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.
As is seemingly the norm, Bitcoin saw a tumultuous week, trading from everywhere from $9,100 to around $11,000. Per the time of writing this article, the dust has somewhat settled, with BTC around the $10,500 region for at least the past 18 hours.
While cryptocurrency prices are lower than they were earlier this month or in late-June, it is important to note that the fundamentals of the industry only got stronger over the past week. Case in point, a Congressman proclaimed Bitcoin and the movement surrounding it “an unstoppable force” on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” and in a Congress hearing, looking to the fact that China, even with its heavy-handed regulation, was unable to fully ban the local cryptocurrency market.
This Week in Crypto
- China Authority Confirms Bitcoin is “Property”: This week, the Hangzhou Internet Court purportedly confirmed that Bitcoin is a form of virtual property, meaning that it is legal to hold the cryptocurrency. While this doesn’t confirm that all regulators see Bitcoin as legal across the country, which is rife with legal, cultural, and social nuances between districts, some see this as a watershed moment for cryptocurrency in China. In a document, the Court confirmed that it believes Bitcoin shares the same three tenets that property has — “valuable, scarce and disposable.”
- BitMEX Under Investigation by the CFTC, Says Bloomberg Report: According to a Bloomberg report released Friday, which cited individuals familiar with the matter, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is investigating one of the Bitcoin industry’s own. BitMEX, per the sources, is suspected by the financial regulator of knowingly facilitating United States traders, which are technically banned from accessing the platform’s projects. The CFTC and BitMEX neither confirmed nor denied the report. Arthur Hayes, the chief executive of the Seychelles-based BitMEX, has stated that his platform actively removes traders that are believed to be in banned regions.
- Binance Dishes Out Millions of Stellar Lumens: This week, the recently-turned-two Binance revealed that it had recently “discovered” that it has been staking its Stellar Lumens (XLM) for over a year now. The Stellar protocol allows for large holders to stake the cryptocurrency, thus providing a slight return. To commit to transparency and to satisfy their users, the popular exchange revealed that it would be dispensing around $1 million worth of XLM to holders of the cryptocurrency on the exchange. Also, henceforth, Binance will be giving its users the inflation rewards every month.
- Grayscale Sees Massive Institutional Inflows Into Bitcoin Product: Just like other investors, Grayscale’s clients have been subject to the fear of missing out. As revealed in the firm’s latest Digital Asset Investment Report for Q2, its crypto vehicles secured over $84.8 million in investment during the last quarter, marking the strongest inflows since the true start of the bear market in Q2 of 2018. Per the report, much of the capital that Grayscale received in Q2 was allocated to its Bitcoin Trust, the firm’s flagship vehicle that trades on American over-the-counter markets. What’s also interesting is that a purported 84% of the $84.8 million inflow was sourced from institutional players, mainly “hedge funds”.
- Vitalik Buterin Makes Interesting Scaling Proposal for Ethereum: This week, Vitalik Buterin, the Russian-Canadian wunderkind behind Ethereum, made an interesting proposal for his brainchild. He noted that while Serenity, the blockchain’s game-changing upgrade is on the horizon, short-term scalability solutions should be looked into to bolster Ethereum usage. One such solution may be to use either the Bitcoin Cash or Ethereum Classic chains as a sort of second-layer data layer for the base blockchain.
- U.S. Treasury Secretary Bashes Crypto: This week, the U.S. Treasury Secretary followed in the footsteps of Donald Trump. Speaking in a press conference, Steven Mnuchin told reporters that he, like the President, is keeping an eye on the growth of cryptocurrencies, especially in how they can be used to facilitate illicit activity. In a later interview, Mnuchin warned the cryptocurrency industry that it may be soon subject to “very, very strong” regulations, but did not tip his hand as to what he is pushing for.