Today in Crypto: Thailand Delays Digital Wallet Plan, Crypto Wallet Downloads Dropping Last Two Years, Reddit Removes Alleged Insider-Trading Moderators
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- Thailand’s digital wallet scheme, which aimed to pay out 10,000 baht ($275) to citizens over 16 years old, has been delayed. “The prime minister instructed us to be ready to hand out the money by Feb 1, but I am ready to tell him that we cannot make it because we must take time to develop a stable and secure system. We cannot trade the system for time,” Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat said, as reported by the Bangkok Post. It will take longer to develop a secure system, he said, adding: “It needs maximum security but I can confirm that we will finish it for the handout to start within the first quarter of next year. Amornvivat also confirmed that a sub-committee working on the sources of money for the program could not reach a conclusion last Thursday and will meet again on Tuesday.
- Crypto wallets saw 73.6 million downloads in nine months of this year, or 32% less than in the year-ago period, according to data presented by AltIndex.com. After reaching an all-time high in 2021 (nearly 186 million downloads that year alone), driven by a bull market, download figures started falling. Between January and December 2022, the monthly number of downloads more than halved, falling from 16.8 million to 7.8 million, causing the annual number of downloads to drop by 26% year-over-year to 137.5 million. The negative trend continued in 2023, as noted above. September saw 5.8 million crypto wallet downloads last month, the lowest number in the past three years. “But despite the negative trend, the total number of crypto wallet downloads is still quite impressive,” the report said, as “people worldwide downloaded more than 490 million apps that allow for cryptocurrency storage since January 2015.”
Social media news
- Reddit’s r/CryptoCurrency subreddit fired the moderators who had traded its native token MOON just before the social media site announced its decision last Tuesday to end its “Community Points” program. “All the moderators who sold Moons before the announcement have already been removed from the mod team,” CoinDesk reported, citing a Twitter message from the subreddit. U/mellon, a core contributor and MoonDust founder, told Cointelegraph that two moderators were removed while three others are being investigated.
- Web3 security company Blockaid announced that it emerged from stealth with $33 million in funding from “a syndicate of some of the world’s greatest investors in Fintech, Cybersecurity, and web3,” including Ribbit, Variant, Cyberstarts, Sequoia, and Greylock. It plans to use the funds to fuel the company’s growth, scale the team and the product, and “expand security to all companies in web3 who want to protect their users from fraud, phishing, and hacks,” it said. Blockaid is co-founded by two former Israeli military cyber intelligence personnel, and its clients include MetaMask and OpenSea, among others.
- Hong Kong must address money-laundering risks posed by cash-for-crypto shops after the JPEX platform scandal exposed gaps in regulation, the South China Morning Post reported, citing the customs chief. Louise Ho Pui-shan, the commissioner of customs and excise, said on Saturday that it was ramping up international cooperation to crack down on money launderers taking advantage of the anonymity of cryptocurrency transactions. Regular money changers in the city are under the purview of the Customs and Excise Department, but over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency versions are not subject to any licensing or regulatory regime, the report added.