News Updates August 14, 2022
1. Bitcoin Touched $25K for the First Time in 2-Months: Shiba Inu Soars 15% (Weekend Watch)
Bitcoin touched $25,000 for the first time in over two months. Shiba Inu, on the other hand, is the most significant gainer.
After a brief dip, bitcoin went on the offensive once more and tapped $25,000 for the first time since mid-June.
The altcoins are calmer today, but Shiba Inu has stolen the show with a massive double-digit surge.
*Bitcoin Touched $25K*
Whether it’s indeed on hype regarding the upcoming Merge, as JPM claimed, the crypto market has been on an uptrend in the past week or so, evident from BTC’s price movements.
The most impressive surge came on August 10 when the asset jumped from $23,000 to over $24,000 following the latest CPI data from the US.
It kept going and marked a multi-month high above $24,800 later that day. A brief retracement followed that pushed it down to $23,500, but the bulls came back to play rather immediately.
*Shiba Inu Steals the Show*
The alternative coins went through impressive gains yesterday as well, and are slightly in the green today.
Ethereum marked a 74-day high above $2,000 yesterday. It dipped below that line in the following hours but now stands just above it following a minor daily increase.
BNB, Ripple, Solana, Polkadot, and Avalanche are with insignificant gains as well now. Cardano, Dogecoin, and MATIC are up by about 5%.
Shiba Inu, though, has surged the most from the larger-cap alts. SHIB is up by more than 15% in a day and trades at $0.000015.
Overall, the crypto market cap has added a few more billions in a day and touched $1.2 trillion earlier today.
2. UK Court of Appeal to hear Tulip Trading’s case on legal duties owed by blockchain developers
The English Court of Appeal will hear Tulip Trading’s case on the legal duties owed by blockchain developers, granting permission to appeal the High Court’s decision to strike the case out for lack of jurisdiction.
The Court of Appeal in granting permission said that the issue as to whether developers owe duties of care and/or fiduciary duties to the owners of digital assets is “one of considerable importance and is rightly characterized as a matter of some complexity and difficulty.” Tulip Trading will be allowed to argue before the Court of Appeal that High Court Judge Falk had erred in deciding there was no serious issue to be tried on the question.
Thirteen of the 16 developer defendants, which include the developers of the BTC, BCH, BCH ABC blockchains, sought to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction. In particular, they argued that Dr. Wright had not demonstrated more than a ‘fanciful’ prospect of success, that there was no good arguable case that the claim falls within a set of defined ‘gateways’ to jurisdiction and that England is not the most appropriate forum in which to hear the claim.
3. Crypto Exchange BTC-e Operator Vinnik Reportedly Denied Bail in US, Maintains
Alexander Vinnik, the alleged owner and operator of the infamous cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, has been found not eligible for release on bail in the United States, where he was recently transferred from Greece. The Russian, accused of large-scale money laundering through the now-defunct trading platform, and other crimes, rejects U.S. charges.
*Alexander Vinnik Remains in California Prison, Russian Embassy Offers Help*
Authorities in the United States have effectively denied release on bail for the IT specialist Alexander Vinnik, Russian media reported, quoting his record on the website of the Santa Rita Jail in California where he is incarcerated. Vinnik has been in the U.S. since his hasty extradition from Greece a little more than a week ago, which angered his international defense team.
The crypto entrepreneur was arrested on a U.S. warrant in the summer of 2017, in the Greek city of Thessaloniki where he arrived on a family vacation. Greece first sent him to France in late 2019, where he served a five-year sentence for money laundering. In July, U.S. authorities withdrew a request to get him from France, thus speeding up his transfer through Greece, which had already approved his extradition to the United States.
His lawyers protested against the decision to quickly hand him over to American authorities, pointing out that he had applied for asylum in Greece after previously warning that in the U.S. Vinnik is likely to become a “hostage” of the geopolitical clash surrounding the ongoing military conflict in NATO-supported Ukraine, which was invaded by Russian forces in February.
The information provided by the prison’s online inmate locator does not indicate whether the bail decision was made at the hearing on Friday, Aug. 5, when Vinnik appeared in a federal court in San Francisco, or if the judge has not yet considered the matter. A status check returns the short message “Cannot be released on bail (NO BAIL).”
*Russian Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ to Crimes Alleged by US Prosecutors*
During the first hearing, Alexander Vinnik declared his innocence and pleaded not guilty, according to a report by the Tass news agency, quoting a spokesperson for the court. The next hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 15.
According to the indictment, quoted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in last week’s announcement of his extradition, BTC-e processed transactions from a wide range of crimes, such as the Mt Gox hack, ransomware scams, and drug trade. The Russian is now facing multiple counts of money laundering for more than $4 billion, among other charges.
In another report this week, Tass revealed that the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Washington was still seeking contact with Vinnik over the phone. Nadezhda Shumova, who heads the mission’s Consular Department has been quoted as stating that Russian diplomats intend to provide all the needed consular and legal assistance to their compatriot.
Both Greece and France have ignored extradition requests filed by Russia, where he is accused of embezzlement of over 600,000 rubles (less than $10,000 at current exchange rates) and “fraud in the field of computer information” for 750 million rubles ($12 million). Vinnik himself has in the past expressed his will to return to his homeland and face justice there. That seems unlikely, however. An accusation not mentioned by the DOJ is that he collaborated with Russian intelligence.
4. BlackRock's Crypto Address Had Only One Token That Almost No One Knew About
* What Is Energy Web Token?
* What Is happening with BlackRock's holding?
According to Santiment, the address associated with BlackRock has recently got rid of their only holding, which is not a mainstream cryptocurrency, but a relatively small Energy Web Token.
*What Is Energy Web Token?*
Energy Web Token is placed 189th in the top of cryptocurrencies sorted by market capitalization, which is why it is considered a relatively small token and also why most of the crypto community was surprised to see it only on the BlackRock wallet.
The EWT token is the operational token of the Energy Web Blockchain, which is a virtual machine designed for the support and development of the energy sector. The project was launched back in June 2019 with the foundation behind the project. The project's goal is to allow developers to build decentralized applications and solutions for a relatively alienated from the blockchain industry energy sector. The virtual machine is expected to bring numerous advantages to all areas of the industry, including grid operations, software development and energetics
*What Is happening with BlackRock's holding?*
Unfortunately for EWT investors, the wallet has recently dropped all of their holdings. The sale of $1 million worth of tokens was conducted after the price of the token surged to $3.6. Luckily, the rally continued as the price of the token reached the new high of $4.1 recently.
The decision to sell the token was most likely based on the speculative nature of the most recent rally on the token. The price performance of the asset mimics the performance of cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin, Shiba Inu and other highly speculative tokens and coins.
5. WHY BITCOIN POLITICS SHOULD BE APPROACHED AT THE LOCAL LEVEL
Bitcoiners have a higher chance of making meaningful change in state-level Bitcoin policy by building relationships with their local politicians.
The unlimited money printer and where that unlimited money gets spent is the ultimate power of our day. The broad power of the federal government — including the unlimited money in Washington — attracts many interest groups to our nation's capital, but that is also exactly why Bitcoiners should pick a different strategy. Historically, many political movements have taken place at the state and local level, but currently Bitcoiners are leaning heavily into influencing policy at the federal level. I will admit, I have fallen for the luster of the federal government in the past. In order for Bitcoin to succeed in the USA, I believe we must focus more of our efforts on local politics. Not only is this a better political strategy, it is also in line with the ethos of Bitcoin’s grassroots, bottom-up design. It doesn't get any more bottom-up than meeting with your local and state representatives to impact public policy. The rest of this piece will be used to explain the value in this approach. By the time you finish reading, I hope you will be convinced to take action to positively impact your local community.
It has been nearly one year since the infrastructure bill was passed and ever since then, we, as an industry, have been extremely focused on Washington. For good reason; the infrastructure bill forced us to pay attention as the most powerful government in the world began to target the Bitcoin industry. Soon after, we collectively watched as many Bitcoiners became politically active, with even some of the most anti-government Bitcoin influencers launching their own political organizations and efforts to combat government overreach.
6. Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe 'Developed a Roadmap for Adoption of CBDC,' Says Governor
The governor of the Zimbabwean central bank, John Mangudya, recently said his organization “has developed a roadmap for adoption of CBDC [central bank digital currency] in Zimbabwe.” Mangudya also revealed that two fintech startups had been admitted into the central bank’s fintech regulatory sandbox.
*Stakeholders’ Views Wanted*
Nearly six months after announcing the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s intention to explore the feasibility of launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the bank’s governor John Mangudya recently revealed that the central bank now has a roadmap for the envisaged digital currency. He said the bank’s development of the roadmap is in line with the government’s decision on the CBDC which was made in November 2021.
Nevertheless, Mangudya suggested in his second monetary policy statement of the year that the RBZ is now eager to get the views of stakeholders. He said
Besides the consultation paper, the RBZ will also “carry-out consumer perception surveys on CBDC.” The findings from the two undertakings “will enable the Bank to engage in pilot programmes related to CBDC.”
7. The Deputy Minister Of Digital Transformation Says Ukraine Should Launch A CBDC.
In a four-tweet thread on Friday, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister Of Digital Transformation, Alex Bornyakov, argues that Ukraine has much to benefit from creating a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
“I believe Ukraine could benefit from launching its national currency on blockchain. CBDC as a new form of programmable monetary instrument can be a big leap toward digitalization of the state finance system,” Bornyakov asserts at the beginning of his thread.
I believe Ukraine could benefit from launching its national currency on blockchain. CBDC as a new form of programmable monetary instrument can be a big leap toward digitalization of the state finance system.
According to Bornyakov, a digital hryvnia run on the blockchain can improve the cost and speed of transactions across the board. Additionally, he asserts that with a CBDC, Ukraine’s tax revenue could increase as tax gaps come to light.
Other benefits outlined by Bornyakov include:
Improved transparency in public office transactions and records.
Ease of donation to rebuilding efforts with better transparency in handling these donations.
A potential strategic economic advantage.
It is worth noting that Bornyakov has been one of the more influential voices applauding the role of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in Ukraine’s war effort. As previously reported by The Crypto Basic, Bornyakov, in July, asserting that the crypto industry is here to stay, reiterated that digital assets remain critical to the country’s defense plans.
Notably, unlike other means of receiving donations, Ukraine can receive crypto donations within minutes. As a result, crypto donations played a crucial role in providing the required equipment and amenities needed in the early days of the country’s struggle against the Russian invasion.
While the launch of a CBDC would take Ukraine’s blockchain adoption one step further, it is also likely to spark privacy debates and possibly backlash from privacy advocates. It is worth noting that while CBDCs have the potential for certain benefits, privacy advocates do not support the idea of the central bank being able to watch or, worse, regulate how citizens spend their money.
8. Binance holds the most amount of Bitcoin on exchanges after roles have reversed with Coinbase.
The amount of Bitcoin held by Binance and Coinbase has been following a falling trend since the beginning of the year. In May, Binance's Bitcoin holdings started to spike while Coinbase's kept falling.
Exchange balance refers to the amount of Bitcoin sitting on exchanges, and it was following a downtrend since January 2022 for both Coinbase and Binance when suddenly Binance’s exchange balance took a turn and started to spike in May. It’s still increasing, while both overall and Coinbase’s exchange balance continue to fall.
The chart above shows the cumulative Bitcoin exchange balance, Bitcoin price, and the exchange balances of both exchange giants Binance and Coinbase.
The green line representing the cumulative exchange balance has followed a sharp downtrend since February. At the beginning of the year, there were more than 2,6 million Bitcoins on exchanges. This number is now below 2,4 million, proving a net outflow of 200,000 Bitcoins.
This means that Bitcoin supply has been removed from exchanges, indicating a long-term bullish holding tendency.
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