What a week it has been! The covid-19 pandemic is affecting 199 countries and territories, with more than 526,000 confirmed cases and 23,950 reported deaths. This is an unprecedented time in our history. As everyone continues to navigate through these evolving challenges, we believe that together we can and will overcome this tragedy and emerge stronger than before as a global community.
Here is a recap of what happened in the crypto sphere this week:
The U.S. economic stimulus package suggested a digital dollar proposal
As the financial markets suffered huge losses, the US looked to Congress for agreement on a massive stimulus package to save its economy from impacts of the covid-19 pandemic. In the economic stimulus package draft offered by Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the House Democrats, it included a proposal to create a digital dollar and the establishment of digital dollar wallets. Although the final version no longer includes the digital dollar proposal, it does signal the U.S. is serious in establishing infrastructure for a central bank digital currency, potentially to compete with China’s DCEP.
Telegram token investors opt for a refund offer to get back 72% of their investment
At least 10 investors of the Telegram blockchain project (TON) plan to withdraw from investing in the project. Yakov Barinsky, head of the Russian investment agency Hash CIB, said, “I now see at least 10 of all investors choose to get back 72% of the previous investment.” In Dec 2017, Telegram issued a cryptocurrency called GRAM and raised $ 1.7 billion. Earlier this week, a federal judge in New York issued a preliminary injunction ruling, finding that distribution of GRAM tokens would violate U.S. securities laws. A potential option could be the removal of American investors from the project, according to Barinsky, but “this may be followed by lawsuits from other investors.”
Bitcoin mining difficulty dropped by 15.95% on Mar 25, analysts forecast price plunge
Bitcoin mining difficulty is designed to adjust every two weeks based on changes in the bitcoin network hashrate. This is to ensure that the network continues to produce new blocks at the rate of roughly one block per 10 minutes, instead of creating trillions at will (bill.)
A drop in bitcoin mining difficulty signals that some miners have exited the race of producing bitcoins. The largest-ever drop took place in Nov 2011 when bitcoin’s mining difficulty declined by about 18%.
Before Mar 25, the most recent significant downward adjustment of bitcoin mining difficulty took place on Feb 25, 2020, when bitcoin price was $9,989.39. It then dropped to $8,785.52 three days later and plunged further to $4830.21 on Mar 14. In just 20 days, bitcoin lost 52% of its value.
U.S. announced indictment of Venezuelan President Maduro on drug trafficking and money laundering through cryptocurrency
Nicolás Maduro Moros and 14 current and former Venezuelan officials are charged with narco-terrorism, corruption, drug trafficking and other criminal conducts.
In the press release on March 26, 2020 of the indictment, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Acting Executive Associate Director Alysa D. Erichs said that, “Today’s announcement highlights HSI’s global reach and commitment to aggressively identify, target and investigate individuals who violate U.S. laws, exploit financial systems, and hide behind cryptocurrency to further their illicit criminal activity. Let this indictment be a reminder that no one is above the law – not even powerful political officials.”