Understanding the Taproot upgrade and Bitcoin’s shifting value proposition
Regulators apply more pressure to crypto industry, force prices down
The cryptocurrency industry took a beating this week as prices fell amid SEC pressure and more China FUD.
It’s been a particularly rough week for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, with coin and token valuations tanking across the board amid increasing pressure from both China and the United States. Meanwhile, Bitcoin.org found itself compromised into promoting a scam.
Here’s everything you need to know about these stories, and more, in this week’s edition of OKEx Insights’ News of the Week.
PBoC announces all crypto transactions are illegal
Arguably the top story in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry this week was Friday’s announcement from the People’s Bank of China, which stated that all fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto exchanges constitute illegal activities.
Additionally, the PBoC — together with law enforcement — made clear that it is forbidden for Chinese residents to work for foreign cryptocurrency exchanges that serve users in the country.
- China has long been notorious for its hardline anti-crypto stance. Because of this fact, many industry pundits are viewing this latest news as simply another piece of China-ban-Bitcoin FUD (short for fear, uncertainty and doubt).
- Nevertheless, China’s intentions to eradicate cryptocurrencies from the country ahead of the widespread implementation of its own central bank digital currency is abundantly clear.
Time magazine’s NFTs botted and sold in one minute
Time magazine’s high-profile NFT launch disappointed many on Thursday after the 4,676 nonfungible tokens were allocated to only approximately 700 addresses in roughly one minute — thanks to botting practices that skyrocketed Ethereum transaction fees up to nearly 10,000 gwei.
The cost to mint each NFT, disregarding fees, was 0.1 ETH — and each token provides the owner with a lifetime membership to Time.com and other bonuses.
- Time’s NFT mint illustrates how supposedly fair launches aren’t always fair. If users are able to plan for a mint on the Ethereum mainnet in advance, they may also be able to set up bots to force a gas war that prices out the vast majority of users.
- Nearly any first-come-first-serve NFT mint is subject to bot activity — something some projects, such as Parallel, have worked around through more-centralized NFT reservations.
Twitter rolls out Bitcoin Lightning tipping for iOS users
Following rumors that the social media giant would implement tipping via Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, Twitter has started to roll out the function to iOS users. Individuals with access to the tipping function are able to use third-party services — such as Square’s CashApp, which was also founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey — to make payments in fiat or BTC.
At the same time, Twitter is also looking into NFT authentication to prove user ownership over nonfungible tokens.
- Twitter’s usage of the Lightning Network will go a long way toward the wider adoption of Bitcoin’s most-popular second-layer scaling solution.
- Though Dorsey has long been bullish on Bitcoin, Twitter is also seemingly legitimizing Ethereum as the de facto blockchain for NFTs.
Bitcoin.org compromised, promoted malicious scam
The oldest Bitcoin-resource website was recently compromised and displayed malicious BTC giveaways. Bitcoin.org was apparently hacked into promoting a classic scam formula of displaying an address and offering to send back double the BTC that is received.
- Bitcoin.org is managed by some well-known OGs in the Bitcoin industry, making the website’s being compromised both surprising and noteworthy.
- As of the time of this writing, the website appears to be back and operating normally.
SEC chair reiterates call for more crypto regulation
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler reiterated to the Washington Post early this week that he wants to see more regulation of the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, which he feels may have a destabilizing effect on the wider financial system.
- It has become abundantly clear that Gensler is no friend to the cryptocurrency space, which has started to create memes around his idea of investor protection — particularly, his recent advice to college students to save $5 a week in order to retire at the age of 65 with $130,000.
- With China already forcing the cryptocurrency industry out, the U.S. has become something of a battleground between crypto proponents and regulators — and the proverbial war is heating up quickly.
OKEx Insights presents market analyses, in-depth features and curated news from crypto professionals.