The overall value of the cryptocurrency market has sunk to $1 trillion as a US regulator investigates stablecoin issuer Paxos and the Binance USD stablecoin.

The New York Department of Financial Services has ordered Paxos to stop minting BUSD tokens – the seventh-largest stablecoin by market cap – due to “several unresolved issues related to Paxos’ oversight of its relationship with Binance through Paxos-issued BUSD”.

A recent report from the Wall Street Journal also claimed that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is planning to launch a lawsuit against Paxos for violating investor protection laws as a potential unregistered security.

Paxos will end its relationship with Binance and cease issuance of new BUSD tokens from February 21st.

BUSD is wholly owned and managed by Paxos, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao confirmed on Twitter. Despite claiming that users’ funds were safe, he added: “Binance will continue to support BUSD for the foreseeable future. We do foresee users migrating to other stablecoins over time.”

Binance has seen a surge of withdrawals, according to blockchain intelligence platform Nansen, with net outflows of $788.5 million in a recent 24-hour period. Peckshield reported that 342m BUSD were burned in just 24 hours.

Binance’s reserves contain $14.4bn worth of BUSD, around 90% of the stablecoin’s market cap. The BUSD makes up 22% of Binance’s total $60bn reserves.

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Free Valentine NFTs for crypto lovers

Mintable, a Singapore-based NFT marketplace, is offering up to 10 free, personalised NFTs to send as gifts for Valentine’s Day.

Minted on the Ethereum blockchain, it says no prior knowledge of NFTs or crypto wallets is necessary to send or receive them.

Zach Burks, founder and CEO, said its “mission is to make NFTs accessible to everyone on the planet”. 

He added: “Love should last forever, just like an NFT on the blockchain.”

Cryptocurrency shorts

Microsoft is shutting down its industrial metaverse project due to the amount of investment required to start generating revenue from it, with 100 team members laid off.

Magic Eden is laying off 22 members of staff as part of a restructuring process. The Solana-based NFT marketplace has meanwhile partnered with Web3 payment platform MoonPay to offer new payment options for buying digital collectibles including credit or debit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Civil proceedings against former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and the Securities Exchange Commission are to be deferred until after his criminal trial in October.

Ajuna Network has raised $5 million, led by CMCC Global, and announced NFT game collection ‘Awesome Ajuna Avatars’.

Reddit has added 4m NFTs in two months, with 9m now minted on Polygon with 6.3m holders.

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Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the 22,500 coins is at $1 trillion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 1.1% decrease in the last 24 hours.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.