Thank God for the weekend! It’s been, what, ten days since the last one? But it’s finally here! So, what’s happened in blockchain world this week? A whole bunch: Peter Schiff’s tweets are memorialized, Nimbus gets $650,000 to build on Ethereum, and Binance cures coronavirus… or does it? Read on to find out!
Nimbus takes home $650,000 from Ethereum Foundation
Crypto company Nimbus is working on getting ETH 2.0 to run on older phones. To further its goal, it’s received a $650,000 grant from the Ethereum Foundation, meaning its funding from the Foundation now totals $1.65 million.
It’s written in Nim, a lightweight programming language that’s designed to work on older handsets, as well as computer parts that are embedded in larger systems.
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Why’s that important? Well, one reason is that if ETH can run faster on mobile devices—or run faster in general—that could help free up space on the network, which is currently bogged down by huge coins like Tether. In the past few months, network utilization on Ethereum has hit highs of 90%. If it ever reached 100%, the network would slow to a crawl and become more expensive, deterring businesses and users from using the network.
Peter Schiff tweets, the mug
Peter Schiff, the American economist and Bitcoin skeptic, otherwise known as some guy on Twitter, will be immortalized—or, at least, his tweets will.
Here’s the backstory: Schiff was, for some reason, gifted a few thousand dollars of Bitcoin by the “Bitcoin community”, spurred on by the initial donation from Morgan Creek Capital crypto-bro Anthony Pompliano. Schiff then “lost” the keys to his Bitcoin wallet, but it turns out that he never actually set it up correctly in the first place. Cue some angry tweets from Schiff: “I did not forget my password. My wallet forgot my password.”
Such poetry has now transcended into the realm of the physical, etched forever onto pictures, mugs, and the inside of my skull.
All the memorabilia is for sale. And no, the proceeds don’t go to Schiff.
99.9% of Bitcoin transaction aren’t related to the dark web
Open a newspaper on a story about Bitcoin, and it’s even odds that it’ll be something about how the cryptocurrency is used on the dark web, to buy everything from drugs to stolen personal data.
According to data from crypto analytics site Chainalysis, though, the number of Bitcoin transactions that end up in darknet services reached just 0.08% in 2019. That’s down from one percent four years ago, but it’s higher than last year’s all-time low of 0.04%. Since 2015, the amount of Bitcoin that goes to the darknet has fallen by over 90%.
Still, just because the number of Bitcoin transacted has fallen, it doesn’t mean that darknet traders are cash poor. In fact, the value of Bitcoin transactions to darknet markets has almost doubled, from over $400 million to nearly $800 million—a figure that’s in line with increased Bitcoin activity in general.
But remember: Bitcoin isn’t anonymous, so any drugs you bought on the darknet will be oh so very traceable. Most dark web users make use of coin mixers these days, but the jury’s out as to whether they’re effective or not.
Binance cures coronavirus
Next up, Binance saves the world yet again. It’s already put out the bushfires, fed Africa’s starving kids, and now it’s finding the cure to coronavirus.
This week, CEO Changpeng Zhao announced that Binance had donated $1.5 million worth of renminbi to the coronavirus cause, part of which will help provide tens of thousands of masks to the quarantined citizens of Wuhan. Zhao decided to donate in renminbi because it’s “not realistic to do crypto to end beneficiaries,” he tweeted. For the previous donation fund, for the cause of the Australian bushfire, donors could only give in BNB. Binance’s contribution was in BNB, too.
Fidelity Investments offers fractional stock trading service
Sure, this one isn’t strictly crypto, but it has huge implications for the industry. Fidelity Investments, a huge online broker that has $8.3 trillion in assets and 23 million broker users, is offering a service whereby users can buy a proportion of a stock, rather than buying the whole stock outright.
So, if you have $100 dollars spare, you can buy $100 worth of Amazon stock, even though a share in the firm costs around $1,850.
“Customers can now own a piece of their favorite companies and ETFs based on how much they want to invest, independent of the share price,” head of Fidelity’s brokerage platform Scott Ignall blurted out in a statement.
Neato burrito! But this is grave news for crypto companies who’ve been pushing the idea of tokenized shares for a while, and touting it as one of the main use cases of blockchain.
DX.Exchange did so (before it ran out of money late last year), and Zilliqa and MaiCoin this month announced they’re launching Hg Exchange, which does something similar.
Several real estate firms have tokenized investments in properties. Just this month, BrickMark bought a property in Switzerland with crypto tokens, with plans to tokenize shares of the property to investors.
Fidelity isn’t the only broker getting into the fractional investment business. Competitor Charles Schwab has his own offering, and Silicon Valley start-up Robinhood has offered the service as of December 2019.
Stay tuned for next week, when we report on what’s left of the crypto industry.