Bitcoin Industry

Bitcoin Industry

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​​Line shuts down crypto exchange to focus on blockchain and LN token.

The Japanese messaging giant will still continue to support its Line blockchain ecosystem and the Link token despite the ongoing industry challenges.

The Japanese messaging giant Line has decided to shut down its cryptocurrency exchange business amid the ongoing crypto winter.

Line-owned crypto exchange Bitfront officially announced on Nov. 27 a plan to completely close down the platform by March 2023.

According to the statement, the closure was driven by the continued cryptocurrency bear market and other issues in the crypto industry.

Despite the exchange’s closure, Line will still continue to run its other blockchain ventures, including the Line blockchain ecosystem and Link (LN) token, the announcement notes, stating:

“Despite our efforts to overcome the challenges in this rapidly-evolving industry, we have regretfully determined that we need to shut down Bitfront in order to continue growing the Line blockchain ecosystem and Link token economy.”

Bitfront also emphasized that the decision to close the exchange was made for the “best interest” of the Line ecosystem and is unrelated to the ongoing industry scandal involving the FTX exchange.

According to the announcement, Bitfront will take a gradual approach to suspend its services, stopping signups and credit card payments on Nov. 28. The platform then plans to suspend additional deposits and interest payments of LN interest products and proceed with the related LN withdrawals by mid-December.

By the end of December, Bitfront aims to stop all cryptocurrency and fiat deposits alongside trading suspension and cancellation of open orders. Total suspension of withdrawals is scheduled for March 31, 2023, while customers would still be able to claim their assets in different jurisdictions of the United States.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Line launched its proprietary crypto exchange in 2018 as a Singapore-based business. Originally known as BitBox, the company was rebranded to Bitfront and moved to the United States in February 2020. The exchange has been downscaling some of its operations in recent years, suspending services in South Korea in August 2021.

[​​](https://telegra.ph/file/ba4709f5505981de213d9.jpg)**Line shuts down crypto exchange to focus on blockchain and LN token.**
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​​Crypto lender Hodlnaut reportedly faces police investigation in Singapore.

Hodlnaut reportedly lied about its exposure to the now-defunct Terra algorithmic stablecoin and lost nearly $190 million.

Singapore-based crypto lender Hodlnaut is reportedly facing a police probe over alleged offenses of cheating and fraud.

According to reports published in local media, the police’s commercial affairs department has launched an investigation into the founders of the exchange based on multiple complaints against the platform between August and November 2022.

The Singapore police noted that the majority of complaints revolve around false representations and misinformation regarding the company’s exposure to a certain digital token. Police also advised investors impacted by the Hodlnaut crisis to file a complaint online and submit verifiable documents of their transaction histories on the platform.

Neither the Singapore police nor Hodlnaut immediately responded to Cointelegraph’s requests for comment.

The first signs of trouble for the crypto lender came on Aug. 8 when it suspended withdrawals on the platform, citing a liquidity crisis. The suspension of withdrawals came just months after the infamous crypto contagion in the second quarter led by the implosion of the Terra ecosystem.

At the time, the platform claimed they had no exposure to the now-defunct algorithmic Terra stablecoin now called TerraUSD Classic (USTC). However, on-chain data contradicted crypto lenders’ claims and suggested they held at least $150 million in USTC.

The on-chain data was later confirmed by a judicial report in October. The report noted that the crypto lender lost nearly $190 million to the Terra collapse and later deleted thousands of documents related to their investments in order to hide their exposure.

Hodlnaut managed to keep its USTC exposure under wraps for almost three months after the collapse of the Terra ecosystem but eventually fell prey to the liquidity crunch forcing it to seek judicial management under which a court appointed a new interim CEO for the firm. Three months down the line, its directors are now facing a police probe for keeping users in the dark.

[​​](https://telegra.ph/file/db0a87314352ea23731ea.jpg)**Crypto lender Hodlnaut reportedly faces police investigation in Singapore.**

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[​](https://telegra.ph/file/4a232520c2d9e0ef97cee.jpg)Syntropy is building the first fully-distributed routing protocol for the Internet. Their mission is to increase internet performance so it …

​​Binance makes moves in hardware wallet industry with new investment.

Binance Labs has made a strategic investment in the Belgian hardware wallet firm Ngrave and will lead its upcoming Series A round.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is making a move in the hardware wallet industry. The firm announced on Nov. 21 that its venture capital arm, Binance Labs, made a strategic investment in Belgian hardware wallet firm Ngrave and will lead its upcoming Series A round.

Founded in 2018, Ngrave specializes in self-custody and provides a security suite comprising three major elements: connectionless hardware wallet Zero, key backup tool Graphene and the Liquid mobile app.

Yi He, co-founder of Binance and head of Binance Labs, pointed out that security remains one of the biggest challenges for crypto adoption. “Self-custodial wallets are one of the most secure methods for storing digital assets,” He said, adding that Binance is looking to continue backing startups that enhance user security.

“Binance Labs is excited to capitalize on the emerging hardware wallet sector and partner with Ngrave to bring sophisticated wallet products to both retail and institutional users,” Binance Labs investment director Tyler Z added.

Ngrave is not the first hardware wallet provider in Binance Labs’ portfolio. It previously invested in hardware wallet maker SafePal through its incubation program back in 2018. Binance has also been integrating SafePal’s solution into its platform, adding the SafePal Mini App into the Binance app in October.

In early November, Binance also partnered with hardware wallet maker Ledger to allow Binance users to purchase crypto directly through the Ledger app with their bank cards.

As previously reported, the ongoing crypto winter has accelerated the growth of the hardware wallet industry, while many centralized crypto exchanges have been scrambling to maintain operations. Unlike exchanges, hardware wallets allow users to better control their funds by securing their own private keys. According to data from several studies released in July, the crypto hardware wallet industry could grow at a faster pace than exchanges in the near future.

[​​](https://telegra.ph/file/30b3e08dbee2ef7568c25.jpg)**Binance makes moves in hardware wallet industry with new investment.**

Billion-Dollar Crypto Fund Grayscale Refuses to Post Proof-of-Reserves – Next Firm to Collapse?

Crypto investment firm Grayscale has refused to share its proof-of-reserves citing "security concerns." The move has stirred up speculations about the financial health of the company.

In a Saturday tweet, the company said major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which is used by Grayscale as custodian, frequently performs "on-chain validation," adding that they cannot share their proof of reserves due to security risks.

"Due to security concerns, we do not make such on-chain wallet information and confirmation information publicly available through a cryptographic Proof-of-Reserve, or other advanced cryptographic accounting procedure," the company said.

In crypto, proof of reserves is a methodology that allows users to prove whether or not an independent auditor has the reserves of a specific exchange or business. It uses Merkle Trees to capture data and get a set of fingerprints that let users verify that their funds were properly audited by a third party.

Grayscale acknowledged that its decision to keep its reserve information private would be a “disappointment” to some investors. However, the company claimed that "panic sparked by others is not a good enough reason to circumvent complex security arrangements that have kept our investors’ assets safe for years."

Nevertheless, the recent revelation has only exacerbated user confidence in Grayscale. It appears that the bulk majority of crypto users are not convinced by the company's reasoning, particularly since other major crypto exchanges, including Binance and Cryptocom, have shared their proof of reserves.

"I wasn’t concerned about GBTC solvency until reading this statement, please explain how proof of reserve is a security risk?" said ChainLinkGod.eth, a prominent member of the crypto community and a Chainlink Community Ambassador.

[​](https://telegra.ph/file/7a01a24daf5a6c5f8edf9.jpg)**Billion-Dollar Crypto Fund Grayscale Refuses to Post Proof-of-Reserves – Next Firm to Collapse?**

​​Heroic Story secures $6 million to build Web3 tabletop RPG world.
The seed round was led by Upfront Ventures with participation from Multicoin Capital and Polygon Technology.

Web3 gaming protocol Heroic Story raised $6 million in a seed round led by Upfront Ventures with participation from Multicoin Capital and Polygon Technology, the company announced on Nov. 17.

The funds will be used to hire talent, market the live beta and develop on-chain technology for a massively multiplayer role-playing game (RPG) world, the company told Cointelegraph. The round brings Heroic Story’s total financing to $7.4 million.

Other investors included strategic angels, such as a16z Games Fund One founding investor Jonathan Lai, Team Liquid CEO Steve Arhancet and Quantstamp CEO Richard Ma, alongside Miramax head of film Wolfgang Hammer and screenwriting duo Ryan and Kaz Firpo, who are cousins and co-writers of Marvel’s Eternals.

"We fell in love with the vision for Heroic Story because they are building authentic online RPG experiences for large, global audiences passionate about the tabletop RPG genre,” said Mark Suster, managing partner at Upfront Ventures.

Previous investors in the gaming company include Transcend Fund, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, Kabam co-founder Holly Liu and Thirdweb CEO Furqan Rydhan.

Founded in 2019 at Y Combinator, the company offers multiplayer versions of popular tabletop role-playing games, or TTRPGs, combining storytelling and technology in immersive experiences for players.

“The intersection of storytelling and technology has been the theme of my career, from my early years as a top online poker pro and entrepreneur, to designing and directing one of the first adventure games for consumer VR,” said Jay Rosenkrantz, CEO of Heroic Story, adding that “smart contract powered platforms will transform gaming, storytelling, and community building.”

The company’s first game franchise, Legends of Fortunata, was released in 2021 with an immersive game experience that the company says “eliminates the pain points of playing traditional tabletop games online, with no stress scheduling and an exciting virtual rewards system designed to broaden the reach and appeal of TTRPG to new audiences.”

[​​](https://telegra.ph/file/6c6ca671f649a789e218e.jpg)**Heroic Story secures $6 million to build Web3 tabletop RPG world.**
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