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. Over the past week, Bitcoin (BTC) has traded in a crazy range, moving between $6,000 and $8,350 in a fashion that seems very reminiscent of 2017. Most recently, Bitcoin spiked down to $6,100 on Bitstamp, caused by a massive sell order that purportedly triggered algorithms to sell further.
This came as a slew of positive news graced the cryptocurrency and blockchain market. Overall, BTC is up on the week.
This Week In Crypto
- Facebook Crypto On The Horizon, Company Opens Blockchain Firm In Switzerland: Quietly discovered by Reuters on Friday, technology giant Facebook has recently established a new company in Switzerland. The new firm is purportedly centered around blockchain and payments, likely pertaining to the company’s rumored “Libra” project. This has only been corroborated by the fact that the new company is registered as “Libra Networks”, and was registered weeks ago to “provide financial and technology services and develop related hardware and software”.
- Amazon Launches Proof of Work-Related Patent, Digital Asset Rumors Ensue: A patent that has begun to circulate reveals that Amazon may be looking into crypto-related systems, like Proof of Work and Merkle Trees. The document, filed under the jurisdiction describes a system that has a “first party” complete computational work to gain access to a computing resource. The document’s abstract also mentions hash trees, which are also referred to as Merkle Trees. Funnily enough, however, the patent did not mention “cryptocurrency”, “blockchain”, or “Bitcoin” at all, and instead described the Proof of Work system in immense detail, specifically touching on how it could be used to mitigate DOS (denial of service) attacks from bad actors.
- Cryptocurrency Cynic Flips Bullish, Acknowledges BTC’s Value: In an impeccable sign of the times, sources tell The Block that Coinbase may soon acquire Xapo, one of the first and most startups in the cryptocurrency space. The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency giant is “in advanced talks” to purchase Xapo, a Zurich-headquartered custodian that purportedly owns at least 5% of all BTC in circulation. Sources, who are “people familiar with the matter”, tell the outlet that Coinbase has an offer of $50 million and added contingent “earn-outs” on the table, but that Xapo has yet to shake on the proposed deal. They add that Coinbase and Fidelity’s resident crypto division, Digital Assets, have been duking it out over this deal, which is massive in and of itself. So far, as hinted at, Coinbase has the lead and was quicker on the draw, as the budding startup looks to bolster its embryonic custody business in a renewed drive to appeal to institutional players.
- Kevin O’Leary Bashes Bitcoin As “Garbage” And “Crap”: Earlier this week, Kevin O’Leary took to CNBC “Squawk Box” to talk Bitcoin, debating casually with Morgan Creek Digital’s Anthony Pompliano. The Canadian businessman, who stars on “Shark Tank”, explains that Bitcoin is a “digital game” to him, rather than an investment, currency, or newfangled asset class. He then dubbed BTC “worthless”, noting that the lack of liquidity and market share of Bitcoin is an issue in his eyes.
- U.S. SEC Delays Bitwise Bitcoin ETF: According to a report from CoinDesk, the verdict on the Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) application from California-based crypto upstart Bitwise Asset Management has been delayed once again. In a document published Tuesday morning, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who presides over such products, revealed that it won’t be issuing a final verdict (approve or deny) just yet. Interestingly, the regulatory entity has yet to comment on the proposal from VanEck and SolidX, which many investors believe has a higher chance of succeeding. The deadline for that proposal is coming up.
- Bakkt Looks To Launch Bitcoin Futures By July: Revealed Monday, Bakkt, the Intercontinental Exchange’s independent crypto initiative, will be launching its physically-backed futures contract in July. According to a Medium update from its chief executive, Kelly Loeffler, the product will take two forms: 1) a daily settlement future; 2) monthly futures. This confirms rumors that the platform was looking to launch a vehicle for a same-day market. Bakkt expects the soft launch of this product by July, explaining that it intends to iron out any kinks in the coming weeks.