21 Sep 2021 · 4 min read
US Treasury Sanctions Crypto Exchange, Bitcoin Mining at Home + 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.
- The US Treasury Department unveiled sanctions against crypto exchange Suex OTC, S.R.O. which it had accused of facilitating transactions involving illicit proceeds for at least eight ransomware variants - marking its first such move against a virtual currency exchange over ransomware activity. Some virtual currency exchanges are a critical element of [the ransomware] ecosystem, as virtual currency is the principal means of facilitating ransomware payments and associated money laundering activities, the Treasury said. "Treasury will continue to disrupt and hold accountable these entities to reduce the incentive for cybercriminals to continue to conduct these attacks," they added.
- Binance said they have stopped offering futures, options, and leveraged tokens trading to their Australian customers in an effort to keep up with local regulations. Their customers will have 90 days to close existing positions.
- Bitcoin (BTC) mining difficulty, or the measure of how hard it is to compete for mining rewards, has gone up 3.26% today, reaching the 19 T level once again. It had last been at approximately this level in mid-June to early July, on its way down from the May all-time high of 25.05 T. This is also the fifth rise in a row, making this the longest green streak since the beginning of 2020.
- Compass Mining, an online marketplace for Bitcoin mining hardware and hosting, announced the launch of its newest service called At-Home Mining. It is described as a direct-to-consumer service that allows purchasing Bitcoin mining equipment for the home, with an ASIC mining machine being delivered to them, allowing customers to mine Bitcoin without having to pay additional hosting facility fees.
- Bitcoin (BTC) Layer 2 solution and cross-chain decentralized exchange (DEX) Portal has announced the closing of a USD 8.5m funding round with participation from investors such as Coinbase Ventures, ArringtonXRP Capital, Republic.co, and others. The funds will go towards building a bridging solution between BTC and other digital assets, they added.
- Latin American crypto company Ripio has announced the closing of a Series B financing round for USD 50m, led by Digital Currency Group (DCG). The new round includes new investors like venture capital firm Amplo and individual participants like Marcos Galperin and Martin Migoya.
- Open banking startup TrueLayer has raised USD 130m in a funding round led by Tiger Global and Stripe. The new funds raise the company’s valuation above USD 1bn, giving it the status of a unicorn.
- Metrika, an operational intelligence source for blockchain, announced a USD 14m Series A funding round led by Neotribe Ventures, with other participants including Coinbase Ventures, Samsung NEXT, Nyca Partners, and SCB 10X, and with additional funding from all previous investors, among others. “The funds will be leveraged to expand the company’s platform and broaden its customer base across numerous industries,” the startup said.
- Startup cryptocurrency-fund manager One River Digital Asset Management raised USD 41m from new investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Coinbase Global Inc., with participation from insurer Liberty Mutual Group Inc. and European family office Infinity Investment Partners, reported Bloomberg. The former two companies acquired minority stakes as part of a Series A funding round that values One River Digital at USD 186m.
- The biggest US and European banks including JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank oppose strict new rules that would require them to set aside a dollar in capital for every dollar of bitcoin they own, a group of trade associations representing the lenders told the top global standard setter for banking regulation, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- Brazilian investment bank BTG Pactual has announced the upcoming launch of Mynt, a platform that allows its clients to trade cryptoassets directly, according to The Rio Times. This makes the bank the first major financial institution in Brazil to participate in the crypto market, per the report.
- Blockchain infrastructure platform Paxos (PAX) said that ABN AMRO will become the sixth broker-dealer client to join its Paxos Settlement Service. Other clients of the service include Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Instinet, Societe Generale and Wedbush.
- PayPal announced the new PayPal app, which they said is “an all-in-one, personalized app” that introduces new features including PayPal Savings, a new "high yield" savings account provided by Synchrony Bank, and new in-app shopping tools that will enable customers to earn rewards redeemable for cashback or PayPal shopping credit. The new app also includes a payments hub that includes send and receive money features, international remittances, charitable and non-profit giving, bill pay, and a two-way messaging feature to send notes of acknowledgment after peer-to-peer transactions.
Social media news
- Nader Al-Naji, a former Google software engineer, has confirmed that he is the founder of the controversial crypto social network BitClout, reported Fast Company. “The reason I was initially anonymous was I believed it would essentially inspire the community to decentralize everything and build more decentralized apps faster,” Al-Naji is quoted as saying. “But obviously anonymity came with drawbacks. [Now] I can do podcasts, interviews, town halls, Clubhouses.”
- Ethereum (ETH) scaling platform Polygon (MATIC) has announced the launch of a USD 2m bug bounty program to root out and eliminate potential security flaws in its network. The bounty program is now live on the decentralized finance (DeFi)-focused bug bounty platform, Immunefi, where bounties range from USD 1,000 for low-level threats and up to USD 2m for critical threats.