The Week in Crypto – Singapore, Chinese spies, CBDCs and more!

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This week in crypto we’ve seen Singapore cracking down on crypto, Chinese spies trying to pay U.S. double agents in bitcoin and the “world’s biggest CBDC” trial. But which stories were the pick of the bunch? Stop monkeying around and find out!

No. 3 – Singapore Announces Sweeping Crypto Rules

Singapore clearly hasn’t taken the shame associated with being home to Terraform Labs lying down. This week it announced a raft of proposed changes to the crypto space that would make it much harder for retail investors to bankrupt themselves over promises of unicorns and rainbows, including a test to gauge their financial knowledge and preventing anyone from buying cryptocurrencies on credit.

The rules, which would also see Singapore follow the UK and ban derivative trading, could be used as a blueprint for other nations who want to exert control over how their citizens engage with the crypto sector.

No. 2 – “World’s Biggest CBDC Trial” in UAE

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) this week conducted what it called the world’s largest CBDC trial, involving commercial banks in four jurisdictions. The trial was part of Project mBridge, an attempt between numerous countries in the middle and far east to create a cross-border CBDC payment system.

The trial, which involved the People’s Bank of China, saw 160 payment and foreign exchange transactions totalling more than 80 million dirhams ($21.78 million) taking place, with CBUAE heralding the potential of the project, saying that it “demonstrated faster, cost effective and secure cross-border monetary settlements using central bank money, identified as a G20 economic priority.”

No.1 – Chinese Spies Paid U.S. Double Agent in Bitcoin

Two U.S.-based Chinese spies spent three years trying to cultivate a relationship with a U.S. government official in a bid to get him to turn over crucial information on a case against Huawei, only to find out that he was a double agent working for the FBI.

Guochun He and Zheng Wang paid the official $61,000 in bitcoin over two years up to last week in an attempt to gain confidential information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, in particular information on which Huawei employees had been interviewed by the government and a description of the prosecutors’ evidence, witness list, and trial strategy.

He and Wang are on the run and are being hunted by police.

Honourable Mentions

This week we also learnt that:

  • Meta posted losses of $3 billion in its metaverse division in Q3 alone, with more likely on the way
  • The former head of the Bithumb exchange was in court this week over allegations of a $70 million fraud involving the failed sale of the exchange
  • Pressure has grown on Freeway Finance after it halted withdrawals, with many labelling it a classic Ponzi scheme

We’ll be back next week for another review of the week’s top crypto news.