Crypto News Headlines (25-Feb-2022)

Jesse Powell is not backing down to pressure from the Canadian government to let them handle the unrest in Ottawa on their own terms. Known in crypto circles as a strong crypto ideologue and an iconoclast, the leader of the U.S.’ second largest crypto exchange sees the trucker protests taking place north of the border as a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the true value of crypto and a way to stick up for the little guy.

Powell gave an entire bitcoin to the protesters on February 6th out of a belief that the Canadian government went too far with its trucker vaccine mandates. “I’m personally against the mandates. I think they’re just immoral. I also think there’s, at this point, a lot of evidence to suggest that we’ve been lied to or information has been withheld. And I think its efficacy is dubious at best.” He also felt that the truckers, whose job requires a high degree of isolation, were low-risk anyway and were being picked on by the government.

Traders betting against a rise in cryptocurrencies suffered losses of up to $143 million in the past 12 hours as global markets recovered from Thursday’s declines.

Bitcoin, ether and other major cryptocurrencies have added close to 10% in 24 hours, almost regaining Wednesday night’s levels. Bitcoin traded near $38,400 at the time of publication, up from Thursday’s low of $34,725.

The rebound, which started U.S. morning hours on Thursday, caused over $184 million worth of losses due to liquidations on crypto-tracked futures in the past 12 hours. Some 73% of traders were ‘short’ the market – or betting against a rise – data from analytics tool Coinglass showed.

a homegrown cryptocurrency exchange, said it will be releasing tools for entrepreneurs to build their own cryptocurrency exchanges under its program BUIDL With WazirX.
The announcement comes after the government has given some sort of legitimacy to cryptocurrencies after levying a tax on them. Though, the Finance Ministry has categorically denied that the move makes them legal in India.
“WazirX aims to take the ecosystem to the next level by helping aspiring crypto entrepreneur navigate the landscape. The platform will provide various tools and capabilities to entrepreneurs by releasing its APIs, thereby giving them access to over 300 trading pairs,” the company said.

Shiba Inu is the second-largest meme-coin in the $1.6 trillion crypto industry. SHIB has a market cap of $11.7 billion dollars, placing it behind rival Dogecoin’s $14.7 billion market cap. Both are coins based on memes of Shiba Inu dogs, and have made it clear that meme-coins are no laughing matter.

Both coins have a loyal following pushing for greater merchant adoption, more media attention and even to fundraise for causes. Just this week as well the cryptocurrency asset platform Binance Custody added Shiba Inu to its platform. This allows more coin holders to have insurance against SHIB.

According to FX Street: ““An addition to Binance Custody is a key milestone for cryptocurrency projects […] the exchange offers investors the opportunity to be their bank and safeguard holdings against theft and hack.”

The news pumped Shiba Inu’s price 7% before in the last 24hours SHIB fell 17% again, according to CoinMarketCap. It continues a downward trend in the market in general and a 34% downturn over the last seven days. Shiba is currently trading at $0.00002184 down from an all-time high of $0.00008845 in October last year.

According to Fool, Shiba Inu’s only chance of hitting a $1 dollar valuation is if major coin burns take place. Currently there are 549,000,000,000,000 SHIB tokens circulating in the market. A $549 trillion valuation however would make Shiba Inu more valuable than Apple ($2.7 trillion) and Amazon ($1.5 trillion) put together – plus a lot more. Bigger Entertainment announced a burn of 370 million SHIB on Valentine’s Day, but this hasn’t done enough for SHIB’s price. 

Furthermore, Shiba Inu is built on Ethereum and cannot host decentralised applications or further shape the future of the cryptocurrency industry. The Shibarium metaverse is expected to see a rollout in 2022 – but again, other cryptos like Decentraland and The Sandbox are already in this space and it’s not clear what difference the Shibarium will make.

In a series of restricted tweets today, NBA player De’Aaron Fox announced that his NFT collection, “Swipa The Fox” would be disbanded effective immediately—taking with it 475 user ETH, worth about $1.5 million at the time of the projects minting.

According to the tweets, the project, which went live January 15 of this year, was “ill timed” due to it unexpectedly coinciding with the middle of the NBA season. According to an announcement by De’Aaron in the Swipa the Fox Discord server (which hosts 106k members), “The time and attention that y’all deserve and that I wanted to give you all/what this project requires, was not known to me and I overstepped and stretched myself too thin.”

Flexpool, the world’s fifth-largest Ethereum mining pool, became possibly the first of its ilk to cut services to Russian users following the country’s Invasion of Ukraine.

The move was taken to show solidarity with Ukraine.

“We generally do not get involved in politics despite our personal views as a company,” a Flexpool spokesperson said in a message on Thursday evening on its official Telegram channel. “However, this is greater than politics, greater than anyone. This is a war that may end the world. It certainly is ending the lives of many innocent people in Eastern Europe.”

The pool doesn’t want to profit off the crisis or fund it indirectly, so is canceling all services to Russian IP addresses and paying outstanding balances to affected users, the message said, which apologized to Russian miners.

Flexpool is the world’s fifth-biggest ether mining pool. It is probably the first to cut access for Russians amid the security crisis.

Ukraine’s central bank is cracking down on digital money transfers in one of the latest measures implemented in connection with a nationwide declaration of martial law.

The National Bank of Ukraine ordered electronic money (e-money) issuers to suspend the issuance of e-money and the replenishment of electronic wallets with e-money. The written order also indicated that the distribution of e-money was temporarily off limits.

The reference to electronic money likely refers to fiat currencies held in digital accounts through platforms like Venmo or Paypal.

This is one among many new rules rolled out by the country’s central bank as Russian Forces lay siege across.

The National Bank of Ukraine released statement on Thursday with a spate of resolutions, including an order to suspend the foreign exchange market, limit cash withdrawals, and prohibit the issuance of foreign currency from retail bank accounts.

Cryptocurrencies may help Russia and its billionaires blunt the impact of western sanctions.

U.S. President Joe Biden said Thursday he has authorized “strong sanctions” in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These aim to limit its ability to do business in dollars and other major international currencies, and include penalties on five Russian banks that represent an estimated $1 trillion in assets. A broad swath of Russian elites and their family members will also be targeted. That’s all in addition to penalties that were imposed earlier this week.

But those sanctions might carry less weight in a country that is taking steps to legalize cryptocurrencies and where the digital assets are already widely owned. Typically, nations employ physical workarounds to avoid sanctions, such as Venezuela and North Korea’s use of ship-to-ship transfers of fuel, but digital assets like crypto and decentralized exchanges could become the most effective way to circumvent penalties.

IRA Financial Trust was being “swatted” at the time the retirement investment company was hacked for $36 Million worth of cryptocurrency, according to a local police account obtained by CoinDesk.

A detective at the Sioux Falls police department recounted the chain of events to a victim of the hack in a Feb. 15 voicemail reviewed by CoinDesk. Officers responded to reports of an alleged “robbery” in progress at IRA Financial Trust’s offices in the South Dakota city on the afternoon of Feb. 8, the detective said.

Police officers quickly determined the robbery call was bogus, the detective said. He described the incident as “swatting”: the practice of tricking police into responding to a nonexistent crisis.

There was a robbery, however – but it was happening in cyberspace, not the Midwest.

“What we were then informed of was that once the employees returned to their desks, after, like, while this ‘robbery’ was taking place or whatever, once they got back to their desks, they all found that customers’ accounts had been hacked into and that money was actively being taken at that time,” the officer said in the voicemail. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CoinDesk.

Ucollex, a Hong Kong-based NFT platform, has pulled $10 million fresh capital from local blockchain game developer Animoca Brands. The startup’s latest funding round comes as sales of the digital collectibles are gaining ground in the city, which has seen an increasing number of projects launched over the past year. 

Another investor who also participated in the fundraising is MCP IPX One Fund, an investment fund established by the Japanese branch of MCP Asset Management and Animoca, according to a statement issued on Thursday. 

Ucollex said the financing round values the company at $110 million. The new capital will be used to strengthen its team and its platform with the aim of delivering an experience that combines digital collectibles and entertainment through features such as virtual artwork battles, cofounder and CEO Robert Tran said in a written response.