- Fed rate concerns, Russia-Ukraine crisis sent markets lower
- Bitcoin dips below $40k for first time in two weeks; ETH and other top altcoins also trade lower
- Ukraine Bitcoin bill and Canada orders on 34 crypto wallets among headlines this week.
Bitcoin price is down nearly 6% in the past 7 days, and currently hovers just above $40,000 after dipping below the support level to lows of $39,760. BTC’s slip to a two-week low also saw several other top cryptocurrencies shed gains made earlier in the week.
Ethereum (ETH) was down 6%, Cardano (ADA) had shed 9% and Solana (SOL) had dropped 7% over the weekly log.
XRP, the cryptocurrency issued by Ripple Labs, climbed as much as 8% on Friday after a memo from 2012 was unsealed to suggest the company received analysis that suggested XRP wasn’t a token. As of compiling this report, the XRP-USD pair was at $0.82 with 5.8% in 24-hour gains.
The dip in crypto prices tracked losses in the stock market, with US stocks closing negative on Friday to see Wall Street end a second consecutive week in the red. It followed increased risk-off sentiment among investors, with the drawdown hinged on uncertainty over the Russia-Ukraine crisis and US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes.
While Vladimir Putin didn’t invade Ukraine over the week, the US issued a warning that the risk of an invasion was still high.
Crypto headlines this past week
Binance rebrands, resumes GBP deposits and withdrawals
On Monday, Binance announced its Binance Smart Chain and Binance Chain would now function under one brand.
The two chains are now accessible as the BNB Chain, with the ecosystem powered by the BNB coin that now stands for “Build and Build” and not Binance Coin. According to Binance, the transition signifies the massive growth witnessed within the Binance ecosystem.
Binance was also in the news after it resumed deposits and withdrawals for GPB via bank transfers (Faster Payments). The payment option is accessible to verified users only, the exchange noted. Elsewhere, the exchange halted its trading activities in Israel due to regulatory issues.
UK’s HMRC seizes NFTs in fraud case
The week saw the UK government seize NFTs worth £1.4 million (roughly $1.8 million) as part of a probe into tax evasion and fraud case.
The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said in a statement that three people had been detained in connection to the case, the first time the UK had seized non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Suspects allegedly used fake IDs to register 250 fake companies linked to the VAT fraud.
Fidelity launches physical Bitcoin ETP in Europe
Fidelity Investments’ physical Bitcoin exchange-traded product (ETP) was listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange this week, with a further listing expected on the Swiss Six exchange in coming weeks. Fidelity Digital Assets will be the fund’s custodian, with the total expense ratio (TER) set at 0.75%.
This adds to Fidelity’s Advantage Bitcoin ETF launched in December 2021, growing the number of ETPs and ETFs available to professional and institutional investors across the European market.
SEC chair hints at ‘no spot Bitcoin ETF’ soon
In the US, SEC chair Gary Gensler hinted to the fact that the market might yet have longer to wait before seeing a Bitcoin spot ETF.
The indication was clear in a letter response to US lawmaker Tom Emmer, who had last year written to the agency seeking answers on why the regulator approved Bitcoin futures ETFs but continues to reject a spot crypto ETF.
We received a response from SEC Chair Gensler to our 11/3/21 letter regarding BTC spot ETFs. This issue remains a priority for us and we will continue to oversee the SEC in its mission to maintain fair and orderly markets and facilitate capital formation. pic.twitter.com/WbgSDj7o0T
— Tom Emmer (@RepTomEmmer) February 17, 2022
Ukraine legalises Bitcoin
Ukraine’s parliament on Wednesday passed a bill on crypto that makes Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies legal in the country.
The new law allows for the use and trading of virtual assets, with regulations targeted at ensuring crypto providers operate legally and with consumer protections in place. The law, however, does not mean that Bitcoin is legal tender in the country as it is in El Salvador.
Canada issues orders against 34 crypto wallets
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on Thursday ordered all regulated financial firms in the country to cease all transactions linked to 34 crypto wallets, sparking criticism from across the crypto industry.
The order was issued under the Emergencies Act, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau taking the step amid protests by the “Freedom Convoy” over COVID vaccine-related restrictions.
Among targeted wallets were 29 Bitcoin addresses, and one each of Ethereum, Cardano, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin and Monero. The addresses had received donations worth more than 1.1 million Canadian dollars at the time of the orders.
Twitter announces ETH tips
Twitter this week announced an update that will now let users tip content creators and other individuals in Ethereum (ETH). Twitter already supports tipping with Bitcoin (BTC).
As well, users will also have the chance to tip their favourite accounts via payment options such as Paga, Paytm, and Barter.
A lot happened in crypto this past week. What do you think was the biggest headline of the crypto week? Share your views.