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Hong Kong stablecoin urged, Bitcoin and Ether on exchanges slump

Hong Kong stablecoin urged, Bitcoin and Ether on exchanges slump
Hong Kong should issue its own stablecoin to rival USDT and USDC, a new paper says. Credit: Bertha WANG/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Happy Wednesday!

As the US recovers from a long Fourth of July weekend, the global crypto scene is heating up. Here’s what’s going on.

A UK criminal crypto crackdown

In the UK, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill came one step closer to a reality on Tuesday after passing Parliament’s upper chamber, CoinDesk reported. It aims to aid law-enforcement to seize and freeze crypto used for crime. It is now headed to the House of Commons before passing into law. Combating criminal use of crypto is part of the government’s three-year economic crime agenda.

Hong Kong’s stablecoin push

The Hong Kong government is urged to issue its own stablecoin to rival stablecoins, including USDT and USDC, The Block reported. A paper, led by co-author by Wang Yang, a vice chancellor of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Chief Scientific Advisor of the Web3 Association in the city, says the HKDG coin could be backed by foreign exchange reserves. Hong Kong has signalled that it wants to be a global hub for the crypto industry.

And in South Africa...

Crypto exchanges in South Africa must have licenses to operate there by the end of the year, the country’s regulator, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, told Bloomberg. The watchdog has received about 20 applications and it expects more before the November 30 deadline. Firms could be shuttered or fined if they operate without a license.

Some big firms came from the region, including Luno, owned by Barrry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, and Pantera-backed VALR. Binance also operates in South Africa and will need licenses. Luno’s manager of the local unittold Bloomberg that it has submitted its application and is awaiting feedback.

Bitcoin holders want to HODL

Goldman Sachs found that Bitcoin and Ether on exchanges fell amid regulatory actions and as scandals spooked holders to opt for self custody, CoinDesk reported, citing Goldman’s analysis of on-chain data. Supply of Bitcoin dropped 4%, nearing December levels. Ether supply fell almost 6% to a May 2018 low. Goldman also said that June was a record month for Bitcoin miners’ inventory sales, as the soaring price of the cryptocurrency lured miners to take advantage of the rally. Bitcoin has soared about 76% this year.

Binance woes

Investors yanked $3.8 billion from the world’s top crypto exchange in June, which was more than double the outflow in May and the worst showing since December, according to DefiLlama data. Binance is taking fire from US regulators, shuttering operations under pressure from officials across Europe, and bracing for a potential criminal indictment in America. Read DL News’ take on Binance’s woes here.

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