What important crypto events happened last week?
Bitcoin continues to grow at an enormous pace. On December 16, it rose above the $20,000 level, and the very next day, it hit another all-time high: the leading cryptocurrency rose above $23,000 on exchanges. One of the main reasons for such growth is the news about the Federal Reserve’s intentions to continue its quantitative easing policy. Along with this, more and more large financial institutions are using Bitcoin to save their assets from devaluation.
CME announced the launch of a new cryptocurrency derivative from February 2021. Ethereum futures are currently awaiting regulatory review. The named reason for adding this tool is the growing demand for crypto-derivatives. The price of Ethereum, along with the growth of Bitcoin, also increased sharply above $600. Analysts predict further growth associated with Ethereum’s turn to Proof-of-Stake Protocol.
The amount of assets in the Ethereum 2.0 stack is now over 1.5 million ETH worth more than $1 billion at the current exchange rate. These numbers clearly indicate the growing interest of investors and the community in the new Ethereum model and developing ecosystem.
Projects And Updates
Kraken crypto exchange users deposited more than 166,624 ETH on Ethereum 2.0. According to the leading Ethereum developer Justin Drake, 10.7% of funds locked on the Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract are from the Kraken exchange. In terms of the number of ETH on users’ wallets, Kraken is second only to the Coinbase and Bitfinex platforms, which together could control a third of validators.
A snapshot of the XPR ledger for the airdrop Spark token (FLR) of the Flare Network protocol took place on December 12 as planned. To celebrate the successful snapshot, the developers presented a beta version of Flare Finance and a beta testing program, which allows 200 people to participate in UX and performance tryouts.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Pro, a platform aimed at professional traders, has announced the listing of three DeFi tokens: AAVE, BNT, and SNX. Coinbase emphasized that AVE, BNT, and SNX are not yet available on Coinbase.com or in mobile apps. If this support is added, it will be announced later.
On December 14, the IOTA Foundation announced the launch of the Chrysalis 1.5 public test network. The update is an in-between step before turning to IOTA 2.0, which is due to be released in 2021. The current strategy of IOTA is to run Chrysalis 1.5 through a series of alpha tests. If everything goes as planned, the main Chrysalis network will launch in the first half of 2021.
Ethereum’s Competitor, Polkadot cryptocurrency (DOT) has launched its own decentralized exchange, called Polkastarter Dex. It will provide a token exchange between networks and cross-chain auctions. Later the project will have its own stablecoin. The launch of Polkastarter was announced back in September, its native POLS tokens are already listed on another decentralized exchange, Uniswap. Polkastarter Dex is already operating and offering rewards for swapping Ethereum tokens into POLS.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree that until June 30 next year, federal public officials and candidates for these positions will have to provide information about digital assets belonging to them, their spouses, and underage children.
British regulator has offered temporary registration for those cryptocurrency firms that have applied for licenses, until July 2021, while the agency is working to eliminate flaws in the registration procedure. Previously, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) required all existing and new cryptocurrency companies operating in the country to register before January 10, 2021. Meanwhile, cryptocurrency companies that failed to submit applications before December 15, 2020, must return all funds to customers and cease their operations by the beginning of 2021.
The developers of the Lumi multi-currency crypto wallet announced the update of the service’s functionality by integration with Apple Pay. Lumi supports BTC, ETH, BCH, Tether USDT, Binance USD, Celsius, Dai, EOS, and more than 1200 ERC-20 tokens. This payment method will simplify the purchase process, as it does not require KYC verification for those users who already have an account in the Apple Pay wallet. The new feature is already available to users from 60 countries.
German regulators have decided to transfer some securities to digital format, with their subsequent movement for storage on the blockchain. The law simplifies the rules that required issuers and holders of securities to document transactions using paper certificates. According to Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection Christine Lambrecht, the law will provide legal clarity and increase the potential of new technologies. Furthermore, this move will reduce the cost of administrative work with documents.
Nexus Mutual CEO Hugh Karp lost 370,000 NXM or approximately $8 million due to a hack of his personal wallet. The hacker managed to remotely install a compromised version of the MetaMask extension and transfer NXM tokens to their address. Analysts in Nexus Mutual found out that 11 days before the attack, the hacker went through the KYC procedure on the platform. However, most likely, they used stolen personal data, so the investigation continues.
Co-founder of the Centra Tech startup Robert Farkas was sentenced to one year in prison for organizing and conducting a fraudulent ICO for $25 million. Centra Tech purportedly meant to offer crypto-based financial products, such as debit cards. According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Farkas and his associates put up a fictitious executive team and fabricated licenses and business relationships with Visa and Mastercard. Earlier, in summer 2020, in order to diminish his prison term, Farkas pleaded guilty to the fraud conspiracy. The confiscated proceeds from the scheme, which is about $33.4 million in ETH, will be distributed among the victims of the Centra Tech fraud.
The 70-year-old steel plant owned by Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky shut down its profile operations in July and dismissed part of its workers. Now it is engaged in Bitcoin mining for alternative income. Employees of the plant told that the entire warehouse of the enterprise was converted into a data center. In August 2020, the US Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit against Kolomoisky and his partner Gennadiy Bogolyubov. They are accused of funneling billions of dollars into the State’s economy they got through falsified loans between 2008 and 2016.
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Originally published at https://coinjoy.io.