Weekly Cryptocurrency News. Friday, January 20

Friday, 20th of January. As the week comes to an end, we can focus on the highlights of the crypto industry over the past few days.

Bank of America: digital currencies are to revolutionize the global financial system

Digital currencies, CBDCs and stablecoins seem to represent the natural evolution of money and payments, according to Bank of America (BAC) researchers. This is reported by CoinDesk, citing the report of the investment bank in question.

“CBDCs do not change the definition of money, but will likely change how and when value is transferred over the next 15 years,” the experts wrote.

As they put it, digital currencies from central banks have “the potential to revolutionize global financial systems and may be the most significant technological advancement in the history of money.” 

Both developed and developing countries’ monetary regulators will focus on payment efficiency and availability, BAC researchers argue. 

Nevertheless, CBDCs stand a chance of competing with bank deposits. This is fraught with a “loss of monetary sovereignty” and inequality among countries, the report said. 

A few states won’t even issue such means of payment in the next ten years. However, central banks will have to “adopt technological advances or risk irrelevance over the longer term.”

Prior to that, the U.S. House of Representatives appointed a subcommittee centered on digital assets.

Bitzlato crypto exchange reported a hack

Bitzlato, a cryptocurrency exchange, notified of a hack and suspended the service.

The team stated in the initial publication that hackers made a partial withdrawal of funds as well as asked users not to top up their accounts. In the meantime, the platform has halted the withdrawal of assets.

Hours later, it was confirmed by the developers and assured that the users’ assets are kept safe.

“The attackers succeeded in withdrawing a small part of the funds, but we ensure that all the victims will be refunded,” Bitzlato stressed.

As a safety precaution, the team shut down the service. No amount of damage was announced by the platform.

Scheduled maintenance work on the platform took place on Thursday, January 19.

As you may remember, the Web3 industry’s losses caused by 167 major attacks in 2022 were estimated to be about $3.6 billion, based on a Beosin report.

Tesla staged 2016 self-driving demo video

Published in 2016, a video of the Tesla Model X electric car showcasing the capabilities of self-driving technology turned out to be staged. This is reported by Reuters.

It was the driver who drove the car in the video, according to a transcript of testimony by former Autopilot software director Ashok Elluswamy. No robot car then supported the functions of stopping at a red traffic light and driving on the green, he claimed.

In July 2022 trial, Elluswamy appeared as a witness of March 2018 fatal car accident, which led to the death of the former Apple engineer. .

To this day, the video that Tesla CEO Elon Musk used in 2016 to prove the autonomy of the robot car is still archived on the company’s website.

“Tesla drives itself (no human input at all) thru urban streets to highway to streets, then finds a parking spot,” Musk noted.

According to Elluswamy, the developers used 3D mapping of a predetermined route from their home in Menlo Park, California, to the company’s then headquarters in Palo Alto to produce the video.

During the shooting, drivers had to intervene and override the vehicle. While performing “self-parking,” the tested car also crashed into a fence.

“The intent of the video was not to accurately portray what was  available for customers in 2016. It was to portray what was possible to  build into the system,” Elluswamy commented.

When asked if the video showed Autopilot features available in production cars in 2016, a former senior engineer at the company said “it does not.”

As the attorney Andrew McDevitt, acting for the wife of an Apple employee who died in an accident, said in court, the commercial was “obviously misleading” to Tesla owners about the capabilities of autopilot.

To recap, in December 2022, California authorities banned Tesla from naming the autopilot Full Self-Driving.

There were reports in October about a U.S. Justice Department investigation into the manufacturer’s promotional campaign promises about Autopilot.

Back in August, American consumer advocate Ralph Nader urged the banning of Full Self-Driving because of its “dangerous and irresponsible practices.”

SEC hit 50% increase in cases against the crypto industry over 2022

Throughout 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed 30 crypto-related cases. According to a Cornerstone Research report, that’s a 50% increase compared to a year earlier.

It was almost a quarter of the total number of enforcement actions taken by the regulator during the year, being equal to 127 cases.

Analysts noted that the most common indictments against the digital asset industry by the SEC were alleged fraud (70% of cases) and unregistered offerings of securities (73%). At least in half of the cases, the regulator brought claims on both counts.

As of year-end, cumulative SEC enforcement fines totaled about $2.61 billion, including $242 million in settlements during the period.

Among 30 regulatory cases, 14 were related to ICOs, with eight of the projects facing fraud charges.

To name a few of the SEC’s most notable enforcement actions, researchers cited the insider trading case of a former Coinbase employee and the accusation of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried of scamming investors.

As the report’s authors suggest, oversight of the crypto industry will remain a priority for the Commission under Gary Gensler’s leadership. They pointed out that last May the department almost doubled the size of the relevant department.

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