Also today, how crypto executives are reacting to Joe Biden's executive order — and Kraken attempts to find a compromise after rejecting calls to ban all Russian users.
Every Ukrainian user who opened a Kraken account before March 9 is being given $1,000 in Bitcoin that can be withdrawn immediately, the exchange has said. A further $1,000 in credits will be added so currency conversions can be made at zero cost. The aid is designed to help those who have had to flee the country following Russia's invasion. Further tranches of donations will be made in the coming weeks for those who have yet to complete Know Your Customer checks. Kraken's CEO, Jesse Powell, has said the giveaway will be equivalent to 100% of the trading fees paid by Russian users over the first half of 2022.
Crypto bosses have been pretty upbeat in reaction to Joe Biden's executive order, which calls for the U.S. to "maintain technological leadership" in the digital assets space. Circle's CEO and co-founder Jeremy Allaire said the move is a "watershed moment for crypto, digital assets and Web3." Meanwhile, the Crypto Council for Innovation interpreted it as recognition of the "tremendous potential" that the industry has, and its importance to the American people. Not everyone is popping open the champagne just yet, and some executives are lamenting the order's vague wording. CoinShares' chief strategy officer Meltem Demirors argues that the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will play a huge role in shaping America's stance towards regulating crypto — and both are independent, meaning the White House may have limited sway.
Coinbase's QR code during the Super Bowl was in your face — and bounced around the screen for an entire 60 seconds. But it's now been revealed that Crypto.com's ad was a little more subtle. During the commercial starring LeBron James giving advice to his teenage self, a sneaky QR code could be spotted on the bedroom wall. Eagle-eyed viewers who clicked on it were given the chance to enter into a prize draw to win one of 5,550 NFTs. Click on our article to find out exactly where it was. Part of the proceeds from the sale of these NFTs on secondary markets will go to LeBron James' foundation.
A crypto-friendly candidate has won South Korea's presidential election. Yoon Suk-yeol has said that he would like to see initial coin offerings make a comeback, and roll back tough regulations that were introduced in recent years. He also wants to start a Digital Industry Promotion Agency, and ensure crypto investors don't need to pay tax on the first $40,000 they make in profit each year — up from $2,000. The 61-year-old had even released NFTs of himself in a bid to persuade younger voters during the tight race.
As China shows off its digital yuan — and the U.S. considers building a digital dollar — some have questioned whether the existence of CBDCs could kill off stablecoins. Not so, says Tether's chief technology officer Paolo Ardoino. He argues that central bank digital currencies are mainly designed to replace "outdated tech infrastructure built 30 years ago that is kept together with rubber and bands." And while CBDCs will likely play a bigger role in fiat transactions in the years to come, Tether will remain popular because it will be available on blockchains used by investors.