UK government U-turn on crypto wallet data collection

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The UK government has performed a U-turn on plans to force the senders of funds to private cryptocurrency wallets to collect identification details of the recipients.

Anti-money laundering and terror funding standards – Under Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – require the originator and recipient of funds being transferred need to be identified. 

The Treasury said in a consultation document last July that this rule should be applied across the financial services industry.

It wrote: “Cryptoasset firms will need to put in place systems for ensuring that personal information of the originator and beneficiary of a cryptoasset transfer is transmitted and received alongside the transfer, in an appropriate format.”

However the Treasury has now backtracked on those plans based on feedback received in the last 12 months.

“Instead of requiring the collection of beneficiary and originator information for all unhosted wallet transfers, cryptoasset businesses will only be expected to collect this information for transactions identified as posing an elevated risk of illicit finance,” read a new document.

El Salvador President on Bitcoin drop: Enjoy life

The President of El Salvador has advised the country’s citizens to remain patient and “enjoy life” despite the long price slide of Bitcoin.

El Salvador became the first country to accept Bitcoin as legal tender and has accumulated more than 2,300 Bitcoins since last November.

The bear market precipitated by the collapse of Terra’s coin and stablecoin has left its investment down more than 62%.

However, President Nayib Bukele is playing it cool.

“I see that some people are worried or anxious about the Bitcoin market price,” he said. “My advice: stop looking at the graph and enjoy life. 

“If you invested in BTC your investment is safe and its value will immensely grow after the bear market. Patience is the key.”

Around $150 million of public funds were used to invest in BTC representing 4% of the country’s reserves.

In an effort to engage the population in crypto, which President Bukele believes will bring benefits to the nation – including tourism – citizens were incentivised to download a Chivo Wallet containing $30 worth of BTC.

While two-thirds of the population duly did so, only 20% of those people continue to use the app.

Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya added: “When they say that the fiscal risk in El Salvador due to bitcoin is very high, the only thing it does is make me laugh and I think that any serious economist should do the same, because it really is an extremely superficial analysis and they speak only from ignorance.”

WeChat bans crypto & NFT accounts

WeChat has banned accounts which provide access to cryptocurrency or NFT services.

The Chinese social media giant, which has more than 1.1 billion users, updated its policies to read that accounts involved with the issuance, trading and financing of crypto and NFTs will be categorised as ‘illegal business’.

Such accounts will be restricted and if operators do not remove these services within a time limit, they will be banned permanently.

Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency news reporter Wu Blockchain – Colin Wu – first reported the change.

Cryptocurrency shorts

Cryptocurrency lender Babel Finance, which recently halted withdrawals citing liquidity pressure, has reached preliminary agreements with counterparties to ease short-term liquidity.

Convicted con-artist Anna Sorokin – the ‘fake heiress’ who defrauded people of more than $275,000 – has launched a 2,000-strong NFT collection. ‘Reinventing Anna’, a play on the ‘Inventing Anna’ Netflix documentary, is marketed as a way for “fans to interact with Anna” with some NFTs including phone calls and in-person meetings. She currently faces deportation from the United States to Germany.

Trading volume on NFT marketplace OpenSea is down 57% over the past 30 days, according to data from DappRadar. Totalling $785 million, it follows several months of well over $1 billion in NFT sales and is the lowest monthly trading volume since July 2021.

Crypto startup MoonPay is partnering with Universal Pictures, Fox Corporation and Snoop Dogg’s Death Row Records, among other brands, to launch a new NFT platform – HyperMint – which enables enterprises to mint hundreds of millions of NFTs a day.

Terraform Labs employees have been banned from leaving South Korea as the country considers charging founder Do Kwon with fraud and other crimes related to the collapse of Terra and UST.

Ukraine has sold CryptoPunk #5364, received as a donation in March to aid its fight against invading Russian forces, for 90 ETH – worth more than $100,000.

NFT lending platform and liquidity engine Astaria has raised $8 million in seed funding from True Ventures, Arrington Capital, Ethereal Ventures, Wintermute, Genesis Trading, LedgerPrime, Hypersphere Ventures, The LAO and others.

There are 295 million crypto users worldwide across all known currencies, according to research from DebtHammer.

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the more than 19,900 coins is at $920.5 billion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 5.2% increase in the last 24 hours.

Market leader Bitcoin – the original cryptocurrency created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – gained 4% to $20,900. BTC is 8% down in a week.

Ethereum, the second most valuable crypto coin – created as a decentralised network for smart contracts on the blockchain – added 6% to $1,150. ETH is 6% down over the course of a week.

Binance Coin is a cryptocurrency created by popular crypto exchange Binance to assist its aim in becoming the infrastructure services provider for the entire blockchain ecosystem. Its BNB token gained 7% to $222, leaving it 2% down over seven days.

Cardano is an open source network facilitating dApps which considers itself to be an updated version of Ethereum. Its ADA token, designed to allow owners to participate in the operation of the network, grew 6% to close on 50 cents and is 2% up over the course of a week.

The XRP token of Ripple, a payment settlement asset exchange and remittance system, acts as a bridge for transfers between other currencies. XRP added 3% to move towards 33c while its price is 2% up on seven days ago.

Solana is a blockchain built to make decentralised finance accessible on a larger scale – and capable of processing 50,000 transactions per second. Its SOL token climbed 15% to $37.19 and is 22% up compared with a week ago.

Meme coin DOGE was created as a satire on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies but is now a major player in the space. DOGE climbed 5% to 6.1c, leaving it 7% up in a week. 

Polkadot was founded by the Swiss-based Web3 Foundation as an open-source project to develop a decentralised web. Its DOT token, which aims to securely connect blockchains, added 11% to $8.18 and is 11% up on its price a week ago.

Avalanche is a lightning-quick verifiable platform for institutions, enterprises and governments. Its AVAX token grew 14% to $17.66 and is 4% up in a week.

To see how the valuations of the main coins have changed in recent times – and for round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments – click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.


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