Here’s what’s been happening in the crypto world over the past 7 days.
Cryptocurrency Community and Adoption News
The US Gets More BTC ATMs
As mentioned in last week’s roundup, the US has the highest number of Bitcoin ATMs in the world. And now, Bitcoin fans in the US will have even more machines at their disposal. As reported by Cointelegraph on Tuesday, Crypto ATM company Bitstop has partnered with Simon Malls, the largest US shopping centre operator. As a result, five crypto ATMs have already been installed in five different shopping centres throughout the country. In addition to that, according to the company’s press release, the plan is to “bring a fleet of Bitcoin ATMs to various shopping destinations”.
Andrew Barnard, Bitstop co-founder and CEO, commented that the timing of the installation is strategic, referring to Black Friday and the Christmas shopping season in general. “Bitcoin is the perfect gift for family and friends this holiday season. Our Bitstop Bitcoin ATM mall locations are at the forefront of a trend as Bitcoin and digital currencies become part of the mainstream culture,” he explained in the release.
Inspired by Giving Tuesday, a “global generosity movement” inspiring people to do good and give away, #BitcoinTuesday is essentially the same initiative, but for cryptocurrency. Both fall this year on December 3, next Tuesday. Behind this “Giving Tuesday, for cryptocurrency” is the Bitcoin Block, an organisation which helps nonprofits accept crypto donations. As the Forbes contributor Andrea Tinianow remarks, seems like crypto is really “poised to transform nonprofits”.
6 days until #BitcoinTuesday!
— The Giving Block (@TheGivingBlock) November 27, 2019
Each organisation you can donate to through #BitcoinTuesday has its own rules as to which cryptocurrency they accept. However, most do accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, along with some other cryptocurrencies.
Crypto-Friendly Travel Platform Travala Partners with Booking.com
Blockchain-based travel booking platform Travala announced this Monday their partnership with Booking.com. Namely, Travala has integrated Booking’s accommodations, across more than 230 countries and 90,000 destinations, into its own platform. As stated in the blog post, the partnership “targets massive crypto adoption”. Travellers can pay with Travala’s proprietary AVA token, as well as 20 other cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC and BCH.
Bitcoin Core 0.19.1
Starting November 24, the new version of Bitcoin Core, the open-source software that serves as a Bitcoin node, is available. According to the Bitcoin Core project, the 0.19.1 update includes “new features, various bug fixes and performance improvements”.
As Bitcoinist reports, the most significant change for regular users is that the GUI wallet will provide bech32 addresses by default. Bech32 is a Segwit address format. In other words, SegWit, a process used to condense transaction data that goes into the Bitcoin block, will be used by default.
Bitcoin Greener than Previously Thought?
We’ve already heard claims such as that Bitcoin mining and trading emissions will increase the global temperature by 2°C in the next 20 years or so. We’ve also heard that Bitcoin uses as much energy as Ireland.
However, a new report suggests that Bitcoin might not really have such a big impact on climate change as previously claimed. Researchers from the Danish Aalborg University note that climate activists should anyway continue to watch the crypto industry. However, they also remind that, according to the Bitcoin community, “most of the mining is done with green energy and that it’s not high impact”, which is also very important.
Almost 90% of Chinese Blockchain Companies Tried to Create their Own Crypto
Contrary to the popular belief, Chinese blockchain industry might actually be more interested in cryptocurrency. As reported by Cointelegraph, one Chinese executive at a local blockchain association revealed that 89% of China’s blockchain firms are more focused on crypto than blockchain, and even tried to create their own token or coin.
Monash University’s Blockchain Technology Centre Launched
This Tuesday, the largest university in Australia, Monash University, has launched the Monash University’s Blockchain Technology Centre (MBTC). MBTC’s purpose is to demonstrate the usability of blockchain technology across a variety of sectors. As part of the centre, experts from across the University will both explore and develop the technology. According to the post, the center will also be providing training and will introduce blockchain topics into the curriculum of other research areas.
Germany’s Biggest Federal State to Use Blockchain for Certificate Authentication
Bavarian State Minister for Digital Affairs, Judith Gerlach, believes that blockchain is a key technology of digital transformation. Working together with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Bavarian State Government wants to use blockchain for confirming the authenticity of various certificate courses and seminars.
According to the press release, the IHK (the Chamber of Commerce and Industry) for Munich and Upper Bavaria receives daily requests for authenticity confirmation of over 30,000 certificates they issue annually.
“This offers a huge advantage for both applicants and companies. The authenticity of certificates can be checked in just a few clicks,” said Gerlach. “The certificates are a first step in the concrete use of Blockchain in administration and can theoretically be extended to any type of document, whether witness, deed or contract. We want to launch more practice applications soon.”
Thailand to Use Blockchain for Inspecting Tax Payments
Similar to Europe’s plan, Thailand is now also looking into using blockchain for fighting VAT evasion. As Ledger Insights reports, the focus will at this moment be on the oil exporting industry. The government is, however, also interested in using the technology for creating a method for refunding the overpaid taxes to oil exporters. The blockchain-based system should be adopted by the middle of next year.
Thailand to Modify Crypto Regulations
And again some news from Thailand. Not only is the company interested in blockchain, but they are also starting to understand the potential of the cryptocurrencies. Country’s existing cryptocurrency laws are strict, so in order to boost the growth of the industry, financial regulators decided to review them.
South Korea Closer to Legitimizing Cryptocurrency
Two days ago, South Korea’s national policy committee passed a bill that will “establish a legal foundation for virtual currencies by categorizing them as digital assets”, reports JoongAng Daily.
Under the law, the cryptocurrency businesses will need to register as such with the FSC’s Financial Intelligence Unit, and also work on preventing money laundering. The bill still needs to be approved by lawmakers, and once that’s done, it will go into effect within one year.
Celebrity Endorsement Scams
In general, celebrity endorsement scams are nothing new. Not even those that include fake celebrity endorsements of fake Bitcoin investment platforms. And even though years pass, they are, unfortunately, still live. And everywhere – from Australia, to Singapore (note: steer clear of the bogus investing program called Bitcoin Pro), to the UK.
“In many cases, the fake advertorials are convincingly designed to look like pages from the BBC or Mirror websites,” writes Which?.
Familiarising yourself with as many scams as possible that are out there, is probably the best way to protect yourself. So, make sure you read that Which? article above and in general, always be cautious. As the Which? video mentions, if there are “grandiose claims”, it’s better to be sceptical.
For the past seven days, the price of Bitcoin ranged between around US$8,109 and US$6,549. Even though Bitcoin is definitely not dead (despite its 378th obituary as of November 21), it did drop. Compared to last Thursday, Bitcoin price is down for about 6.7%.
However, after days of plunging price, Bitcoin “has experienced a sudden surge” yesterday, as reported by Independent.
The somewhat dreaded drop below $7,000 is, according to one crypto analyst and spotted by Blockonomi, just a “normal Bitcoin behaviour”, “nothing out of the ordinary”.
Some people panicking about this -17% week.
— PlanB (@100trillionUSD) November 22, 2019
Others still believe that Bitcoin will indeed need to go below $5,000 at one point, but its long-term outlook is “incredibly bullish”. So bullish, that according to some analysts, in 2140, even the price of just one Satoshi could be “unbelievable”. Even when considering a ‘slightly’ nearer future, such as next year, Bitcoin is “on track for a massive post-halving bull run”, according to Cryptoslate.
And of course, the predictions for Bitcoin going back to $10,000, and even skyrocketing to $100,000 are still there.
Bitcoin’s price is going down? Remember everyone, after the FUD, news trading and manipulation clears out, we still have a global movement that’s going to change the world. We will see 10k btc again and welcome 100k. Crypto is unstoppable. Crypto is the future pic.twitter.com/9vlgH4S7u2
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) November 22, 2019
Until then, while the Bitcoin price is lower, we naturally can’t escape that ever-present question – Is this the best time to buy Bitcoin?
That’s up to you to decide, but we’ll leave you with Hoskinson’s words: “Crypto is unstoppable. Crypto is the future.”
We closed the day, November 27 AEST time, at a price of US$7,236 (~ AU$10,845 / £5,620).
Tamara is a marketing and PR professional, enthusiastic about crypto, blockchain and technology in general. She’s the editor at Bitcoin Australia.