This Week In Crypto #3

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It’s been a hectic week for the world of crypto again, with the uncertainty of traditional markets being an overwhelming factor of current overall sentiment. The market has had choppy ups and downs, and fears that Russia may invade Ukraine loom while the Canadian government freezes money. Let’s dive in and see what’s been going on in the past week.

The Macro Perspective

Bitcoin defines which way the rest of the crypto market will go. And usually Bitcoin is affected by traditional markets. It’s interesting to see this comparison between the last six months of Bitcoin price action versus some major tech companies.

International Crypto Adoption

Earlier this week, Ukraine passed a law legalising cryptocurrencies as official tender. They are soon expected to set out the rules and regulations that crypto exchanges and the cryptocurrency service providers should follow.

It’s interesting to point out that within the Ukraine there are more crypto transactions per day than there are transactions of their national currency. The population of the Ukraine is over 41 million people, so this is a major step for crypto overall.

Spain’s central bank also approved the Bit2me exchange as the first fully-licensed Bitcoin and crypto currency service provider within the country.

And in the U.S., Ohio congressman Warren Davidson introduced a bill to help protect self-custodial wallets and Bitcoin transactions, after having stated that Facebook should drop their plans for their digital currency (the Libra) and adopt Bitcoin instead.

Bitcoin Institutional Adoption

The SEC has reportedly been flooded with letters from investors urging them to approve a Bitcoin spot ETF. There have been many filings for bitcoin ETFs over the past year from various organisations, but the SEC has approved none. If the last year has shown us anything, it is that is institutions and traditional investors are looking to jump into bitcoin now more than ever, however they still want traditional safeguards in place. An ETF would allow them to gain exposure to Bitcoin but not hold it themselves.

One institution that seems to have dived slightly deeper than anyone else is banking giant JP Morgan. In a recent paper published to their investors, they laid out their sentiments for the metaverse and ways of investing in it. They project that the metaverse can generate $1 trillion in revenue cumulatively for the entire market each year. Alongside the newsletter came their announcement that they had invested in Decentraland and opened up a digital lounge for their clients within it.

NFT drama

The world of NFTs is moving ultrafast, with much widespread adoption. And celebrities are no stranger to this realm of the cryptoverse.

However, where there is money to be made there will always be those trying to take advantage. Some OpenSea users were targeted in a web3 phishing attack which seemed to be delivered to the email accounts associated with OpenSea’s internal database of users. The assailant persuaded some affected users to sign a message with their wallets supposedly in order to migrate to the new version of OpenSea. But, in reality, by signing the message the users were authorising a sale of their NFTs to the assailant for 0 ETH. The assailant stored all the messages in a smart contract and then executed it in one instance, getting their hands on all affected NFTs.

Many months ago, Reese Witherspoon tweeted about how she was adopting ETH and NFTs, and now she is helping adapt NFTs into movies as well as TV shows.

On the other side of the NFT world is Melania Trump, who has found herself amidst some controversy with her recent NFT auction. It seems her NFT that sold for  1,800 SOL was purchased by a wallet owned by the actual creators of the project. This has led people to speculate on the veracity of the project.

Crypto Fundraising

It’s not all doom and gloom – many people from the scene are coming together to help out in different ways using crypto.

The Assange DAO was created to auction off an NFT created by Julian Assange and digital artist Pak, with the goal of fund raising money to help out with Assange’s legal fees whilst he is still held in London’s Belmarsh Prison. The DAO raised $56 million dollars for the cause.

While Canadian authorities gave order to seize funds raised by “HonkHonkHodl” to support the Freedom Convoy anti-vaccination protests, many Bitcoin enthusiasts took the opportunity to show how Bitcoin is censorship-free and how the only thing that can stop it at this point in time are centralised junctions of fiat on- and off-ramps. HonkHonkHodl raised approximately 21 BTC, worth nearly $1 million at the time.

Canadian president Trudeau imposed emergency measures to stop the protests whilst at the same time financial institutions were instructed to freeze the accounts of anyone involved in the fundraising.

In Other News…

On a lighter note, this week social media giant Twitter enabled a feature where users are able to tip each other with ETH.

Users have been provided with Ethereum wallets that are integrated into the app. BTC tipping had already been enabled in 2021.

And after Binance paused their fiat on and off-ramps in 2021 for UK citizens, bank deposits and withdrawals have now been re enabled via the use of Paysafe.

And now it seems the United States Justice Department is creating a team that will have one sole purpose, to investigate any illegal activity related to crypto cyber crime.

Officials in Georgia, US, introduce a new bill that would exempt crypto miners from paying sales and use taxes. Other US states that have looked into tax incentives for crypto miners in the past include Kentucky and Illinois.

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