JPEX Weekly Review of Relevant News from September 19 to 25

The third full week of September brought about several events such as Cardano’s Vasil Hard Fork. Unfortunately, news of the upgrade did not have the same impact as Ethereum’s transition to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network in the second full week of the month. 

With that said, there was significant news such as Santander Bank warning stakeholders of the crypto finance industry who are accustomed to the use of social media. 

New research about the growth of the Bitcoin (BTC) industry also hit the market while Iran’s attempts to dodge sanctions from the United States have seen them begin the trial of the Crypto-Rial. 

During the week, the total number of cryptocurrencies on the market surpassed 21,000, and golf’s PGA Tour partnered with Autograph to create a non-fungible token (NFT) platform which allows fans to own moments of golf history. 

Ripple (XRP), Algorand (ALGO), Chiliz (CHZ), Compound (COMP), Ape Coin (APE), Cronos (CRO), and Stellar (XLM) were some of the biggest gainers during the week. 

Santander Bank Cautioned Crypto Users Against Falling Foul to Money Laundering Activities

The crypto industry has become a trillion-dollar economy and cybercriminals have taken note of the huge gains they can also make from the decentralized finance industry. 

On Wednesday, September 21, Santander Bank cautioned the crypto community that it has identified more than 1,800 money mules from January to date. Due to their quest to get ahead, men constituted 66% of the total number of mules while women made up 34%. The average age identified was 31

Scammers have come up with ingenious ways of scamming people online. 

Using social media platforms, they advertise numerous ways of making money. Once they find people who are interested in making quick money through cryptocurrency schemes, they ask them for their financial details so that consistent payments can be made into their accounts. 

Once they receive the details, they send them money from individuals they have scammed and then tell unsuspecting recipients that feel it’s part of the money-making scheme to send funds to another account. Through this, the intermediaries (unsuspecting victims) are the ones that get implicated in money laundering activities while scammers take off with their loot. 

Due to this, the Head of Fraud Risk Management at Santander UK, Chris Ainsley weighed in on the new scamming method and cautioned investors to stay away from get-rich schemes. 

“Free money is never free. If someone offers to compensate you for allowing money to be paid into your account – run a mile. If you receive money in this way and allow it to be withdrawn or transferred to another account, then you are acting as a money mule and could face up to 14 years behind bars. Ignore the enticing hashtags, the image of someone living their best life, and the posts that seem too good to be true – they are,” he added. 

Santander Bank further cautioned people to be wary of accounts belonging to flashy users, people who promise money to help with a family emergency as well as provide a means of funding an expensive purchase. The bank also warned people from patronizing jobs with salaries that look too good to be true. 

The Worldwide Bitcoin (BTC) Industry Is Expected to Reach $132.9 Billion by 2030

The global Bitcoin market size is expected to reach $132.9 billion by 2030, according to a September 21 report released by Research and Markets.com

Bitcoin has shed more than half of its value in 2022 after reaching record milestones which took the price to around $70,000 and market capitalization to more than $1 trillion

Research and Markets asserted that the forecasted valuation will come at a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 26.2% in the next eight years. Much of the drive will come from the growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies globally and an emphasis on the use of blockchain technology and digital assets in fostering cross-border payments. 

Some of the companies that will make valuable contributions include, but are not limited to, Blockstream Corporation Inc., Coinbase Inc., Coinfy ApS, Unocoin Technologies Pvt. Limited, Bitstamp Ltd., itBit Trust Company LLC, Blockchain Luxembourg SA, Kraken (Payward Inc.), BitPay Inc., and Plutus Financial Inc. (ABRA). 

As of Sunday, September 25, BTC was trading far below $25,000 and its fully diluted market capitalization of $398 billion, CoinMarketCap data showed. 

Wallet Investor forecasts BTC to trade for an average price of $29,155.72 and a maximum price of $40,219 by the end of the year. 

Iran Announced the Pilot Launch of Crypto-Rial

On Wednesday, September 21, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) made it known that it will begin the pilot launch of Crypto-Rial as the bank’s digital currency on Thursday, September 22, per an official publication on Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture website.

The CBI aims to turn bank notes into a programmable entity. The Crypto-Rial has been designed in a way where it is highly secure. It will perform the same function as banknotes and coins although it will be in a digital format. 

With all the essential tracking features embedded into its design, the currency can still be tracked even if a person’s smartphone is hacked. 

“Based on what is known so far about the CBI’s crypto initiative, the digital currency is not designed to compete with global cryptocurrencies. Unlike BTC and other cryptos, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are centralized, not anonymous, and in accord with anti-money laundering (AML) requirements,” per the post. 

PGA TOUR and Autograph to create an NFT platform

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) TOUR and Autograph announced on Monday, September 19 that a long-term deal has been signed to create a comprehensive digital collectibles NFT platform that will revolutionize golf fandom by allowing fans to celebrate their love of the game by owning a token of its storied history. 

Best moments from the TOUR’s competition video, data, imagery, and other competition-related components will be on full display for fans to add to their digital collections. 

“The PGA TOUR is excited to work with Autograph to offer digital collectibles that highlight the most talented golfers in the world and their role in the sport’s history,” said Len Brown, PGA TOUR Chief Legal Officer, and EVP, Licensing. 

Professional golfer Tiger Woods added that he was excited to be a part of this next chapter with Autograph. “Enhancing the golf world with NFTs will create a connection between us as players and the fans,” he added. 

Cryptocurrencies On the Market Surpass 21,000

From 2009 through 2010 there was a single cryptocurrency called Bitcoin. Litecoin (LTC) joined the industry in 2011 and from then other projects such as Dash (DASH), Dogecoin (DOGE), and Ethereum (ETH) joined the market. 

While many coins such as AuroraCoin and Peer Coin fell off the radar, other exciting projects such as Solana (SOL), Polkadot (DOT), ApeCoin (APE), Cardano (ADA), and Binance (BNB) came along the way. 

As of Sunday, September 25, there were more than 21,000 cryptocurrencies in the market. 

While some are based on layer 1 blockchains which can only function as a transactional currency, many of them are backed by smart contracts, and play an instrumental role in decentralized finance, non-fungible token, and Web3 as a whole. 

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