Crypto News Headlines (24-Jan-2022)

One persistent, common myth about crypto may seem perfectly reasonable but doesn’t hold up when the data is analyzed. That myth is that cryptocurrencies trade closely with tech stocks and certainly more so than with the overall market. At first blush, there’s a lot of reasons why that would make sense. Buying cryptocurrencies – not just bitcoin, but any of them – is a bet that the technology will be adopted by more users. The favored proxy for the tech sector, the Nasdaq 100, is packed with giants in the space: Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Tesla and Alphabet, which accounted for 43% of the index’s value.

The surge in interest in cryptocurrency — and a scandal last year that saw the sudden shutdown of a Turkish crypto exchange that left hundreds of thousands of customers unable to access their funds — has alarmed the country’s authorities who now want to regulate the sector. These anxieties are shared by global regulators, who view cryptocurrencies as volatile and speculative. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said a cryptocurrency law will soon be presented to parliament. He has said his government is engaged in a “war” against cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency popularity has boomed in recent years, and celebrities have gotten in on the fanfare. Kim Kardashian, Floyd Mayweather, and former NBA star Paul Pierce are among recent celebrities in the hot seat for their crypto promotions, accused in a lawsuit filed earlier this month in California of using their fame to “pump”. For Mayweather, the lawsuit marks the second time the boxer has come under scrutiny for allegedly making misleading statements around crypto. This makes celebrity promotions of cryptocurrencies particularly vulnerable to criticism as ill-informed investors rush to get in on speculative products because stars they admire are into crypto.

Bitcoin prices slumped further Saturday to levels not seen since last August, as a selloff of riskier assets like stocks spread to cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin has now shed more than 50% from its record high in November. The leading crypto coin has now fallen 16.8 per cent over the last week. Other coins have seen even more dramatic losses: Ethereum is now down 25 per cent. The declines in crypto prices followed a volatile session on Wall Street on Friday that saw stocks swing from early gains to a selloff, as investors repeated this week’s pattern of selling rallies, pushing the Nasdaq Composite deeper into correction territory.

Coinbase Global  (COIN)  wants to be seen as something other than an exchange primarily offering the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrency. Coinbase lost 13.38% on Friday to end the session at $191.97. The stock price is now well away from its IPO price of $310 dollars last April. Unfortunately for the platform – the largest in the U.S. and most commonly used in the U.K. – its future seems for the moment linked to that of crypto. Since January, Coinbase investors have seen $16 billion in market capitalization evaporate in the rout of cryptocurrency markets.

Russia can legalize cryptocurrency mining and stablecoins backed by gold under government control, a high-ranking member of the Russian parliament has suggested. On Thursday, The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) published a consultation paper in which it presented its comprehensive view on cryptocurrencies. The statement comes after Bank of Russia proposed a wide-ranging ban on the use of cryptocurrencies, and their trading and mining. Cryptocurrencies should be banned, Gutenev agreed, but Russia could make use of a stablecoin denominated in gold and under state control.

Union Bank of the Philippines (UBP), also known as Unionbank, plans to offer cryptocurrency trading and custodial services, Bloomberg reported Thursday. Cathy Casas, head of the bank’s blockchain and application programming interface group, explained that the average Filipino investor currently holds about 1% to 2% of their personal assets in cryptocurrency, like bitcoin. Unionbank is one of the largest universal banks in the Philippines with over $15 billion in assets under management (AUM). The bank is one of the first financial institutions in the Philippines to adopt cryptocurrency. The Unionbank executive estimates that about 5% of the local population has dabbled in cryptocurrency.

After several users complained about issues with logging back to their accounts on after the platform was hit by a $34 million hack, its CEO Kris Marszalek has been forced to respond on social media how best they can get back their accounts. Leading cryptocurrency platform last week admitted that 483 users on its platform lost almost $34 million in various digital coins owing to a compromise in two-factor (2FA) authentication. Thousands of people took to social media to complain that they could not get back into their accounts, begging for help.

The plan to rent out the old thermal station was approved at a meeting of the Commission for Regulation of Public Services on Wednesday, Sputnik Armenia reported. The equipment at the Hrazdan TPP has been deemed obsolete and inefficient, producing expensive electricity, and authorities in Armenia have decided to shut down the old power plant in the near future. A company manufacturing refrigeration units has already arranged the transfer of some of its production to the TPP, the news portal revealed. Even after the Hrazdan TPP is decommissioned, the mining facilities will have access to enough electrical energy.

The Fed kickstarted the debate over a US central bank digital currency on Thursday, publishing a highly anticipated report on the topic. The Federal Reserve still hasn’t sided for or against a central bank digital currency, but a new report lays out the potential benefits and risks of fully digitizing the US dollar. A Fed-backed digital dollar would then provide many of the benefits touted by cryptocurrencies without their wild price swings and usage fees. In theory, a CBDC would meld the best aspects of physical and digital currencies for the average American.