Europe doesn’t ban Bitcoin, Ukraine cancels crypto airdrop

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2022.03.05

The ongoing military conflict in Ukraine continues to cause major waves in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.

The ongoing military conflict in Ukraine is once again at the center of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry after the country’s government announced and almost immediately walked back a crypto airdrop for donators. Mainstream media has also picked up the idea that Russia is using cryptocurrency to evade U.S. sanctions and ran with it.

Here’s everything you need to know about these stories, and more, in this week’s edition of OKX Insights’ News of the Week.

Ukraine crypto airdrop announced and abruptly canceled

After announcing a high-profile (and questionable) crypto airdrop, the government of Ukraine suddenly canceled it in favor of a future nonfungible token sale — causing arguably the biggest stir in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry this week.

Key takeaway

  • The announced-and-canceled airdrop certainly worked from a marketing perspective, with crypto donations surging — likely a result of sybil farmers and donators expecting something in return. Many industry pundits likened the event to “a rug.”
Donations to Ukraine surged after its airdrop was announced, then subsequently dropped after it was canceled. Source: Dune Analytics

ConsenSys facing multi-billion dollar audit

ConsenSys AG is staring at a multi-billion dollar audit after 35 former employees put forth an investigation into what they believe are “serious irregularities.” Specifically, the Ethereum software company and MetaMask developer is being accused of illegally transferring intellectual property and subsidiaries to a new entity called ConsenSys Software Incorporated.

Key takeaways

  • According to the claims, JPMorgan Chase and other traditional financial institutions now have a substantial stake in MetaMask and Infura.
  • ConsenSys is strongly refuting the accusations and appears more than ready for a legal battle.

Bitcoin ban removed from EU MiCA directive

The controversial language that suggested a ban on proof-of-work cryptocurrencies would take place in the European Union has been removed from its Markets in Crypto-Assets directive after European MP Stefan Berger delayed its Feb. 28 vote.

Key takeaway

  • The removal of the problematic language — which may have effectively banned Bitcoin — may be taken as a significant win and illustrates no immediate desire to crush the proof-of-work sector of the blockchain industry in the EU.

Crypto in crosshairs amid Russian sanctions

The topic of Russian sanction evasion via cryptocurrencies has become a hot topic for mainstream media — with The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico and others all running stories that arguably show poor lighting on the blockchain industry.

Key takeaway

  • Cryptocurrency usage has, indeed, picked up in Russia and Eastern Europe since the implementation of severe sanctions on the former — though the on-chain figures are not representative of a massive shift toward crypto from the Russian government or high-profile figures.

Infura clears up misinformation on MetaMask ban

In other ConsenSys-related news, some debate and misinformation regarding MetaMask blocking users from certain jurisdictions raged in crypto-related media this week. As it turned out, blockchain node infrastructure Infura claimed the issue stemmed from a misconfiguration error — though Infura abides by United States sanctions.

Key takeaway

  • Infura noted that its compliance with the law does not necessarily reflect its views as a company on public policy matters. It also noted that MetaMask itself is client-side software and, thus, unable to know where a user is located.

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