Italy Clamps Down on Crypto, BTC Price Down, OpenSea Suffers Attack

There’s never a dull moment in the crypto world. Just as it seemed the markets were recovering from the crypto crash, things have taken a U-turn — perhaps because the effect of traders hoping to “buy the dip” has now worn off and prices are falling for good. So, if this was part of your investing strategy, you’re out of luck for now.

It wasn’t bad news all around. NEO managed to gain 10.2%, while KLAY’s price rose by 7.6% and JUNO’s by 3.3%. However, these were three of the only coins that achieved price increases last week.

The list of cryptocurrencies that experienced losses is far longer. XRD was right at the bottom, with a price decline of 24.2%. Meanwhile, THETA’s price fell by 23.6%, SAND’s by 22.9%, and BTTOLD’s by 22.6%.

The biggest cryptocurrencies followed this general pattern. BTC fell by 8.2%, ETH by 9.4%, and SOL by 3.2%. Will this downward pattern continue, or is it just a temporary blip? Only time will tell.

Panic struck NFT enthusiasts last week after news that the major NFT marketplace OpenSea suffered from a vulnerability. Emails were sent out to users detailing a planned smart contract migration, which turned out to be phishing. At least 32 users fell victim and lost their NFTs. The source of the emails was eventually linked back to an address containing around $1.7 million of ETH, but their identity is unknown.

Cred, a crypto lending platform that filed for bankruptcy in November 2020, has hit the headlines again. Recent court documents suggest the platform paid a “crypto whale” (some with large holdings of a crypto) more than 516 BTC for a bond with no inherent worth. Its original bankruptcy was supposedly due to fraud from an external investment manager, but the new findings throw these claims into doubt.

Italy is the latest country to crack down on cryptocurrencies. The country has outlined its new anti-money laundering regulations, which require virtual asset service providers to register themselves on a roster for crypto firms if they meet certain criteria. Interestingly, the new approach doesn’t quite align with the direction of the wider EU, which is aiming to streamline criteria across all its states for VASPS — instead, Italy wants all entities to have a permanent establishment. 

The Federal Reserve released its new investment and trading rules in October, which prevented its senior officials from purchasing investment assets such as stocks and bonds. There was initially ambiguity over whether the rules included cryptocurrencies. Now, it has confirmed that crypto is indeed part of the regulations. It’s likely these rules will be extended to less senior employees eventually.

The blockchain protocol Algorand has unveiled a $20 million incentive program to encourage more development. This includes $10 million of grants earmarked for Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility, solutions which would help Algorand attract applications currently designed for Ethereum.

Algorand wasn’t the only crypto project to unveil a fund. Skale, an Ethereum-compatible network, has launched a $100 million fund to coincide with its upcoming upgrade. The fund will be given out in different stages, and the first $5 million is set to focus on blockchain gaming, especially play-to-earn games.

The notorious Wall Street trader Bob Diamond — who is known for buying into Lehman Brothers during the subprime mortgage crisis — has now invested in the crypto project Circle. Thanks to his investment, the stablecoin issuer’s valuation has jumped from $4.5 billion in July 2021 to $9 billion. Circle is now more competitive than ever in the space, and Diamond hopes its impact will be felt across the financial sphere.

Disclosure: The author is not a licensed or registered investment adviser or broker/dealer. They are not providing you with individual investment advice. Please consult with a licensed investment professional before you invest your money.

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At the time of writing, neither Tim Thomas nor Timothy Thomas Limited hold positions in the cryptocurrencies mentioned.

This post was produced by Smart Bitcoin Buyer / Timothy Thomas Limited and syndicated by Tim Thomas.

Featured image credit: Unsplash.