Wednesday , March 29 2023
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Articles by Mandy Williams

UK Treasury Drops Plans to Launch NFT, Keeps Proposal Under Review

13 hours ago

The United Kingdom has dropped its plans to launch a government-backed non-fungible token (NFT) aimed at enhancing the country’s approach to crypto assets.
Andrew Griffith, Economic Secretary of the Treasury, disclosed to Parliament that the Royal Mint, tasked with creating the NFT, would not proceed with the plan but would keep the proposal under review.
HM Treasury Cancels NFT Plans
Recall that Rishi Sunak, the UK’s Prime Minister and former Chancellor of the Exchequer, asked the Royal Mint to create the NFT in April 2022. The token was scheduled to be released by the summer of that year.
The Royal Mint is the official supplier of the UK’s coins. As the oldest company in t
he nation, it is a limited company wholly owned by His Majesty’s Treasury.

The NFT launch was part

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Terra’s Do Kwon Reportedly Arrested in Montenegro

6 days ago

Do Kwon, the co-founder of Terraform Labs, who has been on the run since the $40 billion collapse of the Terra-Luna ecosystem in May, has been reportedly arrested by the local police in Montenegro.
According to a tweet by Montenegro’s minister of interior, Filip Adzic, the police apprehended someone suspected of being Kwon at the Podgorica airport, and authorities are waiting for official confirmation of identity.
Recall that Kwon was reportedly last seen in Serbia after leaving Dubai in December as he continued to run from authorities. It is worth noting that Montenegro shares its borders with Serbia.
South Korea’s Ministry of Justice requested the Serbian government’s assistance in finding Kwon if he was truly in the country.
Minister Adzic disclosed that the suspect

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Magic Eden Launches Bitcoin NFT Marketplace 

7 days ago

Multi-chain non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace Magic Eden has launched a “fully audited” marketplace on the Bitcoin network as interest in Ordinal NFTs continues to grow.
In a press release, Magic Eden said it released the marketplace in honor of Bitcoin’s culture. Riding on the “lightning pace of adoption” that followed the launch of the Ordinal theory, the platform aims to empower collectors and creators, giving them access to appropriate tools.
Magic Eden Catches Ordinal Fever
Ordinals are NFTs inscribed in the witness portion of BTC transactions. The inscriptions can be images or videos, and they leverage the Taproot soft fork. They are also used to number satoshis on the Bitcoin protocol.
The launch of Ordinal NFTs increased user activity on Bitcoin, as users with

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Crypto.com Customer Whose Partner Mistakenly Received $10.5M Has Been Granted Bail

8 days ago

Jatinder Singh, the 37-year-old partner of Thevamanogari Manivel, a Melbourne woman who mistakenly received $10.5 million instead of a $100 refund from digital asset exchange Crypto.com, has been granted bail by the Victorian County Court.
Although Senior Constable Conor Healy argued that roughly $7 million had been recovered and Singh could flee with the outstanding balance, Judge Daniel Holding insisted on granting the bail.
Court Grants Singh Bail
Recall that an employee of the Singaporean exchange accidentally sent the money to Manivel’s bank account while processing a $100 refund for Singh’s crypto transaction. Although the incident occurred in May 2021, Crypto.com discovered it seven months later during an audit in December.
The exchange then contacted Manivel in

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Tokenization Could Drive Efficiencies in Capital Markets: BlackRock CEO

11 days ago

Larry Fink, chief executive officer of the world’s largest asset management company BlackRock, believes tokenizing asset classes such as stocks and bonds could foster efficiency in capital markets and improve investor access.
The CEO noted in his latest annual letter to investors that BlackRock is currently exploring the digital asset industry and would continue to do so, especially in areas related to permissioned blockchains and tokenization of stocks and bonds.
BlackRock to Explore Tokenized Stocks and Bonds
In the letter, Fink opined that the operational potential in the digital asset space goes beyond Bitcoin. The CEO disclosed that fascinating developments are ongoing in the nascent industry beyond the hype and obsession with cryptocurrencies.
Despite the failure of

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US Judge Denies DOJ’s Appeal to Stay Voyager-Binance.US $1B Deal

13 days ago

New York Judge Michael Wiles of the District Court of the Southern District of New York has denied the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) appeal to stay the $1 billion asset-sale plan between bankrupt crypto broker Voyager Digital and Binance.US.
During a Wednesday hearing on the DOJ’s motion to halt the order pending appeal, Judge Wiles reiterated his approval of the plan on the basis that further delay would harm the interests of Voyager’s customers.
Judge Denies DOJ’s Appeal Motion
Recall that the DOJ filed an appeal motion on Friday, seeking to review Judge Wiles’ approval of the Voyager-Binance.US plan barely 24 hours after the judge ruled in favor of the deal.
CryptoPotato reported yesterday that the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian

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US DOJ Files Support Memorandum to Put Voyager-Binance $1B Deal on Hold

14 days ago

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a memorandum of support to have the $1 billion asset-sale deal between bankrupt crypto broker Voyager Digital and Binance.US put on hold until an appeal motion is handled.
U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams and U.S. trustee William K. Harrington, alongside other officials, filed the joint motion on Tuesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
DOJ Requests Stay of Voyager-Binance Deal
Recall that the DOJ recently filed an appeal to review New York Judge Michael Wiles’ decision to approve the asset-sale plan. It came barely 24 hours after the judge had ruled in favor of the deal.
As reported last week, Judge Wiles approved Voyager’s proposed plan to sell

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UK’s Third Largest Bank NatWest Places £1,000 Daily Limit on Crypto Deposits

15 days ago

Popular UK-based financial institution National Westminster Bank (NatWest) has restricted the funds its customers can spend on crypto purchases to reduce their exposure to the volatile asset class.
According to a Bloomberg report, NatWest account holders now have a transfer limit of £1,000 ($1,215) per day or £5,000 ($6,090) every 30 days into crypto exchanges.
NatWest Restricts Customers’ Crypto Activity
NatWest, the UK’s third-largest bank by market capitalization, said the decision would prevent its customers from “losing life-changing sums of money” on crypto investments and scams.
The bank disclosed that fraudsters are using false promises of high returns to entice investors, preying on their lack of understanding of crypto and its volatility to lure them into

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Crypto Exchange Bybit and Red Bull Launch Athlete Development Program 

16 days ago

Crypto derivatives exchange Bybit has teamed up with Oracle Red Bull Racing to launch an athlete development program called The Bybit Performance Accelerator.
According to a press release shared with CryptoPotato, the Accelerator combines education, physiology, and mental well-being to help athletes and professionals continually enhance and improve their performance.
Improving the Mental and Physical Well-Being of Athletes
The program is designed to evaluate participants’ physical and mental well-being through regimen training and help them achieve a competitive advantage over their rivals.
The training is delivered by wellness experts across various specialisms, and according to the release, Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports drivers have already witnessed significant

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US DOJ Appeals Judge’s Approval of Voyager $1B Asset-Sale to Binance.US

19 days ago

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed an appeal to review a New York judge’s decision to approve the sale of bankrupt crypto lender Voyager’s assets to the American affiliate of crypto exchange Binance in a $1 billion deal. 
According to a court document, the appeal was filed Thursday evening at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York through the office of the U.S. Trustee.
DOJ Appeals Judge Wiles’ Approval of Voyager’s Plan 
Recall that Judge Michael Wiles recently approved the Voyager-Binance U.S. deal despite opposition from U.S. regulators.
CryptoPotato reported earlier this week that the judge ruled in favor of Voyager’s proposed plan to sell its assets to Binance.US to maximize value for its stakeholders and

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Nansen Launches Data Platform for Crypto Investors and Projects

21 days ago

Blockchain analytics platform Nansen announced the launch of Nansen Query, a new solution designed to offer a comprehensive data solution to crypto-focused teams and projects.
In a press release shared with CryptoPotato, Nansen revealed that the new platform would enhance multi-chain data access, helping entities make better customer, product, and investment decisions.
Nansen Launches Query
According to the release, Nansen Query was built on the Google Cloud platform and can be easily integrated into an active tech stack. The solution gives businesses access to reliable, secure, and highly scalable data pipelines, which can handle extremely large data units in real-time.
Nansen disclosed that the need for high-quality on-chain data required for accurate user segmentation

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How Someone Borrowed $1.6M With $70 Worth of Collateral: The Tender.Fi Exploit

21 days ago

The hacker who stole $1.59 million worth of crypto assets from Arbitrum-based decentralized finance (DeFi) lending platform Tender.fi has returned nearly all the funds, keeping roughly $97,000 as a bounty reward.
Tender.fi was exploited on the morning of March 7, with the project’s official Twitter handle confirming the incident in a tweet a few minutes later.
Tender.fi Exploited for $1.59 Million
According to the tweet, Tender.fi disclosed that it had noticed and was looking into an “unusual amount” of loans. The platform also paused its lending service during the investigation.
On-chain data showed that the attacker exploited an oracle glitch. The bug allowed the hacker to borrow up to $1.59 million in ether (ETH) tokens with a deposit of one GMX token worth $71 as

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Polkadot’s Astar Network Partners Tokyo’s Shibuya to Support Web3 Strategy

22 days ago

Polkadot’s leading parachain and innovative hub, Astar Network, has partnered with Tokyo’s special ward Shibuya to support the city’s Web3 initiative.
According to a press release sent to CryptoPotato, the partnership will see Astar and Shibuya team up to foster the development of Tokyo’s Web3 strategy.
Astar Network Partners Shibuya City
As per the release, the alliance is the first between a Japanese blockchain firm and one of Tokyo’s biggest and most densely populated wards.
Shibuya, known as a major commercial and financial center, houses two of the world’s busiest railway stations and one of Japan’s best fashion districts. The ward is also the headquarter of the Japanese arm of the multinational technology company Google.
Through the partnership, Astar will support

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Stablecoins Could Benefit From Silvergate’s Struggles: Report

22 days ago

A new study by digital asset data provider Kaiko has found that Silvergate’s decision to shut down its instant payments network will likely boost stablecoin adoption among investors in crypto trading.
Last week, Silvergate Capital announced the closure of its payments network, SEN, which crypto exchanges and investors used to move large amounts of U.S. dollars. The decision came after the crypto-friendly bank revealed in a regulatory filing that it could soon be “less than well capitalized.”
Investors Could Turn to Stablecoin Issuers
Shortly after the announcement, crypto firms, including Coinbase and Kraken, started abandoning the bank. While Silvergate’s issues may affect crypto entities since access to the global banking system has always been a major challenge for

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Court Dismisses Tax Fraud Charges Against Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy

26 days ago

The Superior Court of the District of Columbia has dismissed a civil complaint against American business intelligence company MicroStrategy, which alleged that the firm helped its co-founder Michael Saylor evade income tax payments.
According to a recent filing, Saylor and MicroStrategy filed a motion to dismiss the complaint in October, and the court ruled in favor of the request on February 28.
Court Dismisses Civil Complaint Against MicroStrategy
Recall that in August, the Washington District of Columbia, through its Attorney General’s office, sued Saylor for evading income taxes for more than ten years and MicroStrategy for helping the Bitcoin proponent in the act.
CryptoPotato reported that the case, which was the first under DC’s just amended False Claims Act, sought

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Algorand Wallet MyAlgo Warns Users to Withdraw Funds After $9.6M Exploit 

29 days ago

Algorand-based wallet provider MyAlgo has cautioned users to withdraw assets from all wallets created with a mnemonic phrase as the company continues investigating an exploit that led to a $10 million loss.
The wallet provider tweeted on February 26, warning users that “a targeted attack was carried out against a group of high-profile MyAlgo accounts.”
MyAlgo Urges Users to Withdraw Funds
MyAlgo further explained that the attacked users had significant amounts of assets in their accounts and were using mnemonic hot wallets with private keys stored in the browser. The exploit did not affect hardware wallet users, the team added.
The wallet provider said it was working with affected parties and authorities to investigate the incident. However, in a Monday update, the team

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Russian Ransomware Projects Rebranded to Avoid Western Sanctions: Report

February 26, 2023

Blockchain intelligence company TRM Labs revealed that some major Russian-linked ransomware syndicates rebranded their activities in 2022 to avoid sanctions from Western countries.
According to a new report published recently, the rebranding and other significant activities showed notable changes in the cybercrime space and darknet markets (DNMs) after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Ransomware Operators Rebranded to Evade Sanctions
In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, several Western law enforcement agencies imposed tighter sanctions on Russian ransomware platforms.
Similarly, sanctions imposed by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on the popular darknet platform Hydra took a toll on ransomware projects as they struggled to gain market dominance while

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Crypto Industry Lost Over $650B After Two Major Scandals in 2022: BIS

February 25, 2023

A recent report by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) revealed that the crypto industry lost over $650 billion after two major scandals that rocked the market last year.
The report titled “Crypto Shocks and Retail Losses” explained investors’ trading behavior during and after the scandals, their profits and losses, and the effects of the crypto market turmoil in the broader financial system.
Retail Investors Bought the Dip
Last year, the crypto space saw a lot of horrible incidents that forced several firms into bankruptcy, with over $1.8 billion wiped from the market in the aftermath.
One such event is the $40 billion Terra-Luna ecosystem collapse in May. According to the BIS, over $450 billion vanished from the market after the crash.
About six months later, the

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BTC Lightning-Enabled Wallet BlueWallet to Shutdown Bitcoin Node Lndhub.io

February 24, 2023

Bitcoin wallet service provider BlueWallet has decided to shut down Lndhub.io, a Lightning Network node on the Bitcoin Network used to store and trade satoshis (sats) – the smallest denomination of the primary cryptocurrency.
The Lightning Network is a layer-2 protocol layered on the Bitcoin protocol, used to process micropayments among participating nodes to facilitate faster transactions. BlueWallet is one of the most popular Bitcoin Lightning-enabled wallets on the market.
BlueWallet Shuts Down Lndhub.io
According to a blog post, BlueWallet disclosed that although users can still withdraw their sats, creating new or refilling existing wallets on the LndHub node would be impossible. They must move their funds before the service is completely shut down on April 30, 2023.

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Many Stablecoins May Not Meet the Standards of Crypto Asset Regulations: FBS

February 20, 2023

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has revealed that many stablecoins will not meet the standards stipulated in its recommendations for crypto asset regulations that will be released later this year. The regulator noted that the recommendations would be aimed at maintaining effective “stabilization” mechanisms and strengthening redemption rights.
The FSB is a global organization that oversees and provides guidance on the stability and resilience of the international financial system. The watchdog was created by the G20 countries as a replacement for the Financial Stability Forum in 2009 after the 2008 financial crisis.
FSB to Release Stablecoin Recommendations
According to an official document published Monday, the FSB believes tighter regulations are crucial to the

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Another SBF Close Associate Wants to Plead Guilty in FTX Fraud Case: Report

February 20, 2023

Nishad Singh, the former head of engineering at bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, is close to striking a plea deal with federal prosecutors in the ongoing case against the exchange and its execs.
According to a Bloomberg report, which cited people familiar with the matter, Singh plans to plead guilty to criminal charges over his role in the FTX saga.
Singh to Strike Plea Deal With US Prosecutors
The report noted that Singh has been negotiating a deal with Manhattan prosecutors as the case against FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) thickens.
A plea deal is an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant of a criminal case, in which the latter concedes to pleading guilty to lesser charges against them while the former provides more lenient sentencing.

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24% of New Tokens in 2022 Were Likely Pump and Dump Schemes: Report

February 19, 2023

A recent study by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis found that 24% of the tokens launched in 2022 had the characteristics of pump-and-dump schemes.
Most of the tokens plunged by 90% in the first week of their launch after their creators dumped their holdings. This, according to Chainalysis, is a typical feature of a pump and dump scheme.
Over 9,000 New Tokens in 2022 Were Fraudulent 
Crypto pump-and-dump schemes involve the creators of a digital asset hyping and promoting the token, often with misleading statements, which would cause the price to surge rapidly as new investors join the project. The creators would then sell their holdings and amass profits while the price of the token plummets, leaving the investors stuck with low-value assets.
According to the report,

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Crypto Scam Revenue Plunged by 46% in 2022: Report

February 19, 2023

Last year was less profitable for crypto scammers as their revenue plunged nearly 50% in 2022, according to a new study by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis.
The blockchain company noted that the decrease in revenue could be linked to the decline in the value of cryptocurrencies due to the correlation of most scam types with bitcoin’s price.
Crypto Scam Revenue Dropped to $5.9B in 2022
Crypto scam revenue started 2022 on an upward trend but came spiraling down in May at the onset of the bear market following the Terra ecosystem collapse. It retained the downward motion until the end of the year.
From a record of $10.9 billion in 2021, crypto scam revenue dropped to $5.9 billion. Due to the relationship between several heist types and bitcoin’s price movement, victims

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Here’s Why Mt Gox’s Largest Creditors Want to Get Paid in Bitcoin: Report

February 17, 2023

The largest creditors of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox have chosen a payment option that will allow them to receive a lump sum of their recovery payout in bitcoins rather than fiat.
The creditors, now-defunct crypto exchange Bitcoinica and Mt Gox Investment Fund (MGIF), collectively represent about one-fifth of the bankruptcy claims.
Gox Biggest Creditors Choose Bitcoin Payment
Both entities have opted to receive up to 90% of their claims in BTC during the early payout scheduled for September 2023, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.
An early payout means creditors don’t have to wait another nine years for Mt. Gox to resolve all of its litigation, although waiting would offer higher payouts.
Bitcoinica and MGIF’s decision to

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BlockFi Files Motion to Dismiss Bankruptcy Case for SBF’s Emergent Fidelity

February 17, 2023

Bankrupt crypto lender BlockFi has filed a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy case for Emergent Fidelity Technologies, the holding firm owned by Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), founder and former CEO of FTX.
In the motion, filed on Thursday in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, BlockFi argued that Emergent is not eligible for a bankruptcy case as it has no other assets than 56 million Robinhood shares.
BlockFi Seeks to Dismiss Emergent’s Bankruptcy Case
Recall that Emergent filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on February 5, almost three months after FTX became insolvent.
The company, which is 90% owned by SBF and 10% by former FTX executive Gary Wang, had just $20.7 million in cash, 56 million Robinhood shares worth roughly $600

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Binance Admits to Compliance Missteps, but Now in Talks With US Regulators

February 16, 2023

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance had “gaps” in regulatory compliance in the first few years after its launch in 2017, the company’s Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Patrick Hillmann told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.
Hillmann revealed that Binance had missteps during the implementation of its security measures, such as the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) protocol and the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules designed to combat money laundering activities.
Binance Admits Gaps in Regulatory Compliance
The CSO also disclosed that the lapses, which have since been tackled as Binance improved its security protocols and workforce, occurred two years after the company’s establishment while pushing for global expansion.
Hillmann blamed the shortcomings on a lack of staffing as

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Why Bitcoin? Nigeria Faces Violent Protests Amid Cash Scarcity

February 16, 2023

The cash withdrawal restrictions imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have made a strong case for Bitcoin as a solid store of value and a censorship-resistant currency.
Nigeria is currently facing a shortage of physical cash after the CBN redesigned its banknotes, causing the old bills of the local naira currency to become useless. The policy prompted citizens to flood banks and ATMs to swap their old bills for new ones.
Nigeria Limits Cash Withdrawals
With the redesign came a weekly cash withdrawal limit of 500,000 naira for individuals (around $1,087) and 5,000,000 naira (around $10,087) for organizations as of January 9. Despite the restrictions, Nigerians still find it difficult to lay their hands on the new notes as most banks and ATMs do not have the cash to

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Crypto Exchange OKX Announces New OKBChain, OKB Skyrockets to New ATH

February 16, 2023

Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange OKX announced the launch of its new blockchain dubbed OKBChain, which is separate from the existing Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible smart contracts protocol OKXChain.
According to OKX’s founder Star Xu, the new OKBChain would foster the development of an OKB decentralized ecosystem.
OKX Unveils New Protocol for Decentralized Economy
As per Xu’s tweet, OKBChain will be launched in Q1 2023 as a separate protocol from OKXChain, as they serve different purposes.
The CEO clarified that the OKXChain is a proof-of-stake blockchain co-built by communities while the OKBChain would be developed and operated by OKX.
As EthereumFair’s official Twitter account further explained, OKBChain would be more focused on providing business

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Mango Markets Exploiter Avraham Eisenberg Wants to Keep $47M as Bounty

February 16, 2023

Avraham Eisenberg, the 27-year-old Puerto Rico man who made over $100 million by exploiting the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Mango Markets in October 2022, is seeking to keep part of the funds as a bug bounty.
In a court document filed at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday, Eisenberg’s lawyers claimed the exploiter had already returned enough of the funds, referring to the $67 million he gave back to the protocol after the incident and demands to keep the remaining assets to himself.
Lawyers: Eisenberg is Entitled to $47M 
According to the motion, the attorney’s claim follows a settlement proposal from the Mango DAO, which voted to allow Eisenberg to keep the remaining $47 million after returning the $67 million.
96.6% of the

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DBS Records 80% Increase in Bitcoin Trading Despite Bear Market: Report

February 15, 2023

DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx), the crypto trading subsidiary of the Singapore banking giant DBS Group Holdings, witnessed exponential growth in bitcoin trading last year despite the winter that wiped out billions of dollars from the market.
According to the report from Bloomberg, the exchange recorded an 80% increase in Bitcoin trade volume compared to the previous year. Despite negative sentiments in the market, the number of BTC in DDEx’s custody doubled as of December 31, 2022.
DBS Records Massive Growth in Crypto Business
Furthermore, the company saw impressive growth in its Ethereum (ETH) transaction volume, with about 65% on record.
In August, the firm disclosed it had recorded significant transaction volumes on the exchange following the market meltdown in the

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