This article is by Simon Peters, Market Analyst at eToro.
Bitcoin is in good shape and hit a four-month high of $23,000.
The world's largest crypto-asset started the week trading around $21,000 and saw little movement until Friday, when a fresh rise pushed the price higher. The price has since settled into a new range around $22,500, an area where the crypto-asset is currently trading. Ether meanwhile has suffered from greater price volatility over the past week. . It started around $1,550 before dropping to $1,500 mid-week. Like BTC, the price surged late last week, rising above $1,650 on Saturday. ETH is currently trading just below $1,625. While no bullish move confirms broader trends, the crypto-asset's positive development coincided with easing fears over macro trends. inflation and economic performance in major economies. Investors will be watching central bank activity in February with interest, but the pivot point many have been looking for could be reached as inflation forecasts moderate for the year ahead.
The Bank of Spain will launch a stablecoin project
The Bank of Spain has given permission to launch a euro-backed stablecoin pilot project, led by fintech firm MONEI. The project will allow users to issue their own stablecoin, with each token backed by euro deposits held with major financial institutions BBVA and Caixabank. The project is the next in a growing series of stablecoin test programs and is further proof that financial institutions see the technology's relevance in the broader crypto ecosystem and even the broader financial system. . Stablecoins prove to be an essential bridge between fiat financial infrastructures and cryptos and allow users to hold their assets in digital form while maintaining a stable profile backed by traditional currencies. Stablecoins have the potential to make digital payments cheaper, faster, and transactions more secure, but much of the technology is still in the exploratory stages of development.
Could "stealth addresses" be coming to Ethereum?
Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has published a blog post that tackles the subject of "stealth addresses". Buterin considers the difficulty of their implementation and also wonders why they might be useful. One of the main characteristics of crypto-assets is the relative transparency with which transactions are carried out. Even if you don't know who owns which wallet, you can see transactions coming in and out of that wallet on any given blockchain if you know where to look. Buterin's stealth address proposal could fundamentally change that and provide a veil of secrecy to a major consumer Ethereum platform. Regulators and law enforcement have gotten much better at forensically analyzing blockchains in recent years to crack down on criminal activity. But for those who don't want their activities traced, it could be a godsend.
Drop in crypto ransomware attacks
The amount of ransomware attacks has dropped for the first time since 2018, according to data from Chainalysis. Some $457 million was stolen by ransomware attackers in 2022, compared to $766 million in 2021. Far from being a decline in attacks, Chainalysis believes that this is mainly due to victims refusing more in addition to paying ransomware attackers. Changes in the way ransomware payments are regulated have a major role to play in this, with those who pay potentially at risk of breaking penalty rules. Although the crypto-asset continues to suffer from such attacks and a number of other scam issues, this is inherent in any financial ecosystem and unfortunately can only be avoided with strong security within institutions, user awareness and proactive regulation that protects players. of the market. The shift in regulatory oversight is on the way this year, and with it the hope for higher levels of protection against criminal loss in the crypto community.
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