Bitcoin Price: US$ 26,304.81 (+0.21%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,588.33 (+0.48%)
Optimism’s native token (OP) saw a price decline ahead of a scheduled unlock event that will release 24.16 million OP tokens, worth approximately $30 million, causing concerns of potential sell-offs. The token dropped 3.6% in the past 24 hours, making it one of the worst-performing assets among the top 50 cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, Coinbase has successfully registered with Spain’s central bank, allowing it to offer exchange and custody services in the country, a mandatory step to comply with anti-money laundering standards, although further regulations are expected under the EU’s MiCA regulation in 2024. Additionally, cryptocurrency exchange HTX, formerly known as Huobi, suffered a hack resulting in the loss of 500 ETH, valued at approximately $8 million. Despite the hack, HTX stated that user funds are secure and trading operations have continued as usual, offering the hacker a $400,000 bug bounty and the possibility of becoming a security white hat advisor.
The European Central Bank (ECB) stated that a digital euro is at least two years away, with major decisions regarding the central bank digital currency (CBDC) to be made in October. ECB President Christine Lagarde addressed concerns about privacy and the potential for the digital euro to offer privacy without full anonymity while being user-friendly, free, and universal. Meanwhile, the possibility of a U.S. government shutdown could delay the progress of crypto-related bills awaiting a vote, including the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act, the Clarity for Payment Stablecoins Act, and the Keep Your Coins Act. The U.S. government has until September 30 to reach an agreement on spending bills to avoid a shutdown, which could impact regulatory actions related to digital assets. Additionally, NASA plans to use blockchain technology to verify data from a Moon mission in February 2024, aiming to provide immutable proof of future Moon landings and address conspiracy theories regarding past lunar missions.
The mBridge central bank digital currency (CBDC) project, initiated in 2021 with participants including the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the central banks of China, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as commercial banks and the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub, is set to expand and commercialise after demonstrating faster, cheaper, and more transparent cross-border payments. Hong Kong is aiming to tighten cryptocurrency regulation and has arrested six individuals linked to an unlicensed crypto exchange, JPEX. Thailand’s Revenue Department is planning to impose personal income tax on foreign revenues, including income from crypto trading, for individuals residing in Thailand for over 180 days, closing a previous tax loophole. In Brazil, lawmakers are considering recognising digital assets as part of personal financial assets to protect individuals’ savings. Additionally, OpenAI has unveiled GPT-4V, a vision-capable model, and multimodal conversational modes for ChatGPT, enabling users to engage the chatbot in conversations, including spoken queries, with responses in various voices and image interactions, and DALL-E 3, an advanced image generation system integrating natural language processing.
Crypto investment products witnessed their sixth consecutive week of outflows, totalling $9 million for the week ending September 24. Bitcoin saw a third consecutive week of outflows at $6 million, while Ether recorded its sixth consecutive week of outflows with $2.2 million exiting. In contrast, altcoins like XRP and Solana attracted inflows of $0.66 million and $0.31 million, respectively. These trends revealed regional divergence in sentiment, with European crypto investment products experiencing $16 million in inflows while U.S.-based products saw $14 million in outflows, partly due to uncertainty around crypto regulations and SEC actions. Additionally, MicroStrategy acquired 5,445 BTC for $147.3 million, further bolstering its Bitcoin holdings to 158,245 BTC valued at around $4.68 billion. Arbitrum also moved unclaimed ARB tokens worth approximately $56 million to its DAO treasury.
Tether has reportedly changed its terms of service in Singapore, leading to confusion and concern as certain customers, particularly those “controlled by another entity,” are prohibited from redeeming USDT for United States dollars. Chainlink faced criticism for reducing the number of signatures required on its multisig wallet, but the company clarified that this was a standard signer rotation, and the multisig threshold remained 4-of-9. Additionally, data reveals that the North Korean hacking collective Lazarus Group holds over $40 million in cryptocurrency, primarily in Bitcoin, with a recent drop in holdings from $86 million. Surprisingly, the group does not hold privacy coins, and its wallets remain highly active.
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