1. Market Wrap: Cryptocurrencies Rise Despite Binance UK Warning
Crypto markets rose despite regulatory crackdowns from the U.K. and China. Analysts expect continued resiliency above $30K support.
Cryptocurrencies were mostly higher Monday despite regulatory crackdowns in the U.K. and China. Bitcoin was trading at around $34,000 at press time and is up 4% over the past 24 hours.
On Saturday, the Financial Conduct Authority, the U.K’s financial regulator, warned that Binance Markets Ltd., an affiliate of Binance, is not allowed to undertake any regulated activities without prior written approval. The announcement preceded a nearly 13% drop in bitcoin over the weekend, although buyers were quick to defend support at the $30,000 level.
Bitcoin is down about 40% since April, on track for the largest two-month price drop since November 2018.
Bitcoin (BTC) $34409.44 +4.64%
Ether (ETH) $2110.96, +15.66%
S&P 500: 4291.8, +0.26%
Gold: $1778.36, +0.38%
10-year Treasury yield closed at 1.472%, compared with 1.53% on Friday
“To be clear, Binance has not been banned from the U.K,” wrote Mati Greenspan, CEO of Quantum Economics, in a newsletter published on Monday. “This in no way indicates a policy shift from the U.K. regulators regarding crypto assets.”
2. Mexico’s Finance Minister Confirms Cryptos Are Banned From Financial System
The statement comes after Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego said his bank would accept bitcoin.
A top Mexican official reiterated on Monday a ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country’s financial system.
Arturo Herrera, Mexico’s finance minister, said cryptocurrencies aren’t legal tender assets and aren’t treated as currencies within the country’s current regulatory framework.
Those bans are not expected to be lifted in the short term, Herrera said during a presentation to the Financial Action Task Force, a global anti-money laundering group.
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The announcement comes after a Sunday pronouncement by billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego, a noted bitcoin (BTC, +0.1%) bull, that he was working to make Banco Azteca the first bank in Mexico to accept the cryptocurrency. Salinas is chairman of Grupo Salinas, the bank’s parent company.
3. Lawyers for Africrypt’s Missing Founders Say They’ve Been Fired
The Cajee brothers are still missing–along with $3.6 billion in bitcoin.
Lawyers for the missing co-founders of South African crypto investment platform Africrypt say their relationship with the brothers has been terminated, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Twenty-year-old Ameer Cajee and 17-year-old Raees Cajee, who are brothers, are thought to have vanished in April, after sending an email to investors telling them the platform had been “hacked” and shuttering Africrypt’s website. Bitcoin worth an estimated $3.6 billion is allegedly missing.
Johannesburg-based attorney John Oosthuizen, told Bloomberg via email that his firm’s “mandate to assist the Cajee Brothers has been terminated” when asked to comment on the brothers’ whereabouts. Oosthuizen’s statement comes only two days after he first spoke with the BBC about the scandal.
4. BTC-e Operator Vinnik’s Five-Year Prison Sentence Upheld by Court
Vinnik was successful in one aspect: The court exempted him from a fine of 100,000 euros.
The five-year prison term for Russian Alexander Vinnik, convicted in France on money laundering charges, was upheld by the Court of Appeal of Paris on Thursday, according to a report by TASS.
Vinnik, an alleged operator of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, was sentenced last December on the charge of money laundering. Other charges, including “extortion, conspiracy and harming automatic data-processing systems,” were dropped at the time of sentencing.
The U.S. Department of Justice named him as a mastermind behind one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges, BTC-e, and indicted him on allegations of “computer intrusions and hacking incidents, ransomware scams, identity theft schemes, corrupt public officials and narcotics distribution rings.”
Vinnik was arrested in Greece in 2017 at the behest of the U.S., prompting a three-way battle among France, Russia and the U.S. for his extradition with France ultimately winning.
According to TASS, Vinnik was successful in one aspect this week: The court exempted him from a fine of 100,000 euros (US$119,400). Prosecutors had sought a reduction of the amount due to concerns that Vinnik could not pay it.
5. Ethereum Gas Fees at 6-Month Low as Market Cools, Layer 2 Solutions Ease Congestion
Ethereum gas fees have abated with decreasing network congestion. Also, there’s Flashbots.
Ethereum transaction fees have dropped to their lowest since December because blockchain activity has cooled while use of Ethereum layer 2 solution protocols such as Polygon (MATIC) has heated, according to blockchain data and analysts.
As of June 27, the average transaction fee on the Ethereum blockchain was $4.42, according to data from Coin Metrics. That’s down from fee levels above $60 as recently as mid-May.
Gas refers to the computational efforts required to execute specific operations on the Ethereum network. A fee, paid in ether (ETH, +6.65%), is required to successfully conduct a transaction on Ethereum. Ethereum is the second-biggest blockchain network after Bitcoin.
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June 29, 2021