LianGuai Daily | MicroStrategy plans to raise $750 million to purchase Bitcoin; Kenyan government suspends the operation of Worldcoin.

Today’s news highlights:

Kenyan government suspends Worldcoin operations citing privacy and security concerns

India, the G20 presidency country, releases opinions on formulating global cryptocurrency regulations

Media reports: Zhao Changpeng attempted to shut down Binance.US earlier this year, opposed by Binance.US CEO

MicroStrategy plans to raise $750 million through stock sale to purchase Bitcoin

GameStop to stop supporting cryptocurrency wallets due to regulatory uncertainty

Ripple report: As of June 30th, the company holds over 5.5 billion XRP

Open-source software security solution Socket completes $20 million Series A financing, led by a16z

Data: NFT sales in July around $492 million, with Ethereum-based NFT sales around $270 million

Regulatory news

India, the G20 presidency country, releases opinions on formulating global cryptocurrency regulations

According to CoinDesk, the current G20 presidency country, India, has released a statement on cryptocurrencies, aiming to incorporate its suggestions into the framework of global cryptocurrency regulations. This statement is significant as it is the official document proposing suggestions from India before formulating the next round of global cryptocurrency regulations. It is reported that the next round of global cryptocurrency regulations will be a comprehensive document jointly written by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB). The statement reveals that the comprehensive document is expected to be published at the end of August, less than two weeks before the G20 Leaders’ Summit.

The statement calls for the comprehensive document to include action points such as effective implementation of recommendations from the Financial Stability Board and all other standard-setting bodies, as well as consideration of macro-financial impacts and risks specific to emerging markets and developing economies. Other action points include conducting outreach activities to all jurisdictions to raise awareness of risks, starting from regions with higher adoption of cryptocurrencies, involving non-G20 members, and assigning responsibility for coordinating global cryptocurrency regulations work to the FSB and the IMF.

Kenyan government suspends Worldcoin operations citing privacy and security concerns

According to CoinDesk, the Kenyan Ministry of Interior on Wednesday released a statement on its Facebook page announcing the suspension of Worldcoin operations. Worldcoin is an identity crypto protocol co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

The statement, signed by Minister Kithure Kindiki, said, “The government is concerned about the activities of an organization calling itself ‘WORLD COIN’ that is conducting citizen registration by collecting eyeball/iris data.” Relevant financial, security, and data protection agencies have started investigations to determine the legality and data protection of the project.

In addition, the media reports that some European regulatory agencies have also started investigations into Worldcoin, including the Bavarian Data Protection Authority responsible for regulating the company.

NFT

Project Updates

Foreign media: Zhao Changpeng tried to close Binance.US this year, but was opposed by Binance.US CEO

According to The Information, citing two sources familiar with the matter, Zhao Changpeng, the CEO of Binance, tried to close Binance.US earlier this year to protect the overall interests of Binance. The board of directors of Binance.US, chaired by Zhao Changpeng, voted on whether to liquidate the company, but failed to gain unanimous approval. Brian Shroder, CEO of Binance.US, was the only one who opposed the decision because he was concerned that the sudden closure of the exchange might force customers to quickly transfer or liquidate their cryptocurrencies, thereby harming their interests.

MicroStrategy plans to raise $750 million through stock sales to purchase Bitcoin

According to CoinDesk, MicroStrategy plans to raise $750 million in funds through the sale of more stocks and use the proceeds to purchase Bitcoin and for operational purposes, according to a filing submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday. Previously, MicroStrategy recorded a $24.1 million Bitcoin impairment loss in the second quarter, holding over 150,000 Bitcoins in total.

Following Volatility Shares, Grayscale, VanEck, and 5 other companies submit Ethereum futures ETF applications

According to Eric Balchunas, senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg, as disclosed on Twitter, there are currently 6 companies applying for Ethereum futures ETFs. Following yesterday’s application by Volatility Shares, Bityise, Roundhill, VanEck, Proshares, and Grayscale all submitted applications for Ethereum futures ETFs on August 1st. The ETFs are Bitwise Ethereum Strategy ETF, Roundhill Ether Strategy ETF, Ethereum Strategy ETF, Proshares Short Ether Strategy ETF, and Grayscale Ethereum Futures ETF (ETHG). The next deadline for the SEC to make a decision on these applications is October 16th, and the deadline for the decision on Volatility Shares’ application is October 11th.

Bloomberg: Voyager may have been hacked after reopening withdrawals

According to Bloomberg, Darren Azman, the lawyer for Voyager Digital Holdings, stated in a bankruptcy court hearing that the company may have been hacked after reopening withdrawals. The incident has been reported to law enforcement agencies, and bankruptcy officials responsible for overseeing the company’s closure are conducting an investigation. In April of this year, Binance.US terminated its acquisition of Voyager. At that time, Voyager’s management estimated that customers could recover about 36% of their assets. However, if the company wins its lawsuit against FTX Trading, this percentage will exceed 60%.

Due to regulatory uncertainty, GameStop will stop supporting crypto wallets

According to Bloomberg, video game retailer GameStop announced that it will stop supporting its crypto wallets due to “regulatory uncertainty.” According to the company’s website, GameStop will remove its iOS and browser plugin wallets from the market on November 1st. These wallets allow users to manage their cryptocurrencies and NFTs. This move marks GameStop’s abandonment of its cryptocurrency strategy. The company previously stated that it would no longer focus on cryptocurrencies after incurring a net loss of $94.7 million in the third quarter of last year and downsizing its digital asset division. GameStop launched an NFT marketplace a year ago, allowing gamers, creators, collectors, and other community members to buy, sell, and trade NFTs.

Blockchain company Figure has withdrawn its application for a banking license

According to Bloomberg, the website of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) shows that blockchain lending company Figure Technologies Inc. withdrew its application for a banking license submitted to the regulatory agency on July 31. Figure applied for the license in 2020. A company spokesperson stated in an email statement that the withdrawal of the banking license application is due to the company’s focus on other growth areas. Yesterday, it was reported that blockchain lending company Figure Technologies Inc. laid off 90 employees this week, accounting for about 20% of its total workforce. The company also plans to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) for its lending department “LendCo” next year and has begun discussions with bankers.

Kyle Davies, co-founder of Three Arrows Capital: Renounced US citizenship, not subject to US court jurisdiction

According to Decrypt, Kyle Davies, co-founder of the defunct cryptocurrency hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), has stated that he has renounced his US citizenship and therefore does not need to respond to US courts. In Tuesday’s court documents, Davies stated that he became a permanent resident of Singapore in 2017. Since Singapore does not allow dual citizenship, he renounced his US citizenship when he got married, and therefore is not subject to the jurisdiction of US courts. Prior to this, the liquidators of Three Arrows Capital were seeking to recover $1.3 billion from founders Su Zhu and Kyle Davies. The two founders were accused of taking on significant leverage for Three Arrows Capital during the period from May to June 2022, which resulted in substantial losses for the fund on LUNA tokens and other investments.

FTX restructuring plan includes establishing a trust company to manage illiquid investments

According to Bitcoin.com, the proposed FTX restructuring plan indicates that in addition to establishing an “offshore exchange company,” the current FTX team is also considering setting up a new trust company called “FTX Ventures Trust.” The trust will hold FTX’s investments in private start-up companies and digital tokens that FTX does not plan to sell immediately after bankruptcy. The purpose of the trust is to manage these long-term investments and distribute cash from them over time. FTX has not yet decided whether the trust will be owned by FTX’s bankruptcy estate or traded separately after bankruptcy. The goal is to find a way to maximize the value of these illiquid investments, which are not easily sold by FTX’s management after bankruptcy.

In addition, FTX’s current CEO, John J. Ray III, stated that FTX hopes to work with creditors to modify the plan in the third quarter of 2023 and submit a disclosure statement in the fourth quarter.

Yesterday, it was reported that FTX has submitted a restructuring plan, which includes restarting the offshore exchange; the FTX creditors committee will soon begin negotiations with the debtors on the business aspects of the restructuring plan.

Jack Dorsey responds to “Coinbase is exploring adding Lightning Network”: willing to cooperate

Jack Dorsey, former CEO of Twitter and current CEO of Block, responded to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s reply to his tweet, saying, “No doubt Coinbase has introduced Bitcoin to more people, and I appreciate that. It would be amazing to invest more resources into Bitcoin and Layer 2 technology, which is what you originally focused on. We are willing to cooperate. We want an open internet currency transfer protocol that is not controlled by individual individuals, companies, or governments.”

Earlier today, Jack Dorsey asked why Coinbase has been ignoring the Bitcoin Lightning Network payment solution. Brian Armstrong said they are studying the addition of the Lightning Network and are willing to support the development of Bitcoin payments.

The Aave community will initiate an on-chain vote on the proposal to “prohibit additional CRV collateral lending.”

Gauntlet, a DeFi risk manager, has launched a new proposal in the Aave community. Due to the recent decrease in CRV liquidity, they suggest setting the CRV LTV of Aave V2 on Ethereum to 0 to prevent additional borrowing against existing CRV collateral. The on-chain vote for this proposal will start within 15 hours and end on August 5th.

The Abracadabra community has passed AIP 13.4, the proposal for “emergency freezing of CRV market liquidation.”

According to the Snapshot page, the Abracadabra community’s AIP 13.4 proposal for “emergency freezing of CRV market liquidation” has received 100% support. The proposal suggests fixing the price of the cauldron oracle in extreme CRV liquidity conditions to optimize the value of the DAO and avoid liquidation in a cascade effect. The purpose of the proposal is to grant Abracadabra DAO the authority to timely replace the existing oracle responsible for pricing CRV tokens in the event of a cascade event. By timely replacement, the DAO can effectively extract and securely store CRV tokens in the treasury, ensuring their safety and minimizing potential risks associated with cascade events.

Earlier today, the Abracadabra community released AIP 13.5, proposing interest rate adjustments for CRV cauldrons.

Worldcoin indicates that it will allow companies and governments to use its ID system.

According to Reuters, Ricardo Macieira, the European Regional Manager of Tools For Humanity, the organization behind the Worldcoin project in San Francisco and Berlin, stated that Worldcoin will expand its business, attract more users globally, and aims to allow other organizations to use its iris scanning and identity verification technology.

Macieira stated that companies can pay Worldcoin to use its digital identity system. For example, if a coffee shop wants to offer a free cup of coffee to each person, Worldcoin’s technology can be used to ensure that people do not claim more than one cup of coffee, and the shop does not need to collect personal data. Macieira also stated that the technology behind iris scanning will be open source in the future.

Investment and Financing

Open-source software security solution Socket completes a $20 million Series A financing round with a16z as the lead investor.

According to TechCrunch, Socket, an open-source software security solution, has announced the completion of a $20 million Series A financing round. Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) led the round, with participation from Abstract Ventures, Wndrco, Unusual Ventures, and angel investors including Aaron Levie, co-founder of Box, Dylan Field, co-founder of Figma, Frederic Kerrest, co-founder of Okta, Guillermo Rauch, CEO of Vercel, and Julia and Kevin Hartz, co-founders of Eventbrite. The new funding will be used to expand the team and support the integration of more programming languages.

With the previous $4.6 million seed round, Socket has raised a total of $24.6 million in funding. Unlike traditional static analysis tools, Socket’s open-source code vulnerability detection service provides actionable feedback related to dependency risks, rather than hundreds of meaningless alerts. In addition, Socket recently launched a ChatGPT connector that can summarize potential issues in software packages by identifying “uncommon” code patterns. Socket’s current clients include Metamask, Brave, Magic Eden, Figma, and Vercel, among others.

Important Data

Data: Base network TVL has dropped to $6.96 million, a decrease of 83% from the peak on July 31.

According to Defillama data, the Base network TVL has now dropped to $6.96 million, a decrease of 83% from the peak of $41.2 million on July 31, possibly due to the withdrawal of liquidity by the meme token BALD project and the LeetSwap hack.

Ripple Report: As of June 30, the company holds over 5.5 billion XRP

Ripple recently released its Q2 2023 XRP market report. The report states that Ripple holds two types of XRP: XRP available in wallets currently and XRP held in ledger escrows (which will be released monthly over the next 42 months). Ripple cannot access the escrowed XRP until it is released to them each month. The majority of the released XRP is put back into escrow.

As of March 31, 2023, Ripple held a total of 5,506,585,918 XRP, and the XRP held in escrow was 42,800,000,013. As of June 30, 2023, Ripple held a total of 5,551,119,094 XRP, and the XRP held in escrow was 41,900,000,005.

Data: NFT sales in July amounted to approximately $492 million, with Ethereum-based NFT sales accounting for approximately $270 million

Data from CryptoSlam tracking NFT sales on 21 blockchains shows that NFT sales in July totaled approximately $492 million. Among these sales, Ethereum-based NFT sales accounted for 55%, approximately $270 million. The second-ranked blockchain in terms of NFT sales was Bitcoin, with sales of $64.92 million, followed by Solana ($37.61 million), BNB ($24.58 million), and Polygon ($23.43 million).

Data: Grayscale’s GBTC and ETHE generated over $40 million in revenue in July

According to The Block, Grayscale’s Bitcoin and Ethereum trust funds, GBTC and ETHE, generated an estimated revenue of $41.92 million in July, bringing the total revenue of the company’s two largest fund products to $278 million. The estimated revenue for ETHE and GBTC in Q2 was $126.2 million. However, Grayscale’s parent company, Digital Currency Group, had a comprehensive EBITDA loss of $79 million in Q2, indicating poor cash flow for the entire business.

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