Shiba Inu Plans To Launch 99,000 Digital Plots of Land in Its Metaverse

Key Insights

  • 35,000 digital lands will be accessible only to LEASH token holders
  • There will be two phases to the release of the digital plots of land
  • Only Ether can be used to purchase or bid on the digital lands

In the past months, metaverses have been trending in the crypto world. Especially when it comes to digital lands. Although digital lands in Decentraland and The Sandbox are the most talked about, Shiba Inu is now joining the competition.

Last month, the team behind Shiba Inu announced that they were entering the metaverse, which they named “SHIBerse.” 

Then, earlier this month, the team introduced “Shiba lands” and hinted that LEASH token holders would be the first to access the digital lands. As soon as the announcement was made, LEASH rallied over 100% for the next 48 hours.

During a Shiba Inu AMA event hosted by Watcher Guru on Twitter earlier this week, Shiba Inu’s team revealed that it has 99,000 plot lands in its metaverse. Like on other metaverses, plot lands will be available for purchase.

How to Buy Digital Lands on Shiberse?

The sale of the digital lands will be in two phases. The first phase will last 10 days, in which 35,000 digital lands will be available for bidding and purchase only to LEASH token holders. These holders need to lock up their tokens to participate; the more they lock up, the more they can buy on bigger lands.

After the first phase is finished, the second phase begins, where the rest of the digital lands will be released in stages to the public.

The digital lands will be bought only in Ether. A wallet can buy up to 100 plots with 10 by 10 land. Besides this, Shiboshis NFT holders will have reserved 2,000 digital lands for them.

Could This Have an Impact on SHIB’s Price?

SHIB is the 15th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization with $12.01 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. It is trading now at $0.00002193, and it is down 17% in the last 24 hours.

The cryptocurrency was still down 75% from its all-time high of $0.000088 in October 2021. During the past five days, the cryptocurrency has been rejected twice of its resistance of $0.0000275. 

The announcement was made in the early hours on February 23rd, and the price reacted positively until it hit its resistance price and started declining. It is now trading in its support zone around $0.000020, as you can see below:

SHIB/USD Chart. Source: FXEmpire.

In the last 24 hours, the crypto market sentiment has run bearish as the situation between Russia and Ukraine only gets worse. As a result, the whole crypto market is down 10%, from $1.76 trillion to $1.58 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

While the market has a lot of uncertainty about what could happen, most of the coins will follow Bitcoin price movements. 

Earlier this month, a Shiba Inu-themed restaurant opened in Italy. One sure thing is that Shiba Inu’s team is working very hard to keep growing their community and ecosystem.

NFT Data Shows OpenSea’s Activity Dropping After Phishing Attack

Key Insights

  • Over 227k users have not used the OpenSea platform in the last seven days
  • LooksRare NFT daily volume is surging since the OpenSea attack
  • This is the second attack of OpenSea during 2022

Although January had the highest trading monthly volume of $4.21 billion on the OpenSea NFT platform, it started slowly at the beginning of this month.

On February 20, over 250 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) were stolen during a phishing attack. The hackers tricked the users by emailing them to transfer their tokens to a new smart contract.

According to OpenSea’s co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer, on the same day of the attack, he tweeted that the hacker made about $1.7 million in Ether by selling some of the stolen tokens. Still, some analysts say that the real number is now between $2 and $3 million.

Some of the 250 NFTs stolen were from the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Decentraland NFT collections.

Teams with NFT collections on OpenSea, such as Shiba Inu, started investigating what really happened during last weekend’s attack on OpenSea.

What Is OpenSea’s On-Chain Data Showing?

According to DappRadar data, when it comes to daily active users, there has been a decline of 19.29% in the last seven days, where 227k users have not been active in the past week.

Another important on-chain metric is the total daily volume. It has dropped over 37.18% over the last seven days.

Meanwhile, the LooksRare NFT platform, which launched at the beginning of January, has increased 402% in total daily volume from $5.93 million (February 19) to $29.85 million (February 22) according to DappRadar.

It Isn’t the First Time OpenSea Has Suffered a Loss

Last month, in late January, OpenSea had an exploit of 332 ETH, at that time about $751k.

The exploit gave the opportunity to buy NFTs way below the floor price, such as a Mutant Ape that was sold for 0.77 ETH ($1,710 at that time).

Yesterday, one of the victims of the exploit, introduced a $1 million lawsuit against NFT platform OpenSea. During the exploit, hackers were able to buy the victim a Bored Ape for 0.01 ETH.

It looks like February hasn’t been a good month for OpenSea and NFTs in general. Cryptocurrency is getting more adoption these days, and hackers are using it to scam users. 

Tether’s Report Shows More Reserves Than Liabilities

Key Insights:

  • Tether Holdings Limited showed transparency regarding its reserves in its report
  • USDT is the largest stablecoin by market capitalization
  • In February, U.S. regulators discussed the topic of stablecoins

The stablecoin issuer has been under regulatory radar over the past years. Since Tether Holdings Limited paid in February 2021 an $18.5 million fine to the State of New York, the Attorney General of the State of New York required a quarterly report of their reserves. 

According to Tether’s quarterly assurance opinion report, the attestation was supervised by Cayman Islands-based Accountants MHA Cayman, it shows a very detailed description of Tether’s reserves until December 31st, 2021.

Tether (USDT) is a stablecoin, where each coin is backed by $1, in order to reduce its volatility, and the price always remains at $1. USDT is the largest stablecoin with $79.45 billion in market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap.

Other stablecoins like USD Coin (USDC) and TerraUSD (UST) ranked second and third with market capitalizations of $52.76 billion and $12.28 billion, respectively.

About Tether’s Assurance Opinion Report

The report stated that “the group’s consolidated assets exceed its consolidated liabilities”. As of December 31st of 2021, $78.67 billion were consolidated assets, compared to $78.53 billion liabilities. 

The statement also showed that there was a decrease of 21% of the commercial paper holdings since their last quarter report, from $30.59 billion to $24.16 billion. Tether Holdings Limited also decreased the amount of cash and bank deposits from $7.23 billion to $4.18 billion. 

Tether Holdings Limited increased its money market funds and treasury bills from $999.9 million and $19.43 billion to $3 billion and $34.52 billion respectively, since its latest quarterly report.

Tether’s CTO Paolo Ardoino commented: 

“We are committed to serving the fast-growing cryptocurrency market as the strongest stable asset in the Web3 economy. The utility of Tether has grown beyond being just a tool for quickly moving in and out of trading positions, and so, it is mission critical for us to scale alongside the peer-to-peer and payments markets.”

In February, U.S. Regulators Are Focusing on Stablecoins

This month. U.S. regulators have been hosting hearings surrounding stablecoins. On February 8, the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing where the U.S. Treasury representative Jean Nellie Liang defined stablecoins as “bank-like products as well as an investment-like product”.

On February 15, the U.S. Senate also held a hearing, where Sherrod Brown, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, commented that companies should dig deeper in stablecoins, especially because they are backed by real dollars that make them “stable”.

With a quarterly report of Tether Holdings Limited’s reserves, the backing of stablecoins will likely become more transparent and allow for more control.

Stablecoins being discussed by regulators means that they are paying attention because nowadays it’s not a small issue to ignore. 

Hopefully, in the future, investors will have more regulatory clarity as to how to use these types of crypto.

An Ontario Regulator Reported Kraken and Coinbase CEO’s Comments

The situation in Canada is getting more attention from all around the world. Important people like Nayib Bukele, the President of El Salvador, gave his opinion since Canada invoked the Emergencies Act last week.

Earlier this month, Canada issued a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for truck drivers. A few days later, truck drivers’ protests started raising funds through fundraising platforms such as GoFundMe and GiveSendGo.

First, GoFundMe banned the donations of the “Freedom Convoy Campaign,” and a few days later, the government froze all the truckers’ protest-related donations on the GiveSendGo platform. With these restrictions, more people made Bitcoin donations through Tallycoin.

A few days later, Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister, announced that the authorities were invoking the Emergencies Act. This allows them to freeze funds, including crypto wallets.

After this happened, the CEO of Kraken, Jesse Powell, and the CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, commented on Twitter about this situation.

On February 21, according to the Regina Leader-Post, a Canadian daily newspaper, both comments made by the crypto CEOs were flagged to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) “and relevant federal authorities.”

What Exactly Did Brian Armstrong and Jesse Powell Say?

After the Emergencies Act was invoked, Kraken’s CEO Jesse Powell tweeted about recommending sending crypto from self-custodial wallets.

A few hours later, Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong tweeted the following:

The OSC reported these comments because the CEOs were telling users what to do to avoid their accounts being frozen.

What Is a Self-Custodial Wallet?

A self-custodial wallet or also known as a cold wallet, is a wallet in which the user has total control of the funds, by having access to the private keys.

These wallets are offline, in comparison to non-custodial wallets, such as centralized exchanges, which are online. As you have the total control of your funds, it is very difficult for someone to hack or freeze your funds. But, you have to be careful, because if you lose your private keys, you may never see your funds again.

Some examples of self-custodial wallets are hardware wallets like Ledger and Trezor.

The Importance of Self-Custodial Wallets

Three days later, after Jesse Powell’s tweet, someone asked him on Twitter if “it’s possible Kraken will be put in a position were told to freeze assets by police without judicial consent,” and he answered the following:  

The crypto ecosystem has an important saying: “Not your keys, not your coins.”

On centralized exchanges, you don’t own your private keys. Meanwhile, you have access to your own private keys in a cold wallet or a self-custodial wallet.

A self-custodial wallet is very important because it gives you more privacy and control of your funds, especially in a situation like Canada right now.

Blockchain NFT Game Axie Infinity Surpasses $4 Billion in Sales

Both NFTs and play-to-earn games brought a lot of attention within the crypto world in 2021. No doubt Axie Infinity has pushed further NFT and play-to-earn game adoption.

Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn NFT blockchain game built on the Ethereum network. Players use NFT “Axies” to battle each other in the game. These “Axies” can be traded on their NFT marketplace. 

During the game, players earn Smooth Love Potion tokens, which can be traded for real money through a cryptocurrency exchange.

CryptoSlam on-chain data shows that Axie Infinity has made over $4 billion in NFT sales since its launch. It also shows that there have been 14.45 million transactions and 1.62 million buyers since its inception.

Axie Infinity is the highest NFT collection when it comes to NFT sales. In second place is the CryptoPunks collection with $2 billion sales, and in third place is the Bored Ape Yacht Club with $1.35 billion sales, according to CryptoSlam data.

The Beginning of the Play-To-Earn Era

According to the World Economic Forum, approximately three billion people are playing video games all over the world. This new type of gaming based on blockchain technology is just in its early stages, and it’s introducing a new digital economy into the gaming world.

Especially in countries with emerging markets like the Philippines and Venezuela, where people are playing games such as Axie Infinity, in order to earn the income needed due to their economic, social, and political situation.

The blockchain NFT games are bringing value to digital things, and it introduces a huge role to the future, especially to the metaverse, which appears to be the way we are heading.

AXS Recent Price Actions

AXS is the 41st biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization with $2.98 billion. It is trading now at $49.05 and it is down 9.35% in the last 24 hours.

The cryptocurrency is still down 70% from its all-time high of $165.13 in November 2021. During the past week, the cryptocurrency found a top around $65 when it started to decline until $50.

Then it reached $56 when it started to decline again. On February 22, it found support at $46 where it began moving upward, as you can see below:

AXS/USD Chart. Source: FXEmpire.

Although the NFT market has been cooling off this month, approximately $1.7 million worth of NFTs were stolen in OpenSea over last weekend. Also during last week, the most expensive CryptoPunk was sold for $23.7 million.

As global crypto adoption continues, NFT blockchain-based games are becoming more popular. There are no doubt gamers from Web2 will join the new era of play-to-earn games in Web3.

Kazakhstan Has Probably Less Bitcoin Hash Rate Since the Last Index

Following China’s ban, Kazakhstan has become one of the major countries where Bitcoin miners have relocated. But, they have been facing many difficulties in their operation.

The University of Cambridge, in August 2021, published a study of Bitcoin mining Hash Rate shares per country.

The U.S. had the highest share with 35.4% of the total bitcoin Hash Rate. In second place was Kazakhstan with 18.1% and in third place was Russia with 11.2%.

Last month a major power outage occurred in Kazakhstan, leaving the south of Kazakhstan with no electricity. As the energy crisis continues in Kazakhstan, earlier this month, the Kazakhstan government considered a 500% tax on Bitcoin miners because of its critical situation.

Some crypto professionals believe that when the CBECI is published next month, Kazakhstan will probably lose its second place of highest Bitcoin Hash Rate share.

What Are Crypto Professionals Expecting From Kazakhstan’s Bitcoin Mining Situation?

Four days ago, on February 17, BIT Mining, one of the main crypto mining companies operating in Kazakhstan said:

“The Company has terminated its data center construction plan in Kazakhstan, which was announced in May 2021, due to the unstable local power supply.”

Co-founder of Origin Protocol Josh Fraser told Cointelegraph recently:

“Countries that rely heavily on those energy sources for crypto mining could see a drop in hash rates due to increased prices or state intervention I would expect Russia, Kazakhstan, and Iran to drop a bit.”

Europe Is Not the Best Place To Mine Crypto

Things are not looking good in the EU when it comes to crypto mining. Less than two weeks ago, the Central Bank of Hungary, announced a possible crypto mining and trading ban. 

Vice-chair Erik Thedeen of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) called for a ban on crypto mining last month.

Despite all the regulatory issues surrounding Bitcoin mining, last week Bitcoin’s Hash Rate and Mining Difficulty reached a new all-time high.

One sure thing is that more miners are entering the Bitcoin network, no matter what’s happening in the regulatory field. 

We’ll see what happens next month when the new index is released if the U.S. gains more share and Kazakhstan loses its 2nd highest position.

Cardano (ADA) Falls As Price Predictions Are Very Bullish

2021 was a very important year for Cardano because of its Alonzo upgrade in September, but since the launch, things have not been going very well.

ADA is trading at the time of writing at $0.9774 and is down 68% from its all-time high of $3.09 in September 2021 which coincides with the Alonzo upgrade.

Although ADA’s price has been declining since its all-time high, crypto experts predict bullish price predictions in late 2022, 2025, and 2030.

According to Finder’s panel of 17 crypto experts, they expect the price of ADA will reach at the end of the year at $2.79. In 2025 at $8.18, and in 2030 at $58.04. 

To put it in perspective, ADA’s market cap trading at $58.04 will be around $1.90 trillion, which is 7% more of the total crypto market nowadays.

According to DefiLlama on-chain data, Cardano’s Total Value Locked (TVL) is $129.18 million and is up 22.9% in the last seven days. It sounds like a big number, but it only represents less than 0.10% of all TVL.

What Might Be Behind the Downtrend?

Last month, a survey was made to 24 Finder’s panelists, asking them the possible reasons why ADA’s price has been declining. The panelists were allowed to select more than one option, as you can see the results below:

Finder January 2022 ADA’s survey. Source: Finder

Besides this, it is important to know what’s been happening outside ADA’s ecosystem.

According to CoinMarketCap, the crypto market has been in a downtrend since November 2021 until late January 2022, when it started to recover.

ADA Recent Price Actions

ADA is the 7th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization with $32.6 billion and trading at $0.9774 and it is up 3.50% in the last 24 hours.

It has been in a descending channel and its founding support was around $0.90 when the price dropped during the last weekend. On the early hours of Monday, the price appears to be rebounding from the support zone and reaching the resistance zone around $1, as you can see below:

ADA/USD Chart. Source: FX Empire

The team behind Cardano announced last week that a decentralized exchange (DEX) called OccamX will launch later this month.

Also during Cardano’s recent developments, the Cardano Foundation added Fernando Luis Vázquez Cao to its Board of Directors. Fernando is also the CEO of SBI Digital Asset Holdings.

Despite ADA’s price movements, the team behind Cardano keeps working very hard and growing ADA’s ecosystem. Also, metrics like TVL are showing positive and growing signs.

Fundamentals are very important when it comes to the price of the token. Let’s see if ADA’s price can recover and reach what crypto experts are saying, but the sentiment of the whole crypto market is a very important factor to consider.

Bank of Spain Approves Bit2Me as a Crypto Service Provider

Regulation is an important factor when it comes to cryptocurrencies. As cryptocurrency adoption continues, countries are taking different approaches.

Yesterday, on February 17, the Spanish crypto exchange Bit2Me announced that the company was recognized by the Bank of Spain.

With this approval, Bit2Me now becomes the first provider of crypto-related services accepted by Spain’s Central Bank.

Spain is the first country in Europe when it comes to Bitcoin ATMs. According to Coin ATM Radar, Spain has 209 Bitcoin ATMs over the country and there are plans to install 100 additional Bitcoin ATMs this year.

About Bit2Me

Bit2Me is a Spanish crypto exchange founded by Andrei Manuel and Leif Ferreira in 2014. It offers crypto-related services in Spain and other countries around the world. 

The Spanish company has hired employees coming from big companies in 2021, such as former Europe-UK Coinbase CEO, Zeeshan Feroz, as their new Strategy Advisor, and also ex-Accenture’s Spain and Portugal Head of Blockchain, Bogdan Stirbu as their new CEO of Bit2Me Capital.

In August 2021, Bit2Me raised €2.5 million for their upcoming “B2M” token launch in September 2021.

Is the Bank of Spain Changing Its Approach in Crypto?

Let’s back up a little on the approach Spain’s Central Bank has taken in the past. In 2018, the Bank of Spain along with Spain’s financial regulator “Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV)published a statement about cryptocurrencies and ICOs saying these investments were of high risk and “highly speculative”.

One year ago, in February 2021, both entities again published a statement about cryptocurrencies’ prices being very volatile and being a “high-risk investment”. 

A few months later, in October 2021 the Bank of Spain published instructions and steps on how crypto service providers in the country should be registered.

Bit2Me said in their statement that they were “the first to apply for registration with the Bank of Spain”.

As of now, around 1.1 million people (2.51% of Spain’s population) own crypto, according to TripleA, a Singapore crypto-related firm. 

It looks like Spain’s Central Bank is starting to be more flexible when it comes to crypto. This step forward could push further crypto adoption in Spain.

SOL Falls Back Below $100 As TVL Remains Under Pressure

TVL (Total Value Locked) shows a growth indicator on a specific blockchain ecosystem because it reflects how much crypto is locked in those smart contracts.

SOL is trading at the time of writing at $95.95 and is down 63% from its all-time high of $259.39 in November 2021.

According to DefiLlama on-chain data, Solana’s TVL is $7.69 billion and is down 48.7% from its all-time high of $15 billion in November 2021. It is now is on a critical support level, as you can see below:

Solana Total Value Locked Chart. Source: DefiLlama.

Other chains like Avalanche and Terra have been in an ascending channel since late January bottoms as DefiLlama data shows. 

SOL’s TVL is in sixth place comparing it with other TVL blockchains, and it represents just 3.78% of the overall TVL.

What Might Concern SOL Investors?

There have been some difficult times for the Solana blockchain in recent months, which might worry investors. In September 2021, the Solana blockchain went offline for almost 24 hours, affecting thousands of users.

In December 2021, the Solana network had a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, and the price dropped about 9% afterward. Three weeks later, it suffered another DDoS attack, and the network went offline for 4 hours.

Less than a month ago, Solana was offline again for almost 24 hours and many users suffered liquidations. Network congestion appears to have caused the outage.

What’s Been Happening With SOL Price?

SOL is the 8th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization with $30.6 billion and trading at $95.95 and is down 3.10% in the last 24 hours.

Since hitting its all-time high of 259.39$ at the beginning of November 2021, it has been in a descending channel and its founding support is around $90. SOL’s price has been oscillating between the support and around $120 for almost over a month, as you can see below:

SOL/USD Chart – Source: FXEmpire.

SOL’s all-time high coincides with the all-time high of the TVL back at the beginning of November 2021.

It appears the Solana network has been suffering from instability and this might have spooked a lot of investors by going to other chains like Avalanche, Terra, or Ethereum.

Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Reaches a New All-Time High

Who would have believed that in less than a year from China’s crypto mining ban, Bitcoin Hash Rate and mining difficulty would fully recover and reach new all-time highs?

Bitcoin mining difficulty is a measure of how difficult it is to mine a block in the network. It automatically adjusts approximately every two weeks.

While more miners join the Bitcoin network, the Bitcoin mining difficulty increases, and when miners leave the network, the Bitcoin mining difficulty decreases.

This was Satoshi Nakamoto‘s idea so the block in the Bitcoin network is mined no matter how many miners are in the network every 10 minutes.

Today, on February 17, the Bitcoin mining difficulty was adjusted and reached a new all-time high of 27.96 T. This is the third time in a row it reaches a new all-time high.

Two weeks ago, on February 4, the difficulty was in 26.69 T, and on January 21 it was 26.64 T, according to CoinWarz, as you can see below:

January-February 2022 Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Chart. Source: CoinWarz.

More Miners Are Entering the Bitcoin Network

As you already know how Bitcoin mining’s difficulty works, if the difficulty reaches an all-time high, it means that more miners are joining the network.

Because of China’s ban in May 2021, many miners fled out of the country and this made both Hash Rate and mining difficulty drop. The recovery has been happening over the last months.

The previous mining difficulty all-time high before this ATH streak was on May 14 with 25.04 T. Late in July 2021, the year’s lowest mining difficulty was 13.67 T, as you can see below:

March 2021-February 2022 Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Chart. Source: CoinWarz.

What About Bitcoin’s Price?

Bitcoin is trading at $41,925 and is down 3.70% in the last 24 hours. Now, let’s look at Bitcoin’s price movements over a year in the same timeframe as the mining difficulty.

As you can see, in May 2021, the BTC price dropped from $58,900 to $29,500 in late July, having a 50% drawdown. In late July, BTC started an ascending channel reaching a new ATH in November 2021 of $68,900 and then it started to decline until late January, as you can see below:

BTC/USD Chart – Source: FXEmpire.

Between May and November of 2021, both mining difficulty and BTC price behaved the same way, they both fell back until late July when they started to recover.

But, since November, mining difficulty has increased and the price has decreased, this tells us that it’s not always correlated.

Since late January, we are seeing the same pattern, where BTC price and mining difficulty move up in the same way. Let’s hope more miners enter the network and the BTC price keeps moving upward.

Charlie Munger Describes Crypto as a “Venereal Disease”

There are some people that are constantly sharing their bearish and negative thoughts on crypto, especially on Bitcoin, such as Peter Schiff, Nouriel Roubini, Warren Buffett, and Charlie Munger.

Yesterday, Charlie Munger, the 98-year-old American investor commented about crypto at the Daily Journal shareholder annual meeting in Los Angeles, saying that:

“I certainly didn’t invest in crypto. I’m proud of the fact that I avoided it. It’s like some venereal disease.”

Charles “Charlie” Munger is an American billionaire investor and philanthropist. He graduated from Harvard Law School, and he is the Chairman of the  Daily Journal and Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. He is known as Warren Buffett’s right-hand man.

Charlie Munger’s Other Comments About Crypto During the Q&A Session

Also, he discussed how he supports China’s ban on cryptocurrencies, while the U.S. takes a different stance. He said: “I admire the Chinese for banning it. I think they were right and we were wrong to allow it”.

Additionally, he talked about the U.S. having its own digital currency, and he commented:

“The Federal Reserve could have a currency if they want one…we’ve got a digital currency already, it’s called a bank account. The banks are all integrated with the Federal Reserve system”.

Can Charlie Munger’s Thoughts Affect Crypto?

Over the last 24 hours, the entire crypto market is down 1.89%. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are down 1.76% and 2.04%, respectively.

It’s not the first time Munger talked negatively about crypto. In December of 2021, he called crypto “crazier than dot-com era”, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Last year, at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in May 2021, he commented  “Of course I hate the Bitcoin success,” and he was along with his partner Warren Buffett. Around that time, Bitcoin was about $57,800 and fell around 50% until July 2021, when it began to recover. It reached an all-time high of almost $69,000 in November 2021.

Let’s not forget what Munger’s partner Warren Buffett said in 2018 about Bitcoin being a “probably rat poison squared,”. Bitcoin was trading around $9,500, then it dropped to $3,250 in December that year, and then three years later in December 2021, it surpassed its previous all-time high of $19,800.

Buffett appears to be changing his mind after all these years as Berkshire Hathaway recently invested $1 billion in a Brazilian bank that offers crypto services.

History shows that after negative comments by Buffett or Munger, a new Bitcoin high is reached at some point in the future. As crypto mainstream adoption continues, let’s see what happens.

Elon Musk Complains on Twitter About Cryptocurrency Scammers

Twitter is one of the primary sources of information in the crypto world. But, you have to be aware of possible scams, not only on Twitter but also on other social channels like Telegram, Discord, and Instagram.

Dogecoin’s co-founder Billy Markus tweeted complaining to Twitter’s support team about everyone on crypto Twitter being spammed with the giveaway crypto scams. Less than an hour later, Elon Musk agreed with him, as you can see below:

According to a study from Chainalysis, a research blockchain firm, scammers stole over $7.7 billion in crypto in 2021.

It’s Not the First Time That Elon Musk Complains About Giveaway Scammers

Elon Musk has been talking about scammers since 2018 when he tweeted about looking for the Ethereum scambots. Earlier that year, Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin commented “No, I’m not giving away ETH” in order to show it was his real account and not a fake one.

Last month, when the new Twitter feature came out about NFT profile pictures, Musk expressed anger saying:

“Twitter is spending engineering resources on this bs while crypto scammers are throwing a spambot block party in every thread!?”

In October 2021, Billy Markus mentioned in his Twitter account that “there are no promises in crypto, except scammers.” A few moments later, Elon Musk responded by making fun of scammers and saying: “If I send you 2 Doge, will you promise to send me 1 Doge?”.

Make Sure You Know to Whom You Are Sending Your Coins

No matter who is promising you something, it is better to do due diligence and investigate before sending any crypto.

Last week there was a lot of attention about AssangeDAO raising funds to free WikiLeaks’ founder. A few days later, a fake version of AssangeDAO scammed hundreds of users.

Last month, a scammer impersonating Michael Saylor stole about $1 million worth of Bitcoin.

According to the Federal Trade Commission statement in 2021, more than $2 million has been lost to scammers impersonating Elon Musk.

In new investment assets like cryptocurrencies, scammers take advantage of the influx of new users with misinformation.

Let’s hope that social channels, especially Twitter, find a way to stop these scammers.

NEO Reacts Positively After China’s Blockchain Service Network Deal

Over the last year, China has not been very friendly when it comes to cryptocurrencies, especially with bitcoin mining. But with blockchain technology, the country is taking a different approach.

Recently, the team behind Neo announced that they will be working with China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) to create a permissioned network named  “Jiuquan Chain”. This blockchain will be one of the ten blockchains on China’s BSN.

The main objective of Jiuquan Chain is to expand NFTs adoption in China. The NFTs in the country will be renamed as Decentralized Digital Certificates (DDCs).

Yifan He, CEO of Red Date Technology and the Executive Director of BSN Development Association commented: 

“NFT/DDC technology is a digital certification and distributed database technology that can be applied in any scenario where digital proof is required.”

Neo also plans to integrate its domain name service as part of the Jiuquan chain. All of China’s BSNs chains including the Jiuquan Chain will use the Chinese yuan in all of the transactions including gas fees.

Neo and China’s BSN have been partners since July 2020. All the details of the BSN DDC’s and Jiuquan Chain will be announced at the BSN DDC’s official launch in Nanjing, China, in March 2022.

What is NEO?

Neo was founded in 2014 by Erik Zhang and Hongfei Da under the name of “Antshares” and then they changed the name to “Neo” in 2017. Neo is an open-source blockchain platform in order to build decentralized applications (dApps).

Nowadays, the platform is migrating to “Neo N3”, which brings new features such as interoperability with other blockchain such as Ethereum.

Neo was the first public smart contract platform founded in China. Back in 2017-2018, it was one of Ethereum’s main competitors. 

NEO is the native token of the Neo network and it is used for staking. GAS token is paid as a reward when you staked NEO.

NEO Price Actions Over the Last 7 Days

NEO is the 59 biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization with $1.72 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. It is trading at $24.53 and is up 11% in the last 24 hours.

Over the last week, NEO has been oscillating between its support at $20.80 and its resistance around $25. It has been on the rise from its support since Neo’s announcement of Jiuquan Chain’s creation in China, facing its resistance, as you can see below:

NEO/USD Chart – Source: FXEmpire.

The cryptocurrency is still down 87.3% from its all-time high of $194.66 in January 2018.

Let’s see if the new migration features in “Neo N3” and the launch of Jiuquan Chain, serves as a catalyst and gains the same attention as NEO’s late December 2017 in order to surpass its previous all-time high.

China has been monitoring NFTs and Metaverse projects since December 2021. The United Nations last week approved a non-fungible token (NFT) technical framework led by one of China’s largest companies, Tencent.

Based on the latest news, it appears China is taking a different approach when it comes to NFTs.

Coinbase Welcomes Former SEC Official Scott Bauguess

Regulation is very important when it comes to new investment assets, such as cryptocurrencies because it gives investors regulatory clarity. 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ex-employee announced on his Twitter account that yesterday was his first day at Coinbase. He is now the new VP for Global Regulatory Policy in the cryptocurrency exchange, as you see below:

In his new position, he will work with the authorities in order to have a better regulatory environment for new investors that want to enter the crypto world.

Coinbase keeps investing in its global adoption, last Sunday, Coinbase paid $14 million on a commercial ad during the Super Bowl game. 

The ad was a QR bouncing for 1 minute that gets you to a Coinbase’s webpage. The commercial got so much attention that the ad got 20 million visits in just 1 minute and crashed the website, but moments later Coinbase announced that they were back online.

About Scott Bauguess

Scott Bauguess graduated in 1992 as an Electrical Engineer from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 

His previous experience before Coinbase was working 12 years in the SEC.

He was the Deputy Director of the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis for 6 years. Before that, he worked as an Assistant Director and as a Senior Financial Economist in the SEC.

In his earlier days, he worked six years as an electrical engineer at Motorola Solutions. Then he was a Doctoral Candidate at Arizona State University for five years. 

Besides his new position at Coinbase, he is a faculty member at the University of Texas’s McCombs Business School.

It’s Not the First Time That a Former SEC Employee Joins Coinbase

Last month, Thaya Knight, the former counsel to Commissioner Elad Roisman at the SEC, joined Coinbase to work as its senior public policy manager. Knight was also the counsel of the SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce between 2018 and 2019.

Earlier this month, Brian Rocha, a former Netflix, Warner Bros, and The Walt Disney Company employee joined Coinbase as the new Head of Content Strategy. 

In September 2021, Shalin Pei, a former Facebook employee, joined Coinbase as its Senior Product Design Manager.

Considering the huge attention of Coinbase’s Super Bowl commercial, there is no doubt Coinbase will keep growing.

MINA Rallies in the Last 24 Hours After FTX Announcement

Over the last 24 hours, the cryptocurrency market has gone up 4.5%, from $1.87 trillion to 1.96 trillion. Some coins like MINA have outperformed other coins such as BTC, ETH, and SOL, according to CoinMarketCap.

Yesterday, FTX announced that it would list Mina Protocol (MINA) Perpetual Futures by February 15 at 14:00 UTC time. The price of MINA reacted in a positive way just after the news.

MINA was trading around $2.30 before the FTX announcement, and now is trading at $2.80, surging over 18% in the last 24 hours.

Perpetual Futures are one of the main features that FTX offers. Perpetual Futures are a type of derivatives product such as traditional futures. But, the key difference is that perpetual contracts don’t expire.

Therefore, if the price is similar to the spot price of the underlying digital asset, you can hold your position at any time you want. But, when you cannot pay back the money you borrowed, you will be liquidated.

What Is Mina Protocol?

Mina Protocol was founded in 2017 by Evan Shapiro and Izaak Meckler of O(1) Labs. Its mission was to build “The world’s lightest blockchain, powered by participants”, as it appears on its official website.

They built this network so anyone can validate a transaction with any kind of device, such as a smartphone, and not specific devices like in the Bitcoin network.

Mina Protocol uses an advanced cryptography known as “zk-SNARKs” (zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). This allows users to confirm they have certain data without disclosing it to each other.

The Mina blockchain has a fixed size of 22 KB and it differs from others blockchains that can be up to 300 GB. To put in perspective 22KB is the same size as a couple of tweets.

The native token of the Mina Protocol is MINA, which is used for network transactions and fee distribution.

MINA Price Actions Over the Last 7 Days

MINA is the 84 biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization with $1.05 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. It is trading at $2.80 and is up over 18% in the last 24 hours.

Over the last week, MINA has been on a descending channel and found support at $2.30 on February 14. It has been on the rise since FTX announcement listing, and it peaked at almost $3 in the early hours of February 15, as you can see below:

MINA/USD Chart – Source: FXEmpire.

The cryptocurrency is still down 71.7% from its all-time high of $9.91 in June 2021. 

Since FTX is a major crypto exchange, the FTX announcement likely will attract investors’ attention. But, the real question is whether MINA can keep up with this momentum.

 

A CryptoPunk NFT Was Recently Sold for $23.7 Million

NFTs were one of the most trending topics in 2021. The CryptoPunks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collections are among the most talked about. 

The CryptoPunks NFT collection was created in 2017 by Larva Labs. The collection includes 10,000 different pixelated characters on the Ethereum blockchain.

Deepak Thapliyal, CEO of a blockchain-based company called Chain, purchased the CryptoPunk #5822 on February 12 for 8,000 ETH ($23.7 million). He posted a picture of the NFT on his Twitter account, as you can see below:

The NFT was purchased with leverage using Compound Finance’s DeFi protocol, as he stated on his Twitter account.

There are only nine aliens out of the 10,000 NFTs, and this is one of them. According to the Larva Labs’ website, this same CryptoPunk was last sold for 8 ETH (about $1,646 at the time) in July 2017.

The Most Expensive CryptoPunk Ever Sold

This CryptoPunk surpassed its previous most expensive sale, which was CryptoPunk #7523 sold for $11.8M in a Sotheby’s auction in June 2021. Although, according to NonFungible data showed that CryptoPunk #4156 was its previous most expensive, sold for $10.2 million (2,500 ETH) in December 2021.

Last week, CryptoPunk #5577 was sold for $7.7 million (2,501 ETH), becoming the third most expensive CryptoPunk ever sold.

Sotheby’s announced last week they will be hosting the sale of “Punk It! 104 CryptoPunks” later this month on February 23.  

Celebrities Are Entering the NFT World

Over the last couple of months, celebrities are buying NFTs, especially from the CryptoPunks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club collections.

World-known celebrities such as Jay-Z and Jason Derulo own CryptoPunk NFTs. Both have their CryptoPunk NFT as profile pictures in their Twitter account.

On the other hand, Neymar Jr. is one of the latest celebrities to join the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, joining Eminem, DJ Khaled, and others.

Other celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Gal Yosef are entering the space by launching their own NFT collection.

Millions of people have been attracted to the NFT world. With more celebrities entering the NFT world, more new users will feel more comfortable entering the space.

Bitcoin Network Hash Rate Reached a New All-Time High

Security is one of the most important things when it comes to a network. With higher security, it becomes more resilient, and it is harder to attack it.

This is where the Hash Rate comes in the crypto world. It means the sum of all computing power of a network through crypto mining, such as the Bitcoin network. 

Crypto mining is the process through which miners (computational power) verify transactions and secure the network. That is why if more computing power is contributed, it will be more secure. 

On February 12, the Bitcoin network Hash Rate reached a new all-time high of 248.11 million terahashes per second (TH/s). In the last hours, the Bitcoin Hash Rate has been around 209.6M TH/s, according to Blockchain.com data.

Does the Bitcoin Hash Rate Reflect on BTC Price?

The next chart shows the BTC’s price and the Bitcoin’s Hash Rate since January 2021, according to the Bitcoin on-chain analyst Willy Woo.

In April 2021, the BTC Hash Rate dropped from 198.514M TH/s to 106.676M TH/s, a 46% decline, and the BTC price fell by 23% from $63,600 to $49,040. In May 2021, China banned crypto mining and the BTC Hash Rate fell from 190.552M TH/s to 58.461M TH/s, a 69.3% decline, and the BTC price fell by 49.3% from $58,770 to $29,780, as you can see below:

BTC Hash Rate and Price Chart. Source: Willy Woo.

After China’s news, BTC’s price recovered and reached a new all-time high in November 2021 of almost $68k and started declining until late January 2022. But, when it comes to BTC Hash Rate, it keeps rising reaching new all-time highs as you see above. 

Since late January, both price and Hash rate has been on the rise.

What’s Been Happening With the Crypto Mining Industry?

Last month, Intel, the giant manufacturer of semiconductor computer circuits, entered the BTC mining space with the release of a new mining equipment named Bonanza Mine.

Erik Thedeen, the vice-chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), made a call to ban crypto mining in the European Union (EU). 

A number of countries are experiencing energy crises, such as Kazakhstan and Kosovo, which are affecting cryptocurrency mining.

It looks like European countries are not in favor of crypto mining. As of August 2021, University of Cambridge data showed the U.S. controlled 35.40% of the total Bitcoin Hash Rate, being the largest after the China news.

The BTC Hash Rate and BTC’s price are not always correlated, but the Hash Rate gives important metrics as well as network strength. Let’s see what the price of BTC will do, based on its fundamentals.

Ontario’s Government Freezes Donations for Truckers’ Protest

Canada’s truckers protest situation is gaining a lot of attention. The protest started earlier this month after Canada issued a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for truck drivers.

As the protests started, the truckers have been raising funds through fundraising platforms.

Earlier this week, GoFundMe banned the donations of the “Freedom Convoy Campaign” and refunded the $9 million raised to its donors. Because of this, protest organizers start raising funds in Bitcoin through Tallycoin platform. 

Yesterday, over $9 million have been frozen on the GiveSendGo fundraising platform, of the “Freedom Convoy 2022” and “Adopt-a-Trucker” campaigns after an order from the Superior Court of Justice was granted.

This has made more people contribute with crypto donations through Tallycoin. As of today, over $930k has been donated in Bitcoin.

GiveSendGo Reacts Hours Later

As you can see below, the fundraising platform commented on its official Twitter account regarding the jurisdiction of Canada in managing the funds:

But, Brian Lilley, a political columnist for the Toronto Sun, commented:

Communities Are Looking for Crypto Donations

Crypto donations in 2021 were 16 times higher than in 2020. In 2021 there were about $69.6 million in donations compared with $4.2 million in 2020.

Earlier this week, the AssangeDAO raised 17,422 ETH or about $54.2 million to free WikiLeaks’s founder Julian Assange. This represents about 78% of the crypto raised in 2021.

In December 2021, the FreeRossDAO raised 2,863 ETH in donations or about $12 million at that time. 

Crypto donations are helping people to raise funds without a central entity, such as what’s happening in Canada right now.

With decentralization, cryptocurrencies bring these opportunities to help communities in these situations.

Theta Network (THETA) Is Up 45% in the Last Seven Days

Over the past week, the cryptocurrency market has gone up almost 11%, from $1.76 trillion to $1.97 trillion. Some coins like THETA have outperformed other big coins such as BTC, ETH, and BNB, according to CoinMarketCap.

As of the time of writing, Theta Network (THETA) is up 13%, Theta Fuel (TFUEL) is up 2%, and ThetaDrop (TDROP) is up 4.8% in the last 24 hours.

Yesterday, the social activity volume reached its peak in THETA, rallying 495% in the last week according to LunarCrush data.

Theta Labs is the team behind the Theta Network, a decentralized video streaming platform for streaming excellent video quality that runs on the Theta blockchain. THETA is used for staking and securing the network in order to become a Validator or Guardian node.

TFUEL’s function is to pay the transactions in the Theta network and works as micropayments for the Edge Nodes. Lastly, TDROP is the NFT liquidity mining token on Theta’s NFT marketplace ThetaDrop.

What’s Behind the Rally?

The Theta ecosystem was very hot over the past week with exciting things happening surrounding its network.

Yesterday, Replay, a “blockchain-based video tracking & payments platform for content owners”, partnered with Theta Labs and announced the launch of the first blockchain-powered video tracking and payments platform using Theta’s infrastructure.

Three days ago, on February 8, Theta Labs, the team behind Theta Network partnered with Freemantle, a television production company. With this partnership, the famous television game show on CBS “The Price is Right” is launching during its 50th season, its first NFT drop.

“The Price is Right” NFT collection will be dropped soon on the ThetaDrop marketplace and will include some of the show’s famous games such as Plinko, Cliff Hangers, and Punch-A-Bunch.

Resorts World Las Vegas and Theta Labs partnered last week to promote its premier brand through utility NFTs on Theta Network.

THETA Price Actions Over the Last 30 Days

Although THETA’s recent rally seems exciting, the cryptocurrency is still down 72.46% from its all-time high around $15 in April 2021.

THETA is the 38 biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization with $4.1 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. It is trading at $4.13 and is up 13% in the last 24 hours.

THETA found support at $2.30 and it has been on an ascending channel since. The cryptocurrency has recovered the losses from the mid-late January drop. Now is on its resistance zone around $4, as you can see below:

THETA/USD Chart – Source: FXEmpire.

As the crypto market recovers, coins like THETA have recovered much faster than others. Especially this month when Theta ecosystem doesn’t seem to be slowing down and THETA’s fundamentals have been reflected in its price.

Probably, as Web3 adoption increases, coins related to Web3, such as THETA, will perform best, but the real question is whether THETA can keep up with this momentum.

A Fake Version of AssangeDAO Has Scammed Hundreds of Users

As cryptocurrencies gain popularity and more users enter the market who aren’t familiar with them, scams are becoming more common.

Less than a week ago, a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) was created under the name AssangeDAO in order to raise funds through the Ethereum network for the liberation of Julian Assange.

AssangeDAO ended up raising 17,422 ETH  or about $54.2 million. These funds were used to bid on an NFT called “Clock” and won the auction with the amount of 16,593 ($51.6 million).

Today, a blockchain security firm called PeckShield, reported a Binance Smart Chain AssangeDAO scam version through its official Twitter account, as you can see below:

The fake AssangeDAO version has scammed 539 users at the time of writing, according to the Binance Smart Chain (BscScan) explorer.

Beware of Scams

Last week, Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance cryptocurrency exchange, reported that there was a “massive Phishing scam via SMS with a link to cancel withdrawals”. He told the users to always use Binance’s official website.

Another scam that happened last week resulted in the theft of 900 BNB ($333k at the time). The scammer used 16k smart contracts and different methods to steal the funds. 

Scammers often impersonate influential and important people in order to scam users. Last month, hackers posted as YouTube crypto influencers to scam users.

Another scam happened in January when hackers posing as Michael Saylor stole about $1 million of Bitcoin.

Always Do Your Own Research (DYOR)

It doesn’t matter who is distributing information related to cryptocurrency, everyone recommends doing your due diligence before investing.

A lot of projects sold an idea through a Whitepaper during the ICO boom in 2017. One of the biggest scams during that time was BitConnect

Researching and investigating the project can lower the risk of being scammed. Sometimes scammers set up projects that don’t look like scams but they really are.

As Changpeng Zhao said, always browse through official websites and never click on links you don’t recognize, as they could be phishing scams.