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.
What a week it has been for this newfangled industry. The past seven days saw an array of key developments come to light, including the launch of a new blockchain, Binance Chain; the arrival of endowments and other institutions; a development in Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures contracts, and the revelation that some big industry names are still raking in colossal profits.
Long story short, crypto’s prospects are as cheery as ever.
This Week In Crypto
- Binance Chain Finally Launches, BNB Surge: After months, potentially even a year of waiting, Binance Chain, the native blockchain of prominent industry upstart Binance, has launched for a public audience. The launch of a decentralized exchange (DEX) based on the platform is expected to soon follow. As a result of this move, which one or two pundits have called one of the biggest crypto-related news items of the year, Ethereum-based projects have begun to prepare to move to this sleeker option, BNB has surged to new all-time highs (even in this bear market), and the broader market has started to tick higher.
- ConsenSys Seeks Funding As “Crypto Winter” Wraps Up: According to a recent report from The Information, New York-headquartered blockchain group, ConsenSys, headed by Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, is currently searching for a large sum of venture capital funding. Citing “several people with knowledge of the plans,” the outlet explains that ConsenSys, which houses MetaMask, Infura, and countless other key pieces of Ethereum-centric infrastructure, is actively seeking $200 million from “outside investors,” after operating off Lubin’s Ether stash for years on end. While this nine-figure sum is ludicrous in and of itself, the $200 million seems even crazier when you factor in the mere $21 million the firm dragged in for fiscal 2018, and that ConsenSys is seeking a valuation of “at least $1 billion.” Other reports indicated that the firm is projecting $58 million in revenue for fiscal 2019, but will burn $100 million overall due to OPEX.
- Endowments Are Already Piling Into Crypto & Blockchain: According to a debrief of a crypto-centric survey, conducted by The TRADE Crypto and American crypto firm BitGo, 94% of 150 endowments polled have invested money in crypto-related projects in the past year, even amid the collapse in Bitcoin. The average amount invested was not disclosed, but endowments’ allocations to this asset class and related technologies likely range in the low single-digit millions to low double-digit millions. It isn’t clear what endowments the two aforementioned entities surveyed, but over recent months, the University of Michigan, Harvard University, and Yale University are among the educational institutions that have begun to throw millions at digital assets and the technologies backing them.
- Community Rallies To Donate Cryptocurrency After Notre Dame Accident: Earlier this week, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a world-renowned gothic-style church located in Paris, suddenly caught on fire. For hours, the cathedral burned, and many feared the worst as the blaze caused the building’s spire to collapse. Photos taken after the fire was doused revealed that the innards of the historical building, including the countless pieces of art and historical artifacts inside, were practically untouched, but the damage dealt has still been deemed devastating. And interestingly, the crypto community has rallied to help out. Crypto enthusiasts have urged local organizations to accept Bitcoin and other digital assets, as France’s Minister of Digital Affairs has claimed that he is looking into cryptocurrencies. Binance, too, has begun a fundraiser through its charity subsidiary, raising $17,000 as of the time of writing this.
- Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision Debacle Develops, Exchanges Delist BSV: Over the past two or three weeks, a whole hubbub has erupted about Craig Wright and his claim that he is Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright claims that he is Satoshi, as others have rebuked him. The debate reached a point where Wright, Calvin Ayre, and the rest of their camp, all supporters of Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV), sent legal letters to an array of industry leaders: podcaster Peter McCormack, Lightning Network proponent Hodlonaut, and Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin. And with that, the community fought back, urging exchanges listing BSV to delist the asset. Eventually, Binance agreed, as did ShapeShift, Blockchain.com, and Kraken, leading to a collapse in the price of the cryptocurrency.
- #YangGang: Presidential Candidate Releases Crypto Regulation Policy: Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur and businessman turned U.S. presidential candidate, recently polled to have 3% chances at winning the presidency, released a statement on digital assets last week. Yang claimed that if he took the Oval Office, he would establish regulatory clarity to promote the growth of this sector, as he, on many occasions, have lauded blockchain as the future of many industries.
- Bakkt’s Bitcoin Futures Are Having Trouble With The CFTC: According to a recent Bloomberg report, which cited insider sources, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) isn’t all too amicable with a recent proposal to launch Bitcoin futures from Bakkt. The regulatory body is purportedly taking issue with how the Intercontinental Exchange-backed initiative intends to secure the BTC required to fund the futures vehicle. So, it was claimed that instead of a green light from the CFTC, Bakkt is looking for a stamp of approval from New York’s regulators, which have historically been stringent but cautiously amicable towards Bitcoin-related ventures.