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Israel's Pro Crypto Move, Shanghai's Metaverse, Bitcoin-Backed USD 100M Credit Facility + More News
Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- The Bank of Israel (BoI) has instructed local banks to accept profits from digital asset endeavors as long as the source of the money is not related to criminal affairs, local outlet The Marker reported. This represents a direct instruction from the BoI to all local financial institutions that they may no longer refuse to accept profits generated from crypto operations.
- The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that senior Senate aide Corey Frayer will serve as a senior advisor on crypto-related issues. The US securities regulator framed Frayer's work as focused on "SEC policymaking and interagency work relating to the oversight of crypto assets."
- US Republican senator Brandon Smith from Perry County, Kentucky, intends to position Kentucky as a contender in the crypto space, per local outlet Weku.org. If passed, one of his bills would define in Kentucky law various cryptocurrency-related terms, assert the monetary value of cryptocurrencies, and recognize their ownership and exchange. The other would establish special-purpose banks organized as corporations to manage virtual currency and other digital assets.
- China’s biggest city Shanghai released its five-year development plan, which included encouraging metaverse use in public services, business offices, and other areas, reported CBNC. It contained the first mention of the metaverse, the report cited Chinese media reports as saying. The document called for “encouraging the application of the metaverse in areas such as public services, business offices, social entertainment, industrial manufacturing, production safety, and electronic games.” It did not lay out a specific timeline or goals for metaverse research and development.
- Bitfarms, a Bitcoin (BTC) self-mining company, said it secured a USD 100m credit facility with Galaxy Digital backed by BTC. The company said it plans to utilize these funds for general corporate purposes in support of their goals of achieving hash rates of 3 Exahash per second (EH/s) by March 31, 2022 and 8 EH/s by December 31, 2022.
- Binance was reprimanded by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) for telling users of its crypto trading platform that it was allowed to continue operations in Canada when it still lacked a registration to do so. The exchange had told the watchdog that no new transactions involving Ontario residents would happen after December 31, 2021, but is said to have rescinded that commitment without notifying them, which they called “unacceptable.”
- The Indian Goods and Services Tax (GST) department has initiated investigations against crypto exchange WazirX for evading tax worth Rs 40.5 crore (USD 5.46m). The indirect tax department claims that WazirX issued its own cryptoasset, WRX, but refused to pay GST on that, per Economic Times.
- Non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea has frozen 16 Bored Ape and Mutant Ape NFTs after they were reportedly stolen yesterday from the Ross+Kramer Art Gallery in New York. In total, one Clonex, seven Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and eight Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs currently valued at about ETH 615 (USD 2.28m) were stolen.
- The number of bitcoin ATMs has more than doubled in 2021, with just over 14,000 bitcoin ATMs in January 2021, with that number now standing at just under 34,000, per Coin ATM Radar data. While there has been a global level of growth for bitcoin ATMs, the vast majority of these are present in the United States—roughly 29,000.
- The total combined value of treasuries, or assets under management (AUM) for the use of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), increased by around 40 times from around USD 380m in January 2021 to a peak of roughly USD 16bn in mid-September, according to data from DAO stats platform DeepDAO. As of mid-December, the total AUM has decreased by 28.1% since the high water mark to sit at USD 11.5bn.