The U.S. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fined cryptocurrency lender Nexo Crypto $45 million over its unlicensed cryptocurrency deposit product to U.S. investors. This was reported on the regulator’s official website.
According to the SEC, Nexo began offering cryptocurrency deposit services to U.S. investors back in June 2020. In doing so, Nexo was free to use the assets on deposit to both fund business and pay out to other clients.
The exchange regulator also felt that the provision of cryptocurrency services fell under the Securities Act. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said the regulator will continue to pursue cryptocurrency companies if they do not follow the law. Because of the investigation, Nexo is now banned from providing unlicensed services in the United States. Nexo confirmed the agreement with the SEC, but decided not to mention the amount of the fine. Nexo CEO Anthony Trenchev said that the company will now focus on providing services for the international market.
At the beginning of 2023, the media revealed that Nexo had come under the scrutiny of the Bulgarian prosecutor’s office because of possible money laundering, tax evasion, and other offenses. The Office of the Prosecutor General of Bulgaria said that “active investigative actions are underway to neutralize the illegal criminal activity of Nexo cryptobank.
Law enforcement agencies are interested in the company’s operating expenses in Bulgaria and are not talking about the firm’s clients. As journalists found out, Nexo is also suspected of violating sanctions against Russia and ties with the founder of the scandalous cryptocurrency pyramid OneCoin Ruja Ignatova. However, these and other charges against Nexo have never been made official.
Earlier, we reported that the Stellar Foundation will advise the CFTC on blockchain.
Crypto in France: the country’s government meets the cryptocurrency business
France will not require cryptocurrency businesses to shell out for a full license until the MiCA (Markets in Crypto-assets) directive comes into force in Europe. This is reported in the adopted amendment to regulate cryptocurrency companies in the country. So it will be easier to use cryptocurrency in France
Crypto in France – current regulation
France applies a two-tier regulation for crypto businesses. All companies providing cryptocurrency services must register as cryptocurrency providers. However, they are not required to obtain a full license, as traditional financial companies, for example, do. At the time of writing, there are about 60 cryptocurrency companies registered in France, including Binance. However, all of them decided not to get a full license, but only a temporary one.
While French lawmakers had previously called for a deadline of October 1, 2023, with the adopted amendments, cryptocurrency businesses may not rush to get a full license until at least 2025 (the MiCA is expected to come into force then). So we can fear nothing and continue to work with Bitcoin in France.
Earlier, François Villroy de Galo, Chairman of the French Central Bank, called to stop “indulging” cryptocurrency companies. According to Villeroy, the recent cascade of bankruptcies in the cryptocurrency market means that France should not wait for European rules to come into force, but hurry to tighten supervision itself.
In the summer of 2022, the European Union first agreed on requirements for the crypto market as part of the first package of the MiCA directive. Once the directive enters into force, the European Securities and Markets Authority will have the power to ban or restrict the business of crypto companies.
Also, the innovation will oblige crypto exchanges to inform about transfers to private wallets in case the amount of transferred cryptocurrency is more than €1,000. At the same time, European Central Bank Governor Christine Lagarde believes that it is necessary to work on the second version of MiCA for more regulation, as the first version still has legal gaps.
Earlier, we reported that Chia Network will prepare for an IPO and wait for the right moment.
Current bitcoin hashrate hits highs: will miners return to the big game?
The rise in the value of the asset is also reflected in the earnings of bitcoin mining companies, which have slumped heavily amid a prolonged crypto winter. The current bitcoin hashrate means big miners should be back in business soon.
Bitcoin hashrate at all-time high, continues to rise
Hashrate refers to the total processing power of a network. It depends on how many devices have joined the blockchain to process hashes. Hashrate growth thus indicates that more and more miners are involved in verifying transactions and securing the bitcoin network.
The bitcoin network’s hash rate has increased significantly since the lows of 2022: according to CoinWarz; it now stands at 272.94 EH/s, and reached a high of 296.8 EH/s on January 16. Hashrate Index analyst Jaran Meller ud commented on the situation:
“The mood of miners has improved for the first time in a long time. For many players in danger of bankruptcy, the sudden rise in the price of bitcoin is a lifeline,” he told the Financial Times.
Miners hit hard during crypto winter
The final months of 2022 were a serious test for mining companies. One of the biggest miners, Core Scientific, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and Riot Blockchain, Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. and Hut 8 Mining Corp, reported year-over-year revenue declines and huge losses. Nevertheless, shares of these companies have already generated double-digit returns for investors in 2023 due to the rise in the BTC price.
We previously reported that cyberattacks on cryptocurrencies will double in 2022.
DeFi and the future of finance: DeFi is given a leading role
DeFi and the future of finance: Venture capital firm Pantera Capital has named decentralized finance (DeFi) as the future of the global financial system. They published a blog post titled “One Year Ahead,” in which they gave their predictions for 2023 and paid special attention to the role of DeFi services in the future.
“Looking ahead, I think it’s pretty clear that the historic path of global finance will eventually lead to blockchain-based systems that use smart contracts. The real questions are how do we get there and what needs to happen to get there,” Pantera co-founder Joey Krug said in a post.
DeFi and the future finance
To achieve these goals, Krug said, the problems of inflated fees and insufficient liquidity in decentralized ecosystems must be addressed. Also, it should be easier to use these services, especially for newcomers.
Krug also noted that more institutional capital needs to be attracted to DeFi in the form of more government-controlled custodians that directly support Ethereum blockchain.
Another method, he said, is to aggregate the liquidity of different blockchains and pools. This will allow applications to find the best price and then execute users’ smart contracts. However, this aggregation would require the creation of secure cross-chain bridges.
That said, in the area of DeFi usability issues, there are still a lot of issues to work on, even though some of them are already being addressed. For example, cryptocurrencies should simplify the user interface; provide the ability to pay commissions not only in Ethereum, and improve services related to fiat payments.
Coinbase analysts also expect 2023 to bring a lot of good things for the crypto industry. According to platform experts, the maturity of the ecosystem, relative market liquidity and sustainable tokenomics will lead to digital asset choices to focus on better cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). These two cryptocurrencies will remain the dominant investments.
Crypto investors are also not ready to give up buying digital assets in 2023. Despite the crisis, almost half (40%) will continue to invest in cryptocurrency in 2023. However, respondents did not specify the volume of purchases.
Earlier we reported that Linux launched Metaverse, an open-world development fund.
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