A daily round-up of the latest news stories from the crypto world, including market updates.
The global market cap of cryptocurrencies has been moving sideways in the last 48 hours, while the biggest slump since last week was seen yesterday as it dipped to $1.65 trillion. Bitcoin also remained in a bearish zone below its support level of $40k. Recently, the cryptocurrency saw a fresh decline from its resistance zone of $39,550 and the 100-hour SMA. However, it moved below the $38k support zone and formed a low near $37,625. As of writing, Bitcoin is consolidating losses and slowly moving above the 23.6% Fib retracement level.
Since Bitcoin has made a clear move above the $38,550 level, the next major resistance is now at the $39,550 level, which if cleared, could result in moving above the $40k crucial resistance zone.
During the same period, Ethereum spiked below $2500 and settled below the 100-hour SMA. It traded as low as $2486 before bulls pumped the price above $2500 and the 50% Fib retracement level. Ethereum is also struggling to clear the $2600 resistance level as it traded at $2589 as of the time of writing.
If it can clear the $2600 level, the next major resistance is at $2625 and then at $2650. Once both the levels are cleared, we might be able to see Ethereum rise towards the $2750 level.
Happenings Around the World
As Russia seeks a safe haven after sanctions imposed by the US and many of its allies, the elite class of Russians are reportedly liquidating cryptocurrency in the UAE. While some clients are using Dubai-based firms to turn their virtual money into hard currency, others are investing in real estate through the means of cryptocurrencies.
The proof-of-work mechanism has again found a place in the European parliament as regulators discuss whether to block it or not. In an earlier draft Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) published by the European Union (EU), it was proposed that a ban on crypto services that relied on an unsustainable and energy inefficient consensus mechanism. Although the clause was rejected, it has, somehow, found its way into the version of the revised document.
Canadian police have charged a former Canadian government IT professional for computer and wire fraud for illegally stealing 719 BTCs. Sébastien Vachon-Desjardins, the accused, is claimed to have used “NetWalker” ransomware to steal cryptocurrencies worth more than $28 million from businesses, hospitals, law enforcement, and municipalities during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic
Israel’s central bank has issued new draft guidelines concerning Anti-Money Laundry (AML) for crypto firms. These regulations have come in response to the growing number of funds flowing into the traditional financial system of the country through the cryptocurrency ecosystem. As per the guidelines, the Bank of Israel will ensure local institutions “conduct a risk assessment and set out policy and procedures for the transfer of money that originates in or is destined for virtual currencies, taking a risk-based approach and identifying the virtual currency service provider.”
El Salvador, the only country where Bitcoin is legal tender, is likely to bring Bitcoin bonds by the end of this week, as reported by Financial Times. The 10-year Bitcoin “volcano bond” is a key experiment of President Nayib Bukele that seeks to help the country bail out from its financial burden.
Crypto Exchanges to Abide by Sanctions
In order to comply with the sanctions imposed by the US, two major crypto exchanges, Coinbase and FTX, have revealed that they are already following the regulatory standards to gather data on the Russian users and identify malicious activities. Coinbase has announced that it had blocked 25k Russian accounts suspected of engaging in suspicious activities.
The US has also formed a new task force “Kleptocapture” consisting of professionals in AML, asset forfeiture, expert control enforcement, overseas evidence gathering, tax enforcement, which will go after crypto exchanges involved in moving Russian oligarch’s money.
Japan, following concerns from the Group of Seven (G7) nations, has requested local crypto exchanges to comply with sanctions against Russia. The Ministry of Finance and FSA of Japan released a joint statement saying they would take strong measures against the transfer of funds using crypto assets.
Payment Service Provider, Stripe Delves Back Into crypto
Stripe is an Irish-American financial service provider with over 3.1 million active websites that use its services. Last week, its cofounder, John Collison announced on Twitter that the payment giant has started its support for crypto businesses and other services in the sector.
As part of the offering, the platform has partnered with FTX crypto exchange to help users buy crypto assets, as well as, mitigate fraud risk by using ML to differentiate malicious actors from legitimate ones.
The NFT Market
Blockchain-based digital art is showing no signs of slowing down. In the past week, 12,993 NFTs have been sold for more than $38 million.
From war-based themes to limited edition NFTs, the industry is clearly setting the stone for many artists and businesses to become a part of the creator economy. Ukraine, for example, is launching NFTs to mark the history of the Russian invasion, while MakeMyTrip has announced plans for limited edition NFTs. Not just a piece of art, NFTs are also being used to break taboos of society. For instance, a Singapore-based sex coach has launched womb-themed NFTs to bring greater awareness to the public in an attempt to empower women of all ages.
Ripple, a blockchain company that recently ventured into the NFT market, has also announced that it has boarded about 4000 artists with a Creator Fund worth more than $250 million.