Aussie Regulator Halts 3 Crypto Funds Belonging to Holon Investments

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has issued a stop order on three crypto funds belonging to Sydney-based Holon Investments Australia Limited.


According to a Press Release shared by the regulator on Monday, the three Holon crypto funds include those linked to Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Filecoin (FIL) respectively.

According to the regulator, the reason for the halt in the offering of these crypto funds is that the firm did not meet the non-compliant target market determinations. ASIC fears that Holon is offering the product to retail investors whose investment goals and capabilities may not necessarily fit into the risks associated with the three products.

The regulator reiterated that the embargo is temporary and will remain so for the next 21 days. The selection of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Filing is essentially based on their extreme volatility and by a subtle extension, their popularity among retail investors.

“The interim orders stop Holon from issuing interests in, giving a product disclosure statement for or providing general advice to retail clients recommending investments in the Funds. The order is valid for 21 days unless revoked earlier,” the announcement reads, adding that “ASIC made the interim orders to protect retail investors from potentially investing in funds that may not be suitable for their financial objectives, situation or needs.”

The regulator noted that Holon Investments has the right to meet its requirements to offer the products, otherwise, it will place a final stop order on the products.

The Australian ecosystem is one that is very vibrant, however, with a lot of fraudulent practices hitting users in the country, regulators are very cautious in their attempts to protect the average consumer. The same sentiment is shared by regulators in other top economies like the United States and the United Kingdom.

In all, this offering of protection accounts for why many nations are still relatively slow with their embrace of regulation when compared to major crypto hubs like the UAE and Singapore.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

Ajman Police Breaks History as it Offers Services to Customers in the Metaverse

In what comes as a pioneering move, the Dubai Ajman Police force has announced it will start offering services to its customers in the metaverse.


Announced through the official Twitter account of the Ajman Police force, the move is adjudged as the first of its kind in the world.


With the United Arab Emirates taking the front lead in most innovations bordering around the metaverse, the Ajman Police’s move to offer customer service in the virtual world is untested water, one which will enable complainants to connect with the police through their digital Avatars.


Per the announcement, the Ajman Police put forth the “Request for Sponsorship” for the metaverse offering at the Dubai Gitex Global 2022 event. The metaverse communication offering is one of 70 related next-generation services that the police force has introduced using the latest programming languages around today.


As a mini global village, the metaverse offering can be accessed through multiple languages including Arabic, English, Russian, German, Chinese, French, and Spanish.


As a city in the UAE, Dubai has a very aggressive digital transformation agenda and it has been doing all it can in terms of dolling out the right regulations to help it stand out. 


With the city’s blockchain ecosystem projected to be worth more than $100 million by 2025, most of the positive stance of the City has been reflected in the establishment of the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), an agency that is in charge of licensing crypto assets service providers looking to do business in the city.

Notably, VARA has gotten its hands pretty full and besides the Binance exchange, the agency has been granting approval to many crypto firms to operate on its shores. The forward-thinking approach of Dubai is a subset of the vision of the country to be a major hub for crypto-related initiatives in the Middle East and the world at large.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : /

Mastercard Introduces the Crypto Source Product for Banks

American multinational financial services giant Mastercard Inc has launched its latest product dubbed the Crypto Source as it is exploring new avenues to let banks within its network offer crypto-related products in a compliant manner.




Riding on the feedback from its New Payments Index it recently published which shows as many as 65% of respondents of crypto savvy individuals will prefer it if they can access regular crypto offerings from their already trusted financial institution. 

Understanding this position of retail investors and the realization that banks shy away from crypto because of compliance and security risks accounted for why Mastercard floated the Crypto Source product.

As announced, financial institutions subscribing to this product will be able to offer Buy, Sell or Hold services to their customers. The product is offered in conjunction with top cryptocurrency platforms in the Web3.0 ecosystem including Paxos.

“At Mastercard, trust is our business. What we are announcing today is a connected approach to services that will help bring users safely and securely into the crypto ecosystem. Our recent investments in this space, such as the acquisition of CipherTrace and Ekata, are providing us with a unique set of capabilities to help provide our customers and consumers with the most technically advanced solutions available in the market,” said Ajay Bhalla, President, Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard.

Besides the trading and custody services that the Crypto Source feature will enable banks to offer, security protection, the offering of crypto spend and cashout capabilities, as well as crypto program management will also be on offer to banks subscribing to the new Mastercard service.


Understandably, mainstream financial giants have been quite cautious with respect to the nature of crypto products they make available, especially to retail investors. The majority of banks have focused on custody services targeting institutional investors, the latest of which is BNY Mellon, and this Mastercard Crypto Source may be just the needed boost most of them require.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / /

Hong Kong to Unveil Virtual Assets-Related Policy Statement on Upcoming Fintech Week

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s government will release the plans for the development of virtual assets in the city during the upcoming  FinTech Week by the end of the month.

shutterstock_2114956976 k.jpg

In a blog post published by Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po on Sunday, the policy statement will consist of the government’s “vision and strategy, regulatory regime, attitude towards opening up investors’ access to virtual assets, and the technological advantages brought by virtual assets launch pilot projects.”

The annual Hong Kong FinTech Week will be held from October 31st to November 4th, with the theme of “Breaking the Boundaries and Creating Extraordinary”. “The policy statement will clearly express the government’s position, demonstrate to the global industry our vision to develop Hong Kong into an international virtual asset centre, and our commitment and determination to explore financial innovation with the global asset industry,” the blog post stated.

Alongside the traditional fintech events, similar to last year, Hong Kong FinTech Week will also host the third-generation Internet (Web3), the Metaverse and other concepts to add new elements. 

“A first-come, first-served basis, in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFT) to distribute limited quantities to participants version of the Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP) token,” will be part of the blockchain attraction for the annual fintech event.

Owners of these NFT tokens will gain access to creating their personal avatars through 3D scanning, according to the blog post. It further added that token owners “will be able to use the tokens to participate in other industry events preferentially in the future.”

Development of virtual assets in Hong Kong

In terms of recent developments in the virtual assets sector in Hong Kong, Hashkeys Group and OSL Digital Securities Limited (OSL) have secured Type 1 SFC-licensed to deal with security. Type 1 license also empowers OSL to serve investors in Hong Kong through private security token offerings (STOs).

Previously, Blockchain.News reported that the China-based cryptocurrency exchange is the first regulated digital assets brokerage firm in Hong Kong to facilitate sales of new asset-backed digital tokens classed as securities to global institutions.

OSL has been doing that for a while. So far, its institutional clients include the likes of Animoca Brands, Head & Shoulders Financial Group, China Fortune Financial Group Limited, Volmart, and Monmonkey Group Asset Management Limited.

OSL first received approval in principle from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in August 2020, to license the cryptocurrency firm.

Meanwhile, the government has also actively begun introducing security measures against illegal acts conducted through virtual assets and blockchain technology.

The government has announced the framework of a new regulatory regime for virtual assets and associated products and services. The new framework for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) has been designed primarily to combat money laundering and terrorist financing risks. It is scheduled to take effect on 1 January 2023.

The key highlight of the new security measure is that the VASP regulatory regime consists of new licensing and regulatory requirements for VASPs’ operations.

According to the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, the licensing requirements of the new VASP regime are highly specialised and technical.

In response to the announcement of the framework of a new regulatory regime, Mayer Brown – a Chicago-based global white-shoe law firm – said, “Hong Kong’s new VASP regime is a recent addition to this space and it will be interesting to see the extent to which, if at all, the new regime impacts the growth of the VA industry in Hong Kong.”

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / / /

Bitcoin Miner Digihost Under Risk of Delisting from Nasdaq

Crypto miner Digihost is under scrutiny and has been threatened with getting delisted by Nasdaq for trading below $1 for 30 consecutive days.

shutterstock_1988803418 n.jpg

The bitcoin miner is among the many that have fallen into the danger zone of losing their spots on major U.S. stock exchanges.

Digihost has been given grace periods of up to 180 days to resolve the issue. The company must comply with Nasdaq listing rules by trading for $1 or more for at least 10 consecutive days.

In a document filed on last Friday, Digihost stated that the company’s operations have been going on as usual despite the complaint.

“The Company’s business operations are not affected by the receipt of the Notification Letter, and the Company fully intends to resolve the deficiency and regain compliance with the Nasdaq Listing Rules,” Digihost said in the filing.

Besides Digihost, two other public mining companies have also come close scrutiny from Nasdaq.

Public miners — Mawson Infrastructure Group and BIT Mining – need better stock performance to keep their listings on Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), respectively.  

Three other companies fell under the $1 threshold last week alone, and only a few have been trading slightly above that threshold.

In case, the stock price does not recover to over $1 per share, many companies will potentially get delisted from Nasdaq.

The stock price fall is related to the coin’s cost, which has fallen about 50% in the last six months and 70% since the all-time high of around $67,550 in November last year.

Furthermore, rising power costs have also added to the strain as it has squeezed profits for bitcoin miners and mining difficulty jumped 13.55% last week to an all-time high.

Meanwhile, last week, a group of crypto firms led by Bitcoin mining tech provider Braiins and Block Inc’s subsidiary funding Bitcoin development called Spiral are promoting the adoption of Stratum V2 protocol.

The upgrade from Stratum V1 would improve security for miners and for the network, help further decentralize the network, and make communication more efficient, a joint statement from Braiins and Spiral said.

Stratum’s second version (V2) promises to bring many improvements to the protocol, including censorship resistance and allowing miners to choose their own work rather than being assigned workloads by pools, which would increase the Bitcoin network’s decentralization. The report elaborated that the upgrade is necessary to support an increase in pooled mining and further growth in hashrate.

The working group now focuses on building and sharing tools for all mining firms to rapidly and seamlessly upgrade to Stratum V2 protocol.

As per the announcement, the working group has released the first version of an open-source Stratum V2 reference implementation (SRI) for testing. The report said that the SRI will allow anyone to run the upgraded protocol or use it as a guide for their own implementation of Stratum V2.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

South Korea to Provide Blockchain-based Digital Identities to Citizens by 2024

South Korea plans to provide digital identities encrypted by blockchain with smartphones to citizens in 2024 to facilitate its economic development., Bloomberg reported Monday.

The South Korean government stated that with the expansion of the digital economy, the ID embedded in the smartphone is an indispensable emerging technology to support the development of data.

Through digital identities on the blockchain, the network verification process will be simplified, and users can log in without taking a certificate or a verification code sent by text.

Widespread use based on digital IDs will be expected to increase government efficiency by saving more administrative workforce and time, reducing wage fraud, expanding consumer credit, facilitating trade, and generating new markets.

Alternatively,  other applications of digital IDs include: facilitating online medical services; hotel check-in using a smartphone; prevention of ID forgery and theft; remote approval of contracts; fast boarding, etc.

McKinsey & Company believes introducing digital IDs could boost a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by as much as 13% and reduce business costs by trillions of dollars.

Citing Hwang Seogwon, an economist at the Korea Institute for Science and Technology Policy, stressed the importance of risk assessment:

“Digitals IDs can yield huge economic benefits in finance, healthcare, taxes, transportation and other areas and may catch on quickly among the Korean population.”

Meanwhile, Suh Bo Ram, head of the Korea Digital Government Bureau, said South Korea could reap at least 60 trillion won ($42 billion) in economic value over a decade from the plan, which is close to 3% of South Korea’s national GDP.

In addition, South Korea seeks to adopt the digital identity system for 45 million people within two years. Under the plan, the government will not be able to access information stored on individuals’ mobile phones, including details on whose digital IDs are used and how and where they are used, as the system will rely entirely on blockchain technology-based decentralization identity.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

Bank of Jamaica Collaborates with Local Government to Expand CBDC Adoption

In a recent update, it was reported that the Bank of Jamaica is set to partner with the Government to boost the adoption of its central bank digital currency, JamDex, as a payment method.


Citing the report on Sunday, Jamaica’s CBDC expansion began this year via a mobile wallet provider, Lynk, and up to the end of September, this brought about 115,000 subscribers who have executed 146,000 transactions.

However, considering the number of people expected to interact with the Financial sector in a country, that number seems relatively low.

Dr. Novelette Panton, division chief Financial Markets Infrastructure Division, Bank of Jamaica, in a conference addressing “Digital Currency,” stated that bringing more people into the financial system is one of the main reasons for establishing CBDC, JamDex. 

According to the report, surveys show that over 500,000 Jamaicans hardly even interact with the local financial sector. It may be because people in Jamaica earn wages in cash and spend it without interacting with players in the financial services sector.

As a result, Jamaica’s central bank will be targeting the government payment to social protection programs to attain substantial inclusion and adoption of the CBDC.

“When we look at the persons we have, Government in any country is the largest payer,” said Dr. Novelette Panton. She added, “So we are going after government payments in that we have welfare payments, social benefit payments, the payments that are made to schoolchildren, payments to persons for housing benefits.”

Other plans Panton stated, according to the report on how the central bank of Jamaica will further boost JamDex, include educating the public on the difference between JamDex and cryptocurrencies as well as the security of the digital currency.

In addition, the Central bank of Jamaica will host Christmas work programs this December so as to encourage individuals to make their payments in CBDCs.

The central bank of Jamaica and mobile wallet provider Lynk are also working together to enrol corner shops and pan chicken vendors to interact with the mobile wallet while making payments with JamDex.

It is worth noting that this news comes months after the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) suggested that the authority must obtain a court order to track CBDC transactions apart from wallet holders and issuers, as CBDC, such emerging digital currencies, do not have a different code that can be traced.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / /

TempleDAO Hacker Moves Stolen Funds to Sanctioned Crypto Mixer Tornado Cash

According to data from block explorer, Etherscan, the attacker of the TempleDAO hack, has moved the funds stolen via the recently sanctioned crypto mixer, Tornado Cash.


This information was first disclosed by blockchain data firm on Sunday, PeckShield. A roughly amount of ETH was seen transferred from an address supposed to be that of the TempleDAO hacker to the Tornado Cash platform. The transaction started with a deposit of 0.1, and ETHoccurred place within hours on Sunday.

Tornado Cash is an Ethereum-based crypto mixer used to anonymize transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. In August, the platform got sanctioned by the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Declaring that the crypto mixer is mainly associated with high-profile hacks such as the Ronin and Harmony breaches. Specifically, OFAC claimed the crypto mixer benefited North Korea’s Lazarus Group and that the platform has been used to launder hundreds of millions of dollars worth of crypto since its launch.

Last week, TempleDAO, a protocol staking platform, suffered a hack on one of its staking vaults. As seen on Etherscan, the hacker made away with 1,830 ETH, which was roughly $2.3 million at the time. 

Notably, this hack comes amid the rise of cryptocurrency hacks this month. According to new data from Chainanalysis, October 2022 is the month with the most hacking activity ever. 

Source: Chainanalysis 

The data averred roughly 11 hacks amounting to $718 million happened this month alone. Chainanalysis stated, “At this rate, 2022 will likely surpass 2021 as the biggest year for hacking on record.”

Last week, trading and lending platform Mango Market suffered an exploit which happened via an oracle price manipulation attack. In addition, on October 6, popular crypto exchange, Binance confirmed a BNB cross-chain bridge hack with Roughly $100 million of Binance Coin (BNB) stolen due to the exploit.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / / / / /

Rich Dad Recommends Bitcoin Instead of Real Estate

Robert Kiyosaki, the financial educationist, popularly known as Rich Dad, has come out openly to denounce real estate as an investment alternative, but now he has changed his mind.


Taking on Twitter over the weekend, Kiyosaki noted that he described, in his new book for 2022, dubbed the Capitalist Manifesto, how a Marxist is now governing the United States.

As described by Kiyosaki, under Marxist rulership, property taxes will be raised, rent controls will be imposed, and interest rates will also be hiked. According to him, all of these events will continue to impact the value of property taxes. 

Coming from the COVID-19 pandemic period that was ushered in in the first quarter of 2020, the government has taken two distinctly different directions as it concerns the interest rates in the country. At first, the interest rate was lowered to zero as the government attempted to help cushion the economy adversely impacted by lockdowns and layoffs affecting businesses.

Afterwards, the government reversed course when it discovered the economy had somewhat recovered from the pangs of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government started raising interest rates this year, and by general statistics, the real estate industry has been seeing generally low listings as prices are not favourable to buyers.

Despite the current economic conditions affecting every asset class, Robert Kiyosaki revealed that he is recommending Bitcoin as a reliable investment asset. Unusually, the financial guru also noted that he is classifying Gold and Silver alongside the asset classes that can serve as a good hedge against current inflation.

It has been a rollercoaster for the United States Federal Reserve as its interest rate hikes, targeted to tame inflation, have not really helped, with the last inflation figure pegged at about 8.2% for September.

While the price of Bitcoin is not particularly encouraging considering its deviation from its All-Time High (ATH) value back in November last year, the coin is tapped as one backed with solid fundamentals that can drive its growth in both the mid-to-long-term.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet Price Dropped to Less than $100 from $2.9M

According to a recent tweet from the self-acclaimed Chairman of the Wall Street Bet, a Reddit subgroup known for financial-related discussions, the first tweet is now worth as low as $97. This loss corresponds to a 99.996% loss since the time it was auctioned.


At the height of the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) storm in 2021, Jack Dorsey made history in the ecosystem as his first-ever tweet was auctioned for $2.9 million, a fund he donated to an African charity.

The transaction was celebrated by many in the ecosystem, who acknowledged the understanding of the buyer, Sina Estavi, as it regards the significance of NFTs and the technology backing it. While Estavi, a crypto entrepreneur who owns Bridge Oracle, boasts of being the owner of the world’s first-ever tweet, the monetary value of an investment that is considered to be better than real estate is not encouraging at all.

While the figure represents the best offer presented to Sina for the tweet, this does not imply that the owner has to agree to the selloff and lose that much money. For what it’s worth, Sina Estavi did not necessarily buy the tweet so he could sell; should this be his motive, then his expectations must have been dashed by present realities.

The broader digital currency ecosystem has taken a massive nosedive in recent times, plunging from over $2.9 trillion in Q4 last year to less than $900 billion at some points this year. This valuation plunge has trickled down notably even to the NFT ecosystem.

While many crypto advocates consider the massive valuation of digital currencies back at the time to be a reflection of massive money laundering activities. Based on these assumptions, the majority of regulators have now started exploring avenues to impose functional regulations into the NFT world and other areas of the broader blockchain industry.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / /
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 27,751.44 1.45%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,648.40 0.52%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 64.64 0.60%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 232.45 2.23%