Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
Indian MP Ritesh Pandey has warned against a provision in the country’s Finance Bill 2022, which entails imposing a 1% tax deducted at source (TDS) on every crypto transaction from 1 July onwards. Citing an example whereby a user first buys crypto, transfers it to a wallet, then uses it to buy an NFT, Pandey said imposing the TDS at each of these three stages would “give birth to red tape-ism” and “finish” the “very young” asset class. However, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the TDS was “more for tracking” and was not an additional or a new tax. She added that the taxpayer could “always reconcile it with the total tax” owed to the government.
Following a 30-23 vote in European Parliament, the EU’s proposed Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulatory package will move forward without the polarizing provision that sought to ban proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrencies like BTC due to energy consumption concerns. German lawmaker Stefan Berger, who is leading the MiCA regulation, tweeted that his proposed mandate to exclude a PoW ban had gone unchallenged and that the EU had shown “innovative strength”. MiCA trilogue negotiations between the European Parliament, Council and Commission will commence next week.
Japan will submit a revision of its Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act to Parliament in order to prevent Russia from using crypto to evade sanctions, according to chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno. Senior economist at Mizuho Research and Technologies, Saisuke Sakai, said the revision would “presumably enable the government to apply the law to crypto exchanges…and oblige them to scrutinize” whether or not their clients were sanctioned Russian individuals. Since Russia embarked on its “special military operation” in Ukraine on 24 Feb, Japan has imposed asset-freezing sanctions on over 100 Russian officials, oligarchs, banks and other institutions, and banned high-tech exports from Russia.
Crypto exchange Coinbase Global (COIN) is in talks to acquire Mercado Bitcoin owner 2TM. According to anonymous sources, negotiations between Coinbase and 2TM started in 2021, and an agreement could be announced next month. 2TM raised $200 million in a Series B funding round last June and a further $50 million in a second closing of the funding in Nov, valuing the company at $2.1 billion. Meanwhile, Coinbase has been expanding its presence in Brazil, having announced the creation of an engineering hub in Nov 2020 and growing its team in the country. Coinbase also reportedly has its eye on Mexican crypto exchange Bitso for acquisition but has not reached a deal.
ETC Group has launched three crypto exchange-traded products (ETPs) via white-label ETF issuer HANetf: Physical Avalanche (AVAL), Physical Cosmos (ATME) and Physical Polygon (MTCE). All three are listed on the Six Swiss Exchange and Deutsche Boerse, with total expense ratios (TERs) of 1.95%, and add to ETC’s existing ETH, SOL, ADA, DOT and LTC ETPs. AVAL tracks the price of Avalanche’s AVAX token, while ATME tracks Cosmos’ ATOM token and MTCE tracks Polygon’s MATIC token.
Show me the money
BTC briefly surpassed its 2022 annual break-even point of $47,201, reaching a high of $47,524 before falling into the $46,850 range by early afternoon Asia time. Market data shows an increase of 5% in the last 24 hours, with a 12% increase from last Sunday after a steady rise over over 6 consecutive days.
Singapore’s QCP Capital highlighted a broader rally in asset prices worldwide, saying this “bullish momentum” was likely to continue in the short term. It also noted Luna Foundation Guard’s (LFG) 125 million USDT purchase of BTC, which was “part of the plan to systematically accumulate a total 3 billion USD worth of BTC as a reserve for UST”.
At the same time, ETH and most other major cryptocurrencies saw positive price action, with ETH trading at over $3,250 — its highest level since Feb. SOL, ADA and AVAX were also in the green, and DOGE and SHIB saw a respective rise of 6% and 3%.