Podcast: Ukraine is Receiving Its Biggest Bitcoin Donation Ever

Podcast: Ukraine is Receiving Its Biggest Bitcoin Donation Ever

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Also today — Ronin Network gives us new details on how it plans to beef up security after falling victim to a record-breaking hack.

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On today’s CoinMarketRecap with Connor Sephton, a record-breaking Bitcoin donation is being made to Ukraine… from a rather unexpected source.

Also today: Twitter reveals its financial results for the first quarter of 2022, and the Ronin Network releases a postmortem report after losing $625 million in a record-breaking hack.

Plus — which well-known whistleblower has been unmasked as one of the creators of Zcash?

You can follow us on Twitter — @ConnorSephton and @CoinMarketCap.

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Some Interesting Changes Have Been Made to Russia's Cryptocurrency Bill

Some Interesting Changes Have Been Made to Russia’s Cryptocurrency Bill

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Crypto exchanges and wallets will be required to provide customer data if requested by a judicial body — and unregulated platforms will be banned from advertising.

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New amendments have reportedly been made to a cryptocurrency bill that will make the regulation of digital assets law in Russia.

A couple of interesting changes have been made. For instance, crypto exchanges and wallets will be required to provide customer data if requested by a judicial body.

The advertising of unregulated crypto exchanges is also going to be prohibited, and this came at the request of the FSB, part of the state’s security apparatus.

Other proposals include compelling crypto exchanges and crypto wallets to provide information to law enforcement agencies — but a report by the Russian news outlet Izvestiya does not clarify whether this will be included in the legislation.

The FSB requested information about “identification features of cryptocurrencies,” presumably referring to the founders of coins or tokens. But this would be virtually impossible because of the industry’s decentralized nature.

At a high level, the bill was accepted by the Ministry of Finance after careful review by several official bodies — including financial regulators, the taxman and the secret service.

It will now be passed on to Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, which is expected to follow the ministry’s recommendation and pass the bill.

The federal tax service proposed to tighten the regulation of crypto exchanges and crypto wallets without a license, although that comes against the explicit recommendation of the Ministry of Finance.

The agencies also disagree on how mining should be defined and how proceeds from crypto mining should be dealt with.

For example, the FSB advocated for a mandatory transfer of digital currency obtained as a result of mining to crypto exchanges, as well as for applying AML standards to it. The Ministry of Finance opposes such strict regulation.

It also rejected the FSB’s proposals for additional regulation of crypto wallets and mining pools, considering it inappropriate and “too detailed” at this point.

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Zcash: Edward Snowden Unmasked as 'John Dobbertin' — One of Privacy Coin's Co-Founders

Zcash: Edward Snowden Unmasked as ‘John Dobbertin’ — One of Privacy Coin’s Co-Founders

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Snowden is best known for his time as a whistleblower at the National Security Agency, where he released thousands of documents that revealed how the U.S. was spying on its own citizens.

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Edward Snowden has revealed he’s one of the co-founders of Zcash.

The identities of five people who created the well-known privacy coin have been known for some time.

But the real name of the sixth — who was only known by the pseudonym “John Dobbertin” — has remained a mystery.

Snowden is best known for his time as a whistleblower at the National Security Agency, where he released thousands of documents that revealed how the U.S. was spying on its own citizens.

He’s taken part in a new documentary documenting the history of Zcash — and gave fellow co-founder Zooko Wilcox permission to disclose his involvement “as long as it is clear that I was never paid and had no stake.”

Snowden has been living in Russia for several years after receiving asylum in the country.

Since gaining mainstream recognition, he has been a strong privacy advocate and has praised coins like Zcash.

Still, his direct involvement in the coin’s development alongside CoinCenter researcher Peter Van Valkenburgh and Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd came as a surprise to most. In the interview, Snowden said:

“I saw it being worked on by a number of trusted academic cryptographers and I thought it was a very interesting project.”

Snowden also voiced criticism of Bitcoin, calling its privacy an “open disaster” that everyone is aware of. Despite his exchanges with core developers aware of the issue, privacy improvements are moving slowly.

Zcash co-founder Peter Todd shared a stunning description of the lengths he had to go through in order to ensure maximum security for Zcash’s launch.

In an interview with CoinDesk, he describes how he conducted “Operation: Cypherpunk Desert Bus” — the same operation Snowden was a part of.

Zcash’s concealed transactions occur in two pools called “Sprout” and “Sapling.” Both require their own key for access.

At the heart of the operation was the split of Zcash’s key — at that time only the “Sprout” pool existed — into six parts between the six founders and the destruction of at least one of them. If a person possesses the entire key, they could counterfeit the coin’s supply.

In the interview, Todd recalls how he planned the operation to ensure he holds up his part of the deal:

“At the very last moment I bought a plane ticket to somewhere I wasn’t planning to go … I immediately went to a car rental, immediately got a car, immediately went off to a computer store to buy the computers off the shelf […] I took out the Wi-Fi cards, I didn’t hook up ethernet and I literally ran it in a Faraday cage.”

He described lining a box with aluminum foil and closing the lid — a technique that “really blocks Wi-Fi signals effectively” — and his determination to avoid detection:

“If you’re in a car hurling down on the highway, it’s really hard for the NSA agents who had no idea you were going to do this to actually follow you […] I also had cameras on the car in the front and back. So had someone tried to do that, I’d get them on camera.”

In the end, the operation seemingly worked, considering the Zcash supply has been unaltered to this day.

Wilcox pointed out that Snowden was not the only potentially controversial figure involved in the launch.

He recalled visiting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during the setup ceremony to get advice on the coin’s security design.

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Finland is Donating 1,890 BTC to Ukraine — Worth $75M — That Was Seized from Drug Crimes

Finland is Donating 1,890 BTC to Ukraine — Worth $75M — That Was Seized from Drug Crimes

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Finland’s Finance Minister, Annika Saarikko, described the decision as “right, important and good” — and explained that customs had been planning to offload the BTC anyway.

Finland has announced that it’s donating 1,890 BTC to Ukraine — worth $75 million at current market rates.

The crypto stash follows multiple seizures by law enforcement officials investigating drug-related crimes.

Two Finland-based virtual asset service providers have been chosen to serve as brokers to ensure Ukraine receives the funds.

They’ll be tasked with selling off the Bitcoin so it can be transferred.

Finland’s Finance Minister, Annika Saarikko, described the decision as “right, important and good” — and explained that customs had been planning to offload the BTC anyway with proceeds going to the state. She wrote:

“At the same time, Ukraine, who is at war, is reasonably asking us other countries: what are you going to do? How are you going to help? The question touches and hits the heart.”

Saarikko hopes that the funds will help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine — and help the country to rebuild in the future, adding:

“It is the currency confiscated from the wrongdoers, which is now getting the wings of goodness.”

Finnish customs officials have expressed hope that this approach “will be useful to other authorities in the future.”

The agreements also help ensure that cryptocurrencies in the hands of the authorities are safely handled.

Although other types of cryptocurrencies have also been seized by law enforcement, they aren’t going to be sold at this stage.

The donation is substantially more than the $15 million in aid that Finland sent to Ukraine back in February — and according to HS, a local news source, this Bitcoin alone would represent most of the $90 million in aid due to be donated to the country from 2014 to 2022.

Data from Merkel Science suggests that, as of April 8, crypto worth a total of $114.5 million has been donated to Ukraine. The funds have been spent on helmets, bulletproof vests, medical supplies, meals for soldiers, and essentials for civilians.

Finland’s contribution would boost the total raised by more than 65%.

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Ronin Network Offers Update After Record-Breaking $625M Hack, as $1M Bug Bounty Unveiled

Ronin Network Offers Update After Record-Breaking $625M Hack, as $1M Bug Bounty Unveiled

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Developers of the blockchain powering the popular play-to-earn game Axie Infinity say they now have a long-term goal of adding more than 100 validators to the network.

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The Ronin Network is vowing to beef up security after it fell victim to the biggest crypto hack on record.

Ether and USDC worth $625 million were stolen in the audacious hack targeting the blockchain, which powers the popular play-to-earn game Axie Infinity.

North Korean groups are suspected of being behind the attack — and worse still, it took six days for developers to notice that funds were missing.

Before the attack took place, the Ronin blockchain consisted of nine validator nodes — and signatures from five of them were needed to initiate a deposit or withdrawal. The hackers managed to gain control through social engineering attacks.

In a postmortem of what happened, the Ronin Network confirmed that 11 validator nodes are now in operation — and a further three are being onboarded soon. This will further increase to 21 validator nodes within three months, with a longer-term goal of having more than 100.

Developers stressed that every line of Ronin’s code is now being scrutinized and optimized, while security experts are examining the blockchain’s entire infrastructure. A post added:

“We are inspecting every area of security, including our internal procedures. We are putting a strong emphasis on security for all employees which includes more robust training courses to combat external threats and the use of work-only devices to further mitigate risks.”

Bug bounties of up to $1 million are also going to be offered in an attempt to incentivize white hat hackers to detect security vulnerabilities before they are exploited by malicious actors.

The Ronin bridge — which allows funds to be passed between its network and the Ethereum blockchain — has been closed since the headline-grabbing hack, and will remain so for now.

Developers said a thorough redesign is currently taking place — and the bridge “will open once we are confident that it can stand the test of time,” adding:

“We initially expected to be able to deploy the upgrade by the end of April, but this is not a process that we can afford to rush. The bridge will secure billions of dollars in assets, and it needs to be done right. If all goes as planned the bridge will reopen in mid/late May.”

Binance (which owns CoinMarketCap) has stepped in to support withdrawals and deposits of Wrapped ETH and USDC in the meantime — and Ronin has stressed all user funds are “guaranteed” as a result of a recent funding round, assets on its balance sheet, and “personal funds from the core team.”

Ronin concluded its post by expressing gratitude for the law enforcement officials who have unmasked the hackers and helped the project “navigate this uncharted territory and ensure we come out stronger than ever.”

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Non-Fungible Thursdays: What Happened in NFTs This Week? [April 28, 2022]

Non-Fungible Thursdays: What Happened in NFTs This Week? [April 28, 2022]

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Sometimes, the best things in life are not always free. A handful of non-fungible tokens (NFT) collectors are having to learn this the hard way after losing around $2.8 million to hackers promising free Yuga Labs-linked NFTs.

In another awry story, a hyped NFT launch hit the rocks over the weekend, with the creators being unable to access $34 million from the mint. The funds will remain locked forever due to a smart contract error.

Here’s a rundown of some of the top stories from the NFT space over the past week.

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Taking a look at the NFT-500 index on Nansen, we see that while other sectors such as Art and Metaverse collections have largely trended downwards the last couple of weeks, social collections have rebounded strongly. The sector is breaking new all time highs in terms of market capitalization, fueled by strong performances across the board.
Will other sectors see a similar recovery in the coming weeks? Only time will tell. Nansen is free to sign up and dashboards such as the NFT paradise, NFT indexes are available to users with an account.
Earlier this week, the official Instagram account of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) was hijacked by hackers. Having gained access to the account, the attackers proceeded to share a malicious link that redirected users to a fake site where their NFTs were stolen.
Confirming the incident on Monday, BAYC took to Twitter to warn users. However, the warning did little to stop the attackers from fleecing unsuspecting victims.

“There is no mint going on today. It looks like BAYC Instagram was hacked. Do not mint anything, click links, or link your wallet to anything.”

Recall that in March, the creator of the BAYC NFT collection, Yuga Labs, released a teaser trailer for a new project called Otherside. Although the teaser did not explicitly state what the project was about, the consensus is that Otherside is an upcoming metaverse project scheduled to drop on April 30.

The hackers capitalized on the upcoming project to trick users. Those who clicked on the fake link were taken to a site where they could claim free NFT land for the upcoming Otherside metaverse. Users were urged to connect their Ethereum wallets even if they didn’t own a Bored Ape to claim the free airdrop. Those who did had their NFTs stolen.

A total of 91 NFTs were stolen during the attack. The combined value of the stolen items was around $2.8 million at the time of the attack. And according to blockchain sleuth zachxbt, the hackers went away with some high-profile NFTs, including four Bored Apes, seven Mutant Apes, and three Bored Ape Kennel Club NFTs.

“This morning our team was alerted that the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s official Instagram account was hacked. The hacker posted a fraudulent link to a copycat of the Bored Ape Yacht Club website, where a safeTransferFrom attack asked users to connect their MetaMask to the scammer’s wallet in order to participate in a fake airdrop,” Yuga Labs said in an official statement.

In the meantime, the company said that it was working to “establish contact with affected users.”

OpenSea has continued to expand its presence within the NFT scene. The leading NFT marketplace has purchased Gem, an Ethereum NFT marketplace aggregator that lowers transaction fees by allowing batch purchases from multiple platforms.
The company announced the move in an official statement this week, revealing that the decision is aimed at serving more advanced NFT traders.

CEO and co-founder Devin Finzer said:

“As the NFT community grows, we’ve recognized a need to better serve more experienced, ‘pro’ users, and offer more flexibility and choice to people at every level of experience.”

Despite the acquisition, Gem will continue to operate as an independent company, working on its own features and products. Surprisingly, Gem reportedly told investors that the acquisition was rather “unexpected” but would help accelerate its next stage of growth. Notably, the company will have access to OpenSea’s infrastructure, resources and distribution channels.

Meanwhile, one of the co-founders of Gem had been previously accused of rape and sexual harassment. The pseudonym co-founder known as Neso is allegedly the same individual as the banished Twitch streamer Josh Thompson. Responding to this, Finzer said his company was aware of the allegations against the now-former exec. He said:

“During the course of our diligence, we learned about, and immediately surfaced, some deeply concerning allegations against a now-former member of Gem’s leadership team who operated under the pseudonym Neso. Upon investigating the allegations, the employee was immediately exited prior to the close of this deal. This individual has never and will never be affiliated with OpenSea.”

A smart contract error has left a hotly anticipated NFT launch scrambling for survival.

Akutars, a 3D avatar project based on an original character (Aku) created by former Major League Baseball player Micah Johnson, was scheduled to launch last Friday. However, things didn’t go as planned as a flaw in the project’s smart contract locked away $34 million worth of Ethereum, meaning the creators cannot access the said funds.
The NFT project consists of 15,000 NFTs with randomly generated traits. Owners of the original Aku NFTs were given a free avatar for every piece they held. The remaining 5,500 collectibles in the collection were put up for sale via a Dutch Auction on Friday, with a starting price of 3.5 ETH, or around $10,350.
Following the launch, some members of the NFT community tried to draw the attention of the creators to the said exploit. One Twitter user named Hasan reportedly tried to warn the developers of an issue with the smart contract but was assured that fail-safes had been put in place to prevent its occurrence. According to a thread by Ethereum developer 0xInuarashi, another user named USER221 triggered the suspected flaw, halting withdrawals and refunds from the smart contract.
USER221 included a note in his transaction urging the developers to “please do bug bounty on [their] contracts or have them audited at least.” In another transaction, the user said they would eventually unlock the project.

“Well, this was fun, had no intention of actually exploiting this lol. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have used Coinbase. Once you guys publicly acknowledge that the exploit exists, I will remove the block immediately.”

Although the project began working again, another bug popped up, as explained by 0xInuarashi. Apparently, Aku developers coded the smart contract to allow bidders to receive a refund first before the team could make any withdrawals. The caveat was that a minimum number of bids had to be made before the team would be allowed to withdraw. This minimum number was set to be equal to the amount of NFTs available for auction, failing to account for multiple bids within the same transaction.

As expected, some buyers attempted to mint multiple NFTs within the same bid. This rather simple oversight meant that the terms of the smart contract were never fulfilled, resulting in locking away 11,539 ETH or about $34 million within the smart contract. Ultimately, Aku developers cannot withdraw any funds from the sale, and NFT owners who hold Akutar Mint Pass NFT cannot also receive the promised 0.5 ETH refunds.

In a postmortem Twitter thread on Friday night, the Aku team admitted that USER221 only tried to highlight the flawed smart contract, with no intent to cause harm.
Aku creator Micah Johnson also apologized for shrugging off other developers that first reported the issue. He tweeted:

“I completely own up to that. I’m unfortunately not a developer and spoke prematurely about what I understood wasn’t a problem but ended up being. I’m really really sorry.”

Moving forward, the Aku team will issue the 0.5 ETH refunds to pass holders from funds pulled from previous sales. Buyers will also be airdropped their Akutars NFTs via a new smart contract, which has already been released to the public for vetting.

“The mistakes that were made are no more costly to anyone than myself. I’ve reinvested most everything into building Aku… Most everything will go back to refunds and we will keep building what we set out to do. Brick by brick.”

Following the ease of raising funds from NFTs, a growing number of films are turning to NFT communities for capital. A new documentary following Anders Hofman’s attempt to complete the first long-distance triathlon in Antarctica is looking to raise funds from NFT sales.

Dubbed “Project Iceman,” the producers of the film had earlier rejected a $1.25 million offer from a streaming service on the grounds that it afforded them “limited creative freedom.” Instead, the project is building an NFT community around the film, with the promise that holders will become “investors and digital owners of the film.”

The project’s website states:

“Get access to 1 of 10,000 limited premiere tickets to the exclusive virtual world premiere of the Iceman film in July 2022 and 226 NFTs that include tickets to red carpet premieres, pre-access to future events and NFT drops, owning a part of the film, becoming a producer, and more.”

The crowdfunding process has been categorized into four NFT tiers, with perks such as access to future events and NFT launches, access to physical premieres, and ownership of 10-second clips of the film.

A number of films have launched similar fundraising efforts. As reported by CoinMarketCap in its weekly “Non-Fungible Thursdays” roundup, the indie film “Calladita” was partly funded by Nouns DAO, the decentralized autonomous organization behind the Nouns NFT project. The collaboration included a “product placement” deal that would see the NFTs featured in the film.

While most creators and artists in the NFT space will do all they can to promote their project, Mixed Martial Arts and UFC icon Nate Diaz has thrown some heavy punches at a project featuring him.

Last week, the UFC launched its “209 Drop” NFT collection, which featured Nate Diaz and his fellow UFC fighter brother Nick Diaz. In an apparent show of disapproval over the UFC’s move, Nate said that the NFTs were “bullshit.” He tweeted:

The digital collectibles featured video files of moments from the Diaz brother’s fights in the UFC, similar to NBA Top Shots, which highlights top moments from basketball.

It is worth mentioning that Nate’s outburst is not directed at the NFT mania but at the UFC. Back in 2016, the fighter came under investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for vaping cannabis at the UFC post-fight press conference. “It’s CBD,” Diaz said. Adding that:

“It helps with the healing process and inflammation, stuff like that. So you want to get these for before and after the fights, training. It’ll make your life a better place.”

In October 2016, the USADA issued a warning to Nate while Nick was fined and suspended for five years for testing positive for marijuana in 2015. However, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed Cannabidiol, aka CBD, from its prohibited list in 2018.

This article contains links to third-party websites or other content for information purposes only (“Third-Party Sites”). The Third-Party Sites are not under the control of CoinMarketCap, and CoinMarketCap is not responsible for the content of any Third-Party Site, including without limitation any link contained in a Third-Party Site, or any changes or updates to a Third-Party Site. CoinMarketCap is providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by CoinMarketCap of the site or any association with its operators.

This article is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. It is important to do your own research and analysis before making any material decisions related to any of the products or services described. This article is not intended as, and shall not be construed as, financial advice.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s [company’s] own and do not necessarily reflect those of CoinMarketCap.



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Crypto News, April 29: Elon Musk Sells $4B in Tesla Stock, Panama Legalizes Crypto

Crypto News, April 29: Elon Musk Sells $4B in Tesla Stock, Panama Legalizes Crypto

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Plus, the U.S. isn’t happy about Fidelity adding BTC to 401Ks, and Coinbase NFT is just getting started.

Listen to the CoinMarketRecap podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts

Elon Musk Suffers Big Setback over Tweets — and Sells $4B of Tesla Stock

Since 2018, the world’s richest man has been required to seek approval for tweets about Tesla from the company’s lawyers. That was part of an agreement reached with the SEC as punishment for tweeting that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private.

Shares in the electric vehicle manufacturer surged at the time — and regulators accused the billionaire of misleading investors. Now that Musk is on the brink of buying Twitter in a $44 billion deal, it’s clear that he really doesn’t want to be restricted in what he can post on his own site.

But unfortunately for him, a court threw out his request — meaning his legal team will still need to scrutinize his musings. Despite all of this, it hasn’t stopped Musk from tweeting about Tesla.

It’s recently emerged that he sold $4 billion worth of Tesla stock in the days after his Twitter deal was announced.

U.S. Has ‘Grave Concerns’ over Fidelity’s Plan to Add Bitcoin to 401(k) Retirement Plans

The U.S. Labor Department has warned that it has “grave concerns” over Fidelity’s plan to allow Americans saving for their retirement to invest in Bitcoin.

Ali Khawar, a senior official within the administration, told The Wall Street Journal that he fears the move could put the funds of everyday consumers at risk. He warned the newspaper that there’s “a lot of hype around ‘You have to get in now because you will be left behind otherwise.'”

Fidelity’s move means that 23,000 companies will now have the option to add Bitcoin to the menu of investments that their employees can invest in.

Panama Legalizes Crypto Transactions, But Won’t Make Bitcoin Legal Tender

Panama has approved a law that will legalize crypto transactions.

However, the country isn’t planning to follow in the footsteps of El Salvador and the Central African Republic by adopting Bitcoin as legal tender. The new law means that citizens will be able to pay their taxes using digital assets — and the Central American country, already regarded as a hub for offshore financial services, could end up attracting crypto businesses.

Just 737 People Have Used Coinbase NFT Since It Launched in Beta

Overall, Coinbase NFT has only been used by 737 people — with a total trading volume of $315,874.

By contrast, OpenSea — the world’s largest marketplace for non-fungible tokens — had trading volume of $92.46 million over the past 24 hours, DappRadar data shows.Such comparisons between OpenSea and Coinbase NFT might be unkind at this stage.

When the new marketplace was unveiled, Coinbase stressed that this shiny new product was in the beta stage. A limited (and unknown) number of people from a waitlist have been invited to give the platform a go.

Estimates have previously suggested that more than 2.5 million are on this waitlist — so it’s fair to say that the demand is there.

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Podcast: Some Pretty Surprising Stats about Coinbase NFT

Podcast: Some Pretty Surprising Stats about Coinbase NFT

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Also today, the U.S. Labor Department says it has “grave concerns” over Fidelity’s plans to allow Americans to save for their retirement using Bitcoin.

Listen to the CoinMarketRecap podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts

On today’s CoinMarketRecap with Connor Sephton, Elon Musk suffers a big setback over his tweets… and sells $4 billion of Tesla stock.

Plus, we’ve got some surprising statistics on how many people have used Coinbase NFT since it launched.

In other news, Panama has just legalized crypto transactions, and the U.S. Labor Department says it has “grave concerns” over Fidelity’s plans to allow Americans to save for their retirement using Bitcoin.

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Podcast: Big Bitcoin Milestone, Musk's Tweets, Zcash Co-Founder Unmasked — Weekly News Roundup

Podcast: Big Bitcoin Milestone, Musk’s Tweets, Zcash Co-Founder Unmasked — Weekly News Roundup

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Connor Sephton and Molly Jane Zuckerman chew over the week’s crypto headlines in the weekend edition of CoinMarketRecap.

Listen to the CoinMarketRecap podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts

Connor Sephton and Molly Jane Zuckerman chew over the week’s crypto headlines in the weekend edition of CoinMarketRecap.

The Central African Republic has become the second country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender — but how big a deal is this… and will the 4.8 million people who live there be able to use it?

Plus — Elon Musk has been tweeting some pretty colorful things since it was revealed that he’s buying Twitter for $44 billion… but a court ruling means there’s some limits on what he can post.

And Edward Snowden has been unmasked as the co-founder of Zcash, but why is this privacy coin less popular than Monero?

You can follow us on Twitter — @ConnorSephton, @MollyJZuckerman and @CoinMarketCap.

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U.S. Has 'Grave Concerns' over Fidelity's Plan to Add Bitcoin to 401(k) Retirement Plans

U.S. Has ‘Grave Concerns’ over Fidelity’s Plan to Add Bitcoin to 401(k) Retirement Plans

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Ali Khawar, a senior official within the administration, told The Wall Street Journal that he fears the move could put the funds of everyday consumers at risk.

The U.S. Labor Department has warned that it has “grave concerns” over Fidelity’s plan to allow Americans saving for their retirement to invest in Bitcoin.

Ali Khawar, a senior official within the administration, told The Wall Street Journal that he fears the move could put the funds of everyday consumers at risk.

He warned the newspaper that there’s “a lot of hype around ‘You have to get in now because you will be left behind otherwise.'”

Fidelity’s move means that 23,000 companies will now have the option to add Bitcoin to the menu of investments that their employees can invest in.

Assuming their employer opts in, workers will be able to allocate up to 20% of their 401(k) to Bitcoin — but this could be reduced.

Fidelity, which is America’s largest retirement savings provider, defended its new product — telling the WSJ:

“[This] represents the firm’s continued commitment to evolving and broadening its digital assets offerings amidst steadily growing demand for digital assets across investor segments, and we believe that this technology and digital assets will represent a large part of the financial industry’s future.”

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