• Biden signed an executive order on cryptocurrencies. It's meant to examine the risks and benefits of cryptocurrencies. The measures focus on six key areas: consumer protection, financial stability, illicit activity, U.S. competitiveness, financial inclusion, and responsible innovation. The Biden administration also wants to explore a digital version of the dollar. Read more here.

  • Binance plots M&A spree. The crypto company is looking to scoop up businesses that operate in traditional markets following its investment earlier this year in Forbes. They want to identify and invest in one or two targets in every economic sector and try to bring them into crypto. The group would now target other industries such as retail, eCommerce, and gaming.

  • LimeWire to relaunch as NFT marketplace. The defunct file-sharing website is set to relaunch in May in the form of a marketplace for nonfungible tokens. The new LimeWire will focus on music, letting users buy and trade rare items such as limited editions, unreleased demos, and digital merchandise. The platform will list prices in U.S. dollars, rather than crypto, and users will be able to purchase tokens using credit cards.

  • Mainstream hedge funds pour billions into crypto. Firms founded by veterans including Alan Howard, co-founder of Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP, and Paul Tudor Jones, the billionaire who runs Tudor Investment Corp., are expanding their crypto trading. More funds see crypto as a fifth asset class, in addition to stocks, bonds, currencies, and commodities.

  • Coinbase blocked over 25,000 wallet addresses related to Russian users. These are individuals or entities that it believes to be engaging in illicit activity. The crypto exchange has banned access for sanctioned individuals and is using blockchain analytics to identify addresses potentially linked to them, which it also adds to an internal blocklist.

  • SoftBank's internet arm plans an NFT Mall to grow its global footprint. SoftBank Group Corp.’s Z Holdings Corp. unit plans to launch an NFT marketplace in 180 countries this spring and is spending large sums of money to double fintech unit PayPay’s users to 90 million. Z holdings is keen to expand by tapping a five-year budget of roughly 500 billion yen ($4.3 billion) for growth initiatives. Read more here.

  • FTX launched a new unit in a push to gain institutional clients. The newly-created FTX Access will aim to be a one-stop-shop, initially equipped with advisory, trade execution, and analytical tools. It will also facilitate access to make venture investments. It is looking to launch crypto-linked exchange-traded products, a structure popular in Europe for investors who can’t hold digital coins directly.

  • FTX to start European operations. The company said FTX Europe will offer the parent’s products and services to European Union clients via a partnership with a licensed investment firm. FTX Europe will be headquartered in Switzerland, with approval to operate from the Cypriot financial regulator CySEC. The company will also have a regional base in Cyprus.

  • The executive order is priming for a CBDC. As mentioned the goal is to integrate a CBDC into crypto so they can tax and monitor 100% of transactions. In about 6 months, they will come to a conclusion on how to best utilize a CBDC. It won’t be decentralized, permissionless, or borderless. and allows the Fed to not only print as much money as they like but instantly switch on and off any wallet. Read more here.

  • Ethereum transaction fees hit a 6-month low. Arcane Research reports that the average price per transaction on the Ethereum blockchain was $15, compared to fees during peak traffic last fall as high as a few hundred dollars. Fees across layer 2 platforms built on Ethereum as cheaper, faster options are also down, costing pennies in some instances.

  • The US wants to lead in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Biden's Executive Order asks various government organizations to produce reports on bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology. This development signals that the United States government is officially recognizing the importance of this technology. The current administration aims to embrace the potential positive impacts that it can have. Read more here.
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