News Updates September 18, 2022

1. Influential celebrities that joined the crypto club over the past year

Despite the prolonged bear market and an evident dip in cryptocurrency prices, celebrities continue to pour in support for the crypto market.

The inclusive crypto ecosystem has become home to numerous A-list celebrities over the years — primarily driven by the nonfungible tokens (NFT) hype of 2021. However, despite the prolonged bear market and an evident dip in cryptocurrency prices, celebrities continue to pour in support for the crypto market. 

Over the past year, celebrities have started exploring sub-ecosystems beyond NFTs, trying to diversify their presence across trading, gaming and other investment avenues. In this light, here’s an overview of some of the most influential celebrities that got into crypto over the past year and how well-prepared they are for the next bull run.

2. Bitcoin Can Give The US An ‘Economic Boost,’ Finance Expert Says

Leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin found another ally in macroeconomist Luke Gromen who recently claimed that the United States could gain benefits if it begins to view the digital currency as an asset and not as any kind of threat.

Gromen made his statement during his appearance on a September 14 podcast hosted by Natalie Brunell.

Gromen is well-respected in the finance research world for his ability to provide a comprehensive analysis of global and topical macroeconomic trends.

According to Gromen, in the event that economic rivals China and Russia choose to pile up on gold, it would make Bitcoin as an option and give the U.S. an advantage especially that such a scenario could lead to a “blow-up” in the bonds market.

 *Is Bitcoin A Threat To The US Dollar?*

Regrettably, Gromen also pointed out a sad truth that has haunted the crypto alpha for so long.

U.S. policy makers, at the moment, view the digital asset as a threat to the country’s fiat currency – the US dollar.

Gromen’s statement comes a few days after the first-ever crypto regulation framework under United States President Joe Biden goes into motion in the midst of circulating news reports about the decline and volatility that now plagues the crypto landscape.

The Biden administration recently became active in pursuing more control on cryptocurrencies through laws due to the increasing popularity of the asset class.

It can be recalled that in a 2019 hearing, Congressman Brad Sherman aired his sentiments and fears over the potential dangers that Bitcoin poses to the greenback which, for decades, has been considered as the world’s benchmark reserve currency.

Sherman said if cryptocurrency doesn’t work, it makes investors lose a ton of money right down the drain. If it indeed works and achieves its objectives, it might displace the US dollar or interfere with its role as virtually the “sole reserve currency in the world.”

Such ideals proved instrumental in the country’s indecisiveness to have a more positive perspective about Bitcoin.

3. Crypto Strategist Who Nailed 2022 Bitcoin Meltdown Predicts Imminent BTC Rally – Here’s His Target

The crypto analyst who accurately predicted Bitcoin’s crash this year says he expects BTC to rally in the coming days.

The pseudonymous analyst known in the industry as Capo tells his 521,100 Twitter followers that Bitcoin has broken out of its diagonal resistance on the lower timeframe and is now en route to his target at $23,000.

Capo also says that the breakout took place as BTC was able to print a local bottom due to selling volume dying off

While Capo says his short-term prediction for an imminent Bitcoin rally looks good, the chart above suggests a steep correction for BTC after the king crypto meets resistance at $23,000.

4. South Korean ministry recommends enactment of special Metaverse laws

The MSIT identified that imposing older regulations serve as a deterrent to the growth of new ecosystems.

The Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) of South Korea revealed plans to move away from imposing traditional video gaming laws on the Metaverse. Instead, the ministry decided to issue new guidelines for incentivizing the growth of the budding ecosystem.

South Korea’s interest in garnering Web3 and the Metaverse ecosystems is evidenced by the $200 million investment it made for the creation of an in-house Metaverse. Running parallel to this effort, the MSIT identified that imposing older regulations serve as a deterrent to the growth of new ecosystems.

In the first meeting of the National Data Policy committee, MSIT noted that “We will not make the mistake of regulating a new service with existing law.” However, discussions around designating the Metaverse as a video game are still on the table.

The ministry decided that new industries — including the Metaverse, autonomous driving and OTT streaming platforms — demand the formation of fresh regulations. In regards to the Metaverse, MSIT raised concerns about hindering industrial growth due to a lack of legal and institutional basis. Revealing the plan, a rough translation of the press release read:

Previously, on Sept. 1, members of the National Assembly supported an official proposal for the enactment of the Metaverse Industry Promotion Act to support the Web3 industry.

 *South Korea issues arrest warrant for Terra Founder Do Kwon*

While supporting the growth of new technologies, South Korean authorities continue their crackdown on people running the Terra ecosystem.

South Korean prosecutors claim that Do Kwon, the co-founder and CEO of Terraform Labs, allegedly defrauded investors by issuing LUNA and USTC without notifying investors of the danger that the price of both could plummet together.

As a result, the prosecutors have applied with authorities to revoke Kwon's and other Terra employees' passports.

5. Treasury Department Recommends More Research on U.S. CBDC To Develop Future System of Payments

The U.S. Treasury Department is recommending more research on the development of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

In a new report, the Treasury Department says the US has an objective to create a future payments system that promotes American values, minimizes risks and fosters inclusion.

To achieve its goal, the agency recommends more research on a possible U.S. CBDC in case one is ever seen as beneficial to national interest.

The Federal Reserve is encouraged to: continue its research and technical experimentation on CBDCs, including its work on analyzing the possible choices of technology and other design elements of a CBDC; continue evaluating policy considerations as described in its January 2022 discussion paper.

[It should also] find mechanisms to provide the public with periodic updates on these initiatives, given the strong public interest in this topic; and consider how research and development on digital assets and other related innovations that is conducted or supported by other Federal agencies could support a U.S. CBDC.”

The Treasury Department says it will support the Federal Reserve by forming an inter-agency CBDC task force.

The Department further recommends encouraging the use of instant payment systems to support a more competitive and inclusive US payments landscape.

“New instant payment systems have been recently developed or are scheduled to launch soon, capable of handling higher volumes of transactions at lower cost than some current payment systems.

Experience with instant payment systems around the world suggests that enhancements are possible to make the payment system more competitive, efficient and inclusive and might also reduce the costs of cross-border transactions.”

However, the report notes a few challenges associated with instant payment systems, such as the need for customers and businesses to adjust their financial habits and the tendency of instant payment systems to be exclusive.

6. Crypto Capitalist Arthur Hayes Says Only One Ethereum Chart Matters for Next ETH Bull Market

The co-founder of crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX says he’s keeping a close watch on one Ethereum (ETH) chart that he believes could signal a fresh bull cycle for the king altcoin.

Arthur Hayes tells his 298,600 Twitter followers that Ethereum’s net issuance is the only chart “that matters” after the leading smart contract platform successfully transitioned to a proof-of-stake protocol.

Issuance is the process of creating ETH tokens that previously did not exist to reward stakers who keep the Ethereum network secure and running.

In a recent post, the Ethereum community illustrated the dramatic change in the amount of ETH issuance after the merge.

The burn: at an average gas price of at least 16 gwei, at least 1,600 ETH is burned every day, which effectively brings net ETH inflation to zero or less post-merge.”

Hayes previously said that sees Ethereum trading at $3,000 at the end of the year as he believes the amount of circulating ETH after the merge will not be able to meet the demand.

“If there’s a certain amount of demand and the supply isn’t there to meet it, the price goes up, and it doesn’t matter if the cost of dollars is 4% or two or 25%.”

7. FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Says Firm Still Has $1,000,000,000 in Cash Left To Deploy for Acquisitions.

The chief executive of crypto derivatives exchange FTX says that the company still has a sizable amount of cash left to burn on acquisitions.

In a new interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried says the firm still has about $1 billion in cash on the sidelines ready to help ailing crypto firms.

“We did not try to empty the coffers, so to speak. We had a couple billion going into this, and it lines up roughly with the amount that we’ve raised over the last year and on top of that we’ve been profitable.”

When asked if he had about a $1 billion left to deploy, Bankman-Fried said,

“Yeah, and you have the issue of how much we really feel comfortable deploying seeing as there’s another ballpark billion that is completely unencumbered. [That] certainly would get you within a factor of two [of] the right answer.”

Following this year’s sharp market decline, FTX made investments in several firms in the crypto space, such as Anthony’s Scaramucci’s hedge fund SkyBridge Capital.

Last month, the CEO said that he wished other firms in the industry would step up to help him in saving companies hurt by the market downturn.

8. Ethereum Merge Hard Forks Reveal Competing Proof-of-Work Projects

Before EthereumPoW begat ETHW, EthereumFair pitched ETHF—now ETF.

The Ethereum merge removed the network’s reliance on miners without a hitch, but the path forward for those that decided to stay with proof of work is not crystal clear.

Many Ethereum miners who wanted to keep mining joined a prominent faction led by Chandler Guo to create ETHPoW and ETHW. While their hard fork hit some speed bumps, it's running and trading at $5.26, down 35% in the past 24 hours as of this writing, according to CoinMarketCap.

But before there was ETHPoW, there was EthereumFair, another faction committed to preserving the proof-of-work model for Ethereum with ETF, formerly ETHF. But EthereumFair has garnered only a fraction of the attention of EthereumPoW.

9. These Hackers Are Trying to Break Bitcoin.

According to a recent report by Bleeping Computer, TeamTNT, a notorious hacking group, has made a comeback, and it is now attempting to break Bitcoin. The bad actors are reportedly hijacking servers and using their vast resources in order to run encryption solvers for the largest cryptocurrency. Bitcoin uses the secp256k1 elliptic curve for its keys and signatures. When the cryptocurrency became popular, the choice of this specific realization puzzled cryptography experts because secp256k1 was almost completely unknown compared to other solutions. TeamTNT hackers are now attempting to break elliptic curve encryption with stolen resources.

However, their efforts should be taken with a grain of salt. It is highly likely that they are simply playing around with new attack pathways instead of actually trying to hack Bitcoin. For now, Bitcoin is considered to be completely safe since there are no machines that could possibly break it. With that being said, some experts believe that it will be possible to break Bitcoin in the future. In January, U.Today reported that Mark Webber, a quantum physicist at the University of Sussex, had predicted that a quantum computer with more than 300 million qubits would be able to pose a major threat to Bitcoin.