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Hackers takeover Azuki’s Twitter account, steal over $750K in less than 30 minutes

The majority of the funds stolen were from a single wallet which had $751,321.80 USDC drained from the malicious link.

Azuki, a popular nonfungible token (NFT) project, had its Twitter account compromised on Jan. 27 leading to hackers stealing over $750,000 worth of USD Coin (USDC) by posting a malicious “wallet drainer link” posed as a virtual land mint.

Hackers stole $751,321.80 USDC from a single wallet within half an hour of the malicious links being tweeted, according to Etherscan data provided to Cointelegraph by crypto wallet security firm Wallet Guard.

The data also revealed that hackers stole a further $6,752.62 worth of USDC from various wallets holding 11 NFTs and over 3.9 Ether (ETH).

Wallet Guard stated that the total amount stolen was $758,074.42.

Emily Rose, community manager for the anime-inspired NFT project confirmed via Twitter on Jan. 27 that the Azuki account was hacked, warning users not to click any links from Azuki’s Twitter account.

Azuki’s head of community and product manager Dem explained on a Twitter Space hosted by Wallet Guard on Jan. 27 that scammers were able to “post a wallet drainer link,” after gaining control of Azuki's Twitter account.

Dem urged users to “stay safe and stay suspicious” while the team attempted to regain control of the account.

Several hours later Azuki stated that it had regained control of its Twitter account via a tweet:

This was confirmed by Rose and Dem retweeting the announcement.

Liz Yang, head of growth at Chiru Labs, the company behind Azuki, told Cointelegraph that the team is “currently in contact with Twitter and investigating the breach,” noting that Azuki “will provide an update once we have more information.”

Related: Hackers take over CoinDCX Twitter account, promote fake XRP ads

Ohm Shah, co-founder of Wallet Guard, told Cointelegraph that “it does not matter” if an account is official or verified, users should treat everything as suspicious until proven otherwise. Shah noted:

“Don’t be the first person that clicks the link. It’s better to be paranoid in Web3 than not.”

Upon Azuki regaining control of the account, it emphasised to its followers in a tweet to always “go out on several channels” to confirm announcements.

It also noted to reach out to the Azuki "mod team" on Discord when in doubt.

This news comes after stock trading platform Robinhood’s Twitter account was compromised on Jan. 25.

The hackers pushed Robinhood’s followers to each pay $0.0005 for a token called “RBH” on the BNB Smart Chain.

Conor Grogan, the head of product business operations at Coinbase, tweeted that at least 10 people had purchased approximately $1,000 worth of the scam token before the tweet was removed.

SEC Commissioner Calls for ‘Consistent Legal Framework’ for All Asset Classes, Including Crypto

California DMV to digitize car title management system via Tezos

California DMV’s chief digital officer Ajay Gupta emphasized that the agency is looking to modernize its current systems and bring greater transparency to car title transfers.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is testing out the digitization of car titles and title transfers via a private Tezos blockchain.

The move is part of a collaboration between the California DMV, Tezos and blockchain software firm Oxhead Alpha, with the latter announcing t successful proof-of-concept on Jan. 25.

The California DMV has tapped Oxhead Alpha to build on a private Tezos testnet that it has dubbed a “shadow ledger.” It is essentially designed to become a blockchain-based replication of the agency’s current database.

The California DMV’s chief digital officer Ajay Gupta told Fortune on Jan. 26 that the agency is looking to have the shadow ledger ironed out within the next three months.

Following on from that, it is looking to roll out applications such as digital wallets to hold and transfer NFT car titles, with the DMV acting as a middleman to oversee such operations.

“The DMV’s perception of lagging behind should definitely change,” Gupta told Forbes.

Oxhead Alpha’s president Andrew Smith outlined that the California DMV’s blockchain initiative will serve a wide range of use cases for the agency, particularly concerning the modernization of its current paper-based systems.

Smith highlighted examples such as transaction fraud, in which car sellers hide key information about the vehicle's condition to offload a dud or “lemon” onto unsuspecting buyers.

While faulty vehicles have a special designation on their titles in California, Smith noted that sellers can move the car over to another state and hide the faulty designations with relative ease.

With the use of blockchain-based record keeping, however, and with other DMVs potentially adopting the tech also, it would be much easier to digital track the actual history of vehicles, Smith suggested.

“As far as the benefit for having a persistent digital title, this is a very obvious use case,” he said.

Commenting on why Tezos was a good fit for the DMV, Smith outlined in the firm’s Jan. 25 announcement that the blockchain “solves some of the really hard problems in blockchain in an elegant way.”

“The combination of responsible consensus, on-chain governance, and institutional grade security makes Tezos a great platform for delivering production-ready solutions,” he said.

Related: Venture capital investments into blockchain continue to free-fall: Report

The move from the California DMV is likely to be followed by others in the state moving forward. In May 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to direct and explore opportunities for blockchain tech integrations with state government agencies.

“California is a global hub of innovation, and we’re setting up the state for success with this emerging technology — spurring responsible innovation, protecting consumers and leveraging this technology for the public good,” said the governor.

SEC Commissioner Calls for ‘Consistent Legal Framework’ for All Asset Classes, Including Crypto

Total crypto market cap rises above $1T, and data suggests more upside is in store

Bad news continues to dominate crypto media headlines but Bitcoin and the wider market appear to not care.

Despite the recent negative crypto and macroeconomic newsflow, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization broke above $1 trillion on Jan. 21. An encouraging sign is that derivatives metrics are not showing increased demand from bearish traders at the moment. 

Total crypto market cap in USD, 1-day. Source: TradingView

Bitcoin (BTC) price gained 8% on the week, stabilizing near the $23,100 level at 18:00 UTC on Jan. 27 as the markets weighed the potential impact of Genesis Capital's bankruptcy on Jan. 19.

One area of concern is Genesis Capital's largest debtor is Digital Currency Group (DCG), which happens to be its parent company. Consequently, Grayscale funds management could be at risk, so investors are unsure if the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) assets could face liquidation. The investment vehicle currently holds over $14 billion worth of Bitcoin positions for its holders.

A United States appeals court is set to hear the arguments relating to Grayscale Investment's lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 8. The fund manager questioned the SEC's decision to deny their asset-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF) launch.

Regulatory concerns also negatively impacted the markets after South Korean prosecutors requested an arrest warrant for Bithumb exchange owner Kang Jong-Hyun. On Jan. 25, the Financial Investigation 2nd Division of the Seoul Southern District Prosecutor's Office sentenced Kang and two Bithumb executives on charges of conducting fraudulent illegal transactions.

The 7% weekly increase in total market capitalization was held back by Ether's (ETH) 0.3% negative price move. Still, the bullish sentiment significantly impacted altcoins, with 11 of the top 80 coins gaining 18% or more in the period.

Weekly winners and losers among the top 80 coins. Source: Messari

Aptos (APT) gained 91% after the smart contract network total value locked (TVL) reached a record-high $58 million, fueled by PancakeSwap DEX.

Fantom (FTM) rallied 50% after the announcement of its new database system, Carmen, and a new Fantom Virtual Machine, Tosca.

Optimism (OP) faced 21% gains after a sharp increase in transaction volumes during an NFT incentive program called Optimism Quest.

Leverage demand slightly favors bulls

Perpetual contracts, also known as inverse swaps, have an embedded rate usually charged every eight hours. Exchanges use this fee to avoid exchange risk imbalances.

A positive funding rate indicates that longs (buyers) demand more leverage. However, the opposite situation occurs when shorts (sellers) require additional leverage, causing the funding rate to turn negative.

Perpetual futures accumulated 7-day funding rate on Jan. 27. Source: Coinglass

The 7-day funding rate was positive for Bitcoin and Ethereum, meaning the data points to slightly higher demand for leverage longs (buyers) versus shorts (sellers). Still, a 0.25% weekly funding cost is not enough to discourage leverage buyers.

Interestingly, Aptos was the only exception as the altcoin presented a negative 0.6% weekly funding cost — meaning short sellers were paying to keep their positions open. This movement can be explained by the 91% rally in 7 days and it suggests that sellers expect some sort of technical correction.

The options put/call ratio shows no signs of fear

Traders can gauge the market's overall sentiment by measuring whether more activity is going through call (buy) options or put (sell) options. Generally speaking, call options are used for bullish strategies, whereas put options are for bearish ones.

A 0.70 put-to-call ratio indicates that put options open interest lag the more bullish calls by 30% and is therefore bullish. In contrast, a 1.40 indicator favors put options by 40%, which can be deemed bearish.

BTC options volume put-to-call ratio. Source: laevitas.ch

Even though Bitcoin's price failed to break the $23,300 resistance, the demand for bullish call options has exceeded the neutral-to-bear puts since Jan. 6.

Presently, the put-to-call volume ratio stands near 0.50 as the options market is more strongly populated by neutral-to-bullish strategies, favoring call (buy) options by 50%.

Related: Bitcoin will hit $200K before $70K ‘bear market’ next cycle — Forecast

Derivatives markets point to further upside potential

After the third consecutive week of gains, which totals 40% year-to-date when excluding stablecoins, there are no signs of demand from short sellers. More importantly, leverage indicators show bulls are not using excessive leverage.

Derivatives markets point to further upside potential and even if the market revisits the $950 billion market capitalization from Jan. 18, there is no reason for panic. Currently, Bitcoin option markets show whales and market makers favoring the neutral-to-bullish strategies.

Ultimately, the odds favor those betting that the $1 trillion total market cap will hold, opening room for further gains.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

SEC Commissioner Calls for ‘Consistent Legal Framework’ for All Asset Classes, Including Crypto

Fed policy to align bank oversight could limit crypto activities by state banks

The new policy would align the allowable activities for insured and uninsured state banks and OCC-supervised national banks by making rules for state banks more restrictive.

The United States Federal Reserve Board announced Jan. 27 that it was issuing a policy statement on limitations on banks. The policy seeks to create a level playing field and limit regulatory arbitrage for state banks with deposit insurance, state banks without deposit insurance and national banks, which are overseen by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), by allowing them the same scope of permissible activities.

The new policy will limit the activities of state banks by not allowing them to engage in activities not permitted by national banks unless state legislation allows it. In the Federal Register notice, the statement specifically discusses crypto at length. It stated:

“The Board has not identified any authority permitting national banks to hold most crypto-assets [...] As principal in any amount, and there is no federal statute or rule expressly permitting state banks to hold crypto-assets as principal. Therefore, the Board would presumptively prohibit state member banks from engaging in such activity under section 9(13) of the [Federal Reserve] Act.”

The notice also said that state banks have proposed issuing “dollar tokens” — that is, stablecoins — and those banks now will be subject to OCC interpretative letters 1174 and 1179, as are national banks. It added:

“The Board generally believes that issuing tokens on open, public, and/or decentralized networks, or similar systems is highly likely to be inconsistent with safe and sound banking practices.”

The statement was issued on the same day that the Fed rejected the application of Wyoming’s Custodia Bank for Federal Reserve System membership.

Related: OCC makes its staff available for fintech-related discussions

The Fed beefed up scrutiny on banks engaging in crypto activities in August 2022, when it issued a letter requiring the banks it oversees to disclose plans that include crypto, with a reminder to ensure adequate risk management. The letter applied retrospectively to banks already active in crypto.

SEC Commissioner Calls for ‘Consistent Legal Framework’ for All Asset Classes, Including Crypto

5 reasons why the Aptos (APT) rally could still have wings

Aptos’ star-studded founders and the market’s disbelief in the rally could further fuel the rise in APT price.

Aptos’ APT reached a new all-time high of $20.39 after posting gains exceeding 400% since the start of 2023. While the rally could just be a pump-and-dump event due to the perception of weak fundamentals, increasing negative sentiment toward the token will likely fuel the prices in the short term.

Let’s explore some of the factors that could be propelling the Aptos price rally.

A rich history and strong investor backing

Aptos is a byproduct of Facebook’s attempt with the Libra blockchain, which regulators forcibly shut down. Two of Libra’s leadership team members, Mo Shaikh and Avery Ching, later found Aptos, a decentralized version of the abandoned blockchain project.

The project is based on the Move programming language and introduces a new class of layer-1 blockchains that will compete against the likes of Solana and Cardano. The primary reasons behind the tailwinds for the APT token include investors’ hope for a technological breakthrough that could finally provide a scalable, secure, decentralized blockchain.

Aptos raised $350 million in 2022, which included a $200 million seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz and a $150 million Series A funding round led by FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto. Later, Binance made a follow-on strategic investment to help boost the Aptos ecosystem.

FTX Ventures’ prominence induces the risk of a sell-off from the defunct entity. In this regard, some investors might be reassured by the involvement of other venture capitalists like Multicoin Capital, Blocktower Capital and Coinbase Ventures. High-volume exchanges like Binance could also soften the blow dealt by FTX and Alameda Researc.

Steady ecosystem development

The Aptos blockchain was launched in October 2022 and is still in the nascent stages of ecosystem development. There are few decentralized finance or nonfungible token projects on the blockchain, and smart contract activity is currently limited. More than 94% of the blockchain transactions are for APT transfers, showing negligible decentralized application activity.

Aptos transaction volume by purpose of transactions. Source: Pinehearst

Development activity has been around average on the blockchain. The number of active developers on Aptos is more than Avalanche and Tezos but behind Solana, Polkadot, Cardano and Ethereum.

Number of active developers working on blockchains and dApps. Source: token terminal

Aptos is not the first project to build a hefty market capitalization without significant on-chain activity. Cardano and Polkadot are prominent examples, where the rise in their native token’s price is primarily led by the superior technology narrative.

However, even in this respect, the total size of the Aptos community is smaller than top layer-1 projects. Cardano and Polkadot have more than 1.3 million Twitter followers on their accounts. At the same time, Avalanche has over 855,600 followers, and Tezos has more than 470,000. Aptos is lagging behind, with a 364,500 follower count.

Moving forward, the efforts of the business development team of Aptos and the performance of the blockchain will likely catalyze future price movements.

Traders’ disbelief could push APT price higher

Given the lack of activity and limited ecosystem growth, the rally in APT has taken the market by surprise. It is not difficult to find tweets hinting at the overblown market capitalization of the token.

However, going against the trend can be risky for sellers. The short-side trade for APT perpetual swaps is getting crowded, as the token has surpassed its October 2022 peak of around $15, which is evident in the negative funding rate for APT.

Funding rate for APT perpetual swaps. Source: Coinglass

It provides an opportunity for buyers to hunt sellers’ liquidation levels by pushing the price up. And in crypto markets, the short squeeze of short orders is realized more often than not.

The sell pressure on APT is limited

APT’s tokenomics limits the selling pressure on the token for the first year from its launch in October 2022. The release schedule of APT delays investor unlocks until October 2023, after which there will be a steep rise in the circulating supply of APT tokens. Until the unlock begins, the only source of inflation is from staking rewards, which is 7% for staked tokens.

Initially, the foundation distributed 2% of the supply to early users and developers. In all probability, users who wanted to sell their APT would have already sold in the three months since its launch.

Kimchi premium

Significant buying interest for APT is coming from the South Korean won trading pair on the UpBit crypto exchange. The exchange constitutes nearly 40% of Aptos’ trading volume. The price of APT on Upbit is trading around 1%–3% higher than the market price, which indicates high demand in the region — hence, the same Kimchi premium.

Aptos spot trading data. Source: Coingecko

There's a chance that the volumes of Upbit are inflated from wash trading, or it could be an attempt to manipulate the markets. The exchange's owners have come under the purview of regulators many times in the past. Nevertheless, the buying pressure will likely persist until the Kimchi premium resolves.

While the prices may have started due to a broader positive trend in cryptocurrency prices, it's taking the shape of a disbelief rally by proving sellers wrong. Until the negative sentiment and Kimchi premium dissolve, the chances of Aptos moving higher are considerable.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

SEC Commissioner Calls for ‘Consistent Legal Framework’ for All Asset Classes, Including Crypto

Aave deploys V3 on Ethereum after 10 months of testing on other networks

The new version includes features that developers believe will increase capital efficiency and lower gas fees

The third version of crypto lending app Aave has now been deployed to Ethereum for the first time, according to a Jan. 27 tweet thread from the Aave team. “Aave V3” was originally released in March 2022, and it was deployed on multiple Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible blockchains shortly afterward. Until now, Ethereum users only had access to the app's older “V2” version.

Aave V3 includes several features intended to help users save on fees and maximize the efficiency of users’ capital. For example, High Efficiency mode allows the borrower to avoid some of the app’s more stringent risk parameters if the borrower’s collateral is highly correlated with the asset being borrowed. Developers say this may be useful for borrowers of stablecoins or liquid staking derivatives.

In addition, the “isolation” feature allows certain, riskier assets to be used as collateral as long as they have their own debt ceiling and are only used to borrow stablecoins. Under the previous version, there was no way to limit what type of asset could be borrowed given a certain type of collateral. This meant that lower market-cap and illiquid coins often couldn’t be used as collateral.

Related: Aave purchases 2.7M CRV to clear bad debt following failed Eisenberg attack

V3 also includes a gas optimization algorithm that the developers say will reduce gas fees by 20% to 25%.

The code for V3 was published back in November 2021. In March 2022, the Aave DAO approved an initial vote to deploy the new version. Over the next few months, V3 was deployed to Avalanche (AVAX), Arbitrum (ARB), Optimism (OP) and Polygon (MATIC). However, the Ethereum version of Aave has always had the most liquid and V3 was not available on it previously.

According to the official proposal, the initial launch only has seven coins. The vote to launch began on Jan. 23 and lasted for two days. After supporters won the vote, the execution of the proposal was able to move forward on Jan. 27. Less than 0.01% of DAO members voted against the proposal.

In November 2022, Aave changed its governance procedures after it was hit by a $60 million short attack that ultimately failed.

SEC Commissioner Calls for ‘Consistent Legal Framework’ for All Asset Classes, Including Crypto

Price analysis 1/27: BTC, ETH, BNB, XRP, ADA, DOGE, MATIC, DOT, LTC, AVAX

Bitcoin and select altcoins continue to consolidate near their recent highs, increasing the possibility of an upside breakout.

After two weeks of a stupendous rally, Bitcoin’s (BTC) price has largely been flat this week. This is a positive sign as it shows that market participants are not growing nervous before a slew of central bank meetings take place next week. The United States Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of England are scheduled to announce their policy decisions next week.

The confidence of the bulls received another boost after the U.S. core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) data for December showed the slowest annual rate of increase since October 2021. The core PCE rose 4.4% from a year ago, meeting analyst expectations.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

According to a report by Markus Thielen, the head of research and strategy at Matrixport, U.S. institutions have not abandoned the cryptocurrency markets. The financial services firm arrived at this conclusion by assuming that if the gains happened during U.S. trading hours, it is because institutions are buying. Using this metric, the firm said that 85% of the rally in January was due to institutional buying.

Could Bitcoin and select altcoins shrug off their range-bound action and resume the uptrend? Let’s study the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to find out.

BTC/USDT

Bitcoin soared to $23,816 on Jan. 25 but the bulls could not sustain the higher levels as seen from the long wick on the day’s candlestick.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The repeated failure of the BTC/USDT pair to maintain above $23,000 may tempt short-term traders to book profits. The immediate support is at $22,292. If this level gives way, the pullback could reach the 20-day exponential moving average ($21,172).

This is an important level to keep an eye on because a sharp rebound off it will suggest strong demand at lower levels. The pair could then again try to resume its up-move and reach the critical overhead resistance at $25,211.

On the other hand, if the price turns down and plummets below the 20-day EMA, it will signal that bulls may be rushing to the exit. The bears may gain back control below $20,400.

ETH/USDT

Buyers could not build upon Ether’s (ETH) solid rebound off the 20-day EMA ($1,520) on Jan. 25, which suggests that bears are selling on recoveries near the overhead resistance of $1,680.

ETH/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bears will have to pull the price below the horizontal support near $1,500 to tilt the short-term advantage in their favor. The ETH/USDT pair could then start its decline toward the strong support at $1,352.

If bulls want to avoid this near-term bearish view, they will have to quickly drive the price above the overhead resistance at $1,680. If they manage to do that, the pair could start its journey to $2,000, with a brief stop-over at $1,800.

BNB/USDT

BNB (BNB) has been sandwiched between the 20-day EMA ($293) and the overhead resistance of $318 for the past few days. This shows that bulls are buying the dips to the 20-day EMA and bears are selling on rallies near $318.

BNB/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The upsloping 20-day EMA and the relative strength index (RSI) in the positive territory indicate buyers have a slight edge. To build upon this advantage, the bulls will have to propel and sustain the price above $318. If they succeed, the BNB/USDT pair could pick up momentum and surge to $360.

The bears are likely to have other plans. They will try to fiercely protect the $318 level and tug the price below the 20-day EMA. If they do that, the pair could drop to $281. This level may act as a minor support but if cracks, the pair could touch the 50-day simple moving average ($270).

XRP/USDT

XRP (XRP) jumped from the 20-day EMA ($0.39) on Jan. 25 and rose above the $0.42 overhead resistance but the buyers could not sustain the price above it.

XRP/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The repeated failure to clear the overhead hurdle may tempt the short-term bulls to book profits. That could drag the price below the 20-day EMA and open the doors for a possible drop to the 50-day SMA ($0.37).

This negative view could invalidate in the near term if the price turns up from the 20-day EMA and ascends the $0.42 to $0.44 zone. The XRP/USDT pair could then start a strong rally that could touch $0.51.

ADA/USDT

Cardano (ADA) rose above the $0.38 overhead resistance on Jan. 26 but the bulls could not sustain the higher levels. Still, it is pertinent to note that if a resistance gets pierced frequently, it tends to weaken.

ADA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bulls will once again try to thrust the price above the overhead resistance. If they can pull it off, the ADA/USDT pair could spurt to $0.44. This level may again act as a formidable barrier but if the bulls do not give up much ground, the pair could continue its uptrend.

The upsloping 20-day EMA indicates advantage to buyers but the negative divergence on the RSI cautions that the bullish momentum may be weakening. The bears will have to sink the price below the 20-day EMA to start a deeper correction to the 50-day SMA ($0.30).

DOGE/USDT

Dogecoin (DOGE) bounced off the 20-day EMA ($0.08) on Jan. 25 but the bulls could not continue the recovery on Jan. 26. The price turned down and slipped to the 20-day EMA on Jan. 27.

DOGE/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The DOGE/USDT pair is stuck between $0.09 and the 20-day EMA for the past few days. If the price turns up from the current level and rises above $0.09, the likelihood of a rally to the next resistance at $0.11 increases.

Alternatively, if the price continues lower and plunges below the 20-day EMA, it will suggest that the bulls are losing their grip. The pair could then dive to the strong support at $0.07. Such a move could point to a possible range-bound action between $0.07 and $0.09 for a few more days.

MATIC/USDT

Polygon (MATIC) rebounded off the 20-day EMA ($0.97) on Jan. 25 and skyrocketed above the crucial resistance of $1.05 on Jan. 26. The break above this level indicates that the uncertainty of the range resolved in favor of the bulls.

MATIC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The buyers continued to build upon the momentum and the MATIC/USDT pair crossed the minor resistance at $1.16 on Jan. 27. This clears the path for a possible rally to $1.30 where the bears may again mount a strong defense. If bulls surmount this obstacle, the rally could extend to $1.50.

Contrarily, if the price turns down sharply and breaks below $1.05, it will suggest that the breakout may have been a bull trap. The pair could then slide to $0.91.

Related: Litecoin 'head fake' rally? LTC price technicals hint at 65% crash

LTC/USDT

Litecoin (LTC) has been oscillating between the 20-day EMA ($85) and the overhead resistance at $92 for the past few days. This suggests uncertainty among the bulls and the bears about the next directional move.

LTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

Although the upsloping moving averages indicate advantage to the bulls, the negative divergence on the RSI suggests that the buying pressure seems to be decreasing. The bears will gain the upper hand if they succeed in pulling the price below the 20-day EMA.

That could trigger the stops of short-term traders and the LTC/USDT pair could then tumble to $81 and later to $75.

If bulls want to assert their dominance, they will have to kick and sustain the price above $92. That could signal the resumption of the uptrend. The pair could then travel to $100 and subsequently to $107.

DOT/USDT

Polkadot (DOT) has been trading near the resistance line for the past few days. Usually, a tight consolidation near a strong overhead resistance shows that buyers are holding on to their positions as they anticipate a move higher.

DOT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If buyers catapult the price above the resistance line, the DOT/USDT pair could signal a potential trend change. The pair could then start its journey toward $8.05, with a short stop-over at $7.42.

Conversely, if the price fails to maintain above the resistance line, it will suggest that demand dries up at higher levels. That could attract profit-booking by the short-term traders. The pair could first drop to the 20-day EMA ($5.88) and if this level collapses, the decline could reach $5.50.

AVAX/USDT

The bulls tried to propel Avalanche (AVAX) above the resistance line on Jan. 26 but the bears thwarted their attempt. The bulls did not cede ground to the bears and are again trying to overcome the barrier on Jan. 27.

AVAX/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The upsloping moving averages and the RSI near the overbought territory indicate the path of least resistance is to the upside. If the price breaks above the resistance line, the AVAX/USDT pair could rally to $22 and thereafter to $24.

On the downside, a break and close below the 20-day EMA ($16.31) will be the first indication that the buying pressure is reducing. That could open the doors for a possible drop to $14.65 and thereafter to the 50-day SMA ($13.69).

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

SEC Commissioner Calls for ‘Consistent Legal Framework’ for All Asset Classes, Including Crypto

New Ripple president says her job is to continue to scale amid crypto winter

Veteran Ripple executive and former general manager Monica Long said the company has seen record growth in recent months despite crypto winter.

Monica Long has been named the new president of Ripple, moving up from the general manager position. Long joined the company in 2013 as director of communications and expanded her role last year from general manager of RippleX, the blockchain development side of the business, to general manager of the company as a whole, adding RippleNet, the company’s financial network, to her purview.

The presidency of Ripple has been a somewhat nebulous position until now, with the title being ascribed to both co-founders Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen at various times.

Long’s promotion comes at a good moment for the company, Long told Cointelegraph:

“It’s a job of continuing to scale. […] We’ve weathered many [crypto] winters, and with this one, we’re coming off a record year of business and customer growth.”

In this environment, “we’re continuing to grow our team,” she added.

Long joined Ripple when the company had only 10 employees. She spearheaded the development of the company’s On-Demand Liquidity solution, described as “Ripple’s flagship product,” which was launched in 2018. Ripple added an adjacent service called LiquidityHub last year, and the company will continue to expand that service, Long said. Over 60% of RippleNet’s payment volume was sent through ODL last year.

On the RippleX side, Long said an Automatic Market Maker specification will go up for a vote by the validators this year.

Related: Inside the World Economic Forum: Circle, Ripple reflect on Davos 2023

Ripple is often in the news due to its ongoing court case with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC has accused Ripple and co-founders Garlinghouse and Larsen of conducting an unregistered securities offering of $1.38 billion and selling XRP to retail investors as an unregistered security with the launch of its XRP (XRP) coin.

Garlinghouse told CNBC on Jan. 18 that the company expects a decision on the case this year.

SEC Commissioner Calls for ‘Consistent Legal Framework’ for All Asset Classes, Including Crypto

TradFi and DeFi come together at Davos 2023: Finance Redefined

Decentralized finance meets its traditional counterpart at Davos, with a growing cross-pollination between the two.

Welcome to Finance Redefined, your weekly dose of essential decentralized finance (DeFi) insights — a newsletter crafted to bring you significant developments over the last week.

Traditional finance, or TradFi, continues to explore the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, with the World Economic Forum holding more workshops and sessions for the sector in 2023.

Layer-1 blockchain protocol, Injective, has launched a $150 million ecosystem fund to support developers building on the Cosmos network.

The Mango Markets saga took another turn this past week, as the company filed a lawsuit against the exploiter Avraham Eisenberg for $47 million in damages plus interest. The lawsuit marks the fourth time the Mango Markets exploiter has been hit by charges or lawsuits relating to his attack on the DeFi protocol.

Blockchain transaction history shows that the hacker transferred the funds onto a decentralized exchange and then went on to cycle funds around different DeFi protocols.

The top 100 DeFi tokens continued their bullish momentum into the final week of January, with most of the tokens trading in green and a few even registering double-digit gains.

TradFi and DeFi come together — Davos 2023

On this episode of Decentralize With Cointelegraph, the team reflects on their week in Davos covering the World Economic Forum as crypto and TradFi continue to collide.

Speaking to several industry insiders and TradFi participants, Cointelegraph journalist Gareth Jenkinson highlighted the ongoing cross-pollination between the sectors. Still, just a handful of crypto participants were involved in conversations inside the World Economic Forum.

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Injective launches $150 million ecosystem fund to boost DeFi, Cosmos adoption

Injective, a layer-1 blockchain protocol founded in 2018, has launched a $150 million ecosystem fund to support developers building on the Cosmos network.

The ecosystem group is backed by a large consortium of venture capital and Web3 firms, including Pantera Capital, Kraken Ventures, Jump Crypto, KuCoin Ventures, Delphi Labs, IDG Capital, Gate Labs and Flow Traders. According to Injective, the consortium is the largest assembled within the broader Cosmos ecosystem.

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Mango Markets sues Avraham Eisenberg for $47 million in damages plus interest

Mango Labs, the company behind the DeFi protocol Mango Markets, has filed a lawsuit against exploiter Avraham Eisenberg.

The Jan. 25 filing in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York alleges Einseberg exploited its platform for millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies in October 2022. It asks for $47 million in damages plus interest, starting from the time of the attack.

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Wormhole hacker moves $155 million in the biggest shift of stolen funds in months

The hacker behind the $321 million Wormhole bridge attack has shifted a large chunk of stolen funds, with transaction data showing that $155 million worth of Ether (ETH) was transferred to a decentralized exchange on Jan 23.

The Wormhole hack was the third-largest crypto hack in 2022 after the protocol’s token bridge suffered an exploit on Feb. 2 that resulted in the loss of 120,000 Wrapped Ether (WETH), worth around $321 million at the time.

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DeFi market overview

Analytical data reveals that DeFi’s total market value remained over $40 billion this past week, trading at about $46.1 billion at the time of writing. Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView show that DeFi’s top 100 tokens by market capitalization had a bullish week, with nearly all the tokens registering price gains.

dYdX (DYDX) was the biggest gainer with a 68% surge on the weekly charts, followed by Fantom (FTM) with a 59% weekly surge. The majority of the other top 100 tokens also registered a bullish surge.

Thanks for reading our summary of this week’s most impactful DeFi developments. Join us next Friday for more stories, insights and education in this dynamically advancing space.

SEC Commissioner Calls for ‘Consistent Legal Framework’ for All Asset Classes, Including Crypto

New York Assembly introduces crypto payments bill for fines, taxes

The bill clarifies that state agencies can legally agree to accept cryptocurrency payments and that these agreements should be enforced by the courts.

A bill introduced to the New York State Assembly on Jan. 26 would allow state agencies to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment for fines, civil penalties, taxes, fees and other payments charged by the state.

New York State Assembly Bill A523 was introduced by Democratic Assembly Member Clyde Vanel, who is often seen as a crypto-friendly politician. It allows state agencies to enter into “agreements with persons to provide the acceptance, by offices of the state, of cryptocurrency as a means of payment” for various types of fees, including “fines, civil penalties, rent, rates, taxes, fees, charges, revenue, financial obligations or other amounts, including penalties, special assessments and interest, owed to state agencies.” 

The bill does not obligate state agencies to accept crypto as payment, but it does clarify that state agencies can legally agree to accept such payments and that these agreements should be enforced by the courts.

The bill defines “cryptocurrency” as “any form of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency [...] including but not limited to, bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash.”

Depending on how this definition is interpreted, it may or may not include stablecoins like USD Coin (USDC) and Tether (USDT). On the one hand, the supply of stablecoins is usually regulated by the issuer instead of by cryptography. On the other hand, the bill does recognize that some cryptocurrencies have an “issuer,” and it provides that agencies can charge the payor an extra fee if such a fee is charged by the cryptocurrency’s issuer.

Related: Arizona state senator pushes to make Bitcoin legal tender

To become law, the bill will need to be passed by the New York Assembly and Senate, as well as signed into law by the state's Governor, Kathy Hochul.

The New York state government is often seen as hostile to cryptocurrency. In November 2022, New York became the first state to pass a bill that banned nearly all cryptocurrency mining. It also has been criticized for the restrictive “BitLicense” it requires all crypto exchanges to acquire. In April 2022, the mayor of New York argued that the BitLicense law should be repealed.

SEC Commissioner Calls for ‘Consistent Legal Framework’ for All Asset Classes, Including Crypto