ARK Invest Buys $18M Worth of Coinbase Shares As The Price Tumbles

https://www.newsbtc.com/all/ark-invest-buys-18m-worth-of-coinbase-shares-as-the-price-tumbles/

In a recent development, Cathie Woods Ark Invest purchased 268,928 Coinbase (COIN) shares following the Wells notice from SEC.

The report revealed that the investment firm had sold 160,887 Coinbase shares from its Fintech Innovation ETF, making it the first since the year began. This recent move shows that the firm aims at buying the dip as the share prices fell following the Wells notice. 

Ark Invest Sells and Acquire More COIN Shares 

The investment firm sold its ARK Fintech Innovation ETF on March 21, realizing $13.5 million. Before the sale, Ark Invest bought 301,437 shares for its ARK Innovation ETF ARKK on March 9. It also bought 52,255 shares for its ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW) the same day. 

Related Reading: 3 Reasons To Remain Bullish On Bitcoin In Coming Months

The firm spent a whopping $20.5 million to buy the shares, but by March 22, the value had spiked close to $30 million. This difference in value may have informed its first sale of 160,887 shares from the ARKF ETF for $13.5 million. 

Then the next day, Ark Invest amassed another 268,928 Coinbase shares worth $17.88 million through ARKK and ARKW ETFs.

But apart from Cathie Wood’s firm, Coinbase CEO and others also sold shares between March 17 and March 20 before the Wells notice on March 22. 

Coinbase Shares Price Dips Following Well’s Notice

Coinbase received a Wells notice from the US Securities and Exchange Commission staff on March 22. The notice means that the SEC staff has recommended enforcement action against Coinbase for violating federal securities law.

While responding to the Wells notice, Coinbase Armstrong tweeted that the crypto firm is right on the law. He further disclosed that the SEC had reviewed the firm’s business in 2021, allowing it to go public which occurred on April 14, 2021. 

In the tweets, Armstrong stated that Coinbase Form S1 explained its asset listing process and added 57 references to staking. He also mentioned that the firm is confident in the facts and is ready to stand before an unbiased body to defend its customers and the crypto industry as a whole. 

Further, Coinbase’s CEO revealed that SEC has not been serious, fair, and reasonable towards its digital assets engagements. 

Further, he assured the community of Coinbase’s dedication to building the most trusted services and products to update the financial system and create worldwide economic freedom.

However, after the Wells notice, Coinbase shares plummeted. COIN price dropped by 21% as the fear of enforcement action spread amongst investors. The next day March 23, the price fell to $64.27. At the time of writing, COIN’s price is $67.83, a slight dip from earlier today.

Featured image from Bankrate and chart from Tradingview

Over 27 Million Shiba Inu Tokens Destroyed, Will The Price Fair?

https://www.newsbtc.com/shiba-inu/over-27m-shiba-inu-tokens-destroyed/

The Shiba Inu community has been committed to controlling the total supply of SHIB in the market to prevent oversaturation and they have continued to burn large amounts of SHIB tokens. A recent burn saw over 27 million SHIB tokens burned in the past 24 hours.

The token-burning mechanism remains one of the significant measures to control the token supply of a cryptocurrency. Also, it helps to strengthen the value or price of a crypto asset by controlling the amount in circulation.

Shiba Inu Community Committed To SHIB Burning

Shibburn reported that 27,613,608 SHIB tokens were burned in the past 24 hours. The Twitter post revealed that the burning occurred through 10 transactions from different wallets. 

Related Reading: Quant Points Out Curious Relationship Between USDT Inflows & Bitcoin Price

The burn tracker disclosed that the biggest burn transaction within the period came from an anonymous wallet. The wallet moved about 14,371,980 SHIB coins to the Shiba dead wallet through a single transaction. But even with the considerable token burn, the cumulative burn rate for Shiba Inu dropped by 96.34% within the last 24 hours.

Over the past seven days, the SHIB Army recorded up to 1.78 billion SHIB tokens burned through several transactions from different wallets. The largest single-burn transaction came from a newly launched Koyo (KYO) token.

The KYO wallet sent over 758.95 million SHIB coins to the burn address. Since March 10, Koyo has significantly contributed to burning SHIB tokens, burning a total of 5.36 billion so far.

Notably, a Japan-based leading crypto exchange, BitFlyer, has supported Shiba Inu following its recent token burn performance. The exchange launched a lottery that will reward 20 lucky winners and each winner will get SHIB tokens worth 10,000 Japanese Yen.

SHIB Price Performance

At the time of writing, Shiba Inu is trading at $0.00001072, indicating an increase of about 1.32% over the past 24 hours. Its market cap is currently at $6.32 billion and depicts a 0.6% loss in the same time frame.

The price performance of SHIB has been on the swing over the past six months. According to data from CoinMarketCap, SHIB closed at $0.000009341 on November 30, 2022, and on average, the token’s price kept dropping throughout December last year.

As of December 15, SHIB closed at $0.000008858 after plummeting by over 5% from its opening value at the beginning of the month. At the end of 2022, the token closed at $.000008087, a further decline in its value.

Related Reading: Bitcoin Whale Activity Reaches Highest Weekly Levels Of 2023

However, the beginning of 2023 brought an impressive change for Shiba Inu. By the end of January, the price of SHIB surged by more than 46% over one month. This pushed the SHIB to 0.00001181 by the end of January 31.

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from Tradingview.com

XRP Bulls in Control: What’s Driving The Recent Price Surge?

https://www.newsbtc.com/analysis/xrp/xrp-bulls-in-control-whats-driving-the-recent-price-surge/

While Ripple is battling the SEC in court, the XRP token displays incredible performance with an over 20% price increase over the past 24 hours. XRP moved forward to grab the first position among the top-gaining cryptocurrencies

Aside from the greed flagged by the Fear and Greed Index as market sentiment improved, another factor might be responsible for the XRP price up.

The latest price surge comes in response to the heightened anticipation around the Ripple v. SEC lawsuit. The crypto community expects the two-year-long lawsuit to end in the first half of 2023.

XRP Token Records Massive Trading Volumes Amid Price Surge

Besides the Ripple lawsuit, XRP owes its performance partly to the South Korean crypto exchange Upbit. Upbit is driving an incredible amount of trading volume to the XRP network as the crypto exchange contributes over 19% of the XRP’s trading volume. 

Related Reading: $28.7K Could Be Next Level To Break For Bitcoin, Here’s Why

XRP has witnessed a massive surge in trading volume beyond 325.81% in 24 hours. XRP trading volume as of March 21 stood at $1.19 billion, but it experienced a rapid surge to nearly $5 billion at press time.

According to Coinglass data, trading activities from other exchanges such as OKX, KuCoin, Binance, Coinsbit, and Bithumb are also responsible for the rally. This rapid rise in trading volume yielded increased liquidity on XRP.

Coinglass data revealed that XRP liquidations have increased to $17.90 million over the past 24 hours, with short positions accounting for $12.44 million while longs got $5.46 million.

XRP May See Higher Highs If Ripple Prevails Over the SEC

Meanwhile, Ripple has filed additional support documents to bolster its defense on the SEC lawsuit. Ripple Labs cited a Supreme Court verdict in the Bittner v. the United States in the new filing. 

Ripple and its lawyers argued that SEC failed to provide a clear guideline for securities laws that govern digital assets. According to Ripple’s argument, this failure on the SEC’s part has spread confusion and uncertainty among market participants across the crypto market.

The SEC has not provided guidance on what grounds crypto assets should be termed securities. However,  despite the lacking regulatory clarity, the SEC has continued to hunt crypto firms.

The outcome of the Ripple/SEC lawsuit would determine what crypto tokens would trade as securities in the market. This case remains the most closely followed regulatory legal battle in the crypto industry as observers anticipate the court verdict.

Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s chief, is optimistic about the case’s outcome while noting that it would likely end in the first half of 2023. While the court proceedings continue, the XRP token price is on the rise as the broader crypto community anticipates the court verdict.

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from Tradingview.com

Here’s What John Lennon’s Son Thinks About Bitcoin

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/bitcoin/heres-what-john-lennons-son-thinks-about-bitcoin/

Many people now see crypto, especially bitcoin, as an option to protect investors’ money during times of uncertainties in the traditional banking system. The recent banking crisis in the United States has made investors aware of the flaws in the current banking system. As such, the narrative about crypto is shifting from unreliability to a viable alternative.

This belief came to play in a recent Twitter post by Stacey Herbert, where the Bitcoiner shared two pictures of two presidents (old and young) to represent USD and Bitcoin. While responding to the post, John Lennon’s son, Sean Lennon, stated, “only Bitcoin can save us now.”

Sean Lennon Sees BTC As The Savior in Current Crisis 

In Herbert’s post, the older man representing USD was US President Biden, while the younger man representing Bitcoin was El Salvador’s president Bukele. The images depict an old and new system.

Stacy Herbert further referred to USD as the “poor old dollar.” In response to Herbert’s tweet, Lennon stated that Bitcoin is now the savior for everyone, meaning that it is now a viable option in the face of the aging dollars. 

Sean Lennon is the son of the Beatles’ Legend John Lennon. He has always been a crypto enthusiast and supports bitcoin. In an April 26, 2022 post, Sean stated that bitcoin will either win big now or do so later. 

The American singer has always been optimistic that Bitcoin will reach higher levels, which informed his stance to call it the savior. 

Bitcoin Price Trend Amid Traditional Finance Crisis

BTC price trends since the banking crisis have been impressive. The Silvergate crisis hit the crypto market badly, pushing asset prices down. The announcement emerged on March 8, causing a dip in BTC prices from $22,216 to $21,718. 

The next day, the BTC price fell further by $1,357, pushing the coin to $20,363. It fluctuated within that price range till March 10, when it recorded an intraday low of $19,628 before starting another price fluctuation. The dip on March 10 could be associated with the crash of Silicon Valley bank. 

But, on March 12, Bitcoin surged to $22,163.95. This change could be linked to the Federal Reserve’s announcement to support shuttered bank depositors’ funds. Even though Signature Bank failed on the same date, it didn’t push the BTC price down. 

From March 12, BTC price started an uptrend, hitting $26,514 on March 14, $27,787 on March 17, and $28,038 on March 19. It has continued to trade between $25,000 and $28,000 since March 16 till date.

This hold above $25,000 could be linked to the shift in sentiment that crypto might be a way out when the traditional banking systems fail. The fear and greed indicator shows the level has been on the greed side since last week. Today’s figure shows it has grown to 68, adding slightly from yesterday’s value.

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from Tradingview.com

Hot Wallets Exploits Push This Crypto ATM Maker To End Cloud Service

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/hot-wallets-exploits-push-this-crypto-atm-maker-to-end-cloud-service/

One of the challenges of the crypto industry is cybercrime. These nefarious activities come in diverse strategies such as network hacks, phishing, exploits, etc. 2022 was one of the worst years for the industry as many projects and DeFi protocols recorded massive losses to bad actors. 

This year, 2023, has also seen vast exploits, including the most recent Euler Finance hack. Another exploit has just pushed a Bitcoin ATM maker, General Bytes, to shut down its cloud services.

The attackers compromised many users’ hot wallets and stole private keys, passwords, etc., stealing crypto assets. The attackers were able to breach the company’s cloud services and other operators’ standalone servers. 

Bitcoin ATM General Bytes Loses Funds To Hackers

General Bytes hasn’t disclosed the total amount of funds the attackers stole from users’ hot wallets but it has shared details of how the exploit happened. The hacker first uploaded and ran a Java application into Bytes’ terminals through the master service interface. The aim was to steal users’ information and send funds from their wallets. 

The company sent a patch release bulletin, warning users of the discovery. Also, General Bytes founder Karel Kyovsky revealed that gaining access to Bytes’ terminals enabled hackers to access the company’s database. It also allowed them to read and decrypt API keys to access funds in hot wallets and exchanges.

Furthermore, the hackers downloaded users’ password hashes and their user names, turned off 2-factor authentication, and even sent out funds from hot wallets. The bad actors could also access event logs at the terminals to identify private keys scanned at the company’s ATMs, especially the older versions that keep such logs. 

Notably, Kyovsky revealed that the firm conducted security audits multiple times in 2021. However, none of the audits discovered this vulnerability. 

General Bytes Moves To Protect Crypto Users

So far, General Bytes has identified and shared details of the 41 wallets used in the attack. One of the wallets received multiple transactions and ended with 56 BTC worth $1.54 million. A second wallet received many ETH transactions, up to 21.82 ETH, worth almost $36,000 at market price.

The press bulletin also shared some steps users can take to protect themselves from losing everything. First, General Bytes mandates ATM operators to install standalone servers. It released two patches for its Crypto Application Server (CAS) managing the ATM operations.

Kyovsky further advised operators to keep the CAS behind a VPN and firewall; the Terminals should only connect CAS through a VPN. Regarding the passwords and API keys, the founder asked the operators to invalidate them and create new ones since they were compromised. 

To the experts and security companies, ATM maker stated it aims to conduct many independent security audits and requires the help of any firm that could help.

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from Tradingview.com

North Korean Hackers Involved In Euler Finance Exploit: Chainalysis

https://www.newsbtc.com/?p=523675

The recent Euler Finance exploit is the largest attack in the crypto space in 2023. The incident occurred through a flash loan attack that led to the loss of almost $200 million in crypto assets.

The hacker eventually transferred the stolen funds to different crypto addresses. A report from a blockchain analytics company, Chainalysis, links a North Korean crypto address to the attack. The address received a transfer of about $170,000 of the stolen funds from the Euler platform.

Euler Finance Stolen Funds Traced To North Korean Hackers

According to the report, Chainalysis identified another address linked with North Korean hackers receiving the Euler stolen funds. The analysis said the address got a transfer of some Ether tokens worth almost $170 million. The North Korean address was traced to several hacking activities in the past.

Also, Chainalysis noted that two primary on-chain entities are involved in the exploits. There are a front-running Miner Extractable Value (MEV) bot and the primary personal wallet of the hacker. 

The hacker preyed on Euler software vulnerabilities that lack collateralization in flash loans to borrow huge funds. The action aided them in manipulating token prices. Also, the infamous sanctioned crypto mixer, Tornado Cash, provided initial financial support to the exploiter. It assisted in covering the gas fees and constructing the contracts used in the attack. 

The hacker initiated a flash loan, borrowing several DAI tokens worth $30 million from the Aave protocol. After completing the attack, the hacker still transferred some of the funds back to the Tornado Cash platform.

North Korea And Crypto Attacks

The connection of the North Korean hackers and address prove their involvement in exploiting Euler Finance. Also, it could mean that the attacker was trying to throw the investigation off balance by transferring some funds to the address.

However, North Korean hackers are notorious for increasing criminal activities and attacks on decentralized finance (DeFi). According to data from Chainalysis, North Korean hackers raked about $3.8 billion from the crypto industry in 2022. This value was higher than what they stole in the previous years.

Also, the analytics firm noted that the hackers were connected to most of the crypto attacks in 2022. But decentralized finance protocols are the major victims of the group’s hacking activities. Attacks on DeFi protocols ranked up to 82.1% of the total hacking activities of the group.

In February 2023, the Korea Times reported that South Korea slammed North Korea with sanctions concerning crypto crimes. This marked the first independent imposed sanctions from South Korea on its northern neighbor as related to cyber activity.

The South Korean sanctions were on four North Korean hackers and seven groups that allegedly assisted in funding the weapons program of the regime. Among the North Korean hackers sanctioned is the notorious Lazarus Group, with high records of cybercrimes globally.

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from Tradingview.com

Use Multi-Signature And Social Recovery Wallets To Achieve Self-Custody, Ethereum Creator Says

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/ethereum/use-multi-signature-and-social-recovery-wallets-to-achieve-self-custody-ethereum-creator-says/

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin advised crypto investors to use social recovery and self-custody wallets. Buterin’s suggestion comes amid heightened expectations for the new Arbitrum token airdrop scheduled on March 23 and the upcoming Shanghai upgrade.

The recommendation makes sense given the increased cyber-related crimes in crypto, with hackers targeting a vulnerability in user wallets. The Ethereum co-founder suggested multi-signature and social recovery wallets so that users can hold self-custody of their funds.

Self-Custody Is Crucial In Crypto: Ethereum Creator

Social recovery wallets are smart-contract-powered wallets that allow users to recover access to their stolen funds even if they lose their private key. On the other hand, a multi-sig wallet requires two or more private keys to authorize a transaction or access funds.

In a tweet, Buterin noted that self-custody is crucial in the crypto ecosystem, especially with the last year’s event. The many hack exploitations in 2021 and 2022 with the FTX fiasco magnified the need for self-custody wallets. 

Buterin suggests multi-sig wallets for long-term holdings and social recovery wallets for short-term day-to-day trading activities.

Following his recommendation, Buterin made a Reddit post that detailed his opinion on how users should choose guardians for social recovery and multi-sig wallets. In his Reddit post, the founder recommended multi-sig wallets like Gnosis Safe, an easy and reliable wallet to store funds. 

Buterin explained that centralized organizations are trustworthy but pose risks of regulatory pressure, including system and human errors. Therefore he advised users not to trust centralized entities. 

Further, he stated that social recovery wallets are easier to use than multi-sig wallets. The ERC-4337 account abstraction and newly built smart contract wallets like Soul Wallet bolsters wallet security. 

Choice Of Wallets, Key Guardians Can Minimize Risks Of Assets Loss 

In addition, Buterin suggested using social recovery for hot wallets that store smaller portions of funds and multi-sigs for cold wallets that store more funds. Also, he noted that selecting good guardians is crucial. 

Good guardians improve the security of crypto funds by reducing the chances of losing keys, funds theft, and risks of sharing private keys with others. In the post, Buterin detailed how to choose a secure guardian.

One of the comments to Buterin’s post talked about the importance of having guardians that can use hardware wallets. It also noted that using guardians for hardware wallets is better than storing keys in Metamask or Google Drive. 

While responding, Buterin said that hardware wallets are unnecessary due to issues that might arise with the issuing company. However, he agreed with the commenter that using Google Drive or Metamask to store keys are risky.

Buterin’s posts followed several wallet attacks that led to a loss of thousands of dollars. These include MyAlgo Wallet exploit, which saw massive amounts of money stolen from users’ accounts.

That is not Buterin’s first time recommending social recovery wallets. On January 11, 2021, Buterin posted a blog detailing the need for crypto investors to adopt recovery wallets. In the article, Buterin said multi-sig is his favorite of all wallet categories. He introduced recovery wallets as easy to use with high-level security.

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from Tradingview.com

Tokenizing Stocks, Bonds And Others Could Boost Capital Markets’ Efficiency: BlackRock CEO

https://www.newsbtc.com/crypto/tokenizing-stocks-bonds-and-others-could-boost-capital-markets-efficiency-blackrock-ceo/

Blockchain has brought a lot of changes to the financial industry. It first facilitated the entry of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others. It also improved many aspects, including insurance, money laundering protection, supply chain management, capital markets, trade finance, etc.

Technology has also boosted the efficiency of other industries such as health, education, automotive, manufacturing, legal, etc. 

As the years go by, more use cases will emerge, further pushing blockchain adoption. For instance, BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink recently suggested tokenizing asset classes such as stocks, bonds, etc. Fink believes that digital asset technologies could boost efficiency in the capital markets.

BlackRock CEO Sees Tokenization As Necessary For Two Reasons 

Fink pointed out two things tokenization could do for the capital market. First, the chief executive officer stated that the strategy could make the capital market more efficient than it is now. Also, tokenization could give more investors access to the markets. 

Fink disclosed in an annual letter to investors that BlackRock is exploring opportunities in the digital asset sector. He pointed out that the company’s main interest lies in tokenizing bonds and stocks and how permissioned blockchains work. 

Finks believes the digital asset industry offers more than Bitcoin issuance, investment, and trading. Further, he stated that many more developments are taking place beyond the widespread crypto usage. 

Fink believes that digital payment usage is overgrowing, and even the collapse of top firms like FTX hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm. As such, more innovative applications could one day emerge from the digital space to support the asset management industry.

In Fink’s statements, some technologies, like tokenization, could drive efficiency in the capital markets, improve investor access and shorten value chains. 

Some Countries Already At The Frontlines: Larry Fink

Notably, Fink pointed out that some countries are already exploring opportunities in the digital space. BlackRock CEO mentioned that emerging markets such as Africa, Brazil, and India are recording more advancements in financial inclusion and payment systems. As such, these markets record low costs of transactions and more financial inclusion.

But while these places push for more innovative approaches, developed markets like the US lag behind in payment innovation. In his words, these markets continue operating under higher costs of payments. 

Even though the BankRock CEO supports tokenization and other aspects, he still believes that regulation is necessary for the industry. Fink believes that clear rules will enable investors to understand the risks they face in crypto investments. 

Notably, the US regulators have continued pushing for a regulatory-compliant crypto industry. Some recent enforcement actions on firms have shown dedication to protecting investors’ interests while navigating the space.

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from Tradingview.com

Binance To Delist And Cease Trading For Helium (HNT), Here’s Why

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/binance-to-delist-and-cease-trading-for-helium-hnt-heres-why/

Binance, the popular crypto exchange, decided to delist Helium (HNT). The crypto token HNT powers the Helium network, a decentralized blockchain for internet of things (IoT) devices. It enables the communication between the devices sending data across the network nodes.

In Binance’s account, Helium HNT is no longer adhering to its standards and, as such, will no longer exist in its market. Notably, the exchange carried out a periodic review to reach this conclusion.

Binance Finds Helium As Unsuitable For Its Customers

The crypto exchange posted a press release disclosing its plans to cease trading for Helium (HNT). It will remove the HNT/BUSD trading pair from the marketplace and stop accepting deposits for the tokens from March 25. 

Also, the exchange disclosed that it will allow users to withdraw their tokens until April 17, when it will stop. Then on April 21, users can withdraw HNT again until June 24. Regarding its reasons for delisting and ceasing trading support for HNT, Binance stated that crypto is no longer acceptable.

Notably, the exchange shared that it followed specific criteria to review HNT. Some of the critical factors are trading volume, liquidity, and smart contract stability. Also, it checks the developmental activities on the network and how the team commits to the project. 

Other factors include the level of responsiveness to its periodic due diligence requests, the level of public communication, and how the projects contribute to the general crypto ecosystem. Further, it also checks if shreds of evidence point towards negligence, fraudulent, or unethical conduct by the project’s team.

Most importantly, Binance mentioned that it only carries out an in-depth review when a crypto project fails to meet its standards or if there are critical industrial changes that could affect assets. So, after checking these factors, HNT and another asset, Teal (WABI), failed to meet its expectations. 

HNT Price Plummeted Amid Solana Migration Plans 

After the announcement by Binance, HNT lost its price gains over the past few days. As of press time, HNT price is down by 13.10% in 24 hours. It has lost hold on the $2 price level it enjoyed since January, despite some rallies to $3 on specific days in February. 

Its market cap has also lost 12.26% in the same time frame. Looking at its current price trend, HNT lost 96.94% from its all-time high of $55.22 on November 12, 2021.

This recent announcement has affected investors’ sentiment on HNT, as seen in the price. But it hasn’t dampened the HNT community looking forward to its migration to Solana as the activities with the coin show massive usage. 

The latest update about its migration appeared yesterday in an official Medium post by the Helium Foundation. It tweeted about it the same day, disclosing that the migration would now occur on April 18.

 Featured image from Binance and chart from Tradingview.com

Here’s When Messari CEO Ryan Selkis Expects Bitcoin To Reach $100,000

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/bitcoin/heres-when-messari-ceo-ryan-selkis-expects-bitcoin-to-reach-100000/

Bitcoin and the broader crypto market have maintained more bearish trends than bullish ones since 2022. Although there were some bullish moves to recall in 2023, the market still struggles to gain strong momentum. The effect of the 2022 crypto price crash, US inflation growth, and interest rate hikes haven’t diminished from the market yet.

Notably, several crypto experts predicted a bullish turn for the market in 2023. Also, the CEO of Messari, Ryan Selkis, recently predicted a bullish price target of $100,000 for Bitcoin within the following 12 months. However, these predictions may change due to investors’ sentiments and other factors. 

Ryan Selkis Predicts $100K For Bitcoin

Ryan Selkis said on Twitter that the leading cryptocurrency’s adoption rate among traditional financial institutions and corporations would accelerate at an unprecedented pace, hitting a six-figure valuation.

The digital asset research firm CEO stated that while the United States dollar is devaluating, investors and other individuals will come to see Bitcoin as the most preferred finance option. He added that for it to happen, corporate companies such as MicroStrategy must start accumulating the token. If this action can begin quickly, it’ll be impossible for federal regulators to terminate the asset.

Selkis also noted that the ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties and inflation risks posed by excessive central bank money-printing would likely drive further interest in Bitcoin. The crypto executive is optimistic about the growth of Bitcoin if institutions can buy more of the token. 

Despite his optimistic outlook, it’s possible that Bitcoin’s growth trajectory may not be straightforward. So, investors should be prepared for significant price swings in the short term. Based on his viewpoint, investors’ best approach will be to take a long-term view of Bitcoin’s potential and focus on its fundamentals rather than day-to-day price movements.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin is still a volatile and risky investment, and it’s not for everyone but for those willing to take the risk and hold on for the long term.

Recent BTC Price Trend

Bitcoin has shown several price swings over the last couple of months after it ended 2022 at $16,547.50. The token later entered 2023 trading at $16,547.91. It maintained price ranges around the $16,000 level until January 8, when it surged to $17,091.14.

Bitcoin sustained a steady price growth afterward, reaching the month’s high of $23,919.89 on January 29. It later dropped slightly to $23,137.84 as it launched into February.

Bitcoin also saw notable growth in the same month, surging to a peak price of $25,134.12 on February 16. However, the token failed to reclaim this price mark, as it kept trading below $25,130 until March 14, when it surged to $26,514.72.

In the meantime, Bitcoin trades at $26,759, with a 24-hour trading volume above $41.2 billion. Its price change over the last 24 hours stands at 8.44% at the time of writing.

Featured image from Pexels and chart from Tradingview.com

Galaxy Digital CEO Recommends Buying Crypto And Bitcoin Amid US Credit Crunch

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/bitcoin/galaxy-digital-ceo-recommends-buying-crypto-and-bitcoin-amid-us-credit-crunch/

Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz foresees a future decline in the United States banking system operations; as such, he encourages crypto investors to purchase certain assets, including Bitcoin, that might stand the test of time. 

The United States has struggled with the economy since the summer of 2022. For now, it’s impossible to foretell its positive turn. Moreover, Novogratz believes the downturn will last longer than expected.

Novogratz Remains Bullish On Bitcoin And Other Digital Currencies

According to Novogratz’s statement, this is the best time for investors to acquire popular digital tokens, including Bitcoin, Silver, and Gold. He believes these assets will be one of the most notable escape routes for the anticipated crunch in the United States economy.

In an interview with CNBC, Novogratz stated that the economic crunch would affect the United States and the world. He revealed the approach several banks imbibe to grow and sustain their capital. Primarily, these banks lend fewer funds to consumers to build their capital score.

Related Reading: Bitcoin Price Reaches Inflection Zone As The Bears Slowly Take Control

Generally, this approach will potentially add to the current credit crunch of the economy. Aside from this, the commodities market is already showing signs of a recession in the future. However, the economic downturn became more evident in March after the fallout of central banks, including Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Silvergate Bank, and Signature Bank.

Due to the ongoing economic recession, the government has become more concerned about printing too much money, believing it will curb the issue. But Novogratz sees a possible reversal in the interest rate policy.

He noted that the Federal Reserve would likely increase the rate, which would be a significant policy error. He restated that digital currencies like Bitcoin exist to avoid the ongoing economic disorder.

How The Assets Are Performing Today

According to market watch, the most prominent digital asset, Bitcoin, saw a significant decline in its price following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. However, data revealed that the token reached its year’s high of $26,514.72 on March 14, 2023.

Related Reading: Why Bitcoin Could Explode To $40,000 Per Coin In A Flash

In the meantime, the broader crypto market has seen a rise above 1% over the past 24 hours. Even though the market cap is still above $1 trillion, there is a noticeable decline from its gains of March 14 and 15. But several digital assets, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, have been trading green in the last seven days.

At the time of writing, the price of BTC in the past week is up by 13.62%, as it currently trades at $24,666.37. On the other hand, Ethereum currently shows a 7-day price gain of 8.17% while trading at $1,659.28.

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from Tradingview.com

Crypto Firms Should Ditch Banks To De-risk From Volatile Systems, Says Cardano Founder

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/cardano/crypto-firms-should-ditch-banks-to-de-risk-from-volatile-systems-says-cardano-founder/

Some crypto-friendly top banks have crashed due to regulatory uncertainty, market downtrend, and shortage of operational funds. The three banks that sent the digital asset market into a downtrend were Silvergate, Silicon Valley, and Signature bank. These banks serviced top firms such as Paxos, Coinbase, Yuga Labs, Circle, Panterra Capital, and Avalanche.

The sudden crash exposed these crypto firms to risks leading to a bearish trend in the crypto market. Notably, the trend changed when the US Federal Reserve announced support funding to protect depositors of the shuttered bank. This incident has propelled Cardano founder, Charles Hoskinson, to propose that the crypto industry ditch the banks. 

Banks Are Volatile And Unstable, Cardano Founder 

Charles Hoskinson’s tweet reflected his thoughts on the ongoing crisis in the banking sector. In his message, the Cardano founder stated that the banks are unstable and that the industry should reconsider using them. 

While responding to Hoskinson’s tweet, a user named Crypto Dojo agreed to his suggestion, pointing out that the industry needed a decentralized digital asset bank. In response, Hoskinson stated that the banks wouldn’t matter once the industry digitalized treasuries.

Other Twitter users supported Hoskinson’s idea of ditching banks. One Twitter user who goes by KG pointed out that the US Dollar de-pegged from the gold standard to become a standalone medium of exchange. As such, the digital sector needs to de-peg from USD and become a “self-sustaining and perpetuating ecosystem.”  

Still, on Hoskinson’s post, another user suggested that Bitcoin should also distance itself from many unstable coins and tokens to align with other positive projects pursuing a better tomorrow. 

Implications Of Bank Implosions On The Crypto Sector

The three banks that crashed recently were crypto-friendly institutions. By going out of business, they have exposed many crypto firms to a desperate search for suitable institutions to support their operations. Moreover, it will take time for the industry to reestablish a solid connection with the traditional banking system.

In the past, it was very challenging for some crypto firms to gain the support of banks. Now, the situation is replaying once again. Some crypto companies even suspended USD bank transfers due to the disconnection of banking support. 

With the current situation, Hoskinson’s suggestion may not seem farfetched, given that some people blamed the crypto industry for the collapse of these banks. Even though it may not be true, shutting down these banks suggests increased regulatory scrutiny on the financial industry, including crypto. It also shows that the crypto industry is seen as a huge threat to the traditional finance system due to its decentralized nature. 

Many supporters of the crypto industry have envisaged a time when it will overtake the traditional finance system. While such a day remains a futuristic reality, the industry has to struggle to reconnect to the banking system to continue running smoothly.

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from Tradingview.com

Jim Cramer Remains Bearish Despite BTC Rally, Here’s Why

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/bitcoin/jim-cramer-remains-bearish-despite-btc-rally-heres-why/

Bitcoin (BTC) is currently experiencing a bull run, rallying amidst chaos created by the collapse of several banks in the last few days. The coin rallied above the $26,000 level, a significant increase from the $20,00 level. 

However, the host of CNBC’s Mad Money, Jim Cramer, is still skeptical about Bitcoin’s price performance. BTC’s recovery is surrounded by controversy due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies. 

Jim Cramer Pessimistic On Bitcoin Performance

A popular CNBC host, Jim Cramer, is not impressed with Bitcoin’s current rally. He explained why he was bearish on Bitcoin, stating that its decentralized nature makes it challenging to regulate.

Cramer also labeled Bitcoin a “strange animal,” which he believes is under the influence of ‘Cindy Bank.’ This implies that large institutions and whales may be manipulating the cryptocurrency market to their favor. He also offered investment advice, stating he would sell his Bitcoin right into the rally. 

However, Will Clemente, Co-founder of Reflexivity Research, holds a different opinion. He believes that Bitcoin has enormous potential and that holding the tokens is the best strategy. He also stated that new BTC investors might have to scramble for what is left since long-term holders might not sell. Clemente believes that long-term holders possess 73% of the total BTC supply.

His assertions seem accurate since investors are accumulating BTC, leading to a price increase for the asset.

Notably, the U.S. authorities’ assurance of customers‘ deposits at the failed Silicon Valley and Signature banks contributed to the Bitcoin rally. Also, the collapse of these banks might result in a drop in the rate hikes by the Feds.

What’s Next For BTC?

Bitcoin has shown a remarkable recovery in the past few days. With the current uncertainty in the financial sector, investors might wonder what is next for the top cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin is trading at the $25,000 price level, a significant increase of over 10% in the last few days. It has moved above its 50-day Simple Moving Average (SMA), a bullish signal. 

Also, it bounced off the 200-day SMA that acted as a support level for its current price rally. Trading above the 200-day SMA indicates that BTC has a bullish outlook for the long term.

BTC has formed its fourth consecutive green candle today, confirming the uptrend. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) indicator is at 61.54 and rising as it approaches the overbought region of 70. It confirms that the bulls are in control of the market.

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from Tradingview

Filecoin Price Spikes As FVM Launch Nears, Will It Rally Higher?

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/filecoin/filecoin-price-spikes-as-fvm-launch-nears-will-it-rally-higher/

A day to the FVM launch, and Filecoin is already pulling weight. The upcoming Filecoin Virtual Machine (FVM) launch is sparking more traction in the Filecoin network as FIL soars nearly 30% a day before launch. According to the Filecoin development team, the FVM would go live on epoch 2,683,348 of the Filecoin mainnet at 15:14 UTC on March 14.

Notably, FVM already has Binance’s support. According to the official announcement today, Binance will support Filecoin’s network upgrade known as Network v18 Hygge. The crypto exchange will momentarily halt FIL withdrawals and deposits on its platform at 14:30 UTC on March 14.

Filecoin (FIL) Price Surges Amid Heightened Anticipation For The FVM Launch

Over the past weeks, FIL has been basking in the hype around the FVM launch with impressive performance. Without the past week’s market-wide bearish trend, FIL would have sustained most of its February and January price gains. 

FIL observed a 12.9% price decline over the past two weeks. However, data from Tradingview shows that FIL has recovered most of its past weeks’ gains. The coin has rallied 30.14% over the past month and a 3.24% price gain in a week.

Notably, Filecoin users remained bullish about the coin in anticipation of the FVM upgrade. Data shows that FIL has recorded an over 228% surge in trading volume amid the heightened expectation of the network upgrade. Besides that, the FIL price rallied 28.49% over the past day while trading at $6.354 at press time.

The community’s sentiment towards the upcoming launch is evident in the number of viewers and attendees of the Countdown to FVM event on March 10. According to a tweet from Filecoin’s official handle, over 50,000 viewers and 300+ attendees were keyed into the event. 

Also, data from Defillama shows that Filcoin’s total value locked (TVL) has increased by 19.97%. As of March 12, the TVL stood at $1,850,223, but today March 13, it rose to $2,219,792. 

Features Of The FVM Upgrade

The Filecoin Virtual Machine is a runtime environment where developers can deploy smart contracts on the Network. Like the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), FVM would scale the FIL blockchain’s programmability releasing the potential of an open data economy.

The FVM will transform Filecoin into a fully developed layer-1 blockchain. FVM will be compatible with EVM, enabling FIL to support multiple virtual machines after the upgrade.

Since Filecoin is a decentralized data storage system, deploying the FVM will enable more people to create and gain value from data. FVM would allow the developers to build applications, marketplaces, and decentralized organizations on the Filecoin network. It would also reduce gas fees, scale transaction speed, and bolster DeFi adaptation on Filecoin.

These features have increased the community’s anticipation for the FVM launch, supporting the FIL token price rally. The current rise in trading volume suggests either more people have already started Filecoin transactions or existing users increased their activities while awaiting tomorrow’s launch.

Featured image from Pexels and chart from Tradingview.com

Crypto Exchange Coinbase And Others Disclose Funds In Shuttered Signature Bank

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/crypto-exchange-coinbase-and-others-disclose-funds-in-shuttered-signature-bank/

The crypto industry has seen a series of closures among the banks lately. First, Silvergate Capital Corporation closed shop, announcing that it would liquidate its bank. Then Silicon Valley bank followed suit, recording a massive decline in its shares and an eventual closure by the regulators.

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) recently shut down Signature Bank and handed its insurance process to the United States Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The bank is another institution that supports many crypto firms by holding most of their funds in reserve.

Following the Signature bank crash, many top firms such as Paxos, Coinbase, and Celsius have revealed they had some funds tied up in them. 

Top Crypto Firms Reveal Funds In Signature Bank

In a tweet, one of the top exchanges, Coinbase, revealed it had up to $240 million of its funds in Signature Bank. The firm further stated that the funds would be fully recovered, given that the FDIC would protect its clients’ funds.

Coinbase also assured customers that it facilitates clients’ cash transactions with other banks supporting its operations. Most importantly, Coinbase reiterated that its normal operations would continue despite the turbulence in the traditional banking sector. 

The second crypto firm that tweeted about its funds was Paxos. The stablecoin issuer revealed it had $250 million in Signature Bank. But in its case, the funds are not insured under FDIC. Paxos used private insurance to cover the whole amount instead of the standard $250,000 per depositor of FDIC.

Further, the stablecoin issuer stated that it maintains relationships with top global banks and keeps pushing to expand its network. It also wrote that private deposit insurance is a conservative approach to managing customers’ assets to exceed the FDIC’s limits.

Notably, Paxos assured customers its risk management approach is prudent, holding 90% of stablecoin reserves in short-term U.S. treasury bills and overnight repo. The approach aims to reduce exposure to the banking system and limit USD cash holdings at depository institutions. 

The third announcement came from the Celsius Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors. This is the body representing the interest of Celsius account holders after it went bankrupt in June 2022. In its post, the firm had some funds in Signature bank, but the committee didn’t state the amount. 

The silver lining in this banking issue is the $25 billion in funding the U.S. Fed promised to provide for the banks to meet depositors’ needs during this period. 

Some Firms Disclose Non-Exposure to Signature Bank

While some top firms have disclosed holding some funds in the now-shuttered bank, others are safe from the issue.

The CEO of one of the top exchanges, Crypto.com, shared a tweet announcing the firm had no exposure to the Signature bank. Also, Tether’s chief technology officer Paolo Ardoino tweeted, announcing that the stablecoin firm didn’t keep its funds in the bank. 

Other firms safe from the issue are Theta Network blockchain and Immutable X. Top officials shared posts revealing no exposure to Signature Bank. 

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from Tradingview.com

Shiba Inu Continues To Reduce Token Supply, Removes 490 Million SHIB In One Day

https://www.newsbtc.com/shiba-inu/shiba-inu-continues-to-reduce-token-supply-removes-490-million-shib-in-one-day/

Shiba Inu is among the tokens that use a burning mechanism. It has continually burnt millions of SHIBs to balance its demand and supply, sometimes pushing the price slightly. The network removed 490 million SHIBs in one day in this latest burn.

One of the ways of improving token value is by reducing its supply. The crypto industry uses the burning mechanism to execute the process. This mechanism enables tokens with uncapped supply to reduce the circulating amount in the market, thereby preventing over-saturation and price crashes. 

490 Million Shiba Inu Tokens Removed From The Market 

In the latest report by Shibburn.com, Shib developers removed 489,895,235 permanently from circulation. The SHIB burn tracker disclosed that the burning occurred in 24 hours through eight separate transactions. 

Among the eight transactions, a “Shib Inu: Deployer2” wallet burnt the highest number by sending 485,682,280 SHIB to the Shiba Inu burn address in a single transaction.  

Notably, the total Shiba Inu burn rate decreased by 71.28% from the previous day’s burn. According to the burn tracker, the previous day’s transactions involved 58 transfers to the burn wallet, destroying 2,204,313,475 SHIB tokens. 

Due to the address that burned the massive number of tokens, the community has linked it to the upcoming Shibarium Public Beta. Notably, the address is a SHIB contract deployer. 

But while the burn continues, some notable SHIB token purchases confirm the interest in the Shibarium release. Top whales, including “BlueWhale0073” and others, have accumulated almost 215 billion tokens in 10 days. The report disclosed that these Ethereum investors consider SHIB’s price at $0.00001034 the best time to accumulate the tokens.

BlueWhale0073 alone purchased a whopping 215,815,570 539 SHIBs worth $2,209,951 from an unidentified address that paid $33.46 in nominal fees. 

Shibarium And The Latest Updates

The Shibarium launch has created an unending buzz in the crypto community. Shiba Inu community anticipates several benefits from the new project. The project aims to become a decentralized hub for SHIB holders to trade the tokens and earn rewards without centralized exchanges. 

Moreover, the platform promises fast, low-cost transactions on SHIB and other tokens. It also aims to correct the issues such as high fees and slow transaction speeds that permeate other DEXs, thereby ensuring a seamless trading experience.

Most importantly, the new project should increase the SHIB token value as it will create new use cases. Notably, the demand will spike as its utility increases, potentially boosting the price. The team has announced that the public beta will go live this week, and the community gladly awaits D-Day. 

The project is already increasing Shiba Inu adoption as many firms are integrating it for payments. Xeni, a travel booking platform, and BitPay have partnered and will use SHIB and other cryptos as payment. Also, NOWNodes, a blockchain node infrastructure provider, announced its plans to integrate Shibarium. 

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from TradingView.com

Coinbase Stands Firm: Staking Services Will Continue Despite SEC Scrutiny

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/coinbase-stands-firm-staking-services-will-continue-despite-sec-scrutiny/

Even with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s position on staking, Coinbase, the popular crypto exchange, has assured its customers of continuing the service on its platform. In its email, the exchange promised that the staked amounts would continue to earn rewards. 

The SEC recently stepped up its action against crypto firms, alleging that digital assets are securities. It also clamped down on the staking services of crypto exchange Kraken, as the firm didn’t register the program before offering it. Notably, the commission focuses on the staking services that centralized exchanges offer.

Updates On Coinbase Staking Services

Coinbase emailed its staking service customers stating that the service may increase. A staker who received the email shared the information on Twitter. According to @AltcoinPsycho, the exchange disclosed that it is updating its staking terms and conditions, and the changes will start on March 29.

A notable update on the terms and conditions slated to take effect from March 29 is that the staking rewards will come from Coinbase’s decentralized protocols and not from the exchange. It clarified its stance as a service provider connecting the customers, the validators, and the staking pools.

Many customers may wonder if the decision to continue its staking won’t have repercussions. But the exchange made some statements to clarify its stance by saying it’s not rewarding stakers directly and that it is only serving as a connector for stakers, staking pools, and validators.

This way, even though SEC is irked about the service, there won’t be grounds to attack Coinbase like Kraken. Also, recall that Coinbase and its CEO Brian Armstrong shared posts declaring distinctions between its staking services and Kraken’s.  

Brief On Kraken’s Run-In With SEC

Kraken, a staunch competitor of Coinbase, lost its right to offer staking services to US customers after SEC clamped down on it. In the February 9 filing by SEC, Kraken had offered staking services to US customers since 2019.

It advertised the service as an easy-to-use platform where investors earn benefits through Kraken’s efforts. The exchange also promised that stakers would earn 21% percent as their annual staking rewards.

But in SEC’s allegations, many users of the staking service lost control of their tokens by staking it, which brings them more risks and little protection.

The SEC shared the announcement in a press release alleging Kraken failed to register the offer and sale. It also stated that Kraken offered an outsized reward untethered to economic realities and even retained the right not to pay stakers any reward.

After much deliberations, Kraken agreed to settle with SEC and pay $30 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties. It also agreed to stop offering staking services to its US customers. But in a blog post, Kraken announced that it would continue to offer the service to non-US customers.

Featured image from Bankrate and chart from Tradingview.com

Investors Shifted Funding From CeFi To DeFi Following Major Crashes

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/investors-shifted-funding-from-cefi-to-defi-following-major-crashes/

In the wake of significant collapses in centralized finance (CeFi) platforms, the crypto industry is witnessing a significant shift in funding from CeFi to decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, according to a recent report by CoinGecko.

The report highlights that investors are increasingly looking towards DeFi platforms due to their transparency, security, and efficiency compared to CeFi platforms.

The Crypto Funding Shift

The CoinGecko report revealed that the risks in the CeFi sector had increased the number of investors turning to DeFi platforms, which offer several benefits. These benefits include increased transparency, where transactions are recorded on a public blockchain, allowing investors to see how the platforms use their funds.

Moreover, DeFi platforms are more secure since they use smart contracts to execute transactions rather than relying on centralized intermediaries. Also, the efficiency of DeFi platforms contributes to its growing number of investors, as they allow them to have more control over their funds.

This enables them to trade assets instantly without going through a centralized exchange, resulting in lower fees and faster transaction times.

The CoinGecko report concludes that the shift toward DeFi funding is likely to continue in the coming months as investors increasingly prioritize security, transparency, and efficiency over centralized control.

DeFi And CeFi Funding Activities

There were several DeFi and CeFi funding activities from various crypto organizations to recall in 2022. But according to the report from CoinGecko, Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) made the most significant DeFi funding in this period, a $1 billion in sales of the LUNA coin in February 2022. This remarkable event preceded the fall of TerraClassicUSD and Terra Luna Classic three months later.

Other contributors to the DeFi funding were Lido Finance, an Ethereum staking protocol, and the Ethereum-native DEX (decentralized exchange) Uniswap. The report shows that both companies raised $94 million and $164 million, respectively.

Regarding CeFi funding, the report noted that FTX U.S. and FTX received the highest portion after raising about $800 million in January. This figure amounts to 18.6% of the total CeFi funding recorded in 2022. However, after 10 months of regular operations, the crypto firm collapsed and filed for bankruptcy.

Some other areas included in the investment include blockchain technology and blockchain infrastructure companies. Both sectors raised about $2.7 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively, and this trend has remained over the last few years.

Currently, it’s not easy to determine how the current trend will affect the broader market. But many crypto companies may migrate to the DeFi sector considering its growing trend and benefits.

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from Tradingview.com

This Report Claims Bitcoin NFT Market Will Grow By 2025, But How?

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/bitcoin/this-report-claims-bitcoin-nft-market-will-significantly-grow-by-2025-but-how/

Galaxy Digital’s research unit believes that Bitcoin NFT marketplace will grow to a $4.5 billion market cap. From their projections, these growth figures will emerge by March 2025.

NFTs have become increasingly popular across several blockchains due to their growing relevance. These digital assets are making waves in several spheres, such as gaming, sports, and as reward tokens.

Bitcoin Ordinals Leading The Charge

Bitcoin NFT protocols on mainnet are referred to as Ordinals. Casey Rodarmor, a software engineer, created these Ordinals and officially launched the program on January 21, 2023.

This protocol enables Bitcoin’s version of NFTs to operate on the network. These digital works consist of PDFs, JPEG images, and video or audio formats. These inscribed Satoshis represented by numbers can be secured and are transferable to other Bitcoin addresses.

However, the Ordinals’ introduction to the network met mixed reactions as those in support argued that the Ordinals offered more financial use cases than Bitcoin. Others believe that the concept negates the original plan for Bitcoin by its legendary creator Satoshi Nakamoto as a peer-to-peer cash system.

Dan Held, a Bitcoin bull, supported the development of these ordinals and stated that it would increase the demand for block space, increasing the network fees. Bitcoin is Saving, a Twitter user, argued that marginalized people in developing countries must pay more to operate their Bitcoin nodes because privileged whites want to add JPEG drawings on the BTC blockchain as status symbols.

Another observer, Neil Jacobs stated that Layer 2 technology was created to earn higher fees since small transactions would not be realistic on the base layer. Also, he stated that while the cost of running a node will increase, the true impact of the ordinal technology cannot be fully understood at the moment but with time.

Lyn Alden‘s response to Bitcoin is Saving’s post stated that some people want to trade digital pieces of paper based on weekly price charts. Others want to bet on how the world will look in five years. She stated that half of Financial Twitter on her timeline consists of these two groups constantly debating each other.

This Report Claims Bitcoin NFT Market Will Significantly Grow By 2025, But How?

Despite the mixed reactions, the project flagged off and has recorded success, prompting Galaxy Digital’s optimistic projections. Bitcoin Ordinals will likely change the NFT market since Bitcoin is the most popular and trusted crypto project worldwide. Most of the supporters of this innovation hope that Bitcoin’s status will influence its NFTs positively in the coming years.

Yuga Labs Join The Ordinal Trend

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) creators Yuga Labs announced a new NFT token TwelveFold on the BTC network. It was announced on Twitter on February 28, with Yuga Labs launching 300 tokenized computer-generated artworks as part of the Twelvefold collection for auction.

Yuga Labs also announced, on their blog, an original and experimental 300-piece generative art collection inscribed on Satoshis. A Satoshi is the smallest individual unit of a bitcoin. An inscribed Satoshi is traced using its minting time through the Ordinal Theory Protocol.

Twelvefold is a base 12 art system located around a 12×13 grid supported by the Bitcoin blockchain. This collection boasts highly-rendered 3D elements with hand-drawn features supporting the ordinal inscriptions currently done by hand.

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from Tradingview.com and Galaxy Digital.

DCG Lost Over $1 Billion In 2022 Due To Crypto Market Crash: Report

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/dcg-lost-over-1-billion-in-2022-due-to-crypto-market-crash-report/

The crypto winter of 2022 affected many firms, digital assets, and investors. The fall of crypto asset prices led to massive losses for many participants. Fast-forward to 2023, some firms still struggle to survive the aftermath of last year’s revenue loss.

One of the top crypto industry giants, DCG, released its 2022 financial report revealing a loss of $1.1 billion. The firm indicates that the bankruptcy of Genesis and the overall crypto market crash affected its revenue. 

Digital Currency Group Revenue, Assets, And Liabilities In 2022

The report shows that DCG was among the investor of the firms that lost revenue in 2022. Apart from the extended bearish trend, the firm was also affected when its subsidiary, Genesis, went bankrupt. 

In the financial report, the crypto giant lost $24 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, while its total revenue was $143 million. Its consolidated revenue for the entire 2022 was $719 million. Regarding the firm’s assets, the report showed $5.3 billion in total assets as of December 2022. Among the assets, only $262 million were cash and cash equivalents. 

On DCG’s equity value and shares price, the report indicates its valuation was $2.2 billion while its shares price was close to $28. The firm noted that the entire sector recorded a general decline of 75%-85% in equity values, which also affected it. 

On the positive side, DCG restructured its promissory note worth $1.1 billion, due in 2032. It is also planning to issue new redeemable and convertible stocks. The firm also disclosed that it achieved a milestone in restructuring Genesis. 

According to the report, Genesis Global Holdco agreed to sell itself and Genesis Global Trading to assist DCG, the parent company, in paying off creditors. Per the agreement, the maturity of DCG’s May 2023 debt obligations to Genesis Capital worth $600 million will be extended to June 2024. 

DGG Subsidiaries Collapse Rocking Its Boat

The crypto industry as a whole saw many firms crash due to loss of revenue, liquidity crunch, and macros. The first two firms that crashed were Celsius and Voyager Digital. Afterward, others followed suit, including an algorithmic stablecoin Terra-LUNA, a hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), FTX crypto exchange, etc.

Amongst the firms that filed for bankruptcy last year was Genesis Global Holdco and two of its subsidiaries, Genesis Asia Pacific and Genesis Global Capital.

Genesis Global Capital had over 100,000 creditors at the time of bankruptcy. Its liabilities were $1 billion, while its assets were $10 billion. The two subsidiaries operating as lending firms also had an estimated $00 million and $500 million in assets and liabilities. 

Another DCG subsidiary that recorded financial issues was Luno. The digital asset platform had to cut its workforce by 35% to weather the tough year ravaging the crypto market and tech industry. 

Featured image from Pexels and chart from Tradingview.com

Glassnode Report Claims This Platform Is Reigniting NFT Economy, But How?

https://www.newsbtc.com/nft/glassnode-report-claims-this-platform-is-reigniting-nft-economy-but-how/

In recent months, the NFT market slowed, with declining trading volumes and decreased investor interest. However, according to on-chain data provider, Glassnode, a new NFT marketplace called Blur is reviving activities in the sector once again.

Blur is a direct competitor of the popular NFT marketplace, OpenSea, which appears to be gaining traction among NFT buyers and sellers. The platform boasts a user-friendly interface, low fees, and a growing community of expert traders, artists, and collectors.

Blur Revives NFT Activity

According to Glassnode’s data, the number of unique buyers and sellers on Blur has increased over the past few months. Additionally, the circulating market cap of the Blur token has been on the rise, reaching up to $331.51 million, with a 24-hour trading volume of $169.44 million, data from DappRadar shows.

Glassnode also noted that the gas consumption from NFT dealings on the Ethereum network has increased in the last two months. The average gas cost at the moment stands at 38 gwei. This figure shows a notable increase from about nine months back, ranging between 10 and 20 gwei.

Related Reading: Bitcoin Price Recovery Could Soon Fade If BTC Fails To Surpass $24K

In 2022, the NFT market displayed a slow pace in trading volume. At the time, even high collections declined significantly, which resulted in several analyses pointing out that the market space was filled with wash trading and vain promises. The macroeconomic pressures and bear market forced OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, to cut down staff capacity in June 2022.

Despite its move to create a zero-fee model, the marketplace has failed to compete with the notable growth of Blur. Based on the report, Blur has been committed to raising a community of expert traders – an improvement to OpenSea’s target audience of collectors and creators.

Meanwhile, users on the Blur platform execute an average of 4-5 trades in 24 hours, notably higher than the 2 trades per day on the OpenSea network.

Activities Driving Blur’s Progress

The resurgence of NFT activity on Blur could be attributed to several factors. First, the platform implemented a way to reward its users. The platform distributed an airdrop provided to the community as promised. This event attracted high-end collectors willing to pay a premium for rare and valuable NFTs.

Related Reading: Bitcoin Two-Month Rally Slows Down, What’s Next?

Secondly, Blur has gained a reputation for being a platform that prioritizes the needs of its users. The team behind Blur has been actively engaging with the community, listening to feedback, and implementing changes to improve the user experience.

Glassnode Report Claims This Platform Is Reigniting NFT Economy, But How?

Also, the platform has been able to differentiate itself from OpenSea by offering a more curated selection of NFTs. While OpenSea has thousands of NFTs listed on its platform, Blur only features a selected few, ensuring that buyers get the best from the available options.

Generally, the rise of Blur is a promising sign for the NFT market, which has been struggling to maintain its momentum in recent months. With more competition in the space, NFT marketplaces will continue innovating and improving, attracting more buyers and sellers alike.

Featured image from Pixabay, Chart from TradingView.com

Why Blockchain And Crypto VC Funding Is Down In Q4, According To This Report

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/why-blockchain-and-crypto-vc-funding-is-down-in-q4-according-to-this-report/

The year 2022 was a disastrous period for crypto due to the bear market and other chaotic events. The crypto industry has yet to recover from the collapse of Terra in Q2 of 2022 to FTX’s implosion in Q4. The ripple effects of FTX’s bankruptcy across the industry affected many sectors, including top firms.

Among the affected area is crypto venture capital funding. Blockdata analytics firm reported the state of blockchain and crypto venture capital funding in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2022. According to the report, venture capital funding in the crypto and blockchain sectors dwindled.

Terra And FTX Implosions Among Chief Cause Of Decline In VC Funding

Blockdata’s report noted a successive quarterly decline in funding throughout 2022 after a flourishing venture capital funding in the Web3 space in 2021. Blockdata analyzed data from CB Insights, a market intelligence platform that analyzes data points on venture capital, startups, and various sectors.

In its analysis, Blockdata noted that Q4 recorded a 34% decline in venture capital funding from the third (Q3) of 2022. The last quarter saw a drastic drop in funding compared to Q1 and Q2. 

According to Blockdata’s report, venture capital investment in crypto declined quarterly in 2022. Q1 recorded a 53% decline from the 2021 value, Q2 a 67% reduction, and Q4 experienced a 61% decline in funding. The drop in venture capital investment maintained a consecutive pattern, falling from its all-time high of $11 billion in funding and 692 deals in the first four months of 2022.

In its report, Blockdata outlined several factors responsible for the reduced crypto and blockchain funding over the past year. First, it cited the $60 billion Terra ecosystem collapse in May 2022 as a trigger for the downturn. The Terra collapse sent a cascade effect across the industry, leading many crypto firms, including Celsius and Three Arrows Capital, to bankruptcy.

The FTX implosion in November 2022 was also among the factors Blockdata cited that fueled reduced blockchain and crypto VC funding. In addition, the FTX liquidity crunch spiked volatility across the crypto market, causing many assets to lose value while some firms went bankrupt. 

Also, the global macroeconomic conditions in traditional finance and capital markets contributed to the decline in VC funding. For example, the spike in interest rates and the US Fed’s inflation-control strategy were among the factors that repelled venture capitalists from funding crypto and blockchain startups.

Why Blockchain And Crypto VC Funding Is Down In Q4, According To This Report

Due to these factors, Q4 of 2022 recorded only $3.7 billion in funding, a 61% decline against the $9.6 billion in Q4 of 2021. The overall blockchain and crypto startup funding saw an 11% yearly decline, dropping from $32 billion in 2021 to $29 billion in 2022.

A Ray Of Hope For The Crypto Sector

However, Blockdata noted that the volume of investment deals in 2022 increased by 35% against the 2021 outcome. That is a positive result amid the massive decline in funding recorded. In addition, the firm noted that despite the downturn in venture capital investments, investors still want to invest in blockchain-based technology.

The report noted that venture capitalists are shifting focus towards non-volatile innovations, including cross-chain bridges, payments, DAO, lending, remittance services, and more. 

Despite a funding decline in Q4, Amber Group raised $300 million in a Series C fundraiser in December 2022. The fourth quarter also saw nine blockchain mega-rounds, where firms raised over $100 million in funding. However, Uniswap and Celestia were the only firms to attain unicorn status in Q4 of 2022.

Featured Image From Pixabay stevepb, Chart From TradingView.com.

3AC NFTs Sale To Commence Soon Due to Liquidation

https://www.newsbtc.com/nft/3ac-nfts-sale-to-commence-soon-due-to-liquidation/

The liquidators of Three Arrow Capital (3AC), a prominent digital asset management firm, have announced plans to sell the company’s non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to realize value amid bankruptcy proceedings.

3AC is a Singapore-based digital currency hedge fund incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. It invested assets worth more than $10 billion in some major projects, such as Terra and Solana.

The company crashed in 2022 after the fall of LUNA and its stablecoin, UST. During bankruptcy proceedings, it was revealed that 3AC held about $560 million worth of LUNA and UST. 

Liquidators To Sell Company’s NFTs

Liquidators are now planning to sell 3AC NFT holdings to realize liquidation value, Joint Liquidator Christopher Farmer announced recently. The announcement revealed that the sales will commence 28 days after the notice date.

According to the liquidator’s statement, the decision to sell the NFTs came after considering all available options to maximize the value of 3AC’s assets. The NFTs, which include unique digital assets such as artwork and collectibles, are expected to fetch a significant sum at auction.

However, the liquidators cited that the NFTs for sale will not include those dubbed informally as the Starry Night Portfolio. Before now, the company moved about 300 NFTs from its subsidiary Starry Night Capital, which it considered a part of the bankruptcy proceedings.

Although the notice failed to mention the NFTs the liquidators plan to sell, Tom Wan, an analyst, revealed which items the team will likely sell. In his speech, Wan mentioned that some of the NFTs to be sold are high-profile pieces, including PEGZ, Otherdeeds, MAYC, Punks, Autoglphys, and more.

3AC NFTs Sale To Commence Soon Due to Liquidation

Notably, 3AC liquidators amassed a significant collection of NFTs over the years. Liquidators believe that selling these assets would help offset some outstanding debts.

While the amount of money liquidators can get from the sale remains uncertain, they hope the proceeds will alleviate some of its financial woes.

Community Members React Against 3AC 

Even with the bankruptcy proceedings, the 3AC community members have continued to express anger against 3AC. In a tweet, Su Zhu, the founder of 3AC, accused the Digital Currency Group (DCG) of collaborating with FTX to end the operation of LUNA. However, his efforts to blame the organizations failed when community members urged him to focus on his own mistakes.

Also, members of the crypto community are expressing their displeasure at a new exchange, which 3AC and Coinflex support. Some members even swore never to use the platform and bully anyone who does.

As the market for NFTs continues to grow, more companies will likely begin to explore the potential of these digital assets. For 3AC liquidators, selling these NFTs represents a unique opportunity to realize value for the creditors.

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Real Vision CEO Predicts Growth For Top-Tier NFTs During Crypto Boom Cycles

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/real-vision-ceo-predicts-growth-for-top-tier-nfts-during-crypto-boom-cycles/

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have now become a household name in the crypto space. Many individuals and businesses currently own and use NFTs to promote their businesses and as investment products.

While the tokens majorly serve as proof of ownership, their applications could spike. Besides, the CEO of Real Vision claims NFTs will witness more significant growth during crypto boom cycles.

NFTs Could Out-Perform Ether In The Future

The co-founder and CEO of Real Vision, Raoul Pal, sees an impressive future performance for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Pal laid out his opinions and ideas about NFTs in a YouTube video.

The CEO discussed that the performance of NFTs would be the same as that of high-end property within the traditional economy. He stated that both the applications and actions of the tokens will rise during crypto market boom cycles and could even surpass that of Ether.

Real Vision CEO Predicts Growth For Top-Tier NFTs During Crypto Boom Cycles

The former JPMorgan executive highlighted the strengths of NFTs as the underlying technology in development, the primary use cases, and its performance ability compared with Ether.

According to Pal, NFTs form a pathway to owning property within the ETH economy. It does not matter if the investors are in New York, London, Hong Kong, or any other location. He stated that people will always go for the high-end property as they make more money through a positive economic turn. 

CEO Pal further noted some of the essential NFT collections are making waves in the crypto community. These include collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), CryptoPunks, and others.

Pal said having such collections resembles owning a luxury car, house, or other items from famous or popular brands. In most cases, owners enjoy exclusive rights, such as membership in exclusive clubs or what could be seen as mini-network platforms.

Applications And Purposes

CEO Pal traveled down memory lane as he recalled how he developed more interest in NFTs in 2022. He explained that he studied NFTs, gradually discovering what they are, their operations, and the power in their functionalities. Finally, he understood that the tokens could transfer values through automated smart contracts and blockchains.

Further, Pal cited that NFTs are used in the resolution of contracts. He noted that such applications remove the interference of third parties like accountants, lawyers, courts, and notaries. He highlighted that the blockchain technology used in developing NFTs offers verifiable agreement transparency once all necessary operations are inputted.

Also, CEO Pal revealed that while joining the NFT train, he has been increasing his ownership over time. He revealed has mapped almost 10% of his ETH holdings for NFT collections like BAYC and CryptoPunks.

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PeckShield Discovers Pump And Dump Tokens Linked To ChatGPT

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/peckshield-discovers-pump-and-dump-tokens-linked-to-chatgpt/

In a recent report on Twitter, a blockchain security firm, Peckshield, revealed several Ponzi scheme tokens linked to a popular chatbot, ChatGPT. As per the report, many tokens have lost more than 60% of their value after creation. 

PeckShield provides products and services to improve the blockchain system’s security, usability, and privacy. These services allow clients to figure out vulnerable areas within their system and create a suitable approach to handle them. Its recent findings center on pump-and-dump digital currencies.

Peckshield Discovers Dozens Of Pump And Dump Tokens

PeckShield’s post states that three of the dozens of BingChatGPT tokens are connected to honeypot schemes. This system typically allows the perpetrators to trick users into releasing their Ether holdings.

The company noted that two of these three coins have already lost almost 100% of their initial value. Meanwhile, the third one has declined by about 65%. This shows that the tokens are a typical example of rug pulls or pump-and-dump schemes.

Perpetrators of this scheme usually create a campaign or system that misleads investors, tricking them into purchasing tokens. Then, when the prices of these coins appreciate, the scammers secretly sell them off, leaving investors with nearly nothing.

According to the blockchain security firm, one of the culprits who pioneered the scheme of creating dozens of tokens was Deployer 0xb583.

However, the company failed to mention why the culprits chose to use the name BingChatGPT for the scam tokens. It could be that the perpetrators were leveraging the announcement about the chatbot released on February 8.

The announcement noted that OpenAI’s ChatGPT tech works with the Edge browser of Microsoft and Bing. So the token’s name might be a way to make investors believe it’s connected to Microsoft, leveraging the AI chatbot hype.

Other Instances Of Pump And Dump Tokens

Another report from a blockchain analytics firm, Chainalysis, about 10,000 newly released digital tokens in 2022 had the potential of being pump-and-dump tokens.

PeckShield Discovers Many Pump and Dump Tokens Linked To Chatbot ChatGPT

The firm further cited that out of the 1.1 million digital tokens launched in 2022, investors transacted with around 40,521 only. It also noted that this set of tokens had not less than 10 swaps on 4 consecutive trading days in the week after their release.

The blockchain analytics firm also stated that out of the 40,521 tokens that gained traction after their launch in 2022, about 24%, or 9,902, witnessed a decline in their prices within their first trading week. This is also a possible sign of a pump-and-dump scheme.

Although a drop in the price of a token is not enough to dim it as a pump-and-dump scheme, the firm cited that 25 of them showed clear signs of being fraud tokens after a close investigation. These coins had a malicious honeypot code that restrained new investors and buyers from selling them.

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Majority Of New Tokens In 2022 Were Fraudulent, Says Chainalysis

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/majority-of-new-tokens-in-2022-were-fraudulent-says-chainalysis/

2022 saw the launch of over one million new tokens. However, a study by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis revealed that many of the new crypto tokens looked like pump-and-dump schemes. In the new study, Chainalysis evaluated numerous new tokens that started in 2022 and discovered that 24% had pump and dump features. 

According to the report, most of these coins plummeted by 90% within the first week of launch after their developers dumped their holdings.

More Than 9,000 Newly Launched Tokens In 2022 Were Rug Pulls

According to Chainalysis’ report, 2022 saw more than 1.1 million new coins on Ethereum and BNB Chain. The blockchain analytics firm evaluated the new crypto projects based on the number of trading days and swaps the week after their launch.

After evaluating the projects using 10 minimum swaps and four consecutive trading days in a week after their launch, Chainalysis made an interesting observation.

Only 40,521 of 1.1 million new tokens gained traction within the evaluation period. However, 24% (9,902) of the 40,521 tokens that gained popularity witnessed a significant price decline in the first week after their launch. Those are the characteristics of pump and dump schemes. 

As per the report, a 90% or more decline in token price indicates that the coin creators dumped their holdings quickly. Also, Chainalysis noted that market forces could affect tokens’ price movements regardless of the efforts of the developer team to promote the coins.

But the promotional strategies for such coins are not always the same. Therefore, Chainalysis used an evaluation service to score new tokens’ trustworthiness on a 0-100 scale. The firm evaluated 25 new crypto tokens. They all scored zero, suggesting they were most probably pump-and-dump projects.

Furthermore, Chainalysis’s report revealed that victims of the pump-and-dump projects invested about $4.6 billion in crypto assets. These investors are stuck with losses while the creators accumulated $30 million in profits after dumping their holdings.

8% Of Ethereum Coins And 12% Of BNB Coins In 2022 Are Rug Pulls, Says Solidus

Cryptocurrency rug pull and pump-and-dump projects have become a menace in the industry in recent years. Creators of cryptocurrency pump-and-dump projects often start with promoting and hyping the tokens with misleading advertisements and statements.

False profit projections and hype usually cause a rapid surge in token prices as new investors join. Then, after gathering enough investors, the project creators would sell their holdings, acquiring massive profits and leaving investors with losses. 

Solidus Lab’s Rug Pull Report suggests fraudsters deployed more than 117,000 scam tokens in 2022. The report claims that the number of scam tokens between January 1 and December 1, 2022, increased by 41% from what it was in 2021.

Solidus’ study revealed that 8% of all Ethereum tokens are rug pulls while 12% of BNB Chain tokens are scams. The report suggests that the scammers behind these tokens use crypto-to-fiat currency exchanges to execute their scams and launder the funds.

Majority Of New Tokens In 2022 Were Fraudulent, Says Chainalysis

These fraudsters’ activities go unnoticed because traditional scam identification approaches cannot detect 99% of their rug pull tokens. The report revealed that during the study period, these scam projects saw total deposits and withdrawals of up to $11 billion in ETH on 153 centralized crypto exchanges. 

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Japan To Launch CBDC Pilot In April, What’s Ahead?

https://bitcoinist.com/japan-to-launch-cbdc-pilot-in-april-whats-ahead/

As blockchain innovation and digital finance evolve across the globe, central banks have started designing their central bank digital currencies (CBDC). The latest report shows that the central bank of Japan will begin its CBDC pilot in April 2023.

Previously, the central bank had announced it would employ Sweden’s e-krona as a model to launch its CBDC. Japan intends to catch up with China, which has already conducted pilots for its digital yuan across several states.

Japan Wants Less Aggressive CBDC Pilot Than China

The CNBC report noted that Japan would begin its CBDC testing phase by running parallel transactions with private financial companies.

According to an executive director at the Bank of Japan, Shinichi Uchida, customers and retailers would not be part of the upcoming CBDC pilot. However, the executive noted that they hope to improve the CBDC design through the pilot program by exploring various transaction options with private businesses.

As per the report, the central bank wants to prepare ahead if the local government issues a digital yen. In Uchida’s opinion, a digital currency should be tested in the private sector before presenting it to the public. The executive believes phased testing of the CBDC’s framework with the private sector would aid its mass adoption.

Last year, the Japanese central bank said it would adopt a cautious approach in its CBDC development to roll out a product compatible with the domestic monetary system. However, the apex bank also vowed that it would not follow China’s steps but use Sweden as a model in its CBDC design. 

Previously, Sweden carried out various pilots to investigate the compatibility of e-krona with the country’s financial system. The Swedish central bank also evaluated the e-krona’s utility for cross-border payments during its pilots. But China employed a more aggressive approach in its CBDC (e-CNY) campaign.

China has already introduced the e-CNY into the system through various promotional campaigns in several local governments. The local authorities issued millions of dollars in e-CNY to residents in several cities, including Chengdu, Beijing, Shenzhen, and many more. They allowed people to transact with digital yuan during last year’s Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

Top Crypto Exchanges Stop Operations In Japan

While Japan plans its upcoming CBDC pilot, top crypto exchanges want to leave the country. Japan has been a pro-crypto environment, but the high tax charges made it difficult for startups to survive.

Japan To Launch CBDC Pilot In April, What's Ahead?

A local report revealed that several startup crypto firms left Japan due to burdensome tax payments, which made the business environment unfriendly. Local cryptocurrency groups have been lobbying Japanese lawmakers to ease the corporate tax law. Finally, the lawmakers agreed to review the tax laws. 

A December 2022 Bloomberg report revealed that Japan waived 30% corporate tax payment for cryptocurrency exchanges. But the tax relief did not stop crypto exchanges from leaving, as Kraken and Coinbase said they would cease operations in the country.

On December 28, 2022, Kraken said it would delist itself from the Japanese Financial Services Agency by January 31. The exchange cited extreme market conditions in Japan as the reason behind its decision.

Also, on January 18, Coinbase announced would cease operations in Japan. The crypto exchange noted that users in Japan have until February 16 to withdraw their funds from its platforms. The platform stopped allowing fiat deposits on January 20.

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California-Based Regulator Launches Crypto Scam Tracker

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/california-based-regulator-launches-crypto-scam-tracker/

Regulators and law enforcement agencies worldwide have been exploring ways to eradicate crypto crimes and repel bad players from the industry. The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) took its efforts to the next level with a newly launched crypto scam tracker.

Reports have it that the regulator launched the security tool called zDFPI on February 16. According to the DFPI, it designed the crypto scam tracker based on user complaints.

DFPI A Block List-like Scam Alert Tool To Protect Crypto Users

After observing several complaints from scam victims, the DFPI decided to take action by developing a security tool that can warn users of potential scams and protect them from losing their funds. 

The scam tracker comes with the department’s list of complaints by victims of crypto-related scams. In its complaints list, the DFPI described losses incurred in transactions that victims identify as part of fraudulent or deceptive operations. But the DFPI said it has yet to verify the scams listed, noting that it receives thousands of consumer and investor complaints yearly.

In a statement, the DFPI’s Commissioner, Clothilde Hewlett, said scammers lurk in the shadows, using public interest in crypto assets to exploit vulnerable California citizens. The commissioner added that the DFPI is taking action to identify the criminals through the new crypto scam tracker. The department is also adding other rigorous enforcement efforts to expose these scam operations and protect consumers.

DFPI: Most Crypto Scams Originate From Social Media And Imposter Websites

According to the DFPI, Most of the 36 complaints listed in the tracker were from social media and social engineering scams. The scammers duped users into taking action through Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, and dating applications. When users respond accordingly, scammers gain access to steal their funds.

According to the DFPI, four-fifth of the complaints are “pig-butchering scams.” A pig-butchering scam is a process by which scammers flatter their victims and slowly gain their trust before carrying out the target action. This kind of scam is prevalent in social media.

California-Based Regulator Launches Crypto Scam Tracker

The DFPI also described other means through which scammers operate. According to the Californian agency, imposter websites are also among the scams most frequently reported by crypto consumers.

In detail, the DFPI said lookalike or sound-alike company and website names are often potential causes for confusion among consumers. Consumers find it difficult to identify an original website from a fake. Scammers create fake lookalike website domains to impersonate firms and confuse ignorant consumers.

The agency also explained that scammers promote high-yield investment programs to entice and lure vulnerable users into pouring money into the scam. The tracker also has a search feature to enable users to look up suspicious websites and crypto projects to identify if they are scams.

In the report, DFPI spokesperson Elizabeth Smith commented on the new development. In her words, the DFPI heard from consumers that “Scam Alerts” help prevent others from falling victim to similar scams.

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Binance Negotiates With US Regulators After Admitting Regulatory Flaws

https://bitcoinist.com/binance-negotiates-with-us-regulators-after-admitting-regulatory-flaws/

The Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at Binance confirms the firm had some compliance issues years after its launch in 2017. The company is now discussing with the US regulators for a possible level ground.

The US regulators have recently tightened their measures on the cryptocurrency industry. They’ve set their eyes on the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance while scrutinizing most firms.

Binance Admitted Lapses In Regulatory Compliance

During an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Binance CSO Patrick Hillmann highlighted the exchange’s lapses in regulatory compliance. He explained that the shortfalls mainly occurred during the implementation of exchange’s security measures. They involved rules relating to Know Your Customer (KYC) protocol and Anti-Money Laundering (AML).

The CSO confirmed that Binance has already handled the lapses in its protocols and workforce security. He noted that such issues were prominent two years after the platform’s launch. But Binance has been improving its functionalities to achieve its global growth plans.

Hillmann explained that some shortcomings were due to a lack of personnel to oversee compliance and cybersecurity while maintaining their expansion activities. But the CSO reported that they’d completed all the necessary adjustments by increasing the number of staff in their compliance team.

The crypto exchange has increased its workforce by employing over 750 additional staff within the past two years. Also, the CSO mentioned that Binance employed Noah Perlman as its new chief compliance officer. Perlmann was formerly with Gemini as chief operating officer.

Binance Discusses With Regulators For Settlement

Some American regulators have been investigating the crypto exchange due to its flaws in compliance rules. The regulators include the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They probe the exchange’s business structure and financial reserves within the past few years.

Hillmann disclosed that the exchange is currently discussing with the regulators for possible settlement. He noted that reaching a common ground will stop the watchdogs from probing Binance’s operation within the United States.

Binance Negotiates With US Regulators After Admitting Regulatory Flaws

The CSO mentioned that he would keep the details of the discussion between Binance and the regulators private. However, the regulators would decide what they intend to do. They could slam the exchange with a penalty fine or a huge price payment as remediation.

Also, Hillmann noted that Binance is making great efforts to ensure that the outcome would not affect users but benefits them. He reported that the exchange wants to clear all regulatory ambiguity and forge ahead, concentrating more on its business.

In another development, CNBC reported that the New York Department of Financial Service cracked down on Paxos, the issuer of gave Binance USD tokens. NYDFS ordered Paxos to stop issuing new BUSD tokens. The blockchain firm confirmed that it would stop minting new BUSD tokens but will still manage the redemption of the stablecoin from customers. 

-Featured image from Binance Blog, chart from TradingView

South Korea Plans A Key Arrest Relating To Terra (LUNA) Crisis

https://www.newsbtc.com/news/south-korea-plans-a-key-arrest-relating-to-terra-luna-crisis/

The implosion of Terra (LUNA) was one of the devastating events in the crypto space last year. Investors lost most of their funds worth billions of dollars, and other crypto asset prices plunged drastically.

Subsequently, South Korean prosecutors have been investigating the crisis. As a result, they have arrested what is said to be a significant player relating to the collapse of the Terra (LUNA) ecosystem.

Prosecutors To Arrest Former CEO Of TMON

Recently, South Korean prosecutors filed an arrest warrant for the former CEO of an e-commerce giant, TMON, who was identified as ‘Mr. A’. A local news outlet, Dong-AIlbo, reported this recent move from the Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office. 

The statement alleges that the former executive received bribes in Terra (LUNA) tokens worth billions of South Korean won. The funds were meant to facilitate the introduction of LUNA as a payment option on the TMON platform.

Also, a broker, whose name is withheld, was implicated in the bribery incident and will be arrested. The report noted that the review for the arrest warrant would be on February 17.

The prosecutors think that the management of Terra made grave mistakes in their handling of the operations of the crypto asset.

They believed that the co-founder of Terraform Labs, Daniel Shin, could have approached the former TMON CEO with an inappropriate request. Their deal centered on promoting the Terra (LUNA) by including the token as part of the payment options on the e-commerce platform.

Notably, Shin is the co-founder of TMON and could have manipulated his request. The former executive of TMON is believed to have received some LUNA coins as a bribe for the request. Further probe into the issue disclosed that the former executive of TMON cashed out the LUNA tokens believed to be worth billions of South Korean won.

Following the alleged bribery, the former TMON CEO ensured that TMON released several advertisement articles on Terra. It also introduced using LUNA as a payment method on the platform.

The entire stage management for Terra expanded the token’s perception in the crypto space and spiked demand for LUNA. Subsequently, many crypto exchanges started listing Terra (LUNA) due to increasing user demand and a rising token price.

South Korea And Crypto Regulation After Terra (LUNA) Fiasco

South Korea has recently taken a stricter stance in its crypto regulatory approach since the Terra collapse. To this end, the South Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC) released new guidelines defining tokens as securities to help securities companies and token issuers understand the class of their services.

According to the regulator, security tokens are those digitized with distributed ledger technology. This classification for security tokens places South Korea in sync with the rules in other countries within the Asian region.

South Korea Plans A Key Arrest Relating Terra-LUNA Crisis

Most firms with security licenses embrace the regulatory clarity from the South Korean regulator. However, a prominent and large securities firm in the country, Shinhan Investment and Securities, has thrown an open invitation for an alliance with others. Shinhan cited the benefits of token securities for investors while complying with the set standards in token issuance and trades.

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