1. Bitcoin mixer ChipMixer shut down and assets seized in money laundering probe link
On March 15, authorities in Germany and the United States shut down the infrastructure of Bitcoin mixer ChipMixer and seized four servers, 1909.4 Bitcoins and 7 TB data. Investigation shows that ChipMixer may have facilitated the laundering of 152,000 bitcoins.
2. Coinbase announced a new strategic banking partnership with Standard Chartered link
On March 15, Coinbase announced a new strategic banking partnership with Standard Chartered, as well as an upgraded retail platform, Singpass, where customers in Singapore can transfer funds to and from their Coinbase accounts for free using any local bank in Singapore.
3. Signature Bank’s weekly summary
a. Depositors can get their money back in full after the Fed rescues the market link
The Fed and Treasury created an emergency program to backstop deposits at both Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank using the Fed’s emergency lending authority. All deposits will be made whole. After the release of the Fed news, USDC, DAI, etc. are in the process of re-peg, and USDC has returned to above 0.99 US dollars. The crypto market and U.S. stocks rose sharply.
b. Signature Bank board member: Bank not fundamentally bankrupt link
On March 14, Signature Bank board member and former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said that part of what happened was that regulators wanted to send a very strong anti-crypto message and there was no insolvency.
c. NYDFS pushes back against claim that Signature Bank takeover was crypto related link
On March 15, a NYDFS spokesperson said the decision to take over Signature Bank on Sunday was not related to the bank’s crypto business. The bank did not provide “reliable and consistent data, creating a significant crisis of confidence in the bank’s leadership” and cryptocurrency is only a small part of its business.
d. Signature Bank faced criminal probe ahead of firm’s collapse link
Justice Department investigators in Washington and Manhattan were investigating Signature Bank’s work with crypto clients about taking sufficient steps to detect potential money laundering before regulators suddenly seized the lender this past weekend.
e. FDIC denies report Signature Bank purchaser must divest crypto link
On March 17, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation denied it would require any purchaser of Signature Bank to divest its crypto activities. An FDIC spokesperson said in an email that “the receivership does not end until all the bank’s assets are sold and all the claims against the bank are addressed, and the acquirer decides the conditions of their bid.”
4. Circle’s weekly summary
a. Circle: 100% of deposits from SVB are secure link
On March 13, Circle: 100% of deposits from SVB are secure and will be available at banking open tomorrow. 100% of USDC reserves are also safe and secure, and we will complete our transfer for remaining SVB cash to BNY Mellon. With the closure of Signature bank announced tonight, Circle will be bringing on a new transaction banking partner with automated minting and redemption potentially as soon as tomorrow.
b. Circle has cleared substantially all of the backlog of minting and redemption requests for USDC link
Circle: Since Monday morning, Circle has redeemed $3.8 billion USDC and minted $0.8 billion USDC. As of close of U.S. banking operations Wednesday, March 15, we have cleared substantially all of the backlog of minting and redemption requests for USDC.
5. Binance’s weekly summary
a. Binance adds a large number of stablecoin spot trading pairs link
On March 11 and 12, Binance listed a large number of stablecoin trading pairs, including BTC/USDC, ETH/USDC, BTC/TUSD, ETH/TUSD, etc.
b. Binance to convert $1b Industry Recovery Initiative funds from BUSD to others link
On March 13, CZ: Given the changes in stable coins and banks, Binance will convert the remaining of the $1 billion Industry Recovery Initiative funds from BUSD to native crypto, including BTC, BNB and ETH. Some fund movements will occur on-chain.
c. Binance announces the 30th project on Binance Launchpad — Space ID (ID) link
On March 16, Binance announced the launch of its 30th project on Launchpad, Space ID (ID), a decentralized domain name protocol. Binance Labs led the seed round funding for the protocol, and SPACE ID launched its .bnb domain name public registration in September 2022. The protocol is suspected to be operated by the same or related team as Project Galaxy (GAL), which was launched earlier on Binance Launchpool. Galxe later responded to Wu that they are only part of Space ID as an advisor and investor, and Space ID is operated by its own team. However, the founder and core team of Space ID have not been disclosed yet.
6. Non-custodial lending protocol Euler Finance hacked for $197 million link
On March 13, Euler Finance, a non-custodial protocol on the Ethereum blockchain that provides lending services for crypto assets, was hacked, resulting in total losses of approximately $197 million, according to BlockSecTeam. On March 16, PeckShieldAlert reported that the Euler Finance attacker had transferred around 1,000 Ethereum to Tornado Cash via the address 0xc66d…c9a. Currently, Euler is offering a $1 million reward to collect clues about the attackers and the stolen funds.
7. U.S. Justice Department investigates last year’s collapse of TerraUSD link
It couldn’t be learned what specific charges the Justice Department is pursuing. Prosecutors could potentially drop the investigation without filing charges. According to Bloomberg, federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating conversations that took place on Telegram in May of last year involving Jump Trading Group, Jane Street Group, and Alameda Research. The conversations revolved around whether or not to rescue the TerraUSD stablecoin project (no such rescue occurred). As part of the chat review, no one has been accused of any wrongdoing.
8. Pokemon is recruiting a Web3 Corporate Development Principal link
The world-renowned game and animation IP Pokemon is recruiting a Web3 Corporate Development Principal, who is required to have deep knowledge and connection of Web 3, including blockchain technologies and NFT, and/or metaverse.
9. Meta to wind down digital collectibles (NFTs) link
On March 14, Stephane Kasriel, Meta’s Chief Business and Financial Officer, tweeted that the company will wind down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses. Previously, Meta’s Instagram announced plans for an NFT market supported by Polygon and allowed users to showcase NFTs they purchased or created on Instagram.
10. European Parliament’s weekly summary
a. Euro Parliament approves Data Act that requires kill switches on smart contracts link
The European Parliament passed the Data Act on March 14. The act sets requirements for the smart contracts, including “the smart contract shall include internal functions which can reset or instruct the contract to stop or interrupt the operation. […] Especially, it should be assessed under which conditions non-consensual termination or interruption should be permissible”.
b. Euro Parliament ready to negotiate with Council for an EU-wide digital wallet link
Parliament on Thursday confirmed -with 418 votes to 103, with 24 abstentions- the negotiating mandate for talks with the EU member states on the revision of the new eID directive. The scheme would allow citizens to identify and authenticate themselves online (via a European digital identity wallet).
c. European Central Bank announced a 50bps rate hike link
On March 16, the European Central Bank announced a 50bps rate hike, which is the sixth consecutive rate hike by the European Central Bank. Traders of U.S. short-term interest rate futures increased bets on a Fed rate hike after the European Central Bank raised rates by 50bps.
- Tilia, a provider of a payments platform for digital economies, raised $22M in strategic funding led by J.P. Morgan link
- Fashion tech firm DressX raised a $15 million Series A led by Greenfield link
- DWF Labs has officially joined the Orbs ecosystem via a token purchase of up to $10M link
- Web3 gaming platform Moxy has received support from investors like Shima Capital, Polygon, MetaTope, and GSR, raising over $10 million link
- Bitcoin decentralized exchange Alex has raised $2.5 million in a strategic round from investors including Trust Machines and Gossamer Capital link
- Chinese fiat CNY stablecoin issuer CNHC raised $10 million in Series A+ funding led by KuCoin Ventures link
- Soul Wallet raised $3 million in a seed funding round to offer an online, self-custodial Ethereum wallet built on top of ERC-4337 link
Learn more, check out crypto-fundraising.info.