This Week in Coins: Bitcoin Reverses Rally as LUNA and Near Protocol Surge
Like last week, the news cycle was dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and market leader Bitcoin suffered knock-on effects from the conflict. On Monday, Bitcoin traded for as low as $37,500, but a curious midweek rally drove the price up 20% before that wave crested, with prices tumbling to $39,533 as of this writing.
Broadly speaking, Bitcoin’s rapid gains and losses mostly leveled out, with it finishing the week up 0.78%. Ethereum fared worse, falling about 4.3% in the last seven days to $2,670.
Despite the generally bearish climate—crypto’s total market capitalization dropped 2.1%, about $68 billion, overnight—most cryptocurrencies entered the weekend little changed, with no significant losses among the most popular coins, except for the 9% decline of Algorand. The scalable proof-of-stake blockchain’s token was trading at about $0.77 as of this writing.
A couple of cryptocurrencies surged over the last week: NEAR Protocol was up 13%, trading for $10.43, while Terra’s LUNA added 14% to reach $86.
The week’s news
The Canadian arm of global accounting giant KPMG kicked the week off with some unexpected news—it purchased a World of Women NFT—although it wasn’t KPMG Canada’s first foray into digital assets, having just last month purchased Bitcoin and Ethereum. Still, a Big Four accounting firm grabbing an NFT is huge news for non-fungible tokens.
We completed the purchase of digital art from the highly acclaimed World of Women non-fungible token (#NFT) collection, our first foray into this rapidly growing asset class. @worldofwomennft #ETH #NFTCommunity https://t.co/HDKu77oVam pic.twitter.com/JmUIaKZcpi
— KPMG Canada (@KPMG_Canada) February 28, 2022
On Tuesday, Cambridge University’s Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) announced a “public-private digital assets research collaboration” with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
New public-private digital assets research collaboration launches
Cambridge Digital Assets Programme #CDAP to create open-access data, tools & insights to facilitate balanced dialogue around digital asset activities.
Read more https://t.co/2Gmn0Gj72D
— Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance CJBS (@CambridgeAltFin) March 1, 2022
The goal of the project is to gain insight into the nascent digital economy through “collaborative research involving public and private stakeholders.” Some of the participants will include British International Investment, Ernst & Young, Fidelity, the World Bank, Goldman Sachs, and payments giants Mastercard and Visa.
Last week, we reported that the European Union had added a provision calling for a ban on energy-intensive, proof-of-work (PoW) crypto mining to a set of draft regulations. If approved, the ban would have meant no more Bitcoin mining because of the network’s PoW consensus mechanism. (The bloc aims to be carbon neutral by 2050.)
Voting on the legislation had been delayed over concerns the draft package “might be misinterpreted as a de facto Bitcoin ban,” according to Stefan Berger, chairman of the European Parliament’s Economics Committee. On Tuesday, Berger confirmed that the paragraph in question was removed entirely.
American burger chain Shake Shack is rolling out an intriguing Bitcoin loyalty scheme throughout the middle of this month in collaboration with Cash App. Customers who pay for their food with Cash App’s debit card, Cash Card, or through the app’s rewards program Cash Boost, will get 15% of their meal refunded in BTC.
Ukraine, Bitcoin, and the ‘World’s First Crypto War’
The Russia-Ukraine conflict prompted Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to further press for U.S. crypto regulation during testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.
Relatedly, Ukraine’s beleaguered leadership, which began soliciting crypto donations via Twitter February 26, reported on Thursday that the crowdfunding push had so far generated over $50 million.