Israeli Policymakers Test the Limits and Risks of Digital Shekel: Report

In the quest not to fall behind in its drive to develop a central bank-backed digital currency (CBDC), policymakers in Israel reportedly tested stakeholders’ views to determine the risks and limits of a national digital currency.

Yoav Soffer, the head of the Bank of Israel’s digital project, announced the trial, as reported by Bloomberg. He noted that knowing the opinion of stakeholders is an ongoing process, even though the digital shekel is still in its developmental stage and no specific date has been fixed for the launch.

He added that some of the challenges associated with the roll-out of the digital currency are assessing the impact of the currency on the banking system and determining the cost of the token.

The Shekel Built on the Ethereum Network

The proposed digital shekel is being built on the Ethereum network, as CryptoPotato outlined recently. According to Soffer, the project has gone through extensive trials, and the team is working on further technical studies down the line.

“Right now, we are increasing the resources devoted to the digital shekel project, both in terms of finances and people,” he said. “A digital shekel has great potential to increase competition and innovation within the payment industry.”

The recent concerted effort by the Bank of Israel to explore the prospect of a digital shekel came after an earlier attempt in 2018. The team set up by the central bank had advised against the establishment of a digital token at that time. However, with the world’s top economies actively pursuing digital versions of their currencies, the Bank of Israel is taking another look at its prospects.


Some Central Banks Already Launched CBDCs

A few countries, such as the Bahamas and Nigeria, have already launched digital versions of their currencies. This is in accord with the views of experts at the Bank of America Corp. who announced that the CBDC adoption by central banks is inevitable as countries realize the potentials of the technology.

China is also considered a highly-advanced nation in terms of its CBDC. The world’s most populated country has initiated multiple tests with locals and released digital yuan wallet apps for android and iOS users.

Featured Image Courtesy of Business Standard


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These Upcoming Crypto Milestones Could Trigger a Massive Rally for Solana, Dogecoin and Three Altcoins: Coin Bureau

Coin Bureau crypto channel host Guy is revealing why he remains bullish on five major crypto assets despite recent sell-offs.

Guy tells his 1.87 million YouTube subscribers that he is unconvinced that the bull market is over and thinks there are “upcoming crypto milestones that could be a catalyst for a massive reversal.”

Starting with Solana (SOL), the Coin Bureau host says that the sixth-largest blockchain by market cap is still “technically in beta” and the launch of a mainnet is in the pipeline.

According to Guy, Solana’s mainnet could go live “around March this year”. A mainnet is a real-world ready blockchain as opposed to a testnet which is a blockchain in the testing or experimentation phase.

The Coin Bureau host also says that the second milestone Solana is set to achieve is introducing on-chain governance.

Next up is Litecoin (LTC). Guy says that Litecoin’s upcoming privacy-enhancing feature known as MimbleWimble will make LTC the world’s “most accessible cryptocurrency with privacy-preserving features”.

“This will likely create a lot of demand for LTC and lots of positive price action by extension.”

Next up is Dogecoin (DOGE). According to Guy, two upcoming Dogecoin milestones could generate hype that could boost the dog-themed crypto asset.

The two milestones are launching GigaWallet, a backend service aiming to facilitate the use of Dogecoin for payments by enterprises.

Another milestone is the launch of a software developer kit that will allow developers to build new Dogecoin-related products.

“Even though it’s unlikely that these upgrades will have any direct effect on the price of DOGE in the short term, the hype alone will probably be enough to make prices pump.”

Next up is the leading Ethereum (ETH) layer-2 scaling solution, Polygon (MATIC). The Coin Bureau host says that Polygon has dedicated resources to building additional scaling solutions for Ethereum and names two projects that could be bullish for MATIC once they come online.

“The two that are likely to create the most demand for the MATIC token are Polygon Miden and Polygon Zero…

Chances are that Polygon’s upcoming scaling solutions will be much more secure. And once they go live, there’s a high probability that MATIC will moon.”

Next up is the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity (AXS). Guy says that Axie Infinity’s Ethereum-linked sidechain, Ronin Network, could take its utility token RON public in early February, and this could boost related crypto assets.

…I have a feeling that this listing will have a positive effect on all play-to-earn crypto projects and possibly NFTs [non-fungible tokens] too.”

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed at The Daily Hodl are not investment advice. Investors should do their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency or digital assets. Please be advised that your transfers and trades are at your own risk, and any loses you may incur are your responsibility. The Daily Hodl does not recommend the buying or selling of any cryptocurrencies or digital assets, nor is The Daily Hodl an investment advisor. Please note that The Daily Hodl participates in affiliate marketing.

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Binance CEO’s net worth hits $96B, Jack Dorsey launches BTC defense fund, Bill Miller apes into Bitcoin: Hodler’s Digest, Jan. 9-15

Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Binance CEO CZ is the richest crypto billionaire at $96B: Bloomberg

Bloomberg has estimated Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao — also known as “CZ”— to be the 11th-richest person in the world at a net worth of around $96 billion, making him the wealthiest billionaire in crypto. 

However, Bloomberg’s tabulation excluded CZ’s personal holdings of crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Binance Coin, suggesting that the $96 billion could become much larger in the future. 

To make the list of the top 10 richest people, CZ will need to look under his sofa and find a spare $11 billion to surpass Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison. Topping the list is South African bad boy and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk, who has accumulated $263 billion on the back of the success of his heavily subsidized electric vehicle company.

Disney patents technology for a theme park metaverse

Disney has obtained a patent that will enable the creation of personalized interactive attractions for its theme park visitors. 

The technology could reportedly be used to develop licensed, headset-free augmented reality attractions, involving such features as personalized 3D effects displayed on physical spaces across its parks that correspond with visitors’ journeys to different locations. 

The patent, dubbed the “Virtual-world Simulator,” was filed in the United States. It appears the move is part of Disney’s broader push to enter the metaverse sector, with CEO Bob Chapek noting in a Q4 conference call last year: 

“We’ll be able to connect the physical and digital worlds even more closely, allowing for storytelling without boundaries in our own Disney metaverse.”

Billionaire investor Bill Miller puts 50% of net worth in Bitcoin

Famous investor Bill Miller has now put 50% of his net worth in Bitcoin, as well as major industry firms like Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy and BTC mining firm Stronghold Digital Mining.

Miller was an early investor in Amazon, which he says still accounts for nearly 100% of the rest of his portfolio. He said he’s been gradually accumulating Bitcoin since the price hit $30,000 in mid-2021. 

The investor stated that he no longer considers himself just a “Bitcoin observer” but rather a real Bitcoin bull. Miller initially bought his first Bitcoin back in 2014 when BTC was trading around $200 and then purchased a “little bit more overtime” when it became $500.

Tonga to copy El Salvador bill making Bitcoin legal tender, says former MP

Former Tongan member of parliament Lord Fusitu’a outlined a bill for Bitcoin to become legal tender in the island nation. Fusitu’a stated that the country’s Bitcoin bill is almost “identical” to the one that was enacted in El Salvador. 

Fusitu’a, who currently serves as chairman of the Oceania chapter of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, outlined five points in the roadmap for the bill’s adoption, predicting that it will pass in parliament around September or October, and potentially be legislated by the end of 2022 if all goes to plan. 

In 2021, it was widely speculated that Tonga would become one of the next countries to adopt BTC as legal tender, and optimism appears to be high among Tongans in 2022.

Jack Dorsey announces Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund

Former Twitter CEO, Bitcoin maxi and Block founder Jack Dorsey announced plans to create a “Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund” with Chaincode Labs co-founder Alex Morcos and University of Sussex academic Martin White.

The announcement, shared via Dorsey’s mailing list, states that the fund will help provide a legal defense for Bitcoin developers, who are “currently the subject of multi-front litigation.” 

“The main purpose of this Fund is to defend developers from lawsuits regarding their activities in the Bitcoin ecosystem, including finding and retaining defense counsel, developing litigation strategy, and paying legal bills,” the announcement stated.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $43,121, Ether (ETH) at $3,292 and XRP at $0.77. The total market cap is at $2.05 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Oasis Network (ROSE) at 47.47%, Secret (SCRT) at 32.23% and NEAR Protocol (NEAR) at 25.73%. 

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Loopring (LRC) at -14.23%, (YFI) at -13.52% and Ravencoin (RVN) at -13.01%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“It’s more going to be an exercise in asking questions and seeking input from the public rather than taking a lot of positions on various issues, although we do take some positions.”

Jerome Powell, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, on the Fed’s upcoming digital currency report

“Centralization is antithetical to the ethos of DeFi and poses major security risks. Single points of failure can be exploited by dedicated hackers and malicious insiders alike.”


“We’re already at a quarter of that number, so we’ve got 24% of Americans owning Bitcoin. It won’t be that much of a stretch for it to get to a third. Bitcoin is becoming more and more mainstream. People are hearing about it everywhere — it isn’t going away.”

Ric Edelman, founder of Edelman Financial Engines

“Wikipedia really can’t be in the business of deciding what counts as art or not, which is why putting NFTs, art or not, in their own list makes things a lot simpler.”

Jonas, Wikipedia editor

“Solana prioritizes scalability, but a relatively less decentralized and secure blockchain has tradeoffs, illustrated by several network performance issues since inception.”

Alkesh Shah, digital asset strategist for Bank of America

“The number of addresses with the minimum number of Bitcoin is actually growing compared to the number of whales. I think you get a profound retail trend everywhere in the world; people onboarding Bitcoin, they trust Bitcoin more and more. It’s really the people that will push the price up.” 

Pascal Gauthier, CEO of Ledger

“Subsequent employee surveys made it clear: recharge weeks work.”

L.J. Brock, chief people officer at Coinbase

“Most cryptocurrency investors are ready to pay tax but are concerned whether their move will violate the Revenue Code.”

Suppakrit Boonsat, president of the Thai Digital Asset Association

Prediction of the Week 

Traders say Bitcoin run to $44K may be a relief bounce, citing a repeat of December’s ‘nuke’

Bitcoin had somewhat of a rocky trading week, as the flagship cryptocurrency fell to a price of $39,675 on Monday, according to Cointelegraph’s BTC price index. BTC found itself priced at $44,315 by Wednesday. The asset hit $44,448 on Thursday before subsequently dropping later in the week. 

Although Bitcoin’s price increased on Tuesday, its Wednesday rally came on the same day it was reported that U.S. inflation rose at an annual pace of 7% in December, the highest in 40 years.  

Even though Bitcoin’s price rallied in the days following Monday’s drop below $40,000, the potential for further downward action remains a possibility as of Wednesday, according to widely-followed Twitter personality Material Scientist.

“Remainder of bids was just pulled,” one of the tweets stated. “Either they’re done accumulating and use liquidity to chase now, or we see the same thing as in late November (pulled bids + stacked asks a few days later).”

In the case of Bitcoin trading, bids refer to buyer demand seen on exchange order books. Following its $68,969 peak in November 2021, BTC declined notably through the rest of the month, falling down to $41,614 by early December.

FUD of the Week 

LCX loses $6.8M in a hot wallet compromise over Ethereum blockchain

Liechtenstein-based crypto exchange LCX confirmed on Sunday that one of its hot wallets was compromised after the platform temporarily suspended all deposits and withdrawals. 

The hack was initially highlighted by blockchain security firm PeckShield, which spotted a suspicious transfer of ERC-20 tokens from LCX to an unknown Ethereum wallet. The compromise was then promptly confirmed by LCX, which announced that several crypto tokens were compromised, including Ether, USD Coin (USDC), Sandbox (SAND) and its native LCX token. 

According to an investigation by PeckShield, LCX lost a total of around $6.8 million via the hot wallet hack.

FTC issues public warning about new crypto ATM scam

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) posted an alert earlier this week regarding a new crypto ATM scam that involves nefarious QR codes. 

The FTC stated that the scam starts with fraudsters impersonating figures, such as public officials, law enforcement agents, or potential dating partners on dating apps, who all spin various fables to dupe the victim into sending crypto.

If the victim falls for the fake story, they are directed to withdraw cash and then head to a crypto ATM and purchase some crypto. Once they purchase the crypto, the fraudster shares a QR code with the victim that diverts the funds back to the scammer upon scanning.    

“Here’s the main thing to know: nobody from the government, law enforcement, utility company or prize promoter will ever tell you to pay them with cryptocurrency. If someone does, it’s a scam, every time,” the FTC said.

Pakistan’s central bank reportedly wants to ban crypto

According to reports from local media outlets, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) wants to ban all crypto transactions in Pakistan, arguing that assets such as Bitcoin are illegal and shouldn’t be used for trade.

Pakistan’s Sindh High Court reportedly held a hearing related to the legal status of crypto in the country, with several Pakistani authorities, including the SBP, calling for a ban on the sector via a document submitted to the court. 

Alongside the usual tropes of investor protection and money laundering and terrorism concerns, the document urged the court to follow the model of countries such as China, whose government has stamped out the local crypto sector to pave way for a spawn of satan central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Best Cointelegraph Features

QuickSwap founder: L2s are the path to mass adoption

“If I’m a normal user and I want to do a small trade, I cannot do it on Ethereum.”

Green and gold: The crypto projects saving the planet

As the world argued about the ethics of crypto, these projects changed the world for the better during 2021.

Volcanos, Bitcoin and remittances: A Tongan lord plans for financial security

A former lawmaker from the island nation wants to use Bitcoin to secure his country’s financial security.


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Crypto Markets Flashing Mixed Signals Amid Early 2022 Price Volatility: Analytics Firm IntoTheBlock

Crypto markets are flashing both bullish and bearish signals as digital assets display early-year volatility, according to analytics firm IntoTheBlock.

In a recent newsletter, the market insights platform says there is uncertainty for the crypto markets moving forward as both bears and bulls have good cases to be made.

The bull case is centered around the growing number of addresses that hold Bitcoin (BTC), the number of transactions taking place on leading smart contract platform Ethereum (ETH), and the change ETH made in handling token supply.

Outside of the top two crypto assets, the bull case also rests on the growing popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), play-to-earn blockchain games, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).

The data shows that despite seeing its price dip recently, more investors are holding on to BTC, unlike in January 2018 when 25% of Bitcoin traders liquidated their tokens after the top crypto by market cap suddenly crashed from $20,000 to $6,000.

Similarly, the analytics firm found that the number of daily transactions taking place on ETH held strong during the latest crypto market pullback despite dipping by a staggering 65% just two months after the 2018 crash.

Other potential catalysts include ETH’s token-burning mechanism introduced during the London upgrade, NFT marketplace OpenSea reaching a $13 billion valuation, more widespread coverage of DAOs, and blockchain-based games bringing users over to cryptocurrencies.

The bear case revolves around the actions of the Federal Reserve, the possibility of a new Covid-19 variant, and the four-year cycle theory.

The Fed recently announced it would be attempting to curb inflation via normalization of its balance sheet, or quantitative tightening (QT). According to IntoTheBlock, this could potentially decrease the supply of USD, which is correlated to the price of BTC.

“The high correlation between the two implies a negative outlook for Bitcoin if the Fed moves ahead with QT and raises rates aggressively.”

Other bear flags include the tendency for BTC to reach new all-time highs every four years (2013, 2017, 2021) and then crash the following year, and the possibility of a stronger Covid strain that would induce lockdowns that hinder the economy.

“Overall, the macro environment signals risks to be considered by investors. While there are still reasons to believe in crypto’s continued growth in 2022, there is a considerable amount of uncertainty.

Ultimately, these market forces are likely to play out in the upcoming months as the market gets more clarity from the Federal Reserve and activity from NFTs, gaming and DAOs seek to propel crypto to new highs.”

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed at The Daily Hodl are not investment advice. Investors should do their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency or digital assets. Please be advised that your transfers and trades are at your own risk, and any loses you may incur are your responsibility. The Daily Hodl does not recommend the buying or selling of any cryptocurrencies or digital assets, nor is The Daily Hodl an investment advisor. Please note that The Daily Hodl participates in affiliate marketing.

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Peckshield Reveals Over 50 Potentially Dubious Projects on Binance Smart Chain

In yet another concerning development, the prominent blockchain security firm, Peckshield, revealed looking into more than 50 potentially dubious projects on Binance Smart Chain(BSC).

Rug Potentials on Binance Smart Chain

Rug pulls were a frequent occurrence in the crypto space in 2021. In this kind of scam, developers of a DeFi project abandon it unexpectedly and siphon off with user funds. Binance Smart Chain was one of the badly hit DeFi platforms which lured numerous malicious actors since its inception.

In the latest development, Peckshield revealed detecting more than 50 tokens with “rug-potentials” on BSC. The blockchain security company alerted the community that the admins behind the mentioned tokens can potentially mint unlimited tokens, restrict users from selling the coins and even blacklist any accounts.

The tokens at risk, as mentioned on Peckshield’s list, are operated by anonymous teams, and the firm has deemed all the projects as “medium” in terms of severity.


Rug Pulls in 2021, What’s Next?

The monumental year of 2021 witnessed rug pulls become one of the most utilized scams of choice. According to a report by the blockchain firm, Chainalysis, these rug pulls accounted for 37% of all scam revenue last year compared to only 1% in 2020.

There are two major reasons why rug pulls became so common. One was the initial hype surrounding the DeFi space and the subsequent FOMO. Next up – the technical skills required to develop tokens and get them listed on exchanges, many of which were done without a proper analysis of the smart contract’s code by a third party.

But this trend may not continue in 2022. Going forward, Chainalysis believes crypto-related crimes may decline as law enforcement’s ability to fight these scams evolves. It recently stated that increased legitimate crypto usage is “far outpacing the growth of criminal usage.”

In fact, the firm noted that illicit activity’s share of crypto transaction volume has never been lower. Its report on the same revealed that “crime is becoming a smaller and smaller part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.”

The team also mentioned that one positive development against these crimes is the growing “ability of law enforcement to seize illicitly obtained cryptocurrency.” For instance, IRS Criminal Investigation seized more than $3.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency in 2021.


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Major City Investing One-Percent of Its Treasury in Crypto, Mulling Possible Bitcoin Tax Discount

Another major metropolis is jumping headfirst into the world of crypto by investing in the digital space and proposing discounts for citizens paying taxes in Bitcoin (BTC).

Rio de Janeiro, the South American city of almost 7 million people, now plans to invest 1% of its treasury funds into crypto.

According to Brazilian newspaper O Globo, Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes announced the new investment strategy at Rio Innovation Week on Thursday.

Pedro Paulo, Rio’s secretary of finance, says the city may offer discounts to residents who pay their property taxes in Bitcoin.

“We are studying the possibility of paying taxes with an additional discount if you pay with Bitcoins.

You take the discount of the single quota of 7%, it would be 10% if you pay in Bitcoin.

Let’s study the legal framework so that we can do that.”

Paes spoke at the Rio Innovation event with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, another mayoral BTC supporter.

Suarez has publicly attempted to position Miami as a hub for crypto. The South Florida city’s government voted in September to accept millions of dollars generated by MiamiCoin (MIA), the city’s very own digital asset.

First announced in June, crypto development company CityCoins Inc. launched the decentralized altcoin in August. MIA had generated more than $21 million in revenue as of November.

Suarez also announced in November that the South Florida city planned to develop digital wallets for users to receive Bitcoin payments derived from the MiamiCoin project. Users will have the ability to stake their MIA and receive passive Bitcoin dividend yields from the token, according to the mayor.

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Bitcoin, Ethereum Begin Slow Rebound as Terra, Near, Dogecoin, Polygon Surge

This week in coins
This week in coins. Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt.

Many crypto market watchers think the bottom is in for Bitcoin and Ethereum after their terrible start to the new year. Bitcoin is up 6% from this time one week ago, and Ethereum is up 10% since then.

But as has been the case in 2022 so far, altcoins are faring better. 

Not too long ago, it was rare to see so many other projects surging while Bitcoin and Ethereum remained stagnant. Now weeks like this have become a new norm.

In the past seven days, the traditional market leaders weren’t the slowest movers, but they certainly weren’t moving as high as names like NEAR, the token of next-gen dapp platform Near Protocol. NEAR blew up 43% in the past week to hit a new all-time high of $20.38 on Friday.

Bitcoin and Ethereum

Bitcoin is up 6% from a week ago to $43,417. While that’s still miles off its former ATH of $68,790, Bitcoin looks like it’s on a steady recovery from its precipitous fall at the start of the week. In the early hours of Monday morning, Bitcoin was trading at around $42,178, then the price went into a tailspin and bottomed out at $39,867.

Ethereum also sank beneath the symbolic $3,000 threshold last Monday. Now it currently trades at $3,335, close to 11% higher than this time last Saturday. 

On Monday, a new report from digital assets market data provider Kaiko concluded that the correlation between Bitcoin’s price and NASDAQ and the S&P 500 is at its highest since July 2020. Does that mean Bitcoin is being more assimilated into the traditional financial markets that it was designed to counter? Not necessarily. 

Kaiko’s report concluded that investors in both Bitcoin and stock markets were responding to the Fed’s news last week that it is getting ready to hike interest rates in order to transition to a post-pandemic economy. So Bitcoin investors and equities investors (which certainly has some overlap) are monitoring the same bearish news. But nobody can be sure if the current high correlation will hold. 

Crypto was a hot topic in Washington this week. On Tuesday, Federal Reserve chairman Jay Powell, announced that the Fed will release its report on crypto and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in the coming weeks. 

Like many governments worldwide, the Fed is especially keen to research the feasibility of implementing CBDCs in America, so the report will likely include a discussion about a possible digital dollar. 


Terra’s LUNA token blew up 37% this week. It trades for $86 at the time of writing. Terra has been steadily climbing over the last two months. It’s worth noting that at Christmas time, the total value locked in Terra-based projects exceeded $20 billion. Last week, as LUNA’s price was taking a beating, the TVL sank to about $15 billion, but higher prices mean higher value, and so the TVL in Terra projects is back to around $19 billion, according to DeFi Llama

And Polygon holders enjoyed a 24% rise this week for MATIC, now worth $2.38 each.

Finally, Dogecoin blew up 27% this week. It’s still only worth about 18 cents, a far cry from the vertiginous height of 74 cents, the meme coin’s ATH back in May of last year amid Elon Musk’s persistent pumping and “SNL” hosting gig.

Yesterday, Dogecoin briefly crossed 20 cents when Tesla’s store started accepting it for merchandise payments. 

So, after a rocky start to the 2022, the crypto market is in the green across the board. Will it stay that way? Let’s talk in a week.


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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 26,171.01 0.68%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,585.84 0.42%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 63.86 1.28%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 213.65 1.06%