Top Stories This Week
Unsealed superseding indictment against Sam Bankman-Fried includes 12 criminal charges
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was charged on four new criminal counts by a federal judge presiding over his case. According to a superseding indictment, there are now 12 criminal charges against Bankman-Fried, including eight conspiracy charges related to fraud as well as four charges of wire fraud and securities fraud. In an attempt to possibly modify his bail terms, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys will hire a security expert to assist the federal judge overseeing his fraud case. The technical expert will help the judge navigate issues regarding encrypted messages, privacy-focused messaging apps and VPNs.
Ethereum Shapella upgrade gets new date, making way for un-staking ETH
Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko announced the blockchain’s Shapella upgrade is scheduled for Feb. 28. The Shapella network upgrade will activate on the Sepolia network at epoch 56832. Major changes to the consensus layer include full and partial withdrawals for validators and independent state and block historical accumulators, replacing the original singular historical roots. After the Sepolia fork, the next step would be the release of the Shanghai upgrade on the Ethereum Goerli test network, planned for March.
US lawmaker introduces bill aimed at limiting Fed’s authority on digital dollar
United States Representative Tom Emmer has introduced legislation that could limit the Federal Reserve from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). According to Emmer, the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act seeks to protect Americans’ right to financial privacy. The bill could prohibit the Fed from issuing a digital dollar “directly to anyone,” bar the central bank from implementing monetary policy based on a CBDC, and require transparency for projects related to a digital dollar.
Emojis count as financial advice and have legal consequences, judge rules
A United States District Court judge ruled that emojis like the rocket ship, stock chart and money bags mean “a financial return on investment.” The decision is part of a recent court filing regarding Dapper Labs’ motion to dismiss a complaint alleging that its NBA Top Shot Moments NFTs violated security laws. In a tweet, former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Branch Chief Lisa Braganca warned users of the potential legal consequences of using emojis that may indicate future gains.
Ankr partners with Microsoft to offer enterprise node services
Microsoft has partnered with decentralized blockchain infrastructure provider Ankr to provide a novel node-hosting service on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. This partnership will integrate the technology of both companies, pairing Ankr’s blockchain infrastructure with Microsoft’s cloud solutions. The enterprise node deployment service will offer low-latency blockchain connections for Web3 projects. The service relays transactions, deploys smart contracts and can read or write blockchain data.
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $23,245, Ether (ETH) at $1,596 and XRP at $0.37. The total market cap is at $1.06 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Stacks (STX) at 122.16%, Conflux (CFX) at 95.19% and Ankr (ANKR) at 38.31%.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are Fantom (FTM) at -16.07%, dYdX (DYDX) at -13.26% and Loopring (LRC) at -14.41%.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
Most Memorable Quotations
“I think it’s time for the Treasury, the Feds, the CFTC, the SEC, all of us better get together on crypto.”
Maxine Waters, U.S. representative for California
“Where the democracies have broken down, I do think it’s very clearly related to fiat currency, and I do think that Bitcoin fixes this in a way.”
Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation
“Bitcoin mining can really push the envelope around innovation and investment in renewables in a truly significant way.”
Jaime Leverton, CEO of Hut 8
“By acting without Congressional authorization, [the SEC] continues to contribute to a chaotic regulatory environment, harming the very investors it is charged to protect.”
“The days of crypto companies like CoinEx acting like the rules do not apply to them are over.”
Letitia James, New York attorney general
“Clinically, we have certainly seen an increase in people coming to therapy who report difficulties in managing their crypto trading behavior.”
Anastasia Hronis, Australian clinical psychologist
Prediction of the Week
Bitcoin eyes 25% of world’s wealth in new $10M BTC price prediction
Bitcoin may struggle with “brutal” volatility, but hodlers and critics alike should be in no doubt about its long-term price trajectory, fund manager and Bitcoin expert advisor Jesse Myers said while revealed his own “outrageous” BTC price target.
Analyzing Bitcoin’s value proposition, he argues that Bitcoin’s ability to appreciate over time means that it is all but destined to suck in value from other asset classes.
“My conservative estimates suggest an outrageous full potential for Bitcoin’s price: $10m/Bitcoin, in today’s dollars. To put this another way, I believe Bitcoin’s full potential is to eat ~25% of the world’s value… while today it constitutes just 0.05%. That’s absurd. That means that I believe Bitcoin could 500x over the coming decades, in real (inflation-adjusted) terms,” Myers wrote.
FUD of the Week
US crypto regulation happening ‘behind closed doors’ — Blockchain Association CEO
Blockchain Association CEO Kristin Smith says Congress needs to take control of crypto legislation and ensure it is an “open process” by looking at the market comprehensively. Despite regulators working “very quickly,” legislation is moving “behind closed doors,” Smith observed, emphasizing the importance of industry involvement in an “open process” that includes Congress.
US regulatory crackdown leads to $32M digital asset outflows
Institutional crypto fund manager CoinShares reported that digital asset investment products saw outflows totaling $32 million last week, the largest outflow of the year. The outflow comes in the wake of a massive crackdown on the digital asset industry by the U.S. securities regulator targeting everything from staking services to stablecoins and crypto custody.
Kim Kardashian, Floyd Mayweather file motion to dismiss crypto promotion lawsuit
Kim Kardashian, Floyd Mayweather and other celebrities are hoping to convince a judge to dismiss another attempt to hold them liable for allegedly promoting EthereumMax (EMAX) without appropriate disclosure. Recently, the U.S. SEC issued a warning to celebrities who promote crypto, reminding them that the law requires them to disclose how much they are being paid and by whom.
Best Cointelegraph Features
Breakdancing medic’s NFT auctioned at Sotheby’s — Grant Yun, NFT creator
Simple storytelling through digital art has led this medical student and breakdancer to be featured at Sotheby’s.
Green consumers want supply chain transparency via blockchain
Consumers want to support ethical, environmentally friendly products. Blockchain projects are here to help.
Hong Kong crypto frenzy, DeFi token surges 550%, NBA China NFTs — Asia Express
Hong Kong wants to restore retail crypto trading, FTX Japan customers withdraw nearly all assets after three months, and NBA China will continue minting NFTs.
The most engaging reads in blockchain. Delivered once a week.
Cointelegraph Magazine writers and reporters contributed to this article.