THIS WEEK IN CRYPTO
- Ethereum ‘Bug Bounties’ jump to $1 million before software upgrade. The non-profit foundation behind the Ethereum blockchain is quadrupling the rewards it will pay to friendly hackers who uncover bugs in the code of its much-ballyhooed software upgrade to as much as $1 million. Until now, the so-called bug-bounty program was offering payments of up to $250,000 and a place on its leaderboard to hackers who uncovered critical errors.
- Crypto ATM firm Bitcoin Depot strikes $885 million SPAC deal to go public. The merger comes during market downturns for cryptocurrencies and SPACs and is expected to test investor appetite for bitcoin ATMs. Atlanta-based Bitcoin Depot is combining with the SPAC GSR II Meteora Acquisition Corp. in a deal that was announced Thursday.
- Crypto may get its own legal lane in the UK. Britain’s Law Commission has proposed that crypto be considered a separate category in English property law, a move that could pave the way for setting an international standard. The Law Commission of England and Wales — an independent regulatory body that advises the UK government on reform — has been tasked with getting London ahead of the pack. Read more here.
- Crypto volatility seen leading to purge of ‘Merge Frontrunners’. The crypto-specific liquidations have largely concluded, and so price action is probably going to continue chopping violently with macro for the time being. The Merge (if completed successfully) is now a real catalyst. The impact of removing ~$20M/day of miner selling is impossible to ignore. It will take significant macro headwinds to offset the impact of that flow’s sudden disappearance.
- Voyager gets bankruptcy court approval on $1.6 million in key employee bonuses. The company will pay $1.6 million in bonuses to employees deemed critical to the insolvent crypto lender’s future. According to court papers, the payouts will go to 34 Voyager employees -- none of whom are top executives -- who work in areas like accounting and IT infrastructure. The bonuses are equal to 22.5% of each employee’s annual salary. Read more here.
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- Australia to map crypto tokens as part of regulatory ramp-up. Australia is beginning a review of cryptocurrency assets in the country to help better understand and regulate the industry. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government will make “token mapping” a priority this year to help identify which digital asset tokens are being used in Australia and how they should be regulated, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said in a statement on Monday.
- Rising Ether prices spark liquidity crisis at NFT lender BendDAO. Users had started rushing to withdraw deposits from the platform amid concern about a potential liquidity crunch on Friday. The total value of crypto assets locked in BendDAO’s protocol dropped by about 50% to around $41 million during the weekend, according to data from DeFi Llama.
- Reddit starts Airdrop of Polygon-based 'Collectible Avatars'. The collectibles are listed on the non-fungible tokens (NFT) marketplace OpenSea. At the time of writing, the collectibles from The Singularity collection are selling for just over $15, while Drip Squad collectibles are worth over $42. The avatars can be stored and managed on Reddit’s own blockchain wallet, Vault.
- Crypto Firm Coinhako is hiring to woo institutions. Coinhako is looking to grow in Southeast Asia and then more broadly throughout the region, Collin Cheong, director of corporate development, said in an interview. The firm, launched in 2014, is hiring “aggressively” in areas like institutional sales and trading, as it seeks to boost business with bigger firms and high-net-worth investors. Read more here.
- Bakkt partners with Sullivan Bank to provide access to cryptocurrency trading. Sullivan Bank will use Bakkt Crypto Connect to allow Sullivan Bank customers to buy, sell and hold Bitcoin and Ethereum. Alpharetta, Ga.-based Bakkt said its Crypto Connect offers financial institutions the tools to meet consumer demand and provides crypto access to customers without leaving their banking institution.