Read in the Digest:
- Wall Street experiences worst Losses since 2020, Biden preparing executive order, indonesia bans firms from facilitating crypto trades.
- Research driven approach gives Cardano edge over Ethereum – Kraken.
- Bithumb to suspend crypto withdrawals to unverified private wallets.
- Meta unveils new giant AI supercomputer to power the metaverse.
Wall Street Experiences Worst Losses Since 2020, Biden Preparing Executive Order, Indonesia Bans Firms from Facilitating Crypto Trades
As worries of rising inflation prevail, stocks fell once again on Wall Street, closing out with the worst weekly drop for the S&P 500 since March 2020. In the week ending January 22nd, the S&P 500 fell by 5.7%, Nasdaq by 2.7% (down 14.3% from November 13th), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 1.3%.
Amidst the declines, there have been reports that the President Biden administration is preparing to release an executive order regarding crypto for early as February. The order would outline the Fed’s strategy when dealing with the burgeoning industry, and ask regulators to determine the risks and opportunities inherent in cryptocurrencies.
Pressure around cryptocurrencies continues to pile on as Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority banned financial firms from offering, marketing, or facilitating crypto. Despite the boom in the country’s trading, the regulator has warned investors to steer clear of crypto assets.
- Since dropping to $33.5k, Bitcoin has rebounded, gaining 8% in value over the last 24 hours to reach $36,500 thanks to renewed interest in the digital asset.
The 24 hour price chart for Bitcoin (BTC). Source: Tradingview
Why You Should Care
The massive drop seen in the crypto market aligned with the performance of stocks, proving the interconnected nature between digital assets and financial markets.
Research-Driven Approach Gives Cardano Edge Over Ethereum – Kraken
Cardano and Ethereum are two blockchain projects that have long been compared and contrasted as competitors. In a side-by-side examination, Kraken Exchange pitted Cardano, the largest proof-of-stake blockchain in the market, against Ethereum, the largest smart contracts platform.
According to the exchange, Cardano has the edge due to its research-driven approach. In its report, Kraken explains that Cardano emphasizes a research-driven approach to design, which it believes will propel the eventual adoption of its technology.
Kraken points out that Cardano was designed to promote its native token (ADA), and enables developers to securely build dApps on its blockchain. In comparison, Ethereum was built like an operating system to be utilized by any number of custom assets and programs.
Another factor that sets Cardano apart from other blockchain projects is that it is being released in phases. Kraken emphasized that each of Cardano’s upgrades offers appealing optimizations based on scientific research and formal verification.
- According to Kraken, Cardano’s approach may not promise new ground-breaking features to users and developers.
Why You Should Care
In the past, Cardano’s founder has explained that the project is focused on building out systematically, rather than promising magical changes with network upgrades.
Bithumb to Suspend Crypto Withdrawals to Unverified Private Wallets
South Korea’s second largest crypto exchange, Bithumb, has announced that it will be suspending all crypto withdrawals to unverified private wallets starting from January 27th. This makes Bithumb the second of four major exchanges to ban such withdrawals to unverified wallets.
Ahead of its new travel rules, set to be implemented on March 25th, the Korean Financial Intelligence Unit has asked all virtual asset service providers, including crypto exchanges, to register with the monetary unit.
Users can only register their own private wallets as per the new rules. As a result, all Bithumb users must perform another round of KYC in order to whitelist their personal wallets. Users who fail to verify their personal wallets before January 27th will no longer be permitted to make withdrawals on Bithumb.
The Bithumb accounement came after the NH Agricultural bank sternly demanded customer verification certification (KYC) for all personal crypto wallets.
- The Bank of Korea on January 24 announced that it had successfully completed the first phase of its CBDC (central bank digital currency) trial.
Why You Should Care
The move seen by these major exchanges aligns with South Korea’s decision to stamp out crime from the cryptocurrency industry.
Meta Unveils New Giant AI Supercomputer to Power the Metaverse
Pushing to stake its claim on the metaverse, Meta (formerly Facebook) has announced the development of the AI Research SuperCluster (RSC), which it claims is among the fastest AI supercomputers currently in operation.
According to Meta, once fully built, the RSC will have 16,000 GPUs and will be the fastest operating supercomputer for AI tasks on the planet. Although the supercomputer is already operational, Meta outlines that the RSC is expected to be fully completed by the middle of 2022.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, explained that the experiences his company is building for the metaverse will require enormous amounts of computing power, approaching quintillions of operations per second.
Zuckerberg adds that the RSC will enable new AI models to learn from trillions of examples, understand hundreds of languages, and more.
- Meta has faced serious challenges, especially from regulators, who have called for the discontinuation of its stablecoin project, Diem.
Why You Should Care
Meta’s RSC could prove to be significant to the metaverse, which is being described as “the next iteration of the internet.”