, Cardano’s native cryptocurrency, ADA, has continued to witness a dip in its transaction volume. Not only that, but from a purely price-performance standpoint, the upgrade has not been able to do much in terms of spurring ADA’s value, with the currency trading down less than 1% on the week.Despite ADA’s price action continuing to remain quite lackluster, the fact that the Cardano ecosystem has made such tremendous strides over the past year shows that the project seems to be primed for big things in the near to mid-term.
The hacker stole 732 ETH worth about $950,000 and sent it to the sanctioned Tornado Cash mixer.
Hacks and exploits continue to plague the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector as another vanity wallet address joins the roster of DeFi victims, which, collectively, have lost more than $1.6 billion in 2022. In an alert published by blockchain security firm PeckShield, a hacker was detected after stealing 732 Ether (ETH), around $950,000, from an address created at the Ethereum vanity wallet address generator called Profanity. After draining the wallet, the exploiters sent the crypto to the recently sanctioned crypto mixer Tornado Cash. #PeckShieldAlert Seems like $950k worth of crypto has been stolen by 0x9731F from Ethereum “vanity address” generated with a tool called Profanity. The exploiter already transferred ~732 $ETH into Mixer pic.twitter.com/QOZfnE49H4— PeckShieldAlert (@PeckShieldAlert) September 26, 2022
Vanity addresses are customized crypto wallet addresses that are generated to include words or specific characters chosen by the owner. However, as pointed out by recent exploits, the safety of vanity addresses remains questionable. Earlier in September, decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator 1inch Network warned community members that their addresses were not safe if they we generated using Profanity. The DEX called out crypto holders with vanity addresses to transfer their assets immediately. According to 1inch, the vanity address generator used a random 32-bit vector to seed 256-bit private keys, which means that it lacks safety. Following the DEX aggregator’s warnings, ZachXBT, a blockchain investigator, haannounced that an exploit of the vulnerability in Profanity has already allowed some hackers to get away with $3.3 million worth of digital assets. Related: White hat: I returned most of the stolen Nomad funds and all I got was this silly NFTOn Sept. 20, the United Kingdom-based crypto market maker suffered an exploit that led to $160 million in losses. According to researcher Ajay Dhingra, the exploit may have been due to the firm’s hot wallet being compromised and manipulating a bug in the smart contract. Evgeny Gaevoy, the firm’s founder and CEO, called out the attackers to get in touch as they are open to treating the exploit as a white hat hack.
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The Binance crypto exchange will burn all trading fees collected on its LUNC/BUSD and LUNC/USDT spot and margin pairs.
To support the Terra community’s efforts to revive the Terra (LUNA) — now renamed Terra Classic (LUNC) — token, crypto exchange Binance announced an off-chain burning mechanism last week. However, after receiving mixed reactions from community members, the exchange revised its burning approach. On Sept. 23, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao wrote that the exchange will create an optional 1.2% tax when trading LUNC. Zhao added that they will roll out the 1.2% tax for all LUNC trading if traders who opt-in to pay the tax reach 50% of the total LUNC trading volume on the exchange, leaving the decision to users. However, days after the post, Zhao laid out the flaws of their previous plan. Because of this, Binance announced a revised method to support the revival of LUNC. According to Zhao, the exchange will now completely burn all the trading fees that it collects from its LUNC/BUSD and LUNC/USDT spot and margin trading pairs. The fees collected will be converted into LUNC and sent to LUNC’s official burning address.Through this, the Binance CEO believes that the exchange will be able to contribute to decreasing the supply of LUNC and be “fair” to all users. Related: Exchanges criticized for ‘nothingburger PR’ posts on upcoming LUNC tax burnAfter the infamous Terra collapse, LUNC investors continued to advocate revival methods for the crypto token. Exchanges supported the revival through airdrops, listing, buyback and burning while community members worked on implementing a 1.2% on-chain tax burn for all LUNC transactions. Following this, the token showed signs of life, soaring by 250% on Sept. 9.Meanwhile, South Korean authorities are now after Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon for allegedly violating the country’s capital markets law. A court located in Seoul, South Korea issued an arrest warrant for Kwon and five others on Sept. 14. Following this, the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) issued a “Red Notice” for Kwon on Monday. The Red Notice is a type of request for law enforcement bodies across the globe to arrest persons facing various situations like legal charges.