Data doesn’t show Bitcoin as an inflation hedge at present, according to Chainalysis

The lack of statistical correlation between inflation and crypto prices has not deterred many investors from viewing the asset in this way, however.

Data from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis suggests that Bitcoin (BTC) may not be the hedge against inflation that many seem to believe it is.

“Right now, we can't show a statistically significant correlation between inflation in the US and Bitcoin prices, but we know anecdotally that many people invest in Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation,” Chainalysis’ head of research, Kim Grauer, told Cointelegraph on Aug. 31 when asked about her thoughts on current inflation in the U.S. and its impact on Bitcoin.

U.S. inflation has been a hot topic over the past year or two. Back in June, reporting showed inflation in the U.S. reaching levels unseen in over a decade.

Other countries have experienced much worse inflation than numbers seen in the United States. Venezuela, for example, saw 10,000,000% inflation in 2019. Interest in digital assets grew in tandem.

“We also know that in other countries that suffer from more severe currency inflation or devaluation like Venezuela and Nigeria, people use cryptocurrencies as a store of value,” Grauer added.

Bitcoin is often described as a store of value asset in the crypto industry, although events such as the price crash earlier in 2021 logically call that narrative into question.

Former CFTC brass joins Andreessen Horowitz as an advisor

The company has brought former United States CFTC commissioner Brian Quintenz aboard its operation.

Crypto regulation has become an increasingly relevant topic over the past several years. To address these legal ins and outs amid the ever-changing regulatory waters, VC firm Andreessen Horowitz has called upon a previous leader of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s, or CFTC, to join its team.

“As part of our larger effort to make sure we have a world-class support system in place when it comes to policy and regulatory matters, I’m thrilled to announce that Brian Quintenz, a former Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is joining as an advisory partner on the crypto team,” Andreessen Horowitz general partner Katie Haun wrote in a Thursday announcement on the a16z website.

The past year in particular has seen significant regulatory talk within the U.S. and abroad. In December 2020, the U.S. Treasury aimed to increase self-hosted crypto asset wallet surveillance and more recently, the U.S. infrastructure bill included terminology that could put considerable strain on the growing crypto space. Other countries have also made various regulatory moves, evident in their actions against digital asset exchange Binance.

Andreessen Horowitz seems to have recognized the present regulatory tune of the crypto industry and desired to provide support for the entities in its portfolio. “Our portfolio projects are innovating in ways previously unimagined, and so our investment in them must be more than just financial — we seek to provide them with a full suite of resources on their path to success,” Haun noted in the post.

The CFTC and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, are two regulatory agencies often part of the conversation whenever legal guidelines intersect with crypto. Explaining the importance of having a previous regulatory head on hand, Haun wrote:

“The CFTC plays a critical role as a federal regulator with jurisdiction over digital currencies, utility tokens, and other non-security commodities and Brian has long stood out as an innovative thinker in the crypto and DeFi space. He understands both how crypto technology works and how the CFTC thinks about the issue. His ability to translate between the two will be central to the success of a16z Crypto’s policy program and our portfolio companies.”

Other former U.S. government brass has also joined different crypto-involved outfits, such as Jay Clayton, who previously led the SEC as chairman. 

New fund aims to put hundreds of millions toward Algorand DeFi growth

Different decentralized finance solutions building on the Algorand blockchain could receive a chunk of a new $300 million fund.

Decentralized finance, or DeFi, has developed significantly over the past two years. The Algorand Foundation has unveiled a new fund positioned to allocate money toward certain DeFi projects looking to build on its native blockchain. 

The pool of capital is called the Viridis DeFi fund and is headed up by the Algorand Foundation — a group that was responsible for the Algorand blockchain and its ecosystem development. “This fund will provide 150 Million Algo to fuel the significant early growth of the DeFi ecosystem on Algorand,” according to a Friday post on the Algorand Foundation’s website.

“The fund will fuel the growth of decentralized exchanges, money markets, options markets, synthetic asset applications, and NFT platforms, all running on the best blockchain network for the future of finance,” the statement continued

At the time of publication, Algorand’s native coin (ALGO) trades at $1.96, based on CoinMarketCap data. This currently puts the value of the fund at $294 million, given the mentioned 150 million ALGO.

As the Ethereum blockchain has struggled to scale and meet DeFi usage demand — as isevident in the network's high fees — other blockchains have increasingly gained traction.

Kicking off the fund, the Algorand Foundation revealed the first two Algorand DeFi building categories positioned to receive capital from the fund. Calling them “SupaGrants,” each grant holds $5 million. “We are excited to share the first two SupaGrants that have been designed to support the creation of critical DeFi infrastructure,” the announcement post detailed. “Introducing the $5 Million Price Oracle SupaGrant and the $5 Million Bridge SupaGrant.”

Oracles in the crypto space are essentially ways to route information data to certain blockchains from sources outside those networks. Bridges help to connect siloed blockchains so they can interact with each other, adding potential to possibly limited single networks. The oracle grant is open to interested applicants, while the bridge grant is still in the works.

Government employee accused of mining crypto at public’s expense

The New York county clerk office employee allegedly used over 40 devices to mine crypto unlawfully.

An information technology operations supervisor at the Suffolk County clerk’s office in New York, Christopher Naples allegedly harnessed his position to place crypto mining equipment in various spots at the Riverhead Center in the New York county in which he worked. 

Naples allegedly set up 46 devices for crypto mining, “in locations like an unused electrical wall panel or underneath floorboards,” according to a statement posted on AP News on Wednesday.

Crypto mining can be an expensive endeavor, sometimes requiring specific equipment for the task as well as hiking up electrical costs wherever the mining apparatuses are set up. Mining equipment can also give off notable amounts of heat, adding to the equation.

According to a quote in the statement from Timothy Sini, a district attorney in Suffolk County: “Mining cryptocurrency requires an enormous amount of resources, and miners have to navigate how to cover all of those electricity and cooling costs.” Sini added that Naples “found a way to do it; unfortunately, it was on the backs of taxpayers.”

The worker’s efforts allegedly racked up $6,000 or more in electrical costs burdened on Suffolk County, the statement claimed.

Naples faces a number of legal claims, such as grand larceny, and could receive a sentence of as long as 15 years jail time. The courts released Naples without requiring bail while he awaits further legal proceedings.

During a Wednesday press meeting, as reported in an article from Newsday, Sini said:

"We will not tolerate county employees, who are already on the public payroll, to steal taxpayer money and illegally use government resources for their own personal gain."

Still too early to know if Bitcoin will remain top dog, Wall Street vet says

Will other crypto assets ever overtake Bitcoin in market cap? Daniel Strachman weighs in.

Bitcoin has thus far remained the largest crypto asset in terms of market capitalization since its launch in 2009. Given the thousands of other cryptocurrencies that have come into existence over the years, could any of them ever become larger than Bitcoin (BTC) in terms of market cap?

“We are in the top half of the second inning of crypto and right now it looks like BTC will remain at the top however, like the Red Sox fell apart this year, we just don’t know,” managing partner of A&C Advisors LLC, Daniel Strachman, told Cointelegraph. Strachman's experience includes decades of financial work and writing multiple books. “It comes down to market reaction and investor interest,” he added. “There is a lot of talk about Eth surpassing BTC and that is a reality but we need to play a few more innings to see what happens.”

The crypto industry has seen multiple market cycles, growing larger with each. CoinMarketCap, which lists crypto assets according to their market cap size, is a common source of data in the digital asset industry. Crypto assets have achieved massive dollar valuations. Almost all of the crypto assets in the top 100 on CoinMarketCap carry valuations over $1 billion — a sign of the crypto industry’s growth and significance.

Technology has developed significantly since Bitcoin’s inception over a decade ago. Discussions and comments regarding a “flippening” — industry lingo for a different cryptocurrency surpassing BTC in market cap — have surfaced from time to time. What might cause another crypto asset to surpass Bitcoin in market cap?

“Utility in the market and investor adoption and interest is what will drive one crypto asset or maybe two to surpass BTC,” Strachman said.

Bitcoin has gained prominence in the mainstream eye. The asset has a fixed and comparatively scarce supply, as well as a loyal following in the crypto industry, especially among a crowd called “Bitcoin maximalists,” who essentially see BTC as the only crypto that will succeed long term.

Related: MicroStrategy splashes $177M on Bitcoin, now holds almost 109,000 BTC

“The crypto market is an asset class that is here to stay,” Strachman said when asked about the likelihood (or lack thereof) of a BTC flippening and the significance of such an event. He added:

“It is not going away. If a crypto asset surpasses BTC it will be because of market forces both investor interest and market utility. If you look at the top five companies by market cap in 1980, they were Exxon, GM, Mobil Ford and Texaco, today they are Apple, Microsoft, Google, Saudi Aramco and Amazon – things change and that is ok because that is how free global markets work.”

The likelihood of a flippening remains difficult to quantify, although talk over the past several years has questioned Ethereum (ETH) as a potential contender.

Reports suggest that a mainstream tech giant holds shares of Coinbase stock

End of Q2 holdings for Intel showed a small stack of COIN shares, valuing between $500,000 and $1,000,000 at time of publication.

Over the course of 2020 and 2021, the cryptocurrency industry has attracted a notable amount of mainstream attention. In line with the growing awareness of the crypto industry, Intel, a tech company with history dating back to the 1960s, revealed an investment in crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN). 

Although a number of specifics remain unknown, such as when the purchase occurred, required Q2 financial disclosure from Intel showed the outfit carrying 3,014 COIN shares at Q2’s conclusion, according to a Friday article from Barron’s. “Intel was obligated to disclose the stake to the Securities and Exchange Commission because it owns more than $100 million in publicly traded investments,” Barron’s noted.

The disclosure from Intel went public on Aug. 13, according to the article.

Coinbase took its operation public in April 2021, listing directly on the Nasdaq. Since the listing, Coinbase has seen its shares trading between an approximate range of $210 and $430 per share, based on TradingView data.

COIN closed trading on Friday at $261.25 per share. At that price, Intel’s reported end of Q2 holdings currently value $787,407.50. COIN closed Q2 at $253.30, which would have made Intel’s holdings of the asset worth $763,446.20 at the time.

“It is possible that Intel invested in Coinbase before the shares were trading publicly,” the Barron’s article said. “Regulatory filings only require companies that are going public to disclose investors with stakes of 5% or more.”

Intel has had its hand in various blockchain endeavors in the past, including offering a Hyperledger Fabric-based blockchain solution.

Is being late into Bitcoin about perspective?

Bitcoin has increased more than 5,000,000% in price between its early days and its all-time price high, but are most of its big gains already done compared to other crypto opportunities?

Over the course of approximately 12 years, Bitcoin (BTC) went from the status as a little-known experiment to trading as an entirely new class of asset recognized by the mainstream financial world. In that time, the price of one Bitcoin has gone from less than $1, all the way up past $60,000 at its peak. People have bought into the asset at varying points along the way, with some users making significant profits from Bitcoin’s upward price journey. Given that Bitcoin now trades for tens of thousands of dollars per coin, is it too late to profit from getting into BTC now? One crypto trader on Twitter thinks so. 

“Tbh I just dont care what bitcoin does anymore,” Moon Overlord said in a March 15, 2021 tweet. “We already made it,” they said, adding: “And yes its too late to buy it, it's $50-$60k for ONE, time to look elsewhere if you are new or dont have much to invest.”

Folks had months to stock up on BTC for under $0.10 per coin back in 2010, according to BraveNewCoin’s Bitcoin Liquid Index (BLX) on TradingView. The difficulty with buying Bitcoin that early, though, was that the asset had far less publicity and available purchasing on-ramps than it does today.

Even in 2015, however, many opportunities existed to buy BTC for less than $330 per coin, which would yield significant profits if sold at today’s prices. Although Bitcoin had already amassed tremendous percentage gains at $330 per coin, one unit of the asset was still affordable compared to prices above $50,000.

DCA refers to dollar-cost averaging. For more on DCA, read: Warren Buffett praises stocks dollar-cost averaging — But does it work for Bitcoin?

“It's too late to magically get rich on bitcoin, cope,” Moon Overlord said in a separate tweet, adding: “Are you a fortune 500 company or a country / nation? Then it's probably still OK for you.”

In 2021, on the r/Bitcoin subreddit, Reddit user u/DocumentingBitcoin posted a 2010 statement by user “ichi,” in which the user expressed feelings that they had missed out on Bitcoin. “I have only 600 bitcoins, virtually all generated last week,” ichi explained on July 25, 2010. “I missed the bus,” the user said, followed by a sad face emoji.

Bitcoin’s price around the date of the original 2010 post ranged from $0.05 to $0.06 per coin, according to the daily candles for July 24 to 26, 2010 on the BLX chart on TradingView.

Some crypto industry participants have speculated on Bitcoin’s value reaching significantly higher prices than its near-$65,000 all-time high, with some even thinking $1,000,000 per BTC is not out of the question. More notable upside means more potential profits going forward for BTC, although such percentage gains may be smaller than some of the profit percentages seen in certain altcoins in 2020 and 2021.

Yearn.finance (YFI), for example, rose more than 5,000% in price in 2020. Granted, investing in or trading crypto assets lesser-known than BTC may come with greater risk of loss due to potential project failure, asset price crashes and regulatory changes, among others.

Crypto is no longer in the early adoption stage, Bittrex Global CEO says

Bittrex Global's CEO explains where he thinks the crypto industry is in terms of adoption.

The crypto industry began with Bitcoin’s launch in 2009, flowering into a bustling industry filled with many different assets and blockchain-based solutions in the years following. The sector, however, is no longer in its infancy, according to Bittrex Global CEO Stephen Stonberg.

“I think we’re already past the stage of crypto early adoption,” Stonberg told Cointelegraph, adding:

“Crypto has now gone mainstream. We have double-digit percentage adoption in both developed and developing countries. We even have Bitcoin adopted as legal tender in a country and many other countries are considering adopting Bitcoin as legal tender.”

El Salvador’s government gave Bitcoin (BTC) the official nod in June 2021, making the asset a legal tender across the country. The BTC green light in El Salvador means businesses must allow the asset as a form of payment in the region.

“At the commercial level, we are also seeing big changes,” Stonberg said, subsequently citing recent crypto-friendly developments from AMC and Venmo. Coming into play by 2022, AMC moviegoers should be able to pay for their tickets in Bitcoin if all goes according to the theater chain’s plans. Users of the Venmo credit card have also been given the option of putting cash back rewards directly into crypto assets, thanks to a fresh function recently publicized by Venmo. “Both are significant moves within the larger, mainstream market,” Stonberg said of the AMC and Venmo developments.

Related: Total crypto market value breaks $1.9T for the first time since May

“From a retail perspective, we’re seeing cryptocurrency adoption booming globally,” Stonberg explained. He added:

“Bitcoin adoption in a lot of developing countries was in the double-digit percentages but has now also increased in the US from single-digit percentages to double digits. What’s more interesting to see is the growth and acceleration of institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies. Almost all major institutions have invested in cryptocurrencies or plan to invest in cryptocurrencies.”

Bitcoin has become a much more common investment, with a number of big companies, such as Microstrategy, putting capital into the asset.

MyEtherWallet founder notes two key aspects of Ethereum London hard fork

Ethereum's London hard fork made a number of changes to the Ethereum blockchain.

Ethereum underwent an upgrade on Thursday, bringing with it a number of alterations to the network's blockchain. CEO and founder of MyEtherWallet, Kosala Hemchandra, pointed toward two changes of particular importance. 

“The London upgrade adds around 5 changes to the current Ethereum network; however, I believe that only 2 of them are crucial to day-to-day users,” Hemchandra said in comments sent to Cointelegraph. Noting “time bomb delay” as the first of the two, he added:

“Since the inception of Ethereum there was a hard coded value basically responsible to make sure Ethereum will move to PoS or ETH 2.0 on time. This value is responsible for making the block difficulty exponentially hard after a certain block number thus making it impossible for miners to mine new blocks and they have to move to ETH 2 network. However, because of development delays this time bomb kept getting delayed and in the London fork, it'll be postponed one last time.”

Ethereum has suffered scalability issues in recent years, particularly evident in the high fees present when using decentralized finance, or DeFi, solutions. A long time in the making, Ethereum 2.0, or Eth2, looks to bring scalability to the Ethereum blockchain, which includes shifting to a proof-of-stake, or PoS, consensus mechanism. Eth2's roadmap officially kicked off in December 2020.

Ethereum’s recent London hard fork included five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs). One of those proposals, EIP-1559, seeks to giv the blockchain a deflationary effect on its native asset, Ether (ETH). Hemchandra noted EIP-1559 as the second important change brought by the London hard fork.

“EIP 1559 is the highly debated change which, in essence, changes the structure of how Ethereum tx fees are handled,” he said, adding:

“This will bring a couple of major changes, such as burning the transaction fee, which will reduce the increase of overall ETH in circulation. However, since miners will no longer receive the tx fees as an incentive this change was highly debated. This change also brings a tipping mechanism to tip the miners for including your tx, and this tip will go directly to the miner and will not be burned.”

Coinbase users can now buy crypto with Apple Pay

Coinbase has added additional user-friendly payment options to its platform.

Crypto exchange Coinbase announced on Thursday that users can now use Apple Pay to purchase crypto assets on its platform, with Google Pay integration to follow.

“Today we’re introducing new and seamless ways to enable crypto buys with linked debit cards to Apple Pay and Google Pay, and instant cashouts up to $100,000 per transaction available 24/7,” said a Coinbase blog post on Thursday.

“If you already have a Visa or Mastercard debit card linked in your Apple Wallet, Apple Pay will automatically appear as a payment method when you’re buying crypto with Coinbase on an Apple Pay-supported iOS device or Safari web browser,” the Coinbase blog post mentioned. 

Coinbase expects to enable Google Pay functionality “later this fall.”

In the same post, Coinbase announced “instant cashouts via Real Time Payments (RTP), enabling customers in the U.S. with linked bank accounts to instantly and securely cash out up to $100,000 per transaction.”

Digital asset exchange Gemini made a similar move back in April, integrating Google Pay and Apple Pay cash transfer options on its platform.

This story is developing and will be updated.

Ethereum’s London hard fork expected to arrive on Thursday, ushering in EIP-1559

Think Ethereum is going to morph into a deflationary asset over night? Not so fast!

Ethereum’s London upgrade is set to activate on Thursday, according to the countdown available on Ethereum.org. “The London upgrade is scheduled to go live on Ethereum in August 2021, on block 12,965,000,” Ethereum.org reads. “It will introduce EIP-1559, which reforms the transaction fee market, along with changes to how gas refunds are handled and the Ice Age schedule.”

Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1559, or EIP-1559, will directly affect how the network handles transaction fees. Going forward, each transaction will burn a base fee, thereby decreasing the asset's circulating supply, and give users the option of including a tip to help incentivize speedier confirmations proportionate to network demand. The London fork will also introduce other EIPs, such as EIP-3541, according to a blog post from the Ethereum Foundation in mid July.

Twitter user korpi pointed out a number of notable points regarding EIP-1559 in a tweet thread on Monday.

“What everyone is excited about is $ETH burn,” korpi said in the tweet thread after discussing a number of other points regarding the Ethereum upgrade. Korpi added:

“After EIP-1559 part of the transaction fee is burned and removed from circulation. But it doesn't mean that ETH immediately becomes a deflationary asset. For that to happen ETH burned must be higher than ETH issued in block rewards.”

Ethereum’s London hard fork is part of its Ethereum 2.0 journey — which will ultimately change the network's consensus algorithm from proof-of-work, or PoW, to proof-of-stake, or PoS.

BTC payments coming to certain Quiznos shops, thanks to Bakkt collaboration

Quiznos customers will soon be able to pay in Bitcoin via Bakkt's app at certain Colorado locations.

An upcoming collaboration between Bakkt and Quiznos will allow customers to pay for meals at certain locations with Bitcoin (BTC).

Customers will be able to pay in BTC at certain Quiznos shops in Colorado’s capital as part of an initial test run, according to a public statement on Tuesday. “The pilot will be available at select Quiznos locations across the Denver market, including the high-traffic Denver airport location, starting in mid-August,” the statement said.

Folks will be able to pay with Bitcoin via Bakkt’s app — a versatile hub for holding and spending Bitcoin, as well as managing reward points and other features. Quiznos is owned by REGO Restaurant Group. REGO’s president, Mark Lohmann, said in a statement:

“Partnering with an innovative platform such as Bakkt is appealing to us for a number of reasons, primarily because it allows us to accept bitcoin directly at the point of sale as part of a quick and seamless transaction [...] As we continue our digital transformation journey and respond to mobile and millennial consumer demand for alternative and cryptocurrency payment options, we are excited to offer yet another accessible way for customers to buy a meal, in this case, through the Bakkt digital asset wallet.”

The test run comes with an extra perk as well. Quiznos goers will earn $15 of free Bitcoin if they get Bakkt’s app, purchase some BTC on it and then spend that BTC at a participating Quiznos shop, the statement included.

“Through a partnership with Bakkt, merchants and franchisees have the opportunity to accept bitcoin payments from consumers while still benefiting from a cash-settled experience,” the statement said. The statement was not clear on whether or not Quiznos would sell the received BTC right away.

Cointelegraph reached out to Bakkt for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

How to get involved with crypto: The first step into blockchain industry

The crypto and blockchain industry has blossomed into a large sea of activity and development, divided into various niches.

The cryptocurrency industry has grown immensely in the years since it began. Following Bitcoin’s (BTC) launch in 2009, an entire industry has sprung up and flourished around the innovative asset and its underlying blockchain technology. People have created thousands of crypto projects, numerous different blockchains and a number of different blockchain technological specifications and variants. 

With such a deep and vast industry, how do you know where to start if you want to get involved? Start with your interests and talents.

The cryptocurrency and blockchain industry (also sometimes referred to as simply the blockchain industry or the crypto industry) has branched out into a number of specific niches in which you can participate in various capacities. The factions of these industries explained in this article are not an exhaustive list, but provide a few examples of different niches within the space.

The niches mentioned are also not particularly coined or accepted industry-wide and may be grouped differently or classified differently, depending on who you talk to or what source you investigate. Some niches can also overlap with other niches within the overall industry.

Developers

Tech-savvy folks who can code might be interested in this section of crypto and blockchain. This could mean constructing decentralized applications, helping develop blockchains, or working on technical specifications for crypto assets. Developers put together the underpinnings of the industry’s solutions and assets.

To understand blockchain, check out — How does blockchain work? Everything there is to know

Numerous areas of potential interest fall under the developer category. The decentralized finance (DeFi) niche of the crypto space became prominent in 2020, introducing a whole new demand for digital asset swapping and related infrastructures. DeFi involves solutions for functions such as crypto-based loans.

To learn more about DeFi, read — DeFi: A comprehensive guide to decentralized finance

Another potential area for tech-interested folks is that of nonfungible tokens (NFTs), which exploded in prevalence in 2021, offering a new way to authenticate and track unique items of value. The NFT subdivision of crypto needs folks with technical skills to build out solutions around existing use cases, as well as explore uncharted usages of the tech.

Interested in NFTs? Check out Cointelegraph Magazine’s Nonfungible tokens quick guide

Traders

Crypto trading is similar to stock trading in some ways. The crypto industry boasts thousands of digital assets that each fluctuate in price. Trading crypto involves buying and selling assets in search of profit. Traders are not so much concerned with what an asset does and how it works as much as they are interested in whether or not they can buy assets and sell them at higher prices, or vice versa.

Traders may be interested in the latest news, looking to buy and sell based on hype or expectations. Traders also often use price charts, gauging price patterns and price indicators. Charting price action is called technical analysis. Additionally, since Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies show asset movement publicly on their blockchains, analysts can come up with their own conclusions based on transactions and activity — known as on-chain analysis.

For more on crypto trading, read: How to trade cryptocurrencies: The ultimate beginner's guide

Trading can also overlap with the developer’s niche, as traders may want to build (or have someone else build) trading bots, customer chart indicators and other useful trading tools.

Regulation

How does crypto fit into countries’ existing laws and regulations? Should regions craft new laws and guidelines for crypto and blockchain? Regulation has been a growing area of focus as the crypto industry continues to develop for years to come.

Cryptocurrency classifications as assets have come along slowly. Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) are generally viewed as commodities, but the classification for the many other crypto assets in the industry has been less than clear.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took action against Ripple in 2020 regarding the status of XRP, an asset Ripple has been involved with in various capacities over the years. Other regulatory action also exists in crypto and blockchain, such as the ongoing scene with crypto exchanges and their regions of operation.

Crypto or blockchain-interested folks in the mainstream legal or regulatory field might find an overlap of their passions by diving into crypto regulation in some capacity. This might include working on crypto projects’ legal and compliance teams, working with policy groups and think tanks, or serving directly within governments to elicit change.

Company builders

Leaders and visionaries may have the desire to improve the crypto space by creating a project or business that solves an identified problem or need. Innovators have birthed countless projects in the space over the years, helping to grow the industry from a single asset into an entire sector.

Building a company might involve identifying something that is missing in crypto or blockchain space, then subsequently hiring and leading a team focused on providing a particular solution to that problem.

For more about crypto regulation, read: Will regulation adapt to crypto, or crypto to regulation? Experts answer

Overlap in this category exists, as company builders may also have expertise in coding, regulation, or another of the aforementioned fields.

Content creators

Social media and internet growth have opened the door for participants to share their thoughts and expertise globally. Virtually anyone can learn vast amounts of information about the crypto space through YouTube, Twitter and other methods, and then add their own expertise to the equation by providing their own content.

Related: A new era of content monetization? Blockchain tech can get you paid

Content streams can include writing about crypto and blockchain on a personal blog or for a media company, making YouTube content, Medium posts, and more. Content creation can overlap with all of the other categories mentioned in this article as well. Developers, traders and regulatory professionals can all create their own content.

Winner spends fortune in crypto on Sotheby’s diamond auction

A massive diamond just sold on Sotheby’s for a whole lot of crypto.

Art and jewelry brokerage Sotheby’s put a 101.38 carat diamond up for auction, fetching over $10 million in crypto for the rock on July 9. 

The diamond “sold for $12.3 million to an anonymous buyer last Friday at Sotheby’s Hong Kong,” MarketWatch reported on Monday. “It’s the most expensive gem ever purchased with cryptocurrency, according to Sotheby’s,” MarketWatch added.

News of the crypto-friendly diamond auction surfaced in the latter half of June, with estimates forecasting the diamond to hit prices somewhere in the ballpark of $15 million. Called “The Key 10138,” the diamond’s name reportedly pays homage to crypto industry lingo. (Private keys give access to each crypto owner's holdings.)

Anonymity and pseudonymity are not uncommon in the crypto industry. Crypto traders and social media personalities often comment on Twitter via pseudonymous profiles. Even the creator (or creators) of Bitcoin (BTC), the asset that started the whole crypto industry, remained pseudonymous under the name Satoshi Nakamoto.

It’s fitting of the crypto industry that the diamond auction would yield an anonymous buyer, paying in crypto. Results of the auction did not include which digital asset the buyer put up as payment, according to MarketWatch. Buyers had the option to wager their offers for the diamond in Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), or regional currencies (fiat).

Related: Bitcoin price will see breakout ‘during this week’ says trader with $38K target

On July 9, Bitcoin’s price approximately traded between $32,670 and $34,170, based on Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin price index. Ethereum traded roughly between $2,070 and $2,180 on that day. Using a price of $33,000 per Bitcoin, the buyer would have paid about 372 BTC for the diamond. If paying in ETH, the rock would have cost about 5,857 ETH, assuming a price of $2,100 for each ETH coin. The actual totals were not shared, however, so the aforementioned simply serves as a logical benchmark of potential based on price action on July 9.

Binance woes continue as Clear Junction pulls out

Another player has decided to distance itself from Binance after a slew of negative headlines around the exchange in recent weeks.

Binance has faced a number of regulatory issues in recent weeks. Payments player Clear Junction has suspended activity with Binance after similar moves from Barclays and Santander. 

“Clear Junction can confirm that it will no longer be facilitating payments related to Binance,” Clear Junction said in a statement that was tweeted out by Adam Samson of the Financial Times on Monday. “The decision has been made following the Financial Conduct Authority’s recent announcement that Binance is not permitted to undertake any regulatory activity in the UK.”

The Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA, heads up regulatory overwatch of finance in the United Kingdom. Toward the end of June 2021, the FCA ruled that Binance Markets Limited, or BML, had to stop its U.K.-based operations. Countering the FCA move, Binance noted BML as a separate outfit.

Following the FCA news, as well as other regulatory concerns pointed toward Binance, Barclays suspended customers from using payment cards for Binance activity. Subsequently, the U.K. branch of Santander decided to suspend customer interaction with the crypto exchange.

Related: Poland financial regulator issues public warning about Binance

Clear Junction followed suit, according to today’s news. The statement from Clear Junction posted by Adam Samson added:

“We have decided to suspend both GBP and EUR payments, and will no longer be facilitating deposits or withdrawals in favor of or on behalf of the crypto trading platform. Clear Junction acts in full compliance with FCA regulations and guidance in regards to handling payments of Binance.”

Crypto ads no longer allowed on TikTok

These new guidelines probably mean there won't be any more Dogecoin hyping on the platform.

TikTok announced on Friday that certain types of ads would no longer be allowed on their platform. Crypto-based promotional content was included among the now-verboten topics, according to an article from FT Adviser on July 8. 

The new guidelines on the social video posting site will specifically inhibit users from posting promotional content about financial products, regardless of the poster’s geographic location. “According to TikTok’s branded content policy, the promotion of all financial services and products is now globally prohibited,” the FT Adviser article detailed.

TikTok was a hotbed for Dogecoin (DOGE) hype in 2020, when users shared related videos in an effort to get more folks to jump on the bandwagon. Other social media sites have also hosted notable financial markets discussion in recent months, with stock discussions on Reddit becoming prominent as well.

“My interpretation of this is [TikTok] are clamping down on directly or indirectly sponsored content which leads to an affiliate link, for example to sign up to a trading platform and get free stocks,” Informed Choice’s client education head, Martin Bamford, told FT Adviser, adding:

“We see a huge amount of this branded content on TikTok, usually from poorly informed commentators, who lure in followers with promises of riches, but in reality are making their money off people signing up via affiliate links."

It is unclear as to whether TikTok’s ban applies to all financial product discussions, or just those which are promotional in nature. Google banned crypto advertisements in 2018, although it did remove part of that ban this year for some entities, pending certain requirements.

Crypto company CEO says the recent crypto boom brought increased adoption

Crypto usage in 2021 differs from the 2017 rally, according to the CEO of StormX.

Cryptocurrency has gone through a number of bull and bear cycles since the industry’s inception in 2009. While 2017 saw the crypto industry boom around initial coin offerings and a rising Bitcoin (BTC) price, 2020 and 2021 have seen the crypto space expand around decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible tokens (NFTs). This time however, retail and institutional interest in crypto have ushered in greater adoption than ever before, according to one crypto company CEO. 

“Cryptocurrencies have been growing steadily in popularity over the years, but 2017 left a bitter taste in a lot of people's mouths when the market took a swift downturn,” StormX CEO Simon Yu said in comments sent to Cointelegraph. “But fast forward to 2021 and it’s clear to see times have changed.”

Yu crafted his quotes in response to recent findings from the Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA, of the United Kingdom, which revealed 2.3 million U.K.-based adults own cryptocurrency, based on a survey.

In 2017, Bitcoin’s price rallied to heights just shy of $20,000 per coin. In 2021, BTC reached prices of nearly $65,000, based on TradingView.com data.

Related: Texas crypto users will soon be able to buy and sell tokens at major supermarket chain

“The integration of cryptocurrency into aspects of daily life allows for room to grow and solidify itself as more than just an asset — it’s becoming a serious alternative financial system to fiat currency and people are starting to take notice,” Yu said, adding:

“No longer are companies popping up with arbitrary use cases, but they are instead now thriving by adding benefits to consumers' lives outside of the cryptocurrency realm. This all comes at a time, amidst a global pandemic, where people have had time to assess their finances, and now seek alternative routes to not only invest money, but also make money.”

Following the 2017 crypto bull market, the industry fell into a bear market in 2018. As far as the present market goes, Bitcoin sits in the $30,000-$40,000 range as of time of publication, down significantly from its all-time high. Time will tell whether or not the crypto market is headed for further bearishness ahead.

An NFT of the photo that inspired Dogecoin just sold for $4M

That picture of a dog staring into the camera in formal posture.. you know, the one that sparked the Doge meme? Someone just sold it for millions in Ether.

Dogecoin has seen significant attention in 2021 in tandem with its dramatic price rise. Capitalizing on this rise in attention, someone sold a non-fungible token (NFT) of the picture on which the Dogecoin (DOGE) cryptocurrency was based. 

“The original image that started it all,” read the description of the NFT, sold on very.auction. “This photo of the Shiba Inu ‘Kabosu’ was taken by her owner Atsuko Sato on February 13th, 2010,” the description explains, adding:

“After sharing it to her personal blog alongside the series of other famous images under the title ‘Taking a walk with Kabosu-chan,’ these photos went on to kickstart the Doge meme and have circulated the web ever since — none more iconic than this picture.”

The NFT was minted by a user named @kabosumama on May 31, according to the auction site. The first bid landed on June 8 from a user willing to pay 6.5 Ethereum (ETH) for the piece. Bidding escalated from there. The winning bid of 1,696.90 ETH — over $4M at time of publication — was wagered on June 11.

Related: Nifty News: Doge NFTs much wow, Paris Hilton is an NFT advisor, NFT game raises $3M

Topping above $0.70 per coin, Dogecoin’s price has risen substantially in 2021. The asset, however, has fallen notably since then, in line with the rest of the crypto market recently, trading at roughly $0.31 as of time of publication.

Elon Musk, the self-proclaimed CEO of Dogecoin, has posted a number of Dogecoin-related tweets in recent months. Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus created the asset in 2013 as a meme-based crypto parody.

These Bitcoin tweets were way ahead of their time

One Twitter user thought Bitcoin had taken off without them in 2010, while another figured BTC wouldn't go anywhere.

Bitcoin came to life in 2009. More than a decade later, the present day looks back on an enormous amount of development that has built a surrounding industry, complete with other blockchains, assets and solutions. Some folks knew about Bitcoin (BTC) in its early years, while others have jumped on the train in varying droves since then. Looking back through Twitter’s history reveals a few tweets that were far ahead of their time. 

In 2010, one Twitter user saw Bitcoin’s potential, yet expressed skepticism regarding its future. Little did they know how common the term Bitcoin would become, surfacing as the topic of numerous mainstream news interviews and reporting.

Someone else on Twitter thought they were behind the game, back in 2010! The tweet shows a post date of Dec. 1, 2010. Bitcoin’s daily price candle for that day reached a price high of around $0.23 per BTC, according to TradingView’s BraveNewCoin BTC Liquid Index. For reference, Bitcoin reached levels above $60,000 per coin in April 2021. 

Another Twitter user cashed in their Christmas present haul in 2011 for the digital asset. If they held BTC until 2021, their decision likely paid notable percentage returns, based on price action since. 

Lastly for this batch of history is a 2009 Twitter post from the now-deceased Hal Finney, who was involved in Bitcoin from the beginning. This retro tweet came on Jan. 21, 2009, shortly after Bitcoin’s Genesis block launched on Jan. 3, 2009. Since then, some assets, such as Monero (XMR), have come into existence, touting greater privacy. 

US Congressman expresses importance of crypto wallet privacy

Cynthia Lummis and Warren Davidson speak on Bitcoin's importance and personal privacy during an interview at Bitcoin 2021 in Miami.

At the bustling Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami, Congressman Warren Davidson, alongside United States Senator Cynthia Lummis, sat down to field interview questions. The interview took a turn toward privacy, with Davidson responding with comments on crypto wallets. 

“At the end of the year, if you think about it, Secretary Mnuchin was talking about banning private wallets,” Davidson said, responding to a question about the possibility of over-regulation in crypto. “That’s a horrible approach,” he added. “If we don’t protect private wallets, someone is going to try to ban them.”

As Davidson mentioned, December 2020 saw the U.S. Treasury suggest strict overwatch on self-custodied digital asset wallets, with certain specifics, such as calling for more information from users transacting with wallets held away from crypto exchanges.

“I wish the country would take the threat to privacy as seriously as they take the threat to the second amendment,” he said. The second amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives citizens gun ownership rights.

Taking her turn at a response, Lummis noted the importance of teaching U.S. government folks on Bitcoin. “We’re trying to create a financial innovation caucus so we can use it to educate members of the U.S. Senate and their staffs about Bitcoin, its advantages, and why it is just such a fabulous asset to dovetail with the U.S. dollar,” she said. “It can be the underlying network, worldwide, to keep the dollar the global reserve currency, but still allow people to transact in a very freedom-loving way,” she said, adding:

“Whether you’re in Venezuela, where the inflation is outrageous and you’re trying to get your wealth out of the country, you can get it out through Bitcoin. And, the United States, if we get to the point where we’re experiencing the kind of inflation we’ve begun to see this year, we may want that alternative as well.”

In recent years, Venezuela has seen soaring levels of inflation amid a broad economic decline that was partially tied to the oil-price collapse of 2014.

The Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami thus far has hosted significant action in terms of speakers and discussions. The event will continue for a second day on Saturday. 

Korean Solana expansion gets $20 million boost

ROK Capital and the Solana Foundation have formed the Solana Eco Fund, aiming to spark a fire of Solana blockchain-based growth in Korea.

Solana-related news has surfed a number of headlines in recent months. The blockchain now appears headed for major strides in Korea, with significant funding for its surrounding ecosystem. 

"As one of the largest crypto markets globally, Korea has an extraordinarily high adoption rate of cryptocurrencies," a representative from Korean firm ROK Capital told Cointelegraph. "By expanding the Solana ecosystem in Korea, we hope to grow the awareness and adoption of decentralized applications on the Solana ecosystem as well as encourage and incubate local teams to build on Solana."

A new $20 million Solana Eco Fund — constructed by ROK Capital and the Solana Foundation — is now available to help out the world of solutions based around the Solana blockchain, said a Thursday public statement provided to Cointelegraph. Several projects have already received funding, including Synthetify and Symmetry.

“In addition to injecting capital, this new fund will provide tailored services for projects to successfully accelerate in Korea,” Brain Kang, a general partner at ROK Capital, said.

“By partnering with Solana, the firm hopes to bootstrap a range of Solana-focused infrastructure projects, including those related to Web3, Defi, and NFTs,” the statement said of ROK Capital. “The focus will be on accelerating Solana’s expansion into the Korean market,” the statement added, subsequently noting additional involvement from DeSpread and FactBlock.

Earlier this morning brought news of another Solana ecosystem-spurring effort, labeled the Solverse Accelerator. The initiative, which is supported by at least 21 companies, will provide mentorship and other resources in support of projects building on the Solana network. Wednesday also saw the opening of a Solana-based market for nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, called Metaplex.

Solana’s native coin, SOL, sits in 16th position on CoinMarketCap’s rankings list at a price of $39.01 per coin at the time of publication, with a market cap of approximately $10.6 billion.

Funding surpasses $2 million for this charity DAO

Multiple parties added capital to Endaoment, which aims to turn its ecosystem into a decentralized autonomous organization for donations — charity for the people.

Opportunities for cryptocurrency usage have risen over the years as digital assets have become more well known. One operation, called Endaoment, is aiming to put charitable giving in the hands of the people and recently secured over $2 million to further its endeavor. 

“Endaoment facilitates tax-deductible giving of cryptocurrencies via its Donor-Advised Funds, a kind of charitable financial account, where donors give assets to charity, and later recommend distributions to non-profit organizations,” said a Wednesday public statement provided to Cointelegraph. “Endaoment also offers Community Funds, a pooled giving opportunity where grants are made around specific issue areas and identified by the community.” Endaoment hosts compatibility for a large number of digital assets.

This is not the first instance crypto-based donations have surfaced as a topic in the industry. The Giving Block has taken a number of strides to facilitate donations via crypto assets.

Endaoment is currently overseen and developed by a community foundation, although the operation aims to eventually function as a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, — essentially a system run by the public in a democratic fashion in line with programmed rules and guidelines. Endaoment’s donor fund systems run on Ethereum’s blockchain, the statement also noted.

A number of entities donated and invested a total $2.5 million into Endaoment as part of a seed funding round, the statement included. The capital will assist in moving toward the DAO set up.

“This capital enables us to launch the DAO that is our namesake; the first DAO to power an on-chain philanthropic institution without compromising on regulatory compliance,” Robbie Heeger, Endaoment’s CEO and president, said in the public statement.

Polkadot ETP hits Swedish stock market

The mainstream market now has a new way of buying and selling the crypto asset Polkadot — via an exchange-traded product.

The mainstream financial world has taken notable strides to incorporate various crypto assets. A new exchange-traded product (ETP) for Polkadot (DOT) recently surfaced on a mainstream exchange in Sweden. 

The Nordic Growth Market now hosts buying and selling for the DOT ETP, officially labeled as the “VALOUR POLKADOT (DOT) SEK,” according to a public statement provided to Cointelegraph. The ETP is a product of Valour, a company that produces digital asset-based ETPs. The product went live on the exchange on Monday. A company called DeFi Technologies is Valour’s parent company.

“This is a particularly exciting time for the Polkadot protocol with the upcoming launch of its parachain functionality, providing increased scalability and finalizing its core build,” Diana Biggs, Valour’s CEO, said, as quoted in the public statement. “Our launch of Valour DOT SEK is a direct response to increased demand from both retail and institutional investors for access to further innovative blockchain protocols via our ETPs.”

An equities market based in Sweden holding regulatory approval in the country, the Nordic Growth Market, also shortened to NGM, serves participants from multiple countries.

Over the years, mainstream entities have paved more traditional roadways for cryptocurrency exposure, such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Bitcoin and Ethereum futures, Grayscale’s crypto-based products, and Canadian Bitcoin exchange-traded funds.

Using traditional stock market measures, participants can buy and sell the DOT ETP, which is backed by the crypto asset DOT. “For each exchange traded product of Valour that is bought and sold on the stock exchange, Valour purchases or sells the equivalent amount of the underlying digital assets, meaning the products are fully backed at all times,” the statement said of Valour’s ETPs in general.

Privacy blockchain Dusk establishes $5 million grant program

Folks looking to build solutions involving Dusk’s privacy-focused blockchain can apply for support, as the company has $5 million to dish out.

The crypto space has grown significantly in recent years, with various projects harnessing different blockchains for their solutions. Dusk Network, a blockchain focused on privacy, now offers projects the opportunity to apply for funding for Dusk-related endeavors. 

“The Dusk Grants Program seeks to engage (independent) projects, developers, researchers, academics, or community organizers that want to accelerate the growth and accessibility of the Dusk Network blockchain platform,” Dusk said in a public statement on Tuesday. “The program is open to anyone and everyone, though applications need to be relevant to Dusk Network.”

Originally unveiled back in April, the grant initiative touts $5 million in total, available for allocation to various projects. Interested parties must apply for grant funds, with applications running through a six-step process, starting with an inquiry form, and ending with onboarding, according to the public statement.

The statement listed a number of particular project niches in which Dusk is interested in terms of allocating grant funds, including mainstream adoption-driving projects.

Since the launch of Bitcoin’s blockchain in 2009, various other blockchains have emerged, such as Ethereum, with which projects can build solutions. Dusk aims to offer a privacy-focused blockchain, which projects can harness for building.

Dusk’s team currently oversees the grant endeavor, including approvals, although Dusk plans on forming a specific unit for grant overwatch. “In the coming year, a newly instantiated Governance Council consisting of core team members and reputable industry developers will start to govern the grant program,” the statement said. “This dedicated team of 7 people will also govern the network’s Community Development Fund (CDF), and is tasked with securing the long-term future of Dusk Network,” the statement added. “Further down the line, the team aspires to govern the network directly on-chain through a decentralised governance procedure.”

According to the statement, Dusk has not yet openly fired up its testnet. Cointelegraph reached out to Dusk Network, but did not receive a response in time for initial publication.

Stablecoin company earns record-level investment sum for a crypto outfit

Circle now hodls the record for receiving the biggest investment round taken in by a crypto entity.

Crypto companies have been on the rise in tandem with the industry’s growth in recent years. A report from Forbes recently detailed a number of large investments into blockchain and digital asset entities, with one $440 million play rising to the forefront. 

“Circle, creator of the second-largest stablecoin, USDC, has just raised $440 million in private investment from an array of private equity, institutional and strategic investors,” Forbes wrote on Friday. Circle inked the deal on Friday, capturing investment from Fidelity Management and Research company, FTX, and others.

The article recapped the details around the top-12 most sizable monetary contributions crypto outfits have received over the years, in order of size, with Circle summiting the list.

Holding second place — crypto mining solution provider Bitmain, touting a 2018 investment round of $422 million, according to Forbes. Bitmain actually takes up two spots on the list, having received another investment in 2018, to the tune of $292.7 million.

BlockFi holds third place with a $350 million VC round from 2021. Dapper Labs and Blockchain.com come in fourth and fifth, having received $305 million and $300 million respectively.

This year has been a good one so far for crypto companies raisi funds. “Of the 12 largest crypto-investments in history, five have been in 2021,” Forbes detailed.

The overall crypto space has seen notable exuberance in 2021, with Bitcoin’s price reaching record highs as well as standout price performances from other digital assets.

Coinbase isalso stands on Forbes’ list, seeing $300 million worth of capital invested in its brand in 2018. That funding included participation from Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital, among others. Coinbase went public on the Nasdaq in April 2021 by way of a direct listing.

Bitcoin likely won’t entirely replace current financial system, Coin Center director says

Bitcoin may not make the current monetary and financial system extinct, although its usage will likely vary depending on one’s location.

Bitcoin may not mean an end to traditional currency and banking, according to Peter Van Valkenburgh, research director at Coin Center. 

“I think there’s folks in the Bitcoin community who probably make too many noises about how Bitcoin is going to dominate all economic systems and nobody will be using dollars anymore, and nobody will be using banks anymore, and I think that’s actually a little foolhardy,” Van Valkenburgh said in a Friday interview with the Washington Journal on C-Span.

“The fact of the matter is that there’s going to be times when a Bitcoin transaction is what you want. Definitely if you are in an oppressive state like Nigeria or Belarus you might find it more useful to use Bitcoin. In the U.S., we have a pretty stable banking system. We have the rule of law, we have a pretty well-functioning government.”

The way in which Bitcoin is used can depend on users’ geographic location. In some countries, Bitcoin (BTC) is seen as more of a speculative asset, used for trading and investing.

In other regions, Bitcoin can serve as a vehicle of greater freedom, providing users more flexibility and faster payments, as well as an avenue out of inflationary troubles when compared to traditional finance and currency.

“Generally speaking, here in the U.S., you’ll probably still use credit cards and Venmo and things like that, but maybe you’ll want to buy some Bitcoin because it can be a way to balance your investment portfolio against the threat of inflation,” Van Valkenburgh said, subsequently referring to similarity to gold in terms of limited supply.

“So maybe, you know, as part of a balanced portfolio that includes other safer investments, you might have a little bit of Bitcoin to hedge against inflation,” he noted.

Sweden moving forward in e-krona CBDC trials

Sweden will trial its CBDC with a live banking participant. The experimentation will involve participation between Riksbank and Handelsbanken, a retail bank chain based in Sweden.

Sweden has made a number of strides toward its own central bank digital currency, or CBDC, called the e-krona. The Sveriges Riksbank, the country’s central bank, now looks to experiment with the asset using a non-simulated party. 

As reported by Reuters, Riksbank detailed on Friday via a statement: “The e-krona pilot is therefore moving on from only having simulated participants to cooperation with external participants in the test environment.” The experimentation will involve participation between Riksbank and Handelsbanken, a retail bank chain based in Sweden.

In January, Riksbank elaborated that its e-krona proof-of-concept harnesses Corda, a distributed ledger technology, or DLT, solution from R3. Sweden has been on the CBDC path for over a year. April brought news that the country had finished the beginning portion of its CBDC pilot.

The Riksbank statement reported on by Reuters also included Handelsbanken noting: “For Handelsbanken, the project means the opportunity to participate in what may be among the first digital central bank-issued money in the world to be available to the public.”

CBDCs were a hot topic in 2020, with countries continuing their pursuits in 2021. China has largely led the charge in terms of CBDC ambition, although the Bahamas burst on the scene last fall with the first CBDC launch, calling its currency the Sand Dollar. Just recently, Lael Brainard, the governor of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, expressed the importance of a CBDC in terms of the country’s position as the world’s reserve currency.

Bitcoin’s usefulness is on a whole other level, depending on where you live

One Nigerian explains the benefits of Bitcoin from an alternate angle.

A versatile asset, Bitcoin can wear multiple hats, including its function as a currency. One Nigerian on Twitter recently detailed how Bitcoin has helped him overcome a slew of monetary difficulties. 

“Growing up in Nigeria, I see #Bitcoin with a different lens than you do if you grew up in the US for example,” said the CEO of Bitnob, Bernard Parah, in a tweet on Thursday. His tweet was part of a thread detailing a bevvy of monetary difficulties, pointing toward Bitcoin as a solution.

“You cannot spend more than $100 on international sites using your card - You can't spend your own money, you can't buy that PS5 if you wanted to because of monetary controls,” Parah explained as one difficulty.

“You got lucky to go abroad, find some work and want to send money home to mom but have to pay ridiculous fees to do that. If it's an emergency, those funds might not get there on time,” he noted as another example.

Money in the world can be siloed, especially when it comes to crossing borders. Sending bank wires requires transacting during banking hours, while other forms of money transfer take time to settle on the backend and may require personal information in the process. Bitcoin, on the other hand, works pseudonymously, without regard for borders or hours of operation.

Inflation can also be a problem in some countries, so storing native currency can be an issue, which Parah also mentioned in one of the tweets. Parah also pointed toward the control financial institutions have if money is stored with them. “Having your bank accounts blocked because you took part in or donated to a protest,” he posted as a difficulty suffered by younger folks. “If they own the money, they own you.”

After noting the internet’s improvements on the world, as well as the existence of web-based currency, he added: “This allows us to be global citizens from day 1, to trade with the world, to enjoy the prosperity being shared on the internet.” He also noted: “While you see magic internet money, what we see is a shot at freedom, a shot at prosperity and we don't plan to stop going for this.” Parah covered a number of other points in his tweet thread.

Will Woo doesn’t think Bitcoin’s overall upward run has ended

Popular Bitcoin analyst Willy Woo noted a few signs and symptoms indicating the BTC bull run still has some juice left.

Bitcoin’s price fell significantly this week as the $30,000 price level waved hello to the frantically falling asset. Willy Woo, a popular Bitcoin (BTC) analyst, however, thinks the curtain call for Bitcoin’s overall upward rally has not occurred yet. 

During an interview with podcaster Peter McCormack, posted on the What Bitcoin Did YouTube channel on May 21, Woo talked about a number of points, including Bitcoin’s recent network and price activity, and its current state. Woo noted that many macro indicators point toward price positivity for Bitcoin. “There’s an immense amount of activity on the network between investors compared to the valuation,” Woo said, referring to data from Bitcoin’s NVT ratio, which shows blockchain network activity in relation to market cap.

“We haven’t seen any kind of mania,” Woo continued. “We dumped down from a level which was highly organic — no speculative premium,” he said. “The 2017 top, for example, we were I think 3.8% higher than the organic evaluation.”

“This is just a middle of the bull market derivatives unwind,” Woo said of the current state of Bitcoin. Bitcoin reached around $65,000 in April, based on TradingView data. Subsequently, the asset declined down below $50,000 for a period, recovered above the level for a time, reaching nearly $60,000 before beginning its descent down to the $30,000 range.

“I think it’ll take a bit of time to recover, just from the sheer amount of coins that we dumped out,” Woo said. “I think ultimately, if you look at the network health, this is a good thing,” he said, seemingly referring to the overall situation.

McCormack asked Woo straight: “So it’s not the end of the bull market?” To which Woo responded: “No, not at all.”

Looking at his chart, Woo said price targets and details depend on the days ahead, although he expects Bitcoin’s price to hit levels higher than $100,000 per coin. Woo and McCormack also chatted about a number of other points during the interview.

Crypto interest remains on the rise, according to this industry CEO

The CEO of Unstoppable Domains notes data showing increased crypto interest despite the recent crypto market price drops.

Crypto asset prices fell drastically this past week. The CEO and co-founder of Unstoppable Domains, Matthew Gould, said interest in the industry, however, still remains positive. 

"Over the past week, crypto markets have experienced significant volatility sparking concern among the blockchain community and investors at large,” Gould said in a comment sent to Cointelegraph. On Wednesday, Bitcoin plunged down near the $30,000 price point — a dramatic move considering the asset traded near $60,000 earlier in May, based on TradingView data.

“However, blockchain domain names are being registered at unprecedented speeds with no signs of slowing down,” Gould said, adding:

"Domain names registered on the Ethereum blockchain have grown by nearly 25,000 over the past week to 817,000 on Unstoppable Domains. The current registration rate is on pace for >500% YoY growth, even during this past week’s selloff. Growth of usage of blockchain apps continues even in the face of declines in crypto speculation, showing that when you look at the space as a whole, optimism is ever-present."

Unstoppable Domains gives folks the opportunity to acquire and control a given domain name with the .crypto extension, storable via a nonfungible token, or NFT. This differs from current standard centralized methods of website ownership, which domain providers control.

Last week yielded headlines around Bitcoin mining energy consumption, stemming from Tesla’s decision to stop taking Bitcoin as a form of payment, based on related energy concerns. The move, seemingly temporary, has seen pushback from folks in the days since.