Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
South Korean authorities recently arrested a serving military captain and a crypto exchange operator for divulging military secrets to a North Korean hacker, for which they were allegedly paid $637,789 worth of BTC. According to South Korean law enforcement, the captain had passed information used to log into South Korea’s Joint Command and Control System to a North Korean spy, while the crypto exchange operator had given a spying device to the captain at the spy’s behest, and assembled a hacking device to be used access the Joint Command and Control System.
South Korea’s new president Yoon Seok-yeol will defer taxation on crypto gains until the Digital Asset Basic Act to protect consumers is enacted. The tax was initially supposed to take effect for the 2022 fiscal year but was postponed to 2023 in Dec. Now that Yoon wants legislation for consumer protection implemented first, however, the crypto tax law could be pushed to as late as 2024. At the same time, Yoon plans to establish the Digital Industry Promotion Agency as the reference point for crypto-related regulatory issues.
Banco Galicia, one of Argentina’s largest private banks, is including crypto trading in its range of services to meet growing consumer demand. Customers interested in crypto investment can buy four different crypto assets (BTC, ETH, USDC and XRP) directly from Banco Galicia’s home banking app, reportedly making it the first bank to offer Argentinian customers this option. This function is being offered via a partnership with Lirium, a third party acting as an exchange that executes customer orders and serves as a custody provider for the cryptocurrencies involved.
The ‘mystery’ firm that took out the first Bitcoin-backed loan from Goldman Sachs has been revealed as Coinbase. Coinbase Institutional head Brett Tejpaul said the loan was “a first step in the recognition of crypto as collateral” and would strengthen “the bridge between the fiat and crypto economies”. The loan’s dollar value remains undisclosed, though it was collateralized by a portion of Coinbase’s total holdings of 4,487 BTC (worth $170 million). While the loan has 24-hour risk management, Coinbase must top up its BTC collateral if prices decline too much.
A recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article claimed NFT sales were “flatlining” but data showed otherwise — the same week the article was published, the top five NFT collections alone accounted for over $1 billion in primary and secondary sales. Data cited in the article came from market analysis platform Nonfungible and suggested the number of NFT sales had fallen by 92% from their all-time high in Sep. However, Dune Analytics’ on-chain data showed much higher numbers of NFT users and transactions. The discrepancy could be due to Nonfungible’s inclusion of Axie Infinity’s sales volume, which fell from its Nov 2021 all-time high of $40 million to its current $500,000 level.
Show me the money
Over the past 24 hours, BTC saw a marginal increase of 0.55% to $38,824.62, while ETH saw a decline of 0.44% to $2,833.94. Other major altcoins witnessed mixed price movements: ADA was up 0.6%, SOL was down 1.07% and LUNA was up 0.62%. Similarly, meme tokens SHIB and DOGE saw a decrease of 0.17% and an increase of 0.05% respectively in the last 24 hours.