Also today, Vitalik Buterin just caused one memecoin to fall by 77% in just 25 minutes. Here's why.
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Bitcoin falls over rate hike fears 📉
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell appeared before Congress on Tuesday — and it wasn't good news. He told U.S. politicians that interest rates could rise much higher than first thought — meaning a return to hikes of 0.5 percentage points. The central banker warned eliminating red-hot levels of inflation will be a "bumpy road." America's economy has remained resilient despite big increases in the cost of borrowing. Markets were spooked by Powell's testimony, with the S&P 500 closing down 1.5%. Bitcoin is clinging on to $22,000 for dear life — and is down 7% over the past week. Powell is set to return for a second day of testimony on Wednesday, meaning further turbulence could lie ahead for the crypto markets.
Vitalik dumps $700,000 of memecoins 😬
Vitalik Buterin has repeatedly warned memecoin projects that they shouldn't send him tokens. And this week, we've found out why. The Ethereum co-founder offloaded 500 trillion Shikoku tokens — that's half of the total supply. He gained $590,000 through this sale — with the value of SHIK plunging by 77% in just 25 minutes. Buterin likely dumped his holding because he could be on the hook for tax. Last year, he also sold $1 billion worth of Shiba Inu tokens to support India during COVID. Shikoku has put on a brave face. While the project admitted it was "disheartening," it added: "Now that he has sold, there are no whales left in the project. A truly decentralized community can now form in the wake of his actions."
Amazon to launch NFT marketplace? 🔥
There have long been rumors that this e-commerce giant is planning to delve into NFTs. And according to new reports, it could happen sooner than we think. Amazon is apparently set to launch an NFT marketplace on April 24. Blockworks reports that it could offer collectibles tied to real-world items, such as a pair of jeans. And in what could be a huge milestone for adoption, an email about the new platform would be blasted to over 160 million Amazon Prime members in the U.S. A rollout in Europe could follow at a later date — but the company's ambitions have been repeatedly pushed back because of FTX's collapse. While all of this sounds exciting, other big brands have had mixed success when launching their own NFT platforms.
Man sues Coinbase after $96,000 theft 💸
A man is suing Coinbase after $96,000 was stolen from his account — but the exchange is insisting that the loss isn't its responsibility. Jared Ferguson lost 90% of his life savings after a SIM swap attack. He alleges that Coinbase's security procedures failed to flag that the transactions were unusual, as well as from a different device and IP address. But according to court filings, he was told customers "are responsible for any activity that occurs when those devices or passwords are compromised." All of this is a sobering reminder that investors need to take security seriously — and storing Bitcoin in an exchange account isn't always the best idea. Self-custody, ideally unconnected to the internet, is often a much safer bet.
U.K. ramps up clampdown on Bitcoin ATMs ❌
British regulators and the police have taken action against Bitcoin ATMs that were operating illegally in east London. While these machines haven't been outlawed, they can only exist if they're registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. And here lies the problem: none of them are. This comes weeks after a similar investigation happened in the city of Leeds, which is in the North of England. The FCA is vowing to keep on identifying and disrupting unregistered crypto businesses, and warned consumers: "Crypto products are not currently regulated and they are high risk. You should be prepared to lose all your money if you invest in them." There are fears Bitcoin ATMs may not comply with anti-money laundering rules.