Banks Holding Cryptocurrencies Face Strict New Regulations in European Parliament

A report on a draft measure that would require banks that hold cryptocurrencies to put aside a significant amount of capital in an attempt to mitigate possible risk has been published by the European Parliament.

EU lawmakers stated in a notice dated February 9 that any framework that is applied to crypto assets should “adequately mitigate the risks of these instruments for the institutions’ financial stability.” These lawmakers proposed that banks apply a risk weight of 1250% on their exposure to digital assets, which is one of the highest risk ratings for investments. The regulations were not supposed to take effect until the 30th of December in 2024, according to the draft legislation.

According to the report, “the rapid increase in the activity of financial markets on crypto-assets and the potentially increasing involvement of institutions in crypto-assets related activities should be thoroughly reflected in the Union prudential framework,” with the goal of “adequately mitigating the risks of these instruments for the institutions’ financial stability.” This recommendation was made in light of the fact that “the rapid increase in the activity of financial markets on crypto-assets and the potentially increasing involvement of institutions in crypto-asset “In view of the recent unfavorable events in the markets for crypto-assets, this matter is far more pressing than it already was.”

The parliament said that the proposed modification was in accordance with the recommendations made by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, also known as the BCBS, regarding the mitigation of possible risks. The legislators agreed that these guidelines have to be put into effect before the year 2025.

A vote on the legislation is anticipated to take place in April. The draft law said that the European Commission should present a proposal on the crypto framework by the 30th of June, taking into consideration the criteria under the EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets framework, or MiCA. After then, it is probable that the whole parliament will be given the option to vote on whether or not the proposed measure should be made into law.

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What Happens When the Bitcoin Blockchain Produces an Empty Block

Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital currency that is renowned for its durability, security, and dependability. A new block is added to the network on average every ten minutes, and the miner who successfully creates the block is rewarded with 6.25 Bitcoin, which is equivalent to almost $130,000.

On the other hand, the Bitcoin blockchain is known to sometimes spring a surprise on both watchers and players.

Nodes around the network confirmed the existence of a totally empty block at the height of 776,339 blocks. The fact that the block was uploaded to the Bitcoin network with no transactions included caused considerable consternation among those involved in the cryptocurrency industry. What precisely is meant by the term “empty block,” and how does this phenomenon occur?

To begin, while the presence of an empty block on the network may at first seem peculiar, this kind of thing is really rather common. Block 774486 was the location where it happened a little more than two weeks ago to the day.

Miners are encouraged to mine blocks as rapidly as possible, and as a result, they may mine a block even if they have not yet received any transactions that they may include in the block. When this occurs, the block will continue to be empty.

The following justification may be found in the Bitcoin mempool, which is the primary location for doing research on the Bitcoin blockchain: “When a new block is located, mining pools will give miners a block template that does not include any transactions. This will allow them to begin the search for the next block as quickly as possible. They immediately transmit a block template that is complete with transactions; but, a complete block template is a larger data transfer and reaches miners after a little longer period of time.

“During this interim period, which is often no more than one to two seconds, miners sometimes get fortunate and discover a new block utilizing the empty block template,”

In essence, mining a template was a case of “getting fortunate” for the miners. The Bitcoin block with the height of 776,389 was added to the chain just a few seconds after the block that came before it, which had the height of 776,488. However, Block 776,388 received an additional 0.086 BTC in fees, which is equivalent to around $1,854. This amount was added to the block reward of 6.25 BTC, which is approximately $135,247.

Even when there are no transactions in an empty block, the miner is still rewarded with freshly created bitcoins as part of the block reward. As a result, the reward for Block 776,389 was 6.25 Bitcoin and there were no transaction fees. The winning miner was Binance Pool, which contributed as much as 12% to the overall hash rate of the network.

It is essential to emphasize the fact that empty blocks do not provide a challenge for the network. Mining empty blocks still results in the production of the coin creation transaction, sometimes referred to as the coinbase transaction. This transaction ensures that Bitcoin is on track to meet its goal of having 21 million Bitcoins in circulation.

The proportion of vacant blocks on the network is often between between 1% and 2%, as seen by the statistics provided by BitInfoCharts. Given the proliferation of “ordinals” on Bitcoin, also known as the capacity to permanently carve photos, data, and marks into the blockchain, this statistic is even more shocking in light of its current state.

The increase in ordinals has led to various queries and even some anxiety among the Bitcoin community, and only lately the very first cases of pornography were documented.

As more and more image aficionados compete to have their work included in the Bitcoin blockchain, the mempool has become a more congested place, and block space has become a disputed resource.

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DBS Bank to Expand Crypto Services to Hong Kong

As Hong Kong strives to become a center for digital assets, the Singaporean megabank DBS Group, which is wholly controlled by the Singaporean government, is making plans to extend its cryptocurrency services to the Chinese territory.

According to a report from Bloomberg dated February 13, DBS Bank intends to submit an application for a license that would enable it to provide cryptocurrency trading services to clients in Hong Kong.

Sebastian Paredes, the CEO of DBS Bank Hong Kong, said that the company intends to submit an application for a license in Hong Kong so that the bank will be able to offer digital assets to clients located in Hong Kong.

According to Paredes, DBS is “extremely sensitive” to the dangers that are involved with digital assets, but the company is excited about the newly proposed crypto-related rules in Hong Kong. Once the legislation have been clarified in their entirety and DBS “understands properly the framework,” the bank is ready to become one of the first lenders in Hong Kong to provide cryptocurrency services, as he said.

A few years ago, DBS Bank took a significant leap into the cryptocurrency business by announcing plans to create an institutional cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore around the end of the year 2020. Additionally, the business has been aiming to broaden the accessibility of its cryptocurrency platform to retail investors and has been using decentralized financial technology to collaborative initiatives with the central bank of Singapore.

The announcement comes shortly after DBS revealed that its annual net profit had increased by 20%, reaching a record 8.19 billion Singaporean dollars (SGD), which is equivalent to $6.7 billion in the United States.

The total revenue rose by 16% to 16.5 billion Singapore dollars, which is equivalent to $12.4 billion, surpassing 16 billion Singapore dollars for the first time in history.

In the midst of China’s special administrative region continuing to reiterate its pro-crypto position, DBS Bank has announced ambitions to extend its operations to Hong Kong. Paul Chan, the finance secretary of Hong Kong, made the announcement in January that the Hong Kong government is open to working with crypto and fintech businesses in 2023. The official also said that a large number of companies in the sector have indicated their intentions to either extend their operations in Hong Kong or to go public on the local markets.

According to earlier reports, the legislature of Hong Kong has enacted legislation that would result in the establishment of a licensing system for virtual asset service providers in the month of December 2022. The new regulatory framework is being developed with the intention of giving cryptocurrency exchanges the same level of market recognition that conventional financial institutions are now afforded by the existing regulatory system.

Singapore has adopted a more rigorous approach to the cryptocurrency business in the wake of big industry failures in 2022. This comes at a time when Hong Kong authorities have been gradually relaxing their stance on cryptocurrencies in recent months. Following the failure of the Singaporean cryptocurrency hedge fund Three Arrows Capital in September, the Monetary Authority of Singapore introduced legislation in October to prohibit all types of bitcoin loans.

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Huobi to Discontinue Cloud Wallet Service in May 2023

Huobi, a cryptocurrency exchange, has said that it would end its Huobi Cloud Wallet platform five years from now, in May 2023, citing “strategic and product modifications.”

The maintenance and updates of the multitoken wallet service will formally come to an end on February 13, according to a notification that was posted on Huobi’s support website. Users who are still using the cloud wallet are being advised to move any cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) that they have to their primary Huobi accounts or to other wallet addresses.

The withdrawal and transfer functionalities of Huobi Cloud Wallet will continue to operate for the next three months; however, users are strongly encouraged to refrain from transferring digital assets to their cloud wallets during this time. The official date that Huobi Cloud Wallet will be decommissioned is May 13th, 2023.

After Huobi Group made an investment of $200 million, the Huobi Wallet name was changed to iToken five months later in May 2022. The Huobi Cloud Wallet was first introduced in October 2021 as a feature of the Huobi Wallet. It enables users to handle digital assets without the need of private keys and was initially rolled out as part of Huobi Wallet.

The provision of a service for custodial wallets was done with the intention of facilitating simpler access to apps and services related to decentralized finance (DeFi). Users of Huobi Cloud Wallet were able to store tokens without having to take responsibility for their own private keys thanks to a third-party management system that held users’ private keys in escrow.

Users of Huobi Global were promised a smooth synchronization with the cloud wallet service, as well as the ability to move tokens between the two platforms in order to access a variety of other DeFi projects.

Huobi also made headlines in January 2023 when it delisted 33 different tokens because they had broken various requirements to be listed on the exchange platform. This caused Huobi to be in the news. Following Justin Sun’s acquisition of the business, the stock exchange announced at the beginning of the year that it intended to implement a reorganization that would include the layoff of twenty percent of its workforce.

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Bitpanda-backed Pantos Launches Public Beta of Its Multichain Token System

 

Vienna, February 14, 2023 –  Pantos, a multichain token system conceived by the team behind Bitpanda, announces the public beta launch of its multichain protocol today. Developers and users will be able to use the public beta to send tokens, wrap native coins of supported chains, and soon also create and deploy multichain tokens easily with a few clicks. 

 

Pantos is introducing a new Multichain Token Standard called PANDAS (Pantos Digital Asset Standard) to bring a truly multichain token system to the masses, enabling secure and seamless Web3 interoperability. Pantos currently supports seven chains on testnet: Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche, BNB, Cronos, Celo and Fantom; and plans to integrate more EVM and non-EVM chains continuously.

 

The majority of today’s Web3 applications and bridges lack the security and smooth user experience needed to bring Web3 functionalities to the masses. Pantos aims to improve this by offering a reliable infrastructure and the right tools to empower developers to easily create multichain assets.

 

Pantos began in 2018 as an in-house research project by Bitpanda in collaboration with TU Wien (Austria) and later also TU Hamburg (Germany) to establish an open standard for truly decentralized multichain token transfers and blockchain interoperability. The public beta comes out after years of ground-breaking research in the fields of oracles, relays, smart contracts and blockchain efficiency. Pantos together with its researchers at the universities run one of the largest blockchain research labs in the world, as part of the Christian Doppler Laboratory Blockchain Technologies for the Internet of Things and have been able to secure funding for the project from the Austrian government.

 

Eric Demuth, CEO and Co-Founder of both Pantos and Bitpanda, said “We are thrilled to introduce the public beta after years of research in collaboration with some of the most reputed universities in Europe. We believe that Multichain technology will be a catalyst for Web3 and foster widespread crypto adoption. Pantos offers users the simplest way to access a multichain Web3.”

 

Bitpanda’s business expertise helps Pantos with the transition from a research project to a fully-functional product available to end users and developers in a simple and accessible way. Bitpanda will also be one of the first adopters of Pantos’ multichain token system. Furthermore, Pantos has secured a partnership with the leading Austrian bank, Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), that is working with Pantos on blockchain interoperability solutions. Pantos’ native token PAN is currently available for trading on Bitpanda and N26.

 

Researchers at Pantos are developing technology that will allow users to transfer digital assets of any kind freely between different blockchain protocols in a completely decentralized and trustless manner. Using the new PANDAS-20 standard, developers will be able to deploy assets on a variety of blockchains without maintenance work. Interested users or digital creators who lack coding skills will be able to deploy their own multichain tokens with ease. 

 

Though it aims to eventually become a fully decentralized open-source protocol with PAN as its own gas token, the public beta of Pantos comes with a trusted validation mechanism to ensure a smooth launch. This way, the team will ensure that the network cannot be attacked in its early stages, before it gradually evolves into a fully decentralized system. 

About Pantos

Started as a research project by the team behind Bitpanda in 2018, Pantos is an open-source protocol on a mission to make Web3 truly interoperable. It aims to become an enabler for sophisticated Web3 applications. Pantos’ cutting-edge technology allows existing and upcoming tokens to be deployed on multiple blockchain networks, giving users the freedom to choose the most suitable network for their digital assets. It had secured $12.1 million in funding through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) on Bitpanda in 2018. 

 

For media inquiries, contact: Marsel Nenaj, contact@pantos.io

 

For more information, visit: Website  |  Twitter 

 

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