Crypto Companies Face Imprisonment for Non-Compliance With UK FCA Rules

• The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned crypto companies to comply with the country’s new financial promotions regime or face up to two years imprisonment.
• Crypto promotions must be „clear, fair, and not misleading“ and companies must use specific risk warnings and positive frictions like a 24-hour cooling-off period that allows investors to cancel their investments.
• The U.K. government has continued with plans to turn the country into a crypto hub by extending regulations to cover crypto exchange’s operations.

FCA Warns Crypto Companies of Imprisonment

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned crypto companies to comply with the country’s new financial promotions regime or face up to two years imprisonment, according to a Feb 6 statement. The FCA said its crypto promotions regulations would be similar to those guiding other high-risk investments and added that companies would also need to use specific risk warnings and positive frictions like a 24-hour cooling-off period that allows investors to cancel their investments for them to be “clear, fair, and not misleading” as per the regulator’s requirement.

U.K Working Towards Becoming Crypto Hub

The U.K government is continuing its plan of turning the country into a crypto hub by extending regulations intended for covering crypto exchanges‘ operations in addition to clamping down on misleading crypto ads which have been enforced by Advertising Standards Authority since 2022.

Early Preparations For FCA Regulations

The FCA noted that while the regulations are still subject to parliamentary approval, early preparations would allow firms targeting UK consumers legally promote their services without much difficulty when they eventually come into effect; suggesting that firms take steps towards meeting these requirements ahead of time in order not experience any issues once they come in force officially

Other Regulatory Agencies Enforcing Compliance

Aside from the FCA, another agency working towards enforcing compliance is the Advertising Standards Authority who have brought several enforcement actions against firms with misleading ads since 2022 in an effort reduce fraudulent activities within this space further protecting investors from potential losses caused by such practices .

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important for all UK based firms engaging in cryptocurrency related activities understand and adhere strictly any relevant regulatory frameworks put forth by agencies such as FCA & ASA ensuring their promotional activities are compliant at all times so as avoid severe repercussions including imprisonment should these rules be violated by them or anyone associated with them directly or indirectly .

Hackers Target Azuki, Robinhood and Moonbirds: Crypto Community Reminded to Stay Vigilant

• Azuki’s official Twitter account was compromised by hackers who posted two tweets with malicious links to promote a fake virtual land mint.
• Several blockchain security firms and crypto wallets blocked their users‘ access to the phishing link and Etherscan data showed that one of the wallets held 214 ETH ($343,000).
• Earlier in the week, Robinhood confirmed that its several social media accounts were used to promote an unassociated crypto token and Moonbirds founder Kevin Rose lost NFTs worth millions to hackers who drained his wallet.

On January 27th, Azuki, a bluechip NFT project, suffered a security breach when malicious players compromised its official Twitter account. The hackers posted two tweets with malicious links to promote a fake virtual land mint.

Several project officials confirmed the breach and urged the community not to click any link. A community manager Rose tweeted that there was still a fake website on Azuki’s Twitter bio as of press time. Several blockchain security firms such as Wallet Guard and crypto wallets like MetaMask and Phantom Wallet blocked their users‘ access to the phishing link.

The Block’s research director Steven Zheng tweeted that wallets connected to the hacker did not have a single stolen Azuki. Etherscan data showed that one of the wallets held 214 ETH ($343,000) as of press time.

This is not the first security breach of its kind. Earlier in the week, Robinhood confirmed that it’s several social media accounts were used to promote an unassociated crypto token. In addition, Moonbirds founder Kevin Rose lost NFTs worth millions to hackers who had drained his wallet.

These incidents are a reminder to the crypto community of how important it is to remain vigilant when it comes to security. As the industry continues to expand, more and more malicious actors will be looking for ways to exploit vulnerabilities. It is important to keep up to date with the latest security measures and to be aware of any malicious activities. It is also important to take extra precautions when investing in any crypto project and to research the project thoroughly before investing.

Crypto Market Cap Grows 1.19%, Bitcoin & Ethereum Surge Past $20K & $1.5K

• The cryptocurrency market cap saw a net inflow of $11.64 billion in the last 24 hours, bringing it to a total of $976.82 billion.
• Bitcoin and Ethereum’s market cap both grew, with Bitcoin up 1.06% and Ethereum up 1.94%.
• Shiba Inu and Ethereum recorded the highest gains in the last 24 hours, up over 2% each.

The crypto markets experienced a surge in activity in the last 24 hours, with the total market cap rising by 1.19%. This brings the total market cap to $976.82 billion, with Bitcoin and Ethereum’s market caps both increasing. Bitcoin rose 1.06% to $404.19 billion and Ethereum rose 1.94% to $189.82 billion.

The total market cap saw a net inflow of $11.64 billion, with the top 10 cryptocurrencies recording gains over the period. The exception, Binance-backed BNB, was down 0.68%. Shiba Inu and Ethereum recorded the highest gains during the period, up over 2% each.

Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) stayed relatively flat in the last 24 hours, with market caps at $66.48 billion and $43.11 billion, respectively. The market cap of BinanceUSD (BUSD) increased to $16.32 billion.

Bitcoin rose 1.07% to trade at $20,966 as of 07:00 ET, with market dominance remaining flat at 41.4%. Despite the bankruptcy of crypto lender Genesis, Bitcoin traded above $21,000, peaking at $21,175 and bottoming at $20,689.

Ethereum also grew 2.08% over the last 24 hours to trade at $1,551 as of 07:00 ET. Its market dominance increased to 19.4% from 19.3%. Ethereum mostly traded sideways during the period, following the bankruptcy of Genesis.

Overall, the crypto markets experienced a surge of activity in the last 24 hours, with Bitcoin and Ethereum’s market caps both increasing. Tether and USD Coin stayed relatively flat, while BinanceUSD saw an increase in market cap. Despite the bankruptcy of Genesis, Bitcoin traded above $21,000 and Ethereum experienced a 2.08% increase in the last 24 hours.

WazirX Publishes $285M Proof-of-Reserves Report, Ensuring Security

• WazirX, an Indian-based crypto exchange, has published its Proof-of-Reserves (PoR) report, which shows it holds about $285 million worth of crypto assets.
• The exchange currently holds about 6.09 trillion SHIB tokens worth approximately $54.6 million, 1,356 Bitcoin worth about $23.6 million and 20,056 Ethereum valued at $26.6 million.
• WazirX noted that it has sufficient reserve funds to meet users‘ withdrawal demands at any time, as it has more than 1:1 reserve holdings of users‘ assets.

WazirX, an Indian-based crypto exchange, recently published its Proof-of-Reserves (PoR) report, which shows that it holds about $285 million worth of crypto assets. According to Coingabbar data, the exchange currently holds about 6.09 trillion SHIB tokens worth approximately $54.6 million, 1,356 Bitcoin worth about $23.6 million and 20,056 Ethereum valued at $26.6 million.

The move comes in the wake of the FTX collapse and other crypto exchanges, including Binance, Kraken, and OKX, have moved to increase their transparency by publishing their respective proof-of-reserve reports. WazirX noted that about 90% of users‘ assets (worth $259.15 million) are held in wallets at Binance, while the remaining 10% ($26.54 million)are stored in hot and warm wallets.

The exchange states that it has sufficient reserve funds to meet users‘ withdrawal demands at any time, as it has more than 1:1 reserve holdings of users‘ assets. This means that the exchange has more funds than the amount of users’ assets, in order to protect against potential losses or other issues that may arise. This is an implied phenomenon as the exchange does not leverage users’ assets nor does it propagate margin trading, leverage trading, or any other activity that may create a risk of loss for users.

WazirX is further increasing its transparency by publishing an audit report of its holdings every month. This audit report is conducted by an independent third party auditor, and provides an even greater level of assurance that the exchange is managing its reserves properly.

The publication of this PoR report is an important step towards increasing transparency in the crypto industry, and will help to build trust with customers, as well as create a more secure and reliable trading environment. With the report, users can now have greater assurance that their funds are being managed responsibly and securely.

Web3 Startups Raised $7.1B in 2022: Epic Games Leads the Way

• Web3 startups raised $7.1B in funding during 2022, with Gaming, Metaverse, and Social Networks being the top three investment categories.
• Gaming collected the largest amount at $4.49 billion, followed by Metaverse with $1.8 billion and Social Networks with $259.1 million.
• Epic Games collected the most significant investment in 2022, raising $2 billion in funding from Sony and LEGO owner KIRKBI.

In 2022, investment into Web3 startups reached a staggering $7.1 billion, a significant increase from the previous year. This money was spread across a variety of categories, with Gaming, Metaverse, and Social Networks being the most popular.

Within the Gaming category, $4.49 billion was raised, accounting for 62.5% of the total investment into Web3 startups. Epic Games was the largest beneficiary, receiving a staggering $2 billion in funding from Sony and LEGO owner KIRKBI. This investment allowed the company to close the year at a valuation of $31.5 billion.

Metaverse was the second most popular category, attracting $1.82 billion in investment. This accounted for 25.4% of the total amount invested into Web3 startups in 2022. Yuga Labs, creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), was the second largest recipient of investment in this category.

Social Networks was the third most popular category, with $259.1 million being invested. This accounted for 3.6% of the total investment into Web3 startups. While this was lower than the other two categories, this was still a significant amount of investment.

Overall, investment into Web3 startups in 2022 was significantly higher than in previous years, with Gaming, Metaverse, and Social Networks being the most popular categories. Epic Games was the largest beneficiary of this investment, raising $2 billion from Sony and LEGO owner KIRKBI, allowing the company to close the year at a valuation of $31.5 billion. This investment was followed by Yuga Labs, creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), who raised a significant amount of money in the Metaverse category.

2022 a Volatile Year for Financial Markets: BTC Down 65%, ARKK, MSTR, and COIN Faring Worse

• BTC fell by 65.38% YTD, while ARKK, MSTR, and COIN lost 67.79%, 74.64%, and 85.90% in value, respectively.
• DXY and Gold are the only assets included in this analysis that recorded an increase.
• 2022 was the second-worst year for BTC, falling by 65%.

This year was a tumultuous one for financial markets, as the COVID-19 pandemic created an unprecedented level of economic uncertainty. Despite the global economic uncertainty, there were still some assets that performed better than others. This article takes a look at the performance of Bitcoin (BTC), Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK), MicroStrategy Inc. (MSTR), and Coinbase Global Inc (COIN) in 2022.

The data from Glassnode reveals that BTC fell by 65.38% year-to-date (YTD). This performance was better than ARKK, MSTR, and COIN, which lost 67.79%, 74.64%, and 85.90% in value, respectively. Meanwhile, the U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) and Gold recorded an increase. Gold was up by 1.25% YTD, while DXY’s price increased by 7.55%. British Pound (GBP) and Euro (EUR) also ended the YTD period in the negatives.

In mid-September, GBP dropped to all-time lows against the U.S. dollar. GBP volatility soared so much afterward that BTC became a more stable asset than the pound in October. Ethereum (ETH) also followed BTC’s downward trend and recorded a 68.32% decrease YTD.

According to a recent report from Arcane Research, 2022 was the second-worst year for BTC. The worst year for BTC was still 2018, when the price recorded a 73% decrease. Despite this, BTC still performed better than ARKK, MSTR, and COIN in 2022.

Overall, the performance of different assets in 2022 has been quite varied. While some assets like BTC, ARKK, MSTR, and COIN have seen significant losses, others like Gold, DXY, and GBP have seen gains. It remains to be seen how these assets will fare in the next year.

Former FTX CEO Denies Involvement in Alameda Funds Movement

• Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX, denied any involvement with the recent movement of funds related to Alameda in a recent tweet.
• Bankman-Fried is facing criminal charges and is set to have his next hearing on Jan. 3, although the Wall Street Journal has suggested that he will plead not guilty.
• Bankman-Fried stated that he is willing to help regulators investigate the matter and is hoping that the funds were moved by “various legit legs of FTX”.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, recently returned to Twitter to deny any involvement in the movement of funds related to Alameda. After weeks of inactivity coinciding with his arrest, Bankman-Fried commented that he is not and cannot be moving any of those funds, as he no longer has access to them. He then added that he hopes that the funds were moved by “various legit legs of FTX” and that he is willing to help regulators investigate the matter.

Given the criminal charges Bankman-Fried is facing, it is likely that he hopes to arrange a plea deal similar to those obtained by his associates, Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang. However, one former federal prosecutor has suggested that Bankman-Fried is unlikely to be given a favorable deal due to his lead role in FTX’s alleged fraud. Bankman-Fried’s next hearing is set for Jan. 3, and the Wall Street Journal has suggested that he will plead not guilty.

It remains to be seen how this situation will play out, but Bankman-Fried’s willingness to cooperate with authorities could be a sign that he is looking to mitigate the potential repercussions of his actions. Whatever the outcome, it is clear that Bankman-Fried’s involvement in this matter has been highly contested, with both sides of the argument putting forward compelling arguments.

Pi Network Token Surges 461.3% After Being Listed on Huobi Global

• The Pi Network warned against listing its token on Huobi and other exchanges on Dec. 29th.
• The Pi token price surged 461.3% from $44.03 to $232.97 within 24 hours of being listed on Huobi Global.
• Pi Network clarified that its token is in an ‚Enclosed Network‘ period, during which the trading of Pi on exchanges is „explicitly prohibited.“

On December 29th, Huobi Global announced the listing of Pi, the native token of the Pi Network. This announcement caused a huge surge in the token’s price, soaring 461.3% from $44.03 to $232.97 within the 24 hours of being listed. This massive increase in price caused the fake Pi token to become the most traded token on Huobi Global over the past 24 hours, reaching a trading volume of $46.8 million.

However, the Pi Network was quick to respond and warned against listing its token on Huobi and other exchanges. In a statement released on December 29th, it clarified that its Pi token was listed “without the consent, authority or involvement of Pi Network”. It further stated that the trading of Pi on exchanges during the ‘Enclosed Network’ period is “explicitly prohibited” and that any trading of its token on exchanges would violate Pi Network’s policies.

The token is also currently available for trading on the centralized exchange XT.COM and on other platforms, such as Hotcoin Global, BitMart, and SuperEx crypto exchanges. Pi Network asked Pi miners, called Pioneers, not to engage with the unauthorized listed tokens and stated that it was not involved with any listings.

It is important to note that, while the Pi Network has not authorized the listing of its token on exchanges, it is possible that the token could be listed on other exchanges in the future. For the time being, however, it is important to practice caution and take all necessary precautions when trading Pi tokens on exchanges.

Turkey Launches First Digital Lira Transactions with Blockchain Tech

• Turkey’s Central Bank of the Republic (CBRT) recently announced the successful completion of its first digital lira transactions.
• The digital lira is a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and appears to involve blockchain technology.
• The CBRT will continue to test the digital lira and share the results of those tests in early 2023.

The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) recently announced the successful completion of the first transactions involving its digital lira. The CBRT will continue to run limited, closed-circuit pilot tests for the digital lira throughout the first quarter of 2023, and results will be shared with the public in a comprehensive evaluation report.

The digital lira is a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and appears to involve blockchain technology. In September, the CBRT stated that the digital lira could be diversified “into areas such as blockchain technology [and] the use of distributed ledgers in payment systems.” Additionally, in October, the CBRT announced that it would create a “blockchain-based digital central bank money”, which explicitly confirms that the digital lira relies on blockchain technology in some form. The digital lira will also be integrated with non-blockchain services, such as digital identity tools and Turkey’s Instant and Continuous Transfer of Funds (FAST) System.

The CBRT’s decision to launch a CBDC comes as part of the country’s larger economic transformation, which has included the country’s adoption of digital payment systems. In recent years, Turkey has seen a sharp rise in the number of electronic payments, with the country’s central bank noting that the number of payments made via electronic means rose from 3.3 billion in 2016 to 8.3 billion in 2020. This rapid rise in digital payments has led the CBRT to recognize the need for a digital lira, which can serve as a more efficient and secure means of making payments.

The CBRT’s launch of a CBDC is also part of its larger efforts to increase financial inclusion in the country. By providing a digital currency, the CBRT will be able to reach more people and businesses, allowing them to access financial services that may have previously been out of reach. This is especially important in Turkey, where the country’s World Bank ranking in terms of financial inclusion is only 50th out of the world’s economies.

The CBRT’s launch of a digital lira is an important step in the country’s continued economic transformation. The digital lira will allow more people to access financial services and will provide a more efficient and secure payment system. The CBRT will continue to run tests for the digital lira throughout the first quarter of 2023 and will share the results of those tests in a comprehensive evaluation report.

BMW Automates Business with Blockchain Loyalty Program in Thailand

• BMW has integrated blockchain solutions through BNB Chain and Coinweb to automate its operations and provide customers with blockchain loyalty programs in Thailand.
• The first phase of the integration will focus on automating business activities, particularly financial operations.
• The second phase will involve launching a new customer loyalty program using a customized Web3 app built by Coinweb.

BMW has recently announced the adoption of a blockchain-based loyalty program in Thailand, powered by Coinweb and BNB Chain. This will enable the car manufacturer to automate its operations and provide customers with rewards for their loyalty to the brand.

The integration of blockchain solutions into BMW’s operations will be divided into two phases. The first phase will focus on automating the company’s business activities, particularly its financial operations. This will be done through Coinweb, a blockchain infrastructure firm, which will provide BMW with a decentralized and efficient architecture. The BNB Chain will also be utilized in order to settle each transaction that is made.

The second phase of the blockchain integration will involve the launch of a new customer loyalty program. This program will be powered by a customized Web3 app, which will be built by Coinweb. Through this app, customers will be able to earn points for their loyalty to the brand, which can then be used to purchase products from BMW. All transactions related to this program will be settled on the BNB Chain.

The adoption of this blockchain-based loyalty program is a big move for BMW as it will not only provide customers with rewards, but also allow the company to automate its operations and provide a secure and efficient platform for its customers. This will help BMW provide its customers with a better overall experience, as well as allowing it to remain competitive in an increasingly digital world.