Crypto News Headlines (14-March-2022)

The second fastest-growing city in Texas will begin exploring policy capabilities to accept Bitcoin as a payment option and integrate other Web3 applications to improve resident‘s lives.

Mayor Steve Adler of Austin, Texas, has fully embraced the discovery of what blockchain technology and crypto payments can bring to his city by proposing two new initiatives.

The first initiative aims to ensure that Texas’s fourth-largest city promotes the benefits of blockchain technologies and “promotes equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion” in the technological ecosystem. To that end, May Adler directed the city manager to explore how the city can utilize Web3 and blockchain in 20 fields from smart contracts, supply chain management and insurance to arts, media, fundraising and identity verification.

The world’s biggest manufacturer of crypto mining rigs, Bitmain, released a new liquid cooling mining rig which boasts the best power efficiency among all of the firm’s models.

The new Antminer S19 XP Hyd. boasts 255 terahash/second (TH/s) of computing power at 20.8 joules per terahash (J/T) of power efficiency, running on 5,304 watts, according to Bitmain’s website. They cost just under $20,000 per unit and will ship in the first quarter of 2023, according to the site.

Its energy efficiency narrowly beats Bitmain’s previous best, the Antminer S19 XP, which brings up to 140 TH/s at 21.5 J/T at $11,620, and competitor MicroBT’s Whatsminer M30S++, which delivers 112 TH/s at an efficiency of 31 J/TH.

The hydro cooling rigs are designed to be used in Bitmain’s own containers. Liquid cooling is a method of using a liquid, such as coolant going through pipes, to release heat from the machine.

The firm also announced a new container, dubbed the ANTSPACE HK3, which fits 210 mining machines and consumes 1 megawatt of power.

The West is arraying financial weapons never deployed before against a country of Russia’s size, forsaking some of the principles that have defined it.

Part of what has defined the West – and most of what has been the world’s engine of prosperity for the past century and a half – has been the free flow of goods across borders, a working banking system, and property rights.

There’s been an implicit understanding that no sizeable nation (Russia’s economy is about the size of Australia’s) would be denied access to these things. Otherwise the financial system wouldn’t be the financial system.

That seems to have been the understanding of Russian President Vladimir Putin. But now, the West did the unthinkable, and the global financial system may never be the same again.

The recent U.S. Labor Department (DOL) warning to fiduciaries who offer cryptocurrency investments inside 401(k) plans makes sense, one crypto executive told Yahoo Finance.

 “I think that the Department of Labor is right to say ‘heed caution,’ and don’t just jump barrel-in to this because it’s popular and you need to offer it — be pragmatic about it,” Chris Kline, COO and co-founder of Bitcoin IRA — an investment platform that allows investors to roll over their IRAs and 401(k)’s into an IRA capable of holding multiple cryptocurrencies — said on Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “But I think the days of saying ‘Bitcoin is a fraud, and it’s over, and it’s gone,’ are behind us.”

The DOL’s action came on the heels of President Joe Biden’s executive order on Wednesday acknowledging cryptocurrency assets as prevalent enough to warrant federal studies and possible regulation. The agency’s Employee Benefits Security Administration said in a compliance assistance release that plan fiduciaries should exercise “extreme care” before offering cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency-tied investments within 401(k) plans. The agency emphasized that the obligation of fiduciaries to act solely in the financial interests of plan participants is among the “highest known to the law.”

A proposed rule that could effectively amount to a ban on the leading cryptocurrency bitcoin will be voted on by European Union (EU) parliamentarians Monday with the outcome very much undecided.

The parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee is set to vote on a draft of the proposed Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework, the EU’s sweeping legislative package for governing digital assets.

The draft contains a late addition that looks to limit the use of cryptocurrencies powered by an energy-intensive computing process known as proof-of-work. Although the vote is still a close call, a small majority of committee members may vote against the measure, according to people familiar with the matter.

CoinDesk reported yesterday that the provision in question requires all crypto assets to be subject to the EU’s “minimum environmental sustainability standards with respect to their consensus mechanism used for validating transactions, before being issued, offered or admitted to trading in the Union.”

Elon Musk said he will not be selling the cryptocurrencies he owns.

A tweet by billionaire Elon Musk led to a brief spike in the value of cryptocurrencies his Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin after he said he will not sell the digital tokens he owns.

The Tesla and SpaceX chief had put out a tweet seeking responses to probable inflation rate over the next few years. In the same thread, he tweeted, “As a general principle, for those looking for advice from this thread, it is generally better to own physical things like a home or stock in companies you think make good products, than dollars when inflation is high. I still own and won’t sell my Bitcoin, Ethereum or Doge fwiw (for what it’s worth).”

While Bitcoin was trading at $37,725 at 5:44 am India time, soon after Musk’s tweet, it went up to $38,826 at 9:49 am India time. Ethereum was trading at $2,503 at 4:34 am and it went up to $2,595 at 9:49 am.

Governments have never really been the biggest fans of Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency. Not only does crypto escape their monopoly over the issuing and supply of money, but it also helps individuals escape any monetary restrictions they may wish to apply.

However, Canada sought to strike a blow against cryptoassets last month, following a series of protests against COVID-19 restrictions that began in January. Its federal government invoked the Emergencies Act and issued a number of executive orders against financially supporting the protests, while the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted a Mareva injunction specifically aimed at freezing the cryptoassets of certain protestors.

This injunction represented a rare instance of a government trying to halt the flow of cryptoasset, and for industry players speaking with, it could set a precedent for other governments to follow. At the same time, the injunction will also heighten demand for self-custody and peer-to-peer (P2P) trading services among ordinary holders. And this becomes even more important as the war in Ukraine rages on and sanctions are being imposed on Russia and its ally Belarus.

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japanese authorities ordered crypto exchanges on Monday not to process transactions involving crypto assets subject to asset-freeze sanctions against Russia and Belarus over the war in Ukraine.

The step was taken after a Group of Seven (G7) statement on Friday that said Western nations “will impose costs on illicit Russian actors using digital assets to enhance and transfer their wealth.”

There are growing concerns among G7 advanced economies that cryptocurrencies are being used by Russian entities as a loophole for financial sanctions imposed upon the country for invading Ukraine.

The U.S. Treasury Department issued new guidance on Friday that required U.S.-based cryptocurrency firms not to engage in transactions with sanction targets.

“We decided to make an announcement to keep the G7 momentum alive,” said a senior official at Japan’s Financial Services Agency. “The sooner the better.”

The latest draft of the European Union’s (EU) proposed legislative framework for governing virtual currencies, Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), still contains a provision that could limit the use of proof-of-work cryptocurrencies.

Proof-of-work is the energy-intensive consensus mechanism that underlies popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether. The computing process has come under heavy scrutiny from lawmakers in the EU over energy concerns.

A previous draft of the MiCA framework contained a strongly worded provision that proposed a prohibition of crypto services that rely on environmentally unsustainable consensus mechanisms starting in January 2025. But the provision was later scrapped following industry backlash.

The EU parliamentarian in charge of the MiCA legislative framework, Dr. Stefan Berger, said at the time that the paragraph in question had been removed, but that a final decision had not yet been made.

One version of the new draft, reviewed by CoinDesk, has a similar provision though significantly toned down from the original. It says that crypto assets “shall be subject to minimum environmental sustainability standards with respect to their consensus mechanism used for validating transactions, before being issued, offered or admitted to trading in the Union.”

Koreans are voting today in A statement from United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on President Joe Biden’s executive order regarding digital assets calls for efforts to support innovation while addressing risk in the industry.

Yellen’s statement was released a day early, apparently by error, and quickly deleted but was captured on a web archive. It shares early insights into the details of President Biden’s soon-to-be-released executive order. The order will call for “a coordinated and comprehensive approach to digital asset policy.”

Yellen’s statement said that the executive order could “result in substantial benefits for the nation, consumers, and businesses.”

“It will also address risks related to illicit finance, protecting consumers and investors, and preventing threats to the financial system and broader economy.”

Yellen also outlined the next step the Treasury Department will take in learning to understand digital assets and how to regulate them within the parameters of the executive order.