Staying updated on the ever-changing cryptocurrency market doesn’t have to be as tough as predicting FIFA World Cup standings. I’ve rounded up the latest set of news to help y’all stay in the loop.
First off, here’s a snapshot of how bitcoin and its buddies have fared in the past seven days as of June 29, 3:00 am GMT. What a sea of red!
Regulation back in the spotlight
Late last week, cryptocurrencies took huge hits when Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) doled out business improvement recommendations (read: requirements) to six major exchanges in the country.
As it turned out, the FSA wants to see an overhaul in terms of anti-money laundering and know-your-customer checks on the platforms of bitFlyer, Quoine, BTC Box, Bit Bank, Tech Bureau and Bit Point. As a result, a few of these exchanges temporarily suspended trading activity and client withdrawals.
Early this week, news broke out that two VPs of the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association stepped down. These are Yuzo Kano and Noriyuki Hirosue, who happen to be CEOs of bitFlyer and Bitbank respectively. Coincidence?
A few days later, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission revised its anti-money laundering guidelines for cryptocurrencies, including Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Enhanced Customer Identification (EDD).
Over in the U.S., the Department of Justice is carrying on with its crackdown on illegal activity involving crypto. Undercover agents have reportedly arrested 35 criminals and seized $23.6 million in funds so far.
Bitcoin bounce on Tether release?
Bitcoin made a bit of a rally around the middle of the week on news of Tether’s release of $250 million in tokens. Recall that this stablecoin, which is said to be backed 1:1 by the U.S. dollar, was allegedly used to manipulate bitcoin price back in 2017.
Also, back in March, Tether released 300 million tokens right around the same time that bitcoin climbed by roughly 6% to $9,000 in a day. Litecoin founder Charlie Lee explains that this move is just like depositing the sum value in dollars to a cryptocurrency exchange, presumably to buy altcoins at some point.
Binance issues ‘risk warning’
Following the recent hacks on Coinrail and Bithumb earlier this month, it’s no surprise that investors have been on edge when it comes to updates from exchanges.
This week it was Binance’s turn to spook market watchers when they conducted a system upgrade then followed it up with a warning from their risk management system:
“Due to a warning from a pre-trade check in our risk management system, we will postpone the start of trading and withdrawals. Please stay tuned for more information regarding the reopening of trading and withdrawals. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.”
Although full functionality resumed within the specified time, traders couldn’t help but speculate about the likely issue and even reported some technical discrepancies afterwards.
On a less FUD-ish note, Bithumb reduced its estimate for losses after the recent hack from $31 million to $17 million. Their announcement also indicated that 2,016 bitcoin and 2,219 ethereum were stolen.
Facebook reverses crypto ban
Also on another positive note, social media platform Facebook appears to be softening its stance on bitcoin and its buddies as it reversed an earlier ban on cryptocurrency ads. However, Facebook will still maintain its ban on ICOs.
Their announcement states:
“[S]tarting June 26, we’ll be updating our policy to allow ads that promote cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers. But we’ll continue to prohibit ads that promote binary options and initial coin offerings.”
Advertisers who wish to run crypto ads still need to submit an application to Facebook for eligibility.
Recall that bans on cryptocurrency ads by the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter have previously been blamed for causing price drops as this would limit new accounts and trading activity.