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BlackRock Doubles Down on Bitcoin, UNCTD vs. Crypto, DoJ Not Happy With Celsius + More News

Linas Kmieliauskas
Last updated: | 5 min read
Source: Adobe/Tada Images


Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news. 

Investments news

  • Asset management giant BlackRock said it has launched a spot bitcoin (BTC) private trust. It is available to US institutional clients and seeks to track the performance of bitcoin. “Despite the steep downturn in the digital asset market, we are still seeing substantial interest from some institutional clients in how to efficiently and cost-effectively access these assets using our technology and product capabilities,” they added.
  • The latest quarterly Charles Schwab Trader Sentiment Survey revealed that traders are notably bearish on cryptocurrencies (63%) in the current quarter. Few traders plan to buy crypto, and for those who do, most are not first-time crypto investors. 66% of the respondents said they do not own crypto and have no plans to; 20% own but are not investing further; 13% own crypto and will buy more; and 2% said they are first-time buyers.   
  • Schwab Asset Management released its Schwab Crypto Thematic ETF (exchange-traded fund) (STCE) this month to answer investor demand, CNBC reported
  • LongHash Ventures, a Web3-focused investment firm and accelerator, has launched its second fund for USD 100m, TechCrunch reported, citing CEO Emma Cui. 
  • Heavily-backed digital asset marketplace Bakkt said it registered a USD 27.6m net loss in Q2 this year, or 13% smaller than a year ago. Its net revenues increased 60%, to USD 13.6m.

Regulation news

  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development urged authorities to take the following actions to curb the expansion of cryptocurrencies in developing countries due to “the threats cryptocurrencies bring to financial stability, domestic resource mobilization and the security of monetary systems”:
  1. “Ensure comprehensive financial regulation of cryptocurrencies through regulating crypto exchanges, digital wallets and decentralized finance, and banning regulated financial institutions from holding cryptocurrencies (including stablecoins) or offering related products to clients.
  2. Restrict advertisements related to cryptocurrencies, as for other high-risk financial assets.
  3. Provide a safe, reliable and affordable public payment system adapted to the digital era.
  4. Agree and implement global tax coordination regarding cryptocurrency tax treatments, regulation and information sharing.
  5. Redesign capital controls to take account of the decentralized, borderless and pseudonymous features of cryptocurrencies.”

  • The Philippines central bank will close its regular application window for new virtual asset service provider licenses for three years beginning September, Bloomberg reported, citing a memorandum.
  • India‘s Enforcement Directorate (ED) is probing at least 10 crypto exchanges for allegedly laundering more than Rs 1,000 crore (USD 126m) identified as proceeds of crime of the accused firms under investigation in the instant loan app case most of them having a China link, The Economic Times reported, citing undisclosed “people aware of the matter.” The ED is expected to question officials of the crypto exchanges again next week, it added.
  • The European Crypto Initiative, a Brussels-based advocacy organization, has received financial support from the Ethereum Foundation and the Interchain Foundation supporting the Cosmos (ATOM) blockchain and MakerDAO (MKR, DAI). This marks the growing focus of the crypto industry on the upcoming EU-wide regulations that will affect many aspects of its work, said the press release shared with

Legal news

  • The US Department of Justice has demanded more court oversight of bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network‘s plans to make USD 409,000 severance payments to 19 employees and to sell BTC during its bankruptcy, Reuters reported
  • The Moskowitz Law Firm filed a civil suit in the United States against American billionaire Mark Cuban for promoting bankrupt crypto brokerage firm Voyager Digital. The lawsuit demanded a jury hearing.
  • The US Attorney’s Office announced that a California resident was sentenced to three years of probation and 100 hours of community service for his role in a SIM Swap scam that included crypto and that targeted at least forty people. The resident also has to pay restitution in the amount of USD 61,118 and pay a mandatory USD 100 special assessment fee.
  • The US Supreme Court refused to immediately consider if user suits against crypto exchange giant Coinbase can proceed at the same time the company seeks to send the disputes to arbitration, per Bloomberg.

Exchanges news

  • In July, spot trading volumes across all centralized crypto exchanges declined 1.34% to USD 1.39tn, the lowest monthly trading volume recorded since December 2020, per CryptoCompare data. Meanwhile, derivatives trading volume experienced a rise for the first time since March, increasing 13.4% to USD 3.12tn.
  • Binance said that it will support the Ethereum (ETH) Merge. In the case of new forked tokens, Binance will evaluate the support for distribution and withdrawal of the forked tokens, it added.
  • Decentralized exchange dYdX said it blocked user accounts with token links to the US Treasury-sanctioned crypto mixer Tornado Cash. The sanction led to “a significant” increase in accounts flagged by dYdX’s compliance provider. “This sudden influx of flags affected many account holders that never directly engaged with Tornado Cash,” they wrote.

Adoption news

  • London-based blockchain firm Interlay launched a BTC-based cross-chain bridge on Polkadot (DOT), named interBTC (iBTC). The bridge allows the use of BTC on non-native blockchains for DeFi, cross-chain transfers, and NFTs, among others. 
  • The email marketing platform Mailchimp has been suspending the accounts of crypto-related content creators and media outlets this week, affecting self-custody crypto wallet Edge, crypto intelligence firm Messari, NFT artist Ocarina, and news outlet Decrypt, among others.

Crime news

  • Decentralized cross-chain bridge RenBridge has facilitated the laundering of at least USD 540m in proceeds of crime, per crypto analytics firm Elliptic. This includes over USD 153m in ransomware proceeds, as well as cryptoassets believed to have been stolen by North Korea. 

DeFi news

  • More than 37,000 decentralized apps (dapps) have been built on Polygon (MATIC), according to Web3 development platform Alchemy – almost double the number in March and a fourfold increase since the start of the year. The number of monthly active teams went over 11,800 at the end of July, up from just over 8,000 in March.

NFTs news

  • Cronos Labs startup Minted said it has launched its NFT platform, allowing users to list, browse, and purchase from a library of more than 10m NFTs across the Ethereum and Cronos (CRO) blockchains. Minted will reward participation in the ecosystem with its native token MTD, and users will also be able to deposit MTD into vaults to earn an additional yield on it, said the announcement shared with

Mining news

  • In Q2 this year, Hut 8 Mining‘s revenue reached CAD 43.8m (USD 34.3m), or 31% more than a year ago. In the same period of time, its net loss jumped from CAD 4m to CAD 88m. “The change reflects the non-cash revaluation loss on digital assets, partially offset by higher revenue and the non-cash revaluation gain on warrants liability,” they explained.