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Weekly crypto roundup: WazirX under scrutiny, El Salvador makes Bitcoin legal tender and more

Weekly crypto roundup: WazirX under scrutiny, El Salvador makes Bitcoin legal tender and more
  • The cryptocurrency markets had a bittersweet week with flaring regulatory tensions on one side and acceptance on the other.
  • India and China continue to pose a challenge to crypto markets.
  • Check out everything that happened in the cryptocurrency market last week.

The last one week has been challenging for cryptocurrencies, especially in some of the biggest markets of the world like India and China.

China has continued its crackdown on the crypto market and, in India, leading crypto exchange WazirX has been reportedly caught napping while accused money launderers used the platform to channel their illegal proceeds.

But that’s only scratching the surface of everything that has happened in the crypto world.

Here’s our weekly roundup of the best cryptocurrency news from the week gone by:

Except Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies took a hit

Except Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies took a hit
Business Insider India / Flourish

Top cryptocurrencies saw their performance dip in the previous week, but Bitcoin managed to gain 5% despite the challenges. El Salvador’s decision to accept the crypto as legal has played its part in helping Bitcoin and its investors.

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WazirX founder Nischal Shetty receives notice from ED

WazirX founder Nischal Shetty receives notice from ED
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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) sent a show cause notice to WazirX’s founder and director Nischal Shetty to explain cryptocurrency transactions worth ₹2,971 crore under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999.

The ED accused WazirX of not collecting the required documents to carry out KYC (know your customer) verification of its users. As per ED, WazirX was used by the accused Chinese nationals to launder ₹57 crore by depositing the amount into their WazirX wallet and then converting them to cryptocurrency Tether and transferring them to a Binance wallet.

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China arrests 1,100 people in crypto-related money laundering

China arrests 1,100 people in crypto-related money laundering
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Continuing its crackdown on money laundering, China’s Ministry of Public Security recently announced that over 1,100 people have been arrested over suspicions of money laundering using cryptocurrencies.

As per the ministry, the police busted over 170 criminal groups involved in money laundering using cryptocurrencies.

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El Salvador adopts Bitcoin as legal tender

El Salvador adopts Bitcoin as legal tender
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El Salvador has become the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender after a resolution was passed by the Congress on a proposal put forward by the country’s millennial President Nayib Bukele.

After endorsing the use of Bitcoin, Bukele declared that the country’s next move would be to mine Bitcoin using geothermal energy from its volcanoes. A new well has reportedly been dug that is capable of providing 95MW of clean energy and designs for a new bitcoin mining hub that will be built around it are already underway.

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India may classify Bitcoin as an asset class

India may classify Bitcoin as an asset class
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As per a report, the Indian government is considering classifying Bitcoin as an asset class with the country expected to table its new legislation around the use of cryptocurrency during the Monsoon session of the Parliament which is set to begin next month.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is expected to oversee the regulation for cryptocurrencies if Bitcoin is classified as an asset class.

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​$1.5 trillion US investment fund throws its weight behind cryptocurrencies​

​$1.5 trillion US investment fund throws its weight behind cryptocurrencies​
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Invesco, which manages nearly $1.5 trillion worth assets, launched two cryptocurrency-focused exchange-traded funds (ETF).

The investment management company announced Invesco Galaxy Crypto Economy ETF and Invesco Galaxy Blockchain Economy ETF, which will have 85% fund exposure to crypto-linked equities.

Invesco joins the likes of Fidelity Investments, Grayscale Investments among others.

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Bitcoin Mining Council formed, sans Elon Musk

Bitcoin Mining Council formed, sans Elon Musk
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Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) is an ‘open forum’ of miners, with a mandate of promoting transparency, good practices, and spreading awareness about Bitcoin and mining the cryptocurrency. The end game is to try and mitigate the impact of mining on the environment by promoting the use of renewable energy.

Elon Musk, who had announced the formation of BMC along with MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor in May, does not find a seat at the table.

“Elon Musk has no role at the BMC. The extent of his involvement was joining an educational call with a group of North American companies to discuss Bitcoin mining,” said BMC in a statement.

The council consists of business intelligence provider MicroStrategy, investment management firm Galaxy Digital, blockchain mining company Argo, technology firm Hive, and mining company Riot.

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Paraguay and Iran considering introducing regulations for crypto

Paraguay and Iran considering introducing regulations for crypto
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Cryptocurrencies could see more formal and institutional adoption, with two more countries – Paraguay and Iran – considering the introduction of regulations for cryptocurrencies.

Carlos Rejala, a Paraguayan Congressman is set to present a bill that will set favourable regulations for crypto mining and crypto exchange businesses that want to set up shop in the country.

Meanwhile, Iran President Hassan Rouhani has also asked his government to start working on a framework to regulate cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Clarity in terms of legality will help discourage dishonourable crypto business, according to him.

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Operation Trojan Shield busts global drug ring

Operation Trojan Shield busts global drug ring
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Operation Trojan Shield has resulted in a global drug ring being exposed. This has led to the arrest of over 800 criminals, a seizure of over $48 million in various currencies and cryptocurrencies, and several tons of drugs.

Concerns of authorities around the world that cryptocurrencies could be used for illicit activities are being reinforced with incidents such as these.

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Bitcoin to the moon, literally

Bitcoin to the moon, literally
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Crypto exchange BitMEX has partnered with a space robotics company called Astrobotic to literally put Bitcoin on the moon through an upcoming lunar mission.

It’s perhaps time to bring the ‘to the moon’ meme to reality.

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Cryptojacking scams on the rise again

Cryptojacking scams on the rise again
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According to a report by security firm Kaspersky, cryptojacking cases have risen in the first quarter of 2021. The report shows that 432,171 users encountered miners on their devices in Q1, 2021.

Cryptojacking is a specific type of scam that allows attackers to install malware — often called miners — on users’ devices. These miners utilize your device’s resources in the background to mine cryptocurrency.

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