YouTube’s Head of Gaming Leaves to Join Polygon Studios as CEO

The head of YouTube Gaming, Ryan Wyatt, will soon be leaving his post at the Google-owned tech company. Starting in March, Wyatt will become the CEO of Polygon Studios, a new venture dedicated to building on the Ethereum sidechain Polygon

Despite YouTube’s own growing interest in blockchain and NFTs, Wyatt says it’s time for a new venture. “I came to YouTube almost eight years ago to help give gamers a voice and represent the gamer’s needs every day,” Wyatt wrote on Twitter

“In my role at Polygon Studios, I will be focused on growing the developer ecosystem through investment, marketing, and developer support and bridging the gap between Web2 and Web3. I’ll be leading the Polygon Studios organization across Gaming, Entertainment, Fashion, News, Sports, and more.”

As a YouTube executive, Wyatt has garnered respect from YouTube Gaming creators, with the likes of “Call of Duty” streamer Dr. Disrespect and esports organization 100 Thieves’ Nadeshot, CouRage, and Valkyrae congratulating him today on the upcoming move. 

Wyatt spearheaded YouTube Gaming’s live streaming initiatives, securing exclusive deals with huge creators such as TimTheTatman, Ludwig, and Dr. Lupo. As a result, YouTube Gaming now has a foothold in the video game live-streaming space, rivaling Twitch with its high streaming quality and roster of A-list creators.

Now, Wyatt is positioned to bring some of that same entertainment to the Web3 space. But many gamers have decried NFTs and blockchain networks, citing blockchains’ energy use and purported environmental impact as points of concern. Some in the gaming community also blame cryptocurrency miners for their inability to get ahold of graphics cards for their gaming PCs.

Wyatt believes that angry gamers will eventually come around to blockchain gaming. “Gamers will see the value of NFT blockchain-based gaming when there are more polished native blockchain experiences built from the ground up,” he tweeted earlier this month.

The YouTube exec’s belief in the blockchain gaming space is unwavering. In a nine-part Twitter thread back in September, Wyatt stated, “We’re going through a tectonic shift in the [gaming] industry over the next five years.” 

In the future, he believes the next generation of gamers will “challenge conventional formats and want their time spent in game to mean something & the value of their items to have an actual monetary value. Most in-game assets are illiquid; NFTs & the blockchain change this by providing an open transparent market.”

In December 2021, Polygon Studios announced it is funding of gaming firm GameOn with a $100 million investment toward future Web3-related projects. Gaming studios Atari and Animoca Brands are listed as partners on Polygon Studios’ official site, as well as NFT marketplace OpenSea and metaverse project Decentraland.


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Thailand To Regulate Use Of Cryptocurrencies For Payment

The Bank of Thailand (BOT), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Ministry of Finance (MOF) have jointly decided to regulate the use of cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange. They cite threats of financial instability and crime as primary justifications.

Strictness On Crypto

BOT announced its regulatory decision in a press release earlier today. It begins by recognizing how digital asset companies are expanding the functionality of cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange.

Indeed, numerous companies including Google and Mastercard now allow the use of crypto at vendors that don’t accept crypto directly. Meanwhile, companies like OpenNode are building out Bitcoin payment networks via the lightning network for organizations such as Perth Heat.

Thai regulators interpret these developments as moving cryptocurrencies from “investments” to “means of exchange”. They fear that this could cause financial instability.

“The use of digital assets in this manner could also pose further risks to consumers and businesses through price volatility, cybertheft, personal data leakage, or money laundering, etc.” read the post.

Cryptocurrencies are indeed volatile, with Bitcoin now trading almost 50% below its all-time high under three months ago. However, money laundering and cyber theft are commonly overstated issues. A Chainalysis report from 2020 states that cryptocurrency crime is “falling,” and represents “a small part of the overall crypto economy.”


Nevertheless, regulators intend to limit the “widespread adoption” of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. However, some assets deemed “supportive” of the financial system will see regulatory guidelines issued for them. This could possibly include a CBDC, for which BOT is planning a pilot project.

Taxes in Thailand

Earlier this month, CryptoPotato reported Thainese plans to levy a 15% capital gains tax on cryptocurrency profits. However, the country’s former SEC chief opposes the move, encouraging policy that benefits the trade sector.

A report in November would back up the SEC chair’s claims. It showed that embracing cryptocurrencies further could create more rich citizens that multiply the nation’s GDP. Thankfully, crypto access is expected to expand in the country as Binance establishes its Thailand-based exchange.


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IMF Tells El Salvador to Drop Bitcoin as Legal Tender

Key Takeaways

  • The International Monetary Fund has urged El Salvador to discontinue Bitcoin’s status as legal tender.
  • Directors at the IMF expressed concerns around financial stability, integrity, consumer protection, and other risks.
  • El Salvador first adopted Bitcoin in September 2021 and has lost approximately 30% on its initial investment.

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Directors at the International Monetary Fund have recommended that El Salvador drop Bitcoin’s status as legal tender.

IMF Advises Against Bitcoin as Legal Tender

According to a press release published by the IMF today, the IMF’s directors “urged [El Salvador] to narrow the scope of the Bitcoin law by removing Bitcoin’s legal tender status.”

Those directors expressed concerns around financial stability, integrity, and consumer protection and suggested a need for regulation. More specifically, they noted that El Salvador’s Bitcoin-backed bonds, which were announced this winter, carry risks.

The IMF directors did, however, acknowledge that El Salvador’s Chivo e-wallet could help with financial inclusion by offering financial services to those that have little access to existing resources.

These statements were made as part of an Article IV consultation—a practice in which an economic team visits a country, assesses its economy, and reports back to IMF’s executive board.

El Salvador Has Faced Bitcoin Criticism Before

The IMF previously suggested that Bitcoin should not be used as legal tender in November 2021, shortly after the country adopted it.

The country also saw early controversy around the possibility that it would force certain businesses to accept Bitcoin, though it appears that the country did not force anyone do to so.

The country and its president, Nayib Bukele, have also been criticized for alleged surveillance tactics in recent weeks. Though these tactics were aimed at journalists rather than Bitcoin users, the allegations drew criticism from the crypto community.

El Salvador has purchased approximately 1,801 BTC to date, an amount currently valued at $65.3 million. That value represents losses of approximately 30% since purchase.

The country nevertheless continues to pursue new Bitcoin applications: it has opened volcano-powered Bitcoin mining facilities and is planning a Bitcoin City.

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

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Etherscan Creators Launch ‘Ethereum Instant Messenger’ Blockscan Chat

Who says Ethereum is only for DeFi and ape NFTs? 

In a bid to expand the use cases for decentralized tech beyond the usual suspects, Blockscan, the team that created the Etherscan blockchain explorer, has released Blockscan Chat in beta.

According to the site’s homepage, “Blockscan Chat is a messaging platform for users to simply and instantly message each other, wallet-to-wallet.” To use it, you must connect to an Ethereum wallet such as MetaMask. Message recipients with an Ethereum address will get a notification via block explorer (though the message won’t be public on a block explorer). 

Some people are already referring to the tool informally as “Ethereum Instant Messenger”—a kind of throwback to AOL Instant Messenger.

Why exactly would you want to leverage the Ethereum blockchain to send messages instead of your phone or any other number of available chat applications? The answer might be the ability to maintain control of one’s data, use censorship-resistant platforms, or communicate without fear of surveillance.

That’s not quite what’s going on here, however. The service runs on Etherscan’s servers and messages don’t get stored on a blockchain, according to the app. In short, it doesn’t have the benefits of decentralization.

The terms of service, which may sound familiar to those who have dealt with centralized messaging and media platforms, state that this could all go away: “In the event of any Force Majeure Event, breach of these Terms, or any other event that would make provision of the Services commercially unreasonable for Company, we may, at our sole discretion and without liability to you, with or without prior notice, suspend your access to all or a portion of our Services.”

That said, Blockscan has a very good track record within the space of making tools that anyone can use. And excited Ethereum users are already talking about potential use cases. For instance, wallet-to-wallet messaging could undercut NFT marketplaces by allowing bidders to directly message asset owners.

And as Ryan Sean Adams of Bankless points out, you could even communicate with hackers, useful in cases when you’re trying to negotiate the return of funds.


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FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried: Solana Is Better Than Other Blockchains Despite Multiple Outages

Despite the multiple outages that the Solana network suffered in recent months, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) believes the high-performance blockchain is still better than other networks in the industry.

The latest Solana network outage happened on Friday and lasted for more than 48 hours, causing DeFi users who borrowed funds from lending platforms to suffer forced liquidation. According to Solana’s team, Friday’s incident resulted from “excessive duplicate transactions” from bots, which caused the network to experience high levels of congestion.

The recent outage sparked criticism from industry experts and users. While many questioned Solana’s reliability and status as a “Wall Street darling,” some think it is no longer part of the blockchain race for the future.

SBF: Solana Is Better Than Other Blockchains

As both critics and supporters share their opinions on the Solana network issue, Bankman-Fried tweeted on Tuesday, noting that despite the network’s recent shortcomings, it is still superior to other chains. According to the FTX boss, Solana has been able to process more transactions than all other major networks combined.

He pointed out that although the number of transactions per second (TPS) processed by the Solana network has significantly declined, it is still doing a lot compared to other blockchains.


However, Bankman-Fried admitted that there is still a lot of room for improvements.

“There’s always more work to do. And the most important thing is doing that work, building… Solana is mostly out of slack–the demand from transactions has reached the supply. So, you keep working to increase the throughput of the system, and the efficiency, to scale with the demand,” he said.

DeFi Traders Losing Faith

While SBF focused on Solana’s historical network performance, other market watchers noted that the repeated outages adversely affected traders, greatly reducing their confidence in the network.

According to Larry Cermak, Solana’s outage had liquidated the positions of thousands of traders and harmed the performance of their crypto portfolios.

“The main issue in the last few days was that you couldn’t get transactions through when you needed it the most. If I get liquidated because I can’t top up my position due to degraded performance, it’s hard to see me trusting it again for those kinds of transactions,” he said.


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Bitcoin Whales Take Advantage Of Market Crash To Gobble Up Millions In BTC

The bitcoin crash rocked the market to its core when the digital asset had lost over 50% of its all-time high value to bottom out at $33,000. It was as a result of market sell-offs across the financial space, sparking a ripple effect that was felt heavily in the crypto market. Market sentiment had crumbled during this time as investors had scrambled to sell their holdings.

However, not everyone saw the declining prices as a signal to sell before prices tank even more. Whales, who control a large portion of the circulating supply, took this as a cue to buy and have been filling their bags with all of the bitcoin being dumped on the market by panicking investors.

Whale Gobbles Up Traded Bitcoin

In a report from CC15Capital, the trading activities of a whale are outlined. In what came out to be a long document, it shows that the whale had been purchasing tens of thousands of bitcoin every few hours while traders dumped their coins. CC15Capital which is an asset allocator tracked the wallet and discovered that a single bitcoin wallet had been purchasing millions of dollars worth of bitcoin.

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Related Reading | Market Sentiment Crumbles As Sell-Offs Drags Bitcoin To $33,000

In the event of the past week’s price crash, this single whale had accumulated millions in bitcoin. Each purchase ranged from $2 to $18 million worth of BTC every few hours, averaging 48,000 BTC per purchase.

It looked like the whale was buying up all coins being dumped on the market. By the weekend, the wallet had successfully increased its holdings by a couple of hundred thousand BTC. The more the price dropped, the more bitcoin the whale bought.

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Bitcoin price chart from

BTC trading above $36k | Source: BTCUSD on

CC15Capital, in response, called for bitcoin investors to stop dumping their coins, which are being bought by whales, thereby increasing the concentration of bitcoin supply in the hands of large investors.

Tradable BTC On The Decline

CC15Capital also noted that the volume of bitcoin that is available for sale has gone down. Currently, 14.5 million of the total bitcoin supply is illiquid. This means that this supply has not moved, neither have they been traded. It is the highest concentration of supply which looks to be held for the long-term.

In the same tweet, the asset allocator explains that if the wallets holding this illiquid supply were to increase their holdings by a mere 27%, a total of 4 million BTC, there would be no coins left for sale, driving the supply to zero.

Related Reading | Has Bitcoin Reached Its Bottom? Analyst Says It Still Has A Long Way To Go

Other whales have also taken advantage of the sell-offs happening in the market. As the exchange supply is dwindling, these large investors are making sure there is no shortage on their end when a supply squeeze happens.

In two months, a whale wallet that had zero BTC in November has managed to gather an impressthatalance of over $1 billion in BTC. This account looks to have started buying with the crash and has continued to do so ever since. At the time of writing, the wallet balance sits at $1,013,777,643.51.

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Binance Lists Altcoin Built on Polkadot (DOT), Plus An Additional Crypto Asset On Terra (LUNA)

The world’s largest crypto exchange has listed a new altcoin project in the Polkadot ecosystem, as well as another crypto asset based on Terra (LUNA).

In a new announcement, Binance says it’s listing Acala (ACA), an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform and Polkadot (DOT) parachain.

Acala’s blockchain has built-in decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols for app developers to leverage including its own stablecoin called Acala Dollar (aUSD), plus a decentralized exchange (DEX). It aims to be the “DeFi hub” of Polkadot by allowing for easier app-building and more efficient trading.

At time of writing, ACA has only been trading for roughly 12 hours. It has so far traded mostly downwards, currently changing hands for $2.03 after launching at $2.40.

Hours later on the same day, Binance announced it was listing Anchor Protocol (ANC), a lending and borrowing protocol on the Terra blockchain.

Anchor aims to provide “low-volatile” yields on Terra stablecoin deposits with a rate powered by a diversified stream of staking rewards from other major blockchains. The Anchor protocol aims to provide depositors with stable deposit yields, instant withdrawals, and principle protection via liquidation of loans at risk of under collateralization.

The project says,

“The Anchor community believes that a stable, reliable source of yield in Anchor has the opportunity to become the reference interest rate in crypto.”

ANC enjoyed a brief 23% bounce after getting listed, from $1.52 to $1.57. It has since given up some of its gains and is sitting at $1.61.

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Kazakh Government Blocks Crypto Mining Until February

Key Takeaways

  • The government of Kazakhstan has halted cryptocurrency mining from Jan. 24 to Feb 1.
  • The state-run power grid operator Kegoc will not supply power to miners until next month.
  • Kazakhstan has suffered from power outages for months, which have contributed to civil unrest.

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The government of Kazakhstan has halted the mining of cryptocurrencies through the rest of January. Yesterday’s mining ban preceded the major blackouts that regions of central Asia have suffered from today. 

Proof-of-Work Mining Temporarily Banned

Kazakhstan, which last year embraced the relocation of cryptocurrency miners to within its borders following China’s mining ban, has turned to cutting off crypto miners from its electricity grid, for now. 

Kazakhstan’s government has barred cryptocurrency miners from using the nation’s energy from Jan. 24 to Jan. 31. A spokeswoman for Kegoc, the state-run power grid operator, confirmed that companies that mine cryptocurrencies would no longer be allowed to do so until Feb. 1.

The move was later followed by blackouts today affecting Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, which were caused by the disconnection of one of Kazakhstan’s major power lines. The central Asian region’s power grid is interconnected, and millions have lost electricity or water. 

Kazakhstan’s power infrastructure has been strained for months now, facing rolling blackouts this winter—a problem that Bitcoin mining’s substantial energy requirements have made worse. The nation’s struggles have prompted Kegoc to limit the amount of power it provides to mining facilities. 

The rapid increase in mining in Kazakhstan that occurred following China’s mining ban last summer culminated in the nation reaching the number two spot globally for Bitcoin mining. Many Bitcoin miners, however, remain unregistered with the Kazakh government.

The power outages have been so severe as to lead to civil unrest, which has been violently quelled. In a move impacting Bitcoin miners and other citizens as well, the government has imposed  Internet blackouts as part of its response to the civil unrest. 

Kazakhstan’s moves to limit the energy intensive Proof-of-Work mining comes amidst concerns from various other nations. Last week, a major European Union regulator called for the outright banning of Proof-of-Work mining. The next day, the Bank of Russia took things further by proposing a total ban on all cryptocurrency-related activities. 

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

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Bitcoin Recovers From Seven Month Low Of $33K

Bitcoin broke out in a feeding frenzy during the January 24 afternoon, raking up over $37K after falling to its lowest point in the same morning. It’s almost as if they’re mirroring each other’s moves.

Bitcoin shot back up above $36,000 Tuesday morning after a day of heavy trading that saw the price drop below 33K for the first time since July 2021. Monday afternoon, it crossed $37,000 was staying pretty stable around 35k with some small increases here and there. 

Bitcoin Price recovered almost 7% from its seven-week low on January 24, 2022. Source:

The crypto world has seen a lot of volatility over the last few years, but it’s still surprising when prices drop 50% or more. It has happened three times since 2018 alone! And this latest sell-off was no exception; from April through July 2019, Bitcoin fell 52%.

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Cryptocurrencies have experienced major selloffs across the board, with cryptocurrency-related stocks being no exception. Analysts say that one primary driver of this trend is former Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen’s plan for stimulus removal and higher interest rate policies, which has negatively impacted many tech-related companies in recent months. For example, the Nasdaq has fallen 12% since January 1 alone.

“The Fed is currently buffeting the crypto market,” says Martha Reyes, head of research at Bequant. “This industry has been proliferating, and it’s not surprising that investors are taking risks with their capital.”

The decreased interest in crypto by retail investors is a sign that this market may have reached its peak. Glassnode, a blockchain data research firm, suggested there were two main reasons for the decline: regulatory uncertainty and low performance last year – both factors which will probably continue into 2022 as well.”

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Bitcoin vs New Digital Assets

With the rise of NFTs, people are now more interested in investing their money into these new digital assets rather than Bitcoin. So it’s no wonder that people are starting to search for information on these non-fungible tokens. Google searches have shown a steady increase over last year, which is likely why we see more interest from investors worldwide as they seek out trends before others do.

Cryptocurrencies are down across the board, but some coins have fallen further than others. For example, ether is down 50% from its last high point, while Solana and Shiba Inu cryptocurrencies based on memes experienced even steeper losses with 64% and 74%, respectively.

Related Reading | Despite Decline In Bitcoin Price, Market Remains Greedy

Since November, the crypto market has lost about 44% of its value, with $1.65 trillion pulled down by widespread selling in both Bitcoin and other coins across the board.

Joel Kruger, a currency strategist, said,

“It makes sense to me for broad crypto to get hit hard. It’s all about innovation, which should correlate with risky assets.”

Crypto inevitably gets hit hard when innovation increases and risky assets follow suit. Sure enough, ether has followed this trend as well; it’s almost like an index for all these projects on ethereum – including NFTs, games, decentralized finance initiatives, or smart contracts – to see how they stack up against each other.”

The moves come as a surprise to some investors and analysts. Ryan Volden, an analyst from JPMorgan, predicted that Bitcoin could reach $146,000 in the future.

Traders To keep an eye on BTC $30K Level

Traders are focusing on $30,000 as a significant level for multiple reasons. First, that number represents the low point of last year’s bear market, and it also opened up close to where Bitcoin was trading in 2021 when we first saw prices fall during that period – which means there is some hope left.

It’s not just your investments that are at risk. For example, suppose Bitcoin falls below $5K. In that case, it will put Bitcoin prices into their 2020 levels and turn every investor who bought Bitcoins in recent months, as well as all those risking money on crypto markets, into losers.

With Wall Street panicking and a sell-off of Bitcoins reaching new heights, it’s essential to keep an eye on the $30k level. If this becomes unstable, more people may end up selling their coins, leading the market back down again.

                   Featured image from Pixabay, chart from


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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 27,298.31 0.96%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,636.23 1.96%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 64.10 3.42%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 226.82 8.87%