Last week in review: Chinese tech giants buying up bitcoin?

The non-fungible token frenzy continues, John McAfee is back in the mix as he faces fresh crypto-related indictment charges, and institutional investors continue to pile into crypto.

Catch up on this week’s biggest crypto news stories.

Chinese tech company Meitu adds $40m worth of crypto to its balance sheet

Meitu, a major Chinese tech company, announced yesterday that it has bought $40 million worth of crypto – $22 million in ether (15,000 ETH) and $17.9 million in bitcoin (380 BTC).

Meitu is a Hong Kong-listed smartphone manufacturer and selfie app software company with a market cap of $11.76 billion.

In a statement regarding the purchase, the company said its board believes blockchain has the potential to disrupt the finance and technology sectors, noting that “the blockchain industry is still in its early stage, analogous to the mobile internet industry in circa 2005.”

It added that it could also choose to use Ethereum in its apps, as the Ether purchased would “become the gas reserve for the Group’s potential dAPP(s) to consume in the future, as well as being used as consideration for investing in blockchain-based projects that take Ether as consideration.”

MicroStrategy buys another $10m in bitcoin

MicroStrategy’s bitcoin-buying spree is clearly far from over, with the firm buying a further $10 million in bitcoin last Thursday. The purchase brings its total BTC holdings up to $4.4 billion (~91,064 BTC). It’s paid an average of around $48,888 per coin.

CEO Michael Saylor said in a statement: “We will continue to pursue our strategy of acquiring bitcoin with excess cash and we may from time to time, subject to market conditions, issue debt or equity securities in capital raising transactions with the objective of using the proceeds to purchase additional bitcoin.”

The NFT madness continues: Banksy, Jack Dorsey and Justin Sun make headlines

Last week, we reported a piece of non-fungible token (NFT) history when artist Beeple became the first to auction a digital-only piece with no accompanying physical artwork. It seems the NFT madness is only just getting started though. This week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s announced that he’ll be auctioning his (and the platform’s) first-ever tweet as an NFT. The tweet, sent on 6 March 2006, will go on sale via the platform, Valuables.

According to Valuables, “The tweet itself will continue to live on Twitter. What you are purchasing is a digital certificate of the tweet, unique because it has been signed and verified by the creator.” Users are able to bid on it with Ether, and as of time of writing, the highest offer is at $2.5 million from a Valuables user known as Estavi.

Before Estavi upped the ante, TRON CEO Justin Sun had bid $1,000,000.

That’s not all, though. A Banksy NFT also sold for $382k this week. The original painting, ‘Morons’, was first sold for £16,250 in 2006. The piece depicts a crowded auction house, with a framed canvas behind the auctioneer that reads: “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU MORONS ACTUALLY BUY THIS SHIT.” The new layers of social commentary were added to the work after some crypto-fanatic financial traders got their hands on it.

‘Morons’ was bought again earlier this year for $95k. On 4 March, the consortium who bought it uploaded a video of themselves burning the work in New York, leaving nothing but a digital copy behind.

John McAfee finds himself in even more trouble

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from crypto’s favourite crazy uncle, John McAfee. The radio silence ended over the weekend as the 75-year old billionaire was indicted on new charges of fraud and money laundering, while currently sitting in a Spanish prison pending extradition to the US.

The US attorney for the Southern District of New York announced on Friday morning that McAfee had been charged with “conspiracy to commit commodities and securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities and touting fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and substantive wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracy offenses.” Yikes, that’s a laundry list of charges if we ever did see one.

The allegations revolve around a “pump-and-dump” scheme in which McAfee and his team allegedly purchased altcoins, promoted them on Twitter, and sold them after they’d pumped the price enough to make a profit. The other allegations involve multiple ICOs that he allegedly promoted without disclosing he was paid to do so.

McAfee’s since addressed the allegations on Twitter.

At this state, it’s anyone’s guess as to how this’ll play out, but one thing’s for sure: the self-proclaimed “lover of women, adventure and mystery” sure is getting his fill of two of the three, albeit not on his own terms.

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