Kraken closes Abu Dhabi office; Bithumb owner arrested – CryptoNewsTo

Kraken closes Abu Dhabi office; Bithumb owner arrested

The biggest news in the cryptoverse for Feb. 2 saw Kraken announce the closure of its Abu Dhabi office. Meanwhile, Bithumb owner Kang Jong-hyun has been arrested on embezzlement charges. Elsewhere, a Texas judge has ruled in favor of Sam Bankman-Fried in a securities case. Plus, research on the “bullishness” of investors around the world.

CryptoSlate Top Stories

Kraken closes Abu Dhabi’s office, sacks 8 staff

Crypto exchange Kraken has closed its Abu Dhabi office and is ending support for United Arab Emirates’ national currency Dirham, Bloomberg News reported Feb. 2.

The crypto firm discharged eight members of its MENA team, keeping the managing director Benjamin Ampen to oversee the transition in the region.

The Abu Dhabi Global Market’s registry showed that Kraken was no longer active in the country. The exchange was among the numerous firms licensed to operate in Abu Dhabi last year.

Bloomberg reported that Kraken users in the region would still be able to use the platform. However, their deposits in Dirham would be automatically converted to the US Dollar. It added clients in the region could use other currencies supported by the platform.

South Korean authority arrests Bithumb owner on $50M embezzlement charges

Kang Jong-hyun, the owner of the Bithumb exchange, has been arrested for allegedly embezzling roughly $50 million, according to local news JTBC.

Executives of the South Korean-based crypto exchange have been in facing fraud charges in recent times. For example, former Chairman Lee Jung-hoon was accused of misappropriating about $70 million from his deal with BK Group chairman Kim Byung-Gun.

Following investigations into the allegations against Jung-hoon, it was uncovered that the little-known Kang Jong-hyun is the exchange owner.

SBF wins Texas case alleging violations of securities laws via FTX offerings

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried gained an early victory in a case concerning Texas securities laws, according to Bloomberg News reported Feb. 2.

The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) filed allegations against Bankman-Fried last October. At that time, the regulator said that Bankman-Fried had violated state securities law when FTX US provided yield-bearing products to customers in the United States.

Today, Texas judge Sarah Starnes ruled that the state securities regulator does not have jurisdiction over Bankman-Fried, who is not a resident of Texas.

Charlie Munger calls on US to join China in banning crypto

Warren Buffett’s business partner Charlie Munger has proposed that the United States should follow in the steps of China to ban cryptocurrencies- which he considers a gambling contract.

In a WSJ opinion piece published on Feb. 2, Munger said that thousands of new cryptocurrencies had flooded the market, exposing the public to buy at much higher prices which favors the promoter.

The Bitcoin critic added that excesses in the crypto market are due to a gap in regulation. Consequently, he has called on the U.S. government to enact a federal law that will regulate the market. Munger compared cryptocurrencies to gambling contracts with a nearly 100% edge for the house.

Indonesia to have national crypto exchange before June

The Trade Ministry of Indonesia had initially planned to set up a national cryptocurrency exchange by the end of 2022, but the ministry is now aiming to have the exchange set up before June 2023, according to a local news report.

The bourse is being set up as part of the regulatory reforms adopted by the Indonesian House of Representatives in December.

The Indonesian government is currently reviewing crypto exchanges that will be part of the national bourse. There are five active exchanges in the race out of the 25 exchanges that are registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency, as per the report.

Solana-based Everlend shutters operations amid shrinking lending market

Decentralized finance (DeFi) lender Everlend Finance shut down its operations on Feb. 1, citing the liquidity crunch in the lending market.

The Solana-based protocol said that it decided to close its platform despite having “enough runway.” Stating that the lending market is continuing to shrink, Everlend said forging ahead amid the current environment would be a “gamble,” although it considers itself to be an “excellent product.”

The application is now running in withdrawal-only mode and will continue to function until all funds are fully withdrawn, according to the announcement.  The protocol urged users to withdraw all assets on the platform at the earliest.

Binance signs MoU to deliver cryptocurrency infrastructure in Georgia

Binance signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Georgian Agency for Innovation and Technology (GITA).

The agreement will see collaboration with “large scale” educational and community blockchain initiatives, including help with developing Georgia’s cryptocurrency industry.

India wants consensus on crypto regulation among G20 members this year

India is aiming to bring G20 members to a consensus on the roadmap for regulating digital assets within this year, the Economic Times of India reported on Feb. 2.

India recently became the G20 president in December.

Research Highlight

Research: Asia, EU, US are bullish on Bitcoin, Ethereum

Glassnode data analyzed by CryptoSlate analysts shows that Asia, the U.S., and the EU have been bullish on Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) since late January.

As the regional price metrics indicate, investors from all three regions feel more bullish on BTC than they do on ETH. In the meantime, year-over-year BTC supply for Asia means BTC will continue to increase in the short term.

The regional price metric used in this research shows the 30-day change in the regional prices of Asia, the EU, and the U.S. The price movements during the working hours of a region must be recorded before calculating the regional price metric. Then, the price for a region can be determined by calculating the cumulative sum of the price changes recorded within the working hours of that region.

Crypto Market

In the last 24 hours, Bitcoin (BTC) fell 0.75% to trade at $23,578.59, while Ethereum (ETH) was up 0.4% at $1,649.73.

Biggest Gainers (24h)

  • Conflux Network (CFX): 29.74%
  • EthereumPoW (ETHW): 21.47%
  • Illuvium (ILV): 16.1%

Biggest Losers (24h)

  • Mini (MINA): -7.05%
  • Gala (GALA): -6.73%
  • Synthetix (SNX): -6.12%

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