Today in Crypto: Pro-Russian & Neo-Nazi Militia Groups Promoting Digital Wallets for Crowdfunding on Telegram, Crypto Scams in Hong Kong up 67%, Thailand to Offer Tax Breaks for Investment Tokens Is
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- Russia-backed interest groups are crowdfunding expenses to cover weapons, supplies, and other materials by promoting their digital wallets across a large network of Telegram channels, the latest report by the crypto security firm CertiK revealed. This network of channels represents groups ranging from pro-Russian English language propaganda channels to sanctioned Neo-Nazi militias. These groups move most of their funds through centralized exchanges, and there appears to be an increasing reliance on smaller exchanges and peer-to-peer platforms that don’t require KYC/AML, it said.
- The number of crypto-related scams reported in Hong Kong in 2022 equaled 2,336 cases, surging 67% from 1,397 cases recorded by police in 2021, the South China Morning Post reported. Financial losses from these scams doubled to more than $216.6m last year, with the latest police figures showing they accounted for more than half of the $407.66m conned out of city residents, as well as some victims living abroad, in nearly 23,000 reports of technology crimes last year, it said.
- Thailand’s cabinet agreed to waive corporate income tax and value-added tax for companies that issue digital tokens for investment, Reuters reported, citing a government spokeswoman. Companies will have access to alternative ways of raising capital through investment tokens in addition to traditional methods like debentures. Also, the government estimates that there will be 128bn baht ($3.71bn) worth of investment token offerings over the next two years and that it would lose tax revenue worth 35bn baht, said the spokeswoman.
- China will form a new national financial regulatory body, consolidating oversight as part of a wider government overhaul that includes plans for a national data bureau, Reuters reported. It said that the current banking and insurance watchdog, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), will be abolished.
- Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the US White House is “aware of the situation” regarding troubled crypto bank Silvergate and that it will “continue monitoring the reports.” She stated that “it is obviously only the latest company in the cryptocurrency field to experience significant issues.”
- Payment processor for the gaming industry ZEBEDEE and mobile-gaming studio Bear Hug Entertainment announced their partnership “aimed to disrupt the casual-gaming market by adding real-money player rewards to familiar gaming concepts,” said the press release. Bear Hug’s first “rewarded game” Coin Mahjong, is live on Android, with an iOS version coming up. It pays out small amounts of money to players as a prize for completing levels, with no entry fees or upfront costs. Several more titles are in the pipeline, it added.
- The TON Foundation, a non-profit association supporting The Open Network (TON), announced that Tonstarter, the primary fundraising platform on TON, has closed a seed round of $1.5 million from Kingsway Capital, Gate.io, and DWF Labs. Tonstarter, incubated by First Stage Labs, will support projects on TON, including decentralized finance (DeFi), decentralized exchanges (DEXs), non-custodial wallets, lending and borrowing protocols, gaming, and the metaverse, a press release said.
- The major producer of Bitcoin (BTC) mining equipment, Canaan, announced its unaudited financial results for the three months and twelve months that ended December 31, 2022. It reported revenues of $56.8m, a decrease of 59.9% from Q3 2022 and a decrease of 82.1% from the same period of 2021; mining revenue of $10.5m, an increase of 16.3% from Q3 2022 and an increase of 368.2% from the same period of 2021; revenues of RMB4,378.9m ($634.9m), compared to RMB4,986.7m in 2021; and mining of RMB218.6m ($31.7m), compared to RMB21.7m in 2021.
- Crypto exchange KuCoin found that, despite the volatility of the crypto market, 52% of surveyed female crypto investors said that they HODL crypto, much higher than 38% among male investors. It further reported that 35% of female crypto investors are “very confident” in crypto investment, which is lower compared to 47% of male investors. Also, 58% of women said they made crypto investment decisions by doing their own research, and 49% of female crypto investors are reported to be self-motivated to start their crypto journey.