Pay in Bitcoin in Argentina 🇦🇷
Argentina embraces crypto, and contracts in Bitcoin are now legal. Solana skyrockets, hits $99. Anthropic seeks $750 million in funding. Scammers steal $59 million in crypto through Google Ads.
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Argentina's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Diana Mondino, has some exciting news: You can now pay your contracts in Bitcoin.
Argentina's new President, Javier Milei, is a crypto fan.
He has unveiled an ambitious plan to deregulate Argentina's economy, and crypto enthusiasts have reason to celebrate.
Read this: Para Winners Only 🍻
And now this marks his first move.
"We ratify and confirm that in Argentina, contracts can be agreed in Bitcoin." - Diana Mondino.
Argentina is not limiting itself to just Bitcoin; other cryptocurrencies and even in-kind payment methods, like litres of milk, are also included in this groundbreaking ratification.
Currency Freedom: Argentinians will now enjoy greater autonomy when it comes to selecting the currency of their choice. While foreign currencies are a primary focus, the decree does not explicitly exclude crypto, providing individuals with a wider spectrum of payment options.
Article 1196's Clout: One of the key provisions of the decree, Article 1196, grants parties the liberty to specify the currency amounts and types used for bonds or security deposits, along with the method for reimbursement upon the lease's conclusion.
Fighting Inflation with Crypto
One of the primary reasons behind this historic move is Argentina's ongoing battle with crippling inflation, currently at a staggering 160%.
President Milei is determined to tackle this issue head-on with his "chainsaw" plan. This plan comprises over 300 measures targeting various sectors of the economy, from real estate to winemaking and mining.
It also includes the privatisation of national companies YPF and Aerolíneas Argentinas.
Mondino is emerging as one of the most vocal pro-crypto members of Milei's cabinet, and she's consistently supported Bitcoin.
In August, she boldly declared this
Her vision is clear: freedom of currencies. If you want to make a contract in Bitcoin, do it.
While President Milei has referred to Bitcoin as a "natural reaction against the central bank scammers," he has not laid out specific plans for regulating or adopting it across Argentina.
Next up, El Salvador
El Salvador grants citizenship to Bitcoin donors.
El Salvador's Legislative Assembly has passed a migration law that grants expedited citizenship to foreigners who donate Bitcoin to support the country's social and economic development initiatives.
There is no specified minimum donation requirement, making this opportunity accessible to a wide range of potential citizens.
The Bitcoin Freedom Visa: El Salvador recently introduced the Bitcoin "Freedom Visa," allowing foreigners to obtain residency by investing $1 million in either Bitcoin (BTC) or Tether (USDT).
Read this: Free Money. Freedom Visa 🎓
TTD SOL 📶
While Bitcoin and Ethereum maintain relative stability, Solana (SOL) and tokens within its ecosystem defy the trend, surging in value.
Solana's Spectacular Rise
Solana (SOL) gained 12% on December 21 and reached a trading price of over $89, as reported by CoinGecko.
The price hit $99 high on Dec 22. Levels last seen in May 2022.
Recently, SOL overtook XRP to become the fifth-largest crypto by market capitalisation. Over the past week, SOL has soared by nearly 23.2%.
Why is this happening?
Meme Coin Mania Boosts Solana DeFi Volume Past Ethereum
Solana's decentralised exchanges (DEXs) have achieved a remarkable feat. For the first time, DEX transaction volume on Solana has outpaced that of Ethereum in the past week.
Stats Speak: Over the last seven days, Solana's DEX volume skyrocketed to $10.123 billion, as reported by Defi Llama. During the same period, Ethereum's DEXs recorded transactions worth $8.818 billion.
Read this: Saga is the star🎢
Solana's Surge: Solana's DEX activity surged due to lower gas fees, making it a hotspot for meme coin trading. The meme coin "BONK" stirred crypto enthusiasts with its rapid rise from obscurity to a billion-dollar market cap.
Read this: BONK Fest 🎉
Enter Dogwifhat (WIF): The Solana ecosystem found another star in Dogwifhat (WIF), a dog-themed token that skyrocketed an astounding 376,000% within a month. It briefly reached a $250 million market cap before settling at $204 million.
Representatives from BlackRock, Nasdaq, and the SEC have met for the second time in a month to discuss rule changes needed to list a bitcoin ETF👇🏻
Anthropic's Funding Plans
Anthropic, the creator of AI chatbot Claude, is reportedly in talks to raise $750 million in new funding led by Menlo Ventures, which would value the company at around $18 billion.
The $750 million funding target is confirmed, but the previously reported valuation of $20-30 billion was deemed a rumour.
This funding round follows investments from Amazon and Google earlier this year. Anthropic focuses on safety research and aims to build reliable and interpretable AI systems.
MidJourney has released its V6 AI image generator model, featuring enhanced visuals and text generation capabilities.
Better prompt accuracy, coherence, and model knowledge compared to its previous version.
While text generation is a minor feature, MidJourney's approach is unique, requiring text to be written in quotations and using specific stylise values.
In a comparison with Dall-E 3, MidJourney prioritises style and aesthetics, sometimes sacrificing text precision.
However, when it does generate text, the images produced are on par or even better than those generated by Dall-E 3.
A Troubling Discovery
Stanford researchers have discovered that an open-source generative image tool, Stability AI, had ingested child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in its training data. The tool, along with other large language models and AI image generators, relies on massive datasets to train and generate content.
TTD Hacker 🦹🏻
Scammers have managed to steal approximately $59 million in cryptocurrency over nine months.
Their method of choice? Exploiting Google Ads to target crypto enthusiasts and trick them into falling for their schemes.
Here's what we know
The Tool - 'MS Drainer': It is a wallet-draining service that steals crypto without consent. Typically, developers charge a percentage of the ill-gotten gains as a fee, enforced through smart contracts.
Bait & Switch: Scammers set up fake versions of popular crypto sites like Zapper, Lido, Orbiter Finance and DefiLlama to lure in the unwary.
Google's Role: The scammers turn to Google Ads to cast a wide net. But how did they elude Google's watchful eye?
Using clever tricks like regional targeting and page-switching, the scammers outwit Google's ad auditing systems.
Deceptive Redirects: Using web redirects, they made users believe they were clicking on legitimate links that led to official websites.
A Vast Impact: 10,072 fake sites associated with 'MS Drainer,' targeting over 63,000 individuals.
Unique Pricing Strategy: 'MS Drainer' stood out by selling for a flat fee of $1,499.99. Additional "modules" were available for those craving more features.
TTD Approval 🤝🏻
Circle Secures Conditional Registration in France
Stablecoin issuer Circle has achieved conditional registration as a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP) in France, strengthening its European compliance efforts. This move aligns Circle with European standards, particularly in response to Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation.
Coralie Billmann, the Chief Operating Officer of Europe at 3S Money, will assume the role of Head of French Operations for Circle.
She brings extensive market expertise from her previous positions at JP Morgan and PayPal Luxembourg.
Prometheum Clears Hurdles
Prometheum Inc. has secured the last regulatory piece to create a crypto platform fully aligned with U.S. SEC rules.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) granted approval for clearing and settling digital asset securities trades.
Previously, Prometheum was the lone special-purpose crypto broker-dealer licensed under SEC regulations. While it hasn't conducted any trades or generated revenue yet, the firm plans to begin custody services for institutional clients in the next quarter.
Coinbase in France
Coinbase has obtained registration with France's markets regulator, allowing it to offer custody of digital assets, buy or sell digital assets in legal tender, and trade digital assets against other digital assets.
This move is part of Coinbase's plan to expand its operations outside of the United States.
Earlier this month, the company also announced that non-U.S. institutions can now use its cryptocurrency exchange for spot trading.
TTD Surfer 🏄
Worldcoin has temporarily suspended its offline orb verification function in India, which uses iris scanning to verify identities.
Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital's co-founders have had approximately $1.4 billion worth of assets frozen by Teneo, the firm handling the fund's liquidation.
The United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF) plans to create a DAO in a pilot project to demonstrate its applications in the public sector.
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