Crypto Weekly Roundup: Ukraine’s Move To Legalize Crypto, JPMorgan’s Foray Into The Metaverse, The OpenSea Hack, And More


The Crypto market has had another eventful week with several significant developments. Some of the biggest developments from the previous week include JPMorgan opening its Onyx Lounge in Decentraland, becoming the first bank in the metaverse.

Ukraine’s quick resolution to legalize cryptocurrencies in the face of escalating border tensions with Russia, OpenSea becoming the target of a hack that saw NFTs worth millions stolen, a new crypto fund, and much more. Let’s look at some of the biggest developments in the crypto space from the week gone by. 

Ethereum 

Twitter Adds ETH As Payment Option To Its Tip Jar 

Twitter has announced the addition of several payment options for its tip jar, including Ethereum, allowing users to send ETH as tips. Ethereum’s inclusion in Twitter’s pit jar feature is in line with Twitter’s initiative to take payments options to a more inclusive stage. With the addition of ETH as a payment option, smartphone users will be able to add Ethereum addresses to their list of options. Along with ETH, Twitter will also support payment services such as Paytm, Paga, and Barter. 

Altcoins 

Cardano Achieves Milestone After Being Added To Google’s Currency Converter 

In a significant achievement for Cardano, ADA has been added to Google’s currency conversion rate calculator. The integration is critical as it recognizes ADA as a major cryptocurrency and is also an indication that the cryptocurrency’s popularity on Google is significant, with a significant number of users trying to calculate the value of ADA regularly. The integration will help users seamlessly calculate ADA’s value in terms of fiat currencies. 

Technology 

Ransomware Payments On The Rise, Reports Chainalysis 

A Chainalysis report has laid bare the increasing levels of Ransomware scams. The report states that Ransomware scams have siphoned off nearly $1.3 billion worth of cryptocurrency over the past couple of years. The report states that in 2020 alone, ransomware attacks were responsible for almost $692 million worth of crypto being stolen, while 2021 has seen a further $602 million stolen, with the amount set to increase as more information becomes available. The statistics indicate a clear increase in ransomware scams and attacks. 

Business 

Sequoia Capital Announces Crypto Fund 

Sequoia Capital has announced its plans to raise around $500-$600 million, with the aim of investing it exclusively in projects in the crypto space. With the announcement, Sequoia Capital has become the latest financial behemoth that is looking to invest in the crypto space heavily. The new sector-specific fund is one of the first sub-funds to be launched by Sequoia Capital since its restructuring that has seen its focus shift from the traditional venture capital structure. 

Circle Revises Merger Agreement With Concord 

Circle, the company behind the USDC Stablecoin, has revised its merger agreement with Concord, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The revised agreement will see the partners form a new business entity that would focus on gaining a public listing on the New York Stock Exchange. With the termination of the previous agreement, the new agreement will be finalized on 8th December 2022, which could be further extended to 31st January 2023. 

Mastercard To Expand Consulting Arm, To Offer Dedicated Crypto Services 

Mastercard is looking to expand its consulting arm by offering several new services dedicated to crypto, ESG, and Open Banking. Mastercard announced the initiatives with an eye on inducting enterprise growth and business evolution. The new consulting services will include consulting services for Crypto and Digital Currencies, in addition to its current payments-focused consulting services. 

JPMorgan Becomes First Bank To Enter The Metaverse 

JPMorgan, the largest bank in the United States, has made its way to the metaverse, opening its Onyx Lounge in Decentraland. JPMorgan announced that it is looking for new opportunities in the metaverse, with the bank believing that the metaverse has the potential to bring in a revenue of $1 trillion per year. The Decentraland lounge is named after the bank’s suite of permissioned Ethereum services while also releasing a detailed paper describing opportunities in the metaverse. 

Coinbase, FTX Take Over The Super Bowl 

Crypto-related firms stole the show during the Super Bowl, with crypto exchanges taking up several ad spots during the championship game. The 2022 Super Bowl saw a considerable increase in crypto-related advertisements, with Coinbase and FTX making their Super Bowl Debut. Several other crypto-related firms also featured in the Super Bowl ad spots, with prominent names being Meta, etoro, and crypto.com.

Regulation 

Address Specific Issues Related To Crypto, EU Commissioner To Regulators 

Mairead McGuinness, the EU Commissioner for financial services, financial stability, and capital markets union, has urged regulators to create regulation for the crypto industry, calling it a global need. Mcguinness also noted that it was important not to stifle the growth of the fledgling industry but also underlined the importance of addressing the risks associated with the industry that needed to be addressed at the earliest. 

Ukraine Moves To Legalize Crypto Amidst Russia Tensions 

Ukraine has swiftly moved to legalize cryptocurrencies as tensions with Russia continue to increase. The legalization comes against the backdrop of increasing crypto donations to Ukrainian volunteer and hacking groups as border tensions escalate with Russia and the threat of a Russian invasion looms. Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov stated that he hoped the new law would bring the crypto space “out of the shadows.” 

UAE Moves To Create A Crypto-Friendly Ecosystem 

The United Arab Emirates has moved to prepare federal licenses that will enable global crypto companies to carry out their business in the UAE easily. Apart from federal licenses, the UAE is also planning on making the country a crypto-friendly one, extending invitations to Virtual Asset Service Providers to set up a base in the country. 

NFT

OpenSea Hack Results In NFTs Worth Millions Stolen 

OpenSea was hit by a significant attack that resulted in NFTs worth millions being stolen or compromised, with hackers stealing NFTs and selling them, making a significant profit in the process. The attack occurred after a significant bug was discovered in the code, which allowed hackers to steak NFTs by using old listed prices without the owner’s knowledge. OpenSea is investigating the hack and issued an advisory to users to not click on any malicious links. 

Melania Trump Denies Buying Her Own NFT 

Melania Trump has denied allegations that the winning bid in her NFT auction led back to the project’s creators. The denial comes after investigations showed that the crypto used to purchase the NFT came from a wallet owned by the same entity that had listed the particular NFT for sale. 

LooksRare’s Cash-Out Raises Spectre of Rug Pull  

LookRare’s announcement that its team had received more than $30 million through staking the platform’s LOOKS token has not gone down well with the community at large, with several members fearing a rug pull event. The cashout led to significant outrage from the community, which is now demanding a LOOKS token buyback. However, despite the noise, LooksRare has stated that the cash out did not stem from any untoward incident. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.