Another week, another round of Crypto Tidbits. The second week for the year 2020 was a lot more exciting for Bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency space than the first. Per data from Coin360, the leading digital asset, BTC, gained 10% on the week, hitting $8,160 as of the time of writing this. Altcoins across the board have posted similar gains, with forks Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, and Litecoin really standing out.
Market aside, the underlying industry was as busy as ever, with there being a number of stories published over the past seven days that could have a larger impact on the cryptocurrency space. They are as follows.
Elon Musk Drops the “Bitcoin” Bomb on Twitter: 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.
Bitcoin is *not* my safe word
— Buff Mage (@elonmusk) January 10, 2020
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.
NBA Player to Soon Use Ethereum: Brooklyn Nets player Spencer Dinwiddie revealed that he will soon be launching a bond representing himself on the Ethereum blockchain in collaboration with security token platform Securitize.
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.
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