Bitcoin Price: US$ 26,372.99 (+0.58%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,598.64 (+0.29%)
In a congressional hearing, U.S. SEC Chair Gary Gensler maintained his critical stance on crypto companies’ handling of customer assets, expressing concerns about commingling assets and highlighting that the agency still hasn’t decided on its spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) position after a judge’s ruling. While the hearing addressed various issues, including a potential government shutdown and partisan divides, Gensler confirmed that Bitcoin is “not a security.” Additionally, the SEC is considering spot crypto ETF applications from Franklin Templeton and Hashdex while delaying decisions on VanEck’s and ARK’s ether ETF applications. Amidst these developments, Marathon Digital confirmed it mined an invalid Bitcoin block during an optimisation experiment, emphasising that it didn’t attempt to alter the network and highlighting the robust security of the Bitcoin network in rectifying the anomaly.
In a significant update, OpenAI has enabled web browsing capabilities for ChatGPT, allowing it to integrate up-to-date information from the internet into its responses for Plus and Enterprise users employing the GPT-4 model. While the feature will become available for other users soon, the specific details were not provided. This update addresses the knowledge gap issue in AI models, which had a knowledge base limited to data before September 2021. Additionally, Uniswap seeks on-chain approval for the second tranche of $62 million in funding for its developer, the Uniswap Foundation, to support operations and research grants. IBM Quantum and Microsoft have formed a coalition, along with MITRE, PQShield, SandboxAQ, and the University of Waterloo, to work on post-quantum cryptography (PQC) solutions. This initiative aims to address the potential threat posed by future quantum computers to current encryption schemes, particularly concerning technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrency that rely on mathematical encryption.
In Hong Kong, authorities have made significant progress in the JPEX crypto exchange fraud case, with 12 arrests and the recovery of over 8 million Hong Kong dollars ($1 million) in cash and assets valued at 77 million HK$ ($9.8 million), including real estate and digital currency. The operators of JPEX are accused of running an unauthorised crypto platform that defrauded customers of millions of dollars. Efforts are underway to locate the key orchestrators of the scheme, and the police are collaborating with regulators to implement measures to prevent future fraud in the crypto space. Over 2,300 complaints have been filed by victims who collectively lost an estimated 1.4 billion HK$ ($178 million). Meanwhile, Curve Finance founder Michael Egorov has settled his loans on the Aave lending platform, reducing his debt to $42.7 million across various DeFi protocols. He deposited 68 million CRV tokens to Silo, borrowed crvUSD stablecoin, and used it to pay off his Aave debt. Egorov currently has 253.67 million CRV tokens in collateral across four protocols. In another development, the Ethereum Merge upgrade, which shifted Ethereum from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS), has resulted in a decline in compliance with standards set by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Ethereum blocks adhering to OFAC compliance censor specific transactions, impacting the network’s neutrality. Before the Merge upgrade, Ethereum’s OFAC compliance had increased, but it has since declined significantly, with only 30% of blocks currently complying. This reduction is attributed to validators using MEV-boost relays that do not adhere to OFAC compliance requirements.
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