ProBit Bits — ProBit Global’s Weekly Blockchain Bits Vol. 74

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 SBF's Trial Promises Revelations on FTX Collapse

Prosecutors and defense attorneys have squared off in the highly anticipated trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and former CEO of collapsed crypto exchange FTX. In opening arguments, prosecutors characterized FTX as a "house of cards" and "Ponzi scheme" deceiving customers, while Bankman-Fried's lawyers claimed he acted in good faith and did not intentionally defraud anyone. Gary Wang, FTX's former chief technology officer, testified that Bankman-Fried and others at the company committed financial crimes by misusing customer funds. However, the defense has sought to pin blame on Caroline Ellison.

Bankman-Fried is accused of wire fraud and conspiracy over allegations he secretly used customer funds to prop up his trading company Alameda Research. The trial is providing much-watched updates as witnesses discuss what led to the dramatic downfall of one of the world's largest crypto firms.

 Hong Kong Crypto Adoption Booming; Could Signal Policy Change in China

New data from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis suggests that cryptocurrency adoption in Hong Kong has grown rapidly over the past year, rivaling activity in mainland China. According to Chainalysis, Hong Kong received an estimated $64 billion in cryptocurrency between July 2022 and June 2023, despite having only 0.5% of China's population. In the same period, mainland China received $86.4 billion in crypto transactions. This growth comes as Hong Kong has adopted crypto-friendly policies, including licensing its first retail crypto exchange, while China has banned crypto trading. Experts speculate that Hong Kong's embrace of crypto could indicate that China is rethinking its stringent anti-crypto stance. However, it remains unclear if greater adoption in Hong Kong will lead to policy changes in China. For now, Hong Kong is emerging as a regional crypto hub even as adoption in China has declined over the past few years due to government crackdowns.

 US Bitcoin Miners Set Records While Uzbekistan Tightens Mining Rules

Leading US-based bitcoin mining companies like Marathon Digital and Riot Platforms reported significant increases in bitcoin production during September 2022. Marathon achieved a record hash rate of 23.1 exahashes per second and produced 1,242 bitcoins for the month. Meanwhile, Riot boosted its bitcoin output by 9% over August levels, to 362 BTC. The production growth comes despite bitcoin's price trading sideways in September.

Meanwhile, Uzbekistan implemented new regulations that restrict cryptocurrency mining to licensed legal entities using solar power. The country's crypto watchdog banned individual miners and mandated that companies set up dedicated mining facilities. Uzbekistan also prohibited anonymous cryptocurrencies like Monero from being mined in the country. The strict new rules limiting crypto mining contrast with the growth of mining observed in the United States last month, as firms like Marathon and Riot continue expanding operations.

 New Research Shows How Global Crypto Users Invest To Improve Quality of Life

A new study conducted by Bitget analyzing over 30,000 user profiles worldwide has revealed insights into how demographics and regional economic factors influence digital asset investment approaches. The research found that crypto traders in different parts of the globe prioritized wealth creation versus speculation to varying degrees, with traders in developing economies more focused on long-term holds.

Gender also emerged as a factor, as the report uncovered divergence in risk tolerance and financial goal priority between male and female crypto investors. For example, a larger percentage of women derived their digital asset profits from stablecoins compared to men. This type of behavioral analysis sheds light on how user needs vary between regions and genders, which could help exchanges like Bitget develop tailored offerings to cater to diverse investor demographics globally.

 FriendTech Clone ‘Stars Arena’ Credited With Boosting Avalanche Usage

Social token platform Stars Arena has helped fuel a sizable increase in transaction volumes on the Avalanche C-chain network since its late September launch, according to data from DappRadar. Stars Arena, a SocialFi app similar in concept to trendsetter FriendTech, has quickly accrued over 10,000 unique daily active wallets interacting with the platform. This emerging success of Stars Arena in attracting users, comparable to other dapps on Avalanche, correlates with an over 50% surge in C-chain transactions within the past two weeks. Rising from around 158,000 daily transactions before Stars Arena's inception to exceeding 250,000 currently. Meanwhile, Stars Arena has locked above $1 million Total Value on Avalanche according to DeFiLlama, emerging as a driver of activity and potentially benefits to the wider Avalanche ecosystem.

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