At the end of the week, we summarize what we’ve been writing about these past seven days and gather everything relevant to fans of cryptocurrencies and decentralized technologies. This week bitcoin set a new all-time high at above $28,000, the SEC accused Ripple of unregistered sales of $1.3 billion worth of securities, and personal data of Ledger hardware wallet users was leaked online.
Pantera Capital CEO Dan Morehead said on CNBC that bitcoin’s limited supply acts as a key driver of the cryptocurrency’s rise in value.
According to Anatoly Aksakov, head of the State Duma Committee on Financial Market, a surge of cryptocurrency business activity is expected in Russia. This will happen already next year after the entry into force of the law on the so-called digital assets.
Last fall, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Alfa-Bank Petr Aven said that bitcoin and other digital currencies have no future. A year later, the head of Alfa Bank again accused the cryptocurrency of lack of security and confirmed his critical attitude towards this instrument.
According to Arkady Trachuk, head of Goznak, the digital ruble will be an excellent alternative to cash.
Many Russian experts are extremely skeptical about long-term prospects of bitcoin. For example, economists Vitaly Kalugin and Maxim Krivlevich believe that bitcoin’s collapse is inevitable because this instrument has no future.
While billionaire Mike Novogratz expects the new White House administration to be bitcoin-friendly, economist Nouriel Roubini, on the other hand, believes that Joe Biden will deal a blow to the cryptosphere.
According to The Block, stackablecoin onchain transactions will surpass the $1 trillion mark in 2020. Etherium remains the most popular blockchain for stackablecoin and accounts for 83.5% of total volumes. It is followed by TRON and Omni with shares of about 14.5% and 2.1%, respectively.
According to the Santiment team, large holders of XRP (or so-called „whales“) are selling their tokens en masse.
MicroStrategy reported buying 29,646 bitcoins for about $650 million, bringing the company’s 2020 bitcoin investment to more than $1 billion.
Strategists at JPMorgan said the chances of a bitcoin correction would increase if Grayscale’s investment firm’s bitcoin secret trusts decline. Grayscale continues to ramp up its investments in digital currencies. The company has reached $16.4 billion in funds under management.
Bitcoin took the first place in the rating of gifts that Russian citizens would like to get for the New Year holidays. This conclusion was made by analysts of the project Hi-Tech Mail.ru, polling Internet users.
Swiss crypto-bank SEBA has completed its Series B financing round. The bank raised 20 million Swiss francs (~$22.5 million). The bank did not disclose investor names, but Dudler said that „all existing major shareholders and new shareholders“ from Switzerland, Europe and Asia participated in the round.
Anthony Scaramucci’s investment firm SkyBridge Capital filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Dec. 21 to create the first $25 million bitcoin fund. The fund, called SkyBridge Bitcoin Fund L.P., will be open only to investors who are willing to invest at least $50,000.
Cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp has restricted trading and deposits of XRP for all U.S. customers. Jump Trading and Galaxy Digital stopped trading XRP after the lawsuit was filed, and Bitwise, a crypto-asset management company, excluded the token from its index fund. Crypto exchanges OSL, CrossTower and Beaxy also stopped trading XRP.
The EXMO exchange reported a hack. As a result of the hack, $10.5 million in cryptocurrency was withdrawn from the hot wallets, which is about 5% of the exchange’s total assets. EXMO management claims that some of the cryptocurrency cannot be recovered because the criminals withdrew funds through Poloniex.
The Indian cryptocurrency exchange on Dec. 21 reported raising $13.9 million from Coinbase and Polychain. This is CoinDCX’s third funding round in 2020, raising a total of $19.4 million.
U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase named the first recipients of Crypto Community Fund grants.
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance added support for Segregated Witness (SegWit) for bitcoin deposits. Binance also announced the closure of the Binance Korea division for South Korean users.
U.S. mining company Riot Blockchain signed another contract with Bitmain to buy 15,000 miners. Riot Blockchain expects the new purchase to boost its overall bitcoin hash rate by 65%.
Following the ban on crypto mining in Abkhazia, local law enforcement agencies periodically report on the elimination of yet another underground mining farm. Over the past week 12 illegal farms were discovered and liquidated. A total of 3,783 pieces of equipment were stopped by law enforcers.
After months of power struggles, the co-founders of Chinese Bitmain mining company Jihan Wu and Micri Zhang reached an agreement. As part of the agreement, Jihan Wu will leave the company and receive $600 million in compensation, while Zhang will control the production of Antminer miners. Wu will also gain control of the BTC.com mining pool and Bitmain’s overseas mining centers. Zhang will retain the Antpool mining pool and Bitmain mining centers in China.
Mining pool F2Pool published a review of a new ASIC miner for the Ethash algorithm called Phoenix, developed by Chinese company Linzhi.
The Bank of Russia does not plan to use the digital ruble in lending to individuals and legal entities. In addition, the regulator excludes the use of token in deposit products. Also, the Central Bank allowed the use of cryptoruble in smart contracts.
The digital ruble can be used internationally, primarily in the post-Soviet space. Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, for example, could use the innovative tool for cross-border movement of funds, said RANEPA expert Yegor Ivankov.