Around the Blockchain with Huobi Learn (20 Jan 2022)

Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets. CEO Kris Marszalek said the Singapore-based exchange has not seen any “outreach” from regulators after a cybersecurity breach of around 400 customer accounts earlier this week, but that all affected customers have been reimbursed. During an online interview at Bloomberg’s Year Ahead virtual conference, he said he was ready to provide relevant information should any regulator direct inquiries his way. Currently, the exact value of the affected cryptocurrencies is unknown, though it is estimated to be in the millions. Marszalek added that intends to release more information via a blog post soon.
China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) now has 261 million unique users, according to People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) head of financial markets, Zou Lan. Transactions worth $13.78 billion have been made using the digital yuan and over 8 million merchants now accept e-CNY. This comes after PBOC had been actively testing its Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) in several Chinese cities over the last two years by giving residents digital yuan through lotteries. Since then, the digital yuan wallet app has become one of China’s fastest growing apps based on the number of downloads.
Blockchain data analytics firm Chainalysis said Indians visited crypto scam websites almost 10 million times last year, with the top crypto scam sites alone visited 4.6 million times by Indian users. This was a drop, however, from 2020, when Indian users visited such sites 17.8 million times. The top crypto scam sites visited by Indians in 2021 were,,, and
Google has hired former PayPal executive Arnold Goldberg to run Google Pay as part of its plans to expand into the crypto space. Google’s president of commerce Bill Ready said the company will focus more on being a “comprehensive digital wallet” that includes airline passes, digital tickets and vaccine passports. He added that, after having partnered with crypto companies (including Gemini, Coinbase and Bakkt) throughout 2021, Google wants to pursue more of such partnerships in 2022. After this latest announcement, Coinmarketcap reported that the price of BTC hit a high of $42,478 before dropping back down to $41,887.
According to UK-based digital asset broker GlobalBlock analyst Marcus Sotiriou, large tech companies striving to make mining more accessible and efficient will likely help bitcoin prices by spurring mass adoption. For instance, Intel plans to unveil an “ultra low-voltage bitcoin mining ASIC” (essentially a more efficient specialized mining computer), while payments giant Block is building an open-source bitcoin mining system to make mining “more distributed and efficient”. Sotiriou said that if successful, this would “dramatically increase bitcoin’s use case as a means of exchange rather than just a store of value” and lead to “significantly more adoption and hence, help bitcoin reach price figures of over $100,000” from its current price of near $42,000.
Show me the money
According to data from Huobi Global, BTC has continued its slow downward movement overnight to around 41,700 currently, with weakened volume. Likewise, ETH declined slightly overnight to reach approximately 3,110, with volume enlarging somewhat before weakening. Daily charts show signs of a downward trend for ETH, while data from Huobi Futures show a slight increase in the open interest (OI) of both BTC and ETH futures.
A poor start to 2022 has seen BTC, ETH and crypto prices struggling, with BTC having lost 40% of its value since its Nov peak. While still not out of the woods, ETH, Solana (SOL) and Cardano (ADA) have held on better to earlier gains, reducing BTC’s dominance of the $2 trillion crypto market to just 40% from over 60% within a year. But now, JPMorgan has now warned that ETH’s high transaction fees and network congestion issues may give rival Solana a bigger slice of the NFT pie, which could prove to be a “problem for Ethereum’s valuation”.
Still, some analysts believe there is potential for a short-term BTC price bounce. Trovio Capital Management’s head of trading and research, Will Hamilton, said investors and traders “appear to be digesting the macro possibilities within this new inflationary regime markets have entered, alongside an increasingly hawkish Federal Reserve”. He added that a shift in focus towards out-performing mid-cap assets (such as smart contract platform Fantom and crypto exchange FTX’s token FTT) has led to lower demand for BTC.
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