This Week In Crypto: PewDiePie Goes Blockchain, IMF Worried About Bitcoin, Coinbase Launches Debit Card

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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 news that Facebook, PewDiePie, and Harvard, yes the university, have continued their foray into this space. Long story short, crypto’s prospects are as cheery as ever.

This Week In Crypto

  • Facebook Seeking $1 Billion+ For Crypto Project: According to a recent comment from Nathaniel Popper, the New York Times’ resident crypto and blockchain reporter, Facebook is actively seeking funding for its rumored digital asset. Popper writes that insiders tell him that the Silicon Valley firm is looking for venture capitalists to contribute sums of up to $1 billion. For those who missed the memo, sources told Bloomberg in December that the social media giant had plans to introduce a cryptocurrency backed by assets external to this industry to WhatsApp.
  • PewDiePie Goes Blockchain With Recent Sponsorship: In a recent edition of “Meme Review”, a popular Youtube show, host Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg revealed that he would be joining hands with DLive. While this sounds like it shouldn’t be of interest to the crypto audience, it should be. The world-renowned Youtuber, who commands over 93 million Youtube subscribers, teamed up with a blockchain-based live streaming platform that runs on the Lino Network, built with Cosmos technology. Sure, this isn’t Bitcoin or Ethereum, but it sure shows that the adoption of this innovation is happening.
  • Harvard Delves Into Crypto Formally… Finally: Although hearsay indicated that Harvard University’s $39.6 billion endowment delved into blockchain last year, the institution’s foray was confirmed in a recent U.S.. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. Per Bloomberg, a document given to the SEC revealed that Harvard Management and two other investors contributed ~$11.5 million to Blockstack in exchange for tokens. While $11.5 million (or whatever the school’s exact investment amount was) is a mere drop in Harvard’s multi-billion bucket, this investment confirms that the university’s portfolio managers are keeping a close eye on the cryptocurrency space. And that, arguably, is a great sign.
  • International Monetary Fund’s Chairwoman Acknowledges The Threat Bitcoin, Crypto Pose: At a recent event, Christine Lagarde, the chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) told CNBC that she is worried about the threat that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies pose to traditional banking. This is rather resemblant of a comment from former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, which LCW reported on previously. 
  • Bakkt Snags Former PayPal, Google Employee: Earlier this week, Bakkt, a yet-to-launch, multi-faceted crypto platform backed by the Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE owner), revealed that it had made another key hire as its launch nears. The institutional initiative picked up Mike Blandina, a former employee at PayPal and Google, as its new Chief Product Officer. In an announcement, Bakkt’s Kelly Loeffler claimed that her organization is still working with regulators to ensure the launch of its physical Bitcoin futures contract pans out well.
  • Coinbase Launches Crypto-Powered Debit CardCrypto-powered debit cards have long had a spotty reputation. Stringent regulatory measures and trigger-happy financial services firms, like Visa, have been quick to curb any device that promotes the use of Bitcoin in the “real world.” This changed recently, however, with the San Francisco-based Coinbase and its partners launching its own Visa debit card for its U.K. audience. This new offering will allow British Coinbase clients to spend their Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and many other digital assets in millions of stores and on thousands of online outlets for whatever they may please… within reason.
  • China Looks To Curb Bitcoin Mining Industry: Earlier this week, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in China revealed that it isn’t all too pleased with the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining industry, especially due to the sector’s energy consumption for what they see as little economic. While this sounds like extremely bad news as China is a hub for mining, pundits claim that the regulation (if approved) won’t go into full effect for years, and may not even be all-encompassing.

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