US SEC investigates Binance’s ICO, metaverse crypto assets up 400% YoY, and STEPN faces DDoS attacks: Hodler’s Digest, June 5-11

Cryptocurrency

Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Anonymous hacker served with restraining order via NFT

In what’s perhaps an industry first, an anonymous defendant in an exchange-hacking legal case has received a temporary restraining order via NFT. The defendant is part of legal proceedings surrounding the January 2022 LCX exchange hack. Two legal firms served the “service token” NFT to the defendant as a restraining order, with the event touted as the first official NFT usage in the legal world.

FTX will not freeze hiring amid layoffs at other crypto firms, CEO states

As the crypto bear market presses on, some industry players have chosen to reevaluate staff numbers, but not FTX. The derivatives exchange will continue to add personnel, according to CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. In contrast, recent weeks have seen Gemini decrease its employee headcount and Coinbase curb new staff pickups. The last major crypto bear market in 2018 was worse in terms of employee cuts, however.

Lummis-Gillibrand bill establishes SEC-CFTC balance of power over crypto markets

A new bill from U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Cynthia Lummis, subject to appropriate approvals, aims to regulate the crypto industry on a number of levels under the shared watch of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission. “Understanding that most digital assets are much more similar to commodities than securities, the bill gives the CFTC clear authority over applicable digital asset spot markets,” a government statement detailed. However, later comments from the two senators seem to contradict this view, with Lummis and Gillibrand seeing altcoins largely as securities.

Metaverse tokens up 400% year on year despite altcoin bloodbath

Although the overall crypto market has floundered in terms of price action, assets related to the Metaverse are up about 400% on average compared to May 2021, according to a Kraken Intelligence report. Despite the year-on-year gains, metaverse assets are down significantly in price over the last 30 days (as of Kraken’s May report). All crypto-asset sectors that Kraken evaluated showed a decline in price in the last 30 and 90 days. Over the course of 2022 thus far, NFT and blockchain-powered metaverse games have seen continued participation.

PayPal enables transfer of digital currencies to external wallets

In the latter half of 2020, PayPal’s platform welcomed crypto buying and selling, but the experience was restricted to the platform. Now, PayPal has made the move to allow the transfer of certain crypto assets to and from its platform, typically pending one-time verification of identity. Armed with a New York BitLicense, PayPal has opened the feature to certain customers but aims to broaden the availability in the weeks ahead.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $29,066, Ether (ETH) at $1,682 and XRP at $0.38. The total market cap is at $1.18 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Helium (HNT) at 35.12%, Chainlink (LINK) at 22.63% and UNUS SED LEO (LEO) at 12.29%. 

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Elrond (EGLD) at -25.25%, Waves (WAVES) at -25.02% and Convex Finance (CVX) at -24.90%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“I thought [Anchor Protocol] was going to collapse from the beginning (I designed it), but it collapsed 100%.”

Mr. B, Anchor Protocol developer

“The idea of absolute fixed money is something that we’ve never seen in history.”

Ali Hamam, chief marketing officer and co-founder of Tahini’s

“The approach is very simple: We aren’t going to ignore [the crypto] market. We want to extract the maximum profit from the innovative potential these technologies give us.”

Galymzhan Pirmatov, chairman of the Kazakhstan National Bank

“For wealth management firms, digital assets are a US$54bn revenue opportunity— that most are ignoring.”

Accenture

“[Myself and my wife] believe that kids should learn things that will be needed in the future, rather than what we think is needed now.”

Marcin, father of Amelia (creator of Ami’s Cats NFT collection)

“What’s incredible about crypto is that it has the potential to decentralize power and give rise to economies that are struggling.”

Nikki Farb, venture partner at Headline

Prediction of the Week 

Bitcoin will finish 2022 ‘flat, possibly up’ says analyst as Saylor bets on $1M BTC

Bitcoin’s price traded mostly sideways this week, largely between $29,000 and $32,000, according to Cointelegraph’s BTC price index.

A historically bullish figure in the crypto space, Fundstrat co-founder Thomas Lee spoke about Bitcoin’s price with less exuberance, seeing the potential for sideways action to close out 2022, although he left the door open for it going “possibly up.”

Meanwhile, the ever-bullish CEO of MicroStrategy, Michael Saylor, ultimately sees BTC in terms of an all-or-nothing outcome — $0 or $1 million per coin. He, however, thinks BTC has already counted out $0 as an outcome, leaving his $1 million expectation on the table.

FUD of the Week 

Lithuania aims to tighten crypto regulation and ban anonymous accounts

Additional government-approved crypto regulatory requirements could come into play in Lithuania, pending parliamentary action. Among other details, the requirements include banning anonymous crypto accounts. The rationale behind this move is to decrease money laundering and prevent Russian elites from evading sanctions. The start of 2023 would see the brunt of the new rules come into play.

Blockchain-based move-to-earn app STEPN under DDoS attacks after upgrade

STEPN, a crypto project game rewarding users for physical activity, recently added a mechanism called STEPN’s Model for Anti-Cheating (SMAC) to its platform. The upgrade aims to cut down on cheating in the game. A number of difficulties ensued after the upgrade, however, including denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. The project aimed to correct its servers within a specific timeframe, although the self-imposed deadline passed with no updates announced.

Bad day for Binance with SEC investigation and Reuters exposé

Binance is the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The probe questions if the exchange’s 2017 initial coin offering of its BNB asset was in line with regulatory standards. 

An article from Reuters additionally claimed that a significant amount of funds tied to nefarious activities filtered through Binance’s platform between 2017 and 2021. A spokesperson from Binance denied the article’s allegations. Binance also refuted the claims in a detailed blog post.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Thailand’s crypto islands: Working in paradise, Part 1

Increasing numbers of crypto digital nomads are heading to live and work on tropical islands such as Thailand’s Koh Pha-ngan. Maybe you should join them.

A life after crime: What happens to crypto seized in criminal investigations?

Like with any kind of property, law enforcement has the right to sell your coins and spend the money.

Crypto 401(k): Sound financial planning or gambling with the future?

Cryptocurrencies may be coming to Americans’ retirement plans. Some see it as a sound financial strategy, while others remain skeptical.

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