Deutsche Bank applied for cryptocurrency license

Deutsche Bank plans to increase fee income through new services and product offerings related to digital assets

Deutsche Bank has applied to the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) for a license to provide digital asset custody services, Bloomberg writes.

“We are growing our digital asset and custody business. We just applied to Bafin for a digital asset license,” David Lynn, Deutsche Bank’s head of corporate banking, said at a conference June 20.

The move is part of the bank’s strategy to boost fee income, Lynn said. It also reflects the efforts of Deutsche Bank’s investment arm, DWS Group. On increasing revenue from cryptocurrency-related products.

Our experts point out that Deutsche Bank can hardly be called a cryptocurrency-friendly bank. However, its customers could buy cryptocurrencies using their bank accounts or cards from appropriately licensed European cryptocurrency companies.

The bank itself did not provide cryptocurrency services due to the lack of legislation. And companies offering crypto services in Germany opened accounts with other organizations (such as Solaris Bank) for their activities.

The cryptocurrency storage service launched by Deutche Bank is the easiest in terms of IT and regulation. This is made possible by the adoption of Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulations. Which opens the door for many financial institutions in the EU to provide crypto services.

Also the Council of Europe announced the adoption of new legal rules for the digital asset industry in the EU MiCA in mid-May. The rules oblige cryptoplatforms, such as exchanges and custodians (asset custodians), to be mandatorily registered in one of the bloc’s member countries.

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Three companies applied for Bitcoin-ETF following BlackRock

WisdomTree, Invesco and Bitwise followed BlackRock’s lead and applied for permission to launch a spot exchange-traded BTC product (ETF)

Three major investment companies applied for Bitcoin-ETF following BlackRock. Following it, WisdomTree, Invesco and Bitwise applied to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for permission to launch a spot exchange-traded product based on the first cryptocurrency.

Asset manager WisdomTree is trying for the third time to get permission to create a spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. On June 20, it applied to launch the new product on the Cboe BZX exchange under the ticker BTCW.

Another company, Invesco, which has $1.4 trillion in assets under management, also reapplied for a Bitcoin-based spot exchange-traded fund.

Bitwise, a cryptocurrency-focused asset management company, has applied for ETF approval from the SEC, taking its cue from BlackRock, according to Blockworks. It had already applied once before, in 2021, but the regulator rejected it in the summer of 2022.

In all, more than 30 attempts have been made by various companies to create a spot exchange-traded fund for Bitcoin. But all applications were rejected by regulators, who cited market problems and a lack of investor protection.

Despite the constant rejections, on June 15, iShares, a division of investment firm BlackRock. And which has about $9 trillion under management, filed paperwork to register the iShares Bitcoin Trust. This was the impetus for other major companies to once again try to launch Bitcoin exchange-traded products.

Our experts note that after WisdomTree, Invesco and Bitwise became known on the evening of June 20. BTC price began to rise.

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Cyber security companies warn of new virus software distribution

A virus software that attacks dozens of crypto-applications, called Mystic Stealer, has spread on the web.

Mystic Stealer is a virus program. It costs $150 per month and targets 21 cryptocurrency applications. As well as 40 browsers, more than 50 cryptocurrency browser extensions and many other services and plugins.

Reports on Mystic Stealer, published almost simultaneously by cybersecurity companies InQuest, Zscaler and Cyfirma, warn of the spread of the new malware and its effectiveness.

The program is rapidly gaining popularity in the cybercriminal community and is increasingly being used in attacks, the experts warned.

Mystic Stealer released version 1.0 in April but had already been updated to version 1.2 by the end of May. The vendor advertised the new software on various hacker forums. While offering it on a subscription basis of $150 per month or $390 per quarter. The project also has a telegram channel where development news, software features and other topics are discussed.

When launched for the first time, Mystic collects information about the operating system and sends data to the attacker’s server. Then it already performs its specific tasks of looking for data stored in browsers (cookies) and applications.

The full list of services that the program hacks is given in the Zscaler and InQuest report. They include Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Opera browsers. As well as browser-based cryptocurrency wallets TronLink, BinanceChain, Coinbase Wallet, MetaMask and many others.

The Cyfirma report states that industry “veterans” have tested the effectiveness of the virus program and confirmed that the program has become a powerful tool for stealing information.

Our experts also note that Mystic’s developer banned the program’s use in CIS countries and added an exception for those regions to its code.

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IMF starts development of global CBDC infrastructure

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is creating a new class of platforms for cross-border and domestic payments in central banks’ digital currencies

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has begun developing an infrastructure for international central bank digital currency settlements (CBDC). A report released by the fund on June 19 said. That the new class of platforms is designed to ensure interoperability. As well as the efficiency and security of cross-border payments.

“Today’s new technologies allow the public sector to update cross-border payments infrastructure, and possibly domestic payments as well. <…> It’s about technology, but also about governance, which sets the “rules of the game”. This was stated by Tobias Adrian, head of the IMF Monetary System Department and one of the authors of the report, speaking at the IMF roundtable in Morocco before the publication of the document.

Trans-border payments are more complicated than domestic ones. Because they involve an exchange of value between parties located in different jurisdictions. And also subject to different laws, Adrian said. According to him, limited infrastructure makes international settlements expensive, slow and non-transparent. And the management of the existing system is “sporadic. And that leads to significant legal and operational costs.

According to the report, the IMF work on a new class of platforms is being done to speed things up. And also to make remittances between countries easier and cheaper. Experts are developing two types of platforms: for international settlements in CBDC and for domestic ones.

Trans-border settlements in tokens representing the reserves of member countries’ central banks will be provided by platforms called XC, according to an IMF report. They “create representations” of existing assets – reserves held by central banks, the authors explain.

Our experts note that another solution – CBDC platforms – is being developed to facilitate domestic payments in digital national currencies, both wholesale and retail. The report’s author emphasizes that such platforms will be supported by a strong regulatory framework.


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Famous crypto detective ZachXBT is being sued and needs support

The head of Binance said that the cryptocurrency exchange will donate $50,000 to support ZachXBT, a famous “detective” in the blockchain community

A famous crypto detective nicknamed ZachXBT collected more than $1 million from subscribers in two days to cover legal expenses. On the evening of June 16, he announced that he had been sued for defamation. And published an address for donations for his legal expenses.

ZachXBT wrote on Twitter that he was being sued by Jeffrey Huang, also known as Machi Big Brother. The plaintiff claims that the crypto detective slandered him in a 2022 article. When the detective claimed that Huang stole 22,000 ETH from the cryptoproject Formosa Financial.

Both contributors are well-known opinion leaders in the English-language cryptocurrency community. ZachXBT has released dozens of investigations into major manipulations by cryptoprojects or Influencers. Who have been seen promoting fraudulent assets. Some of his revelations have formed the basis of law enforcement investigations. And which have led to arrests or fines for proven fraud.

Jeffrey Huang is an NFT Influencer known for multi-million dollar deals to buy images from popular collections. Also according to an investigation from a detective, Huang made a fortune from advertising fraudulent crypto projects. Huang demanded that ZachXBT retract the material and remove it. ZachXBT claimed that “the claim is unfounded and an attempt at censorship, and he intends to fight for freedom of speech.”

ZachXBT compared the case to the story of David and Goliath.

While pointing out that Huang is rich and “uses his capital to silence ZachXBT.” ZachXBT wrote that he himself is not so rich. And asked subscribers to help cover his legal fees, which he said could exceed $1 million.

Also he published an address for donations. On the evening of June 16, it had about $57,000 in cryptocurrency, according to The Block. As of June 19, the amount of cryptocurrency funds sent to the cryptocurrency address over the weekend exceeded $1 million. He began withdrawing them to the Uniswap exchange.

Changpeng Zhao, head of Binance, decided to support ZachXBT and wrote that the cryptocurrency exchange would send him $50,000. Following Zhao in the comments, various cryptoprojects started tagging him, reporting their donations and wishing him good luck. Our experts note that no one should stand aside and should support ZachXBT. As he is doing a very important job that not everyone can do and now at a difficult time the crypto community should give their support.


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Why Stablecoin USDT lost its fixation to USD exchange rate review from Crypto Upvotes experts

Amid negative news for the crypto market, decentralized trading platforms are seeing large sales of the leading “stablecoin” USDT from Tether

The largest by market capitalization, Tether’s USDT stablecoin has come under pressure. The coin, which is nominally pegged to the U.S. dollar, temporarily lost parity with it.

The leading stablecoin fell slightly below $1. This came after the Curve decentralized platform’s 3Pool liquidity pool suffered a major asset imbalance. 3Pool is the third largest trading pool of all existing decentralized exchange (DEX) trading platforms (DeFi). And the largest in terms of the amount of stablecoins in it USDT and DAI. At the time of publication, USDT is at $0.999, according to CoinMarketCap.

Curve and Uniswap are the largest decentralized financial protocols for exchanging and trading cryptoassets. Which operate on the basis of software-based smart contracts without a central intermediary (e.g., an exchange).

A liquidity pool is a smart contract containing locked tokens that have been provided by platform users. And acting as an automated market maker on a decentralized exchange

Against the background of the latest news about tough actions of American regulators in relation to major market players, the panic among market participants is quite understandable.

However, the loss of USDT parity with the dollar is caused more by the actions of specific individuals in the liquidity pools of DeFi-platforms.
Our experts note that this happens not for the first time. And earlier it turned out to be a provocation [of market participants] in order to make quick money on opening the necessary position. And manipulations in DeFi were the starting shot.

As Ardoino wrote in a commentary to The Block, “The market as a whole is very tight right now.” He said recent news is pushing big players to exit the cryptocurrency markets. “Tether is a gateway for liquidity, both inbound and outbound. When interest in cryptocurrencies rises, we see an influx. And when the mood in the cryptocurrency market is negative, we see an outflow. But we can’t rule out a direct attack on Tether, as we saw in 2022,” adds Ardoino.

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Founder of Thodex exchange who stole millions of dollars said he was “set up”

Thodex exchange founder Faruk Fatih Ozer, who fled Turkey to Albania the day before the crypto platform stopped operating in 2021. Now claims to have traveled to meet with investors

The founder of the now defunct Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, Faruk Fatih Ozer. Who is accused of embezzling millions of dollars from customer funds, said at a court hearing on July 13. That he is not guilty of fraud. On the contrary, according to Ozer, “he was set up,” reports the Turkish publication Sabah.

Thodex is a Turkish cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2017. In April 2021, its founder Ozer suddenly left the country. And the platform ceased operations. More than 2,000 Thodex customers sued it, alleging fraud and theft of millions of dollars.

The indictment said total losses due to the exchange’s collapse amounted to 356 million Turkish liras ($24 million). As reported by the Turkish news agency DHA, Ozer fled Turkey with about $2 billion worth of customers’ cryptocurrency.

During the investigation, Turkish law enforcement authorities detained 21 people. Also including Ozer’s brother and sister. Employees of the crypto exchange accused of fraud faced prison terms of up to 40,500 years each.

Ozer himself was detained in Albania in August 2022 and extradited to Turkey.

On June 13, he appeared in court, where he said the media allegations and court charges were unfounded and he had not deceived anyone.

“This situation puts a heavy burden on me. The allegations in the media and the indictment are unfounded. I didn’t deceive anyone, I was set up,” Ozer said.

He also said his sister and brother had been illegally imprisoned. Ozer said he was the only one at Thodex who had the right to make decisions.

The defendant also pointed out that the user agreement spelled out. That he was not liable in the event of any damage. And his platform customers were aware of this.

Ozer said he left Turkey to negotiate with investors because he wanted to sell Thodex after losses of 16 million Turkish liras ($677,000) incurred as a result of the hacks of the exchange.

He said he talked to investors – one in Italy and one in the Balkans. But because he was “hampered by panic requests” from exchange customers to buy and sell cryptoassets. So he decided to temporarily freeze the work of the site and put an article on the site about the maintenance of the service.

Our experts note that as a result of the proceedings, the court ruled to cancel the judicial review measures for seven detainees. As well as to continue the detention of the remaining defendants in custody. And to refer the case to the prosecutor of the Republic of Turkey.

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Coinbase user warned of complicated crypto scam scheme

In the attack on the account of a cryptotrader on Coinbase, scammers used his personal data. And which they could only get through leaked information

Famous cryptotrader Jacob Canfield became a victim of a complex scam scheme. And with the help of which fraudsters tried to gain access to his account on Coinbase. Suspecting a data breach, he warned other exchange users to change their passwords.

Canfield wrote on Twitter that he first received a text message. And which said that his Coinbase two-factor authentication (2FA) had been changed. Shortly thereafter, he received three phone calls purportedly from Coinbase’s customer support line.

The scammers asked Canfield if he had traveled outside the U.S. and if he had requested a 2FA and email change. He replied that he hadn’t. And then he received a text message canceling the change request.

Canfield’s call was then transferred to “Coinbase security” to verify his account. In order to avoid a 48-hour suspension of transactions. The scammers asked him for a verification code. But Canfield refused to provide it. The cryptotrader’s interlocutor warned that the account would then be blocked for seven days. But he ended up getting angry and hanging up.

“They had my name, my email address and my location, and they sent an email with a confirmation code from to my personal email,” Canfield wrote.

He also added that the code the hackers sent was real. And they sent it from their email and logged into Canfield’s account while the conversation was taking place over the phone.

Our experts note that Coinbase responded to the situation and stated that there was no data leak from the exchange. At the same time, crypto detective ZachXBT wrote that other customers of the exchange have been victims of a similar scam before.

“It’s better to reassure yourself and change passwords if you’re a Coinbase customer than regret it later,” Canfield warned users.

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How SEC lawsuits affect Polygon

The U.S. remains a key market for large blockchain services, including Polygon. But strict regulation of their token circulation is forcing them to find new ways to position their assets and developments

MATIC is a Polygon blockchain token developed by the American company Polygon Labs with an investment of more than $450 million and a valuation of $20 billion. The market capitalization of the token, even after a major price drop, exceeds $6 billion. And the asset itself is in the top ten of CoinMarketCap. Polygon solutions are used by major brands, including Adobe, Starbucks, Mastercard, Reddit, etc.

Faced with the growing consequences of sensational lawsuits by U.S. regulators. Now Polygon Labs has unveiled a concept for the Polygon 2.0 network update package. And among which is an emphasis on the “utility and evolution of the native token.” Interestingly, two days before the announcement, the company released a statement on Twitter. In which it openly emphasized its focus on the market outside of the U.S.

“We are proud of the history of the Polygon network – developed outside the US, deployed outside the US, and focused to this day on the global community that supports the network. MATIC was a necessary part of the Polygon technology from Day 1, ensuring that the network would be secure – and remains so to this day,” the company wrote. And while adding that “the market outside the U.S. is the largest in the world.”

In April 2019, when the project was called Matic Network before rebranding to Polygon. At that time, the team held an ICO token sale, raising $5.6 million. Several investment rounds followed. And the main event of which was a closed sale of tokens worth $450 million. American investors participated in the financing of the company. As well as firms such as Galaxy Digital or Seven Seven Six. Polygon says that while they always intended to “make MATIC accessible to a wide range of individuals,” the fundraising “has never been aimed at the United States.”

Polygon 2.0

The announcement of the new network from Polygon Labs also emphasizes. That the initiative belongs to the global community of token holders and developers interested in the development of the project. “Only the community that controls the Polygon protocol has the right to adopt and implement Polygon 2.0 solutions,” the publication states. However, our experts note that Polygon Labs, as the main developer of the protocol, obviously has significant influence over the project. And so the ability of the “community” to manage the development of the network is somehow limited.

According to SEC head Gary Gensler, decentralized finance (DeFi) projects are often not technically very decentralized. And their developers make profits in the same way that traditional businesses do. At some point there is always management or developers present. And sometimes there are investors who can be held accountable on behalf of the project.

“The core development teams of Uniswap, Open Sea, Alchemy and many other major Web3 projects are still based in the United States.” Antonio Giuliano, co-founder of decentralized cryptocurrency exchange dYdX, wrote this. His service runs on smart contracts, which does not involve a centralized intermediary. But behind its development and support is an American company, dYdX Trading, which employs about 50 people.

According to Giuliano, the U.S. has a very proper approach to technology. And all that regulators need to do in the matter of regulating the Web3 sphere is to “at least regard it prudently.”

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Lazarus Group stole Atomic Wallet funds ?!

Analysts believe the hackers are affiliated with the Lazarus Group of North Korea

Atomic Wallet hackers transfer stolen funds through the Garantex cryptocurrency exchange. Experts from Elliptic, a cybersecurity company, also discovered this. Several exchanges have frozen addresses related to the incident. But the stolen assets were routed to a platform listed last year by the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on its sanctions lists.

Earlier, Elliptic reported that the Atomic Wallet hacker used cryptomixer to launder stolen funds. Analysts stressed that this service is popular with Lazarus Group hackers from North Korea. And based on that, they believe the incident is related to the DPRK.

Also Elliptic has now clarified that the stolen assets were first exchanged through an intranet tool from the 1inch project. And then they were transferred to the Garantex exchange, where they were then exchanged for Bitcoins and redirected to cryptomixer Sinbad.

Elliptic noted that thanks to the company’s proactive actions, many crypto platforms blocked addresses. Which are related to Atomic hacking. “Lazarus has now turned to OFAC-sanctioned exchange Garantex to exchange their assets for BTC,” the analysts said in a statement.

Our experts note that OFAC sanctioned Garantex in April 2022 at the same time as the darknet marketplace Hydra. OFAC said the exchange was “deliberately ignoring its obligations” to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

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