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Bitcoin Plummets, SEC targets Staking and AI Coins Thriving


Bitcoin with red liquid dripping over it, symbolizing a bearish market, with a backdrop of red liquid drops
  • Cryptocurrency Markets shook after SEC Staking Rumours

  • AI Blockchains outperform Bitcoin with some up over 200%

  • Localbitcoins shuts down P2P Cryptocurrency Exchange after 10 Years

  • Tether's Assets Surpass Liabilities, According to BDO's Latest Reserve Report


Bitcoin Plummets Below $22,000 Amid Heightened Regulatory Scrutiny of Cryptocurrencies


The cryptocurrency market saw a drop in prices, with Bitcoin (BTC) briefly reaching a four-week low of $21,756 on Friday. Despite a strong performance in January, with BTC soaring 40% since the start of the year, the latest price action resulted in a loss of $30 billion in market capitalization for Bitcoin, falling to $421.9 billion. The market drop coincides with increased regulatory scrutiny, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigating popular cryptocurrency exchange Kraken for alleged securities law violations. Meanwhile, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong spoke out against rumors of the SEC wanting to eliminate crypto staking in the U.S. for retail customers. The head of digital assets at the Bank of New York Mellon, Michael Demissie, emphasized the need for clear regulation and reliable services in the crypto space


 

Bitcoin Drops 5.1%, Ethereum Decreases 5.21%, Dogecoin Slips 7.46%


The global cryptocurrency market experienced a decline on February 10th, 2023 with a drop of 3.69%. Major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Binance, experienced losses, leading to this decrease in the market. According to Coinmarketcap.com, the overall market was valued at $1.02 trillion with $74.11 billion traded in the past 24 hours, representing a 15.63% increase. The top trending cryptocurrency was Gifto and the top gainer was Rocket Pool with a 5.34% increase to $49.69. On the other hand, Render Token was the top loser, experiencing a drop of 13.33% to $1.45. Bitcoin experienced a 5.1% decline to $21,801.14 with a 6.32% increase in trading volume. Ethereum also suffered a 5.21% dip to $1,545.10 with a 12.71% increase in trading volume. Other altcoins also experienced losses, with Solana down 8.51% and Cardano down 6.98%.

 

Artificial Intelligence-Based Cryptocurrencies Surpass Bitcoin in Performance


Recently, the crypto market has been witnessing a trend towards Artificial Intelligence (AI) tokens. These tokens have recorded significant growth in recent weeks, with some seeing gains of up to 220% such as Alethea's artificial liquid intelligence (ALI), fetch.ai (FET) and SingularityNET (AGIX). The trend is being fueled by the growing interest in AI technology and its potential applications, including chatbots, self-driving cars, and image-generation software. This increased interest in AI has been driven, in part, by the recent launch of chatbot ChatGPT and image generation software Dall-E by OpenAI, which recently raised $10 billion from Microsoft. While some market watchers are optimistic about the future of AI in the crypto space, others remain cautious and warn of the potential for hype to overshadow solid technological advancements. The use of tokens for scaling AI software remains a challenging problem to solve, and there are still many unanswered questions about how decentralized AI tools will be used and integrated into the crypto space.

Image of Dr. Ben Goertzel delivering a keynote address at a SingularityNET event

 

Traders Suffer Losses as Bitcoin and Ether Slide Leads to $220 Million Liquidations


The recent settlement reached between Kraken and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the latter's liquid staking platform has resulted in a market decline, particularly affecting futures traders who had placed bets on continued growth. This has led to a high level of liquidations, reaching $220 million in the past 24 hours, with the majority being long trades. The most significant impact was seen on Binance, which experienced over $95 million in liquidations, followed by OKX with $47 million. Liquidations occur when a trader is unable to meet margin requirements and as a result, their leveraged position is forcibly closed by the exchange. This data is crucial for traders as it serves as an indicator of a decline in price volatility and the reduction of leverage in popular futures products. As per the settlement, Kraken has agreed to end its crypto staking service for U.S. customers and pay a fee of $30 million to settle SEC charges of offering unregistered securities.

 

German Bank DekaBank Set to Launch Tokenization Platform in 2024


German financial institution, DekaBank, has announced plans to launch a blockchain-based tokenization platform in collaboration with digital asset firm, Metaco. The platform is aimed at tokenizing assets such as bonds, stocks and funds, and is expected to be ready for use in 2023 with a minimum viable product launching in the near future. The collaboration with Metaco will provide a key management solution for tokenized assets on different blockchains. DekaBank is focused on regulated products and will not be offering trading of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The launch of this platform comes as many local banks are moving into the cryptocurrency industry, with Germany becoming one of the most favorable crypto economies in the world based on favorable outlook, clear tax rules, and transparent regulatory communications.

Leadership team of DekaBank, a financial institution based in Germany
Source: Metaco

 

LocalBitcoins Shuts Down its P2P Cryptocurrency Exchange


LocalBitcoins, a Finland-based peer-to-peer cryptocurrency platform, has announced the termination of its services due to challenging market conditions in the current "cryptocurrency winter." The platform, which has served customers for over 10 years, has encouraged all users to immediately withdraw their crypto assets, with a 12-month window for withdrawal. New registrations have been suspended immediately, while trading will be suspended on February 16th. The CEO of LocalBitcoins, Nikolaus Kangas, stated that despite efforts to overcome challenges and improve market share, the platform could no longer provide its Bitcoin trading service. The closure of LocalBitcoins comes after it was mentioned as one of the largest Bitcoin senders to a Russia-linked exchange, Bitzlato, which is facing money laundering charges. LocalBitcoins has been regulated by the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority since 2019 and has strictly followed anti-money laundering regulations.

 

Argo CEO Resigns Following Company's Acquisition by Galaxy Digital


Argo Blockchain, a cryptocurrency miner, has experienced a series of changes in light of its acquisition by Galaxy Digital and a recently filed lawsuit. On February 9th, the CEO of Argo Blockchain, Peter Wall, announced his resignation from his executive role, but will remain as an adviser for the next three months. Board member Sarah Gow has also resigned for health reasons. This comes just a week after the resignation of CFO Alex Appleton, who resigned to pursue other opportunities. These changes follow Argo's report of insufficient funds and the sale of its top Helios mining facility to Galaxy Digital for $65 million, which reduced its debt by $41 million and regained compliance with the Nasdaq minimum bid price rule. However, the company is currently facing a lawsuit for failing to disclose key information to investors.


 

A Comprehensive List of Countries Embracing the Metaverse


A recent study conducted by crypto data website CoinKickoff analyzed over 1.6 million tweets from various countries to determine the level of support for the concept of the metaverse. The analysis found that Vietnam displayed the highest level of support with 56.8% of metaverse-related tweets from the country exhibiting positive sentiment towards the concept. East Asian countries were generally positive towards the metaverse, with other countries in the region including the Philippines, Ukraine, Nigeria, and Indonesia also ranking high in support. On the other hand, Western countries such as Ireland, Denmark, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada displayed higher levels of opposition, with negative sentiment towards the metaverse being expressed in a significant number of tweets. The study highlights the varying levels of support for the metaverse concept across different regions, as well as the ongoing development and implementation of metaverse use cases.


 

Creditors Committee Predicts 'Looming Liquidity Cliff' for Celsius in June


A motion made by the defunct cryptocurrency lender Celsius to extend a key deadline for the second time in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case has been met with objections from the parties involved in the case. The court had previously extended the timeline for Celsius to February 15 after the company stated it needed more time, but a new motion was filed in January to push the deadline out further to March 31 with a solicitation period extending to the end of June. However, the committee of unsecured creditors and the U.S. Department of Justice's trustee overseeing the case have both expressed concerns over the extension, citing potential lack of liquidity by the end of June and the high rate at which legal professionals are consuming the company's assets. A hearing for the motion is scheduled for February 15.

 

BDO's Latest Reserves Report Shows Tether's Assets Exceed Liabilities


Tether, the world's largest stablecoin issuer, has completed a reserves attestation by major global accounting firm BDO. Tether released BDO's assurance opinion on February 9th, 2023, which confirms the accuracy of the company's consolidated reserves report (CRR) as of December 31st, 2022. The CRR reveals that Tether's consolidated assets amount to at least $67 billion, exceeding consolidated liabilities of $66 billion, with excess reserves equaling at least $960 million. Tether ended the year 2022 with zero commercial paper, which was replaced with United States Treasury Bills. Paolo Ardoino, Tether and Bitfinex’s CTO highlighted the company's "impressive resilience" to market events that affected several crypto companies in the bear market of 2022. BDO noted that its opinion is limited solely to the CRR as of December 31st, 2022 and it has not performed any procedures or provided any assurance on financial or non-financial activity outside of this time period.


 
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