Crypto Market Update: Hong Kong to Release Cryptocurrency Exchange Licensing Framework in May
Written by Van - Perfected by ChatGPT
Hong Kong will release its cryptocurrency exchange licensing framework in May, providing regulatory clarity for the Web3 industry. The proposed guidelines, based on traditional finance laws, will require crypto service providers to apply for a license from the Securities and Futures Commission. The regulations, set to take effect in June, will require firms to share their plans to combat money laundering and ensure investor protection. At least 80 firms have expressed interest in applying for a crypto license in Hong Kong, which has been promoting itself as an Asian crypto hub since last year.
UK Tax Authority Seeks Public Input on Proposal to Change Tax Treatment of DeFi Lending and Staking
The UK’s tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs, is seeking public input on a proposal to change the tax treatment of decentralized finance (DeFi) lending and staking. The proposed changes would ensure DeFi transactions are not treated as disposals for tax purposes, but only when crypto assets are “economically disposed of in a non-DeFi transaction”. The new framework could also treat “all DeFi returns as being revenue in nature” and subject to a “new miscellaneous income charge” to avoid administrative burdens. The consultation is open until 22 June.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao Denies Bloomberg’s Report on His Net Worth and Binance’s Revenue
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has denied Bloomberg’s report that his net worth is approximately $28.2 billion, placing him third on their list of the top 25 wealthiest individuals. CZ took to Twitter to deny the accuracy of Bloomberg’s data, including his personal wealth and Binance’s annual revenue, stating that they are “all wrong”. He also addressed the rumoured rivalry between Binance and FTX, stating that FTX was never seen as a competitor. CZ’s tweet refutes Bloomberg’s data on his net worth and Binance’s revenue, suggesting the crypto industry continues to be plagued by rumours and speculation.
AT&T Employee Portal Hacked, Cybercriminals Allegedly Steal up to $20M in Cryptocurrency
AT&T’s employee portal was hacked, allowing cybercriminals to generate their own mail keys and reset customers’ passwords, giving them access to their cryptocurrency wallets. As per a TechCrunch report, up to $20 million was allegedly stolen from victims’ wallets, although AT&T disputes any direct penetration of its internal systems. Despite AT&T’s denial, numerous customer complaints confirm the attacks as well as hacker claims of access to the “entire AT&T employee database”. All users with att.net, sbcglobal.net, or bellsouth.net email addresses are at risk. The company has updated its security and proactively reset secure mail keys.
The Notorious Wallet Linked to 2,000+ Rug Pulls in DeFi Industry
According to @CoinGurruu, a single wallet with an address ending in c6cd646F has been linked to over 2,000 rug pulls, leading many to label its owner one of the biggest scammers in the industry. The wallet has been launching 2-5 meme coin rug pulls per day for almost two years, raising questions about the legitimacy of associated projects and the identity of the wallet’s owner. It is unclear how much profit the owner may have made, but users are urged to label the wallet on Etherscan to avoid supporting potential scams.
CertiK to Compensate Victims of Merlin DEX’s $2M Rug Pull
CertiK, a security audit firm, said it will compensate victims after the Merlin decentralized exchange was drained of (what’s now worth) nearly $2 million. After members of the Merlin team swiped the funds from the project’s smart contract earlier this week, CertiK confirmed the heist was a rug pull. The incident occurred just days after CertiK conducted a code audit for Merlin. CertiK said it would continue to investigate the incident and is offering a 20% reward for the return of the stolen funds. “Rogue developers are based in Europe,” it said.
On-chain Sleuth Discovers Scammer Behind 114 Abandoned Meme Coins
On-chain sleuth ZachXBT has identified a scammer who created 114 meme coins within 45 days, using a common deposit address for stolen funds. The wallet currently holds just $1.79 of Ethereum tokens, and the scammer laundered the stolen funds through Coinbase addresses in small batches. The community has raised concerns about Coinbase’s ability to identify the scammer due to Know Your Customer requirements, but ZachXBT suggests that the small amounts the scammer transferred went unnoticed.
Crypto Lending Platform Bit4You Halts Operations after Service Provider’s Insolvency
Belgian crypto lending platform, Bit4You, has stopped operations after its service provider, CoinLoan, was declared insolvent by an Estonian court. Bit4You said it had yet to be indicated whether its stored funds, including over $6 million in various cryptocurrencies, can be recovered. CoinLoan was ordered to cease operation and withdrawals by the same court earlier this week.
BTC Price Suffers Dramatic Drop
US equities surged despite lower-than-expected Q1 2022 growth, with Bitcoin briefly falling and major US equities reacting positively. A large drop happened before a drama from Arkham Intelligence alert added more fuel to the fire. The sudden fall caused BTC price to crash nearly 8% from \(29,709 to \)27,535. However, it then recovered and remains stable at around $29,000.
Bitcoin experienced volatile changes in the last seven days due to leveraged long liquidations, and investors have been warned of possible bear traps ahead. Its price remained stable after the US GDP growth slowed down and missed expectations, while traders remain conservative in their short-term predictions. The Fed is expected to announce a 0.25% rate hike in May.
Franklin Templeton Launches First US Government Money Fund on Public Blockchain with Polygon Integration
Franklin Templeton’s OnChain US Government Money Fund is the first US-registered fund to use a public blockchain to process transactions and record share ownership with the help of Polygon’s blockchain network. It invests over 99% of its assets in government securities, cash and repurchase agreements. Moreover, Polygon has integrated a proof-of-stake (PoS) bridge to its zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine, allowing more seamless bridging of tokens from the Ethereum network. This is expected to improve the scalability, security, privacy and cost-efficiency of dApps built on Ethereum, with ANKR, The Graph and Alchemy utilising the platform.
Technical Glitch on Bitrue Triggers XRP Flash Crash and Margin Liquidations
Bitrue, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Singapore, experienced a technical glitch on April 26 that affected XRP orders on its system. The glitch occurred for one minute, leading to orders for XRP/USDT with incorrect prices and quantities. This caused a flash crash of XRP to \(0, leading to the liquidation of long positions held by various users. Bitrue has promised to reverse the positions held by its users during the glitch period and refund their margin amount. The settlement price of XRP will be marked at 0.4696. Despite the glitch, XRP's price had minimal impact as the broader market experienced heavy [volatility](https://coin360.com/glossary/volatility). As of press time, XRP is trading for \)0.46, down 3.1%.
Stargate Cross-Chain Bridge Sees 30% Increase in Trading Volume as Investors Vie for LayerZero Airdrop Eligibility
Trading volume on the Stargate cross-chain bridge has increased by 30% in the past 24 hours as investors try to qualify for a possible LayerZero airdrop. Stargate is responsible for most of the capital flowing into LayerZero, an omnichain protocol that facilitates the transfer of assets and data across different blockchains. Although LayerZero has not announced a token release, its code on GitBook mentions a “ZRO token holder,” indicating that a native token is likely to be issued.
PancakeSwap’s CAKE Token Value Declines Due to Proposed Change in Tokenomics
The price of PancakeSwap’s native token, CAKE, has fallen around 24.4% over the past week due to a proposed change in its tokenomics. The proposal calls for the inflation rate of CAKE to be reduced to 3-5% from its current rate of over 20%, which would decrease the amount of tokens stakers could earn. While this change would improve the tokenomics of CAKE, it has caused an exodus in stakers, leading to a decline in the token’s value.
Binance Futures Launches BLUR Perpetual Contracts with 20x Leverage
Binance and Binance Futures have announced the launch of BLUR listing on April 28 with leverage of up to 20x. The perpetual contracts will settle in USDT and the price of BLUR jumped by roughly 10% on the news. Meanwhile, three ETH wallets bought 2 million BLUR at \(0.636 after withdrawing nearly 690 ETH on April 15, following the Shapella upgrade on Ethereum. BLUR is currently trading at \)0.698 per token.
Sushiswap’s Complete Protocol Overhaul Promotes Uniswap V3 Adoption
SushiSwap plans to introduce a tokenomics model that promotes Uniswap v3 adoption to increase its market share and address governance-related issues. The model involves a complete protocol overhaul. SushiSwap also built a new route processor for Uniswap V3, which was stealthily launched. The DEX volume dropped 40% in the last 24 hours, hampered by regulatory concerns and a recent \(3.3m hack. [SUSHI](https://coin360.com/coin/sushiswap-sushi)'s price declined to \)1, but recovered to $1.04. The negative sentiment towards SUSHI is reflected in its increased supply on exchanges.
Dymension and Evmos to Develop EVM Rollup Scaling Solution for Cosmos
Dymension, a blockchain developer, is developing an Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible Layer 2 rollup scaling solution that will integrate with the Cosmos ecosystem of blockchains. The rollup, which will enable the deployment of applications to the Evmos blockchain, is compatible with the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol, which facilitates data transfer between Cosmos blockchains. The rollup software will use a common software development kit, enabling it to work with various Cosmos chains.
Summary of Market Events and Price Action
As a summary of today’s events and price action in the market, it is crucial to note the following key points:
- Crypto exchange licensing framework in Hong Kong to come in May
- UK seeks public input on DeFi tax treatment proposal
- Binance CEO denies net worth and revenue reports
- Cybercriminals steal up to $20M in AT&T hack
- Notorious wallet linked to over 2,000 rug pulls
- CertiK compensates victims of $2M Merlin DEX rug pull
- Sleuth discovers scammer behind 114 meme coin abandonments
- Bit4You halts operations after service provider insolvency
- Bitcoin suffers dramatic drop despite US equities surge
- Franklin Templeton launches US gov money fund on Polygon
- Technical glitch triggers XRP flash crash on Bitrue
- Stargate cross-chain bridge sees 30% increase in trading volume
- CAKE token value declines due to proposed tokenomics change
- Binance Futures launches 20x leveraged BLUR contracts
- Sushiswap promotes Uniswap V3 adoption with protocol overhaul
- Dymension and Evmos develop EVM scaling for Cosmos
Top Altcoin Gainers and Losers
MultiversX EGLD (+4.18%)
WOO Network WOO (+3.96%)
Immutable X IMX (+3.22%)
FTX Token FTT (-7.44%)
Optimism OP (-6.28%)
Stacks STX (-5.98%)
NFT Market Map
Crypto exchange FTX, which was declared bankrupt in December 2021, is now in control of several blue-chip non-fungible tokens (NFTs), including Bored Ape, Azuki, Otherdeed, and Mutant Ape. These NFTs are worth more than \(4m, but their liquidation might hurt the floor price of these collections, which have already slipped significantly. Tom Wan of 21co Research believes FTX might not liquidate the assets directly but auction them like bankrupt Three Arrows Capital. Meanwhile, FTX agreed to sell LedgerX for \)50 million and would also explore the sale of its European business.
A recent report from analytics platform NFTGo has revealed that the non-fungible token (NFT) market consistently saw more sellers than buyers in April, indicating a potential lack of demand for NFTs. The report showed that there wasn’t a single day in April where the number of buyers exceeded sellers, with buyers dropping to 5,893 on April 19 and rising to 18,495 on April 5. The turbulent market conditions have raised concerns among some investors, with Ovie Faruq, co-founder of Canary Labs, tweeting that the NFT market is “not functioning” at the moment.