Crypto News Headlines (30-March-2022)

Bitcoin’s ascent stalled near the 200-day average level as Luna Foundation Guard (LFG), a non-profit organization focused on UST, slowed its rate of buying the largest cryptocurrency.

LFG has purchased 5,773 BTC worth $272 million so far this week, the foundation’s confirmed bitcoin address showed at 09:42 UTC. Nearly half of those were purchased on Monday and the rest a few minutes before press time. Last week, it acquired about $125 million of BTC each week day.

“The foundation had a trading hiatus after Monday’s big purchase. It is back today [snapped up 2,942 BTC],” Arcane Research’s Vetle Lunde told CoinDesk in a Twitter chat. “Last week, LFG sent $125 million worth of USDT across all weekdays and $160 million on Saturday to Jump Trading, who executed the BTC trades quickly thereafter.” USDT is the symbol for tether, the world’s largest stablecoin by market value.

LFG announced last month that it had raised $1 billion through an over-the-counter sale of LUNA, the native token of the Terra blockchain, to build a bitcoin-denominated reserve as an additional layer of security for Terra’s decentralized dollar-pegged stablecoin UST, the fourth-largest stablecoin. The funding round was led by Jump Crypto and Three Arrows Capital.

MacroStrategy, a subsidiary of business intelligence firm MicroStrategy, said it will purchase Bitcoin after obtaining a multimillion dollar loan from Silvergate Bank.

In a Tuesday announcement, MicroStrategy said Silvergate issued a $205 million loan “secured by certain Bitcoin held in MacroStrategy’s collateral account.” The firm’s subsidiary MacroStrategy will be using the proceeds of the loan to purchase Bitcoin (BTC), pay fees and interest related to the loan and handle general corporate expenses.

“The SEN Leverage loan gives us an opportunity to further our position as the leading public company investor in Bitcoin,” said MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor. “Using the capital from the loan, we’ve effectively turned our Bitcoin into productive collateral, which allows us to further execute against our business strategy.”

Launched in 2020, the Silvergate Exchange Network leverage service allows firms to secure BTC-collateralized loans for U.S. dollars. According to the bank, it had roughly more than $570 million in commitments as of Dec. 31.

Cardano has been an integral part of the blockchain technology space since its launch in 2017 by Charles Hoskinson. Although the project lacked use cases in the first four years of its existence, 2022 has seen Cardano reach new milestones. This comes at the back of the completion of the Alonzo Hard Fork upgrade in September 2021 which has seen more than seven dApps built on the protocol, per data retrieved from DeFiLlama.

According to Be[In]Crypto Research, Cardano TVL has gained 39,000% since the beginning of 2022. On Jan. 1, Cardano had a total value locked of $822,261, and this rallied to approximately $326 million on March 24, 2022.

Source DeFiLlama

Cardano is a blockchain protocol that was designed for visionaries, innovators, and change-makers. As the first peer-reviewed protocol, Cardano has the aim of building a sustainable future that will assist people to work in tandem with one another to help solve global problems with innovative solutions.

Aside from being a mainstay in the decentralized finance revolution brought forth by the possibilities of cryptography, Cardano has several use cases in agriculture, government, retail, education, healthcare, and finance.

The cryptocurrency market is largely unregulated in the UK. However, companies associated with the industry are required to register with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Temporary Registrations Regime (TRR), heed to Money Laundering Regulations.

So far, only 33 firms have managed to obtain permanent registration with the regulatory entity, according to the latest reports. With just a few days to go until the crucial government deadline, crypto custodian Copper Technologies Ltd., digital bank Revolut Ltd., and 12 other platforms, which have temporary registration regimes for crypto-asset businesses, would have to face suspension if they fail to score an approval.

Meanwhile, London-based crypto market maker B2C2 Ltd. and crypto digital banking apps   Wirex Ltd. and Trastra Ltd. withdrew from the temporary register last week. This comes after the FCA warned the companies operating on temporary authorization to either withdraw applications and shut down any UK digital asset operations or go through the process and face a risk of rejection.

The Robinhood executive overseeing the trading platform’s cryptocurrency initiatives, Christine Brown, is leaving the firm, Brown said in a tweet Tuesday.

Brown, who spent five years at the firm, said that she would be “staying in the crypto space,” but did not specify what project she would be working on. The Block first broke the news.

“I’m moving on to start something new,” Brown said, adding: “I joined RH when it was under 100 people—before we even offered a crypto product. Watching us grow through IPO and serving more than 22m users has been the greatest professional experience of my life.”

“We’re so grateful to Christine for her contributions to Robinhood over the past five years – from leading our self-clearing initiative to scaling the Robinhood Crypto team,” Robinhood Chief Operating Officer Gretchen Howard told CoinDesk. “We’re excited to follow her entrepreneurial journey going forward.”

The United States Senate will vote on President Joe Biden’s nominations to the Federal Reserve after delays instigated by Republican lawmakers.

In a 50–49 vote on Tuesday, the Senate moved economist Lisa Cook’s nomination for governor in the Federal Reserve System out of the Banking Committee toward a final confirmation vote — though when the government body will take up the matter is uncertain. The Senate will also vote on prospective Fed chair Jerome Powell, who was named chair pro tempore in February, as well as Lael Brainard for vice-chair and economist Philip Jefferson as Fed governor.

All four of Biden’s nominations for the central bank were held up for a February vote following a boycott of the decision by Senate Banking Committee Republicans who cited their concerns over prospective Fed vice chair for supervision Sarah Bloom Raskin. Ranking member Senator Pat Toomey reportedly said at the time Republican members would support Powell, Brainard, Jefferson and Cook — but not Raskin.

On March 15, the prospective Fed vice chair for supervision withdrew her name from consideration, citing “relentless attacks by special interests.” Democratic Senator Joe Manchin also reportedly sided with Republicans, saying he would not support Raskin’s nomination. Because Democrats only hold a slim majority in the Senate, having every member of their party behind a candidate is often necessary for a vote to succeed.

On Tuesday, March 29, the world’s largest cryptocurrency made a move to $48,000, however, faced resistance at its 200-day moving average (DMA). As of press time, Bitcoin is facing a minor pullback and is currently trading at a price of $47,131 with a market cap of $895 billion.

Bitcoin has undergone major sell-offs earlier this year and it was only during the last week’s price rally that BTC was able to write off all losses for 2022. As per data from Coinglass, more than $230 million in short positions we liquidated earlier this week on Monday, March 29.

This happens as the Bitcoin spot volumes have surpassed the Bitcoin futures volumes as BTC made a move to $48,000. This clearly shows that the Bitcoin price recovery was largely spot-market driven.

Crypto Market Participants Remain Bullish

Although Bitcoin is facing resistance at its 200-DMA, some of the crypto market participants continue to stay bullish. Kyle Davies, co-founder and chairman of Singapore-based crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, said:

There are “no more sellers left after several waves of bad news — leverage wipe-out, macro concerns, Ukraine war. So it’s natural for Bitcoin to have a strong bid here.”

Furthermore, the Federal Reserve announced its first rate hike for 200 earlier this month. This was the first time in four years that the Fed announced a rate hike. The U.S. central bank has also said that the Fed is preparing for multiple rate hikes ahead this year. This has made the market jittery and volatile.

But Jeff Dorman, chief investment officer at crypto asset management firm Arca believes that as per historical trends, risk assets usually tend to move higher in the aftermath of the rate hike. He added:

“The entire risk-assets selloff was way overdone and made no sense to begin with. Markets generally go higher during rate hikes, and it’s only at the end of a rate-hike cycle when markets typically go the other way.”

On March 29, MetaMask announced a raft of updates to its mobile version 4.3.1, the most significant was the Apple Pay integration.

The catch is that Apple does not directly support crypto payments through its own platform, so it has to be done via Wyre, which does support crypto and integrates with Apple Pay.

Users can now also buy crypto with debit or credit cards, eliminating the need to send ETH to the app in advance. Apple Pay users can deposit a daily maximum of $400 into their wallet using their Visa or Mastercards and the Wyre API.

MetaMask also uses the Transak payments platform to allow users to buy crypto with their credit or debit cards. However, those wishing to use either payments platforms must complete KYC (know-you-customer) process.

Using MetaMask on layer-1 does also incurs gas fees, however, even though the firm says it does not profit from them. MetaMask also has its own fees, which are 0.875% of the transaction.

One of the other updates was support for gasless transactions, which is when private blockchains, or a project or protocol, pay for the gas on the user’s behalf.

On March 15, CryptoPotato reported that MetaMask surpassed 30 million monthly active users, making it one of the most popular crypto wallets available today. The news also revealed a $450 million fundraising round for ConsenSys, the Ethereum solutions firm behind the wallet.

On March 16, ConsenSys CEO Joseph Lubin announced that MetaMask will be launching its own token and DAO. There was very little info on the token, but long-term MetaMask users will be hoping for an airdrop similar to Uniswap’s.

Jeff Koons, the world’s most expensive living artist, has announced his first foray into the world of non-fungible tokens (NFT) – a new collection of physical sculptures, each with a corresponding digital trinket.

He’s one of the more high-profile visual artists to venture into NFTs; Damien Hirst, another artist known for splashy, commercially minded projects, made similar moves last year.

The twist for the Koons effort is that, in a nod to a longstanding crypto meme, these sculptures are literally going “to the moon.”

Per a press release, a subset of the physical pieces in “Jeff Koons: Moon Phases” will “make a lunar landing on an Intuitive Machines Nova-C Lunar Lander, to be launched on pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in a fully autonomous mission.” They’ll end up in Oceanus Procellarum, on the near side of the moon.

It’s a collaboration with Pace Gallery’s dedicated crypto arm, as well as two lesser-known private companies experimenting with art and tech: 4Space, founded by Chantelle Baier, and NFMoon, also founded by Chantelle Baier along with an investor named Patrick Colangelo. Intuitive Machines, the company that built the lunar lander in question, is also involved.

According to local news outlet Arabian Business, Citizens School, located in Dubai, will accept tuition payments denominated in Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). Payments using digital assets are facilitated via an unnamed processing platform and are automatically converted into United Arab Emirates Dirhams (AED). Dr Adil Alzarooni, the founder of Citizens School, commented:

“We look forward to enhancing the role of young generations in achieving the UAE’s digital economy. As more people embrace the era of digitalization, today’s children will become the entrepreneurs and investors of tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Hisham Hodroge, CEO of Citizens School, added: “Introducing the ability to pay tuition fees through cryptocurrencies goes beyond just providing another payment option. It is a means to drive further interest in the applications of blockchain — a technology that Citizens School intends to deploy, in time, across several aspects of its academic and administrative operations.”

The school, set to open in September of this year, is located at the heart of Dubai and appears to be structured as an international school. It is available to students ages 3 to 11. On its website, Citizens School lists its tuition cost as 45,000 AED to 65,000 AED per year ($12,250 to $17,700) before VAT, school lunches, a mandatory iPad for learning, field trips, extracurricular activities and transport.