This Week In Crypto is a weekly segment from the Live Coin Watch News team, providing readers with a fun, succinct, and pertinent summary of the most important Bitcoin-related events in the past seven days.
This Week in Crypto
- 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.
- 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”. This report comes weeks after the chief executive of Visa confirmed that their agreement regarding the crypto with Facebook was not legally-binding, and that there is a clause to allow for the withdrawal from the Association.
- Crypto Mining Giant Bitmain Looks to Get Back on Track: 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.
- Pro-Bitcoin Overstock CEO Steps Down After “Deep State” Comments: This week, the chief executive of Overstock, an American online retailer, stepped down. His name was Patrick Bryne, and he has been a hardcore Bitcoin proponent for years now, having pushed his company to accept the cryptocurrency and to pay a portion of its taxes with BTC. He stepped down in wake of his comments that mentioned “deep state”, which resulted in a subsequent rut in the value of Overstock’s shares.
- 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.”
- SEC Cracks Down on ICO Rating For Not Disclosing Paid Reviews: The U.S. SEC is not giving the crypto industry any breathing room. The American financial regulator revealed in a press release that it is charging ICO Rating, a Russian entity that was focused on research, reviewing, and rating crypto projects that held initial coin offerings (ICO), for failing to disclose that some reviews were pay-for-play. The firm purportedly agreed to pay just under $270,000 to settle charges.
- 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.
- Rakuten Launches Crypto Exchange: Confirmed in a press release published on August 19th, Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce giant, has launched its own cryptocurrency exchange for the public to use. This marks a positive step forward in the infrastructural side of this budding industry. Rakuten Wallet, this new exchange, will support spot trading of three cryptocurrencies. These digital assets are Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash.
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