NEM price shoots up 45% in 24 hours

https://crypto.news/nem-price-shoots-up-45-in-24-hours/

NEM (XEM) has experienced a significant surge in its trading price over the past 24 hours, with a 45.70% increase to a current value of $0.059643494140. 

NEM (XEM) price surges 45% in 24 Hours

The trend has been ongoing for the past week, as the price has increased by 44.40%.

Over the past 24 hours, the trading volume has reached $458,320,094, indicating a growing interest in NEM among investors. NEM’s current market capitalization stands at $532,308,072, based on its circulating supply of 9 billion XEM. This surge in price may signal a positive outlook for NEM and its prospects.

NEM price shoots up 45% in 24 hours - 1
NEM (XEM) Price Chart. Source: Coingecko.com

NEM(XEM) emerged among the day’s top gainers, reaching a staggering 45% increase in just 24 hrs.

The coin has been the debate of the day, with many traders anticipating a further surge in the price of XEM. It is not yet clear as to what was the cause of the surge, but according to the NEM team, they are currently investigating a chain halt that occurred at block height 4129631.

NEM (XEM) has demonstrated exceptional performance in the past 7 days, with a significant price surge of 44.40%.

The remarkable growth has surpassed the global cryptocurrency market, which has witnessed a decline of -4.70% during the same period. XEM’s performance has generated a positive sentiment among the community, with over 79% of users expressing confidence in NEM (XEM) today, indicating a bullish outlook.

NEM (XEM) technical price analysis 

NEM price shoots up 45% in 24 hours - 2
NEM/USD Price Chart. Source: Tradingview.com 

The price of the NEM token shows a decline from mid-October to the beginning of 2023. The token began on a bull rally that lasted almost two months. The token has, however, hit the resistance level and is currently in a retrace along the daily buy candle.

The daily long green candle shot up and broke above the consolidation zone. However, all indicators are bullish on the NEM token.

The 50-day and 200-day moving averages are on the crossover, indicating that the buyer is getting ready and warming up for the second leg of the market price. Furthermore, the Relative Strength Index is trading above the 50 level, indicating signs of a further bull run above the resistance level.


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Bybit CEO bashes harsh SEC crypto stance

https://crypto.news/bybit-ceo-bashes-harsh-sec-crypto-stance/

Bybit CEO Ben Zhou has joined the regulations talk, telling crypto.news that harsh crackdowns on crypto exchanges won’t benefit anyone. During the Blockchain Life summit in Dubai earlier today, he added that he expects bitcoin (BTC) to hit $50,000.

Bybit’s Ben Zhou doubles down on crypto crackdowns

At the Blockchain Life summit Dubai, Bybit CEO Ben Zhou told crypto.news that crypto crackdowns may be going too far lately, commenting that it’s not beneficial for anyone. 

He said, “ As far as my opinion goes, I don’t think regulation is the answer. To be honest, far more scams are happening in the regulated space.” 

Our reporter further questioned whether this opinion was related to the FTX meltdown. Zhou answered that after the FTX meltdown saga, many asked him whether he thought regulation would solve such issues. He said the answer is always “regulation is not going to solve the problem.”

He doubled down on the regulated spaces having more scams than the crypto space.

Zhou added that if you could ask the large non-crypto companies about their reserves, they probably wouldn’t answer. He also asserted that not even the banks guarantee a hundred percent, maybe not even more than 5% clarity on their safety of reserves.

In related comments, Zhou said that he expects bitcoin to hit $50,000 this year and people should be considering buying.

SEC gets backlash for harsh crypto regulation

Ben Zhou is one of the many people who have reacted to the continued and harsh crypto regulation. His stance is that the crypto industry won’t move forward due to harsh regulation, a sentiment shared by his Coinbase counterpart, Brian Armstrong.

Armstrong has been calling out the SEC for too harsh crackdowns on crypto, citing poor usage of power where the regulator is using enforcement methods. Earlier this month, the SEC charged Kraken $30 million plus a ban from offering crypto staking in the U.S.

Other news also surfaced claiming that Binance would follow suit and settle charges by taking a fine from the regulator.

Kraken’s Jesse Powell also detested the charges saying that he should have done better and not fallen into the SEC’s demands.

Yesterday, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler tweeted that it considers all crypto transactions as securities apart from bitcoins’. His comments were not received well by lawyers and the crypto community at large.

These tendencies to push regulation too far push crypto stakeholders to speak out. Keep watching crypto.news for updates on regulation and other crypto-related stories. 


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NanoLabs sues Coinbase over trademark infringement

https://crypto.news/nanolabs-sues-coinbase-over-trademark-infringement/

Coinbase has been accused of trademark infringement in a legal lawsuit filed by NanoLabs. Nano Labs claims these infractions resulted in financial losses and damaged its brand image. 

NanoLabs claimed in a Feb. 24 complaint with the California Northern District Court that Coinbase’s Nano Bitcoin futures contract and Nano Ether futures contract products infringe on their trademark rights.

NanoLabs looks to justice system

In its lawsuit, NanoLabs claimed that the offerings by Coinbase are either exact replicas of or very close to its virtual currency Nano. Moreover, the trademarks for Coinbase’s offerings are identical to NanoLabs’. According to the argument, the offerings are “confusingly similar.”

Both companies target customers looking to invest in and use digital currencies.

Nano, formerly known as RaiBlocks, was created in 2014 by Colin LeMahieu. On Jan. 31, 2018, it changed its name to Nano. Later, on Jun. 27, 2022, and Aug. 29, 2022, Coinbase debuted its Nano Bitcoin and Nano Ether futures contracts.

A conversation between the two firms in 2018 is also cited as evidence that Coinbase was fully aware of the Nano digital currency before releasing its offerings. As a result of this correspondence, Coinbase is said to have rejected NanoLab’s application to list Nano on the exchange. 

NanoLabs requests the court to grant an injunction prohibiting Coinbase from using the phrase “Nano” and any associated trademarks and domain names of a similar sort.

Moreover, NanoLabs is requesting at least $5 million in damages. It also seeks the removal of all Coinbase advertisements that violate the Nano trademark—also the forfeiture of any revenues made from using the Nano brand by this exchange. 

NanoLabs sues Coinbase over trademark infringement - 1
Excerpt from NanoLabs complaint against Coinbase. Source: Courtlistener

If the court decides in NanoLabs’ favor, Coinbase would have to rename its Nano futures products. It might even have to make a settlement payment to the company.


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Hedera leads in volume among upcoming token unlocks

https://crypto.news/hedera-leads-in-volume-among-upcoming-token-unlocks/

Notable token unlocks affect the crypto market as they are considered bearish and show an increase in the total token in circulation.

Historically, with more tokens, there are more sellers than buyers; hence sellers have to sell lower, which causes a price drop. CryptoRank.io highlights the high-volume unlocks that will take place in March, including top tokens such as HBAR, APE and BIT.

Hedera leads in volume unlocked

The Hedera network, on Mar. 1, will unlock 3.14 billion HBAR tokens, 6.28% of its total supply. The total circulating supply on the platform is about 15 billion. Of this supply, about 50.61% is available, while 49.39% of the tokens are still locked. 

Notably, the token is currently at $0.0723, translating the unlocked value to $3.16 billion. 

Apecoin and BitDAO followed closely

Apecoin, on Mar. 17, will unlock 40.6 million APE, 4.06% of the total supply. The total circulating supply of the platform is at 368 million, whereby 61.7% is available while the rest is still locked.

The token is trading at $5.17, making the amount unlocked worth $210 million. Notably, ApeCoin will keep releasing tokens monthly till March 2026. 

BitDAO, on Mar. 15, is planning on unlocking 187.5 million tokens, 1.95% of the total supply. The total circulating amount is around 2.09 billion, with 31.2% locked. The token is $0.586, making the unlocking event worth $109 million. BitDAO plans to keep on unlocking tokens each month till June 2024.

APT, DYDX, IMX and ACA unlocks are also coming up

Aptos (APT), on Mar. 12, will unlock 6.50 million of its tokens, 0.45% of the token supply. The total circulating supply is at 162.6 billion. From the supply, 85.2% of its total tokens are locked. The token is trading at $12.46, making the unlock worth $56.4 million. 

Dxdy (DYDX) will carry out its unlock on Mar. 14 for 6.53 million tokens. The total number of tokens yet to get unlocked is 70.3%. The token is trading at $2.77, translating the unlock’s value to $18.1 million. 

ImmutableX’s token unlock is scheduled for Mar. 25 for 18 million tokens, 0.9% of its total supply worth $17.2 million. The IMX token is trading at $0.952. Meanwhile, the tokens yet unlocked are $54.1%. 

Acala Network closes off the list with 32.05 million tokens unlocked on Mar. 1, worth 3.21% based on the token’s value at $0.14. The tokens locked on the platform are 74.6% of the total number of tokens to be unlocked.


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More than 13k wallets leave OpenSea for Blur in one week

https://crypto.news/more-than-13k-wallets-leave-opensea-for-blur-in-one-week/

About 13,600 wallets have migrated from the OpenSea NFT marketplace to Blur in just days, per the blockchain data analytics platform, Dune.

Significant migration to Blur

Blur’s newly launched incentive program might just be a factor contributing to 13,600 wallets canceling OpenSea orders and migrating to its marketplace in the past week.

The head at Dune Analytics, Andrew Hong, agrees that this acute migration results from the rollout of Blur’s loyalty program. Hong announced the unprecedented wallet migration through his Twitter handle @andrewhong5297. 

Blur’s loyalty function launched on Feb. 14, 2023, to give them a competitive advantage over OpenSea by developing and maintaining loyalty. The launch was accompanied by a massive airdrop of $300 million, translating to over 300 million BLUR (exchanged at 0.99$ ). 

The upstart NFT marketplace doubled down on its growth strategy by unveiling its loyalty program. The program came days after surpassing the once-untouchable OpenSea marketplace to become the most popular NFT trading platform on Ethereum.

Attracting loyalty with royalty

Blur’s airdrop program saw over 300 million of its native token BLUR made available. In a tweet, the ascendant NFT marketplace announced that wallets with 100% loyalty would have the highest chances of winning the mythical care packages.

These packages are 100x more valuable than uncommon care packages. Other packages include the rare and the legendary versions.

The program will course through Blur’s season 2, which has already begun. According to Blur, the loyalty function rewards those who support the protocol’s success through steadfast fidelity to the marketplace. Rewards would also be awarded to users who quote their tweets with reasons why they choose to use Blur. 

The fierce incentive program comes after OpenSea improved its user experience to gain a competitive edge against Blur. OpenSea dropped creators’ fees from 2.5% to 0%. Even so, they still lost 5-6 times the historical average of wallet order cancellations in the past week. 

Looking at the migration numbers, Blur is winning the February round of competition against their arch-rivals, OpenSea. As many say, Blur 1-0 Opensea. Happy hunting to both!

Keep following crypto.news for more updates on strategies unveiled by these two giants as they clash to seek NFT market dominance.


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IMF leans towards crypto regulation over just outlawing it

https://crypto.news/imf-leans-towards-crypto-regulation-over-just-outlawing-it/

Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), stated that the monetary body prefers regulating crypto assets over a complete prohibition at the recent G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Bengaluru, India. The IMF’s viewpoint is consistent with recent research suggesting universal digital asset regulatory rules.

The top priority is to regulate digital assets

According to Georgieva, the IMF’s main objective is to regulate the digital currency world. She stated that fully backed stablecoins create a “fairly good environment for the economy,” but unbacked crypto assets are speculative, high risk, and not actual currency. The goal of the IMF is to distinguish between state-backed digital currencies produced by central banks and openly traded crypto assets, such as stablecoins.

Per Georgieva, digital assets have two components: technology and policy, and they need room to develop. Policies are being created to protect user data, safeguard consumers from dangers, and ensure transaction transparency.

Georgieva also noted that the IMF favored regulation over a ban and cautioned that if cryptos represent a greater risk to financial stability, a ban “should not be taken off the table.” To be released in the second half of the year, regulatory framework guidelines are being developed jointly by the IMF, the Financial Stability Board, and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

IMF’s nine-point action plan

The first recommendation of the International Monetary Fund’s nine-point action plan is to refrain from making cryptos like bitcoin (BTC) legal cash. The strategy outlines how nations should manage crypto assets.

The document “Elements of Effective Policies for Crypto Assets,” which “advice to IMF member countries on important aspects of an effective policy response to crypto assets,” was examined by the executive board of the world’s final resort lender.

As several crypto exchanges and assets collapsed over the past couple of years, the fund stated that such activities have become a priority for authorities and that continuing with nothing would now be “untenable.”

To “safeguard monetary sovereignty and stability by improving monetary policy frameworks and do not issue crypto assets official currency or legal tender status” was the main recommendation.

The IMF criticized El Salvador in 2021 for becoming the first nation in the world to accept bitcoin as legal cash; the Central African Republic followed El Salvador’s lead afterward.

Other suggestions included preventing excessive capital flows, adopting clear tax regulations and laws about crypto assets, and creating and enforcing oversight standards for all participants in the crypto market.

The US treasury secretary backs a strong regulatory framework

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen highlighted the significance of building a strong regulatory framework for crypto assets during the G20 summit. She said, however, that the US had not put forth any restrictions on these assets.

“We have not advocated the outright prohibition of cryptocurrency operations, but it is essential to establish a robust regulatory framework. We collaborate with other governments.”

US treaury Secretary Janet Yellen

India seeks to create a crypto law

The Indian government has considered writing a law to control or outlaw digital currencies for some years. India has requested assistance from the IMF and Financial Stability Board (FSB) in creating a technical report on crypto assets during the current G20 Presidency. The Reserve Bank of India still believes cryptos should be outlawed since they are akin to Ponzi schemes, despite India’s efforts to regulate them.

The best methods for governing the crypto market include regulation, predictability, and consumer protection. The United States and the IMF do not favor the nuclear option of an outright prohibition, but it is still an option. It is anticipated that a uniform and comprehensive approach to regulating crypto assets is anticipated to emerge as the IMF, FSB, and BIS work on regulatory framework principles.

This article was written with the additional reporting from Julius Mutunkei.


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Lawyers criticize Gensler’s assertion that all cryptos are securities

https://crypto.news/lawyers-criticize-genslers-assertion-that-all-cryptos-are-securities/

In recent times, digital currency lawyers have strongly criticized Gary Gensler, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) head, for his recent comments that all cryptocurrencies, except bitcoin (BTC), are securities under the agency’s jurisdiction. 

In an interview with New York Magazine on Feb. 23, Gensler stated that “everything other than bitcoin” falls under the SEC’s remit because these projects involve a group in the middle, and the public anticipates profits based on that group. 

The lawyers rebuffed Gensler’s opinion, stating that it is not legally binding and that the determination of whether a cryptocurrency is a security depends on the specific circumstances of each case. The lawyers argued that Gensler’s comments could create confusion and uncertainty in the market and that the SEC should provide clear guidance on regulating cryptocurrencies.

Gensler’s remarks have been met with backlash from the crypto community, which believes that his comments could stifle innovation and investment in the industry.

In a tweet on Feb. 26, Jake Chervinsky, a lawyer and policy lead at Blockchain Association, a crypto advocacy group, contested Gensler’s authority in the crypto sector, stating that his opinion is not the law, despite his claimed command over the industry.

Chervinsky’s remarks highlight the ongoing debate within the legal community regarding regulating cryptocurrencies and the extent of the SEC’s jurisdiction over the market. 

While Gensler’s recent comments have generated controversy and uncertainty in the industry, many experts believe that clear and comprehensive regulatory guidance is necessary to ensure the long-term viability and growth of the crypto sector.

Lawyer Logan Bolinger weighed in on the issue, stating in a tweet that Gary Gensler’s opinions on the classification of securities in the crypto industry are not legally dispositive, meaning that they do not constitute the final legal determination on the matter.

Jason Brett, the policy lead at Bitcoin Policy Institute, expressed concern over Gensler’s comments and suggested they should not be celebrated but feared instead. Brett also emphasized that there are alternative approaches to achieving success in the crypto industry besides relying on a regulatory moat.

Gabriel Shapiro, the general counsel at Delphi Labs, highlighted the challenging enforcement that the SEC would face asserting its authority over the crypto industry. Shapiro estimated that based on Gensler’s recent statements, the agency would need to file lawsuits against over 12,300 token creators, responsible for around $663 billion worth of unregistered securities considered illegal in the US.

Despite Gensler’s claims, many token creators find SEC registration prohibitively expensive, and the need for a clear path for token registration poses a significant challenge. Numerous novel and unresolved questions exist, such as whether every protocol change constitutes a new offering and no clear roadmap for how to proceed.


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Justin Sun stakes ETH worth $240 million on Lido

https://crypto.news/justin-sun-stakes-eth-worth-240-million-on-lido/

Justin Sun, the founder of Tron, has staked millions of dollars in Ethereum (ETH) on the liquid staking site Lido Finance in anticipation of the eagerly anticipated Ethereum Shanghai upgrade in March.

On Feb. 25, the on-chain data portal Lookonchain disclosed that an address identified as Justin Sun had staked 150,100 ETH, totaling more than $240 million, on Lido. According to the DeBand wallet data, there were three transactions at roughly 7:20 AM UTC today, with 50,000 ETH and 100 ETH moving to Lido.

The Whale Alert platform revealed three transactions in which Justin Sun sent an unidentified wallet of 50,000 ETH, totaling 80,077,036 in each case. Interestingly, Justin Sun was also given an equivalent sum of stETH, which can be exchanged, borrowed against, traded, or used for other liquidity-related purposes.

According to the most on-chain data, the Beacon Chain has received over 17.02 million ETH worth $27.27 billion. Ethereum core devs must enable withdrawals to keep the network in balance, even when rising ETH staking on the Beacon Chain shows indicators of Ethereum security and popularity.

On-chain analytics platform Nansen data, has also provided data showing that around 96,000 people have made staking deposits ahead of the network update. Now, there are around 525,923 active validators, according to data from BeaconScan.

The Shapella (Shanghai/Capella) network update will reportedly be launched on the Sepolia testnet at block height 56832 on Feb. 28 at approximately 04:04:48 UTC, according to a previous announcement from the Ethereum Foundation. It will allow validators to transfer their Ethereum stakes from the Beacon Chain to the execution layer.

In the past day, the price of ethereum has dropped more than 3%, and it is now trading below the $1,600 mark. $1,583 is low, and $1,652 has been high for the past 24 hours. Once the US PCE inflation data came in strong on Friday, the crypto market experienced a freefall.


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Circle reports an increase in USDC stablecoin circulation

https://crypto.news/circle-reports-an-increase-in-usdc-stablecoin-circulation/

On Feb. 23, in response to the BUSD incident, Circle reported a significant increase in the circulation of their stablecoin, USDC. They have issued 2.1 billion and redeemed 1.5 billion coins, resulting in a net circulation increase of $600 million over the past seven days.

Circle, a financial technology company, has announced a surge in the circulation of the USDC stablecoin. The company revealed that the demand for the USDC stablecoin has significantly increased recently, indicating a growing interest in digital currencies. 

As per the latest information, the amount of USDC stablecoin in circulation has grown to $600 million. This represents a significant increase in the adoption of this cryptocurrency, which has become a popular choice among traders and investors who seek stability in their digital assets.

According to Circle, the USDC stablecoin has witnessed a significant surge in circulation, reaching a new milestone of $25 billion. This indicates a growth of over 700% in the past year alone, highlighting the increasing adoption and trust in digital currency.

However, the overall circulation of USDC has decreased by approximately 1.5 billion over the past 30 days and reduced by about $10.7 billion over the past year.

What’s the future of USDC

The USDC stablecoin is pegged to the US dollar, making it a reliable and stable digital currency for users. Circle has noted that the surge in demand for the USDC stablecoin is driven by retail and institutional investors seeking a safe and secure means of storing and transacting value.

According to Circle, the increasing popularity of USDC stablecoin suggests that the world is gradually moving towards a digital financial ecosystem where digital currencies are replacing traditional currencies. This trend is likely to persist in the foreseeable future as more people and organizations embrace digital currencies for conducting financial transactions.

Moreover, the surge in the circulation of USDC stablecoin reflects the growing enthusiasm for decentralized finance (DeFi) applications. DeFi platforms enable users to earn interest on their cryptocurrency holdings, and USDC stablecoin is frequently utilized as a stable currency for such transactions.


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Coinbase reveals institutions compised 86% of its Q4 transactional value

https://crypto.news/coinbase-reveals-institutions-compised-86-of-its-q4-transactional-value/

A new Coinbase report shows that in 2022 Q4, institutional investors captured 86% of the transactional value, while retail investors only had 14% on the platform. However, in terms of revenue, institutional investors only contributed 4% of the revenue, $13.4m.

Investor assets fell to $40b

Coinbase has released a Q4 financial report showing that institutional investors only contributed 4% of the revenue, $13.4 million. On the other hand, the transactional value they contributed was $125 million, or 86%. 

Retail investors only captured 14% of the transactional value, $20 million, but contributed 96% of the revenue, $308.8 million. 

Compared to the 2021 Q4 report, the BTC and ETH trading volume grew from 16% to 35% and 33%, respectively. Other cryptos dropped from 68% to 33%, while platform assets went from $278 billion to $80 billion. Notably, institutional investors went from $137 billion to $40 billion. On the other hand, retail investor assets were hit from $141 billion and fell to $40 billion.

Meanwhile, subscription and service revenues, a major focus of the company, increased by 34% to $283m in Q4 from Q3. These accounted for almost 50% of all the revenue in Q4. The rise contributed to the interest income of $162.2 million. 

Crypto market’s performance is better than in Q4

Compared to Q4, Coinbase has also released that crypto markets have grown so far in Q1. The platform’s transactional revenue generated $120 million in January. However, investors were cautioned against making future decisions based on these results as last year showed the quick changes that could go down in the market fast. 

The global crypto market cap is at $1.06 trillion, a 3.28% decrease in the last 24 hours. Most of the crypto market is trading in the red. The BTC price is at $22,986.53, a 3.77% drop, while ETH is trading at $1,600.48, a 2.87% drop since yesterday.

James Butterfill, the Coinshares Head of Research, has mentioned that the crypto price dip was due to the macro data from the US, whereby investors are concerned about a more hawkish Fed. 


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Jump Crypto and Oasis recover 120k ETH from Wormhole exploit

https://crypto.news/jump-crypto-and-oasis-recover-120k-eth-from-wormhole-exploit/

On Feb. 25, Jump Crypto, a web3 infrastructure firm, announced that it had successfully recovered the 120,000 ETH stolen during the infamous Wormhole exploit in 2022. 

According to decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Oasis.app, the sender tricked the contracts and transferred the collateral and debt from the explorer’s vaults to their vaults during the Wormhole exploit. The court requested Oasis to assist in recovering the stolen assets.

The incident caused widespread concern within the cryptocurrency community, highlighting the decentralized network’s potential vulnerabilities. Therefore, the recovery of the stolen funds comes as a significant relief and reinforces the belief that blockchain technology can be secure and resilient against cyber threats.

Jump Crypto has yet to disclose how the recovery was carried out. Still, it has assured its customers that appropriate measures have been put in place to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. The company has also emphasized its commitment to the security and integrity of its users’ funds.

However, the Oasis.app team confirmed in a blog post on Feb. 24 that a counter exploit has occurred. The team revealed that they received a court order from the High Court of England and Wales to recover specific assets associated with the address involved in the Wormhole Exploit.

DeFi hacks continue

In February 2022, a Wormhole attack occurred, which resulted in the theft of approximately $321 million worth of Wrapped ETH (wETH) due to a vulnerability in the protocol’s token bridge. The hacker has been moving the stolen funds through various Ethereum-based decentralized applications (dApps) and recently opened Wrapped Staked ETH (wstETH) and Rocket Pool ETH (rETH) vaults on Oasis. app.

According to the transaction history on Feb. 21, there was a transfer of 120,695 wsETH and 3,213 rETH from both vaults, as evidenced by the transaction history. Oasis conducted this transfer, and the assets were subsequently placed into wallets that are now under the control of Jump Crypto.

Additionally, the hacker had accumulated a debt of approximately $78 million in MakerDao’s DAI stablecoin, which was successfully recovered.


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Whale sells 1,010 NFTs in ‘largest NFT dump ever’

https://crypto.news/whale-sells-1010-nfts-in-largest-nft-dump-ever/

On Feb. 25, Andrew Thurman of Nansen hypothesized the significant NFT dump in a tweet thread, suggesting the whale is attempting to obtain further BLUR token prizes while also making some money.

Nansen records show that Jeffrey Hwang, a nonfungible token (NFT) whale, also known as Machi Big Brother, sold 1,010 tokens for a total of 11,680 ETH, or $18.6 million, in the course of 48 hours.

Nansen’s Simian Psychometric Augmentation Technician Andrew Thurman highlighted the trading activity over the preceding two days in a post on Twitter on Feb 25. He said it’s “possibly the largest NFT dump ever.”

The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), 191 Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), and 308 Otherdeed NFTs were among the participants in the primary selling event.

Notably, Machi Big Brother bought 991 NFTs shortly after the dump. Thurman theorizes that this may have been an effort to book some profits while also engaging in “one enormous wash deal to yield huge Blur Airdrop profits” or a “very naked market manipulation.”

Machi is one of the main beneficiaries of the BLUR token airdrop from nascent NFT marketplace Blur, which just toppled OpenSea as the top-ranked NFT platform in terms of trade volume.

The project started its initial round of neighborhood airdrops on Feb. 14. A varying number of airdropped tokens were given out, depending on the user’s interaction with the site and Ethereum NFT trading activity.

1.8 million BLUR tokens were given to Machi

According to blockchain analytics company Arkham Intel, Machi received 1.8 million BLUR tokens on Feb. 17 and cashed them all out for $1.3 million.

Machi now has no $BLUR since, like other people, he sold it all. He sold 1.8 million Blur tokens for a total price of $1.3 million, or $0.707.

NFT Price Floor stats also show the floor prices of the top collections that Machi first dropped have decreased by 7.77%, 9.2%, and 8.16% over the previous 24 hours for BAYC, MAYC, and Otherdeed NFTs, respectively.

Per CoinGecko, the price of BLUR is currently $0.79 and has dropped 17.7% over the last week.

The Blur team tweeted on Feb. 22 that the project’s second wave, or “season two,” will soon Airdrop $300 million worth of tokens.


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Number of whales decreases despite the rise in activity

https://crypto.news/number-of-whales-decreases-despite-the-rise-in-activity/

The number of bitcoin (BTC) whales was the lowest last weekend since August 2019. However, with the BTC price at $25,000, each whale held crypto close to $25 million.

BTC whales transactions hit $98.6 million

Santiment has found that addresses with 100-1000 BTC have stagnated, with the BTC price between $23,000 to $25,000. On the other hand, the number of BTC whales with 1000-10,000 BTC keeps going down.

Whale Alert notes a total of $98.6 million in BTC transfers. $46.3 million was from Gemini to an unknown wallet, $24.5 million to an anonymous wallet from Binance, and $24.8 million from an unknown wallet to Coinbase.

BTC is trading at $23,070, down 3% over 24 hours, with a market cap of $445.85b. The bearish momentum is quite evident in the BTC market, unable to break beyond the $24,267 resistance level. If buyers break this level, the bullish momentum will catch up, and the BTC price will rise again.

BTC price chart
BTC price chart | Source: CoinMarketCap

The RSI is adding to the bear hold notion, with a value of 36.18, and moving below the SMA line. Since it is below 50, more decline is unlikely; hence it favors bear momentum. At the time of writing, the moving average convergence divergence indicator shows the bearish momentum has remained the same, with the MACD line going below the signal line.

ETH whales have been active

ETH whales have been quite active. On Feb. 24, about $636.9 million worth of ethereum was transferred. According to Whale Alert, there were three transactions from unknown wallets to Coinbase in different transactions worth $42.1m, $40.8m, and $41.9m. The rest of the transactions were to anonymous wallets and from unknown wallets worth $206.9m and $305.2 million, respectively. 

Another Ethereum whale, inactive for three years, transferred ETH worth $8.3 million to another address

Considering ETH’s current status, Ethereum’s price lacks bullish momentum. ETH has been trying to cross the $1,677 resistance level but has failed since Jan. 20. However, it flipped the hurdle quickly but could not hold the level.

At the time of writing, ETH is trading at $1,601.02, 3% lower than yesterday, with a market cap of $195.92 billion.

ETH price chart
ETH price chart | Source: CoinMarketCap


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Top crypto industry trends and news of the week

https://crypto.news/top-crypto-industry-trends-and-news-of-the-week/

This week has seen several crypto trends catch the attention of investors and enthusiasts alike. From the rise of altcoins to the latest updates from major players in the industry. Here is a weekly market wrap-up of the major crypto events that lit the crypto markets up.

Arbitrum surpasses Ethereum’s mainnet figures

The layer 2 scaling solution, Arbitrum, has been making waves in the crypto world, surpassing Ethereum’s mainnet in terms of transaction volume. The Arbitrum network broke its 24-hour all-time high record for the number of transactions during the week.

It surpassed Ethereum mainnet by an impressive margin of 1.05 million transactions, with a total of 1.14 million transactions registered. 

In comparison, the Optimism network had around 180,000 transactions on the same day. This is a significant achievement for Arbitrum, designed to improve the scalability and speed of Ethereum transactions.

Coinbase to launch Base network 

Additionally, Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, revealed intent to laucnh its base network. According to Will Robinson, Coinbase’s vice president of engineering, the base network’s testnet launch for Ethereum layer 2 is underway. 

The base network aims to offer a platform for individuals worldwide to create decentralized applications or “dapps” on-chain, which is secure, low-cost, and developer-friendly.

As per the plan, the network will be gradually decentralized over time. This incremental decentralization process will help ensure the network remains secure and stable throughout the transition.

Uniswap introduces NFT purchases with ERC-20 tokens 

Decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap made headlines again by introducing the ability to purchase non-fungible tokens (NFTs) using any ERC-20 token. This move is significant, demonstrating the increasing convergence between DeFi and NFTs.

Uniswap Labs envisioned Permit2 and Universal Router to enhance the quality of their products. The primary objectives were to minimize gas fees, simplify user transaction processes, and improve security.

Uniswap is committed to offering public goods that advance cryptocurrency, and they designed these contracts to be accessible to the developer community. The contracts include software development kits (SDKs), comprehensive documentation, and a two-week bug bounty program.

SEC continues with crypto crackdowns 

The past week was a bustling period for the cryptocurrency industry, as it witnessed a series of noteworthy occurrences, such as increased regulatory actions and a resurgence in the market.

Notably, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) intensified its efforts to regulate the crypto space, targeting Paxos and Do Kwon. 

Stablecoins have also been a significant use case for layer 1 blockchains, but their regulation has become a growing concern for the industry, with the SEC initiating a crackdown. Other regulatory bodies are expected to follow suit, leaving Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) as the only remaining option.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has continued its regulatory actions against the crypto industry, with ongoing enforcement actions against several high-profile companies. This has caused some concern among investors, as the regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies remains uncertain.

Blur NFT marketplace sees surge in users

The Blur NFT marketplace has rapidly gained popularity and attracted significant attention from NFT traders and investors. Despite being a relatively new entrant in the NFT space, Blur has quickly established itself as a substantial player and continuously topped the charts for NFT trading volume.

Top crypto industry trends and news of the week - 1
Source: dune analytics

Blur, a new NFT marketplace, saw a surge in daily users, with over 20,000 people using the platform daily. The platform uniquely allows users to create and sell NFTs utilizing various file types, including audio and video files.

The NFT market has been increasing, with more and more people showing interest in investing in digital assets.

As a result, the competition among NFT marketplaces has become increasingly intense. However, Blur has managed to stand out by offering a unique and innovative platform that has resonated well with NFT enthusiasts.

Top crypto industry trends and news of the week - 2
Source: Dune analytics

Blur accounts for 46% of the total weekly NFT trading volume, a significant achievement for a marketplace operating for only a few months. In contrast, OpenSea, once the undisputed leader in the NFT market, has now fallen behind and accounts for only 36% of the total weekly trading volume.

Ordinals protocol enables bitcoin-based NFTs, driving up blockchain’s value and development

The Ordinals Protocol has introduced a novel use case for the Bitcoin blockchain by allowing users to encode references to digital art into small transactions, thereby creating non-fungible tokens based on bitcoin. This development has significantly increased the value of the longest-running cryptocurrency chain. 

According to a research report released by Matrixport on Wednesday, the introduction of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on ordinals has caused a 50% surge in the value of Stacks Network’s STX token. The report suggests that this development can potentially drive STX toward becoming a billion-dollar token.

Ordinals is a protocol that enables NFTs to be stored on the Bitcoin blockchain, and STX is the native token of the Stacks Network. This layer 2 blockchain uses the security of the bitcoin blockchain to settle transactions.

Ordinals are considered digital artifacts because they are minted directly onto the blockchain and have permanent and immutable records on the distributed ledger. In contrast, traditional NFTs can be modified by competent contract developers.

Earlier in the week, a GitHub user going by the handle ynohtna92 made a groundbreaking achievement. They have forked the Bitcoin Ordinals protocol and used it to create the world’s first Litecoin Ordinal. This is a noteworthy and significant development in the field of digital currencies.


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Commemorating Bitcoin logo day and Satoshi’s contribution to financial world

https://crypto.news/commemorating-bitcoin-logo-day-and-satoshis-contribution-to-financial-world/

Today marks Bitcoin logo day, commemorating the groundbreaking changes Satoshi Nakamoto brought to the world through creating crypto. Since its introduction in 2009, bitcoin has changed how we think about money and financial transactions. 

What is bitcoin and crypto

Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency that can be used to purchase goods and services online or to send money to anyone, anywhere in the world. Unlike traditional currencies, bitcoin is not controlled by any government or financial institution. The coin was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

Cryptocurrencies are alike to bitcoin and use a technology called blockchain, which is a decentralized ledger that records all transactions made using the currency. This means that every bitcoin transaction is recorded and verified by multiple users, making the network highly secure and resistant to fraud.

Despite its volatility, many investors see bitcoin as a valuable asset, and some companies and countries have begun accepting it as a form of payment. In addition to bitcoin, there are now thousands of other cryptocurrencies available, like ethereum (ETH), dogecoin, litecoin, and others, each with unique features and potential uses.

Major events that have happened since bitcoin went live

Bitcoin has had a volatile history, with its value skyrocketing in 2017 before crashing in early 2018. However, since then, it has gradually increased in value again. As of Feb. 24, 2023, 1 BTC is worth over $23,260, down from its all-time high of $67,000 achieved in 2021.

Since its launch by the mysterious anonymous called Satoshi Nakamoto on Jan. 3, 2009, bitcoin has made waves in the financial world, attracting praise and criticism. Bitcoin has hit significant events that have seen it rise and fall but sustain the bull trend.

  • Bitcoin first became available for trading on online exchanges in 2010. In April 2011, the cryptocurrency reached a significant milestone when its price crossed the $1 threshold for the first time. In the same year, litecoin was launched, marking the start of bitcoin’s competition in the crypto space. Ethereum followed suit and went live in 2015.
  • Bitcoin gained more visibility and popularity but also became increasingly volatile. By November 2013, the price of bitcoin had reached $1,000. However, it wasn’t until late 2017 that bitcoin’s price and trading volumes started to surge, hitting $10,000 per coin for the first time in November 2017 and reaching a peak of about $20,000 in December 2017.
  • The launch of bitcoin futures contracts by a regulated US financial institution in December 2017 signaled mainstream acceptance. It led to a period of hype and excitement in the cryptocurrency market, which resulted in an asset bubble and many fraudulent ICOs.Between 2017 and 2018, over 800 ICOs raised around $20 billion in funding. Unfortunately, the ICO space was rife with fraud and scams, and the value of many of these tokens collapsed within a year.
  • The end of 2018 saw the crypto bubble burst, significantly crashing bitcoin prices. The value of bitcoin fell to less than $4,000 per coin, marking a significant decline from its all-time high of nearly $20,000 just a year earlier.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2020, extended shutdowns and government stimulus payments left many younger Americans with extra disposable income and time on their hands, fueling a surge in Bitcoin prices.
  • The launch of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF in October 2021 marked the first Bitcoin ETF to trade on a major US exchange, followed by several other cryptocurrency futures ETF launches, such as BTF, XBTF, and BITS.

How bitcoin has changed the financial landscape

In recent years, the world of finance has seen the emergence of a new type of currency – cryptocurrency. Among these, bitcoin is one of the most well-known and widely used digital currencies. Bitcoin’s transformative impact on the financial landscape persists despite being widely misunderstood due to various factors.

  • Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer payment system has provided a faster and cheaper alternative to traditional international monetary transactions, disrupting the financial landscape. Meanwhile, the blockchain technology that underlies bitcoin has proven to be a versatile and valuable tool that can be applied in various industries beyond finance, such as supply chain management, business, luxury goods, and art. 
  • The decentralized, immutable, transparent, and secure features of blockchain technology have made it appealing to businesses looking to enhance efficiency, transparency, and security, leading to widespread implementation across various industries.
  • Cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, have been wrongly associated with illicit activities despite being pseudonymous, and while regulatory bodies aim to prevent illegal use, some governments have unjustly banned cryptocurrencies due to their perceived association with criminal activity and fraudulent schemes. China’s authoritarian government has consistently expressed its desire to ban bitcoin, exemplifying some states’ unjustified prohibition of cryptocurrencies.
  • Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are gaining traction worldwide as digital versions of local currency. At the same time, despite regulatory pressure, large institutions have embraced bitcoin, leading to the cryptocurrency’s epic bull run in 2020/2021, with companies like MicroStrategy holding massive BTC reserves worth billions of dollars, inspiring other retail and institutional investors to follow suit.

What’s next for bitcoin

Bitcoin has emerged as a popular investment vehicle due to its high value, reaching an all-time high of over $67,000 per coin in 2021. Although its price can be volatile, many investors view bitcoin as a hedge against inflation and a possible store of value. 

While the future of cryptocurrency remains uncertain, it is clear that it has already had a significant impact on the world of finance, and its influence is likely to continue to grow in the years to come. Keep watching crypto.news for updates on bitcoin, macro-finance and other crypto-related developments.


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Bitcoin options worth $1.8b set to expire today

https://crypto.news/bitcoin-options-worth-1-8b-set-to-expire-today/

On Feb. 24, at 09:00 UTC, bitcoin options with a total value of $1.8 billion will expire. This development has been a hot topic among cryptocurrency enthusiasts, traders, and analysts alike, as it may significantly impact the cryptocurrency market. 

The Deribit market, the largest derivative market globally, has a notional value of $1.5 billion for this expiration. Currently, the max pain price in this market is 10% below the current bitcoin trading price. 

The most significant pain point is the price level, where most options contracts would expire out of the money, causing essential financial pain for traders holding these contracts. In this case, the most significant pain point for bitcoin options is $22,000. This means that if bitcoin prices stay above $22,000, most options contracts will expire worthless, resulting in a significant loss for those who hold them.

Options are derivative contracts that give the holder the right to buy or sell an asset, such as bitcoin, at a predetermined price and time. The put/call ratio is a popular sentiment indicator in options trading. A put option gives the holder the right to sell an asset at a predetermined price, while a call option gives the holder the right to buy an asset at a predetermined price. 

The put/call ratio is the ratio of the total number of put options to call options. A ratio above 1 indicates more bearish (put) options than bullish (call) options, while a ratio below 1 indicates the opposite.

Today, the put/call ratio for bitcoin options stands at 0.76, meaning there are more bullish options than bearish options. However, this ratio has been changing throughout the month, and it’s hard to predict how it will affect the market.

The number of bitcoin option positions has reached 309,000, the second-highest in history, only surpassed by the number on Nov. 11 of last year. This shows to potentially earn a profit of $480 million, and bitcoin bulls need to drive the price above $24,500 by the end of the day.

Conversely, for the bears to reduce their losses, they need the price to drop by 3.5% below $23,000, which would be their optimal scenario.


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Montana senate enacts legislation shielding crypto miners from exploitation

https://crypto.news/montana-senate-enacts-legislation-shielding-crypto-miners-from-exploitation/

On Feb. 23, the Montana state legislature passed a new crypto bill protecting miners from various exploitative acts. The bill seeks to give crypto miners competitive advantages.

The bill will ensure miners are not charged electricity rates discriminately by the commission involved. Additionally, it will change the zoning ordinance. Therefore, home crypto miners who live in residential zones and use less than 1 megawatt annually will not be charged extra fees. 

In addition, mining businesses within industrial zones that consume more than 1 megawatt on an average annual basis will only be charged for the cost of service and no extra fee.

The bill also protects the utility of crypto and other digital assets from unduly taxation. It decrees that digital assets will not be taxed if used as a payment method. 

Montana has had regulations and efforts by the private sector in the past three years seeking to decrease the carbon footprint of crypto mining within the state. 

In 2020, the county of Missoula passed legislation requiring miners to buy or build green energy assets to generate as much power as they consume. The Senate bill will probably upend this regulation. 

The Madison River Equity LLC planned a 300 MW solar project in May 2021. This project was set to turn Montana into a green energy-powered hub for bitcoin mining in May 2021. However, residents and local officials turned down the project a month later.

Even so, the topic of clean energy is very significant within the crypto community. Daniel Batten, an environmental analyst at Bitcoin magazine, reported earlier this week that the industry uses an impressive 52% green energy in bitcoin mining. This puts it ahead of many other industries in terms of environmental sustainability. 


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Coinbase launches Ethereum L2 network, Base

https://crypto.news/coinbase-launches-ethereum-l2-network-base/

On Feb. 23, Coinbase, a popular crypto exchange, announced it has developed a base L2 network created using Optimism’s OP Stack.

The primary objective behind this move is to bring in millions of new crypto users over the next few years. 

Coinbase joins Optimism as a core developer for OP Stack

Coinbase has announced that it will join Optimism as a core developer for the open-source OP Stack, a developer toolkit designed for the Optimism network. 

However, Coinbase’s involvement in the project won’t be restricted solely to Ethereum.

The company plans to provide users with easy and secure access to L2 networks like Optimism and other blockchain ecosystems such as Solana. 

According to Coinbase’s VP of Engineering, Will Robinson, the testnet launch of Base, an Ethereum Layer 2 (L2) network, is underway.

The Base network offers a secure, low-cost, and developer-friendly platform for individuals worldwide to create decentralized apps or “dapps” on-chain. The plan is to decentralize the network gradually over time. 

Coinbase has clarified that it has no intention of creating a new network token. Coinbase initiated the testnet of Base to ensure a smooth rollout. The network will help reduce bottlenecks associated with scaling and data, making transactions faster and cheaper. 

“Base is viewed as a pathway for users to enter the crypto economy and serves as a user-friendly onchain platform with the added benefit of access to products on various other chains.” 

Coinbase VP of Engineering Will Robinson

The crypto exchange aims to allow developers to integrate their products directly with Base and offer fiat onramps. It targets the platform’s estimated 110 million verified users and $80 billion in assets within the Coinbase ecosystem. 

After Coinbase’s announcement, Optimism protocol’s token OP saw a slight price jump and was trading at $2.92 at the time of this publication. The value represents a price rise of about 20% over the past 24 hours.


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Concerns raised on suspicious movement of Gate.io stolen funds

https://crypto.news/concerns-raised-on-suspicious-movement-of-gate-io-stolen-funds/

On Feb. 23, blockchain security tracker CertiKAlert brought to light suspicious activity involving the movement of stolen funds from the Gate.io hack which took place in August 2018. The exploit, which reportedly involved North Korean hackers, resulted in the loss of around $230 million in digital assets.

Certik has discovered a coordinated effort to launder the funds as a significant amount of cryptocurrency was transferred between addresses. The Ethereum address with the hexadecimal value “0xff8…” has transferred approximately 1,944.72 ETH, equivalent to roughly $3,149,143 at the time of writing, to different wallets. 

The exact reason for the transfer is unknown, as Ethereum addresses do not reveal information about their owners or the purpose of their transactions. However, it is possible to track the movement of the transferred funds by following the transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. By examining the blockchain records, one can see that the funds were moved in multiple transactions, each transferring varying amounts of ETH to different addresses.

The first transaction involved the transfer of 1,000 ETH to an address with a hexadecimal value of “0x43b…”. The second transaction transferred 344.72 ETH to an address with a hexadecimal value of “0x84f…”. The third transaction transferred 500 ETH to an address with a hexadecimal value of “0x23a…”. The final transaction transferred the remaining 100 ETH to an address with a hexadecimal value of “0x9c7…”.

The Gate.io hack in 2018 exposed a vulnerability in the exchange’s hot wallet, leading to the theft of millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency from users. Although it caused concern at the time, it was not until the recent discovery of the movement of stolen funds that the extent of the attack became clear. 

The ongoing challenge of cybersecurity threats in the cryptocurrency industry highlights the need for companies like CertiK to identify and address vulnerabilities to improve the security and stability of the ecosystem.

As more individuals and businesses adopt digital assets, it is crucial to prioritize the security of these assets and the platforms that hold them. Unfortunately, the Gate.io hack is just one in a series of cyber attacks that continue to target crypto exchanges, underscoring the need for increased security measures and regulations.


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Bored Ape worth $147.8k stolen in latest phishing attack

https://crypto.news/bored-ape-worth-147-8k-stolen-in-latest-phishing-attack/

Blockchain security firm CertiK shared an alert involving Bored Ape NFT #4587, the latest looting target of the address 0x43c922. The hacker has embarked on a series of heists since the beginning of February 2023.

Ancilia inc., a Binance-backed web3 cybersecurity partner, identified the BAYC NFT #4587 as the second asset stolen by the hacker whose complete address is 0x43C922deB0827b9F5B1baC648677077A66F108e5. The NFT was last valued at 89.9 ETH (~$147,800) in the last sale on May 9, 2022.

According to CertiK, the other attack by the same user targeted and stole bored ape yacht club NFT #3097. BAYC NFT #3097 was last sold on Jan. 7, 2022, for 19.8 ETH (~$33,000).

Other scams associated with the address include the heist of the FreeNFT.xyz OG ticket 150 on Feb. 15, 2023. A Twitter user named @scamsniffer_ reported that one token worth 7Ξ was stolen from address 0xe31f3cca152fbbe45d73ef64de25d81228f8f7a7 by the same hacker address.

The account, now labeled fake_phishing38681 on Etherscan, has only been active for about 20 days. Within that period, it has performed 73 recorded transactions. Etherscan has flagged the address warning other users of interacting with it. 

They have advised people to exercise caution because multiple reports associated the address with several phishing scams have been filed.

The hack is a blow to the bored ape yacht club and the crypto space as a whole. It comes amid reports of massive losses to phishing scams and hacks in 2022. According to crypto analyst Kofi, hackers stole over $6 billion in crypto. In addition, a UN assessment has reported that North Korean hackers looted over $630 million in digital assets in 2022. 

As a countermeasure, Norway’s economy crimes unit, Økokrim, seized $5.9 million in crypto stolen by hackers linked to North Korea’s hacking group, Lazarus. Additionally, the SEC chairman, Gary Gensler, has acknowledged the underlying cybersecurity threat posed by owning digital assets.

The regulatory body is exploring ways to establish a regulatory framework in which digital assets will operate. Keep following us for more updates on such phishing attacks and measures being developed to counter them.


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Ethereum Foundation announces Q4 2022 funding of $4.37m

https://crypto.news/ethereum-foundation-announces-q4-2022-funding-of-4-37m/

The Ethereum Foundation has released a list of their Q4 granters who provided funds for various courses, including Web3 support in Uruguay, community educational talks, workshops, and more.

Donations totaled $4.37m

Grants are a type of direct financing that is given out after a formal application, assessment, and advice from technical experts. These grants are not gifts or investments in stock.

The total donations, approximately $4,37 million, will be used for charitable and educational programs in various countries, including Vietnam, Japan, Hungary, Nepal, and other countries. The funds will be used on several research programs on the consensus layer, cryptography, and trustless proofs.

ESP’s efforts are primarily focused on enabling developers and not end-users. Other allocations for the funds include general research, smart contract online courses, exploring the feasibility of minimal anti-collusion infrastructure (MACI) in multi-party computation (MPC), and research on ‘commitment’ against front-running attacks.

What’s ESP?

Ecosystem Support Program (ESP) is Ethereum Foundation’s community allocation division. ESP is a wave of awards that offers financial aid and other kinds of assistance to qualified projects and academic studies on ethereum (ETH) that aim to advance the network. The two types of ESP awards — small grants and project grants — are distinguished by their respective procedures and requirements.

ESP concentrates on research that improves Ethereum’s architecture and empowers future developers, such as building blocks, libraries, research, civic engagement, instructional resources, open standards, and infrastructure upgrades.

Eth DeFi TVL

In Q1 2022, the DeFi TVL was $89.5 billion. It represents a roughly 42% volume decline from $154.2 billion in Q4 2021, ahead of its 2023 roadmap.

The sharp decline in TVL is perhaps a reaction to a selloff that has affected the entire market as prices have fallen. People usually do this to liberate their assets, giving them more flexibility in volatile market situations.


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DOT price rises 13.10% in week as crypto markets falter

https://crypto.news/dot-price-rises-13-10-in-week-as-crypto-markets-falter/

On Feb. 22, polkadot’s price managed to sustain a price rise trend recording a 13.10% increase over the past seven days despite a 24-hour decline.

Polkadot sustains its bullish trend

At the time of writing, the price of polkadot (DOT) was trading at $7.05, with a 24-hour trading volume of $435,710,098.

The market capitalization of polkadot is $8,507,253,140, and there is 1.2 billion DOT in circulation. Despite showing an overall positive trend over the past 7 days with a 13.10% increase in price, polkadot has experienced a negative decline in price over the last 24 hours, with a drop of -3.30%. 

DOT price rises 13.10% in week as crypto markets falter - 1
DOT Price Chart. Source: Tradingview.com

The market price of polkadot has seen its ups and downs since its launch. Polkadot recorded an all-time high of $54, which it achieved in April 2021.

However, the price has been on a descending trend since reaching its ATH. Several factors are at play for its collapse, but majorly were due to the failure experienced in the cryptocurrency industry. Despite this fall, the bulls have been aggressively pushing the price up from its bottom of $3.20. 

On Jan.18, polkadot announced the deployment of an upgrade to its cross-consensus messaging (XCM) infrastructure, which is now live. The upgrade could be the reason why the token is surging swiftly.

Polkadot is a blockchain platform that enables secure and decentralized communication between diverse blockchains, allowing them to share their unique features and exchange value in a trust-free manner.

With its resourceful multi-chain technology, polkadot is scalable and capable of handling complex interactions between different blockchains.

Polkadot technical analysis: a positive trend

DOT price rises 13.10% in week as crypto markets falter - 2
DOT/USDT Daily Chart. Source: Tradingview.com 

The second half of 2022 looks depressing for polkadot investors and traders. The market price of DOT experienced a dip nose dive in mid-November 2022, further escalated by the FTX crypto exchange collapse. DOT bottomed out at $3, only for the bulls to aggressively push the prices higher.

DOT is trading along the upward channel creating higher highs and higher lows. According to the chart above, the resistance at $7.40 looks strong enough for the price to break through. Besides that, DOT/USDT has formed a double top pattern which technically symbolizes the trend change from buying to selling.

Notably, the price is dropping, retracing to the lower line of the channel before picking up on the bull run. Almost all the indicators also signal a bullish rally on the price of DOT.

The moving averages, which mostly record the price of an asset in real-time, indicate buying pressure by the bulls. The cost of DOT is trading swiftly above the 200-day, and 50-day moving averages indicating the buying pressure is relatively high.

Meanwhile, the Relative Strength Index (RSI 14) trades above the 50-level mark, meaning that DOT’s price is bullish.


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Blocto wallet up 700% as Mark Cuban invests

https://crypto.news/blocto-wallet-up-700-as-mark-cuban-invests/

Blocto wallet valuation has risen 700% following its Series A funding round. It aims to spend money on simplifying blockchain and promoting web 3 mass adoption. The project attracted notable investors like Mark Cuban and 500 Global.

Mark Cuban invests in web 3 project Blocto Wallet

Mark Cuban has joined Blocto Wallet as an advisor and investor, leading it to close its Series A funding round at around $80 million. This activity saw the value of the wallet rise by over 700%.

Blocto is the multichain web 3 ecosystem and cross-chain wallet launched by Portto in 2019.

The project seeks to allow crypto users to interact freely within the industry. It has strengthened its journey through a notable joint effort with Mark Cuban, 500 Global, Roham Garagozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, Animoca Brands, Kevin Chou of Gen. G Esport, and others in its Series A funding round. 

According to their press release, Portto claims they remain profitable amid the current crypto market meltdown. It added that as of November 2022, the Blocto Wallet had exceeded 1.6 million users, with BlocktoBay becoming the most popular non-custodial NFT Marketplace on the Flow Blockchain. 

Portto added that since its expansion into the Aptos ecosystem, Blocto has quickly established itself as the second-largest Aptos wallet amassing over 400,000 users and eyes to keep growing.

Officials and investors react to Blocto Wallet’s Series A funding round

Blocto’s Series A funding round was a success as it significantly increased the valuation of the wallet. As such, several officials and investors have commented on the process and what will happen.

Hsuan Lee, Portto’s CEO and co-founder, said he is thrilled with attracting multiple investors that share their vision. He added that they are now better equipped to innovate and onboard new crypto users by bringing the technology to people.

Tony Wang, a managing partner at 500 Global, also commented on the matter, expressing their gratitude to Portto and Blocto that the best founders continue to build regardless of the market conditions. He added that they believe the continuous growth of Blocto Wallet, despite market conditions, might make it of the most influential projects in the crypto industry.

These developments come when the crypto space is in a bear cycle but foreshadow a growing interest in innovation. However, nothing is promised as the space is still young, so learn how to DYOR to prevent possible losses and keep watching crypto.news for updates on this and other stories.


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Whale dumps 71 BAYC, 11 MAYC, 7 Azuki NFTs on Blur

https://crypto.news/whale-dumps-71-bayc-11-mayc-7-azuki-nfts-on-blur/

Earlier today, a whale identified only as “0xC88” dumped tens of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), Azuki, and Beanz NFTs on Blur. 

NFT whale sells NFT collections on the Blur marketplace

According to data reports on the OpenSea NFT marketplace, the holder sold 71 Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), 11 Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), 7 Azuki, and Beanz NFTs. The sale stirred the community, with many speculating about the possible reasons behind the sudden selloff.

Only 9 MAYC NFTs remain in the wallet address, indicating that the whale might want to drain his NFT holding. The whale address has been linked to Rektguy creator Mando, who confirmed that he still holds many Yuga assets and has paid all the associated royalties.

Mando said that the entity decided to leverage the current NFT liquidity to gain some profit from selling BAYC and MAYC holdings. A huge number of the NFTs sold appear to have been purchased by an NFT enthusiast using the Twitter handle @machibigbrother.

According to Mando, one should be able to seize the opportunity to obtain liquidity when it is abundant and readily available and utilize it during periods of scarcity.


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Arbitrum flips Ethereum in transaction count, processing $1.14m transactions

https://crypto.news/arbitrum-flips-ethereum-in-transaction-count-processing-1-14m-transactions/

On Feb. 21, Arbitrum, layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum, processed 1.14m transactions, exceeding the total on the mainnet, Dune data shows.

Arbitrum flips Ethereum in transaction

The number of transactions on the Arbitrum network hit a new 24H all-time high, surpassing the Ethereum mainnet by a staggering 1.05m transactions, with a total of 1.14m transactions recorded. In contrast, the Optimism network saw roughly 180,000 transactions on the same day.

With this impressive transaction count, Arbitrum has demonstrated that it is a viable alternative to Ethereum for processing high volumes of transactions.

Arbitrum flips Ethereum in transaction count, processing $1.14m transactions - 1
Daily Transactions on Different Chains Chart. Source:Dune.com

Moreover, as per stats from DeFiLlama recorded in the past seven days, the network surpassed Binance Smart Chain in DEX transactional volume.

Arbitrum flips Ethereum in transaction count, processing $1.14m transactions - 2
DEX Volume by Chain. Source: DeFiLlama.com

The success of Arbitrum can be attributed to its unique design, which enables faster and cheaper transactions than the Ethereum blockchain. It has made it an attractive option for users looking to reduce their transaction costs and improve transaction speeds.

Arbitrum transactions and gas usage by its top projects 

Arbitrum, a Layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum, has recently seen an increase in usage, with many projects choosing to migrate to the platform due to its fast transaction speeds and lower gas fees. With Arbitrum, however, gas fees are significantly lower, making it a more cost-effective option for users.

Arbitrum flips Ethereum in transaction count, processing $1.14m transactions - 3
Transactions and Gas Usage Charts: Source Dune.com

The combination of lower gas fees and fast transaction speeds has made Arbitrum an attractive option for many projects on Ethereum. Some top projects that have already moved their activities to Arbitrum include Uniswap, SushiSwap, and Aave. These projects have seen significant increases in transaction volume on Arbitrum, with Uniswap alone processing more than 100,000 transactions in a single day.


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Ankr token ramps 70% after Microsoft deal

https://crypto.news/ankr-token-ramps-70-after-microsoft-deal/

Ankr, a leading provider of blockchain infrastructure and solutions, has seen a massive surge in price after announcing a new partnership with tech giant Microsoft. 

Ankr’s partnership with Microsoft raises price

On Feb. 21, Ankr’s token rose by an impressive 70%, indicating strong investor confidence in the company’s future growth prospects. Ankr Network (ANKR) currently trades at $0.052071565492, with a 24-hour trading volume of $657,153,366. 

The values marks a significant 52.10% increase in price over the past 24 hours and an impressive 85.70% increase over the past 7 days. The market capitalization of Ankr Network, which has a circulating supply of 8.2 billion ANKR tokens, is now valued at $417,035,247.

Ankr and Microsoft’s strategic collaboration will see the former provide its innovative blockchain technology to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. Ankr’s cutting-edge solutions will enable Azure customers to easily and efficiently deploy decentralized applications and services, leveraging the power and security of blockchain technology.

Ankr token ramps 70% after Microsoft deal - 1
ANKR/USDT Price Chart: Source Tradingview.com

Ankr, under the partnership, could steadily gain momentum in the blockchain industry. The collaboration with Microsoft is a major endorsement of the company’s technology and a testament to its strong market position.

As blockchain technology continues to gain traction in various industries, Ankr is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for decentralized solutions.

Ankr, Microsoft partnership to provide blockchain solutions to Azure customers

The market response to the partnership has been overwhelmingly positive, with Ankr’s tokens surging in value. It indicates that investors are bullish on the company’s long-term prospects and ability to deliver value to customers in a rapidly evolving industry.

“We are excited to work with Microsoft to bring our innovative blockchain solutions to Azure customers. This collaboration will enable businesses of all sizes to leverage the power of blockchain technology and unlock new opportunities for growth and innovation.”

Ankr’s CEO, Chandler Song

The latest development is yet another example of the transformative power of blockchain technology and its potential to revolutionize various industries.


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CoinShares releases Q4 financial results for FY 2022

https://crypto.news/coinshares-releases-q4-financial-results-for-fy-2022/

CoinShares, a digital asset investment group, has shared its Q4 2022 financial report, showing a continued focus on institutional offers and managing digital assets.

The fund manager is still unsure of possible asset recovery efforts

CoinShares suffered a setback after FTX collapsed at the end of 2022 after returning to profitability in Q3 of the same year. Although the Group’s continued to have a sound financial condition, its link to FTX inevitably impacted its financial performance for 2022’s fourth quarter and the whole year.

“We are glad to inform you that, despite the difficulties encountered in the most recent quarter, the firm has remained financially sound and is proud to have completed the year by graduating to Nasdaq Stockholm’s primary market.”

Jean-Marie Mognetti, CEO of CoinShares.

Following FTX’s bankruptcy filing, CoinShares claimed over $31 million in funds were trapped in the exchange. The fund manager needs to find out how much of the assets can be recovered or if they can collect the funds.

The FTX effect

CEO Jean-Marie Mognetti also claimed that the insolvency of FTX derailed the company’s ability to introduce its algorithmic trading platform, HAL, across Europe.

Despite this, Mognetti believes the company would enter 2023 with specific objectives, including a focus on growing its institutional products and digital asset management business.

Although CoinShares survived the FTX storm, Galois Capital, a hedge fund, did not fare as well.

The fund informed investors on Feb. 20 that it was ceasing operations due to the losses brought on by the collapse of FTX. The company decided to sell off its claims to bidders better equipped to pursue bankruptcy claims and return its remaining funds to its investors.


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Briton detained in Moscow may have crypto links to North Korea 

https://crypto.news/briton-detained-in-moscow-may-have-crypto-links-to-north-korea/

A British man allegedly linked to North Korea evading sanctions using crypto has been detained in Moscow.

North Korean ties could lead to a 20 year sentence

Christopher Emms, a 31-year-old British citizen, was arrested on Feb. 21 in Moscow after a “red notice” from Interpol, as local media reported. Notably, the Brit was detained in a hostel he resided in at the time.

Earlier, Emms faced accusations for providing instructions detailing how North Korea could use blockchain and crypto to evade sanctions and money laundering in April 2022.

Working with him was Alejandro Cao De Benos, a Spanish national, whereby they both planned and organized the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference back in 2019.

The two were also working with a former Ethereum developer, Virgil Griffith, who was given a 63-month sentence after an FBI arrest in 2019. 

Emms was arrested by the Saudi authorities earlier, but he was released since they found no substantial evidence to support the allegations after an 8-month travel ban. After his release, he left the country immediately for Russia. Well, the authorities have caught him again.

If Emms is found guilty of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, he could serve up to 20 years.

Russia is helping with enforcement

The U.S. DoJ has been working with Russia to issue justice despite the ongoing investigations targeting the country. The local officers worked together with their American counterparts in arresting Emms.

Charles McGonigal, 54, was accused of working with Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska last month.

Former Russian diplomat Sergey Sheshtakov was also mentioned in the scheme. He allegedly worked with McGonigal in 2021 for Deripaska to investigate an unnamed rival, a Russian oligarch.

Another ongoing case is the charges against a U.K. businessman and his Russian partner, which entail evasion of U.S. sanctions.


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Huobi wants to move from Singapore to Hong Kong

https://crypto.news/huobi-wants-to-move-from-singapore-to-hong-kong/

In a recent interview with Nikkei Asia, Justin Sun revealed crypto exchange Huobi Global wants to move its Asia headquarters from Singapore to Hong Kong.

Justin Sun: Huobi applied for a Hong Kong trading license

Market participants are currently moving as Hong Kong policymakers attempt to reestablish the region as Asia’s cryptocurrency powerhouse. In the most recent development, Huobi Global, led by Justin Sun, declared that it had applied for a crypto trading license in Hong Kong.

Huobi Global also intends to launch Huobi Hong Kong, a regional exchange, and apply for the necessary licenses. The exchange will abide by all local laws while providing customers with various trading pairs and services.

Additionally, Huobi’s new exchange will offer trading services to Hong Kong’s high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors.

According to Sun, who was recently unveiled as the exchange’s leader, Huobi is requesting a crypto trading license in the city to serve Hong Kong’s institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals. 

Crypto exchanges hop on Hong Kong’s soft crypto regulations

According to a Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) consultation document published earlier today, retail investors in Hong Kong might trade larger crypto coins on authorized crypto exchanges. Exchanges would be able to offer protections, including risk profiles, knowledge checks, and appropriate exposure limitations.

Nevertheless, the agency hasn’t clarified which digital currencies retail players can trade. According to an SFC spokeswoman who talked to Bloomberg, the goal is to enable retail trading under the new licensing system for cryptocurrency exchanges that will take effect on June 1.

The SFC official believes two of the biggest crypto assets will probably be listed on Hong Kong exchanges.


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O’Leary comments on FTX’s actions provoking a strong reaction from regulators

https://crypto.news/oleary-comments-on-ftxs-actions-provoking-a-strong-reaction-from-regulators/

Kevin O’Leary, the renowned Shark Tank investor and venture capitalist, recently commented on the cryptocurrency industry’s regulatory scrutiny, supporting the cause and FTX’s actions. 

Kevin O’Leary urges cryptocurrency exchanges to comply with SEC regulation 

In a recent interview with TraderTV Live, Shark Tank investor and venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary emphasized the importance of cryptocurrency exchanges complying with regulation if they want to avoid the scrutiny of the United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and its Chairman, Gary Gensler.

His statements come when regulators are increasingly taking notice of the cryptocurrency market, with concerns over its lack of regulation and transparency.

O’Leary stated that US lawmakers are becoming increasingly tired of cryptocurrency collapses and failures. He believes that lawmakers will become even more ruthless if companies resist regulation. He urged crypto exchanges to “get on board with regulation” if they want to stay out of the way of the SEC and its regulators.

With the recent surge in crypto market valuations, governments and regulators worldwide are looking to tighten their oversight of cryptocurrencies and related services. O’Leary’s statement reflects the broader sentiment in the industry that suggests that regulatory compliance is essential for the long-term growth and stability of the crypto market.

O’Leary also confesses that he lost nearly all of the $15m  he received as an official spokesperson for FTX. Despite acknowledging that his investment in FTX was unsuccessful, Mr. Wonderful has maintained his support for the former CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried. He believes that Bankman-Fried deserves the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and he has not ruled out the possibility of investing in the entrepreneur again.

In the past, the Shark Tank investor had made it clear that he disapproved of certain decentralized and unregulated players in the industry. On Aug. 13, Kevin O’Leary expressed support for the Dutch authorities who had arrested Alexey Pertsev, the individual responsible for developing Tornado Cash, a cryptocurrency mixer built on the Ethereum network. O’Leary explained that applications like Tornado Cash and the “crypto cowboys” behind them disrupt the fundamental forces of regulation.


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