Cryptocurrency like bitcoin
have jumped in popularity in recent years, and are now traded by both retail investors and companies like Citibank and Tesla
During parts of 2021, the total crypto market cap approached $3 trillion. The crypto craze allowed companies like Robinhood
to see rapid growth, and brands like Walmart
to make crypto purchases accessible in store kiosks.
As the interest in crypto continues to rise, so does the interest in crypto prices.
Here’s how crypto prices changed in February:
Prices for bitcoin jumped 20.6% in February after several down months in a row for the crypto.
Earlier in February, the U.S. Department of Justice said it recovered $3.6 billion worth of stolen bitcoin from a 2016 hack of the crypto exchange Bitfinex.
lya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and to defraud the U.S. government — prosecutors said they traced about 120,000 of stolen bitcoins through various crypto wallets controlled by the couple.
Bitcoin’s rally comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine, forcing the U.S. and other countries to impose several financial sanctions against Russia.
“As the West raises heavy sanctions on Russia including access to the SWIFT payments system, the use case for a decentralized channel for finance is perfectly presented,” John Kicklighter, chief strategist at forex platform DailyFX wrote.
Bitcoin is down 2.06% over the past 12 months.
Similar to bitcoin, ether prices jumped in February. Ether moved 12.6% higher last month as prices moved above the $3,000 threshold.
In February, social media giant Twitter
added ethereum to its “tipping” feature, which lets users to send payments, including cryptocurrency, to accounts that they enjoy over Twitter’s mobile app — Twitter began supporting tips in bitcoin in September 2021.
Some have wondered if the financial sanctions imposed on Russia over the country’s Ukraine invasion will lead to Russia trying to use crypto to evade some of these sanctions.
MarketWatch’s Frances Yue reported that Ari Redbord, head of legal and government affairs at blockchain intelligence firm TRM Labs, said “there is no question in my mind that Russia will attempt to use cryptocurrency to launder funds and evade sanctions.”
Some crypto platforms like Binance and FTX are complying with international sanctions already to prevent financial evasion from Russia, according to Reuters.
The Ukrainian government raised more than $20 million in donations through cryptocurrencies like ethereum and bitcoin, according to a Monday analysis published by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. Ukraine is still accepting funds as of Tuesday.
Ethereum is up 111.27% over the past 12 months.
Other crypto news
This year’s Super Bowl was called by some as the first “crypto Super Bowl” with cryptocurrency ads running during the game for the first time.
Crypto exchange platforms like FTX and Crypto.com spent millions on Super Bowl commercials this year.
“Cryptocurrency is becoming more mainstream every day,” Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, told MarketWatch. “These companies are desperately scrambling to bring in new customers. People sign up for a particular firm to invest in cryptocurrency and they tend to stay with that firm.”