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Bitcoin, Ether Begin Month on a High as Wider Crypto Market Witnesses Reasonable Gains for All Major Altcoins

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Bitcoin, Ether Begin Month on a High as Wider Crypto Market Witnesses Reasonable Gains for All Major Altcoins

Bitcoin has closed January with a bit of resurgence but January’s declines have put the digital coin on pace for its worst start to a year since the dawn of the 2018 “crypto winter.” The world’s most valuable cryptocurrency has had a fairly good seven days, steadying ship above $38,000 (roughly Rs. 30 lakh), and market factors seem to suggest that the $40,000 (roughly Rs. 30 lakh) mark may not far off with BTC climbing yet again on Monday. Bitcoin’s value is currently at $41,114 (roughly Rs. 30.5 lakh), up by 2.19 percent over the past 24 hours on Indian exchange CoinSwitch Kuber.

Meanwhile, on global exchanges, the price of the most popular cryptocurrency stood at $38,500 (roughly Rs. 29 lakh), up by 3.69 percent over the past 24 hours.

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Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, has had a good week too, adding over 12 percent in value over the past week. At the time of publishing, Ether was valued at $2,929 (roughly Rs. 2 lakh) on CoinSwitch Kuber while values on global exchanges saw the crypto’s value hover around the $2,700 (roughly Rs. 2 lakh) mark at $2,738 (roughly Rs. 2 lakh), where the coin rose by close to 9 percent over the past 24 hours. Compared to the price of Ether a month ago, CoinGecko data reveals that the cryptocurrency still stands at a 27 percent dip.

Gadgets 360’s cryptocurrency price tracker reveals a rather positive showing amongst altcoins to begin February. Polygon,Binance Coin, Solana, Avalanche, Cosmos, Polkadot, and Elrond were among the biggest gainers, alongside metaverse tokens Decentraland (MANA), The Sandbox (SAND) and Enjin Coin (ENJ).

Meme coins haven’t had a very good start to the year, just like most other altcoins, but the past week has been better for both SHIB and DOGE — the two most sought-after meme coins amongst others. Dogecoin is currently valued at $0.15 (roughly Rs. 11.5) after rising by 2.55 percent over the last 24 hours, while, Shiba Inu is valued at $0.000023 (roughly Rs. 0.002), up close to 4 percent over the past 24 hours.

“BTC’s price can now attract short-term buyers. The support price for BTC holds above $37,000 (roughly Rs. 27.5 lakh), and resistance stands between $40,000 (roughly Rs. 30 lakh) to $45,000 (roughly Rs. 30.5 lakh). According to the market cap, the other top cryptocurrencies such as Solana, Terra, Polkadot, Cosmos, Uniswap, and many other coins have gained more than a decent growth than the previous day,” Edul Patel, CEO and co-founder of crypto investment firm Mudrex told Gadgets 360.

While the wider crypto market is expected to continue to experience volatility, Visa, the global payment network company, has said during an earnings call that its customers made $2.5 billion (roughly Rs. 18,685 crore) in payments using its crypto-linked cards during the first fiscal quarter of 2022. That volume, when put into perspective, already accounts for over 70 percent of all crypto-card volume throughout the fiscal year of 2021 that ended on September 30, 2021, signalling increased adoption of digital asset payments over the past few months.

The government of El Salvador, meanwhile, rejected a recommendation by the International Monetary Fund to drop Bitcoin as legal tender in the Central American country. Treasury Minister Alejandro Zelaya angrily said that “no international organisation is going to make us do anything, anything at all.”

“Countries are sovereign nations, and they take sovereign decisions about public policy,” he said. The IMF recommended last week that El Salvador dissolve the $150 million (roughly Rs. 1,120 crore) trust fund it created when it made the cryptocurrency legal tender and return any of those unused funds to its treasury.

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Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.

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Suspected Tornado Cash Crypto Mixer Developer Detained by Dutch Authorities: Details

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Suspected Tornado Cash Crypto Mixer Developer Detained by Dutch Authorities: Details

Dutch authorities on Friday said they had arrested a 29-year-old man believed to be a developer for the crypto mixing service Tornado Cash, which the United States put on its sanctions list this week. The US sanctions announced on Monday followed allegations that Tornado Cash was helping conceal billions in capital flows, including for North Korean hackers.

By mixing cryptocurrencies, the online service makes it possible to conceal the origin or destination of digital payments, increasing their anonymity.

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Tornado Cash is one of the largest crypto blenders identified as problematic by the US Treasury.

The Dutch public prosecutor’s office for serious fraud, environmental crime and asset confiscation (FIOD) said Tornado was suspected of having laundered more than $7 billion (roughly Rs. 55,700 crore) worth of virtual currency since it was created in 2019.

Tornado Cash did not reply to a request for comment.

The FIOD said the man, who was not identified, was arrested in Amsterdam on Wednesday. He is believed to have helped facilitate criminal transactions, including “funds stolen through hacks by a group believed to be associated with North Korea.” He faces money laundering charges.

In June the Financial Advanced Cyber Team division of the FIOD started an criminal investigation into Tornado Cash, the statement said. It found Tornado Cash had been used to conceal large-scale criminal money flows, including from (online) thefts of cryptocurrencies.

Further arrests have not been ruled out, prosecutors said.

On Monday, The US Treasury sanctioned zero-knowledge proof-based private transaction protocol Tornado Cash for its complicity in a crypto laundering case.

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The digital currency mixing service has allegedly been used to launder more than $7 billion (roughly Rs. 55,700 crore) worth of virtual currency since its creation in 2019, the Treasury said in announcing the enforcement action. That includes the more than $455 million (roughly Rs. 3,618 crore) stolen by the Lazarus Group, a state-sponsored hacker collective with ties to North Korea.

Monday’s move froze any US assets of the crypto mixer and generally bars Americans from dealing with it.


Will crypto tax hurt the industry in India? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Enforcement Directorate Freezes Crypto Platform Vauld’s Assets Worth Nearly Rs. 370 Crore: Details

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Enforcement Directorate Freezes Crypto Platform Vauld’s Assets Worth Nearly Rs. 370 Crore: Details

India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday froze $46.5 million (roughly Rs. 369.5 crore) in assets at the struggling Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Vauld. The country’s economic crime unit on Friday said in a press release that the frozen assets were parked in bank accounts, payment gateway balances, and wallets on the Flipvolt crypto exchange. The ED said it had conducted searches at several premises linked to the company, Yellow Tune Technologies Pvt. Ltd, over three days starting August 8.

“These amounts were nothing but proceeds of crime derived from predatory lending practices. Cryptocurrency so purchased was transferred to various unknown foreign wallet addresses,” stated the ED in a press release.

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“Lax KYC norms, loose regulatory control of allowing transfers to foreign wallets without asking any reason/declaration/KYC, non-recording of transactions on Blockchains to save costs etc, has ensured that Flipvolt is not able to give any account for the missing crypto assets,” it added.

The enforcement agency said the frozen assets that belong to Vauld’s India entity would remain held until it provides a complete fund trail.

It is worth noting that Flipvolt is the Indian arm of Singaporean crypto exchange Vauld, which suspended all deposits and withdrawals on its platform in June, following the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin and its sister token Luna.

Last week, assets on WazirX totalling $8 million (roughly Rs. 63.5 crore) were frozen by the ED. WazirX is among the first crypto platforms and one of the biggest exchanges in India, with volumes exceeding $43 billion (roughly Rs. 3,41,658 crore) last year.

Vauld CEO Darshan Bathija, in an email issued to stakeholders last month, said the exchange has accrued liabilities totalling $400 million (roughly Rs. 3,178 crore) against assets of just $330 million (roughly Rs. 2,622 crore).

He attributed the gap as the result of mounting losses brought on by exposure to the TerraUSD drop as well as a decline in other significant cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether.

“We are investigating this matter, we kindly request your patience and support, we will keep you updated as soon as we have more information on this,” Vauld said in a statement sent to Business Today.

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Vauld is already facing financial troubles and has halted withdrawals since July. The platform obtained a three-month moratorium extension from the Singapore High Court to explore different options a few days ago.


Why is Oppo making strange choices with its flagship Reno series? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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UN Development Body UNCTAD Believes Banks Should Be Banned From Holding Crypto

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UN Development Body UNCTAD Believes Banks Should Be Banned From Holding Crypto

The United Nation’s development arm, UNCTAD, believes that banks should be banned from holding crypto while suggesting that developing countries should implement extensive restrictions on the usage of cryptocurrencies, given the risks they pose to tax collection. The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in a series of reports published on Thursday, warns that the rising use of crypto for domestic payments and by migrant workers sending funds back home poses a challenge to states’ authority in monetary matters, which may lead to “leakage” of development funds.

The agency suggests a volley of regulatory curbs that we’ve already seen a number of countries take, although not all at once. These include imposing higher taxes on crypto transactions, requiring exchanges and wallets to register with regulators, and curbing or forbidding crypto ads.

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“The benefits that cryptocurrencies may bring to some individuals and financial institutions are overshadowed by the risks and costs they entail, particularly in developing countries,” UNCTAD said, citing risks such as tax evasion and losses from price swings that might need to be bailed out by central banks.

As highlighted by a CoinDesk report, the document advises countries to “ban regulated financial institutions from holding stablecoins and cryptocurrencies or offering related products to clients.”

By virtue, stablecoins are essentially cryptocurrencies that aim to maintain their value with respect to an established fiat currency such as the US dollar – but as seen in the recent collapse of terraUSD, they don’t always manage to do so.

Figures cited by UNCTAD show crypto is particularly popular in Russia, Ukraine and Venezuela — three countries affected by sanctions, war and hyperinflation. As of November 2021, 41 developing countries had either prohibited banks from dealing in crypto or prevented exchanges from offering crypto to retail investors, and nine have banned crypto outright, the report said.


Why is Oppo making strange choices with its flagship Reno series? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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