Crypto Market Recap: Bounties, Rising Scams, and the Push for Bitcoin Tax Payments Amid Political Silence

The U.S. bounty on OneCoin's founder and a 113% surge in crypto scams overshadow the industry's political efforts, as a new bill suggests Bitcoin for tax payments.
Crypto, Voice of Crypto

Key Insights

  • The U.S. is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of Ruja Ignatova, the founder of the OneCoin scam.

  • Crypto losses from hacks and scams surged 113% in Q2 2024, reaching a staggering $572 million.

  • Despite the industry spending millions to influence the elections, neither Biden nor Trump mentioned cryptocurrency during their first presidential debate.

  • Congressman Matt Gaetz proposed a bill allowing federal income taxes to be paid in Bitcoin.

Last week was earmarked mainly by waves of sluggishness on Bitcoin's part, considering its consolidation under the  $62,000 price level.

However, despite the bearish attempts to sink Bitcoin under $60,000, several things happened during the week.

For example, we had the U.S. State Department put a higher bounty on Ruja Ignatova, the missing crypto queen's head.

We had a worrying trend in crypto hacks and scams, as highlighted by Immunefi, with April, May and June being Christmas for bad actors.

We also saw possible signs that the crypto community is being catfished by former U.S. president Donald Trump after his presidential debate with Joe Biden, in which crypto went completely unmentioned.

Here are some of the most interesting events in crypto from the previous week.

U.S. State Department Announces $5M for the Missing Crypto Queen

Last week, the plot thickened in the ongoing search for the OneCoin Founder, Ruja Ignatova, also known as the "Cryptoqueen."

Ignatova, the founder of the OneCoin scam between 2014 and 2017, has been missing for nearly a decade after scamming investors out of roughly $4 billion.

Last week, the U.S. State Department’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program announced that it was increasing the reward for information leading to her capture to $5 million.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Most wanted by the FBI</p></div>

Most wanted by the FBI

Ignatova has been declared wanted and on the run since October 2017 after being last seen boarding a flight from Sofia, Bulgaria, to Athens, Greece.

Since then, her whereabouts have been unknown, with speculators coming forward with several claims, including some that Ignatova has changed her appearance through plastic surgery, travelling under a fake identity, or even dead—murdered by a drug lord named Taki.

Notably, other individuals involved in the scam, including OneCoin co-founder Karl Greenwood and two lawyers, have been sentenced to as much as 20 years behind bars.

Crypto Losses From Hacks and Scams Soared by 113% in Q2 2024

After an exceptionally safe Q1 in 2024 and even 2023, Immunefi reported a staggering increase in the number of hacks and scams in the crypto industry.

According to the security firm’s latest findings, there was a 113% surge in hacks and scams in Q2 of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023.

Moreover, hackers and scammers stole a staggering $572 million between April and June.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Crypto losses in Q2</p></div>

Crypto losses in Q2

Interestingly, in Q1, Immunefi reported that hacks and scams had reduced by around 23% year over year.

However, the 113% spike in Q2 starkly contrasts this trend, with the hacks becoming even more severe towards the end of May and throughout June.

Immunefi reports that the hack on DMM on May 31 saw attackers steal $305 million worth of Bitcoin.

Soon after this, on June 22, the Turkish crypto exchange BtcTurk lost $55 million to the same kind of attack, with DMM and BtcTurk accounting for over 62% of the total losses for the quarter.

Biden and Trump Misses Crypto in Presidential Debate

Biden and Trump had their first head-to-head debate last week, hoping to rally voters for their sides in the coming elections.

However, despite the looks of Trump’s sudden love for crypto over the last few months—neither Trump nor Biden so much as mentioned crypto—not even once in 90 minutes.

On June 27 during the week, the first of two debates aired by CNN centred on Biden and Trump's views on economic platforms, immigration, foreign policy, and abortion rights.

However, despite the crypto industry raising $202.8 million from big industry donors and spending $93.6 million to influence the 2024 elections, both candidates completely skipped over the crypto subject.

As a result, memecoins based on Biden and Trump halved by about 50% amid the debate.

According to CoinGecko data, $MAGA, for example, tanked by around 24% in 20 minutes to $7.23 and is now at around $7.05.

Jeo Boden ($BODEN) suffered even more, dropping to around  $0.091.

Florida Lawmaker Pitches a Crypto friendly Bill

Last week, we also saw one of the most significant steps towards crypto adoption in the U.S.

During a congressional meeting, Congressman Matt Gaetz pitched a bill allowing federal income taxes to be paid using Bitcoin.

This means that if the bill is passed, the U.S.'s approach to crypto will likely change significantly.

Americans will soon be able to interact and perform their civil duties using Bitcoin and, soon, other kinds of cryptocurrencies.

Gaetz made this pitch during the week of June 25, describing it as a way to modernize the U.S. tax system through innovation and flexibility.

The proposal is highly inspired by Bitcoin's success in El Salvador, where the cryptocurrency has been used to improve the country's economy, provide better jobs, and bring overall stability.

If this bill passes, a new era of  Bitcoin will be ushered in, providing a less stringent regulatory environment for crypto in the U.S.

Disclaimer: Voice of Crypto aims to deliver accurate and up-to-date information but will not be responsible for any missing facts or inaccurate information. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile financial assets, so research and make your own financial decisions.

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