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Crypto Market Maker GSR in a Spin, and Binance Bids Adieu to Binance Connect
Coinbase's Future with Crypto Futures, Stellar's Strategic Stake in MoneyGram, and Helium's Miami Mobile Network Makes Waves
Welcome to Daily Digest, where we surface trending news in crypto-based on conversations we found on Twitter, news publications, blog posts, and other social media, powered by the Coinfeeds platform.
Here are the trending news items over the last 24 hours. If you’d like to see it’s realtime updated version, head over to our website here
Deep Dive: Layer Zero
Learn how single-click native token transfers become a reality using LayerZero Endpoints, substantially improving the bridging experience. LayerZero is eliminating liquidity fragmentation by rapidly onboarding new blockchains and applications. Users looking to benefit from effortless and gas efficient token swaps or speculate on a rumored airdrop should explore LayerZero further - https://coinfeeds.io/research/layerzero-pioneering-omnichain-transactions-across-chains
Crypto market maker GSR scales back, Binance Connect shutting down
Crypto market maker GSR is scaling back its operations and experiencing a wave of executive departures, including CFO Jonathan Hugh and others. The firm has been streamlining its operations and focusing on its core business of market making. Similarly, Binance, a crypto exchange, has announced that it will be shutting down its buy-and-sell service, Binance Connect. The service, which was launched just one year ago, will be disabled on August 16. Binance stated that this decision is part of their effort to refocus on their main products and long-term goals. The company wants to ensure that their resources are aligned with their core efforts and long-term strategy.
Coinbase wins NFA approval to offer Bitcoin and Ether futures in US
Coinbase has received approval from the National Futures Association (NFA) to offer Bitcoin and Ether futures contracts in the United States. This approval allows Coinbase to operate as a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) platform and offer regulated futures trading through its Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)-regulated derivatives exchange. However, the new futures trading service will not be immediately available in the US. Coinbase sees this approval as a significant milestone in its commitment to being a regulated and compliant business. In addition, Coinbase's political initiative, called the 'Stand with Crypto Alliance,' aims to engage with US lawmakers at the federal level. The initiative allows users to view the stance of members of the US Senate and House of Representatives on crypto policies.
Stellar's Investment in MoneyGram
Stellar Development Foundation has made a strategic investment in MoneyGram International and will also have a seat on MoneyGram's Board of Directors. The investment aims to support MoneyGram's digital business expansion and explore blockchain technology. This investment marks the first time Stellar has used its own cash treasury for an investment. Stellar and MoneyGram have been collaborating since 2019 and established a commercial partnership in 2021.
Donald Trump's Ethereum Wallet revelations
A new financial statement reveals that former US President Donald Trump owns over $2.8 million in an Ethereum wallet. The statement also shows that Trump made over $4.8 million from licensing fees tied to NFT collections using his image. Trump's total earnings from his crypto-related ventures amount to around $7.6 million. This amount is significantly higher than the $250,000 to $500,000 figure disclosed in Trump's previous filing. Despite his skepticism towards cryptocurrencies in the past, Trump has amassed a substantial amount in his Ethereum wallet.
Crypto Regulation and Lobbying
Crypto miners have formed the Digital Energy Council to advocate for favorable policies in the US. The council aims to promote responsible and sustainable energy development, grid resilience, competitiveness, and national security. Meanwhile, some Republican lawmakers are requesting that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) provide documents related to a license issued to digital asset firm Prometheum. The approval of the license has raised concerns among lawmakers, who are currently working on legislation to regulate cryptocurrency. On a global scale, G20 nations are set to crystalize crypto policies, the closest we may have come to globally coordinated rules for the industry. India has been at the helm of the efforts as the current president of the G20 and is likely to celebrate the progress during the Leaders' Summit in September. The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) has included crypto as one of the top risks in its annual risk report, highlighting the agency's willingness to engage in discussions with banks regarding their involvement in crypto-related activities.
Bitcoin-friendly El Salvador sees bond returns soar to 70% in 2023
El Salvador, which adopted Bitcoin as legal tender in 2021, has seen its dollar bond outperform the majority of emerging markets with a 70% return in 2023. This has attracted interest from institutional giants like JP Morgan, Eaton Vance, and PGIM Fixed. Other firms like Lord Abbett & Co LLC, Neuberger Berman Group LLC, and UBS Group AG have also invested in El Salvador's debt security. This is a significant turnaround from a couple of years ago when the country's Bitcoin adoption created uncertainty and doubt among investors. El Salvador's ability to pay off its debts and the passage of a landmark crypto bill have boosted investor confidence.
Arbitrum Will Unlock $1.2B ARB in March 2024
Arbitrum, an Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution, is set to release over $1 billion worth of ARB tokens in March 2024. This will mark the beginning of a four-year period of staggered unfreezing of the native digital asset. The initial release on March 16 will "cliff unlock" 1.11 billion ARB tokens, equivalent to 87% of the circulating supply. Following this, a certain amount of tokens will be unfrozen every four weeks for four years. Token unlocks like this can have a bearish impact on the token's price. At the time of writing, ARB is trading at $1.12, down 4% for the month.
Helium Mobile Debuts $5/month Crypto Wireless Network in Miami
Helium Mobile, a hybrid wireless carrier that combines the Helium 5G network and T-Mobile's nationwide 5G network, has launched in Miami, Florida. The service is priced at $5 per month and offers unlimited talk, text, and data without a contract commitment. While there is no data cap, speeds are slowed after 30GB of usage per month. This $5-per-month plan is a significant reduction from the previously advertised $25-per-month rate. Helium Mobile relies on a decentralized network of cellular node operators and rewards them with MOBILE crypto tokens for providing service. Users can also earn tokens by sharing data on network coverage. The original Helium network focuses on providing wireless coverage for IoT devices and has nearly 950,000 activated nodes.
Uzbekistan permits two banks to issue crypto cards
Uzbekistan has given approval to two private banks, Kapital Bank and Ravnaq Bank, to issue plastic crypto cards in its digital sandbox of crypto regulation. The cards, called UzNEX, will integrate a bank account with access to a crypto exchange and automated exchange mechanism. The cards will be powered by Mastercard and are expected to be rolled out to customers by the end of December 2023. This move comes as the government of Uzbekistan allows crypto services only by licensed cryptocurrency firms. The country's regulatory approach to crypto was enabled by a presidential decree in 2022.
Caroline Ellison’s list of ‘Things Sam Is Freaking Out About’ could be used in trial
Prosecutors plan to use personal notes and diary entries from Caroline Ellison, CEO of Alameda Research, as evidence against Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder of FTX, in his criminal trial. The evidence includes a note titled "Things Sam is Freaking Out About" which summarizes conversations between Bankman-Fried and Ellison regarding his business concerns. Other entries provide insights into the alleged fraudulent operations at FTX. The evidence also includes a recording of Ellison admitting to discussing the shortfall in FTX user funds with Bankman-Fried and others. Bankman-Fried's lawyers have filed a motion to exclude evidence obtained after July 1, claiming that delays in producing specific information have hindered their trial preparation. Bankman-Fried is currently in detention after his bail was revoked for allegedly leaking diary entries to The New York Times.
As always, stay tuned for more updates in crypto!