3 March

Jerome Powell said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could emphasize a need for cryptocurrency regulation to prevent sanctioned individuals from using cryptocurrency to evade sanctions.

[The Ukraine-Russia conflict] underscored the need for Congressional action on digital finance including cryptocurrencies. We have this burgeoning industry which has many parts to it, and there isn’t in place the kind of regulatory framework that needs to be there.

The Fed Chair was responding to a question about whether Russia could use cryptocurrencies to bypass sanctions. Earlier on Wednesday, the European Union cut seven of Russia’s largest banks off from the SWIFT interbank messaging system.”

See Also: Lawmakers Raise Alarm on Crypto for Sanctions Evasion as Experts Cast Doubt
See Also: EU is ‘taking measures’ against Russia using crypto to bypass sanctions, say finance ministers

Ukraine will conduct an airdrop to donors who have contributed money to its official crypto addresses, the country said on Wednesday through its official Twitter account. It’s the first time a country will conduct an airdrop for donations.

Airdrop confirmed. Snapshot will be taken tomorrow, on March 3rd, at 6 pm Kyiv time (UTC/GMT +2 hours). Reward to follow!

It wasn’t clear which token Ukraine plans to air-drop. The country has received $33 million in crypto donations so far.”

See Also: Ukraine Receives Over $7M in Crypto Donations After Airdrop Announcement
See Also: Ukrainian Flag NFT Raises $6.75M for Country’s War Efforts

“Powell is telling U.S. lawmakers Wednesday that the U.S. central bank is on track to raise interest rates this month for the first time in three years, because of high inflation, a tight labor market and strong economic demand.

Traders have already priced in a possible rate hike in March. The Chicago-based CME Group’s FedWatch tool shows that futures traders see a 90% chance of a quarter-percentage point hike, as opposed to a half-percentage point, which many thought was very likely just a week ago.

The central bank is concerned about inflation. Powell, however, expects inflation will diminish this year as supply constraints ease and demand moderates because of the shrinking effects of fiscal stimulus and tighter monetary policy.”

See Also: Bitcoin Climbs to $45K Early Wednesday Before Quickly Retreating

“The closing of the exchange, along with a plunging ruble, may have a devastating impact on the lives of ordinary Russian citizens.

The Central Bank of Russia once again suspended trading on the nation’s leading Moscow Stock Exchange (MOEX) on Wednesday, and it will not open the exchange on Thursday. Trading on MOEX has been halted since Feb. 25, after Russia launched its ongoing military campaign in Ukraine.

In addition, MOEX’s main website has been offline since Monday, with Ukraine’s “IT army” allegedly taking credit for the “hack.” Meanwhile, Russia’s Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange (SPB) also remains closed but will open for limited trading on Thursday. In the meantime, the Dow Jones Russia GDR Index, which tracks the value of Russian stocks listed on the London Stock Exchange, has lost 93% of its value in the last five trading days, implying disastrous losses ahead when Russian markets open.

Theoretically, whether centralized or decentralized, cryptocurrency exchanges are free from such intervention.

While Russian financial institutions have the means to weather a stock market catastrophe, the same cannot be said for everyday Russians. More than 17 million retail investors trade on MOEX alone, and retail investors account for more than 40% of the country’s equity trading volume. Coupled with a sharp decline in the ruble’s value, it is likely the retail investor community in Russia — such as pensioners and retirees — will suffer severe losses to their savings when markets open.”

See Also: Top Russian Bank Quits Europe, Citing Sanctions: Report

“Over the last few months, SEC attorneys have sent subpoenas to NFT creators and various crypto exchanges requesting more information, according to the report.

At issue is whether certain tokens should be considered securities and thus regulated. A particular focus of the probe are fractional NFTs, in which a token is broken down into many units that are sold separately.”

“The Digital Currency Group (DCG) board has authorized a share repurchase program of up to $250 million across its nine publicly traded cryptocurrency trusts.

The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust has been trading at a steep discount to net asset value for months, and in October DCG upped its buyback plan for that product to $1 billion from $750 million. As of Thursday, there was $301.3 million of remaining authorization in that program.

It looks like DCG is buying (as opposed to the funds), so they must see good value.”

The Ukraine Airdrop – is this for real?