Crypto News This Week: Bitcoin Halving, Hong Kong’s Crypto ETFs

Key Takeaways

  • Bitcoin halving event happened on April 20, with mixed expectations on its impact on prices amid recent market volatility.
  • Hong Kong has approved spot crypto ETFs, expanding its cryptocurrency financial products.
  • Binance secures a VASP license in Dubai and announces plans to return to India following a previous compliance-related ban.

In this week’s roundup of crypto news, we examine the latest developments and trends in the cryptocurrency market.

The next Bitcoin halving, the quadrennial slashing of the amount of new BTC entering into circulation, took place early on April 20.

The halving has cut the current reward for mining new coins from 6.25 Bitcoin to 3.125. It is an integral part of the Bitcoin blockchain system, which creates a monetary system that controls inflation.

While there have been differing opinions about the near-term impact of halving on the Bitcoin price, the consensus is that the event will benefit the leading cryptocurrency in the long term.

In other crypto news, Hong Kong has approved spot Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with possible trading by the end of the month.

Bitcoin Halving Occurs

Bitcoin experienced its latest halving event early Saturday. Previous halvings have sent Bitcoin prices higher. However, given Bitcoin’s recent volatility, many experts say this time will be different, with some warning that the cryptocurrency could even lose value after the halving.

How Will Bitcoin Halving Affect ETH & Altcoin Prices? (Techopedia)

Bitcoin Long-Term Outlook Promising

Bitcoin may experience some selling pressure in the lead-up to the highly anticipated halving event, but the long-term outlook remains bullish, according to Kris Marszalek, CEO of Crypto.com.

“Over a longer period, the halving will make a substantial difference and is a positive development for the market,” he said in a recent interview.

Bitcoin Long-Term Outlook Remains Bullish (Cryptonews.com)

Hong Kong Approves Crypto ETFs

On April 22, Hong Kong approved several spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs. China Asset Management’s Hong Kong division, Harvest Global Investments, Bosera Asset Management, and HashKey Capital received provisional approvals from the SFC for their crypto ETFs.

Hong Kong Approves Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs (Techopedia)

Binance Gets Dubai License

Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, that Binance has received a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from Dubai. The report said that the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority’s (VARA) final requirement for granting the VASP license was for Zhao to give up his voting power in Binance FZE, the Dubai-based exchange unit.

Binance Gets Full Dubai Permit After Zhao Cedes Control of Unit (BNN Bloomberg)

Binance to Return to India

Aside from its Dubai license, Binance is set to return to India after a four-month ban by paying a $2-million fine for non-compliance. Binance will be the second overseas exchange after KuCoin to mark a return to the country after India’s financial regulatory body blocked access to crypto exchanges for non-compliance.

Binance to restart operations in India as compliant FIU-registered entity (The Economic Times)

Tether Announces Restructuring

Tether is restructuring to introduce new divisions beyond stablecoin development. The stablecoin giant has launched a new framework introducing four new business divisions, including Tether Data, Tether Finance, Tether Power, and Tether Edu. With the new divisions, Tether aims to expand its mission to provide new infrastructure solutions, investments, and services.

Tether Advances Beyond Stablecoins (Tether)

BlackRock ETF Close to Overtaking Grayscale

BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin ETF, the iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT), is slowly approaching the market share of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust ETF (GBTC). IBIT’s current market share of 32.6% is quietly approaching Grayscale’s GBTC market share of 36.8%, the largest spot Bitcoin ETF, holding $19 billion worth of Bitcoin.

BlackRock ETF close to overtaking Grayscale, despite second-lowest daily inflows (Cointelegraph)

Mango Markets Exploiter Found Guilty

A jury has found Avraham “Avi” Eisenberg, the crypto user responsible for a $110 million exploit of the Mango Markets decentralized exchange, guilty of fraud and market manipulation. He was found guilty of wire fraud, commodities fraud, and commodities manipulation. The decision followed hours of deliberations after closing arguments on April 17.

Crypto Trader Convicted in $110 Million Mango Markets Fraud (Bloomberg)

Sweden Demands $90M from Crypto Miners

Sweden’s tax agency Skatteverket is demanding 18 data centers pay 990 million kronor ($91 million) after an investigation found they allegedly evaded taxes by concealing their crypto mining activities. The Swedish tax agency disclosed its investigation of 21 data centers from 2020 to 2023 but did not specify the names of those companies.

Swedish Tax Investigations Add $90M To Crypto Miners’ Bills (Law360)

Canada to Implement Tax Reporting Regime

Canada expects to apply the international Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF) for taxation by 2026. The country is getting an early start on the new standard, expected to be observed by 47 countries by 2027.

Canada Revenue Agency gets more teeth to catch potential tax cheats (CBC)

South Korean Won Becomes Most Traded Crypto Pair

The South Korean won has emerged as the leading fiat currency for cryptocurrency trading, overtaking the US dollar in the first quarter of 2024. More specifically, the South Korean won accounted for over $456 billion in trading volume on centralized crypto exchanges, surpassing the $455 billion in US dollars.

Korean won surpasses US dollar as most-traded currency for crypto in Q1 (The Block)

Ethereum Sees $365 Million in Revenue in Q1

The Ethereum network reported a robust income of $365 million in the first quarter of 2024, an impressive 155% year-on-year revenue growth. Ethereum’s Q1 income represents a staggering 200% increase compared to the $123 million profit in Q4 2023. A major contributing factor to this substantial growth was the surge in decentralized finance (DeFi) activity during the quarter.

Ethereum Network’s Q1 Earnings Results (The DeFi Report)

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