This Week in Pieces: Bitcoin Reverses Rally as LUNA and NEAR Surge

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

As Last week, the news cycle was dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and market leader Bitcoin felt the ripple effects of the conflict. On Monday, Bitcoin traded for as little as $37,500, but a curious midweek rally pushed the price up 20% before this wave peaked, with prices dropping to $39,533 at the time of this writing.

Broadly speaking, bitcoin’s rapid gains and losses have mostly leveled off, ending the week up 0.78%. Ethereum has done worse, dropping around 4.3% in the past seven days to $2,670.

Despite the generally bearish mood – the total crypto market capitalization fell 2.1%, or roughly $68 billion, overnight – most cryptocurrencies entered the weekend little changed, with no losses. significant among the most popular coins, with the exception of Algorand’s 9% decline. The scalable proof-of-stake blockchain token was trading at around $0.77 at the time of writing.

A few cryptocurrencies have surged over the past week: Protocol NEAR rose 13%, trading at $10.43, while Terra’s LUNA added 14% to hit $86.

News of the week

The Canadian subsidiary of global accounting giant KPMG started the week with some unexpected news: bought a women’s world NFT – although not KPMG Canada’s first foray into digital assets, having last month bought bitcoin and ethereum. Still, a Big Four accounting firm grabbing an NFT is huge news for non-fungible tokens.

On Tuesday, the University of Cambridge’s Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF) announced a “public-private digital asset research collaborationwith the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

The aim of the project is to better understand the emerging digital economy through “collaborative research involving public and private actors”. Participants will include British International Investment, Ernst & Young, Fidelity, the World Bank, Goldman Sachs and payment giants Mastercard and Visa.

Last week we reported that the European Union had added a provision asking for a ban on energy-intensive cryptocurrency mining and proof-of-work (PoW) to a set of regulatory projects. If approved, the ban would have meant that there would be no more Bitcoin mining due to the network’s PoW consensus mechanism. (The block aims to be carbon neutral by 2050.)

Pass legislation had been delayed more concerns, the draft package “could be misinterpreted as a de facto ban on bitcoin,” according to Stefan Berger, chairman of the European Parliament’s Economics Committee. On Tuesday, Berger confirmed that the paragraph in question has been completely removed.

American burger chain Shake Shack is rolling out an intriguing Bitcoin Loyalty Program throughout the middle of this month in collaboration with Cash App. Customers who pay for their food with the Cash App debit card, Cash Card or through the Cash Boost rewards program in the app, will receive 15% of their meal refunded in BTC.

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict prompted Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to pursue push for US crypto regulation during testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.

Similarly, Ukraine’s embattled leaders, who began soliciting crypto donations via Twitter on Feb. 26, reported on Thursday that the crowdfunding push has so far generated over $50 million.

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