Weekly Cryptocurrency News. March 22

Here comes Friday, March 22nd. As the ongoing week elapses, we can focus on the industry highlights over the past few days.

Solana declared most beloved blockchain among investors

Throughout 2024, Solana captures nearly 50% of total investor interest in blockchain-based ecosystems, as reported by experts at CoinGecko Research citing their recent analysis.

Such an appeal is fueled by the surging value of SOL token since 2021, as well as by the expansion of ecosystem projects like Pyth and the continuing popularity of memecoins like dogwifhat (WIF).

Ethereum ranks second with 12.7% in interest. According to specialists of the analytics service, its charm is due to wider brand recognition and well-deserved reputation.

At the same time, however, they observe that investors’ focus is gradually shifting to Ethereum-based Layer 2 (L2) networks.

Coming in third on the list is Binance’s BNB Chain, reaching a 5.4% mark. As for this network, experts emphasize that the interest can be explained by the price hike of BNB token hitting record high, similarly to SOL.

Coinbase urges SEC to give thumbs-up to Ethereum-ETF

There are no well-grounded reasons for the SEC to repudiate applications involving the creation of spot ether ETFs, as stated by Coinbase CLO Paul Grewal. The top lawyer of the DEX highlighted key facts about Ethereum, pointing out its widespread use among millions of Americans since its launch back in 2015 and how crucial it is in crypto space.

Grewal says that over the years, the SEC has treated the second leading cryptocurrency by market cap as a commodity rather than a security. His view has been upheld by both the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the federal courts.

What’s more, the Coinbase’s attorney is citing statements made in 2018 by William Hinman, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. He also recalls Gary Gensler’s stance expressed before Congress prior to his appointment as head of the SEC, which also backs this standpoint.

Google fined €250m in France amid copyright abuse

L’Autorité de la concurrence (ADLC) – French for ‘Competition Authority’, the French regulator – hit Google with a €250m (£213m) fine for breaching EU intellectual property deal while training its AI model, according to the corporation’s official blog.

ADLC has voiced its concerns about artificial intelligence solution dubbed Gemini (ex. Bard), claiming that the model was trained on content from local publishers and news outlets with no proper notice or consent.

In its blog, Google gave the nod to the fair allegations, but stressed that it is “the first and only platform to have signed a significant number of licensing agreements with 280 French news publishers under the European copyright directive.”

The tech giant labeled the fine as “disproportionate” given the violations flagged by the regulator. What Google also noted is that the efforts to address the regulator’s warnings were not adequately considered.

UN says 1/2 of N.Korea’s foreign currency gains come from hacks

Nearly half of North Korea’s foreign exchange earnings stem from cyberattacks, including attacks on crypto companies, according to Yonhap news agency citing recent UN Security Council (UNSC) report.

Between 2017 and 2023, North Korean crooks inflicted an estimated $3b in damage, according to a probe by the organization. The funds were later used to support the development programs of weapons of mass destruction.

These findings are consistent with data previously provided by Recorded Future as well as reports from The Wall Street Journal.

Even though the UN report itself has no legal force, the global security body could slap additional sanctions against N.Korea, the Nikkei newspaper adds.

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