Visa Partners With Over 65 Crypto Platforms — Crypto-Linked Card Usage Soars Despite Price Volatility – Featured Bitcoin News


Visa has now partnered with more than 65 crypto platforms and exchanges. In addition, the payments giant revealed that crypto-linked card usage exceeded $2.5 billion in the first fiscal quarter, “which is already 70% of the payments volume for all of fiscal 2021.”

Visa Outlines Crypto Strategy and Achievements

Visa Inc. discussed its crypto strategy and achievements during the company’s earnings call Thursday. Visa CEO Al Kelly said: “Many current trends in payments, including … crypto, and wallets, are enabling new ways to pay. These represent opportunities for Visa.”

Regarding his company’s efforts in the crypto space, the executive highlighted:

We’re also providing on-ramps for crypto players creating connectivity with fiat economies. There are over 65 crypto platforms and exchanges that have partnered to issue Visa credentials.

Recently, News reported that consumers will be able to spend cryptocurrency at 80 million merchants using crypto-linked Visa cards. However, CEO Kelly said during the call that the actual number is “closer to 100 merchants.”

The Visa boss also revealed: “This quarter, Visa credentials and crypto wallets had more than $2.5 billion in payments volume, which is already 70% of the payments volume for all of fiscal 2021.”

In July, Visa said that crypto-linked card usage reached $1 billion for the first six months of 2021.

Furthermore, the Visa CEO detailed: “In addition to embedding credentials and crypto platforms, we continue to innovate around our settlement and crypto API capabilities,” elaborating:

We will continue to lean into the crypto space. And our strategy is to be a key partner to provide the connectivity, scale, consumer value propositions, reliability, and security that is needed for crypto offerings to grow.

Kelly also mentioned his company’s recently launched “specialized global advisory practice” for cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, Visa currently has no plans to hold crypto on its balance sheet.

Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu told CNBC in an interview Friday:

We’ve seen this payment volume continue to grow despite volatility in the crypto markets.

What do you think about Visa’s efforts in the crypto space? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


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The Unhosted Crypto Wallet Rule Is Back


A controversial proposed rule that would enforce know-your-customer rules on unhosted or self-hosted crypto wallets may again be under consideration by the U.S. federal government.

The rule was first proposed at the end of 2020 by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the U.S. money laundering watchdog. If enacted, crypto exchanges would be required to collect names and home addresses, among other personal details, from anyone hoping to transfer cryptocurrencies to their own private wallets.

Industry advocates said they were concerned that the rules might be impossible for certain wallets to comply with because they are not controlled by people and therefore are not tied to this personal information. Others were also concerned that the requirement might be overly burdensome for individuals to comply with.

The rule was driven by then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, rather than FinCEN itself. The original proposal was published on Treasury’s website, and not FinCEN’s. The watchdog only posted the proposed rule when the comment period was extended.

The Treasury Department, which is now overseen by Secretary Janet Yellen, revealed that the rule might be considered in this semiannual agenda of regulations, set to be formally published in the Federal Register on Jan. 31. The agenda outlines priorities for the Treasury Department, but it does not indicate that the rules will for sure be implemented, or that they will be implemented as-is. Rather, the agenda is a tool that signals things Treasury will work on over the next six months.

“FinCEN is proposing to amend the regulations implementing the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) to require banks and money service businesses (MSBs) to submit reports, keep records, and verify the identity of customers in relation to transactions involving convertible virtual currency (CVC) or digital assets with legal tender status (‘legal tender digital assets’ or ‘LTDA’) held in unhosted wallets, or held in wallets hosted in a jurisdiction identified by FinCEN,” the document said.

A timetable in the section suggests that FinCEN aims to finalize the rule by the end of August, if they choose to finalize it.

Read more: The Mnuchin Files: New Documents Shed Light on Trump-Era Crypto Policy

Split rule

The proposed rule originally had an unusually short 15-day comment period, further stirring controversy among industry advocates. Typically comment periods are between 30 and 90 days, though some rules may have 120-day comment periods.

In public notices, FinCEN twice extended the comment period, first for another 15 days and later for a further 60 days.

In that first extension, FinCEN treated the rule’s provisions as two separate issues. One of these provisions sought to impose currency transaction report (CTR) rules on crypto transactions to unhosted wallets. Financial institutions currently file CTRs for customers who transact with over $10,000 in a single day.

The personal data rule, referred to as the counterparty data collection rule, would apply to customers transferring over $3,000 in crypto per day to private wallets.

It is this second rule which led to industry backlash, including several thousand comments filed as a response. FinCEN may need to issue a new comment period to address these responses before implementing the counterparty data collection rule.

A FinCEN spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment on whether the agency is considering the overall rule or the provisions individually. However, a link on the Federal Register page leads to the original proposed rule from Dec. 23, 2020.

Defining ‘money’

The Federal Reserve and FinCEN also plan to “clarify the meaning of ‘money'” under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) as it pertains to digital assets, ensuring that digital asset transactions are subject to the same BSA rules that their fiat counterparts might be.

“The Agencies intend that the revised proposal will ensure that the rules apply to domestic and cross-border transactions involving convertible virtual currency, which is a medium of exchange (such as cryptocurrency) that either has an equivalent value as currency, or acts as a substitute for currency, but lacks legal tender status,” the document said.

Further, the BSA rules will also apply to any digital asset transactions that “have legal tender status,” the document said.

UPDATE: (Jan. 29, 2022, 23:55 UTC): Updated to note former Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s role in sponsoring this rule.


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Q4 2021 XRP Markets Report


Ripple publishes the quarterly XRP Markets Report to voluntarily provide transparency and regular updates on the company’s views on the state of crypto markets such as quarterly XRP sales, relevant XRP-related announcements and commentary on market developments over the previous quarter. 

As an XRP holder, Ripple believes proactive communication and transparency are part of being a responsible stakeholder. Moreover, Ripple urges others in the industry to build trust, foster open communication and raise the bar, industry-wide.

Crypto Market Summary

At the start of Q4 2021, crypto markets grew aggressively, fueled by the SEC’s approval of the first ever BTC futures ETF in the United States. The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, which began trading on October 19th, drew a record $1B in assets in just 2 days. Its success was a reflection of strong institutional demand for BTC exposure. This was a watershed moment for the crypto industry, and the total market cap grew from $2T to $3T in the span of a month. 

In the end, however, the steep trajectory of growth was unsustainable. Not only had the market moved too far too fast, but the levels of leverage in the derivative markets became precariously high. BTC open interest peaked at $28B, surpassing the previous record of $27.2B set in Q2 2020. By the end of 2021, total crypto market cap had returned back to the $2T mark, with many digital assets ending the quarter below where they started.

With that said, not all digital assets performed the same way. Metaverse-related projects grabbed market attention in Q4 with various high profile fundraises and partnerships. Sandbox, one of the more publicized Metaverse projects, raised $93M in a round led by SoftBank and announced a digital land acquisition by Adidas. Its native token $SAND was one of the top performing assets in Q4, gaining more than 600% in the quarter. 

Buyers not only flocked to purchase the fungible tokens, but also bought virtual real estate in different metaverses. In one instance, a particular plot of digital land in Decentraland sold for over $2.43M. Although most of this activity is starting on Ethereum, just like with DeFi and NFTs, it will likely start to shift to more efficient blockchains. With the launch of XLS-20d on NFT-Devnet this month, XRP Ledger (XRPL) developers are well positioned to take advantage of this shift. 

Another unique market activity in Q4 was the proliferation of airdrops for token distribution. Airdrops happened across several blockchains, including Cosmos, Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche, and XRPL. On the XRPL, there were over 31 million trustline transactions and more than 50 different tokens were airdropped in Q4. The Sologenic airdrop was one of the more high profile airdrops on XRPL, establishing more than 340,000 trustlines. 

Interoperability was also a big theme this quarter, with bridges driving a lot of market activity. In fact, total value locked in bridges increased from $11.5B to $26.5B in the span of just three months, as users looked to move assets across chains. XRPL saw a similar trend with a number of bridging solutions announced including WXRP and Allbridge. 

NFT Spotlight 

After hitting record highs in August, NFT trading cooled down in Q4. OpenSea remained the number one NFT marketplace, but volume share slipped from 95% to under 80%. The industry continues to see Solana-based marketplaces chip away at Ethereum’s dominance as high gas fees plague both creators and traders. 

Q4 saw heightened interest in launching NFTs on the XRPL as projects issued IOUs on the XRPL that would later be redeemed for NFTs. With the release of XLS-20d on NFT-Devnet in January 2022, a standard that provides access to XRPL-native NFT capabilities, developers have an accessible and reliable environment to experiment with NFTs on the XRP Ledger.

Unfortunately, NFT scams – across blockchains – continued to be a concern. This underscores the importance of due diligence as there are no white listed standards for NFT projects. One platform, has proposed a set of listing requirements for NFT projects on their platform, including KYC & Global ID. 

The State of Global Regulation 

The industry continues to see more global regulators take a public stance on crypto, with many calling for thoughtful regulation to outright bans of this technology. Ripple released a policy framework, designed to offer an immediate and pragmatic way forward that accounts for the dynamic capabilities of cryptocurrency and digital assets.

In the U.S., crypto executives testified in front of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services in December 2021, and SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce expressed her disappointment over the absence of crypto on SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s regulatory agenda. The SEC also continued its pattern of delaying or denying spot Bitcoin ETF proposals, much to the frustration of industry officials, some of whom may be preparing to file suit against the SEC over its position. Finally, the U.S. continued to take a close look at stablecoins, with the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, together with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), issuing a report recommending that Congress require stablecoin issuers be FDIC-insured banks.

Globally, Australian lawmakers proposed significant reform of digital asset regulations, citing core principles from Ripple’s policy framework. These recommendations were accepted by the Treasury, and the consultations on the regulatory changes are expected in 2022. India and Thailand also intend to consult the industry on regulatory frameworks for digital assets in 2022. South Africa and Nigeria touted the need for regulation as crypto adoption increases, while the Bank of England looked to tighten its oversight of crypto. The Dubai government announced that the Dubai World Trade Centre will become a comprehensive free zone and regulator for digital assets and crypto.   

Q4 (and part of Q1 2022) Update on the SEC Lawsuit against Ripple

December 22 marked the one year “anniversary” of the SEC lawsuit against Ripple – and the company continues to seek clear regulatory guidance within the U.S. Notably, the Wall Street Journal published a Letter to the Editor from Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse in response to former SEC Chairman Jay Clayon touting the promise of crypto technologies and the need for additional U.S. regulation, stating Clayton’s change of heart was “staggeringly ironic.”

The expert discovery deadline has been extended to February 28 due to COVID and personal matters. On January 13, the court ordered the SEC to surrender several documents to Ripple, including emails about and drafts of former SEC Corporation Finance Director Hinman’s June 2018 speech in which he stated ETH is not a security, as well as notes taken by SEC attorneys during meetings with third parties in the digital asset space.

RippleNet EOY Momentum

2021 was RippleNet’s most successful and lucrative year to date as global momentum skyrocketed with customer demand despite the headwinds from the SEC. The number of transactions on RippleNet more than doubled, with a payment volume run rate of over $10B. This is a testament to the product considering Ripple parted ways with Moneygram, its largest customer, immediately after the SEC filed its lawsuit against Ripple. With over 20 payout markets for On-Demand Liquidity (ODL), most recently adding the Middle East, RippleNet continues to see more global demand for the product. Most notably, APAC continues to be one of the largest contributors of ODL volume on RippleNet, more than doubling in 2021. 

Disciplined, Responsible Stakeholders: Q4 Sales and Purchases

Last quarter, total XRP sales by Ripple, net of purchases, were $717.07M vs. $491.74M USD the previous quarter. Ripple continued to engage in sales to improve the ODL experience of certain customers, eliminating the need for pre-funding at exchanges and enabling instant global payments. As has been the case since Q4 2019, Ripple did not conduct programmatic sales in Q4.

Sales Summary (dollars in millions) Q3 2021 Q4 2021
Total ODL-related sales* 491.74 1,039.04
Total purchases 0.0 321.97
Sales (net of purchases) 491.74 717.07
Global XRP volume Q3 2021 Q4 2021
ADV XRP (dollars in millions) 2,075.89 1,830.89
Total XRP volume (dollars in billions)** 189.53 168.41
Net sales as % of total volume 0.26% 0.43%

*All ODL-related sales are attributed to the growth and adoption of ODL

**Note: Figures were compiled using the CryptoCompare API for daily TopTier aggregate volumes which reflects total XRP volume in dollars by exchanges that CryptoCompare lists in the TopTier. 

Ripple has been a buyer of XRP in the secondary market and expects to continue to undertake purchases in the future at market prices as ODL continues to gain global momentum.

Total sales by Ripple, net of purchases, ended the quarter at 43 bps of global XRP volume according to CryptoCompare TopTier (CCTT) volumes. 


Certain wallets that are being used for XRP sales also provide short-term leases to market makers. This is worth noting given they are often incorrectly interpreted by market participants as sales. Leases are ultimately returned to Ripple. Total leases outstanding in Q4 2021 were 88 million XRP.

Reported Volume

XRP volumes peaked on November 10th, as the crypto market cap hit new all time highs. Overall volumes declined 12% QoQ. 


In Q4 2021, three billion XRP were released out of escrow (one billion each month) in line with prior quarters and the official escrow arrangement. In total, 2.4 billion XRP were returned and subsequently put into new escrow contracts throughout the quarter. For more information on the escrow process, see here. Note: All figures are reported based on transactions executed during the quarter.

XRP Infrastructure Update

Digivault was the first fully UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) registered crypto asset firm to launch support for XRP, fostering the growth of Digivault compliant and risk-focused custody solutions for corporates and high net worth individuals. In addition, Delta Exchange became the first CeFi exchange globally to launch XRP options.


Tokensoft’s launch of Wrapped XRP ($WXRP) created another avenue for XRP holders to access the Ethereum blockchain, in addition to the upcoming Flare Network and existing Wanchain bridge. In January 2022, Binance announced support for WXRP deposits and withdrawals, so users could frictionlessly switch between networks. Finally, XRPL will soon be integrated with Allbridge, linking the XRPL to 12 different blockchains including Solana, Terra, Avalanche and Polygon. This integration allows XRP to transfer seamlessly onto these chains, as well as making it possible for assets like SOL, LUNA, and USDC to be transferred onto XRPL.

Building with the XRP Community

XRP Ledger On-Chain Activity, Grants and Hackathon 

Last quarter, there was a dramatic increase in activity on the network with a total of 130M transactions on the XRP Ledger with $113B transacted via 114 billion XRP in volume. 

Sponsored by RippleX and supported by an independent judging committee, XRPL Grants support the independent developer community building projects of all types on the XRP Ledger and accelerating the Internet of Value. Last quarter, XRPL Grants collected over 100 new applications, with a focus on Federated Sidechains, from the XRPL community. These projects are currently being evaluated, with awardees to be announced in Q1 2022. Meanwhile, prior grantees continued building their projects and contributing to open-source projects. Grantees with notable progress this quarter include Bithomp, Trustline app and ZerpCraft.

More broadly, the community continues to see more projects and apps to address a variety of use cases including Nerian, a network that consolidates data available about a user, and Ridworld, a NFT card game. In addition, an XRPL Hackathon on Devpost inspired a number of software developers to build innovative new projects including:

Stability Issues

On November 3, the XRP Ledger halted for approximately 15 minutes in response to several validators experiencing issues. Unlike some other blockchains, the XRPL network recovered automatically and without any human intervention, as it is designed to do, resuming operation albeit under a higher-than-normal load. This resulted in elevated transaction fees and a large transactions queue. That said, elevated fees were still minuscule by comparison to other blockchain fees, remaining at fractions of a penny (0.000240 XRP) versus regular levels (0.000012 XRP). 

Together with community members and infrastructure operators, developers worked 24/7 to identify several bugs and develop key optimizations, improving both performance and stability. As server operators upgraded to version 1.8.2 of the XRPL server software, the transaction queue backlog was worked through, transaction fees returned to normal levels and the network stabilized.

Going Green with XRPL

In December, announced it will develop a carbon credit solution on the XRPL given its performance, scalability and inherently green attributes. The XRP Ledger was built with sustainability in mind and is one of the first major carbon-neutral blockchains. Due to its Federated Consensus algorithm, the XRPL is significantly more energy-efficient compared to proof-of-work blockchains and ensures low-cost transactions.

Global CBDC Momentum

Ripple joined the Digital Pound Foundation to focus on the development and implementation of a digital Pound in the United Kingdom, and continued to engage central banks globally on technical and policy queries related to CBDCs. In addition, Ripple partnered with the Republic of Palau to explore developing strategies for cross-border payments and a USD-backed stablecoin directly on the public XRP Ledger. This could see the implementation of the world’s first government-backed national stablecoin, leveraging the XRPL’s built-in DEX and tokenization advantages.


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Russian tech and political executives denounce crypto ban proposal


Russia’s recent ban on crypto has drawn criticism from a number of big names, including Alexei Navalny’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov, and Telegram founder Pavel Durov.

On Jan. 20, Russia’s Central Bank published a report proposing a blanket ban on domestic crypto trading and mining. The report stated that the risks of crypto are “much higher for emerging markets, including Russia.”

However, it appears that this proposed ban isn’t universally accepted in the former Soviet Union. A Jan. 22 post by the Telegram founder, Pavel Durov stated that the proposed ban on crypto would “destroy a number of sectors of the high-tech economy.” He added:

“Such a ban will inevitably slow down the development of blockchain technologies in general. These technologies improve the efficiency and safety of many human activities, from finance to the arts.”

While Durov conceded that the “desire to regulate the circulation of cryptocurrencies is natural on the part of any financial authority,” he concluded that “such a ban is unlikely to stop unscrupulous players, but it will put an end to legal Russian projects in this area.”

Leonid Volkov: banning crypto is “impossible”

Meanwhile, in a Telegram post on Jan 20. Volkov, who is the chief of staff for Alexei Navalny, wrote that the ban would be like “calling a spade a spade.”

Navalny is an opposition leader in Russia and founder of The Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK). In August 2020, he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. After recovering in Germany, he returned to Russia in January 2021 where he was arrested and has remained imprisoned since.

In his announcement, Volkov referenced a Jan. 20 report by Bloomberg. It claimed that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) was instrumental in advancing the ban because crypto can be used to finance “non-systemic opposition and extremist organizations.”

He went on to add that he was “sure that the Bloomberg version, in this case, is 100% close to reality, but nothing will happen” because Russians are more likely to use crypto to buy drugs rather than donate it to the Moscow-based non-profit FBK.

“Technically, banning cryptocurrency is the same as banning person-to-person transfers (i.e. it’s impossible)… Yes, they can make it very difficult to deposit funds on crypto exchanges, which means that intermediary services will simply appear that will do this through foreign jurisdictions. Yes, transaction costs will rise. Well, that’s all, I guess.”

Related: Bank of Russia governor: Banning crypto in Russia is ‘quite doable’

Many of Russia’s neighbors have also taken a hard-line stance on crypto. On Jan. 19, citizens in neighboring country Georgia were made to swear an oath to cease mining crypto. The governments of Kosovo and Kazakhstan, have also recently been added to the list of countries that have banned crypto mining.

Perhaps one exception is Russia’s neighbor Ukraine, which passed a number of laws to facilitate the country’s adoption of cryptocurrencies in September 2021.


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First Mover Asia: Bitcoin, Ether Regain Ground Sunday After Early Weekend Battering


Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Market moves: Bitcoin was trading at over $36,000 on Sunday after continuing its recent decline earlier in the weekend.

Technician’s take: BTC is stabilizing on intraday charts, although $30,000 is a more significant level to watch given the decline in long-term momentum.

Catch the latest episodes of CoinDesk TV for insightful interviews with crypto industry leaders and analysis.


Bitcoin (BTC): $36,202 +3.4%

Ether (ETH): $2,532 +5.4%

Top gainers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Cosmos ATOM +3.4% Smart Contract Platform


Top losers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Internet Computer ICP −9.2% Computing
Litecoin LTC −9.2% Currency
Filecoin FIL −9.0% Computing


Sector classifications are provided via the Digital Asset Classification Standard (DACS), developed by CoinDesk Indices to provide a reliable, comprehensive, and standardized classification system for digital assets. The CoinDesk 20 is a ranking of the largest digital assets by volume on trusted exchanges.


S&P 500: 4,397 -1.8%

DJIA: 34,265 -1.3%

Nasdaq: 13,768 -2.7%

Gold: 1,834 -0.2%

Market moves

Bitcoin capped a forgettable three days, dipping below $34,400 at the start of the weekend, before mounting a small comeback on Sunday.

At the time of publication, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was trading well above $36,000, a nearly 3.4% gain over the previous 24 hours but well off its all-time high near $69,000 set in early November. Trading volume was light with many investors continuing to assess troubling economic conditions and a pronounced decline in equities markets.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 2.7% on Friday as investors continued to veer away from stocks that led recent years’ charge in stocks. Two other major indexes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 fell 1.3% and 1.8%, respectively. The market slump has stemmed from widespread concerns about interest rates, supply chain inefficiency and the ongoing coronavirus, which has been gathering strength in many parts of the U.S. even as it wanes in others.

Ether dipped below $2,400 on Saturday before returning to a base camp above that level, where spent the remainder of the weekend. At the time of publication, the second largest crypto by market cap was trading above $2,500, an almost 5.5% rise. Most of the major altcoins spent Sunday in the red.

“The market is holding its breath as investors look to the opening of the Asian markets for a sign of what equities will do this week,” Joe DiPasquale, the CEO of crypto fund BitBull Capital told CoinDesk. “If Asian markets open strong, we can expect demand for crypto to go up, and even more so if the U.S. markets have a strong Monday.

DiPasquale added that “crypto is still finding its way as to whether it is a digital gold-like hedge that moves inversely with equities, or whether it’s a risk-on asset that will fail if equities continue to fail on Monday as many equity indexes did on Friday. While those most bullish on the investment case for crypto cite longer-term data that point to Bitcoin not being correlated with other asset classes, data over the last two years has shown a correlation in the price of Bitcoin and equities.”

Technician’s take

Bitcoin Sell-Off Deepens Below $40K; Minor Support Nearby

Bitcoin (BTC) failed to hold short-term support at $40,000 as sellers maintained the two-month long downtrend.

Intraday oversold signals were not enough to sustain bids, which means longer-term indicators are more reliable to determine bitcoin’s price direction.

BTC was trading around $36,200 at press time and is down 17% over the past week.

The slowdown in upside momentum on monthly and weekly charts has been a persistent theme since December. As the long-term uptrend weakens, sellers typically outweigh buyers despite occasional oversold signals.

Further, when drawdowns (percent decline from peak to trough) become severe, short-term traders tend to reduce their position sizes and tighten trade parameters around intraday support and resistance zones.

Bitcoin is roughly 40% below its all-time high of $69,000, which is a significant drawdown. The previous drawdown extreme was in July when BTC settled near $28,000 after falling roughly 50% from its peak.

For now, initial support is around $35,000-$37,000, which could stabilize the current sell-off. The relative strength index (RSI) on the daily chart is the most oversold since May 19, which preceded two months of sideways trading before a rebound occurred.

If selling pressure accelerates this week, BTC could find stronger support around $30,000.

Important events

8:30 a.m. SGT/HKT (12:30 a.m. UTC): Jibun Bank manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) (Jan. preliminary)

5 p.m. SGT/HKT (9 a.m. UTC): Euro Zone Markit Manufacturing PMI (Jan. preliminary)

10:45 p.m. SGT/HKT (2:45 p.m. UTC): U.S. Markit Manufacturing PMI (Jan. preliminary)

11:30 p.m. SGT/HKT (3:30 p.m. UTC): Dallas Fed manufacturing index (Jan.)

CoinDesk TV

In case you missed it, here is the most recent episode of “First Mover” on CoinDesk TV:

Bitcoin Drifting Below $40K, Fed Releases White Paper on Central Bank Digital Currency, SEC Chair Gary Gensler Wants More Control of Crypto

“First Mover” hosts were joined by Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN) as he introduces a new bill aimed to limit the Federal Reserve’s ability to issue a digital currency. This comes as the Fed has just released a long-awaited white paper on the digital dollar. Bitcoin crashed to a five-month low. Managing Director of MarketGauge Group Michele Schneider provided her analysis. Plus, former SEC Commissioner and Patomak Global Partners CEO Paul Atkins gave his take on the latest regulatory signal from SEC Chair Gary Gensler.

Latest headlines

Bitcoin Heads for Worst Week in 8 Months as Traders Lament ‘Pikachu Pattern’: The price appeared to stabilize around $35,000, but gallows humor filled social-media sites as more than $1.5 billion of tradition positions were liquidated.

No, Tech Stocks Aren’t Driving Crypto Prices: The relationship between bitcoin and the Nasdaq is there, but it isn’t as strong as some suggest.

Here’s Why Bitcoin Tumbled 11% in 24 Hours: Bitcoin is currently trading around 45% below its all-time high of $68,700.

Crypto Market Cap Falls Below $2T Amid Sell-Off: As bitcoin and ether breach $40,000 and $3,000 support levels, some altcoins are trading 60%-80% down from cycle highs.

Ethereum Could Hold Lead as Dominant Smart-Contract Blockchain: Coinbase Analysts: The only real “ETH killer” might end up being Ethereum 2.0, according to analysts for the U.S. exchange Coinbase.

Crypto Trader Tantra to Liquidate After ‘GBTC Discount’ Widens to Record: The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) has been trading at a steep discount since last February, but a further widening proved too much for one trading firm.

Twitter Seeks Senior Crypto Role on Heels of NFT Verification Announcement: The job posting advertises “NFT tooling, membership tokens, DAOs and more!”

Longer reads

Simpin’ Ain’t Easy: The Business Sense Behind IreneDAO: Crypto seems poised to magnify existing financial relationships between influencers and their obsessive fans.

Today’s crypto explainer: What is SegWit

Other voices: Money in the Metaverse

Said and heard

“What we would hope is that, as we get into the next weeks to month or so, we’ll see throughout the entire country the level of infection get to below what I call that area of control.”….(Anthony Fauci on ABC’s This Week)….”Now some executives say supply challenges are worse than ever. The lack of workers leaves a broader range of products in short supply, food-industry executives said, with availability sometimes changing daily.” (U.S. Food Supply Is Under Pressure, From Plants to Store Shelves/The Wall Street Journal)…”Hunt offers an analogy here: Our future engagement with the metaverse could mimic how, with the help of science, we came to accept the real existence of an unseeable “microverse:” that realm of viruses, parasites and other microbes that we’ve since learned how to manipulate, sometimes in sinister ways.” (CoinDesk Chief Content Officer Michael Casey)…”Many altcoins are into support at their summertime 2021 lows, making it critical that bitcoin holds support as it sets the tone for the cryptocurrency space.” (Katie Stockton, managing director of Fairlead Strategies, quoted by CoinDesk)


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Crypto YouTubers fall victim to hacking and scamming attempt


Hackers attacked a number of popular crypto YouTuber accounts at some point during the afternoon of Jan. 23. The accounts posted unauthorized videos with text directing viewers to send money to the hacker’s wallet.

Accounts who appear to have been targeted by the attack include: ‘BitBoy Crypto’, ‘Altcoin Buzz’, ‘Box Mining’, ‘Floyd Mayweather’, ‘Ivan on Tech’, and ‘The Moon’ among others.

The Binance Smart Chain wallet address that was listed on the fraudulent videos only had a total of 9 transactions in BNB at the time of writing, with a total value of around $850.

Michael Gu told Cointelegraph that his YouTube channel Boxmining posted a video without his permission. “Luckily we caught it within two mins of the video going live and managed to delete it,” he said. “By that time there were already views and comments from my community.”

He added that he had done an internal sweep and found no viruses or bugs that may have given the hackers access to his account. “Seems like YouTube might be responsible,” he said.

One Reddit post by user “9Oh8m8” suggested that it appears as though the hackers were able to gain access to the accounts using a SIM swap scam, which would have enabled them to bypass two-factor authentication (2FA). They added:

“They are all posting with a title like “ONE WORLD CRYPTOCURRENCY”. They have an address in vid and description to send your USDT/USDC/BNB/ETH to receive a new crypto called OWCY.”

However, Gu wasn’t convinced that the hack was a result of a SIM swap, telling Cointelegraph that there were no logins on his personal Google account. “If it was a SIM swap I would lose access to my phone etc and that didn’t happen,” he said.

“What we noticed was on the BRAND account (which doesn’t have a login. YouTube brand accounts are connected to personal) there was a login from the Philippines. Very likely this is either a hack on YouTube side or a rogue employee. That’s how they got so many people at the same time.”

Founder and CEO of the Altcoin Buzz YouTube channel Shash Gupta added that they noticed something was amiss at around 1 AM Singapore time on Sunday night when an unauthorized video was posted to their channel.

“It’s pretty unclear what happened. I’m talking to Youtube to get to understand the matter and avoid such further breaches.”

Related: YouTube channels hacked and rebranded for livestreaming crypto scams

Another crypto YouTuber Richard Heart tweeted at 9:30PM UTC that his channel had been banned during the middle of a livestream, indicating that YouTube was probably aware of the event.

Cointelegraph reached out to YouTube and a number of other crypto content creators who were affected by the hack but had not received any additional information at the time of writing.


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ETH 2.0 Contract Surpasses 9 Million Ethereum Worth $28 Billion – Technology Bitcoin News


The number of ether locked in the Ethereum 2.0 contract has exceeded 9 million ethereum or more than $28 billion using today’s exchange rates. The amount of ethereum locked into the contract has increased 22.29% since the first week of September 2021, when the contract held 7.4 million ether.

Ethereum 2.0 Contract Exceeds 9 Million Ether

While the proof-of-work (PoW) side of the Ethereum network has seen its hashrate tap all-time highs above 1 petahash per second (PH/s) this year, the transition to Ethereum 2.0 continues with ether being locked into the ETH 2.0 contract.

ETH 2.0 Contract Surpasses 9 Million Ethereum Worth $28 Billion

Essentially, to become a validator and stake ethereum, 32 ETH is required to join the pool of ETH 2.0 validators. When the ETH 2.0 contract first launched, News reported on Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin contributing funds to the contract on November 6, 2020.

On January 17, 2022, data indicates that there’s approximately 9,057,890 ethereum worth over $28 billion (at the time of writing) in the ETH 2.0 contract. Data shows that the contract exceeded 9 million ether on January 16, 2022.

Year-to-date, ethereum’s price is up over 150% but during the last 30 days, ether has shed 18.5% and two-week stats indicate ether has lost 17.5% in value against the U.S. dollar. While Ethereum’s market cap dominance was 18-20% during the course of 2021, today ETH dominance is around 17.9%.

When News reported on the contract exceeding 7.4 million, ether was a bit more valuable as the stash was valued at $29.3 billion at the time. In addition to the 9 million ether locked into the ETH 2.0 contract, since the implementation of EIP-1559, 1,541,113 ethereum worth $5.8 billion (at the time of writing) has been burned.

Between the ETH 2.0 contract and the burned ethereum since the introduction of EIP-1559, the value equates to $33.8 billion in value at the time of writing.

Tags in this story
2.0 Contract, 32 ether, Burned ETH, Burned Ether, Contract Address, Cryptocurrency, EIP-1559, ETH, ETH 2.0, Eth2 Contract, Eth2 deposit address, Eth2 deposits, ether, Ether stats, Ethereum, Ethereum 2.0, Ethereum staking, Fees, PoS, Proof of Stake (PoS), Proof-of-Stake, revenue, Smart Contract, staking, Vitalik Buterin

What do you think about the 9 million ether locked into the Ethereum 2.0 contract? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Source link Capital Expands $200M Fund to $500M


Singapore-based Capital announced today that it is expanding the size of its fund to $500 million, from the $200 million it announced in March 2021.

  • Jon Russell, its newly hired General Partner based in Bangkok, told CoinDesk the fund will do seed and series-A deals, typically up to a $10 million check for the series-A.
  • So far’s maiden fund has invested in play-to-earn guild YGG SEA, Ledger, and Frax Finance
  • The fund will be focused on investing in DeFi, NFTs, and gaming. It will typically want to lead rounds.
  • Russell said the fund will be focused on growing the overall crypto ecosystem, not about making investments where thinks it can get business.
  • Companies that the fund invests in won’t necessarily get listed on the exchange, he said.
  • While capital is expanding, management wants to keep the fund lean and entrepreneurial. They don’t want to become “an a16z” with hundreds of staff — it’s not relatable to entrepreneurs in the crypto space that run a thin organization.
  • Although the fund is based in Singapore, and Russell in Bangkok, it will have a global remit.
  • In 2021, crypto firms raised $30 billion from VCs, according to PitchBook. Despite the bear market, there’s no sign of this slowing down as alongside Capital’s announcement FTX kicked off the year establishing a $2 billion venture fund to invest in crypto startups.

Read More: Sino Global Capital Launches $200M Fund Backed by FTX


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Ethereum EIP-1559 upgrade launches on Polygon to burn MATIC


The Ethereum upgrade that introduced a partial network fee burning mechanism in August last year has launched on the layer-two scaling network Polygon. 

Ethereum’s EIP-1559 upgrade shipped with its London hard fork last summer and has been a success in terms of gas price predictability and network fee burning. The upgrade has now launched on the layer-two scaling network Polygon in an effort to improve “fee visibility”. It went live about an hour ago at block 23850000.

The Polygon team announced the upgrade date on Jan. 17, following its successful deployment on the Mumbai testnet.

The EIP-1559 upgrade introduces the same fee-burning mechanism to Polygon resulting in the destruction of MATIC tokens. It also removes the first-price auction method for calculating network fees which leads to better cost estimations but goes not reduce gas prices.

“The burning is a two-step affair that starts on the Polygon network and completes on the Ethereum network.”

The team stated that, just like Ethereum, the supply of MATIC is likely to become deflationary with 0.27% of the total supply being burnt every year according to estimations. There is a fixed supply of 10 billion MATIC tokens with 6.8 billion currently in circulation.

“Deflationary pressure will benefit both validators and delegators because their rewards for processing transactions are denominated in MATIC,” it added before stating that the upgrade would also reduce spam and network congestion.

Despite being a layer-two network, Polygon has suffered from its own gas crisis recently. Earlier this month, Polygon gas fees skyrocketed according to Dune Analytics resulting in some validators failing to submit blocks. The surge in demand was due to a DeFi yield farming game called Sunflower Land which rewarded early adopters before the degens lost interest.

Related: Here’s how Polygon is challenging the limitations of Ethereum

Since going live on Ethereum around six months ago, the upgrade has resulted in the burning of 1.54 million ETH to date according to the burn tracker. At current ETH prices, this works out at around $5 billion. The tracker also predicts that Ethereum issuance will become deflationary by -2.5% per year once “the merge” happens and proof-of-stake becomes the primary consensus mechanism for the network.

MATIC prices have dumped 9% on the day in a fall to $2.22 at the time of writing according to CoinGecko.


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Binance eyes Thailand for latest crypto exchange expansion


Binance is looking to re-establish crypto exchange services and possibly open a new branch in Thailand after signing an agreement with Gulf Energy Development PCL.

Gulf Energy Development PCL is a Thai holding company run by billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi that focuses on the energy sector.

Gulf Energy reportedly made the agreement with the world’s largest crypto exchange based on the strong assumption that Thailand’s digital economy infrastructure will see “rapid growth” in the next few years.

The cooperative efforts between Gulf Energy, Binance, and the Thai government will be focused on exploring Binance’s options in the Thai market, which may include opening an exchange and related businesses in the Kingdom.

A spokesperson for Binance told Reuters on Jan. 17, “Our goal is to work with government, regulators and innovative companies to develop the crypto and blockchain ecosystem in Thailand.”

The Thai digital economy is poised to see greater regulatory clarity for digital asset traders. The director-general for the Thai government’s Revenue Department made regulatory transparency a top priority this month after announcing a planned 15% capital gains tax on crypto trades on Jan. 6.

On Jan. 9, the Thai Digital Asset Association requested clarification on the specifics of the tax based on concerns from domestic traders that they may unintentionally violate the tax code.

Despite the positive developments, Thailand’s central bank has repeatedly issued warnings to commercial banks and local businesses over accepting cryptocurrencies as payments.

Related: Former Thai SEC chief lays out three critical issues with crypto taxations

Binance was on the receiving end of a criminal complaint from the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in July 2021. The complaint accused Binance of operating a digital asset business without a license and opened an investigation against the exchange.

The SEC stated that Binance ignored warnings from as far back as April 2021, and had wrongfully granted Thai citizens access to crypto trading on its website by “matching orders or arranging for the counterparties or providing the system or facilitating entry into an agreement.”