Circle launches USDC stablecoin on Polkadot ecosystem

Stablecoin issuer Circle has introduced USDC (COIN:USDCUSD), a dollar-backed stablecoin, to the Polkadot ecosystem, expanding its presence on new blockchains. Polkadot is a platform that integrates specific blockchains, known as parachains. The native version of USDC has been launched on Polkadot Asset Hub, facilitating its transfer between parachains. Thus, all blockchains linked to Polkadot and their users can access USDC. Projects on Polkadot such as Centrifuge and Moonbeam have adopted USDC as their main stablecoin.

Blockchain Optimism distributes third airdrop worth $27 million

Optimism blockchain, a layer 2 solution, performed its third community airdrop, delivering 19.4 million OP tokens (COIN:OPUSD), valued at $27 million, to more than 31,000 addresses. The selection of beneficiaries was based on their active participation in governance votes. Although 570 million OP tokens are reserved for future airdrops, the market reaction has been modest.

Litecoin registers rise with expectations of Federal Reserve decision

The value of Litecoin (COIN:LTCUSD) advanced, reaching a three-week high in the context of a general appreciation of the cryptocurrency market. On September 19, Litecoin grew by 3.85%, reaching almost $68.50. However, in 2023, it underperformed the broader crypto market, with a 3.85% annual decline, contrasting with the crypto market’s 39% gain. This increase is linked to the expectation of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on September 20, where the Federal Reserve is expected to suspend interest rate increases.

Tether prepares $1 billion liquidity for Tron Network

Blockchain monitoring accounts highlighted a US$1 billion authorization by Tether (COIN:USDTUSD) in its Treasury, aiming to increase short-term liquidity on the Tron network. This authorization is not an actual issuance, but rather a preparation for future requests and exchanges on the Tron network. Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether, clarified that this action helps maintain security by limiting frequent access to private keys. In 2023, USDT tokens on the Tron blockchain reached record highs, with a total of $42.8 billion in circulation.

Canto adopts Ethereum as layer 2 network with Polygon support

Canto network, originally part of Cosmos, intends to transition to Ethereum and function as a layer 2. The announcement triggered a 54.67% weekly increase in the value of the CANTO token (COIN:CANTOUST). Canto’s team will collaborate with Polygon to develop a zero-knowledge rollup. Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon, sees this transition as driving “neo-finance.” While Canto maintains its original autonomy, other platforms are also adopting similar approaches, indicating a growing trend of migration to Ethereum layer 2.

Boost in TON price after Telegram integrates Web3 wallet

TON’s notable appreciation was driven by news that Telegram added the Open Network blockchain Web3 wallet to its platform, facilitating access to TON (COIN:TONUSD) for its 800 million users, as previously reported. Ton grew 56.10% in the last week. Although Telegram separated from TON in 2020 after legal complications with the SEC, this integration marks a symbolic triumph for the company. SEC had fined Telegram $18.5 million for unregistered issuance of the Gram token.

Citigroup launches blockchain tokenization service for cash management and trade finance

Citigroup (NYSE:C) has launched a tokenization service using blockchain and smart contracts to improve cash management and trade finance for its institutional clients. These contracts perform similar roles to traditional bank guarantees. A pilot project with Maersk sought to optimize processes often delayed by bureaucracy. “ Institutional clients need ‘always on’ programmable financial services and Citi Token Services will provide 24/7 cross-border payments, liquidity and automated trade finance solutions”, the bank said. Citi predicted in a March 2023 report that digital asset tokenization could be worth between $4-5 trillion by 2030.

Nomura starts Bitcoin fund for institutions through Laser Digital

Laser Digital, the digital assets arm of Japanese bank Nomura, has launched its first Bitcoin-focused fund (COIN:BTCUSD), targeting institutional investors. This Bitcoin-only fund aims to be an economical and safe investment option. “Bitcoin is one of the enablers of this lasting transformational change and long-term exposure to Bitcoin offers a solution for investors to capture this macrotrend”, said Sebastien Guglietta, Head of Laser Digital Asset Management. To strengthen security, the fund is collaborating with Komainu, co-founded by Nomura in 2018. This initiative comes after Laser Digital and Komainu received licenses in Dubai. The fund is part of the Laser Digital Funds Segregated Portfolio Company (SPC), based in the Cayman Islands.

Controversies surrounding Binance and ties to Ceffu; Binance and Paysafe face issues with euro withdrawals for EU customers

Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, refuted allegations that Binance.US, its American branch, used Ceffu or Binance Custody for custody. SEC seeks to investigate possible infringements by Binance.US, suggesting that Ceffu could help move US funds abroad. Notably, Binance.US has already admitted to using software provided by Binance Custody, which previously mentioned Ceffu. Such conflicting statements have raised doubts about the integrity of the statements. In other news, European Binance customers are facing obstacles when trying to withdraw euros due to an imminent transition at the regional payments provider. Paysafe, Binance’s payments partner in Europe, will cease support on September 25th. However, several users have already been banned from the service before the date. Binance revealed that Paysafe brought forward the closure for a small group of users. Although Paysafe services are operating as per contract, Binance expressed its dissatisfaction with the situation, committing to resolve the affected withdrawal issues.

Parents of FTX founder accused of improper benefit

Creditors of the defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX have filed a lawsuit against the parents of founder Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried, accusing them of improperly benefiting from millions from the exchange. The law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, representing the creditors, filed the lawsuit on September 18 against Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried. They are accused of being deeply involved in FTX’s business and profiting, contradicting previous claims. The complaint alleges undue enrichment and suggests that both had decisive roles at FTX, contrary to previous reports. Plaintiffs seek punitive damages. Additionally, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s attempt to end his pretrial detention was rejected by an appeals court. Despite his defense’s claims about the difficulty of preparing his defense in prison, prosecutors and the judge believe he is a threat to witnesses if released.

New trial request denied for lawyer linked to OneCoin scandal

Mark Scott, the lawyer implicated in laundering $400 million during the 2019 OneCoin cryptocurrency scandal, has failed to win approval for a new trial. Despite alleging errors and false testimonies in the previous trial, court ruled against him. Scott was convicted in 2019 after being accused of profiting $50 million from the fraud led by Ruja “Cryptoqueen” Ignatov. He was also accused of spending the illicit money on luxuries. Although Ignatov disappeared, others involved in the scheme, such as Karl Greenwood, faced severe penalties.

Netcoins stops attempted cyber breach and strengthens security measures

Netcoins, a cryptocurrency exchange platform owned by BIGG Digital Assets, reported that it thwarted an attempted cyber attack on September 17. Its systems detected anomalous activity and prevented unauthorized withdrawals. Although CAD 343,000 (US$254,000) was removed from operating cash, no client assets or funds were affected. The company acted quickly, intensifying security and initiating an in-depth investigation, with external assistance. Customers have been instructed to reset passwords and additional security measures have been implemented. Netcoins also informed the authorities about what happened.

Silencio and the fight against noise pollution through Blockchain

Silencio Network, backed by the Peaq Network blockchain, uses more than 35,000 smartphones globally as sensors to monitor noise pollution. This collaboration seeks to address noise pollution issues in 176 countries, with plans to scale to one million devices by 2024. Participants receive digital rewards for providing noise data. Driven by personal experiences, the founders, the Messerer brothers, use blockchain to collect data in a decentralized way, ensuring that only decibel levels are measured, preserving users’ privacy.

BaFin calls for consistent global crypto regulation

Rupert Schaefer, executive at the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), highlighted the urgency of globally unified crypto regulation, even as the EU moves forward with its own framework, the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA). Comparing regulators to air traffic controllers, Schaefer emphasized the need to avoid “blind zones” in regulation and mentioned the need to apply rules globally, including in smaller financial centers. He also cited recent initiatives to standardize regulations, but highlighted the gaps that still exist.

United Kingdom advances in cryptocurrency regulation with new bill

A bill aimed at strengthening the ability of British authorities to tackle the misuse of cryptocurrencies is approaching final approval in the House of Lords. The “Law on Economic Crimes and Corporate Transparency”, proposed in 2022, seeks to confront financial crimes linked to cryptography. Following reviews and modifications in the House of Lords, the House of Commons will now consider the changes. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has expressed interest in collaborating with the crypto industry to shape an effective regulatory framework. “ Let’s work together to shape our rules and regulations to benefit markets, consumers and businesses as crypto moves from niche to mainstream,” said FCA chief executive Sarah Pritchard at London’s City Week conference.

India surpasses UK and Russia to become 2nd largest crypto market despite tax challenges

Despite a complex regulatory environment and high tax rates, India has emerged as the second-largest global cryptocurrency market by transaction volume, surpassing countries such as the United Kingdom and Russia. A report from Chainalysis indicated that volumes in India reached around $269 billion between July 2022 and June 2023. Although the country applies a 30% tax on cryptocurrency earnings and a 1% tax per transaction, demand remains robust. The US maintains its lead as the largest crypto market.

Thailand to impose taxation on foreign cryptocurrency income from 2024

Thailand has announced stricter measures to tax the foreign earnings of cryptocurrency traders, aiming to close a loophole that allowed such earnings to enter the country tax-free. According to BangkokPost, the new policy, which comes into effect on January 1, 2024, is part of an effort to finance economic stimulus. The measure also applies to residents trading on foreign exchanges and those living in Thailand for more than 180 days annually. Experts warn of potential negative impacts on foreign investment and worsening income inequality.

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