Crypto Tidbits: Bitcoin Hash Rate High, Square Crypto Bags Hire, Libra in Turmoil
Another week, another of Crypto Tidbits. Bitcoin saw a fairly tumultuous week.
The cryptocurrency nearly hit $11,000 this week, before falling to $9,900 in a massive 8% sell-off that resulted in a Bitcoin Fear & Greed Index reading of 5 — “extreme fear”. Despite this crazy price action, Coin360 data suggests that BTC is ending the week right where it started, a sign of indecision in markets.
This indecision was reflected in the underlying industry, with there being only a few small tidbits of good and bad news published over the past seven days. Read on!
Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Donald Trump Jabs Bitcoin, Bitpoint Hacked for XRP, Litecoin Bags Partnership
Bitcoin & Crypto Tidbits
- Bitcoin Hash Rate Hits Fresh High Amid China Floods: This week, the Sichuan region in China saw some massive floods. A large amount of rainfall resulted in landslides across the province, resulting in deaths, damage, and crippled infrastructure. According to local media reports, Bitcoin mining farms were wiped out in the crash. Videos posted online showed mine workers picking up ASICs from mud. Despite this, the Bitcoin hash rate barely dipped. In fact, Blockchain.com data shows that the network’s security hit a fresh all-time high, seeing some 82 exahashes per second.
- Binance Offers VIP Status to Those Affected by Hack of Affiliated Vendor: Over the past few weeks, an Internet user claiming to have hacked crypto exchange Binance’s KYC data stash has started lambasting the exchange, asking for a ransom. Binance disregarded the hacker and their calls for a ransom to be paid, claiming that the hacker had likely breached a third-party KYC vendor that Binance once utilized. A new blog post from the exchange confirmed this, revealing that after an investigation, “some of the leaked images overlap with images that were processed by a third-party vendor, which Binance contracted a few times between early December 2017 and late February 2018.” To compensate victims of this hack, Binance has offered lifetime VIP membership, which comes with lower trading fees, to those affected.
- Bank of England’s Mark Carney Asserts Centralized Crypto is The Future: Today, Mark Carney, the Bank of England’s Governor, dropped a bombshell comment. Speaking to central bankers and world economic leaders at a meeting in Jackson Hole, the leading central banker stated that a Libra-like crypto asset has the capacity to replace the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Carney, according to Bloomberg and Reuters, added that he believes the U.S. Dollar is not cut out to be at the top of the currency hegemony. While the Bank of England chief didn’t elaborate much on that comment, he asserted that “in the longer term, we need to change the game”. Carney didn’t speak on Bitcoin.
- Libra Partners Looking to Dip on Facebook: Speaking of Libra, the Facebook-backed crypto project has come under fire recently. According to a jaw-dropping report from the Financial Times, which cited unnamed executives at firms involved in Libra, upwards of three firms expressed concerns about Libra’s regulatory status. The FT claims that two firms are considering pulling out of the project. One company said: “It’s going to be difficult for partners who want to be seen as in [regulatory] compliance”.
- Bitmain Looks to Expand Mining Operations: Despite the unfortunate setback of failing to be approved for an IPO in Hong Kong, Bitmain is unfazed. The Chinese Bitcoin mining giant is reported by Chinese media to have recently placed new orders for 600,000 mining chips. Analysts suggest Bitmain’s hashing capabilities can surge by 50% once they get their hands on the new chips. This seems to be the firm’s attempt to reestablish its bottom line and to return to profitability. Bloomberg recently reported that the crypto company is looking to IPO overseas.
- CryptoCompare: Bitcoin Trading is Dominated by “Low-Quality” Players: A recent report from industry analytics provider CryptoCompare revealed that “lower quality volume” still dominates this market. It revealed that exchanges the firm grades “AA” — CryptoCompare’s grading system includes regulatory requirements, team, investors, data provision, and other metrics — represented a mere 5% of total aggregate volume registered in July. “A” grade exchanges made up 19% of the cryptocurrency pie in volume. But what’s worrying is that “untrusted” exchanges rated “D” and E” processed 64% of all trading volume. This is likely one of the reasons why the SEC has staved off from approving a Bitcoin ETF.
- Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang Wants to Use Blockchain Voting: According to a seemingly new policy page from Andrew Yang, the Presidential hopeful believes that the current voting system is currently antiquated, citing the fact that “it’s ridiculous that in 2020 we are still standing in line for hours to vote in antiquated voting booths.” While this is somewhat of an exaggeration, as not all states and regions face multi-hour wait times, many argue that this system can be sped up. Lower waiting times and an easy-to-use voting system would likely increase voter turnout and thus benefit democracy. Yang is advocating for a blockchain voting system, which he claims would be fraud-proof and would “revolutionize true democracy and increase participation to include all Americans.”
- Square Makes Second Hire, Brings On Prominent Bitcoin Dev: Square Crypto, the fintech firm’s cryptocurrency-centric arm, has finally made its second hire. Announced in a series of tweets posted on Tuesday morning, the upstart is bringing on Matt Corallo, a legendary Bitcoin developer that famously co-founded Blockstream. Corallo brings his years of experience in the industry, having authored improvements like rust-lightning, which makes it easier for developers to build and interact with this blockchain. Square believes that the developer’s background is “the best imaginable foundation” for Square’s goal of accelerating the adoption of Bitcoin on a global scale.
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