Thai Securities Regulator Propose Fresh Legislation for Crypto Custodians

Cryptocurrencies can no longer be classified as a niche sector in light of the tremendous development made. At the moment, the primary worry with this emerging industry seems to be with regulations that define how the technology fits into our present economy.

As of now, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken the next step in this direction, soliciting public comment until late September on the proposed crypto custody laws. 

Crypto Exchanges in the Crosshair

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed new laws on Wednesday concerning the custody of investors’ cryptocurrency assets held by digital asset business operators. The latest proposed regulations include both fiat money custody for digital asset accounts and cryptocurrency lending, or earning interest on cryptocurrency holdings.

The SEC is explicitly trying to ban crypto businesses from utilizing investor assets for the “benefit of another client or other persons,” or from profiting from both investors’ fiat money and digital assets, including digital lending to other persons. The proposal states that “seeking benefits from clients’ fiat money shall be prohibited except in the form of deposit with commercial banks.”

The proposed legislation also suggests a new structure for withdrawing and transferring fiat money from digital asset accounts, which must adhere to the concepts of “decentralised approval authority, multi-sign approval authority, and check and balance.”

The guidelines, according to the SEC, will improve investor safety and the dependability of cryptocurrency service providers by guaranteeing that records of investors’ holdings are correct and up to date.

As of now, the SEC is now requesting public comments on these newly proposed regulations till September 22. 

The Thai SEC has been aggressively implementing new crypto sector regulations this year, despite the country’s surging cryptocurrency usage. In March, the authority suggested imposing a minimum yearly income threshold of $32,000 for investing in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC). In June, the regulator prohibited crypto exchanges from processing certain token types, including non-fungible tokens.

CBDC Coming Soon

Meanwhile, The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has revealed that it plans to develop and test its retail CBDC in the second quarter of 2022. The central bank has announced that initial pilot tests would be conducted within a limited group under the BOT. Once the test is successful, the central bank will expand the CBDC to the public, retail stores, banks, and non-banking facilities.

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Wall Street Giant Citigroup Could Soon Trade CME Bitcoin Futures

According to the bank’s spokesman on Tuesday, Wall Street giant Citigroup (NYSE: C) is eager as they await regulatory approval to start offering bitcoin (BTC, -3.59%) futures trading contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). 

Institutional Clients

Another individual familiar with cryptocurrency derivatives markets noted that Citi is gathering a team to join a crypto-focused team in London. The individual also noted that the team would possibly win approval to commence trading CME bitcoin futures first and later bitcoin exchange-traded notes (ETNs).

Later they will move on to other products such as bitcoin exchange-traded notes.

A Citigroup spokesperson said that they are very thoughtful about their approach with the many questions around regulatory frameworks, supervisory expectations, and other factors. 

At the moment, they are considering products like futures for some institutional clients, as these operate under solid regulatory frameworks.

Optimistic Market

The bank has observed an increased demand in the cryptocurrency space as bitcoin mounts a climb toward $50,000 again. Arcane Research wrote in a Tuesday newsletter that the fear is gone for now, and the market is optimistic.

On Monday, Bitcoin prices surged over $50,000 after weathering a crackdown by Chinese authorities on domestic cryptocurrency mining companies at the beginning of the year. Mainstream adoption by corporations and the wider public have been gathering pace.

If Citi gets the regulatory approval, they will join fellow megabank Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which launched their internal initiatives to assist their premium management clients in accessing the crypto market.

JPMorgan was the first major U.S. bank to give all its wealth-management clients the green light to access cryptocurrency funds. 

Impressive Developments

Citigroup, one of the most significant banks in the U.S., holds some $23.7 trillion in assets under custody. The bank reported total revenues of $17.5 billion when it released its second-quarter 2021 results just recently. 

According to a Financial Times report nL4N2MU1B8, the bank was weighing the option of providing cryptocurrency-related services in May.

Citigroup also launched a business unit in June that focuses on the cryptocurrency and blockchain space.

The bank has seen exciting new developments around crypto, tokenization, and other advances powered by blockchain technology, thus forming the Digital Assets Group.

Citi’s U.K. brokerage platform began offering clients access to ETH (-5.14%) ETNs in the previous crypto bull run in 2017. However, the demand for the products declined, and the bank set offerings aside after bitcoin’s price dropped in 2018.

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FTX Founder Says NFTs are Gaining Widespread Adoption at an Exponential Rate

Founder and CEO of US-based cryptocurrency exchange Sam Bankman-Fried noted that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are gaining adoption at a fast pace, but added that most investors have little knowledge of the NFT market. 

Mainstream Investors have no Understanding of NFTs

In an interview with CNBC’s Street Signs Asia posted on Tuesday (August 24, 2021), Bankman-Fried said that mainstream adoption of NFTs was happening at a rapid rate. According to the FTX founder, it seemed everyone was looking for a way to get into the sector. 

However, the billionaire noted that while people wanted to be part of the NFT market, investors did not understand what they were buying. Bankman-Fried said:

“It’s almost going mainstream faster than the mainstream understands what it is they’re adopting, which is a weird phenomenon.”

The FTX CEO continued, saying that he has spoken to clients who showed interest in NFTs. Buy when these investors were asked what they wanted to do with them afterwards, they had no idea. 

Furthermore, Bankman-Fried said that people have made money from buying and also selling these NFTs, adding “that was the one of That would be one way to get into the game if you can understand what it is that makes them desirable.”

Indeed, NFTs have seen adoption from different sectors, ranging from sports, to music, and entertainment, with company giants also getting into the industry. As reported by BTCManager recently, Global payments giants Visa bought a CryptoPunk NFT for $150,000.

German football league Bundesliga launched an NFT collection, to celebrate the 2021-22 season. Soft drink manufacturing giant Coca-Cola partnered with OpenSea and Dectraland to launch and auction a four-piece collection of NFT collectibles, to celebrate World Friendship Day.

Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried said that there were different types of NFTs, with the most popular types being jpegs. He also noted that the NFT industry is still nascent and undeveloped, adding that there were uncertainties about the direction it would take in the long term.

The FTX CEO buttressed his point, saying:

“It could lead to just incredibly fast and giant adoption. It could also lead, frankly, to sort of a sour taste in people’s mouth if there’s a crash, and no one ever quite figured out what it was.”


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Japan Looking to Tighten Cryptocurrency Regulations

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) of Japan has begun consultations about placing tougher restrictions on cryptocurrencies in an effort to better safeguard Japanese investors. The new rule will be aimed at enhancing investor protection in Japan.

Earlier this year, the FSA created a specialized department and a panel of financial specialists to assist the government in overseeing decentralized and digital financial services. According to Jiji Press, the agency would also be responsible for monitoring advances in cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currency (CBDC) initiatives.

By mid-2022, the financial regulator aims to update and implement the new crypto rules. The FSA expects that the new regulations would offer stability to the crypto sector while preserving the ecosystem’s innovation and development.

Strict Oversight of the Crypto Industry

The FSA amended a similar law in 2019, essentially requiring crypto exchanges in Japan to include additional safeguards for user asset protection. This move was made in response to the attack on Bitpoint, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange that suffered a $32 million loss.

Apart from the recent breach of the Liquid cryptocurrency exchange, the FSA feels that operators in the nation have yet to establish adequate anti-money laundering and price volatility safeguards.

In July, BTCManager reported that Japan’s Ministry of Finance was considering expanding its personnel to enhance its supervision of digital currencies and that a budget proposal will be submitted in August. Furthermore, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) has increased its attempts to establish a digital yen that is viewed as an alternative to cryptocurrencies.

In March, the Apex bank formed a committee of financial agencies and important stakeholders in the banking and finance sectors to provide feedback on the digital yen. All of these actions were designed to guarantee that the Asian nation can keep up with the ever-changing world of cryptocurrency legislation.

Furthermore, the FSA also stated earlier this month that it will implement the FATF’s Travel Rule by 2022, which will force all cryptocurrency service providers to disclose transaction data. The Travel Rule was implemented in 2019 as a preventive step against money laundering and terrorist funding through the use of cryptocurrency.

The Japanese Virtual Currency Exchange Association will support the initiative in order to “establish a necessary system” for correctly implementing that travel regulation.

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Avalanche (AVAX) Onboards Sushi (SUSHI) to Launch Joint DeFi Incentive Program

The Avalanche (AVAX) Rush is showing no signs of slowing down as it partners with SushiSwap for a soon-to-be-launched joint incentive program.

SushiSwap Arrives on Avalanche Network

Community-driven decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol SushiSwap is joining in the Avalanche bandwagon, the smart contract platform announced today.

The Avalanche Foundation today declared it would launch a joint incentive program with a combined allocation of $15 million to incorporate Sushi, one of the largest and most prominent decentralized exchanges (DEX) today with a TVL of more than $5 billion.

The integration of Sushi on Avalanche will not only provide DeFi traders seamless and cost-efficient access to a new suite of products with high yield farming rewards but also enable Avalanche users to tap Sushi’s highly-anticipated upcoming Trident upgrade which offers unparalleled capital efficiency features with near-instant finality.

Notably, both the Avalanche Foundation and Sushi have each allocated as much as $7.5 million of liquidity mining incentives over a 3-month period for the integration. These rewards will be split up equally between AVAX and SUSHI while the exact date of the launch of the program is expected to be declared soon.

In only one year since its launch, SushiSwap has firmly cemented itself as a DeFi blue-chip with its ever-growing TVL and integrations with multiple blockchain networks such as Polygon, Fantom, xDai, and others.

Commenting on the development, Sushi Lead Contributor, 0xMaki, said:

“The Avalanche community is one of the most compelling reasons to align incentives with the Avalanche chain. We are a community-driven platform and admire the community focus in the Avalanche ecosystem and look forward to providing them with a positive DeFi experience.”

Similar sentiments were echoed by Emin Gun Sirer, Director at the Avalanche Foundation. He said:

“Combining Sushi’s community-driven protocol with Avalanche’s high-performance capabilities will enhance the overall experience for DeFi users across the ecosystem.”

AVAX to the Moon

While bitcoin continues to struggle to decisively break through the psychological $50k resistance, AVAX, the native coin of Avalanche has been on an absolute tear for the past few weeks.

As recently reported by BTCManager, Avalanche-based lending platform BENQI hit the $1 billion milestone just a few days after its launch.

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China’s Digital Yuan Used for Payment in Country’s Financial Markets

China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange has successfully used the digital yuan for fees settlement in the nation’s futures market, making it the first real application of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) issued digital currency in the finance sector, according to a report by China Securities News Network on August 23, 2021.

Digital Yuan Facilitates Cost-Efficient Payment 

In a first, China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), which is also known as the digital yuan, DCEP, digital renminbi or e-CNY, has been successfully used for payment by players in the country’s futures market.

Per sources close to the matter, Dalian Commodity Exchange, a non-profit, self-regulating exchange that has been in existence since 1993, used DCEP to pay storage fees to the delivery house named Dalian Llangyan Group Storage and Transportation Co.

Notably, the transaction was jointly facilitated by the Dalian branch of Bank of Communications, as well as the Dalian branch of the Bank of China, with the parties claiming that the digital renminbi offered significant cost-efficiency.

Jiang Bin, manager of Dalian Liangyun Group Storage and Transportation Co., Ltd said:

“Compared to traditional bank remittance payment systems, the digital renminbi payment for storage fees comes with zero handling charges, superfast payment processing, and more.”

DCEP Playing an Important Role 

Chinese authorities have been doing everything within their powers to permanently shut out public cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC) from the country in order to give the digital yuan a chance to flourish and it appears the move is gradually paying off.

A spokesperson for the DCEP project has reiterated that the promotion of the digital yuan in the country is very important for the continuous development of the nation’s technology, economy, and society in general.

While there have been several successful trials of the digital yuan in real-life scenarios in recent months, the payment solution has not been used in the financial markets. With this latest milestone, the team says it firmly believes that in the near future, DCEP will power business innovations and gain significant traction in the financial markets.

According to the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), at least 80 percent of central banks across the globe are working on their CBDC, with a handful of them already in the advanced stages of the project. 

As reported by BTCManager on August 19, 2021, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) has revealed plans to roll out its CBDC in Q2, 2022.

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A Comparison Between Layer-2 And Sidechain Solutions

If you’ve been keeping up with developments in the crypto community over the past few months, you’ve probably already heard the words ‘layer-2’ and ‘sidechains’ being thrown around. 

There’s a reason behind this: as demand for Ethereum has surged over the past few months, some of the cracks in its model have been beginning to show. Transaction speeds have slowed significantly, while gas prices have skyrocketed as a result of increased demand. Layer-2 and sidechain solutions are a way to tackle this problem. 

If these phrases leave you feeling confused, you’re not alone. But given that these solutions are both vital to tackling Ethereum’s scaling problems until its transition to Eth 2.0 is completed, it’s a good idea to have at least a base understanding of what each of these solutions does, and what the main differences between them are. 

First off, here’s a quick run down to help you get to grips with what layer-2 and sidechain solutions actually do:

What is a layer-2 solution?

Before we dive into explaining what a layer-2 solution is, let’s quickly touch on what a layer-1 solution is. 

A layer-2 network is a blockchain. The purpose of a layer-1 solution is to add utility to a native blockchain to increase its performance.

A layer-2 solution is not a blockchain. Rather, it is a third-party protocol that is specially designed to integrate with this underlying layer-1 solution in order to increase transactional throughput. 

To give a concrete example, Bitcoin is a layer-1 network. The Lightning Network, however, is a layer-2 protocol that is designed to improve transaction speeds on the Bitcoin network. 

Immutable X is aiming to tackle Ethereum’s scaling problems by creating the first layer-2 scaling solution for NFTs on Ethereum. It enables its partners to develop marketplaces, apps, games, and more, with massive scalability in the region of 9,000 trades per second, and zero gas fees. 

There’s a reason why the Immutable X team decided to opt for a later-2 solution. Instead of competing with Ethereum, they wanted to use a solution that still uses the well-developed security, ecosystem, connections, and community of Ethereum instead of using a sidechain solution or a separate chain platform. 

What are sidechains?

A side chain is essentially just a blockchain that is linked to another main blockchain. 

Each of these chains has its own set of rules, functionalities, and purposes. Although they remain independent from one another, together they form an entire ecosystem. 

An example of a sidechain is the Liquid Network, which is designed to provide faster and more private transactions to traders and trading platforms. However, because the main chain of the Liquid Network is Bitcoin, only activities involving Bitcoin are possible. 

You might have heard of Ethereum’s version of sidechains, which are known as shard chains. These are attached to the Beacon Chain, and they are set to make it easier to run a node by keeping hardware requirements low. As it stands, this upgrade is set to become the main chain of proof-of-stake (PoS)-based Ethereum.  

So what is the key difference between layer-2 and sidechains?

When it comes to solving the scaling problem of layer-1 protocols, both layer-2 and sidechain solutions are essential.

Despite dramatically boosting transaction capacity, both solutions provide significant security tradeoffs in comparison with normal transactions. Just a couple of weeks ago, hackers breached cross-chain interoperability network, Poly Network, and took a surplus of $600 million in cryptocurrencies. 

The key difference between layer-2 and sidechain solutions lies in the differences in their security mechanisms. While layer-2 generally relies on the security of the main chain, sidechains have their own security properties. 

Both solutions have huge potential for breakthroughs over the next few months, and there is little doubt that their capabilities will continue to expand as time progresses. 

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DPLAY Casino: FUN Token Is Popularizing Decentralized iGaming With Latest Launch

24th August 2021, Douglas, Isle of Man—FUNToken.io has announced the launch of DPLAY.Casino as the first stand-alone casino to accept the FUNToken (FUN) and ONLY the FUNToken. As such, it’s completely anonymous, requiring only an Ethernet wallet that can accept your FUNTokens (you can use Metamask or Changelly if your wallet doesn’t support FUN yet). And you could win a trip to Vegas just for playing.

Adriaan Brink, FUNToken’s CEO says,

“This is just the beginning for FUNToken utilization. Our partners operating DPLAY understand the importance of de-centralizing their games and making them provably fair. Watch this space for further announcements as we move FUNToken off the chain with a new layer two coin.”

From an online casino player’s perspective, DPLAY ticks all of the boxes.

There are four versions of Blackjack, four versions of Baccarat, four versions of Poker-style games, with Hold ‘em Poker the most like playing a real heads up game, and Classic Roulette, with one green zero spot, European style—better odds than the American zero/double zero wheel.

And some local favorites, such as Wheel of Fortune, Andar Bahar and Dragon Tiger.

For slots enthusiasts, prepare for a NEW experience. Your favourite Microgaming or Pragmatic Play games are NOT (yet, at least) on the site, but you’ll find some NEW favourites from the supplier OneTouch. Less well known than Playtech, but their slots games are of surprisingly high quality!

Neon2077 is an early favourite on the site, with a medium volatility and a good RTP of 96.29%. Cyberpunk-ish with a 1024 ways to win and a 4000x max win, easy to see why early adopters are opting for this game.

Wild Wild West 2120 is another futuristic, but steampunk rather than cyber style, that’s caught the eye of players. High volatility with about a 95% RTP and with 30 lines.

Looking for more ways to win? Flexing Dragons has 117,649 ways. This high volatility game with an RTP of 96.05% brings on cave-dwelling dragons for a max win of 10,000x+. That max win is the same as the unusual Loot or Boot game—hit the I button in the game for instructions on how to play across its five levels of difficulty. Looking for a LOW volatility game? Try Steam Vault, Tiki Terror or Golden Stripe.

All the OneTouch game look beautiful on the desktop but they are designed to be mobile-first, unlike most of the game suppliers. You can find out more about them at OneTouch.io.

Live dealers, for roulette and baccarat, are only a “sprint” away, according to DPLAY’s developers. 

Every time you play, you’ll also be entered into a contest for a trip to Vegas. The winner will be drawn mid-September from tickets awarded with every FUNToken used. Full details on the site: DPLAY.Casino.

From a crypto-perspective, DPLAY.casino is the base for building the first properly decentralized casino. Posting-up and leaving your hard-earned tokens will be a thing of the past.

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El Salvador President Bukele Comments Ahead of Bitcoin (BTC) Law Implementation

President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador has reassured residents that the Bitcoin Law implementation scheduled for September 7 will have positive life-changing effects on the masses, contrary to the “lies” being spread by members of the opposition party, according to a Twitter thread on August 23, 2021.

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Integration Push Goes On

At a time when a countless number of central banks across the world are busy pointing their searchlights into central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), El Salvador, a tiny Central American nation whose dwindling economy has been overly reliant on the United States dollar, has chosen an entirely different route and is confident that bitcoin may significantly alleviate its economic woes.

In a Twitter thread posted by President Nayib Bukele on August 23, the country’s number one citizen allayed the opposition party-induced fears of Salvadorans concerning the impending integration of bitcoin into the nation’s economy as a legal tender, making it clear that the digital currency will make life easier for the masses.


“The awkward opposition always plays one-step chess. They have bet everything to scare the population about the #LeyBitcoin and they may accomplish something, but only until September 7. Once in force, people will see the benefits [of bitcoin], they [critics] will be left as liars and they will lose double,” a rough translation of Bukele’s tweet read.

Chivo Bitcoin Wallet Use Not Mandatory

Notably, unlike Venezuela’s petro (PTR) cryptocurrency, whose use in the country was made mandatory by President Maduro, Bukele has made it clear that Salvadorans are not under obligation whatsoever to download or use the Chivo bitcoin wallet.

However, those who opt to use Chivo will be able to accept payments in both bitcoin (BTC) and USD, send or receive remittance payments, and more, in an entirely commission-free manner.

“With this application, you can accept payments in #bitcoin or in dollars, open a small business and run it from there, receive money from family or friends, send and receive remittances without paying a single penny of commission to anyone. If they want, then they don’t download anything and that’s it,” declared Bukele.

The president also noted that the integration of bitcoin will enable the masses to save a massive $400 million in remittance fees annually. 

“Our town pays $400 million a year in commission on remittances. Only that saving will be a huge benefit for our people (or at least for whoever wants it). There is also the advantage of not having to carry cash. Safer and more practical,” he added.

To ensure a smooth and frictionless learning process for those who are interested in using bitcoin, Bukele says there will be 200 ATM machines and 50 centers across the nation where people will be able to learn how to use bitcoin ATMs, make deposits or withdraw funds. 

While Bukele’s bitcoin push appears to be a forward-thinking maneuver, Fitch Ratings says the move could have negative effects on insurance companies in the region. It remains to be seen how the entire scenario will pan out in the long run.

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Swiss Financial Firms Tap Tezos (XTZ) Blockchain to Issue Tokenized Assets

Tezos blockchain is being tapped by three major Swiss crypto-based firms to offer tokenized assets to institutional clients.

Issuing Tokenized Assets on Tezos

Tezos (XTZ), a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm smart contract platform is being used to offer tokenized assets to institutional clients by three crypto-focused companies in Switzerland.

Specifically, Crypto Finance, InCore Bank, and Inacta have allied to developed regulated financial crypto products on Tezos.

Crypto Finance AG, a FINMA-authorized cryptocurrency trading firm, Zurich-based InCore Bank, and crypto-focused IT firm Inacta have teamed up to create regulated financial products via a new tokenization process based on the Tezos FA2 standard, the firms announced today.

Further, InCore Bank also unveiled the launch of its institutional-grade storage, staking, and trading services for XTZ which is the native digital currency of the longest running PoS blockchain, Tezos.

As close followers of the crypto industry might now, Tezos is one of the longest running PoS blockchains in existence today having launched the stake-based consensus algorithm back in 2018.

The Tezos Foundation has close ties to Switzerland, a country considered the global hotbed for crypto projects along the likes of Singapore, Malta, and others.

While Crypto Finance is working as an infrastructure provider on the project, InCore Bank is working toward carrying out tokenization via the new “DAR-1 token standard” on Tezos developed by Inacta.

Crypto Finance Group’s Stijn Vander Straeten says the Swiss regulators are quite close to approving the first Tezos-tokenized product. Straeten told Coindesk:

“We will probably start with more simple ones. So, basically in the private debt area and then, of course, we will move into the private equity area.”

Tezos Ecosystem Growing Steadily

While it might not reflect on XTZ’s price movement, the Tezos ecosystem has been on a tear in terms of ecosystem developments.

Earlier this year in April, BTCManager reported that Societe Generale had announced the issuance of its first structured product as a security token on the Tezos (XTZ) blockchain.

On a recent note, the issuer of the leading US-pegged stablecoin USDC announced it would issue the token on the energy-efficient, PoS-based Tezos blockchain.

At press time, XTZ is trading at $4.23 with a market cap of more than $3.6 billion.

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