Last week marked the end of August and introduced September to stakeholders of the crypto finance industry. September promises to be a month of enormous change for the entire space.
Ethereum will finally be making a transition to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network after September 20 while Cardano’s Vasil Hard Fork which will improve its scalability has also been scheduled for this month.
Within the week, the Bank of Korea called for institutions to be involved in the issuance of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), and Meta, the company behind Facebook announced holders of NFTs can post their digital collectibles on the platform.
Qatar Central Bank issued its first license for digital payment services.
Ahead of Ethereum’s Merge, ETH mining revenue for August increased significantly, and so did BTC’s profitability. In the course of the week, crypto mining firm Ethermine also launched a new ETH staking service while Sygnum, a crypto bank announced the launch of a Decentraland Metaverse Hub.
Bank of Korea Called for Institutional Issuance of Crypto Issuance of ICOs
On Monday, Aug. 29, the Central Bank of Korea signaled a change in its position regarding the domestic issuance of new digital assets via Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), according to a news report by local news outlet Infomax.
Initial Coin Offering which is popularly termed ICO constitutes an unregulated means by which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture. The Bank of Korea’s new stance is a complete turnaround after its earlier decision led to the banning of the initiative in September 2017.
“When the Framework Act on Digital Assets is enacted in the future, it is necessary to institutionally allow domestic crypto-asset ICOs. It is possible to operate a system that approves transactions through the domestic listing of crypto-assets issued overseas so that relevant industry development and users and investors can be developed. The effect of making it possible to prepare a protective device is also expected,” said the Bank of Korea.
The Central Bank further added that “a balanced approach is needed to foster a sound market through the introduction of a crypto asset regulatory system to promote blockchain and crypto asset innovation while not hindering the development of related industries due to excessive regulation.”
Overall, the Bank of Korea further emphasized the need for monetary authorities to play an instrumental role in the management of stablecoins since it has a huge chance of being adopted by mainstream institutions.
Meta Enabled NFT Holders to Post Their Digital Collectibles On Facebook
On Monday, Aug. 29, Meta announced via a tweet that holders of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) can now post their collections on Facebook and Instagram, connect their digital wallets to either app and start sharing their NFTs.
“As we continue rolling out digital collectibles on Facebook and Instagram, we have started giving people the ability to post digital collectibles that they own across both Facebook and Instagram. This will enable people to connect their digital wallets once to either app in order to share their digital collectibles across both,” Meta added in an updated blog post on the same day.
The non-fungible token market has been on the rise since the decentralized finance market reached new milestones in 2021.
Despite a decline in the demand for digital collections, the NFT global market sales for August were approximately $726 million, and reached a 2022 high of $4.6 billion in January, according to data from CryptoSlam.
Cybercriminals Increasingly Exploit Vulnerabilities in Decentralized Finance (DeFi), FBI Says
Within the week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned investors that cybercriminals are increasingly exploiting vulnerabilities in decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms to steal cryptocurrency, causing investors to lose money.
Cybercriminals stole $1.3 billion in cryptocurrencies, 97% of which was stolen from decentralized protocols and applications (dApps), according to data from Chainalysis.
The FBI believes third-parties use methods such as initiating flash loans, exploiting a signature verification vulnerability, and manipulating cryptocurrency price pairs to steal money from unsuspecting victims who continue to pour liquidity into dApps.
To help limit the number of cases involving crypto hacks and scams, the FBI recommended that users of decentralized applications embark on thorough research of DeFi platforms, and ensure the platform has conducted one or more code audits performed by independent auditors. Moreover, the agency urged investors to be alert to investment pools that promise huge returns in a short period.
Qatar Central Bank Issues First License for Digital Payment Services
On Tuesday, August 30, Qatar Central Bank announced via a tweet by its verified account that it has issued the first license in the country for Ooredoo Money and iPay by Vodafone Qatar to practice the activity of providing digital payment services, as an initial step to include all companies providing digital payment services under the supervision of the Qatar Central Bank to contribute to the development of the financial technology sector and enhance financial inclusion.
This falls in line with the country’s quest to become one of the main crypto hubs in the Arab region.
Ethermine Opens New ETH Staking Service
Ethermine, a crypto firm that hosts a range of high-performance mining pools with servers across the globe announced via a tweet on Tuesday, Aug. 30 that it is launching a new staking service.
“We are proud to announce Ethermine Staking! Ethermine Staking is an investment based on ETH_STORE, an objective and transparent reference rate based on Ethereum Proof-of-Stake,” according to the tweet.
Interested parties can invest as little as 0.1 ETH.
As of Sunday, September 4, Ethermine Staking had an invested balance of $687,249.99 from an investment of 433 ETH.
Ethermine decided to venture into staking due to the upcoming Merge which will make Ether a Proof-of-Stake coin instead of a Proof-of-Work (POW) digital asset that relied on the high-energy intensive process of mining. Once the merge is completed, mining rewards will be scrapped for staking interests.
Sygnum Bank Became the First Swiss Bank to Open a Metaverse Hub
Sygnum Bank announced in the first week of September that it has launched a Metaverse hub in the virtual equivalent of Times Square in New York.
It features several elements of the NFT space such as a CryptoPunks receptionist, an interactive NFT gallery, and an event space. The Bank made it known that the official public launch and livestream event will take place in Decentraland on September 27. The hub will showcase the bank’s Web3 product innovations.
Other Significant News of Interest
Ethereum miners’ revenue increased by 21% while Bitcoin mining revenue also soared by 10%. For Ether miners, this was the last full month of enjoying mining rewards. With that said, many ETH miners have considered moving to Ethereum Classic (ETC) since it remains a POW chain while others have taken a keen interest in Ethereum Proof-of-Work (EthPOW), a new asset created due to the Merge.