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Spanish rehab center adds crypto trading addiction to services list

A luxury rehabilitation center in Spain has recently added services aimed at treating a relatively new kind of addiction — crypto trading.

The center, called “The Balance,” is a Switzerland-founded wellness center, with its main facility located on the Spanish island of Mallorca along with representations in Spain, London and Switzerland.

While it has been known to treat addiction ailments such as alcohol, drugs and behavioral health — it has now recently begun offering services aimed at combatting crypto trading addiction, according to a report from the BBC.

The Feb. 5 report revealed that one of the center’s clients reached out so that he could “wean off crypto” after reportedly pouring in $200,000 worth of crypto trades each week.

The treatment involves a four week stay — which comprises of therapy, massages and yoga. The bill can be upwards of $75,000.

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Fantom's 5-week winning streak is in danger — Will FTM price lose 35%?

The price of Fantom (FTM) risks pulling back in February due to a growing divergence between its price and momentum in recent weeks.

FTM price rallies 230% after Cronje's 2023 roadmap

FTM price has grown by 230% in the past five weeks, currently trading at $0.61 on Feb. 5. The rally came as a part of a broader crypto market recovery but outperformed most top-ranking crypto assets due to the hype created by Andre Cronje.

Cronje is the co-founder and architect of Fantom's layer-1 blockchain. On Dec. 26, 2022, the developer released a letter discussing the goals and priorities for the Fantom ecosystem in 2023, including his intention to allow decentralized app developers to earn 15% of the network's revenue.

FTM pric has seen five weeks of gains in a row since Cronje's "letter to the Fantom Foundation team."

FTM/USD weekly price chart. Source: TradingView

The FTM/USD looks ready to close the week ending Feb. 5 with at least a 25% profit, helped by Cronje's latest Twitter thread that gives 13 reasons why Fantom will be one of the best layer-1 blockchains in 2023. 

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Shiba Inu price rebounds 100% after record lows against Dogecoin — More upside ahead?

Shiba Inu (SHIB) price was at the lowest versus its top rival Dogecoin (DOGE) in November 2022. Three months later, the dynamics have flipped. 

SHIB price rises 100% versus DOGE

On Feb. 4, 2023, the SHIB/DOGE pair reached 0.00001638 DOGE, up almost 100% three months after bottoming out at 0.00000993 DOGE, its lowest level on record.

SHIB/DOGE daily price chart. Source: TradingView

The sharp recovery came as investors' focus shifted to the impending launch of Shibarium, a Shiba Inu-backed layer-2 blockchain built on the Ethereum mainnet, announced on Jan. 16.

As Cointelegraph reported, the SHIB price rebound gained momentum amid reports that Shibarium will go live on Feb. 14.

In comparison, Dogecoin's fundamentals looked pale, with Elon Musk suspending a DOGE tipping bot for violating Twitter's rules.

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Google invests $300M in AI firm previously funded by Sam Bankman-Fried

Google Cloud has reportedly invested $300 million into artificial intelligence (AI) startup firm Anthropic, which also happened to receive over $500 million in funds from former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried about six months before FTX catastrophically collapsed.

While the $300 million figure was reported by Financial Times on Feb. 4, Anthropic confirmed the investment partnership with Google Cloud on the same day despite not disclosing any figures:

In the same announcement, Anthropic also confirmed that they previously raised capital from Bankman-Fried and former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, among others, in its Series B fundraising round:

The Series B round was led by Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX. The round also included participation from Caroline Ellison, Jim McClave, Nishad Singh, Jaan Tallinn, and the Center for Emerging Risk Research (CERR)."

The fundraising efforts led by Bankman-Fried took place in April, 2022, according to Crunchbase.

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SBF bail guarantor to go public, UK crypto framework and Celsius news: Hodler’s Digest, Jan. 29 – Feb. 4

Top Stories This Week

SBF’s $250M bail guarantors should be made public, rules judge

The identities of two individuals who helped former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried with his $250 million bail bond could be revealed next month following a recent ruling by United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan. Bankman-Fried’s legal counsel has until Feb. 7 to contest the decision. As bankruptcy proceedings continue, FTX and affected parties have requested subpoenas for information and documents from close relatives of Bankman-Fried, claiming not all members of his inner circle have responded to requests for information. Other recent news includes Alameda Research suing bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital in an attempt to claw back $445.8 million in loan repayments made before FTX collapsed.

UK Treasury publishes crypto framework paper: Here’s what’s inside

The United Kingdom’s HM Treasury published a long-anticipated consultation paper for its upcoming crypto regulation. The document covers a broad range of topics, from algorithmic stablecoins to nonfungible tokens to initial coin offerings. The authority aims to level the playing field between crypto and traditional finance by incorporating digital assets into the U.K.’s Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

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Are Cosmos’ ecosystem growth and roadmap enough to sustain ATOM’s current 50% monthly rally?

In September 2022, Interchain Foundation, the team behind Cosmos’ development , introduced the Cosmos ATOM 2.0 whitepaper. The document proposed significant changes to Cosmos’s design, including a tokenomics upgrade to fund the Cosmos ecosystem development and reduce ATOM inflation.

While the whitepaper launch acted as a bullish catalyst for ATOM price, the community vote to pass the proposal eventually failed, primarily because of its enormity. Some community members wanted to take a measured approach to each development feature listed in the whitepaper, starting with Interchain Security in Q1 2023.

Interchain Security will enhance the value accrual position of ATOM as a modular chain. New blockchains will be able to borrow the security from it and pay Cosmos Hub validators. 

Despite the rejection of the Cosmos 2.0 whitepaper, the team continues to work on the upgrades mentioned in it. The other improvements in tokenomics will be introduced as a separate proposal to the Cosmos community.

The first week of February witnessed a technical bullish breakout in ATOM’s price. If buyers continue to accumulate, there’s a solid chance of a short-to-medium trade rally.

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Price analysis 2/3: BTC, ETH, BNB, XRP, ADA, DOGE, MATIC, DOT, LTC, AVAX

Bitcoin’s (BTC) rally in 2023 has been boosted by expectations that the United States Federal Reserve will slow down the pace of its rate hikes as inflation has started cooling down. Some even anticipate a rate cut by the end of the year. That assumption received a jolt on Feb.3 when the U.S. employment data for January beat expectations and unemployment hit its lowest level since May 1969.

If markets do not react negatively to news perceived as bearish, it’s a sign that the sentiment has turned positive. Traders may then shift their focus to the next important economic data release. Trading firm QCP Capital said in its latest market update that the Consumer Price Index print on Feb. 14 could move markets. They believe the risks to the data are to the upside.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

The current crypto bear market seems to have driven the institutional investors to the sidelines. According to a new survey conducted by JPMorgan, 72% of institutional traders said they do not plan to “trade crypto/digital coins” in 2023. Only 14% of the respondents showed an inclination to trade this year.

Will Bitcoin and altcoins witness profit booking in the near term? Let’s study the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to find out.

BTC/USDT

Bitcoin bounced off the $22,800 support on Feb. 1, indicating that bulls are buying the dips to this level. The bulls pushed the price above $24,000 on Feb. 2 but they could not sustain the higher levels.

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'Crypto summer' likely to start in Q2 2023, Morgan Creek Capital CEO says

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Huawei NFTs, Toyota’s hackathon, North Korea vs. Blockchain: Asia Express 

Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the industry’s most important developments.

Huawei moves to trademark its NFTs

According to a Jan. 28 report by Sina News, Chinese telecom giant Huawei has recently filed for eight trademarks related to its Huawei “YunYunBao” nonfungible tokens (NFT) series. The trademarks include digital collectibles in the scientific instruments, furniture, education, jewelry, advertising and telecom sectors. Last April, Huawei unveiled its YunYunBao NFTs, featuring characters inspired by its namesake cloud service. Huawei NFTs are minted on its proprietary Huawei Petal Chain, which the telecom giant says has over 1,000 nodes and can handle over 50,000 transactions per second. 

A Huawei cloud NFT. Source: Huawei

Toyota sponsors blockchain hackathon

In a Feb. 1 Medium post, Sota Watanabe, the founder of Japanese blockchain Astar Network, announced that Astar had received a sponsorship from Japanese automobile manufacturer Toyota for its latest Web3 hackathon. Astar is currently a parachain built on the Polkadot blockchain. 

According to Watanabe, over $100,000 in prizes will be distributed to projects that develop “intra-company DAO [Decentralized Autonomous Organization] support tools for this hackathon which Toyota employees may actually use in the future.” The hackathon will run from Feb. 14 to March 25.

The Toyota hackathon prize structure. Source: Hakuhodo

“Needless to say, Toyota is the largest company in Japan and one of the world’s leading international companies,” Watanabe wrote. “We are very excited to be hosting the Web3 Hackathon on Astar with Toyota. During the event, we aim to develop the first PoC DAO tool for Toyota’s employees. If a good tool is produced, Toyota employees will interact daily with products on Astar Network.”


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Do Dogecoin’s (DOGE) and Shiba Inu’s (SHIB) stalled rallies mean the memecoin trend is dead?

The memecoin phenomenon didn’t prove as effective in the last month's start of year crypto market rally, as the gains of the top cryptocurrencies in this category barely outperformed Bitcoin. The monthly gain of BTC stood at 44.5%, while the top two meme-based coins DOGE and SHIB gained 27% and 40.7%, respectively.

Top meme-coins by total market capitalizations. Source: CoinMarketCap

Doge needs a market moving catalyst

Dogecoin is losing its popularity as its most prominent supporter Elon Musk is reportedly developing an independent Twitter Coin instead of integrating his favorite cryptocurrency with the social media platform owned by the entrepreneur.

For the greater part of 2022, DOGE/USD performed poorly except for when Elon Musk acquired Twitter. The acquisition raised hopes in the Dogecoin community about increased cryptocurrency usage.

However, without any tangible announcements or reports from Twitter hinting at Dogecoin usage, the 100% price surge from October 2022 reversed in the following two months. The Google search volume for the token has also subsided since Q1 2022.

Dogecoin is losing its popularity as its most prominent supporter Elon Musk is reportedly developing an independent Twitter Coin instead of integrating his favorite cryptocurrency with the social media platform owned by the entrepreneur.

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Lack of liquidity mitigated damages to BonqDAO exploit: Report

According to blockchain security firm CertiK, the damage caused to decentralized protocol BonqDAO on Feb. 1 may have been much less than initially thought. 

As told by CertiK, the attacker first borrowed 100 million BEUR, a euro stablecoin, with less than $1,000 in collateral due to a lack of controls on the collateralization ratio. If users set the parameter to zero, then the platform defaults to returning the "maximum value of uint256," allowing an astronomical sum of loans to be issued.

However, CertiK said that despite the attacker borrowing 100 million BEUR (around $120 million at the time of attack), the hacker only managed to withdraw around $1 million due to a lack of liquidity on the platform. Previously, blockchain security firms such as PeckSheild stated that around $120 million was lost during the attack.

Bonq is a fork of Liquity Protocol, which, similar to that blockchain, uses Troves to represent isolated debt positions. However, Bonq reportedly implemented a Community Liquidation Feature where 45 Troves with BEUR exposure were liquidated due to the incident. According to CertiK, the attack also impacted Troves containing approximately 110 million Alliance Block tokens (ALBT). That said, none of the Alliance Block smart contracts were breached during the incident, and the project has said it will airdrop new tokens to compensate affected holders.

Although a lack of liquidity appears to have mitigated damages to BonqDAO during the incidents, others were not so lucky. On Oct. 12, DeFi protocol Mango Markets initially lost $116 million after hacker Avraham Eisenberg manipulated the price of the MNGO token price, driving it up 30 times via enormous perpetual future contracts within a short period. This was possible as a relatively small initial capital was required to manipulate MNGO due to low liquidity. 

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Ethereum (ETH) price is aiming for $1,800 in February — Here is why

Ether (ETH) has been struggling with the $1,680 resistance since Jan. 20. Still, the ascending triangle pattern and improvements in investor sentiment in ETH derivatives provides hope that Ether price could reach $1,800 or higher by the end of February. This, of course, depends on how the Ether price behaves as it reaches the pattern deadline by mid-February. 

Ether/USD price index, 12-hour. Source: TradingView

From one side, traders are relieved that Ether is trading up 33% year-to-date, but the repeated failures to break the $1,680 resistance coupled with negative newsflow might give bears the power to cancel the bullish triangle pattern.

According to a Jan. 30 report from Axios, New York State's Department of Financial Services is reportedly investigating cryptocurrency exchange Gemini over claims that the firm made regarding assets in its Earn lending program. The suspicions followed reports that multiple Gemini Earn users believed their assets had been protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

On Jan. 12, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged the Gemini exchange with offering unregistered securities through Earn. In addition, Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss has claimed that Genesis and DCG owe $900 million to Gemini's clients.

Several United States senators have reportedly penned a letter requesting answers from Silvergate Bank, according to a Jan. 31 Bloomberg report. The policymakers were not fully satisfied with the bank's previous answers about its alleged role in handling FTX user funds. Silvergate reportedly cited restrictions on disclosing "confidential supervisory information."

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Avalanche 'bull trap' risks pushing AVAX price down by 30% in February

Avalanche (AVAX) bulls should brace themselves for impact led by a growing divergence between severalkey indicators on the daily-timeframe chart.

AVAX price chart paints bearish divergence

The daily AVAX chart shows a classic bearish divergence between its price and relative strength index (RSI), a momentum oscillator forming since Jan. 11.

In other words, the price of AVAX has been making higher highs since the said date. But, on the other hand, the coin's daily RSI has been forming lower highs. This divergence suggest a slowdown in the  momentum of the AVAX/USD pair, which may lead to a price reversal.

AVAX/USD daily price chart. Source: TradingView

In addition, the declining volumes during the course of AVAX's ongoing uptrend also hints at the same bearish cues.

The price-RSI and price-volume divergences appear as AVAX price continues its 2023 uptrend . Notably, Avalanche has rallied by more than 100% year-to-date to $22.50 as of Feb. 2, helped by improving risk-on sentiments and  news of its partnership with Amazon.

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Is the Metaverse really turning out like ‘Snow Crash’?

‘Snow Crash’ by Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson’s science fiction novel Snow Crash predicted the Metaverse in 1992. This cult book has the amusingly-named Hiro Protagonist running around in an artificial cyber world, trying to stop a virus that wipes minds, aided by his hacker friend Y.T. Reality is a place to escape from, a neoliberal future wrecked by hyperinflation and inequality and run by corporations and gangsters and insane bureaucracy.

In many ways, the book is horribly prescient. (It’s also horribly written in places, more like an info dump than a novel.) The Metaverse was a place where people had digital avatars, where they hung out with friends, went shopping and attended concerts. It was full of ads, the infrastructure was owned by a billionaire, and a virus was wreaking havoc on society. It all sounds familiar.

It wasn’t COVID-19 of course. The Snow Crash virus caused the infected to lose the ability to think for themselves, and they start speaking in tongues.

“Obviously, at the time, we didn’t have social media,” Stephenson told The Washington Post, but added, “I was writing about just a long-standing human trait, which is this tendency for the mind to get hijacked by ideas.”

The metaverse can’t enslave you, yet, but the addictive nature of social media suggests it’s possible you might get hooked on a better virtual world, where your hotter-looking avatar interacts with people from all over the planet and has adventures that are not possible in reality.

Snow Crash
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Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino on taking the bull by the horn

Stablecoins have been under much scrutiny after the implosion of the third-largest stablecoin by market cap, TerraUSD (UST), in May 2022. The UST saga led to a lot of skepticism that caused consumers to question the safety of stablecoins. 

In the seventh episode of Hashing It Out, Cointelegraph's Elisha Owusu Akyaw (GhCryptoGuy) interviewed Paolo Ardoino, Tether's chief technology officer, about how stablecoins work alongside a discussion on frequently asked questions about stable tokens.

Fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) rocked the boats of stablecoin issuers after the third most popular stablecoin, TerraUSD, depegged in 2022. Tether was one of such issuers at the receiving end of the FUD. Paolo Ardoino claimed that some of the FUD was being spread privately and publicly by competitors. Nevertheless, the Tether CTO said that the FUD only served to improve trust between consumers and the company.

"I like the FUD so much because we can respond to it with facts."

One such fact was the ability of the company to withstand the pressure that came as a result of panic in the market. Ardoino points out that Tether was able to process $7 billion in redemptions in 48 hours, which was 10% of the company's reserves. According to him, it is an achievement that will be recorded in the history books of global finance.

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Bitcoin paints Nasdaq green as NCI index marks 38% gain in January

Bitcoin’s bullish surge in January has helped the Nasdaq Crypto Index to register its third-highest monthly gain, with a 38% surge. The cryptocurrency market started the year on a bullish note, defying major bearish market outlooks. Bitcoin (BTC) and a number of altcoins touched new multi-month highs as inflation cooled off. 

Nasdaq Crypto Index monthly price chart Source: Google

NCI recorded its third-biggest monthly gain since its inception in February 2021. The crypto asset index was launched by Brazilian asset manager Hashdex in partnership with the United States stock exchange. The index consists of eight cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Chainlink's LINK, and Stellar's Lumen (XLM), among a few others.

BTC has the highest weightage in the index, with 69.8%, followed by ETH (27.08%). The rest of the other altcoins have a weightage of less than 1%.  Thus, the subsequent rise of BTC and ETH, which have surged over 35% in the past month, reflected on the index as well. The index weightage refers to the share of stocks invested in a particular digital asset.

Related: Bitcoin bulls must reclaim these 2 levels as 'death cross' still looms

With a prolonged crypto winter throughout 2022, Bitcoin ended the last year at around $16,500 and the majority of the altcoins also tested their yearly lows towards the end of the last year. Many market pundits had warned that the bearish sentiment might continue into the new year owing to the FTX saga folding out on a daily basis. However, the crypto market showed resilience and started the year on a bullish note and registering a market-wide double-digit gain for the past month.

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BonqDAO protocol suffers $120M loss after oracle hack

A small-scale decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) has suffered a rather sizeable smart contract exploit leading to an estimated $120 million being stolen from its protocol.

BonqDAO, which is behind the Bonq protocol, told its Twitter followers on Feb. 1 that its protocol was exposed to an oracle hack that allowed the exploiter to manipulate the price of the AllianceBlock (ALBT) token.

An independent analysis from blockchain security firm PeckShield has estimated the loss from the Bonq hack to be around $120 million, comprising $108 million from 98.65 million BEUR tokens, and $11 million from 113.8 million wrapped-ALBT (wALBT) tokens.

While the exploit took effect over several transactions, the largest was $82.19 million at 6:32pm UTC time on Feb. 1, according to multi-chain portfolio tracker DeBank.

Most of the high-scale transactions took place on the Polygon network.

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Price analysis 2/1: BTC, ETH, BNB, XRP, ADA, DOGE, MATIC, DOT, LTC, AVAX

Bitcoin (BTC) gained about 40% in January, its best finish in the first month of the year since 2013. The sharp rally caused a change in sentiment and the futures markets which saw backwardation in November and December started trading at a healthy contango in January, according to Glassnode.

Coming out of a bear market low, a rally driven by the leaders rather than the laggards is a sign that the bottoming process may have begun. The rise in Bitcoin’s dominance from about 38% in November to above 42% in January is an indication that smart investors may have started accumulating Bitcoin at lower levels.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

After the strong up-move in January, the next big question is how will Bitcoin perform in February. Coinglass data shows that since 2013, Bitcoin has closed February in the red only in 2014 and 2020. If history repeats itself, the possibility of a positive close in February is high but the pace of the rally may slow down.

Could Bitcoin and altcoins stay range-bound and consolidate the gains or will traders book profits, dragging prices lower? Let’s study the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to find out.

BTC/USDT

Bitcoin dipped below the breakout level of $22,800 on Jan. 30 but the bulls purchased at lower levels and pushed the price back above $23,000 on Jan. 31.

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Tiffany Fong flames Celsius, FTX and NY Post: Hall of Flame

Name: Tiffany Fong
Anonymous: No 
Twitter followers: 51.7K 
Known for: Breaking leaked info on Celsius and interviewing Sam Bankman-Fried after the FTX collapse 

Who is Tiffany Fong anyway? 

Tiffany Fong is 28 years old, has a background in marketing, and describes herself as a “reluctant crypto content creator” who developed a following after $100,000 worth of her crypto assets were locked up by bankrupt crypto lender Celsius. 

She’s posted more than 20 critical videos about the company since June 2022 and has been blocked by Celsius, founder Alex Mashinsky and his wife, Krissy.

“I had no plans to be an influencer or citizen journalist or anything. I just personally lost a bunch of money to Celsius Network, and I was just mad and wanted somewhere to vent.”

“So, I started posting on YouTube and Twitter about it after Celsius went down, and then it kind of snowballed into more,” she adds. Fong says she got into crypto back in 2010 as one of her relatives was mining Bitcoin. Scooping up a bunch of BTC and some other assets early on, Fong said she hodled and remained on the periphery of the space until the Celsius disaster.


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Rumor has it that Dogecoin could shift to proof-of-stake — What does that mean for miners?

There are rumors that Dogecoin could switch from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake (PoS). 

Do I know if Dogecoin is switching to PoS?

No.

Do I think it’s going to PoS? Probably not.

But I love the “what if” game.

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