Today in Crypto: Digital Assets Subcommittee in the US, Iran’s and Russia’s Gold-Backed Stablecoin, UK Sentences Four to 15 Years in Prison
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- US House Republicans will establish a new subcommittee dedicated to cryptocurrency, according to Politico. The subcommittee on digital assets, financial technology, and inclusion will be chaired by Representative French Hill. Incoming Financial Services Chair Patrick McHenry said in an interview that he plans to create the panel because he believes there is “a big hole in how we structure the committee” as it spends more time grappling with crypto topics.
- The Central Bank of Iran is working with Russia to create a “token of the Persian Gulf region,” Vedomosti reported, citing Alexander Brazhnikov, executive director of the Russian Association of Crypto Industry and Blockchain (RACIB). This new stablecoin would be backed by gold and would serve as a payment method in foreign trade. The potential cryptocurrency would operate in a special economic zone in Astrakhan, where Russia started to accept Iranian cargo shipments, it said.
- A UK court sentenced four people to 15 years in prison for illicitly obtaining $25 million worth of digital assets through an Australian crypto exchange. “All four were associates of James Parker, who masterminded the conspiracy from his home in Blackpool over a three-month period between October 2017 and January 2018. James Parker identified and then exploited a loophole on the cryptocurrency trading platform which allowed him and his associates to dishonestly obtain credits worth £21 million at that time,” said a press release.
- Bulgaria’s Prosecutor General Siika Mileva said that “there is nothing political in an investigation of the Nexo cryptocurrency trading company,” according to Bulgarian News Agency. Mileva argued that in recent years, in almost all cases where the prosecution’s investigation affected someone’s financial interest, there have been attacks and accusations. “It has become a national sport to attack the institutions,” Mileva was quoted as saying.
- South Korean Supreme Court ordered damages payment totaling $202,400 to investors due to a service outage at the Bithumb crypto exchange in November of 2017, Yonhap News Agency reported. 132 investors filed a damages suit against the exchange, saying they suffered financial losses. A district had ruled against the investors, but the appellate court later overturned the ruling.
- The US Trustee voiced objections to crypto exchange FTX hiring New York law firm Sullivan and Cromwell, claiming that there are potential conflicts of interest from its previous activity. “S&C’s disclosures as filed are wholly insufficient to evaluate whether S&C satisfies the Bankruptcy Code’s conflict-free and disinterestedness standards,” said Trustee Andrew Vara, a Department of Justice official responsible for bankruptcy cases. “The incomplete disclosures are a sufficient and independent reason to deny the application.”
- Japan’s National Tax Agency issued guidelines for the taxation of non-fungible token (NFT) transactions, including those involved in blockchain games. It stated that “in-game currency (tokens) are frequently acquired and used, and it is complicated to evaluate each transaction.” Therefore, the taxation would only consider the total income based on the in-game currency, evaluating it at the end of the year.
- Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that the hackers behind the Harmony bridge exploit have tried to launder their funds through the Huobi exchange. “We assisted Huobi team to freeze his accounts. Together, 124 BTC have been recovered,” he said.
- Anthony Scaramucci, founder and managing partner of Skybridge Capital, is investing in a company set up by former FTX US president Brett Harrison, according to his tweet on Sunday. “Brett I am proud to be an investor in your new company. Go forward. Don’t look back. Wishing you the best,” he wrote.
- Tiny Colony, Web3‘s construction and management simulation, announced its launch on ImmutableX, the platform for building and scaling Web3 games on Ethereum (ETH), migrating from Solana (SOL). Tiny Colony’s development team has an extensive background in the Film and TV industry, it said. Its CEO and co-founder Arshia Navabi worked on the production team for titles on Netflix, Disney, Amazon Prime Video, and Paramount.