Over the past week, the President of the United States of America FINALLY shared his views on Bitcoin, a decimal error brought $5 billion extra Tether into existence, two sharply-dressed London tailors got mistaken for fired bankers, Binance burned employees’ token allocation and reformed ICO-shiller Ian Balina considered becoming a Bitcoin maximalist.
Binance destroys team’s tokens
CZ, the founder and CEO of Binance, is fond of surprising the market. He also knows how to keep his token holders happy. The latest announcement, that 808,888 BNB originally allocated for the Binance team would be added to the company’s latest coin burn, will no doubt appease those who’ve seen the token’s value depreciate in recent weeks.
SEC gives the go-ahead for Regulated Token Offerings
As the fallout from the 2017/18 ICO mania continues to play out in the US courts, the SEC has approveda new form of offering that may satisfy both crypto entrepreneurs and regulators. Blockstack, a promising project aiming to reconstruct the Internet (we love modest goals in crypto) received approval for a $28 million public token offering under Regulation A+.
Augur-based prediction market interface closes down
The Ethereum dApp ecosystem received a blow this week with Veil, an interface promising to offer a gateway for new users to onboard with prediction market protocol Augur – the first ever ICO on the popular blockchain – shutting down after only six months. Veil was recently criticised by Augur founder Joey Krug for forking Augur to offer DAI-based markets for the US presidential election.
The long take
Is the Trump tweet really a big deal?
I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019
It’s long been a source of debate on Crypto Twitter – what would happen if Trump tweeted about Bitcoin? We know that as a president, he’s prone to going rogue on the social media platform and firing off about a variety of subjects. He must have an opinion on Bitcoin, surely?
Well, on Friday morning we got our answer. And it wasn’t positive. Coming only a day after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell had acknowledged Bitcoin as a speculative store of value, Trump’s statement that crypto was ‘based on hot air’ and could ‘facilitate unlawful behaviour’ was hardly surprising considering his desire to maintain faith in the US dollar. What was perhaps more interesting was the response in the market. Despite the most powerful man on earth disparaging the asset, the price of Bitcoin wasn’t negatively impacted. In fact, it actually increased by around $300 over the day. Does that mean the market is unconcerned by Trump’s position?
Bitcoin bulls have good reason to be optimistic. Trump just exposed the asset to his 60 million plus following, not to mention the various news headlines that followed. All publicity is good publicity, right? More importantly, Bitcoin has survived a decade of criticism from government officials and central bankers. These institutions aren’t supposed to be pro-bitcoins, and in any case it doesn’t matter. Bitcoin continues to propagate blocks without their approval and any criticism actually galvanises support among an ever-growing community of hodlers. In short, honey badger don’t care.
But should it care? The bearish perspective on this would say it should. The wording of Trump’s tweet suggests that it was more than just a passing tirade. It could be the beginning of a more sinister campaign to undermine and ultimately dismantle the asset. For 10 years, Bitcoin has largely been disregarded by major governments. Now, as these institutions face macro-economic challenges, the ‘Bitcoin as a safe haven’ narrative appears to have wings, with evidence of capital flight from China. Could western governments be running scared that Bitcoin will ultimately destabilise their own currencies? At a $200 billion market cap – small change in the global asset landscape – how Bitcoin would react to a coordinated, multi-government attempt to destroy it is unclear.
No doubt Trump has bigger issues on his mind, with the trade war with China ongoing and the 2020 election campaign due to kick off. Whether his distaste for crypto is strong enough to prompt major action is debatable. For the crypto believers, the episode only serves to affirm why a non-sovereign form of money is inherently valuable.
Tweets of the week
I agree Donald. Bitcoin is a criminal tool. Bitcoin was made by Craig Wright maybe you should put him in jail.
— KING CO฿IE (@CryptoCobain) July 12, 2019
Capitulating on altcoins because you got rekt and going all in on BTC doesn’t make you a “Bitcoin Maximalist”
— Rob “Crypto Bobby” Paone (@crypto_bobby) July 10, 2019
Bitcoin Falls Sharply As Gamer Girl Announces Last Bathwater Sale Ever pic.twitter.com/QIlgiGh38g
— Crypto X. Cronkite (@CryptoCronkite) July 11, 2019