This week in Coins
Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt.

This week markets appeared grateful for the dearth of news—"no news is good news," as the saying goes. Most leading cryptocurrencies recovered their losses over the week after last Thursday's flash crash sank virtually all leading cryptocurrencies by double-digit percentages.

Bitcoin (BTC) currently holds the fort at $26,015, about 0.4% cheaper than it was this time last week. A lot of Bitcoin mining machinery came online this week, as evinced by the fact that the network on Wednesday hit a new all-time high for mining difficulty alongside a corresponding spike in hash rate, or computational power. 


Ethereum (ETH), the second biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, matched Bitcoin’s pace. At its current price of $1,647, it is down 1.6% from last week. 

Broadly speaking, most top thirty cryptocurrencies retained their value. The only notable depreciation over the last seven days fell upon holders of Uniswap (UNI) and Avalanche (AVAX). AVAX fell 7.2% to $10.02, while UNI crashed 7.9% to $4.58.

Meme coin PEPE is still in freefall. On Monday it posted intraweek losses of over 20% as it slid from 71st to 84th place. It now enters the weekend at $0.000000865154—the 98th biggest cryptocurrency by market cap—or about 23.3% lower than it was a week ago.

Adding to its generally poor performance, the PepeCoin team’s multi-sig Ethereum address transferred 16.045 trillion PEPE—worth $16.85 million at the time—to four exchanges: Binance, OKX, KuCoin, and Bybit, on Thursday.

The lack of communication from the team about these transfers contributed to some heated panic selling.

Capital cities were silent about crypto this week. There were only a few stories of any note. 


In the news...

The Kenyan government on Monday established a committee to inquire into OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s crypto project Worldcoin—a controversial project which offers people around the world free crypto if they visit their nearest “Orb” and supply it with biometric data (a snapshot of their eyeballs). Kenya’s move came three weeks after the country suspended Worldcoin’s activities within its borders. 

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice arrested Tornado Cash founder Roman Storm and charged him with crimes related to money laundering. Co-founder Roman Semenov, who was also named in the indictment, remains at large in Dubai.

Last year, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) banned Americans from using privacy mixer Tornado Cash, claiming that criminals had used it to launder money—specifically naming the North Korean state-sponsored hacker organization Lazarus Group. 

Earlier this week, the legislative body of the Central African Republic (CAR) granted approval for the tokenization of land and natural resources to help the government position the country as an up-and-coming business destination in Africa.

The project launched last year with resource tokenization in mind; it is meant to facilitate investment in CAR through Sango Coin, a state-issued token—though not a Central Bank Digital Currency—backed by Bitcoin on a sidechain network. However, initial responses to Sango Coin’s launch were lukewarm.

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