Also today, Bitcoin laundering suspect Heather Morgan is being allowed to get a job that generates an income of at least $10,000 a month.
The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies has surged beyond $1 trillion for the first time in over a month, CoinMarketCap data shows. The return to this psychologically significant threshold comes after Bitcoin broke through $22,000. This price point has proven a stubborn level of resistance for BTC in recent weeks, with bulls given a boost after they successfully avoided a sustained fall below $20,000. But it's Ether that's by far the best performer on a seven-day timeframe. The world's second-largest cryptocurrency is now on the brink of cracking $1,500 after surging by 28.65% in one week.
Heather Morgan — who hit headlines for her amateur rap videos and, er, being accused of conspiracy to launder $4.5 billion worth of stolen Bitcoin — is being allowed to get a job. The 31-year-old, along with her husband, are currently awaiting trial for their alleged role in the 2016 hack of Bitfinex. Together, they have been accused of conspiring to launder almost 120,000 BTC… and enriching themselves in the process. On Friday, Morgan sought court approval to secure a new job while the legal proceedings continue. A judge has now granted this request, and there were no objections from prosecutors. As a result, the 31-year-old "may engage in legitimate employment and receive income of greater than $10,000 per month."
The U.S. has been named the world's most crypto-friendly country — but it's tied in joint first place with a rather surprising contender. Germany also holds the top spot, with researchers at Coincub praising the European nation's "progressive" laws and "favorable" tax regime. Bitcoin and Ether investors there can sell off their crypto without paying any capital gains — as long as they've held the coins for over a year. America was praised for having a high number of BTC nodes and ATMs, with high private demand for trading and mining. Singapore, Australia and Switzerland make up the rest of the top five, in a sign that actually adopting Bitcoin as legal tender isn't everything. Where did El Salvador rank, we hear you ask? 35th!
Vladimir Putin has signed a law that bans crypto payments in Russia — amid claims they're behind a dramatic surge in pyramid schemes. The president's move means digital assets cannot be used to acquire goods, services and products across the country. It comes after a tug of war between governmental bodies on the best way to handle the rise of cryptocurrencies. While the Bank of Russia wanted all crypto-related activity to be banned outright, the country's Ministry of Finance advocated for regulation. Meanwhile, figures from the Bank of Russia suggest 954 pyramid schemes were identified in the first half of 2022 — 6.5 times higher than the same period a year earlier. Of those, 56% were said to have "raised funds in various cryptocurrencies."