Crypto News Headlines (07-Sep-2022)

Cryptocurrencies snapped an almost weeklong run above resistance levels as a strengthening dollar sent global equity and currency markets into declines.

Ether (ETH) and Cardano (ADA) have both dropped almost 9% in the past 24 hours, giving up a week’s worth of gains to become the biggest decliners among major cryptocurrencies. Ether’s slide came despite the activation of the Bellatrix upgrade – the Ethereum network’s final “hard fork” before the Merge – on Tuesday.

Bitcoin fell 5.5%, trading under $18,900 in early European hours. BNB and Solana’s SOL fell 5%; XRP dropped 4%; and Polkadot’s DOT lost 7%. Futures tracking major tokens racked up $327 million in liquidations, while the total cryptocurrency market capitalization slid below $1 trillion for the first time since July.

Losses on memecoins dogecoin and shiba inu averaged 6%. Outside of the majors, Ethereum Classic’s ETC fell some 16% after a double-digit rally on Tuesday, with Terra’s old Luna Classic tokens seeing a 20% slide after more than doubling over the past week.

One of the lawyers of Alexander Vinnik, alleged operator of BTC-e who has been accused of laundering over $4 billion through the now defunct cryptocurrency exchange, has urged Russian authorities to negotiate adding his client to a possible prisoner swap deal with Washington.

Frederic Belot, a member of Vinnik’s defense team who represented him in French courts, has issued his call in a letter addressed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Reuters reported on Monday after seeing the correspondence.

“Now the only thing that can save Alexander is for the Russian Federation to enter into negotiations with the American authorities within the framework of the exchange of prisoners between the countries mentioned,” Belot stresses in the letter emailed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow. The department declined to comment.

As global investment in cryptocurrency and blockchain companies dropped to $14.2 billion in the first half of 2022 from a record $32.1 billion last year, accounting firm KPMG predicts that a slowdown in crypto investment will continue for the remainder of the year.

“During the first half of 2022, numerous factors combined to affect the upward trajectory of fintech investment globally, including geopolitical uncertainty, turbulent public markets, ongoing supply chain disruptions and challenges, high levels of inflation, and increasing interest rates,” KPMG said in a new report. “With no end in sight to the levels of uncertainty, fintech investment in H2’22 could be quite subdued.”

Some top deals in the first half of this year included crypto-friendly German fintech firm Trade Republic securing a $268 million extension to its $900 million Series C round in 2021, crypto infrastructure company Fireblocks raising $550 million, crypto exchange FTX securing $400 million, and Ethereum infrastructure builder ConsenSys nabbing $450 million.

Popular crypto platform WhaleAlert has observed a large deposit of Ethereum on Huobi, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. The transaction, made just a few hours ago, amounted to 73,840 ETH, worth approximately $111 million at current prices. The identity of the wallet that made the transaction is unknown.

While it is not immediately clear why whales are trying to adopt selling, it comes at a time when there is a great deal of excitement and speculation surrounding Ethereum’s impending merger with its Beacon Chain, a PoS chain launched in Dec 2020. The long-awaited Merge is scheduled to take place within the next few days and is expected to be a significant catalyst for the growth of the Ethereum network.

Some experts believe ETH will boom in the wake of its upcoming Merge. If the price of Ethereum surged, the whales could see massive profits. This is not the first time large amounts of Ethereum have been transferred ahead of a major event. Just recently, an unknown whale moved 260,000 ETH (worth $434 million at the time) from Binance.

Three federal agencies in the United States — the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center — jointly issued an advisory seeking information to curb ransomware attacks.

As part of the #StopRansomware campaign, the joint cybersecurity advisory alerted citizens of Vice Society, a ransomware-type program that encrypts data and demands ransom for decryption.

The trio anticipates a spike in ransomware attacks, primarily aimed at educational institutions, adding that “School districts with limited cybersecurity capabilities and constrained resources are often the most vulnerable.”

While proactive measures remain vital to counter ransomware, the FBI asked US citizens to report information that helps track the whereabouts of the hackers. Some key information the FBI seeks includes Bitcoin (BTC) wallet information, ransom notes and IP addresses linked to the attacker.

Bitcoin (BTC) tumbled by the most in two weeks, falling below $19,000.

The price drop came after a 10-day stretch during which bitcoin traded right around the $20,000 mark.

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization had struggled to overcome what appeared to be price resistance at $21,000.

The bitcoin price fell as low as $18,680, its lowest point since June 30. As of 5:29 p.m. ET, the cryptocurrency was trading around $18,991, down 3.7% over the past 24 hours, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index.

“Each failed attempt (to breach the resistance zone just above $20,000) increased the likelihood of a test of the bottom of the price range” near $18,000, Joe DiPasquale, CEO of crypto hedge fund manager BitBull Capital, told CoinDesk via a text message.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.41% Tuesday as traders worried the Federal Reserve could stay aggressive in its campaign to tamp down inflation in the U.S.

The Brazilian tax authority (RBF) has reported that more than one million citizens presented their cryptocurrency statements in July. Specifically, 1,336,715 citizens presented their crypto information, the highest number of people since reporting became a requirement in 2019.

Brazilian law dictates that all cryptocurrency holders must report their information to the institution, even if trades are not made using centralized exchanges. This gives the organization the information needed to release such statements regularly.

In comparison, in May 2022, only 365,000 citizens reported their cryptocurrency holdings and transactions to the RFB. This number rose to almost 800,000 in June, and then it also rose by more than 50% in July. August numbers have not yet been compiled.

Merge-related cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), and Lido Finance (Lido), have posted severe losses over the past 24 hours.

Ethereum dropped 8.82% over the past 24 hours and trades at around $1,515 after bouncing off from its support at $1,500 earlier today.

Ethereum is now down 68.95% from its all-time highs of $4,891.70 recorded in November 2021, per data from CoinMarketCap.

On a weekly note, ETH is down 4%, hitting a new weekly low after the months-long bull run fueled by the upcoming merge.

Ethereum Classic, a hard fork of Ethereum executed following the 2016 DAO hack, has also slumped by 15.12% over the past 24 hours and leads the losers among the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap.

As of this writing ETC, the 19th-largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $4.66 billion, changes hands at $34 apiece, per data from CoinMarketCap.

The emergence of cryptocurrencies and their increasing adoption impetus the need for crypto regulations. Issues like failures of projects, exploits, high market volatility, and misuse of digital assets in crimes have put the regulatory authorities on their toes worldwide.

After the U.S. Fed decided to fight market inflation with its hawkish approach, IMF called for a more comprehensive, consistent, and complete global regulatory policy for digital assets, per the report by IMF named ‘The right rules could provide a safe space for innovation.’

Deputy Director Aditya Narain and Assistant Director Marina Moretti from the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department published the report. Citing the complexity in regulating crypto assets and their technological nature and ever-changing needs, the authors said regulating digital currencies is a hard task and mentioned;

“Applying existing regulatory frameworks to crypto assets, or developing new ones, is challenging for several reasons. For a start, the crypto world is evolving rapidly. Regulators are struggling to acquire the talent and learn the skills to keep pace, given stretched resources and many other priorities. Monitoring crypto markets is difficult because data are patchy, and regulators find it tricky to keep tabs on thousands of actors who may not be subject to typical disclosure or reporting requirements.”

Venture capital firms poured $14.2 billion into crypto across 725 deals in the first half of 2022, but big four accounting firm KPMG predicts investments will likely slow for the remainder of the year.

According to a newly released KPMG report on Tuesday, the largest investments in H1 2022 came from German-based crypto trading platform Trade Republic ($1.1 billion), digital asset custody platform Fireblocks ($550 million), crypto exchange FTX ($500 million), and Ethereum software company ConsenSys ($450 million).

Authors of the report, including KPMG’s global leader of fintech, Anton Ruddenklau, noted the investment figures for the first half of 2022 alone were already more than double all years prior to 2021, which “highlights the growing maturity of the space and the breadth of technologies and solutions attracting investment.”