Read in the Digest:
- Bitcoin falls under $41K as Russia-Ukraine crisis heats up, Ukraine legalizes crypto.
- Warren Buffett into crypto, Sequoia Capital launches crypto fund, Circle’s valuation climbs $9 billion.
- FBI forms crypto crimes unit, DoJ appoints new crypto team Director.
- Binance suspends all activities in Israel, Coinbase resumes advanced trading.
Bitcoin Falls Under $41K as Russia-Ukraine Crisis Heats Up, Ukraine Legalizes Crypto
After trading at above $44k for the first time in weeks, an unfortunate turn of events has seen Bitcoin shed its recent gains. The price of Bitcoin has tumbled by more than 6% over the last 24 hours, falling from a high of $43.4k down to $40,249.37.
The 24 hour price chart for Bitcoin (BTC). Source: Tradingview
Bitcoin is now trading at $40,800 as of this writing, with its market cap dropping from $842 billion down to $770 billion. The plunge has rippled throughout the broader crypto market, with the top 100 cryptocurrencies all experiencing price drops, with the likes of Terra (LUNA) losing double digits.
The plunge of cryptocurrencies into a sea of red has been linked to the rising tensions of war between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the upcoming Crypto executive order from President Joe Biden.
- Irrespective of the fears of war and the crypto plunge, the parliament of Ukraine has backed its final reading of an updated bill to legalize Bitcoin.
- Voting in favor of the motion and adopting a new law on virtual currencies, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now legal in Ukraine.
Warren Buffett into Crypto, Sequoia Capital Launches Crypto Fund, Circle’s Valuation Climbs $9 Billion
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who became infamous in the crypto community for calling Bitcoin a rat poison, appears to have made his first crypto investment. Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, has bought stocks worth $1 billion in a crypto-friendly bank.
An SEC filing revealed the investment made by Buffett’s company in Nubank, the largest digital bank in Latin America. The investment unit of the digital bank, NuInvest, allows users to put money into a Bitcoin ETF.
As crypto funds become more popular, Sequoia Capital has revealed that it is looking to raise $500 – $600 million for a new crypto fund. The fund, dubbed the ‘Sequoia Crypto Fund,’ will focus primarily on investing in liquid tokens and digital assets.
Circle, the issuer of the USDC stablecoin, has doubled its valuation from $4.5 billion to $9 billion. By updating the terms of its deal with Concord Acquisition Corp, the improvements to Circle’s financial outlook can be seen in its freshly acquired $9 billion valuation.
- Infinity Ventures Crypto has announced the closure of its inaugural $70 million funds, turning to global GameFi, DeFi, and Web 3.0 innovations.
Why You Should Care
The increasing number of venture capital firms making their way into the cryptoverse is seemingly being driven by their investors’ ever-increasing demand for crypto exposure.
FBI Forms New Crypto Crimes Unit, DoJ Appoints Crypto Team Director
Days after Bryan Vorndran, the assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, called crypto “the primary vehicle used for extortion,” the FBI has launched a new National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET).
The FBI formed a team of specialized crypto experts to evaluate crypto crime cases that may require more resources to investigate and prosecute. The team will focus on crypto exchanges, mixers, tumblers, and other crypto service providers.
Announcing the formation of the NCET, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco added, “I think we are sending a message that cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies should not be considered a safe haven.”
In a follow-up press release, the Department of Justice announced that longtime prosecutor Eun Young Choi as the first director of the NCET. Choi will lead the new team in investigating and prosecuting illicit cryptocurrency schemes.
Governor Jared Polis of Colorado announced that taxes will be payable with crypto in his state from as early as this summer.
Why You Should Care
In a previous statement, Monaco explained that for crypto to replace banks, such systems are essential for users to build confidence in the nascent industry.
Binance Suspends All Activities in Israel, Coinbase Resumes Advanced Trading
Within hours of coming under investigation in the U.S, the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, has been hit with what could be considered an even harder blow in Israel. Binance has been forced to halt all activities in Israel following regulatory intervention.
According to reports, Israel’s Capital Markets Authority asked Binance to clarify its activities in the Israeli market. The regulatory watchdog requires clarification from Binance on the services it provides to Israelis, and the licenses under which it operates.
- While Binance faces a major roadblock, Coinbase, the largest U.S. crypto exchange, has resumed its advanced trading feature, which gives traders direct access to the order book.
- Coinbase temporarily halted the feature after a white hat hacker going by the pseudonym @Tree_of_Alpha, notified the exchange of a vulnerability in its trading systems.
Why You Should Care
Due to the lack of a uniform regulatory structure for cryptocurrencies, global exchanges like Binance have had to contend with meeting the specific requirements put forth by individual countries.