Also today, Ilya "Dutch" Lichtenstein will stay behind bars as he awaits trial on suspicion of laundering crypto linked to the Bitfinex hack.
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Crypto advocates have reacted with alarm after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in history. The unprecedented step is in response to the Freedom Convoy movement, with truckers paralyzing the capital as they protest against vaccine mandates. On Monday, officials said Canada is broadening the scope of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules so they cover all crowdfunding platforms, including those facilitating crypto transactions.
Ilya "Dutch" Lichtenstein — accused of attempting to launder Bitcoin worth billions of dollars linked to the 2016 Bitfinex hack — has been denied bail. But a judge has ordered that his wife, Heather Morgan, can remain at home until the trial date. She will be ordered to wear an electronic tag, with restricted access to the internet, and is banned from completing crypto transactions. The pair face 25 years behind bars if convicted. Morgan hit headlines worldwide after her colorful past as a rapper emerged.
Drake has pocketed more than $1.5 million in Bitcoin after placing a series of crypto bets during the Super Bowl. The rapper successfully predicted that the Los Angeles Rams would win the final outright. He had wagered $471,500 on the outcome of the game, receiving a payout of $711,000. Drake also bet that Odell Beckham Jr would score at least one touchdown — with the star athlete delivering the goods in the first quarter. That resulted in another payout of $844,000.
Coinbase has revealed its Super Bowl advert delivered 20 million hits to its landing page in a single minute — far more than it had anticipated. The exchange sparked intrigue in its 60-second spot with a QR code bouncing around on the screen, prompting many viewers to scan it with their phones. Although Coinbase was prepared to handle millions of simultaneous hits, chief marketing officer Kate Rouch said "the volume we experienced was astounding in comparison to our projections."
Bitcoin rallied above $44,000 on Tuesday — accelerating by 4.24% in 24 hours — amid hopes of a breakthrough in the Ukraine crisis. The U.S. had expressed concern that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine within days — with more than 100,000 troops building up around the country's borders. But Moscow now says that some of these soldiers are withdrawing and returning to their bases after completing military drills. The geopolitical tensions have weighed heavily on markets.
Coinbase has revealed that it plans to go on a hiring spree in 2022 and add 2,000 employees across its product, engineering and design teams. In a blog post, the exchange said it needs more help to scale existing products and build new ones as part of its mission "to increase economic freedom in the world." Chief people officer L. J. Brock added: "Whether the market is up or down, we see a clear opportunity, making Coinbase one of the most exciting places to work right now."