We had some nice prices, scares, and NFTs last April 2021. Some people won, some others lost, but the deals in the cryptocurrency world are far from ending. It’s important to stay up to date to make better financial decisions, though. So, let’s check the most remarkable events of the month.
On the markets
- Bitcoin (BTC) reached another All-Time-High (ATH) of $64,800 back on April 14th. After that, it plummeted to a low of $47,700. The correction was probably due to several factors. The planned tax reform in the United States, the recent scam by the Turkish crypto-exchange Thodex, settlements of futures contracts, and the fall of the hashrate might’ve influenced it.
Besides, the Bitcoin network reached bad records in transaction fees, with over $62 per transaction (YCharts). However, the hashrate recovered quickly, the fees decreased and the price increased to $55,000 per token. Some analysts are still aiming to $300,000 per Bitcoin for this year or the next one.
- For the first time, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization reached $2,2 trillion. Meanwhile, the stablecoin Tether (USDT) hit $51 million. Monero (XMR) is getting close to its last ATH, with a price of over $400 and bullish trends. XRP recovered its fourth place with a price of over $1.5, and Dogecoin (DOGE) reached a new ATH of over $0.43 per token. Bitcoin dominance fell to 47% (CoinMarketCap).
- Ethereum (ETH) ended April with a price of over $2,800 and going up. The gas fees decreased and the active addresses hit a new ATH of 771,000 (Coinmetrics). According to a report by Bloomberg, “the European Investment Bank sold 100m euros ($121m) of two-year notes in an inaugural sale of so-called digital bonds” registered on this blockchain.
- The NFT mania continues. Around 121,300 NFTs were sold only in decentralized markets for over $56.1m in the last month (Non-Fungible). Besides, the list of household names issuing NFTs grew a lot. Among them, we can mention Eminem, Ted Williams, Pelé, Edward Snowden, Snoop Dogg, Mago de Oz, Ellen DeGeneres, PlayBoy, Forbes, and even the NYSE. The popular meme “Disaster Girl” was sold for 180 ETH (around $388k).
Regulations are coming
- The laws related to cryptocurrency are tightening in South Korea. By late April, the government seized around $22m in cryptocurrencies for tax evasion. Meanwhile, they’re planning to increase the crypto taxes by 20% on income earned.
- The United States government is also planning to increase the taxes for capital gains, which include cryptocurrencies. It would be around 39.6%+ for those Americans earning $1 million or more. Besides, the Joe’s Biden administration is probably preparing a new regulatory framework for cryptos.
- Turkey banned crypto payments in the country. Just after that, two national exchanges (Thodex and Vebitcoin) got involved in scams. Subsequently, the government started to plan the creation of a central custodian bank to eliminate the counterparty risk.
- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published new recommended policies to handle cryptocurrencies. Among them, the Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) should identify every client with personal documents. Besides, they wouldn’t be able to accept deposits or withdraws from or to private wallets.
It seems like Singapore and Spain are inclining to follow these rules. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) stated that VASPs need to verify their users’ private wallets. Meanwhile, a new decree in Spain describes how the VASPs should be registered with the authorities and share some users’ data with the rest of Europe.
Some security issues
- The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is trying to trace crypto transactions with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. And more than that: they want to go as far as hacking the hardware wallets to catch tax offenders, with the help of the provider companies. Luckily, providers like Trezor are against that privacy and financial violation.
- As described by the cybersecurity firm Sophos, the ransomware remediation cost has more than doubled since last year for companies. Due to this malware epidemic, it seems like the U.S. government is planning more aggressive regulations for cryptocurrency providers.
- According to Messari, over $284m has been lost from DeFi platforms since 2019. Last month, Uranium Finance (from the Binance Smart Chain) was hacked by over $50m. Likewise, a hacker drained over $6m from EasyFi liquidity pools. PancakeSwap suffered another type of problem: a whale interfered in fair voting.
- Some hackers designed a fake website to download DirectX 12 (for videogames) in Windows 10. Once installed, the malware will silently harvest the user’s data and drain the cryptocurrency wallets.
- According to the United Nations, India averaged around 350,000 new cases of COVID-19 each day by late April. That’s why Vitalik Buterin and other crypto-founders have donated thousands of dollars in cryptos to the cause. The donations were done through a newly-born fund, and everyone can collaborate with it now.
- Two big players in the real estate sector in the United States began accepting payments in cryptocurrencies. Everyone can access now the properties offered by WeWork and Caruso by paying in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), USD Coin (USDC), Paxos (PAX), and others.
- Facebook will launch a pilot this year for its stablecoin Diem (previously Libra). The latter will be pegged to the USD, and the pilot will be on small scale for transactions and payments. The official release is planned for late 2021, but it could be delayed.
- The Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a non-profit crypto organization backed by Square, filed a lawsuit against Craig Wright. They’re trying to officially state that Wright doesn’t possess copyright ownership over the Bitcoin whitepaper, as he’s claimed before. Last January, Wright threatened with legal actions against the Bitcoin whitepaper hosters.
Originally published at https://blog.alfa.cash on May 4, 2021.