Crypto News Headlines (08-Feb-2022)

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On Tuesday, it will be one year since Tesla first revealed it bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin. The news sent the markets into a tizzy and made CEO Elon Musk, whose tweets can trigger billion dollar price swings, one of the most influential figures in crypto.

Now, one year later, it’s worth asking: Tesla’s influence on the crypto markets aside, have the Bitcoin purchases been good for the company?

The short answer is “yes.” On Monday, Tesla published its 10-K, a detailed annual report that all public companies must file with the SEC.

The report—some details of which have been disclosed in quarterly filings—states that, as of December 31, Tesla had made $128 million in profit by selling some of the Bitcoin it bought early last year, but that it has also recorded a loss of $101 million on its position.

Acting Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chair Martin Gruenberg named evaluating crypto risks as one of the agency’s top priorities for 2022 in a statement issued Monday.

Gruenberg became acting chair of the FDIC on Feb. 5 following the resignation of Jelena McWilliams, who had held the post since 2018. Gruenberg had served as an FDIC board member since mid-2018; prior to that, he was the FDIC’s chairman for a five-year term starting in 2012.

“The rapid introduction of a variety of crypto-asset or digital asset products into the financial system could pose significant safety and soundness and financial system risks,” Gruenberg wrote. He noted that it’s “imperative” that federal banking agencies consider the risks posed by these products, and determine how well banking organizations can safely engage in handling them.

“To the extent such activities can be conducted in a safe and sound manner, the agencies will need to provide robust guidance to the banking industry on the management of prudential and consumer protection risks raised by crypto-asset activities,” he concluded.

Other priorities for 2022 included strengthening the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), addressing financial risks posed by climate change, reviewing the bank merger process and finalizing the Basel III Capital Rule.

Separately, the FDIC has still been trying to determine whether stablecoins qualify for pass-through insurance if they are offered by FDIC-approved institutions.

Sequoia Capital is playing catchup with arch-rival Andreessen Horowitz in the race to invest in what could be the future of the internet — so-called Web3.

The Silicon Valley venture capital firm led a $450 million investment in Polygon, a blockchain network.

Blockchains are the distributed logs of transactions that underpin many of the world’s major digital currencies. They are maintained by a network of computers, which have to reach consensus across the whole system to confirm transactions and mint new units of currency.

Polygon serves as a support layer to Ethereum, the platform behind the ether cryptocurrency, helping it process transactions at scale.

The Ethereum network is different from bitcoin’s in that it supports applications for things like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized finance (DeFi) services, not just peer-to-peer transfers.

Crypto exchanges are now the largest consumers of Bitcoin (BTC) block space – with transactions related to them taking some 40% of that space, found the on-chain analytics firm Glassnode.

The share of block space used by crypto exchanges shows “a general upward trend,” which further corroborates the narrative of “Bitcoin’s pivot toward financial asset,” the analysts said.

Importantly, only a small number of exchanges consume the majority of block space.

“Transactions involving the sending or receiving of funds to and from exchanges, as well as exchanges’ internal transactions, occupy roughly 40% of Bitcoin block space,” per Glassnode.

The analysts further found that the largest block space consumers “by far” are major crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase. Transactions to and from Binance occupy some 15% of all block space, while transactions involving Coinbase are responsible for some 10%.

Digital currency values have increased a great deal during the last week which has, in turn, pushed the overall value of the entire crypto-economy northbound. This means more than $500 billion returned to the crypto economy after the market carnage in January. Statistics show on January 24, 2022, the value of all the cryptos in existence was around $1.5 trillion. Since that day, the crypto economy’s USD value swelled by more than 36% climbing to $2.08 trillion on February 7, 2022. While bitcoin (BTC) dominates by 39.4%, ethereum’s (ETH) market capitalization is 17.9% of the $2 trillion in value.

The 1,000 largest Matic wallets are worth an average of $1.84 million and have an average of 50,560 MATIC and nine tokens.

Polygon is an Ethereum ETH scaling platform.

PolyDoge currently ranks seventh among the top ten cryptocurrency holdings of the Polygon whales, according to WhaleStats data.

Why It Matters: PolyDoge says it aims to build the biggest community on Polygon.

The meme token says it offers a wide variety of fun interaction to its holders in the form of non fungible tokens (NFT), apps, airdrops and access to different decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms.

Price Action: PolyDoge is up 4.8% during the past 24 hours, trading at $0.00000002902 at press time.

Bloktopia is down 6.6% during the period to $0.02999.

On Tuesday, the price of the Shiba Inu crypto currency coin, which trades as SHIB, shot up 12%, putting SHIB’s weekly gains at 52%. Before the recent rise, SHIB’s price had fallen 75% from its all-time high of $0.00008616 per coin reached in October.

But SHIB is now trading at $0.00003277 per coin, making the meme coin the 13th most valuable cryptocurrency in the world with a market valuation of $17.9 billion.

SHIB’s rebound mirrors a broader recovery in crypto markets in the past week. Bitcoin and Ethereum prices are also up 13% and 17%, respectively.

“Bitcoin and Ethereum both bouncing off the lows have again given investors confidence in other coins such as Shiba Inu, which have also bounced off weeks of downtrend,” Ishan Arora, a partner at crypto hedge fund Tykhe Block Ventures, told The Economic Times.

North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs rely heavily on revenue from cyberattacks and cryptocurrency exchanges, according to a United Nations report seen by Reuters.

“According to a member state, DPRK cyber actors stole more than $50 million between 2020 and mid-2021 from at least three cryptocurrency exchanges in North America, Europe and Asia,” the report said.

While the illicit crypto industry is going strong in North Korea, other, more common sources of illegal revenue—like illicit luxury goods moving across the border—have been stymied by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Direct delivery by non-DPRK tankers to DPRK has ceased, probably in response to COVID-19 measures,” the report said.

Certain crypto and foreign currency transactions in Venezuela will be taxed at up to 20% after the government and parliament signed off on a rule aimed at reducing inflationary pressure on the troubled fiat bolivar.

The measures were outlined in a bill, which has now passed the National Assembly. The summary of the draft legislation reads that the bill seeks to “create a tax on large financial transactions” that ensures that “foreign currency transactions” as well as deals done in “cryptocurrencies or cryptoassets” are subject to a tax rate that is “at least equal to, or higher than that which is paid in bolivars.”

This, the lawmakers who authored the document wrote, will “give greater incentive and confidence to the use of the national currency.”

Criptonoticias reported that at an evening session of the assembly held on Thursday, February 3, MPs approved the bill in a second reading.

The bill establishes a sliding tax rate for what it calls “special taxpayers” who “use currencies other than those recognized by the state.”