New York City’s Mayor Reaffirms: Will Get His First Three Checks in Bitcoin

Eric Adams – the newly-elected mayor of New York City and apparently a bitcoin bull – displayed his support for the primary cryptocurrency once again. He opined that the recent price drop could provide certain opportunities for investors and reaffirmed a previous stance indicating that he will get his first three paychecks in BTC.

First Three Paychecks to be Paid in BTC

It is safe to say that Big Apple’s new mayor hasn’t changed his stance on BTC despite the most recent price slumps. In an interview for CNBC, Adams seemed undeterred by these adverse developments and actually said that sometimes investors could capitalize by investing in certain assets when they experience similar drops.

Upon starting his new political role, the 61-year-old American vowed to receive his next three paychecks in bitcoin instead of dollars. In his most recent appearance, he reaffirmed his wish and said:

“I’m going to take my first three paychecks in bitcoin. I haven’t received my first check yet.”

It is worth noting that he is not the only US politician who wants to get paid in cryptocurrencies. Prior to him, down south in Florida, Miami’s mayor – Francis Suarez, already announced he will receive his salary in BTC.

During his campaign last year, Adams promised to transform New York City into “the center of cybersecurity, the center of self-driving cars, drones, and the center of Bitcoins.” It seems like this commitment is also still on the agenda:


“We need to use the technology of blockchain, Bitcoin, of all other forms of technology. I want New York City to be the center of that technology.”

Eric Adams, Source:

Children Should Study about BTC at Schools

In November last year, Adams doubled down on his crypto support by describing bitcoin and the alternative coins as a “new way for paying for goods and services throughout the entire globe.”

As such, he urged American schools to add a new subject allowing the younger generations to study bitcoin and its underlying technology:

“We must open our schools to teach the technology.”

Subsequently, the politician hinted that his administration might enable local businesses to accept BTC and other digital assets as a form of payment. However, the initiative will be thoroughly examined beforehand, Adams explained.

Featured Image Courtesy of NYPost


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Solana Witnesses New Performance Issues, Project Co-Founder Says DDoS Attack Not To Blame

Smart contract platform Solana (SOL) is again experiencing network issues just weeks after suffering performance problems in December.

Chinese journalist Colin Wu reports the four-hour downtime that happened on January 4th and tells his 182,400 Twitter followers that users attribute the issue to a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.

Solana Labs co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko denies the allegation, saying the blockchain suffered from network congestion.

The Solana Foundation also clarifies the issue, saying that the network slowed because of an increased volume of transactions.

“The Solana Network is currently experiencing degraded performance due to an increase in high compute transactions, which is reducing network capacity to several thousand transactions per second.

This is leading to some failed transactions for users.”

Solana has been hounded by several network problems in the past year.

The blockchain also experienced degraded performance in December. The issue was initially blamed on a DDoS attack, but Gokal disputed the claim saying it was due to congestion caused by the Initial DEX Offering of the non-fungible token game SolChicks.

In September, the blockchain also suffered an outage. According to the Solana Foundation, the issue was caused by a surge in transaction load that led to forking and excessive memory consumption.

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Crypto Analyst Michaël van de Poppe Updates His Outlook on Bitcoin (BTC) and Three Altcoins As Markets Stumble

Widely-followed crypto trader Michaël van de Poppe sees bullish signs for Bitcoin (BTC) and one other altcoin while naming support zones for two popular smart contract platforms.

In a recent series of tweets, Van de Poppe tells his 551,000 followers that Bitcoin’s price action is “creating a bullish divergence.”

“The lower timeframe on Bitcoin is creating a bullish divergence while being in massive support at $41K. 

If it breaks $42.8-42.9K, a test of $46K is likely to happen and, then, the bullish divergence plays out.”

Source: CryptoMichNL/Twitter

Bitcoin is currently trading at $42,011, just south of the crucial bullish divergence breakthrough levels identified on Van de Poppe’s chart.

Looking at the second-largest crypto by market cap, Ethereum (ETH), the trader predicts the bottom may be near despite a recent downward trend.

“Ethereum has been trending south heavily but actually hitting a massive area on the previous resistance at $3,320. 

The next important level after the block is between $3,500-3,600. 

Might be close to a bottom too.”

Source: CryptoMichNL/Twitter

Ethereum is exchanging hands for $3,208 at time of writing, again just south of the crucial resistance levels identified by Van de Poppe’s chart.

When analyzing the price action of Cardano (ADA), Van de Poppe still sees the seventh-ranked crypto asset by market cap relying heavily on a support zone.

“Not much has changed on ADA. 

Still on the lower bound of the range, which is heavy support. 

Not the range to look for shorts, I’d rather look for longs.”

Source: CryptoMichNL/Twitter

Cardano is currently trading for $1.24, well within the support band highlighted by Van de Poppe’s analysis.

Lastly, the crypto analyst looks at enterprise solution blockchain VeChain (VET), which he analyzes against the price of BTC.

“VET looks strong, but still needs to break above that level around 205-210 sats [$0.086-$0.088]. 

If that’s the case, bullish continuation is very, very likely.”

Source: CryptoMichNL/Twitter

Van de Poppe also identifies the 0.00000150 BTC [$0.063] region as a support zone for VET to retest before taking off on a bullish continuation.

At time of writing, VeChain is trading for $0.080, 27% above the support zone identified by Van de Poppe.

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Andreessen Horowitz Calls For ‘Targeted’ Regulations for DeFi, Stablecoins and Web3

In brief

  • Andreessen Horowitz is a major venture capital firm in the crypto space.
  • It’s giving hints to national governments about how crypto should be regulated.

Everyone’s got a different idea of how crypto regulations should look. After watching crypto exchanges Coinbase, FTX, and Binance put forth their visions, the venture capital firm responsible for funding many of the space’s startups and unicorns has produced its own recommendations.

In a document titled “How to Build a Better Internet: 10 Principles for World Leaders Shaping the Future of Web3,” Andreessen Horowitz, or a16z, argues for a multi-stakeholder approach to regulation that includes governments, businesses, and civil society groups. It also argues for stablecoins—fiat-pegged cryptocurrencies that offer easy entry into decentralized protocols but that have been eyed warily by U.S. officials—to be “well-regulated” and then put to work improving the financial system.

“Decentralized financial technologies already handle hundreds of billions in transaction volume every day and provide compelling evidence that there is a pathway for instantaneous, global, 24/7 financial rails,” writes a16z in the report. “Stablecoins are a basic building block on which this financial innovation is occurring.”

Andreessen also recommends inter-country collaboration on crypto standards, tax codes that are more transparent, and “targeted” regulatory regimes that recognize the diversity of Web3 technologies. “Treating all digital assets in the same way is analogous to having a single legal regime to cover stocks, real estate, cars, art, watches, and trading cards,” it states.

Last October, one of the recipients of a16z’s largesse, Coinbase, proposed policy guidelines specific to the U.S. market. Its proposal called for a “single federal regulator” to oversee token and market registrations and enforce consumer protection. That plan, perceived to require the creation of a new regulatory body, drew guffaws from Robinhood Chief Legal Officer Dan Gallagher, who called it “one of the stupidest ideas I’ve heard in this space in a long time.” Coinbase told Decrypt the plan is “regulator agnostic” and wouldn’t necessarily require a new agency.

Later that fall, rival exchange FTX released its own policy document that was primarily focused on U.S. regulations but which could apply to other jurisdictions. It called for a “primary market regulator” that could span both spot and derivatives markets; in the U.S. the Securities and Exchange Commission mostly oversees the former while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is responsible for the latter.

Sandwiched in between those two in-depth proposals came Binance’s crypto bill of rights. In it, the exchange—which was hounded by national regulators throughout 2021—made the case for regulation in terse terms. For example, it said, “Marketplaces that offer derivative instruments should be subject to the appropriate regulations. This ensures all users meet eligibility requirements and that their transactions are fairly settled.” It did not expand on what it meant by “appropriate.”

Other crypto firms have also issued guidelines, including Ripple Labs, which is currently fighting a $2.3 billion lawsuit brought against it and its executives by the SEC. 

As with the Binance recommendations, the Andreessen Horowitz proposal requires the reader to paint some of the picture. Though a16z’s own position is unambiguous given the size of its investments in the space, the reader is left to wonder about the difference between its version of “well-regulated” stablecoins and Jerome Powell’s call for an “appropriate regulatory framework” for the pegged assets.

Nonetheless, the a16z document, though aimed at “world leaders” instead of the U.S., signals mounting desire for American policymakers and legislators to create clear frameworks for companies to legally create, sell, or hold tokens and other digital assets. 

Many have blamed the SEC for their confusion, believing that the agency has stepped up enforcement actions against crypto projects under Chairman Gary Gensler without providing coherent guidance. In a December interview with Decrypt, Blockchain Association Executive Director Kristin Smith said of Gensler, “We agree with some of the things that he wants to see, like investor protection and market integrity… I think where we continue to differ with him is the sort of idea that the laws are super clear.”


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Game Giant Konami Joins NFT Race, To Launch With Castlevania Video Game Franchise

Video Game Giant Konami is launching a NFT auction to commemorate the “Castlevania” franchise. The box will include 14 tokens, audio files, and poster art showing scenes from early Nintendo games. The auction will begin the next week, January 12, 2022.

Konami To Launch With Castlevania Commemorative NFTs

The Castlevania 35th Anniversary NFT collection online portal was unveiled by Konami on Thursday. The collection will be auctioned off on the NFT marketplace Opensea. The NFTs from Konami will pay tribute to the franchise, which began with the Nintendo Entertainment System game “Castlevania” in 1986. (NES).

Scenes from several series entries on the NES and its Japanese equivalent, the Famicom, are included in the NFT collection. Original pixel graphics of Dracula’s Castle, poster art for the Title Boy Advance game “Castlevania: Circle of the Moon,” and audio for the recurring music theme “Vampire Killer” are among the other tokens in the collection.

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Related article | Eminem Buys Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT That Looks Like Him For $452K

 Unlike other non-fungible tokens from gaming firms, these NFTs will not have any in-game utility.. They’re just trinkets to commemorate the series’ 35th anniversary.

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ETH/USD falls to $3,200. Source: TradingView

Other Gaming Companies Have Jumped On NFTs

Several game companies are interested in NFTs. Ubisoft, Square Enix, Electronic Arts, and GameStop have all announced plans to deploy NFT products and services, or have tentative plans to do so.

Ubisoft, has previously released NFTs for use in Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint on a PC (PC). The move was chastised for the NFTs aspects and for the usability of NFT products.

The news from Konami coincides with SEGA’s recent revelation that it may abandon its NFT plans owing to poor reception. SEGA first unveiled its plans for NFT in March 2020.

Konami’s debut into the NFT space has been mocked by some video game players. Conversations regarding the company’s NFTs have been strewn across social media since Thursday.

Related article | How NFTs are Fueling the Anime Community in Japan

Featured image from Shutterstock. Chart from TradingView


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Terra to Deploy $139 Million in DeFi Projects to Enhance UST Use Cases

Multi-sector blockchain protocol Terra (LUNA) has announced a proposal to deploy $139 million to five different DeFi projects across Ethereum, Solana, and Polygon to enhance UST’s use cases.

The proposal, however, needs to be accepted by the Terra community through a vote of governance participants that’s likely at a later date.

Terra as a Dominant Crypto Player

The details of how UST and LUNA worth $139 will be used on different DeFi platforms are contained in the document dubbed: UST Goes Interchain: Degen Strats Part Three.

As per the proposal, Terra has identified a few partner projects where it intends to deposit up to $50 million to support the stability of these protocols. Through this move, Terra said it wants to bring UST use cases to Ethereum DeFi.

These intentions align with Terra Founder Do Kwon’s previous comments where he noted that he wants to see UST as a dominant stable in the crypto space.


Currently, with $10.44 billion in market cap, TerraUSD (UST) is ranked 4th in the list of top stablecoins. Tether USDT ($78.44 billion), USD Coin USDC ($43.2 billion), Binance USD ($14.4 billion) are ahead of Terra USD.

Here is how Terra aims to utilize the $139 million.

Tokemak (Ethereum)

Among the new DeFi projects where Terra is planning to deposit $139 in UST include Tokemak, a DeFi liquidity provider and market maker.

It intends to deploy $50 million in UST for a minimum of six months to support UST Pair Reactor. Apart from the regular TOKE rewards, the asset can be also be used by the Terra community to vote in the LUNA Token Reactor.

Rari Fuse (Ethereum)

The next project in terms of size of UST deployment is Rari Fuse, an unlicensed lending and borrowing platform, which will receive UST funds to the tune of $20 million for six months. UST intends to become the cheapest stable to borrow on Fuse.

Yield aggregator Convex Finance will receive $18 million in UST for six months. Terra will offer LUNA incentives to liquidity providers who use UST on different Convex pools.

OlympusDAO (Ethereum, Solana, Polygon)

The next project to see UST funding is Olympus, an OHM-based decentralized reserve currency protocol. The total proposed deployment of funds is $1.425 million in UST. OlympusDAO is already working with Terra, and it will release an encapsulated version of OHM, gOHM, on its blockchain.

A significant aspect of this partnership is the fact that Olympus will bring OlympusPro to Terra protocols. It also entails Terra community to partner with Olympus DAO.

InvictusDAO (Solana)

A decentralized reserve currency on Solana network, Invictus is an Olympus fork but has emerged as a promising player in putting its treasury to work. Terra is planning to increase its footprints on Solana by creating IN/UST bonds with a contribution of $250,000. Frax Finance (FRAX) will provide $250,000 in Frax to match Terra’s contribution.


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Cardano’s Ecosystem Explodes, Why ADA Could Be Quick To Resume Bullish Trend

Cardano (ADA) has followed the general trend in the market and records losses across the board. The seventh crypto by market cap trades at $1.22 with a 2.2% and 10% loss in the past 24 hours and 7 days, respectively.

Related Reading | What’s Beef? Reviewing The Historic Battle Of Ethereum vs. Cardano

ADA on a downtrend in the 4-hour chart. Source: ADAUSDT Tradingview

However, Cardano continues to be one of the most active ecosystems in the crypto industry. This won it the title for most active project on GitHub in 2021 as developers rushed in to explode its smart contract and interoperable capabilities.

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As the Marketing and Communications Director for Input Output Global (IOG) Tim Harrison reported, the Cardano project has over 67 active repositories, with 106 releases, over 38,000 GitHub commitments, and more. Harrison wrote the following giving credit to the community:

(Cardano) is the most active project to date. That’s just core work. With community tools, scripts, APIs & a fast expanding dApp ecosystem, there are 100s more repos out there, steadily filling with code from every corner of the community.

Still, the network has seen backlash from users and critics claiming that it has failed to quickly introduce dApps, and projects capable of leveraging its smart contracts capabilities. Deployed with Hard Fork Combinator (HFC) event “Alonzo”, these capabilities have been lived for over four months.

In that sense, IOG released a list with the projects already building use cases on Cardano which included: decentralized exchanges (DEX), identity, blockchain gaming, an oracle service, and others. The company claimed that developers “have been working restlessly” on these implementations.

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Amongst the listed project, the company mentioned Adax, a decentralized exchanged built on Cardano and audited by cibersecurity firm BTC Block. In addition, DripDroz, a platform for token distribution parameters, and Martify, a platform to deploy blockchain solution, made it to the list.

Cardano DeFi, An Expanding Ecosystem?

As NewsBTC reported, Cardano has been deploying dApps since the implementation of HFC event Alonzo. In addition to the aforementioned projects, IOG mentioned AnetaBTC, a project to roll-out a synthetic version of Bitcoin (BTC) on this network, and Minswap, a multi-chain DEX.

There were many other projects on the list as the company attempted to demonstrate the level of activity and the number of projects building and already deployed on this network. IOG added the following:

We could go on and this would be a lengthy thread indeed Hopefully this gives you a flavor of all the work going on with projects busy Building On Cardano. Massive thanks to all projects for sharing their news (…).

Related Reading | Cardano Deploys First DEX, Why ADA’ s Price Could Receive a Boost

The growing ecosystem build around this network seems poised to contribute with ADA’s long-term appreciation. In the short term, the cryptocurrency could see further downside if Bitcoin is unable to find support and bounce from its current levels.


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Crypto Crime Topped $10 Billion in 2021: Report

Key Takeaways

  • ImmuneFi reported that $10.2 billion in theft and frauds affected the crypto industry over the course of 2021.
  • $7.55 billion was stolen via insider rug pulls, while $2.66 billion was stolen via outside hacks targeting various platforms.
  • Similar studies from Chainalysis and Elliptic support those numbers.

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DeFi security firm ImmuneFi has published a report suggesting that $10.2 billion was stolen through crypto attacks last year. The report corroborates other similar reports released in recent weeks.

$7.5 Billion Was Stolen by Insiders

ImmuneFi surveyed various incidents and determined that a total of $10.2 billion was stolen over the course of 2021.

The funds were stolen via two main methods: outside attacks due to platform vulnerabilities and alleged insider fraud.

$7.55 billion was stolen in a few major incidents of alleged insider fraud, primarily involving rug pulls from project founders. ImmuneFi drew attention to Africrypt, a South African exchange that saw its founders vanish with $3.5 billion in June. It also observed $2 billion stolen from the Turkish exchange Thodex.

The firm also highlighted three rug pulls from Binance Smart Chain projects: Meerkat Finance, whose founders stole $31 million; Popcornswap, whose founders stole $2.1 million; and finally the infamous Squid Game token, whose founders stole $12 million.

Over $2 Billion Was Stolen Via Hacks

Another $2.66 billion was stolen through vulnerabilities that left various platforms open to outside attacks and thefts.

In this category, the losses were distributed between over 130 attacks. Notable attacks targeted Venus Network, Bitmart, Cream Finance, Finiko, BadgerDAO, and BXH. Each of those projects saw $100 million to $200 million stolen from its holdings.

ImmuneFi noted that Poly Network, which had $613 million stolen from it in June, had most of those funds returned to it.

Other Reports Confirm Figures

Chainalysis reported similar figures this week. It suggested that $14 billion of illicit crypto funds were moved last year, though it omitted some incidents that ImmuneFi included while also covering extra categories such as ransomware and darknet markets.

This week’s report also comes months after a similar report from the crypto analytics firm Elliptic. That report suggested that $10.5 billion was stolen through DeFi attacks in 2021.

ImmuneFi also reported that $3.8 billion to $4.38 billion was stolen in 2020, suggesting that crypto crime rose significantly over the course of 2021 compared to the previous year. However, also according to Chainalysis, given the increase in number of transactions over 2021, the proportion of transactions representing illicit activity was only 0.15%, a 126% decline from 2020, despite the rise in real numbers.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.

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