Last Updated : February 08, 2023 / 08:58 AM IST
Top cryptocurrency news on February 08: N. Korea’s hacking groups increase crypto thefts, UK prepares for cashless future with Digital Pound, & more
A daily round-up of the most interesting articles on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether to help jump-start the day
Cryptocurrency prices follow traditional markets but suffer dip after Powell's statement
Cryptocurrency prices initially followed the trend of traditional markets after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell made statements at The Economic Club in Washington, but later saw a dip.
According to data from TradingView, Bitcoin hit a peak of $23,320 before dropping down to $23,070 within a quarter of an hour. Meanwhile, Ether also rose in response to Powell's comments on inflation, reaching a high of $1675 at 1:00 PM EST, but eventually lost its gains.
Powell mentioned that he expects 2023 to bring a significant decline in inflation and that it will likely take into next year to reach the Fed's 2 percent inflation target. This sentiment was also expressed by Powell on February 1 when he announced a 25 basis points (bps) increase in interest rates. Read full here
Record-breaking crypto thefts by North Korea in 2022: UN Report
According to a United Nations report cited by Reuters, North Korea set a new record for crypto theft last year.
The report submitted to the UN council for North Korea sanctions stated that "more cryptocurrency assets were stolen by actors in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in 2022 than in any previous year." The exact value taken has been estimated to range between $630 million, as reported by South Korea, to over $1 billion by an unnamed cybersecurity firm.
The majority of these cyber-attacks were carried out by hacking groups controlled by North Korea's primary intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau, including Kimsuky, Lazarus Group, and Andariel. Read details here
Digital Currency Group sells prized crypto funds at deep discount to raise capital
Crypto company, the Digital Currency Group (DCG) is selling stakes in some of its investment funds at a steep discount to raise capital, as it tries to pay back creditors of its bankrupt lending unit, Genesis. The sale of the shares in several of DCG's prised cryptocurrency funds, which are managed by subsidiary Grayscale, highlights the company's financial difficulties.
Grayscale is a lucrative business, earning millions of dollars in fees each year by managing large pools of Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptocurrencies in funds that investors can buy shares in from their brokerage accounts. DCG is selling stakes in its ethereum fund, where it has moved to sell about a quarter of its stock to raise up to $22 million since January 24. Take a look
The future of digital assets: WeTransfer and Minima unveil partnership
WeTransfer, a digital file-sharing service, is teaming up with Minima, a blockchain platform, to introduce Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) to the network, CoinDesk reported. The integration will allow users to create NFTs straight from their mobile devices.
Minima, a Layer 1 blockchain, is designed for mobile use and aims to be a fully decentralized network. The blockchain utilizes Minima coin as its currency for peer-to-peer transactions without the need for intermediaries.
The platform is set to go live globally in March and is currently in its testnet phase. The partnership with WeTransfer offers users of the blockchain the opportunity to share their digital assets and collect revenue. Read more here
England ready for Digital Pound: Central Bank considers a future of cashless payments
The Bank of England has put forward a proposal to launch a digital currency that would be solely issued by the central bank that could be used by households and businesses for their everyday payments, allowing individuals to access their funds via a digital wallet accessible through smartphones or cards.
"A UK central bank digital currency – a 'digital pound' – would be a new form of digital money for use by households and businesses for their everyday payments needs," Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey. The potential digital currency would be issued solely by the central bank and would be accessible through digital wallets, which would be anonymised on the central bank's ledger to address privacy concerns. Read more here
Floki targets booming Chinese gaming market with the launch of Valhalla metaverse game
Crypto project Floki is focusing on the Chinese market in its latest effort to expand its user base and move away from its previous image as a meme coin, according to a report by CoinDesk.
The company will release a Chinese version of Valhalla, a metaverse game that utilizes FLOKI tokens and launch a three-month airdrop campaign for Btok users, a Chinese social media platform. The game and its technical documents will be available in both traditional and simplified Chinese and specifically cater to the Chinese gaming market.
The first release of Valhalla with Open World was launched in the fourth quarter of 2022 and is currently available on the Optimism Goerli testnet. Read more here
MicroStrategy Co-Founder Michael Saylor discusses possibility of futures contracts and avoiding bitcoin lending risks
MicroStrategy, the renowned enterprise-software company and the largest publicly traded Bitcoin holder, may consider participating in futures contracts on CME Group's marketplace to generate yield, according to Michael Saylor, the company's co-founder and Executive Chairman.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Saylor shared that MicroStrategy had previously considered lending its Bitcoin through other firms, but ultimately decided against it due to the bankruptcy of companies such as Celsius Network, BlockFi, Voyager Digital, and Genesis Global Holdco LLC.
Regarding the possibility of participating in futures contracts, Saylor stated, "In the future, we will always consider forward yields. We may find a way to generate yield this way." Continue reading
Sam Bankman-Fried challenges court ruling to reveal co-signers of $250 million bail bond
Sam Bankman-Fried, the former head of FTX, has challenged a court ruling that would reveal the identities of two co-signers on his $250 million bail bond. The names of Bankman-Fried's parents, who also co-signed the bond, are already known, but the others have remained confidential.
Last week, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled in favour of multiple news organisations that had requested the names of the co-signers through four separate petitions. However, with Bankman-Fried's appeal, Kaplan's decision is on hold until February 14 at the earliest. Read more here
First insider trading case involving crypto results in guilty plea
A former product manager at Coinbase, Ishan Wahi, has become the first individual to admit guilt in an insider trading case involving cryptocurrencies. He faces a potential maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. His lawyer declined to comment on the plea deal when approached by Fortune.
Wahi, 32, has pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Attorney, Damian Williams, stated that stealing confidential information for personal or others' gain is a serious federal crime, regardless of whether it occurs in the equity or crypto markets.
Meanwhile, Coinbase, which had raised concerns about Wahi's actions in April 2022, distanced itself from the scheme. Read more here