Bullish Bitcoin, several price records for altcoins, a lot of NFTs and regulations, and a millionaire hack for fun; all this was included in the events of August inside the cryptocurrency world. Don’t miss them out!
On the markets
- Bitcoin (BTC) surpassed again the $50,000 barrier. Big companies like Walmart and Amazon are looking to hire cryptocurrency experts, so, there’s a possibility that, eventually, they’d accept at least the first cryptocurrency. Bitcoin increased by over 19% in August [CoinMarketCap]. Meanwhile, firms like MicroStrategy keep on buying BTC. Their last addition was 3,907 BTC, for a total of 108,992 BTC (around $5.7 billion) on their vaults.
- Ethereum (ETH) had its last update (London) this month, and its price has increased by over 42% so far. The EIP-1559 was finally activated. This improvement proposal implemented a new system that would transform ETH into a deflationary currency and reduce the gas fees.
The first part is, probably, the responsible for the price increase. On the contrary, the gas fees had increased by over 230% since then [BitInfoCharts]. Some reports suggest that the Ethereum network capacity has increased. A myriad of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and popular blockchain games would be the ones to blame for the still-high gas fees.
- Cardano (ADA), Solana (SOL), Terra (LUNA), Axie Infinity (AXS), and Kava.io (KAVA) reached new All-Time-Highs (ATHs) this August. ADA increased by over 130%, with a price of $3 per coin. SOL reached a price of around $80 per coin, with a market cap of over $22 billion. LUNA got a record of over $33 per coin, and KAVA touched $9.1 per token [CoinMarketCap].
Axie Infinity (AXS) hit over one billion in trades, becoming the highest valued NFT project in the world. Its current ATH surpasses $90 per token, and the fever for this crypto game doesn’t seem ready to stop. However, AXS and its other internal token, Smooth Love Potion (SLP), are now subject to income tax, according to the Philippines undersecretary.
Memes and NFTs
- The fever for Dogecoin (DOGE) and other dog-like meme coins continued. The analytics firm Chainalysis now covers DOGE. They pointed out that the adoption of this currency is rising more and more this year. Besides, the long-dormant Dogecoin Foundation was reactivated this month as well. They even count on the participation of Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum founder), and Jared Birchall, who’s on behalf of Elon Musk.
The price of DOGE increased by over 42% in August only, and over 6,000% year-to-date. So, following all this success, numerous dog-like coins keep appearing. One of the first ones was Shiba Inu (SHIB), but it didn’t stop there. So far, we can find at least 135 dog-like tokens in CoinMarketCap.
- The number of NFTs sales in August increased by over 295% [Non-Fungible]. The new celebrities and firms with their own NFTs include Lionel Messi, Mike Tyson, Kobe Bryant, Mila Kunis, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Marvel, the United Nations, and the Spanish Post.
- Tencent, the Chinese technology giant, launched a new NFT marketplace with over 300 pieces for sale. Almost at the same time, Eminem and Sony Music invested millions of dollars on MakersPlace, another NFT marketplace.
Regulations on Crypto
- The United States Senate approved the polemic “Infrastructure Bill” to increase crypto taxation. With this law, the definition of “broker” could expand not only to exchanges, but also to wallet developers, nodes, and miners. So, all of them would need to pay taxes inside the country.
The Treasury Department has promised that the law would only include exchanges, but the different actors in the industry are still against this law. At least, the Infrastructure Bill (without amendments) is still pending review and approval by other legislative bodies.
- Other countries are also tightening their rules and taxes for the crypto industry. South Africa is seeking to increase the taxation on cryptocurrencies by up to 45%. Australia wants to include inside their regulations the exchanges between cryptos and mobile payment apps like Google and Apple Pay.
Meanwhile, Japan is planning to oversee the decentralized finances and tighten the current AML regulation for exchanges. South Korea did that already, by closing the operations of around 11 cryptocurrency exchanges inside their territory.
- The Hispanic world is also jumping into cryptocurrency regulation. Proposals to recognize, adopt, and regulate crypto payments, miners, NFTs, and exchanges are being discussed now in Latin America. Countries like Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Panamá, Colombia, and even Cuba are included.
For its part, the Spanish People’s Party (PP) proposed a new “Digital Transformation Law”. Among other aspects, this law seeks to create a National Council of Crypto Assets (CNC) and allow the payment of mortgages with bitcoin. Additionally, the Bank of Spain is calling to the official register of crypto exchanges and custody platforms.
- Binance is still having legal issues in several countries. The United Kingdom admitted that they can’t really supervise this exchange, while Chile warned that they’re not authorized inside its territory. As a result of all this, the exchange has already restricted some trading pairs and products in several countries. Besides, it could be facing a class-action lawsuit from some of its customers.
Hacks and scams
- The most sounded hack of last month was, undoubtedly, the one against Poly Network. This could be considered the greatest DeFi hack in history since over $613 million were stolen in the blink of an eye. However, in a surprising turn of events, the hacker “Mr. White Hat” returned 100% of the funds. He declared that he did it for fun, and Poly Network even offered him a job as Chief Security Advisor.
- Other DeFi hacks didn’t have such a happy ending in August. This time, the list of DeFi platforms with lost funds includes Popsicle Finance (+$25m), DAO Maker (+$7m), LunaYield (+$7m), and Cream Finance (+$25m). The Japanese exchange Liquid was hacked as well, losing over $80 million. Bilaxy, a Hong Kong-based exchange, was also hacked and lost over $21 million.
- Several crypto-scam schemes were discovered worldwide in August. The co-founders of Finiko, a Russian-based Ponzi scheme with cryptos, are being wanted by authorities for stealing over $95 million. In Brazil, the leaders involved in another Ponzi crypto-scheme dubbed GAS Consultoria Bitcoin were arrested. Over $27 million in BTC and other physical assets were seized.
In the United States, the AriseCoin CEO was sentenced to five years in federal prison. This fake Initial Coin Offering (ICO) duped investors by over $4 million back in 2018. Beyond this, in Venezuela, a financial operator faked its own kidnapping to steal over one million dollars in BTC from investors. He’s being wanted by the national police.
- Crypto-scammers are now stealing funds and NFTs from OpenSea users. To do this, they pretend they’re the official support of the platform on Discord. Meanwhile, a Crypto Fraud and Asset Recovery community was created in the United Kingdom to help these kinds of victims.
- The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, wants to include cryptocurrencies in the constitution and reserves of the country. Despite this huge adoption, several anti-Bitcoin protests have broken out in the country. Since June, Bitcoin (BTC) is legal tender in this country of Central America.
- After the awful takeover by the Taliban, Afghanistan is now among the biggest adopters of cryptocurrencies worldwide, according to Chainalysis. This country is currently facing a cash shortage, closed borders, a plunging currency, and rapidly rising prices of basic goods. Besides, thousands of people want to leave the country. So, cryptocurrencies are being a useful tool for them now.
- It was revealed that Riccardo “fluffypony” Spagni, ex-development leader of Monero (XMR), was arrested in the United States. He’s being requested by the justice of South Africa, where he’s accused of fraud (out of the crypto industry). As a result, the current development team of Monero banned him from all the code repositories.
- After the China ban on Bitcoin mining, the network is finally recovering its usual power. Two American companies (Talen Energy Corporation and TeraWulf) have joined forces to mine Bitcoin with nuclear energy. Meanwhile, the Canadian-based Blockstream is expanding its Bitcoin mining efforts with millions of dollars. Even Jack Dorsey (Twitter CEO) is mining Bitcoin now.