An overview of current news in the crypto space

Bit Team
4 min readFeb 5, 2024

In our digest, we took a look at some important crypto industry news over the past week:

  1. US investigates energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining companies
  2. Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX to focus on refunds to customers
  3. Bukele, a bitcoin supporter, re-elected president of El Salvador
  4. Sberbank opens access to CFA to all individuals
  5. Binance denies data leak despite selling it on the darknet

And now for more details. Reading time: 7 minutes.

  • US investigates energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining companies
    In light of the growing interest in cryptocurrency mining and increasing energy consumption, the US authorities have decided to conduct a detailed study of the issue for the first time in history. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) under the US Department of Energy will collect data on electricity consumption by cryptocurrency mining companies over a six-month period. The main impetus for this decision was the increase in mining activity caused by the rising value of bitcoin. It was noted that this situation was exacerbated by the sharp cold snap in the country, which caused the demand for electricity to jump. The collection of information will begin shortly. All mining companies are required to provide detailed information about their energy consumption. According to the EIA, cryptocurrency mining accounts for between 0.6 per cent and 2.3 per cent of all energy consumption in the US. The study will be completed by the end of July 2024.
  • Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX will focus on returning funds to customers
    In November 2022, cryptocurrency exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy, and now it is stopping all recovery attempts and fully focusing on refunding its customers. This information has been confirmed by FTX’s lawyer, Andy Dietderich. Despite lengthy negotiations with potential buyers and investors, a suitable candidate for the exchange’s recovery could not be found. The former head of FTX and a group of affiliated companies, Sam Bankman-Fried was convicted of fraud related to FTX’s operations. Under his leadership, FTX, at its peak, ranked second in the crypto market behind Binance in terms of trading volume and was valued at $32bn. However, the exchange collapsed after a fraudulent token scheme came to light. Most of the assets of FTX affiliated fund Alameda Research actually consisted of FTX exchange tokens (FTT), which it itself issued as an issuer. FTX has now recovered more than $7bn in assets and plans to compensate clients. These payments will be calculated based on cryptocurrency prices at the November 2022 exchange rate, when the exchange collapsed. The court upheld this decision despite complaints from dozens of FTX customers.
  • Bukele, a bitcoin supporter, has been re-elected president of El Salvador
    El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, known for his support of bitcoin, has been re-elected for a second term, receiving the support of 85 per cent of voters. During his previous term, Bukele endorsed bitcoin as legal tender, sparking global debate. He also announced plans to create Bitcoin City, a tax haven for cryptocurrency companies that has not been developed to date. Despite widespread coverage of bitcoin’s benefits by El Salvador’s authorities, the level of integration of the cryptocurrency into the country’s economy remains low. The country’s Vice President Felix Ulloa reaffirmed the state’s commitment to the adopted bitcoin strategy and expressed hope for a successful conclusion of negotiations with the IMF on a new tranche of funding.
  • Sberbank opened access to the CFA for all individuals
    Sberbank has opened access to its digital financial assets (DFA) platform for all individuals. This is a move that will allow private investors to become active participants in a new investment market, after obtaining qualified investor status. From the end of 2023, the bank has started issuing DFAs that are linked to the average value of residential property in Moscow. This means that the amount of payments on these assets depends on the digital square metre index. The minimum number of CFAs an individual can purchase is 1. According to Anatoly Popov, Deputy Chairman of Sberbank’s Management Board, the new indexed DFA will help clients diversify their portfolio and become part of the fast-growing high-tech DFA market in Russia. Digital financial assets are a financial instrument in digital format, the issuance and circulation of which is carried out in an information system based on a distributed register. Sberbank is included in the Bank of Russia’s register of operators of information systems for the issuance, accounting and circulation of DFAs.
  • Binance denies data leak despite selling it on the darknet
    According to reports from the darknet, an attacker known as Tamagami claimed to have gained access to an account on the Kodex Global platform. This platform is used to send requests on behalf of law enforcement agencies for data from various cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance and Coinbase. The hacker is offering full account access for $5,000, with individual data requests costing $300. Hudson Rock experts speculate that the hacker gained access to the system through compromised law enforcement computers. Emails, phone numbers, wallet and user transaction IDs are potentially at risk of disclosure. However, cryptocurrency exchange Binance has denied the leak, claiming that all user data is protected. The exchange emphasised that user accounts are securely protected by multi-stage security methods, including multi-factor authentication, biometrics, authenticators and other measures.

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