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Happy Bull’s Year, North Korean Hackers!

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In this episode, Anna Baydakova and Danny Nelson discuss North Korea reportedly stealing your crypto to create nuclear weapons, Tesla rattling markets at an opportune time and Nigeria trying to ban crypto.

Starting Feb. 12, in the Chinese calendar, we are in the year of the ox, or bull; at least for now, things are looking quite bullish for crypto. Usually, Chinese users would massively sell bitcoin ahead of the New Year but the current rally is being mostly driven by institutions, not retail buyers in Asia. So it looks like the “To the Moon” show must go on!

A United Nations expert panel said North Korea used the money it extorted by cyber attacks to fund nuclear weapons development. The panel said that according to its investigations, North Korean regime-linked hackers worked all through 2020 and made the money now funding weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs. According to Chainalysis, the hackers used DeFi infrastructure, over-the-counter brokers and mixers to sell their crypto. So will we end up with a bit of North Korean hacker crypto one day?

Tesla hyped the bitcoin market right around the time some bad news came out of China. In February, Tesla’s annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission included the news the company put an aggregate of $1.5 billion into bitcoin. Just before that filing several Chinese government agencies publicly questioned Tesla cars’ quality and safety. Coincidence?

Nigeria is trying to curb crypto adoption, but that is not so easy. In early February, the country’s central bank sent a letter to financial institutions ordering them to shut down all bank accounts associated with cryptocurrency trading platforms. Result: Binance halted deposits in Nigeria. As a result, Nigerians turned to peer-to-peer trading platforms. Is this actually good for crypto adoption? We’ll see.

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