In crypto, as in life, everything comes with a price. You want free tokens airdropped to your wallet? Prepare to answer a bunch of questions and follow a bunch of social channels for the pleasure. You want cheap bitcoin transactions? Then the price you must pay is forgoing the network for all but essential transactions. We’ll be covering that contradiction in terms – plus a whole lot more – This Week in Bitcoin.
From bullish to bearish and cheerful to sad, a typical week in the crypto space encompasses it all. The stories coming from South Korea this week were decidedly mixed. The nation’s cryptocurrency exchanges have certainly been doing well; revenue is up 88x in just a year. That story was tempered, however, by the sad news of a cryptocurrency regulator found dead in his home, with stress believed to be an attributing cause.
If there is one overarching theme to the past week, however, it’s been the fact that transaction fees are ridiculously cheap. We’re talking just over 1 satoshi per byte cheap. Some bitcoiners have been celebrating, but this cheer should be tempered with a dose of realism, for there’s a reason why fees are so low: people have simply stopped spending bitcoin, whose daily transaction volume has dropped significantly over the last two months.
Censorship can take many forms. There are outright bans, and then there’s the Facebook approach which is not to censor posts per se, but rather to render them effectively invisible so that no one sees them on their timeline. A recent change to Facebook’s algorithm has caused brand pages to all but disappear from followers’ feeds. What has this got to do with crypto? Well, if you want to keep seeing posts of pages you ‘like’ – including news.Bitcoin.com – here’s what you have to do. The price for continuing to use Facebook is having the news you like buried beneath the baby photos you have to pretend to like.
Multi-asset wallet Edge went live this week, and it’s one of the most eagerly anticipated cryptocurrency apps in a long time. One of the cool things about the app, which is available on iOS and Android, is that it stores bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, and ERC20 tokens. And because there’s Shapeshift integration, it’s easy to swap between supported currencies. Like any new app, there are still a few bugs to be squished, and some Android users have reported issues with getting Edge wallet to run properly on their devices. Speaking of apps, Robinhood has now begun rolling out its crypto trading feature. Interest has been extremely high, but it will be interesting to see whether this transitions into actual usage on a scale that can give Coinbase a run for its money.
From the practical to the crazy, and the first of this week’s weird stories involves “Zen Master” Steven Seagal who’s gone from being a pugnacious action star to the brand ambassador for an extremely dubious cryptocurrency called Bitcoiin with two I’s. Nothing about this story makes much sense. Then again, neither does the story about people now tokenizing themselves, but apparently that’s now a thing.
One of the most commented stories from the past seven days concerns a California man who was arrested for selling just shy of 10 BTC. For this innocuous act he’s been hit with a money laundering charge. ICE – the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency – were responsible for the man’s arrest and subsequent indictment. You would expect regulatory agencies to be suspicious of bitcoin, but not institutional investors. That’s exactly how dinosaurs such as commodities trader Dennis Gartman feel about bitcoin however. Thankfully not everyone from his generation is as negative about all things crypto. Tim Draper put it best when asked if he would consider selling his bitcoin for fiat, replying “Why would I sell the future for the past?”
We’ve written a lot about the Petro over the last few months, and this week was no different as Venezuela finally got round to offloading it via a pre-sale. Trying to separate the facts from the government hype are never easy though, and thus Maduro’s claim to have sold hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of tokens should be taken with a shovel of salt. It’s also been pointed out that this supposedly oil-backed crypto is in fact backed by the monetary value of a barrel of oil…in bolivars. In other words, the petro is backed by a big fat nothing. Oh, and at the last minute it’s switched from the ethereum blockchain to NEM. Allegedly.
We resisted writing about IOTA this week, though suffice to say they’re still threatening to sue everything and everyone for having the temerity not to accede to their worldview. IOTA, with its ‘free’ transactions, is another proof that everything has a price, which in this case includes missing coins, constant threats, black-listing, doxing, and litigation. Last time we checked in, Charles Hoskinson was offering to fund any security researchers who wind up sued by IOTA.
Finally, a word on the price of buying into that hot ICO you were shilled a ref link to: statistically speaking, there’s a 46% chance the project will be dead in the water by this time next year. Just saying. Catch all the rest of this week’s top stories, broken down into bite-size chunks, on the This Week in Bitcoin podcast with your vivacious host Matt Aaron.
What was your favorite story from this week in bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Written by Kai Sedgwick