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So-Called ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli Turns ‘Crypto Bro’ — ‘I Started Using Uniswap in Prison’

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So-Called ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli Turns ‘Crypto Bro’ — ‘I Started Using Uniswap in Prison’

So-Called ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli Turns 'Crypto Bro' — 'I Started Using Uniswap in Prison'

Following his release from prison, the former hedge fund manager and convicted felon, Martin Shkreli, discussed cryptocurrencies and using the decentralized exchange (dex) platform Uniswap from a federal penitentiary. The so-called ‘Pharma Bro’ further explained that eventually, a crypto entity could dethrone some of the largest banking giants.

Martin Shkreli Talks Defi and Cryptocurrencies

Martin Shkreli has been released from prison early and is now located at a halfway house located in New York. Shkreli’s federal custody will end in September, and as soon as he got out of prison he took to his social media accounts to speak. On Facebook, Shkreli jokingly said that getting out of jail was “easier than getting out of Twitter prison.”

Shkreli is a former hedge fund manager and he’s infamous for purchasing the license to a pharmaceutical drug called Daraprim. It wasn’t the fact that Shkreli’s firm Turing bought the drug, but that the company raised the drug’s price from $13.50 to $750 per pill in 2015.

Shkreli also has an interesting persona and is known for being very cocky. The so-called ‘Pharma Bro’ was eventually convicted of securities fraud in a case completely unrelated to the Daraprim price increase. Shkreli also is known for purchasing an unreleased Wu-Tang Clan album, which was seized from his estate after being convicted of securities fraud.

A non-fungible token (NFT) art collective ended up purchasing the unreleased Wu-Tang Clan record for $4 million. Shkreli was sentenced to seven years for his crime but got out early by completing shortened-sentence or good behavior programs.

On Saturday, during a Twitter Spaces post, the former hedge fund manager seemed to go from a so-called ‘Pharma Bro’ to a ‘Crypto Bro.’ Shkreli also said he leveraged the decentralized exchange (dex) platform Uniswap from behind bars.

“Uniswap is really cool. I started using Uniswap in prison,” Shkreli told his Twitter Spaces’ attendees. Shkreli seems to wholeheartedly believe in the crypto ecosystem and decentralized finance (defi). The convicted felon said:

I don’t think [defi’s] at the limit of where it can go. I think we’ll see more and more financial products that end up in defi… eventually, we’ll see some crypto entity be bigger than the banking behemoths.

Shkreli Discusses Bitcoin Dominance, Ethereum, Solana, Algorand

Shkreli said that BTC dominance may get “eaten away,” and the entrepreneur also commented that companies like Apple and Tesla should have their own coins. “There are so many ways we can do things with [decentralized finance],” Shkreli remarked. “There should clearly be an Apple coin and a Tesla coin,” he added.

Shkreli also talked about blockchain networks like Solana and Algorand. Ethereum is one competitor that could flip BTC dominance, Shkreli highlighted during the conversation. “It’s hard for that not to happen given the use cases of ether,” Shkreli explained.

The former hedge fund manager likes to tell people about what he’s doing and had no problem with telling his fans he used Uniswap in prison. Uniswap’s founder Hayden Adams discussed Shkreli after the Twitter Spaces topic started to trend on social media. “Will Shkreli still like Uniswap when he learns I listened to that [Wu-Tang Clan] album he bought more recently than him?” Adams said.

What do you think about Shkreli saying he used Uniswap in prison? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Bitcoin Miner Sell-Offs Could Keep Prices Low, Says JP Morgan

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Bitcoin Miner Sell-Offs Could Keep Prices Low, Says JP Morgan

Strategists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. believe the current Bitcoin sell-off by miners could make it difficult for the price of the asset to bounce back, especially if the trend continues.

In a note released yesterday, they pointed out that publicly listed Bitcoin miners account for 20% of all reported Bitcoin sales in May and June. It’s likely that private miners are also selling at the same rate or even higher, given that they have limited access to the capital markets.

The massive sell-off is a sharp turn in the strategy that has mostly been about holding block rewards until the market conditions get better. But the drop in Bitcoin prices and its effect on miners’ profitability means many are now struggling to meet operating costs.

According to the strategists,

Offloading of Bitcoins by miners, in order to meet ongoing costs or to deliver, could continue into Q3 if their profitability fails to improve.

Already, it has likely “weighed on prices in May and June, though there is a risk that this pressure could continue.”

However, JP Morgan strategists point out that it’s not all gloomy. One silver lining is a drop in the cost of mining Bitcoin from around $18k – $20k earlier in the year to $15k this month. This is due to the drop in hash rate and mining difficulty over the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, the cost of production varies based on the size of the miner. According to Arcane Crypto, large miners spend around $8,000 to produce one Bitcoin. Meanwhile, Securitize Capital says the cost of production might be over $20k for some miners after adding overhead costs and interest rates.

Bitcoin Price 69% Away From ATH

Bitcoin price has declined by more than half compared to its value at the beginning of the year. It’s also down 69% from its all-time high as it hovers around the low 20k range in the last few weeks.

Several factors have pushed the crypto markets over the edge, including the crash of Terra’s ecosystem and the near-insolvency of crypto firms such as Celsius and 3AC. But the Fed hike in interest rates has been the primary factor behind the drop.

Almost every other niche in the space, like non-fungible tokens and decentralized finance, has reported losses too. With most miners also having debt obligations, selling their Bitcoin stash appears as the best course of action to stay afloat.

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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 Energy Consumption Declines as Miners Grapple With Falling Revenue

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Bitcoin Energy Consumption Declines as Miners Grapple With Falling Revenue

Bitcoin mining is no longer consuming as much energy as before, according to a Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index report, which shows a 25% decline in energy use since the start of the month.

Per the index, the current energy consumption of Bitcoin is 10.65 gigawatts, significantly lower than the 14.34-gigawatt on June 6. This means its annualized consumption is at 93.33 terawatt-hours, putting it below countries like Argentina and Norway in energy consumption.

At its peak, the BTC network needed 16.09 GW of power. The drop in the consumption from its record high of 150 terawatt-hours in May is likely due to the drop in mining hash rate. 

Bitcoin hash rate is the computing power needed to create a block on the Bitcoin network and has dropped to 199.225 exahash per second (EH/s) over the last two weeks. This came after the mining difficulty reached a record high of 231.428 EH/s on June 13. It has now dropped by almost 14% since then.

The index estimates the energy consumption by using a profitability threshold using “different types of mining equipment as the starting point.” 

With Bitcoin prices nosediving to below $20,000 this month, some miners have also gone offline as mining proved less profitable. This explains the consecutive drop in the consumption and hash rate.

Miners are Selling Their Bitcoin Holdings

Additionally, the drop in the price of Bitcoin has left several miners in a lurch as they struggle to sustain their operations. A recent report by Arcane research shows that publicly traded Bitcoin miners sold all the coins they mined in May.

This is usually against the strategy of most miners, which is to hold their Bitcoin for better market conditions. But with profitability nosediving and many miners struggling to generate a positive cash flow, they are selling their holdings. 

According to the report, many miners sold their Bitcoin to cover operational expenses and pay off debts. One of such is Bitfarms which decided to sell 3000 Bitcoin for $63 million to improve corporate liquidity.

Energy consumption of Bitcoin mining has been one of the major criticisms of the network and cryptocurrency industry. But recent research by Michel Khazzaka reveals that the traditional banking sector uses 56% more energy.

What do you think about this subject? Write to us and tell us!

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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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Coinbase to Offer Nano Bitcoin Futures Contracts via Third Party Brokerages

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Coinbase to Offer Nano Bitcoin Futures Contracts via Third Party Brokerages

Coinbase will list a derivatives product called the nano futures contract on Monday.

This will be the first product listed on the Coinbase Derivatives Exchange, offering investors the opportunity to buy a contract linked to the price of one-hundredth of a bitcoin. Customers can purchase the Nano futures contract through third-party brokerages. Customers will not be able to buy the nano futures contract from Coinbase directly until the exchange receives a license to operate as a futures commission merchant. The exchange first applied for the license on Sept. 16, 2021.

U.S. customers have a healthy appetite for crypto derivatives

Coinbase floated the idea of bringing derivatives to its U.S. customer base after purchasing derivatives exchange FairX in January this year.

Americans have long been trading derivative products on foreign exchanges, sinking their teeth into high-leverage products that U.S. exchanges have lacked, indicted by the volume of crypto derivative trades in December 2021 surpassing that of spot trading. Binance alone recorded $52.5 billion in derivative trade volume during the 24 hours ending Friday afternoon, compared to $12.7 billion in spot products. Coinbase enjoyed $1.7 million in spot trading during the same period.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the new nano futures contract will not offer leverage-type bets that drive volume on exchanges like Binance.

Challenges Coinbase faces

A report by Barron’s suggests that it would take a long time for derivatives products to generate significant income for the company.

The new Coinbase product will enter a market of established crypto derivative products, while the company battles cash flow problems.

In March, the CME Group announced micro futures contracts linked to one-tenth of the price of bitcoin and Ethereum.

To add pressure, Moody’s Investors Services recently reduced Coinbase’s guaranteed senior unsecured notes from Ba2 to Ba1, relegating its corporate debt to “junk” status, with the potential for future downgrades. Ba ratings are assigned by Moody’s to credit obligations containing speculative components, considered to be a serious credit risk. Moody’s cited Coinbase’s reduced revenue and cash flow due to the current crypto market downturn as reasons for the downgrade. Coinbase’s recent employee layoff did not count in its favor, with the rating agency still seeing threats to the company’s profitability.

Dan Dolev, a senior analyst at Mizuho, believes that the new product does not address the central issue of competitors offering zero trading fees, which would severely affect revenue if Coinbase were to compete.

Coinbase’s shares fell precipitously on May 3, 2022, from $130.15 to $62.71 at market close on Friday.

What do you think about this subject? Write to us and tell us!

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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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