Crypto news roundup: Bitcoin drops, Kosovo bans mining, and Konami announces NFTs

The new year has just started and the crypto market is already in the headlines.

From a surprising spiral to more mining crackdowns and more ambitious plans for video game NFTs, there is never a dull moment in the world of cryptocurrencies.

Here is everything you need to know.

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Kosovo bans cryptocurrency mining

The Kosovo government has banned crypto mining to conserve electricity use, as the state is hit by one of the worst energy crises of the decade.

Kosovo used to have some of the cheapest energy prices in Europe, but the closure of its largest coal-fired power plant last month meant the government was forced to import more expensive electricity.

In response, Kosovo announced a 60-day state of emergency starting in December, allowing them to introduce power outages and impose stricter energy use rules.

This includes a total ban on cryptocurrency mining. The government is using the security service to locate and clamp down on anyone found mining.

Government-imposed blackouts have sparked protests and citizens have called for the resignation of Economy Minister Artane Rizvanolli.

The energy crisis has also sparked protests in Kazakhstan, leading to violent clashes and the shutdown of the internet. This is sure to shake up the cryptocurrency market, as Kazakhstan owns 18% of the world’s bitcoin mining.

Bitcoin falls to the lowest price since September

The value of Bitcoin has taken a dramatic drop after a stable start to the year. It is currently worth just £ 30,630, which is a 40 percent drop from its all-time high in November, when it hit a peak of $ 69,000.

Many analysts believe that Bitcoin will hit $ 100,000 in 2022, and this recent drop will not have affected your bullish sentiment on crypto. The president of El Salvador and founder of crypto platform Nexo recently endorsed the six-figure prediction.

Cryptocurrency Market Falls

Bitcoin’s fall from grace is reflected throughout the crypto market which, after a stable start to 2022, has become incredibly unstable. Each of the top 15 coins has fallen in the last week, according to CoinMarketDrop. Ethereum and Shiba Inu have lost more than 15%, while Solana has taken an even bigger hit, losing 22.10% of its value.

The free fall was sparked by news that the US Federal Reserve is considering raising interest rates and removing the stimulus. This makes investors unwilling to invest.

Walid Koudmani, Financial Brokerage Market Analyst XTB , predicts that “as the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry matures, more projects are likely to move away from relying on Bitcoins price action and become able to fend for themselves as investors can see more and more valuable investment opportunities. investment of speculative assets “.

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Cryptocurrency criminals stole $ 14 billion in 2021

Cryptocurrency-related crime hit an all-time high in 2021, blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis reported. The data, from its annual Crypto Crime report, shows that criminals stole around $ 14 billion in digital currencies through scams, ransomware, and theft.

This is double the amount of $ 7.8 billion that was stolen in 2020 and deposited into accounts with suspicious links.

To put how much money is flowing through the market into perspective, this $ 14 billion loss represents just 0.15% of the $ 15.8 trillion in crypto transactions recorded in 2021.

GameStop plans to enter the NFT and cryptocurrency market

Gaming retailer GameStop is reportedly launching a cryptocurrency division, with plans to build a market for non-fungible tokens and cryptocurrency partnerships.

GameStop’s business has been hit hard by the rise in digital downloads, so it makes sense that they want to try their luck in these highly publicized industries. The stock market reacted well to the news and its shares were up 27 percent.

The Wall Street Journal report details that GameStop has hired 20 new recruits to lead the market, where people can buy, sell and trade NFTs and virtual game items. Sources claim that it will launch in late 2022.

NFT markets can work (OpenSea is currently valued at $ 13.3 billion), but consumers have largely reacted negatively to in-game NFTs.

However, it won’t stop developers from trying….

Konami, the video game developers, are launching NFT

While Ubisoft’s NFT announcement fell apart spectacularly, the developers will not stop trying to make gaming NFTs popular.

Japanese publisher Konami has announced plans for a nostalgic “initiative to create NFT art”. The series begins with a series of Ethereum NFTs based on celebrating the 35th anniversary of their Castlevania franchise.

All 14 Castlevania NFTs, based on visuals, music and artwork from the classic game, will be available starting January 12 via OpenSea.

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