Japan Streamlines Crypto Token Listing, Prime Minister Supports Web3 and NFTs

• Japan’s Virtual and Crypto assets Exchange Association (JVCEA) has streamlined token listing on local exchanges to make it easier for tokens previously traded in any Japan Exchange to list on another exchange.
• The move is intended to open up the industry and encourage wider adoption of crypto in the country.
• Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, has voiced his support for different kinds of digital finance, web3 adoption, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and has indicated that by 2023 he may liaise with the JVCEA to consider a possible relaxation of tax rates on crypto profits.

In a bid to simplify the listing process for tokens, Japan’s Virtual and Crypto assets Exchange Association (JVCEA) has updated its regulations. This move by JVCEA is aimed at opening up the industry and encouraging wider adoption of crypto in the country.

The new token streamlining program ensures that coins previously traded in any Japan Exchange will not be subjected to a stringent pre-listing process if it wants to list on another Japan-based Exchange. However, the easing of crypto listing regulations does not help new tokens aiming to make inroads into Japan’s local market. This means new tokens will still be subjected to existing processes to meet JVCEA standards and guidelines.

The move was prompted by the epic failure of the Sam Bankman-Fried-led FTX Exchange. Genki Oda, vice chairman of the JVCEA, has confirmed that by March 2024, the controlling authority might completely discontinue the screening process in order to lower the entry barrier for smaller crypto firms and bring Japan up to par with its South Korean neighbor, which currently has 650 coins while Japan only has 50.

Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, has also shown great support for different kinds of digital finance, web3 adoption, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). He has reiterated his desire to reinvigorate the economy through “new capitalism” measures that connect with his favorable stance toward crypto. Fumio has indicated that by 2023 he might liaise with the JVCEA to consider a possible relaxation of tax rates on crypto profits.

The new token streamlining program is expected to be beneficial for the local crypto industry. It will benefit not only existing tokens but also new tokens looking to enter Japan’s local market. This will enable more tokens to be listed on Japanese exchanges, allowing the crypto industry to grow and mature.

The Japanese government’s support of the crypto industry should also provide a major boost to the sector. It is hoped that the latest developments will help the crypto industry to become more accessible to the wider public. This could lead to an increase in the number of people investing in cryptocurrency and taking advantage of the many opportunities available.

Turkish Central Bank Launches First Digital Lira: A New Era of Digital Money

• The Turkish Central Bank has begun testing their Central Bank-issued digital lira.
• Tests are being conducted in small-scale, closed loops reinforced with blockchain technology, FinTech, and banking systems.
• The CBDC is expected to go live on its mainnet in the first quarter of 2023.

The Turkish Central Bank is making history by launching the first Central Bank-issued digital asset in the form of a digital lira. This project has been supported by high-ranking government officials and is expected to go live in the first quarter of 2023.

In preparation for the launch, the Turkish Central Bank has been running initial tests on its Central Bank-issued digital lira. These tests are being conducted in small-scale, closed loop systems reinforced with blockchain technology, FinTech, and banking systems. This is a major milestone in the development of the CBDC as it gets closer to its launch.

The Central Bank of Turkey has successfully conducted its first payment transactions on the digital lira network and is continuing to test the currency in the first quarter of 2023. The results of the tests will be published in a comprehensive evaluation report.

The launch of the digital lira will open up a world of possibilities for the Turkish economy and its citizens. This groundbreaking project has the potential to revolutionize the way people transact, providing an easier, faster, and more secure way to send and receive money.

The success of the digital lira will be a major milestone for Central Bank-issued digital assets and may be the first of many CBDCs to come. The project is a clear indication that the future of money is digital and that Central Banks are taking steps towards a more secure and efficient future of finance.

FTX Japan to Return Customer Assets in Mid-February, Restoring Investor Trust

• FTX Japan has revealed plans to return customer assets as early as mid-February 2021.
• A vulnerability assessment that includes controls, reconciliation, and inspections may cause delays in withdrawing returned client assets.
• The executives of FTX and sister company Alameda, Sam Bankman-Fried, Caroline Ellison, and Gary Wong, are fighting criminal accusations in the United States.

FTX Japan recently announced plans to repay consumers by mid-February 2021. This approach has been met with enthusiasm from customers, as it indicates a positive step towards building trust and restoring customer relations.

The release of the roadmap and timeline shows that in mid-January, qualified FTX Japan customers will receive an email notification with a link to create an account at Liquid Japan. Customers with existing Liquid Japan accounts are exempt from this step. After logging in to Liquid Japan, customers will be able to view their cryptocurrency holdings and move them from FTX Japan to a different wallet.

However, the repayment process could be delayed due to a vulnerability assessment, which includes controls, reconciliation, and inspections. This is to ensure that client assets are properly tracked and accounted for.

The executives of FTX and sister company Alameda, Sam Bankman-Fried, Caroline Ellison, and Gary Wong, are also facing criminal charges in the United States. As part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedure, FTX Debtors, under the leadership of the new CEO John J. Ray III, intends to repay client funds through asset sales.

The announcement of FTX Japan’s plan to return customer assets in mid-February has been welcomed with much appreciation from customers. It serves as a reminder of the importance of building trust and maintaining customer relationships in the crypto industry. FTX Japan is the second subsidiary after FTX Turkey to announce such a plan and is a positive indication of restoring investor confidence.

Dark Practices Reign on Unregulated Crypto Exchanges: NBER Study

1. A recent study by NBER revealed that over 70% of transactions on unregulated crypto exchanges are fake.
2. Wash trading is a process where a trader buys and sells a security to create misleading information about the commodity.
3. Dark practices like wash trading, price manipulation and rug pulling have been a stumbling block in the crypto industry’s race for global adoption.

A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) revealed that users on unregulated crypto exchanges engage in wash trading, leading to more than 70% of the volume of these exchanges being fake. Wash trading is a process where a trader buys and sells a security to create misleading information about the commodity, resulting in investors believing that trading volumes are higher than reality, and potentially increasing trading activity in a security as legitimate money enters the market.

NBER sampled 29 unregulated crypto exchanges for the research and found out that wash trades accounted for more than 70% of the volume of these exchanges. The research suggested that wash trading volumes in unregulated exchanges are as high as 80% in some cases. However, NBER noted that wash trading is more likely to happen in smaller and lesser-known exchanges rather than in big exchanges with a long history of users and compliance with regulations.

The issue of wash trading in the crypto industry has been a major concern for some time now, as it is estimated that $4.5 trillion was pumped into spot markets as a result of wash trading in Q1 2020 alone, and $1.5 trillion in derivatives markets in Q1 of 2022. Dark practices like wash trading, price manipulation and rug pulling have been a stumbling block in the crypto industry’s race for global adoption.

In light of the recent FTX collapse, there have been increasing calls for crypto exchanges to adopt measures that would guarantee total transparency to the public. This includes the implementation of robust Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures, the adoption of advanced anti-money laundering (AML) measures, and the implementation of stringent market surveillance and trading rules.

The research conducted by NBER has shed light on the prevalence of wash trading on unregulated crypto exchanges, and the need for greater regulation and transparency in the industry. With the right measures in place, the crypto industry can move away from these dark practices and continue its journey towards global adoption.

Debate Reignited: Is Bitcoin a Security or Commodity?

• Former SEC attorney John Reed Stark recently suggested that Bitcoin might be considered a security that needs to be registered with the SEC.
• This statement was sparked by a tweet from Ethereum supporter Evan Van Ness, which highlighted how five companies control over 80% of Bitcoin blocks.
• This renewed debate that Bitcoin is not a security and should be viewed as a commodity.

It has recently been suggested by John Reed Stark, the former director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Internet Enforcement, that Bitcoin may be considered a security and should be registered with the SEC. The suggestion came after a tweet from Evan Van Ness, an Ethereum supporter, highlighted how Antpool, FoundryUSA, f2pool, ViaBTC, and Binance had mined 850 of the previous 1,000 blocks on the Bitcoin network. The data showed that these companies produce more than 80% of all blocks and more than 50% of that output is split between Antpool and FoundryUSA.

This has reignited the debate on whether or not Bitcoin should be treated as a security, or if it should be viewed as a commodity. This debate was further discussed when U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler stated that he believed Bitcoin was a commodity earlier this year. This statement was met by joy from Bitcoin supporters, who were eager to have Bitcoin treated separately from other tokens that had been classified as securities.

The statement from John Reed Stark has once again brought the debate of Bitcoin’s classification to the forefront. While some argue that Bitcoin should be viewed as a security, others are adamant that it should be treated as a commodity. This debate has been ongoing for years, and it does not appear to be ending anytime soon.

The SEC is yet to make a final decision on the matter and until then, the debate will rage on. With the current state of the crypto industry, it is likely that the conversation around Bitcoin’s classification will only become more heated in the future.

Uniswap Surpasses Solana’s Market Cap, DeFi Ecosystem Drops 98%

• Uniswap’s market cap surpassed that of Solana, becoming the 16th cryptocurrency with the highest market cap.
• Solana has been facing scrutiny due to its relationship with the now defunct crypto exchange FTX.
• As a result of the situation, Solana’s total value locked in its decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem has dropped 98% from its all-time high.

The decentralized exchange Uniswap (UNI) has recently overtaken solana (SOL) as the 16th cryptocurrency with the highest market cap. Market data shows that Uniswap’s market cap stands at $3.875 billion, a 5.36% increase from that of solana’s current market cap of $3.678 billion. Uniswap’s market cap is now higher than the market caps of grocery delivery service HelloFresh ($3.74 billion), China Airlines ($3.73 billion), and home appliance producer Electrolux ($3.69 billion). In addition, Uniswap is worth more than Lyft, which has a market cap of $3.67 billion.

The scrutiny surrounding solana’s relationship with defunct crypto exchange FTX has led to a steady decrease in its price for eight months with little recovery. This situation has caused the total value locked in solana’s decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem to drop 98% from its all-time high of $10.17 billion to $230.79 million. This has led to mass selling and evacuation of the DeFi ecosystem, as investors fear that solana cannot stand its ground without the support of venture capital firm Alameda Research and cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which are both led by founder Sam Bankman Fried.

The situation between Uniswap and solana reveals the ever-changing nature of the crypto market, where new projects can overtake old ones in a matter of months. While solana’s future remains uncertain, Uniswap’s success highlights the potential of the DeFi space and its ability to drive innovation in the crypto world.

Explore the World with Trace – An Augmented Reality Metaverse the Size of an Entire Planet

• Trace move-to-earn metaverse is a new project aiming to disrupt existing ecosystems
• Founder Bogdan Evtushenko claims the metaverse should not be limited to the living room
• Location-based AR platform METAFORA is used to build augmented reality metaverse the size of an entire planet

Trace is a move-to-earn metaverse project with the aim of disrupting existing ecosystems. Founded by Bogdan Evtushenko, Trace is an attempt to push the boundaries of what a metaverse can be, moving away from the idea that a metaverse should be confined to the living room. To this end, Trace has developed the Location-based AR Platform – METAFORA, which is used to create an augmented reality metaverse the size of an entire planet.

The idea behind Trace is to make people’s lives better and to provide them with an opportunity to explore the world around them. The augmented reality metaverse will encourage people to go outdoors and experience the world, either alone, with their family, or with their pet. It will be a way for people to engage with their neighbours and make friends, or even find the love of their life. Furthermore, the aim is to fill the real world with virtual objects to make it even more interesting and exciting, thus encouraging more people to join the Trace community.

Trace is aware of the competition that is present in the current metaverse market and is confident that their project will stand out. With their ambitious vision and unique approach, they are sure to be a force to be reckoned with. Through the use of their Location-based AR Platform – METAFORA, they hope to provide users with an experience that is both enjoyable and innovative. This could be the start of something truly revolutionary.

: Alameda Research Swaps $800K Worth of Altcoins for BTC

• Alameda Research, a bankrupt crypto trading firm, is swapping Ethereum-based digital assets for bitcoin (BTC).
• Data shows that the ERC-20 tokens are being swapped for BTC and were sent to four new wallet addresses.
• An account with the handle ‘@Crypto_Exchange_’ alleges that Alameda has already dumped more than $800,000 worth of altcoins.

Alameda Research, a crypto trading firm that was forced to file for bankruptcy earlier this year, is now back in the game. Data shows that the firm is actively swapping Ethereum-based digital assets for bitcoin (BTC). The on-chain analyst Miles Deutscher has revealed that Alameda Research’s wallets are active “again” as the disgraced FTX boss, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), is “back home.”

Martin Lee, a data journalist from the on-chain data provider Nansen, has also discovered that Alameda is sending the funds to “fresh wallets” and then to two crypto mixers — FixedFloat and ChangeNow — for instant swaps while trying to “hide their tracks.” The ERC-20 tokens are being swapped for BTC and are being sent to four new wallet addresses.

According to the on-chain analyst ZachXBT, Alameda converted fragments of altcoins — worth roughly $800,000 — to approximately 47.62882 BTC. This has caused quite a stir on Twitter, with some accounts like ‘@Crypto_Exchange_’ alleging that Alameda has already dumped more than $800,000 worth of altcoins.

The movements come as new evidence shows that SBF — free on a $250 million bond deal — borrowed around $546 million from Alameda to purchase Robinhood shares. Whether or not Alameda Research’s activities are linked to this remains to be seen. It is, however, clear that the firm is up to something and the crypto community is keeping a close eye on its activities.

ProtonMail’s CEO Has Mixed Feelings About Bitcoin, Calls for Tighter Regulations

• ProtonMail CEO, Andy Yen, has expressed his mixed feelings about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
• He’s concerned about the increased volatility in crypto markets and the risk of fraud and scams.
• Andy Yen calls for tighter regulations in the crypto space.

The CEO of ProtonMail, Andy Yen, has recently revealed his uncertainty regarding the company’s fate in regards to cryptocurrencies. In a recent interview with Forbes, Andy Yen expressed his conflicting sentiments on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Yen stated that ProtonMail has been holding Bitcoin reserves for the past five years, and continues to accept BTC as a means of payment. However, he is not sure if ProtonMail will continue to hold Bitcoin reserves in the future due to the increased volatility and risk of scams and fraud in the crypto markets. He noted that the lack of strict regulations allows scammers and fraudsters to take advantage of retail and institutional investors, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars.

Andy Yen has since called for tighter regulations in the crypto space in order to protect investors from such scams and frauds. He believes that these regulations should be enforced to ensure that investors are safe and secure when investing in cryptocurrencies.

Overall, Andy Yen’s comments have sparked a debate in the crypto space, with many calling for more stringent regulations in the crypto markets. However, it is still unclear how ProtonMail will move forward with their crypto reserves. Only time will tell if the company decides to continue to hold Bitcoin or liquidate their reserves.

Defrost Finance Flash Hack: Funds Returned, Victims Reclaim Assets

• Defrost Finance experienced a flash loan attack on December 23 which resulted in the potential loss of $12 million in assets.
• The team announced that a hacker returned the funds one day after the alleged hack.
• Defrost stated it was willing to discuss sharing 20% of the funds in exchange for the majority of assets and was urging the hackers to get in touch with them right away.

On December 23, decentralized leverage trading platform Defrost Finance was the target of an attack involving a flash loan. This malicious act resulted in the potential loss of $12 million in assets from their v1 and v2 protocols. In response, the Defrost team released a post-mortem study of the attack and announced that they were willing to share 20% of the stolen funds if the hackers provided the majority of the assets back.

The hackers were urged to contact the Defrost team right away, but the team was also prepared to analyze the data stored on-chain in order to determine who held the assets before the breach. This process of returning the assets to their rightful owners could have taken some time as every individual had varying amounts of assets and debt.

Fortunately, the team announced a day after the hack that the stolen funds have been returned to Defrost Finance. Affected users will be able to claim their assets back very soon. It is unclear if the hacker responded to the offer of sharing 20% of the funds or if the funds were returned due to another reason.

Regardless, Defrost Finance’s quick response to the attack is commendable. The team acted with urgency to investigate the incident and took the necessary steps to secure the stolen funds. This incident has raised some suspicions of a “rug pull” scam, which is a situation where the team behind the project pulls the rug out from under investors and absconds with their money. However, this is not the case with Defrost Finance as they have proven their commitment to transparency and customer satisfaction.