Banks and Institutions
El Salvador plans to issue first bitcoin bond next month
The government is planning to have the bond “totally ready” for issuance between March 15 and March 20. Zelaya confirmed that the government is planning to issue $1 billion for the first bond. However, Zelaya said that he now expects the bond to be oversubscribed by about $500 million, at least. The bond will be issued on Blockstream’s Liquid Network sidechain. In other news, Fitch lowers El Salvador’s rating due to Bitcoin adoption : El Salvador’s long-term Issuer Default Rating was downgraded from B- to CCC, mentioning “policy unpredictability” and the “adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender”.
Foreign users are using hardware e-CNY wallets at the Olympics
The 2022 Winter Olympics participants, visitors and organizers could be spending more than $300,000 in China’s digital yuan every day. Foreign users tend to use hardware wallets more, which look like credit cards without the normal chip and magnetic strip, while the software wallets are mainly used by domestic users. The state-controlled Bank of China set up a number of special ATMs at some central venues at the Games, allowing international guests to convert their foreign banknotes into e-CNY.
‘Wave of litigation’ to hit NFT space
Brands and companies have begun to crack down against NFT projects that violate copyright, IPs and trademarks. On Feb. 4, Nike filed a lawsuit against StockX for trademark infringement on Nike sneaker NFTs. Hermes has recently had a legal confrontation with Mason Rothschild, creator of Hermes Birkin bag-inspired NFTs MetaBirkins. There are also dozens of artists preparing lawsuits against OpenSea for selling infringing NFTs.
BlockFi faces $100 million in penalties over crypto interest accounts
BlockFi will pay $100 million to settle investigations into its interest-generating accounts, considered by US legislators as securities, which last year drew public scrutiny from state-level securities regulators in the US. $50 million will be paid to the SEC and an additional $50 million to state regulators. These moves came amid a broader inquiry in the US into crypto lending companies.
JPMorgan becomes first major bank in the metaverse
JPMorgan opened a virtual lounge in blockchain-based Decentraland in an effort to capitalize on a “$1-trillion” market opportunity. Visitors to the lounge, are greeted by a digital portrait of Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan. According to the bank, ”the Metaverse will likely infiltrate every sector in some way in the coming years, with the market opportunity estimated at over $1 trillion in yearly revenues.”
Coalition of US crypto firms unveils travel rule compliance platform, TRUST
A coalition of US crypto firms has created a centralized solution to the information sharing requirements of the travel rule. The group plans to expand the solution globally over time. “TRUST,” allows crypto firms to securely collect and transmit customer data in accordance with the travel rule. The solution allows information to be directly transmitted between the platform’s members through end-to-end encrypted channels.
New Alfa Romeo SUV uses NFT and blockchain to track car records
Alfa Romeo’s NFT certifies a car upon purchase and then records and keeps data during the vehicle’s lifespan. The NFT is a certificate that can be used as a guarantee of the car’s overall status, with a positive impact on its residual value.
Understanding the Bitfinex Bitcoin billions hack
The Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex was hacked six years ago to the tune of $70 million. Bitfinex wallets under the custody of Bitgo were drained of 120,000 Bitcoin, now worth over $4 billion. The hacked coins were blacklisted from crypto exchanges meaning that laundering the money would prove difficult. Heather Morgan and her cybersecurity specialist husband Ilya Lichtenstein were caught trying to launder these funds via the purchase of games consoles, Uber rides and other gift vouchers. Law enforcement gained access to the couple’s private keys through a cloud storage account. An amount equal to at least 80% of recovered net funds from the BitFinex hack will be used to repurchase and burn outstanding LEO tokens within 18 months from the date of recovery, which could cause a long-term increase in the value of LEO.
- The highest-ever cryptopunk sale nets 24 million USD
- Ransomware payments hit at least 602 million USD in 2021
- 74% of stolen funds from ramsonware attacks in 2021 went to russian wallet addresses
- Crypto-lobbying in the US doubled in 2021