Polkadot Stands Out, Regulation, Bitcoin Down, Solana Up

Last week saw some significant price increases in the crypto world. AR enjoyed a rise of 38.8%, SPELL increased by 29.0%, and ONE by 27.2%. None of these coins have quite returned to their all-time highs from earlier in the year, but at least they’re beginning to move in the right direction. If you’re a beginner investor, the markets are tough are the moment so the best you can do is manage your risk and keep track of what you’re doing.

After a few increases over recent weeks, BTC finally saw a price decline of 5.3% and ETH of 4.2%. However, SOL had a better week and rose by 4.4%.

As far as the losers of the week go, BTT declined 24.2%, bringing it more than 80% higher from its high point earlier this year. Similarly, NEAR fell by 19.8%, and GALA by 19.6%.

Polkadot was one of the main cryptocurrencies to watch in 2021 after experiencing impressive growth throughout the year, and last week it launched its first set of parachains. These parachains are Polkadot’s pioneering innovation — they connect different blockchains and allow them to exchange data, making the crypto sphere more volatile. The first five to launch are called Acala, Astar, Moonbeam, Clover, and Parallel Finance.

Another positive story for the wake is the collaboration between ConsenSys and Mastercard to build ConsenSys Rollups, which will expand Ethereum to provide privacy capabilities via a private chain that will also work faster. This could be a great environment for the launch of central bank digital currencies and decentralized exchanges.

But it has competition. The Ethereum-powered privacy startup Aztec raised $17 million in a funding round last week from investors that include Scalar Capital, A. Capital Ventures, and others. Aztec’s primary aim is to allow users to access blockchains privately while also offering faster transactions and lower fees than Ethereum. The company plans to use the funding to develop products, offer developer grants, and fuel legal research about the regulatory implications of private blockchain transactions.  

This looks like beginner numbers compared to Kraken Ventures, which raised $65 million last week. It was the first fund for the organization after launching in early 2021 to invest in early-stage startups related to crypto, DeFi, and artificial intelligence.

Crypto regulation has been a huge topic this year, and the Bank of England has been one of the entities trying to research how cryptocurrencies could threaten existing financial institutions. However, last week it was reported that the bank has struggled to find the information needed on the potential risks, so it’s now launching further investigations, which will include talks with authorities in other countries. It’s likely that more regulation is coming.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the US has expressed concerns about risks related to cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. In a report by the Financial Stability Oversight Council report, concerns were outlined that stablecoins might not be fully backed or truly pegged to the US dollar — the two principal advantages stablecoins claim to have. There were also concerns that decentralized finance could pose risks.

Paraguay has passed a bill that will regulate how cryptocurrencies are mined and traded in the country, which will be discussed further in 2022. Now, miners will need authorization and a license to access the electricity consumption required for mining. Plus, organizations or individuals that provide trading services (like exchanges) may have to be put on a registry.

A Chainalysis report about cryptocurrency scams revealed that $2.8 billion worth of crypto was lost to one type of scam alone: rug pulls. While most cryptocurrency scams take the shape of either fake giveaways or tricks involving hacking, rug pulls take place when a legitimate project is launched and its tokens are sold, attracting attention from investors, but then everything disappears. The money lost represents 37% of all scam revenue in 2021, compared to just 1% in 2020 — so all investors need to be aware before getting started with investing in 2022.

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