Week Ahead Industry Previews: Fourth Week of September 2023

Here’s a rundown of the most noteworthy web3 industry events and project developments to look out for in the coming week
  • The Taiwan Financial Supervisory Commission is expected to announce 10 cryptocurrency regulatory principles by the end of September.
  • The Ethereum testnet Holesky is set to restart on September 28th.
  • Arbitrum is gearing up for the Odyssey event restart.
  • FTX debtors are required to submit proof of customer claims.
  • The global AI & Web3 investment summit, “The EDGE,” will take place in Hong Kong.

Important Events

This week, key developments to keep an eye on include global cryptocurrency policy formulation and its impact, as well as significant updates in the FTX case.

Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) is expected to announce 10 cryptocurrency regulatory principles by the end of September. These principles include strengthening information disclosure, requiring companies to set review standards for listing and delisting, segregating platform and customer assets, and specifying that personal currency businesses should also implement anti-money laundering measures. A critical restriction is the strict prohibition of illegal solicitation of business by foreign cryptocurrency companies. Foreign Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) that do not register according to the company law and declare compliance with anti-money laundering rules to the FSC shall not solicit business within Taiwan’s jurisdiction or to residents.

The FSC has mentioned that it does not rule out the possibility of creating specialized legislation for cryptocurrencies. Until such specific legislation is in place, the FSC will manage virtual asset service providers in accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering Act. If a service provider fails to make a legal compliance declaration for anti-money laundering, the FSC may request improvements, and if not fulfilled, may impose penalties starting at 500,000 NTD (approximately $18,000 USD) and going up to 10 million NTD (approximately $360,000 USD). As of September 10th, data from Taiwan’s FSC indicates that 52 virtual currency platform operators are planning to enter the Taiwan market. Among them, 25 (including 2 foreign-owned Taiwan branch offices) have completed the legal compliance declaration for anti-money laundering, while the other 27 are in the process of doing so.

Additionally, this week, several major cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase, Bitstamp, Bybit, and Binance have decided to discontinue services in specific regions due to regulatory policies:

  • Coinbase plans to halt services for Indian users after September 25th and recommends users withdraw all funds from their accounts.
  • Bitstamp will stop offering staking services to U.S. users from September 25th.
  • Binance’s fiat partner, Paysafe, will cease offering Euro deposits and withdrawals for Binance users starting from September 25, 2023.
  • Bybit will suspend its operations in the UK from October 1st.

Financial payment giant PayPal will also temporarily suspend its cryptocurrency purchase services in the UK starting from October 1, 2023. This move is in response to new regulations introduced by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which requires cryptocurrency companies to implement additional steps before customers can purchase cryptocurrencies. The FCA’s crypto asset promotion rules will come into effect on October 8th, introducing stricter regulations for crypto service providers. Many UK-based crypto-related companies are adjusting their crypto-related services to comply with these regulations before the deadline.

Apart from regulatory policies, it’s noteworthy that in the FTX case, debtors are required to submit customer claims proof by September 29, 2023, 16:00 EDT. According to a survey report published by FTX debtors, FTX owes customers approximately $8.7 billion while holding assets of around $7 billion. This includes FTX’s assets, such as 38 properties in the Bahamas, nearly $2.6 billion in cash, and $3.4 billion in cryptocurrency. Previously, the court had approved FTX’s sale, pledge, and hedging of the cryptocurrency it held, to return funds to creditors in fiat currency rather than Bitcoin or Ethereum. This included around $1.2 billion in SOL tokens, $560 million in Bitcoin, and $192 million in ETH.

Project Updates

  • The Ethereum testnet, Holesky, is scheduled to restart on **September 28, 2023**, after a failed restart on September 15, 2023. Nethermind has also released the Ethereum research Nethermind client v1.20.4 to support Holesky’s relaunch. The purpose of the Holesky testnet is to replace the soon-to-be-obsolete Goerli testnet in early 2024.
  • The restart of Holesky could potentially affect the activation timeline of Dencun on the Ethereum mainnet. Tim Beiko has indicated that if Dencun is not released on the public testnet before Devconnect in November, its mainnet activation may not occur this year. Originally, Tim Beiko proposed a sequence of launches on the testnets Goerli, Holesky, and Sepolia. However, due to the failure of the Holesky launch on September 15, Jayanthi suggested releasing Dencun on Goerli first, as it’s a soon-to-be-obsolete testnet, allowing developers to freely experiment with Dencun specifications.
  • Arbitrum is set to relaunch its Odyssey event on **September 26, 2023**, on Arbitrum One. The initial launch of Odyssey on Arbitrum Nitro occurred a year ago but was temporarily suspended in the second week due to network congestion caused by the increasing number of users and the complexity of the smart contracts they interacted with. This time, the Odyssey event will be conducted in collaboration with the Web3 community platform Galxe and will run for seven weeks. Arbitrum has stated that this relaunch will not involve any form of airdrop or reward. Participants who complete tasks and explore the 13 projects on Arbitrum One will receive custom badges.
  • Yuga Labs will launch the public beta of its 2D strategy game, Legends of the Mara (LoTM), on September 26, 2023. During the first season, users can hatch Mara, and Koda holders can start collecting shards and hunting in advance. Loot from the beta version will be minted at the end of each season and can be used for extended in-game items in LotM. Previously, Otherside hinted that some non-Yuga Labs ecosystem NFT collections would be invited to join their game, Legends of the Mara (LoTM).

Upcoming Events

As we approach the end of the eventful month of September, the final week is set to feature some noteworthy Web3 events, primarily taking place in Hong Kong.

  • The EDGE, a global AI & Web3 investment summit, will take place from September 25 to 27, 2023, in Hong Kong, this summit will include Startup Demo Day and thematic talks and discussions on topics such as AI and Web3, AIGC, security and compliance, Cinema 3.0, and the Metaverse. The lineup of speakers includes Ander Tsui, CEO of Hape; Hong Kong Legislative Council Member Wu Kit-chung; Moshe Schlisser, Managing Partner at Shefa Capital and Chairman of Oobit Technologies, among others.
  • DEMO DAY will be held on September 27, 2023, at 14:00, a DEMO DAY event will be held in Hong Kong, providing an opportunity for innovative startups to showcase their projects. Dozens of investment firms from regions like China, the Middle East, Israel, Europe, and the United States are confirmed to attend, including GEM, Plum Ventures, Dedong Innovation, PurpleLight Investments, and Web3-focused investment firms like Amber Group and HashKey.
  • AWS Web3 Day will be held on September 26, 2023, from 9:15 to 16:30, AWS will host an offline event titled “AWS Web3 Day” at the Cordis Hotel in Hong Kong.

Token Unlock

According to Token Unlocks data, there are several token unlocks scheduled for the period between September 25 and October 1, 2023. These include ACA, GAL, YGG, AGIX, EUL, OP, and 1INCH tokens, with a total value of over $30 million.

Specifically, the OP token unlock is set to occur on September 30, 2023, at 12:00. This unlock will involve approximately 3.03% of the circulating supply of OP tokens, which is valued at over $30 million.