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Representations of virtual cryptocurrencies are placed on U.S. Dollar banknotes in this illustration taken November 28, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo/File Photo
LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) – Ukraine, battered by three months of war, plans to continue to tap crypto investors to help raise funds after a plunge in prices decimated the country’s fundraising efforts in May.
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, the Ukrainian government used social media to ask for cryptocurrency donations. Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov sought to rally crypto investors this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos. read more
On March 19, the government's "Aid for Ukraine" fund said it had raised more than $60 million worth of cryptocurrency. But two months later, on May 19, the total raised was worth $51.5 million, Ukraine's deputy minister for digital transformation Alex Bornyakov said.
Cryptocurrencies have fallen sharply in recent weeks. Bitcoin has lost more than 20% of its price so far in May, following a 17% drop in April, highlighting the risks faced by holders of the highly volatile assets. read more
All the funds raised in the "Aid for Ukraine" fund were stored in cryptocurrency but the government was able to spend $45 million of it on equipment for Ukraine's army before the crash, Bornyakov said in written responses to Reuters questions.
Ukraine has been funding its war effort in part with cryptocurrencies. The year before the war saw a rise in bitcoin donations to Ukrainian volunteer groups, some of which supplied equipment to government forces. read more
While crypto may provide some much-needed funds, Kiev estimated it needs $15 billion over the next three months to help its war-torn economy recover. read more
Despite the volatility, crypto assets still appeal to Ukrainians seeking to raise funds.
Ukraine's largest independent beer brand, Obolon, plans to sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to help it distribute free water for humanitarian aid.
It is following the lead of Ukraine's Ministry of Digital Transformation, which has raised 286 ether (around $550,000) with its online "Museum of War" NFT collection.
Obolon plans to sell 5,000 NFTs for 0.1 ether (around $200), which can be exchanged for a commemorative beer bottle after the war.
"This project is directly to help us continue to scale, because today the financial situation in the company is difficult because in Ukraine the economic situation is very difficult," Olexander Chub, Obolon's director of foreign trade, said in a video interview.
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Ukraine, battered by three months of war, plans to continue to tap crypto investors to help raise funds after a plunge in prices decimated the country’s fundraising efforts in May.
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
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Who you gonna call?
An Elon Musk deepfake video is doing the rounds on the internet again, hoping to trap crypto holders in a ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme and then steal their deposits, Bleeping Computer reported
A deepfake is media content created using tools such as machine learning and artificial intelligence to replace a person in an image or video with a fake one. The content can then be changed to pass false and misleading information. A deepfake of Ukrainian President Vlodomyr Zelensky emerged during the early days of the Russian invasion, asking Ukrainians to lay down their arms. 
While this is an extreme usage case, deepfakes have also been used for other purposes, such as conducting financial frauds. In 2020, a bank in Dubai became poorer by $35 million after a manager allegedly received a deepfake voice call from one of the directors. The heist was pulled off by supplementing the voice call with some fake emails as well. 
If a seasoned bank employee can be spoofed by this technology, an unsuspecting investor is not a big fish to fry. Scammers often use celebrities to create maximum impact and trick people into committing to a transaction that can’t be reversed. Last year, a scam used Elon Musk’s Twitter account fake to pocket $580,000 worth of crypto coins in just one week.  
For the latest iteration, scammers are circulating deepfake videos of Elon Musk suggesting users deposit their crypto coins on a website to generate up to 30 percent returns.  
The website is called Bitvex, and in the deepfake video, Musk is seen saying that he has invested his $50 million on the platform. The website even goes on to claim that Musk is the CEO at the organization and uses his Twitter display picture to make it look more legitimate.
Not just Musk, the website also cites faked endorsements from Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance as well as Cathie Wood, the CEO of Ark Invest, an investment firm with over $50 billion in assets under its management. The website also uses deepfake videos of other cryptocurrency enthusiasts to drive traffic to their website. 
Users arriving at the website need to create an account to gain from Bitvex’s alleged claims. Once an account is set up, users see a dashboard that shows recent withdrawals made by other users on the platform. Bleeping Computer accessed the website’s code and found that a JavaScript, running on the site, was assigned to randomly create these numbers every time the page refreshed. 
Ardent followers of Elon Musk might find it easy to spot that something’s amiss with the Tesla CEO in the video. However, if you are not one of the followers, you do not have to be an expert at identifying deepfakes to avoid this scam.
If you have come across one of these videos on YouTube, it is likely that the channel’s previous content is not related to cryptocurrencies at all. Bleeping Computer reported that many YouTube accounts were hacked to promote these videos. 
Luckily, not a lot of people have fallen for this scam with only $1,700 worth of crypto coins deposited so far. But if you come across an offer that feels too good to be true, chances are high that it is not. So do stay away. Crypto or not.  
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Meme coins have naturally always been at the top of the marketing game. Given their hold over the masses through the internet, meme coins always manage to stand right under the spotlight in the crypto sphere.
From a popularity aspect alone, meme coins seem to be doing well. Their marketing technique often aids the research and development sector for the coin and helps it develop into a utility coin as the crypto journey progresses.
Dogecoin (DOGE) was initiated as a joke, but it quickly acquired popularity after its launch. By late 2017, it had joined the larger cryptocurrency bubble which saw the value of numerous coins skyrocket. Dogecoin’s value plummeted for a short while when the bubble broke in 2018, but it still maintains a following of traders and users who use it to create shareable content on Twitter and Reddit.
The creators of Dogecoin, Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus, basically harnessed the potential of the internet to spread the word and developed a meme coin based on the meme image of a dog from the Shiba Inu breed.
Samoyedcoin (SAMO) is another cryptocurrency that was initiated as a meme coin, based on the imagery of a dog from the Samoyed breed. The website for Samoyedcoin (SAMO) claims the token as ‘Solana’s Cutest Ambassador’. The token has now developed into a DAO token on the Solana blockchain.
The case of Samoyedcoin reveals how meme coins tend to use a central meme concept to create spin-offs of the humour narrative, in the crypto market. Due to their shareability feature, the meme coins get actively noticed in the market and then develop into cryptocurrencies that serve the needs of the investors once they get the attention of said investors.
Pac-Man Frog (PAC) is a new animal imagery-based light-hearted token in the market. The thing that makes this token very appealing, is the fact that it is brimming with some futuristic features. The platform is particularly a game incubator that assists start-ups in the crypto gaming industry.

The developers assist these start-ups with developing skills required to promote, launch and run a blockchain game studio.
The platform also promises an NFT Launchpad which has cross-chain interoperability for the NFTs. This means that NFTs can be securely traded through the Pac-Man Frog platform. With such promising features and an edgy symbol as its identification, the Pac-Man Frog token is set to be the best of both worlds in the fintech market. Pac-Man Frog (PAC) is currently in its presale phase, which means you can invest in it at a discounted price and reap heavy benefits as the project gradually unfolds.
Given how the crypto market is engulfed by scepticism, active marketing of any kind reflects a sign of transparency. This is what draws investors to meme coins, even if it is a joke, to begin with. The bonding of a community through humour and finance often results in recreational engagement and an added benefit of financial gains which is ultimately what long-term investors tend to look out for.
Learn more about Pac-Man Frog (PAC) here:
Presale: https://presale.parodycoin.io/register
Website: https://parodycoin.io/
Telegram: https://t.me/PARODYCOIN_OFFICIAL
 
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A representation of virtual currency Bitcoin and small toy figures are placed on computer motherboard in this illustration taken January 7, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo
FRANKFURT, May 24 (Reuters) – Cryptocurrencies will pose a risk to financial stability if the emerging sector maintains its rapid growth of the last two years and financial firms deepen their involvement, the European Central Bank (ECB) said on Tuesday.
The crypto market slumped sharply this month after the downfall of major "stablecoin" terraUSD. The crash has led to calls from the world's top financial leaders for "swift and comprehensive" regulation of the sector. read more
Cryptocurrencies – historically a niche asset favoured by risk-hungry investors, exploded in size during the COVID-19 pandemic. Institutional investors especially were drawn by claims that bitcoin acts as a hedge against inflation and offers high returns in the face of low interest rates.
The crypto sector hit a peak of $2.9 trillion last November up from less than $300 billion at the start of 2020. Still, bitcoin, the biggest token, since November has slumped by over half, dragging the value of the overall crypto market down to around $1.2 trillion.
The ECB in its biannual financial stability review said exposure to crypto by banks and other financial institutions on a wide scale could put capital at risk and damage investor confidence, lending and financial markets.
"Systemic risk increases in line with the level of interconnectedness between crypto-assets and the traditional financial sector," it said.
Highly leveraged trading offered by crypto exchanges has seen investors borrow funds to buy greater exposure to crypto, also heightening financial stability risks, the ECB noted.
Furthermore, data shortcomings in the sector are also hindering the assessment of financial risks, it said, warning that publications by crypto exchanges and data aggregators should be treated with caution.
Retail investors, long at the heart of crypto trading, have also piled in, the ECB noted.
One in ten euro zone households have bought crypto such as bitcoin, its Consumer Expectation Survey, which ran the poll in six countries.
The ECB said crypto was unsuitable for most retail investors and urged European Union authorities to approve new rules on crypto assets "as a matter of urgency".
The rules, first published in September 2020, have not yet been agreed by the EU, and are not set for approval until 2024 at the earliest, the ECB said.
($1 = 0.9376 euro)
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Ukraine, battered by three months of war, plans to continue to tap crypto investors to help raise funds after a plunge in prices decimated the country’s fundraising efforts in May.
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Access unmatched financial data, news and content in a highly-customised workflow experience on desktop, web and mobile.
Browse an unrivalled portfolio of real-time and historical market data and insights from worldwide sources and experts.
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2022 Reuters. All rights reserved

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