Bitcoin mining advocate is going state-to-state to educate US lawmakers

Bitcoin mining advocate is going state-to-state to educate US lawmakers

The legislatures in Mississippi and Missouri have separately introduced bills aimed at protecting certain activities of Bitcoin miners following visits from the Satoshi Action Fund.

Dennis Porter, chief executive officer of the Satoshi Action Fund, is taking the fight for hearts and minds on Bitcoin mining to Washington, D.C. and beyond in an effort to support friendly legislation.

Porter, who first discovered Bitcoin (BTC) in 2017, told Cointelegraph his path on advocating the benefits of mining has taken him to support bills in at least six U.S. states with federal lawmakers also in his crosshairs. The Satoshi Action Fund CEO met with U.S. Senators and Representatives on Jan. 25 in support of proposed legislation aimed at eliminating discrimination against miners.

According to Porter, the Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act — a bill introduced in June 2022 aimed at addressing the roles of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission on crypto regulation — has a provision addressing taxation for BTC mining rewards. He said the legislation could close a loophole allowing the Internal Revenue Service to have two bites of the apple on miners’ revenue.

“We believe that Bitcoin mining is being unfairly targeted and double taxed by the IRS currently,“ said Porter.

The conversations between Porter and members of Congress including Senators Ron Wyden, Cynthia Lummis, and Ted Budd marked the first time the Satoshi Action Fund had stepped up in person to the national stage in defense of BTC miners. However, the organization has also stood behind bills being considered in New Hampshire, Montana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

Crypto mining operations in the United States have many critics among lawmakers and citizens alike, making complaints on the energy consumption of Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and noise pollution due to many of the machines always running. In November, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a two-year moratorium on PoW mining into law.

Related: Bitcoin mining revenue jumps up 50% to $23M in one month

Porter added leaders in Montana have attempted to push miners out using zoning laws and considered policies including higher electricity rates. The legislatures in Mississippi and Missouri have separately introduced bills aimed at protecting certain activities of miners following visits from the Satoshi Action Fund, while Texas is home to many major blockchain firms following a crackdown in China.

“We’re just going to keep pushing hard until we get actual policy passed,” said Porter.

Ordinals Project Launches Enabling NFTs Directly On Bitcoin

Ordinals Project Launches Enabling NFTs Directly On Bitcoin

The controversial project has been met with equal parts excitement and criticism in regards to its impacts on Bitcoin.

A project called Ordinals has launched on the Bitcoin blockchain, effectively enabling Bitcoin-native on-chain NFTs. 

Led by former Bitcoin Core contributor Casey Rodarmor, the protocol is a convention for numbering and transferring individual satoshis on the Bitcoin network.

Ord, a specific implementation of Ordinals, “is a wallet and explorer that allows tracking the location of specific satoshis and their ordinal numbers - assigned by the Ordinals protocol - as well viewing, creating, and transferring inscriptions, that is, individual satoshis inscribed with arbitrary content,” the press release sent to Bitcoin Magazine states.

The introduction of Ord and inscriptions brings NFTs to Bitcoin, allowing content, such as images, videos and HTML to be included in a Bitcoin transaction and assigned to an individual satoshi.

“Inscriptions, using the ordinals protocol, are fully on-chain, and do not require a sidechain or separate token,” the release reads. “Inscriptions inherit the simplicity, immutability, security, and durability of Bitcoin itself.”

Since its release, the project has attracted a great amount of debate in regards to the impact of ordinals and inscriptions on Bitcoin. Supporters of Ordinals, like Dan Held, describe it as a net benefit for Bitcoin, saying, “It brings more financial use cases to Bitcoin, and drives more demand for block space (aka fees).”

Meanwhile, critics of Ordinals like Blockstream CEO and long-time Bitcoiner Adam Back explained that “Bitcoin is designed to be censor resistant. This doesn't stop us mildly commenting on the sheer waste and stupidity of an encoding. At least do something efficient.”

Ongoing debate seems to stem from discussions in regards to the potential usage of block space and increase in bandwidth necessary to run nodes as a result of inscriptions. Regardless of the debate, “the Ordinals project continues unphased,” reads the press release, “with contributors continuing to add new features, such as provenance, collections, composability and a decentralized marketplace.”

Ordinals and inscriptions could prove to be an interesting catalyst for Bitcoiners to re-examine the social dynamics that shape Bitcoin development. While the positive or negative impacts of ordinals specifically may be up for debate, renewed interest in how projects and technical implementations are built on Bitcoin is a healthy sign for the network. 

Examiner finds customer deception, ‘very Ponzi-like’ use of funds at Celsius

Examiner finds customer deception, ‘very Ponzi-like’ use of funds at Celsius

The court-appointed examiner found many intentional and unintentional shortcomings at the bankrupt crypto lender dating back to its founding.

Court-appointed examiner Shoba Pillay submitted her final report on select aspects of operations at bankrupt cryptocurrency Celsius on Jan. 31. The document was commissioned on Sept. 29 and is 470 pages long, not counting the 31 appendices.

Pillay is a former federal prosecutor and partner at law firm Jenner & Block. She looked at how customer cryptocurrency was stored at Celsius, the accuracy of the company’s public representations, whether new deposits were used to pay existing customers, the status of the company’s mining business and tax compliance.

“Celsius promoted itself as an altruistic organization,” Pillay wrote. However, “Behind the scenes, Celsius conducted its business in a starkly different manner than how it marketed itself to its customers in every key respect.”

The deception began immediately, Pillay found, when the Celsius initial coin offering in March 2018 failed to raise the hoped-for $50 million, coming in at $32 million. The Celsius community was not told of the shortfall. Nor did founder Alex Mashinsky make good on his promise to buy any unsold tokens.

Further, Pillay documented how the company and Mashinsky personally exerted control over the price of the native CEL token. That effort was not wholly successful, in part due to accounting shortcomings. As a result:

“Celsius did not earn sufficient yield on its crypto asset deployments to fully fund its CEL buybacks. As a result, it began using customer-deposited Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) to fund its CEL purchases.”

In early 2021, as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) prices rose and customers withdrew more of the CEL cryptocurrency, Celsius “justified its use of customer deposits to fill this hole in its balance sheet on the basis that it was not selling customer deposits but instead posting them as collateral to borrow the necessary coins.”

Pillay noted that the Celsius coin deployment specialist described the actions as “very Ponzi-like” in internal communications. In addition, the company’s reward (interest) rates were not tied to yield generated from customer assets but were set to beat competitors’ offers. There was no policy for determining rewards until July 2021.

Between 2018 and June 30, 2022, the company paid out $1.36 billion more in rewards than the revenue customer assets generated.

By May 2022, as the price of the LUNA (LUNA) stablecoin plummeted, the company was no longer able to support the price of CEL. It paused withdrawals on June 13, but continued to pay rewards. At that point, the company was taking questionable measures. Pillay wrote:

“Between June 9 and June 12, Celsius did directly use new customer deposits to fund customer withdrawal requests.”

Celsius declared bankruptcy on July 13.

Related: New ‘Celsius token’ may be used to repay creditors: Report

The examiner found Celsius’ mining business, created as a subsidiary in October 2020, to be “generally current” on its bills, with few exceptions. She summed up the outstanding debt:

“Celsius Mining’s unpaid utility-related bills were $13,982,152. Celsius Mining’s mining hosts, however, hold prepayment balances totaling $46,809,756 that may be available to offset Celsius Mining’s obligations.”

Celsius defaulted on its debt to third-party mining contractor Core Scientific in October.

The tax picture was less rosy. Pillay found “significant tax compliance deficiencies.” This might be unsurprising, since Celsius had no tax professionals on its staff until June 2021. Even then, there was no systems created to pay use taxes and value-added taxes in a timely manner.

Pillay described widespread confusion about how applicable taxes for Celsius Mining were calculated or collected. Consequently, Celsius Mining may face tax bills upward of $20 million in the American states of Texas, Pennsylvania and Georgia, where it has mining operations. That amount may be reduced through retrospectively applied exemptions.

Celsius Network, a U.K.-based organization, is facing potential VAT liabilities. It has reserved $3.7 million for their payment.

Celsius’ tax problems were due only to lack of systems, communications and sophistication, Pillay said:

“The Examiner did not uncover any facts suggesting that Celsius or any of its business entities willfully or intentionally failed to pay its tax obligations.”

LayerZero bridging protocol denies accusation of 'critical vulnerabilities'

LayerZero bridging protocol denies accusation of 'critical vulnerabilities'

LayerZero is the protocol used by Stargate bridge, which has over $382 million locked in its smart contracts.

Summa founder James Prestwich has accused the $382 million LayerZero bridging protocol of hosting a “critical vulnerability.” 

According to a Jan. 30 post by Prestwich, this vulnerability “could result in theft of all user funds.” LayerZero CEO Bryan Pellegrino has called Prestwich’s accusation “absolutely shocking” and “wildly dishonest,” claiming that the vulnerability only applies to applications that don’t modify the default configuration.

LayerZero is a protocol used to create cross-chain blockchain bridges. Its most notable application is the Stargate Bridge, which can be used to move coins between several different blockchain networks, including Ethereum, BNB Chain (BNB), Avalanche (AVAX), Polygon (MATIC) and others. Stargate has $382 million of total value locked (TVL) in its smart contracts as of Jan. 30, according to DeFi Llama.

According to its whitepaper, the LayerZero protocol provides a trustless way of moving cryptocurrencies from one network to another. It does this by using an Oracle and Relayer to verify that coins are locked on one chain before allowing a coin to be minted on a different chain. As long as the Oracle and Relayer are independent and do not collude with each other, it should be impossible for coins to be minted on the destination chain without first being locked on the originating chain.

However, Prestwich claimed in a Jan. 30 blog post that Stargate and other bridges that use the “default configuration” for LayerZero suffer from a critical vulnerability. He claimed this vulnerability allows the LayerZero team to remotely change “the default Receiving library” or to “arbitrarily modify message payloads,” which can enable the team to bypass the Oracle and Relayer to transmit any message they want across the bridge. This implies that when LayerZero is used with its default configuration, it relies upon trust in the LayerZero team rather than in a decentralized protocol for its security.

Prestwich further claimed that Stargate suffers from this vulnerability since it uses the default configuration. To mitigate against this vulnerability, Prestwich advises app developers who use LayerZero to alter their smart contracts to change the configuration. However, he says that most LayerZero apps still use the default configuration, putting them at risk.

Related: Cross-chain interoperability remains a barrier to crypto mass adoption

LayerZero CEO Bryan Pellegrino vigorously denied Prestwich’s claims, calling them “wildly dishonest” in a Jan. 30 tweet. 

In a conversation with Cointelegraph on Jan. 31, Pellegrino stated that all validation libraries “are immutable forever, period.” The team can add new libraries but “can never change, remove, or do anything to” the ones that already exist. While the team can add new libraries to the registry, if an app has already chosen a particular library or set of libraries to be used, this cannot be changed by the LayerZero team.

Pellegrino admitted that the library an app “points to” can be changed by the LayerZero team if the app developer is using the defaults, but not if it has already moved away from the default configuration.

As for Prestwich’s claim that Stargate is at risk, Pellegrino responded by saying that the StargateDAO voted on Jan. 3 to change its library from the default to a specific one that is more gas-efficient. He expects this library change to be implemented “this week (likely today).” Once this update is made, “that will never be able to change on them unless Stargate votes and changes it themselves.”

Cross-chain bridge security has been a hot topic in the crypto community over the past few years, as millions of dollars have been lost through bridge hacks. In May, 2022, the Axie Infinity Ronin Bridge was exploited for $600 million by an attacker who stole keys to the developers’ multi-sig wallet and used it to mint coins without any backing. A similar attack occurred against the Harmony Horizon Bridge on June 24, 2022. Over $100 million was lost in the Horizon attack. The Harmony team has since relaunched the bridge using the LayerZero protocol.

Cronos Labs to accept second cohort for $100M-backed Web3 accelerator program

Cronos Labs to accept second cohort for $100M-backed Web3 accelerator program

The program aims to provide selected projects with upfront seed funding of $30,000 in addition to mentoring, masterclasses and support from industry experts.

Blockchain startup accelerator Cronos Labs has announced the opening of applications for its second cohort of the $100 million-backed Cronos Accelerator Program. 

The program, which begins on April 24, 2023, will last for 12 weeks and provide selected projects with upfront seed funding of $30,000. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to secure up to $300,000 in seed funding from Cronos Labs and receive mentoring, masterclasses and support from industry experts. The program is focused on the decentralized finance (DeFi), GameFi, SocialFi, and Infrastructure verticals and will accept applications until March 24, 2023.

The selection of projects for the second cohort of the Accelerator Program will be based on various factors, including their market potential, the leadership team's expertise, market compatibility and compatibility with the Cronos ecosystem. The main focus of the program is to encourage innovation and growth within the Cronos ecosystem in an effort to drive the broader adoption of Web3.

Ken Timsit, head of Cronos Labs, said the success of the accelerator program's inaugural cohort provided the rationale for launching a second cohort. 

The second cohort of the Accelerator Program will be guided by experienced Web3 professionals, who have designed the program to offer a full range of benefits to support founders in developing their Web3 decentralized applications.

Related: Sandeep Nailwal-backed Web3 accelerator launches demo day for first cohort

In June 2022,'s Cronos launched its $100M accelerator program for DeFi and Web3 projects, with the goal of supporting early-stage crypto projects with mentorship, funding and growth opportunities. 

Some of the companies supporting the Cronos Accelerator Program include Mechanism Capital, Spartan Labs, IOSG Ventures, OK Blockchain Capital, AP Capital, Altcoin Buzz, and Dorahacks. originally launched the Cronos blockchain in November 2021. 

Blockchain accelerator programs with a focus on Web3 development have grown over the past year. As reported by Cointelegraph, Web3 accelerator Beacon recently wrapped up its first cohort with 15 companies graduating. The second cohort plans to offer up to $8 million to 32 startups.

Bitcoin pumped 43% in January 2023! What to expect in February — Watch The Market Report live

Bitcoin pumped 43% in January 2023! What to expect in February — Watch The Market Report live

On this week’s episode of The Market Report, Cointelegraph’s resident experts discuss what the second month of 2023 could potentially hold for BTC.

This week on The Market Report, the resident experts at Cointelegraph discuss Bitcoin’s (BTC) impressive January rally and whether there are any indicators that suggest it could continue in February.

We start off this week’s show with the latest news in the markets:

Best January since 2013? 5 things to know in Bitcoin this week

After sealing its highest weekly close in almost six months, BTC/USD remains over 40% up year-to-date, with the monthly close just 48 hours away — can the gains hold? Throughout, concerns have called for an imminent come-down, and even new macro BTC price lows as disbelief swept the market. That grim turnaround has yet to come to fruition, and the coming days could yet turn out to be a crucial period for Bitcoin’s long-term trend. It’s going to be a busy week for the markets as the United States Federal Reserve will decide on its next rate hike this week, with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell giving much-anticipated commentary on the economy and policy. The European Central Bank will make the same decision a day later. Add to that the psychological pressure of the monthly close, and it is easy to see how the coming week could be more volatile in Bitcoin’s recent history. So, buckle up as our experts break down the five key things to know in Bitcoin this week.

Bitcoin premium hits 60% in Nigeria as country limits ATM cash withdrawals

At the time of writing, the price of 1 BTC on the Nigerian crypto exchange NairaEX is 17.2 million nairas, equating to a whopping $37,341. That is a hefty premium over the current market price of Bitcoin, around $22,874 at the time of writing. It comes as the Central Bank of Nigeria has continued to impose limits on ATM cash withdrawals amid an ongoing effort to accelerate its shift to a cashless society. Will this have any impact on the price of Bitcoin, considering more and more people will be flocking to purchase the top digital currency, and how will it impact the rest of the markets?

Elon Musk wants Twitter payments system built with crypto in mind

Twitter chief Elon Musk has reportedly instructed his developers to build the platform’s payments system in such a way that crypto functionality can be added in the future. The payment feature will support fiat currencies to start with but will have the capability to accommodate cryptocurrencies if the opportunity arises. For now, things are still pretty vague as to whether the system will involve blockchain or crypto technology, but people are hopeful considering the Twitter CEO has had a lot of influence in the crypto space.

Our experts cover these and other developing stories, so make sure you tune in to stay up-to-date on the latest in the world of crypto.

Next up is a segment called “Quick Crypto Tips,” which aims to give newcomers to the crypto industry quick and easy tips to get the most out of their experience. This week’s tip: How do you evaluate a crypto project?

Market expert Marcel Pechman then carefully examines the Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) markets. Are the current market conditions bullish or bearish? What is the outlook for the next few months? Pechman is here to break it down.

Lastly, we’ve got insights from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, a platform for crypto traders who want to stay one step ahead of the market. Our analysts use Cointelegraph Markets Pro to identify two altcoins that stood out this week, so make sure to tune in to find out which ones made the cut.

Do you have a question about a coin or topic not covered here? Don’t worry — join the YouTube chat room and write your questions there. The person with the most interesting comment or question will have a chance to win a one-month subscription to Markets Pro worth $100.

The Market Report streams live every Tuesday at 12:00 pm ET (5:00 pm UTC), so be sure to head on over to Cointelegraph’s YouTube page and smash those Like and Subscribe buttons for all our future videos and updates.

Justice Dept defends motion to bar SBF from accessing FTX, Alameda assets

Justice Dept defends motion to bar SBF from accessing FTX, Alameda assets

In a Jan. 2 email to FTX CEO John Ray, Sam Bankman-Fried offered to meet in New York City around the time he was to appear in court and enter the plea in his criminal case.

United States prosecutors in the criminal case against former FTX chief executive officer Sam Bankman-Fried have released text and email messages from SBF to current CEO John Ray.

In court documents for the Southern District of New York released on Jan. 30, the Justice Department responded to a motion from Bankman-Fried’s legal team attempting to remove some of the proposed modifications for his bail conditions, which included barring contact with former and current FTX employees. According to prosecutors, SBF attempted to contact both current FTX CEO John Ray and FTX US general counsel Ryne Miller.

In an email to Ray on Jan. 2, Bankman-Fried said he hadn’t gotten off “on the right foot” and offered to meet the FTX CEO in person in New York City — he was allowed to leave his parents’ California home to appear in court and enter his not-guilty plea. The message followed one from Dec. 30, in which SBF cited a Cointelegraph report in an attempt to address the status of funds tied to Alameda wallets:

“I myself can’t access the funds, but I suspect that your team likely has the ability to move and safeguard these funds [...] I would be happy to talk about the ways you likely are able to access them if helpful.”

Bankman-Fried claimed in his Jan. 12 “pre-mortem overview” of FTX’s collapse that law firm Sullivan & Crowell and the FTX US general counsel pressured him into naming Ray as his successor. Ray previously responded to claims from SBF regarding FTX as the former CEO having “no ongoing role” at the firm or its subsidiaries and “does not speak on their behalf”.

Related: SBF allegedly used FTX money to invest $400M in obscure VC firm

Filings from Jan. 27 showed Bankman-Fried attempted to reach out to Miller, allegedly to “influence” his testimony in the criminal case. This prompted prosecutors to file a motion, amending SBF’s bail conditions to prevent contact with FTX employees and using encrypted messaging applications like Signal. The Jan. 30 filing included a proposed prohibition on SBF “accessing or transferring any FTX or Alameda assets or cryptocurrency”.

Bankruptcy proceedings for FTX are moving forward in the District of Delaware, while SBF’s criminal trial is scheduled to begin in October.

Mastercard And Binance To Offer Bitcoin, Crypto Card In Brazil

Mastercard And Binance To Offer Bitcoin, Crypto Card In Brazil

The new bitcoin and crypto-backed prepaid Binance Card is coming to Brazil, one of the exchange’s largest markets.

Mastercard and Binance have announced the launch of a bitcoin and crypto backed prepaid card in Brazil, Latin America's largest economy. 

According to a blog post, the Binance Card is currently in beta testing and is expected to be widely available in the country in the next few weeks. The Binance Card is currently already available in many European countries.

The Brazilian version will "allow all new and existing Binance users in Brazil with a valid national ID to make purchases and pay bills with cryptocurrencies." It will charge a 0.9% fee per transaction involving bitcoin, according to the blog, and there will be an offered 8% in cashback on select purchases, while allowing ATM withdrawals without fees.

Brazil is one of the company’s top 10 markets, according to Binance, and the card will allow new and existing users in the country to pay bills and shop with cryptocurrencies at Mastercard merchants. The launch of the prepaid card is part of Binance's effort to "broaden the connection between traditional finance and crypto." The card has already been launched in Argentina and is being rolled out in Brazil next.

Brazil is one of the largest potential markets in the world, simply by the numbers alone. According to estimates, over 10 million of the country's population of approximately 214 million utilize cryptocurrency. Brazil has also experienced high inflation rates since the start of the pandemic similar to the United States, leaving citizens with an appetite for sound money. 

Bitcoin aims for $25K as institutional demand increases and economic data soothes investor fears

Bitcoin aims for $25K as institutional demand increases and economic data soothes investor fears

Strong corporate earnings and investors’ anticipation of a Federal Reserve pivot are helping to cement the case for risk assets like Bitcoin.

Bitcoin (BTC) price broke above $22,500 on Jan. 20 and has since been able to defend that level — accumulating 40.5% gains in the month of January. The move accompanied improvements in the stock market, which also rallied after China dropped COVID-19 restrictions after three years of strict pandemic controls.

E-commerce and entertainment companies lead as the year-to-date market performers. Warner Bros (WBD) added 54%, Shopify (SHOP) 42%, MercadoLibre (MELI) 41%, Carnival Corp (CCL) 35% and Paramount Global (PARA) managed a gain 35% so far. Corporate earnings continue to attract investors' inflow and attention after oil-producer Chevron posted the second-largest annual profit ever recorded, at $36.5 billion.

More importantly, analysts expect Apple (AAPL) to post a mind-boggling $96 billion in earnings for its 2022 on Feb. 2. The $2.3 trillion tech company results vastly surpasses the $67.4 billion profit that Microsoft (MSFT) reported in 2022. Strong earnings also help to validate the current stock valuations, but they do not necessarily guarantee a brighter future for the economy.

A more favorable scenario for risk assets came largely from a decline in leading economic indicators, including homebuilder, trucking surveys and contracting Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), according to Evercore ISI's senior managing director, Julian Emanuel.

According to the research from financial services firm Matrixport, American institutional investors represent some 85% of the recent purchasing activity. This means large players are "not giving up on crypto." The study considers the returns occurring during U.S. trading hours but expects the outperformance of altcoins relative to Bitcoin.

From one side, Bitcoin bulls have reasons to celebrate after its price recovered 49% from the $15,500 low on Nov. 21, but bears still have the upper hand on a larger time frame since BTC is down 39% in 12 months.

Let's look at Bitcoin derivatives metrics to better understand how professional traders are positioned in the current market conditions.

Asia-based stablecoin demand approaches the FOMO region

The USD Coin (USDC) premium is a good gauge of China-based crypto retail trader demand. It measures the difference between China-based peer-to-peer trades and the United States dollar.

Excessive buying demand tends to pressure the indicator above fair value at 100%, and during bearish markets, the stablecoin's market offer is flooded, causing a 4% or higher discount.

USDC peer-to-peer vs. USD/CNY. Source: OKX

Currently, the USDC premium stands at 3.7%, down from a 1% discount two weeks prior, indicating much stronger demand for stablecoin buying in Asia. The indicator shifted gears after the 9% rally on Jan. 21, causing excessive demand from retail traders.

However, one should dive into BTC futures markets to understand how professional traders are positioned.

The futures premium has held a neutral stance since Jan. 21

Retail traders usually avoid quarterly futures due to their price difference from spot markets. Meanwhile, professional traders prefer these instruments because they prevent the fluctuation of funding rates in a perpetual futures contract.

The three-month futures annualized premium should trade between +4% to +8% in healthy markets to cover costs and associated risks. Thus, when the futures trade below such a range, it shows a lack of confidence from leverage buyers — typically, a bearish indicator.

Bitcoin 3-month futures annualized premium. Source:

The chart shows positive momentum for the Bitcoin futures premium after the basis indicator broke above the 4% threshold on Jan. 21 — the highest in five months. This movement represents a drastic change from the bearish sentiment presented by the futures' discount (backwardation) present until late 2022.

Related: Bitcoin price is up, but BTC mining stocks could remain vulnerable throughout 2023

Traders are watching to see if the Fed broadcasts plans to pivot

While Bitcoin’s 40.5% gain in 2023 look promising, the fact that the Nasdaq tech-heavy index rallied 10% in the same period raises suspicions. For instance, the street consensus is a pivot on the Federal Reserve (FED) quantitative tightening policy at some point in 2023 — meaning interest rates would no longer be increased.

Bitcoin derivatives and stablecoin demand exited the panic levels but if the FED's expected soft landing takes place, the risk of a recessionary environment will limit stock markets' performance and hurt Bitcoin's “inflation protection” appeal.

Currently, the odds favor bulls as leading economic indicators show a moderate correction — enough to ease the inflation but not especially concerning as solid corporate earnings confirm.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

Philippines securities regulator seeks more authority to police the crypto industry

Philippines securities regulator seeks more authority to police the crypto industry

The Filipino securities regulator is moving to enact tighter rules on crypto, crypto companies and other financial products using blockchain technology.

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seeking to bring cryptocurrencies under its scope and beef up its authority over the local cryptocurrency industry under new draft rules.

According to a Jan. 25 report in local media outlet, the Manila Bulletin, the securities regulator put forward for public comment draft rules relating to financial products and services which also cover cryptocurrencies and digital financial products.

The SEC said in a statement the draft rules will operationalize a newly signed law and give it “rule-making, surveillance, inspection, market monitoring, and more enforcement powers.”

The guidelines expand the definition of a security to include “tokenized securities products” or other financial products using blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Other financial products, including digital financial products and services relating to those accessed and delivered through digital channels along with their providers, will also come under the SEC’s remit.

The SEC Philippines headquarters building in Makati, inside the Metro Manila region. Image: SEC

The ability to enforce securities regulations is similarly expanded. The SEC would be able to restrict service providers from collecting excessive interest, fees, or charges.

The regulator would also have the power to disqualify or suspend directors, executives or any other employee found to be in violation of the laws. It could also suspend a firm's entire operation.

Local laws allow the SEC to create its own rules for applying legislation in its jurisdiction, the central bank of the Philippines and the country’s insurance regulator is also allowed to create rules to supplement related laws.

Related: Navigating the world of crypto: Tips for avoiding scams

The latest development marks a continuation of the regulator's heavy crackdown on cryptocurrencies.

In late December 2022, the SEC warned the public against using unregistered exchanges that were operating within the country claiming a number of exchanges were “unlawfully allowing” Filipinos to access their platforms.

In August 2022, the Philippine central bank said it was taking a three-year-long break from accepting new virtual asset service provider (VASP) applications, with the process expected to be reopened on Sept. 1, 2025.

Bitcoin premium hits 60% in Nigeria as it limits ATM cash withdrawals

Bitcoin premium hits 60% in Nigeria as it limits ATM cash withdrawals

The price of one Bitcoin (BTC) in Nigeria can cost upwards of $38,000.

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) in Nigeria has skyrocketed to well above market levels amid continued efforts by the central bank to push its citizens into digitalized cash.

At the time of writing, the price of 1 BTC on Nigerian crypto exchange NairaEX is currently 17.8 million Naira, equating to a whopping $38,792.

This represents more than a 60% premium over the current market price of Bitcoin, which is around $23,700 at the time of writing.

It comes as the Central Bank of Nigeria has continued to impose limits on ATM cash withdrawals amid an ongoing effort to accelerate its shift to a cashless society.

Earlier this month, the central bank imposed a limit on cash withdrawals following a December announcement.

As of Jan. 9, citizens were only allowed to withdraw a maximum of 20,000 NGN (around $43.50) from cash machines (ATMs) per day with a limit of 100,000 NGN (roughly $217).

The move also came just days before new Naira banknotes went into circulation with the aim of curbing inflation and money laundering. The central bank imposed a deadline of Jan. 24 for Nigerians to exchange their old higher denomination bank notes for the new currency.

However, people suffered long queues amid complaints that there was insufficient time to meet the deadline. The central bank has now extended that deadline to Feb. 10 according to reports on Jan. 29.

It is not the first time the Bitcoin premium has surged in Nigeria. In February 2021, the central bank banned regulated financial institutions from providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. This drove the BTC premium as high as 36% at the time.

Related: Nigeria set to pass bill recognizing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies

The recent interest in Bitcoin has also seen Nigeria becoming the leading country for Bitcoin web searches, according to Google Trends.

Additionally, on Jan. 26 Reuters reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria launched a domestic card scheme to rival foreign cards like MasterCard and Visa.

The "AfriGo" card scheme was designed to give Nigerians better access to bank card services and circumvent often expensive foreign card fees and exchange costs.

Aussie regulator flagged concerns about FTX months before collapse: Report

Aussie regulator flagged concerns about FTX months before collapse: Report

Australia’s financial regulator raised concerns about FTX Australia not long after it began operations in March 2022, according to documents.

Australia’s financial regulator reportedly raised concerns over FTX’s local Australian subsidiary as much as eight months before the exchange met its untimely end in November.

According to documents obtained by Guardian Australia, officers of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) were concerned about the way in which FTX Australia was operating as it was able to obtain a license in the country through a company takeover.

As per a previous report from Cointelegraph, FTX acquired its Australian financial services license (AFSL) by taking over financial institution IFS Markets in December 2021 before opening up for business months later in March 2022.

This is allowed FTX Australia to effectively sidestep the same level of scrutiny that is usually applied to new AFSL licensees, according to its ASIC chief Joe Longo.

As per newly obtained documents, the regulator reportedly issued a Sect 912C notice to FTX the same month it began operating, which required the crypto exchange to provide documents about its operations for ASIC to assess if it met AFSL license conditions.

With the notice, ASIC can direct the licensee to provide documents specifying what financial services they provide, the financial services business carried on by the licensee and to determine if the licensee satisfies the "fit and proper person test."

A briefing document obtained by the outlet has also confirmed that in the months between the initial concern and FTX collapsing on Nov. 11, the regulator had put the exchange under “surveillance activity” and a total of three notices were issued to FTX.

The document schedule also reveals that the regulator was still concerned about FTXs operations as late as October 2022.

Cointelegraph reached out to ASIC for a comment but did not receive a response before publication.

Related: ASIC fires industry warning shot as it sues BPS Financial over crypto promo

FTX Australia was one of more than 130 FTX-linked companies that halted operations after its parent company FTX went into bankruptcy proceedings on Nov. 11, 2022.

The Australian subsidiary of FTX had its financial license suspended on Nov. 16, 2022, and has gone into voluntary administration.

It's estimated around 30,000 Australian customers and 132 companies are owed money or crypto from the exchange.

Bitcoin stays out of fear for 11 straight days as price tips near 24K

Bitcoin stays out of fear for 11 straight days as price tips near 24K

Bitcoin's huge price surge in January has meant that 64% of Bitcoin investors are in profit, according to data from IntoTheBlock.

Bitcoin (BTC) has just clocked its 11th consecutive day outside the “Fear” zone in the Crypto Fear and Greed Index, cementing its longest streak out of fear since March 2022.

It comes as Bitcoin hit $23,955 at 8:10 pm UTC time on Jan. 29, becoming this year’s newest all-time high. Though it has since come back down slightly to $23,687 at the time of writing.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin sentiment is currently sitting firmly in the “Greed” zone with a score of 61, which hasn’t been seen since the height of the bull run around Nov. 16, 2021, when the price was about $65,000.

Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index over the last 12 months. Source: Crypto Fear and Greed Index.

However, despite Bitcoin’s strong resurgence in recent weeks, market participants continue to debate whether the recent price surge is part of a bull trap or whether there is a real chance for a bull run.

Regardless, the current rally has pushed a lot more BTC holders back into the green.

According to data from blockchain intelligence platform IntoTheBlock, 64% of Bitcoin investors are now in profit.

Those who first bought BTC back in 2019 are now — on average — back in profit too, according to on-chain analytics platform Glassnode.

The average first time buy price for BTC investors in 2019 was $21,800, which means those investors are, on average, up about 9% with today’s current price of $23,687.

Related: Bitcoin eyes $25K as BTC price nears best weekly close in 5 months

Meanwhile, a Jan. 29 poll from crypto market platform CoinGecko has revealed that 57.7% of 3,725 voters believe BTC will exceed $25,000 this week, while only 21.2% of voters believe BTC is primed for a pullback below $22,000.

A CoinGecko poll on BTC price prediction for the upcoming week. Source: CoinGecko.

Founder and CEO of Vailshire Capital Dr. Jeff Ross also provided a technical analysis of his own on Jan. 29, suggesting that a price surge towards $25,000 in the short term may be on the cards:

Other analysts have called for excited investors to taper some of their expectations, however.

Head analyst Joe Burnett of Bitcoin mining company Blockware told his 43,900 Twitter followers on Jan. 29 that BTC won’t reach and surpass its all time high (ATH) of $69,000 until after the next Bitcoin halving event, which is expected to take place in March of 2024:

Macroeconomist and investment adviser Lyn Alden also recently told Cointelegraph that there may be “considerable danger ahead” with potentially risky liquidity conditions expected to shake the market in the second half of 2023.

Panama's Supreme Court to rule on cryptocurrency legislation

Panama's Supreme Court to rule on cryptocurrency legislation

The high court will now decide whether to declare the 'crypto bill' unenforceable or to approve it with modifications.

Panama's crypto bill saga has reached a new chapter, with the country's Supreme Court deciding the future of the local crypto industry.

Panama's President Laurentino Cortizo sent on Jan. 26 the Bill No. 697, dubbed the "crypto bill," to the high court for review and approval, after objecting to the legislation, claiming it violated the constitution's core principles and was unenforceable.

The Supreme Court must now decide whether to declare the legislation unenforceable or to approve it with modifications.

According to an official statement, the government considers articles 34 and 36 of the bill unenforceable, since they violate the state's separation of powers and establish administrative structures within the government.

President Cortizo also argued that the bill had been approved through an inadequate procedure, following his partial veto of the legislation in June. At the time, the president considered the bill needed more work to comply with new regulations recommended by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) outlining “fiscal transparency and prevention of money laundering.”

Related: The 5 most important regulatory developments for crypto in 2022

A dispute between Panama's congress and the government has centered on this bill. In April 2022, Panama lawmakers passed the legislative proposal aiming to regulate cryptocurrencies in the country, including Bitcoin. President Cortizo, however, warned a few weeks later that he wouldn’t sign itl unless it included additional Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules.

The bill was introduced in September 2021 to the National Assembly of Panama, aiming to make the country “compatible with the digital economy, blockchain, crypto assets and the internet.” It was moved out of the Economic Affairs Committee on April 21 before being approved by the local congress.

Based on the legislation, Panamanians “may freely agree on the use of crypto assets, including without limitation Bitcoin and Ethereum” as an alternative payment for “any civil or commercial operation.”

Furthermore, the bill would regulate the tokenization of precious metals and the issuance of digital value. Digitization of identity using blockchain or distributed ledger technology would also be explored by the government’s innovation authority.

LTC, AVAX, APT and FTM prepare to rally as Bitcoin price targets $24K

LTC, AVAX, APT and FTM prepare to rally as Bitcoin price targets $24K

Bitcoin bulls look to push BTC price to $24,000 and in doing so, LTC, AVAX, APT and FTM could extend their monthly gains.

Bitcoin (BTC) has rallied nearly 40% so far in January, which is the best start to the year since 2013. The sharp up-move has turned several on-chain signals bullish, according to on-chain analyst Cole Garner.

Usually, a sharp recovery from the market lows, driven by the leader, is a sign that strong hands may be buying aggressively. That could be because traders believe the selling may have been overdone in the near term or they found the valuation to be attractive.

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

After the initial runup, a swift correction could be expected, which will shake out the weak hands. The next fall will also confirm whether Bitcoin has formed a bottom or not. If the low is confirmed, several altcoins may start to outperform Bitcoin in the near term.

Which altcoins are showing promise in the near term? Let’s study the charts of Bitcoin and select altcoins to see which could extend their up-move in the next few days.


Bitcoin has been trading above $22,800 since Jan. 25, which suggests that bulls are trying to flip the level into support.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The upsloping 20-day exponential moving average ($21,558) indicates that bulls are in command but the relative strength index (RSI) in the overbought territory suggests that the rally may be overextended in the near term.

If buyers kick the price above $23,816, the BTC/USDT pair could start its northward march toward $25,211. This level may act as a formidable resistance.

On the downside, the 20-day EMA is an important level for the bulls to defend because if it cracks, the pair may fall to the psychological support at $20,000.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The RSI on the 4-hour chart is forming a negative divergence indicating that the buyers may be losing their grip. If bulls want to assert their dominance, they will have to push the price above the $23,816 resistance. That could start the next leg of the up-move.

Conversely, if the price turns down from the overhead resistance, the bears will try to yank the pair below the moving averages. There is a minor support at $22,715 but if this level collapses, the pair could retest $21,480.


Litecoin (LTC) has been in a strong uptrend for the past several days. After a brief consolidation, buyers propelled the price above the overhead resistance of $92, indicating that the up-move remains intact.

LTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The LTC/USDT pair could rally to the psychological level of $100 where the bears may again try to erect a roadblock. If bulls do not give up much ground from this level, the pair may extend its journey to $107. The upsloping 20-day EMA ($86) and the RSI near the overbought territory indicate advantage to buyers.

This positive view could invalidate if the price turns down and slips below the 20-day EMA. The pair could then drop to $81 and later to $75.

LTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The break and close above the $92 level suggest that the consolidation resolved in favor of the buyers. If bulls sustain the price above $92, the pair could rise toward the pattern target of $98.

The bears are likely to have other plans. They will try to drag the price below the breakout level of $92 and trap the aggressive bulls. If they manage to do that, the pair could fall to $86. This is an important level for the bulls to defend because a break below it could shift the advantage in favor of the bears.


Avalanche (AVAX) surged above the resistance line on Jan. 27 and reached the overhead barrier at $22 on Jan. 28.

AVAX/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bears are trying to stall the recovery at $22 but the bulls do not seem to be in a hurry to book profits. This increases the likelihood of a break above the overhead hurdle. If that happens, the AVAX/USDT pair could accelerate toward $30. There is a minor resistance at $24 but it is likely to be scaled.

Another possibility is that the price turns down and retests the resistance line. If the price rebounds off this level, it will suggest that the bulls have flipped it into support. That could enhance the prospects of a break above $22. The bears may gain the upper hand if the price dives below the 20-day EMA ($17).

AVAX/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the pair has pulled back near the 20-EMA. If the price jumps from the current level, the bulls will again attempt to thrust the pair above the overhead obstacle at $22. If this level is scaled, the pair could rally to $24.

The first sign of weakness will be a break and close below the 20-EMA. That could present an opportunity for the bears to make a comeback. The sellers could gain the upper hand if they pull and sustain the pair below the resistance line.

Related: South Korea to deploy cryptocurrency tracking system in 2023


Aptos (APT) has been having a dream run in the past few days. Usually, when an asset picks up momentum, it continues to move in the same direction for some time.

APT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The APT/USDT pair turned down from $20.40 on Jan. 26 but the bulls are trying to arrest the pullback at $16.62. The shallow correction shows that every minor dip is being purchased by the bulls. Buyers will try to drive the price above $20.40 and start the next leg of the uptrend. The pair could then soar to $24.

The risk to this assumption is that the RSI has been in the overbought territory for the past few days. This increases the risk of a short-term correction. If the price turns down and plummets below $16.60, the pair could slide to $14.57 and then to the 20-day EMA ($12.23).

APT/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows a negative divergence forming on the RSI. If the price breaks below the 20-EMA, the pair could test the 50-SMA. This is an important support to monitor because if it cracks, the pair could fall to $12.

Contrarily, if the price turns up and breaks above $20.40, it will indicate that bulls have reasserted their supremacy. That may invalidate the negative divergence developing on the RSI and resume the uptrend.


Fantom (FTM) has been in a stupendous run since breaking above the downtrend line. The sharp rally of the past few days suggests aggressive buying by the bulls.

FTM/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The indicators signal that bulls are firmly in control. During strong up-moves, the corrections are short-lived as bulls buy on every minor dip. The bears are trying to stall the up-move near the psychological resistance at $0.50 but if bulls pierce this level, the FTM/USDT pair could soar to $0.56 and then to $0.63.

Sometimes, vertical rallies are followed by sharp declines. Therefore, traders must be careful as a break and close below $0.43 could sink the pair to the 20-day EMA ($0.37). This is the key level to watch out for on the downside because a break below it could signal that the uptrend may have ended in the near term.

FTM/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The pair turned down from the overhead resistance at $0.50 but found support at the 20-EMA. This indicates that the sentiment remains positive and traders are buying the dips. The bulls will again attempt to clear the overhead hurdle at $0.50 and resume the up-move.

The bears may have other plans as they will try to pull the price below the 20-EMA. This is an important level to keep an eye on in the short term as a break below it could open the doors for a possible drop to the 50-SMA. If this level also cracks, the next stop could be $0.36.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

North Korean hackers launder $27M ETH from Harmony Bridge attack

North Korean hackers launder $27M ETH from Harmony Bridge attack

Three main addresses carried out transactions worth $27.18 million to six crypto exchanges.

North Korean exploiters behind the Harmony Bridge attack continue to launder the funds stolen in June 2022. According to on-chain data revealed on Jan. 28 by blockchain sleuth ZachXBT, the perpetrators moved another $27.18 million in Ethereum (ETH) over the weekend.

The tokens were transferred to six different crypto exchanges, noted ZachXBT in a Twitter thread, without disclosing which platforms had received the tokens. Three main addresses carried out the transactions.

According to ZachXBT, exchanges were notified about the funds transfer and part of the stolen assets were frozen. The movements made by the exploiters to launder the money were very similar to those taken on Jan. 13, when over $60 million was laundered, noted the crypto detective.

The funds were moved a few days after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirmed the Lazarus Group and APT38 as the criminals behind the $100 million hack. In a statement, the FBI noted that “through our investigation, we were able to confirm that the Lazarus Group and APT38, cyber actors associated with the DPRK, are responsible for the theft of $100 million of virtual currency from Harmony’s Horizon bridge.”

Related: ‘Nobody is holding them back’ — North Korean cyber-attack threat rises

The Harmony Bridge facilitates transfer between Harmony and the Ethereum network, Binance Chain and Bitcoin. A number of tokens worth about $100 million were stolen from the platform on Jun. 23.

Following the exploit, 85,700 Ether was processed through the Tornado Cash mixer and deposited at multiple addresses. On Jan. 13, the hackers started shifting around $60 million worth of the stolen funds via the Ethereum-based privacy protocol RAILGUN. According to an analysis from crypto tracking platform MistTrack, 350 addresses have been associated with the attack through many exchanges in an attempt to avoid identification.

Lazarus is a well-known hacking syndicate that has been implicated in a number of key crypto industry breaches, including the $600 million Ronin Bridge hack last March.

Bitcoin eyes $25K as BTC price nears best weekly close in 5 months

Bitcoin eyes $25K as BTC price nears best weekly close in 5 months

Bitcoin bulls have everything to play for as the weekly and monthly closes decide what could be Bitcoin's best January in ten years.

Bitcoin (BTC) spiked into key liquidity for a third time into Jan. 29 as the weekly and monthly closes loomed.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Trader on Bitcoin: $25,000 "in sight"

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD briefly hitting $24,498 on Bitstamp overnight.

The move, although short lived, marked the pair's third such attempt to take sell-side liquidity above $23,400 in recent days.

In each instance, bulls appeared to lack momentum to reclaim new support levels, and at the time of writing, the status quo remained the same, with Bitcoin trading just below liquidity at $23,250.

BTC/USD order book data (Binance). Source: Material Indicators/ Twitter

Previous order book data from Binance uploaded to Twitter by monitoring resource Material Indicators demonstrated the firepower needed to neutralize bears.

As of Jan. 27, resistance was stacked at $23,200, $24,500 and $25,000, with the latter nonetheless still on traders' radar as a potential next target.

"$25,000 target in sight," a confident Crypto Tony told Twitter followers in part of comments on the day.

BTC/USD annotated chart. Source: Crypto Tony/ Twitter

Crypto Tony additionally expected a move higher on altcoins, with the overall crypto market cap set for a retest of resistance above the $1 trillion mark.

"I am still looking for a decent move up over the next few weeks, BUT Be cautious when we begin tapping the $1.2 - $1.33 trillion market cap resistance level. This is a significant level and I expect strong resistance here," he wrote on Jan. 28.

Total crypto market cap annotated chart. Source: Crypto Tony/ Twitter

Like others, however, Crypto Tony remained cautious on longer timeframes, keeping the door open for a new macro low to appear on Bitcoin and altcoins at some point in 2023. 

Among them is fellow commentator Il Capo of Crypto, who in an update on the day avoided technical analysis to state that he remained "short and strong" BTC.

"Interesting week ahead," he added.

Best January in a decade?

At current prices, BTC/USD looked set to close the week at its highest levels since mid-August.

Related: Bitcoin ‘so bullish’ at $23K as analyst reveals new BTC price metrics

With the ramifications of the FTX meltdown absent from the charts, January gains stood at 39.8% at the time of writing, Bitcoin's most profitable January since 2013.

Bitcoin monthly returns data (screenshot). Source: Coinglass

In addition to the monthly close, the coming week will see fresh potential macroeconomic triggers from the United States as the Federal Reserve decides on its latest interest rate hike.

This and more will feature in the forthcoming edition of the Cointelegraph Markets newsletter, released Jan. 30. Sign up to receive it free below.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

South Korea to deploy cryptocurrency tracking system in 2023

South Korea to deploy cryptocurrency tracking system in 2023

The ‘Virtual Currency Tracking System’ will be used to monitor transaction history, extract information related to transactions and check the source of funds before and after remittance.

The Ministry of Justice in South Korea announced plans to introduce a crypto tracking system to counter money laundering initiatives and recover funds linked to criminal activities.

The ‘Virtual Currency Tracking System’ will be used to monitor transaction history, extract information related to transactions and check the source of funds before and after remittance, according to local media outlet khgames.

While the system is slated to be deployed in the first half of 2023, the South Korean ministry shared plans to develop an independent tracking and analysis system in the second half of the year. A rough translation of the ministry’s statement reads:

“In response to the sophistication of crime, we will improve the forensic infrastructure (infrastructure). We will build a criminal justice system that meets international standards (global standards).”

The South Korean police previously established an agreement with five local crypto exchanges to cooperate in criminal investigations — to create a safe trading environment for crypto investors ultimately.

Related: South Korean prosecutors request arrest warrant for Bithumb owner: Report

The South Korean Supreme Court ruled that crypto exchange Bithumb must pay damages to investors over a 1.5-hour service outage on Nov. 12, 2017.

The finalized ruling from the Supreme Court ordered damages ranging from as little as $6 to around $6,400 be paid to the 132 investors involved.

“The burden or the cost of technological failures should be shouldered by the service operator, not [the] service users who pay commission for the service,” the court stated.

Yuga Labs co-founder to take leave of absence due to health reasons

Yuga Labs co-founder to take leave of absence due to health reasons

Aronow said he will still be contributing as a board member and strategic advisor. However, his priority will be to get the best medical treatment he can to make a full recovery.

Nonfungible token (NFT) entrepreneur Wylie Aronow of Yuga Labs — the team behind Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and CryptoPunks — will be taking a leave of absence from the office to manage a host of heart failure symptoms.

In a Jan. 28 Twitter post to his 144,900 followers, Aronow said the tough decision to step back came on the back of a heart failure diagnosis after experiencing a myriad of symptoms over the last few months.

The NFT entrepreneur explained that while his "mild" symptoms still enable him to live a “mostly normal life,” his condition has rapidly accelerated to the point where he had no other option but to  deprioritize his work.

The Yuga Labs co-founder didn’t put a date on when he would hope to make a full recovery and return to day-to-day duties.

However, Aranow confirmed that he will be sticking around as a board member and strategic advisor.

This isn’t the first medical diagnosis that has kept Aranow out of work either.

Aranow revealed that he dealt with a chronic illness in his twenties which held him back from progressing in his career. So when he finally recovered and co-founded Yuga Labs, there was no looking back:

“When I recovered and we started Yuga, I didn’t want to waste a second chance at life. I pushed myself way past my limits. I worked 12 hours a day, nearly every day. I should have taken the advice from everyone around me and sought balance.”

“My goals now are to get the best medical treatment I can and heal,” he added.

Related: BuzzFeed backlash after ‘doxxing’ of Bored Ape Yacht Club founders

Aronow also expressed his excitement to soon work alongside the firm’s new CEO, Daniel Alegre, the former president and chief operating officer of Activision Blizzard.

While Aronow did not provide any detail on what he would be doing as strategic advisor, Aronow recently announced on Nov. 8 that he would propose a new model for NFT creator royalties.

Aronow co-founded Yuga Labs alongside Greg Solano in February 2021.

Among the most notable NFTs developed by the company are CryptoPunks, BAYC, MeeBits and Othersidemeta.