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
- Elon Musk Tweets About Bitcoin… Kinda: In a tweet published Friday morning, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk joked that “Bitcoin is *not* my safe word.” (If you don’t know what “safe word” means, please search it up.) The tweet quickly went viral, garnering over 100,000 likes on Twitter. It isn’t clear what exactly the technology entrepreneur was suggesting in tweeting this, though he has long referred to this industry with jest. Musk joked he was the chief executive of Dogecoin during April Fool’s Day in 2019, once randomly tweeted “Ethereum”, and once joked about “cryptocurrency” being his safe word.
- Japanese Corporations Enter Crypto Mining Game: According to a recent report from Bloomberg published on January 7th, SBI Holdings — a financial services company group based in Tokyo, Japan that works closely with crypto-centric fintech upstart Ripple — and GMO Internet, an internet service provider that has been mining cryptocurrency for multiple quarters now, has entered an agreement with Nothern Bitcoin AG subsidiary Whinstone Inc. This agreement allows the two Japanese firms to use Whinstone’s facilities in Rockdale, Texas to mine Bitcoin and likely other cryptocurrencies. Whinstone’s parent company, Northern Bitcoin, has said that their Rockdale-based facility will have a mining capacity of 1 gigawatt by the end of 2020, a record.
- Chinese Tech Giant Baidu Launches Blockchain Beta: On January 6th, Baidu — a Chinese technology and internet giant most often called “China’s Google” here in the West — unveiled its latest project: “Xuperchain,” a blockchain system for businesses, now going into beta. According to the translated version of a flashy new website outlining this new offering, this now-in-beta network will allow users, preferably operators of smaller businesses, to build and deploy blockchain applications to help bolster their businesses.
- Bitcoin CME Options Launch Nears: Next Monday, January 13th, the CME will launch a Bitcoin options derivative market, which analysts will say will boost institutions’ capability to hedge risk and invest in this market. While it isn’t clear how the launch of this derivative will affect the market, traders seem to be leaning long.
- NBA Player to Soon Use Ethereum: Just today, it was announced that Stephen Dinwiddle is launching an Ethereum-based bond that represents himself. The Brooklyn Nets player tweeted on January 10th, “The Spencer Dinwiddie bond launches January 13th. I’ll also be taking 8 fans to ASW with me.” The bond will be issued on the Ethereum blockchain and will be managed by a digital transfer agent, said Securitize chief executive Carlos Domingo, who partnered with Dinwiddie to make this interesting trend in crypto and sports take place.
- Bitcoin Exchange Deribit Leaves Europe as Regulatory Pressure Mounts: In a blog post published on January 9th, Bitcoin derivatives platform Deribit, a platform frequented by many crypto traders, revealed that it is officially leaving the Netherlands due to the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD), a regulation set to be implemented in a majority of European countries on January 10th. Deribit will be setting up operations in Panama, where there are laxer laws, to operate the new platform. “The Platform will move to Panama, as we wish to continue offering an easily accessible trading platform at very low costs. Regardless of this move, Deribit users will still need to comply with KYC laws to trade Bitcoin on the platform, with all being forced to submit their legal name, name, date of birth, address, and country of residence.
- LINE-Backed Exchange Delists XRP: According to a statement published on Jan. 5, BitBox, the cryptocurrency exchange operated and launched by LINE (an Asian social media giant with millions of users across countries like Japan and Korea), will shortly be removing XRP, specifically the asset’s pairs against Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether’s USDT. As to why this is taking place, the company wrote in the letter:
We keep a constant watch on all coins that are being traded on BITBOX. If a coin does not meet our standards based on its performance, reliability, liquidity, or law and regulatory requirements, it will be delisted from our exchange. To protect your assets and interests, we provide sufficient notice before delisting.
The token will be delisted starting January 16th, 2020, which means that at this time, the “delisted coin and pairs will no longer be available for deposits and trades, and all unfilled orders affected by the delisting will be canceled automatically.”