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CBDCs could be 'easily weaponized' to spy on US citizens: Congressman

Congressman Tom Emmer made the anti-CBDC comments to an audience at the Cato Institute, a think tank in Washington.

Thailand’s $1B crypto sacrifice, Mt Gox final deadline, Tencent NFT app nixed: Asia Express

Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the industry’s most important developments.

South Korea invests another $51M in metaverse tech

South Korea’s plans for metaverse domination are gathering pace. A Mar. 8 document prepared by the Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the National IT Industry Promotion Agency, and the Korea Radio Promotion Association, says the three entities will invest a total of 27.7 billion Korean won ($21 million) in metaverse projects across 13 sectors such as healthcare, tourism, and education. One example use case is about telemedicine in the metaverse:

“Establish a virtual counseling space and provide mental health recovery and promotion services through expert psychological counseling, healing contents, and community activities.”

The same day, South Korea‘s Ministry of Science and ICT also announced the creation of a 40 billion Korean won ($30 million) metaverse fund to be operated by local investment management companies. It cited the need to incubate domestic metaverse-related companies to become big enough to compete with global companies through the expansion of business areas and scale.

The South Korean government is betting big on the development of VR (Korean Tourism Organization)

Mt. Gox’s final deadline for claims

On Mar. 9, trustees of bankrupt Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox announced that creditors have until Apr. 6, 2023, to complete registration to receive repayment. The biggest Bitcoin exchange in the world at the time, Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy in 2014 after discovering that 850,000 of the exchange’s Bitcoins had been stolen via discreet hacks and siphoning over a number of years. The exchange has since recovered around 200,000 BTC. The funds have been held in trust for the creditors, with 162,106 BTC ($3.49 billion) sitting in wallet addresses tracked by Token Unlock.

The South Korean government is betting big on the development of VR (Korean Tourism Organization)
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Thailand’s $1B crypto sacrifice, Mt Gox final deadline, Tencent NFT app nixed: Asia Express

South Korea is throwing another $51 million at the metaverse, Mt. Gox saga is drawing to a close, Canaan BTC miner sales revenue plunges 60%.

Bitcoin price falls to a multi-month low, but data points to a possible short-term bounce

March started off on a low due to a resurrection of inflationary fears. On March 7, hawkish comments from United States Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell amplified the market’s expectation of a 50-basis point hike in the upcoming policy rate meeting on March 22 to March 23. 

On March 8, the U.S. government’s $1 billion Bitcoin (BTC) transfer of assets seized from Silk Road sparked fears of a sell-off. Later on the same day, the largest crypto-friendly bank confirmed its collapse and planned to liquidate its crypto positions voluntarily. The week’s events sent Bitcoin to a two-week low of $20,050.

A spike in negative sentiment may preclude a bounce

The flurry of bad news and price drops caused a significant dip in CryptoQuant's Coinbase premium index, which measures the difference in trading prices on Coinbase and Binance. Higher prices indicate stronger demand in the U.S. versus the rest of the world. The premium dipped to a two-month low on the morning of March 9 as negative news piled on.

Coinbase premium index. Source: CryptoQuant

On-chain analytics firm Santiment reported fear, doubt and uncertainty (FUD) settling in the markets, increasing the “probabilities” of contrarian price bounces during this “period of disbelief.“

However, the funding rate for BTC perpetual swaps is still neutral, with no major liquidations in the futures market. It doesn’t show considerable negative bias to suggest the possibility of a short squeeze. The Fear and Greed Index also slipped to two-month lows of 44 but stayed well above historic bounce levels between 10 to 25. This suggests that any positive rallies are likely to be short-lived. 

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Women in Web3 advocate for increased diversity in the ecosystem

Several women suggested that education and grassroots training can be effective tools in promoting diversity within the Web3 ecosystem.

SWIFT moves to next phase of CBDC testing after positive results

According to SWIFT, 24% of central banks will introduce a CBDC within the next couple of years.

Why is XRP price up today?

XRP’s (XRP) price extended its gains on March 9, rising around 1.5% to $0.40, despite a general downturn in the cryptocurrency market.

XRP price four-day winning streak

The rally in the XRP/USD pair started on March 5 with the XRP market capitalization gaining over 10% in the past four days.

XRP/USD daily price chart. Source: TradingView

In contrast, the entire crypto market capitalization has dropped by about 5% in the same period, with top coins Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) losing 4.5% and 4%, respectively.

Ripple scores early win versus SEC 

XRP’s gains appear as investors pin their hopes on Ripple winning its long-running courtroom battle against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

On March 6, U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres issued a ruling on motions filed by Ripple and the SEC to exclude the comments of expert witnesses from the upcoming summary judgment. She approved and denied the motions in part, underscoring no clear winner and loser in the matter.

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Bitcoin price levels to watch as trader says 'lights out' below $21.6K

Bitcoin (BTC) rested at multi-week support at the March 9 Wall Street open as concerns over a deeper BTC price drop increased.

BTC/USD 1-day candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Trader: $19,700 "on the table"

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD circling $21,800 on Bitstamp.

With $22,000 in danger of flipping from support to resistance, popular trader Pentoshi was among those warning that further undoing of support may come next.

“We made it. Best r/r currently however not a fan of the slow bleed. Would have liked a SFP (one may still come),” he wrote in an update on a prior BTC price forecast.

“Below this can get ugly w 19.7-20.5k on the table.”

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$54B fund partner runs women-only DAO, LatAm blockchain gaming guild

Clara Bullrich must have cloned herself or possibly invoked dark forces that shouldn’t be meddled with. Somehow, she’s managed to cram about four careers into one life.

Her main gig is leading her own financial entity, AlTi, managing a whopping investment fund, which grew to $54 billion under management following a recent merger. That’s a big enough job in itself.

A member of Women in Blockchain, she also runs a women-only DAO, Komorebi, that concentrates on funding female and non-gender-specific projects.

“I’ve seen in crypto that there’s very few women, and I really want to push that as much as I can,” she says. “For me, it’s always important to have skin in the game.”

And if that wasn’t enough, she’s also the founder of a gaming guild, Ola Guild Games (OlaGG), that hopes to upskill the quarter of a billion mobile gamers in Latin America so they can boost their incomes using play-to-earn blockchain games. 

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$54B fund partner runs women-only DAO, LatAm blockchain gaming guild

Clara Bullrich helps run a $54B investment fund, a women-only DAO and she founded a gaming guild to teach gamers in Latin America play to earn.

5 countries leading the blockchain adoption

Discover the countries leading blockchain adoption with innovative solutions, supportive regulations and more.

Trezor crypto wallet's move into the semiconductor business isn't for everyone

Trezor plans to build its hardware wallet chips, but other crypto companies still prefer third-party imports due to technical and financial barriers.

Web3 platform partners with self-custody wallet to broaden crypto adoption in Africa

Cassava Network’s recent V3 product launch allows Africa’s Web2 users to get onboarded to Web3 while earning rewards and increasing their income.

Former Jane Street, PIMCO traders raise $15M for ZK proof-of-solvency protocol

The team said it has already lined up clients, including CoinList, Bitso and TrueUSD.

Bitcoin keeps liquidating longs as BTC price action gives up $22K support

Bitcoin (BTC) traders remain sensitive even to small price movements as data shows liquidations climbing.

As BTC/USD approaches $21,600 on March 9, those who are long BTC are seeing positions evaporate.

Longs begin to disappear with BTC at three-week lows

Despite consensus forming around Bitcoin retesting $20,000, small shifts in price are still taking a toll on traders.

According to data from monitoring resource Coinglass, March 8 saw $24.4 million of BTC longs liquidated — the highest tally in almost a week.

Bitcoin liquidations chart. Source: Coinglass

This coincided with BTC/USD heading to three-week lows, abandoning $22,000 as support. The downtrend continues at the time of writing, while liquidations for the day remain negligible.

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What are Bitcoin ordinals?

Bitcoin ordinals have been the most hyped-up Web3 trend of 2023 so far. How do ordinals compare to traditional NFTs, and what are the opportunities?

Breaking barriers: Meet 7 women shaping the future of crypto and Web3

Cointelegraph spoke with women from different backgrounds, projects, countries, and generations about career, diversity, and their journeys in crypto.

Women in Web3 discuss challenges within the industry

Challenges women face within the industry include the lack of representation and toxic "bro-culture."

Bitcoin bulls’ desire for a trend reversal could be obliterated by this week’s $565M options expiry

Bitcoin’s price (BTC) fell below a four-day narrow trading range near $22,400 on March 7 following comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell as he sat before a Senate banking committee. During the congressional appearance, the Fed chairman warned that the bank is prepared to tame inflation by pushing for more significant interest rate increases.

Fed Chair Powell added that "the ultimate level of interest rates is likely to be higher than previously anticipated," and that recent economic data was "stronger than expected." These remarks significantly increased investors' expectations of a 50 basis point interest rate hike on March 22, putting pressure on risk assets such as stocks, commodities, and Bitcoin.

That movement could explain why the $565 million Bitcoin weekly options expiry on March 10 will almost certainly favor bears. Nonetheless, additional negative crypto market events might have also played a significant role.

Bitcoin from the Silk Road and Mt. Gox are on the move

The movement of multiple wallets linked to U.S. law enforcement seizures on March 8 added to the price pressure on Bitcoin investors. Over 50,000 Bitcoin worth $1.1 billion were transferred, according to data shared by on-chain analytics firm PeckShield.

Furthermore, 9,860 BTC were sent to Coinbase, raising concerns about the coins being sold on the open market. These wallets are directly linked to the former Silk Road darknet marketplace and were seized by law enforcement in November 2021.

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Fed signals a sharp rate hike in March due to inflation — Here's how Bitcoin traders can prepare

Like it or not, for crypto investors, the U.S. Federal Reserve policy on interest rate hikes and high inflation is the single most relevant measure for gauging demand for risk assets. By increasing the cost of capital, the Fed boosts the profitability of fixed-income instruments, but this is detrimental to the stock market, real estate, commodities and cryptocurrencies.

One positive aspect of the Fed's meetings is that they are scheduled well in advance, so Bitcoin (BTC) traders can prepare for those. Federal Reserve policy decisions historically cause extreme intraday volatility in risk assets, but traders can use derivatives instruments to yield optimal results as the Fed adjusts interest rates.

Another challenge for traders is they face pressure from Bitcoin being highly correlated to equities. For example, the 50-day correlation coefficient versus the S&P 500 futures has been running above 70% since Feb. 7. Although it does not state cause and consequence, it is evident that cryptocurrency investors are waiting for the direction of traditional markets.

It's also possible that Bitcoin's low emissions could prove to be a benefit as investors realize that the FED is running out of options to curb inflation. By raising interest rates even further, it could cause the U.S. government's debt repayments to spiral out of control and eventually surpass $1 trillion annually. This creates a huge incentive for Bitcoin bulls, but extreme caution is needed by those willing to make trades based on interest rate hikes.

Risk takers could benefit from buying Bitcoin futures contracts to leverage their positions, but they could also be liquidated if a sudden negative price move occurs ahead of the FED's decision on March 22. For this reason, pro traders are more likely to opt for options trading strategies such as the skewed iron condor.

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