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Bulgarian Businessman Loses Half a Million Dollars to Call Center Crypto Fraud – Bitcoin News

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A Bulgarian investor has lost a large amount of money to fraudsters who convinced him he was putting cash into cryptocurrency. The scam operated through a call center in what is becoming an established scheme for extracting money from victims lured with promises of quick profits on stock and crypto markets.

Defrauded Bulgarian Crypto Investor Sends Money to Bank Accounts Across the World

A businessman from Bulgaria has transferred over 1 million leva (more than $550,000) to scammers who suggested he could earn well from crypto assets, according to a report by the Bulgarian national broadcaster, BNT. He was persuaded by a fake consultant to send the amount to accounts at different banks, from Europe to Hong Kong.

The investor was initially contacted by a call center operated by the fraudsters offering high yields on crypto investments. This communication went on for a while and they were able to convince him that he would triple his money in no time. When the man expressed interest in the proposition, he was transferred to an encrypted chat and set up with an online account.

“The victim’s details – name and phone number – were most likely acquired from a platform he signed up to,” said Commissioner Vladimir Dimitrov, head of the cybercrime unit at the Interior Ministry’s General Directorate Combating Organized Crime.

The businessman, whose identity was not revealed by the investigators, was then offered to make a small deposit of €250 which multiplied several times in a few weeks, in virtual assets. Later, he sent tens of thousands of euros to Polish, British, and a Chinese bank.

The call center from which the targeted person got the initial call in this case was most likely located somewhere in the Middle East, Bulgarian officials said. However, the country from which the organizers of the fraudulent scheme operated is yet to be identified.

The scam is part of a recent criminal trend in Europe that entails using call centers to entice unsuspecting victims with non-existent opportunities to invest in shares of famous global companies or cryptocurrencies.

In mid-January, authorities from Bulgaria, Serbia, Cyprus, and Germany, working with Europol and Eurojust, took down a network of call centers that “lured victims into investing large amounts of money into fake cryptocurrency schemes.” In September, last year, the Ukrainian police busted a similar criminal organization defrauding investors across Europe.

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Do you think this trend of scammers using call centers to extract money from potential crypto investors will continue? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.



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South Korea Issues Guidelines for Regulating Security Tokens as Legislation Looms

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Security tokens refer to the digitalization of securities under the Capital Markets Act using distributed ledger technology, according to the guidance, and will apply only to digital assets that qualify. The guidance clarifies that stablecoins, which are crypto pegged to the value of other currencies such as the U.S. dollar and are used for payments or as a medium of exchange, will likely not fall under the definition of securities. Digital assets that have no issuer and do not have to “fulfill the obligations commensurate with the investor’s rights,” will also likely fall outside of the scope of security tokens.

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Core Scientific agrees $70M loan facility from B. Riley

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  • Core Scientific is seeking emergency relief from the bankruptcy court for it to secure a replacement loan facility.
  • According to court documents, the miner has agreed to a $70 million credit facility from investment banking firm B. Riley.
  • The company will use the funds to pay off an existing loan to avoid defaulting,

Core Scientific, a Bitcoin mining firm that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December last year, says it’s agreed to a $70 million financing facility from B. Riley Commercial Capital, LLC.

Court documents the Bitcoin miner filed on Tuesday reveal that the crypto company seeks to use the loan facility from the investment bank to pay off an existing debtor-in-possession (DIP) facility.

Core Scientific seeks emergency relief

The miner seeks an emergency relief from the bankruptcy court, which it says is needed no later than 11:30 am CET on Wednesday, 1 February, 2023. As noted in the filing, the crypto miner would be in default under the terms of the original DIP facility.

The Core Scientific team says if approved, the first part of the facility will be $35 million before the rest follow. Securing the new credit facility from B. Riley is key to the miner continuing its operations as it navigates its bankruptcy process.

The past year proved to be particularly brutal for crypto mining companies, with the crash in Bitcoin prices and surging energy costs combining to hurt business. Core Scientific was one of the largest miners to seek bankruptcy protection as Bitcoin price collapsed once more following crypto exchange FTX’s implosion.

At the time of its bankruptcy filing, Core Scientific revealed liabilities of $1 billion to $10 billion.

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Russia’s Largest Bank Plans To Roll Out Ethereum-Compatible DeFi Platform by May: Report

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Russia’s largest bank by total assets plans to deploy an Ethereum (ETH)-compatible decentralized finance (DeFi) platform, according to a report from a Russian news agency.

Interfax reports that the Russian bank Sberbank aims to launch its new DeFi platform by May.

Sberbank is a majority state-owned bank that is home to one-third of all aggregate banking assets in Russia, according to a United Nations brief.

The bank reportedly hopes to begin open testing on the DeFi platform in March and fully open it up by the end of April with the possibility of conducting commercial operations.

The platform’s customers will be able to use the popular non-custodial wallet MetaMask, according to Konstantin Klimenko, Sberbank’s blockchain laboratory product director. Klimenko says he believes DeFi could displace traditional banking.

The European Union (EU) introduced a round of crypto-related sanctions on Russia in October in response to the country’s continued military aggression against Ukraine. The sanctions involved banning all wallet and custody services to Russia, and they came just weeks after the Russian Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Russia acknowledged it was necessary to soon enable cross-border crypto payments.

Ethereum is trading for $1,655 at time of writing. The second-ranked crypto asset by market cap is up over 1% in the past 24 hours.

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Interpol Is Figuring Out How the Metaverse Will Be Policed – Metaverse Bitcoin News

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The International Criminal Police Organization, Interpol, is working on how to police the metaverse, a digital world that is projected as an alternative to the real world. Interpol secretary general Jurgen Stock believes the organization must be ready for this task in order to not be left behind by the metaverse and its related technology.

Interpol Preparing to Police the Metaverse

Police organizations are facing difficulties when adopting certain policies to enforce the law in the metaverse. However, Jurgen Stock, the secretary general of the International Criminal Police Organization, Interpol, believes the organization must be prepared to act on crimes that are happening in the digital world.

The organization is currently preparing to bring its action to metaverse platforms, which are already being used by some groups to commit crimes. In an interview with the BBC, Stock stated:

Criminals are sophisticated and professional in very quickly adapting to any new technological tool that is available to commit crime. We need to sufficiently respond to that. Sometimes lawmakers, police, and our societies are running a little bit behind.

Among these crimes currently happening in the metaverse there are verbal harassment, assaults, and others including ransomware, counterfeiting, money laundering, and financial fraud. However, some of these are still in legal gray areas.

Crimes in the Metaverse

One of the biggest problems that the organization is facing right now is determining whether an action constitutes a crime or not on the metaverse, according to Dr. Madan Oberoi, Interpol’s executive director of technology and innovation. Recognizing that there are still difficulties in this regard, he stated:

If you look at the definitions of these crimes in physical space, and you try to apply it in the metaverse, there is a difficulty. We don’t know whether we can call them a crime or not, but those threats are definitely there, so those issues are yet to be resolved.

For Oberoi, one thing is certain: to police the metaverse, Interpol needs to have contact and be present on metaverse platforms. This is why the organization already has its own place in the metaverse, which was inaugurated during its 90th General Assembly in New Delhi in October.

Interpol’s metaverse platform also serves another objective, giving it the ability to offer courses online to members of the force in other countries, and allowing them to directly practice the acquired abilities in the metaverse.

What do you think about Interpol’s actions and the metaverse? Tell us in the comments section below.

Sergio Goschenko

Sergio is a cryptocurrency journalist based in Venezuela. He describes himself as late to the game, entering the cryptosphere when the price rise happened during December 2017. Having a computer engineering background, living in Venezuela, and being impacted by the cryptocurrency boom at a social level, he offers a different point of view about crypto success and how it helps the unbanked and underserved.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, HUANG Zheng / Shutterstock.com

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.



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Bitcoin BTC Price Not Ready to Soar as Investors Await Fed Chair Speech, More Earnings

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“Startups were able to raise uncharacteristically sized rounds for their stage, commonly acquiring multiple years of runway pre-product, while over the course of the last six months, investors pivoted to underwriting fewer deals targeting higher conviction, more concentrated bets,” George told CoinDesk in a note. “During this period of time, investors began to re-evaluate their focus on what constitutes product market fit, realizing that large token incentive programs rewarding user participation creates distorted traction metrics and overlooks user stickiness.”

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Charlie Munger wants the U.S. to ban cryptocurrencies

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  • Charlie Munger reiterates his view on cryptocurrencies.
  • He lauds China for executing a full ban on cryptocurrencies.
  • Cryptocurrencies are having a fantastic start to the new year.

U.S. government should push ahead with an absolute ban on cryptocurrencies, says Charlie Munger – the Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.

Munger says cryptocurrencies have no real value

Munger has been against cryptocurrencies for the longest time and associates no real value to these assets as they are intangible and unproductive. Reiterating his view in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, he said:

Crypto is not a currency, commodity, or security. It’s a gambling contract with a nearly 100% edge for the house, entered into in a country where gambling contracts are traditionally regulated only by states that compete in laxity.

Nonetheless, the crypto market seems to be having a fantastic start to the new year with Bitcoin currently up nearly 40% since the start of 2023.

U.S. should learn from the example of China

The influential investor lauded China for recently announcing a strict ban on crypto-related services and urged the United States to learn from its example.

He quoted the ban that England imposed in the early 1700s on all public trading in new common stocks for about a whole century as a precedence as well.

In some cases, a big block of cryptocurrency has been sold to a promotor for almost nothing, after which the public buys in at much higher prices without fully understanding the predilution in favour of the promoter.

It is also noteworthy that his business partner and one of the world’s richest men alive, Warren Buffet, shares his view on the cryptocurrencies as well.

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72% of Institutional Traders Surveyed ‘Have No Plans to Trade Crypto’ – Featured Bitcoin News

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A new survey by JPMorgan Chase shows that 72% of institutional traders “have no plans to trade crypto” while 14% plan to trade cryptocurrencies within five years. Institutional traders also expect “recession risk” to have the biggest impact on markets in 2023.

JPMorgan’s Institutional Trader Survey

Global investment bank JPMorgan Chase published the results of its annual “e-Trading Edit” survey on Thursday. Conducted in January, the survey provides “insight into predictions for the year ahead,” the bank said, adding that 835 institutional traders in 60 global locations participated in the survey.

The survey asked institutional traders about their plans to invest in cryptocurrencies. JPMorgan detailed:

72% of traders surveyed ‘have no plans to trade crypto/digital coin,’ with 14% predicting they’re not currently trading but plan to trade within 5 years. 8% are currently trading and 6% are not currently, but plan on within 1 year.

Furthermore, institutional traders predicted that cryptocurrencies and digital coins will “have the biggest increases in electronic trading volumes over the next year.” In addition, “100% of responding traders predicted they will increase electronic trading activity,” JPMorgan noted.

Institutional Traders on Recession and Inflation

The survey also asked institutional traders about their economic outlook. “Traders predict that ‘recession risk’ will have the biggest impact on markets in 2023, closely followed by ‘inflation’ and ‘geopolitical conflict,’” JPMorgan explained, elaborating:

For traders that predicted ‘inflation’ to have an impact on markets, we asked them ‘What is your outlook for the impact of inflation when pricing it in for 2023?,’ with 44% of traders predicting inflation will decrease.

Moreover, “58% of traders surveyed based in the United States expect U.S. inflation levels to level off and 41% of traders surveyed based in the United Kingdom predict inflation to decrease,” JPMorgan described.

While most of the institutional traders surveyed by JPMorgan do not plan to invest in crypto, several other surveys show stronger institutional interest in the asset class. A survey by asset management firm Devere Group found that 82% of millionaires have asked their financial advisors about adding cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, to their portfolios. A different survey by Nickel Digital Asset Management found that institutional investors expect “a strong year ahead for bitcoin” and 65% agree that BTC could reach $100,000. Last month, global investment bank Goldman Sachs ranked bitcoin the best-performing asset this year.

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What do you think about this JPMorgan survey? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.



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NFTs and Their Use Cases in The Metaverse 2023

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Have you ever wondered about the replaceable nature of fiat currency? Like, we can replace one dollar with 100 cents, one rupee with 100 paise, etc. We can even exchange one USD for INR, GBP, EUR, and many other forms of fiat currency. Though the invention of cryptocurrencies brought a huge shift in the financial industry, they are also replaceable. However, blockchain has brought a new type of crypto token that is unique and irreplaceable – Non-fungible tokens.

Non-fungible tokens have become the talk of the town in 2021 mainly due to the sales worth millions of dollars. The art industry is one of the foremost sectors that was transformed by the non-fungible tokens. Just when people are starting to question the true use cases of these tokens, they have found new applications in gaming, DeFi, metaverse, and other real-world sectors.

What kinds of use cases have been developed for NFTs so far? How will NFTs shape the metaverse in 2023? In this blog post, we’ll explore these questions by taking a look at the journey of NFTs up until now and the prominence of their role in the metaverse.

Evolution of NFTs 

Non-fungible tokens have been around for a few years now but have recently surged in popularity and value. They are digital assets that are stored on the blockchain, which makes them unique, rare, and secure. NFTs are also cryptographic assets that provide proof of ownership of the asset and ensure its authenticity. They represent ownership of various virtual goods like art, music, items in video games, virtual real estate, and more. 

The non-fungible token craze first started in 2017 with the rise of the first-ever non-fungible tokens – CryptoKitties. CryptoKitties allowed users to purchase virtual cats with unique characteristics and features. This was followed by a wave of projects such as Decentraland, Gods Unchained, NBA Top Shot, and much more. These tokens created an entirely new virtual economy that has grown exponentially over the last few years. 

Popular NFT sales 

There have been some high-profile NFT sales such as Beeple’s artwork, which sold for $69 million at Christie’s auction house in 2021. It set a record for digital artwork sold at auction and introduced digital art tokens to people from all walks of life across the globe. 

Similarly, musician Grimes sold her NTF work ‘War Nymph’ for over $6 million in February 2021; setting another record for the highest sale of a female artist’s work ever at auction. Since then there have been numerous other high-profile NTF sales such as Chris Torres’ original “Nyan Cat” drawing which sold for $600k in May 2020. This was another record for the most expensive piece of Internet art ever sold at an auction. 

In addition to these sales, there have been many other digital art sales that have drawn the attention of people from different sectors. Furthermore, the launch of NFT collections like Crypto Punks and Bored Ape Yacht Club have brought celebrities and influencers into the industry. This only has further stirred the hype around non-fungible tokens. 

2021: The Year of NFTs

NFTs have been around since 2017, but they truly exploded into the mainstream in 2021. Many celebrities like Grimes and Snoop Dogg began selling NFTs, sparking even more interest in digital art collecting. Digital tokens went from a niche crypto asset to a hot topic of conversation throughout the year.

The non-fungible token market had its most famous moment of 2021 when Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” sold for $69 million during an open auction hosted by Christie’s. This sale made headlines around the world and caused many people to take these unique digital tokens seriously as an investment opportunity.

The surge in NFT trading led to a variety of new applications being explored such as tokenized ticketing, gaming incentives, loyalty programs, virtual real estate, and much more. These tokens were also used to create digital collectibles like sports cards that offer advantages like anonymity and security. 

Additionally, NFT-based decentralized finance (DeFi) projects began exploring ways to allow the lending and borrowing of digital assets. This new approach to DeFi allowed token holders to collateralize their assets for loans. They have even enabled holders to earn passive income through staking rewards on Decentralized Exchanges (DEX). 

By the end of 2021, NFT had become so mainstream that Collins Dictionary named it the Word of the Year for 2021. This demonstrates just how popular and influential this asset class had become over one year. 

Nevertheless, NFT-based digital collectible trades have faced headwinds due to crypto market volatility in 2022 and other external obstacles. Despite these difficulties, digital tokens have found innovative use cases in various applications such as loyalty programs, ticketing systems, and gaming activities with incentives and assets for metaverse platforms. This proves that non-fungible tokens are here to stay for the long haul. 

The relationship between non-fungible tokens and the metaverse is a core component of the ever-evolving virtual world. In the metaverse, digital tokens provide a way to tokenize and monetize digital activities. The non-fungible tokens can also be used for access control and authentication. 

NFT owners can acquire property or items within the metaverse environment. They can even purchase unique tokens that allow them access to certain areas within the metaverse itself. Non-fungible token owners also have unique opportunities to profit by trading them with other users in the virtual world. 

NFTs play an important role in creating a more immersive experience within the metaverse. Video games provide players with an exciting way to interact in a virtual world. Games such as Gods Unchained make use of these tokens as digital representations of real game objects and cards that give players additional powers when used in the game. 

Finally, NFTs will soon be integrated into many aspects of life within the metaverse. The rise of blockchain gaming has provided us with evidence that these tokens can be utilized as currency within these environments. The underlying technology continues to evolve and become adopted by more people across various industries and sectors. We can expect to see more interesting use cases emerge from this fascinating intersection between NFTs and the metaverse.

Top NFT Use Cases for Metaverse in 2023

Blockchain-based Games

Non-fungible tokens have become popular in the gaming space due to their unique ability to prove ownership of digital assets and create an open market for trading NFTs. By utilizing these tokens in gaming environments, developers can create new ways for users to interact with their game and receive rewards. 

When it comes to NFTs in blockchain-based games, they have a wide range of use cases. Non-fungible tokens find applications as in-game currency, allowing players to purchase upgrades, abilities, or other special items within the game. They also allow gamers to own tradable goods such as virtual land or exclusive items like weapons or armor. 

One of the most exciting prospects for NFTs is how they will fit into the future of the metaverse. Virtual games will play a significant role in the metaverse development which implies that these unique digital tokens also play a crucial role in the virtual universe. 

Virtual Marketplaces

Non-fungible tokens are perfect for virtual marketplaces as they offer users a secure and trusted way to buy and sell digital assets. They can be used to create rare, limited-edition items that only exist within a certain virtual world or game. This means it is possible to develop a community of people who collect these tokens and trade them to obtain the rarest of items.

Non-fungible tokens also provide an additional layer of security for digital assets, as the holder is the only one who has access to their asset. Developers can create NFTs that we can exchange or trade for other cryptocurrencies and tokens. The unique and scarce nature of these tokens makes them incredibly valuable because they offer scarcity and ownership rights that do not exist with any other type of currency or asset.

Art Galleries 

NFTs offer an innovative way for artists to exhibit their artwork in the metaverse. They enable users to buy, sell, and rent digital art pieces exhibited in virtual galleries. Furthermore, they provide a secure, transparent process for artists to receive payment directly from fans without going through a third-party company. 

Exhibiting tokens in virtual galleries allows artists to showcase their artwork and explore potential collaboration with other artists. Digital tokens bring the same experience of visiting a real-world gallery into the digital world. Here, users can interact with art pieces using tools like 3D modeling, soundtracks, text overlays, and more. This allows them to experience digital artwork much more intimately than they could in a physical gallery space. 

Non-fungible tokens allow fans to interact with art pieces more closely and ensure that collector investments are safely protected by blockchain technology. In this way, non-fungible tokens open up new possibilities for both artists and collectors alike when it comes to experiencing digital art inside the metaverse.

Community and Social Experiences

Non-fungible tokens in the metaverse can be used as virtual avatars that represent users and allow them to interact with others. They can also be used as tickets or badges for different events, such as conferences or concerts. These events could become more immersive and engaging experiences as they represent each attendee’s presence at the event.

In addition, digital asset use cases can transform community experiences inside the metaverse. They could enable users to create their own set of digital assets that represent their interests and passions. These include virtual art collections or special rewards for achievements and goals reached in the metaverse space. These rewards could help foster engagement and collaboration within the community.

Furthermore, these use cases can revolutionize social experiences inside the Metaverse. These tokens would power digital identities for users on platforms like chat rooms or forums created with blockchain technology. This ensures that no one can tamper with user data stored on blockchain-enabled networks. This added security allows users to trust each other much more quickly than before while preserving anonymity.

Virtual Real Estate

Non-fungible tokens provide a secure way to purchase, trade, and store virtual land and buildings inside the metaverse. We cannot duplicate or counterfeit them, which makes them perfect for representing the virtual real estate. We can buy these tokens for many different purposes in the metaverse, such as building a home, or business, or forming clubs, or organizations with other token holders in the metaverse. 

Non-fungible tokens provide ownership rights that are enforceable in the digital world. Unlike traditional land purchases where all buyers must go through a lengthy legal process, digital asset ownership is immediate. In addition, owners can have complete control over their holdings. They can set their own rules regarding who has access and what activities can take place on their property. 

Overall, NFTs are becoming an increasingly important part of modern life within the metaverse. This is mainly due to their ability to provide secure ownership rights over digital assets. 

Conclusion

Non-fungible tokens are quickly becoming an integral part of the metaverse. They offer a secure and unique way to purchase, trade, store, and interact with digital assets in the virtual world. Whether it’s artwork, community experiences, or virtual real estate, NFTs provide users with ownership rights inside the metaverse. As more people explore the possibilities of their use cases in 2023, we will likely see further adoption across many industries within this space. 

If you’re looking for a way to explore NFT use cases and take advantage of their benefits, NFTICALLY is the perfect platform for you. NFTICALLY provides users with a secure, intuitive, and user-friendly marketplace for users to launch their own collections. What NFT use case do you think will become popular this year?

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New Record: Half Of Bitcoin Supply Hasn’t Changed Hands In 2 Years

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Bitcoin has experienced a bullish trend in 2022, which is reflected in the number of BTC held in storage. Savings or long-term storage of Bitcoin reached a new record in early February as holders anticipate a return to pre-2022 price levels. 

49% Of Bitcoin In Long-Term Holdings

According to data from analytics firm Glassnode, 49% of the total Bitcoin supply has stayed in the same wallet for more than two years. This is equivalent to more than 9.45 million Bitcoins or about $220 billion at the time of writing.

Glassnode further explained this trend with a graph that shows the previous peak came in the last quarter of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. The peak ended during the bull market of 2021 because holders began selling as the price of BTC went up. 

The graph shows a savings peak at the end of 2020 and a subsequent drop. Source: Glassnode/Twitter

After the massive dip in the value of Bitcoin, the indicator dipped and remained stable for most of last year. This means that Bitcoin holders decided to wait for a price increase before moving their assets in the middle of the bear market. 

Related Reading: Breaking: Bitcoin Breaks Above $24,000 For The First Time In 2023

However, this trend has changed since December, with a significant increase driven by the consistent rise in the value of Bitcoin. Currently, 49% of Bitcoins have not been moved in two years, and investors are biding their time as we face a new bullish cycle for BTC. 

A Bullish Indicator For Bitcoin

The fact that investors have held steadfastly to their coins is a bullish indicator for Bitcoin and shows that there’s still a lot of confidence in the leading cryptocurrency. 

Bitcoin is considered the primary market mover, and several institutions hold the asset on their balance sheet. It is also a legal tender in El Salvador and the Central African Republic, with several nations contemplating adding the digital currency to their list of national currencies. 

BTC has also been used as a means of donation in the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war, and the latest bullish cycle could create more inroads for adoption. Since the beginning of this year, Bitcoin is up by about 38% and recently hit the $23,000 price mark for the first time since August 2022. 

Long-term investors are likely preparing to take profits at higher levels as the price continues to hit new levels. Earlier in January, the amount of Bitcoin addresses in profit hit new levels, with 68% of addresses now in profit. 

The percentage of addresses in profit in Bitcoin reached its highest level in the last 8 months. Source: Glassnode.
The percentage of addresses in profit in Bitcoin reached its highest level in the last 8 months. Source: Glassnode.

The last time this happened was in mid-2022, when the price of BTC was about $40,000 and in a sharp decline. So there’s a trend that we could be in for an extended bullish run in the coming months. 

Related Reading: Bitcoin Derivatives Market Volumes Show Bullish Trend After 2022 Downturn

Nevertheless, some believe that the first quarter of the year will witness a consolidation in the price of BTC before a significant price boost in the second half of the year. It would be interesting to see if this is a temporary price spike or a major bull run. 

BTC/USD price| Tradingview
BTC/USD price| Tradingview

Featured image from Unsplash.com/ chart from TradingView and Glassnode.



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Bank of England and UK Treasury Supports ‘Digital Pound’ Project, Says UK is Likely To Need CBDC

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The Bank of England (BoE) and UK Treasury are set to back the development of the British central bank digital currency (CBDC), popularly known as “Britcoin” or “digital pound.”  

The discourse of a British CBDC began in April 2021, when the UK Treasury, then under the leadership of current UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, launched a joint task force with the BoE to evaluate the feasibility of a “digital pound” for British businesses and households.

Since then, there have been multiple discussions and reports as both financial authorities weighed the potential benefits and risks a “digital pound” could bring to the UK economy. After 21 months of research and consultations, it would appear both parties have eventually come to a decision.

UK ‘Likely’ To Need CBDC

According to a Saturday report by The Telegraph, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and Chancellor of the Exchequer (Treasury) Jeremy Hunt are expected to back the introduction of the state-owned digital currency based on an expected decrease in cash use as the world evolves into a cashless, digital economy.

“On the basis of our work to date, the Bank of England and UK Treasury judge that it is likely a digital pound will be needed in the future,” said the governor and chancellor in a consultation report presented to The Telegraph by anonymous sources.

“It is too early to commit to build the infrastructure for one, but we are convinced that further preparatory work is justified,” read another statement in this consultation report. 

According to The Telegraph, the Bank of England and the UK Treasury will go public with their stance next week, rolling out a roadmap that will lead to the successful introduction of the “digital pound” to the UK economy by 2030. 

So far, following the Telegraph’s report, there have been no official comments from either the BoE or the UK Treasury.

Major Concerns Around CBDCs

As the name implies, a central bank digital currency is a digital token issued and distributed by a nation’s central bank. CBDCs are created using blockchain technology, and they share the same value and functions as a country’s fiat currency.

While many citizens and businesses are excited by the idea of a digital pound as the world embraces blockchain technology, there are still significant concerns over the implications of this financial move. 

One major fear around the emergence of a “digital pound” is the eventual phasing out of the physical currency. However, the Bank of England has continually reassured the British populace that the “digital pound” will be used alongside cash rather than as a replacement.

Another concern surrounding the use of digital currency is “state surveillance of people’s spending choice” as stated in the Lords Economic Affairs Committee report on CBDCs published on Jan 30, 2023. 

However, in the consultation report seen by The Telegraph, the BoE, and the UK Treasury, it states that CBDCs will offer users the same level of privacy as the current forms of money except in legal circumstances which may require access to an individual’s transaction history.

That said, this plausible positive news of a “digital pound” only shows the impressive growth of the blockchain industry in the last few years. However, cryptocurrency remains blockchain’s biggest application. Following a rather turbulent year in 2022, the crypto market is up again, trading with a total market cap of $1.037 trillion based on data from TradingView.

Crypto Market Cap at $1.037 Trillion | Source: TOTAL Chart on TradingView.com.

Featured Image: Sky News, Chart from TradingView.com

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Bitcoin follows the US dollar’s reaction after the Fed’s decision.

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  • Bitcoin moves in a tight correlation with the US dollar
  • Investors are unsure what to make of the Fed’s decision
  • Technical analysis favors a stronger dollar

The Federal Reserve of the United States (Fed) has raised the funds rate once more this week – this time, by 25bp. The decision triggered a selloff in the US dollar, which lost ground against its peer fiat currencies.

Also, it lost ground against Bitcoin as well.

The reason for the greenback’s weakness was the message that disinflation in the United States had already begun. As such, the fight against rising inflation appears to be over, and so the Fed approaches the terminal rate for this tightening cycle.

But the dollar’s weakness proved to be shortlived.

The next day following the Fed’s decision, the dollar strengthened. Nothing changed from the Fed’s point of view, but investors suddenly decided it was time to buy the dollar.

So they did, and now the dollar is in a range ahead of the jobs report in the United States.

Bitcoin dropped against the dollar, too, after trading above $24k for a brief period. At the current levels, it sits dangerously at the lower edge of a reversal pattern.

BTCUSD chart by TradingView

Rising wedge and bearish RSI divergence call for caution

Bitcoin’s price action diverged from the RSI even before the Fed’s decision. A bearish divergence forms when the oscillator, in this case the RSI, fails to make new higher highs. Yet, at the same time, the price action, or the market, does form them.

This way, the two diverge, and the oscillator shows signs of weakness in the market.

Besides the bearish divergence with the RSI, BTC/USD is in a rising wedge formation. This is a reversal pattern, but traders must be patient before shorting the market.

The idea is to wait until and if the market breaks below the pivotal area marked in blue on the chart above. Such a move implies that the reversal pattern ended and a new market move has already started.

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Australian Government Says It Is Working to Ensure ‘Regulation of Crypto Assets Protects Consumers’ – Regulation Bitcoin News

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The Australian government has said it will take steps to ensure the “regulation of crypto assets protects consumers” and one of these steps will be the reforming of “the licensing and custody of crypto assets.” The Anthony Norman Albanese-led government also said it has released a consultation paper that explores “which elements of the crypto ecosystem are sufficiently regulated and which require additional attention.”

Prioritizing Protection of Consumers

The Australian government has said it is working to “ensure the regulation of crypto assets protects consumers” as well as to position the economy “to take advantage of new digital products and services.”

To achieve these goals, the Aussie government said it plans to “reform the licensing and custody of crypto assets.” Special emphasis will be given to a subset of cryptocurrencies “that currently fall outside the financial services regulatory framework,” the government said.

In a statement issued on Feb. 3, the Anthony Norman Albanese-led government said it also intends to subject crypto asset service providers to what it calls “a set of obligations and operational standards.” The statement added that such standards are intended to safeguard customers’ digital funds.

Concerning the design of a custody and licensing framework, the Australian government said it will commence a public consultation process in “mid-2023 to allow for sufficient consultation prior to the introduction of legislation.”

Identifying and Controlling Emerging Risks

Also in the statement, Prime Minister Albanese’s government said while it has taken immediate steps to protect consumers, more needs to be done. The government added:

A consultation paper released today explores in detail which elements of the crypto ecosystem are sufficiently regulated and which require additional attention. This will enable the Government and stakeholders to focus on regulatory gaps and ensure that emerging risks are identified and controlled.

The statement also said while the Australian government is open to working with stakeholders it nonetheless wants this done in an orderly fashion. Doing this allows the government to “get the policy settings right to protect consumers and support innovation in this emerging sector.”

Besides the planned crypto custody and licensing framework, the Australian government said it has already taken steps to ensure consumers are protected. Some of these steps include increasing the size of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)’s crypto team. Stopping scams as well as detecting possible money laundering or terrorism financing are also listed as the other steps already taken.

What are your thoughts on this story? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.














Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.



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Filecoin Creator Protocol Labs Cuts 21% of Staff

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Protocol Labs, the company behind decentralized file storage network Filecoin, is laying off 21% of its staff, CEO Juan Benet announced in a blog post on Friday.

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MicroStrategy BTC paper loss hits $1.3B but no plans to stop trading bitcoin

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  • MicroStrategy registered $34 million in its first-ever bitcoin sale.
  • The company registered a paper loss of over 1 billion in 2022.
  • MicroStrategy made its first bitcoin purchase in August 2020.

Despite making a paper loss of about $1.3 billion in 2022, MicroStrategy’s chief financial officer, Andrew Kang, said that the company will continue trading bitcoin. During a presentation for the Q4 2022 financial results webnier, Kang said:

“We may consider pursuing additional transactions that may take advantage of the volatility in Bitcoin prices, or other market dislocations that are consistent with our long-term Bitcoin strategy.”

The company’s stand on digital currencies comes at a time the crypto market is witnessing considerable recovery from last year’s plunge although it is not clear if digital currencies will ever reclaim their previous highs.

Microstrategy bitcoin investment

Microstrategy made its first bitcoin purchase in August 2020 acquiring 21,454 BTC in what it described as a “capital allocation strategy.” The company has been accumulating bitcoins since then and by December 24 2022 it had as much as 132,500 BTC worth $4.027 billion according to Microstrategy bitcoin statistics on the Buy Bitcoin Worldwide website.

In the presentation on February 2023, Kang confirmed that Microstrategy holds 132,500 bitcoin that are worth about $1.84 billion as of Dec. 31, 2022.

In the last quarter, MicroStrategy made a loss of $34 million after making its first-ever Bitcoin sale. The company made the decision to sell some of its bitcoins to recoup some tax losses.

Microstrategy co-founder Michael Saylor said Bitcoin is one of the most important benchmarks that it uses to measure its stock performance against. He said that the company’s stock has risen by 117% since August 2020 compared to the bitcoin price which has risen by 98% in the same period.

In an interview with a popular news outlet, Saylor said:

“The only real safe haven for an institutional investor is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the only universally acknowledged digital commodity, and so if you’re an investor, Bitcoin is your safe haven in this regard.”

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