We just had a bullish month after a long bearish period. But this isn’t problem-free. As usual, there were some hacks, scams, regulations, and even a bankruptcy filing on the way. Let’s check the most important news during January 2023 in the crypto world.
On the markets
- Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency. It was created in 2009, by an anonymous founder or group of founders... More (An abbreviation for Bitcoin.) increased by over 41% in January 2023, reaching a 30d high of $23,919 per token [CMC]. At the same time, the Crypto Fear & Greed Index came back to “Greed” after 10 months of “Fear” and “Extreme Fear”. This could indicate the start of another bullish period in crypto.
- Other crypto coins and platforms also had a bright January 2023. Among the biggest winners, we have the smart contract chain Aptos (+398.5%), the gaming platform Gala (+221.8%), the Dapp network Threshold (+162.1%), the Metaverse Decentraland (+153.3%), and the stablecoin system Frax (+145.4%). Ethereum (ETH) also had an increase of 30% [CMC].
- The Total Value Locked (TVL) in DeFi protocols also enjoyed an increase of over 21.5% in January [DeFi Llama]. Currently, the sector leaders are Lido ($8 billion TVL), MakerDAO ($7.1 billion TVL), and Curve ($4.7 billion TVL). Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) daily sales weren’t as lucky. They decreased by 17% last month [NonFungible].
Regulations on Crypto in January 2023
- Italy included a new 26% tax applicable to capital gains on crypto-asset trading over 2,000 euros. Meanwhile, Israel is planning to include crypto assets in their securities laws, Arizona (US) introduced a bill to make Bitcoin legal tender, and Panama approved a bill to regulate Bitcoin and cryptos from April 2023.
- The final voting on the long-expected regulatory framework Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) was delayed to April 2023. This law, proposed by the European Commission in late 2020, will apply to all 27 EU state members since 2024. It’ll mainly affect the use of stablecoins, token issuers, and A digital currency running on a blockchain and built with cryptography. Contrary to central-bank issued currency, cryptocurrency issuance rules are... More companies.
- The US White House released a roadmap “to mitigate cryptocurrencies’ risks”. With it, they expect to increase transparency and guidance in the sector and expand the regulators’ powers to handle these kinds of assets. It doesn’t seem like something concrete for now, but it could crystallize in new bills in the future.
- After making Bitcoin a legal tender in 2022, the Central African Republic is planning to create a new regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. This way, they expect to attract foreign investors and tokenize the mineral resources of the country.
Crypto hacks and scams in January 2023
- At least eleven crypto platforms were hacked or committed exit scams in January 2023. The total losses are calculated at over $14,6 million [DeFi Yield]. The most affected brands were the borrowing platform LendHub ($6 million), the scam FCS ($2.5 million), and the lender Midas Capital ($650k).
- An old Bitcoin Core developer, Luke Dashjr, was hacked for 200 BTC (around $3.6 million). Apparently, this was a targeted attack. The hacker won access to his PGP keys since he didn’t have conventional private keys with random words.
- Around 800 BitConnect victims from 40 countries will receive $17 million as reimbursement, as ordered by a US federal court. BitConnect was one of the biggest crypto scams in history. The invested amount in this Ponzi scheme with cryptos is calculated at $4.1 billion.
- Spanish National Police has warned about a new crypto scam in the workplace during January 2023. The scammers call the employees of certain companies and ask them to pay in BTC for courier fees, licenses, or fines. They apply a sense of urgency to it and lie by saying that they’re sent by the bosses. Of course, the only intention is to steal the funds.
Other crypto news
- Crypto lender Genesis Global Capital filed for bankruptcy, and the crypto portal CoinDesk is considering a potential sale. Both companies belong to the Digital Currency Group (DCG), now highly indebted. Genesis creditors, indeed, sued DCG for securities fraud.
- The exchange Gemini, one of the largest Genesis creditors, is also in trouble. A group of Gemini Earn users sued the company for breach of contract and illicit enrichment —since they can’t withdraw funds since November 2022.
- US authorities seized around $700 million in assets belonging to FTX and its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF). Meanwhile, SBF declared himself innocent of the FTX fraud, and John Ray III, the new FTX CEO, said they’re exploring the possibility to restart the exchange operations.
- Several Bitcoin mining companies are suffering financial issues. After filing for bankruptcy in December, crypto brand Core Scientific shut down 37,000 miners in January 2023. Meanwhile, as described by Hashrate Index, “the public Bitcoin mining companies collectively owe more than $4 billion.”
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