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Crypto Weekly Roundup: Markets In Meltdown, Microsoft Acquires Activision, NFT Integration On Twitter And Meta, Plus More

Crypto Weekly Roundup: Markets In Meltdown, Microsoft Acquires Activision, NFT Integration On Twitter And Meta, Plus More

The crypto space looks to have had a tumultuous week, with the markets crashing the hacking of crypto.com that led to the loss of millions. However, there have also been some promising developments, with the Taproot soft work going live on Liquid, and big players such as Microsoft, Meta, Alphabet, and Twitter all looking to explore NFTs, blockchain, and the Metaverse. Let’s look at some of the most significant developments from the past week. 

Bitcoin

BTC Tumbles Below $40,000, But What Is Driving The Rout?

While the crypto market crashed on Friday, with its market cap falling below $2 trillion, BTC crashed to its lowest level in over five months, slipping below $40,000, and Ethereum also slipping below the $3000 mark. After reaching a new all-time high just over two months ago, with speculation that the price could only stabilize at $30,000. Speculation is also rife that the reason behind the slump could be due to the release of a paper titled “Cryptocurrencies: Trends, Risks, and Regulation” by the Bank of Russia, which proposes a blanket ban on crypto. 

Erdogan-Bukele Meet Could Feature Healthy Discussion On Crypto 

Two leaders with differing views on crypto could make the crypto market a prominent feature of their discussion. Turkey is proposing heavy regulation of cryptocurrencies, while Bukele’s El Salvador has fully embraced cryptocurrencies and has been preparing for the launch of its $1 Billion Bitcoin-backed bonds. Erdogan had even sent a crypto law to parliament seeking the regulation of cryptocurrencies, looking to strengthen the Lira and deal with runaway inflation. 

Taproot Soft Fork Goes Live On Liquid 

The Taproot Soft fork went live with block 1,633,200 on Liquid. The activation is the Liquid Network’s latest and one of the most significant upgrades, bringing in new use cases, functionality, and technology to the ecosystem. Significant improvements and features can now be implemented on the sidechain. The upgrade also represents an important step towards the implementation of Simplicity on the Liquid Network. 

Altcoins 

Shiba Inu Calls Out CoinMarketCap Over Fake Addresses 

The team behind Shiba Inu advised caution to its investors after it pointed out fake SHIB addresses that were listed on CoinMarketCap. The team also addressed CoinMarketCap in a Twitter post, stating that the platform had intentionally listed the three fake smart contract addresses and warned investors about interacting with the fake addresses. It also stated that CoinMarketCap had not addressed the team’s concern, with the incorrect addresses still showing on the platform. CoinMarketCap, on its part, stated that the addresses were designed to facilitate cross-chain transactions for wrapped versions of the SHIB token. 

Polygon Launches EIP 1559 Upgrade

Polygon has finally launched the highly awaited EIP 1559 upgrade, enabling the burning of the MATIC token and significantly improving fee visibility. The team at Polygon announced the news through a blog post, with the upgrade successfully implemented on the Mumbai testnet and implementation on the mainnet completed on the 18th of January. With the implementation, the annual burn rate for the MATIC token will be around 0.27%, reducing the token supply by 27 million per year. 

Business 

Crypto.com – The First Major Exchange To Be Hacked In 2022 

Crypto.com has started 2022 on a sour note, with the exchange reporting that it had been the target of a coordinated hack. The hack came to knowledge only after several users reported problems with their respective accounts and started noticing that their balances were depleted, with hackers siphoning off almost all funds from their accounts. Users also reported being locked out of their accounts. Crypto.com released a statement to its users stating that it is looking into the hack and that all user funds were safe. However, an investigation by PeckShield blew holes in this claim, with the firm revealing that the exchange lost $15 million due to the hack. An on-chain analyst, ErgoBTC, tweeted that the losses caused by the hack were double of what was being reported, at $33 million. 

Meta Working On NFT Integrations For Social Media Platforms 

News reports have claimed that Meta has created teams within its Facebook and Instagram divisions to create functionality integrations and the minting and selling of NFTs. The slew of new functionalities also allows users to display their NFTs or NFT collections through their profiles on social media. While no official statement has been released, Meta is also looking into launching a marketplace to enable users to buy, sell and trade NFTs. 

Verifiable NFT Profile Pictures Come To Twitter Blue 

Twitter Blue users on iOS can display their NFTs thanks to verifiable NFT profile pictures. Currently, only users in the United States of America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand can access this feature. However, Web and Android users will also be able to avail the feature soon. Twitter has been hinting towards this move for a while, with popular figures in the “Crypto Twitter” space already changing their profile pictures to an NFT. However, with the problem of other users simply right-clicking the image and saving it emerging, this feature allows users to verify that they actually own a Cryptopunk or BAYC. 

Microsoft Readies For The Metaverse With Activision Acquisition 

Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Activision in an all-cash deal has indicated that the company is serious about becoming a major player in the Metaverse. The acquisition was announced on Tuesday, with the deal touted as the biggest such deal in the gaming industry. Microsoft made the move with a view to cementing itself in the Metaverse, with Microsoft looking to disrupt a few things in the world of virtual gaming. Speaking about the acquisition, Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, stated, 

“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.”

Robinhood Launches Beta Release Of Its Crypto Wallets 

Robinhood has announced that it will be launching its crypto wallets and has already lined up a beta release for 1000 select customers. The beta release was carried out with the broader goal of laying out plans for a broad rollout sometime in 2022. CEO Vlad Tenev stated that crypto wallets have seen a significant increase in demand, with users for the current phase selected out of 1.6 million applications. 

Animoca’s Latest Funding Round Values It At Over $5 Billion

Animoca Brand has raised nearly $359 million in its latest funding round, which valued the popular NFT Gaming Investor at over $5 billion. To be more specific, the funding round was able to raise $358,888,888, with the round being led by Liberty City Ventures. Several other investors also participated in the funding round, including the likes of Soros Fund Management, Winklevoss Capital, Gemini Frontier Fund, Sequoia China, and 10T Holdings. Animoca Brand has conducted several successful fundraising rounds over the past year and looks set to continue that trend in 2022. 

Regulation 

Federal Reserve Releases Whitepaper Discussing Digital Dollar 

The Federal Reserve has released a new whitepaper that discusses in detail the benefits, downsides, and any potential costs and risks involved in the launch of the digital dollar. The whitepaper was released on the 20th of January and indicates that the Federal Reserve is open to a conversation regarding the pros and cons of a Central Bank Digital Currency. However, the whitepaper does not indicate anything that would suggest that the Fed would actively pursue the project and has already clarified that any significant step would require support from Congress and the Executive branch. 

UK’s Economic And Finance Ministry Looks To Address Misleading Crypto Promotions 

The UK’s economic and finance ministry has announced that it is looking into drafting new regulatory legislation that would look to address the growing problem of misleading advertisements and promotions that are becoming a regular feature in the crypto space. The ministry stated that any advertisements with content related to cryptocurrencies would be required to be “brought into line with other financial advertising” to ensure clarity in the interest of protecting consumers while also encouraging innovation.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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