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Cryptocurrency roundup for March 16: Jim Cramer doubts Bitcoin's use case after bank bailouts, Bitcoin's moment to shine and more

A daily round-up of the most interesting articles on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether to help jump-start the day.

March 16, 2023 / 08:48 AM IST

[content][quote]Big Story[/quote][title]DOJ Jim Cramer suggests Bitcoin is being manipulated up[/title][body]Jim Cramer has expressed doubts about Bitcoin's recent price surge, suggesting that the cryptocurrency is being "manipulated up". Despite a 10.34 percent increase in the last 24 hours, Cramer argued that there is no clear use case for Bitcoin. Cramer's remarks followed the bailout of two major US lenders, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature. When asked if the stress on the banking system and the Federal Reserve strengthened Bitcoin's investment case, Cramer replied, "No". He added that Bitcoin is a "strange animal" and "I think it's being manipulated up". Cramer's previous support for Silicon Valley Bank was noteworthy, as he had encouraged viewers of his show "Mad Money" to invest in the now-defunct bank. Details here.[/body][/content]

[content][quote]Digital Wallet[/quote][title]Morgan Stanley Notes Bitcoin's Design as a Digital Wallet Amid Growing Concerns About Traditional Banks[/title][body]Morgan Stanley has noted that the recent closures of traditional banks in the US create a perfect opportunity for Bitcoin (BTC) to shine as holders of the largest cryptocurrency in private wallets would be protected from counterparty risk.
> In a research report published on Monday, the investment bank stated that Bitcoin was designed as a way for people to hold value in a private digital wallet without intermediaries.
> "Crypto prices rose quickly in 2020/21 due to central bank monetary expansion, causing capital to move from the traditional fiat banking world to the crypto world," analysts Sheena Shah and Kinji C Steimetz wrote.
> However, the report further noted that Bitcoin's price and purchasing power continues to be influenced by central bank policy and need banks to facilitate flows into the cryptocurrency market. Continue here.[/body][/content]

[content][quote]Stablecoin[/quote][title]CNHC Stablecoin Takes on Tether with $10 Million Funding Round[/title][body]CNHC Group, the creator of the CNHC stablecoin that is linked 1:1 to the offshore Chinese yuan, has successfully raised $10 million in a Series A+ equity funding round.
> Leading the investment was KuCoin Ventures, a cryptocurrency investment firm, alongside Circle Ventures and IDG Capital.
> According to Joy Cham, co-founder of CNHC, the stablecoin firm had been raising funds since last March, closing the round in August.
> Launched in 2021, the CNHC stablecoin has a total supply of around 15 million tokens, currently worth roughly $2 million, and is used for money transfers and cross-border trade settlements.
> Cham revealed that CNHC's aim is to increase the adoption of its stablecoin, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. More here.[/body][/content]

[content][quote]Euler Finance[/quote][title]Euler Finance Offers $1 Million Reward for Information on Hackers Behind $200 Million Attack[/title][body]Euler Finance, a decentralized lending protocol, has announced a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest of the individuals behind the recent exploit that resulted in the loss of nearly $200 million.
> In a message sent via on-chain messages from Euler's deployer contracts, the developers stated that the reward would be offered if 90% of the funds were not returned within 24 hours.
> The protocol suffered an attack on Monday, which resulted in the loss of funds in dai (DAI), wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), staked ether (sETH), and USDC over four transactions.
> The attacker used a flash loan to temporarily trick the protocol into assuming it held varying amounts of eToken and dToken. Full report here.[/body][/content]

[content][quote]Europol[/quote][title]Europol Takes Down Infamous Crypto Tumbler and seizes $46M[/title][body]Europol, in cooperation with German and US authorities, has shut down ChipMixer, a well-known cryptocurrency mixer in the cybercriminal underworld.
> The move was supported by Belgium, Poland, and Switzerland.
> The unlicensed cryptocurrency mixer, which specialiszed in cutting trails related to virtual currency assets, has been accused of being involved in money laundering activities.
> According to Europol, ChipMixer's software would block the blockchain trail of the funds, making it an attractive platform for cybercriminals to launder illegal proceeds from criminal activities such as drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, ransomware attacks, and payment card fraud.
> After depositing funds, they would be turned into small tokens called "chips," which were then mixed together to anonymize all trails to where the initial funds originated. More here.[/body][/content]

[content][quote]FTX.US President[/quote][title]Former FTX.US President Predicts New Banks Will Compete for Crypto Business[/title][body]New banks are expected to compete for business from cryptocurrency companies in the wake of the demise of Silvergate and Signature bank, according to former FTX.US president Brett Harrison.
> In an episode of The Scoop podcast with The Block, Harrison noted that "previously those banks couldn't really compete with the top two or three — Silvergate and Signature being among them — because they had such a large percentage of the market share."
> Following the departure of Silvergate and Signature bank, crypto companies have been scrambling to find new banking partners.
> Institutions like Mercury, Brex, and Customers Bank have emerged as alternatives, while others have looked to non-U.S.-based players like Sygnum and Seba Bank. Continue here.[/body][/content]

[content][quote]Financial innovation[/quote][title]UAE and India's central bank sign MoU to promote financial innovation[/title][body]India and UAE have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on developing digital currencies.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) signed the MoU in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
The MoU focuses on exploring various emerging areas of financial technology (FinTech), with a particular emphasis on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).
The two central banks will collaborate to enable innovation in financial products and services, and they will explore interoperability between the CBDCs of CBUAE and RBI, a statement released by India's central bank stated.
They will also jointly conduct proof-of-concept (PoC) and pilot(s) of bilateral CBDC bridge to facilitate cross-border CBDC transactions of remittances and trade. Details here.[/body][/content]

[content][quote]New UK Tax Law[/quote][title]New UK Tax Law Requires Reporting of Crypto Assets on Tax Forms[/title][body]According to a recent announcement made by Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt, taxpayers in the United Kingdom will be required to report their cryptocurrency holdings on their tax returns.
> This new requirement is expected to generate an additional 10 million British pounds (US$12 million) in tax revenue each year.
> The change will take effect in the tax year ending in April 2025, and the U.K. Treasury confirmed that "amounts in respect of crypto assets" will need to be identified separately on self-assessment tax return forms.
> The new requirement will apply to forms for capital gains tax, which is paid when investments are sold for a profit. Full report here.[/body][/content]

[content][quote]Regulatory Strategies[/quote][title]Lazy and Disruptive Regulatory Strategies: Are Crypto Firms Being Purged from the US Financial System?[/title][body]Criticizing the regulatory strategy employed by the US federal financial regulators, Congressman Tom Emmer on Wednesday raised concerns that the regulators have used their authorities to eliminate legal digital asset entities and opportunities in the country.
> In a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Martin Gruenberg, the Congressman cited reports of regulators having weaponised their powers, leading to the closure of digital asset and tech-centred banks such as Silvergate, Signature Bank, and Silicon Valley Bank.
> He further pointed out that industry players, including former House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, had also voiced concerns over the targeted nature of these regulatory efforts.[/body][/content]

[content][quote]Bitcoin[/quote][title]Bitcoin Slides Below $24.5k Amidst European Banking Concerns, Ether and HNT Also Face Declines[/title][body]> Bitcoin faced a setback, dropping below $24,500 as investors assessed the potential risk of a banking crisis in Europe, which has been sparked by the ongoing issues at Credit Suisse.
> The leading cryptocurrency initially fell to $23,946, before making a slight recovery and currently trading at $24,502, showing little change over the past 24 hours.
> However, this is still significantly below its previous day's high of over $26,000, which was reached following the release of positive consumer price index (CPI) inflation data for February.
> Meanwhile, Ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency, experienced a 2.4 percent dip on Wednesday afternoon, trading at around $1,656, down from the previous day.
> The native token of the decentralised wireless communication network Helium, HNT, also faced a significant 13 percent drop to trade at nearly $2 on Wednesday. T
> This occurred after Binance.US announced that it would remove the cryptocurrency from its platform on March 21, causing a bearish sentiment among traders.[/body][/content]

Murtuza Merchant is a senior journalist and an avid follower of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
first published: Mar 16, 2023 08:48 am