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Crypto News Summary: Bitcoin Mining Difficulty (Re)Breaks Record, NFT Can Be Property in Singapore, Ed Sheeran’s Hacker Imprisoned

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 3 min read
Source: AdobeStock / Myst

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

  • Bitcoin (BTC) mining difficulty, or the measure of how hard it is to compete for mining rewards, went up 3.44% today to 36.84 T, hitting another all-time high. This follows a major jump seen during the previous adjustment: two weeks ago, the difficulty increased by 13.55% to 35.61 T, surpassing the high of 32.05 T recorded in mid-September. 

Regulation news

  • The Singapore High Court has ruled that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) can be considered property, given that they meet four legal requirements, including being distinguishable from other similar assets. Per the judgment, NFTs “have, in recent times, emerged as a highly sought-after collectors’ item. They are, to draw an analogy, the equivalent of a Rolex Daytona, or a F.P. Journe, to a horology enthusiast.” The ruling was issued as an explanation for the injunction the judge granted in May preventing any potential sale of a Bored Ape NFT. 
  • South Korea’s Financial Service Commission has announced new rules per which the crypto holders who have more than ₩100 million ($70,000) in crypto will be monitored to prevent money laundering and other illicit activity, news1 reported. “Customers with large virtual asset holdings are at higher risk of money laundering,” it quoted a press release as saying. It added that stablecoins especially are likely to be used for criminal purposes. 
  • Hong Kong’s government is reportedly working on a crypto bill that would set clear policies to support the market’s expansion, which is expected to be passed in the Legislative Council in the first quarter of 2023, according to China Fund News, citing Liang Hanjing, director of financial technology at InvestHK, the city’s government department for foreign direct investments. According to the director, the government aims to “establish a licensing system for virtual asset service providers (VASPs).” 

Legal news

  • Adrian Kwiatkowski, a hacker from England who stole two unreleased songs by Ed Sheeran and sold them on the dark web in exchange for BTC, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, according to the BBC. The 23-year-old managed to get hold of the songs after hacking the performers’ digital accounts, and had made £131,000 ($148,170), it said.
  • A judge has denied a motion to dismiss wire fraud and money laundering charges against Nate Chastain, former head of product at the OpenSea NFT marketplace. Therefore, his trial will proceed. 

Career news

  • Brokerage app Robinhood is hiring sanctions investigators for its finance crimes compliance unit. The position requires two-plus years of experience working in financial crimes investigation, and one-plus years investigating cryptocurrency transactions, while “Chainalysis experience” is preferred, though not a requirement. 

Payments news

  • Digital asset security and asset transfer platform Fireblocks announced today the public launch of its Payments Engine, which the press release says is a new suite of tools that will enable payment service providers (PSPs) to provide a blockchain-agnostic, end-to-end solution for merchants, entrepreneurs, and creators to accept, manage, and settle digital asset payment transactions across any geography. Early pilot partner Checkout.com has facilitated more than $1 billion in digital asset merchant settlements through their solution this year, and Fireblocks also welcomed a merchant acquirer FIS into its network of partners using the Payments Engine. 

Investment news

  • Spanish cryptocurrency exchange Bit2Me has acquired blockchain and crypto-focused software development company Dekalabs for an undisclosed amount. According to the press release, Dekalabs will maintain its autonomy and continue to develop projects for other companies.

Blockchain news

  • Major global bank Santander has reportedly launched testing of a blockchain-based tokenization platform for transferring ownership of used cars in Brazil, Cointelegraph reported. The platform is designed to automate the process of transferring property registration by deploying smart contracts based on delivery versus payment (DVP). 

Stablecoin news

  • Blockchain development house Laguna Labs has announced the launch of its testnet for Nuon: a decentralized and overcollateralized “flatcoin”, the value of which is pegged to the cost of living, based on daily, on-chain inflation data, said the press release. Users can now test the Nuon minting mechanism on the protocol’s first testnet.