What a week! We got all kind of unbelievable things happening all along, and this impacted crypto, not as much as some were expecting, but still, hard enough. The conflict in Ukraine, to name one, the financial year getting close to the end (and we all know, taxes need to be paid), and few other minor (or major, if you happen to be a trucker in Canada, to name one). You may need to find a strategy for your portfolio, as March is not generally a good month for crypto, and the crypto-winter may finally come. What else? Read below:
- Bitcoin: Intel unveils the new Bitcoin Mining Chip and a 3600Watt Mining Rig stacking 300 BMZ1 (Bonanza Mine) chips into it, with a cool hash rate of 40 TH/s. Bitcoin went down hard as Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” against Ukraine (read full scale invasion and control of the country). The price dumped from $39K all the way to $34K, but today seems to recover fast enough. $200B was wiped from crypto-market following the invasion in Ukraine. Just remember, that one hit them as much as the rest of the world (as Russians hold around 12% of the world crypto). Also, as one pro-military group in Ukraine accepted Bitcoin donations, more than 1 million dollars were sent to them. Mexican Senator tried to introduce a new bill for BTC as legal tender, but there is not enough support for now, and the government is concerned about tax evasion.
- Ethereum: A testnet for zkSynk – a scaling solution for ETH, was announced, much earlier than expected, and this is the first ZK rollup able of running the whole Ethereum ecosystem, solving the actual scaling issues for ETH. Austrian programmer and ex Ceo of TenX, Toby Hoenisch, seems to be the one who hacked The Dao, stealing $11B - 3.64M of ETH. If you read the Forbes article about it, it is quite entertaining, also a piece of ETH history – “Austrian Programmer and Ex crypto CEO likely stole $11B of ETH” by Laura Shin. This is the event leading to the hard fork and the birth of ETC. That Vitalik Buterin tweet: “Reminder: Ethereum is neutral, but I am not.” This guy tweeted in Russian, saying that what it is happening is a crime. He also said that Crypto-winter is a time for building, which I totally agree. I was thinking that I am the only one that is uncomfortable when the prices are too high.
- Altcoins: Solana has now the largest staked value, $38B, followed by ETH with $29B. The next 4 positions are ADA, AVAX, LUNA and DOT. Liquid staking for Kusama is now available on Moonriver. Terra (LUNA) latest upgrade – Columbus 5 – proved to be a success, being responsible for the UST recent supply growth. They have also raised $1B with the Luna Foundation Guard, in order to create a Bitcoin reserve backing up UST. Tether (USDT) reduced its commercial paper reserves holdings by $6.2B (commercial paper is unsecured short term debt) with only $24.2B left and most of their reserves were allocated to Treasury bills. Solana installed an NFT vending machine in New York. Interlay won the 10th Polkadot parachain auction.
- NFTs and blockchain games: GameFi is taking over the blockchain, with blockchain games accounting for more than 50% of all the blockchain activity. And Splinterlands is the most played blockchain game, if you want to know. Quite expected, after all the Axie efforts to stop people making a profit with their game. According to the latest estimates, OpenSea users lost 254 NFTs, worth $1.7M, after the hacker targets signed a partial contract, which was lately edited to transfer NFTs without any payments. The vector is not yet known, so, do not sign unknown contracts in your Metamask. A Congo-based start-up called Jambo raised $7.5M from the likes of Coinbase and Alameda Research to build Africa’s web3 user acquisition portal (learn/play/earn) and easing the access to crypto-based income-generation opportunities (think Yield Guild Games model). FTX is launching a gaming Unit aiming to increase main adoption of NFTs. Splinterlands is all over the news, after their partnership with Warner Bros. Not to mention that their latest event – the selling of the Waka Flocka summoner NFT for around $1.7K each, happened in less than a minute for the first 500 NFTs sold on Hive Blockchain. The second part is on WAX blockchain, with another 500 cards available. Picasso family is on the news now, after the granddaughter and her son launched 1000 NFTs, but the Uncle, in control of the name, said that it was not authorized. And funny enough, Horizen Labs got ownership of Bored Ape #6709, purchased for 100 ETH. Pegaxy main token, VIS, is freefalling from $0.17 two weeks ago to $0.037 this morning. Once the dificulty of the race will increase, it will be hard to make a profit in there. According to DappRadar, Axie is not doing that well either, with almost 10% less users in the past 7 days.
- Good News: The researcher and white hacker Tree of Alpha contacted Coinbase team exposing a ‘market nuking’ bug, and after it was fixed, he was rewarded a $250K bounty. On top of that, Coinbase Wallet added Ledger support this week. Overall, I would not cry for Coinbase, as they reported the record $2.5B in profit last quarter. South Korea largest bank, Kookmin Bank, is getting ready to launch crypto investment products for retail investors. Crypto platform Amber Group raised $200M in a funding round, and it is valuated now at $3B. Thailand Stock Exchange launches digital assets trading platform very, very soon. BNY Melon partnered with Chainalysis in order to reach a better crypto compliance. And UK now, where sometimes police is actually doing their job, as they returned $5.4M to victims of a crypto-scam (phishing from a website looking like Binance). This is one of those black swan events where people from all over the world got their life savings back, after being scammed, all thanks to the Manchester Police. Well done! Talking about Manchester City football team, they are working now with Sony to build the world’s first stadium in Metaverse.
- Bad News: Starting from May 1, the US Federal Reserve banned its own officials from trading stocks, bonds and crypto quoting impartiality issues. The rule extends to spouses and minor children too. Russian Ministry of Finance is pushing hard to introduce a bill regulating crypto, as the incoming sanctions will make it difficult to handle cash outside Russia. The Brazil Senate is also scheduled to vote a bill regulating the cryptocurrency. In India more than 11 people were arrested in relation with a $5.3M crypto scam. Bitmex founders plead guilty for Secrecy Act violations, and agreed to pay $10M fines, as gains derived from the offence. Seems quite common now that, instead of asking for permission, crypto giants just do it and ask for forgivness after. The brand building is the main focus.
- Joke of the week: Two years after the US Secret Service told us that crypto is bad, they launched a Crypto Awareness Hub, focused on combating the illicit use of crypto and to provide public awareness information. They seem to do better right now, saying reluctantly that “investments and transactions using crypto are not inherently criminal”. I just hope they do better than the rest of the official organizations, most of them showing that they have no idea what crypto is (hinting at you Canada!).
That's all for today.
All the best,
...get the higher rewards for your investments using Blockfi, Hodlnaut and Celsius.network. Get crypto while writing on Publish0x blog, using Presearch search engine to maximize your income with PRE tokens. Use Torum instead of Twitter . I am also writing for crypto on Read.cash and Hive.