‘Most Significant Legal Action’ Against Crypto in US, Hodlnaut Halts Withdrawals, Zipmex Releases Ethereum & Bitcoin + More News
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- The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control added Ethereum (ETH)-powered crypto mixing service Tornado Cash to its Specially Designated Nationals list, effectively banning Americans from using this mixer. The Department claims that the mixer “has been used to launder more than USD 7bn worth of virtual currency since its creation in 2019.” According to crypto-focused attorney Collins Belton, “this is arguably the most significant legal action that has occurred in crypto and could have absolutely gargantuan ripple effects for everything from dev liability to first amendment implications of code publication.”
We cannot and should not encourage the adoption of crypto while simultaneously agreeing to dismantle any tool that can provide privacy guarantees to users if we want to avoid creating an even more terrible hellscape of surveillance at a scale we can’t even imagine today.— Collins Belton (@collins_belton) August 8, 2022
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Justice, in partnership with the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), announced that all real estate agents, brokers, and law firms are obliged to file reports to the FIU for transactions of freehold real estate properties in the UAE that include virtual asset-related payments and/or payments where the fund(s) used in the transaction were derived from a virtual asset.
- Crypto platform Hodlnaut said it will be halting withdrawals, token swaps, and deposits with immediate effect “due to recent market conditions.” “We work to find the best way to protect our users’ long-term interests,” they said, promising to “provide details and timelines as soon as we can.” Their next update is estimated on Friday, August 19.
- Troubled crypto exchange Zipmex will release ETH on August 11 and BTC on August 16, allowing 60% of its customers to retrieve their digital assets after a suspension of withdrawals from its Z Wallet product, Reuters reported, citing a spokesperson for the company.
- Mike Novogratz-led Galaxy Digital Holdings said it recorded a net comprehensive loss of USD 554.7m in the second quarter this year, compared with a USD 183m loss in the prior year period. However, the company claims that its partners’ capital was USD 1.8bn at the end of the quarter, up 23%, while the company also maintained “a strong liquidity position” of USD 1.5bn as of June 30, 2022. (Learn more: Mike Novogratz Now Admits That Terra’s Model Was Unsustainable)
- Digital asset investment products saw inflows totaling USD 3m last week, or 96% less than a week earlier, per CoinShares data. BTC outflows reached USD 8.5m, compared with USD 85m inflows a week earlier, while ETH inflows increased from USD 1m to USD 16m.
- Multi-blockchain platform Geeq secured a USD 25m funding commitment from digital asset investment firm Global Emerging Markets (GEM), per an announcement. “With the GEM capital commitment, we are ready to bring enterprise and individuals into the metaverse and Web3,” Geeq CEO Ric Asselstine said.
- Fundraising totals for non-ethereum-ecosystem NFT projects outpaced Ethereum (ETH) ecosystem NFT projects in Q2 2022 by a margin of USD 1.8bn, according to crypto intelligence firm Messari. Also, the gaming NFT vertical raised more than four times as much capital as any other NFT vertical in H1.
- Kraken, Shapeshift, Binance, and Bittylicious have caused an estimated 240,000 UK investors to lose GBP 9.9bn (USD 12bn) in total when these exchanges delisted bitcoin SV (BSV), according to Velitor Law, a law firm representing the investors. The claim is brought in the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
- Crypto.com (CRO) said it has secured Electronic Financial Transaction Act and Virtual Asset Service Provider registration in South Korea by acquiring payment service provider PnLink Co. and virtual asset service provider OK-BIT Co. No further details about the deal were provided.
- MoonDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization “united by the mission of decentralizing access to space research and exploration,” said it sent a popular Youtuber Coby Cotton, known for trick-shot group Dude Perfect, into space via the Blue Origin space tourism program.
- Troubled crypto lender Celsius Network (CEL) has withdrawn its motion to bring back ex-chief financial officer Rod Bolger at USD 92,000 a month, prorated over a period of at least six weeks, CNBC reported. Previously, Celsius said it needed Bolger to help it navigate the bankruptcy proceedings as an advisor, “because of Mr. Bolger’s familiarity with the Debtors’ business,” it added.
- NEAR Protocol (NEAR) said that, on June 6th, their Wallet team received a bug report indicating that sensitive information had been shared with a third party. “The issue was fixed promptly the same day,” they said, adding that “we have found no indicators of compromise related to the accidental collection of this data, nor do we have reason to believe this data persists anywhere.” Also, they said that they no longer allow users to create accounts using email or SMS for account recovery.