9 February

“Wells Fargo Investment Institute, the research division of Wells Fargo Wealth and Investment Management, has released a report highlighting the potential of cryptocurrencies as an investment opportunity akin to the early days of the internet.

The strategy team said it did not subscribe to the idea that it was “too late to invest” in crypto, given that the space is “relatively young” in terms of other asset classes.

According to the banking giant, the technology behind crypto is following an adoption path similar to that of the internet in the early-to-mid 1990s. Like the internet, the rising number of crypto users suggests ‘the world is beginning to embrace the technology — and quickly.’

If this trend continues, cryptocurrencies could soon exit the early adoption phase and enter an inflection point of hyper-adoption, similar to other technologies. There is a point where adoption rates begin to rise and do not look back.

The report added that the removal of regulatory roadblocks was also necessary for greater adoption, noting the environment was slowly changing to ‘solidify cryptocurrencies as investment assets.'”

See Also: Bitcoin Will Reach $200K, ETH $12,000 in Second Half of 2022: FSInsight
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“The privately held firm said Monday it acquired bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) on its balance sheet through Gemini Trust Company’s execution and custody services.

KPMG in Canada is bullish on cryptoassets [and] we believe they are here to stay. We’ve invested in a strong cryptoassets practice and we will continue to enhance and build on our capabilities across decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse, to name a few.”

Agents arrested two individuals in New York on Tuesday on charges they conspired to launder proceeds from the Bitfinex hack in 2016. The married couple, Ilya “Dutch” Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan, will appear in court at 3:00 p.m. ET in New York.

Some 120,000 BTC was stolen in the 2016 hack, then worth around $60 million and representing nearly one-sixth of the total trading volume at the time. At today’s prices, the total amount of bitcoin stolen is valued at $4.5 billion, but the DOJ only seized about 94,000 BTC valued at $3.6 billion. The DOJ release alleges the two conspired to launder these proceeds and heavily implies, but does not claim, they were the original hacker(s).

“Unauthorized transactions” moved the stolen bitcoin to Lichtenstein’s wallet, and some 25,000 of the BTC were transferred out over the past five years. The remaining 94,000 BTC remained in Lichtenstein’s wallet. Last week, on-chain sleuths spotted a transfer of over 94,000 of Bitfinex bitcoin. The transfer was a seizure conducted by federal agents.

Law enforcement officials were able to access the initial recipient wallet, dubbed Wallet 1CGA4s, after decrypting a file “saved to Lichtenstein’s cloud storage account,” which included 2,000 crypto wallet addresses and their private keys.

Blockchain analysis confirmed that almost all of those wallets were directly linked to the hack.

In a statement, Bitfinex said it would work with the DOJ to try and recover the seized bitcoin. If it does, it will repay investors in its UNUS SED LEO token, which was created to try and backstop a fiscal hole created after an unrelated payment processor used by Bitfinex was seized by authorities in three different countries.”

See Also: What We Know About the Accused Bitfinex Money Launderers
See Also: Bitfinex Hack Laundering Suspects Released on Bond

“On Monday, the publicly traded crypto firm registered “​​Coinbase Innovation PAC” with the Federal Election Commission, sending a strong signal of its desire to sway federal officials during the 2022 midterm election cycle. The crypto exchange is hardly alone: Industry heavyweights formed their own pro-crypto PAC late last month.

The growing number of crypto PACs speaks to an industry hungry for political influence. Shaken by last year’s messy (and unresolved) crypto tax debate, firms such as Coinbase ran up their largest-ever lobbying bills in an effort to hold the line. Coinbase spent $740,000 lobbying the Senate during the fourth quarter.

We believe the bipartisan potential is clear and we intend to support crypto-forward lawmakers who align with our mission to advance economic freedom for all Americans.”

See Also: Leading Digital Exchanges Launch Crypto Market Integrity Coalition

“PayPal has formed an advisory council to support crypto-related products and help guide the company on creating a digital financial system.”

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The funding will be used to build Web 3 applications, including Polygon PoS, Polygon Edge and Polygon Avail, which are similar to Amazon Web Services’ offerings for Web 2 developers, Polygon said in a statement.

Polygon is also investing in zero-knowledge technology that it said will be key to onboarding the next billion users to Ethereum.

The funds were raised through a private sale of Polygon’s native MATIC token, which surged after the funding was reported by CNBC on Monday. As of press time, the MATIC price was up 17% in 24 hours. The market capitalization is now about $20 billion.

Web 3 builds on the early Internet’s open-source ideals, enabling users to create the value, control the network and reap the rewards.”

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“According to the analysts, stablecoins tie up assets unnecessarily.

Tying up safe and liquid assets in a stablecoin arrangement means they are not available for other uses, such as helping banks satisfy their regulatory requirements to maintain sufficient liquidity.

The authors raise the question of why the central bank would use stablecoins if it could issue tokenized deposits.

Bank depositors would be able to convert their deposits into and out of digital assets – the tokenized deposits – that can circulate on a DLT platform. These tokenized deposits would represent a claim on the depositor’s commercial bank, just as a regular deposit does. Customers can exchange these deposits for goods or services using well-functioning existing payments infrastructures.”

See Also: US lawmaker pushes for state-level regulations on stablecoins at hearing on digital assets
See Also: Japan’s Biggest Bank to Issue Yen-Pegged Stablecoin for Settlement: Report
See Also: New FDIC Acting Chair Says Evaluation of Crypto Risks Is a Top Priority for 2022
See Also: EU Weighs Potential Metaverse Regulation: Report

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