Crypto.com hacked, Russia proposes crypto ban, and 22-year-old won $1 million with NFT selfies. These stories and more this week in crypto.
Bitcoin is trading at levels not seen since August of last year. Bitcoin broke below a key support level of $40,000 as selling off riskier assets spilled over into the crypto market. The crypto is tracking the broader markets with the NASDAQ losing 5% of its value this week and the S&P 500 falling for its third consecutive week.
Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has acknowledged that the company lost $34 million in digital assets after a hack that took place on January 17. The exchange detected the suspicious activity when transactions were approved without 2FA authentication and then suspended withdrawals. Crypto.com said all affected customers have been fully reimbursed for the losses.
The Russian central bank has proposed to ban the use and mining of cryptocurrencies on Russian territory. The Bank of Russia said financial speculation was responsible for the rapid growth of crypto and warned of potential bubbles in the market that threaten the stability and well-being of Russian citizens. It was later clarified that restrictions on owning cryptocurrency are not being considered.
Cryptocurrency exchange Bitmex acquires one of Germany’s oldest banks. The acquisition of Bankhaus von der Heydt brings Bitmex closer to its plans to create a regulated crypto powerhouse in Europe. Their goal is to establish a one-stop-shop for regulated crypto products in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
The US government has released its long-awaited report on CBDCs outlining the potential benefits of a government-issued cryptocurrency, a digital form of the dollar that would run on blockchain technology and be issued by the Federal Reserve. While ultimately the report does not take a position, it calls for public input and debate before further action is taken.
Following in Miami’s footsteps, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil announced that the city plans to invest 1% of its cash reserves in Bitcoin. The mayor intends to turn the city into a cryptocurrency hub by launching Crypto Rio Incentives, which offer discounts for those who pay certain taxes with bitcoins in the city.
After months of waiting, Twitter posted an official NFT profile photo verification mechanism. Users can link their Ethereum wallets to their Twitter accounts and set the NFTs they own as profile pictures. Twitter retrieves users’ NFTs using an API from the OpenSea online marketplace, but so far only for users of Twitter Blue, the company’s subscription service.
A 22-year-old Indonesian computer science student sold nearly 1,000 selfie images as NFTs for a total of 317 Ether – the equivalent of over $1 million. He took pictures of himself for nearly five years to document his journey to graduation. Each NFT in the collection is personalized with background information to accompany each photo.
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That’s what happened this week in crypto, see you next week.