Kraken to Pay $30 Million and Halt Staking Services

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken issued unregistered securities. Kraken will “immediately” stop offering its crypto staking-as-a-service platform to U.S. consumers and pay $30 million to resolve the claims. The SEC announced that Kraken’s registered firms, Payward Ventures, Inc. and Payward Trading Ltd., will discontinue their staking services and initiatives. To resolve Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accusations, Kraken will stop offering its staking-as-a-service platform to consumers in the United States and pay $30 million. Staking is the procedure used to ensure the security of proof-of-stake blockchain networks like Ethereum.

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Due to the difficulties of the crypto winter, the peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange platform LocalBitcoins has announced its closure. Launched in 2012, LocalBitcoins contributed to the validation of Bitcoin’s primary use case: a decentralized, global P2P electronic payment system. One of the most prominent countries to adopt Bitcoin was Venezuela, which was widely used between 2017 and 2019 due primarily to LocalBitcoins. It was especially appealing to Venezuelans, who could use Bitcoin as an inflation hedge in addition to dealing with an uncertain economy, political sanctions, and economic isolation. 

Due to US sanctions, Uphold has cut off Venezuela, but the impact on the country’s ecosystem is probably minor. Since its peak in 2018, LocalBitcoins has experienced a reduction in activity, with Venezuela trading less than 100 BTC since February 2021 and falling below the 500 BTC threshold in 2020. Binance has expanded P2P crypto trading in Venezuela, boosting the country’s cryptocurrency market. By allowing users to purchase cryptocurrencies in Venezuela, Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, has established itself as the industry standard for those who prefer P2P trading. HodlHodl, Bisq, Paxful, and Uphold are the only options available to people who do not wish to use Binance since most centralized exchanges do not provide services for trading cryptocurrency for cash. Although it was already considered dead by many citizens, LocalBitcoins opened a significant chapter in Venezuela’s crypto history.

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