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- The difficulty of mining a Bitcoin (BTC) block increased by 4.68% on Sunday, following a rise of 10.26% seen two weeks ago, hitting a new all-time high (ATH) of 39.35 T. It had hit its previous ATH of 37.59 T following the previous difficulty adjustment on January 15.
- The US, New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) is investigating crypto exchange Gemini over its claims related to the safety of customer funds, Axios reported. Gemini reportedly claimed last year that the assets of its Earn product customers were safe due to it being backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Current and former FDIC officials told Axios that while the FDIC language Gemini used is misleading, it’s unclear whether it actually violates the law.
- Crypto exchange FTX seeks to remove Turkish units from its bankruptcy case, arguing that Turkish authorities are unlikely to follow instructions from US courts. A court filing stated that: “The Debtors include two Turkish subsidiaries that are not strategic to global operations: FTX Turkey and SNG Investments. […] The orders entered by this Court do not have legal or practical effect in Türkiye and the Debtors have no reason to believe that the Turkish government will comply with this Court’s orders. As a result, the Debtors are unable to exercise sufficient control over the affairs of the Turkish Debtors in order to comply with their duties under the Bankruptcy Code.“
- The South Korean Ministry of Justice said it plans to create a crypto tracking system in the first half of the year, in order to “strengthen the tracking of money laundering using virtual currency and the recovery of criminal proceeds,” khgames reported. The “Virtual Currency Tracking System” will be used to monitor transaction history, extract information related to transactions, and check the source of funds before and after the remittance.
- Huang Yiping, a former adviser to the central People’s Bank of China (PBOC), said Beijing should consider the long-term effects of its cryptocurrency ban, the South China Morning Post reported. A permanent “no” to crypto-related products could result in missed opportunities in technologies such as blockchain, which are “very valuable” to regulated financial systems, said Huang, now an economics professor at Peking University’s National School of Development.
- Holepunch, an encrypted platform for building peer-to-peer applications – backed by USDT issuer Tether, crypto exchange Bitfinex, and developer of peer-to-peer, scalable distributed systems Hypercore – announced the launch of Keet Mobile. Per an announcement, this is a free peer-to-peer instant messaging decentralized application (dapp) that works without the need for centralized entities on any device. The Keet Mobile alpha initial release will be limited to texting, while the ability to make audio or video calls is planned for release within few months.
- Crypto exchange KuCoin launched a set of anti-fraud measures to provide more security tools to prevent business scams, said the press release. Besides the official contact verification, the newly added measures include advanced anti-phishing verification and business wallet address verification, “which significantly reduce the potential for fraud,” it added.
- OpenZeppelin, a provider of smart-contract security solutions, released the results of the latest security audits conducted on zkSync, an Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible zero-knowledge-proof-based scaling solution developed by Matter Labs. In total, out of 45 issues discovered across OpenZeppelin’s previous two audits conducted last November and December, respectively, 40 have been fully resolved by the Matter Labs team. This includes two critical severity and two medium severity issues, said a press release.
- Web3 entertainment company Hume announced that it acquired Blocktones, a Web3 music startup founded by Grammy-winning producer Gino Borri, “Gino The Ghost,” and show designer and director Michael Mauro. Mauro has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the music industry including Diplo, Lil Uzi Vert, and Megan Thee Stallion, said the press release. It added that: “The acquisition will bring Blocktones’ open-sourced generative audio collections to the Hume platform, enabling new pathways for its virtual artists and novel ways for creators to create open-sourced music beats.”
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