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Weekly Crypto Wrap: 2nd May 2024

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Rachael Lucas
Weekly Crypto Wrap: 2nd May 2024

TLDR

  • ASX set to list first spot Bitcoin ETFs by 2024, with issuers including VanEck and Betashares.
  • Ticker News ‘Crypto Corner’: Unveiling the Bitcoin Halving.
  • AUD card deposits are now available at BTC Markets.
  • Bitcoin seeks new price drivers as ETF demand slows, market waits for macro clarity.
  • Asia's first spot Bitcoin & Ethereum ETFs debut in Hong Kong, opening doors for retail.
  • The US Fed maintains the federal funds rate amidst persistent inflationary pressures.

BTC Markets announcements

ICYMI: BTC Markets named as a finalist in the 2024 Finnies for ‘Excellence in Crypto.’

BTC Markets has made the final cut for the 2024 Finnies for Excellence in Crypto and Digital Currencies/Wallets/Exchanges. The Finnies, Australia's premier annual fintech awards, honours achievements across the fintech industry and its supporting services.

In 2022, our CEO Caroline Bowler was honoured with the Fintech Female Leader of the Year award, further highlighting our commitment to excellence in the crypto sector. Congratulations to the entire team at BTC Markets for their dedication and hard work in making it to the finals and good luck to all the nominees.

Ticker News ‘Crypto Corner’: Exploring Web3, virtual reality artistry and NFT innovation with Giant Swan.

In the latest episode of Crypto Corner, BTC Markets CEO, Caroline Bowler catches up with sculptor and digital artist, Giant Swan, to learn about his journey into the world of virtual reality artistry and NFT innovation. Watch the full episode here.

Unveiling the Bitcoin Halving with BTC Markets’ Head of Finance, Charlie Sherry.

In episode 5, Caroline sat down with Charlie Sherry, Head of Finance at BTC Markets, for an in-depth exploration of the Bitcoin Halving and its implications for the broader crypto market.

Drawing from Charlie's insightful blog post, they discuss the mechanics of the halving, its historical significance, and the potential opportunities it presents for Bitcoin investors. With a focus on understanding the impact of reduced issuance on scarcity and market sentiment, they navigate through previous halving cycles to glean insights into what the future may hold for Bitcoin post-halving in 2024.

Tune in to our YouTube channel or Ticker News to watch the latest episode.

Money 20/20 Asia, Bangkok event wrap

Last week, BTC Markets' CEO Caroline Bowler participated in Money 20/20 Asia in Bangkok, joining esteemed figures in the global finance industry.

During a thought-provoking panel titled ‘When the Earth and Moon Collide: Risk Lessons from DeFi’, moderated by René Michau of Standard Chartered, Bowler, alongside industry experts Christine To and Dina Mainville, offered valuable insights into the risks associated with decentralized finance (DeFi), emphasising the need for robust risk management frameworks.

She also participated in another panel discussion, ‘Web 3: The Pros and Cons of Tokenisation’, with David Packham of Chaintai Network Services, moderated by Khai Lin Sng of Alta Alternative Investments.

This continued participation highlights BTC Markets' commitment to understanding and navigating the opportunities and challenges presented by emerging technologies, reinforcing our position as a leader in responsible innovation within the finance sector.

CEO’s corner: Christine To from Parity

Check out Caroline's one-on-one with Christine To as they discuss how she got into the industry, including her background and what sparked her interest in cryptocurrencies.

Watch the video here.

AUD card deposits are available at BTC Markets.

Did you know that you can now deposit AUD directly into your BTC Markets account using your Australian issued Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card?

This deposit method makes it even easier and faster to fund your account, all without leaving the exchange. Simply log in to your BTC Markets account and enter your card details. Your funds will be available in your account instantly, ready for you to start trading.

Here are some of the benefits of using AUD card deposits:

  • Fast and convenient: Deposit funds instantly without having to leave the exchange.
  • Flexible: Use your Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card.
  • Secure: We use industry-leading security measures to protect your card information.

In addition to card deposits, we also offer a variety of other deposit methods, including:

  • Osko (PayID).
  • Direct deposit.

We are committed to providing you with a convenient trading experience and adding AUD card deposits will make it even easier for Australians to access digital assets.

To learn more about AUD card deposits, please visit our Help Centre.

BTC Markets in the news

Daily Mail: Why a crypto expert says you should buy Bitcoin now - and why it could end the need for cash when you travel.

BTC Markets chief executive Caroline Bowler said this platform could one day be expanded so international travellers can pay for goods via Bitcoin or Ethereum, saving the need to go to a currency exchange every time they visit a different country or incur hefty fees at a foreign ATM.

'If it's possible for those countries to do it, it's very, very possible for Australia to do it,' she told Daily Mail Australia.

Read the full article here.

MSN.com:Crypto whales transfer $1.3 billion to Coinbase, signalling potential market shift.

Despite the positive outlook on Bitcoin’s price, the halving raises concerns about its sustainability for miners. The reduction in block rewards means miners earn less unless Bitcoin's price compensates for these lower rewards. A report by Cantor Fitzgerald highlighted that Bitcoin prices would need to remain above $40,000 for most publicly traded Bitcoin mining companies to remain viable.

However, some industry leaders see opportunities amidst these challenges. Alternative revenue sources, such as transaction fees from new protocols and layer-2 networks, are becoming increasingly significant for miners. Caroline Bowler, CEO of BTC Markets, described concerns around mining costs and energy efficiency as "hyperbole," suggesting confidence in the sector's ongoing adaptability and innovation.

Read the full article here.

The Block: US spot Bitcoin ETFs see daily net outflow of $120 million.

“Days with zero inflows are typical and not indicative of product failure,” Rachael Lucas, crypto analyst at BTC Markets, told The Block. “It also coincides with market performance and geopolitical tensions, highlighting complexities beyond ETF flows.”

Read the full article here.

State of crypto

  • Crypto market struggles for fifth consecutive week as Bitcoin falters below US$60,000.
  • ASX set to list first spot Bitcoin ETFs by 2024, with issuers including VanEck and Betashares.
  • Binance founder CZ sentenced to four months in U.S. prison for money laundering violations.
  • Bitcoin seeks new price drivers as ETF demand slows, market waits for macro clarity.
  • Asia's first spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs debut in Hong Kong, opening doors for retail investors.

Crypto market struggles for fifth consecutive week as Bitcoin falters below US$60,000.

The cryptocurrency market is grappling with its fifth consecutive week in the red as Bitcoin continues to struggle below the crucial US$60,000 mark. Despite enjoying significant gains nearing 75% for the year 2024, Bitcoin's prolonged downturn suggests healthy correction, a normal phenomenon in the crypto sector.

Corrections of 30% or more are common in crypto due to factors like high volatility and fluctuating market sentiment, often influenced by external events. The close correlation between crypto and traditional stock markets, such as the S&P and NASDAQ, further accentuates the market's sensitivity to broader economic trends. With the total crypto market cap currently standing at US$2.13 trillion compared to the S&P's US$42 trillion, the influence of global markets on cryptocurrencies, cannot be understated.

In the past month, major cryptocurrencies like XRP, Solana, and Dogecoin witnessed a collective decrease in open interest by 51%, indicating reduced trader interest amidst wider-market instability. Uncertainties stemming from events like the Bitcoin Halving have led to a hesitancy among traders, resulting in a capital shift towards Bitcoin and boosting its dominance in the market.

The recent drop in Bitcoin's price to US$56,552, alongside Ethereum's decline to US$2,817, followed signs of prolonged high interest rates by the Federal Reserve and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. These factors deter investors from risk-on assets like cryptocurrencies, leading to over US$300 million in crypto liquidations within 24 hours.

Crypto analyst Ali Martinez highlights the importance of the US$59,800 price level for Bitcoin's future trajectory. Historically, Bitcoin tends to bounce back during uptrends when dropping to this level, potentially leading to significant price increases. Martinez also underscores the significance of the US$61,900 support level, suggesting that Bitcoin could rise to US$71,000 if it holds above this threshold.

Bitcoin experienced its first monthly loss since August 2023, ending its seven-month winning streak. Despite this retracement, market analysts predict a continued rise in Bitcoin's dominance over the next few months, reaching a three-year high of 57% in April 2024. Factors such as the U.S. Treasury's quarterly refunding announcement and higher bond supply may further influence Bitcoin's performance, favoring it over alternative coins in the intermediate term.

ASX set to list first spot Bitcoin ETFs by 2024, with issuers including VanEck and Betashares.

Australia's ASX stock exchange is anticipated to list its inaugural batch of approved spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the close of 2024. Key issuers such as VanEck, BetaShares, and DigitalX have already filed applications for these ETFs earlier this year.

ASX, which manages approximately 80% of local trades, holds a domestic market capitalisation of $2.7 trillion as of March. The exchange is actively engaging with issuers interested in admitting crypto asset-based ETFs. Australian investors have been trading spot Bitcoin ETFs since 2022, with the Global X 21Shares Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs currently available on CBOE Australia.

In the U.S., spot Bitcoin ETFs have amassed significant assets since their introduction in January, while Hong Kong is set to list its first spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs at the end of April.

Binance founder CZ sentenced to four months in U.S. prison for money laundering violations.

Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, faces a significant setback as its founder, Changpeng Zhao, receives a four-month prison sentence in the United States. This ruling stems from allegations that Binance facilitated money laundering activities on its platform.

Zhao's resignation from Binance in November and subsequent admission of guilt to violating US money laundering laws have underscored the severity of the situation. The company itself has been ordered to pay a hefty US$4.3 billion following a US investigation that uncovered its role in aiding users in evading sanctions.

As one of the most prominent figures in the crypto sphere, Zhao's case serves as a cautionary tale for industry leaders and underscores the importance of robust compliance measures in fostering legitimacy and trust within the ecosystem.

Bitcoin seeks new price drivers as ETF demand slows, market waits for macro clarity.

The completion of the halving event and a stall in ETF demand have left Bitcoin in search of new price drivers. While historical trends suggest that Bitcoin's price could peak 12 to 18 months after each halving, this year's record price before the halving challenges past patterns.

Recent price declines are viewed as typical corrections after seven consecutive months of gains. Analysts attribute the price drop to profit-taking by investors who entered the market during previous downturns. ETF outflows, particularly from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, raise questions about whether demand has peaked or if investors are cautious due to Bitcoin's prolonged rally.

The macroeconomic outlook, particularly signals from the Federal Reserve on rate cuts and easing, will likely influence Bitcoin's price movement. A less uncertain macroeconomic environment could lead to a positive price movement for Bitcoin.

Additionally, renewed demand for Bitcoin's network utility and increased involvement from traditional finance players suggest a bullish outlook for the cryptocurrency. Overall, there's optimism for Bitcoin's performance in 2024, with the possibility of reaching another all-time high by year-end.

Asia's first spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs debut in Hong Kong, opening doors for retail investors.

Hong Kong has introduced six spot Bitcoin and ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs), making it the first in Asia to offer retail investors cryptocurrency trading at spot prices. The ETFs were issued by three Chinese firms and approved by Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission.

While the ETFs initially saw gains in early trading, their performance fluctuated later. The move is seen as positioning Hong Kong ahead of other potential regulated hubs for digital assets like Singapore and Dubai. Despite regulatory approval, the demand for such products in the region remains uncertain, with expectations of slow initial growth but potential for increased demand over time.

Spot Bitcoin ETF Total Net Flows

Source: TheBlock.co

The weekly crypto close on Tradingview*

ETH increases as other major cryptos record minor losses.

While Ethereum (ETH) climbs by 3.65%, other assets see modest declines.

Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), and Bitcoin (BTC) experience slight drops of 0.23%, 2.80%, and 2.92% respectively.

In contrast, Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), Chainlink (LINK), and Avalanche (AVAX) face losses of 7.30%, 8.00%, 8.54%, and 8.59% respectively.

Overall, the total crypto market capitalisation declined by 1.52%, ending the week at US$2.284 trillion.

Weekly crypto close

*The weekly trading stats as of Monday, April 29th at 10:00 am AEST, based on data from Tradingview in USD.

Year-to-date in the crypto space from TradingView*

The year-to-date performance summary for selected cryptocurrencies is as follows:

  • Bitcoin (BTC) leads with an impressive gain of 37.96%.
  • Solana (SOL) follows closely behind with a solid increase of 32.18%.
  • Ethereum (ETH) shows a resilient performance with a gain of 30.11%.
  • Litecoin (LTC) holding onto a gain of 9.97%, indicating renewed investor interest.
Year to date

*Year-to-date performance as of Thursday, May 2nd at 10:00 am AEST approximately. Based on data from Tradingview in USD.

Crypto Fear& Greed Index

Fear & Greed Index

Source: alternative.me

The week ahead: economic events

May 2nd: Japan Consumer Confidence. Canada Balance of Trade.

May 3rd: United States Non-Farm Payrolls and Unemployment Rate.

May 4th: United States ISM Services PMI.

May 7th: Australia Interest Rate. Germany Balance of Trade.

May 8th: Canada Ivey Purchasing Managers Index.

Source: Economic Calendar

Market reflections

Overview

The Australian economy saw fluctuations in housing credit and a slight setback in retail sales, alongside a moderation in private sector credit and a rise in loan values. The U.S. manufacturing sector contracted in April, with the Federal Reserve maintaining rates amidst inflationary pressures. China's manufacturing sector showed mixed results, while the Bank of Japan keeps rates steady while adjusting inflation and GDP forecasts. The Eurozone exceeded expectations, while Germany shows mixed economic indicators. Meanwhile, the French economy surpassed forecasts, accompanied by a decline in inflation in April.

Australia

  • Housing credit shows historical peaks and lows.
  • Retail sales experience slight setback despite long-term resilience.
  • Private sector credit moderation and loan value increase.

Australia's economic indicators remain resilience amidst challenges.

In March, Australia's housing credit remained steady at 0.40%, reflecting stability amidst broader economic fluctuations. Historical data shows housing credit reaching peaks of 3% in April 1980 and lows of -0.40% in July 1984.

There was a slight setback in retail sales for the month of March, declining by 0.40% compared to the previous month. Despite this, the sector has historically displayed resilience, with a long-term average of 0.48% in month-on-month sales. Extreme fluctuations in May 2020 highlight the sector's vulnerability to external shocks.

Private sector credit moderated in March, dropping to 0.30% from 0.50% in February. This adjustment may reflect cautious lending practices amidst evolving economic conditions. A significant 5.10% increase in the value of loans compared to the same period last year, signalling positive trends.

In April, the Ai Group Australian Industry Index declined by 3.6 points to -8.9 points, marking 24 consecutive months of contractionary conditions. Despite some recovery, the industrial activity indicator remains negative.

The Judo Bank Flash Australia Manufacturing PMI rose to 49.6 in April, marking the third consecutive month of deterioration in manufacturing sector conditions. Rising input costs and supply chain disruptions continue to pose challenges.

The construction sector faced deepening contraction, with the Ai Group Industry Index falling to -25.6 in April. Poor sales conversions and supply chain disruptions exacerbated the challenges.

Overall, the Australian industry continues to grapple with persistent challenges that hinder economic recovery and growth prospects across various sectors.

Global

  • US manufacturing contracts in April, as PMI & employment falling.
  • The US Fed maintains the federal funds rate amidst persistent inflationary pressures.
  • China's manufacturing sector shows mixed performance in April.
  • Bank of Japan holds rates steady in April, adjusts inflation and GDP forecasts.
  • Eurozone surges in Q1 2024, exceeding expectations amid accelerating growth.
  • Germany's economic indicators show mixed performance.
  • French economy surges ahead, beating forecasts as inflation eases.

United States

U.S. manufacturing contracts in April, employment drops for seventh consecutive month.

The latest report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) paints a picture of contraction in the US manufacturing sector for April, with the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) falling to 49.2, below market expectations and indicating a loss of earlier momentum.

Demand took a hit with new orders slipping in April, reflecting a contraction in various sectors including textiles, food, machinery, and electrical goods.

Despite the overall contraction, production managed to stay in the expansionary zone, albeit lower than the previous month's figure, supported by sustained levels of backlog orders decline.

Employment in the manufacturing sector witnessed a seventh consecutive monthly decline, indicative of ongoing challenges in the labour market and reduced demand for capacity.

Cost pressures soared in April, with the price index reaching 60.9, the highest increase since June 2022, driven by hikes in crude oil, aluminium, steel, and plastics.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a decline in job openings in March 2024, reaching the lowest level since February 2021, with notable drops in construction and finance sectors. However, state, and local government education sectors experienced an increase in job openings.

U.S. Federal Reserve maintains federal funds rate amidst persistent inflationary pressures.

The U.S. Federal Reserve, in its May meeting, decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 5.25%-5.50% for the sixth consecutive time. Despite ongoing inflationary pressures and a tight labour market, the Fed remains cautious about implementing further tightening measures, citing the need for a more gradual approach to balance sheet normalisation.

While inflation has moderated over the past year, it remains elevated, posing challenges to achieving the central bank's 2% target. Chair Powell expressed scepticism about an immediate rate hike, believing the current policy stance is sufficiently restrictive.

The Fed announced plans to reduce the speed of its quantitative tightening starting from June 1st, suggesting a more gradual approach amidst economic uncertainties.

U.S. core prices and personal income rise, spending surpasses expectations.

In March, core PCE prices saw a modest increase, aligning with market expectations, while personal income rose by 0.5%, meeting market expectations and driven by dividends and compensation. Personal spending exceeded expectations, with notable increases in goods and services expenditure.

Economy expands at slower pace in Q1 2024, missing forecasts.

The US economy experienced moderated growth in Q1 2024, growing at an annualised rate of 1.6%, below forecasts and marking the lowest growth since the first half of 2022. Key highlights include a slowdown in consumer spending, easing non-residential investment, and a significant surge in imports.

New orders for manufactured durable goods surged in March 2024, driven by robust demand for transport equipment, vehicles, and various other categories, indicating resilience in certain sectors despite broader economic challenges.

China's manufacturing sector shows mixed performance in April.

The official NBS Manufacturing PMI in China dipped to 50.4 in April 2024 from March's 12-month high of 50.8, marking the second consecutive month of expansion in factory activity in 6 months. This slight decline comes amid ongoing efforts from Beijing to stimulate economic growth.

In contrast, the Caixin China General Manufacturing PMI exceeded expectations in April, rising to 51.4. This marks the sector's sixth consecutive month of growth and its fastest pace since February 2023. Robust output growth was driven by increased demand and expanding foreign sales. However, the manufacturing sector faces challenges in employment, with declines for an eighth straight month due to resignations and redundancies. Input prices surged, but selling prices declined amid competitive pressures. Despite the overall expansion, sentiment weakened, reflecting concerns over rising costs and heightened competition.

Bank of Japan holds rates steady in April, adjusts inflation and GDP forecasts.

In its April meeting, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) maintained its short-term interest rate within the range of 0% to 0.1%, in line with expectations. This decision followed the central bank's historic rate hike in March, marking the end of eight years of negative rates. Additionally, the BoJ reaffirmed its commitment to bond purchases but omitted previous mentions of monthly purchase volumes, signalling a shift in communication strategy.

In its quarterly outlook, the BoJ adjusted its Consumer Price Index (CPI) forecasts for fiscal year 2024 upwards to 2.8%, reflecting diminishing effects of elevated import prices and reduced government support measures. However, GDP forecasts were revised downwards for both 2023 and FY 2024, attributing weakened private consumption.

Eurozone economy surges by 0.3% in Q1, exceeding expectations amid accelerating growth.

The Eurozone's economy experienced a robust expansion of 0.3% in Q1 2024, surpassing expectations and marking its fastest growth since Q3 2022. Key economies like Germany, France, Italy, and Spain contributed to this positive performance. Annual inflation in the Euro Area remained steady at 2.4% in April, with core inflation falling slightly.

Germany's economic indicators show mixed performance.

Germany's Ifo Business Climate Indicator rose in April, indicating improved sentiment. However, the GfK Consumer Climate Indicator also increased cautiously, reflecting ongoing uncertainty. Inflation held steady at 2.2% in April, while Q1 2024 GDP growth exceeded expectations but marked a year-on-year contraction.

French economy surges ahead, beating forecasts with 0.2% growth in Q1; inflation eases to 2.2%.

France's economy outperformed expectations in Q1 2024, with a growth rate of 0.2%, driven by domestic demand. Annual inflation eased slightly to 2.2% in April, with prices for food and tobacco slowing down.

Italy's Q1 GDP surges amid Eurozone strength; annual inflation eases, reflecting ECB policy impact.

Italy showcased robust GDP growth of 0.3% in Q1 2024, surpassing forecasts and indicating resilience within the Eurozone. Annual inflation softened to 0.9% in April, reflecting the influence of ECB policy and signalling stability within the Italian economy.

Crypto news

Hong Kong's debut spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs attract over US$200 million.


Hong Kong's debut spot Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) attracted over US$200 million in total assets on April 30. The Bosera HashKey ETFs amassed 964 Bitcoin and 4,290 Ethereum, totalling US$71.94 million, while ChinaAMC's ETFs gathered US$123.61 million. Harvest Global's ETFs had a combined turnover of US$23 million, with their data not updated.

While Hong Kong's spot Bitcoin ETFs garnered less investment compared to US counterparts, which amassed nearly US$4 billion in the first week. ChinaAMC's ETF ranked 6th of 82 ETFs launched in past 3 years in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs allow non-Hong Kong nationals to invest if they meet local regulatory requirements, offering direct subscription using BTC and ETH.

A survey by Hong Kong-regulated crypto exchange OSL revealed high investor interest, indicating growing acceptance of digital assets in the region. However, access to these ETFs is limited to Hong Kong residents, excluding mainland Chinese investors without a Hong Kong residence permit.

Trade ETH/AUD on BTC Markets.

Avalanche C-Chain partners with Stripe for fiat-to-crypto integration.

Avalanche C-Chain has teamed up with Stripe, enabling verified users to buy AVAX and transfer it to their wallets.

Eight Avalanche Web3 apps (the Avalanche Core portfolio app, staking protocol GoGoPool, Avvy username service, social media platform The Arena, NFT marketplace Zeroone, Halliday wallet, web development platform Pakt, and blockchain games DeFi Kingdoms and Shrapnel) are now integrated with Stripe, allowing developers to embed a widget for fiat-to-crypto conversion in their interfaces.

The integration aims to address the "cold start problem" in Web3, where users lack sufficient funds in their wallets for transactions. Stripe manages KYC, payments, fraud, and compliance, allowing developers to focus on the apps. Core portfolio users can create Avalanche accounts using Google or Apple IDs and fund them via bank transfers, debit or credit cards at launch.

Akash Gupta from Ava Labs believes this integration will boost global crypto adoption. Stripe also plans to integrate stablecoin payments using Circle's USDC on Solana, Ethereum, and Polygon.

Trade AVAX/AUD on BTC Markets.

Solana's Chapter 2 airdrops exceed pre-order cost & FTX estate unloads locked SOL.

Pre-order holders of Solana's 'Chapter 2' mobile phone briefly found themselves in a profitable position when airdrops from two cat-themed memecoins exceeded the phone's pre-order cost.

The memecoins, MEW and MANEKI, along with others, were airdropped to Chapter 2 wallets. At peak prices, these airdrops amounted to US$480, surpassing the phone's US$450 price tag and leaving room for a US$30 profit.

This phenomenon echoes a similar situation with Solana's first mobile device, the Saga, which saw a surge in sales due to an arbitrage opportunity during a memecoin rally for Bonk (BONK).

The FTX estate is finalising its second tranche of locked Solana token sales, with successful bids ranging between US$95 and US$110 per token. Approximately 1.8 million SOL, valued at US$232 million, were sold in an auction over the last few weeks. Bidders included Galaxy Trading and Pantera Capital, with tokens subject to a four-year vesting schedule.

The next auction is scheduled for May 1, and Figure Markets is creating a special purpose vehicle for bidding, open to both non-U.S. investors and accredited U.S. investors. Previous sales in March saw tokens sold for US$64 each, indicating sustained demand for Solana despite the higher prices achieved in the recent auctions.

Buy SOL/AUD on BTC Markets.

Regulation roundup

Thailand tightens grip on crypto ads.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand cautions crypto exchanges against misleading advertisements, emphasising adherence to prescribed standards. Deputy Secretary-General Anek Yooyuen expressed concern over exchanges offering special privileges to attract users, stressing that such practices violate regulations.

Regulators in major crypto markets, such as the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Spain's National Stock Market Commission, have implemented measures to curb losses from crypto investments. The FCA issued 450 alerts for illegal crypto ads in 2023, while Spain's regulator warned against fraudulent crypto asset promotions on X and emphasised companies' compliance with local laws.

The SEC reminded crypto exchanges to include appropriate warnings about investment risks and avoid onboarding new users through special promotions. Yooyuen stresses investor protection and warns of legal repercussions for violations. Thai advertising guidelines mandate businesses to substantiate facts in marketing campaigns to comply with the law.

The recent Etherscan scam, a stark example of neglected crypto advertising, underscores the severity of the issue. Hackers exploited Etherscan's advertisements to redirect users to phishing sites, aiming to drain crypto wallets. Scam Sniffer attributes the attack to insufficient oversight by advertisement aggregators like Coinzilla and Persona. In the scam, users are directed to fake websites and prompted to link their wallets, enabling scammers to withdraw funds without permission.

Compliance conversations

Aussies scammed AU$2.7 billion last year.

Australians experienced AU$2.7 billion in scam losses last year, with 601,000 reported cases, marking a 13.1% decrease from the previous year despite an 18.5% rise in reported scams, as per the Australian Anti Scam Centre's latest report. Investment scams led, resulting in AU$1.3 billion in losses, followed by remote access scams (AU$256 million) and romance scams (AU$201.1 million).

Last year, individuals over 65 faced a 13.3% surge in losses to AU$120 million, primarily due to social media-initiated scams. Text messages became the most common contact method, with a 37.3% increase since 2022. However, scam calls resulted in the highest losses at AU$116 million, followed closely by social media scams at AU$93.5 million.

People from culturally diverse backgrounds, as well as those seeking part-time work or extra income, were disproportionately impacted by job scams.

ACCC deputy chair Catriona Lowe expressed optimism about coordinated efforts in preventing, detecting, and disrupting scams, noting progress in curbing funds to criminals and protecting consumers. She stressed the importance of continued collaboration to reduce scam losses, underscoring the impact on victims.

Lowe advocated for a robust Scams Code Framework with mandatory obligations on banks, telcos, and digital platforms to prevent exploitation by scammers. Additionally, she highlighted the significance of data sharing and plans to expand contributors to the National Anti-Scams Centre.

The ASIC provides a checklist of common scams and ways to avoid them. To learn more, visit ASIC’s website.

Discover more on our ‘Compliance conversation’ blog page, where we share the latest updates on safeguarding against scams and protecting your assets. Stay informed and stay protected!

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is issued by BTC Markets Pty Ltd (BTC Markets, we, us, our). The information is general only and is not intended to constitute an opinion or recommendation with respect to its contents. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Any reference to past performance is intended to be for general illustrative purposes only. The information cannot be relied upon for any purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.

The information does not purport to be complete, accurate or contain all of the information that a person may require to make a decision. It may also contain forward looking statements, which are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors. We recommend you obtain professional advice before making any decision with respect to the matters discussed in this document. To the maximum extent permitted by law, BTC Markets will have no liability for any loss or liability of any kind: (i) arising in respect of the information contained (or not contained) on this page; or (ii) arising from a person relying on any information or statement contained on this page. The information provided is only intended for recipients in Australia. This information cannot be reproduced without our prior written permission.

Weekly prices are accurate as of 10:00 AM AEST on 02/05/2024.

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