The Weekly Digest: Bitcoin into freefall, buying NFTs without crypto, and possible U.S. CBDC
It has been a brutal last week for cryptocurrencies across the world with millions stolen and a dramatic market crash. The NFT space is one to watch over the coming weeks as more and more businesses diversify their services and products to tap into its rapid expansion.
Crypto goes into freefall: Bitcoin, Ethereum and Solana hit a sudden crash
Friday saw crypto carnage as the market lost approximately US$205 billion in the space of 24 hours due to a dramatic crash across most major cryptocurrencies according to CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin dipped by 10 per cent within 24 hours, bringing the coin down 16 per cent year to date and erasing over 75 per cent of the gains made from 2021. Ether also fell by 13.5 per cent and Solana by 16 per cent. At the time of writing Bitcoin sits at $35,404, Ether at $2,426 and Solana $93.
Mastercard teams up with Coinbase to enable NFT purchases
Coinbase, one of the top crypto exchanges by volume, has announced a partnership with Mastercard, enabling the purchases of NFTs on its upcoming marketplace without needing to hold any cryptocurrencies. Mastercard will classify NFTs as “digital goods”, allowing Mastercard users to make the purchase on both credit and debit cards, opening them it to the over US$40 billion NFT market. Buyers will still need a digital asset wallet to store the token.
US government taking steps towards CBDC
The US Federal Reserve release its long-awaited report on cryptocurrency last week which toyed with the prospect of issuing a US digital currency. The report explored the costs and benefits of implementing a government-owned digital currency, however have deferred a final decision until May 20.
Walmart enters the Metaverse
Walmart looks set to enter the metaverse with trademark filings showing its intention to create a cryptocurrency and a collection of NFTs. As reported by CNBC, seven separate trademark applications filed late in December indicate Walmart’s intention to sell virtual merchandise, likely through NFTs, create its own cryptocurrency, and a digital asset wallet.
$33 million stolen and 400 accounts hacked on Crypto.com
Kris Marszalek, CEO of one of the top crypto exchanges, Crypto.com, has confirmed on Bloomberg TV that 400 user accounts were hacked earlier this week after several layers of the exchanges’ security were breached. Overnight on Monday, Crypto.com suspended withdrawals on its platform due to some users reporting “suspicious activity” on the accounts. Subsequently, all users were required to sign back into their accounts and reset their two-factor authentication.