Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
The US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued an advisory on Russian attempts to evade sanctions, including several crypto-related red flags. However, the bureau also said it had not observed “widespread evasion” of sanctions using crypto. Despite this, the advisory warned of fund transfers involving crypto mixer services, transactions “identified by blockchain tracing software as related to ransomware”, and convertible virtual currency (CVC) from external wallets that “immediately initiates multiple rapid trades among multiple CVCs with no apparent related purpose, followed by a transaction off the platform”. It said this may be “indicative of attempts to break the chain of custody” on blockchains or to “further obfuscate the transaction”.
VanEck’s Digital Assets Mining (DAM) ETF will invest at least 80% of its total assets in securities of crypto miners that generate or have the potential to earn at least 50% of their revenue from mining or other related technologies. VanEck will track the MVIS Digital Assets Mining Index and will have a net expense ratio of 0.5%. At the same time, Goldman Sachs is offering access to an ETH fund issued by Galaxy Digital. According to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Goldman Sachs will “receive an introduction fee” for clients it leads to the “Galaxy Institutional Ethereum Fund”, which was issued in Mar 2021. Additionally, alternative investment platform CAIS Capital will receive “placement fees” for referring clients to the fund.
The Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) are reportedly considering allowing Russian tourists to use crypto payment methods in Thailand, offering some relief for Russians from harsh restrictions from many countries and businesses in the wake of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. PTA president Bhummikitti Ruktaengam said digital assets could be a back-up if transactions are cancelled, and hinted that Thai businesses may cooperate with Russian payment system Mir to facilitate transactions.
A statement from US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about President Joe Biden’s executive order on digital assets has called for efforts to support innovation while addressing risk in the industry. The statement was released a day early by mistake and hastily deleted, but had already been captured on a web archive by then. It says the order will call for “a coordinated and comprehensive approach to digital asset policy”, could “result in substantial benefits for the nation, consumers and businesses”, and will “address risks related to illicit finance, protecting consumers and investors, and preventing threats to the financial system and broader economy”.
The US SEC has charged siblings John Albert Loar Barksdale and JonAntina Barksdale with violating federal securities laws and allegedly defrauding at least 12,000 “retail investors of more than $124 million” with the Ormeus Coin (ORME) scheme. According to the SEC, the siblings had lied about the “size, value and purported profitability” of ORME’s crypto mining assets, claiming ORME had invested $250 million into its mining operation and was generating a monthly revenue of $5 million, which the SEC said was “never approached”. They also showed investors a vault wallet worth over $190 million as of Nov 2021, but the display was set up using a separate website showing the value of an unrelated wallet, and the project’s real wallets were “worth less than $500,000”.
Show me the money
According to data from Huobi Global, BTC continued to move sideways at 38,000 last night, with no significant increase in trading volume. ETH followed a similar pattern at 2,570 but with shrinking trading volume. Daily charts show consolidations and fluctuations at a low level for both. In terms of contracts, Huobi Futures data is showing stable open interest (OI) in BTC futures but slightly decreased OI in ETH futures, with slightly decreased volume for both amid a relatively inactive contract market.
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