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Cryptocurrency Roundup for January 20: Gemini's Earn program halt raises concerns over crypto asset safety… – Moneycontrol

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Last Updated : January 20, 2023 / 11:05 AM IST
Cryptocurrency Roundup for January 20: Gemini’s Earn program halt raises concerns over crypto asset safety and more
A daily round-up of the most interesting articles on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether to help jump-start the day

Big Story
Gemini Earn Program Halt Raises Concerns Among Crypto Traders, Despite Insistence from Winklevoss Brothers
Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, has announced that it is halting customer withdrawals from its $900 million Earn program. The exchange has stated that this move does not impact any other Gemini products or services, but some analysts are interpreting it as a sign that traders are becoming more cautious about sending their assets to the main platform. Blockchain data reveals that there has been a recent slowdown in the number of incoming Bitcoin transfers to Gemini from accounts at other exchanges. This has led some analysts to believe that the halt in customer withdrawals on the Earn program may have led to increased concerns among traders regarding the safety and security of their assets on the platform. Read More 
Blockchain
New Hampshire Aims to Become a Leader in Blockchain Technology with New Recommendations and Legal Frameworks
Governor Chris Sununu, a Republican, praised the report, saying it is “comprehensive and timely.” He added that the report’s proposals would establish New Hampshire as a leading jurisdiction for the development of sound and effective applications of blockchain technologies. The report states that blockchain technology could have a significant impact on the state’s economy and that New Hampshire should take advantage of this opportunity. The report recommends that the state create a regulatory environment that encourages innovation and the development of blockchain-based businesses. More here.
FTX Case
New FTX CEO John J. Ray III Sets Up Task Force to Investigate Reviving Crypto Exchange Platform
FTX, a crypto exchange that went bankrupt, has a new CEO, John J. Ray III, who is considering the possibility of reviving the company. He is currently working on returning money to FTX’s customers and creditors. In his first interview since becoming the CEO, Mr. Ray mentioned that he has formed a team to investigate the possibility of bringing back the main international exchange of the company, FTX.com. Despite the accusations of criminal misconduct against the top executives of FTX, some customers have expressed their satisfaction with the platform’s technology and believe that it would be beneficial to reboot the platform. More here.
Newsmakers
Moonstone Bank Rebrands as Farmington State Bank, Shifts Focus Away from Cryptocurrency
Farmington State Bank, known as Moonstone Bank, has announced that it is returning to its traditional role as a community lender and will no longer be involved in the cryptocurrency industry. The bank, which is based in the small town of Farmington in Washington, is dropping the Moonstone Bank brand and will be doing business as Farmington State Bank again. This decision was made after the collapse of the crypto exchange FTX when it was revealed that the sister company of FTX, Alameda Research, had purchased an $11.5 million stake in Farmington State Bank last year. This raised eyebrows as it was a large amount, considering that Farmington State Bank had only around $10 million in assets over the past decade. The bank is owned through a holding company by French banking executive Jean Chalopin, who is also the chairman of Deltec Bank & Trust based in the Bahamas. The parent company of Deltec Bank & Trust, Deltec International Group, reportedly received a $50 million loan from FTX. Full story here.
FTX Bankruptcy
Objections Raised over Law Firm’s Involvement in FTX Bankruptcy Proceedings
A bankruptcy court judge will hear arguments on Friday about whether the law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, which used to be headed by Sam Bankman-Fried, was too closely associated with FTX, the crypto exchange owned by Bankman-Fried before it went bankrupt. The U.S. Trustee overseeing the FTX bankruptcy proceedings filed an objection to Sullivan & Cromwell, along with two other firms, serving as counsel to the FTX debtors. Additionally, a group of U.S. senators and a pair of FTX customers who have money stuck on the frozen exchange have also raised objections to the law firm’s role in the proceedings. The judge will now decide whether the firm can investigate FTX, the crypto empire of the disgraced former billionaire, Bankman-Fried. Read here.
Fine on Crypto Product
Nexo Pays $45M Fine for Unregistered Sale of Crypto Interest Product
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged crypto lending platform Nexo for failing to register the offer and sale of its Earn Interest Product (EIP). Nexo has agreed to pay a $22.5 million fine to the SEC and another $22.5 million to settle similar charges by state regulators. The SEC acknowledged Nexo’s voluntary decision in December 2022 to halt access to its EIP in eight states and stop signing up any new U.S. customers. Additionally, prior to this decision, Nexo had also off-boarded clients in two other states. Nexo is also facing regulatory issues in other countries, with reports last week of Bulgarian authorities investigating the company on suspicion of money laundering, tax offenses, banking without a license, and computer fraud. More here 
Market Buzz
Bitcoin and Ethereum Soar: BTC and ETH Rise Over 1% in 24 hours, Up 13% and 7% in a Week
 Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest cryptocurrencies by market value, have been trading at $21,100 and $1,550 respectively. Bitcoin has seen an upmove of 1.5% over the past 24 hours, after recovering from a dip the previous day. Ethereum also was trading up 0.6%. Both cryptocurrencies have seen an increase of 13% and 7% over the past seven days. 
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