CoinCodeCap WeekInFocus: February 4, 2024

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WeekInFocus is your ally in plugging in the gaps in the news you might have missed during the course of the previous week. Beyond that, it serves as a catalyst for your professional and personal development by introducing you to new ideas and exciting job opportunities. Join us in accepting both what is occurring and what is conceivable.

News

Global

Hong Kong SFC Welcomes First Spot Bitcoin ETF Application

  • The Hong Kong SFC reportedly accepted the first spot Bitcoin ETF application in just a few weeks following the US SEC approval of the first spot BTC ETF.
  • The report suggests that in order to maintain fair competition, the Hong Kong regulatory agency might take a similar stance to the US SEC and permit many spot ETFs.

ESMA Proposes Strict Guidelines to Protect MiCA-compliant Firms Against Non-MiCA Entities

  • The paper emphasizes the need to shield EU-based investors and MiCA-compliant CASPs from undue influence by non-MiCA-compliant entities.
  • ESMA will accept public consultation on both papers until the end of April.

UAE Executes First Digital Dirham Transfer through mBridge CBDC Platform

  • The UAE central bank used the mBridge CBDC technology to execute its first cross-border digital dirham transfer.
  • Several commercial banks from each participating member country have joined the mBridge platform to collaborate on the technology and infrastructure. 

Japan Targets CBDC Legal Clarity by Q2 2024

  • To debate a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the Bank of Japan (BoJ) and the nation’s government convened for the first time.
  • A report from an expert panel inside the Ministry of Finance was sent to the BoJ in December 2023, recommending issuing a digital yen “without delay.”

Argentina Mulls Crypto Tax Reform Under New Government

  • The asset regularization part of bill suggested a simple tax of 5% on all assets declared by the end of March 2024.
  • Under the proposed scheme, taxpayers would have the option to legalize their crypto assets without extensive documentation.

German Authorities Confiscate 50K BTC Linked to Piracy Sites in Major Seizure

  • Approximately 50,000 Bitcoin were reportedly seized by authorities in the German state of Saxony as part of an investigation into copyright breaches.
  • According to officials, the accused freely moved the Bitcoin to official wallets that the police had provided, which is how the Bitcoin was taken.

Central Bank of Spain Initiates Trials for Euro-Backed Stablecoin

  • The Bank of Spain is overseeing the beta testing of EURM, a stablecoin backed by the euro, which is being conducted by the Spanish fintech company MONEI.
  • Every EURM is held at Spanish banks like BBVA and Caixabank and is backed 1:1 by euros.

Platform and Tokens

Google to Allow Bitcoin ETFs Advertising: Implications for Crypto Market

  • Google is set to embrace cryptocurrency advertisements through updated advertising policies.
  • Despite the update, Google’s policy regarding “cryptocurrency coin trusts” remains ambiguous.

Stellar’s Protocol 20 Upgrade Faces Delay Amid Bug Discovery

  • SDF shared that they’ve decided to “disarm” validators until a fix for the bug is in place. 
  • Non-SDF validators on Stellar may still opt to cast their votes for the Protocol 20 upgrade on January 30. 

Terraform Labs Says Bankruptcy May Shield it From SEC Penalty

  • Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections may enable the firm to pursue an appeal without the obligation of posting the bond.
  • Terraform Labs argues that the SEC lacks authority over it because its crypto tokens do not qualify as “securities.” 

FTX Assures Full Repayment to Customers and Creditors

  • FTX, undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, is committed to fully reimbursing customers and unsecured creditors who can verify their losses.
  • Despite challenges and uncertainties, FTX remains focused on achieving full repayment.

Celsius Emerges Strong from Bankruptcy, Initiates Repayment of Over $3B to Creditors

  • After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US, Celsius plans to open a new Bitcoin mining company and begin paying creditors $3 billion in cryptocurrency and cash.
  • Celsius stated that Ionic Digitial will keep paying its creditors back and that, if the necessary approvals are obtained, its stock should go public.

Singapore High Court Gives Nod to DeFiance Capital Suit Against 3AC

  • The insolvent crypto hedge fund 3AC has lost its motion to dismiss the action brought in April by Arthur Cheong by the Singapore High Court.
  • The fund had access to 3AC’s resources, including auditors, fund administrators, and middle- and back-office infrastructure.

Binance Freezes $4.2M in XRP Linked to Hack on Ripple Co-founder’s Wallet

  • The $112 million hack of Ripple’s co-founder’s personal wallet resulted in the freezing of $4.2 million worth of XRP by Binance.
  • In response to Teng’s tweet, the XRP Ledger Foundation’s head of analytics and compliance stated that the organization was the one that looked into the matter initially.

Thai SEC Directs Temporary Suspension of Services for Zipmex

  • The SEC of Thailand has issued an order to crypto exchange Zipmex to temporarily halt its brokerage and trading services for digital assets.
  • The SEC has been monitoring Zipmex since 2023 when the cryptocurrency market experienced a decline.

Project Updates

Somesing Platform Faces Cryptocurrency Hack of over $11.5 million

South Korean karaoke blockchain platform, Somesing lost  $11.58M in a hacking incident. Somesing confirmed that the hack was perpetrated by professional hackers from outside the organization.

DeFi Vulnerabilities: Protocols Suffer $38.9M in Losses from Exploits

Quantstamp has determined which five smart contract protocols saw the greatest losses in January due to hacker and exploit attacks. On January 12, Wise Lending was the victim of a flash loan attack that cost them at least $460,000.

Core Scientific Mined $812 Mln worth of BTC in 2023, Becomes Leading Player

Core Scientific noted that its customers mined a total of 5,512 BTC in 2023. The firm mined 19,274 Bitcoins, valued at $812 million throughout 2023.

Podcasts and Interviews

  • Interview with Kartin Wong, founder of Hyper Oracle
  • “Crypto Will Reach $9 Trillion In 5 Years” podcast by Scott Melkar
  • “The Crypto Bull Market is Ending” podcast by The Crypto Factor

Job Listings

2k24 Events

  • ETH Cinco de Mayo hackathon (Cholula, Puebla) from February 2 to February 4
  • Holešky testnet Dencun upgrade epoch 29696 on February 7
  • ETHDenver BUIDLWeek & hackathon from February 23 to March 3
  • ETHLatam (San Pedro Sula, Honduras) from March 13 to March 14
  • ETHGlobal London from March 15 to March 17

As we wrap up another week of insights and discoveries, remember that staying informed and motivated is an ongoing journey. WeekInFocus by CoinCodeCap is here to accompany you on this path, bringing you a fresh perspective on the news, a doorway to exciting job possibilities, and a collection of thought-provoking podcasts. Let’s embrace the coming week with curiosity and determination. Until next time, keep focused and keep thriving!

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