Bitcoin price reverses gains on New Year’s Eve; hodlers continue stacking sats

Bitcoin (BTC) and the broader cryptocurrency market turned lower later in the day on Dec. 31, erasing intraday gains to cap off a highly successful year on a weaker note.  Market Update BTC price fell below $46,000 on Dec. 31 and was last seen hovering below that level, according to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView. The flagship cryptocurrency is down over 5% from its intraday peak and 2.9% on the day to trade at $45,933.  Bitcoin’s price is back on the defensive as the year draws to a…

Crypto events of 2021 in retrospect

The year 2021 is coming to a close, and if there’s one way to describe how the cryptocurrency industry fared in the past 12 months, it would be momentous growth.  Major cryptocurrencies shattered previous records, adoption grew, new sectors sprouted and novel blockchain use cases made significant breakthroughs. The Market Insight’s latest edition recalls the events covered in past issues as well as deep-dive topics in Cointelegraph Research’s industry reports. DeFi and Altcoins Two of the top gainers of 2021 were Solana (SOL) and Terra (LUNA). SOL gained 9,500%, while…

NFTs find true utility with the advent of the Metaverse in 2021

The growth of NFTs has shot to the next level in terms of popularity and finding acceptance from the crypto community and the mainstream alike. Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) that were initially thought to be a bubble are now expanding their coverage across the cryptoverse. According to a report by DappRadar, the NFT market has had its best year, generating over $23 billion with the floor market capitalization of the top 100 NFT collections standing at $16.7 billion, as of Dec. 17, even before the year closed out. The biggest move…

Estonia’s new AML laws set to clamp down on crypto industry

Beginning in February, Estonia is set to introduce sweeping changes to its definition of Virtual Asset Service Providers, or VASPs, to include several cryptocurrency-related services — a move that could impact Bitcoin (BTC) ownership in the country — according to European compliance specialist Sumsub. On Sept. 21, the Estonian Ministry of Finance published a draft bill to update the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act (the AML Act) as part of the government’s effort to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. As Sumsub reported, the legislation is now in…

Airdrop culture could pose integral threat to DeFi industry

EtherWrapped, a project designed to provide a yearly summary of users nonfungible token (NFT) activity, launched a little over eight hours ago to palpable fanfare within the crypto community. The website detailed a plan to airdrop YEAR tokens based upon quantitative engagement statistics in users’ MetaMask wallet, or in simpler terms, their number of transactions, volume traded, a gas fees, among other data. Upon verification on EtherScan, a number of well-regarded developers and engineering experts in the space assessed the coding of the smart contract. Meows.eth noted that these parties saw…

Bitcoin holds $48K as final Wall Street session caps 60% YTD gains for BTC

Bitcoin (BTC) chipped away at its latest gains on Dec. 31 as the final trading session of 2021 opened on Wall St. BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView Bitcoin posts 60% year-to-date gains Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView tracked BTC/USD as it meandered around the $48,000 mark, having reached multi-day highs of $48,550 hours earlier. The uptick had coincided with the December expiry on Bitcoin options, by far the biggest date on the options calendar at nearly $6 billion. Conspicuous buying was recorded on U.S. professional exchange Coinbase Pro…

Paris Hilton, Times Square, and ETFs

Following the announcement that Facebook’s parent company would be rebranding in a shift towards the Metaverse, many projects have started similar initiatives entering the virtual space, from buying property to testing the limits of what this universe has to offer.  Virtual ball drop on NYE The Ethereum-based virtual reality world Decentraland announced on Wednesday that a New Year’s Eve celebration would be taking place in the Metaverse. Grayscale owner Digital Currency Group has partnered with real estate firm Jamestown to create a virtual One Times Square — the iconic New…

Will US regulators shake stablecoins into high-tech banks?

Regulators around the world have been thinking seriously about the risks associated with stablecoins since 2019 but recently, concerns have intensified, particularly in the United States.  In November, the United States’ President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, or PWG, issued a key report, raising questions about possible “stablecoin runs” as well as “payment system risk.” The U.S Senate followed up in December with hearings on stablecoin risks. It raises questions: Is stablecoin regulation coming to the U.S. in 2022? If so, will it be “broad stroke” federal legislation or more…

Centralized systems are here to stay, says Binance CEO CZ

In a tongue-in-cheek hot seat video to round off 2021, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, or “CZ,” responded to a series of curated Tweets from the Binance community. The Chinese-Canadian business executive’s standout message was that centralized exchanges such as Binance would remain relevant in 2022 and beyond. Riposting to a loaded tweet about centralized finance’s dark side as well as the future of decentralized finance, CZ said, “Today, we still need the centralized systems to integrate with the traditional financial industry so that we can bring the money into and…

Valereum acquires Gibraltar-based Juno to expand on crypto-fiat bridge

Gibraltar-based tech group Valereum Blockchain announced the acquisition of Juno Group, a company that aids in the establishment and administration of trusts, money management and enterprise creation in Gibraltar. Juno is a company that Valereum describes as having three areas of licensed operation: the management of trusts and similar entities, the administration of cash for a range of activities, including both fiat and cryptocurrency transactions, and the incorporation and management of businesses in Gibraltar and other countries around the world. The agreement is a step toward creating a fully regulated link between…