News Headlines (15th FEB 2024)

Just after Hamas’ terrorist attacks in Israel last year, crypto took blame for helping fund such brutal killing. While the prominent media reports were later bashed by cryptocurrency experts, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s top official on terrorism financing confirmed to lawmakers on Wednesday the situation was blown out of proportion.

While the Wall Street Journal in October had tied tens of millions of dollars in crypto payments to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and others, citing a blog post by analytics firm Elliptic that was later edited, the account represented a misunderstanding of what assets actually fell into the hands of terrorists.

“We don’t expect the number is very high,” said Brian Nelson, the Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee.

An Australian police officer is due in court this week, accused of stealing 81 bitcoin currently worth AU$6.3 million ($4 million) from the Trezor wallet of a suspected illegal steroid dealer he was investigating.

On January 25, 2019, the dealer was raided as part of a drug trafficking investigation called Operation Viridian. During the raid, police discovered large amounts of “steroid substances,” a computer, and a physical Trezor crypto wallet containing bitcoin.

​William Wheatley, then working in the Australian Federal Police’s (AFP) cyber crime division, was contacted by an officer involved in the raid who needed help with the seized wallet. He texted Wheatley, “Hey mate, you ever seen one of these? Maybe a cryptocurrency thing.”

After Bitcoin briefly dipped yesterday, thanks to an alarming consumer price inflation report in the U.S., the world’s oldest and largest cryptocurrency has come surging back to push past $51,000 in early morning trading.

At the time of writing, the Bitcoin price is sitting at $51,341.12 according to CoinGecko data. It’s gained 2.5% in the past day and a whopping 20% since this time last week. That’s given BTC a $1 trillion market capitalization for the first time since December 2021 (after having hit the milestone for the first time ever in February of that year).

The crypto community is applauding the launch of Security Alliance, a nonprofit registered in the United States intended to provide support for “white hat” hackers capable of recovering funds from exploiters. The initiative unites a team of blockchain security specialists headed by samczsun, head of security at crypto venture capital firm Paradigm.

The new organization was made public on Feb. 14. According to its website, Security Alliance has three projects underway. There is a hotline to request help with a security response and a war games component to help prepare developers for security risks.

According to CoinDesk, an informal document shared among EU officials indicates that the Financial Services Committee (FSC) will discuss digital finance, including crypto assets and a potential digital euro, at an upcoming meeting in April. The FSC, which consists of high-level representatives from the bloc’s 27 states and the European Commission, is seeking feedback from its members on priorities and challenges for the next five years in digital finance, sustainable finance, competitiveness of the EU financial sector, and economic security.

Over the last week, the value of bitcoin (BTC) has seen significant growth, climbing above the $51,000 mark. This surge comes on the heels of a slight decline below $49,000, triggered by the release of the U.S. Consumer Price Index summary. Currently, the Crypto Fear and Greed Index (CFGI), hosted on, shows that as of Feb. 14, 2024, the market sentiment has shifted to “greed,” with a rating of 74. The CFGI assesses the mood of the market by examining factors such as volume, dominance, momentum, and social media trends.

On Tuesday, the rating escalated to a significant 79 out of 100, indicating “extreme greed.” This level of sentiment was last observed when BTC hit its all-time high of $69,000 on Nov. 10, 2021. In the preceding month, the CFGI maintained a “neutral” stance, but it has recently shifted to a “greed” state over the last week. Being in “greed” or “extreme greed” suggests that investors might be showing excessive confidence or greed, possibly pushing prices to levels that are not sustainable.

The ether (ETH) price rose through the $2,700 mark early Thursday for the first time since May 2022 as traders bet on the possibility of a spot ETH exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval in the U.S., a move that could boost its institutional appeal.

As of Thursday, Franklin Templeton, BlackRock, Fidelity, Ark and 21Shares, Grayscale, VanEck, Invesco and Galaxy, and Hashdex, had all submitted applications for an ether ETF. They already offer spot bitcoin (BTC) ETFs, which were introduced mid-January. Since then, the funds have accumulated $11 billion worth of BTC and helped propel the price of the largest cryptocurrency through $52,000.

The Starknet Foundation announced Wednesday morning that starting on Feb. 20, nearly 1.3 million wallets will be able to claim their share of a distribution of STRK, the native token for the Ethereum layer 2 network based on zero-knowledge technology. They will have until June 20 to claim their tokens.

According to a press release shared with Unchained, a range of people will be eligible for the initial phase of Starknet’s token distribution. Not only will Starknet users, contributors and developers be able to pocket STRK tokens, but so will Ethereum EIP authors and solo home stakers.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) — an independent financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom — has published a report detailing its actions against financial promotions, including its findings and actions against crypto-related advertisements.

On Feb. 14, the FCA reported that it found “significant levels of non-compliance” on crypto promotion rules that came into effect on Oct. 8, 2023. According to the regulator, i reviewed both registered and unregistered crypto firms and identified common issues.

This includes the use of generic risk summaries without any amendments for product-specific risks, such as stablecoins or asset-backed coins, and using the regulated status in a promotional manner. Furthermore, the FCA also said that firms are making claims about the safety, security and ease of use of crypto services without supporting evidence or highlighting risks.

On Feb. 14, 2024, also celebrated as Valentine’s Day, the crypto economy saw a 3.51% rise from the previous day, totaling a valuation of $1.93 trillion. BTC reached a peak of $52,093 on Wednesday before sliding back, just below the $52K threshold. At 7:21 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday evening, the price of bitcoin is back above the $52,000 range.

Despite this, the leading digital currency has climbed 4.2% today and now commands 52.5% of the crypto market’s total value. ETH’s price has reached $2,780 per unit, marking a 5.3% rise, with its market capitalization holding a 17.2% share of the crypto economy.

Among the top performers of the day, dymension (DYM) stood out, registering a 16.1% increase against the greenback. With the inclusion of DYM, five cryptocurrencies experienced double-digit growth on Wednesday.