The crypto market upturn surges stocks, the US shuts down a crypto money-laundering platform and could you be able to buy cheap airline tickets using crypto? These stories and more this week in crypto.

Crypto Market Capitalization Up 30%

With a nearly 30% increase in just two weeks, the total crypto market capitalization currently comes in at nearly $1T. The rise may reflect a more optimistic investor sentiment toward risk assets as positive inflation figures signaled that the recently hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate strategy may loosen its grip in 2023.

Crypto Stocks Surge in Recent Market Upturn

Cryptocurrencies weren’t the only segment to see a major price pump, but hard-hit crypto-related stocks enjoyed even greater gains. Coinbase’s stock has seen a 70% rise from its all-time lows, while Microstrategy jumped 74% from its December doldrums. Crypto mining stocks fared even better, with Bitfarm and Marathon Digital recording spectacular 140 and 120% gains respectively already this year.

Criminal Platform Shut Down by US DoJ

The US Department of Justice announced the arrest of a Russian national alleged to have founded the major crime platform, Bitzlato. Bitzlato is a China-based exchange used as a money laundering engine that has processed more than $700 million dollars worth of illicit funds while advertising its services to known criminals.

Crypto on the Defensive at Davos

At this year’s annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland – the crypto contingent has been quick to distance themselves from the FTX fraud. Executives said they are now all about blockchain technology, proper controls and regulation, and the promise of disruption that it holds for financial services and beyond.

IMF Warns of Crypto Contagion

The International Monetary Fund has once again published a warning about the global dangers of cryptocurrency. A blog posted on the IMF site explains how the recent crypto contagion from the FTX fallout underscores why regulators must act fast to reduce risks. Stronger financial regulation, supervision, and the development of global standards are recommended to help address concerns about crypto.

Major Online Bank Expands Crypto Trading

German online bank, N26, has announced the expansion of the list of countries where its customers may trade cryptocurrencies. From now on users in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal and Ireland can buy, sell and trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, and many others. Last year, N26 began  its crypto trading service for its customers in Austria.

FTT Spikes Following Possible Exchange Restart

The bankrupt FTX exchange’s native coin, FTT, saw its price jump 32% the day after its new CEO, John J. Ray III, posited the idea of restarting the exchange. Ray said that he is trying to uncover and retrieve FTX assets and has tasked a group with exploring the possibility of an FTX relaunch.

Spanish Airline Explores Crypto Payments

Popular budget Spanish airline Vueling has announced that it is exploring cryptocurrency as a means of payment for its services. The company enlisted the aid of Criptan, a Spanish cryptocurrency exchange, and aims to enable crypto payment methods for customers by the end of the third quarter of this year.

That’s what’s happened this week in crypto, see you next week.