The price of XRP tokens surged between Monday and Wednesday, reaching a five-month peak, in response to a US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filing against Binance. This development could potentially lead to XRP tokens being categorized as commodities rather than securities, with broader implications for the classification of digital assets.
(as of 1:30 AM UTC, Mar 31, 2023)
In 2020, the SEC sued Ripple for allegedly conducting unregistered securities sales. The cryptocurrency community is growing more convinced that the legal dispute between blockchain firm Ripple and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) is approaching its conclusion. The case’s outcome is expected to significantly influence the regulatory landscape of crypto markets, particularly concerning asset classification.
The case’s recent progress has served as a positive driving force for XRP, allowing its price to outperform the broader market. On Wednesday, XRP was trading above 57 cents, with 24-hour trading volume exceeding US$4 billion.
Historically, Ripple has sought to distance itself from its connection to XRP. However, any advancements in the company’s legal proceedings continue to impact the token’s price.
- Cointelegraph Research released a report on the top 20 blockchain and Web3 games and upcoming releases is a comprehensive guide for anyone interested in the intersection between blockchain technology and gaming. The report highlights the differences between Web2 and Web3 gaming, with the latter offering more transparency, ownership, and control to players. The report also delves into the concept of GameFi, which is the merging of gaming and DeFi to create new and innovative financial models. Additionally, the report covers NFTs and how they are being used to create unique and valuable in-game items.
- A report by cybersecurity firm Mandiant suggests that North Korean hackers, known as APT43 or Kimuski, may be using cloud mining services to launder stolen cryptocurrency. North Korean hackers have been involved in the crypto sphere for some time, stealing at least US$1.2 billion over the last five years.
- Polygon has launched its zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM) technology on Ethereum’s mainnet, which allows smart contract transactions to be executed without revealing the information itself on Ethereum’s mainnet. This technology is considered the “holy grail of scaling,” according to Sandeep Nailwal, the Co-Founder and COO of Polygon. The zkEVM is EVM-equivalent, while Matter Labs’ zkSync Era, which launched last week, is EVM-compatible. The Polygon zkEVM has gone through two rounds of external security audits, and a multimillion-dollar bounty program will be in place for the next three to four months.
- Deutsche WertpapierService Bank (Dwpbank) is launching a new platform called wpNex that will allow its affiliate banks’ retail customers in Germany to access Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies without requiring additional know your customer (KYC) procedures. The platform will enable customers to link their crypto accounts to their euro cash accounts, enabling transactions to take place directly. The service is expected to launch in the second half of this year.
- Ticketmaster has launched a feature that allows artists to offer special access to concert and event tickets for eligible NFT owners. Developed in partnership with metal band Avenged Sevenfold and their Web3 team, Bitflips, the Ethereum NFT token-gating feature was tested ahead of the full rollout. In Avenged Sevenfold’s case, owners of the 10,000 Deathbats Club Ethereum NFTs were offered early access to buy tickets to the band’s upcoming New York City and Los Angeles arena shows in June. The token-gating feature is now available to any artist with its own NFT collection or that has partnered with an NFT community.
- Kraken has partnered with Williams Racing in a new sponsorship deal, becoming the first major crypto company to do so in Formula 1 racing this year. The partnership includes Kraken branding on race cars, team merchandise, and NFTs for fans. KrakenNFT customer-owned digital collectibles will also be showcased on the rear wing of the car at select races. The deal may indicate a return to racing and sports for crypto companies in 2023 as the market recovers.
- Token protocol Noble has partnered with Circle to bring USD Coin (USDC) natively to the Cosmos ecosystem in Q2. USDC is the second largest stablecoin in the cryptocurrency ecosystem and is used as collateral for lending and borrowing. Noble hopes this partnership will inject new liquidity into the ecosystem and facilitate the seamless process of accessing native assets. This decision was made in preparation for dYdX’s launch, which will soon migrate from Ethereum to the Cosmos inter-blockchain communication (IBC) protocol.
- The G7 countries, along with the European Union, are expected to outline a strategy for increased transparency and consumer protection in the cryptocurrency market during their May meeting in Hiroshima, Japan. The group will address potential risks to the global financial system and aim to establish standards for digital assets. While Japan already regulates cryptocurrencies and the EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation is set to go into effect in 2024, the United Kingdom and United States are still developing their crypto frameworks. The Financial Stability Board (FSB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Bank for International Settlements (BIS) are also developing standards for digital assets.
- Regulators in Hong Kong are set to hold a meeting between crypto firms and bankers to ease financing for the crypto sector. The initiative intends to facilitate direct dialogue and share practical experiences and perspectives in opening and maintaining bank accounts. Hong Kong continues to give great importance to virtual assets and Web3, and has received expressions of interest from over 80 mainland and foreign companies operating in this space regarding establishing their presence in Hong Kong.
- Lawmakers in the European Parliament have voted in favor of imposing limits on payments by unverified crypto users as part of an overhaul of money laundering laws. The measures were proposed following a string of dirty money scandals within the bloc, including the “Pandora Papers” leaks and the processing of Russian funds by Danske Bank.
- The Chinese government is focused on developing its fintech industry, particularly blockchain technology, and plans to upgrade its industry development standards by 2025. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has published draft guidelines for public opinion and plans to clarify the level of design for its blockchain and distributed ledger technology standards system by the end of this year. China aims to strengthen its digital industries, including communications equipment and key software, and has over 1,400 companies operating in its blockchain industry.
- Alibaba Cloud will establish a blockchain lab in Shibuya, Japan, to aid Japanese game developers in identifying commercial prospects in the Web3 era. The lab will serve as an incubation center with direct access to Alibaba Cloud’s Web3 partner ecosystem. It’s a joint effort between Tokyu Real Estate Co., Ltd. and Skeleton Crew Studio and will initially be open to select customers and hackathon participants. Alibaba Cloud will also offer a blockchain node service in Japan by the end of the year.
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- The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has sold all deposits and loans of Silicon Valley Bridge Bank, National Association, to First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company. The branches opened as First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company on March 27, 2023. Depositors will automatically become customers of First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company and deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC.
- A judge has temporarily paused the US$1 billion sale of Voyager Digital to Binance.US at the federal government’s request. The Department of Justice is appealing the bankruptcy plan, and the Voyager Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors plans to keep opposing the government. BlockFi will refund over US$100,000 to customers in California who repaid loans during a trading halt, and their California Financing Law license is suspended while bankruptcy and revocation actions are pending.
- The 24th edition of the World Blockchain Summit in Dubai welcomed over 2,000 industry leaders and investors. The event featured a startup pitch competition and discussions on regulating virtual assets. The main event was a fireside chat with Sandeep Nailwal, who discussed the challenge of scalability for blockchain and the potential for institutional players to drive the next innovations of DeFi.
- Fidelity is seeking a senior lead for its newly created crypto and token research development team. The lead will work on data and technical frameworks for the evaluation of tokens and blockchain protocols. Fidelity has been in the crypto market since 2018 with an institutional trading and execution services team and has recently opened up BTC and ETH trading to its retail brokerage clients.
- Paris Blockchain Week 2023 hosted industry players who discussed the decentralized ecosystem, EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets regulation, ethics in Web3, and the current banking crisis. The event was energetic and provided a platform for industry players to network, share ideas, and learn from each other.
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