April Fools, Celebrity Scams, & Manipulated Markets: Bad Crypto News of the Week

Bitcoin seems to be settling happily above $6,000 and is currently just north of $6,500 again. Let’s hope we’ve seen the last of those $5,000 movements and we’re ready for a steady climb back to double figures before the halving in mid-May. It’s getting closer.

In the meantime, the Federal Reserve now appears to have merged into the federal government. An opinion piece in Bloomberg has described how an alphabet soup of financial programs intended to help the economy through the current crisis is allowing the government to buy up securities through the Fed. The result could allow the government to manipulate markets. That’s something to look forward to when this is all over.

House Democrats have a better role in mind for the Fed. They want it to distribute the one-time payments of up to $1,200 through digital wallets. The World Health Organization also sees a role for blockchain technology in battling the coronavirus. It’s using a distributed ledger built on top of Hyperledger Fabric to help spot carriers and new hotspots.

But maybe we should all be like Roger Ver. He’s been kicking back and tweeting comparisons of COVID-19 fatalities to road accident deaths and other illnesses such as malaria and flu. He’s even found a friend in John McAfee. On the other hand, Bitcoin trading means never having to stand in line at the bank.

Binance looks set to buy CoinmarketCap in a deal that could be worth up to $400 million. Maybe it’s got something to do with CoinmarketCap’s new crypto-leader. On April 1, the Toilet Paper Token was top of the charts, with a massive trading volume and a circulating supply that was “out of stock.” This really is one time when paper money is more useful than digital coins.

Looking abroad, what happens when you try to teach Kenyans about Bitcoin? Steven Msoh found hope in a place that’s already one of the world’s leading users of digital money. Students in Malta have built a Dapp for their elections. Russia, however, has postponed its cryptocurrency law, citing the coronavirus as the reason for the delay. All legislation in Russia has slowed. The law would have defined cryptocurrencies, prohibited the use of digital coins as payment, and issued digital assets. But it wouldn’t harm the work of exchanges.

France is doing better. The country’s central bank is planning to run some experiments using a digital euro in transactions. The tests, the bank says, will not be long-term and they won’t be applied on a wide scale. And in Svalbard, Norway, the Bitcoin codebase is being put on ice. Or rather, it’s being put under ice. A copy of the code will join other open source software stored on film in a disused arctic mine as part of the Github Archive Program. Even code now is going into quarantine.

The good news is that the crisis has made the crypto market look sane in comparison to the N95 mask market. Both have huge international demand and plenty of shenanigans.

Also up to shenanigans is a scammer who’s been using the identity of French soccer player, Kylian Mbappé, in an allegedly fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme. And Maze, a group of hackers, has deployed ransomware against insurance firm, Chubb. That’s a reminder, as Bitcoin continues its rise, to keep your keys safe—and to stay safe yourself too.

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Joel Comm is an internet pioneer, New York Times best-selling author, futurist speaker and co-host of The Bad Crypto Podcast. That’s a fancy way of saying he writes words, says things and loves to play with cryptos.

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