New records and decreases, more adoptions and investments, hacks, scams, laws, and collectible tokens (NFTs); we just had quite a busy February in the A digital currency running on a blockchain and built with cryptography. Contrary to central-bank issued currency, cryptocurrency issuance rules are... More world. As always, we bring you a nice summary of the most important news. Let’s check it!
On the markets
- Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency. It was created in 2009, by an anonymous founder or group of founders... went beyond the moon with a new All-Time-High (ATH) of over $58,000 per coin. This was probably thanks to huge investments and adoptions by high-profile firms like Tesla, Visa, MicroStrategy, Mastercard, and BNY Mellon.
Since then (Feb. 21), the price has fallen by over 20%, though. This was probably due to the investors taking profits. According to data by the analytics firm Bybt, over $5.6b were liquidated from the exchanges around the crash date. So, the price decrease might be temporary, as it was after the last ATH in January.
- Ethereum reached a new record too, with over $2,000 per coin on Feb. 20. It has suffered a decrease of over 28% since then, while the transaction fees have increased by over 185% during the last month.
The developers are hopeful about solving this situation by applying the new EIP 1559 next July. With this proposal, the gas prices will decrease to more affordable figures.
- Cardano (ADA) it’s been doing excellent this month. Now it’s enjoying a monthly price increase of over 267%, and it’s very close to reaching a new ATH per coin. It surpassed Tether (USDT) as the third cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
This might be due to its last update dubbed “Mary”, scheduled by March 1. Mary will enable the creation of native tokens and multi-asset support. That includes stablecoins, DeFi assets, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Some other good news? Cardano is available now in Alfacash!
- The DeFi sector is experiencing some stumbles. After reaching a high of over $43b locked, it has decreased by 18% during the last week. This might be due to the high fees experienced recently on Ethereum, home for most DeFi tokens. As indicated by Messari Crypto founder Ryan Selkis, “The Top 5 DeFi apps (UNI, SUSHI, COMP, ROOK, AAVE) now make more in daily fees than Bitcoin did in Q1 2020”.
On security and regulations
- Some crypto-scams are waiting for new victims this 2021. They include fake crypto-giveaways on Discord, fraudulent investment platforms, romance scams, and email phishing. However, according to Chainalysis, less than 1% of the total value moved with cryptocurrencies in 2020 came from criminal activities.
- The flash loan attacks on DeFi platforms didn’t stop this month. Yearn Finance’s DAI vault was hacked by $11m. Not so much later, Alpha Finance Lab and Cream Finance were hacked by around $37.5m in WETH, USDC, USDT, and DAI; directly from their protocols. The vulnerabilities have been fixed since then, at least.
- Now, talking about laws and regulations, MoneyGram stopped its partnership with Ripple due to the SEC’s lawsuit. The first court date for Ripple and SEC just passed, and the hopes of a settlement between them are far thin now. For Ripple, SEC failed to warn earlier about the supposed status of XRP as a security.
- After a regulatory investigation, Tether and Bitfinex are banned from any trading activity in New York. Additionally, they’ll have to pay $18.5m as a penalty to the New York State Attorney General. Despite this, the USDT market capitalization has increased by 34% during the last month.
- According to the state news agency RIA Novosti, cryptocurrencies will be considered as property in Russia from now on. Like it, the people and companies doing crypto-transactions involving more than 600,000 RUB annually (around $8,100), will have to declare them for taxes. Failing to do so, will imply fines between 10% and 40%.
- Some authorities worldwide are looking for crypto-bans. The European Central Bank (ECB) especially wants to have veto power over new stablecoins, while India’s parliament will discuss a bill for banning private coins. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) went further, by banning all trading with cryptocurrencies and national banks.
Some extra news
- After some similar episodes, Craig Wright came back with another lawsuit, this time against Bitcoin Core developers. According to him, these devs have supposedly stolen some of their An abbreviation for Bitcoin. private keys in a series of non-very-clear hacks. Such private keys would contain at least 99,100 BTC ($4.9b), and they might belong originally to the hacked exchange Mt. Gox. Due to this fact, some users think now that Wright could be the hacker of such an exchange in 2014.
- Talking about Mt. Gox, the victims could have a proper end this year. They will have the chance to vote on a proposal to fairly recover and distribute the lost BTC. For the exchange’s trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, the whole process might finally be closed by October, after almost seven years of the hack.
- According to BNP Paribas, the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) market saw a 300% growth from the last year. This is probably due to big firms experimenting with these tokens for the creation of collectibles and games. Nike, Louis Vuitton, Warner Music, and, more recently, Capcom (for their famous game Street Fighter) have joined the tendency.
- Miami is now a new “crypto-valley” in the United States. According to Mayor Francis Suarez, his resolution to fully adopt Bitcoin in the region has been approved. This means that residents can pay fees and taxes with it, and even receive their salary in BTC. Besides, part of the city revenue will be invested in this currency.
Featured Image by Olya Kobruseva / Pexels
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