Today in Crypto: IMF Will 'Pursue Relentlessly' CBDC Development, France Supports Global DeFi Rules, Crypto.com Operating Internal Proprietary Trading & Market-Making Teams, Wyre Set to Shut Down
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- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is "working hard" on a concept of a global infrastructure that would ensure interoperability of settlements between digital currencies issued by national central banks, Bloomberg reported. Such platform would avoid an underutilization of so-called central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told a conference in Morocco. Ten central banks — out of 14 that are exploring issuing a national digital tender — are "already crossing the finish line," she said, adding that there’s "a lot that is still not decided" on regulating and organizing CBDCs. "We will pursue relentlessly together" the development of CBDCs, Georgieva said.
- France's top markets regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), said it supports globally coordinated rules for decentralized finance (DeFi). The AMF shared its "preliminary thinking on the regulatory issues" raised by the decentralized and "disintermediated" protocols that make up the DeFi ecosystem in a discussion paper published on Monday. "Due to the cross‐border nature and reach of DeFi activities, the AMF also supports the development of a global coordinated approach towards regulation to ensure a global level‐playing field, which should both aim to protect investors and foster innovation," the paper said.
- Crypto.com has been operating internal proprietary trading and market-making teams, according to the Financial Times, citing five people with direct knowledge of the matter. Executives allegedly gave other, external trading houses "absolutely dramatic sworn statements that Crypto.com was in no way involved in trading," while employees were asked to "say there is no internal market maker type operation." Crypto.com responded by saying that employees had not been asked to lie to other market participants. "We have an internal market maker that operates on the Crypto.com exchange and that internal market maker is treated exactly the same as third-party market makers that identically facilitate tight spreads and efficient markets on our platform. This is not a controversial practice," the company was quoted as saying.
- Binance Markets Limited (BML), Binance’s United Kingdom-based subsidiary, officially canceled registration with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Per the regulator, "this firm can no longer provide regulated activities and products, but previously was authorised by the FCA and/or PRA." The FCA completed Binance’s cancellation request of BML’s permissions with the authority on May 30, 2023. Binance's Sub-Regional Manager for Growth in the UK and Europe, Ilir Laro, said that the cancellation did not have an operational impact as it never conducted any business, according to Finance Magnets.
- Crypto payments firm Wyre is set to shut down next month due to market conditions and "not due to any regulatory agency direction," the team said. Assets on the platform can be withdrawn via Wyre’s dashboard through July 14, after which there will be a separate process to recover assets remaining on the platform. Details will be posted at a later date on the website and blog, they added.
- Ethereum core developers are considering raising the maximum validator balance from the current ETH 32 to ETH 2,048 per validator. In the core developer consensus meeting on Friday, the Ethereum Foundation researcher Michael Neuder argued that the current validator cap promotes decentralization but it unintentionally leads to an inflation of the validator set size. Raising the cap could slow down the expansion of the active validator set, improving the network’s efficiency in terms of achieving finality within a single slot, he said.
- More than 150 Web3 firms have set up operations in Hong Kong’s Cyberport in the past year, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said in a statement. This is the result of the government investing ¥50 million ($7 million) to help Cyberport hasten the development of Web3 with blockchain as the supporting technology, he said. Cyberport is a digital hub set up by the government to promote innovation, and it is managed by a wholly-owned subsidiary of the government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It is home to 1,900 enterprises, the statement said.
- Twitter suspended the account of the popular memecoin-linked, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered bot 'Explain This Bob' after Elon Musk alleged it was a "scam crypto account." The project was linked to the ERC-20 memecoin Bob Token (BOB), launched in April, the price of which plummeted following the suspension. In April, however, Musk had tweeted "I love Bob" in response to a tweet.