Crypto News Headlines (03-March-2022)

People worldwide are utilizing crypto to send aid to Ukraine in light of the current conflict. The current total stands at a staggering $33 million with donations from Polkadot Founder Gavin Wood, Binance, Uniswap and even a CryptoPunk NFT worth over $200,000. Further information suggests that the Ukrainian government has already converted most donations into fiat through the Ukrainian-founded exchange, Kuna.  However, data from Chainalysis suggests that this isn’t wholly unexpected. As of July 2021, Ukraine had the 4th most significant adoption of crypto per capita. So the Ukrainian people are well-positioned to utilize cryptocurrency during times of financial uncertainty in fiat currencies.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the U.K.’s regulator of advertising, published its “Ruling on Floki Inu” Wednesday.

The advertising authority began investigating an ad campaign for floki inu (FLOKI), the cryptocurrency inspired by Elon Musk’s shiba inu dog, in November last year after the Floki ad was seen on public transport in London.

The ad contains a floki inu logo and text that says, “Missed Doge? Get Floki.” It also contains smaller text at the bottom that reads, “Your investment may go down as well as up in value. Cryptocurrency is not regulated in the UK.”

After investigation, the ASA ruled:

The use of an image of a cartoon dog wearing a Viking helmet and the claim ‘Missed Doge. Get Floki,’ exploited consumers’ fears of missing out and trivialized investment in cryptocurrency.

In addition, the advertising watchdog ruled that “the ad was irresponsible” and “took advantage of consumers’ inexperience or credulity.”

The ASA explained that it has told the team behind the floki inu cryptocurrency “to ensure that they did not irresponsibly exploit consumer’s fear of missing out and trivialize investment in cryptocurrency.” They must also “ensure that they did not irresponsibly take advantage of consumers’ lack of experience or credulity by not making clear CGT could be due on cryptocurrency profits.”

The cryptocurrency market remains in a state of flux as investors are once again focused on what steps the U.S. Federal Reserve might take to combat rising inflation and markets wobble as the situation in Ukraine remains tense.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the price of Bitcoin (BTC) has hovered around the $44,000 support level and traders are hopeful that an inverse head and shoulders chart pattern will lead to a sustained bullish breakout.

Here’s a survey of what several analysts in the market are keeping an eye on moving forward as global issues from inflation to war continue to make their presence felt in the cryptocurrency market.

In response to a letter from four Senate Democrats raising concerns about cryptocurrencies’ potential use by Russia to avoid sanctions, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said that the U.S. will monitor the situation.

 “We will continue to look at how the sanctions work and evaluate whether or not there are leakages, and we have the possibility to address them,” she told a crowd at the University of Illinois Chicago.

But by the sounds of things, she’s not too concerned. “I often hear cryptocurrency mentioned, and that is a channel to be watched,” she said, before adding: “It’s not that that sector is completely one where things can be evaded.”

In their letter to Yellen, Senate Democrats—including Elizabeth Warren, Mark Warner, Jack Reed and Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown—stated: “Strong enforcement of sanctions compliance in the cryptocurrency industry is critical given that digital assets, which allow entities to bypass the traditional financial system, may increasingly be used as a tool for sanctions evasion.”

The letter went on to ask if the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Controls would work with financial institutions and other countries to ensure crypto isn’t used in such a way.

The renowned art collector Yusaku Maezawa and the 225-year-old auction house Phillips will be hosting an art auction on May 18, featuring the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat. The American artist is very popular within the neo-expressionism movement and has been compared to the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso who co-founded the Cubist art movement.

The art featured at the Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art will be Basquiat’s sixteen-foot wide “Untitled, 1982” painting. The “Untitled, 1982” standing at eight feet tall and over 16 feet wide, has an estimated value of around $70 million, according to the auction house Phillips.

 “This striking horizontal format is likely a nod to Pablo Picasso’s masterwork ‘Guernica,’” the Phillips announcement notes. “I hope that Untitled will continue its great journey in good hands and that it will bring smiles to many people all around the world,” the painting’s consignor Yusaku Maezawa said.

Rarify, which offers infrastructure to help companies add non-fungible tokens (NFT) to their platforms, has closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by crypto investment firm Pantera Capital at a $100 million valuation. Other investors included Eniac Ventures, Greycroft, Hyper and Slow Ventures.

The funding will be used to accelerate hiring and product launches with enterprise partners.

“Rarify removes the biggest hurdles companies face when introducing NFTs to their existing products,” said Pantera partner Paul Veradittakit in a press release. “We’re excited to partner with the Rarify team to accelerate their growth trajectory and make NFTs accessible to companies and, by extension, consumers at large.”

Rarify is intended to offer an application programming interface (API) platform that lets companies create, manage and scale NFT products with a simple integration.

Rarify currently offers commerce API infrastructure for marketplaces and applications to build end-to-end NFT experiences.

The company also provides real-time API access to historical data for NFT assets across multiple blockchains that companies can use when building decentralized finance and marketplace products.

The South African cryptocurrency exchange, Valr, recently announced that it raised $50 million in a Series B funding round. The round was led by Pantera Capital, while Alameda Research, Cadenza, CMT Digital, Coinbase Ventures, Distributed Global, GSR and Third Prime also took part.

According to a report by Globalcryptotv, the cryptocurrency exchange’s latest capital raise dwarfs the $3.4 million that it raised in July 2020 and places Valr’s value at $240 million. The report added that Valr, which entered the South African crypto market more than three years ago, will use the capital raised to fund the platform’s expansion into other markets across Africa and into emerging markets such as India.

Remarking on the exchange’s latest capital raise, CEO Farzam Ehsani is quoted in the report explaining how the funds enable his company to serve more clients. He said:

We already help Valr’s customers enter this new world of crypto from the traditional financial system using their USD or ZAR and I’m very excited that this round of funding will allow us to serve so many more across Africa and the world.

US Senator Urges Regulators to Increase Scrutiny on Crypto as It Risks Undermining Sanctions Against Russia

US Senator Urges Regulators to Increase Scrutiny on Crypto as It Risks Undermining Sanctions Against Russia

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren is worried that “cryptocurrencies risk undermining sanctions against Russia.” She urges financial regulators “to take this threat seriously and increase their scrutiny of digital assets.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren Worried Russia Could Use Cryptocurrency to Evade Sanctions

As governments worldwide are placing sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren is worried that cryptocurrency could give Russia a way to evade sanctions. The senator from Massachusetts tweeted Monday:

Cryptocurrencies risk undermining sanctions against Russia, allowing Putin and his cronies to evade economic pain.

“U.S. financial regulators need to take this threat seriously and increase their scrutiny of digital assets,” she added.

Senator Warren’s tweet was heavily criticized in the crypto community. Some people called her ignorant while others said she lied. One person tweeted: “So what you’re saying is that a stateless, permissionless, decentralized, and censorship-resistant currency is out of your control so it must be stopped?”

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz from Texas recently said that Senator Warren does not like bitcoin and cryptocurrency because she cannot control them.

Ukraine has expanded the number of cryptocurrencies it is accepting for donations toward its military as Russia’s invasion continues.

On Wednesday, Mykhailo Fedorov, vice prime minister of Ukraine, said people can send dogecoin as a donation. Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency which originally started off as a joke and has been talked up by Tesla founder Elon Musk.

It is often dubbed a “memecoin,” referring to popular internet jokes.

“Now even meme can support our army and save lives from Russian invaders,” Fedorov tweeted.

On Tuesday, Fedorov tweeted about a project called Aid For Ukraine. It is a collaboration between the Ukrainian government, Everstake and a cryptocurrency blockchain platform called Solana.

People can now donate solana cryptocurrency as well as any other digital tokens based upon Solana.

Ukraine is also accepting non-fungible tokens or NFTs as donations too. These are unique assets such as a piece of digital art stored using blockchain technology to verify and track each NFT.

An analysis of cryptocurrency flows between personal and exchange-based wallets shows a “lack of directional conviction” in the market, Bank of America said in a note entitled “Digital Assets: In the Flow.”

Tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve and macroeconomic headwinds are likely to limit upside for cryptocurrencies over the next six months. This won’t, however, be a “crypto winter” given the level of user adoption and growth in development activity, analysts led by Alkesh Shah wrote in the note Friday.

Bitcoin exchange outflows suggest that buying on dips is muted, while exchange inflows for ether show the potential for continued price headwinds, the bank said.