Bitcoin Price: US$ 30,766.51 (-1.25%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,936.20 (-0.99%)
The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill in the UK, aimed at assisting law enforcement agencies in seizing and freezing cryptocurrencies used for criminal activities, has passed through the House of Lords. While no changes were made to the crypto-related aspects of the bill, amendments were made to extend the measures to terrorism cases and enable authorities to seize assets that can help identify crypto connected to criminal activities. The bill will now return to the House of Commons for final stages before becoming law. The aim is to combat money laundering and illicit use of cryptocurrencies, which have increasingly become a tool for criminals. In other news, Goldman Sachs reported that the supply of Bitcoin and Ether on exchanges decreased in June as tighter regulations and concerns over cybercrime encouraged holders to opt for self-custody solutions. Bitcoin supply dropped 4%, approaching levels last seen in December 2022, while Ether supply fell 5.8% to levels not seen since May 2018. The trend is attributed to regulatory pressures, security concerns, and the preference for staking Ether instead of passive holding. Finally, a ConsenSys executive noted that the development of account abstraction, also known as “smart accounts,” could bring billions of users from the Asian region to Web3. This expansion in the Ethereum and Web3 ecosystem in Asia is driven by the introduction of zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM) rollups and the mass adoption of Optimistic rollups, with account abstraction expected to further boost adoption in the region.
Ethereum’s staking activity has soared following the Shanghai upgrade, with Glassnode revealing the continued dominance of the “cartel” known as Lido Finance. Contrary to expectations, the upgrade prompted an influx of daily staking deposits, reaching as high as 13,595 on June 2. Lido Finance has gained attention and raised concerns due to its significant presence in Ethereum’s staking pools, highlighting the risks of centralisation. In other news, Voyager and Celsius, rival crypto lending startups that faced financial struggles last year, have been authorised to shift their crypto holdings. While Voyager has been actively moving its funds, Celsius has yet to take action despite gaining court approval. Lastly, Meta’s upcoming Twitter rival, Threads, is set to launch on July 6, but the crypto community seems hesitant. Privacy and data mining concerns, along with doubts about the app’s longevity, have dampened enthusiasm for the platform.
Billionaire Mark Cuban and former securities official John Reed Stark are engaged in a heated debate over the cause of FTX’s collapse and the responsibility for creditors’ losses. Cuban argues that if the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had established clear regulations, the collapse could have been avoided. Stark, a cryptocurrency skeptic, believes that the crypto industry lacks regulatory oversight and consumer protections. Cuban points to Japan as an example of a jurisdiction with effective regulation, highlighting that no one in FTX Japan lost money when the platform crashed. Stark counters by stating that blaming the SEC for the failures of FTX and other platforms is a stretch and claims that the regulator has saved investors from significant losses. Cuban insists that implementing investor protection regulations is the best way to prevent cryptocurrency fraud. In other news, OpenAI has temporarily disabled the Browse feature of ChatGPT, a Bing-based search engine, due to a loophole that allowed users to bypass paywalls. The feature will be fixed to ensure compliance with content owners’ rights. Additionally, industry experts suggest that Hong Kong’s shifting attitude towards blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and Web3 could attract businesses away from the United States. Hong Kong has taken steps to foster Web3 development and enable retail investment in cryptocurrencies, positioning itself as an appealing jurisdiction. Yat Siu, co-founder of Animoca Brands, highlights Hong Kong’s evolving stance and suggests that regulatory clarity in other jurisdictions, such as the US, is lacking, creating a sense of fear among firms in the sector.
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