Crypto is going mainstream everywhere – Weekly news 14/2021

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This week we have more entertainment news than usually. After all, entertainment is a pretty good indicator of what’s mainstream and what’s not. Things discussed by a few nerds on obscure online forums cannot be seen as particularly mainstream. Instead, things that are featured in Disney plots and known to both grannies and kids are another matter. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have along the years grown from the former group to the latter.

Aside from entertainment news we will also address other ways in which crypto is going mainstream. In Thailand alone crypto use has grown hundreds of percent in just a few months, with growth also visible worldwide according to the country’s estimates. Furthermore we have Tesla’s charity work for Bitcoin and the immense growth of altcoins.

The previous news archive can be found here.

The bitcoin blockchain is reaching its roots across the world both financially and culturally.

More than 100 altcoins above $1B

The past two months have marked a doubling in the number of cryptocurrencies with a combined market capitalization above one billion dollars. According to statistics by CoinMarketCap, the world currently has more than 100 crypto projects with a market cap exceeding a billion.  

Bitcoin’s price rise has typically also reflected on smaller cryptocurrencies. Over the previous months bitcoin has had an upward rally with major institutional investors and capital entering the markets. Much like earlier, this has also led to other altcoin price booms.

However, the phenomenon also has its flipside. Due to their smaller market caps, altcoins are also notably more volatile than bitcoin. When bitcoin’s price enters a corrective movement, altcoin prices may consequently bleed even more.

Bitcoin’s explosive rise has also made many altcoins more valuable than ever before.

Tesla fixed BTC service bug pro bono

Electric car manufacturer Tesla has found and fixed a bug in the open-source Bitcoin payment processor BTCPay Server. The company which made headlines earlier this year with its heavy BTC investment fixed the bug pro bono.

”The security team did an audit and contacted us. We then focused on fixing most of the points they disclosed one by one. They are now helping us to improve our process for security related disclosure,” told Nicolas Dorier, founder of BTCPay.

The case demonstrates both Tesla’s commitment to Bitcoin as well as the benefits of open-source code, as anyone can check the code and improve detected weaknesses. Much like BTCPay, also Bitcoin is based on open code.

The case also suggests Tesla may have plans to start using BTCPay for processing customer crypto payments. Tesla has already revealed its systems are and will be based on open code. Upcoming collaboration with BTCPay would also explain why Tesla’s researchers have scrutinized BTCPay’s code.

Elon Musk’s Tesla seems to take Bitcoin and its infrastructure development seriously. (PICTURE: JD Lasica – CC-A-2.0.)

Bitcoin use soars almost 600% in Thailand

According to recent estimates by Thailand’s local Securities and Exchange Commission, the use of cryptocurrencies in the country has grown nearly 600% since last November. According to data published by Bloomberg, the total volume of Thai crypto exchanges amounted to $574.5 million dollars back in November. By this year’s February the volume had grown to a whopping $3.96 billion.

While crypto use has clearly surged in exchanges, peer-to-peer trading seems have had a more limited growth. The world’s largest peer-to-peer marketplaces LocalBitcoins and Paxful have only reported volumes growing between 10%-50%. However, estimates on peer-to-peer trading have a much larger margin error than exchange volumes, meaning the true number is far harder to assess.

The explosive growth of crypto use has forced Thai authorities to consider new regulatory legislation and educating citizens on the matter. A tutorial course for crypto users and limiting the exchange of inexperienced users has even been suggested. However, at this time there is no certainty what actions the authorities will take.

Bitcoin and other crypto have gained explosive mainstream attention in Thailand. (PICTURE: Marco Verch – CC-BY 2.0)

Bitcoin.com was for sale – until it wasn’t

The past week saw another curious spectacle in the crypto world, as domain register GoDaddy announced the bitcoin.com address was for sale. The price for the domain was listed modestly as $100 million.

The domain’s owner Roger Ver soon after contacted GoDaddy and demanded the listing be removed. According to him it was fake news, as the real address was not for sale.

”Why are you listing my domain name for sale? It isn’t for sale. Please remove this fake news that is damaging my real brand,” Ver wrote to GoDaddy.

GoDaddy has thus far refrained from answering queries regarding the incident.

Bitcoin.com was one of the most used crypto sites for years. However, the site suffered a serious reputational clash after its owner began openly advertising Bitcoin Cash, a copy coin forked from Bitcoin often falsely claimed to be the real Bitcoin. Bitcoin.com is nowadays widely regarded as an unreliable site by a growing number of users and media sources.

Roger Ver used to be an esteemed name in Bitcoin circles, but his Bitcoin Cash ventures have harmed his credibility. (PICTURE: Roger Ver)

Disney programs feature crypto plots

The Disney+ streaming service recently published the third part of the popular Falcon and the Winter Soldier series. The series featured a scene in which a 1 000 BTC bounty was promised for a character’s head.

Disney+ also recently published the 31st season of the renowned Simpsons series in Finland and other countries. The 13th episode of the second newest season strongly revolves around cryptocurrencies.

In the episode, professor Frink develops his own cryptocurrency called Frinkcoin, which quickly becomes the world’s most stable currency. Frinkcoin makes Frink the richest man in Springfield, which infuriates the previous titleholder Montgomery Burns. Burns attempts to retaliate by creating his own Burnscoin, which leads to further foolery.

Similar crypto references have seen a significant increase in past years. This is a sign that cryptocurrencies are already so mainstream that including them in series plots is no longer unusual in any way.

In the Frinkcoin episode Mr. Burns and professor Frink fight over cryptocurrency dominion. (PICTURE: Disney)
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