Crypto News: A Weekly Review

On Tuesday, the majority of cryptocurrencies rose as tensions between Russia and Ukraine eased. During a press conference on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that he is “ready to work further” with the West to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine. Russia has also agreed to withdraw some soldiers from military regions bordering Ukraine.


Over the last 24 hours, equities and cryptocurrencies soared, while conventional safe havens such as gold and the US dollar fell.


JPMorgan, the world’s largest bank, said that it has created a lounge in Decentraland, a virtual world built on blockchain technology, making it the first lender to enter the metaverse.


In addition to the launch of the Onyx lounge (the name relates to the bank’s suite of permissioned Ethereum-based services), JPMorgan published a study on how companies might identify possibilities in the metaverse.


The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has applied to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to establish an online marketplace for different digital products such as NFTs, cryptocurrencies, digital media, and artwork. The NYSE’s recent trademark registration indicates that it may have considerably more ambitious intentions for NFTs. Let’s take a closer look at what’s been going on in the crypto-universe.


Related article | Bitcoin & Ethereum Market Overview 14/2/22


LEO Token Pumps Post Bitfinex Bitcoin Seizure, But Why?


The LEO Token trades at $6 with a 2.4% profit on the last day. The token rallied from a low of $3.50 and reached a high of almost $8 as the news about the capture of Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan became known. The LEO Token can be burned if the funds seized in 2015 to their partner Crypto Capital are returned. iFinex and Bitfinex will attempt to prevent any sudden spike in the price of LEO during the 18-month lock-in period for the token burn.


Hacker Scoops Up $2 Million Bounty After Spotting Fatal Flaw In Ethereum Rollup


A hacker has made off with $2 million in bug bounty after finding an alarming vulnerability with the Ethereum network. The bug could have been exploited for billions of dollars worth of ETH. Instead, a ‘grey hat’ hacker informed the team of the vulnerability, netting himself a sizable reward in return. Vulnerability on layer 2 of the layer 2 protocol was discovered by white hat hacker Saurik. He reported it to the Optimism team, who rewarded him with a $2 million bounty. This event speaks volumes about the usefulness of bug bounties in making hackers more ethical.


What Happened To Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” NFT Collection? The Strange Finale 


The Secret Network was going to auction Quentin Tarantino’s NFT Collection. Miramax sued The Secret Network after learning they owned the rights to the movie “Pulp Fiction” They were talking David Vs. Goliath two days before the first auction, and ultimately sold for a paltry sum.


Bandanna Sporting Crypto Punk #5822 Sets New Record As It Sells For $23M


CryptoPunk #5822 has just set the record for the highest-selling punk so far. Sold for 8,000 ETH, more than $23 million had been bought by Chain CEO Deepak Thapliyal. It is the most expensive CryptoPunk NFT sold to date. The Golden Ape #1726 had turned down an offer to purchase their Ape for 420 ETH – $1.2 million. The piece is a rare one, one of 46 gold fur apes that were released in the BAYC collection. Of all 46, only 1 piece has been sold below 1,000 ETH.


IMF Says Central Bank Digital Currencies Are The Future Of Money


IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has called for a “prudently designed” central bank digital currency to rival private forms of crypto-assets and stablecoins. Around 100 countries are exploring the idea of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). She said there is no universal case for CBDCs, and each country needs to tailor plans to their specific circumstances. The design must maintain an appropriate balance between developments on both fronts: design and privacy.


Intel Announces Mining Chips’ First Clients: BLOCK, Argo Blockchain, and GRIID


Intel’s play to get into the bitcoin mining market might end up being the story of the year. They’re going all-in in the blockchain business. Will the name catch on? “Intel Labs has dedicated decades of research into reliable cryptography, hashing techniques, and ultra-low voltage circuits”. Intel will enter the Bitcoin mining market with an “ultra-low-voltage energy-efficient” ASIC chip.


The chip shortage severely delayed the next generation of ASIC miners, this is tremendous. It opens up the door for Bitcoin miners manufacturing in the USA and elsewhere.


Ertha Metaverse Sells Rome NFT for Record $120k


The Metaverse is divided into 360,000 purchasable land plots, each of which collects taxes, fees, and other forms of revenue from the transactions taking place on them. Each plot comes loaded with resources that can be exploited to generate its owner revenue in the form of $ERTHA tokens. In Ertha, players are given the opportunity to right the wrongs of our past. Extract resources, develop land, re-build economies, and re-form countries. The $ERTHA token will play an essential role for anyone serious about entering the Erthaverse.


Ukrainian Defense Efforts Bolstered By Crypto Donations


Ukrainian crowdfunding has increased 900% since 2021. Most donations come from within Ukraine itself rather than externally like before. Non-government organizations and volunteer groups received more than $500,000 worth of Bitcoin as crowdfunding. This marked a 900% increase from 2020. Cybersecurity organizations have been receiving funding via cryptocurrencies for years now.


Donors have turned away from bank wires and app payment systems in favor of Bitcoin. 10,000 Russian Troops Massacred Near Border With Ukraine. More than 6000 people, including soldiers, have died due to violence.


Argentinian Tax Authority to Seize Digital Wallets to Collect Tax Debts


Argentinian Tax Authority, AFIP, has stated that they will be able to seize any assets owed by taxpayers in digital wallets if the tax debts are not settled. The most important target is Mercado Pago, an e-commerce platform with bitcoin-friendly policies. The government of Argentina has a rigorous approach to cryptocurrency taxation. When a person or company owes taxes, it’s not just their digital wallet that the organization will target. The organization pursues more liquid alternatives like cash; it moves to other assets such as cryptocurrency after these funds are unavailable.


Axie Infinity Smooth Love Potion (SLP) Explodes With 300% Gain This February


SLP is an ERC-20 token that acts as an in-game currency in Axie Infinity. The rally occurs following a significant update to the game’s economy. As of February 12, 2022, SLP is now selling for $0.027 with a 24-hour range.024 -.032. Axie Infinity game utilizes a multi-token economy and Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) as the ecosystem’s governance token. The SLP token has seen significant price increases in recent months but remains well below previous highs. A land plot in the game sold for US$2.48 million in November.


Ransomware Attacks Grew To $602 Million In 2021, Report


Crypto-ransomware attacks of 2021 racked up $602 million in Bitcoin and other currencies, and that figure could be even higher. The initial estimate of $350 million has jumped to $692 million. Average payout of ransomware rose to $118,000 in 2021, up 26% from 2020’s $88,000. The recorded ransomware payments of 2019 stand at $152 million and only $39 million in 2018. The Russian-based hacker group ‘Conti’ is the biggest strain by revenue. The Conti Group has extorted nearly $200 million from their victims in Bitcoin and Monero.


Why Is Talent Leaving Silicon Valley For Crypto Companies? Recruiters Explain


Business Insider asked recruiters why workers are leaving Silicon Valley for crypto and Web3 startups. Recruiters cited a scarcity of engineers focused on the space, and the risk/reward ratio skews in their favor. Also cited: “Developers like new things — they like new, shiny objects”. The risk/ reward ratio skews in a favorable direction. To work somewhere that “by its ethos” is “trying to empower the individual.” Novelty, the excitement of a new industry where the laws are being written. The chance of choosing the right project and making it big.


K-Pop & NFTs: A New Binance Deal Shakes Up Audio On The Blockchain


A new partnership has emerged between Binance and South Korean entertainment company YG. The two companies aim to create an eco-friendly framework for non-fungible token (NFT) collaborations. The MoU will reportedly give Binance access to develop digital assets based on the intellectual property associated with these artists. This isn’t the first time k-pop and NFT’s have met up. It’s only a matter of time before both worlds collide.

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