Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
Vietnam is in the process of establishing a legal framework for crypto, with deputy PM Le Minh Khai having reportedly instructed the Ministries of Finance, Justice, and Information & Communications to work with the State Bank of Vietnam in this regard. The framework will be based on details in Decision 1255, which was issued by PM Pham Minh Chinh in Aug 2017 and approves a plan to develop a legal framework for the management of “virtual assets, digital currencies and virtual currencies”. This comes amid increasing crypto ownership in Vietnam, where 5.9 million residents (6.1% of the total population) currently own crypto.
Terra has bought over $1 billion in BTC since end-Jan, including around $135 million in 4 purchases made yesterday. CEO and co-founder Do Kwon also confirmed the BTC address used by Singapore-based Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) to buy a total of 27,784.96954740 BTC. These purchases were in part a response to criticism of Terra’s stablecoin UST, which Kwon recently announced would be backed by a BTC reserve that could eventually reach $10 billion. Unlike centralized stablecoins, UST is not backed by a fiat currency, and maintains its peg to the USD by issuing and destroying Luna tokens (Terra’s native crypto). Kwon believes a BTC reserve for UST will support its ability to keep this peg, and said he has $3 billion in funds ready to make purchases to back UST. He also said BTC was “the strongest digital reserve asset” and that UST would be “the first Internet native currency that implements the BTC standard as part of its monetary policy”.
Marisa McKnight, Liquid Global’s former head of product and marketing in Japan, has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in Singapore’s High Court against Quoine Pte Ltd, the crypto exchange’s Singapore subsidiary. McKnight’s statement of claim says Quoine did not inform her internally of the Aug 2021 hack of the exchange, leading her to resign Sep 2021. In her exit interview, Liquid Global’s CMO Chi Tran and CIO Graeme Doherty told her she would be investigated in the US and Japan as evidence suggested her work laptop had been involved in the hack, which McKnight “strenuously denied”. She also refused to travel to Japan or ship her laptop to Quoine in view of these “baseless threats”, and Liquid Global CEO Mike Kayamori’s failure to properly address concerns she had raised over email. In Oct 2021, she was terminated on grounds of “gross insubordination” and a “serious breach of obligations”, which she maintains have no merit. McKnight is suing for the loss of 60 shares (worth $154,322), as well as loss of reputation and future employment opportunities.
According to CoinShares data, institutional investments in crypto are at their highest levels in 3 months, a steep increase from the previous week when outflows totaled $47 million. Investment products for digital assets saw inflows of $193 million last week, a level not seen since early Dec 2021, when inflows totaled $184 million. The latest inflows were dominated by BTC, with slightly over 50% of the capital invested in BTC-based products, accounting for inflows of $98 million. SOL came next at $87 million, which CoinShares said was the “largest single week of inflows on record”. Europe was the top contributor, accounting for 76% ($147 million) of the inflows. These figures coincide with BTC price’s recent surge above $48,500 and ETH’s breakout above $3,300.
A district court in Bosnia and Herzegovina has ruled that international banking group UniCredit’s branch office in the country will be fined $144 million in damages, after a lawsuit filed by a subsidiary of crypto mining firm Bitminer Factory. The subsidiary accused UniCredit of wrongfully closing its current accounts in the bank’s Banja Luka branch, saying this “prevented the initial coin offering (ICO) associated with start-up projects in the crypto mining sector using renewable energy in Bosnia and Herzegovina”. UniCredit had previously allowed the subsidiary to withdraw profits from sales of mined crypto to its accounts but later stopped, claiming it could not service crypto businesses and suppliers. The court stated that the bank could not provide evidence of any written rule that prevented it from maintaining business relations with crypto firms.
Show me the money
CoinDesk data shows BTC continuing its upward climb, rising for the 7th consecutive day amid macroeconomic uncertainty, and volatility in equity markets. BTC saw an almost 2% increase over the last 24 hours to just under $47,650, while ETH rose by around 3% to just under $3,400. BTC passed the 2022 annual break-even point of $47,201 yesterday after rising by over 15% in the past week; in the same period, ETH saw a rise of over 16%.
Noelle Acheson, head of market insights at Genesis Global Trading, said these developments pointed to a “general improvement in market sentiment” and a “more bullish tone”, adding that in light of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, there was a growing awareness of BTC as a “seizure-resistant store of value”.