ProBit Bits — ProBit Global’s Weekly Blockchain Bits Vol. 16

In case you missed them, here are some of the top developments in the crypto space over the past week that we think would be of interest to you. Check out this week’s edition of ProBit Global (Blockchain) Bits. Happy reading!

US Senators Proposed Bitcoin, Ether Oversight to be Under CFTC Ambit

Two US Senate committee leaders last week proposed legislation that could see Bitcoin and Ether fall under the regulatory oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

With Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) and Republican John Boozman of Arkansas dropping CFTC to be in charge of regulating the two largest cryptocurrencies, they are pitching it against the Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Reserve in the struggle for control over the crypto space.

So far, since President Joe Biden signed an executive order in March for federal agencies to report on and consider introducing regulations on digital currencies, no particular agency was assigned the role.

The view that increasing regulatory clarity is supportive of top cryptocurrencies’ prices across most geographies holds, US-based investment management firm, NYDIG, recently showed in its Quantifying the Benefits of Regulatory Clarity report.

Tiffany & Co Launched NFT Series

Last week, luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. announced it has launched its “NFTiffs” NFT series: limited to 250 pieces, costs 30 ETH (around US$50,000 at ETH’s current price) and is exclusively for CryptoPunk holders.

The move into the digital asset space took shape after the brand offered the non-fungible tokens were released on Aug. 5. Tiffany says they “will interpret each CryptoPunk into custom-designed pendants — converting the 87 attributes and 159 colors that appear across the collection of 10,000 CryptoPunk NFTs to the most similar gemstone or enamel color.”

The NFTs have since sold out. Aside from Tiffany, other global brands that have entered the NFT scene in recent times include Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, and Burberry.

In a related development, Gucci expanded its range of cryptocurrencies available for in-store purchases as it start accepting ApeCoin payments at select boutiques in the USA.

FC Barcelona Moves to Web3

Also joining in accelerating the Web3 strategy is the owner of Socios.com and technology provider, Chiliz. Through its blockchain-powered fan engagement and rewards platform, the company is investing $100 million in FC Barcelona’s Barça Studios to acquire a 24.5% stake in the top football club’s digital content creation and distribution hub.

Barça Studios leads FC Barcelona’s NFTs and metaverse projects creation, and spearheads its digital strategy to deliver projects that engage, reward, and build connections with its global fanbase. The partnership is to help build new long-term sustainable revenue streams. Socios.com has invested in La Liga and several football leagues since 2019.

From Terra/Luna to Celsius and Voyager, New York Wants to Help

New York Attorney General Letitia James issued an investor alert calling on any New Yorker affected by the recent devaluations of the Terra and Luna tokens to contact her office.

Also invited are New Yorkers affected by the account freezes on cryptocurrency staking or earning programs like Anchor, Celsius, Voyager, and Stablegains.

“The recent turbulence and significant losses in the cryptocurrency market are concerning,” AG James said.

The OAG’s call comes as the New York State Department of Financial Services imposed a $30 million fine on Robinhood for allegedly violating anti-money-laundering and cybersecurity regulations. It is the NYDFS’ first crypto enforcement action. The Robinhood news coincides with another sad one for the financial services provider.

Its CEO, Vlad Tenev, also last week, announced that it is reducing its headcount by approximately 23%, or about 780 employees. Tenev cites “additional deterioration of the macro environment, with inflation at 40-year highs accompanied by a broad crypto market crash” as factors for the decision.

Singapore’s MAS to Consult on Proposed Crypto Measures Soon

In response to a parliamentary question, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) last week said no key institution had significant exposure to either distressed crypto firms or cryptocurrencies despite a recent sell-off.

The financial regulator was responding to the question on licenses for digital payment token (DPT) service providers. It raised that market capitalization was down by about two-thirds at some point and there were also reports of a number of crypto-related firms collapsing. But the situation did not pose financial stability risks in Singapore, it adds.

It is also enhancing its regulatory framework. The regulator says there will be consultations on tightening regulations in the coming months and continue to actively discourage retail investors from participating in cryptocurrency trading.

Solana Had an Exploit

Binance’s CZ was among those that first called attention to an active security incident on Solana. At the time of the exploit, CZ tweeted that over 7000 wallets had been drained of SOL and USDC even when the root cause had not been identified.

Solana later confirmed that the malicious attack had affected approximately 7,767 wallets including the mobile and extension versions of those from Slope and Phantom. About a week later, Phantom noted that its investigation found no evidence of its systems being compromised.

Slope was not so lucky. It was later found that the Solana wallet was widely attacked due to a cohort of Slope wallets being compromised in the breach. In a statement, Slope confirmed that many of its staff and founders’ wallets were drained a new and unique seed phrase wallet was created and all assets transferred.

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