MicroStrategy Makes another Bitcoin Move, HK ‘on Tenterhooks’ + More News

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Crypto adoption news

  • Some 100 people have already applied for Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain data-related roles at the BTC-keen American software firm MicroStrategy after the company posted vacancies for analyst and engineer roles on the job platform LinkedIn. The company said it is putting together a blockchain analytics team. The new unit is set to become responsible for putting together the company’s first crypto-related software product offering. The firm described its new project as “an analytics platform with advanced metrics and insights for Bitcoin, bringing data intelligence to the blockchain and cryptocurrency space.”
  • The CEO and founder of the Japanese banking and securities giant SBI Group Yoshitaka Kitao has declared his firm is in talks with “at least two” international players as it looks to launch a joint venture crypto business. Per Reuters, the SBI chief did not name possible partner firms, but commented, “Institutional investors, mainly hedge funds, have recently started investing in cryptocurrencies, […] not just institutional investors, but also Elon Musk.” SBI currently has a long-standing partnership with America’s Ripple, with whom it co-runs the SBI Ripple Asia initiative.

Regulation news

  • Crypto exchanges in Hong Kong said they are “on tenterhooks” as they await a possible move from the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, which may move to ban Hong Kong retail investors from trading in crypto. The department first unveiled its plans back in November, and could seek to bar all but professional investors from the market. However, per the South China Morning Post, the government has now completed a consultation process on the measure and “plans to turn the proposal into a bill and introduce it to the city’s legislative council later this year.” Exchanges have hit back at the plans, with the industry body Global Digital Finance, whose members include BitMEX, Huobi, OKCoin and Coinbase, warning that the move would likely steer retail investors “to unregulated platforms out of reach of the law.”
  • A clear cryptoasset regulatory regime is urgently needed as major companies embrace the alternative asset class, Hester Peirce, a Republican commissioner at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, told Reuters. “That adds to the urgency of us taking some sort of action in this area to provide more clarity,” she was quoted as saying.
  • The Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting a public hearing this month to determine qualifications for investors wanting to open a cryptocurrency trading account, Bangkok Post reported, citing the Secretary-General, Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol. She reportedly said that crypto traders should have financial knowledge, trading experience and “financial status.”
  • On February 18, the bosses of Robinhood, Citadel, Melvin Capital, and Reddit will testify at a House Financial Services Committee hearing Game Stopped? Who Wins and Loses When Short Sellers, Social Media, and Retail Investors Collide, dedicated to the GameStop saga

Blockchain news

  • Last week, a heavy load on the Avalanche (AVAX) network triggered a non-deterministic bug related to state verification, which caused some validators to accept some invalid mint transactions, while the rest of the network refused to honor these transactions, Patrick O’Grady, an engineer at Ava Labs, said in a blog post. “Once the problem was identified, the code was quickly patched to apply the requisite checks in the future, without fund loss,” he added.

DeFi news

  • Alpha Homora, a Defi protocol, said it has closed the loophole that made an exploit this past weekend possible. On February 13, an attacker exploited Alpha Homora V2 using a series of complex transactions, which involved flashloans, netting around USD 38m, they said, adding that they’re working “to find remedial action to resolve the debt.”