Top Stories that Moved Crypto Markets (March 25)

Thailand's SEC issues another ban on crypto payments, while FIFA announces a crypto company as the official sponsor of the Qatar 2022 world cup.

Thailand SEC Bans Crypto Payments, Works on a Regulatory Framework for Digital Assets

The competition cryptocurrencies bring to incumbent financial systems is not one some federal governments take lightly. Several governments have outrightly banned cryptocurrency, while others decided to embrace it. The global trend for governments now, both crypto friendly or not, is finding appropriate regulatory frameworks for digital assets.

The latest move comes from Thailand's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has issued a ban on all forms of crypto payments within the country. In addition, crypto-centered businesses have to give monthly reports to the Thailand SEC covering their information technology usage, data, and quality of service. These businesses, including exchanges, brokerages, and dealers, also have to record and report their monthly website activities.

The SEC claims it is doing all of this to protect the interest of investors, ensuring that only quality services are rendered, following a series of poor customer experience complaints for the past year.

Morale Boost for the Crypto Market as Bitcoin Hits $44k and Ethereum Trades Above $3,1k

This week witnessed Bitcoin push through a major price level. There has been a contagious spread of positivity in the crypto market that signaled the possibility of a new bull run for investors and traders.

Bitcoin pushed past its previous price point to trade above $44k, a major resistance zone on the Bitcoin chart. While some traders were getting excited, analysts warned that Bitcoin would have to flip the $44k zone to a support line before any major conclusion could be drawn as to whether we shall experience a further bull run or not.

Ethereum bulls also took back control of the market at $3,100 with hopes to continue a trend back to $4k. The widespread positive run in the market also affected many cryptocurrencies beyond the top 10 by market cap. The overall price lift also saw the crypto market cap rally to roughly $2 trillion, with Bitcoin still maintaining its market dominance at around 42%.

FIFA Announces a Crypto Company as the Official Sponsor of Qatar 2022 World Cup

Cryptocurrency has taken off, and it's spreading faster than ever before. Cryptocurrency exchanges have moved past their old normal and are now taking advantage of the sports industry to reach a wider audience and bolster cryptocurrency adoption worldwide. First, it appeared on the billboard of the biggest sports event in the US, the Superbowl, to now advertise on the biggest sports stage in the world that recorded over 3.5 billion people viewing the last world cup in 2018.

In an official announcement, the Federation of International football association disclosed as an official sponsor of the Qatar FIFA 2022 world cup. Qatar has not been the friendliest nation to cryptocurrencies, as its central bank banned it in 2018. But it won't stop the crypto exchange company from being splattered everywhere, both inside and outside the stadiums, for the event.  

FIFA highlighted that its choice of Qatar this year is “to improve football” in the country, while many believe there was a lot of bribing and selfish interests involved in the selection.

Hacker Absconds with $1.6m in NFTs and Cryptocurrencies from DeFiance Capital's Boss

Operational security has never been more important for DeFi users as more people join the revolution.

DeFiance capital's boss, “Author_0x,” was the target of a recent hack that cost him $1.6 million in digital assets. The report shows he lost 78 NFTs spanning five collections, 1,578 LooksRare (LOOKS) tokens, 4,349 staked DYDX (stkDYDX), and 68 wrapped Ether (wETH). The hacker immediately put up the NFTs for sale on the popular NFT marketplace, OpenSea.

The NFT community showed firm support for the known crypto figure by working together to retrieve the stolen funds, while many blacklisted the hacker's ETH wallet. NFT shoppers purchased the stolen NFTs and sold them for profit, but one NFT shopper, Cirrus, stood out and decided to return 2 of the NFTs to Authur_0x at a cost.

Cirrus mentioned in a tweet that he had been a victim of three rug pulls himself, and while he could have easily made a profit of 6 to 8 ethers on the NFTs, he could relate with the crypto investment firm boss, which is why he returned it to him.

Satoshi Island Records 50,000 Applications for NFT Citizenship

Cryptocurrency is strongly regarded as the future, and many individuals and firms are already positioned to maximize that future. Have you ever envisioned a smart city where there is no fiat currency, only digital currencies? Maybe you saw Satoshi Island.

An idea born out of a desire to build a “home” for the decentralized finance community is gradually becoming a reality. Satoshi Island has made long strides in securing a remote Island in the South Pacific, within the borders of Vanuatu. The 800 acres body of land has gotten building permits from the government and is currently being developed. Ownership on the island is expected to be represented in NFTs, while all transactions will be in crypto.

Satoshi Island's free NFT citizenship application for permanent crypto residence hits 50,000, showing how much people are interested in being landowners in the soon-to-be “one-stop destination for everything and everyone crypto.” The application list will also serve as a whitelist to begin sales of the land NFTs. The crypto island project is highly backed by the Vanuatu government and focuses on upholding the true nature of total decentralization.

Hacker Exploits Smart Contract Bug, Steals $600,000 from Li Finance Protocol

Loopholes in protocols and technical infrastructures of corporations have always been targeted by hackers. While securing their platforms has always been a top priority for companies. Yet, stuff still happens.

Li Finance protocol took a $600,000 blow as an anon hacker exploited a bug in one of their smart contracts that affected 29 wallets. Twenty-five wallets accounted for $80,000, while the remaining four accounted for $520,000. The hacker got access to wallets that gave “infinite approval” to Li Finance protocol and was able to extract about ten different tokens like Polygon (MATIC), Gnosis (GNO), USD Coin (USDC), Audius (AUDIO), Rocket Pool (RPL), Tether (USDT), Jarvis Reward Token (JRT), AAVE (AAVE), DAI (DAI), and Metaverse Index (MVI).

This hack comes a week before Li Finance's scheduled audits from multiple companies and is described as “an unfortunate time” by Philipp Zentner, CEO of Li Finance. However, the company has reimbursed funds to 25 of the affected accounts, while they offered the remaining four a deal and compensations for being angel investors in the company. Li Finance was quick to shut down their platform till they fixed the bug (which they have), and now it's opened back to the public.

The hacker converted all the stolen tokens to ETH (about 205 ETH) and was yet to move it from his ETH wallet at the time of writing.

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