In a report shared by CoinGecko, internet users from California accounted for a whopping 43% of all Bitcoin and Ethereum web traffic searches on the crypto tracking website. This is despite the entire state population only accounting for 11.9% of the United States population.
Bobby Ong, chief operating officer and co-founder of CoinGecko, said it was “unsurprising” that California took the crown in the blue-chip cryptocurrency interest, given its place as a “major technological hub.”
California is also home to Silicon Valley — one of the largest technology and innovation hubs in the world.
Among the largest companies situated in Silicon Valley to have invested in blockchain-based applications and crypto startups include Apple, Google, Meta, PayPal and Wells Fargo.
Centralized exchange Coinbase was one of the first major crypto companies to be headquartered in California, despite no longer having a headquarters today. The Graph, Helium, MakerDAO and dYdX are among some of the latest Web3 projects with a presence in the Golden State.
Many prestigious universities with excellent engineering and technology departments are also located in California, such as Stanford University, California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley.
CoinGecko also noted that other states with a strong interest in the two cryptocurrencies include Illinois, New York, Florida and Washington, followed by Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Georgia and Arizona.
Across the top 20 states, most searches on the website appeared to be weighted toward Bitcoin. However, the data found that four particular states saw more searches for Ethereum than its competitor.
“What’s especially notable is Colorado, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Florida’s interest in Ethereum over Bitcoin,” explained Ong.
“It remains to be seen how these rankings and market shares will play out in the coming months, with Ethereum’s Merge around the corner.”
The data was collected between May 2 to Aug. 21, 2022, and only collected web traffic data from the United States. The data was indexed on a scale of 0-100, with 100 representing the highest point of web traffic (California) relative to the other states.
The findings come as a recent Study.com survey revealed that over 64% of U.S.-based parents and college graduates with a sufficient understanding of blockchain technology want crypto to be taught in school classrooms.
On the global scale, the U.S. has shared the top spot with Germany when it comes to crypto-friendly regulation and legislation, sharing the top spot with Germany and beating out Singapore, Australia and Switzerland, according to crypto data aggregator Coincub.
A group of hacktivists called the Belarusian Cyber Partisans have been attempting to sell a nonfungible token (NFT) featuring the purported passport info of Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko.
The Belarusian Cyber Partisans say the move is part of a grassroots fundraising campaign to fight “bloody regimes in Minsk and Moscow.”
The members claim to have hacked into a government database that has the passport info of every Belarusian citizen, allowing them to launch an NFT collection called Belarisuan Passports, which includes a digital passport that supposedly features Lukashenko’s actual information.
Some observers have accused the info on the digital passport of being fake, due to a typo on the front page of the word “Republic” and a misspelling of “Aleksandr.”
The hackers on Twitter said they attempted to sell the NFT collection on Lukashenko’s birthday on Tuesday via the OpenSea marketplace. However, they stated that the sale was promptly shut down, and is now looking at other options:
“The dictator has a birthday today — help us ruin it for him! Get our work of art today. A special offer— a New Belarus passport for Lukashenko where he’s behind the bars.”
An OpenSea spokesperson told Gizmodo that the project broke company rules relating to “doxxing and revealing personal identifying information about another person without their consent.”
The Belarusian Cyber Partisans also revealed that they are looking to sell NFTs featuring the passport info of other government officials that are closely connected with Lukashenko.
“We also offer passports of his closest allies and traitors of the people of #Belarus and #Ukraine. All the funds will go to support our work in hitting bloody regimes in #minsk & #moscow,” the group wrote.
Lukashenko is quite the controversial figure and has been at the helm in Belarus since the nation’s inception in 1994. Despite being elected on the premise of stamping out corruption, he has been described by the likes of the Organize Crime and Corruption Reporting Project as having “rigging elections, torturing critics, and arresting and beating protesters” in the past.
The hacktivists state that they are vehemently opposed to what they feel is a corrupt regime under Lukashenko, who has also irked the group via his support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In February, The Belarusian Cyber Partisans launched a broader fundraising campaign called the “Resistance Movement of Belarus,” which aims to ultimately usurp power from Lukashenko via its own self-defense forces. The campaign primarily takes donations through crypto assets such as Bitcoin (BTC).
“We, the free citizens of Belarus, refuse to submit to this state and form the self-defence, as a people’ response to the unleashed terror. Our ultimate goal is the elimination of the dictatorial regime,” the group wrote.
After much speculation, the wallet hodling more than 22 billion of Axie Infinity’s total supply of in-game token Smooth Love Potion (SLP) has been identified as an address belonging to Binance.
The wallet was first highlighted by Axie Infinity player and tech co-founder Michael Benko, who raised concerns about it having over 50% of SLP’s total circulating supply, which could potentially have an impact on the game’s ecosystem.
Following a Cointelegraph report on the matter, Axie Infinity co-founder Jeff Zirlin confirmed on Twitter that the address is a “Binance Ronin gateway contract.”
A previous statement to Cointelegraph from Sky Mavis co-founder and chief operating officer Aleksander Larson had only shared that the wallet did not belong to Sky Mavis nor Axie Infinity.
Ultimately, it was Zirlin who put the matter to bed, as he noted that “let’s move on — thank you guys for helping to clear up the information around this. It is indeed the Binance Ronin gateway contract.”
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Benko said he was ultimately happy with the result, as he got the answers he was looking for, while also receiving a direct line of communication with Zirlin:
“There were some pretty aggressive key opinion leaders [...] who went after me on Twitter today, but I’m really proud of my initial story [...]. I also think having Sky Mavis officially comment to explain to the community what this wallet is, is valuable. Now they have.”
Benko noted on a Twitter thread that he had previously reached out to Sky Mavis and others for an explanation without any luck, before bringing the wallet to the attention of the media.
Binance has provided various bridges to the Axie Infinity ecosystem, and the exchange allows users to withdraw assets from the game to the exchange and vice versa.
The firm has a long-running partnership with Axie and previously helped the project by providing a bridge for users to withdraw assets from the game after the Ronin Bridge went down following the $600 million hack in March.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.