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Proof-of-work: The Bitcoin artists on minting NFTs and OpenSea

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Proof-of-work: The Bitcoin artists on minting NFTs and OpenSea

“Art is not a thing, it is a way,” said American writer Elbert Hubbard. For Bitcoin (BTC) artists, the way is inspired by Bitcoin, its code, its philosophy and its imagery. In some cases, it’s even inspired by memes. Bitcoin has become a “lifestyle,” for some Bitcoin artists, that inspires their way of doing business, accepting payments and interacting with customers. 

Cointelegraph asked Bitcoin artists what inspires them about Satoshi Nakamoto’s 13-year-old invention and whether minting a nonfungible token (NFT) would complement their “way” of doing art. After all, an NFT is a unique, digital receipt to prove ownership of a purchase that lives on a blockchain. Surely artists would want to prove ownership of the art at which they toiled away?

Lena poses with one of her art pieces. Source: justlenasart

Lena, a Bitcoin artist who recently moved from Germany to crypto-friendly Dubai, began creating, painting and printing Bitcoin artworks after diving down the Bitcoin rabbit hole in 2018. She says that while she started her crypto career as a crypto-agnostic, Bitcoin changed her approach and eventually took over. She now operates a Bitcoin “maxi-style” portfolio:

“My mindset shifted and I began to work on myself, asking myself what to do with my lifetime because of Bitcoin. Bitcoin became like a lifestyle, so I should put all my savings in Bitcoin.”

When speaking with people in the crypto community, she explains she’s a Bitcoin artist, to which crypto-lovers ask, “oh, so you do NFTs?” She told Cointelegraph she replies with, “No! Physical art!”

“OpenSea is full of art that is like not art — I mean, art is always up to the person, but it was too much for me.”

However, countless artists make a living generating AI artwork and selling or minting them as NFTs on platforms such as OpenSea. The biggest stories of 2021 involved collective cartoon chimps — the Bored Ape Yacht Club — and the CryptoPunks, further digitally rendered images or art.

In the 2022 bear market, the hype around NFTs has reportedly evaporated. Yet, big name brands such as Starbucks continue to hop on the bandwagon, while luxury jeweler Tiffany caused a 1,700% increase in trading volume following an NFT move in August.

When asked whether FractalEncrypt (an anonymous Bitcoin artist) would release an NFT of their art in the future, they told Cointelegraph: “Absolutely not.” FractalEncrypt sculpts large, imposing and time-consuming Bitcoin full node structures, which he has hidden in locations around the world: 

The Bitcoin Full Node Sculpture, A Cypherpunk Chronometer.

#5 of 10 was hand delivered yesterday & I wanted to compile a GIGA-THREAD compiling photos, videos, explainers, and podcasts all into one place

Let’s go back into time and down the rabbit hole and see #1 -4 pic.twitter.com/8IcGnl0tyE

— FractalEncrypt ∞/21M (@FractalEncrypt) March 29, 2021

“I created NFTs in 2017/18 and the deeper I investigated them, the more disillusioned I became. They felt inherently scammy, and me continuing down that path would make me a scammer in my eyes.”

FractalEncrypt explained that the link between the art and the token was “ephemeral at best and an outright misrepresentation/fraud at worst.” They compare the issuance of NFTs as akin to centralized companies’ issuing tokens, which could be problematic and even litigious.

But that doesn’t mean that FractalEncrypt wrote off NFT technology at inception. Like Lena, the two artists were curious about the Ethereum-based technology when it first came along: 

“An artist issuing an NFT token and selling it to others in the hope that it may appreciate in value puts the artist in the situation of possibly issuing securities.”

Indeed, Wikipedia explains an NFT is a “financial security consisting of digital data stored in a blockchain.” The United States Securities and Exchange Commission is focussed on certain crypto projects during the bear market. At the same time, the case between the SEC and Ripple (XRP) regarding the latter’s XRP token rages on. 

One of FractalEncrypt’s sculptures. Source: Twitter

BitcoinArt, who chose to remain anonymous, is among the few Bitcoin artists Cointelegraph spoke to who had also dipped their toes into the world of NFTs. He told Cointelegraph that he did manage to sell a couple of NFTs of his Bitcoin-related artwork but didn’t enjoy the medium or the concept:

“I made some awesome Bitcoin pictures and wasn’t sure how to mint them and someone told me to mint on OpenSea, unfortunately they use ETH… But good news is I sold my nfts through Twitter for SATs instead and I cut the middle man out. I hate ETH.”

A recurring theme by this point, BitcoinArt prefers having one-on-one interactions with prospective customers; he enjoys the back and forth that comes through discussing art pieces.

One of BitcoinArt’s pieces, an astronaut in the Bitcoin universe. Source: Twitter

Lena also prefers the personal approach; she builds a connection with her clients and spends hours sketching, painting and painstakingly perfecting customers’ visions. In Lena’s words, the time spent on her art is a reflection of proof-of-work, the consensus mechanism that underpins the Bitcoin protocol. She told Cointelegraph that the process of creating one art piece is unique and limited — much like Bitcoin — so there’s no need for an NFT. Here Lena makes a statement with one of her pieces: 

Lena makes a statement with her art. Source: justlenasart

FractalEncrypt mocked the “high-time preference culture” prescient in NFTs. Indeed, many of the biggest proponents of the CryptoPunks quickly traded allegiance to BAYC before jumping on the next shiny new collection. 

Related: NFT art galleries: Future of digital artwork or another crypto fad?

Bitcoin, conversely, is a movement. Lena stated, “Bitcoin changed my way of thinking, Bitcoin changed me, […learning about Bitcoin] was a very, very meaningful chapter in my life.”

Interestingly, a search for “Bitcoin NFT” on OpenSea yields more than 70,000 items. For Lena, the door is still open: “NFTs could have use cases in the future but the way that NFTs are right now, it doesn’t feel right,” she conceded. OpenSea has suffered hacks and wash trading but jpegs of pixelated images valued at seven figures continue to sell. “It feels like a bubble,” Lena sums up.

Conversely, Bitcoin is down over 50% from its bubbly highs of $69,000, and the “tourists” have checked out. Plus, Bitcoin received as payment for an art piece will likely never be hacked or “drained” from a wallet.

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4 On-Chain Metrics Show the Bitcoin Price Is Primed for Bullish Explosion

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4 On-Chain Metrics Show the Bitcoin Price Is Primed for Bullish Explosion

Amid recent macroeconomic extremes, Bitcoin has maintained a quiet stance, almost eerie for its HODLers. Nonetheless, its hashrate and accumulation are soaring — what could this mean for its price?

Bitcoin has been consolidating in a narrow range between $18,800 and $20,200 since the mid-Sept price fall. In volatile markets like cryptocurrency, similar quiet periods of consolidation are rare. 

Recent Glassnode findings show that the current BTC price action resembles both pre-crash November 2018 and pre-rally March 2019. Despite price downturns, mining and accumulation statistics are improving. Let’s look into what this means for the health of the network.

Bitcoin hashrate makes new ATH 

Last week, the Bitcoin hashrate made a new all-time high of 242 exahashes per second.

Source: Glassnode

In the chart below, we can see that Bitcoin’s longer-term, slower hash ribbon was once again overtaken by the faster ribbon, indicating improved mining conditions in late August. Since the price saw no major uptick during this time, the rise in hashrate was likely due to more efficient mining hardware and more mining rigs working in general.

Source: Glassnode

Historically, these hash ribbon moving average swaps precede price gains. Historically, when the hash-rate drops and subsequently recovers, major BTC price bottoms have been made. 

Is a price bottom in?

Apart from the hashrate, Bitcoin accumulation levels also reached a 7-year high. CryptoQuant data shows that 6-month-old and older Bitcoins now make up 74% of the realized cap. During the 2019 and 2015 bottoms, this score sat at 70% and 77%, respectively.

Source: CryptoQuant 

Lastly, for the first time in this cycle, the percentage of supply in loss has reached the 50% level.

CryptoQuant data shows that the price bottoms during previous cycles normally occur when the percentage of supply in loss reaches 50% or more.

Source: CryptoQuant

The current data shows the highest percentage of losses at 52% on the daily chart, 50.4% on the weekly (7DMA), and 48% on the monthly (30DMA). 

While quite a few metrics suggest that BTC should be near a bottom, the overall momentum will likely still depend on macroeconomic conditions as well as its correlation with the Nasdaq and S&P 500. 

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Bitcoin price sees first October spike above $20K as daily gains hit 5%

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Bitcoin price sees first October spike above $20K as daily gains hit 5%

BTC price action sees a new October peak amid a declining U.S. dollar and a successful prior day’s trading for U.S. equities.

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Bitcoin price sees first October spike above K as daily gains hit 5%

Bitcoin (BTC) saw its first trip above $20,000 on Oct. 4 as traders expected familiar resistance to cap gains.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Multi-week dollar lows fuel Bitcoin bulls

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/United States dollar climbing prior to the Wall Street open, up over 5% in 24 hours.

The pair had shaken off macroeconomic concerns at the start of the week, with trouble at Credit Suisse and the escalating Russia-Ukraine conflict failing to slow performance.

Now, the short-term analysis focused on a run potentially topping out closer to $21,000 — as was the case late last month, as sell-side pressure at that level remained significant.

“20500-21000 is a sell zone. If price gets there, which should, don’t be too bullish,” popular trader Il Capo of Crypto told Twitter followers on the day.

Razzoorn, an analyst at international trade group The Birb Nest, noted that the current charge was Bitcoin’s fifth attempt at escaping a major liquidity cloud in several weeks.

Despite the potentially limited upside opportunity, Bitcoin rallied in line with a broader risk asset tide which saw United States equities finish noticeably higher the day prior.

At the same time, the U.S. dollar suffered, the U.S. dollar index (DXY) extending losses to approach 111 points and threaten support in place since mid-September.

U.S. dollar index (DXY) 1-day candle chart. Source: TradingView

“Up the market goes,” a more optimistic Michaël van de Poppe, CEO and founder of trading platform Eight, continued:

“Flipping $19,500 for support. Now, if range-high at $19,600 holds for Bitcoin, I assume we’ll continue towards $22,400.”

Altcoins attempt to change sticky trend

Across major altcoins, it was Ether (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) leading daily performance at the time of writing. 

Related: CoinShares’ Butterfill suggests ’continued hesitancy’ among investors

ETH/USD traded above $1,350, still yet to break out of its sideways trend in place for several weeks since major losses entered during the post-Merge breakdown.

ETH/USD 1-day candle chart (Binance). Source: TradingView

XRP, on the other hand, faced a more stubborn band of resistance after prior gains, bouncing off multi-week support just below $0.45.

XRP/USD 1-day candle chart (Binance). Source: TradingView

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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McDonald’s starts to accept Bitcoin and Tether in Swiss town

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McDonald’s starts to accept Bitcoin and Tether in Swiss town

The global fast food chain is among the first to participate in a crypto-friendly experiment in the town of Lugano.

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McDonald’s starts to accept Bitcoin and Tether in Swiss town

Multinational fast food chain McDonald’s started to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment method in the 63,000-populated city of Lugano in Italian Switzerland, which is becoming a hotspot for crypto adoption in Western Europe. 

A one-minute video of ordering food on McDonald’s digital kiosk and then paying for it at the regular register with the help of a mobile app was uploaded on Twitter by Bitcoin Magazine on Oct. 3. The Tether (USDT)  logo could be spotted next to the Bitcoin symbol on the credit cash machine, which is not surprising, as in March 2022 the city of Lugano announced it would accept Bitcoin, Tether and the LVGA token as a legal tender.

On March 3, 2022, the city signed a memorandum of understanding with Tether Operations Limited, launching the so-called “Plan B.” According to this plan, Tether has created two funds — the first one is a $106 million, or 100 million Swiss francs, investment pool for crypto startups, and the second is around $3 million, or 3 million Swiss francs, attempt to encourage the adoption of crypto for shops and businesses across the city.

In addition to allowing Lugano residents to pay their taxes using crypto, the project will extend payments to parking tickets, public services and tuition fees for students. More than 200 shops and businesses in the area are also expected to accept crypto payments for goods and services.

Related: Swiss Post’s banking arm developing in-house crypto custody platform

Speaking to Cointelegraph in June, Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer of Tether and Bitfinex, claimed that Plan B “is going great,” announcing a two-week educational activity on blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the city.

In September 2021 El Salvador became the first country in the world to allow using Bitcoin as a legal tender. Since that time, McDonald’s has been accepting Bitcoin at all its 19 outlets in the country.

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