Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
Global markets have been volatile amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine, with the former having now declared war on the latter. But while crypto markets dipped by over 4% to $1.71 trillion yesterday, the price of gold has seen a 1.47% increase in the past four days to $1,925 per ounce. BTC reached a high of $39,231.52 before falling to $36,000. Similarly, ETH hit a high of $2,572 and then fell below $2,500. Overall, crypto markets have now seen over $242 million in liquidations — $72 million in Bitcoin-tracked futures, followed by Ether futures at $70 million. Altcoin-tracked futures saw fewer liquidations, with $6.81 million in DOGE futures, $6.46 million in SOL futures and $5.18 million in XRP futures. The total market cap also fell by almost 7,8%, with stock futures in Asia and Europe down 1.5% on average.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) is getting ready to launch a digital asset exchange. SET president Dr. Pakorn Peetathawatchai said he expected crypto regulator, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to “give an approval very soon” so SET could “start operations in the second or third quarter this year”. He added that the digital asset exchange would focus on investment and utility tokens as they were in high demand both locally and globally, and that investors “would like to invest in some of these digital assets” and use either investment or utility tokens to raise funds. However, the exchange will not offer crypto trading services but will instead “look into a way to connect to crypto exchanges to convert crypto to fiat”.
According to anonymous sources, several EU nations, led by Germany, are reportedly lobbying to establish a new anti-money laundering (AML) agency to oversee the crypto space. The move stems from concerns around the possibility of digital assets being used to process illicit funds; Spain, Austria, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands are the other EU countries behind the lobby. EU authorities, including the European Commission (EC), are now discussing the details of the regulatory body, which is expected to launch in 2024. The aforementioned countries want the new watchdog’s remit to cover high-risk cross-border entities among banks, other financial institutions, and crypto service providers.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has announced he will repeal emergency powers that froze $8 million in 210 bank accounts linked to ‘Freedom Convoy’ protestors in Canada as “the situation is no longer an emergency” and “existing laws are now sufficient to keep people safe”. After the protestors had access to crowd-funding platforms GoFundMe and GiveSendGo blocked, they turned to fundraising with BTC on Tallycoin, raising 21 BTC (worth around $902,000) that they then moved to a new wallet with separate key holders. The decision to freeze bank accounts incensed the crypto industry; Kraken CEO Jesse Powell questioned the government’s intentions and criticized it for going to “this extreme of confiscating bank accounts without due process”.
The Bank of New York (BNY) Mellon (the world’s largest custodian bank) is partnering with blockchain data platform Chainalysis to help track and analyze crypto products. Using Chainalysis software, BNY will track, record and utilize data on crypto assets. The software includes KYT (Know Your Transaction), Reactor and Kryptos. KYT can pre-emptively block the transactions considered to be high-risk, while Reactor gives firms further investigative power on the blockchain and Kryptos collects and translates complex data into cogent information. While Chainalysis’ services have been criticized from more privacy-oriented users, they have helped to legitimize crypto adoption in traditional finance.
DeFi detective Zachxbt has posted a long Twitter thread on TreasureDAO’s front-end engineer Just Cheese’s (JC) alleged former involvement in several questionable NFT projects. Zachxbt said it all began when JC shared his wallet address in the TreasureDAO Discord in Nov 2021. Zachxbt added that he had back-traced a key series of inflows totaling 134.66 ETH into JC’s wallet to a few NFT projects, including Mutant Cats, ZombiToadz and Yuta/YYY — all of which Zachxbt claims went quiet after launch. In response, TreasureDAO’s project team posted an official announcement on Discord saying JC had done “some UI/FE work for a few projects created by these bad actors on a contract basis while breaking into Web3”, only for them to “abandon the projects long after he’d already delivered and had been paid for his work”.
Show me the money
According to data from the Huobi Global, BTC fell this morning to its current location near 35,000 and continued to fluctuate in a low position throughout the day. ETH continued its decline, and daily charts for both BTC and ETH show signs of a downward trend. In terms of contracts, Huobi Futures data showed stable open interest (OI) in both BTC and ETH futures, with a slight decrease in volume amid a relatively inactive contract market.