The price of bitcoin has reached a value not seen since May 15 and a number of traders and analysts believe the market will see a double top. The scenario where bitcoin rises above the $64K all-time high (ATH) and spikes to another ATH after a long and bearish technical reversal pattern.
Leading European soccer teams have reportedly made millions from the sale of crypto tokens to their supporters around the world. The scheme aimed at increasing fan engagement has been praised as an alternative revenue source during the pandemic but also criticized as a “gateway into speculative cryptocurrency.”
The Swedish government must return 33 bitcoin, worth more than $1.5 million, to a drug dealer in the first cryptocurrency seizure case in the country. The prosecutor of the case, who achieved the seizure of the cryptocurrency due to its illegal origin, recorded the seized amount in dollars, and due to price fluctuations, the government must reimburse the mentioned amount. The case might have repercussions in future cases.
Paypal, the payments processor giant, informed it would be launching its cryptocurrency services in the U.K this week. The cryptocurrency service, which was launched in the U.S. in October 2020, will allow U.K. citizens to purchase cryptocurrencies and hold them in their Paypal accounts. This will be Paypal’s first foray into offering cryptocurrency services outside the U.S.
Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro has detected over 120 deceptive cryptocurrency mining apps online. Some of them were found in the Google Play Store, which the internet giant promptly removed. However, there are still “numerous concerning applications of the same type” in the store, and “Some of these apps have even been downloaded more than 100,000 times.”
The U.K. financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has announced that cryptocurrency exchange Binance has complied with the requirements it imposed on the company in June. The FCA further clarified that while Binance is allowed to provide some investment services, it is not authorized to provide services related to crypto assets in the U.K.
The Philippines has a “Crypto Valley of Asia,” an initiative of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, the government agency responsible for managing the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport. An airport is now being planned for inside this economic zone to address the needs of its investors and crypto service providers. Many cryptocurrency exchanges have been licensed to operate within the zone. Airport Planned for Crypto Valley of Asia The Philippines’ Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) has confirmed its plans to build an airport inside its “Crypto Valley of Asia.” According to Administrator and CEO Raul Lambino, the airport will cost between $60 million and $80 million. He was quoted by the Manila Times on Thursday as saying: The construction of a new airport is an important facility in the establishment and realization of the so-called Crypto Valley of Asia concept that we have embarked. The CEO explained that CEZA is now in talks with the country’s Department of Transportation and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines which are responsible for licensing new airports. “We hope we will be able to realize this in the next three years,” he remarked. The Crypto Valley of Asia is a joint initiative by CEZA and private developer Northern Star Gaming and Resorts Inc. to provide a stable and safe region for blockchain developers and crypto exchange operators. The initiative is part of the government’s bid to foster a fintech ecosystem to attract international crypto and blockchain companies to set up shop in the country. Lambino believes that it will help the Philippines “become one of the major offshoring destinations for fintech and blockchain-related work.” Meeting Investors’ Demand According to Lambino, investors and companies operating within the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport have expressed concern over the lack of airport facilities since they need to get to the crypto valley as quickly as possible. However, the nearest airport to the economic zone, the Cagayan North International Airport, is 80 kilometers away. The CEO noted that a master plan and a feasibility study are currently being undertaken by an American company in collaboration with some of their local partners, the publication conveyed.
According to the Venezuelan government, millions of families have used the petro, the country’s national digital currency, to pay for goods and services. As shoppers rush to spend their coins, merchants are reportedly struggling, effectively forced to sell goods at a deep discount. At least one merchant is said to have been arrested. petro Adoption Rises The Venezuelan government announced on Jan. 4 the successful use of the petro (PTR) for payments between Dec. 18 and Jan. 3. According to the announcement, 2,585,755 transactions were conducted using Biopagobvd, the biopayment system of the Bank of Venezuela which allows people to pay with petros at stores. The government also claims that 1,233,093 people paid with the digital currency at 7,422 stores throughout the national territory during that time period. In addition, Maduro said on Jan. 1 that almost 6 million families have used the petro as a payment method. The Bank of Venezuela, in collaboration with the National Superintendence of Cryptoassets and Related Services (Sunacrip) and the Patria platform, is now making “improvements in its systems for more efficient use of the petro wallet.” The payment system is currently offline for maintenance from Jan. 4-10 “for the adoption of new applications and options,” the Venezuelan government detailed. Merchants Forced to Accept Petros, Effectively Selling Goods at Discount The situation is reportedly not rosy for merchants. According to Purse.io’s head of support, Eduardo Gomez, “The merchants are forced to accept the petro as payment at a fixed rate (2.5 million VES/PTR), whereas you can buy the token in the open market for as low as 1 million VES/PTR.” The Venezuelan explained on Dec. 29: In other words, you can get a 50% profit by buying cheap petro and spend it at the merchants. Subsequently, “The orderbooks in exchanges that trade petro are full in the sell-side and empty in the buy-side,” Gomez continued. “People get a subsidy in the form of a shitcoin in a depressed economy, and merchants are forced to accept the worthless token.” When customers pay with the petro, merchants do not receive the digital currency, however. The Biopago system converts petros into bolivars (BsS) at a set exchange rate and pays the merchants in BsS. The Bank of Venezuela repurchases customers’ petros at its own set rate. Merchants receive petros thinking they are worth $60 a coin. However, according to a calculation by one Twitter user, they actually receive approximately $38.2 worth in bolivars per petro after conversion.
Chinese law enforcement recently busted 72 individuals connected to the Cloud Token (CTO) scam. The Ponzi was similar to the Plustoken fraud and CTO scammers made off with $500 million. According to regional press, the CTO scam artists are likely connected to the Plustoken swindlers. Moreover, after the Cloud Token arrests in China, police in Inner Mongolia warned the public about another MLM crypto project.
On December 10, Switzerland-based firm Amun AG announced the company’s base prospectus has been approved by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (SFSA). The ETP provider said it has extensive plans to expand its digital asset ETPs throughout Europe, while Sweden shows “strong demand” for these products.