This week in coins. Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt.
Markets broadly dipped for the fourth consecutive week despite cryptocurrencies popping up everywhere—in things like Fidelity retirement plans—which caused “grave concerns” at the U.S. Department of Labor—in unsecured DeFi mortgages, and in an alleged pump-and-dump scandal by a Republican member of Congress.
Bitcoin and Ethereum were both on track to post weekly gains by Tuesday, when each hit its seven-day high—$40,714 and $3,026, respectively.
By the weekend, however, both leading cryptocurrencies had fallen sharply. Bitcoin, as of this writing, was down about 3.4% from this time last Saturday, to $38,340, while leading rival Ethereum declined 5.7% to $2,794.
Several top cryptocurrencies posted major seven-day losses, including Solana (SOL), down 9.2% to $92.42, XRP, down 13.8% to $0.61, and Terra’s LUNA, down 10.8% to $81.22.
Elsewhere, Avalanche (AVAX) and Polkadot (DOT) each fell about 17%, with AVAX going for $60.72 and DOT trading at $15.66.
Among the top 20 coins by market cap, Polygon and NEAR Protocol really struggled, losing 20% to $1.11 and 29% to $11.18, respectively.
GOP Congressman Cawthorn Accused of ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Crypto Pump-and-Dump
The week’s news
On Monday, officials from Canada’s central bank dismissed the idea that cryptocurrencies provide a viable alternative to the Canadian dollar in the face of growing inflation.
In testimony before the House of Commons, the bank’s senior deputy governor, Carolyn Rogers, said, “I think if Canadians are looking for a stable source of payment and a stable source of value, cryptocurrencies don’t really meet that test. We don’t see cryptocurrencies as a way for Canadians to opt out of inflation or a stable source of value.”
On Tuesday in Texas, the Forth Worth City Council unanimously approved a resolution to accept a gift of three ASIC Bitmain AntMiner S9 rigs, donated by the Texas Blockchain Council. The miners will run on a private network at City Hall.
Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta on Tuesday gave a virtual presentation on optimizing city government. One of Larreta’s ideas involves allowing residents to pay taxes in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Another taps blockchain technology to safeguard people’s personal data.
Later that evening, in the U.S., the New York State Assembly passed a two-year moratorium on energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) crypto mining. The bill will go to the state Senate for another round of voting. Though it doesn’t propose an outright ban on mining, the bill prevents mining firms from renewing operating permits if their operations are powered by fossil fuels.
On Wednesday, the Central African Republic became the second country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, after El Salvador. Bitcoin will serve as the national currency, alongside the Central African CFA franc (XAF), a currency backstopped by France and used in Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon.
Ripple’s Fight Against the SEC: How the Case Is Going and How it Might End
Over in Central America, Panama on Thursday passed a law to regulate crypto and legally recognize DAOs. The bill, which now passes to President Laurentino Cortizo to sign, will help the Central American country—and tax haven—“become a hub of innovation and technology in Latin America,” according to Congressman Gabriel Silva.
Further north, A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers—including the leading Republican on the House Agriculture Committee—introduced a bill to give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) a mandate to regulate developers and exchanges working with digital assets.
The bill in essence says that while all securities will be the responsibility of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), all non-security assets will fall under the jurisdiction of the CFTC, though the distinctions between crypto securities and non-securities are still ambiguous in several cases, and have been a sticking point in the crypto industry for a while, most notably in the SEC’s ongoing case against Ripple.