The Weekly Crypto Digest: Russia and Ukrainian conflict, Bitconnect Ponzi scheme
Newly dubbed the world’s first crypto war, the escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine dramatically impacted the crypto space and global economy over the last week. As the market crashed, millions of digital coins have been raised to support Ukrainian efforts all while Russia has effectively been cut off financially from most of the world. Further progressions have been made in the Bitconnect Ponzi scheme and Tonga jumps aboard BTC.
BTC + ETH Market crash following Russia’s invasion
Bitcoin fell to below US$35,000 early last Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in the Donbas region of Ukraine. BTC saw a decline of around 8 per cent to the day prior and has continued to slide as the crisis intensifies. Ethereum also dropped hard around the same time, falling by roughly 12 per cent to well below US$2,500.
Millions of crypto dollars donated to the Ukraine
Researchers at blockchain analysis company Elliptic have revealed approximately US$13.7 million (and climbing) worth of cryptocurrency has been donated to the Ukrainian war effort through anonymous donors. NGO’s, the government, and volunteer groups have all raised money by advertising their crypto wallets online, resulting in more than 5,000 accumulative donations so far. One anonymous donor gifted US$3 million worth of Bitcoin to an NGO. The official Twitter account of the Ukrainian Government posted this message on Saturday: “Stand with the people of Ukraine. Now accepting cryptocurrency donations. Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDT.”
EU commission removing Russia from SWIFT
The European Union responded to Russia’s action on invading Ukraine by isolating the superpower from the international financial system, including blocking some banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT). This move by the EU blocks Russia from conducting any transactions with non-Russian institutions, effectively cutting the country off from the global financial system.
US charges Indian citizen for Ponzi scheme
The founder allegedly involved with the US$3.4 billion Bitconnect Ponzi scheme has been charged in the United States and is facing potential imprisonment of 70 years. According to the Department of Justice, a federal grand jury released an indictment charging Satishkumar Kurjihbai Kumbhani as a key player in the misleading scheme. The DOJ stated “Bitconnect operated as a Ponzi scheme by paying earlier Bitconnect investors with money from later investors. In total, Kumbhani and his co-conspirators obtained approximately US$2.4 billion from investors.”
Tonga to adopt bitcoin as legal tender
Former member of Tongan Parliament, Lord Fusitu’a, revealed a timeline this week for the nation’s plan to adopt Bitcoin. According to reports by CoinTelegraph, in Q2 of this year, Tonga is planning to introduce Bitcoin law within debates and discussions in government. By Q3 of next year, it will construct a crypto mining plant powered by volcanic thermal energy. In correspondence with CoinTelegraph on Twitter, Lord Fusitu’a revealed Bitcoin will be officially and legally available to use as currency by February next year.