01 Sep 2022

The Friday Focus: Issue 49

A summary of what happened in the crypto industry during the past week.
The Friday Focus SVG
Weekly happenings in the crypto industry (Aug 26th - Sep 2nd)
Regulators are busy keeping up with the rapid pace of the crypto industry. Crypto regulation has long been unclear in Europe, but that might soon change as the EU’s MiCA crypto law text will be ready within six weeks. Meanwhile, EU lawmakers voted down a proposal for researching the environmental impact of proof-of-work mining. This was the second unsuccessful attempt of European regulators to impose restrictions on proof-of-work mining this year after failing to ban it altogether in May.Crypto regulations are making headlines outside of Europe as well. Paraguay’s president vetoed a bill that would have regulated crypto mining and trading, while a province of neighboring Argentina will allow millions of citizens to pay taxes using stablecoins. Meanwhile, the state of DC has sued bitcoin advocate Michael Saylor for tax fraud.The high activity around the crypto exchanges and asset managers continues. Binance is under investigation by US authorities for violating AML regulations. Last year’s massive crypto sponsorship deals proved to be a top signal, and now pulls out of a $495M sponsorship deal with the Champions League. Brazilian crypto asset manager Hashdex got regulatory approval to list ETPs in the EU, while the SEC delayed its decision on VanEck’s US spot bitcoin ETF.The capitulation continues in the bitcoin mining industry, with PrimeBlock’s CEO leaving the firm after its SPAC deal was canceled. At the same time, the struggle continues for bitcoin mining platform Compass Mining, which is forced to close mining facilities due to soaring energy prices.Crypto capital markets activity keeps staying depressed, with primarily small capital raises happening over the past seven days. The NFT collective Proof raises $50M, crypto banking platform LevelField raises $50M, Animoca Brands’ Japan unit raises $45M, and blockchain gaming platform Xterio raises $40M. Meanwhile, top executives from Genesis and Galaxy are raising $500M for a new crypto fund.Ethereum’s merge is fast-approaching; some welcome the upgrade while others resist it. Miners are in the latter group, fighting back with forks, and Coinbase is the latest exchange to consider listing these forks following the merge. Meanwhile, mining pool Antpool states it won’t maintain client assets on Ethereum after the merge amid ‘risk of censorship’. Still, most of the big applications built on Ethereum support the merge, and the NFT platform OpenSea follows the decisions of major stablecoins in only supporting Ethereum’s post-merge proof-of-stake blockchain.That’s it for now - until next time!If you haven’t already signed up, click here and subscribe to receive this newsletter in your inbox every Friday.
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