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Bitcoin briefly falls below $40,000 and 5 other crypto updates you should know

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The cryptocurrency market is continuing its new year slump.

On Monday morning, the price of bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, fell below $40,000 for the first time since September, dropping to $39,771, according to Coin Metrics. It's currently trading at around $41,530.

Ether, the second-largest, also fell, going below $3,000 to $2,979. It's currently trading at around $3,037.

After the minutes of the Federal Reserve's December meeting were released on Wednesday, indicating that it would start to reduce its balance sheet, dial back its monetary policy support and potentially raise interest rates, riskier assets like cryptocurrency took a hit and have fallen since.

Along with price movement, here are five important things that happened in the cryptocurrency space this past week.

1. Mozilla Foundation criticized after saying it would accept cryptocurrency donations

On Thursday, the Mozilla Foundation, the non-profit behind the Firefox browser, announced its decision to "pause" its previous decision to accept donations in cryptocurrency.

The announcement came after it received backlash from Jamie Zawinski, who co-founded Mozilla, and others online regarding the potential environmental impact of cryptocurrency. "Everyone involved in the project should be witheringly ashamed of oiwq7,kthis decision to partner with planet-incinerating Ponzi grifters," Zawinski tweeted.

Mozilla isn't alone. Other companies, including Kickstarter, Discord and Ubisoft, also halted plans to introduce cryptocurrency and digital assets due to customer feedback.

2. Scammers stole $14 billion in cryptocurrency in 2021, Chainalysis says

In its "2022 Crypto Crime Report," blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis reported that scammers took $14 billion in cryptocurrency in 2021.

Driven by an increase in scams and theft, with a major impact from decentralized finance, or DeFi, losses jumped 79% from a year earlier, the report says.

3. GameStop to launch an NFT marketplace

GameStop hired more than 20 people to develop a marketplace for videogame-inspired NFTs, such as avatar accessories and weapons, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

In addition, the retailer is looking to establish cryptocurrency partnerships to "create games and items for the marketplace," a source told CNBC.

Following the news, GameStop stock jumped on Friday.

4. PayPal may launch its own stablecoin

On Friday, PayPal confirmed to Bloomberg that it's exploring the creation of its own stablecoin, potentially called PayPal Coin.

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that are meant to be pegged to a reserve asset, such as gold or the U.S. dollar. In turn, they're supposed to be less volatile than other cryptocurrencies.

"We are exploring a stablecoin. If and when we seek to move forward, we will of course work closely with relevant regulators," Jose Fernandez da Ponte, senior vice president of crypto and digital currencies at PayPal, told Bloomberg.

5. Signal CEO writes about Web3

Matthew Rosenfeld, CEO of encrypted messaging app Signal, criticized Web3 in a blog post on Friday, which then garnered attention over the weekend. Web3 is a decentralized iteration of the internet based on blockchain technology.

In the post, Rosenfeld, often known under pseudonym Moxie Marlinspike, assessed the state of Web3. In one point, he criticized NFTs' dependence on marketplaces like OpenSea, which prompted a significant amount of discussion on Twitter.

"If your NFT is removed from OpenSea, it also disappears from your wallet," Rosenfeld wrote. "It doesn't functionally matter that my NFT is indelibly on the blockchain somewhere," because the wallet is using OpenSea to display NFTs.

Many, like Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey who has been an outspoken critic of Web3, shared the post online as well.

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