The California DMV is set to digitize car titles and title transfers

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the state of California is conducting experiments with the use of a private Tezos blockchain to facilitate the digitalization of vehicle titles and title transfers.

The move is being made as part of a cooperation between the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the blockchain software company Tezos, and the blockchain software company Oxhead Alpha. Oxhead Alpha announced a successful proof-of-concept on January 25.

Oxhead Alpha has been contracted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to build on a private Tezos testnet that the DMV has nicknamed a “shadow ledger.” Its primary purpose is to serve as a blockchain-based copy of the agency’s existing database, which has been its primary focus since its inception.

Ajay Gupta, the chief digital officer of the California Department of Motor Vehicles, told Fortune on January 26 that the department hopes to have the kinks worked out of the shadow ledger within the next three months.

After that, it intends to roll out apps such as digital wallets to keep and transfer nonfungible token vehicle titles, with the DMV serving as a mediator to monitor such processes. In addition to that, it is planning to roll out applications similar to the one described above.

According to an interview that Gupta gave to Forbes, “The DMV’s reputation of falling behind should surely alter.”

Andrew Smith, president of Oxhead Alpha, said that the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) blockchain programme would serve a broad variety of use cases for the department, notably addressing the agency’s present paper-based systems and their eventual upgrade.

Smith gave many instances of fraudulent transactions, such as when automobile salesmen conceal essential information about the vehicle’s condition in order to sell a defective or “lemon” vehicle to purchasers who are not paying attention.

Smith pointed out that even while problematic autos in California have a special designation on their titles, dealers may easily relocate the vehicle to another state and conceal the faulty designations by doing so.

Smith said that it would be much simpler to monitor the true history of automobiles digitally if blockchain-based record keeping were used, in addition to the possibility that other DMVs might embrace the technology.

According to him, “this is a pretty apparent use case” for having a permanent digital title, which is one of the benefits of having such a title.

Smith explained in the company’s release on January 25 why Tezos was a good match for the DMV by stating that the blockchain “solves some of the very hard challenges in blockchain in an elegant manner.” Smith was commenting on why Tezos was a good fit for the DMV.

“The combination of responsible consensus, on-chain governance, and institutional grade security makes Tezos a perfect platform for providing production-ready solutions,” he added. “On Tezos, governance happens directly on the blockchain.”

The decision made by the California Department of Motor Vehicles is likely to be replicated by other governmental agencies in the state going ahead. In May of 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom of California issued an executive order to direct and investigate potential prospects for the integration of blockchain technology with state government institutions.

The governor said that “California is a worldwide powerhouse of innovation, and we’re setting up the state for success with this new technology.” This includes encouraging responsible innovation, safeguarding consumers, and harnessing this technology for the benefit of the public.


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Azuki’s Twitter Account Hacked, Over $750,000 Stolen

A well-known nonfungible token (NFT) project known as Azuki had its Twitter account stolen on January 27. This resulted in the theft of about $750,000 worth of USD Coin (USDC) by the hackers who stole the account. Azuki is an example of a non-fictional character. Hackers were able to steal USDC by tweeting a link to a malicious “wallet drainer” website that disguised as a virtual land mint. This allowed them to access the website and take USDC. Because of this, they were able to take the USDC.

The data also showed that hackers were responsible for the loss of a total of $6,752.62 worth of USDC from a variety of wallets that held more than 3.9 ether and 11 NFTs combined. This amount of USDC was taken from a wallet that housed a total of $6,752.62 in USDC (ETH).

According to estimations provided by Wallet Guard, the total amount of money taken was in the range of $758,074.42 USD.

Emily Rose, who is the community manager for the NFT project, which is based on anime, verified on January 27 that the Azuki account had been hacked. Emily Rose is responsible for managing the NFT community. Twitter was the medium via which Rose communicated her affirmation. In addition, she cautioned Azuki’s followers to avoid clicking on any of the links that were sent to their Twitter account and warned them not to click on any of the links.

After gaining control of Azuki’s Twitter account, con artists were able to “publish a wallet drainer link,” as stated by Azuki’s head of community and product manager, Dem, on a Twitter Space sponsored by Wallet Guard on January 27. Dem was speaking about the incident. Wallet Guard sponsored the Twitter Space. Dem continued to talk about the event in question. Wallet Guard was in charge of maintaining the Twitter Space. Dem claims that the scam artists were successful in carrying out their operation because they were able to “post a wallet drainer link.”

Dem issued a call to action to the community while the organisation was attempting to recover control of the account. In the message, he advised people to “remain cautious and be vigilant” as the group worked to restore control of the account.


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Silvergate Bank Suspends Dividend Payments to Preserve Liquidity

Silvergate, a cryptocurrency bank located in California, has temporarily halted dividend distributions in order to protect its “very liquid balance sheet.”

The company declared on January 27 that it would stop “the payment of dividends on its 5.375% Fixed Rate Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series A, in order to conserve capital.” This information was provided in a statement made on that day.

The business said that it came to the conclusion that it needed to weather the storm of crypto winter in order to survive, but it emphasised that it still retains a “cash position in excess of its digital asset customer-related deposits.”

As the company navigates the current turbulence in the digital asset business, “This move underlines the Company’s aim on keeping a highly liquid balance sheet with a solid capital position.”

According to another statement made by the company, “The Company’s Board of Directors will re-evaluate the payment of quarterly dividends as market circumstances develop.”

The statement comes only 11 days after the corporation reported a significant net loss of one billion dollars in its quarterly report for the fourth quarter of 2022 on January 17. The negative market attitude as a whole, which has led investors to take a “risk-off” strategy over the course of the last year, was what Silvergate said was to blame for the company’s dismal performance.

Alan Lane, the CEO of Silvegate, noted in the Q4 report that the company is still bullish on the cryptocurrency sector but is working to maintain “a highly liquid balance sheet with a strong capital position.” This language is very similar to the language that was used in the most recent announcement.

Prices of both the company’s preferred (SI-PA) and regular (SI) stocks dropped significantly after the announcement that dividend payments would be halted on Friday.

The price of SI-PA fell by 22.71% to $8.85 by the time the market closed, while the price of SI fell by 3.76% to settle at $13.58. These figures are from data provided by Yahoo Finance.

When looking at the big picture, SI-PA and SI offer a bleak image as well since their share prices have dropped by 60 and 87.46% respectively over the course of the last year.

After announcing on January 5 that it has let off 200 people, which represents 40% of its employment, in an effort to stay afloat, the company has not taken this as the sole step it has done this month to shore up its coffers. Instead, it has also taken this measure.


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U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration released a statement on Jan 27

On January 27, the White House published a statement in which it presented the administration of United States President Joe Biden with a road plan for addressing the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. The road plan was supplied by the White House. The White House is responsible for releasing the statement. A sizeable amount of the information that was sent to the Congress of the United States of America was handled by the legislative help that was offered by the administration.

The authors of the declaration proposed a plan for advancing that was divided into two components in order to accomplish their goal. They wrote: “We have spent the last year examining the risks associated with cryptocurrencies and working to minimise those risks by making use of the power that the Executive Branch has.” This pertains to the last year and a year’s worth of months.

In September of 2022, the government will release what will be known as the “first-ever” comprehensive framework for the creation of digital assets. This component of the road plan will be the first one to be implemented. The reports that were needed by the presidential executive order that was announced in March 2022 and was named “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets” were used to produce this document, which was then posted for public consumption.

Second, executive agencies are increasing the amount of work they put into enforcement and are publishing revised rules. “to help customers in better appreciating the dangers involved with acquiring cryptocurrencies,” the statement states that government organisations are in the midst of establishing public awareness programmes. It focused primarily on bank regulators and asked them to keep up their level of action since they were the target of the attention. The announcement was issued on the same day that the Federal Reserve made the decision to reject the application of the digital asset Custodia Bank to join the Federal Reserve System.


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Binance CEO Warns Traditional Institutions Against Reducing Exposure to Crypto

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao is of the opinion that a proactive reduction in exposure to cryptocurrencies by traditional institutions as a reaction to ecosystem collapses in 2022 could potentially have a negative impact on traditional financial players. This is because “CZ” Zhao believes that ecosystem collapses will occur in 2022. This idea originates from Zhao’s conviction that such a decrease may have a detrimental effect on the conventional participants in the financial sector. Zhao’s view that such a decline may have an adverse impact on the traditional players in the financial sector is whence he got the notion that a fall of this magnitude should be considered. He received the idea that a drop of this scale should be evaluated from Zhao’s viewpoint, which is that such a decrease may have a negative influence on the conventional players in the financial industry. Zhao believes that this decline might have a negative impact on the traditional players. This activity takes place at a time when well-established institutions are reacting to this action by reducing their exposure to cryptocurrency markets.

Investor confidence in the cryptocurrency industry as a whole has drastically declined as a direct consequence of the failure of important cryptocurrency businesses such as FTX and Terraform Labs. Traditional markets have been compelled to reconsider the methods that they had intended to employ in order to infiltrate the ecology of bitcoin as a direct result of this failure. Traditional markets had planned to utilise these techniques in order to penetrate the bitcoin ecosystem. CZ is of the opinion that this choice may prove to be ineffective in the twenty years that are to come, which is a possibility despite the fact that the reluctance of conventional participants creates a barrier to the widespread use of cryptocurrencies in the near future. CZ is of the opinion that this choice may prove to be ineffective in the twenty years that are to come. CZ is of the opinion that if one were to wait twenty years and then make this decision, it may end up being counterproductive.


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U.S. District Court Hears Sam Bankman-Fried

According to documents filed with the court on January 28, the legal team representing Sam Bankman-Fried is requesting the removal of a bail restriction that banned him from accessing FTX’s finances.

Bankman-attorney, Fried’s Mark Cohen, sent a letter to the judge of the United States District Court, Lewis Kaplan, stating that his client should be allowed access to the funds held by FTX since he claims that Bankman-Fried was not engaged in any prior improper activities.

Bankman-Fried was “prohibited from accessing or transferring any FTX or Alameda assets or cryptocurrency, including assets or cryptocurrency purchased with funds from FTX or Alameda,” as stated in the letter that was sent to Judge Kaplan. This was the request that was made by U.S. authorities during the first court hearing that took place on January 3. Prosecutors admitted at the time that there was no proof that Mr. Bankman-Fried had moved monies, and they also said that a federal investigation was now taking place.

According to the letter, “nearly three weeks have passed since the initial pretrial conference, and we assume that the Government’s investigation has confirmed what Mr. Bankman-Fried has said all along; namely, that he did not access and transfer these assets.” Additionally, the letter states that the defence notified the authorities “as soon as we became aware of the transfers to provide notification.”

In addition, the attorneys stated that “given that the primary justification offered for seeking that condition has not been supported, we think that the bail condition imposed at the conference should be withdrawn” (given that the sole basis advanced for seeking that condition has not been supported).

In addition, the letter responds to a request made by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on January 27 to prohibit Bankman-Fried from communicating with “current or former employees” of FTX or Alameda Research without the presence of his attorney. This request was made in an effort to prevent Bankman-Fried from interfering with an ongoing investigation.

The request from the prosecutor was made after it was reported that on January 15, Bankman-Fried attempted to “influence” the testimony of Ryne Miller, who is now serving as the General Counsel of FTX US. Miller was contacted through Signal and email.

Bankman-Fried should be allowed to have unrestricted communication with his father, therapist, and any employee or agent of a foreign regulator outside of the presence of counsel, as per Cohen’s letter. According to the defence: “For instance, it would imply that Mr. Bankman-Fried would be unable to communicate with his therapist, who is a former employee of FTX, without the involvement of his attorneys in the conversation. There were around 350 people working for FTX and Alameda, as stated by publicly available sources. There is a possibility that each of these current and former workers have information that is essential to Mr. Bankman-defense. Fried’s It would create an unwarranted burden on Mr. Bankman-resources Fried’s and hinder his ability to defend himself in this matter if he were required to consult counsel in every correspondence with a former or present employee of FTX.”

The filing for bankruptcy protection was made by FTX on November 11, the same day that Bankman-Fried resigned as CEO of the firm. He is now out on bond and staying at his family home in California as he faces eight allegations, the most serious of which are wire fraud and money laundering.


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