Crypto News Headlines (11-April-2022)

The political and humanitarian crisis in Europe provoked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine created a massive tide of emigration from both countries. For many migrants and refugees, crypto has become the only tangible way to take their savings with them. However, that hasn’t brought any notable boost to the crypto market, research shows.

Blockchain Analytics firm Crystal Blockchain monitored the hot wallets of the major cryptocurrency exchanges working with the Russian ruble and Ukrainian hryvnia, inluding peer-to-peer marketplaces like LocalBitcoins and Paxful, and found no significant fluctuations related to the war and migration.

It’s important to remember that major global exchanges that used to support ruble trading pairs introduced their own sanctions against Russian users soon after the war started: for example, Binance stopped accepting payments via Russian bank cards, suspended deposits and withdrawals for users from Russia and Belarus (Russia’s ally in the war), CoinZoom paused registration of new accounts from Russia.

The Bank of Spain has issued a post explaining to users the potential actions that commercial banks can take when detecting a cryptocurrency-related purchase. First and foremost, the bank explains that according to Spanish and European supervisors, these assets are not fit as payment methods or investment vehicles.

The bank also explains that accounts can be blocked as a result of suspicious behavior associated with identity theft. It explained:

It may happen that the bank has suspicions that identity theft with credential theft is taking place. There are frequent cases of fraud in which there is fraudulent access to the accounts of the clients of an entity after having stolen their passwords from the client, and which end in a transfer to acquire cryptocurrencies.

This might trigger alarms integrated into the banking system and prompt the aforementioned block to protect the customer.

However, there are other reasons that might prompt a transaction restriction. The post goes on to explain that clues linking funds transacted with money laundering can also cause the block of a cryptocurrency purchase transaction. In this sense, the bank clarified:

It may also happen that the bank classifies this type of operation as high risk and decides to require additional controls, such as making a phone call or asking you to come to the branch.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk will no longer be joining the Board of Twitter, according to a statement published earlier today by Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal.

“Elon’s appointment to the Board was to become officially effective April 9, but Elon shared that same morning that he will no longer be joining the Board,” Agrawal said in a statement.

“I believe this is for the best. We have and will always value input from our shareholders whether they are on our Board or not. Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input,” Agrawal added.

Today’s news represents a complete turnaround from last week’s announcement on April 5, when Agrawal was “excited to share that [Twitter is] appointing Elon Musk to our Board.”

Musk—who has not personally announced the u-turn—said at the time that he was “looking forward to working with Parag and Twitter Board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months.”

El Salvador president Nayib Bukele made history with his nation’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender. Now several other countries and provinces are rushing to follow suit.

The United States could lose its preeminent financial and political influence in the world as other sovereign powers make haste to legalize and adopt Bitcoin as their reserve currency.

The threat to America is not merely a matter of leaving an (increasingly plausibly) enormous amount of money on the table. Bitcoin is the largest ever deployment of strong public-key cryptography in history to secure a financial system that is growing parabolically.

The cryptocurrency has innumerable use cases for fundamentally reordering and securing the world’s energy infrastructure. Joining the Bitcoin hashpower and accumulation race is a matter of modern cyber warcraft. Strong cryptography has always in practice been a weapon of warfare and is legally regarded by governments as armament.

Cryptomania is sweeping the continent faster than anywhere in the world, with transaction volumes growing by 1,200% between July 2020 and 2021, according to Chainalysis, a blockchain data platform. In Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, one in three people have already reported using crypto, making it one of the largest crypto market by users worldwide.

Last year, Kenya was ranked top globally in terms of peer to peer crypto trade, while Nigeria saw a meteoric rise in crypto use despite a ban. In Africa, the rapid adoption rates are being fueled by a young population that views virtual currencies as a safer counterbalance to their over-inflated fiat currencies.

But the old guard is not jumping on this bandwagon. The response from Africa’s governments has ranged from an indifferent “Wild West” absence of regulation to outright prohibitions that have proven ineffective in slowing trading.

Nowhere is this more apparent than Nigeria, whose central bank barred its financial institutions from enabling cryptocurrency transactions last year, joining 23 other African countries that have either implicit or total bans on trading (Africa accounts for more than half of countries that restrict the purchase of cryptocurrencies.)

As crypto’s market cap pushes past $2 trillion and makes its way onto the balance sheet of many institutional investors and corporations, Hong Kong insurer OneDegree has announced a deal with Munich Re, one of the world’s largest reinsurers, to offer a new digital asset insurance product.

OneInfinity, the digital asset insurance product, is targeted toward digital asset trading platforms, custodians, asset managers, and technology providers.

Munich Re will provide reinsurance, described as “insurance on insurance companies,” that ensures an insurance company remains solvent even in the face of large payouts.

Having insurance backed by reinsurance is the norm for major infrastructure providers of any asset class, but takes a particularly unique twist with crypto given the intensity of cyberattacks.

OneDegree runs “risk-based analysis”, explained Becky Tam, the firm’s General Manager of digital assets, that covers everything from cyber security, and operations, to personnel management.

“It’s just like how if you are a heavy smoker and drinker you will struggle to buy medical insurance,” she said. “Not everyone that comes to us can get insurance.”

The company does not yet insure DeFi projects, but hopes to be able to soon after it studies the market more.

Terra introduced something called the “4pool” in what appears to be a clear move to make UST and another fast-growing algorithmic stablecoin called FRAX the leading players in this niche.

First, a quick primer on the Curve Wars, though.

No shots were fired, but Curve Finance has become a battleground for whichever project can provide the deepest liquidity to its respective pool. The prize for the deepest liquidity is, of course, token rewards.

These lucrative rewards are dolled out in the form of Curve’s native governance token, CRV. When you collect enough tokens, you then can vote to have even more token rewards distributed to your specific pool.

This has created a huge incentive to add liquidity, gather tokens, rinse and repeat. Whole projects have even emerged to game this simple mechanism.

For stablecoins, Curve is especially important because it also provides the deep liquidity necessary for maintaining a token’s dollar peg. Low liquidity stablecoins can easily be disrupted if a whale decides to buy or sell a huge amount of the token.

Just under a year after the Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan asked the country’s finance chiefs to prepare for cryptocurrencies, officials from the country’s financial sector are now calling for a clearer global stance towards central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and crypto-assets.

The officials, the Finance and Planning Minister, Mwigulu Nchemba and the central bank governor, Florens Luoga, have both reportedly agreed that further discussions around the two topics are needed before any decision is made.

According to a report published by The East African, the two officials said this while addressing a virtual summit organized by the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The summit, according to the report, was specifically convened for Anglophone countries in Sub-Sahara Africa.

The event reportedly sought to give finance officials from countries in this region more insights on issues that relate to financial inclusion, cybersecurity as well as the interoperability of CBDCs. According to the report, a similar event targeting Francophone countries is likely to be held later in the year.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has had the taste of India’s unfriendly environment for digital tokens.

On April 10, the US-based crypto platform suspended the option to purchase cryptocurrencies through India’s widely-adopted instrument for digital payments, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), on its app in India. This comes merely four days after adding UPI support to Coinbase’s trading services in the country.

Coinbase, however, continues to support immediate payment service (IMPS) to sell tokens.

In India, cryptocurrency exchanges have faced issues with payments after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in 2018, restricted banks from facilitating such trade. While the ban was overruled by the supreme court two years later, banks are still unwilling to process cryptocurrency-related transactions.

Community Gaming closed a $16 million fundraiser through an investor round that included some big names such as Binance Labs and Animoca Brands.

Among the other investors, announced in the April 7 press release, are BITKRAFT Ventures, Griffin Gaming Partners, Polygon Studios, ConsenSys Mesh, CoinFund, Hased, Multicoin Capital, Shima Capital, Axie Infinity co-founder Jeff Zirlin and Yield Guild Games co-founder Gabby Dizon.

“Community Gaming’s position at the intersection of esports and blockchain technology grants us a tremendous opportunity to lead the growing conversation around gaming in web3,” says Chris Gonsalves, CEO of Community Gaming. “These resources will allow us to further support ‘Earnings for Everyone’ systems that reward action and time, a re-imagining of the social contract of work as people look for new ways to create supplemental income through gaming.”

Community Gaming started off as an in-person competitive esports and gaming tournament operator before transitioning to a hybrid platform that now includes online in addition to in-person. Adding to the uniqueness of these events is the use of blockchain-based smart contracts that allows for a seamless experience from sign-up to payouts. Among Community Gaming’s accomplishments is reaching 100,000 users before the end of Q1 in 2022.