fbpx
Connect with us

Bit Coin

The year for Bitcoin — A 2021 roundup of the flagship crypto

Published

on

The year for Bitcoin — A 2021 roundup of the flagship crypto

While 2021 did provide some sort of respite for investors operating across the global crypto landscape, it was still largely been driven by fears that first reared their ugly heads back in 2020. From rising inflation rates to another wave of coronavirus-related outbreaks, the ground beneath everyone’s feet continued to move even without them knowing. 

For example, while everyone assumed that Bitcoin (BTC) would hit a price target of $100,000 quite easily — including many traditional financial institutions — by the turn of the new year, the flagship crypto continued to showcase a high degree of volatility despite having touched an all-time high of $69,000 earlier in November, and essentially just moved in a broad sideways channel for the past ten months.

That said, there have been a lot of developments — mostly positive but some negative as well — surrounding Bitcoin this year. In this piece, we will look to explore many of these themes and much more. So, without any further ado, let’s get straight into the heart of the matter.

Adoption gains momentum as El Salvador leads the roost

Known as the “Land of Volcanoes,” the Central American nation of El Salvador shocked everyone in 2021 by becoming the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, potentially paving the way for other countries to follow suit, especially those being faced with issues related to rampant inflation — looking at you, Turkey, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

I’ve just sent the #BitcoinLaw to Congress pic.twitter.com/DljnxsXlyt

— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) June 9, 2021

And, even though the move hadn’t quite converted El Salvadorans into overnight BTC proponents, President Nayib Bukele has been quite strategic in his approach when it comes to overhauling his country’s economic woes. Citizens were given access to a Chivo crypto wallet while he has also vowed to address the internet connectivity issues that currently plague the country.

Lastly, El Salvador’s highly touted “Bitcoin Bond” — which makes use of a federated BTC sidechain to issue a legally viable monetary bond — is being viewed by many as an attractive money-making avenue since it offers users with a novel means of investing in the currency as well as providing them with a chance to obtain the county’s citizenship.

Bitcoin transactions garner momentum

The Lightning Network (LN) showcased a tremendous amount of growth over the course of 2021 with a growing amount of funds being poured into various LN channels — especially with more nodes popping up online, seemingly with each passing day.

Statistically speaking, there is more than 3,300 BTC locked across various public Lightning channels, at the time of writing, with more funds likely contained within other private/unannounced channel networks that are currently being operated between various exchanges.

In terms of improvements, the infrastructure of the Lightning Network underwent a number of major overhauls this past year (such as Amboss), improving the systems’ native node administrative capacity as well as retail customer UX for Lightning wallets. Looking ahead, LN’s BOLT-12 module promises to make recurring payments easier as well as enable other useful features such as donations via static QR codes.

Taproot makes its long-awaited debut

One of the biggest breakthroughs for the Bitcoin network since the SegWit overhaul of 2017 — a process by which the block size limit on asset’s blockchain was increased by removing signature data from transactions included in each block — was the activation of the Taproot upgrade.

Taproot is basically designed to help the flagship cryptocurrency’s community of backers and core developers gain access to better a “policy privacy” framework, allowing them to not reveal all of the possible ways through which they could potentially spend their BTC.

— Taproot Signal (@taproot_signal) January 1, 2022

To be a bit more technical, the update enhances the efficacy of certain multisignature setups all while making individual transactions on the Lightning Network more secure and privacy-oriented.

That being said, in order for these advantages to truly see the light of day, a little more work may be needed, particularly on the MuSig2 — a simple and highly practical two-round multisignature scheme that makes transaction facilitation hassle-free for Bitcoiners — front as well as in relation to certain technical niches associated with Lightning Network-based client implementations and improved hardware wallet support functionality (meant solely for Taproot).

Mining disruption caused by China

A piece of news that had Bitcoiners, as well as crypto enthusiasts in general, a little shook this past calendar year was when China imposed an unequivocal blanket ban on its local crypto economy.

Even though the eastern powerhouse has issued many such prohibitions in the past, this time the threat was a lot more serious, as a large number of crypto mining firms had to relocate from the country’s borders in order to keep their operations alive — with many even having to close shop permanently.

Following the mass exodus that took place after the ban came into effect, Bitcoin’s hash rate dropped quite to record lows — sliding from around 180 exa-hashes per second (EH/s) to about 90 exa-hashes per second (EH/s) — only to make a swift recovery shortly thereafter. Much of the BTCs hash rate recovery was attributed to miners migrating to more hospitable parts of the world including the United States of America, Kazakhstan, Canada, Belarus, etc.

After the ban, the crypto market also witnessed a growth in the number of publicly-listed miners, showcasing the ability of these firms to tap into debt capital markets as well as scale dramatically thanks, in large part, to their ability to borrow massive sums of money against their natively mined crypto.

Infrastructure development surges

Bitcoin’s ever-growing community of backers continued to pour money into the digital asset’s technical development. In this regard, organizations such as Spiral, Blockstream and MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative doled out sizable funding as well as sponsorship grants to help Bitcoin Core devs based all across the globe.

Other organizations that also made sizable donations to help spur the growth of the Bitcoin ecosystem included Chaincode Labs, the Humans Rights Foundation and a cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, whose grants were meant to help awardees carry forward their work in relation to improving the reliability of the Lightning Network’s payment system as well as improving the implementation of the Stratum v2 Bitcoin mining pool protocol.

Major mainstream companies add Bitcoin to their coffers

No story regarding Bitcoin’s recently concluded calendar year could be complete without mention of how some of the biggest investors in the world continued to load up on the flagship crypto. In this regard, 2021 started off with the Dogefather aka Tesla CEO Elon Musk investing a cool $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, making it one of the largest investments into the flagship crypto by a mainstream corporation.

For a brief window of time, Tesla even noted in an SEC filing that it was going to allow its clients to use BTC as a medium of payment for its various offerings — a decision that was eventually rescinded. As was to be expected, soon after Musk’s apparent backing of the digital asset became public knowledge, its price shot up to a then all-time high of $43,000 within a matter of minutes.

You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2021

That said, the only man to outdo Musk with his Bitcoin purchases this year was Microstrategy CEO Michel Saylor whose maximalist attitude was reflected by his constant accrual of the premier cryptocurrency, both when it was hovering at its all-time highs as well as lowest levels. Numbers-wise, Microstrategy now lays claim to a whopping 124,391 BTC that were purchased for nearly $6 billion. Conservative estimates suggest that the firm has already accrued $2.1 worth of profits from its BTC investments.

Financial institutions join in the action

Soon after Musk made his foray into the world of Bitcoin, a number of other financial services giants such as Mastercard and U.S.-based lender Bank of New York Mellon proceeded to start offering their clients a wide range of crypto-related services spanning from custody to payments.

Similarly, U.S. Bank, America’s fifth-largest commercial financial entity, also revealed that it was offering its clients a fully functional crypto custody service, assisting them in storing their private keys for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) with help from NYDIG. State Street and Northern Trust were among the other major U.S.-based financial institutions to disclose similar plans.

At the start of the year, Nasdaq-listed Marathon Patent Group went ahead with a $150 million purchase of Bitcoin as part of its reserves, a decision that was followed by social media juggernaut Twitter enabling a ‘crypto tipping’ option for its patrons. Not only that, but Jack Dorsey helmed payments provider Square also announced that it was going to be allocating 5% — estimated to be worth $170 million — of its assets to Bitcoin.

Lastly, a number of other firms including WeWork, AXA and Substack also announced their decision to start accepting payments in Bitcoin — a move that was aped by companies of a relatively smaller market cap across the globe.

Conversations surrounding Bitcoin’s environmental impact grew

Another major topic of contention surrounding Bitcoin last year was the currency’s environmental impact, with an increasing amount of studies revealing the digital currency’s massive annual power consumption.

To put things into perspective, a University of Cambridge analysis noted that Bitcoin utilized 707 kWh per transaction which works out to a whopping approximately 121.36 terawatt-hours a year. This energy has been touted to be more than the power needs of many major countries like Argentina, the Netherlands, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) among others.

The collision of bitcoin miners and energy executives is only beginning.

Financial incentives will completely change the oil and gas industry, while making a positive impact on the environment. https://t.co/UcXUbaciib

— Pomp (@APompliano) September 4, 2021

In recent months, however, an increasing number of mining firms are transitioning toward the use of renewables. For example, MintGreen, a Canada-based cleantech cryptocurrency mining outfit recently signed a deal with Lonsdale Energy Corporation to supply heat generated from BTC mining to the residents of North Vancouver in British Columbia by the start of 2022.

Similarly, many other firms including CleanSpark and Bit Digital have transitioned toward a more environmentally conscious means of harvesting Bitcoin. In fact, a study recently released points to the fact that hydroelectric power is the most common source of energy for miners presently, with a little over 60% of all mining farms across the globe utilizing this renewable power medium to facilitate their day-to-day operations.

Global regulatory scrutiny increases greatly

China wasn’t the only country to formulate and initiate a comprehensive ban on Bitcoin this year with many other nations including Egypt, Algeria and Iraq also imposing blanket bans on crypto businesses operating within their borders. This could partially have been because, over the course of Q3, Q4 2021, more than a dozen public and private mining companies were able to accrue hundreds of millions of dollars, forcing regulators to start taking notice of this space like never before.

Monetarily speaking, the increased regulatory pressure was compounded by the fact that Bitcoin miners were able to generate over $15.3 billion in revenue, a number that represented a year-on-year increase of 206% when compared with 2020. This may have caused governments to start looking at ways in which to control this sector’s exponential growth.

— Kashif Raza (@simplykashif) July 5, 2021

In some countries like India, where cryptocurrencies seemed to have gained a strong foothold over the last few months, the government decided to start looking at ways of introducing new laws — namely the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 — seeking to prohibit “private cryptocurrencies,” a term whose definition that has yet to be made clear. That said, India is still keen on promoting the use of blockchain tech as well as certain other digital assets that can wholly fall under its regulatory purview.

Bitcoin ETF makes its debut on the NYSE

October 19, 2021 was hailed as a landmark date by crypto enthusiasts all over the globe, as it was the day when the world saw the debut of the world’s first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF became the world’s first U.S. exchange-traded fund based on Bitcoin futures to be approved by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), allowing investors across the board with a novel means of investing in the premier cryptocurrency.

As soon as the offering made its debut, it attracted a record amount of institutional capital. In fact, the demand was so monumental that soon after its launch, the CME Group — ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF’s parent issuer — had to file an application with the SEC asking the regulatory body to lift any restrictions pertaining to the maximum amount of contracts that one could buy in relation to the ETF.

Coinbase IPO

Another event that may not be associated primarily with Bitcoin but was representative of the currency’s growing market clout (as well as mainstream acceptance) was that of Coinbase’s initial public offering (IPO) that saw the cryptocurrency gain approval of the traditional finance market.

Coinbase’s IPO debut saw the stock open at a price point of $381, a number that was significantly higher than its pre-listing reference price of $250 — something that directly alluded to heightened institutional demand for the crypto-focused stock.

Looking ahead toward 2022

Moving into the new year, Bitcoiners all over the world are anxious to see how the future plays out for the market, especially with fears of inflation and economic instability looming large across the globe. That said, it appears as though the ecosystem surrounding the digital asset has continued to mature, with an increasing number of conferences and meetups all set to take place in 2022.

Related: NFTs find true utility with the advent of the Metaverse in 2021

Also, as an increasingly decentralized future looms closer, more people are beginning to realize the importance of securing their BTC — especially in the way they spend/receive their coins as well as facilitate their transactions in a private manner.

Go to Source

Bit Coin

GamingShiba Becomes CoinMarketCap’s Most Trending Token

Published

on

GamingShiba Becomes CoinMarketCap’s Most Trending Token

Streaming, NFT, and metaverse project GamingShiba (GAMINGSHIBA) overtook bitcoin on Wednesday to secure CoinMarketCap’s most trending token. 

The meme coin’s top trending status comes in the same week that Shiba Inu (SHIB) announced its own metaverse project, creating a potential point of confusion for investors seeking to FOMO in. Despite strong similarities in appearance and name, GamingShiba has no relation to Shiba Inu.

GamingShiba is a microcap meme coin, which according to their website holds aspirations to create, ‘a binding bridge between Gamers, Streaming platforms, NFTs and Metaverse’. In a request for further information, GamingShiba says they will “only reveal how they will create this bridge once the project has reached 100,000 holders.”

A tweet on Wednesday declared that the project currently has over 45,000+ unique addresses so investors may have a little time to wait for further information. 

GamingShiba topped the CoinMarketCap trending charts on Wednesday (Source)

The streaming/gaming/NFT/Metaverse project also describes itself as ‘your virtual dog’ and offers the following food for thought on its homepage:

“The modern technology and contemporary ambient that the internet created can not be imagined to function as a whole without cryptocurrency. The impact that the cryptocurrency has on a global scale is astronomical in the sense of being the generator of almost every development and especially the latest one.”

Comparing Shiba Inu and GamingShiba


This seems very familiar

Besides strong similarities in both appearance and name, the development of Shiba Inu’s own metaverse has created fresh point of overlap between the two Shiba-themed projects.

On Monday Shiba Inu teased the launch of the Shiberse in 2022, which the company hails as ‘An immersive experience for our ecosystem’. The Shiba Inu team promises further details at a later date.

In December of 2021 it was revealed that Shiba Inu has a multiplayer collectible card game in the works with development outsourced to the Australian gaming company PlaySide Studios. The final game is expected to be delivered in Q1 2023. 

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

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.

Go to Source

Continue Reading

Bit Coin

Gold, Stocks, and Bitcoin: Weekly Overview — January 27

Published

on

Gold, Stocks, and Bitcoin: Weekly Overview — January 27

This week’s overview of price movements for Bitcoin (BTC), gold, and our stock pick Google-parent Alphabet Inc.

BTC

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) in January has gone from bad to worse. Already having dropped coming into the new year, BTC was trading around $44,000 on January 13.

Over the next few days it traded down to $43,000 before reaching $42,000 by January 20. However, after a brief spike, BTC proceeded to plummet into the following days, hitting as low as $34,000 on January 22, and $33,000 on January 24. Buying pressure then returned pushing it back up to $37,000, and as high as $38,000 by January 26.

It is currently trading below $37,000.

According to Caxton market intelligence head Michael Brown, Bitcoin’s recent decline reflects the “institutionalization” of crypto assets, in the sense that they are increasingly traded like other risky assets.

“Unsurprisingly, given that the ‘easy money’ party is now coming to an end, it is the most risky assets — crypto – that are bearing the brunt of the market’s ire,” he said. “With the Fed likely to ramp up the hawkish commentary in upcoming remarks, further downside looks likely.”

GOLD

While gold had a good past week, it has since dropped below last week’s lows. On January 13, the price of gold was roughly $1,824. Over the next few days it traded down to $1,812 by January 19, when it suddenly spiked up to $1,840. Hitting $1,848 on January 20, gold traded down a bit before pushing back up to $1,852 by January 25.

However, by the next day, the price of gold plummeted and is now trading around $1,796.

Gold prices extended losses to a more than one-week low, while the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields rallied, following U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaling an interest rate hike in March. That sent U.S. Benchmark 10-year yields close to one-week highs while the dollar rose to its strongest in over a month.

“The reaction was normal in the sense that Chairman Powell stressed the strength of the economy and the determination to fight inflation,” said Commerzbank commodities analyst Carsten Fritsch.

GOOG

Alphabet has had a pretty dismal start to the new year. Starting out 2022 at around $2,900, Alphabet started falling by January 5 and reached roughly $2,740 by January 7. After gapping down the next trading day GOOG proceeded to push up the next two days, eventually gapping up to $2,850 by January 12. That momentum had reversed the next day, with GOOG gapping down to $2,740 by January 18, then continuing falling, gapping down again to $2,550 by January 24.

Since then however, GOOG has recovered a bit, and is currently trading around $2,640.

Earlier this week, YouTube announced it was considering adding non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to its features for creators this year, according to a letter from the CEO. The letter marks the first time ​​YouTube’s owner, Alphabet Inc.’s Google, has announced integration with the cryptocurrency collectibles.

“We’re always focused on expanding the YouTube ecosystem to help creators capitalize on emerging technologies, including things like NFTs, while continuing to strengthen and enhance the experiences creators and fans have on YouTube,” Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki wrote in her annual letter to creators.

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

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.

Go to Source

Continue Reading

Bit Coin

House members urge US Treasury Secretary to clarify definition of broker in infrastructure law

Published

on

House members urge US Treasury Secretary to clarify definition of broker in infrastructure law

“We must ensure requirements imposed on the digital asset ecosystem are both crafted and implemented in such a way to ensure the United States remains at the forefront of financial innovation,” said the letter to Janet Yellen.

155 Total views

38 Total shares

House members urge US Treasury Secretary to clarify definition of broker in infrastructure law

A bipartisan group of members from the U.S. House of Representatives called on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to clarify the language in the infrastructure bill signed into law in November around the definition of “broker.”

In a Wednesday letter, House Financial Services Committee ranking member Patrick McHenry and ten other representatives urged Yellen to reference the Keep Innovation in America Act to “ensure that any future guidance” in the November infrastructure bill would provide “the necessary clarity to the digital asset ecosystem.” In addition to the reporting requirements, the lawmakers said that the Treasury Department should narrow the scope of the information a broker can capture, as it would risk “the creation of an unlevel playing field for transactions in digital assets and those required to provide them.”

— Financial Services GOP (@FinancialCmte) January 27, 2022

According to the House members, the current wording of the law would potentially allow the Treasury to interpret which companies and individuals in the crypto space qualify as a “broker,” creating a burden of reporting information to the government they may not necessarily have. This would seemingly require miners, software developers, transaction validators and node operators to report most digital asset transactions worth more than $10,000 to the Internal Revenue Service.

“As nascent financial technologies develop, we must ensure requirements imposed on the digital asset ecosystem are both crafted and implemented in such a way to ensure the United States remains at the forefront of financial innovation,” said the letter to Yellen. “We believe consistent information reporting on digital asset transactions is necessary. However, it should not prevent these technologies and the ecosystem from continuing to flourish due to unclear regulations that only create uncertainty.”

Related: US Congressman calls for ‘broad, bipartisan consensus’ on important issues of digital asset policy

The appeal to the U.S. Treasury Secretary mirrors that of an December letter from six senators claiming the infrastructure law contains an “overly-broad interpretation” of what a broker is and requesting Yellen provide guidance to correct the perceived error. Senators Rob Portman, Cynthia Lummis, Mike Crapo, Pat Toomey, Mark Warner and Kyrsten Sinema urged Yellen to provide a set of rules clarifying the wording “in an expeditious manner.” Lummis and Senator Ron Wyden also attempted to pass legislation that would have changed the tax reporting requirements to “not apply to individuals developing blockchain technology and wallets” on Nov. 15 when the bill was signed into law by President Biden.

To date, none of the proposed measures clarifying the wording in the law have gotten enough support to enact change. Many lawmakers and crypto advocacy groups have expressed concerns that if the law is implemented as is, it could threaten the United States’ position as a nation encouraging the development of innovative technology.

“Our innovators and entrepreneurs can’t wait,” said McHenry. “Secretary Yellen must provide much-needed clarity so this nascent industry can flourish here in the U.S.”

Go to Source

Continue Reading
Home | Latest News | Cryptocurrency | Bit Coin | The year for Bitcoin — A 2021 roundup of the flagship crypto
a

Market

Trending