Also today, millions of dollars worth of crypto is returned to scam victims — and Man City is building a stadium in the metaverse.
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Bitcoin plunged to $36,500 on Tuesday after Vladimir Putin recognized two rebel-held regions of Ukraine as independent states — and ordered Russian troops to enter. While Moscow says the soldiers have been deployed for "peacekeeping," the West fears this is an "attempt to create a pretext for a further invasion." The worsening crisis is sending shockwaves through global markets, but gold has held on to recent gains. Some analysts fear a plunge below $30,000 could be on the cards for BTC.
The ongoing uncertainty is sparking fears that the Bitcoin bull run is well and truly over. Worse still, Huobi's co-founder believes the next one may not happen until late 2024 or early 2025. Du Jun told CNBC that BTC's halving cycle is continuing to have a significant impact on its value. That puts him at odds with analysts who had argued halvings were beginning to have less of an effect in a maturing market. "If this circle continues, we are now at the early stage of a bear market," he said.
Russia's ministry of finance is heading for a showdown with the country's central bank over cryptocurrencies. Government officials still want to prohibit digital assets from being used as a means of payment, but plan to soften their stance in other ways — and citizens who pass an online test would be able to invest up to $7,500 a year into crypto. That's at odds with the Bank of Russia, which is preparing bills that would ban digital currencies from circulating — and fine those who break the rules.
More than $5.5 million has been returned to victims of an international crypto scam — and police in England say millions more remain unclaimed. Specialist officers from Greater Manchester Police seized $22.2 million from the scammers in July 2021. So far, 23 victims have been compensated after their claims were verified by police. They had invested in a savings and trading service that turned out to be a rug pull. Two arrests have been made, and other victims are being urged to come forward.
One of the biggest teams in England's Premier League is reportedly building the world's first football stadium inside the metaverse. According to i, Manchester City is receiving help from virtual reality experts at Sony as it undertakes the ambitious project. Setting out their vision for the future, executives imagine being able to fill a virtual Etihad Stadium "several times" without having to worry about capacity limits in the real world. It could transform the way fans watch live games from home.