Welcome to your bi-weekly crypto-verse update with Breach.
*Data as of 12:00 pm WAT on 29th, Sept 2021. Via Coinmarketcap
China's beef with crypto takes a turn

While countries like Panama and El Salvador open more doors for crypto, China chose the repression route.


The People’s Bank of China(PBoC)— China's central bank— announced that it is banning all crypto-related activities nationwide for the second time in four years. The statement also warns that all nationals working for overseas cryptocurrency exchanges will be investigated. Crypto production (mining) services like Spark Pool, which makes up 25% of Ethereum's production pool, have shut down due to the ban.


Chinese regulators have had it in for virtual currencies for a while: China banned crypto exchanges five years ago, and over the past year, various parts of the country banned mining and crypto trading. In May, PBoC banned domestic crypto exchanges in a bid to obliterate crypto trading, so Chinese traders switched foreign platforms.


What's China up to? PBoC is currently running a pilot on their digital currency, Chinese yuan (e-CNY). Speculators believe this could be the reason the authorities are being particularly tough about this new ban cycle.


Not everyone is China: In contrast, institutions like The United Arab Emirates' Securities and Commodities Authority are embracing crypto assets. So are financial institutions and some of the highest-valued companies around the world.


Market reaction: The value of the crypto market dropped by about 5% as soon as this ban was announced, but this is expected because major news (good or bad) very often triggers a market reactionary effect. The good thing is that the market always readjust.


Botton line: This isn't the first time. In 2017, China's ban on crypto triggered a value drop that lasted a few weeks. But, as Decrypt Editor Dan Robert pointed out during El Salvador's bitcoin-as-currency launch, a country's relationship to crypto might not mean much in the long run. A better indicator of crypto's place in finance is that more traditional investors are getting into it.

How much influence is too much influence?

A survey found that 45% of 2,200 United States adults take finance and crypto-holding advice from celebrities. This survey was inspired by a paid post by Kim Kardashian for EthereumMax (EMAX). Reports indicate that EMAX's market price increased by 3000% two day's after her post, and 19% of people who saw the ad said it prompted them to invest.


With the rise of influencer marketing, it's no surprise that many people trust their favourite celebrities for advice on many things, including crypto.

Brands have leveraged this trust, but so have scammers. In 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged boxer Floyed Mayweather Jr. and musician DJ Khaled for promoting Centra Tech, a crypto cards platform set up to dupe investors.


How to identify a scam: influencers are under no obligation to research the products they're promoting, so it's up to us to protect ourselves. For crypto projects, you might be interested in, research the team behind them. If you trust the team, you can probably trust their product.

Bitcoin.org's eventful Thursday

Bitcoin.org, a website dedicated to information about Bitcoin, was temporarily disabled on Thursday after getting hacked by scammers a few hours prior.


The Scam: On Thursday morning, a pop-up message on the website home page urged visitors to send bitcoin to a wallet to receive twice as much crypto in return. Reports indicate that the address received over $17,700 in small transactions and most of it has been withdrawn.


There are no updates on if the scammers have been tracked, but Bitcoin.org confirmed that they are working on finding the culprit.


Bottom line: Scams like this are unfortunately not isolated. In 2020, over 100 celebrity Twitter accounts were hacked and scammers pretending to be celebrities stole millions in USD and crypto from fans and supporters. The good thing is that scams like these don't last very long, so the best way to avoid falling victim is to wait it out and see if it gets flagged.

Breach Reads

Here are a few other stories we think you'll enjoy reading.
  • Twitter iOS users can now receive tips in Bitcoin (Android coming soon). The microblogging social network is also exploring verifying NFTs as profile pictures (Mashable)
  • CEO of American movie theatre chain AMC says they might be ready to accept dogecoin as payment for movie tickets, but Elon Musk believes the coin's transaction cost has to drop first (Coinmarketcap)
  • Canadian securities regulators release crypto exchange guidance on advertising, social media (Theblockcrypto)
  • Remember the girl whose face became the universal 'confused/concerned' meme? She's selling the meme, which has become popular for expressing concern as an NFT (BBC)
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