Russian Crypto Seizure, Crypto.com Enters New Ring + 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.
- Russia’s Prosecutor-General Igor Krasnov has claimed that the government is preparing new legislation that will allow the state to seize cryptoassets. According to the news agency Tass, criminals are now using cryptoassets “for corruption purposes including bribery,” Krasnov stated. He added that “the criminal use of crypto” had become “a serious challenge” in Russia, and that “restrictive measures” and confiscation-related legal provisions were now needed.
- Mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is partnering with Crypto.com for this crypto platform to become UFC’s first-ever global Official Fight Kit Partner. This will enable Crypto.com to place its branding on UFC fight kits. Crypto.com will also receive the designation of UFC’s first-ever Official Cryptocurrency Platform Partner, creating a new sponsorship category for UFC. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed publicly but according to people familiar with the deal, it’s worth USD 175m over 10 years, per CNBC.
- US Congressman Barry Moore has purchased at least USD 5,000 in crypto from May through June, according to a disclosure filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives. The politician has purchased dogecoin (DOGE), ethereum (ETH), and cardano (ADA) worth between USD 1,001 and USD 15,000 each.
- UK lender Nationwide is reviewing its stance on customers investing in crypto assets, Financial News reported, citing a spokesperson from the bank. They added that the bank is looking to “monitor the situation regarding cryptocurrencies” and place additional checks on areas where customers could face a higher risk of being targeted by fraudsters.
- Shares of Coinbase (COIN), rose 1.8% in premarket trading Wednesday, after Oppenheimer analyst Owen Lau said he was a little more bullish on the crypto trading platform, citing expectations of strong second-quarter results, per MarketWatch. Lau raised his stock price target to USD 444 from USD 434, with the new target implying an 89% gain from Tuesday's closing price of USD 235.41, it added.
Auction house Sotheby’s said it will accept bitcoin and ethereum as payments for its 100-carat diamond valued at USD 10m - USD 15m at the July 9 auction. Bidding online started on June 25, while Coinbase Commerce, an enterprise digital payment service offered by crypto giant Coinbase, will facilitate the payment.
- The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts said it has partnered with crypto payment gateway Coindirect to accept cryptocurrencies from any country for hotel bookings and property sales. The hotel group will accept bitcoin, ethereum, and 40 other cryptos.
- A group of Italian and international investors have said that they filed a class-action lawsuit against digital asset platform Binance, claiming that the platform broke its own rules on futures trading. Among other things, they are seeking the restitution of the amounts invested and compensation for the damages they suffered. The investors have engaged the law firm Lexia, in collaboration with the Swiss Blockchain Consortium.
Controversies are arising over the alleged suicide of the crypto advocate and software magnate John McAfee, who died in his Barcelona prison cell just hours after an extradition order passed last month, obliging him to stand trial in the United States. An autopsy is underway, but El Pais reported that sources close to the matter believed suicide was the cause of death. His widow Janice took to Twitter to claim:
“The story of John’s ‘suicide’ was already prepared and presented to the public before I or his attorneys were even notified of his death. Now it’s being conveniently reported that there was a ‘suicide note’ found in his pocket, something that was not mentioned when I collected John’s belongings from prison.”
- The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) will pilot a roll-out of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) in August, Jamaica Observer reported. The delayed roll-out, which should have started in May, will commence with a National Commercial Bank pilot in which customers will be introduced to the new currency, it added.
- Decentralized freelance (DeFi) market CryptoTask said it is going to migrate from Ethereum to the Tezos (XTZ) blockchain. The marketplace claims it has over 35,000 users and 100 sign-ups daily, and to maintain its growth, they opted for the "upgradeable Tezos protocol."
- Bitfinex has upgraded the exchange’s matching engine to better handle spikes in volatility as volumes continue to surge, according to an emailed press release. The increasing number of institutional investors entering the space has driven the need for an engine upgrade, they added.
- Gazprom’s banking arm, the Moscow Stock Exchange and a number of Russian banking and card payment processing firms have revealed the board members of the national payment platform “blockchain operator” they co-created back in April this year. The new firm is named Distributed Register Systems. Per Plus World, the board of directors’ new chairman will be Vadim Kulik, the Deputy President and Chairman of VTB Bank’s management board. Olga Skorobogatova, the First Deputy Governor of the Russian Central Bank, will also sit on the board.