Crypto News Headlines (21-Feb-2022)

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has adopted the rules banning senior Feds officials from trading stocks and cryptocurrency.

The new rules formally establish guidelines that were first announced in October. The committee claimed it was necessary to restore public confidence in the agency.

The new rules come after unusual trading activities from top Feds officials in 2020. Many criticized this activity, citing that such officials were privy to non-public information and trading when the Feds was spending trillions to stabilize the economy.

Two of the officials involved, Eric Rosengren, president of Boston Fed, and Robert Kaplan, president of Dallas Fed, subsequently resigned.

The old rules permitted Fed members to make such investments. But the fact that it appears as a conflict of interest puts the Feds in an ethical bind.

With the new rules, senior officials with the agency will have to “dispose of all impermissible holdings” within a year. After that, any new official will have six months to do the same.

Those included in the rules include Reserve Bank research directors and first Vice Presidents, FOMC staff officers, Board division directors who attend Committee meetings regularly, System Open Market Account manager and deputy manager, any other person determined by the Fed Chair, their children below 18 and their spouses.

The United Arab Emirates is preparing to issue federal licenses for virtual assets service providers by the end of this quarter in a bid to attract crypto companies to the country, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing a government official.

The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) is in the final stage of setting up a framework allowing VASPs to set up shop in the country, the official said.

Having considered the approaches of the U.S., U.K. and Singapore, the UAE will take a hybrid approach: The SCA and central bank will be responsible for regulation, with regional financial centers determining their day-to-day procedures on licenses, according to Bloomberg.

The government also wants to create a favorable environment for crypto mining, the report said.

The government of Dubai, one of the seven constituent emirates, said in December it will create a favorable regulated zone for crypto service providers in the Dubai World Trade Center, a skyscraper in the city. The next day, Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, signed a cooperation agreement with the trade center.

Cryptocurrency has taken a battering on Sunday and into Monday – and some believe hackers are to blame.

At the time of writing, the top-ranked blockchain, bitcoin, was trading at $US38,179 ($A53,207), representing a drop of almost 5 per cent in 24 hours.

Other prominent cryptocurrencies were faring even worse, with BNB, Solana and Cardano crashing by between 6 per cent and 8 per cent.

A whopping $US300 million ($A418 million) has been lost as the market dropped in value in recent days.

And there’s an ominous explanation as to why.

A prominent NFT (non-fungible token) trading platform is concerned that the sudden price drop is a result of malicious actors hacking people’s accounts and leading to thieves stealing NFTs.

Bitcoin may not see a bull market until late 2024 or the beginning of 2025, if past price cycles are any indication, according to the co-founder of Huobi, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

Du Jun told CNBC that bitcoin bull markets are closely tied to a process called halving, which occurs every few years.

This relates to so-called miners on the bitcoin network, which run powerful specialized computers to solve complex mathematical puzzles to validate transactions on the bitcoin network. Miners are rewarded in bitcoin as a result.

Halving is written into bitcoin’s underlying code and cuts in half the reward that so-called miners get for validating transactions on the cryptocurrency’s network. It occurs roughly every four years.

The last halving took place in May 2020, and in 2021, bitcoin topped an all-time high above $68,000. A similar occurrence happened when halving took place in 2016. The following year, bitcoin hit what was at the time a record high.

On Feb. 1, 2022, the Indian crypto industry reacted like cheerleaders unsure if their team had scored a goal. Excited celebration, then skepticism; an expression that said, “What just happened?”

India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made two major crypto-related announcements while introducing the nation’s budget for the upcoming year.

First, the government intends to levy a 30% tax on any income generated from crypto transactions and a second tax of 1% at source on all transactions (TDS).

Second, India intends to introduce a digital rupee (a central bank digital currency, or CBDC) within the financial year, the first reference to a time frame.

The single biggest point of confusion for users as a result of the announcements is how crypto could be taxed and yet not be legal. The government has refrained from suggesting crypto was legal.

After presenting the budget, the finance minister held a media briefing where she said her agency is “collecting inputs on regulation for crypto assets….I don’t wait till regulation comes in for taxing people who are making profits.”

Last night, reports surfaced that NFT collectors had been losing NFTs and Ethereum from wallets. OpenSea has now confirmed that what happened was a phishing attack, which saw over $1.7 million in assets shifted to the malicious wallet, now labeled Fake_Phishing5169.

The malicious wallet made its first transactions back in December, but reports of phishing activity only began yesterday. This wallet also has been engaging with another wallet that’s been marked as a part of an OpenSea phishing scam.

In the past 24 hours, numerous NFTs from collections with high floor prices have been transferred, such as Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, Cool Cats, Doodles, and Azuki NFTs. The Fake_Phishing5169 address also had made transactions via rival NFT marketplaces Rarible and LooksRare.

Battered bitcoin may take cues from growth stocks and chalk up a new bull run in the second half of the year.

“After the market adjusts to the pace of the Fed’s rate hike, growth stocks and bitcoin will resume their upward trend, that is we will see a strong performance of both in the second half of 2022,” researcher at crypto financial services provider Babel Finance, Robbie Liu told CoinDesk in an email.

“Historically, per Goldman Sachs, growth stocks have been the worst-performing sector in the three months before and after the first rate hike,” Liu added while noting the cryptocurrency’s tight correlation with the growth-sensitive legacy risk assets. Bitcoin’s correlation with the U.S. stocks recently hit a record high of over 0.75, according to data analytics firm IntoTheBlock.

Liu’s data-backed view contradicts the budding narrative in the crypto community that bitcoin may begin rallying right after the expected March rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s (Fed).

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s finance ministry on Monday said it would take proposals on cryptocurrencies from the country’s central bank into account so long as they do not contradict its own approach, paving the way for legislation governing digital assets.

A simmering dispute over cryptocurrency regulation in Russia heated up on Friday as the finance ministry submitted legislative proposals to the government that clashed with the central bank’s demand for a blanket ban.

The Bank of Russia has proposed banning cryptocurrency trading and mining due to the threat digital currencies pose to financial stability. But the finance ministry prefers legislation that regulates cryptocurrencies, allowing them as an investment tool, but not as a means of payment.

The finance ministry’s draft legislation aims to create a legal market for digital currencies, it said on Monday.

One proposal is for transactions involving the purchase or sale of cryptocurrency requiring customer identification, a move that may diminish one of cryptocurrencies’ major selling points – their anonymity.

Other proposals include foreign cryptocurrency exchanges having to obtain a licence in Russia, and introducing financial literacy tests that determine how much individuals are permitted to invest.

Bitcoin (BTC) heads into the last week of February lower but shows signs of strength as a key support level holds.

After a nervous few days on macro and crypto markets alike, BTC/USD is below $40,000, but signs are already there that a comeback could be what starts the week off in the right direction.

The situation is far from easy — concerns over inflation, United States monetary policy and geopolitical tensions are all in play, and with them, the potential for stocks to continue suffering.

Further cues from the U.S. Federal Reserve will be hot property in the short term, with March expected to be when the first key interest rate hike is announced and delivered.

Could it all be a storm in a teacup for Bitcoin, which, on a technical basis, is stronger than ever?

Cointelegraph presents five factors that could influence price action in the coming days as storm clouds remain over the global economy.

The U.S. National Football League’s Denver Broncos team is up for sale, and a DAO might be the next owner.

ESPN estimates that the team would sell for $4 billion, which is what the DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) is aiming to raise.

The effort is being led by Sean O’Brien, a 10-year veteran of Cisco Systems’ legal department. O’Brien said the DAO will go live this week.

According to O’Brien, the DAO would also incorporate as a cooperative, and participants in the DAO would have a parallel ownership share of the cooperative.

The team has been run by a trust since its owner, Pat Bowlen, died in 2017. The NFL has signaled that it would like a deal closed by the start of the 2022 season.

Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers team is owned by a community cooperative, first incorporated in 1923 in a structure similar to what the DAO would use to purchase the Denver Broncos.

In 1980, the NFL put in new rules that banned a “decentralized,” community-driven ownership that the Green Bay Packers use (though the team has an exception via a grandfathering clause).