September 24, 2023

Al-Khwarizmi Weekly #12: Crypto & Blockchain Weekly News Summary

Best Crypto Newsletter in the Middle East Issue 12 of Kurdcoin's crypto and blockchain weekly newsletter

This week’s newsletter covers some interesting headlines and reports that provide insight into the changing crypto & web3 landscape. It starts with a study that shows over 95% of NFT collections have zero value; Cryptocurrency market saw $55 billion outflows in August; Bybit suspends UK operations due to regulatory changes; India developing tool to combat crypto fraud on the dark net; and UK House of Lords approves bill allowing crypto confiscation. Read on to stay up to date with what happened last week curated for you by Kurdcoin.

Top Global Headlines


Bitfinex Report: $55 Billion Flows Out of Crypto Market Last Month

In August, the cryptocurrency market experienced significant capital outflows totaling approximately $55 billion, according to a report from Bitfinex. The analysis examined realized values of Bitcoin, Ether, and major stablecoins. Bitfinex noted event-based volatility, such as the August 17 flash crash and Greyscale ETF news, impacting market movements. Interestingly, capital outflows began before these events. Despite recent fluctuations, Bitcoin prices increased by 2.2% over the week, according to CoinGecko, with a 1% dip in the last day.


North Korea Hackers Behind 30% of All Crypto Hacks, Report by Chainanalysis Reveals

North Korean state-linked hackers stole over $340 million in cryptocurrencies this year, mainly from exchanges and web3 apps, a Chainalysis report finds. This adds to the record $1.6 billion stolen in 2022, becoming a vital revenue source for the sanctioned North Korean economy, accounting for about 30% of crypto hacks this year, down from 43% in 2022. The report also highlights North Korean hackers’ use of Russian trading platforms for money laundering, a practice they’ve increasingly adopted since 2021.


Crypto Makes up 70% of South Korean’s Reported Foreign Assets

In an official release, South Korea reports that 70% of its reported foreign assets consist of cryptocurrencies, with a total reported value of approximately $140 million, including local and foreign stocks, cash savings, and crypto assets. Out of the total, digital assets account for $98 million, with 1,432 institutions and individuals holding them. The country introduced a mandatory reporting requirement for firms with 500 million won in foreign accounts and plans to investigate and fine entities that fail to report. South Korea is also set to impose taxes on crypto profits in 2025 as part of global efforts to address tax base erosion through virtual assets. 


Crypto Exchange Bybit Stops Operations in the UK

Bybit has announced the suspension of its services to UK residents due to new regulatory guidelines by UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA’s new rules aim to establish clear marketing practices within the crypto industry. Bybit’s phased suspension will begin on October 1, with a halt on new account applications, followed by the suspension of deposits, contracts, and position changes for existing UK users on October 8.


Parents of Sam Bankman Fried Are Facing a Lawsuit Over the Disappearance of Millions

The parents of Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, are facing a lawsuit regarding the alleged improper receipt of funds from the crypto firm before its downfall. In a legal document, the managers of the bankrupt company allege that the couple possesses millions of dollars that were fraudulently transferred. Additionally, they claim that the couple knowingly ignored instances of misconduct within the company.


India is Set to Create Monitoring Tool for The Dark Net Designed to Combat Cryptocurrency Fraud

The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is currently working on a crypto intelligence tool to address the growing concerns of illegal activities associated with cryptocurrencies in the country. This initiative aims to monitor crypto wallet addresses on the dark net, enabling the comprehensive compilation of transaction records. The records will include essential information such as timestamps, dates, exchanges utilized, and the specific services rendered.


Former Investment Banker at Deutsche Bank Pleads Guilty to Cryptocurrency Fraud

According to the U.S. Justice Department, a former investment banker from Deutsche Bank pleaded guilty on Tuesday. The individual had been charged in April for misappropriating funds from investors, whom he had enticed with promises of significant returns from cryptocurrency trading. According to a statement from the Justice Department, Rashawn Russell could potentially receive a prison sentence of up to 30 years.


UK’s House of Lords Approves Bill that Allows Confiscation of Crypto

A bill seeking to enhance the jurisdiction of authorities in the United Kingdom to combat illicit cryptocurrency usage has progressed to the final stages of approval by the House of Lords. Introduced in September 2022, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill focuses primarily on combating financial crimes associated with cryptocurrencies.


Study: Over 95% of NFT Collections now Have Zero Value

A recent study by Web3 review website dappGambl reveals that over 95% of NFT collections, out of 73,257 examined, have zero market value, marking the burst of the NFT bubble. The once-hyped NFT market, which peaked at $2.8 billion in monthly trading volume, has cooled significantly. Approximately 79% of NFT collections remain unsold, with 18% of the top collections being worthless, and less than 1% valued above $6,000. The study highlights a stark contrast to the million-dollar deals seen during the NFT market’s peak in 2021 and 2022.


eToro Obtains Crypto Registration in Cyprus, Paving Way for Expansion Within the EU

On September 21st, eToro made an official announcement that it had obtained a Crypto Asset Service Provider (CASP) registration from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). Europe holds immense significance for eToro, with most of its users hailing from this region, as stated by Hedva Ber, the deputy CEO of eToro.