What happened this March in the cryptocurrency world?
A bullish market, some high-profile hacks, and a lot of new crypto regulations were probably the most remarkable things about crypto in March 2022. As usual, there was some bad and some good news as well. Let’s check them.
On the markets
- Bitcoin (BTC) is finally escaping from the bearish territory. This month experienced a low of $37,260 and a high of over $48,000 per coin [CoinMarketCap]. That’s a nice increase of 29%. Meanwhile, Ethereum (ETH) followed with an increase of over 17% in the last month. This could be due to “The Merge”: the transition from traditional mining to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).
- Other bullish coins last month include Aave (+90%), Zcash (+49%), Solana (37%), EOS (33%), Dash (29%), Cardano (+22%), XRP (13%), and Axie Infinity (+32%). In the last case, the rise could come from the end of Season 20 and the next release of a new version of the game. This new version, called Origin, promises to improve the game mechanics.
- According to NonFungible, general NFTs sales have decreased by over 44% since the beginning of 2022. The market capitalization of the sector dropped as well. By December 2021, it surpassed $16.7 billion [DappRadar]; while now is at $10.1 billion [CoinMarketCap]. That’s a fall of over 39% year-to-date (YTD). The average price per NFT also dropped by around 41% in the same period.
- On the contrary, the DeFi sector went up by over 7.7% during the last 30 days [DeFiPulse]. The leading platforms are Maker, Aave, Curve Finance, Convex Finance, and Uniswap. Together, they accumulate over $55.7 billion in Total Value Locked (TVL).
Regulations on crypto
- Ukraine is now the last country to officially legalize Bitcoin and other cryptos, while there’s a proposal to do so in Malaysia and other countries. It’s also been reported that Panama, Paraguay, Guatemala, Chile, and Tonga are discussing the possibility. Meanwhile, Lugano (Switzerland) and Satoshi Island (Vanuatu) are aiming to make Bitcoin (BTC) de facto legal tender.
- Due to the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, several governments and authorities are asking crypto exchanges to ban transactions from Russia. That includes Japan, United States, and the European Union. They want to make sure that Russia can’t evade the sanctions by using digital assets.
- The European Parliament officially voted against the prohibition of Proof-of-Work coins (which includes Bitcoin). Further discussions about the new Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulations package will come in April. For now, they also voted against full privacy in crypto transactions.
So, if this proposal isn’t properly argued in the next months, the European crypto exchanges will need to identify every customer and gather more personal data than before. Even the Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs) would be included in the rule.
- U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order for governmental agencies to study and regulate cryptocurrencies jointly. Additionally, they’re aiming to create their own Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Meanwhile, a proposal to ban Proof-of-Work mining in New York for at least two years is gaining more traction.
- The Financial Conduct Authority (U.K.) banned over 81 crypto ATMs in the country. According to them, the current companies that offer this service there aren’t properly registered or applying AML/CFT measures. So, until a company is approved to offer regulated crypto ATMs, it won’t be possible to legally use these machines in the U.K.
Hacks and scams
- The Axie Infinity blockchain, Ronin, suffered a major hack for around $625 million. The attacker took advantage of a backdoor to steal 173,600 Ethereum and 25.5M USDC. After this, Sky Mavis (the parent company) promised to reimburse the funds to the victims, and it’s working to fix the vulnerability. The native tokens AXS and SLP and the axie NFTs weren’t compromised.
- Other 21 DeFi hacks and scams were done in March [DeFi Yield]. Around $48 million were stolen from the stablecoin protocol Cashio on Solana. Apparently, the assailant returned the funds for accounts with less than $100k and donated the rest to charity. More attacked platforms include Hundred Finance ($6.2 million hacked), Agave ($5.5 million hacked), Ola Finance ($3.6 million hacked), and Deus Finance ($3 million hacked).
- The cryptocurrency “Ormeus Coin” and its related platform were declared a fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This authority charged the siblings John and JonAtina Barksdale with having been selling this fraudulent token (illegal securities offerings) since 2017. They’d also publish fake information and marketing about it to snatch around $124 million from investors.
- The romance scammers have new tactics. As described by Sophos, they’re using TestFlight and WebClips to bypass the App Store security and put here malicious investment apps. Once they gain the trust of their victims via dating apps and/or WhatsApp, they recommend these fraudulent apps to steal cryptocurrencies. Usually, the fraudulent apps or websites are very lookalike to legit platforms like Robinhood or Coinbase.
- Over 100 Bitcoin mining farms were closed in Kazakhstan last month, due to legal hostilities with the government. In Venezuela, over 1,000 ASIC miners from non-authorized mining farms were seized by authorities definitely. Meanwhile, the ASIC miner prices have been falling for several weeks straight.
- The lawsuit by Craig Wright against the Bitcoin Core developers was dismissed by a British court. Last year, he was alleging that these devs somehow hacked a millionaire Bitcoin wallet supposedly owned by him. However, the judge established that his arguments aren’t enough to establish a trial, nor does he have any kind of solid evidence.
- Netflix released an already popular documentary titled “Trust No One: The Hunt For The Crypto King”. This one tells the story of Gerald Cotten, the supposedly deceased CEO of the now-extinct Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX. Around $200 million in cryptocurrencies were lost after his sudden death, which is believed to be an exit scam.
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Originally published at https://blog.alfa.cash on April 1, 2022.