Lightning Network reaches all-time high in bitcoin capacity

Lightning Network capacity

Lightning Network, a Layer 2 payment network built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, has reached an all-time high in terms of capacity, or the amount of bitcoin (BTC) locked in payment channels. The payment channel capacity on the Lightning Network has grown 63% since the beginning of last year, according to data from The Block Research. Currently, the network has over 5,490 BTC ($128 million) in capacity, up from 3,350 BTC on Jan. 1, 2022. This is being seen as a positive sign for the adoption of Bitcoin transactions.…

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North Korea hackers stole as much as $1.7bn in 2022

hacker North Korea security

Cyber hackers backed by North Korea carried out a theft of $1.7bn (£1.4bn) of crypto in 2022, taking the previous record of cryptocurrency threat up by at least four times, according to a report by a blockchain analysis firm. The past year was on record “the biggest year ever for crypto hacking”, Chainalysis said in its report. Isolated in the global market and reeling under international sanctions, cybercriminals in North Korea are allegedly turning to crypto theft to aid its booming nuclear arsenal. “For context, North Korea’s total exports in…

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Genesis Global Capital Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Genesis bankrot crypto

n the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Genesis Global Holdco (GGH) and two lending-related subsidiaries, Genesis Global Capital and Genesis Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. According to the announcement, “Genesis’s other subsidiaries involved in the derivatives and spot trading and custody businesses and Genesis Global Trading are not included in the filing and continue client trading operations.” Yesterday, reports came in with speculation that Genesis is preparing to file for bankruptcy. The US SEC already charged Gemini and Genesis…

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Crypto crime hits record $26.6 billion in 2022

Bitcoin

Illicit use of cryptocurrencies hit a record US$20.1 billion (S$26.6 billion) last year as transactions involving companies targeted by US sanctions skyrocketed, data from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis showed on Thursday (Jan 12). The cryptocurrency market floundered in 2022, as risk appetite diminished and various crypto firms collapsed. Investors were left with large losses and regulators stepped up calls for more consumer protection. Even as overall crypto transaction volumes fell, the value of crypto transactions related to illicit activity rose for the second year running, Chainalysis said. Transactions associated with…

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Fanatic sells 60% stake in Candy Digital amid ‘imploding NFT market’

MLB ICON Leadoff NFT Collectibles

Sports merchandise firm Fanatics is divesting its stake in nonfungible token (NFT) company Candy Digital as confidence in the asset class wanes. On Jan. 4, it was reported that Michael Rubin’s sports company Fanatics was offloading its majority 60% stake in the NFT startup. Fanatics was started in 2011 and has become a known name in sports merchandising and e-commerce, valued at $31 billion. However, the crypto bear market has hit the NFT sector hard in 2022, and Rubin’s firm is seemingly now looking to turn away from “standalone” NFT…

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Digby Design Authenticator links furniture with NFTs to fight counterfeiting

The Vignelli Rocker chair

Technology company Digby has partnered with American furniture brand Heller to launch a tool for establishing the authenticity of physical design products using the blockchain. Named Digby Design Authenticator (DDA), the system allows designers and brands to link each of their products to a non-fungible token (NFT), which effectively acts as a digital certificate of authenticity. Recorded on a blockchain, this provides an unchangeable, decentralised log of the product’s origin and ownership to prevent counterfeits. The first product to use DDA is Heller’s Vignelli Rocker, a plastic rocking chair designed…

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Coinbase Stocks Rise Following $100M Settlement With US Regulators

Coinbase product smartphone

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase reached an agreement to pay a $50 million penalty to New York state’s Department of Financial Services to settle accusations that it enabled customers to open accounts without conducting necessary background checks. The regulator stated that Coinbase violated the New York Banking Law and the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) virtual currency, money transmitter, transaction monitoring, and cybersecurity regulations. As per the settlement, the crypto exchange is also required to invest $50 million into its compliance program over the next two years. The $100…

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The TON Foundation launches TON Storage – a next generation file-storage solution

The Open Network

The TON Foundation has announced the long-awaited launch of TON Storage, a decentralized file-sharing and data storage solution that is set to solve a host of the issues posed by the volume of data our modern way of life requires. TON Storage is similar to peer-to-peer file sharing through “torrents,” but uses the TON (The Open Network) blockchain to transfer data through a decentralized, secure, and private computer network. In this way, users will be able to exchange files of any size freely and securely, with all data automatically backed…

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Bank of Russia stands against free crypto investment

Bitcoin trading

Russia’s central bank is ready to consider allowing cryptocurrency use within the country, but only as part of a legal experiment, said governor Elvira Nabiullina. “It’s possible to consider transactions through an authorized organization in the country as part of an experimental legal regime, but that would require a relevant law,” Nabiullina stated during a Bank of Russia press conference on Dec. 16. The Bank of Russia’s primary objection to crypto has always been that it cannot be used as a payment instrument, Nabiullina emphasized. She added that the central…

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350 new ‘scam tokens’ were created every day this year

Solidus Labs

More than 350 fraudulent cryptocurrency tokens were created per day this year, defrauding millions of investors, according to blockchain risk monitoring firm Solidus Labs. From the start of the year to Dec. 1, 117,629 “scam tokens” were deployed, according to Solidus’ 2022 “Rug Pull Report.” That’s a 41% increase from the nearly 83,400 scam tokens that Solidus detected in 2021. The report claims that BNB Chain harbors the greatest number of scam tokens, with 12% of all BEP-20 tokens being fraudulent. The Ethereum network was second, with a purported 8%…

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Japan set to ease 30% crypto tax on paper profits for token issuers

Mount Fuji Yokohama

The Japanese government is set to ease tax requirements for local crypto firms, as it pushes to stimulate growth in the domestic finance and tech sectors. At present, Japanese firms that issue crypto are required to pay a set 30% corporate tax rate on their holdings, even if they haven’t realized a profit through a sale. As such, a number of domestically founded crypto/blockchain firms and talent have reportedly chosen to set up shop elsewhere over the past few years. Japan’s ruling party, the Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) tax committee…

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Italy to impose 26% capital gains tax on crypto profits

Rome Italy crypto tax

Italy is planning to tighten regulations on digital currencies in 2023 by expanding its tax laws to include cryptocurrency trading, according to budget documentation released on Dec. 1. Included in its 2023 budget are plans to impose a 26% levy on profits larger than 2,000 euros ( $2,062) made on cryptocurrency trading, according to Bloomberg. Historically, digital currencies have had lower tax rates because they have been considered “foreign currency.” If the proposed bill is signed into law, taxpayers will have the option to declare the value of their digital…

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Hong Kong working on investor protection regulations, says central bank exec

Hong Kong crypto

Central bank governors from around the globe are currently in Thailand to discuss the role of central banks amid evolving financial technology. The conference is jointly hosted by the Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). A panel discussion on digitalized monetary systems saw Eddie Yue, chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Changyong Rhee, governor of the Bank of Korea, Adrian Orr, governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Cecilia Skingsley from Bank for International Settlements discuss the rise of digital assets…

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Putin wants to create new worldwide payment system

Bitcoin Russia

Over the weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the proposal of building a new blockchain-based global payments system for international settlements. Putin said that the new system shall involve a digital currency for transactions and must be independent of banks and third-party interferences. The latest announcement from the Russian President came while speaking at a Sberbank-organized artificial intelligence conference. Mr. Putin said that the existing global payments and financial transactions between countries are in jeopardy. This has been mainly due to the rising tensions between Russia and the West. Also,…

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Brussels to Put Out Digital Euro Law Shortly, ECB’s Lagarde Says

President of European Central Bank Christine Lagarde

The European Commission is going to present a legislative proposal for a digital euro in the near future, President of European Central Bank Christine Lagarde has indicated. EU legislators are expected to define the new currency’s legal tender status and determine its privacy features. EU Commission to Propose Legislation for Eurozone’s Digital Currency Authorities in the euro area have already made good progress in exploring the rationale and the potential benefits and risks of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the head of the European Central Bank (ECB) noted during…

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