Also today, a new coin has launched that's linked to Bored Ape Yacht Club.
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After months of speculation, the Fed has officially increased interest rates for the first time since 2018. The base rate is rising by 0.25 percentage points as the U.S. central bank attempts to tackle red-hot inflation. We could see another six rate hikes between now and December, as policymakers expect the base rate to be between 1.75% and 2% by the end of 2022. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell had warned such a move was coming — and as a result, there was little movement in Bitcoin's price on Thursday. In other developments, the Bank of England has raised interest rates to 0.75%, and warned inflation could surge to 8% next month.
"Hundreds of thousands" of crypto addresses have been linked to sanctioned Russian individuals and businesses, Elliptic says. The company has warned there is a "real risk" that digital assets will be used to sidestep economic restrictions imposed by the West following the invasion of Ukraine. Elliptic is "actively investigating" wallets with ties to Russian officials and oligarchs, too. In a blog post, the blockchain intelligence firm added: "We are collaborating with government agencies and other organizations to ensure that those responsible for enabling the invasion of Ukraine cannot use cryptoassets to hide their wealth."
A new cryptocurrency linked to Bored Ape Yacht Club has been unveiled. ApeCoin describes itself as "a token for culture, gaming and commerce used to empower a decentralized community building at the forefront of Web3." An airdrop means that 15% of APE's total supply is going to be distributed to those who own Bored Apes and Mutant Apes. ApeCoin is going to be "owned and operated" by a decentralized autonomous organization — and a board featuring Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and Amy Wu from FTX Ventures.
Paxful has announced that it is giving away 50 tickets to the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami. It's hoped that the contest will allow local students to experience the conference for themselves — and learn more about the world's biggest cryptocurrency in the process. Given how a general admission pass currently costs $899, it would represent a substantial saving for crypto-curious students. Samson Mow — who recently stepped down as Blockstream's chief strategy officer in order to focus on "nation-state Bitcoin adoption" — said he, El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele and Strike founder Jack Mallers "are all trying to outdo each other for big surprises" on stage at this year's event.